Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

I love cake. It's a great vehicle for frosting!

The other day Paul made a chocolate cake, and while it was good... it needed something.


So at 8:58pm, I called my mom to get her chocolate frosting recipe that I loved growing up. I only quote the time because if you are a Midwesterner, you know how dangerously close I was to calling after 9pm... which is just rude.

I thought I would share the super yummy and easy recipe for one of my favorite things!

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
Taken from an old church cookbook that's full of grease spots, flour, and missing it's cover :)

1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Milk
1/4 C butter

Melt in a saucepan, bring to a boil and boil hard for 30 sec stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and add 1 C Chocolate Chips.

Stir until melted, then pour over cake.


I apologize that the pic isn't great (I'm not a photographer and I don't pretend to be!), but look at how decadent that frosting is! And yes, Paul had already cut into the cake before I had a chance to frost it. :/

Monday, March 26, 2012

Clara. Lately.

Happy 21-months little girl!

I can’t believe we are rapidly approaching Clara’s 2nd birthday! She is a busy busy girl these days!

She loves going up and down the stairs at the new house, and can even do it with a sippy cup, blanket, or toy in tow. It’s always interesting to reach the top of the stairs and see what she has drug up there.

She has found nooks and crannies to hide things… we have a tube of toothpaste that has been missing for over a week.

Her vocabulary continues to explode and she is now putting 2-3 words together routinely. Her favorite saying at the moment is, “I don’t want it!” While it’s not my favorite thing to hear, it’s better than her shoving things back at me or throwing them on the floor! We also hear about what the kitties are doing, “Kitty eat!” “kitty sleep” “where’s kitty?”

We have also started to watch what we say, as she repeats so much. She also copies our actions. The other day Paul was vacuuming the family room. Clara watched for awhile, then disappeared into the office/playroom and came back pushing her lawnmower, which is the closest toy she has resembling a vacuum.

She loves being outside playing with the animals, following Paul around, and pushing her shopping cart with toys or tools for dad.

It’s also fun to quiz her on her body parts… nose, eyes, ears, mouth, hands, toes… My mom was trying to teach her “knee” the other day. She has also figured out that mommy has a nose, daddy has a nose, grandma has a nose, and even Lucy (the cat) has a nose!

She also loves to sing – Old McDonald is still her favorite and she knows the EIEIO part well, and does a good job on the animal sounds too.

Her counting is progressing. We count whenever we go up and down the stairs or if I’m folding towels, we count how many are in the pile. It’s funny to hear her count when she’s on her own… “1,2,3,5,2,5!”

Her alphabet is progressing as well. She can sing most of it understandably.

Colors is next I think. :)

She still hates having her hair brushed or put up. I managed a ponytail for about a minute yesterday. Anyone have any hints on this?

It’s hard to remember what she was like before she became so responsive. It’s fun to carry on little conversations with her. She is strong-willed though, which can be frustrating. Paul and I are taking the Love and Logic Parenting Class which has been helpful. I have learned different strategies for dealing with her in tough situations.

What a blessing you are sweet Clara! We love you!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I’m trying out a new format for putting recipes on here. Let me know what you think!

It’s amazing how inspired you can be to cook and bake when you have a life-size kitchen! It’s so easy to spread out now and I have easy access to my appliances, cookware, pantry, etc. I’m loving it.

I’m guessing Paul is loving it too because I actually cook a meal most nights now.

Not that I didn’t cook before…

OK. I didn’t.

We ate a lot of frozen pizza.

And frozen chicken chunks.

So this weekend I thought I would give homemade chicken nuggets a shot. I found the recipe on pinterest.

Date: 3/24/12

Modifications: I make my own Italian Breadcrumbs – but you can use store-bought.

Time to table: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 adults

Paul: Wasn’t home
Mamie: Love
Clara: Like

Notes: These are so yummy – I’m never buying chicken chunks from the store again. They were really easy too. Next time I freeze chicken, I’m going to cut up a few bags right away so all I will have to do is thaw the chicken to make these. Clara was pretty disinterested in food on Saturday as a whole, so she might like them more the next time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pesto-Pasta with Chicken Recipe

It is so awesome having a “real” kitchen! I will admit I’m not super adventurous when cooking in the kitchen, but sometimes I surprise myself!

Such was the case when I cranked out this concoction over the weekend. During the move, I discovered I had A LOT of good stuff hiding in my pantry. I made a resolution to use up some of that good stuff and avoid a trip to the grocery store for awhile, except to pick-up fresh produce and milk.

I also had some defrosted chicken breasts in the fridge that I needed to use up. My mom had made a similar dish that I remember eating when I was at my parent’s recently, so that was my inspiration.

The pesto also came from our freezer – my mom makes big batches each summer and freezes it in baby food containers. She shares some with me since we are big pesto fans!

Pesto-Pasta with Chicken

2 chicken breasts
Wildtree Alfredo Extraordinaire or 2 cups of jarred alfredo sauce
½ cup of pesto (jarred or make your own)
pasta (I used penne)

(I’ve warned you before that I don’t measure when I cook, so these are all estimations!)

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast and cook in a skillet with some olive oil. When they are cooked all the way through, remove from heat and cut into cubes.

Cook 4 servings of your favorite pasta, drain.

