Wednesday, November 4, 2009

tweet, tweet

My baby is turning 2 next week! So, of course I am turning my sadness about that into party planning! This post from Party Perfect is perfection! Tweet, tweet! {I am such a copy cat, I know} Late last night I was madly finishing invitations and tonight I had my girlfriend over here slaving over stuffed birds(as in fabric and cotton, not turkey and seasoned bread). Tomorrow I need birdhouses. And who thinks I can pull off the cake in the top photo?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

penne rustica

recipe and photo found here
Look at me! 2 posts in 1 day! I had to share this with you, I am just popping it into the oven for dinner and it is so yummy! Warning though, the recipe is HUGE!I made a few changes(in brackets) to suit our family's taste and what I had on hand. It took some time to prepare all the steps, but I probably ended up with at least 4 meals for our family.

12 oz. grilled chicken breast (marinate in olive oil and garlic salt overnight, then grill on barbecue for best flavor)-{rotisserie chickens are my best friend}
½ pack thick bacon-{used whole package, who doesn't like more bacon?}
48 oz. (3 boxes) penne pasta-{I used rotini}
2 large red bell peppers- diced-{I used 4, I don't want to cook a separate vegetable, do you?}
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp paprika
Gratinata Sauce:
2 tsp butter
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 cup marsala wine OR 1/3 cup apple juice + 2 tbsp red wine vinegar +enough chicken broth to equal 1 cup
1 tsp dijon or dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped rosemary
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream-{I used 4c.cream and 4c. half & half}
Saute garlic in butter in large pan. Add marsala wine, mustard, salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and heavy cream.Cook pasta according to directions. Cook bacon. Slice chicken into medium-bite size pieces.Combine sauce, cooked pasta, diced chicken, cooked bacon, bell peppers, parmesan cheese, and paprika and mix thoroughly. Spread in pans. Top with chopped rosemary and mozzarella cheese.
Bake @ 475 for 10 minutes. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator the day of. Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes.
Number Of Servings: Yields one 8×8 and two 9×13 casserole dishes.
Preparation Time: More than an hour

olivia taps

Olivia started taking tap lessons this fall. This is what we get to watch every Monday afternoon. I took this video through glass, so it looks a it funny.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

winner winner!

**Let's say I will pick a winner for the giveaway below on Friday morning**
UPDATED: All right girls, thanks for playing! The winner is...
km said...
would LOVE it!
October 26, 2009 10:04 AM
Please send me your mailing address and I will mail you your prize!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

here again, and a giveaway! hip hip horay!

I've had a bit of a break, haven't I? Besides the recipe, that is. Have you made that pie yet? You really should. mmmm. I realized this week I turned 1 over here! Blogging for a whole year. Not as frequently as I hoped or imagined, but I won't make excuses for that. Instead, I have a treat to share with you, well one of you anyway. I would like to give one of you a copy of Ultimate Cookies, (Better Homes and Gardens Special Publication) and a Wilton Cookie Scoop! I noticed the mag/book on the newsstands the other day and thought it would be perfect inspiration to start planning holiday baking. And the photo's are really pretty. So, leave a loving comment and in a few days I will pick a winner!

And in the meantime, let's hope that the 'scoots' pass through(no pun intended) my children quickly.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

open apple pie

Thanksgiving is for making pie, right? It is for me. I made 2 pumpkin yesterday and today I wanted to make apple. I found this recipe in The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes. Open Apple Pie. Did you notice the 1/2 cup of cream you pour over the pie just before baking? Yep, 35% cream. That's a Mennonite recipe for you. Delicious!

