Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome home!

My sister and her husband came home at the end of January from California.  We hadn't seen her since August  and him since the year before.  We REALLY missed them.  So, the night they flew in my parents picked them up from the airport while I made Julia Child's Beouf Bourguignon with mashed potatoes for dinner to have when they arrived. (Actually my friend, Mandy, had come over that day and she made most of it because I was running around doing everything else but making dinner! Thanks Mandy - it was perfect!!)  It had to be special because, well, it was a special occasion.  However, it was so good, I didn't have time to get a picture of it before it was all gone.

Yeah, it was that good.

Mom even ate what the girls' didn't eat:
Then I made Martha's Peach and Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake.  But I omitted the lavender.  Mine didn't come out as pretty as hers, but it did still taste good.  It looked like it was burnt to a crisp, but the butter and sugar browned very fast in the skillet.  It really wasn't burnt, nor did it taste that way - I promise!  Oh well.  It was still good.

The Baking Bug

I must have been bit by the baking bug because I've been baking a little more in the last couple of days.  The outcome was pretty tasty and fairly low in fat.  Who would have thought you can bake and it's guiltless?

First I made Martha Stewart's Old Bachelor's Jam and Blackberry Tart from her March 2010 issue.
I cheated a little though - I didn't make homemade jam, I bought a three-berry jam (blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry) from my local grocery store that was very good.  I also added raspberries to this.  It turned out very good and everyone loved it!

Here it is in the springform pan ready for the oven.

Ready to be served:
Then the next day, I wanted to make blueberry muffins.  I found a healthy and lower-fat recipe for them a while ago from Stoneyfield yogurt.  Although, I used my store brand yogurt - they still turned out delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The first thing I remember making as a child was my Grandma's famous chocolate chip cookies.  (It turns out she always used Crisco's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.)  I still love to make these and the other day Angelina helped me make a batch.  Aubrey was on some errands with Jeremy.

I love the look of cookie dough - it's so comforting.

Angelina just can't resist licking the spatula.  I let her because, you know, it's just part of the enjoyment of being a kid!

The yummy result:

Monday, March 8, 2010

March has a Grocery List!!!!

Click on the link to get  March's Grocery List

I worked on this for about 2 hrs. today.  When I was finished it all went away because, like a goof ball, I did not save it.  So, here it is after the 3rd month of doing this blog and promising a list and after 4 hrs. of work - TaDa!!!!

I divided things up into categories that I will use in my grocery store.  So, I hope you will have ease and enjoyment in your shopping experience.  Also, I made it small so it will print all on one page.  However, if it is too small you may want to enlarge it - don't ask me how - but you can if you can figure it out!

Valentine's Day 2010

Jeremy gave me roses this week as a belated Valentine's (it was a little tight the week of it!). They are the perfect and so fragrant and my favorite color too.

For the actual Valentine's Day everything was homemade. 
It really ended up quite fun!
First we started out early the week before making ladybug valentines for all their classmates and friends.  We found the idea here:  Ladybug Valentines


We had spent so much time and energy getting ready to take Valentine's to others that I totally forgot about doing anything for my own children!  So, at 1am that morning, I recruited my husband to make Valentine's cards for the girls while I made some little stuffed owls for them.  By 2:30am, everything was ready for the girls to wake up later that morning.  They loved what they found.

This was Angelina's:

This was Aubrey's:

I cut out hearts to hang from the chandelier:


Here were the owls I made for the girls from felt.  I found a couple of pictures online and then just did my best.  They really liked them and I have to say, they turned out kinda cute!

Then for dessert that day I made strawberry shortcake with heart shaped biscuits and I cut the strawberry on top to look like a heart.

The day before I made Jeremy and I a special and delicious brunch, complete with heart shaped ice cubes!

Fried Chicken

I made a low-fat oven fried chicken recipe the other day and it was really good!  I altered the recipe a little: I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts and used regular plain yogurt.  I also baked it on my broiler pan since I didn't have a ovenproof rack for my pan.  Here's the recipe: Oven Fried Chicken Recipe

Here was the outcome:

Going in the oven...


The sweet potatoe wedges all ready to go...


Ready, get set, eat...
You can see my iceberg lettuce wedges with homemade blue cheese - yum!
I changed up this recipe too.  Instead of using tarragon wine vinegar, I used white wine vinegar and sprinkled in a little tarragon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Treats

Today we took a trip to a neighboring town and went to one of our favorite coffee shops with the girls.  They wanted these chocolate mice for dessert, so we gave in and they got them.  The mice had a shortbread cookie base and the body consisted of the most delectable chocolate ganache.  The ears were small hazelnuts.  The whole thing was delicious.  (Yes, we made them share with us.)