Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Breakfast!

We leave on Christmas morning (well around 11:00am or so) to go to my parent's house. I like to make breakfast special but it can't be too involved. I ran across this recipe and it was a huge success!

Monkey French Toast (recipe makes 3 french toast sandwichs)

Ripe Banana - mashed
1 T. honey
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 T. butter
2 eggs
4 pieces of bread
a little milk

Mix first 3 ingredients together. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Spread peanut butter mix on bread and top with another slice of bread.

Beat eggs and add a dash of milk. Beat again. Dip sandwich in egg mixture and place on skillet. Cook until golden brown then turn. Serve immediately with honey or syrup!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Drive Through Communion

Well, that’s what one of my brother-in-laws calls it. But with 30 something people ranging in ages from 16 months to 70 years in your immediate family makes Christmas Eve festivities like everything else…flexible. Our church does a drop-in communion service from 4pm-6pm on Christmas Eve. Families, dressed in everything from sweats to full blown boutique garb, are given a special mediation reading, Bible reading and hymnal song. As families become ready, they parade down the isle and kneel together at the alter to receive communion. It is a lovely serene sight. I could actually sit there all night watching everyone come and go. Anyway, our turn comes and due to our sheer number, can stretch across the entire alter. I kneel beside my 6 year old son. Before he could ask about the money scattered at the alter, the pastor is offering the bread and wine to us. Allowing my son to be independent, he begins to pull a cup from the plate. What I didn’t know was the little plastic cup full of red grape juice was stuck. Not to be deterred, my son pulls hard enough to release the cup and its contents all over me in my ivory Christmas sweater. As I am kneeling there trying to keep my composure, juice is running down my forehead. I just nod as I hear “Sorry momma”. As we all stand up, my son tugs at my brother-in-law and asks, “Aren’t you gonna leave a tip?” Hhhhmmm, it’s just another Christmas memory to tell years from now. As I look down to survey the damage I notice that I look like I have been shot. Good thing that we live only a mile down the road!

A Few of My Favorite Things!

I received some wonderful gifts from my loved ones! I thought I would take a minute and share a few of my favorites!

Two of my gifts I won in a game of Dirty Santa. My husband has 6 siblings all complete with spouses and children. Several years ago, we decided that the adults play Dirty Santa instead of drawing names. It was the best decision ever. This year, I brought a purse and wallet that I made over the summer. My husband went to bass Pro Shop and bought something that he wanted. Anyway, I was chosen to go first and I lucked out on the first gift. My sister-in-law found these wonderful shopping bags at Pier 1. Inside was a Rachel Ray cookbook and Vera Bradley make up bag.

To revive my workout, I got some Mizuno running shoes and an MP3 player. I am not much on name brands. I just needed something that I could download my own music but also had a radio tuner so I could tune into the TV stations if I chose.

But the best present of all, the family cookbook. Thirteen years ago, my soon-to-be-sisters-in-laws put together a family cookbook for our Christmas gift in honor of our spring wedding. It was named Stewed Crow after a recipe submitted by my father-in-law. Well this year, it got a face lift and Stewed Crow become Stewed Elk (yes, another recipe from my father-in-law!) It is full of everyone’s favorite recipes, family pictures, and stories. Some recipes were submitted in honor of another family member. When Stewed Crow was first published, Uncle John was still in Medical School and submitted “Ramen Noodles with Cheese”. This year, Uncle John resubmitted that recipe in honor of Charles, the first grandchild to attend college. Thank you so much Rachel!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Daily Planner

I really have a hard time finding just the right daily planner. I am not the most consistent list maker anyway, so I need all the help I can get. Last year, I made my own daily planner that worked just right for me.

Here are the must-have features for me in a planner:

1. SIZE. I have a small notebook that hold my pages so I cut the page shown in half and punch holes.

2. ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I love to check off completed items so boxes are placed on the left-hand column. The shorter lines on the right-hand column are used for one of three things: 1) the time of the activity 2) prioritizing if I know that I may not accomplish everything listed 3) order of errands to run.

3. REMINDERS. Notice at the bottom the words: planning time, quiet time, family time, serving others, and 15 minute spit-spot. These are things that I want to be sure to factor into each day. Planning does not come naturally, so I actually plan planning time. My quiet time is usually set at 5:45 am, but when the kids are home from school or it is a holiday, I may have to re-schedule for a different time. Family is meant to be fun things centered around the kids. Sometimes family time is unstructured time spent together, sometimes it is a planned structured activity like baking cookies together. Serving others was added only a short time ago. Jesus called us to serve others, but I realized I rarely had time to do so. Serving others may mean sending birthday cards, helping with the church youth group, or making a needed phone call to a friend. 15 minute spit spot is a game the kids and I play. We set the kitchen timer and see how much of the house we can pick up before the timer goes off. you might be surprised at what we can accomplish!

4. VERSE. My favorite planning verse is from Proverbs 16:3. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. I used to keep this verse at the bottom of the page, but now I like to have a space for other verses. Placing them on my planner ensures that I look at it often to keep my mind focused.

Good Luck and let me know about your planner!

Daily Planner

Thursday, December 18, 2008

There are few feelings better than...

Knowing dinner is in the crockpot!

I quartered up some potatoes and onions and placed a chuck roast on top. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and voila....dinner!

The kids have their last play practice tonight and I really want to use my time wisely to wrap up some secret gifts. The spouse and I might actually have a conversation tonight! Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Study Skills

Well, 14 years of teaching high school biology makes me a bit of an expert. 'Tis the season of the dreaded exams before the fun of Christmas can really start! I thought I'd offer a few tips for those of you studying this week.

