Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bubblegum Machine Cake Pops

Bubblegum Machine Cake Pops

These are SO adorable! I need to start stocking up on the supplies when I see them on sale... must try!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hooked On Phonics

HOP is having a sale on a lot of their materials right now, and some of their older stuff is in "overstock" for really cheap. On top of that, they have a code out that works on most sale stuff - HOP50 - that will take 50% off your order. I'm about to place an order for their older HOP K-2 program (audio CDs rather than the new one with DVDs) that will be $39.98 (before tax and shipping) rather than $199.95! The two friends I know that have used the program have used this version and love it.

Thanks to Dealnews.com for this info bit!

My God is an AWESOME God!

I shared this on Facebook, and I know many of you found me from there. But I needed to share this here, too.

This is the story of the husband of my friend, Jeney. He is currently in Haiti helping with the rebuilding efforts - both of buildings and of lives.

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Hey Just1ers - looking for a FREE item to include in your shopping trip. Well... at least free after full rebate (so you'll pay $.44 for postage).

Free Olay Quench body lotion

Purchase must be made between 3/19 and 4/16, and the rebate must be postmarked by 4/30.

If you happen upon a coupon for Quench before you purchase, you'll get the full price rebated BEFORE coupon price - so that coupon savings can go toward another Just1 purchase.

New to Just1? Click HERE for more information. Become a fan on Facebook HERE!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Moblog? Noblog...

I set up this account to accept posts from my cellphone, but for some reason they aren't going through. So you didn't get to see the cute edible Daddies that I made for breakfast a couple days ago. I'll work on it...

Otherwise, we've just been battling the sickies here for a few days. Yesterday my kids were running around in our yard in flip-flops in 60 degree weather. Today we've got snow. No wonder I'm sick.

Then again, I've got kids who touch everything... and a son who then picks his nose. Guess who is usually the first one sick - and the most generous. :/

Good thing he's cute.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Great Just1 deals at Rite Aid this week

Are you participating in Just1 and looking for inexpensive ways you can help?

Utah Deal Diva has a great Rite Aid list this week! Lots of scenarios. And I still have my $20 gift of savings certificate to use. I think I'll be heading there tomorrow before my moms' night out (that's right - no kids, no hubbies... I can't wait!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

On a roll tonight

or rather... off one. I dropped a "famous" blogger off my blog roll today. It has been a long time in coming - I couldn't help but see cracks in the "perfect" exterior that weren't making sense. The constant attempts at being "real" were just too... fake. Too forced.

But it was hard! I hate to admit that, but it was hard to walk away from what so many other people think is the best thing since sliced bread. When every other post or tweet or update or photo was tightening a knot in my stomach, and when attempts to ask questions about what the blogger was supposedly about - just to get clarification - were going unanswered, I got to asking, "What's the point, Genevieve? Why are you hanging around?"

And I couldn't answer.

I guess it's part of my personal Mama Revolution (sorry, I really dislike the name Mommy!). I'm sensing a need for some personal shake-ups, and the first thing to go will be the stuff tying me down to the negative feelings. Too much crap in my life - too little focus on what (and Who) really matters.

I'm breaking free!

I've got an attitude about altitude

One little known fact about me. I used to be terrified of yeast. TERRIFIED. I would have nightmares about dough left to proof getting out of control and taking over my house. There's an episode of Pinky Dinky Doo where everyone in the family keeps adding baking soda to her fluffy buns recipe (because she forgot it once) - and the dough rises so quickly that the whole apartment building goes up to the moon and everyone in the building has to eat fluffy buns to bring it back to earth. Yeah... like that.

I eventually got over my fear of yeast and became a pretty good baker, if I do say so myself. Then, shortly after moving to the Oregon coast, I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to learn the very different world of gluten-free baking. Oh, I still do "regular" baking for my family, but GF is a whole other ballgame.

Then? Then we moved to Colorado. 6000 feet up. You know those directions on the back of the cake mix that say "High Altitude Directions?" That's me. You have to reduce the yeast and up the flour and sometimes equally up the water, unless you don't. And extend the time. Or is it reduce the time and up the temp? AHHHHHH!!!!

In the interest of saving money, I've taken to baking most everything from scratch. I made up a batch of pizza dough the other day (finally... it was supposed to be on OAMC day). It worked out just fine - but this was the end result of the dough cycle on my gluteny bread machine...

The dough also rises and rises and...

It's not just a nightmare... it's REALITY!!!!

Adventures in kitchenworld

On Thursday, we took a family trip to Wal-Mart to get some pull-ups and an egg slicer (ours was broken in the move). While we were there, we did our normal shopping of the clearance meats. My husband found these steak medallions and wanted to try to find a recipe like something he had tried at Olive Garden. He even found a recipe right away!

Friday afternoon when he returned from work, he started reducing balsamic vinegar to make the glaze. Our house smelled like an Easter egg dying factory fire! My lungs were burning until we opened the windows and turned on the hood vent over the stove. Small price to pay considering he paid about $2.50 for the bottle of vinegar - and a bottle of the glaze was about 4 times that (for a *small* bottle).

