Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taco Tuesday

These days, I am ALL about making one dinner that pleases everyone.  I just plain refuse to make different things for different people - after all, I am not a short order cook.. right?  Tacos are a trusty crowd pleaser that take no time to prepare and are loved by all.

Everyone in my family likes the novelty of making their own food.  So, I prepare the meat and shells and then put tons of sides on the table to choose from.  To sweeten the deal, I have been buying Mexican sodas for the kids to enjoy.  That definitely raises the bar on this dinner

Here is what I serve:

  • Tacos with beef
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Rice (or polenta)
  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Salsa 
  • Sour Cream
  • Habanero sauce
  • Pinto beans or black beans
  • Corn (sometimes with chiles) or corn on the cob
  • Fruit salad
  • oh...and don't forget the margaritas..duh

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Everyday wines.

With all the snow February has brought, we have been confined to the house quite a bit.  This has made for some cozy days by the fire and lazy evenings with comfort food and wine.  I thought I would introduce you to two of my favorite reds.

The Bogle Phantom was introduced to me by a good friend and it's a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Mourvedre.  this wine has a strong berry flavor, with hints of both cocoa and cedar.  At $20 bucks   this is a great everyday wine.
The other wine we have been drinking a lot of is the Taymente Cab.  Again this wine shows real berry flavoring along with a hint of vanilla on the finish.  This bottle is a great buy at $15.
As we move into the spring, I'll move towards more mixed drinks and white wines, but red wine is the drink of choice right now!  I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sausage Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Ever so often, I go through a stage where I feel compelled to clean out almost everything in my freezer. So, as you can imagine it gets me cooking things that are not in my normal rotation.  This week, it got me cooking sausage biscuits and boy were they good.  If you are looking for something healthy or gourmet, these are not for you.  However, if you are looking for something easy and yummy, enjoy this recipe.  Remember, these are great to keep in your freezer.

Sausage and Cheddar Drop Biscuits
1 (1lb) package sausage (Jimmy Dean mild or hot will do)
1 (16 oz) package of shredded cheddar cheese
3 Cups bisquick
1-2 Cups milk
2 cloves garlic

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Cook sausage in a frying pan until browned, drain and set aside.  Mix Bisquick and milk until a dough ball forms.  Knead the sausage, cheese and garlic into dough ball.  Separate dough into 1 1/2 inch dough balls (I use a cookie scoop).  Drop onto cookie sheet.  Bake on un-greased cookie sheet for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on tops.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mystery Reader for J

Today I was the mystery reader in J's class.  We have been so good about using our wonderful library, that I seldom buy books anymore.  Thankfully, our librarians are so good that I called ahead and have them pull 5-6 books that J would like  (I love that they know him well enough to know what he would like).  I gave each a read and ended up selecting this one..Mustache.  This book is hilarious and had all the kids giggling in the Jackson's kindergaten class.

Since we are no longer allowed to bring treats for birthdays, they allow up to mystery read instead.  So, I couldn't help bringing a little treat for the kids to enjoy.  At Party City, I came across these fabulous stick-on mustaches for a quarter-- they were  hilarious.  I picked up one for each kid and they LOVED it.  Here are just a few pics of the kids with theirs on.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day 2013

For whatever reason, Valentines always signals the last bit of winter and the race to spring.  The bright pink and red sets a tone that it is decidedly brighter.

For Valentines Day this year, my kiddos got their favorite balloon pets.  Have I mentioned their my favorite pets too?  KF got a kitty, Chomps got a doggy and Baby J got a dinosaur

Each one also got a heart balloon, a mailbox of candies and treats, and best of all, I got them each a house key.  Now that I am working, I thought these might be in order.  How fun are these keys I picked up at Home Depot?

The kids enjoyed a special afternoon treat from the donut shop.  I can't believe that I actually ended up throwing an un-eaten one away.

I totally embraced the day with bright pink.  The J.Crew excursion vest in pink is a favorite.  I bought the red last year and I have worn it to death.  So, I just had to have this color.  As for nails, I used Essie's Fancy Delancy.  Toooo cute!

Valentines Day 2012

I hate to complain, but my did's school has decided to take a "healthy" approach to holidays and they no longer allow candy to be exchanged.  Consequently, holidays such as Valentines can no longer include conversation hearts or red hots.  So, this year we had to figure out a way to get creative.  I think we did a pretty good job.

Baby J gave each of his buddies one of these cute hot wheels.  We packaged them in some cello bags I had on hand and made this cute topper that we stapled on.

Chomp's was my favorite valentine.  I had left over test tubes a previous party.  So, we made a mad lib for each child and rolled it up with a golf pencil, corked the entire thing and added a tag with bakers twine.  I love when I have all the supplies needed for a project.

