Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bird's Nests and Chicken Little Eggs!


These two things went hand in hand.  Well, I guess one is a sweet and the other is a snack but still they are both bird related!  LOL!  :)  

Without further hesitation here is what I have done.  :)

First are the Bird's Nests.  I LOVE these!  They are super cute!  And they are going to look great on my table at Easter.  I can't wait!  :)  

Here is the recipe:

Bird's Nest Cookies
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
12 oz. package chow mein noodles  
12 oz. package butterscotch morsels
90 egg-shaped candies 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.  Pour the butterscotch morsels in a microwave-safe bowl and place them in the microwave. 


Heat for 30 seconds then remove to stir. Return to the microwave and heat again for 30 seconds. Stir until melted. Add in the chow mein noodles and mix till combined. 


Use a 1/4 measuring cup to portion out the cookies onto the baking sheet. 


If the mixture starts to solidify in the mixing bowl, you can reheat for 15 to 30 seconds to melt. Place three egg-shaped candies in the center of each cookie. 


Allow to set for at least 5 minutes before serving or transferring.


My mixture was a bit dry.  Next time I won't add all the chow mein noodles at once.  I will check the consistency first.  Just a little tip from me to you.  :)
And now for the Chicken Little Stuffed Eggs! 

Here is the recipe!

Recipe: Chicken Little Stuffed Eggs
INGREDIENTS
8 eggs
5 drops blue, red or green food color, if desired
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot dog relish
DIRECTIONS
1. Place eggs in medium saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer about 15 minutes. Immediately drain; run cold water over eggs to stop cooking. Peel eggs.
2. In measuring cup or old coffee mug, combine 1/2 cup water and food color. Dip peeled eggs 1 at a time into mixture for several seconds until of desired color. Pat dry with paper towel.



3. Cut thin slice from wide bottom of each egg so it will stand straight. With small sharp knife, cut off top of each egg about 1/3 of the way down, either straight across or with small slanted cuts to make a sawtooth edge. Carefully remove top portion and yolk; reserve tops. Place yolks in small bowl.


4. Add mayonnaise and relish to yolks; mash and mix thoroughly with fork. With small spoon, refill large section of egg with yolk mixture, heaping filling. Top each with reserved top portion of egg. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until chilled.


I did not use hot dog relish.  I just did my typical deviled egg recipe with salt, pepper and mayo.  I used little pieces of red pepper for "eyes" which I might skip next time.  They look a little creepy...lol.  :)

Enjoy!  
<3 Alison


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Banana Crumb Cake

Yesterday's day of relaxing didn't happen, I got motivated so I used that motivation to get some things done...lol.  :)  At any rate, I got quite a few things done.

First I made some sloppy joe mix to add to some ground beef that Hubby had already browned for me.  So now I have one meal already made ahead for later this week or to freezer for later in the pregnancy.  Then I made a bread pudding.  I am not a huge fan of bread pudding but I had some bread that wasn't good for slicing so I thought this would be a good solution.  Hubby loves bread pudding so this was a huge hit with him.  YAY!

After I made the taco meat for dinner and we cleaned up from that I made a Banana Crumb Cake.  I found the recipe on another blog that I follow and just had to try it.  :)  You can find the original recipe here.  Here is what I did with the recipe.  :)

Banana Crumb Cake
* 2C sugar
* 3 bananas
* 1 stick margarine
* 1 C milk
* 2 eggs

* 2 C self rising flour
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 1 C chopped nuts (optional-I use pecans)
Crumb Topping
* 1 stick (1/2 c) Margarine
* 1 Cup brown sugar (dark or light)
* 1 cup flour (self rising or plain, whatever you have on hand)
Spray two loaf or 8×8 pans with cooking spray(I use a 9x13). Place peeled bananas in mixing bowl, add sugar. Mix until bananas are liquefied. Add margarine, mix until creamed together with banana mixture. Add all other ingredients and blend well.
In medium bowl, place all topping ingredients. Cut together with a long tined fork until well blended. Pour 1/4 of batter into each pan, top with 1/4 crumb mixture(If using a 9x13, pour half of batter, top with half of crumb mixture and repeat). Pour remaining batter over and top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour at 350(Since I used a 9x13, it was more like 50 minutes).
Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.



This is so yummy!  I made it in the two loaf pans so I could have one to freeze to use at a later time.  Everyone really enjoyed tasting this crumb cake.  