We ended up making a lot of changes to the recipe for my celiac and to get the kids to eat it and still get some of the good stuff =) Plus my husband doesn't like green onions, sun dried tomatoes were too expensive, and we forgot the parsley. Do I sound like an allrecipes reviewer yet ;)

We used Trader Joes GF rotini noodles. We didn't have any alfredo on hand, so I made my knock-off (2 cans goat milk that we have left over from when my daughter received it through WIC, "enough" Parmesan cheese - a cup maybe?, and some garlic powder). Then we added the fresh spinach (cuz that's what we had). We knew my son would pick it out of the sauce, so I had the brilliant idea to break out the immersion blender and make it un-pick-outable!

We're still out of propane, so my husband did the medalions on the Foreman grill. Before this, he used the salt-caking technique here to make them much more tender (and they really weren't too salty at all!) It turned out to be a good thing, because they probably would have fallen through the grill outside.

The end result? The kids didn't like the balsamic glaze (we didn't think they would - we didn't put it on their bowls but let them try ours). They *loved* the "alien slime pasta" with "stinky cheese" sprinkled on top. They even ate some of the steak (they love beef, but they aren't big steak eaters).

And... it turned out BEAUTIFUL! Don't you think?

Steak Gorgonzola à La Olive Garden

Close up...
Steak Gorgonzola à La Olive Garden close

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stop faking it!

One of my bloggy-friends wrote a great post about the fake mommy blogs. No, not the ones that are supposed to be fictional... the kind that are more old-school Jon & Kate + 8. You know, everything's perfect, our lives are in order, our kids are always obedient and would you mind taking off your shoes and putting that on a coaster?

I want to join in the revolution! I'll start with the comment that I left on her post, and I'll be sure to post more in the coming days, too.

This? This right here?

This is why I love reading your blog. I wish I lived closer to - wherever you live - because I would love to have a cup of coffee with you. I could have written this post (other than I have NO desire to become a vegetarian =) ).

I can't **stand** the fake bloggers. There's one in particular (whom I won't name) that so many people just love to bits... and I don't get it! I mean, I'm not a hater like many - I'm not going to start joining all the ______ is a faker blogs that have popped up, I don't care about bank records and police reports and all that, well, crap.

Just be real! And don't *force* your "real" posts, either. Don't build them up to be this monumental revelation that we'd all better sit down for... and I'll tell you on Thursday. You don't have to give me your SSN, your phone number or address, heck - I don't even care if you use your real name! But don't paint this picture of the perfect family - and then be shocked when others call you on it.

Wanna know a secret? We have this MASSIVE beach towel - I think they call it a beach blanket - that we got for our honeymoon. It's under one side of the dining room table - the side where my two kids eat. If we shake it out once a week, we're doing pretty good. And sometimes? We just put it back down there after shaking it instead of washing it. =)

And my kids... usually only get a bath once a week. But we do brush their teeth before bed every night! And I try to get the carpet-fuzz dread locks out of my daughter's hair as soon as I see them.

Keep being you, Courtney! That's who I want to see... and that's who Christ wants to see!

So come on - join with me! Go grab that button at the bottom of her post, and lets pledge to show more of the real and live a life less fabricated!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Slowly throwing in the towel

OAMC Button

Well... I'm tired =) I didn't get any new cooking done since my last post, but I got a lot of "bagging and tagging" done, transported meals to our freezer in the garage, brought the rest of the stuff up for the lasagnas that will be put together after the kids are in bed... and I *may* still take a stab at the GF tortillas.

So, I didn't finish my whole list, but I still got a LOT more accomplished than I thought I would or could. I'll try and get a picture up before we start using it all up, but my list of what's available for dinners now:
1/2 gallon of chili (previous mega batch)
2, 24 count meatballs that just need reheating and sauce
2, 4 cup bags of cooked brown rice
2 dinners of sloppy Joes
3 dinners of Chef Mis-er-ly
6 dinners of beef tacos
4 dinners of beef stew
3 quart bags of split pea soup (I'm the only one that likes it... so this is 6-9 meals for me!)
4 rice side-dish mixes

By the end of the night, I'll have:
3 pounds of chicken nuggets
1 wheat lasagna (3-4 dinners)
1 gluten free lasagna (8 meals)

I hope to be able to continue on my list tomorrow - but we are also making the soups for soup supper on Wednesday night. I've got more planning to do!

That's better...

My body forced a nap on me. I fell asleep shortly after writing that last post and slept an interrupted 2 hours. I finally woke up when my husband took a call from the moving company that moved us on our two big moves - the last one being just before Christmas. It appears the people whose belongings were in the other half of our truck just opened a mirror box that had some wedding pictures in it - and it's not theirs. I'm sick to my stomach thinking that some of our wedding pictures are missing, but we still can't confirm that it's ours. The company is playing middle man and will call us back (our mover was less than stellar - but the company was/is great!)... and we get to dig through the downstairs bedroom and the garage that are both, just about, wall-to-wall boxes while we await our final (please?) move to our own place. Just another bump in the road.

