Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ice Cream and Cakey Cake

Stinkin' Baskin Robbins commercial gets stuck in my head. The boy cannot stand it. If we sing it, he covers his ears and talks really loud so he can't hear us. That isn't what this is, though. My birthday is coming up next week. Yes, I'll be 21. Again. Just kidding. I'll really be 29. Again. Before I wear out a good joke, I'll get to the point. I was looking for the recipe for ice cream cake. My friend D gave it to me. I'm not sure where she got it, but I think it may be an old Pampered Chef recipe. It is so good, I have to share.

Ice Cream Cake

10 Oreos, crushed
1/2 cup milk
1 3.9 oz pkg chocolate pudding
1 12 oz container Cool Whip
12 ice cream sandwiches

With whisk, combine milk and pudding. Fold in half of Cool Whip and cookies. Arrange 6 sandwiches on cookie sheet or large plate. Add half of Cool whip mixture on top. Repeat with remaining sandwiches and remaining Cool Whip mixture. Decorate and/or freeze. Keep in freezer at least 30 minutes.

I like to use Nutter Butters and chocolate ice cream sandwiches. Mmmm. You can use whatever flavor cookie, ice cream sandwich, and pudding you want. I like to use a little more Cool Whip and frost the sides as well.

This is the cake that my kids request. This is the cake that hubby requests. This is the cake that I request. Love it, love it. I hope you get some enjoyment out of it as well.

Have a great day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Eating Good

I know that should be Eating Well, but whatever. Tomorrow is park day. We inevitably talk about food. Most of us are trying to eat better, get healthy, that kind of stuff. I was cleaning off the island and came across a magazine from our local grocery store that has some pretty interesting recipes in it. I post these for two reasons. One is to share with all my peeps. I love to cook and if I can help someone make a tasty meal, so be it. The second reason is so I don't have to keep them all in my recipe box. I've cleaned the darn thing out a million times and it is stuffed again. If I post them, I can go back and look them up. Sneaky I know. Here's a couple that caught my eye. You know what follows- changes.

One of the things that has really started to make the rounds in our group is hummus. Love it. I like hummus on chips, tortillas, tortilla chips, veggies. If I can put hummus on it, I'll eat it. Here's a recipe I found that seems pretty simple. It even lists add ins. It made the changes for me. How nice was that?


1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbls toasted pine nuts (optional)
1 Tbl snipped fresh parsley

In a blender or food processor combine garbanzo beans, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, oil and salt. Process until smooth, scraping sides if necessary. Spoon into serving dish. Garnish with pine nuts if desired. Sprinkle with parsley.

You can add in lots of things to this to really spice it up. You could add roasted red peppers or just red peppers. You could add green onions, olives, a little extra garlic. Whatever you like, add it. I would probably add some jalapenos for a kick. Yummy.

The other recipe that caught my eye was for turkey burgers. We eat a lot of ground turkey and anything new is good in my book. Keep changing it up, they don't get bored.

Asian Turkey Sliders

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 medium carrot, shredded or 1/2 cup packaged shredded carrot
1/3 panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1 Tbl soy sauce
18 to 20 oz ground turkey
3/4 cup napa cabbage (Chinese cabbage) or bok choy
Bottled sweet and sour sauce

In a large bowl, combine egg, carrot, panko, and soy sauce. Add turkey and mix well. Shape into patties. Place patties on a well greased grill rack over medium coals. Grill for 14 to 18 minutes or until done, turning once. Spread rolls with sweet and sour sauce, top with cabbage.

I don't like panko. Call me silly, call me crazy. I would probably just use plain bread crumbs or even crushed crackers or chips. Whatever you like as a binder. I would probably also add ginger. I prefer grated ginger root, but powdered ginger would work as well. Mix the sauce and taste before you add the turkey. You can adjust the seasoning to your taste. Also, buy whole carrots. You actually get more for your money and they are better for you. I might also add a little pineapple juice to the sauce. That's just the way I roll.