Today's agenda includes making some "Chicken Little " styled deviled eggs and some birds' nests.  If I get the supplies I need I will also be making some Easter baskets for my kids.  If not, that post will wait for another day.  :)

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!
<3Alison

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherry Hand Pies

I had a can of cherry pie filling and some crescent rolls and this is what I came up with!  :)


Cherry Hand Pies

1 can cherry pie filling (any filling will work)
1 pkg crescent rolls (I used a generic brand)
1 egg white
a bit of water
a bit of sugar

Make a triangle with the crescent rolls.  When I tried to do mine there was a "tail" so I trimmed it off and used it later.


On half of the crescent roll, put about a tablespoon of your pie filling.  Fold over.  Crimp edges with a fork to seal.


Using the egg white and water make an egg wash.  Then gently brush the top of each of the pies.  Sprinkle with sugar.


Follow your crescent rolls package directions for baking.  Mine was bake at 375* for 14 minutes.  So that is what I did and it worked perfectly!

With the "scraps" I sprinkled them with a bit of cinnamon and sugar and then baked them as well.  Another nice treat.  :)

I hope you guys enjoy this tasty treat!  We sure did!

<3Alison

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Monday!

Normally I wouldn't start off the week with such gusto, but this week has started off really well so far.  Fingers crossed that it stays that way.  Yesterday we had a great time at church and relaxing as a family.  Then we got to babysit for some new friends in our church!  YAY!

On the agenda for today is making a whole chicken in the crock-pot.  I love using whole chickens.  You can get so much more from them than just one meal!  We often have enough for 2 meals.  So tonight's meal will be crock-pot chicken, I will then use the juices and bones to make stock in the crock pot overnight tonight.  Then in the morning I will skim off the stuff and have some great stock to put in the freezer for a later use.  So not only have I gotten 2 meals but I have also gotten a VERY flavorful stock that I know what is in it!   WOOHOOO!

I will let you know tomorrow how it went.  :)  With Eater approaching I am starting to think about different crafts and treats and recipes that I can post for you all.  I have a few ideas brewing so I will let you know how those turn out.  :)

Today I am going to do an inventory of meals in my freezer as well.  I am going to keep a running tally of what I put in and when so that I know what I need to make and how much of it to make.

Do you make freezer meals?   What are your secrets?  How do you keep it all organzied?  I would love to hear all about your freezer meal adventures.  :)

Have a good Monday everyone!
<3 Alison

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It will likely be a quiet week.

I really wanted to post somethings on the blog this week but it just isn't going to work out.  We came back from our trip to Ohio to find all three of our kiddos are sick.  Two of them have fevers today and they all are coughing terribly.  I finally had to give Butterfly her inhaler tonight so she could stop coughing.  Poor thing!  On top of the kids being sick Hubby left for a business trip this morning and won't be back until sometime on Friday.

Yesterday I went in for my OB check up to find out that I am developing a hernia.  I told him I was having a weird ripping feeling across my belly right in line with my belly button.  He felt the area and found several very tender areas indicating that there is a hernia starting.  So now I cannot lift anything to try and prevent further damage.  So I have had to get creative with getting Bubby into his high chair.  He now climbs onto one chair that is pushed up against the high chair (booster thingy attached to a regular chair) and then jumps into his seat.  I then buckle him in and we do the reverse process for getting down now.  We have also had to put Bubby into a toddler bed.  I wasn't expecting to do this until much later in my pregnancy but I guess now is as good a time as any.

With all of this going on this week I will probably not be posting.  I do hope that next week calms down a bit and I can get back into my regular posting.  I have several projects on the horizon and a couple of posts I am dying to write (the banner that I made for my friends baby shower is one of them) but they will just have to wait.  Right now all I want to do is sit down and watch a movie and then go to bed.  Of course I will be folding laundry at the same time but at least I can do it and watch a movie!  :)

<3Alison

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I went MIA!

Sorry guys!  But I had a really good reason.  Hubby and I left on Thursday night for Ohio!  We found out my best friend was having a baby shower and so we thought we should go.  :)  So we did!  The kids stayed with Grandma and Grandpa this weekend and Hubby and I took off.

We arrived in Ohio (after spending the night somewhere in Iowa) on Friday around dinner time.  We had arranged with my friends Hubby that we would be coming and he said we could stay with them!  YAY!  So not only did I get to surprise my friend but I also got to spend the majority of the weekend with her.  We went to her shower and she got some REALLY cute things and we all made a quilt block for her that will be assembled into a quilt for the new baby.

After that we, as in both the hubby's and us, took off for an unplanned double date!  Neither of us think that we have ever been on a double date before!!!  How crazy is that?  So we got to take in some good ol' Columbus food.  Jeni's Ice Cream, a movie and City Barbque!  YUMMMM!  Talk about good eating!




