Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Good Morning Everyone.....I have some hot coffee

ready and I'm trying to catch up on my blogging. I've been so bad lately with emails and blogging and everything, I wish I had more than 24 hours in a day to get everything done, but sometimes things just tend to slip away from me.

Come on in and sit with me a bit, I'll tell you what's been going on over here in Arizona.

Saturday afternoon we got a phone call from my MIL and her new hubby saying that they were in town and would be over in about 2 hours. We were shocked, we didn't expect that at all, they live in Texas. LOL

They're on a road trip and were in New Mexico and decided to stop by and say hi. What a nice surprise it was!!! We enjoyed having them, it was short but sweet. They left yesterday morning on their way to Colorado before starting their trip back home to Texas.

So it was a short visit but it was nice, I'm glad they took the time out to come see us.

I think I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the house is almost completely done so I'm starting to get together all my projects, sewing, crafting etc. I also want to get into my reading pile, I miss curling up in bed with a good book.....lately as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm out.

One of my favorite TV channels is the Discovery Channel, so saturday I was thrilled to see "The Deadliest Catch" on all day, I don't know what it is about that show that has me hooked, I love it. Then sunday night I watched "Ocean of Fear" the story of the USS Indianapolis sinking and the survivors being in shark infested waters......it was so scary to watch but it was amazing to see the trials that these poor men went through.

Onto other things, I have some new cookbooks that I'm enjoying, and this coming week I'll be trying some new recipes, you can see which ones on my Menu Plan Monday, with it being so hot here I want to avoid using the oven as much as possible, hence pulling out the trusted crockpot and letting it do the work.

I'm coming down with a bit of a cold, I'm not sure if it's the temperature change between it being so hot outside and having the air con inside. Something is up, I woke up this morning and my throat hurts, my head hurts and I'm just feeling miserable. I also need to have my eyesight checked, my right eye has progressively gotten worse over the months, but I'm thinking it has to do with the computer, if I don't get on here for a few days I'm fine, but the minute I get back on, it gets scratchy and dry and it burns, it also makes it blurry. It's always something isn't it???
I'm going to try and come by all your blogs this afternoon, I have no idea what is going on with anyone anymore, I have no clue what contests are happening, what meme's are IT right now, nothing, I'm completely in the dark. It's not a great feeling let me tell you!!! LOL

I better get on out of here, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Tuesday.


For dinner I'm fixing Grilled Steaks with Twice Baked Potatoes and Lemon Cake for Dessert.


All My Children
General Hospital
Just for Laughs
Singing Bee


Nothing else.......need some rest today!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Good Morning everyone, I know I've been MIA (missing in action) a bit but I've been so busy here and you understand, with the move there's still lots of stuff to do. I do plan on taking some time today and visiting your blogs and replying to emails etc...........but first I need to go find Costco LOL

It's been a while since I've done my Five Senses Saturday, so here we go, if you decide to do your own just leave me a comment so that I can come and check it out :)


- Avril Lavigne "When You're Gone"
- F-16 Jets flying overhead
- Family voices on the phone
- Kids laughing hysterically at their own craziness
-The pit pat of the water from the leaky shower


- Animals at the Phoenix Zoo
- My first Arizona Rain
- Food cooking on the stove
- New Cookbook that I'm dying to buy
- All the Knick Knacks at the Cracker Barrel Store


- The soft goats at the Petting Zoo
- The pages on the new book I'm reading
- Yummy fuzzy peaches
- Wet clothes stuck to my body from walking around the zoo
- Hot coffee mug as I take a sip of the velvety coffee


- Chicken Fried Steak at Cracker Barrell
- Chocolate Cobbler
- Garlic and Beer Shrimp
- Cold mug of beer
- Portuguese Bread Rolls


- The morning air
- The smell RIGHT after the huge thunderstorm we had
- Fresh bread at the bakery
- Lavender Air Spray
- Dove Bath Soap

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.
What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)

Here's another from the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook.


