Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween everyone!

I have been so busy and am about to step out again to go Trick or Treating.

The candy is bought for handing out, the kids are all decked out and we even have dessert waiting for us when we get home.

Have fun and stay safe, I'll be back later with photos :)

Creamy Candy Corn Pudding

1 small box of butterscotch instant pudding
1 small box of banana bream instant pudding
4 cups milk
20 drops Red food coloring
25 drops Yellow food coloring
1 container of whipped cream
Candy corn

Make your butterscotch pudding as directed on the box, using 2 cups of milk.

After it's mixed, add 20 drops of red food coloring and 25 drops of yellow food coloring, stir and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Now make your banana cream pudding as directed, using the last two cups of milk.

To assemble, place about 1/4 cup banana cream pudding in bottom of each clear glass.

Top with 1/3 cup butterscotch pudding and about 1/3 cup whipped cream. Garnish with candy corn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday!


All my slow cooking recipes are now online and starting today, I will add all the recipes shared weekly to my online site too. So if you're wanting to find ALL the slow cooked recipes that have been shared since the first SLOW COOKING THURSDAY, here is the link for you.

Don't forget to add your name to Mr Linky and a link back to your SCT post so others can come by and see your recipe too.

As always, share your slow cooking recipes but if you REALLY REALLY don't have one and still want to participate, then you can share any kind of recipe.

Green Chile-stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 boneless, skinned chicken breast halves, pounded thin
3 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cups shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces green chiles
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup hot enchilada sauce

Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, chiles, chili powder and salt and pepper. Place a generous dollop on each flattened chicken breast, then roll up. Place chicken rolls in the slow cooker, seam-side down. Top chicken breast rolls with remaining cheese mixture, soup, and enchilada sauce. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours.

Serves 4.

I'm Blessed!

Home Cookin Pictures, Images and Photos

I often think how incredibly lucky I am, or rather, blessed, that I can do so many things, some well and some not so well, others not at all, but for the most part I consider myself a pretty creative gal.

I think it all came from the amazing strong women in my family, women who have fought the odds and have struggled through most of their lives but always with a smile on their faces, women who knit and who crochet, who cook and who bake, who sew and who darn, who sing and who talk and have this intense love for the family and the Lord. Ahhh would it not be for their faith, I don't know where they or ME would be today.

After all anything that happens to your family happens to you too right? It's all a big circle and when you do something it tends to reverberate and send off all these little waves that affect all the members of the family.

So when I think about my childhood and I think about the things I've learned, I smile and I am overwhelmed with love and with pride and ever so thankful that I had the role models to teach me how to be a woman, how to take care of a home, how to be a wife and how to be a mother. All things that I could have learned by myself, but it makes it that much more poignant when it's been passed down from generation to generation....when you have a problem or a question and you know that no matter who you ask they will have an answer and not just one that they've heard somewhere, it's something they've learned through their years of life experience and it's advice that comes from "being there and doing that".

As I sit today and watch my 9 year old old start to turn into a young woman, I often wonder just how she'll turn out, will I have the same strength and courage that my greatgrandmother, grandmothers, mother and stepmother had, will I know how to answer her and give her the guidance she needs in her life?

I think the answer is yes, because I was taught by the best so how can I not know how to pass that on to Jasmine?

What got me thinking about all this is the fact that while watching some of the young girls around here, it struck me how little they knew about cooking or cleaning, most of them don't even want to know how to do these things, they laugh it off and say things like "we can just go out to eat everyday"....or "that's why I plan on living near my parents so my mom will do my laundry".

I would rather my daughter was prepared and knew how to do everything, obviously doesn't mean she will like it, chances are she'll probably turn her nose up at ironing, scrubbing toilets and dishes, but I want her to have the tools she needs to go out there on her own and know that if mom is not around, she can take care of herself, at least make a meal and have clean clothes. That's a starting point.