Then we went home, because what else do you do?  lol!  She and I started sorting baby clothes and stayed up way too late, for the second night in a row.

Sunday we got to go to our old church and catch up with some friends from there at lunch.  It was so good to get to see everyone!

After that it was due time for a trip to JoAnn's!  So, my friend and I took off for JoAnn's to pick up some fabric for our new baby's baby quilt and some receiving blankets.

Another of our friends came over to visit after we got back from JoAnn's and we got to spend the late afternoon and dinner together.  I got to see her kids again and marvel at how much they had grown up, in only 4 1/2 months!   It was SO good to see them!

We again stayed up late (but not QUITE as late as the previous nights) but it was our last night in Ohio for this trip.

Monday, Hubby and I traveled back to Minnesota.  It was a long day and we were glad to be home.  Now I must go start the laundry as Hubby has a business trip he has to leave for tomorrow.

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend!
<3Alison

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Natural Cleaning

This is something that I have wanted to break into for quite sometime but just never get around to it.  I am tired of coughing and sneezing as I clean my bathrooms.  And, frankly, that can't be good for my kids or for the baby.
So today I pose the question...how do you clean your home?  Do you use natural cleaning products?  What are your at home cleaning products to clean things like the mirrors, toilets, tubs and the like?
Can you help me to "go natural" when cleaning?

<3 Alison

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meals for Baby D


A couple nights ago I started my freezer meals for our fourth (and in my opinion) final baby.  I had made a big pot of Sausage and Lentil Soup.  It made enough for one meal for us to eat and two for us to freeze for later.  
Tonight I made a new recipe.  I made Cream Cheese Chicken.  It was super yummy!  In the words of Hubby, "You can put that in the keeper box!"  Since I have enough left over for another meal I am going to add it to our freezer meal stash.  :)

Here is that recipe:

Cream Cheese Chicken
1 .7-ounce envelope Italian dressing mix
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
1 10.75-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
Turn slow cooker on High. Place butter in bottom of slow cooker. When the butter has melted, add one envelope Italian dressing dry mix. Stir into butter until well mixed. Cut chicken breasts into 1" strips. Place in slow cooker and stir to coat with butter and dressing mix. Cover and cook on High for 2 hours. Remove chicken to plate to cool. Add cream of chicken soup and cream cheese. Stir to melt and mix well until smooth and creamy. Remove sauce from slow cooker and allow to cool. Place chicken and sauce into a gallon resealable freezer bag. Label. Freeze.
To serve: Thaw. Heat until piping hot and bubbly. Serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or hot buttered noodles.
Personal Note from me:  I did not do this how the directions said.  I put ALL the ingredients in the crock pot after I melted the butter and added the Italian seasoning.  It worked GREAT!  I would do it that way again.  I served it over egg noodles.
I hope that you guys like this recipe as much as my family does!  Everyone ate it, without ONE complaint!!!  (which if you have small children you know is HUGE!)
Enjoy!
<3 Alison

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's A......

.....GIRL!

I think Hubby and I are still in shock somewhat.  We both really thought this one was going to be a boy.  But not according to the ultrasound!  We have a little girl!

Now that I am starting to wrap my head around it I am really excited.  It is going to be fun to dress her up in all the little girly things that I got to do with the other two girls.  Poor Hubby and Bubby.  They will still be the only men in our house.  Out numbered 2 to 1.  Maybe we will have to get a boy dog or two...lol.

Here are some pics of our little princess!






<3Alison

What to do...?

Today I am anxiously awaiting the appointment that I have at 4pm.  We will leave here about 3:15 so we can get there on time but today is the day that we find out if we are having a boy or a girl!  I am VERY excited.  (There will likely be two blog posts posting from me today....hehehe)
But here I sit at 8:15 wishing the time would go by faster.  So I am going to have to keep myself occupied. Thankfully, and I never thought I would say that, I have some laundry to do so that should take up about an hour.  I could clean a bit as well, living room could use a vacuum and your bathroom can never be too clean right?
And I could craft...but the last couple of times I was in the basement I didn't feel well afterwards...something about it being too dry and no air circulation in the basement (we have all the vents shut off down there since it is just an empty basement).  Maybe I could pull some things upstairs to work on...yeah...maybe I will do that...
I could make some meals for the baby...we have lots of inventory on hand so I might work on that too.

It looks like I have my hands full of things I could do...now let's see if I can actually concentrate enough to do it!  LOL!  :)
What do YOU think I will be having...a BOY or a GIRL?