The last one is way easy. It's one of my favs when we go to the local pizza joint. I never even thought about making it at home, but it is easy, easy, easy.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 pizza crust of your liking
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Sliced veggies of your choice

Warm or cook your crust according to directions. Toss chicken with BBQ sauce. Layer chicken then veggies on crust. Top with cheese. Cook 10-12 minutes or until edge of crust is slightly brown.

Really, that's it. You can use whatever crust you like, whatever BBQ sauce you like. You can adjust it to your dietary standards or needs. I like it. Super simple is my favorite.

That's all I've got for now. Hopefully you have three new recipes you can use. Enjoy them. I know I will. Let me know if you have any changes you make that makes it better.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

You Should Be Dancin'

This is the boy in his ballet costume. He loved ballet. I didn't think he would because it doesn't allow him to be as free form as he likes. He ate it up. It helped that he really liked his ballet teacher, Miss Sally. He did an incredible job during the recital. His favorite part was the lifts. He got to lift three of the girls in his class during their routine. The audience loved it. I cried. I am so proud of his performance.
Are you looking at that beautiful baby girl? Great googily moogily. Her class this year was a half and half class. It was a half hour of tap and a half hour of ballet. Her routine this year was a ballet routine. She led the back row out and was spot on. She loves dancing. She wants to take ballet, but we'll have to see what she's old enough to take next year. She may have to do one more year of half and half. Her instructor is Mrs. Valerie. That's also my tap teacher. She is so good with the littles. The patience of Job that woman has. The baby loves dancing and she did an excellent job on stage as well. More kleenex, please.

This is the big girl in her hip hop costume. She loves it because it is easy to move in. Of course, her favorite part is the pink hair. It really made the outfit. It looked really good on her, too. I keep telling her I'm going to wear it next time we go to the grocery store. She just gives me that look. She is an amazing dancer. For those of you that know my sweet, shy big girl, you should have seen her funky self. During dress rehearsal, her hair piece came off and she just kept right on dancing. In the video you can see her kick it at one point, but other than that she ignored it until after the dance was over. I should have just brought a hanky. Mrs. Tiffany, her teacher, had a baby a few weeks before recital but still managed to get back and dance. With dedication like that, I know my kids are in good hands.
We take a break until September, when we start all over again. The big girl and I may take jazz this year. We're not sure, but we're mulling it over. The boy may take hip hop. The baby just wants to dance. I am so proud of my babies. They did such a great job. Again. I'm trying to get pics from the video, which my camera is supposed to do. We'll see how that goes. I'll post the videos when I get to a high speed connection.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The End- For Now

Last Friday was our last day of school for this year. It has been interesting for sure. This past year has brought change for good and bad. And again, it wasn't just the kids that were learning. I always try to be done before recital because that is such an investment in time. Well, we are, even with recital being two weeks early.

We took several field trips this year. I'm trying to plan another to a chocolate factory not too far from here. I'm just waiting to get the info from a friend.
  1. One of our favorites that we have done two years in a row is the Indian Pow-Wow. The pageantry and the love for customs and traditions always impresses me. I wish we could go in the evening when all of the dancers and participants have arrived, but we haven't been able to. One day.
  2. The alpaca farm was cool. We have decided that we want alpacas. Not sure where we would put them, but we want them. Of course, we also want chickens and goats, but somebody has to take care of them. I really don't want it to be me. Yes, I know, the kids could do it. They would, but with me reminding them to feed the animals, water them, clean up after them. Been there, done that. On a side note, did you know that the Florida alpaca farmers association, whatever it's called, has donated several thousand pounds of alpaca wool to the oil spill clean up efforts? The wool is water resistant, but will soak up large amounts of oil. They are thinking about dropping it into the Gulf and along the coastline. Go alpacas! As long as they aren't dropping the alpacas and just the fur.
  3. We also went to a local radio station. I realized as I was getting ready to write this that I hadn't posted about that trip. I posted the pics, but not about the trip. I'll get to it, I'll get to it. I still have all my notes. I found those, too. It was really neat to see the set up. It wasn't nearly as big as I thought it would be. I have been to several radio stations, and they were always in huge buildings with lots of office space. Not this one. I liked that.
  4. We missed one field trip to a local compounding pharmacy. I made it to the parking lot, but I was a mess that day. So was the back of the van when our water cooler fell over and spilled almost the entire contents, flooding the back of my van. I heard it was great.
  5. We went to learn about Seminole Indians and toured a pioneer village. That was very interesting. The food the Indians ate was not what I would want to eat every day, but they didn't have drive thrus, so really. I like looking back in time. Things were so much simpler. What a greta thing that is. I liek simple.
  6. St. Augustine was too much fun. I know it was a family get away, but we also learned about Florida history. We take every opportunity we can to learn. And if the learning is fun, all the better. We will definitely do that one again.