Open Apple Pie

9" unbaked pastry shell

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

4-5 large cooking apples

Mix flour and sugar and cover bottom of shell with this mixture. Arrange sliced apples over this and cover with the following:

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp cinnamon - I used 2

1/4 cup butter

Pour over all 1/2 cup cream. Bake at 350 until crust and top are golden brown.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

a wallpaper quilt

I have been following Kelli's blog for a long time now. Those of you who know me well, I am sure would agree that she and I are the same. Well, close anyway. She even has her own chickens! {smile} Today she posted the most beautiful quilt made with vintage fabrics and I just had to share it! Go to her blog and check out a few more photos. {she also has a few kits to make your very own for sale in her etsy shop}

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

feeling hopeful

Kendra read the post from the other day and sent me this! Yay! There is hope for some good shots of Sadie! This one is pretty awesome, don't you think? {Click on the image to see a larger version.}

Sunday, September 20, 2009

family photos

Yesterday afternoon/evening we had some family photo's taken. I had pretty high expectations for these. When we arrived home and and I was not feeling too hopeful about how they will turn out, I realized something. To get really great photos, you really need to have willing participants, which we did not. Especially Sadie. Basically the entire time she was uncooperative, shrieking, and running away. What else should I have expected from a nearly 2 year old, right? So, here's to hoping! And here are some of the photo's Kendra took of our children last year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

picking dinner

As in, not just choosing what to make for dinner, but literally going to my little back yard and picking these nice ripe green and yellow zucchini's along with fresh parsley, all for our pasta; that is rewarding. And fun.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

checking it off

Today is the first day of September and we are busy checking things off of our 'quick, we only have a few more days of summer left, what do we still want to do??!!' list. Yesterday we headed off to the beach with friends and today we ruled Tinkertown, a amusement park for the younger set. What's next? Definitely more beach, picnics, play dates home brewed herbal iced tea and ice-cream. Oh, and camping this weekend!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

working on stuff

One project is near finished, one is just beginning.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


We have a lot of beans around here right now. today was an extra big haul(you can't really see in the photo, but I barely have my arm around them), but we have already picked double that. I made soup out of them yesterday, now I am thinking about freezing some of them to use later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

homemade granola bars

Today Graham is off to a 8 hours race (mountain bike) which he is relaying with my brother, Josh. So, last night I made him some good for you, yummy granola bars to pack along.

Whole Grain Energy Chews (found here)

1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped up
1/2 cup dried cranberries(I used dried sour cherries-yum!)
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup Red River Cereal or Bob's Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal

1/2 cup honey(I only used 1/4 cup, I have made them once before and found them to be a bit too sweet for us)
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350, and toast the oats, almonds, and pumpkin/sunflower seeds on a baking sheet until just golden and fragrant. (Watch carefully, they burn quickly!)
Add the fruit and seeds to the oat and nut mixture. Mix well.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add cereal, stir and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Add peanut butter, honey, salt and vanilla to the pan and return to medium low, stirring often for 7 minutes. The mixture should start to shine and pull away easily from the sides of the pan. Stir constantly to avoid it sticking to the bottom. Do not overheat.
Add the warm peanut butter mixture to the oat mixture, and combine thoroughly. Press very firmly into an 8×8 glass or metal pan (place a piece of foil that matches the size of the pan on top and press with your hands.) Leave to rest for at least 2 hours. Cut in 36 small squares and freeze indefinitely, or refrigerate/wrap and keep at room temperature for up to a month. Since the ingredients are all non-perishable, they will likely go stale before they go “bad.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

old/new dining chairs

I recently purchased 6 of these chairs off of a local buy/sell website. Beautiful, don't you think? I plan to spray them and re-upholster the seats. The fabric is nasty. I am thinking either white-ish or black for the frames (I have recruited a spray paint extraordinaire/friend to help with the frames-she does a much better job than I do armed with spray paint?) and have no idea what I want for fabric! I know that will be a tough decision for me, narrowing down the 20 or so fabrics I decide I love. Feel free to give advice...

Friday, August 7, 2009

some fashion help please

I have this dress (it's from Old Navy) and I need shoes to wear with it. Preferrably inexpensive, not too high shoes. Can you help? I'd like to wear it to celebrate our 9th! anniversary coming up this Tuesday. By the way, this model in the photo makes the dress appear much hotter than it does on me; it looks more casual when I wear it.

home again home again jiggity jig

We spent the last week in Calgary visiting my cousin and her children and yesterday we made the long long drive home. The trip went pretty well, if you cound a blown out tire as pretty well. Photos to come soon, hopefully. Today we brought the tire to be fixed, had lunch at grandma and grandpa's and then came home for long naps, lot's of laundry, and some brownie making. Feels good to be home again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

growing veggies

Here is what our garden looks like these days. Or what it looked like 2 weeks ago when I took these photos.

