Monday, November 24, 2008

~Happy Birthday Cody

My baby is 14!!!! We went to Kalahari for Cody's birthday (it was a few weeks ago, I'm a slow blogger!) The kids had the next day off school for some reason and the Kalahari stay was part of a school fundraiser so a lot of the kids friends were there too. I discovered that the inside of a water park is a horrible place to take pictures, but I managed to get a few (very few). Even from the resorts website you can not tell how cool the place is and the indoor water park is HUGE!!! Cody also got a electric guitar and amp which is exactly what he wanted :-)
Lazy River

the wave pool

It took them so long to climb up all those stairs but they come down so fast!

See Duane in the toilet bowl water slide? Me neither! I tried to catch him whizzing by about 5 times but he was just too fast.

~1/2 Bath

I finally got my beloved slate tiles :-) I've always loved slate. We had a big ol' pile of it growing up. It was originally on the roof of our farmhouse but when the roof got replaced, the pile of slate was ours to play with. I liked to pretend I was Laura Ingalls and write on the slates like I was in a one room schoolhouse. We were suppose to put the slate in the kitchen but my poor lil heart got broke when Sarge said it couldn't be done. (something to do with the house beam and the slate cracking so easily blah blah blah) But at least it's in my bathroom now. I will happily mop my new slate every day (ok, maybe every other day) I don't have a before pic. But there was really nothing to look at. It was a sink and a toilet and a big huge blank mirror and flat white paint. Now it's got a bit of personality :-) It's such a small space, it's hard to get pics but you get the gist. I have a few spots of paint to touch up and I need to put the sealer down on the floor then it's Done done done :-) yay!



Friday, November 21, 2008

~Buckeye heaven

Here's my favorite holiday candy recipe...... It's an absolute must have for Christmas! And now that it's been requested I've been craving them BIG time! I actually meant to do this blog way back when I made them for Angie's birthday, even took step by step pics, but I got sidetracked. I get sidetracked ALOT and very very often :-) It's a honking miracle if I ever post something on time. I know this is 2 days late but here ya go angie :-)~num nummy!!!

P.S. ~ you better double or triple this recipe cuz they won't last long!!!!
1 1/2 Cups of creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups confectionery sugar (more or less)
melting chocolate (I prefer chocolate almond bark, it's near the chocolate chips)
Mix together pb, butter and sugar. You may have to use your hands because it gets pretty thick. You may have to add more confectionery sugar. The dough needs to be nice and stiff but not crumbly and definately not sticky.
Roll dough into 1" balls and set them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and store them I the freezer until very very firm. (20-30mins should do it) (hint: you can fit lots and lots of pb balls on a cookie sheet but when you start dipping them they'll need more space so they don't touch)
Melt chocolate (I microwave it in 30 second intervals until smooth and runny, stirring every time I check it)
Get a few of the pb balls out of the freezer (hint: I only get about 10-20 out at a time because if they aren't really good and frozen, they start sliding off the toothpick and plop into the chocolate) Using a toothpick, dip them in the melted chocolate. Make sure to leave a bit of the pb showing at the top like a real buck's eye or buckeye nut. Place them back on the wax paper and into the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set. Store in the fridge.

dip them just 'so far'

give them a spin to get the excess chocolate off ~yes there really is such a thing as "too much"
Now go store them in the freezer under the frozen veggies where the kids never look :-)

I usually have leftover melted chocolate so I dip mini pretzels, nuts, ritz crackers sandwiches with pb in the middle, oreos or crushed up starlight mints. Or you can dip 3/4 of a pretzel rod then roll it in sprinkles, the kids love those. My fav to dip is marshmellows and cashews~together :-)

And if you really wanna go into sugar shock try this OMGosh!!! Isn't it beautiful?!

Buckeye Cheesecake:
1 (8x8-inch pan size) package brownie mix
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 (10-oz.) package peanut butter chips, melted
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter-flavored shortening (or butter!)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spoon batter in a greased 9-inch springform pan. Bake 20 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk. Mix in the melted peanut butter chips, eggs and vanilla. Pour filling over baked brownie. Place pan in a larger baking pan with 1-inch hot water . Bake at 325 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Turn oven off; remove baking pan with water. Let cheesecake cool in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; chill 1 hour. Remove side from pan. Melt chocolate chips with shortening; stir smooth. Spread this glaze over top and sides of cheesecake. Chill 3 hours. Garnish with buckeyes.
............and now that I'm drooling all over the place, I'm dipping a spoonful of peanut butter into chocolate pudding--isn't that pitiful!?! It's all I've got at the moment :-( sooooo sad.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

~Yummy salad

I made this lovely spinach, edamame, shrimp salad just now with balsamic vinaigrette and then proceeded to put my "fancy" salad in a used coolwhip bowl! So classy eh? I had just rinsed the bowl out to recycle and it was the closest thing to me LOL I just can't bring myself to take a pic of my lovely salad in it's equally lovely bowl :-) anywho, here's a really simple basic recipe for the vinaigrette (below). I sauteed some shrimp in olive oil, threw some spinach in my bowl and grabbed some edamame out of the freezer and threw it in the pan when the shrimp was done (which helped defrost them + cool the shrimp off quicker) then ta-da! it's lunch. Easy breezy! I also had a spinach/mango/strawberry smoothie - no, I take that back - I had 2! Cody's not here and he usually halves it with me. So I HAD to drink it all heehee. And now I'm full as all get out!!! (whatever that is!)

Roast Garlic Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 head garlic
1/2 t. honey mustard
1/2 t. honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 T. water
Heat oven to 400. Slice 1" off top of garlic. Exposing cloves, wrap i foil and roast until soft and fragrant- 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly. Squeeze cloves into a mini chipper or processor. Add remaining ingredients and 2 T warm water blend until smooth. Refrigerate up to 7 days.

I have to admit tho, I was in a big honking hurry today, because it was already 1:30 and I was starrrving, so I just grabbed some minced garlic out of the fridge to make the vinaigrette :-) It's not considered cheating if you're starving to death. Didn't you know that?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

~Tis the season....Deer season!

Now that D is back from SC it's time to go over some safety lessons, lessons in climbing a tree. This was during the day of course. I'd love to see Cody doing this in the dark at 3am while trying to be quite LOL So far he doesn't have a really good track record at sitting still, so hopefully he'll have it down pat this year and get a deer. I love how every time Cody hit the practice target he'd grin at his Dad as tho to say "aw shucks". And I love the utter concentration on his face, hanging on everything D was saying to him :-)