But as I was saying, I'm blessed, blessed because thankfully my daughter shows an interest in some of the things, she wants to cook and she loves cleaning (I did too until it became a daily thing, now not so much).
So I'm showing her everything I can and hope that one day, she may come to feel the same way I do about the wonderful women in my family.

I love you Bio, Avo Jacinta, Avo Odete, Mae and Nela!

I leave you with a question: Are you planning on teaching your daughters everything you know, or do you want to leave it up to them whether they want to learn or not?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling not so great today!

It's just one of those days, one of those woman days that you want to sleep away....but I can't, so I'm going to sit down with a hot water bottle, a good book, my pugs and a cup of tea.

I'll be back tomorrow feeling much better I'm sure.

Tips on Tuesday!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Do you have a tip on cooking, cleaning, homemaking, kids, marriage, travel or anything that you would love to share? Feel free to join in!

I'm running late today aren't I? It's one of those days, sorry ladies.

♥Try making flavored butter to spread on warm biscuits or makes them extra special and it's so easy. Just blend fresh, minced herbs to taste with softened butter, cover and then chill at least 2 to 3 hours so the flavors will blend.♥
♥Pick up an old-fashioned medicine chest at the next tag makes a great place to store spices. Adhesive-backed cork attached to the mirror makes keeping track of shopping lists easy!♥

♥Spreading meringue so it touches the edges of the pie crust is the secret to keeping it from every time.♥

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cake Time!

One of my favorite childhood memories is this marble cake that my stepmom used to make.

Hubby started a new shift today which means he won't see the kids until the weekend and they're sad and missing him already so I decided to make a meal that would be all about comfort, one of my favorites from when I was growing up, Shepherd's Pie and Marble Cake, and one that brings me wonderful memories....I hope it does the same thing for them.


While you're there, check out my Crockpot Beef Curry, an old family favorite converted into the slow cooker. YUM!


If I was.......

If I was a month, I would be
... August

If I was a day of the week I would be... Friday

If I was a number I would be... 7

If I was a planet I would be... Jupiter

If I was a direction I would be... North

If I was furniture I would be... bed

If I was a liquid I would be... diet coke *snicker*

If I was a sin I would be... gluton

If I was a mineral I would be... Ruby

If I was a metal I would be .. Gold

If I was a tree I would be... maple

If I was a fruit I would be .. strawberry

If I was a flower I would be... lily

If I was the weather I would be .. thunderstorm

If I was a musical instrument I would be... guitar

If I was one of the elements I would be... air

If I was a color I would be... pink

If I was an animal I would be...dolphin

If I was a sound I would be... rain

If I was a song lyric I would be... You called and I came running, You cried and now I'm here
So hold this faith, accept our faith, These are little fears

If I was a song I would be... "Bring the Rain" by Mercyme

If I was a music genre I would be... ballad

If I was a perfume I would be... White Diamonds

If I was a feeling I would be... honesty

If I was a book I would be… an historical romance

If I was food I would be… a big juicy steak

If I was a place I would be ... the beach

If I was a taste I would be... coffee

If I was a scent I would be… air dried laundry

If I was a word I would be… mommy

If I was a verb I would be… moving

If I was an object I would be… a skillet

If I was a clothing item I would be… a pair of jeans

If I was a body part I would be… eyes

If I was an expression I would be… smile

If I was a cartoon character I would be… Minnie Mouse

If I was a movie I would be… Where the Heart Is

If I was a shape I would be… circle

If I was a season I would be… Fall

If I was a quote I would beThere is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. ~Jane Austen

The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Hi everyone, come on in and see what's in my daybook!

If you want to join in, just go visit Peggy over at The Simple Woman, read the guidelines here and then add your name to Mr Linky. There are so many other participants sharing their day, I'm sure you'll enjoy looking through them :)

Outside my Window...
wind, halloween decorations threatening to fly away, and my hummingbird friend chasing off all the birds that come near the feeder. It's pretty funny to watch.

