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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick Burrito

YUMMY, yummy in my tummy. I pretty much love anything Mexican food related but I especially love, cheesy baked Mexican burritos. Unfortunately, the children don't agree. SO..I decided to make a burrito for one.

What you'll need:

1/2 C Taco meat
2 T Queso Cheese Dip ~ that you buy in the chip aisle. I'm partial to the Monterey Jack one.
2 T Mexican blend Cheese
Chopped Tomatoes
Salsa~I like Thick and Chunky, but feel free to use whatever you like
1 t Chili Powder
1/2 t Cumin

Put your taco meat in the middle of your tortilla. Top with Queso Cheese Dip.
Top with couple tablespoons of Salsa
Mexican blend cheese
Tomatoes and Lettuce last or you could throw some beans on if you're feeling sassy.
Fold in each side and fold like an envelope. Place seam side down in sprayed pan
Mix 3/4 C Salsa with 1 t Chili Powder and 1/2 t Cumin and pour on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. You can throw some more Mexican cheese on top the last 5 minutes if you want.
Top with sour cream and YUMMY!

Monday, February 27, 2012


I watched Claire's dance team a couple of weeks ago and when we got to the car, she asked what I thought. I said, "Your smile was awesome but the team...well, I don't think the team is going to place this year". She admitted that she was worried about the same thing because they have some girls that don't take it serious enough. Her dance team only practices once per week and the rest of the week, it's up to each dancer to practice on their own.

She asked specifically how she did and I told her about a couple of parts that I thought she could have done better. She didn't agree. She watched the tape, came in and said, "yep, you're right. I have to work on some things".

Work on some things she did. She took it to heart and worked on those parts over and over again at home until she had it down.

Now, I realize that some people might not think you should be "that" honest with their children, your eleven year old daughter who is simply doing something that she loves "good enough". But I've never been that Mom, if you ask me a question, you had better want the truth because that's what you're getting.

I told Claire a couple of years ago before competition started for her and she wasn't taking it very serious, that she wouldn't be the dancer that didn't know the dance. I would not allow her to be part of a team that she didn't give 110% to. She took that to heart. Does it mean she doesn't make mistakes? Absolutely not, BUT she knows that she was giving it everything she had and she is proud of that and also takes that as a lesson that we're all human and we all make mistakes once in awhile. In all fairness to Claire, mistakes are few and far between and her lovely smile NEVER leaves her face.

That brings me to yesterday. Claire's jazz group took the floor, last of all performing teams. They had some tough competition and I felt dread. I hoped that they would at least be somewhat together. The music started and POW, those girls were sharp, they were all smiling, their turns were ON and they were having fun. When the awards were announced Richfield/Bloomington was 2nd PLACE!!! WOO HOO!!

Back to change costumes and hit the kick section of the day, also performing last. Again, tough competition but they were sharp and smiling. Unfortunately they had some errors but they still took home the 3rd place spot!!

I'm proud of the team for working out the problems. I'm thankful to her wonderful director who doesn't mince words and got those girls on track. But mostly, I'm proud of my wonderful daughter who is doing what she loves with pride and heart.

Here she is dancing her jazz dance.
Team ribbon shot~2nd place!
Kick routine

Ribbon shot~3rd place
My little girl who is growing up!
You were FANTASTIC Claire. I love you!

Friday, February 24, 2012

End of the season

Six hockey games and three dance performances in less than a week. OH and my mid-term, put a fork in me..I'm close to done:)

Max's season finished up on Tuesday night. We didn't make it out of district play offs this year but they played hard and won 11 of their last 15 games.

I watched Dylan finish his high school Varsity career on Thursday night with tears in my eyes. He played a great game and I am SO proud of him!

And, tonight we'll go and cheer TJ on at his last scrimmage of the season.

So, no new recipe for today. Tonight we're going out to dinner because this hockey Mom needs to recharge her batteries.

Sunday begins competition dance season for Claire. Time to put on my Dance Mom hat:) GO CLAIRE!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

She can SEE!!

We had a big event at our house. Girlie got contacts!

It's been a learning curve with getting them in but she is loving every second of it as you can see here. Here she is in her first performance without glasses!! GO CLAIRE!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dipped Oreos

Max LOVES dipped Oreos. I'm not a fan of the box of 20 for $4. I found some white chocolate on sale and bought generic Oreos and gave an idea a whirl.

I melted the chocolate, white chocolate in this case, and dipped the Oreos. I put them on wax paper to dry and when Max took a bite, he said, "They taste just like real ones".

YAY. Easy and I save some money in the process.

What you'll need:

White Chocolate~you can use anything from white chocolate chips, to block Almond bark to those melts you buy at Michaels.
Bag of Oreos or Oreo Generic

Melt your chocolate. You can do this in the microwave, mine takes about 1 min and 45 seconds. Or on top of the stove over low heat. When the chocolate is melted, dip your Oreo and place on waxed paper. Chill and eat.

