Project 365 and Crafty Blog: go here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

and the winner is...

So said the #5 was the winner, which means Rachael wins!

Congrats and I'll be in touch.

Anyone else that may be interested, please click the button at the top of my blog page for a discount.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Memories Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be posting this!  My Memories has offered me the opportunity to do a giveaway, here, on my blog!  I can't use enough exclamation points, this is so awesome!

Some lucky blog reader or Facebook friend will win the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software (a $40 value).   This is a digital scrapbooking software package that enables you to make fun scrapbook pages, collage photos to hang on your wall, cards, calendars, digital slides with video and whatever else you can come up with to do with your pictures.

To enter the giveaway, visit the My Memories web page then come back and leave a comment on this post telling me which kit you would purchase 1st.  (Please be sure to give me your email) The winner will be picked at random on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 24th) at 10am (Pacific). 

They also gave me the opportunity to use the software, and it's been a lot of fun to see what I can do with it.  They have easy to use instructions on their web page that helped out a newbie like me and made it easy to jump right in.
I love the different backgrounds, embellishments and design elements that come with the software.  You are also able to purchase all kinds of kits (along with a nice selection of free kits) that help you make spectacular pages.

I tested out one of the pre-made templates to make this page: 
 You can simply drag and drop photos into the layout, add extra embellishments (like the orange brads and rope), then any words or text.  Everything is moveable, rotatable, and easy to crop as needed.  There is also photo editing available to change the tone (black & white/sepia), red eye, lighten/darken/etc to make your photos really shine.

Next I tried out using a blank template.
(You may be getting an early preview of our Christmas card!)
I picked a background paper, then added a photo template, inserted picutres, added the snowflake element, then the Happy Holidays saying, then the text across the bottom.  I love that even though I picked a photo layout, I could change things.  Like the cropping on the boys' soccer pictures so that I could add two picture into a spot that originally had one.  Then I added the picture of the rabbits to the template because I needed one more.

It was a lot of fun to use the software and I've barely scratched the surface.

If you are interested in purchasing the software go here and use the coupon code STMMMS84354 to receive $10 off the purchase of your software and a $10 coupon to spend at My Memories (a $20 value!).

Don't forget to enter the giveaway, the winner will be picked at random on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 24th) at 10am (Pacific).

Go forth and be crafty!

Meal Plan 11/14-11/20

We are soccer partying at the end of this week and which means lots of pizza!  So, lots of chicken for us!

Monday: BBQ Bacon Burgers
Burgers, bbq sauce, bacon and a bit of Pappy's seasoning.  Yum!

Tuesday: Stovetop Skillet Chicken Skillet
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pkg (6oz) Stove Top stuffing mix
6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can Cream of Chicken with Herbs
1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
Mix hot water, butter and stuffing mix. 
Cook chicken in nonstick skillet on med-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until browned on both sides. 
Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken.  Top with stuffing; cover.  Cook on low heat 10 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees)

Oven options: Heat oven to 375. Prepare stuffing as directed.  Place chicken in 13x9 dish.  Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken.  Top with stuffing.  Bake 35 min or until chicken is done. 

Wednesday: Paula Dean's Drunken Chicken and Potatoes
1 whole chicken
seasoned salt
House seasoning (1 cup salt, 1/4 cup pepper, 1/4 cup garlic pepper)
1 (12oz) can beer
1 sprig rosemary
Preheat a charcoal grill over high heat.  When the coals are hot and glowing, carefully push them over to the sides of the grill, leaving an open space in the middle of the grill. 
Wash and drain chicken.  Coat the chicken inside and out with seasoned salt and house seasoning.  Open the can of beer and carefully insert a sprig of rosemary. (I empty the can 1/4 of the way down and cut the top off so the beer can really steam the inside.)
Then, place the beer can into the body cavity starting at the rear of the chicken.  Carefully place the chicken on the center of the grill, facing 1 of the banks of hte coals, making sure not to spill the beer.  Cover the grill and cook until chicken is done.  Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning the chicken as necessary.  The chicken is done with the juice runs clear. 

Thursday: CP Charlene's Carnitas
2 1/2 lb pork butt, fat trimmed
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup of soda (Cola, Rootbeer, DP)
1 orange, peeled and separated into segments.
Season roast and place in crock.  Pour soda around meat and cover with orange segments.  Cook 8 hours on low.  Shred with fork and lay out on cookie sheet; bake at 425 for 25 minutes.  Return to crock juices and serve. 
(Can't wait, these are so yummy!)

Friday: CP: Busy Day Chicken and Potatoes
1 whole chicken
1 1/2 cups bbq sauce
Place chicken in crock, legs up.  Pour bbq sauce in and over chicken.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  Meat should fall off the bone.  Serve with rice or potatoes. 

Satruday: SuperSports Soccer party, Pizza!

Sunday: Chicken Cordon Bleu
2 thin chicken cutlets (3oz each)
2 slices each ham and reduced fat Swiss cheese
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Dijon mustard, divided
1 tsp honey
1/3 plus 2 tsp plain dried bread crumbs
2 tsp veg. oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tsp flour
1 Tbsp sour cream
Preheat oven to 375. Top each chicken with ham and cheese, roll up and secure with toothpick.  Combine 1 Tbsp mustard & honey, spread 1/2 on each roll.  Roll chicken rolls into bread crumbs.  Coating all sides and place on baking sheet, drizzle w/oil.  Bake until cooked through 20-25 minutes.  In sauce pan, combine broth and flour, stir until flour is dissolved.  Cook over medium until thickened, 3-4 minutes (do not boil).
Serve chicken cut into 4 pieces w/sauce on top. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The 1st tooth has been lost...