I am thinking...
that I wish I could be back in my warm bed, under the comfy covers and off in dream land...I couldn't fall asleep until about 1am and kept tossing and turning all night. I am tired.

From the learning rooms...
I'm loving the McLeod Daughters series and since they're set in Adelaide, Australia, I've been reading up on it.

I am thankful for...
the wonderful parent/teacher conference I had last week, my kids are doing amazing in school and it's always a pleasure to hear that.

From the kitchen...
For breakfast I have Blueberry muffins in the oven, lunch will be leftover Veggie Lasagna and dinner is Shepherds Pie.

I am wearing...
jeans and a white tank top, got my slippers on right now.

I am reading...
Miss Julia Throws a Wedding by Ann B. Ross. I just started it last night but it's so funny, I'm enjoying it, can't wait to read a bit more today.

I am hoping...
that hubby doesn't stay on Swing Shift for very long. I can't stand it, he only gets to see the kids on the weekend and they miss him terribly.

I am creating...
a closer relationship with God.

I am hearing...
Absolute silence, the children are still asleep, so are the dogs, so is hubby. My coffee pot just finished so not even the dripping sound is coming through.

Around the house...
One basket of clean clothes to put away and some tidying up in the living room. I did all my cleaning yesterday so the house is looking good.

One of my favorite things...
hearing my children laugh

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...

Grocery shopping on friday and trick or treating at night, nothing else.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McLeod's Daughters

Drover's Run Main House

This is where I try to get more of you to watch it, because well, because I like talking about something and knowing that my readers actually KNOW what I'm talking about, without going "huh? what?".

While searching through Netflix about a month ago, trying to add more movies to my Queue, I stumbled across McLeod's Daughters and my first thought was "well I don't know, it's set in Australia and I'm in the States, I'll probably be confused half the time with what they're saying or going on about."

But something caught my attention, I think the fact that it's a story about women for a change, I mean yes there's men in there too but it's focused on these 5 extraordinary women running Drover's Run, a farm.

So come with me and I'll tell you a bit about the story, if by the end of this post you're not running out to get the series, then I don't know what to tell you LOL

The show is filmed on location on what had been a working farm (until it was purchased in 1999 by the show's production company) in South Australia near Adelaide. The interior scenes at Drovers Run are filmed inside the farm's 150-year-old house....and what a gorgeous house it is, every time I watch the show I find something else about it that I absolutely love.

Drover’s Run is a large cattle property 180km from the nearest town and 400km from the nearest city. The property has been in the McLeod family for generations.

Jack McLeod became the owner of Drover’s Run after inheriting it from his father. Jack, his wife and their young daughter, Claire, ran the property together until Jack’s wife died while giving birth to Claire’s baby brother Adam, who also died during the birth.

After the death of his wife, needing a helpmate for Drover's Run and a mother for young Claire, Jack hastily remarried the beautiful Ruth, a city girl, and they had a second daughter, Tess.

Tess and Claire were devoted sisters, and even as Ruth struggled with the loneliness of living in the country and the harshness of life in the Australian bush, the hasty marriage began to show cracks. Eventually, unable to take the strain, the fragile Ruth abandoned Drover’s Run, and took 5 year old Tess back to the city, leaving behind Jack and Claire.


The show starts with the arrival of Tess (on the left), she receives a letter stating that she's inherited half of Drover's Run, but being a city girl and not really wanting anything to do with the cattle, she plans to sell her half.