We found curriculum that works for most of us. LifePacs have been great for the boy. He loves them. The kids have really enjoyed Story of the World for history. It's me that needs a break. We are going to do a Constitution study with some American history thrown in. I have a feeling the baby and the big girl are going to blow through their math for next year, but we'll see. Next year is next year. This year they all did an amazing amount of work for as much time as we spent in the van. Changing that for next year. I am tired of car schooling. The kids are tired of car schooling. We need more family time schooling.

Co-op was fun this year. I love getting together with those wonderful women. It's interesting to see the different teaching styles. I did get to introduce them all to my love of lap books. The inventors one came out so good. It was huge! But we got through it and now I have others doing lap books for their school and our co-op. We are down to three members now. We need to have a discussion about where we want the co-op to go and if we want to invite new members. I just hope we continue. My kids learn so much more than they would just learning at home. We all do, including the moms.

The last two things on our agenda are recital and evaluation. The eval is going to wait until after recital. I am good with that. We dance with our evaluator and there is just too much going on right now to worry about it. I am so good with that. I do not need one more thing. One thing at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time. Some time off during the summer is exactly what we need.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Today was a good day. It was park day, duh. Lots of conversations that make you think. And then a big conversation with the big girl after, but that will be on the other blog. Friends are precious things to be treasured. Hubby worked some overtime, but got home in time to have dinner with us. Do I really need to tell you how much I love my crockpot? We had venison stew, mashed potatoes, and fried squash. I wish I had had bacon to cook the squash in, but I made do. Now we are doing family movie night. We are watching Facing the Giants. It is a fantastic Christian movie that we had seen last year and have been looking for ever since. I found it a couple of weeks ago and got it for hubby for his birthday. We went out of town and haven't had a chance to watch it until now.

The marinade for the venison is really good. It would be great for a roast or other big piece of beef. My friend ME gave me the recipe. Her husband is a hunter and she was kind enough to share the recipe and some venison. She had given us some ground venison and I made taco soup with it instead of hamburger. So good, so good. Here's the recipe for the marinade.

Venison-Camp Marinade

2 cups red wine
2 cups Italian dressing
1 cup soy sauce or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
2 to 3 lbs of venison (or beef)

Cover meat with marinade. Marinate for 12-24 hours. If grilling, add steak seasoning to meat while grilling. If cooking in crockpot, cook on high 5-6 hours, then on low for 2-3 hours. If one large piece of meat, cut into chunks halfway through cooking.

I will say that when you hear only use wine you would drink to cook with, I wholeheartedly agree. If you use cheap wine, you get an almost bitter taste. It tastes like cheap wine. If you like it, use it. I also cut it down to 1 1/2 cups instead of 2. The soy sauce can get a little overpowering as well, so I cut it down to 1/2 to 3/4 cup. I do add teriyaki to cut some of the soy taste. I didn't have Italian dressing, but I did have a balsamic viniagrette. That was really good. You could add more dressing if you have it to help cut the wine taste if you want. DO NOT ADD SALT. The soy sauce will take care of that. I add pepper and basil and oregano. I also only cook it on low. It cooks all day and is so tender and delicious.

This is Mother's Day weekend. I am seriously thinking about a pedicure. Being a mom is the best job in the world. I am so blessed to have the family that I do. God has blesed my life with wonderful children and a fantastic husband. I am the richest person in the world. Have a great Mother's Day, ladies. Enjoy every moment of your blessings.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mini Vacation

We so needed a break. Our last vacation was Thanksgiving two years ago. We have done some things, gone places, but not like a real vacation. It was time. It was way past time. Saturday morning we loaded up the kids and went to St. Augustine. I would post pics, but because I was trying to delete something else, I actually deleted all the pictures on my camera. I am so angry at myself, but that's another post for another time. On with the trip.

