Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chocolate=Happy Hubs

Not many people know this, but...James LOVES chocolate!! Last year he ordered a chocolate bunny from one of my brothers for a school fundraiser. He "patiently" waited for his bunny to arrive...the day finally came. My mom brought it over when coming over to help paint.

Mom: Guess what we brought?!?!
James-not really paying attention...
Mom-pulls the box with the bunny in it out of her bag.
James: **Huge gasp** My chocolate bunny!!! **Huge smile**

We all got the giggles...what kind of grown man gets that excited about chocolate? He ate that bunny in 2 servings!! It was a really more of a chocolate rabbit than a bunny. This year there was no fundraiser. Wanting to see my husband to be that crazy happy again I bought him a chocolate bunny. This one is about half the size of the one last year. Tonight he shyly (I know...weird right?) asked if he could eat his bunny. I told him I didn't really care if he ate his bunny or not. About 5 minutes later, I look over and he ate the whole ears!

Me: You're supposed to make that last more than 2 servings!
James: **Reads back of package** Umm...nuh uh! It says right here...2 servings!!

So I guess that means I was wrong...dang!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pasta ai Quattro Formaggi-Week 12

Week 12 of my year of recipes! Can you believe it?!?! With all the stuff going on in my bathroom this week I didn't think I was going to get a new recipe done. However, I decided to pull on my big girl panties, buckle down, and get to work...more work! I hung my cabinet doors, put in drawers, attached handles and hinges and put away all flammable materials. So...my kitchen was a little less hazardous to  cook in! My mom said pasta ai quattro formaggie would be a good, easy recipe to try, since I didn't even think to look for a recipe before going grocery shopping. I thought, "Seriously, she must be kidding!" I can't hardly cook, much less cook something so fancy sounding. Apparently, pasta=noodles, ai=have no idea, quattro=four, formaggie=cheese. So "noodles with four kinds of cheese", she should have just said that! Mom told me the main ingredients, I bought them and made dinner for my hubs last night. Mom found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog and has tried it at least once.

Mom said I could just use three cheeses. She recommended cheddar, asiago and Parmesan. Pioneer Woman says you can use whatever four cheeses you want. PW even uses goat cheese! I think someday I might acquire a taste for it (maybe) and try to use it in my cooking. I just really don't like it cold on a cracker and have never had it IN food.

James grilled chicken while I made the pasta. We just cut it into chunks and ate it on top of our cheesy noodles! I really liked it with the chicken, but I think it needs more garlic. That could just be me though 'cause I LOVE GARLIC! Anyway...Mom is coming over to watch little man while I work on painting my bathroom today. Almost done!! Gotta go so I can get pics of bathroom posted...SMILEY FACE! Bye!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Refinishing the Bathroom

I used my "Cabinet Transformations" today. I finished the cabinets in my bathroom, except for the last step. They just need the protectant on them tomorrow and TA-DA!
**A huge "THANK YOU" to my sister-in-law Amy!! She came and spent the day helping me do my cabinets. And then offered to watch Ian this afternoon and tonight, so I could keep working.**

 To start you have to wash, use a deglosser, and paint the cupboards.
The paint needs to dry and then you paint it again.

 After 2 coats of the "paint" use the deglazer. I was super stressed out about this! Probably didn't help that I had already been working on cupboards and painting for 10 hours....ugh. I think the color looks pretty good. Had one weird spot on one of my long doors...I got it to blend though, so we're ok!!

 To avoid the issue I had on my cabinet door, I did the side of my cabinet in rows (instead of doing the top half and then the bottom half). This seemed to work much better with how much working time I had with the deglazer before it dried. This looks more "streaky" in the picture than it does when you look at it.

 I can't wait to get the top coat on and get the doors and drawers back in! I was hoping to get my painting done today too but only got the ceiling painted. Which I think was an accomplishment for how long the cabinets took!

The vent cleaned up with just water (will get washed, with soap, when I can get to my sink!). I vacuumed out the vent and light area. I will be spray painting the vent cover as soon as I get the paint.