Claire (on the right) has been running Drover's Run on her own since their father's death and it's all she has, but the property has a lot of debt so she can't buy out Tess's half. They go back and forth a bit, obviously Claire is upset that she hasn't seen Tess for 20 years and now she returns only to try and get rid of everything that Claire has worked for.

tess & claire

It's so amazing watching these two sisters reconnect and Tess decides to stay on and help Claire with the debt, but it soon becomes her home too and one she can't walk away from.

meg & jodi

Now apart from Tess and Claire, there's another 3 women in the farm. Meg Fountain, the housekeeper and 'mother figure' in the show, is a warm- hearted woman, who embraces life no matter which way it turns. Like Claire, Meg has invested her life at Drover’s Run. She has a daughter Jodi, who absolutely hates living in the farm, she wants to travel the world and be a city girl, but when she does horribly in her exams at school, Meg forces her to stay at Drover's. Jodi isn't too thrilled at first but she does learn to accept the farm life.


One of my favorite characters is Becky. She's got a bad reputation in town but she's just a sweet girl dealing with a lot of baggage. She gets into some trouble when her boss does something unforgivable, Tess and Claire step in and she moves into Drover's Run.....of course Becky says she'll only stay if she can work for her board, so she does and becomes one of the most important women on the farm. She also becomes Jodi's best friend and though Meg doesn't really approve at first, she finally caves in.

But of course you can't have all these women without some handsome men around, and that is where the Ryan brothers come in. They live on the neighboring farm, Killarney with their father Harry and mother Liz. I truly enjoy watching the boys working for their own farm but also ready to lend a hand to the ladies at Drover's.

Right now we're watching the story of Tess and Nick develop and I'm loving every single second of it, I can NOT wait to see where it goes.

There are just so many emotions going on in the series, it's a rollercoaster of happy times and sad times and you laugh and you cry and you cheer them on and you want to see where these women will go. It really is a feel good show for me.

Here's some more pictures of the show:

Here's some of the music from the show, the artist is Rebecca Lavelle.

McLeods Daughters

Some Yumminess for you!

A wonderful comforting Veggie Lasagna, loaded with fresh veggies, spinach and even some maple sausage hidden in there.


And breakfast this morning were wonderful fluffy waffles smothered in vanilla custard. YUM!


Saturday, October 25, 2008

I quit fighting the book urge....that's it!

You know how no matter how big of a To Be Read pile you have on your bookshelves, you still can't help but get more from the library? Or walk by a bookstore and feel the need to buy yet another book, though you have the last 5 or so you bought sitting on that same shelf saying "read me, read me"?

I used to think that I could fight it, if I just tried hard enough I could overcome the need to read constantly, to grab books, to smell the pages (please tell me I'm not the only one that does that)...but it's stronger than me, so even though I have yet to finish 4 books from the library, I rechecked them out and ended up coming back with 1...ok maybe 2....actually it was 3. Still don't believe me do you? Alright, I'll come out and say it, 6 books.... but one is a cookbook so that doesn't count right?

Anyway, let me share with you what I checked out....before I do though I just have to tell you what Nicholas just said LOL He took his firetrucks and put one on top of the other in a way to make a rollercoaster kinda thing...then he says "look mommy, look at my new contraption". LOL

Sorry, but I don't even those those words so to hear a 5 year old say that just shocks me, in a funny kinda way LOL

Carmine's Family-Style Cookbook by Michael Ronis: Book Cover

Carmine's Family-Style Cookbook - Anyone who has visited Carmine’s flagship Times Square restaurant knows that Carmine’s food is the best of classic Italian cuisine—each dish prepared simply to bring out the most vibrant flavor and make anyone who tastes it smile and reach for seconds.

Grace in Thine Eyes

Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs - Examine the Genesis 34 story of Dinah
through a 19th-century Scottish lens.

Whence came a Prince by Liz Curtis Higgs - Whence Came a Prince examines the prodigal Jacob and his long-anticipated homecoming.

book cover of   The Secret Ingredient Murders    (Eugenia Potter, book 6)  by  Nancy Pickard

The Secret Ingredient Murders by Nancy Pickard - #6 in the Eugenia Potter Series

book cover of   The Blue Corn Murders    (Eugenia Potter, book 5)  by  Nancy Pickard

The Blue Corn Murders by Nancy Pickard - #5 in the Eugenia Potter Series

Miss Julia throws a wedding by Ann Ross - Elizabeth told me about this series and unfortunately this is the only one that my library haves, but if I enjoy it I'm sure I can find the rest on paperbackswap or amazon.