Hope you all have a great day!
<3Alison

Saturday, March 12, 2011

More unpacking...

Yesterday I spent the day working on my craft room in the basement.  I unpacked boxes upon boxes upon boxes.  My dad moved boxes around so I could get to them.  My mom swept up dust, dirt and wood chips.  And after all of that I felt TERRIBLE!  I got everything set up and was excited to use it but I just felt awful!  My throat was sore and I had a headache.  Not only that but my back decided that it should join in on the fun as well and gave me pain for the rest of the night (which I did not take sitting down, we went grocery shopping...lol).
At any rate after a full day of recovering I am starting to feel normal again.  I can talk normally and my back pain is gone.
I am pretty happy with the way that things are at this point.  Now granted we have an unfinished basement so things are pretty, um, well, undone but the space is great and I actually have a place to scrapbook, sew and quilt.  I still need one more shelf and another desk but for now this is great.  :)  I can even let my ironing board be in the standing position!  There are a few things that I would like to be hung up but that will have to wait until we sheetrock, which will have to wait until after we get the electrician to come in and put in several more outlets and re-wire whatever what done improperly.
Tomorrow I hope that we can get some pictures taken so I can show you all what I have accomplished.  I need to find some carpet (which I am hoping my dad will give me, since he has some remnants) and a space heater so I can make it a bit more comfortable.

So what have you guys been up to this weekend?  Anything productive?  I sure hope you are all having a great weekend.
<3 Alison

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preparing for Baby

                                                  Bubby shortly after he was born in 2009

Preparations for baby have been on my mind a lot lately.  Food preparations, child preparations, house preparations, etc.  All of it is important to me right now.  I guess it is because I can still do it.  I have roughly 18 weeks (or less if this baby follows the trend of the other three) left to prepare for this baby.  We need to get a co-sleeper to go next to the bed and we need to get some clothing for the baby.  I got rid of most of our baby baby stuff since I was sure we were done after we had Bubby.  So I need onesies and gowns and a few outfits...not too many since it will be hot and humid (I mean we are talking July here people) and clothing will be optional for the lil one.

I need to make more receiving blankets, since the girls have claimed the ones we had from them and Corbin and more burp cloths.  I also need to make the baby bedding.  Sheets are always in short supply so I need to make a few extra of those.

And that doesn't even touch the food that needs to be made.  We need to have meals on had that are easy, peasy to make.  They need to be super duper quick so that when Dan comes home from work I can whip it up in like 10-20 minutes.  I don't want to survive on pizzas and take out for the first few weeks.  I want to be able to offer my family nutritious meals just like I normally do.

I need to figure out who is going to take care of our kids while I go and have the baby.  My family is 1 1/2hrs- 2 hrs away and Hubby's family is 1 1/2hr away.  We can't wait that long to leave.  With Bubby we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 and he arrived an hour and a half later!  So waiting isn't an option...since the hossy is 30 minutes away.  We need to find someone in town to watch the kids until one of our families can get here.

I need to get our house ready!  I need to get all the "moving" stuff out of here and get things looking like they should.  I also need to get our bedroom ready for the baby.  We have already moved a dresser for the baby into the master bedroom but we need to find a co-sleeper.
Thankfully I have spent the last month or so finding diapers so that we can cloth diaper pretty quickly after he/she is born.

We find out next week if we are having a boy or a girl.  But we have yet to decide if we are going to share our news with anyone yet.  It might be fun to wait til baby arrives to announce that.  We shall see!  :)

I think over the next 18 (or so) weeks I will start posting things that I am doing to help prepare us for the baby.  Maybe one post a week...or so...lol.  :)
I hope you guys are having a great day!
<3Alison

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainbow Flower Pots

I found this craft on-line (I think someone sent me a link to a crafting blog that suggested this as well) adn thought it was too cute not to do.  A huge plus is that this is a re-usable craft as well!  :)

We took a clay pot and painted it.  Yup, that's it.  But is it perfect for St. Patty's Day AND for spring.  I did my pot like a rainbow (think ROY G BIV) and the girls just painted theirs, although I did encourage them to use all of the colors of the rainbow.



I love doing crafts like these because not only are they cute but they are functional.  After they dry I will fill them with dirt and we will be able to plant a flower or a starter plant in it for our outdoor garden for this summer.