Prepare 2 servings of Wildtree Alfredo Extraordinaire according to the instructions, or pour 2 cups of jarred alfredo sauce into a sauce pan. Heat through. Add ½ cup of pesto and stir. Add the chicken and let cook on low for 10 minutes.

Add the pasta, give it a good stir, and serve! I added a little shredded mozzarella to the top because I love cheese. Enjoy!

Pin It

Thursday, March 8, 2012

11 Things.

I got this post from one of my favorite blogs: Marital Bless. While Leah didn’t tag me (I doubt she knows I exist), I’m going to do it anyway.

The Rules
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in the post you were tagged in
4. Create 11 new questions for your tagees to answer
5. Tag them on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog

11 Random Things About Me
1. I know how to play 3 musical instruments: piano, flute, and handbells.
2. I haven’t cut or colored my hair since November of 2010 – and it needs it. Bad.
3. I will only drink coffee with cream and sugar.
4. I’m a night owl, but go to bed early because I need sleep.
5. I don’t eat condiments. Ketchup makes me gag. No mustard, mayo, or salad dressings either.
6. I once didn’t eat ham because it had “egg juice” on it. And I was 18 years old.7.
I was a State FFA Officer.
8. I wash my face religiously every morning and night with my clarisonic.
9. My office goes back and forth between organized and “tornado-just-went-through”.
10. I have had 3 pedicures in my life, the first one when I was 28 years old.
11. I know how to sew, knit, crochet, cross-stitch, and weld.

11 Questions from Leah

1. What is your favorite holiday? I used to say Christmas Eve Day, but now I don’t know. Holidays seem to just slip by these days. I need to change that.

2. How would you describe your first kiss? Quick

3. Did you go to public or private school? Private elementary school and public high school. I loved graduating with a class of 11 from elementary school. My girlfriends from there are some of my closest friends to this day.

4. Who knows you best? Probably my sister. There is little we can hide from each other.

5. Hair binder, hair tie or ponytail holder? I call it a hairband.

6. Domestic goddess or wannabe? Probably a wannabe. I’d like to think I’m a goddess J

7. What is your favorite pen to write with? Xenon Aqua Roller… Ginny got me hooked on them. They’re $3 a piece, but sooooo worth it!

8. Where is your fast food of poison? Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwich

9. What was the biggest trophy you ever won? I think I have 1 trophy – Champion 4-H Sheep Showman of the Goodhue County Fair in 2006. Otherwise, it’s all plaques. Best plaque is for 1st Place National FFA Creed Speaking Contest.

10. What was your favorite grade? 3rd immediately popped into my head. I loved my teacher – Miss Schmidt.

11. Do you like your passport/drivers license picture? LOVE my license picture – it was taken a few weeks after Clara was born, so I still have that new mom “glow”. I’m super bummed I have to get a new license with our new address. I work with the Recorder’s Office ladies… I’m going to see if I can talk them into letting me keep it :)

11 Questions for others-

1. What is your middle name?
2. Who was your best friend in grade school?
3. How many kids do you want to have?
4. What is your morning routine?
5. What is your favorite movie?
6. What was your favorite extra-curricular activity in high school?
7. Can you do any stupid human tricks?
8. What was your first car?
9. What is your dream job?
10. Any regrets?
11. What is your ringtone?

Tagged: A Simple Mother Life's Adventures Nicole.Starr Design Your Dwelling

If anyone else wants to be tagged - just let me know! GO!

Lasts... and Firsts....

It hit me this morning as I was standing in the bathroom getting ready, that this would be the last normal, work-day morning - in this house.

This would be the last time that I would stand in front of that mirror and do my morning routine to go to work.

It would be the last time Paul and I would tag-team it with Clara as we both tried to get showered, dressed, lunches packed, and out the door – in this house.

It would be the last time I would wave at bus driver Ruth, as our paths crossed at 7:31am.

Lots of “lasts”.

And as exciting as all the “firsts” will be, it’s still a little sad to think about all the “lasts”. As much as I have hated that house, it has been a home for our little family for the last 5 ½ years. We have memories there. It will always be our little, “teeny tiny house in the middle of nowhere!”

But we have waited a long time for the “firsts”! Last weekend I unpacked the first box, and this weekend we will spend our first night in the new house. It’s exciting… and scary… but mostly exciting!

Thank you to everyone for your comments, support, and advice as we become new homeowners!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sneak Peak of our New House!

Here are some pics of our new house! When I uploaded these, I kinda went backwards, so it might make sense to page all the way to the bottom and work your way back up :) Sorry some of the pictures are really bad - I was trying to take pictures, corral Clara, and listen to the inspector all at the same time! These pictures were taken before the previous owner moved out, so all the furnishings are theirs.

Upstairs Hall
Living Room
Living Room
Living Room

kitchen into dining room
From kitchen into dining room Kitchen
Dining room looking into the Living Room

Family Room
Family Room
Entry way
Downstairs Bathroom
Downstairs bathroom
Dining room
Dining room with built in hutch
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Downstairs Bedroom (will most likely be my craft room for now)

Clara's Bedroom

Upstairs Bathroom
Upstairs Bathroom
"Back" of the house, door and garage entry

Front of the house

View of the house from the road