I just received my next 3 DVD's of McLeod's Daughters so guess what I'm going to do now? *tee hee*

Oh btw, I'm sure you've noticed the template change again. This is the one I was working on when I messed something up last week, didn't have a chance to finish it until this don't worry, I'm keeping this one up for a bit, I just love the banner picture, makes me think I'm out on a farm somewhere surrounded by beautiful flowers, butterflies and warm sunshine.

Dinner tonight is a Vegetable Lasagna, as always the recipe will be up on the food blog later. Breafast tomorrow will be Waffles with Vanilla Custard...YUM....recipe will follow too.

Enjoy the rest of your saturday, I know I'll enjoy mine :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

My day in pictures!

You know those days when you don't have much to say because it's better shown in pictures? This is one of those, I hope through these you can take a little peek into what I've been up to.

Dishes in the sink this morning, they didn't fit into the dishwasher last night and though I hate going to bed with dirty dishes laying around, I had such a headache that I did just that....and surprise surprise the world didn't end.


Everything looks so much better when the dishes are done and the sink is spotless.


I moved into the laundry room to do a load of darks and now I realize there's a light blue sock in there, on the right. I don't know how I missed it going in, guess it was stuck to something else.


While that was going, I took a quick walk to the mailboxes across the street.


Then it's out back to restock the bird feeder. Boy can these birds eat, I'm constantly refilling this thing.


Since I was out there, might as well start the sprinkler too


It's about lunch time now, how about a Chicken Ranch Club from Lean Cuisine. Who knew they were so tasty?


After lunch I quickly baked up two loaves of bread, it's a new recipe that I was trying and it may not be the best looking bread in the world but I tell you, as simple as the recipe is, I'm surprised at how good it tastes. By far one of the best breads I've baked in a LONG time.


Of course I have to taste it, I mean, I couldn't have told you how good it was had I not sliced it quickly and slathered on a ton of butter....that's how I like my bread, with so much butter than you can't see a crumb LOL


With bread in hand I sat at the computer to check my email and Google Reader


I had some books to add to my shelf, so that's where I went next. Of course I stood in front of that bookshelf for about 30 minutes, just going through the titles and feeling all this happiness knowing that from 3 shelves, 2 and a half are books to be read. But we won't think about that next time we head to the library will we?


I walked by the kids rooms ready to do some major cleaning in there, only to realize that my kids are actually pretty neat. I mean, no clothes or toys all over the floor? Yes there's a baseball bat by the bed, but other than picking that up and fixing his bed covers (I don't know why they look like they've been folded, unless it was his attempt at making his bed)...what else do I need to clean?


The 9 year old girl's room, well now there is where you expect to see a tornado go by....and yet.....pretty neat and clean, minus the unmade bed she forgot. Still not bad though.


Wellmy house is clean, the laundry is done and so are the dishes and I think I'll just sit down and read a little before I have to pick up the kids from school.


Fave Five for Friday!

I'm playing along with the sweet Susanne. You can check out the guidelines and details here, if you want to join in.

Here's mine for this week:

#1 - Getting wonderful reports from the teachers on both my children, it makes me smile to know that they're amazing students. (also makes me wonder who they take after, since I was never that great at school LOL)

#2 - The cooler weather, we actually enjoy walking to school in the morning and don't feel like we're melting onto the concrete.

#3 - Being able to delve into the wonderful pages of the book I'm reading, it's been a learning lesson for me, a HUGE one.

#4 - Trying out wonderful new recipes like the Cajun Chicken w/ Bacon and Cheese. YUM.

#5 - Finishing the first season of McLeod's Daughters, with a tear and a smile on my face, I'm really enjoying this show, it delivers such a wide range of emotions.