Saturday, December 31, 2011

My baby boy is a teenager now!

Well, Monk tuned 13 today. I can't believe it. He's grown into such a young man.

He has gone through a lot in his short 13 years.

He's come so far! Three years ago he was diagnosed as dyslexic, and this year he pulled his reading level up to 5th grade! They weren't sure that he would ever be able to read past a 3rd grade level, but he showed them!

I'm so very proud of my little man. He has such a great love for the simpiler things. He is always trying to help. I can't wait to see what the future holds for my little man!

Happy birthday Monkey! I love you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's today! It's today!

We pick up Momma and Kevin from the airport today! We are all SO excited!! I've still got a lot to do today tho!

I've got the NORAD Santa Tracker up for when Monk wakes up, Bug spent the night with one of her cheerleading buddies last night. They wanted to sleep in her treehouse last night, but it got too cold so they came inside. LOL

Monk and I decided that we were going to make the pumpkin pies last night. We used The Pioneer Womans' recipe for the perfect pie crust. Of course, we only had 1 cup of Crisco, so we had to use butter for the rest, so I hope it turns out okay! Monkey made the pie filling pretty much all by himself! I helped him open some cans, and got the right spices for him. He was SO proud! I then showed him how to roll out the crust and put it in the pie tin. We then rolled out the 2nd crust and he filled it and crimped the edges all by himself!

Sorry for the crappy picture, but I took it with my cell phone. Can't even hardly tell the difference can you? That's right... because my boy is the next Jamie Oliver! (I tried for Gordon Ramsay, but Monk said he cusses too much... LOL)

Anyways! I just wanted to share our baking adventures today! Still lots to do before Momma arrives!

I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Parker House Rolls... or not!

So, I've made these rolls for a couple of years. They are FANTASTIC!! I found the recipe online somewhere and it said "Parker House rolls" so I believed it!

For those of you that don't know, The Parker House is a beautiful hotel in Boston. They have a gorgeous restaurant inside and they serve these fantastic little rolls. Obviously I've never been there, but some day I WILL go!

So, like I said, I found this recipe online, and who was I to say "No way! That's not the recipe!" considering I've never even BEEN to the Parker House. These rolls are seriously phenomenal, and well worth the work that it takes to make them. I halved this recipe this time and it still made 50 rolls, tho I did roll them a little thinner than 1/2" thick. Just keep that in mind! ;-)

Parker House rolls

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)'
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active yeast
  • 8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup (additional) flour
  1. Combine 4 cups milk, butter, and sugar in a large pot. Bring to simmer. When mixture is hot, (but not boiling) turn off heat & cool to lukewarm (~30 minutes)
  2. Sprinkle in yeast & 8 cups flour. Stir to combine then cover and allow to rise 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, add baking powder, baking soda, salt & 1 cup flour. Stir top combine. Divide dough in half. Turn out on floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, form a ball & cover for 30-45 minutes
  4. Preheat oven 400. Also melt a small amount of butter in a bowl.
  5. Roll dough to 1/2" thickness and cut circles with 2 1/2" cutter. Dip 2 edges in butter and fold together. Place on cookie sheet, flat side down. Press lightly to encourage sealing. Cover and allow rolls 30-45 minutes to rest
  6. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
Now... if you want the REAL recipe for the Parker House rolls, they have offered it online here. There are some serious differences in these 2 recipes! I'm not sure how MY recipe was labeled as Parker House rolls, but, they are good none the less!! 

I do have 1 more blog post between now and Christmas, so hopefully I will actually get to it!! :-P 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Times a'comin!

So, Christmas is 5 days away, (or as Bug says "4 days really!") and we're getting ready for my Momma and Step-dad to arrive! We can't wait for them to get here! We have Christmas dinner all planned, and since we didn't do Thanksgiving dinner, it's almost exactly the same! Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, deviled eggs, Parker House rolls, and pumpkin pie!