Tomato bed-not really doing that well. I think the bed is just not deep enough for the plants. We'll have to fix that for next year. Anyway, all the plants are producing fruit.

Giant sugar snap peas growing all over my potato box. In fact, I gave up trying to add more boards to the potato box. Growing the peas on the box was a good idea, just not totally thought through. You can also see some carrots and some dill.

Rhubarb-thanks to my brother Luke. It's growing nicely, but will probably be more usable next year. I love rhubarb. Behind it are the cucumbers, purple cabbage and parsley that produces much faster than I can use it. Anyone want some?

Chives, onions, zucchini, butternut squash.

Beans, lettuce (pretty much done growing and being eaten for that matter), brussel sprouts (which I mostly planted because I was instigued by the way it grows. looks like we're going to have lots though, so I'll need to some up with some yummy ways to serve it) and more varities of tomatoes (these are doing way better that the others).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

tressa's birthday

At the beginning of this year I made a commitment to have homemade sibling gifts for all of our brothers and sisters this year? {We have a total of 10 between the 2 of us, including in-laws and 1 boyfriend} Well, Tressa's (Graham's sister) birthday sort of snuck up on me this weekend and since we were in the midst of packing to head out of town for awhile, I slacked a little. Here is the 'homemade' part of her gift. A moleskin journal wrapped cutely. And really, who wouldn't want a new moleskin journal?

I better get cracking on some more homemade gift ideas since 6 of the 10 birthday's are in the next 3 months!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

our bags are packed and we're ready to go

Me and my children are heading to Calgary this evening to visit family. We're super pumped to see them! We'll be gone for a week, then we'll be home for 2 days before we take Olivia off to kids camp for another week(almost). Busy, busy. Keep visiting here though, I have a few posts scheduled to appear while we're away. Keep me in your prayers too; the trip there takes 12-13 hours and I am driving it solo-eek!

toddler beds

This is the coolest toddler bed I have ever seen! We have never used a toddler bed for our children, they have just been old enough to transition from a crib into a twin sized bed, but maybe Sadie will be a lucky girl and get to rest in a sweet bed like this diy one. Here are the instructions to make your own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

face plant

Today at the park, Olivia was hanging upside-down on the monkey bars. She slipped. This is how she looks now. Poor girl. At least nothing is broken or in need of stitches.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

graham's work

Go here and check out what my talented hubby has been up to, I believe he is being referred to as 'the young carpenter'. The homeowners brother said the other day, "Graham, your framing is like finishing". I bet Graham got all giddy(only on the inside of course) when he heard that. I know I did.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

ballet in the park

Last night Olivia, my sister and I went to ballet in the park. It was free and lot's of fun. Our favorite was the last, I am not a dancer, but I would have called it a cross between ballet and highland dancing. Very cool.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a new bag

When Olivia finished grade 1, I was trying to think of a cool way to reward her for working hard and finishing well. Someone suggested a purse or a cool bag, so I came up with this. I allowed her to choose 2 prints for the project (she didn't know what I was making) and used these instructions. Both she and I were quite pleased with the way it turned out.
**stay tuned in the next few days, I am nearing my 100th post and there may be something pretty up for grabs to celebrate!**

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

olivia's exciting news

She has finally lost her first tooth! It has been hanging there for awhile now, almost ready to come out, so she asked grandma to do the dirty deed a few days ago after berry picking. Grandma says it actually took quite a tug(after the first tug didn't do it, she admitted to being a bit worried!), but Olivia didn't shed a tear! She couldn't be happier that the tooth fairy finally paid her a visit!

Monday, July 13, 2009

strawberry season

Once summer arrives in these parts, I live in anticipation of berry picking season. Today was the first day we could pick strawberries, so we packed up early, picked up grandma and headed out.

Proper supplies-a old-blanket-lined trunk so you don't get squished strawberry stains all over your car. Plus lots of water to drink and a bucket of warm soapy water to wash really dirty children (and mommy) afterwards.

On the way to the fields.

I am bloated from eating so many berries, really hot and it is past my naptime. Please take me home.

Hard work.

The reward. Yum.