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Friday, June 29, 2012

Steak Flatbread

One of Max and Claire's favorite dinners. And, quick so it won't heat the house up.

What you'll need:

3/4 lb Beef Tenderloin ~ you could use a strip streak or even sandwich steak
your favorite seasoning~I simply used salt, pepper and garlic powder
Package of Flat Bread


Sliced nice and thin. Let's hope my Father in Law doesn't see this because this is a crime in his opinion to do this to a piece of prime beef

Flat bread that I heated up in the oven for a couple of minutes. You could skip that step but I think it makes it just a bit tastier. And, if you wanted to melt cheese on the bread, now is your chance.

I cooked the meat to medium because that's about as funky as it gets with meat around here.

Serve with some fries and you've got dinner

I would throw a little sour cream mixed with salsa on mine but I'm crazy like that:)

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Claire has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She's tried other things but dance is where she seems to have settled in. She danced lyrical, jazz and kick this year and here's a little taste of the girlie on the dance floor doing what she loves.

And, one of her posing before we left in her ALL studio jazz performance outfit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Parmarosa Pasta

Here's one of Dylan's favorites. It's easy and quick and I typically have the ingredients in the house. He likes it with or without shrimp. You can also throw in some vegetables like asparagus or peppers if you're feeling sassy. Just saute those in place of or in addition to the shrimp.

What you'll need:

1 lb of Shrimp ~ I used raw frozen but you could easily make this with pre-cooked
Drizzle of Olive Oil ~ couple teaspoons
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 can petite diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis drained
1 Jalapeno minced and seeds taken out
1/2 C Heavy Cream ~ I used Whipping Cream
1/2 C Half and Half ~ I used Fat Free
SIDEBAR...the second time I made it I used a can of fat free Evaporated Milk
instead of the Half and Half and Cream and although it wasn't quite as rich, it
was still really good.

1-2 t Basil ~ Fresh would have been awesome but I only had dried
1 t Salt
1 t Cayenne
1 t Black Pepper
1/2 C Parmesan ~ Fresh and Shredded
1 small box Thin Spaghetti cooked

Start a pot of water with a sprinkle of salt to boil. When water is boiling, cook pasta until it is cooked, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside. If you don't rinse the pasta, the sauce will stick a little better.

Heat your olive oil and garlic for a minute. Toss in your shrimp and jalapeno. Cook until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.

Remove shrimp, try to leave the jalapeno and garlic and add diced tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes to blend flavors. Add heavy cream, half and half, Basil, salt, cayenne and black pepper and let it slow simmer for a few minutes. Stir in cheese. Add cooked pasta and toss with sauce. Serves 4-5

Mince your jalapeno
Let's get the party started with some garlic and Olive Oil
Saute the shrimp, remove from pan and start sauce.
Add the cream and half and half to the diced tomatoes
Simmer the sauce for a minute
Toss your pasta in
Dinner is served

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


It's not often that we get a photo of all the grandchildren. And, this photo is no exception because we only have 9 of the 12. It's from the spring dance show. Max was at the performance but had to leave for baseball so he missed the photo op. Dylan was working and Cody we would have had to pay to attend. My hope this summer is to get a photo of ALL the kids together before Dylan leaves for college, but until that they are.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mexican Beef

If you don't want to heat up the house, this beef recipe is perfect. It's also great as leftovers.

Here's what you'll need:

2 packages of Stew Meat ~ I think I had a little over 2 lbs
1 pkg Onion soup mix
1 Beer or 12 oz water
1 t Cumin
1 t Chili Powder
1 t Chipotle Powder
3 cloves Garlic
2 Chipotle Peppers chopped

Put it all in the crock pot and crock on low for 10 hours. It might have been done sooner but that's when I got around to it and it was perfect. I don't think you can really over cook beef in the crock pot unless you run out of liquid anyway.

Pull it out, give it a rough chop and wrap up in tortillas. My kids actually ate these and asked for seconds..SCORE!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Boys

When I took this picture I had flashbacks of the years growing up like brothers. Dylan helping me get the nursery ready. When we finished, he laid in Max's crib and said, "The baby is going to love this room". He sang to him, played with him and simply adored him.

As they got older, they ran through the house playing games and laughing. Ice skating in the winter, Dylan so excited to help teach Max how and both developing a passion for hockey.

The phase of shut up in a room playing video games or outside shooting pucks. A little distance as the teenage years approached but Dylan would still come over to just hang with Max. He volunteered to be the "high school" mentor/coach for Max's hockey team and helped Max become a better defensive player.

They are similar, yet different and it compliments their relationship.

Here they are sharing one more memory, graduation. Max from middle school and Dylan from high school.

Congratulations boys!!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Nothing says summer to me more than a good Sangria.

What you'll need:

1 bottle Dry White Wine~I used Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 C Flavored Vodka~I used Peach Schnapps and made another one with Cherry Schnapps
6 T Frozen Lemonade Concentrate, thawed
1/4 C Sugar

Mix it up, chill (I made it 24 hours in advance so flavors could blend) and serve

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I'm a little behind in my posts. This is from the spring dance show the end of April.

Alivia is the last of the grandchildren. Number twelve. We tease that she is the naughty one because each one gets a little more spoiled, a little more relaxed with discipline, a little extra love and attention from the eleven before her. It doesn't hurt that she is A DOR A BLE!!

We noticed her dancing along with all the girls at Claire and Serena's winter show. So, Chantel signed her up for the first "mini" session during spring for 3 year olds and she LOVED it. I watched and smiled as she danced her way through her number, remembering Claire at that age with a bow the size of a pillow on her head. Why is it that you don't think to treasure those moments while you're living them? I guess that's why there is a number twelve. To remind you to slow down and enjoy the moment because when you blink, you have a 12 year old smiling back.