I got this on sale, but any white chocolate chip would work.
Chop it up because it makes for faster melting.
It took 1 minute 30 seconds in my microwave to look like this.
Give the cookie a dip, drip off excess and put on waxed paper to harden
If I was making them to bring somewhere, I would wait until they hardened and dip the side that didn't get chocolate the first time. But for my kids..this is done.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Senior Night

I know I've said this before, but seriously, where has the time gone??

I remember Craig taking Dylan to the local ice rink when he was 2 years old to teach him to skate. They would bring a folding chair and Dylan would push it across the ice, hop on and Craig would twirl him around the ice back to where he started and he would do it all over again. OVER and OVER again. He loved skating and he loved his Uncle Craig.

I think he was 6 when we signed him up for his first team and he was the best skater out there. Since that time, he hasn't stopped playing. He is an awesome offensive defensemen who is solid on his feet. A bunch of different teams, camps, his favorite one was a camp in Tampa with his favorite team Tampa Bay Lightening and many other memories he has stored of his days on the ice.

But tonight was his last home game and senior night for the Varsity Novas. They won 6-2 and Dylan played his solid defense. I've been teary in the weeks leading up to today but Tina and I had our "game" faces on and celebrated him. Another milestone but one that is bittersweet because I won't get to cheer him on at his games anymore. He's headed to college in September and his plans to play are strictly recreational and not competitive.

Here is his senior photo with one of his early photos on the left.

Tina, Craig, Alivia and I on the ice sharing his special moment.
I am SO proud of you Dylan!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hot Pockets

What was my inspiration for this recipe?

I didn't want to throw another frozen pizza in the oven. Truth be told, I think I was out of them.

I was tired and didn't know what to make for dinner.

I think it's important that my kids have some form of a home cooked meal for dinner.

I had leftover chicken and my kids have developed a taste for things with melted cheese but they won't eat chicken in a quesadilla??

Searched the fridge and found some crescent rolls.

I've made a variation of this before, but it involved more ingredients. Ingredients my children won't eat.

I gave it a name they recognized and gave them a look that they better take a bite. They not only ate what was given to them, Max had seconds.

What you'll need:

Can Crescent Rolls
1 1/2 C chopped Chicken
1/2 C Cheese ~ your favorite shredded
1 t Garlic Powder

Mix Chicken, Cheese and garlic together

Roll out and press the seams together. Cut into 4 rectangles.
Put 1/3-1/2 C of your filling down the middle of one of the rectagles.
Fold over and seal edges. Ready for the oven. Bake at recommended temp on package for about 12 minutes.
Make some fries and dinner is served

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ziploc Bag Ice Cream

I found a recipe for ZIPLOCK BAG ICE CREAM
and thought it sounded like a fun thing to do at a party. The caption said, "Have the kids make their own ice cream in about 5 minutes with ziplock bags and simple ingredients"! Well, let me say that it wasn't as easy as it sounds.

My daughter and her friends got all the ingredients together. We had a veteran in the group who had done it before and told us that when she did it last time, one person lost their ice cream into the bag of ice and others complained that their ice cream tasted like salt. So we double bagged the "ice cream" part and got started.

"OMG my hands are freezing" they said almost immediately.

I got some stretch gloves out of the cupboard and the tossing, shaking and rotating continued. They did it for almost 8 minutes and 2 out of 3 didn't look like ice cream. We had "some" texture going on but not much. We opted to throw just the bags of "ice cream" in the freezer for 10 more minutes. Took them out of the freezer and 2 out of 3 turned out almost perfect. The third one was the similar to a malt in consistency.

Would I do it again? The kids thought it was FUN but I'm kind of a been there, done that kind of girl and this has been done. It was fun for the first time so give it a try and let me know what you think.

What you will need:

- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup half & half
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 quart-size ziplock bag
- 1 gallon-size ziplock bag
- Ice cubes

How to make it:

1. Fill the large bag half full of ice and add the rock salt. Set aside.
2. Put half & half, vanilla and sugar into the small bag and seal it.
3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal it again carefully.
4. Shake the bag until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 minutes.
5. Wipe off the top of the small bag and open it carefully. Eat it!

*Makes about 2 scoops of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. Don't increase the proportions too much though-- a large amount could be too heavy for kids to pick up.*
Ready for business
Shake, shake, knead, knead
Finished product

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Thank you internet for the beautiful photo that I bring you today. The only roses you'll see around my house because I have always thought it was silly to spend three times the money just because it was February 14. Yes, I'm that girl..the one who gives others a bad name;)

I wish all of you a lovely day and hope that you get that something special that makes you smile. If you don't, check out my chocolate recipes and make yourself smile...this one does it for me:)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Apple Hearts

I realize that it's the day before Valentine's Day but these are so easy you can throw these together for a fun treat. Seriously it takes about 10 minutes plus baking time.

