Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Snow Storm and Lots of Cooking

Over the last week we got a huge snow storm! I love it when we get lots of snow. Snow is so beautiful to watch fall on the trees and so much fun to play in. I always feel like the earth is wrapped in beauty when I look at the trees covered in fresh snow. It’s such a precious, delicate thing. I love it when spring comes, but, for me, winter is managable as long as there is lots of snow.

I took lots of pictures of the beautiful snow. My little Munchkin and I went to my parents house and my mom, Munchkin and I went for a walk the day after the snow storm. We put Munchkin in a sled and it was a lovely walk with the sun shining and the snow still everywhere.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Neat Gadget

I love cooking and while I do like kitchen gadgets, I try to mainly buy the ones that will save me loads of time and hassle in the kitchen.

I recently acquired this garlic peeler at a Pampered Chef party, and I love it. I've always wondered about these contraptions and if they really work, and while hosting a PC party was totally convinced so I ordered one, and boy am I in love!

Some days when I'm trying to get dinner done in a hurry I am so lazy that I just skip adding garlic because I don't feel like peeling it, it can take a long time to do, and getting the peelings stuck in my fingernails isn't fun. It's a sad story, but true.

I realize I am probably really late jumping on the bandwagon to buy one of these, but I just didn't know how great they were! So, for a few bucks, I can now peel fresh garlic in a flash. Here's the link to the Pampered Chef garlic peeler that I have, but you can find them many other places, too. Happy cooking!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Lots of Cooking

This last week was a long one. Something happened to my baby - she morphed into a different little person. She went from her normal happy self…..

To this….a whiny, slobbery, unhappy, crying toddler…..

And this was my week. I had a hard time dealing with it all. I am lucky to have a husband that understands, and he helped take her off my hands after work so I wouldn’t go crazy from all the screaming tantrums and almost non-stop whining.
Then I realized as I was brushing her teeth on Saturday that two of her 2-year molars had grown almost all the way in in the matter of a week! My poor little one! She has since been given some Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Baby Orajel, some natural herbal teething tablets and is the happy, smiley, funny and mischievous toddler I’m used to! Whew!

My baby is back!

This weekend while I.C. napped Hubby and I did some spring cleaning. Our garage is kind of a nightmare, the kind I probably shouldn’t tell you about, but I will. For almost a year now we haven’t had a car in the garage because we have too many other things occupying space in there! A few years back my husband and I lived in Ecuador for close to a year. Before leaving we each had our own apartments, and we put all our stuff together in storage while we were gone. When we got back we lived in a small duplex and we kept the storage unit because we didn’t have enough room in our apartment. And because we had to go through a lot of boxes to find stuff because my husband didn’t label anything that was his.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dancing Queen, a Warm Spell & Two-Year Pictures!

My Aunt recently passed away and this weekend my family and I attended her funeral. It was a beautiful service and my uncle and one of my cousins were able to get up in front of the whole congregation (?) and speak about what a wonderful woman she was. I am in awe and still can’t believe that they had the courage to get up and speak about their wife and mother without breaking down completely. My daughter loves my aunt, and talks about her all the time. She was a wonderful woman who gave her time, energy and friendship to a lot of people.
Throughout the last couple of weeks, when my aunt’s liver was failing and then after her death friends and family have been at my uncles house with baked goods, home-cooked meals, and lots of support for them. A neighbor of my grandma has some chickens and gifted my uncle with dozens of fresh and organic eggs from their farm. There were too many for him, and so he gave some away to family, and I was lucky to end up with a dozen fresh eggs, all different sizes, colors and shapes!

This morning it was cold out, but the sun came out after a while and I decided to scramble up some of those fresh eggs for breakfast. It was a peaceful morning as my daughter and I ate eggs with the sun shining in the windows! I thought about my aunt the whole time, and how good she was to my precious little girl and how much fun we had playing at her house with her, my uncle, their grandson and my cousins!

One of my aunt’s requests for her funeral was that one of her favorite songs be played, and so we all marched out of the funeral listening to Dancing Queen by ABBA! She was one spunky woman!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chocolate Cake

This is the face of a just-turned-two-year-old that wants chocolate cake for breakfast. This is the face of a very unhappy little someone that screamed and whined with big tears and tantrums for chocolate cake for breakfast this morning. And then ended up happy with a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. I use the word "happy" loosely today, because after whining and crying about chocolate cake she continued to whine and cry about everything else in her life and drove this mama crazy. So, when I say 'happy' I mean at least she stopped crying for long enough to eat the cereal.
 For the record, and before you start wondering what in the world I feed this kid normally that makes her think chocolate cake is an appropriate breakfast, let me say that she has had chocolate cake twice in her life. I don't go around feeding her chocolate cake for breakfast or any other time on a regular basis or anything! Really! I swear.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Busy week....

It's been a busy week. My aunt has been battling liver cancer the past couple years and has not been well lately. After many days in the hospital and lots of prayers she passed away last week and it has been a hard time for my family.
I made a hot dish, as we here in Minnesota like to call it, for my uncle and his family this weekend and made some extra for my household to enjoy. It was nice to assemble this in the morning and have an easy dinner all ready for later, plus one to drop off at my uncle's house. This is a simple dish, and can be adapted to be vegetarian, too! I, of course, forgot to take any pictures, but I'm sure I will make this again as it was delish! I will be sure to photograph it then. If I remember.