Sunday, October 31, 2010

A day late...

I had written into The Look for Less for some cute outfit ideas for school and she featured her suggestions on her blog yesterday:
Check it out!!

Oh yes and sic 'em bears! : )

Monday, October 25, 2010

A tale of two cities

This weekend,
Cody was in Dallas to visit friends and for Muddy Buddy in which he competed with Warren, Nick and his brother Garrett.

Meanwhile, I was in Longview to run the Monster Dash
The moms and I pre-race

Right at the mile 1 marker that just happened to be at my parent's house
My 10k time

It was fun, but I missed you Carolina! I'm not used to running without a partner to talk to!

Then we cleaned up and my parents and I headed to Ft. Worth for the triplets' first birthday!! There were SO many precious babies there! It was amazing to see how much Jack, Addie, and Carter have grown up over this past year and all of the friends and family that love them so much!
Carter enjoying his new toy. This little one is a ham! The second I brought up my camera, he gave me this huge grin!

Erin and Ella helping the babies with the toy
I got to love on my sweet niece!
Addie playing with her new toys
All three of the 1-year olds enjoying their cakes!! Jack, Addie and Carter. Carter is the one who REALLY enjoyed his cake : ) He wasn't afraid to dig in!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Fall = yummy apple recipes!! Here are two that I've tried recently!
Quick Apple Pie a la Mode
from Rachel Ray
* 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice
* 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 4 apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* Vanilla ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie crust. Crimp the edges and pierce all over with a fork; bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup apple juice, the cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes; let cool.
3. In a bowl, combine the pecans with the remaining 2 tablespoons each granulated sugar and apple juice; spread on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and the coating has hardened, about 5 minutes.
4. Spread the mixture in the prepared pie shell. Top with scoops of the ice cream and the candied pecans.

Slow Cooker Applesauce
8 apples - peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1. Combine the apples and water in a slow cooker; cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice; continue cooking another 30 minutes.

Two other recipes that don't involve apples....
I made this dip last week and took it to Painting with a Twist
Baked Brie Recipe
* 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
* 1 round or wedge of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
* Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam
* Brown sugar
* 1/4 cup of maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. On a stick-free cookie sheet, lay out the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top.
3. Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top, cutting off excess dough. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.
4. Bake at 350ยบ for 25-30 minutes, pastry should be golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with crackers and apple slices.

Last Tuesday was a busy night, so I made this white chili on Monday night so it would be ready on Tuesday. Since its just Cody and I, I halved the recipe and we still had PLENTY for dinner and several lunches. I also forgot to get chopped chilies at the grocery, so I added an extra can of rotel and of course added some jalapenos because we basically cook those in all of our meals.
White Chili
3 cans navy beans
2 cans chicken broth
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
1 can chopped chilies
8 chicken breasts cubed
1 bunch fresh cilantro (chop the tops)
1 bunch green onions chopped
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or cheddar or “Mexican mix”)
1-2 chopped garlic
A little salt and pepper
1. Saute chicken in a skillet with a small amount of olive oil or reg oil
2. In a large soup pot put the following: beans, broth, tomatoes, chilies, and garlic. (I actually put the chicken in during this time). Simmer for 45 minutes.
3. Add chopped chicken, onions, and cilantro. Simmer 10 more minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and stir in cheese and serve it with tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Painting with a Twist

Apparently these places are becoming quite popular, but on Thursday night, some friends and I went to Painting with a Twist! We had picked a painting beforehand and while there, our instructor took us step by step through painting the picture. We had SO much fun and were quite impressed with our finished products!

On a random side note, the firefighters came to school on Friday with their firetrucks much to my kiddos' delight. They dress a teacher up in the firefighter clothing to show the kids that it is just clothes and that firefighters are not scary. I was the lucky one this year with my group, so here is your glimpse into what I might have looked like had I taken a different career path : )

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I just realized that I never shared the picture of our upstairs after we got new carpet back in August. SO thankful the blue is gone : )
Here's the before of the upstairs:


(and we put in a new fan)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken n Dumplins

I tried an update today on the traditional chicken and dumplings. I used my mom's original recipe as the "bones" of the meal and then added a few things from a Paula Dean recipe and a few things from an recipe = YUM-O : )

Chicken and Dumplings
Boil 4 Chicken Breasts (Add 1/2 onion cut into fourths, 2 slices lemon, 1 chicken bouillon cube, 1/2 tsp thyme, salt, pepper and garlic salt)
Cube Chicken after cooking. Remove onions and lemon from chicken broth.

2 cups flour 1 rounding tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt shortening- size of an egg
1 scant cup hot boiling stock
(Blonde disclaimer coming from the girl with a burned not put your hands into mixture to knead immediately after removing water from boiling chicken broth..duh..) Knead until not sticky. Roll out on floured surface. Cut in strips. Leave a little flour on the dumplings. Let dry for an hour or more. Drop in hot boiling stock and cook 10 minutes.
Add 1 can cream of celery soup. Add the cubed pieces of chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes.


Me, not you, no worries! Apparently I have been ignoring my poor little blog. What have I been doing might you ask? Teaching, cooking and running.....I've also managed to sneak a little friend time in! Also possibly a little shopping... The purchase I am currently most excited about is running shoes from Luke's Locker. I'm about to take them on their inaugural run. Woohoo!

A snapshot:
Dinah and I rollerblading a few weeks ago..

Carolina, Lauren and I running on our 10 mile long run around Memorial Park, to Buffalo Bayou and back. LOVE having downtown in the background!

On that note, I'm running in a 10k in a few weeks close to Halloween time and they encourage costumes...any ideas on something I can run 6 miles in? : )

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gotta be...Veggie Tales!

Last weekend Brad, Jen and Erin came to visit!!
On Saturday afternoon we headed down to Sugarland to take Erin to Veggie Tales Live. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it : )

Afterwards we headed into town to go to the Houston Children's Museum. It was free museum day and the place was PACKED. Thankfully, Erin is such a trooper and didn't mind waiting in line to get in. Once we got in that place was a madhouse, but we found the toddler area of the museum and it was a safe haven from the craziness.
Erin "spying" her parents
The largest Lite-Brite I have ever was so cool!

We then realized how starving we were and headed to the Ninfa's on Navigation (YUM) before heading home for cupcakes and Nemo.
I LOVE when they come to visit!!!

Random picture update
One day last week Carolina and I showed up basically as twins : )
Shopping for Bridesmaid dresses for Hannah's wedding
Dog park a few weeks ago:
E showing off her mad jumping skills
Our friends Brad and Lindsey's dog, Cooper, swimming for the first time
Chloe playing off in the "woods" on the big dog side...she always runs up to the dogs that look more like horses. Does she really not realize that she's only 8 lbs!?
Grayleigh and I with our awesome ABC shirts : )

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's already October!!

I'm home sick today with strep : ( So today I will be resting, reading, catching up on my DVR and possibly watching Disney movies :)
I am sure that today, at least one of my students will ask if it's Halloween. For 5 year olds, October = Halloween.

Here are a few recipes from last week
Baked Ziti
1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.
*This made a TON of if you're a twosome like we are, I'd suggest either halving it or being prepared to eat it as leftovers (for our leftovers: Cody added extra sauce, some spices like red pepper, mixed it together and added a new top cheese layer before baking it for a bit).

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE the crockpot.
Venison Roast
1 Venison roast (any cut)
2 cans condensed mushroom soup
1 oacket dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
Potatoes and carrots

Mix mushroom soup, wine and dry soup mix in a bowl. Place roast, carrots and cubed potatoes in the crock pot. Cover with the sauce mixture. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. Remove roast and slice.
*This was SO good!