1 pound sweet italian turkey sausages, casings removed and crumbled (I've made it using maple sausage too, it's good)
One 26- to 28- ounce jar tomato pasta sauce
1 pound rigatoni, uncooked
Freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese for serving

Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat, brown the sausage.

While the sausage is cooking, pour the pasta sauce into the cooker. Fill the empty jar with water and pour it into the cooker. Add the rigatoni and cooked sausage; gently stir with a
rubber spatula to combine well. Cover and cook on LOW until the pasta is tender, 31/2 to 4 hours. Stir once halfway through cooking.

Do not cook more than 4 hours because the sides will dry out and burn. Serve immediately sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Ginger-Nut Apple Betty with Warm Eggnog Custard

Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 3 hr 20 min Makes: 8 servings

2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
8 medium apples (about 2 lb.), peeled, cored and sliced
12 NABISCO Ginger Snaps
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

MIX sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended. Add apples; toss to evenly coat. Place in bottom of slow cooker. Place cookies in food processor or blender container; cover. Process until finely crushed. Pour into medium bowl. Add oats, pecans and butter; mix well. Sprinkle over apples; cover with lid.
COOK on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or until heated through. Serve warm or transfer to large bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
EMPTY dry pudding mix into medium heatproof bowl; set aside. Bring milk just to boil on medium-high heat. Gradually add to pudding mix, beating with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in nutmeg. Spoon over individual servings of dessert. Cover and refrigerate any leftover sauce and/or dessert.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Creative Blogger Award and other random stuff!!!

Just had to share this picture first, I LOVE it, it's one of my faves of my little ones :)

Have you ever had those weeks where you feel like no matter how hard you try, you're always behind on everything???

I'm going through one of those, I had an email from my sister Hayley this morning and she mentioned how sometimes it feels like I've forgotten about them.....it really struck me that I would ever let them believe that, it surely isn't on purpose and she knows how much I love them all and wish I could be near, but time does seem to just fly away from me.

I start the day with the best of intentions on getting everything done and by the time nighttime rolls around I climb into bed and realize that I have yet another bunch of things that will be rolled onto the next day.....probably with the same fate, never to be done. So I do apologize to all those I stay in touch with through email, especially my family, I don't EVER want them to think I forgot about them, God knows I love them to death......Sis, I love you and I'm sorry, I promise to try harder!!!

I've been getting bloggy awards for a few weeks and I truly appreciate them, it feels good to know that at least one person out there likes my blog or appreciates my recipes and what I do. I've always maintained that this blog was to stay in touch with family but I've made such wonderful friends along the way and if I touch at least one person's lives in some way, then it's worth it.

Annie, the wonderful dear Annie that we all know, and if you don't know her, you have NO idea what you're missing......gave me with the Creative Blogger Award. Thank you Annie, you know I love you!!!!

I'm supposed to award it to others, so let's see:

For those who bring unique and creative elements to their blogs. For those who incorporate art, music, creative writing, photo's, and other beautiful visual effects into their website. For those who put a unique spin on things and come up with new ideas. This award is for the artsy, the funky, the inventor, and even the rebel. This award is for those creative individuals who stand out from the crowd.

Here's my list of creative bloggers:

Barb. She's always saying she's not Martha, but I tend to disagree LOL She not only posts tons of wonderful photos on her blog but she shares recipes and always amazes us with her creativity, especially around Christmas....she's like our own beloved Elf working tirelessly to make gifts for family and friends.

Mari-nanci. I love visiting her blog and looking at all the beautiful photos she posts, she always seems to find the perfect one to represent whatever she's talking about that day. She has become one of those bloggy friends that you just love to catch up with, what an awesome lady :)

Kelli. Another one of my faves, if it's not a new mouth watering recipe that kelli is sharing, then it's pictures from her wonderful house, decorating, cooking, even a pioneer weekend, yes she went all out and lived without tv and modern day stuff, even posting pictures as she went along....loved it.

Jill. The first time I stumbled across Jill's blog, I stayed the rest of the day just reading her past entries and laughing until my sides hurt. Another creative wiz here, contests, photos, recipes you name it, you'll find it and she does it all while making you laugh your butt off.

