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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And so it begins

This past weekend was packed, and the next few will be exactly the same- but we had fun! For Saturday, I had the pleasure of making a Minecraft cake for Tanya's son Christopher who turned 10! Check it out:
That's faux fondant pieces there. It's buttercream with hardly any of the liquid and a ton of powdered sugar so it keeps it's form. That was my first time using that recipe (I pulled "Duff's" fondant out of the cabinet and it was BLUE not white- and no time to run to the store!). Christopher picked out a couple cakes we saw on Pinterest, and we came up with this. I made berry blue jello jigglers for the "water" and homemade rice Krispy treats for the border. I think it came out cute what do you think?! 

Funny ending to the night: Lauren blurts out "Hey- Taylor needs glasses because she's half blind!!" while walking past the eye place inside Walmart. Taylor normally says how she needs glasses (she's going soon) when she passes ANY eye place. I guess Lauren is her new advocate. 

Sunday we went over to CJ's coworkers house for a #ripouthisslidingglassdoorandbuildawallBBQ. I made twice baked potato casserole, otherwise known as "crack". Sooo addictingly good! Normally I have a picture..but we ate it too fast before I thought to take one. I was feeding 4 grown men who had been working in the sun doing manly things with tools. So they had manly size portions, no leftovers. 

4 lbs of russet potatoes
Block of cream cheese
16 oz sour cream
Stick of butter
Around 8-10 pieces of cooked and crumbled BACON
Some Chives
16-24 oz of sharp cheddar cheese
A little Garlic powder
A little Thyme
Coarse black pepper 
A little Salt 

30 minutes before starting, set your butter and cream cheese out to soften. Peel and Boil for 20ish minutes or bake your potatoes for an hour at 400* (remove skins after baking). Either hand mash the cooked potatoes for chunks in your casserole, or toss everything (add bacon, cheese, chives, and seasonings last by hand) into a mixer. We like to use Wrights hickory smoked bacon. It's on the more expensive side, but it's ridonkulous! Only put half your cheese mixed in, other half on top. Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes. You're welcome.  

Did anyone forget to change their clocks forward? I didn't, but this is the first time it affected any of us. We all have felt jet lagged for days. So weird. Anyhoo.. This coming weekend will consist of painting Harlow's bed, doing the brakes on the Expedition, and building a "faux" drawer front. Taylor's bottom dresser drawer broke before we moved to Colorado last year. So we are making a fake drawer by making a front with a knob and all, and attaching cabinet hinges to the dresser. It'll be a hidey hole for a couple pairs of shoes. Plus (maybe this weekend..) Adam (the coworker with a new wall) is single and his house came with a metal swing set- has offered it to us! So that may be happening this weekend too. OBVIOUSLY I will be feeding the helpers. It's going to be mexican, because I've been craving homemade salsa lately. Shredded beef enchiladas with red sauce, rice, beans, guacamole, chips & salsa. Kings Sooper's has My Nana's tortilla chips now!!! There isn't enough exclamation points to show my excitement...are you drooling? I am. It's gonna be good.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Winter Vortex Lasagna

I was loving the 50's and 60's this week. Then this BEACH, winter vortex, came and did a drive by dumping snow and cold air. Phishh..whatever. She'll be gone by tomorrow. So this weekend we are starting the toddler bed. It'll be painted white so Harlow and Jason can both use it.Thank goodness for having a two car garage. (Base housing doesn't always have A GARAGE.)
Remember this:

I'm also working on Harlow and Lauren's plank Letter wall piece. Remember Taylor's:

I'm putting those "extra" pieces from previous projects to make them. I'm hoping to make a "gallery" for Taylor and Harlow's room. Something like this:

My friend Tanya, who does Gallery on the Go, said I could come over some time and use her paints to make this for their room:

I also found this for Lauren's; those that know her will know this is perfect for her room!

This week the kids were GREAT at doing Friday chores. Everybody's workin' for the weekend. Ya know- the usual pick up/unload dishes/put away clean clothes/partial clean their bathroom. I was really proud. All done in 45 minutes. So after dinner of just us girls, CJ walked in late around 7ish to us braiding hair, listening to NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK, and about to paint nails. I had been telling them for ever that if they do their chores without me pulling MY hair out, then we can do stuff like that on a Friday night. After the youngest two went to bed, Taylor stayed up and CJ and I ran to Kings Sooper to get a few things so we wouldn't have to go out in snow today. This baby must be going through a growth spurt. You know how they say NOT to go grocery shopping when you're hungry? I didn't realize I was hungry until we got there.. CJ actually said next time he was leaving me at home. What? I didn't add that much extra to the cart..ice cream, popcorn, squeeze itz and white castle burgers for lunch today. It wasn't a spur buy, I was thinking about that stuff all week :o) So I came home and ate some Eggo waffles at 10 PM. I would have dug in to my Blue Bell Mocha Almond ice cream, but I was seriously hungry. No. I was hangry. How dare he say he'd leave me at home next time! Phishh.. *rolls eyes* There were signs leading up to shopping. I was reading "Dora Saves Christmas" and supposedly CJ says I called him SNIPER not Swiper..that would have been bad for doo doo doo doot da Dora! *snort* can you imagine him taking out his targets instead of swiping them? I bet there is a youtube version out there.

With projects getting made + snowy cold vortex= crockpot meal!
We hadn't made this one since we lived in Florida. I bought this cookbook, Fix it and forget it, back in like..2006? I should use it more lol.

So here's the recipe:

I added to it of course. Used only mild italian sausage (the 16oz package), added a drained can of diced italian seasoned tomatoes, 28 oz of chunky tomato sauce, the whole 16 oz block of mozzarella cheese, the whole 15 oz tub of ricotta, around a 1/2 cup of grated parmesean cheese, and extra of the seasonings plus some red pepper flakes, coarse black pepper, and a sprinkle of salt and fennel seed. I measured out all them- dumped them in with the meat while it browned. Then after I added all ingredients to the crockpot, I added another sprinkle of everything but salt. I cook it on HIGH for around 4-4 1/2 hours. Sometimes it over cooks by 4.5 hours, and then sometimes it doesn't. Just keep an eye on it. * DO NOT BOIL YOUR NOODLES, break them up in around 2x2 squares if you can. 

Here's what it looks like when it goes in:

Here's what it looks like when it comes out:

I forgot to take a pic until I was packing up the leftovers. Mmm MmM goood. Add delicious bread and a simple salad. Don't forget the iced tea! It's a touch "spicy" because of the italian sausage and the sprinkle of red pepper flakes. But not enough to down your drink. It's enough for 4-5 people depending on what you also serve with it. I've never doubled the recipe, so I'm not sure how well it works if you have more people to feed.

Tonight will probably include board games, since as I'm typing this the girls have been working on organizing their toys into the basement play area, we are cutting the wood then assembling Harlow's toddler bed, and I'm making the Letter plank wall pieces. Nothing but music, saw dust, wood glue and spray paint today! Love days like this.