What you'll need:

2 cans of crescent rolls
1 can Apple Pie filling~or whatever is your favorite
Red Sprinkles
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
2-3 T Milk

Roll your crescents out. You'll need to make the 8 triangles into 4 rectangles by sealing the seam. In the middle of each rectangle put a couple of apples and some of the sauce. Fold over, seal edges, shaping into a heart as you do this. Put on a sprayed cookie sheet, sprinkle with red sprinkles and bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Optional...Mix powdered sugar and milk together so it's a thin frosting and drizzle over the top.

I would use about half the amount in this photo, will make for easier folding.
Shape into heart
They aren't perfect once they're cooked, the one on the bottom left is seriously bad (I'm being honest here) but with the red sprinkles, your sweetie will get the idea.
Drizzle with frosting and serve.

Makes 8 hearts:)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tie Blanket

I made my first tie blanket a few years back for a gift. So, if you want to get crafty, here's an easy blanket to make and it's WARM! This is the latest one Claire made. Yes, Claire made...all by herself:)

You'll need 2 different pieces of fleece. You can do any size you want but we typically go with 2 yards of each color/style

Lay the material on the floor (or table if you have one large enough). Lay other piece on top.

Make sure it's flat and smooth.
You might have to trim one of the pieces so that they match, even though they are the same "cut", they might not be exact. Here is the extra we had.
Start cutting from the edge. Cut about 1 1/4 inch wide and about 4 inches deep. You don't have to be exact, just try to stay close to the same.
Cut a square out of each corner. You can do this first if you want, doesn't make a difference.
On the corner; you are going to take the bottom strip on the left side and tie it the top strip on the right top side of the other corner, tying twice to make a knot. Repeat with bottom strip on right to top strip on left
Now just start tying bottom piece to top piece. You're tying twice to make a knot.
Keep tying.
Continue all the way around. When it's all tied up, give the blanket a stretch so that you straighten it out.
Happy Claire with a warm blanket:)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Flat Bread Pizza

I had some left over flat bread that was to dry for a sandwich and decided to use it as a pizza crust. My kids LOVED it and what was nice, I could make what each person wanted easily~in this case meat and/or cheese;).

Super easy and you have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.

What you'll need:

Flat bread
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Pizza toppings

Spread sauce on flat bread. Top with cheese and toppings. Pop in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and dinner is served!

Pepperoni is under the cheese on one of these.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Scavenger Hunt

I've posted this before but it's something my kids look forward to so I thought I would post again. I'm giving you ample time to get it together:)

When my kids were old enough, I started doing a scavenger hunt for them. Every year on Valentine's Day I hide clues and small presents. I knew they liked it but I didn't realize how much until they had friends sleeping over a couple of years ago the night before Valentine's day and before they went to bed they said, "we're still having our scavenger hunt right"?

I will admit that some years I am more prepared and the clues rhyme well. Some years I have them on pretty paper, neatly printed on the computer. Some years they have to figure out the clues together. It doesn't matter "how" I do it, just that I do.

Typically they'll have 4 to 5 clues/stops. The first clue can be attached to a heart shaped balloon or just on their door. It might say something like, "Look for some clothing that's blue...there you will find your very first clue".

In the pocket of their BLUE robe or hoodie, they'll find a heart shaped sucker and the next clue.

This continues 4 more times and takes them all over the house. I typically give a small heart filled with chocolate (Walmart $1), heart printed socks or underwear, their favorite beverage or snack or Pez and then a little gift for the final.

It's about the fun, so have some!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beef Barley

I was hungry for some really good soup. I had some leftover Crockpot Beef in the freezer and decided to go from there. I would also like to note that I don't have the right amount left over from one crock pot of beef. I keep a container in the freezer and add to it. When the container gets full, I make soup! The crockpot beef gives it a little extra flavor because it has the sauce/gravy with it.

I also think good soup comes from a little bit of this and a little bit of that, so my measurements are very close but aren't exact. If you want to change it up a little bit and give it your own flavor, I encourage it.

But, here's what you'll need to get the party started:

4 C of Crockpot Beef
7 C Beef Broth ~ I use 6 cups water and 7 beef bouillon cubes
7 stalks of Asparagus broken into pieces
1 small Red Onion chopped
1 Zucchini chopped
2 Carrots chopped
1 Green Pepper chopped
1 can Petite Diced Tomatoes
4 cloves Garlic chopped
2 Potatoes chopped
1 T Garlic Powder
1 T Italian Seasoning
2 t Basil and Oregano
3/4 C Frozen Corn
3/4 C Barley ~ I used quick cook

Toss the Asparagus, onion, zucchini, carrots and green pepper with a tablespoon of Olive Oil and 1 T Garlic Powder. Spread out on a cookie tray. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes

Put beef, broth, chopped garlic, vegis, tomatoes, spices and bring to a boil. Add Barley, potatoes and corn. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Dinner is served! Or you can put in a crockpot, put in the fridge and reheat for tomorrow, takes about 4-6 hours to get to proper temp on low.

Vegis pre oven
Vegis post oven
Chop your potato
My Grandma didn't make soup but I've heard from a few people that it tastes like the one their Grandma did:) Enjoy!