Doesn't it look so much better??
I painted the ceiling a really light gray...what do we think of gray ceilings? Or colored ceilings in general?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So busy....

So this is the cupboard under my sink. Doesn't look so scary...does it?
I have a confession.....IT'S A MESS!!!

 Not so much dirty...more along the lines of severely challenged in the organizational department.
I have really been wanting/needing a bag storage thingee from IKEA. So when in Minneapolis for the weekend I went to IKEA...and guess what I did? You know I bought one!!!

Still not gorgeous, but organized!
On the left, we have my bag storage thingee.
On the right, there in the box, is all my dishwasher stuff and garbage bags.
My vinegar for mopping floors and my "crinkley" bags for toys are in the back.

My tub is in the bathroom...it looks great.
On to my next HUGE project....cabinets, painting, lighting, and I have a special plan for the mirror!!

Before pics:

 My "before" cabinets aren't terrible but I have a vision...and the "Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations." Seriously, typing that gives me chills!! Can't wait to use it!!

 The mirror is huge and since my bathroom is so small I'm going to keep the huge mirror up. I have a plan to make it look better and I'm hoping to get that done next week.

 I hit Lowe's hard  tonight!
Light fixture (need globes yet): $40
Paint and pan: $20
Knobs and Hinges: $30
The awesome totes: $8 each!!
Also, thanks to the nice man at Lowe's, I found out I really don't need to replace the vent with the light.
Instead, he recommended trying to spray paint it. Savings: $100...Wowsers!!

 Two of my 4 totes will be used for organizational puposes. The other 2 will be in a new project I want to attempt soon. I am planning to make myself a bench for my living room. I found the red fabric for 75 cents at a thrift store! It's a table cloth but I think it'll make a great cover for the cushion!

I made Ian a little knit hat today. It's pretty plain but it fits him and keeps his little ears from the wind.
He looks even more like Daddy in black!! Scary!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lime Herb Chicken

 Ian's "first" trip outside. He's usually under a blanket!
It was actually fairly nice. We look cold but his carrier was up in this picture.

It was really fun to listen to him giggle about Harley (the dog to the right) running around.
He was getting kind of hysterical!! It was really sweet!

Ok...so this is Week 11 of my recipes. I forgot that last week I made one of my favorites (a cross between Salisbury steak and strogonoff) with a few variations. I will try to put that up later this week...so yummy! Anyway, tonight I made Lime Herb Chicken. It was fairly easy and really tasty! Plus, we made it on the grill so that got us all out of the house. Fresh air does the body good!!

Lime Herb Chicken
1 cup lime juice
2/3 cup Italian salad dressing
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-4 pounds), cut up
 This was the whole chicken. I have never actually cut up a whole chicken to cook, just to make into soup or eat off, so it really didn't matter what it looked like. So I tried my best and I thought the pieces turned out well. I was grossed out though when I got to the guts! I think I would buy the stuff that's already cut into pieces next time.

 How did I do?? The thighs are a little small but overall it went good.

 In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Pour I cup of marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; marinate for 15 minutes. Set aside remaining marinade for basting.

 Drain and discard marinade from chicken. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 40-45 minutes or until juices run clear, basting occasionally with 1/2 cup reserved marinade.

 Brush remaining marinade over chicken just before serving. Doesn't it look just delish? It was very good...a little limey, if I would have had time to make the rice I was going to, it would have been perfect! Unfortunately, there was a cranky kiddo when it came time to make rice and carrots. Carrots were good with it though! It didn't take the full 40 minutes to cook, only about 25.

My beautiful lime/lemon juicer...that I bought for $2. I was really excited about my bargain...until I finally used it tonight. Two halves of lime into making dinner and the handle cracked right off!! So I had to juice all my limes with a fork...sad! I guess sometimes a bargain isn't really all that great of a deal :o(

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oh No!! We got the gunk!


Baby and Proud Papa!!