Gail. Gail is another of my faves, she has a way with words that I just love. She shares photos, book reviews and did I say photos??? She talks about books, movies, cooking, family and crafting....love it.

Sherry. Sherry is a wonderful lady, another one that I visit every day. She's a homeschooling mom and always shares great reviews for homeschooling materials, recipes, ways to save money etc....she's so creative, I love it.

So there you go, I'm sure I could have come up with a ton more, but I guess these will do for now.

I have to run to the commissary this morning, did I tell you they have a Sushi Bar right in the entrance??? I mean a SUSHI BAR in the commissary......I'm amazed LOL

I'm leaving you with a quick look at my day....God Bless,


For dinner I'm fixing Garlic and Beer Shrimp, a salad and some homemade waffle cut fries.


Montel Williams
General Hospital
Ghost Hunters


Post office
Pay bills
Sweep and Mop

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My First Arizona Rain!!!!

Since we've been here I've seen the skies get a little cloudy and with the threat of rain, but never really got to witness it....until yesterday afternoon and man did it come pouring down.

It was 4:30pm and I had all the lights on in the house, it was THAT dark. It honestly felt good to see the rain after the awful heat we've been feeling. The picture above was taken from my front door, if you look closely you can see how powerful the wind was.

Curt came home about 20 minutes after the rain started and he was soaking wet, this is what happens when you work on the flight line with all the jets, if it rains you get soaked, if it snows you get frozen, if it's hot you get a bad sunburn.....poor guys. I already have a huge amount of respect for the troops but when you live on a base and deal with them day to day you get to see a whole new side to them and a whole other part of their job that shows just how much they sacrifice daily.

My wrist is still killing me and I think I've pushed myself into a corner because there's no way around getting the cysts removed, it's just not possible to keep going like this. It's painful, it throbs constantly and it's just nasty to look at. What's really keeping me from doing this is the fact that I won't be able to do much at all and with little ones it's not easy, but I know that the Lord will see me through this too, so no worries.

I don't have much to talk about today, I can't type a lot and I don't feel like sitting here doing a post with ONE finger, it will take forever LOL

So I'm leaving this one short and sweet and ending with one of my favorite songs right now....Avril Lavigne and "When You're Gone"....enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'm cranky today!!!!

Want to hear something funny??? I woke up freezing, yes, FREEZING, is that not the weirdest thing ever???

I don't feel very well, my allergies are flaring up and I think I have a bit of a cold coming on, see the thing is it's really hot outside but inside we have the air conditioning on and it's a good one because usually within a few minutes it's just freezing in this house. I think the whole temperature change is messing me up.....on top of that, yesterday I finished Nicholas's room which entailed opening and unpacking 6 heavy boxes....I'm happy it's done BUT I hurt my wrist and have had this throbbing pain since last night.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I have 2 cysts on my left wrist, they weren't really big and painful at first but they've progressively gotten worse and it's at the point where I need to have them removed, only problem is that I won't be able to do anything for 2 weeks and then will have a cast on this wrist for another 6 weeks or so.....that wasn't possible before, something was always coming up to keep me from going through with it, but I'm afraid I've backed myself into a corner now, it's too painful not to do anything about.

So anyway, I'm not in the best of moods this morning but I'm doing ok. My house is clean and yes I have pictures of how it's looking so far. This is the kitchen, I don't have my curtains up yet hopefully later today or tomorrow. As you can see our window faces the driveway so you don't get a very pretty view but it lets in the sun during the day and I love it.

This is the living room and computer area...the one thing about these base houses is that they don't really have extra room to have an office, so it's always living room/office area together, but I think as long as we keep things neat and tidy it won't look that bad.

These are the bedrooms, I still need to get a few rugs for the master bedroom and Jasmine's room, but for the most part they're done. You can see in the kids rooms, the storage and shelving units we decided upon.

It's a small cozy house but we really like it. Besides, it's a one level which as you know is something that I wanted, I just don't like the stairs thing when I have little ones around.