Here is Alivia at her first dance performance. She was FANTASTIC!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mocha Frappachino

Max would have one every single day...if I let him:)

What you'll need
2/3 C Milk
3 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream ~ We like Breyers at our house, Natural Vanilla
2 T Instant General Foods Suisse Mocha Cafe

Put it all in a blender and give it a whirl. Top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup and serve.

I did make it with 1 1/2 C Milk, Ice and 2 T Mocha..Max didn't hate it but liked the ice cream version much better.

Three rounded scoops of ice cream
Here is the Suisse Mocha
The Magic Bullet I received as a Birthday present came in handy for this but you could use your blender.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

A trip to Valleyfair with Serena, Savanah and Claire years ago. You can just see how much fun they had that day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Vacation

I have two weeks off between regular work and summer school. I'll post some favorites while I'm on vacation.

Today's post is a recap of the weekend. A baseball filled weekend with 5 games. Two of which were in the pouring rain. One resulted in a rain delay so we had a hot and humid double header. The first of the double header went 2 extra innings before we won. At any rate, we only lost one game and ended the weekend with 3rd place.

What I have noticed the past week is that when Max is playing, he is really having fun. He's joking and laughing with his friends. He's living in the moment. I saw lots of smiles this weekend, but this one is my favorite.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I absolutely LOVE this photo of Claire and her Papa. We were at the fair and she was loving the midway.

She adored her Papa and still talks to him every night when she says her prayers.

Happy Father's Day Dad! We miss you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Random Photo

for a random day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I've always loved black bean and corn salsa. I have a brilliant reason why I made this one. Ready?? Because I had left over beans and corn in the fridge:)

Super easy.

What you'll need:

3/4 C Black Beans rinsed
2 Fresh Corn ~ chopped off the cob
1 Tomato chopped
1 Jalapeno seeded and minced ~ I used one about the size of my pinky because kids were in attendance
2-3 T Red Onion minced
Juice of one Lime
Pince of Sea Salt
I would have liked to add some fresh cilantro but didn't have any, so you could chop and throw that in if you do.

Cut corn off of cob. Add everything else. Give it a toss, chill and serve.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


It was a week ago that Max graduated. I've recovered and have a few photos to share.

Alanna snapped a photo of him on the way out for me.

Isn't he darling? I know all of you are just wishing this child could be yours. I have a nicer photo but I think this will be the one that is printed and forever remembered because this is the "real" Max right now.

That's my boy. A nice smile finally!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chocolate Buttercream

I know what you're thinking. Why the heck is she giving us a frosting recipe without a cake attached? Well, it's my go to frosting. You can throw it on some brownies or cupcakes. Fancy cake or just a mix. It all works, I use it often and have been meaning to post it forever. you go.

If you're feeling sassy, look at the cake and cupcake recipes on the side to find what to put it on.

To make Chocolate Butter Cream frosting
1 stick soft Butter
4-5 C Powdered Sugar
2 t Vanilla
2 square of Baking Chocolate melted OR 2-3 T Baking Cocoa ~ you can add more or both if you want a really rich chocolate.
4-7 T Milk

Start out with 1 stick butter, 4 C powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 T milk. Mix it with your mixer. Keep adding milk by the T until it's the consistency you want.

IF you add too much milk, add more powdered sugar. I've never used a true recipe for frosting, it was an add and adjust philosophy.

Melted Chocolate Squares for me today. Melted in the microwave for about 75 seconds

Mix it all together.

Frost your favorite cake or cupcake.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First Tournament

This is the first year I've allowed Max to play traveling baseball in addition to his house league. Traveling is a weekend tournament team compiled from the best of the house teams.

I have always told my kids that I will only give up my life for one sport for each, Max chooses hockey.

But this year, we're giving up most of our weekends and quite possibly Pow Wow because traveling baseball has been a wish of his for quite a few years and this is probably the last year that he'll be eligible to do it. So, I did what a parent has to do sometimes and gave in.

This weekend was our first tournament. It was a gorgeous weekend and our team won the first two games. We went in tied to the 7th inning and ended up losing 6-5. 2nd place and it was a state qualifier so we have our ticket to compete in state in July.

It's a great bunch of boys and a nice group of parents but my absolute favorite thing about this team?? We have a Mom who takes FABULOUS photos for us!! Here is a sampling of the weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tortellini Salad

Tina was going to a BBQ and wanted to bring a salad. Nothing exciting popped into my head so I asked my friend Karol who shared this one. It was a complete hit and won best side of the day:)

What you'll need:

Bag of Romaine Lettuce
3/4 carton of Grape Tomatoes halved
1 bunch green onions, chopped~I used some of the green as well
1/2 lb of bacon chopped and fried~Karol said Bacon Bits are good too
1/2 C Mozzarella
1 pkg Tortellini cooked and chilled
1/4-1/3 C Ranch Dressing
Pepper to taste

Toss salad lettuce, tomatoes, onions and tortellini together. Add a little ranch dressing, toss. Add bacon and cheese, toss again. Add a little more dressing until you're happy with it. Serve.

Since Tina was bringing this, I didn't want it to get soggy. So I put the tomatoes and onions in a baggie, bacon in a baggie and tortellini in a baggie. She assembled when she got there. Enjoy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Artist

Claire has always been artistic. She did not get that from me, thankfully she got that gene from her Dad. Drawing and singing, I can do neither, Claire does them both well. I envy her.

When other kids were coloring outside the lines, she was creating her own flowers on a piece of blank paper. Hardly ever was there a blank spot on the page because she was all about color.

School got crazy, art projects had to be specific and she lost interest. This year she had a teacher that allowed for a little more free expression apparently because this is what she brought home.
I told her how impressed I was and she said, "it's ok I guess". I think it's better than ok, I think it's amazing!