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Monday, July 30, 2012

Dancing in the heat

Ok, so I'm on summer "time" and I'm late with posting a 4th of July tradition. The Richfield Parade! This year I think the temps were close to 100. Add the heat index and was HOT!!

The parade starts at 1 p.m. so the sun is FULL and it was HOT!! As in I was concerned about people in the parade HOT! Did I mention it was flippin HOT?!!

But, I had good information because my Dad was a soldier and he was always ready for anything. He also worked outside year round by choice for the last 25 years of his life. He stressed that it was all about being prepared. Those that weren't prepared, got sick. He said the number one rule with being outside in heat is that you have to be OVERhydrated before you go out. That if you stop sweating, you're in BIG trouble. I could hear his voice and that speech in my head because it was a speech he gave to me when I tapped my way through parades in high school. Over and over, I heard that speech.

So it should be no surprise that speech was essentially the alarm clock in my head that morning. I woke Claire up early and made her drink a big glass of water. An hour before, I made her start drinking a large Gatorade which she finished just as I was dropping her off for the 45 minute practice. She had another large water to drink while she practiced and before the parade started. Guess who was still sweating when she walked by me 2 miles later? That's right, Claire!! We did my Daddy proud:)

Here they come
But they weren't doing much by the end because of the heat
The fire department opened a hydrant for people to cool off. They made a mad dash to cool off after remembering to first drop their pom poms
Did I mention how HOT it was?!? Yet, here is Claire's lovely smile and not a complaint was made.
Her dancing buddies
A nice lady had her hose out for the dancers to cool off. Claire and her friends indulged one last time.
More gatorade, water, watermelon, salty treats and the day ended on a good note with no ill effects from the heat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Long Live Summer Contest

Shutterfly is having a super contest. You could win a trip for 4 to the Bahamas and a professional photo shoot to remember your trip and all you have to do is send in your favorite "theme" photo.

How it works..each week has a different theme, this week is Water Fun and I'm entering this photo because it makes me smile every time I see it.

• Week 1(7/9): Americana - ended
• Week 2 (7/16): Great Outdoors - ended
Week 3 (7/23): Water Fun – current week
• Week 4 (7/30): Sports & Activities
• Week 5 (8/6): Parties & Celebrations
• Instant win prizes just for submitting a photo!
• Weekly prizes (contestants can enter one time/week)
• Weekly featured photos: up to 5 weekly entries will be selected from the gallery and featured on the Facebook fan page.
• Grand prize: trip for 4 to Bahamas, 4 nights, family photo shoot

Click this link to find out more!!

The BEST Peanut Butter Cookies

It's been HOT here this summer but sometimes, a girl just needs to bake. I didn't want anything that involved chocolate for fear of melting so I made plain peanut butter cookies. Plain peanut butter cookies that are super yummy and easy to make.

I would also like to point out that I use only Skippy when I bake. Not because Skippy is giving me free peanut butter, because I have tried others and my cookies don't taste as good in my opinion. Generic brands have too much oil so the cookie doesn't hold up well. You don't have to use Skippy, I just do.

What you'll need
1 C Butter softened
2 Egg
1 C Peanut Butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 t Vanilla

Cream together. And then add...

3 C Flour
1 1/2 t Baking Soda
1 t Baking Powder

You might have to get your hands into the dough to really get the flour mixed in.

Roll into balls about the size of a big gum ball, think "the quarter size" gumball:).

Roll in sugar. Place on pan and use a fork to press the ball down and make a criss cross effect. Push gently or the cookie dough will stick to the fork. Put on pan and bake at 375 for about 7 minutes until bottom is lightly browned. Makes about 60 cookies.

Cream the butter, vanilla eggs and sugar
Add dry

Roll balls in sugar. If you don't want the extra sugar, you will have to dip fork in sugar so it doesn't stick or gently press down with just your fingers. But I think the sugar adds a little something something.
Press down with fork gently. I've always wondered why peanut butter cookies are the only ones with the criss cross pattern. I think it's the universal sign that it's peanut butter so no one with a nut allergy ever makes the mistake of grabbing one but I don't know for sure and wikipedia didn't know either. Yes, I checked:)
Done. These freeze well so do what I do and put them in snack bags and freeze for lunches later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Max's traveling team just finished their season. We finished 3rd in our final tournament, one spot away from going to regions. This photo was the highlight of Max's weekend. He hit a BOMB out to center field, it hit the 340 foot fence. The smile was large ladies and gentlemen, the smile was large.