I got up early with Curt this morning, he's starting back at work today so he was eager to get going, though not too excited about the big inspection they were having. It meant wearing his Blues and then changing into his uniform afterwards......military are very strict with things like that so he had to be sure his hair was cut right, he had his blues hat and tie and all that other fun stuff and shiny shoes and boots etc.

With him back at work and Jasmine starting school in a few weeks, things are starting to get back to normal and I'm beginning to wonder what I'll do with my time when it's just me and the little one at home. I'm looking forward to crafting again and sewing and I'm sure I can find something to do with all these wonderful shopping areas around.

If you're interested in my menu for this week, you can go check it out at my food blog "Full Bellies, Happy Kids". I love cooking and I love when people try my recipes and come back with great reviews for them, especially when it's family. I was talking to my older brother Paul on friday and he told me that Lilian (my sister in law) had made my lasagna and he thought it was really good.....brought a big smile to my face, somehow makes me happy and it makes me feel closer to home too.

Anyway, enough babbling about that, go on and check out my Menu Plan for this coming week, you may also be interested in some new recipes too, I posted one for Garlic Beer Shrimp, Caldeirada (Fish Stew) and Tres Leches Cake. I'll have some more up soon.

I've also updated my sidebar to include the books I'm currently reading and the next ones on my list. I would have put them all but I don't think you would want to get stuck reading my list for the next 5 or 6 years. You have NO idea how many books are still on my TBR (to be read) pile which doesn't seem to stop me from picking up new ones or checking more out at the library. What can I say??? I have a book obsession!!!

I've just taken some claritin for my allergies and I'm feeling a little tired so I'm going to sit down and relax for a bit. I've already got dinner going in the crockpot, Lazy Day Braised Pot Roast from my new Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook that I picked up last week. Smells wonderful.

Enjoy the rest of your monday, I'll be back tomorrow!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Zoo pictures and some hodgepodge talk!!!

The zoo was so much fun but let me tell you something, I thought I was going to die.....no really, stop laughing, I really did LOL

We got about halfway and I was so hot and so tired, I had water running down my back and stomach and actually started getting shivers and goosebumps. I could feel my heart beating through my chest!!! We had to stop a couple times along the way because not only was the zoo HUGE but the heat was overwhelming.

One good thing about this zoo is that they have tons of areas with benches and water for you to take a break in, then they have these water mist sprays coming down on you too, it really does help to cool down.

Here are the pictures I took of the zoo animals, followed by the ones I took of the Petting Zoo, which was by far our favorite part of the whole excursion......I was so tempted to bring the multi colored little sheep home with me LOL

Cool Slideshows!

And now here's the Petting Zoo pictures!

Cool Slideshows!

These two are my favorites, Lucy Goose and this Porcupine who was happily tearing apart a milk box LOL

After our trip to the zoo we were starving and hot and looking for a place to sit down and have a good meal while beautiful sweet air conditioning fell upon us....we headed to Cracker Barrel!! Now you know if you love country home cooking, country music and a great older days atmosphere, this is THE place to go. They also make the best biscuits and cornbread around.

By the time we got home I was exhausted, happy but dead on my feet. I ended off the night by laying in bed watching "Premonition" with Sandra Bullock, man, what a weird movie, it was good but the ending was just disappointing for me!!!

Today is going to be an easy one for me, I'm not planning on doing much at all. I got the house all clean on friday so it's pretty much just picking up a little and straightening out the everyday things. I do have the breakfast dishes sitting in the sink right now, waiting to be put in the dishwasher, and I do have laundry to put away, but that's about all there is.

A couple of you asked where I found the organizing shelves I shared the other day, they were from Target......I was there last week and ended up getting different ones for the kids, they picked their own and I'll share some pictures later.

I have a recipe to share with you today, while out yesterday I picked up a cookbook called "A Taste of Arizona" and boy I have to tell you, it has the most delicious recipes on there, I don't think I found one that didn't make my mouth water.