We had a hanger on. We found it after we got there and we all decided that we would do a Flat Stanley like group of pictures. A couple of weeks ago we did a photo scavenger hunt with the youth at church. One of the girls that rode with me left a sock in the van. The kids were supposed to get all the trash and extras out, but left Sock. We took Sock to several of the places we visited and took pictures. Sock seemed to have a good time, but didn't say much.

There was a small glitch in the plans. We had booked a room after looking at several hotels on the internet. Did you know that everything you see on the internet isn't true? Amazing, I know. They even gave our room away. We had booked the room because of the amenities and extras. One of the extras was a kiddie water park. They had one, but it wasn't working. They had a 116 ft water slide. It was cool, but the pool was peeling and cracking on the bottom. We had been to three different rooms, each one progressively worse. The doors didn't shut, the keys didn't work, I could go on and on. We decided to change hotels after dinner, and finally found a room at a different hotel after looking at three others. We wound up at Hampton Inn for our second night and were much happier. If you go to St Augustine, call me first and I'll tell you where to not go.

The first place we visited was the fort. It was amazing. The price was right and our pass was good for 7 days. We toured the fort and got there in time to see the "changing of the flags." It was a reenactment of the Spanish exchange with the British. They even fired the cannon. We so want a cannon. We wandered through the courtyard and some of the rooms. It was amazing to think that hundreds of people had wandered the very same places we were over hundreds of years ago. We went back the next day to look at the moat. That was cool. We encountered some wildlife down there including a black snake that was more scared of us than we were of him. We could tell by the way he slithered away from us as quickly as he could. Sock wanted his picture taken with him, but that snake wouldn't hold still. It wouldn't smile, either.

The second day we visited the lighthouse. We actually went there before we got to the fort. We climbed 216 steps, 165 ft tall. I will suggest that you don't climb that many stairs before you tour a fort and walk downtown. Just saying. Hubby had gone to the lighthouse at Ponce Inlet as a child and never made it to the top. The big girl was terrified of going that high. They did it. The big girl did this weird puppy whining thing all the way up. I told her to just focus on the next step. We did have to stop and rest a couple of times. Thankfully, they had several landings. The accomplishment at getting to the top, specially for hubby and the big girl, was a very surreal moment for them both. I stepped out onto the deck with the boy and the baby, both of whom raced straight to the railing. I took one look out and went back inside. I had to turn around and face the lighthouse and edge my way to the door. Hubby ended up taking them to see all the way around. He didn't look and faced the building all the way, but he did it.

I stood inside holding the big girl. I am constantly amazed at her resilience and fortitude and braveness. She didn't want to go up. She hated the thought of it. She whimpered and whined all the way up. But she never quit. She took rest breaks with the rest of us, but she never quit. While the baby and the boy practically ran all the way up, she forced herself to take each step. And she took them. I held her at the top while she cried. I praised her for facing yet another fear. I am so incredibly proud of her. I'm proud of hubby, too. They were amazing and I am honored to be part of their family.

Because we are gluttons for punishment, after the lighthouse and jelly legs when we were done, after taking the fort tour and wandering around there, we decided to walk downtown and have lunch and do a little shopping. We had great Greek food and tried on cute clothes in some cute boutiques. We have decided that next time, and there will be a next time, we are staying downtown. There was so much we didn't have time to see and do. The streets were narrow and crowded. If we don't have to drive, we don't want to.

It was a much needed get away for us. We ate too much and spent too much money. We swam in the pool, lingered in the hot tub, and walked the beach. There were no electronic games, no TV. Just us together. After all of the things we saw, the food we ate, and the activities, we are so glad to be home. And, today is hubby's birthday. Happy birthday, Hubby. Thank you for a great weekend. We are recharged. We feel more connected. We need a vacation from our vacation. But we would do it all over again. Even the lighthouse.

Have a great day.