I just used kid's washable paint to paint the outside of the pot so it is not a pot that will be able to be left outside unless I do a clear top coat of shellack (sp?).
mine

Bee's

Butterfly's



They are super cute and I can't wait to plant in them.  :)
<3Alison

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Root Beer Cake

Today's plan is to make a fabulous Root Beer Cake!  YUM!  A friend of mind posted about it and I really want to try it.  I am going to be making it from scratch (since I don't like boxed cake mixes) and the recipe I got was for a box.  So we shall see how it goes!  :)

I used the same white cake recipe that I have posted before from foodnetwork.com.  You can find it here.  All I did was add 2 tsp of Root Beer Concentrate with the vanilla.  I did end up baking the cake for about 5 minutes longer than the original recipe stated but I am not sure why.  So keep an eye on it and see how it does at your house.

Then I used this vanilla icing recipe.



Despite my son deciding he was going to try the cake too (before I had removed it from the pan he had a golf ball sized hole in the cake) the cake was great!


 It was super moist and had just enough root beer flavor.  I brought this with to a dinner we were invited to and everyone loved it.


I hope you enjoy this recipe!  :)

<3Alison

Sunday, March 6, 2011

GAK...FINALLY!

Who knew that GAK could be this infuriating?!  I thought nothing of it that I needed liquid starch and Glue-All.  But geez!  We went to visit my parents yesterday and stopped in at their Wal-Mart (after checking on line to make sure they had it in stock, of course!) and picked up the dag gone liquid starch.

1 cup liquid starch
1 cup Elmer's Glue All
food coloring

Add the food coloring to the 1 cup of liquid starch and then add 1 cup of Glue All.  Mix together with spoon and then with hands.




Now this seems pretty easy, right?  Well, it can be tricky.  I was really starting to wonder if this stuff was ever going to come together.  I stopped using the spoon and started using my hands.  That helped.  And then I realized there was no way all the liquid starch was going to go into this glue.  So I took the glob out of the bowl and worked the GAK on a piece of plastic (flexible cutting board).  And then it REALLY started to come together.

So, in my experience you will have a bit of extra liquid starch left in the bowl but will still come out with a great piece of GAK.  :)


Hope you have fun with this one...I sure did...shhh don't tell the kids!  ;)


<3Alison

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Getting back on track...

...with Rainbow Cupcakes!  I can't WAIT to get these done.  I found the recipe here at familyfun.com.  I did change it a bit as I didn't use a cake mix (I don't like cake mixes).  I whipped up my own white cake from scratch.  I used this recipe from foodnetwork.com


Just in case you don't want to bop all over the internet I am posting the recpies below as well.  :)


White Cake



Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

The fine moist crumb of this cake complements any type of filling and frosting -- the perfect celebratory cake.
Set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape bowl and beater often. 


Taste a Rainbow





Ingredients
  • White cake mix (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
  • Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
  • Baking cups
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.
    RAINBOW COLORDROPS OF FOOD COLORING
    Purple9 red and 6 blue drops
    Blue12 drops
    Green12 drops
    Yellow12 drops
    Orange12 yellow and 4 red drops
    Red18 drops


  2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.
  3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.


    I will tell you now, DO THE 16 CUPCAKES!  I couldn't find my second muffin tin so I squished them into the one I had (12 cupcakes) and well, they are a little over full...lol.  

    I just pulled them from the pan and they look sooo good.  We had to taste them (some of the edges just fell off...shoot!  ;))



    So here is the finished product.  I chose to make a buttercream style frosting instead of the whipped cream.  It is a family favorite for us.  :)  Here is that recipe too.
    I used about 3-4 T of butter, 1 tsp of vanilla, 2 cups powdered sugar and about 2 T of milk.  Blended it together carefully (as if you don't you will get a face full of powdered sugar) and then iced the cupcakes.  :)

    ENJOY!
    <3Alison

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

GAK...or lack there of...

Today's post was going to be the GAK post.  Little did I know that it would be an adventure in and of itself to find the ingredients.  I knew I was not going to be able to find the Glue All in the podunk town I live in. So when we went to the bigger town 30 minutes away tonight I knew I would find it there along with the needed Liquid Starch.  Well...the Glue All...NO PROBLEM!  Walked to the right aisle on the first try.  The liquid starch...well, apparently it does not exsist out here!  Ugh.  So, my GAK post has to be delayed until another week.  When I can go to a BIGGER town to find the liquid starch.  Thank goodness that my parents live in the bigger town (which by the way is 1 1/2 to 2 hrs away) so I can at least use them as an excuse.  :)
Someday, you all will see a post from me on GAK...someday....

But for today you will have to wait.  I am so sorry I couldn't come through for you on this one.  I really did not anticipate these set backs.  Who knew that in the four stores I have been to that I would not be able to find liquid starch.  Anyone want to send me some???  I will send you some GAK in return!  ;)

<3Alison