"I had cast my lot with a soldier, and where he was, was home to me" wrote Martha Summerhayes, who lived at Tucson's Fort Lowell in 1878 with her husband. The fort's museum offers a look at the "glittering misery" of army life during Arizona's Apache Wars, 1861-1886, when the hardships of the frontier were lightened by the glamour of merry dinner parties.

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 chicken breasts, boned and skinless
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon chives, minced
1/2 teaspoon dill weed

Salt and pepper the chicken pieces. Heat oil in a large frying pan and saute chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and cook about 10 minutes more.

Remove the chicken and keep it warm. Drain the oil.

In the same pan, add the lime juice and heat on low until juice begins to bubble. Add the butter, stirring until sauce is thick and opaque. Stir in the chives and dill weed. Spoon over chicken and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Don't that just sound divine???? I'll be sure to share more recipes with you all, I swear I'm like a kid in a candy store when I come upon cookbooks.

Well I better get going, I have a few things that need to get done today.

Find Airman's Attic to drop off donations
Find Recycle Center to drop off moving boxes
Find the base library (can't wait to get in there LOL)
Put laundry away
Do breakfast dishes

I'll see you all tomorrow, have a wonderful sunday.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekend couldn't have come any faster for me....

We've been here for about two weeks now and it still feels to me like we're on vacation or something, I'm waiting for hubby to say that it's time to go back home. Isn't that sad???

I can't say I'm hating it completely, not like the first few days I was here, I remember many a nights crying myself to sleep and thinking "boy I'm never going to be happy here".
Am I happy??? Not really, I mean it's not what I wanted or the place I would have chosen for myself to live in, but it's growing on me and I'm not as miserable as before.

It really does help to have all your things and to make your house your own.....we've been working hard on getting it all done and things are almost, almost the way I want them. I'll have some pictures for you all this weekend.

Curt starts work on monday, he's excited to get back to working on his jets, see for the past year he had been working not directly with them, he was pretty much doing inside office work and after 14 years of being out on the flight line it was a huge change for him. Now he's going back to the flight line which means long 12 hour and longer shifts, coming home reeking of jet fuel, dirty dirty hands and my washer being left with greasy remnants. Oh the joy, how I missed it. LOL

So this morning I'm heading to the Phoenix Zoo with the kids, they've been begging to go and I think it would be nice to do that for them, this whole move has been a huge change for them too and they've been really good about it. They're super excited about the Petting Zoo part, unfortunately there are no DINOSAURS to pet LOL They wanted to know if there were dinosaurs there too......sure honey, you wanna go pet the nice little T-Rex???? LOL

I'm taking pictures so when I come back I will be able to do update this post....right now I have kids jumping up and down around me screaming at the top of their lungs "we're going to the zoo, we're going to the zoo"....guess it's my cue to get off the computer and get them ready, I don't think the animals would appreciate seeing pajama clad kids running around with their hair unbrushed....they may get locked up as a new species LOL

I'll be back later, you all have a great morning.....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.

What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)

Credit: Not your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

On 3- to 4- pound broiler/fryer
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dry sherry or apple juice
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 green onions, trimmed and halved
1 clover garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry skilled over medium heat until fragrant.

Wash and dry chicken thoroughly. Cut off any lumps of fat. Put the chicken in the crockpot, breast side up. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, sherry, ketchup, red pepper flakes, green onions and garlic in a small bowl; pour over the chicken. Cover and cook on HIGH about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 180ºF.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Remove and discard the green onions. Combine the cornstarch with the water and stir the slurry into the sauce. Cook on HIGH, stirring constantly, until thickened. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve with steamed long-grain white rice.

Serves 4 to 6

Monday, July 16, 2007

I think I'm beginning to get acclimated..........

It certainly hasn't been easy, it's not like it's gotten any cooler around here. This morning I actually had a good laugh because my computer said "106 º HOT".........Ya think????? LOL

Yesterday afternoon we took a drive to downtown Historic Glendale, walked around a little and I literally mean A LITTLE, it was so hot that we ran into a Subway to pick up drinks.
It's a pity that most of the stores were closed but we plan on going back within the next few days, there are tons of Antique stores and I felt like a kid in a candy store.

