Monday, October 25, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Good Monday Morning! After not blogging all last week, I am glad to be back. I spent last week doing my Fall cleaning. Boy am I glad that this over with! There isn't a corner in my home that didn't get touched.

This weekend my brother and sister-in-law came for a visit and brought along my nieces. Oh how I love those girls! I have never known sweeter children in all my life. I wish everyone could see how well they get along with my children. My nieces take the best care of my babies.

We also got to get out and see The Arch, The St. Louis Zoo as well as The Magic House. We had such a blast! Not only was the weather great, so was the company. I just hate that we live so far away. However, we already have our next visit planned.

Here is my menu for the week:

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings (but I use drop biscuits)

Tuesday: Beef, Mushroom and Onion Tart

Wednesday: Aunt Kristin's Killer BBQ

Thursday: Panera's Cream Cheese Potato Soup

Friday: BLT's

Saturday: Linguine

Halloween with the In-Laws: Witches Brew with Skeleton Fingers

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Easy Caramel Popcorn

I have been making this recipe for Caramel Popcorn for the last ten years. It turns out great every time!

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

1.Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.

2.In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla (the baking soda will make the mixture to become foamy and lighter in color). Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat and then repeat.

3.Place in two large shallow baking dishes or large turkey roaster and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

***For an extra treat, add a cup of cashews.***

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Monday: Roast Pork Tenderloin (we didn't get to this last week) and Butternut Squash Bake

Tuesday: Cream of Mushroom Soup and Caesar Salad

Wednesday: Croque Monsieur

Thursday: Beef Stroganoff Over Egg Noodles

Friday: French Chicken in A Pot

Saturday: Homemade Sloppy Joes and Baked French Fries

Sunday: Dinner Out

This menu is linked with Meal Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Favorite Kitchen Companion

Even though I was only 4 years old, I remember the day like it was just yesterday. My Mom and I working hard in the kitchen making a heart shaped cake for Valentine's Day for the boys. She let me help make the cake and ice it with pink icing and decorate it with red candy cinnamon hearts. (I also remember being covered head to toe in red dye from all the candy hearts I had eaten while assisting). I loved being in the warmth of the kitchen with my Mommy. While I lost my Mom when I was 9, I look back and cherish those memories.

When I was older, I spent most of my Spring Breaks and summer vacations with my darling Grandmother in Indiana. My Grams (as I call her) would let me have free reign of the kitchen when I would visit. Oh how I loved to bake cookies and help her fix meals. She never complained that I was under foot or that I made mess making one of my "creations". I learned so much from her.

As soon as I thought Sissyboo was ready to stand on a chair without assistance, I wanted her in the kitchen working alongside of me. It has always been my dream to have my children help me cook and bake. Not for wanting them to be put to work or the like, but to have them close and know that I cherish them.

So recently, Sissyboo and I made our first loaf of Pumpkin bread.

Sissyboo took her job very seriously. She poured, mixed and stirred all with the greatest of ease. I was so proud. Like as with my own Mom, I will always cherish having my children in the kitchen alongside of me. Even if they make a mess, messes can be cleaned, but memories can never be erased.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Mantel

I have never been a big fan of Halloween decorations. They always look so scary and creepy that I never wanted anything like that in my home. However, since this is the first year that Sissyboo will go Trick or Treating, I wanted to decorate just a tiny bit.

Here is my Halloween Mantel that I recently finished.

My inspiration was the picture below that I saw online at Better Homes and Gardens. I thought it looked pretty cute and not very spooky, so I tried to imitate it.

I tried to be frugal when putting this mantel together since I will be changing it for Thanksgiving. I bought the candlestick holders and picture frame at Goodwill. The pumpkins I purchased from Michael's and hand painted. I took the photo of the lonely tree last winter while making my way home from Ohio. It looked like such a sad little tree all by itself I had to take a picture. I spray painted the frame and the ivy black to make it a little more festive.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Keepin' It Real

By now we should know better!

By now we should know that when the kids are in the next room and they are really quiet and then all of sudden start laughing hysterically, we should investigate what they are up to.

This was the scene we came up on recently. An entire bottle of coffee creamer being used like a sand box.

Check out the foot prints on the rug in this one:

Double D is eating is fair share!
Let me tell you how fun that was cleaning up sticky wet coffee creamer.

Oh, the joys of being a Mommy! I wouldn't change it for anything!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Easy Caramel Dipping Sauce

Once Fall rolls around and apples are in bounty, I have to make this recipe. This is a perfect dipping sauce to serve with sliced apples (or use as a topping for ice cream).

I make this recipe pretty often or whenever I have left over whipping cream.

1/2 cup butter (no substitutions)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, unwhipped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~In a small saucepan melt butter.
~Add the brown sugar; whisk until combined and thickened (about 2 minutes).
~Whisk in the whipping cream, until thoroughly blended (2 more minutes).
~Mix in vanilla (if using) until combined.

NOTE: This sauce will thicken up more when refrigerated.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

Good Monday Morning everyone. This week finds me a little behind in my blogging. Double D is in the process of getting four teeth and that has really got him down (and everyone else around him). Sissyboo has been running a slight fever for the last two days. So, I have been busy trying to keep them healthy, happy and entertained.

Here is a very simplistic menu for the week:

Monday: Dinner out

Tuesday: Spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread

Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Salad

Thursday: Taco Bar

Friday: Papa John's Pizza (we have a coupon for a free pizza)

Saturday: Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pork Loin and Baked Apples

Sunday: Award Winning Chili

This post is linked with I'm an Organized Junkie.