I went to bed Sunday night with an itchy eye...I woke up not able to open it! I had to have a friend go get the pinkeye drops for me because I didn't dare drive a car! Then last night my other eye started itching....this morning I woke up to a crazy eye on that side. Will it end?
**Please excuse my hair!**

I altered this shirt last week. My parents gave James and I this shirt when we got married...with a request for at least one grandbaby to fill it! It has been filled. Anyway, it was only a short sleeved t-shirt so I made some sleeves from an old black t-shirt I found in our closet and sewed them on! Turned out cute...I think anyway!

Grandma thinks I look like the Gerber baby...do you?

Ian has been having gunky eyes for the last week...but never got pinkeye. So I finally brought him to the doctor to see if he had a sinus infection or something. They checked his lungs and he had something there. So they did blood work to see if he had RSV. While they were checking that they had me give him a nebulizer treatment. The mask they gave me for him was so cute and I told the nurse, "Oh! It's so cute. I need a picture for my blog!!" Then she showed me how to hold him, turned on the machine and walked out of the room...leaving me there with a screaming baby who was doing everything in his power to get away from his cute dino mask! This continued for about 10 minutes, in which time I did not even entertain the idea of taking a picture of him in his mask!! The test came back negative for RSV so, in an effort to avoid any unnecessary antibiotics and neb. treatments, they ran it again for some other things including croup and another virus that acts like RSV.

Turns out, I made the right decision! Those tests also came back negative! So, what's wrong with my baby?? He has bronchialitis, which I understand is like bronchitis but in the bronchial tube. For right now we are watching him closely, he has a cool mist humidifier in his room and hopefully we can avoid the neb. treatments. He actually slept good last night with the humidifier! I'm hoping we can keep that up!
**Sorry about the messy table. This picture of Ian is too cute to pass up though!**

James and I are going on a mini vacation this weekend to Minneapolis. Ian is staying behind with the Grandparents. Hoping all will go well with him this weekend!

So, needless to say we don't have a new recipe this week. Sorry! I'll get back to it next week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weeks 8 and 9...baby legwarmers...and a cute baby!

 "Are you my mother?" Ian's Christmas gift from Uncle Peppers

 Just being stinkin' cute!


By the way...It has been crazy around here the last couple weeks! It may not have actually been busy but running on the little sleep my delightful little boy thinks I need....I'm running on empty. Anyway, I have been keeping up on my cooking just didn't have time to post it! This week (last night actually) Ian rolled all over the floor! He could only go one way until he got stuck and we had to turn him to go the other way! Such a cutie! On to the recipes!! I made Gorgonzola Chicken Penne last week...well kinda. I asked my Gma what kind of cheese Gorgonzola was, and then decided that much of such a strong cheese would be too much for me. So I substituted Parmesan. SO...here we have Parmesan Chicken Penne! This is from...where else...the Taste of Home cookbook I got for Christmas!

1 pkg (16 oz) penne pasta
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cups (8oz) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (I used Parmesan)
6-8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced (I used ground sage)
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan and minced fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown the chicken in oil on all sides. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.

Add cream and broth; cook until the sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink. Stir in the cheese, sage, salt and pepper; cook just until cheese is melted.

Drain the pasta; toss with sauce. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and parsley.

This is SO GOOD!! I messed up the chicken so it was a little dry...I'll make it right next time!

This weeks recipe is one that I have had for 5 years!! Can you believe it?!? I think I have had this at my mom's house but I have never made it or helped to make it. So this one is Garlic Salmon Linguine.

1 pkg (16 oz) linguine
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 can salmon, drained, boned, skinned
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Prepare linguine according to package.

In large skillet saute garlic in oil. Stir in broth, parsley, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in salmon. Cook until heated through. Add salmon mixture to linguine (drained) and toss to coat.

Let set, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

I really liked this. James isn't a huge fan of salmon so he isn't over the moon about it. I think next time I make it I will try adding half chicken broth and half whipping cream. Maybe try with different kind of meat sometime...for James...just 'cause I love him!

These are some little baby legwarmers I made. I used a tutorial at Samster Mommy's blog to make them. LOVE THEM!! Can't wait to make more! Do we think Ian needs some little Spider man legwarmers??