Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to School !

What a wonderful summer we had !!  Filled with swim meets, and a couple vacations as well.  Too many pictures to share, and most of my friends are on Facebook anyway - so they've already seen them.   Trying really hard to get organized for the new school year.  Menu has been planned - and so far I've made a few new dishes.   The Puff Pastry Spinach Cups - simple and fast, and the kids LOVED it - so another way to get a veggie into them.  Next time I'll try making more cups outta the dough - maybe use a mini muffin tin.  Recipe below.  I also tried a new lemon/butter Cod recipe - good except too much lemon for me - so I'll keep looking.  Last night we had beef tortillas in the crock - again good, but not great.  The hubster is taking all the leftover sauce to cook with for his workers - so tonight it'll be Moroccan chicken (supposedly)  I do have to take the girls out school shopping - tomorrow's the first day .... where did summer go ???

Today marks the day when my oldest has her first day of college classes ... how did she grow up so fast.  I'm almost a little tearful ...  almost :)

Photo is my 3 girls and I had pedi's while on vacation in Michigan ...  plus our wonderful Cousin Carol !   This will definately be a new tradition!

Supplies / ingredients:

  • 1 Storebought Puff Pastry
  • 250 g Frozen Spinach
  • 1 tbsp. Sour Cream
  • 3 tbsp. Cream Cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Cup Cheese, grated
  • salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
First chop the garlic. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium low heat, sprinkle with some cooking oil. Add garlic and cook for few seconds, then add spinach and cook until all water vapourised. You can also add a little bit of grated fresh ginger, it will give an amazing aroma to the spinach. Leave cooked spinach on the side to cool down.
Combine cooled spinach with sourcream, cream cheese and grated cheese, add some salt and black pepper to taste.
Divide puff pastry into 8 pieces.
Press each of the dough pieces into a muffin tin.
Using a spoon, fill each cup with the spinach mixture.
Heat the oven to 375°, and bake the cups for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.


Friday, January 24, 2014

New Year - Great Start - Vitamix !!

I wanted a Vitamix for years and years.  They are expensive !  I had a hard time spending that kind of money on an appliance I wasn't sure I would use.  Then - my MIL got sick, and the hubster took one to her, made her smoothies every day, and within a week, she got her strength back.  That was all it took - he called me and told me to order the one I wanted (which was even more expensive, because if I was going to order the Vitamix, I wanted the one I could grind my own wheat with, so I could bake my own bread, and be as natural as possible. 

Vitamix Professional Series 750 with 64 oz container, Brushed Stainless Finish

This is the one I got - the Vitamix $750.  I found a deal around Christmas time where they had the extra jars for $50 - so I got an extra dry jar as well (I've heard you can use your wet jar, but it'll scratch up the inside of the jar - figured it was worth the extra $50)

I love it.  I use it at LEAST once a day.  I make the hubster a smoothie every single morning - I use 2 handfuls of spinach, some carrots, some chia seeds, protein powder, almond milk and frozen fruit.  He drinks it after his morning coffee - and he's good until dinner time.  Amazing.  I make the kids smoothies too - but I don't put in so much spinach that they can see the green (as long as it's still red, they think I just used fruit)   Everything gets so well pulvarized - you cannot tell what's inside !  Amazing.  Why did I wait so long ???

So - on my save money and eat healthy kick - next up -  a food saver ..... stay tuned, I have to do my research first !

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adam's best swim meet ever !

Most of my swimming posts are about my super swimmer - Leenah.  But my son may have some dreams of greatness of his own.  Somehow Leenah convinced him that he could make a Junior Olympic time - and that we could all go to Penn State this summer (She will age up before the next summer JO's - so she cannot compete there anymore)   He came out and went off the blocks with every intention of trying to make it.  And he came close.  Closer than I ever thought he'd get.  He lost time in every event he swam.  I'm not sure which I was more impressed with, his 5 second lost on his 50 free with a perfect flip turn, his 7 second loss with his 50 back, with another perfect turn, or his 12 second loss on his 100 free - and he swam with purpose every stroke, and when his coaches told him to kick, he kicked his little heart out.  He was amazing.  There isn't a prouder mother in the entire world today.  This little man, born at only 23 weeks, was not given much of a chance to live, much less a chance to survive.  He was 1 lb 3 ounces when born.  I was told if he did survive he'd be severely brain damaged ....  but we never gave up, and neither did he.  My friends all send positive vibes, prayers, emails, phone calls, more prayers, whatever they thought would help, and it did.  God was listening.  And He still is.