Last was KF... her pick was seed packets.  We found them 4 for $1.00 at the dollar store and stocked up.  From that we created a construction paper pot that opened up and added  a "heart" flower.  

Ever since my kids were little we made our Valentines.  Sometime I wish I could just go pick up a box of cards and be done, but I am always so proud of what we create.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Just keep snowing

So, the snow started coming down steadily on the 8th of February and they have officially named the snow storm Nemo (when did they start naming snow storms?).  The kids were released from school early and the neighborhood moms were busy getting last minute jobs done before the school bus arrived.  It snowed steadily and the ground was covered, but it was hard to believe that the worst of the snowfall wasn't due until after midnight.  The hubs was actually  planning to stay up for part of the night to see the blizzard with his own eyes.  I on the other hand was intent on getting some zzz's.  I felt sure that the we would lose power overnight and that  R and I would be finding our way out to the detached garage to get the generator out, started and hooked up.  All the while, leaving three littles inside to watch with flashlights.

Thankfully, for the first time, we kept power all night and woke to a winter wonderland.  The snow was just perfect and our kids played, sledded and ate snow all day.  I was actually totally shocked at the amount of snow that we got..22.1 inches.  I never would have guessed it.  After a tiring day, we settled in for some yummy hot chocolate and a cozy fire...ahhh.

Here are some of the shots from the February 8th

My old Gucci snow boot ready for action
1/8 cord of wood 
Our garage
It's coming down good!
There isn't even a walkway to be found
Look at that snow on the deck
Tubing at our neighbors house
Fresh snow!
This was perfect for those tired little bodies

The Beauty of Snow

We have gotten snowfall after snowfall this year.  The novelty of it still makes this Southern girl happy.  Perhaps my favorite snowfalls are those that happen in the middle of the night.  You wake to a a bright sunrise that is so pure that you know there must be snow on the ground.  The quietness of the morning coupled with the virgin snow, can not be beat!  

This time the snow started on the 8th during the day.  We had a consistent snow all day, but I doubted that it could continue through the night as they had predicted.  So, on day one I managed to knock around in my trusty old Gucci snow boots that come just above the ankle.

The hubs got more firewood.  A quarter cord to get us through the remaining winter.  We all got on our cozy jammies, and started a a marathon of Duck Dynasty while the snow fell.

Throughout the night the snow continued to fall and reached blizzard like conditions around midnight.  The good news is that we kept power throughout the night-- what a blessing.

The next morning was  a winter wonderland.

 Lots of playing and of course, hot chocolate were in order.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Storm is Coming

February 8th came and weather reports were calling for record snow falls.  Because metro north was shutting down early, R stayed home and together we began to get things in order for this potential storm.  Since moving to Connecticut, we have endured hurricanes, earthquakes and n'or easters.  So, it won't come as a surprise that in my mac "notes" I have a list called "storm is coming".  Here's what I've got down.

  • Cash (ATMs work on electricity)
  • Gas up car
  • Pick up an extra propane tank for the grill
  • Stock up on firewood
  • Bath kids (you never know how long you'll lose power for)
  • Wash clothes 
  • Wash all dishes
  • Gather flashlights and put them in a central spot (one per family member)
  • Gather medications and first aid and put in a central spot
  • Charge Phones, Ipads, video games, DVD players 
  • Make sure generator is accessible 
  • Make sure coolers are accessible
  • Have manual can opener available
  • Freeze water bottles to use in the coolers
  • Make plenty of ice
  • Store lawn furniture and pots that could blow away
  • Unplug any sensitive devises that could be affected by a surge
  • Prepare a "Go Bag" with personal necessities , in case you are advised to leave your home.
  • Wine Shop/ Liquor Store restock
  • Grocery (food and drink that don't need refrigeration)
    • Paper plates
    • Plastic utensils
    • Batteries
    • Fruits
    • Crackers. cookies
    • Protein bars
    • Horizon milk
    • Bottled water (3 gallons per person/per day)
Since 2010, we have had two storms that left us without power for 6-8 days.  Thankfully both were in the summer when we didn't have to worry about keeping kids warm.  I have learned that being organized keeps stress levels low.  Thankfully, businesses seem to get up and running quickly, but sometimes the water levels, the downed trees or the unplowed streets have kept us from being able to access those conveniences.

I would love to know if you have other tips or tricks to share!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

National Pancake Day

Who knew that February 5th was National Pancake day?  Well, apparently it is and IHOP offer free short stacks all day long.    Since Tuesdays are our busiest day-- with both Piano and Irish Step dancing, this was like an invitation to eat out.  And I knew this is one place that I would get NO push back from the kiddos.

Here are a few shots of the kids with their good friends, Grace and Jack..

Friday, February 1, 2013


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