With stores like Granny G's, Mad Hatter and Strunk's Hollow, I can see myself spending a lot of time in this area.

Hubby just laughs at me, I think he's feeling his wallet disappearing!!!!
In my defense though, I've never been a big shopper so he knows I don't go out of my way to spend money.

Just one thing about this place, the drivers are crazy.....I don't think I'll be leaving the base alone, I get too nervous with all the irresponsible driving going on around here, not to mention it seems that there's a lot of "lead feet" too.

Anyway, my house is almost done, the only rooms that still need to get finished are the kids rooms and that is because they have SO many toys that we have no storage for. We're going to buy some more storage bins or shelves or something this week so that we can finish the bedrooms.

Right now Jasmine has a bunkbed and Nicholas has a Car bed, but they've both been asking for a bed with drawers underneath, so I'm looking at getting these for them:

They're pretty inexpensive and I could always use the extra storage under the bed. I'm also looking into getting these for all their toys.

Whatever doesn't fit into those two storage items we'll be getting rid of of, I don't understand why the kids need so many toys, half of which they never play with and don't even realize they have unless you mentioning throwing them out, then all of a sudden "it's my favorite".

You know I've actually taken the day off from unpacking, I'm at the point where the minute I see a box I break out in hives. I needed to recharge and do nothing, actually, we went and ran some errands this morning, got the medical records dropped off and also got Jasmine registered for school. I'm super thrilled because she can walk right into the school doors, it's only about 4 or 5 houses from ours. Here's a picture for you to see:

On the left side of the road you can see the housing area that has been closed off and is being torn down to rebuild new ones. Up ahead you can see the school gates, I've always wanted to live in a place where she could just walk out the house and be pretty much right there in school, and now I can say that she does. Makes me happy!!!
School starts August 13th here and they do wear uniforms which Jasmine is not very thrilled about but coming from South Africa where we wore uniforms to all the schools we attended, I can honestly tell you that it's such a relief to not have to worry about what to wear in the morning.

It's always seemed to me as well that it gave kids a reason to pick on each other, if one had the latest fashionable shoes or jeans and one or two had clothes from a thrift store, they seemed to get singled out.....I can't tell you how much I dislike that, I believe children and anyone for that matter, should be able to wear what they want without being discriminated about.

So as you can see, I'm a happy momma right now, she's nearby and she's wearing uniforms LOL

Let's see, what else is going on here..........Oh if you're looking for my Menus for the upcoming week, you can find them at my food blog "Full Bellies, Happy Kids", I tried so hard to go through all the participants on the list but I have to admit that I gave up after #131, I just couldn't do it anymore, I will get to the rest of the list tomorrow morning.

I really do need to get some laundry done, so I'm going to say goodbye for now. Oh and I'm sure you've noticed I messed with my template again, I was bored of the same ones and since I had some time today I figured I would play around. I'm pretty happy with the result so let's see how long it will last LOL

For dinner I'm fixing one of my favorite meals, Stuffed Green Peppers. The kids love it too and it's the only way to make them eat Green Peppers without turning their noses at it.
For dessert I have a Dutch Apple Pie fresh out of the oven, it smells incredible right now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Come with me to a Pastelaria (pastry shop)??????

I woke up this morning with this intense craving for some portuguese pastries, but not just homemade ones.......the ones that you smell as you walk into one of Portugal's little Pastelarias (pastry shops) that are spread out all over Lisbon.

Will you allow me to show you the ones I remember going to while living in Portugal? It might give you some ideas on where to go if you're planning a trip to Lisbon.

one of my favorite things to do was sit in one of the Pastelarias and enjoy a nice cold coke and one of the many fresh pastries available.