Now? Back to work!

Maybe we'll just do Atkins

OAMC Button

Seriously, I've done NOTHING with the bready stuff. No pizza crusts, no bread (though we still have a loaf in the freezer, and I make it pretty often - it's like a natural Glade home fragrance =) ), not even the tortillas, and they're super easy!

But I've knocked out most of the rest of the list. I haven't boiled the lasagna noodles (again with the starch!), but the rest is ready to go! The chicken nuggets are absorbing the butter milk and waiting for me to bread and bread and bread and bake and bake and bake!

Didn't have coffee... kind of afraid to have it now for fear of it keeping me up too late tonight. But I'd like to kick out a few things in the bread department yet. Going to make the tortillas after I feed the kiddos lunch. I'd *like* to still get at least one pizza crust (each) done, too - but that needs more of my attention because of the altitude issues as well... making sure it's not a big gooey ball!

Our house smells like some eclectic diner. Or the home of someone who can't decide what to eat! We have the mingled smells of beef stew, split pea soup, tacos, sloppy Joes and "Chef Mis-er-ly." I need to get something bready going to try and neutralize the smell of confusion!

Plus - I still have to bag up the soups... and take the immersion blender to the pea soup (and pray it doesn't a'splode!). The tacos have been simmering for for-ev-er... gotta stir them and set them aside to cool.

Did I mention a nap? Because I'm starting to think that is no longer an option but a requirement! The hubs is out to get our mail... and get more freezer bags =)

Half(ish) way there!

OAMC Button

About to start pounding the life out of some (dead) chicken breasts. I'm actually quite surprised at how well this is going...

... but I'm also finally starting to get tired.

Time to brew some coffee, make sure both crock pots are off, toss some food in the general direction of my kids (just kidding - they're eating grapes right now and will have hard boiled eggs in a few seconds... plus I'm brewing some (decaf) tea for them right now. Did I mention that they never went back to sleep once the girl got up at 5:45?!?! I do believe that is the definition of insanity - especially since they normally get up sometime between 7-8.

And... in the 20 minutes since I started writing this, I dozed off, my kids got in trouble for getting into the homeschooling supplies, and it's turning out to be just as crazy as I thought it might get.

Next part of the plan - get coffee started, get some pizza dough in each bread machine (one is a dedicated gluten-free machine... for my new readers, I have celiac disease, but I'm the only one in my family that eats GF because GF flours, pastas, etc are much more expensive and much more time consuming to make), and get that chicken abused and drowned! =)

Why does cooking have to be so noisy?!?!

OAMC Button

I blame it on coffee. I don't usually have much caffeine. Especially since moving from sea level to 6000 feet, caffeine seems to **really** effect me. But the coffee at church today was SO good. And the young woman who normally finishes off the pot gave up coffee for Lent. So even though I had my normal cup during Bible study... and filled up again (in my defense, our church building is pretty cold and I usually have two cups of decaf tea)... I finished the last cup while the kids and I were waiting for Daddy to finish teaching confirmation.

That's right, I haven't had caffeine in... weeks. And then I had THREE LARGE CUPS yesterday. At first I wrote today - because I still haven't slept (though I did snooze on the couch for about 20 minutes around 3).

But the things that I had hoped to do in preparation for today's big cooking day? I couldn't do them. Because they're loud. I can't pound the chicken with a mallet for the chicken fingers/nuggets. I can't be rolling out tortillas and pizza dough on our wood table because *that's* loud. Did I mention that our kitchen/living room is right over the master bedroom where my incredible husband is trying to sleep? Yeah.

So, I added to my list. I had found a couple rice mix recipes in a gluten-free cookbook I recently received, and I wanted to try them out. They're quiet to assemble, easy to walk away from when the 3 year old wakes up because she peed in her pull-up... only to find out she didn't really, but she did wake her brother who now also needs to go potty. And will you tuck me back in when I'm done, Mama?

I got 4 different rice side-dish mixes made up: Herb rice for chicken, Herb rice for beef, Beef rice, and (the one I'm really excited about) Curried rice! I just need to type up the instructions that go along with them and attach them to the little glass pint canning jars that house them for now.

Got 5 of 10 pounds of ground beef browned, the soup and stew are almost done, and the 8 cups of brown rice had the distinction of being the first things added to the freezer! Even took a picture of me and my first bag of freezer food - but Blogger hasn't returned my text to let me post it here. In time. It's a good feeling to be ticking things off the list.

Everything that needs to be done either requires making wake-up-someone-sleeping noise or needs and electric outlet (two of which are absorbed with crock pots right now). I don't want to blow a fuse (flip a switch?). So I think it's time for me to curl up on the couch and take a little more of a nap. And then when I get up? COFFEE =)