Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Using YouTube For Personal Hygiene

Why is it that I always remember to cut baby's fingernails when nobody is around to distract her? Yesterday I figured out that I can use YouTube to my advantage.

1. Go to
2. Search for "laughing baby."
3. Play any number of the clips over and over until each of the 10 tiny fingernails are no longer razor sharp.

This also works for bad days, stressed moments, or when trying to get your 3 year old to laugh herself out of a tantrum.

This is one of my

Go to Rocks In My Dryer to check out more Works-For-Me Wednesdays ideas!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Our "MUST" for Thanksgiving

I am linking this to 12 Days lf Bloggie-mas at A Moderate Life!

Curried Cauliflower! Sounds funny but I love it. Another traditional side dish in my family that is one of my comfort foods. It's not something you would want to make all of the time (my kids won't eat it) but it's something I make on major holidays. Make it with fresh or frozen cauliflower. Make it with mild or hot curry. Make it "light" with low fat soup, cheese and mayo. Just try it, try it and you'll a box, with a fox.....! You may just find it on your must-have list. You'll appreciate that it's another easy recipe :)

Curried Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower (or 2 bags frozen)
½ tsp salt
1 can cream of chicken soup (or make-your-own cream soup concentrate, like I do!)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder
½ cup bread crumbs
4 T melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces and steam until tender. Mix salt, soup, cheese, mayonnaise, and curry in a casserole dish. Add cauliflower. Mix well. Mix bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over the top of casserole. Bake for 30 minutes.

P.S. This is also a good after Thanksgiving meal - just add cut up turkey, and cranberries if you are feeling festive!

***Go over to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for some more festive recipes! Enjoy~

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Crazy About Crust

I've never been a big fan of crust (making it or eating it), therefore pumpkin pie is only the pumpkin filling for me. Last week I found a recipe long hidden in my recipe box. I think it came from one of my old church cookbooks because it's name is....The GREAT Pumpkin Dessert! How original :) I made this for my small group but with the disclaimer "I'm really not sure how this will all turn out." Lucky for me, the group is OK with experimental desserts. It was so much better than pumpkin pie because, instead of a crust, it had a crunchy and sweet topping. And did I mention that it is very, very easy?? Bonus!


One can pumpkin (15 oz)
One can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
One yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

In a medium mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, condensed milk, eggs, and spice until smooth. Pour into 9" x 13" dish. Dump yellow cake mix (dry) on top of the pumpkin mixture. Pour butter as evenly as possible over the top. Bake at 350°F for one hour or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

P.S. The picture is of some pumpkin cupcakes that I had made for Emma's kindergarten class.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Early Christmas Baking

I got to start making Christmas cookies already! I know it is really too early for that but our church is collecting cookies to send to our troops. In order to make sure they have them by Christmas, we have to get them to church today. Soooo.....Here is my first Christmas recipe of the season :)

Paradise Sugar Cookies

makes 3 dozen small cookies
· 1 cup
granulated sugar
· 1 cup
powdered sugar
· 2 cups
· 3/4 teaspoon
· 1 large
egg, beaten
· 4 1/3 cups
cake flour = important (I've never used cake flour before but it really makes a difference)
· 3/4 teaspoon
baking soda
· 3/4 teaspoon
baking powder
· 1/4 teaspoon
sugar, for decorating

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
3. Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
5. Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
6. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not over mix.
7. Scoop with an ice-cream scoop and roll in sugar.
8. Place directly on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with palm of hand.
9. Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown. They will look a little underdone.

I am normally not a big fan of sugar cookies but these are yummy. They are very light and delicate (hopefully they will ship well). My husband wasn't as impressed because they were not sweet enough. Maybe that is why I like them so much.
It is time for the Recipe Swap Challenge at the Grocery Cart Recipe Swap. Go check out the great recipes!
There's a button on the bottom of my site that links you to a great gift giving guide. Check it out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall Garden Experiment

I truly have gardening in my blood. My grandpa was a tomato farmer in MN (as well as other relatives who still have nurseries up there) and my father devotes most of his free time to his extensive gardens. I think he retired just so he could spend more time in the garden.

One of my fondest memories of growing up was going to the St. Paul Farmer's Market early Saturday morning to help sell produce, eat ham and cheese bagels, and play with my cousins. I worked at a nursery and craft store throughout high school and a small nursery one summer in college (I have had an abundant amount of jobs, but that is another post altogether). With my last two babies I planted instead of nested. My children, who are ecstatic to get a shovel and plant seeds, know where veggies actually come from. They have seen it happen. So you get the picture, I love gardening.

Last winter my Dad came for a visit and dug up a garden bed and started tons of seedlings for me. Besides the sunflowers, the garden did not do well. I think the summer is just too hot for things down here. I've planted things before for the summer season but never had great results. When he came down again after Scarlett was born he dug another two beds and two sides along the house. Tons more space! So I have experimented with a fall garden. It is doing great! I have 20+ tomato plants (I really cannot help myself, it's an addiction), bell peppers, banana peppers, habenero and jalapeno peppers, string beans, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, red onions, scallions, a lettuce mix, various herbs and an eggplant that has hardly made it past a seedling. You can tell you have a gardening problem when you start planting things you don't even normally eat (radishes).

The tomatoes have really blossomed in the past few week. I think they like the cooler weather we have been having. I'm so used to the traditional northern summer garden that each thing is toss up. The true scientist (nerd) that I am, I have been keeping notebooks as to what grows well, when, where, and for how long. Maybe in a few years I'll have it down. For now, I keep vigilant watch on my little tomato babies! Soon the girls will be eating them right off the plants quicker than I can get my hands on them.

P.S. I hate squirrels. They are doing as much "gardening" in my beds and pots as I am.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sock Monkey Family

After 3 children we have finally learned that babies 1. can't open presents, 2. don't care that they get anything for Christmas, and 3. would be perfectly happy with the box that your present came in. Therefore, while not wanting to completely leave Scarlett out of gifts, I decided to make her a sock monkey.

I can copy almost anything. I would love to say I'm wonerfully creative but I often get my crafty ideas elsewhere. After seeing several adorable sock monkeys on, and not wanting to spend the money on them, I set out to make my own. They have great instructions here (although I modified mine a bit to make them my own).

Now be assured that Scarlett will have plenty of presents under the tree (we have lots of great family) just one really cool sock monkey made with love from her mommy!

WARNING: They multiply! When one child sees the sock monkey that mommy is making for her sister she will ask for one as well. I have ended up with one for each girl (upon request) and have one in the works for a little friend down the street that saw them in production!

About me

I have too many interests. Really. There is not enough time in the day. I was the kid in 4-H who took 15 different projects just because I couldn't decide on a specialty (plus I wanted to make as much money as I could come fair time :). My mom and dad both had so much they could help me with, so why not try it all? I love to garden, sew, woodwork, cook, bake, craft, etc. I am wife to Mark (an amazing teacher and coach), mother to three wonderful daughters, and in love with Jesus. I have dozens of different projects (and books) started and much too little free time to finsh them all! Let's see what I can share!