As for me...Is it wrong to feel kind of panicky because I have two entire weeks without one sport on the schedule!! 2 whole weeks?!?!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

I found this recipe on line and the name caught my eye. I only changed it a tiny bit, using all purpose flour instead of half whole wheat. The final answer...these were more crepe like, than pancake. That means, I liked them better, which is strange because I don't like crepes..go figure;)

The only issue I had was that the batter didn't bubble up to let you know that it was time to flip. You had to check to see if they were browning and go from there. I would say it was about three minutes each side. I used a griddle set at 350 (I tried different temps and this appeared to be the one that worked the best). If I was doing them on the stove, I'd go medium heat.

Here's what you'll need:

2 C Flour
1/3 C Sugar
1 t Sea Salt
1 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Cinnamon
2 1/4 C Buttermilk
2 Eggs
2 T Butter melted
Zest from 1 1/2 Lemons
2 1/2 C Blueberries

In large bowl mix your wet ingredients and zest until well mixed. Add the dry until just combined, a few lumps are ok, don't overmix). Leave blueberries OUT.

Heat griddle over medium heat and brush with butter (yes, I did this for this recipe instead of my handy cooking spray~I think the spray would have worked fine). Drop 1/3 C batter onto skillet and throw some blueberries on top. Gently press berries into pancakes. Cook pancakes until underside is a deep golden, reduce heat to low, flip and cook for two minutes more (I didn't reduce the heat).

Zest your lemons

They didn't bubble like normal pancakes,
Breakfast is served

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pow Wow

Pow Wow weekend is coming and I found a couple of my favorite photos.

This is Max and Papa after we presented him with the vest we made for him. Max was so PROUD that they matched.

Mara and Claire dancing and having a good time..

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

State Runner Up

Our first state baseball tournament was this past weekend and it was LONG and HOT. Max's team played 7 games in 3 days. 3 of those 7 games were on Sunday in the 90+ degree heat. We got to the field at 8 a.m. and I pulled into my driveway at 5 p.m. I have a cute little raccoon tan from my sunglasses going on because my sunscreen dripped from my face, don't be jealous;)

But it was all for something!! They took 2nd in the state tournament!! Or does it sound better to be "Runner Up"?? At any rate, it was pretty exciting for a team that only plays together weekends to accomplish something like this.

They made the local paper and you can find the article here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Is it hot and sticky outside but you still want dessert?? Easiest thing EVER and my son's absolute favorite. Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows. Put them on a stick, dip them in some sprinkles and TA DA...special treat! Or dip them in crushed graham crackers for Smores on a Stick:)

For these you'll need:

Bag of Large Marshmallows
2 C Chocolate ~ This time I used White Chocolate Melts golden colored that you get at Michael's but you can also use milk chocolate chips
Lollipop stick

Melt your chocolate. For me that means 1 1/2 minutes and give the chocolate a stir. Put a stick into marshmallow and dip into chocolate. I also dipped into some sprinkles but you can skip that step if you want. Put on wax paper to dry. Store in air tight container and eat within a week.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Homemade Pizza

This is where the Pioneer Woman comes in. I think she has cured me of my fear of working with yeast. I tackled another of her recipes. This time for pizza crust and it was a hit. Pizza delivery just dropped off to probably never.

I intended on making one pizza for the kids and one with spinach, feta and fresh mozzarella for Dylan and myself but Dylan didn't come over that night. I didn't want to torture my children so they had Pepperoni and Cheese 2 different nights. Another reason why I LOVE the's good in 24 hours and it's still good at 72 hours!!

Here's what you'll need:
1 t Active Dry Or Instant Yeast
4 C All-purpose Flour
1 t Kosher Salt
⅓ C Olive Oil

Jar of your favorite sauce~we use Traditional Ragu
4 C Mozzarella Cheese~I actually used a mix of Romano, Mozzarella, Provolone


Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. ***It’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

Preheat oven to 500

Set dough on counter for a couple of minutes so it's easier to stretch. Brush some olive oil on the pan and stretch your dough out. Top with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Dough ready to go.

Stretch it out.


Dinner is served~I think I should have taken this out a minute earlier, but I was kinda busy playing bejeweled while it cooked. Claire, the cheese pizza eater in our house, loved it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chicken Taquitos

A favorite around our house. Super quick and easy is just an added bonus.

