Weekly Wrapup: 10/28/2011

This week was a whirlwind of activities getting ready for Halloween, Mommy's first catering event and the housewarming party.  In between, we started learning about telling time, months of the year and days of the month. 

We broke out one of the wonderful activities from SimplyFun called Tibbar's Big Board.  It has the days of the months at the top, the months of the year on one side,  a big clock in the middle, weather dials and the days of the week. 

Days of the week were not new actually due to taking vitamins every day from my pillbox.  Momma always sounds out the day of the week and asks me which days starts with a sound.  Like Friday, which letter does FFFFFFFFFFFFFFriday start with?   Sometimes, it is annoying to be honest!

When she brought out the board, I became fascinated by the clock.  So that is what I concentrated on this week.  Every, oh five minutes or so, I would ask what time it was.  Momma would point out the time on the digital clock.  I asked where do the hands go?   So for 10:15, it was little hand on the 10 and big hand on the 3.  I am still not sure I get the whole count by 5 for the minutes.  I mean really who came up with that ..... it's a 3 on the clock therefore shouldn't it be 10:3.  Oh well, maybe someday I will figure it out.     On the other hand, I was pretty good with the month.  I mean hey October is the only month that starts with O.  WOohoo!

Other things we did this week, included Momma looking at cookbooks all the time and throwing out suggestions for things to make for the housewarming.  Not sure what all the fuss is about but we no longer have completely blank walls in some of the front rooms.  And Momma is frantic about cleaning. Okay that is true most of the time!  Shoes don't belong in the living room (why not?; Daddy's are), or if you are done playing with it, put it away.  Why?  I might wanna play with it again soon.

Halloween parties galore this week!  Lots of candy at the Trunk or Treat at Hampton United Methodist on Wednesday.  I got a purple spider ring to match my outfit.  I am hoping next year Mommy and Daddy will decorate their trunk!

On Saturday, we watched the OU game and I continued to learn how to cheer for them.  BOOMER .................... SOONER.  And I guess we won!   Anyway, later that evening we went to a Halloween Carnival at a local school.  As you can see, I loved playing golf!

Happy Halloween and speak with you next Monday which I am told will be in November! 


Wordless Wednesday: So many Cookbooks

Today's pictures brought to you courtesy of my frantic search for appetizer and sweets recipes for our open house.  Why is it that with so many cookbooks, I find very few recipes I want to try out!  I have till next Thursday to decide what I am going to fix.

Small wire bound cookbooks -
mostly these are from organization fundraisers

Beta Sigma Phi and Family cookbooks -- and Betty Crocker collection. 
The blue on the right is signed by Alton Brown whom I
met in Louisville in 2007; alas I have used one recipe from it!

Diabetic, sugar free and Southern Living Books.  I use the Slow Cooker one all the time.
The only two in my collection which may actually be used for the housewarming appetizer buffet!
Along with the old standby of rotel cheese and chips!


Monday Recpe: Bierock Appetizer

Not sure what a Bierock is?  Well, it is a meat pie that is made with ground beef, cabbage and onion.  I first had them while at Bethany College, Lindsborg KS.  I will admit, I do not make my own dough although the restaurant I first had them at does.
If you are adventurous, there are many dough recipes on the web to choose from.  A good one to try is http://www.cookscountry.com/recipes/detail/8302 -- Yes they are called Runzas in Nebraska... found that out when I lived in Omaha in the late 90's.

The following recipe is a variation I make for an appetizer or brunch buffet.   I will be making these for our housewarming on November 5th!  So I thought I would give out the recipe in anticipation. 

Makes about 24 appetizers.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef  (I have used venison in this as well) 
  • 1 lg. onion, diced
  • 1 lg head of cabbage
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 tubes of Crescent Rolls
  1. Brown the ground meat with the diced onion, garlic and seasonings.
  2. Drain well.
  3. Mix the cabbage in with the meat and set aside to cool.
  4. With each crescent roll of dough, separate into squares if doing larger bierocks or use the triangle shape for smaller ones.
  5. Add 1-2 tbs of filling to the middle and then pinch corners together sealing edges well.
  6. Place on a grease cookie sheet, seam side down
  7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Serve with one of the sauces below (Plain Yellow or Dijon Mustard is the standard in Lindsborg)
  1. Regular Ketchup or Mustard
  2. Cocktail Sauce
    • 1 cup Ketchup
    • 1 tbs lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup prepared horseradish
    • Optional a bit of splenda or sugar to sweeten just a bit.
    • Mix ingredients together with a whisk and chill, covered
  3. Tangy Mustard Sauce
    • 1/2 c. Dijon-style mustard
    • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
    • 1 tsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • hot pepper sauce (optional)
    • Mix ingredients together with a whisk and chill, covered
Stay tuned to our adventures in the housewarming party!   I am sure I will have more recipes to share.