Recipe - Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

From All Recipes

2 pounds cubed stew meat
2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom Soup
1 largish onion diced
2-3-4 tabls of Worcestershire
1/2 water
8 oz of cream cheese
couple of dashes of Garlic Salt
couple dashes of Hot Paprika (see I just can't believe this would be good without some sort of kick)

In the slow cooker stir in all the ingredients, except the meat AND the Cream Cheese, together. Once combined add the meat and mix together.

Cook on Low for 8 hours. Cut up the cream cheese into cubes just before serving and turn crockpot on high. Stir the cream cheese in until all combined. You might have to put the lid back on and leave for 10 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles. Or mashed potatoes, I won't tell anyone but I would really like to not be alone in this.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good Bye 2013

It's been a great year.  I didn't lose the weight I wanted, and we had some very rough patches as a family, but we made it through, lots of tears might have been shed, but we are still together as a family, and still working it out.

I didn't hit many personal goals, I'm not as organized as I want to be, but my home is slowly coming along.  I took the first steps - I started throwing away furniture that was well beyond it's life span.  Well beyond.  Like it should have been thrown away 5 years ago.  Like I was embarrassed that the trash men had to pick it up and put it in the truck.  Paperwork - when it comes to my desk, I take care of it.  I bought a scan-snap ... best thing I think I've ever purchased - this year - not much paperwork is going up to the attic, it's getting scanned and shredded - love it.  It will always be available at my fingertips - and I back up my computer each day - so no chances of losing it !

All 4 kids went to school this year.  Made myself a promise - once taxes were done, I'd spend some time each day on home repairs or decorating or just deep cleaning, and I'll give myself permission to find time to sew every single week !  More time on me this year, even if I have to say no to some commitments - I've begun to rethink what is really important - my friends, my family - those that love me, and those that I can count on ...  other than that - I have no one to impress.  I want my kids to remember non-stop games of Monopoly, and shooting bow and arrow with mom, not a mom that is tied to her desk day after day.

So good-bye to 2013.  2014 is going to be great - and I'm going to live every single minute of it !

Sunday, December 8, 2013

40 Minute Hamburger Buns

These are so EASY and they are AWESOME!

Made these last night when the kids decided they wanted hamburgers for dinner.  I had some frozen (I make batches and then freeze individually - that way they are already season with fried onions, garlic and spices) - but didn't have any rolls.  Tonight - we were going to have fish - but because of this beautiful snow storm - Sham can't get home, so we'll have egg sandwiches on rolls and save the fresh fish until tomorrow !

40-Minute Hamburger Buns Recipe
40-Minute Hamburger Buns Recipe photo by Taste of Home
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + resting Bake: 10 min.
MAKES: 12 servings


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 195 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 204 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil and sugar; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide into 12 pieces; shape each into a ball. Place 3 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  3. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 1 dozen.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Coming to the end of 2013

Wow - this year went by fast.  My oldest is graduating in summer next year ... how the heck did that happen ? 

I didn't get nearly as much sewing and quilting as I wanted.  I didn't get to go on any retreats with my friends.  I didn't even get much of a vacation with my kids - just a week in Michigan, which was more than fun, but more for my Dad than for me or the kids.

This year - some of the same goals as usual -

  • Loose Weight (wonder if I'll ever have a year where that isn't a priority)
  • Spend More Time with Family (I've been having dinner one on one with the kids - enjoyable!)
  • Quilt My Stash - and there is plenty of it !  I always want to have a couple baby blankets on hand - for last minute gifts.  Right now I have nothing !
  • Cook More - which goes along with menu planning and grocery shopping !
  • Home Redo - one room at a time - it's started - we'll see what gets done
  • Stay in Contact with Friends - with the convience of the Internet - sometimes I forget it's nice to just pick up the phone and say Hi !  This year I'm going to try skyping more often so we can chat face-to-face
  • One Blog Post a Week - I was going to say each day, but that's pushing it - but I will try for at least one a week !  With pictures !

What are some of your goals this year ?  Share - maybe I'll find something else to focus on !