What you'll need:

Salsa Chicken or you could use any chicken you have on hand
Cheese ~ I used a Mexican Blend
Small Flour Tortillas ~ my bag came with 20 of them
Cooking Spray ~ I use Butter Flavored

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wet and ring out two paper towels. Wrap 6 tortillas inside and microwave for 30 seconds. You want to soften up the tortillas for easier rolling.

Put about 1/4 C of chicken in the middle of the tortilla, top with about a tablespoon of cheese. You could leave the cheese out but I was trying to sell the kids and let's face it, cheese sells it.

Roll the tortilla up and put on a sprayed cookie sheet, seam side down and leave a little room in between each one. Continue until you have a cookie sheet full.

Spray the tortillas with a bit of cooking spray and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out and flip to seam side up and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite taco toppings.
Put your chicken and cheese on tortilla and roll up
Spray with cooking spray
Dinner is served
Claire brought left overs for lunch and asked when I'd be making them again!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

An Observation

I took Max to get his haircut the other day and I noticed something strange. All the teenagers that came in immediately sat down. Their parent went to the reception desk and checked them in. The next day at the library, parents making requests for their children. The next day at Subway, I watched a few parents order for their children, who in my opinion were old enough to order for themselves.

The reason that I found that strange is because since my children were old enough to speak, they have ordered their own food, they check themselves in at appointments, they answer the questions the doctor asks. Honestly, I don't know why you would speak for your children when they have a voice of their own. Dylan was painfully shy and yet he knew when we went to a restaurant, he had to look at the server and order his food. It was tough for him but he did it and slowly the painfully shy Dylan was gone.

The questions at the doctors office make them pay attention. If I had been answering all the time, would they know or remember that they are allergic to Amoxicillin or Cefzil? If I ordered their food or checked them in, would they make eye contact with strangers and ask questions?

I think it's important to teach your children life skills, but it seems that I may be in the minority?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crockpot Turkey

Summer is here and it's time to break out the crockpot and keep the house cool!! Here is one of my favorite crockpot recipes and also the easiest.

Buy a turkey breast, I think mine was 5 lbs. Defrost in your refrigerator a couple of days. Put 1/2 C water in bottom of crock. Wash turkey breast and put meaty side down.

Sprinkle with 1 t of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Put a few pats of butter on the breast and crock on low for 8 hours.

It's falling apart tender. Serve it with fresh corn on the cob and a salad or keep it around for sandwiches. Yummy!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

I hope your day is as wonderful as you!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Savanah

Hope your day is as lovely as you.
Happy Birthday Banana!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fruit Salsa

A recipe I received from my friend Marie years ago. It's a lot of chopping but really good and quite pretty. It will be a hit at any picnic.

Here's what you'll need

1 C finely chopped Strawberries
1 med Orange peeled and finely chopped
3 Kiwi, peeled and finely chopped
8 oz can crushed pineapple drained or 1/2 C fresh
1/2 c finely sliced/chopped green onions ~ 1 bunch
1/4 C each chopped yellow and green pepper
1 T lemon or lime juice
1 fresh jalapeno seeded and chopped ~ optional, I don't use
Combine and chill 6-24 ihours, if chilling for more than 6, leave strawberries out until right before serving. Makes 3 cups

12 8" flour tortillas
1/2 C Sugar
1 t ground cinnamon ~ I used a bit more
1/4 C melted butter

Combine sugar and cinnamon. Brush tortillas with butter and sprinkle with sugar mix. Cut into 8 wedges, spread on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes until dry and crisp. Cool and store in airtight container for 4 days or 3 weeks in freezer.
I used canned crushed pineapple. Make sure you drain it.
Chopped orange. Throw it in the bowl.
Chopped Kiwi, throw it in the bowl.
Chopped onion, throw it in the bowl.
Chopped peppers, throw them in the bowl.
Chopped Strawberries, throw them in the bowl. Squeeze your lime juice in and give it a stir.

Let's make the chips. Brush melted butter on flour tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mix.
Cut into triangles with a pizza cutter.
Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes until dry and crisp. Do NOT let them cool on the baking sheet, the sugar causes them to stick as they cool

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Dylan

Our baby is 18 today! Yes, time does fly. Yes, I'll shed a few tears. Yes, he has grown into a wonderful man and I'm proud to call him my nephew.

Happy Birthday Dylan!! May all your dreams come true.