By far my favorites were the Bolas de Berlim (portuguese cream filled donuts), piramides de chocolate (chocolate pyramids) , guardanapos (little cakes folded like napkins), Bolo de Arroz (Rice Cake) and Pasteis de Nata (Cream cakes).
I literally drool at the thought of one of these little pastries in my mouth, they are to die for.

Portugal is full of these pastry shops, some spilling over onto the sidewalks and others hiding in beautiful old buildings. If you've been to Portugal you know all about the gorgeous architectural buildings that fill the magical city of Lisbon.

I truly miss not having these available to me, so I'm thinking I may need to get the recipes for my favorites and start making them. It's something I want my husband and children to experience too, now if I could just make bread like this one too, I would be one very happy camper.

It's really hard to resist when you walk into a Pastry Shop and are faced with this sight.

One of the things I most enjoyed about the Pastry Shops is that they have this really old feel to them and it's great to sit back and enjoy a wonderful treat while watching the crowd that comes in and out. You have grandmothers, families, school kids, businessmen and tourists all walking in and out as they go about their day. The weekends has a different feeling to it, I remember many an afternoons, we would meet up with family from all over the country and get together at one of these little shops for an afternoon cup of coffee and cake.

Image credit: Delicious Days

This is one of the pastelarias that I remember visiting, it's called Pastelaria Versailles and it's in Avenida da Republica in Lisbon. Could you not imagine sitting there a whole afternoon just enjoying a steaming cup of coffee???

Other ones in the beautiful city of Lisbon that I visited were:

Cafe Nicola, R. 1º de Dezembro, Lisbon

It was here that the first Portuguese woman dared to break the male stranglehold on
café-going. Linked to many other historic events, this place is an essential part of

Pastelaria Suica, Pç. D. Pedro IV, Lisbon

One of the best known tea-time venues.
Excellent pastry and one of the most popular terraces in Lisbon. During World War II this was the meeting place where those in exile negotiated their tickets to freedom.

Now I have to go make myself some Pasteis de Nata, I'm seriously craving them. I guess I'll take my coffee and my cake outside and imagine I'm sitting at one of the sidewalk tables, surrounded by other cafe goers enjoying their Bicas (espresso cafe) and their pastries.

Hope you enjoyed learning a little more about these wonderful little pastry shops and next time you visit Lisbon be sure to stop in and grab yourself a tasty treat, I can guarantee that you will NEVER look at pastries the same way again.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

As the smell of coffee permeates the air

I sit and wonder if I'll ever get used to this infernal heat. Does it really have to be this hot here or anywhere for that matter???

Anyway, good morning everyone, it's 7:30 am and already 90 degrees, I've started thinking that maybe I should turn into a night owl. I could sleep during the day when it's really hot and then wake up at night and go do everything I need to, I'm sure I could get it all done before 5:00 am when it starts getting warmer right???

I'm starting this morning by sharing a picture I took in our front yard, see that huge palm tree??? Yes it's in my yard and my mind wavers between being in awe of such a beautiful thing to hoping to God that it never falls down or if it does that it goes the other way. LOL

Yesterday we took a little drive around the area and I was not thrilled, I think I need to find downtown Glendale first, especially the Historic part because what I've seen of the immediate surrounding area of the base is NOT pretty.

After our little drive we headed to the base BX, ok let me just say that I could live in that place and be happy. It was the second building in this base that made me delirious giddy (the other is the huge commissary). This BX has a 3 level parking garage, we'll talk about that another time because I'm claustrophobic and for some reason parking garages freak me out, I am driving and feel like the roof is right above my head (which really it IS).

We walked around the BX for a bit and got some things I needed for the house, broom, mop and bucket, new bathroom rugs etc and then of course because I'm drawn to books, I turn and Curt says to me "Sweetie, they have a huge book selection". Man why do these people tempt me???
He wasn't kidding, it was like being in a miniature Barnes and Noble, I must have had the goofiest smiles on my face. I couldn't leave without getting something from the cooking shelves so I walked away with this beauty.