Weekly Wrap-up 10/14/11

Not much going on this week as little one was sick on Thursday and Friday.  Monday through Wednesday were not much better.  We did get her clothes organized by color and type.  It was a great activity and helped Momma out greatly.

First activity was to take all of little one's clothes to the living room, including those being unpacked from storage while the renovation was going on. 

Monday:  We seperated by size and tried on all the 4t, 5t and 4-6 sizes.  Wow, we have lots to put together for boxes on ThredUp.  Yea!; because we need swaps!   If you are not familiar with Thredup, check it out.  It's an online swap meet, consignment sale and yard sale in one place.

Tuesday: We took the clothes that still fit and seperated by type (hanging items vs in the dresser).  Then each stack of hanging clothes were seperated by color.  I just love an organized closet.    Little one helped seperate the items into color stacks.  Items that went into the dresser were seperated into 4 piles, one for each drawer.  Little one wanted to label the drawers so we got out the labeler and she typed them up.  Okay, she hit the print button after I typed them!

Wednesday: Last day of organizing.  Good thing too! Bill was getting a bit antsy over the clothes piled in the living room on every available space!   Anyway we took the color piles of hanging clothes and seperated out the dresses and dance apparel for the top rung of the closet.  Then little one took all of the rest of the items and hung them on the lower rung.  She chose the order of the colors!

So what did we learn this week:

  • Organizing a closet is hard work
  • Little one needs new winter clothes and she needs to stop growing.
  • Who knew knowing numbers and colors could be so practical!


Monday Recipes: Venison Cream Cheese Casserole

Thank you to Cooks.com for this recipe.  And while I almost never do it exactly like the recipe, this one came directly from one I found on the website.  I had made spaghetti sauce Friday night and had lots left over but not enough to justify freezing.  Besides I really prefer to freeze spaghetti sauce that doesn't have meat in it so I can use it later for the base of a sauce.  The casserole is good and should be one that freezes well too.  I haven't tried that yet!

  • 2 cups of spaghetti sauce with meat  -- make your own and use the leftovers like I did or jarred/canned will work too! 
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 oz cottage cheese
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 4 oz greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 bag of egg noodles cooked and drained
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
  1. Cook egg noodles in salted water and drain.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the cottage cheese, yogurt, cream chees, red pepper and nutmeg. Gently fold in the noodles.
  3. Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam cooking spray
  4. Pour in the noodle and cheese mixture
  5. Top with the spaghetti sauce and shredded cheese
  6. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
TIP:  To freeze, you have two options 1) Cover and freeze after step 5 or after baking let the casserole cool down and then freeze.

Weekly Wrap Up 10/7/2011

This week was a whirlwind of activities!  

First, we had dance on Monday.  Jea is learning to tie her tap shoes.  LOL that is an experience.  After much searching I found the rhyme that my mom taught me (thank you Swagbucks!): 
Criss Cross and go under the bridge
Then you got to pull it tight.
Make a loop but keep a long tail
That is how to do it right
Then you take the other string
and you wrap it 'round the loop
Pull it through the hole
Now you got the scoop
For now we are just using my tennis shoes to pratice on with little one attempting to tie them while they are on my feet or the shoe is on the table.

Second, Little one went to the park everyday after Mommy's Morning Out (MMO) with Grandpa.  Dad is so funny about this.  He loves it just as much as she does.  He makes sure to put her bike in the van before heading off to pick her up.  On Tuesday, they wore themselves out with 3 hours at the park!  Some of little one's friends from MMO and dance class showed up just as they were to leave.  I love that they have a great relationship.  I still cherish the memories of my Papa and hope the same for little one.

Third, we went grocery shopping (hush -- we are learning math) on Thursday.  Little one had $3 left from her birthday money and wanted to buy something.  She was not sure what it would be but the money was burning a hole in her pocket!  So while at the store, she kept picking out things to buy.  Our lesson was on how much $3 would buy her.  She finally settled on helping with the birthday cake for Daddy (Oct 6 was his 50th) and a bottle of juice.  I was so proud of her.  She bought the juice all by herself and then gave me the remaining amount toward the cake.  She then helped me count out the dollars needed to purchase.  While we are still a ways from truly understanding how to subtract/add money, she is starting to get the concept about how much she has to spend.  IE if the price has a 4 in front of the period and she only has 3 dollar bills -- it is too expensive to buy.  However, those items at $2.99 and adding tax were hard to understand. 