Cody finally lost his first tooth on Sunday night.  It's been barely hanging on for a while, but he wouldn't touch it.  It fell out while he was sleeping and luckily we were able to find it in the morning. 

I've been meaning to make a pouch/bag for a while, knowing it was coming eventually, and finally had to get it done so the tooth fairy could come last night!

You can kinda see where his tooth came from in the front.  
 This is his shark tooth, so the big tooth is already in most the way, just behind.  
Orthodontist bills are in our future...
 With the tooth safely inside the back, we hung it on the door.
 In the morning he woke up to find two $1 dollar coins!
 Tyler has been a bit jealous of the process, so he had to get in on the photo.
He's showing off his morning yogurt drink.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Plans 11/7-11/13

Okay, so this week was better for shopping the ads and planning around meats and things that were on sale.

Monday: Tacos
We will probably have ground turkey tacos as it's been a while and we're craving them!

Tuesday:  Roasted Chicken w/Rosemary
1/2 c butter
4 Tbsp minced fresh or 2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 whole roasting chicken
6 small red potatoes, halved
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 med onions, quartered

In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in the seasonings.  Place he chicken breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.  Spoon half of the butter mix over chicken.  Place potatoes, carrots and onions around chicken.  Drizzle remaining butter mix over veggies.
Cover and bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes.  Uncover; bake 30-60 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reaches 180 and veggies are tender.
Cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.  Serve veggies with roast.

Wednesday: Bacon Twice-baked potatoes
2 medium baking potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 fat-free milk
1 bacon strip cooked and crumbled
1 Tbsp chopped onion
1 tsp minced chives
1/4 tsp salt and dash of pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Bake potatoes at 375 for 1 hour or until tender.
When cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice off the top of each potato and discard.  Scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell.
In a small bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Stir in the milk, bacon, onion, chives, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup cheese.  spoon into potato shells.  Top with remaining cheese.
Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday: CP Bacon and Cheese Chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
4-6 chicken breasts
12 pc bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup ranch
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Oil bottom of crock and place chicken in.  Combine sauces in bowl and pour over chicken.  Sprinkle cheese and bacon over and around the chicken.  Cook on low 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.

Friday: Pioneer Woman's Macaroni and Cheese
1 lb dried macaroni
1 egg
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tsp mustard powder
4 3/4 cups (1 lb) grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
Heat oven to 350 and grease a 2-3 qt baking dish.  In a large pot of salted water cook macaroni until still firm, about 4 minutes and drain.
Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.  In a large saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat and whisk in flour, stirring constantly, for 5 min. Whisk in he milk and mustard until smooth.  Cook until very thick, stirring constantly for 5 min.  Reduce heat to low.  Slowly pour 1/4 cup of the sauce into the beaten egg, whisking constantly, to temper the egg.  Pour egg mixture back into the sauce.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheddar and stir the rest into the sauce until melted; add the pepper and salts.  Stir in the macaroni, then pour into the baking dish and top with the reserved cheese.  Bake until bubbly and golden, 20-25 min.  Serves 8.

Saturday: Zumba Party!
Yummy appetizers and dessert are being served, but haven't narrowed anything down quite yet. 
(Have you RSVP'd yet?  You're missing out on a really good time!)

Sunday: Cheeseburger Stuffed Potatoes
3 large russet potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt, plus 1/4 tsp
pepper to taste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
6 slices American cheese
Preheat oven to 450.  Prick potatoes and back until tender.
While potatoes are baking, heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until slightly translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add the beef, stirring to break it up, and cook about 5 minutes, until browned.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.Cook another 5 minutes.
Remove potatoes from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut them in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving some behind to keep the shells intact.  Mash potatoes lightly with a fork, then mix in the butter and yogurt and 1/4 tsp salt.  Set aside.
Fill each potato shell with 2 Tbsp hamburger mix, then top with 3 Tbsp of potato mix, mounding slightly.  Top with a slice of American cheese and bake until melted, about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Horseback Riding

Today we were invited to go horseback riding.  The boys had a really good time and really did well for their first time riding.  Tyler was a bit over confident at the end, but they were slowly learning how to lead the horse around. 
Here is a video of them towards the end of our time.
Meeting the horse...

My friends Father-in-law did a lot of teaching about horse care, safety, and getting them ready to ride.
 Tyler went out before Cody; here he's getting ready to go...
 He started off being led around the arena.

 Before long he was riding by himself and learning to work with the horses. 

 His favorite thing was getting them to cross the bridge.  
Ty did really well.  His last turn out he got a little big for his britches and tried to have the horse gallop.  He didn't really have a hold on the reins and shouldn't have tried to go so fast.  All ended okay, but it was going to dangerous pretty quickly.  He knows better for next time.

Cody went out a bit later, he sat and watched for a bit. 
 He also started by being led until he got a feel for the reins.
 He caught on pretty quickly.

 He had a really good time.

 We can't wait to go and give it another try!