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
(350 recipes from Beth Hensperger)

You have no idea the delicious goodness in this book, they have a whole chapter just for chili's, another just for porridge.....I only got through the first few pages but my mouth was watering. Guess what I'll be using for my Slow Cooking Thursdays? LOL
This means we know there will be at least another 350 SCT posts right??? I think the first recipe I'm trying from it is Chinese Sweet-and-Sour Chicken with Sesame Seeds. We love chinese food and this one caught my eye immediately. Don't worry I'll share the recipe with you all too!!!

Speaking of recipes I will be updating my little food blog later today, it's been forever and the poor thing is feeling neglected. You know I have learned through this move that you can make meals out of basic pantry items, you just have to love cooking and have an imagination I guess. I made some Beef with Mushroom Sauce that turned out pretty good and I also came up with a concoction using hotdogs, a can of chilli and velveeta cheese. It was REALLY good....so I'll share the recipes for all you adventurous people out there LOL

Now are you ready for some pictures??? I warn you it's not for the faint of heart or the clean freaks, not really for the organizing perfectionists either. This is just a little glimpse of what my house looks like right now.

This is part of the living room, don't you just love the level on the couch? Isn't it pretty? *snicker*

My kitchen which I promise will look much better once everything is packed away, again, see if you can spot what DOESN'T belong there. (Jasmine's white shoes against the dishwasher)

This is the only room that is pretty much done, my African Themed bathroom. The kids love it in there with all my african knick knacks. I guess when I'm homesick for South Africa I can just go sit in the bathroom LOL

And that's all I have to share with you, well here is a last one of the road we live on which is pretty much the main road. Just 5 or 6 houses down in the other direction, is the school gate which is just wonderful, I'm super thrilled that Jasmine will be so close to home :)

And with that my friends, I need to get going, I have the kids bedrooms to unpack today and I have floors that need to be swept and mopped. You know just yesterday I peeked into the closet and saw my vacuum and carpet cleaner and I had to laugh, I mean, we have zero carpets in this house, I suppose I could bring them out to clean the tiny rugs in the bathroom though? LOL

You all have a wonderful saturday and I'll see you back here tomorrow morning. Oh btw, I know a couple of you gave me some bloggy awards, but for the life of me I can't remember who or where they are, if you did award me one just leave me a comment on this post and I'll be sure to go and check them out. I think they were all done when I was in the middle of moving or on the road so I apologize for not being on top of it.

God Bless,

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday!!!

Welcome to my weekly Crockpot Recipes Exchange. It's such a great way to share your avorite dishes or to learn some new ones to make for your family.

What do you think??? Do You have some great recipes to share, or perhaps you're looking for some delicious ones to give you a reason to pull out the ol' crockpot???
Time to pull out those crockpots and put them to good use. If you want to join in, just grab the banner and add your name to Mr Linky :)

I'm back and I'm so happy to be hosting this feature again, you have no idea how much I
missed it last week, so to make up for it, I'm giving you 3 recipes.


Image credit: Kraft Foods


* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar Cheese

* a few dashes of Tabasco sauce
* 1/3 cup dry white wine
* 2 cups crabmeat

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 to 2 hours, until cheese is melted and dip is hot. Serve with crackers, bread cubes, or chips.



Image credit: Online


* 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork loin roast, trimmed

* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon oregano
* 1 can green chile peppers, chopped
* 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

* 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

* Topping:
* Grated cheese
* Chopped onions
* Tomatoes
* Lettuce

* Sour cream
* Coarsely crushed tortilla chips


Place first 7 ingredients in slow cooker, along with 1/2 cup water. Cook 8 to 10 hours. Add beans 1 hour before done. Top with desired toppings and serve with warm tortillas


Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Image credit: Handels Ice Cream

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 T. baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 T vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 cups hot water

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 T cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add nuts. Spread batter evenly in slow cooker.

Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl. Stir in hot water until smooth. Pour evenly over batter in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high heat setting for 2 -2 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Turn off slow cooker and let cake stand uncovered for 30-40 minutes to cool slightly before serving. Spoon cake into dessert dishes and spoon sauce over top. Can be served with ice cream or whipped cream also.