So what did we learn this week:
  • Tying shoes is hard work (so is teaching something so ingrained in my psyche)
  • Grandpas are the best
  • Money matters need to stay with Mom and Dad for a few more years! My brain hurts.


Wordless Wednesday: SimplyFun

Today's wordless wednesday post comes from one of our consultancies:  SimplyFun.  What is it?  Wonderful and award winning games for the whole family.   Family game night, here we come!

Boost your elementals by connecting
matching tiles, and avoid tiles that will weaken them
Test your nutrition IQ with Foodle!
Pick your monster and
 collect all their missing
shapes by reaching into the bag.

Can you see your pattern
 on the board? If not, add a peg or
make a Hue Turn to get the pattern
you need to score your card!

Award Winners:

Earn. Save. Buy a bike!
Come one, come all to see the amazing Handy game!
With your teammates,
hold balls between your fingers while more
and more balls are added to the "hand tree."
Fill the sails of your ship with wind as you navigate
your way to the valuable jewels of a Lost Civilization!

Let your child's creativity flourish as
 they exercise their imagination with hands-on fun!
 Featuring 88 full-color felt pieces and three story scenes


Monday Recipe: Last of the Garden!

This week's recipe comes from the last of the vetegables in the garden!   We had a bit of yellow squash leftover from my trip to the Farmer's market last week and the last few eggplant from our own container garden.  Can't wait till next week when we will have an entire plot of land to be tended! Of course, I just cook it, can it or freeze it but I love that Bill and Dad love to garden!

So in honor of the last of the summer veggies, I made the following casserole.  And if I do say so myself, one of the best vegetable casseroles I have made made in a long time.

Eggplant and Squash Casserole

  • 2lbs of diced yellow squash and eggplant
  • 1 can of mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1 can of cream of  mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups of shredded colby-jack cheese
  • 1 cup crushed ritz crackers
  • 2 tbs McCormick's crusting blend
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Peel and dice the squash and eggplant. 
  2. Boil the diced squash and eggplant in salted water until tender.  Remove from heat, drain and put into a bowl.
  3. Add cream of mushroom soup, eggs, mushrooms and onion.  Mix throughly
  4. Place half of the mixture into a 9x13 greased pan
  5. Mix the crusting blend and cracker crumbs together.  Sprinkly half of the mixture over the vegetable layer.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cheese on top of the crumbs.
  7. Layer the rest of the vegetable mix
  8. Then sprinkle the remainder of the cracker mixture.
  9. Dot the casserole with 1/4 cup of butter. (I refridgerate, dice into small pcs and refridgerate until use.)
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour
  11. At 45 minute mark, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and continue baking.
My family loved it.  Even my dad said he would eat again.  And eggplant is one of the few things he really doesn't like to eat!

Weekly Wrapup: 9/26 - 9/30

As you may know, we have been in the middle of major renovations in our house since the end of July.  It has been an exciting, trying, crying and anxiety laden time in our lives.  Little one has been right in the middle of the uproar and her schedule (trying to figure out if we had one) has been messed up.  Daddy and little one worked getting furniture back into our house!

For the first time in over 3 months, I had to travel for my job. I was off to Boston Monday through Wednesday. Getting back into a routine was the first order of business for Daddy and little one.  Not an easy task.  This is our supposed schedule :
  • Get up at reasonable time (around 8am)
  • Eat breakfast (why is that one so hard to get done?)
  • Get dressed (and take shower for little one if she did not have a bath the night before)
  • Mommy's Morning out (in our case it should be Daddy's morning out!)
  • Lunch
  • About an hour of "school"  in the early afternoon
  • Play Play Play Play ("wait you need shoes to go outside"; "no don't <insert your defnition of NO>")
  • Make dinner (why does it always take longer with HELP?)
  • Eat dinner
  • Story time
  • Bed by 8pm (okay more like 9 or 9:30)
This last week Daddy and little one came close.  Yes we missed dance on Monday but not really surprised as Daddy doesn't always think of that.

Outside of getting back into a semblence of a routine, the big thing we did this last week is use our imagination.  Bill let little one have a big box to play with.  Here is what we learned this week:
  1. How to build a tent
  2. Cages hold back the monsters
  3. Hide and seek
  4. Tossing the ball into the "basket"
  5. Tell stories about the box and her dwellers

Fun fun stuff and I loved that little one wanted to teach us these things.  I have always found one learns more teaching another!