We already got the turkey. Sam picked it up last night at Piggly Wiggly. I was trying to convince him to get the 89 cent a pound turkey while we were talking on the phone, and he said no way because it was injected with a solution, then something about only the best for his mother-in-law, but I couldn't tell if he was joking or not. Things have been going well here tho.

Sam put off checking into getting in to ECU for so long that he missed talking to them before they left for break. Now he has to wait until NEXT semester to pick up the classes at the community college, if they even offer the classes then. I tried to tell him that he needed to get on that several times, but I was accused of being too motherly and let it go. Now it's too late. Not my problem I guess, but that does put us behind schedule to get our farmette by a about a year. That means instead of 2.5 years here, we have about 3.5 years here. I guess that does give it time to build value, for us to fix more things and to pay off more debts so we can afford to get more land/nicer house! I guess everything will work out in the end, it's just hard to see things off that far!
Christmas this year was a bit better than last year. We have more presents under the tree, we're more involved with our church, and even managed to get Sam and I some presents! Hopefully next year we will be able to afford presents for the rest of our family, even tho we know that's not what it's about.

I'm FINALLY getting my household notebook together! There's still quite a few things that I want to put in there, but, it's slowly coming together. Starting in January, I'm hoping that we will be able to start "freezer" cooking. We're going to be getting paid once a month, so I thought that we should buy enough stuff to make dinners for the entire month. That way we can just grab something from the freezer and put it together, or finish cooking it. I've been gathering lots of recipes for this for the past week or two. If I find some that I really like, I might even share them with you guys!! ;-)

Another month and we will start some of our seeds for Ivy Hill. I think we are going to do row covers for a couple of them, and start some greens, carrots, and onions. I'm really hoping that this year we can keep the bugs away! I know that it will be a bit tough, because we haven't established the balance yet, but, eventually I want to get there!

I'll be starting the Project365 again on 01January. Lets hope that I can get farther than I did this year! i guess the life of being a housewife isn't really all that exciting, or picture worthy! ;-)

I think that's about it for now. But I'll update soon! :-)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Laying in bed

So, the last time I posted someting like this, I was sitting in the parking lot waiting for an MRI. What I didn't tell all of you is that the reason I was having an MRI was because they were trying to rule out MS.
Thankfully, they have indeed ruled that out. They're still not sure what is wrong with my eye tho. I have to go back in 6 months for a check up. Let's hope that everything is better by then.
In about  2 weeks my parents will be here for Christmas. I'm actually pretty excited about this. It will be the first time I've celebrated Christmas with my momma in a few years. I miss spending time with her. We've gotten just about eveything we need to get, other than a cd player for Jillian and some stocking stuffers. We also have to get a coffee maker. We rarely drink coffee in this house, but my parents do, so we will have to get one for their sake! (Or... to save my own life! Lol)
Sam has a birthday coming up on the 18th, then we have Christmas, our anniversary, then Monks 13th birthday. He surely cannot be 13 already! It seems like just yesterday he was a small bundle of wiggly cuteness with no teeth and a great set of lungs. The no teeth bit didn't last long, but his cuteness never did wear off!
Ivy Hill is in her planning stages already. We have our seed picked, all mapped out, and planting/transplanting/sowing dates are marked on the calander. This year we're really hoping Ivy Hill will take off! I even started a blog for it, so, go check it out. I'll try to update things about Ivy Hill there from now on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

3 bean turkey chili

So, I forgot to take a picture because this was SO good and it was made in the crock pot so I smelled it cooking all day and I just couldn't wait any more. Sorry. :-/
This is a low calorie dinner, but it doesn't short on taste! It's VERY tasty!

  • 1.3 lb fat free turkey
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes 
  • 16 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 4.5oz copped chilies, drained
  • 1 25oz can  chickepeas, undrained
  • 1 15.5oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15.5oz can small red beans, undrained
  • 1 Tbspn chili powder
Brown turkey and onion. Discard fat and add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours

EVERYONE loved this! There were very few leftovers, just enough for Sam and I to have for lunch today. I didn't think that it would be very good because of the chickpeas, but it was AWESOME! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!