1. An organized student will usually make better grades than an unorganized student. How can you spend quality time studying if you cannot find the materials to study?! Several days before the exam, spend your time organizing your school work. Locate the notes you will need and put them in the order they were taught to you. Organize school work, previous quizzes and tests in the same manner. Use the study guide or exam review sheet and highlight areas in your class notes that you will need to focus on. Highlight quizzes, classwork and any other papers that you can use to help prepare you for the information. If you are missing notes due to an absence or because you lost them, ask a classmate for their work to copy. This is legal, because you are not trying to pass their work off as yours, you just need it to study .

2. Use the Review Sheet/Study guide to make a "To-Do" List of items to learn. This can be a great motivational tool for some students. It feels great to be able to check an item off and see their progress.

3. Sit down with your work when you are feeling focused. Begin reading through them, if there is any information that is not making sense to you, now is the time to pull out your textbook. Look up the exact information topic, read it and fill in the blank on your notes.

4. A great way to learn information is to illustrate it. This works fantastic for a subject like science. Do not worry about your artistic skills, that isn't the point. An example would be learning the 3 parts of the Cell Theory. Turn the parts into little pictures that remind you of the theory part. Your brain will have an easier time remembering the pictures than memorized words. If you are trying to learn a "process" trying drawing a diagram. Even some of our great scientists had to make models to illustrate what they were trying to learn such as Watson and Crick (discovered the structure of DNA).

5. You can rarely go wrong with flash cards/note cards.

6. Recopy your notes. It is very difficult to stay focused reading class notes. To keep yourself on track rewrite them or type them. This tactic in particular got me through my college classes.

7. Make analogies. My favorite teaching tool while studying the structure of a cell is to make analogies. Students would write down the cell part, its function(s), then compare that cell part to a job/place in a town. Such as the Golgi apparatus is like the post office. The post office packages items, sorts them, and ships. The Golgi apparatus does the same thing with proteins.

8. Make concept maps of your notes. The term "concept map" is known by a couple of different names, but trust me, if your child is 4th grade or higher, they have made one. They look like this.

9. DO NOT SIT DOWN FOR 3 HOURS AND READ YOUR BOOK! This is an extremely ineffective method of studying for a final exam and should not be used. Most textbooks are boring anyway. You will be spending your time learning information that you do not need to know. Reading your textbook is a lazy man's way to study. It takes very little brain work.

10. Ask your teacher for study suggestions. If anyone knows the subject, they do. They also know what's on the test and may be able to offer suggestions that will work best for that subject area.

10. Switch it up. Try all the methods above, don't just stop at one. Keep it fresh and your brain alive. Get at least 6 hours of sleep and eat a good breakfast. Don't worry, you'll be fine!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Menu Planning Planner

When I sit down each Sunday afternoon to organize my meals for the week, I use a planner to help me. I have been trying to get some online help on how to give you a copy of this planner and I thinkI have finally figured out how. Anyway, Enjoy!

Meal Planner

Menu Planning Monday

I don't think this week can get any busier. Monday night is my faculty party at the school. I need to remember to tell teh babysitter to get the kids to the church for play practice. Tuesday night is my husband's work party and church play practice again but only for my daugther. Wednesday is yet practice. Thursday, I hope, is a normal day. Friday is our Sunday school party. Somehow we will get through. As a result of this incredibly crazy week, we have a very boring menu for this week. Much of it is already prepared and ready for a babysitter to heat it up.

Sunday Night: Sauted Chicken, rice, and greenbeans
Monday Night: Mac n'cheese, left-over green beans and grapes
Tuesday Night: Chicken kabobs with pasta and oranges
Wednesday Night: Crockpot Chuck Roast/ Oven roasted Veggies
Thursday Night: Frozen Chili and cornbread

To follow up on a few past recipes, I highly recommend the Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce. It takes a while to prepare so this is nice for special weekend meal. Even though it is just meatballs, it has a wonderful rich taste that is perfect for winter. It was a big hit with everyone.

The fried fish tacos were another favorite. Only suggestion, add a dish with tomatoes. Perhaps a quick tomato, black bean, lime juice, and onion salad or something. The kids didn't go for the avocado sauce, but loved everything else.

Find more great meals for the week at !

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

Our family is on the quest of making Christmas more meaningful. As Christians we celebrate Jesus leaving the glory of heaven and becoming a human being so that we would understand that God is with us and for us. Does buying gifts for people who don't need them and sometimes don't want them honor Jesus? Does getting the latest toys for our children bring glory to God? Have you seen the “Advent Conspiracy” videos on This movement was started by five pastors who wanted to help their church members make Christmas more about giving than buying. Their motto is ‘worship fully; spend less; give more; love all.” I must say that I cannot argue with that platform. But how can I give those “words” real life in my home? Visit me each day as I reflect on the Christmas changes we have made this year.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meal Planning Monday

Well, I'm off to the grocery store. We are having something to warm our bones on Sunday night. While it takes about an hour to make and cook it is well worth it in the end. Dad is cooking some yummy fish tacos on Thursday (because he loves to fry!) Anyway, here is our week menu and recipes:

Sunday - Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce and steamed Broccoli

Monday -Chili - frozen last month

Tuesday - Chicken Stir-Fry (Trader Joe's Frozen meal)

Wednesday - Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Cutlets with Asparagus

Dad Cooks Thursday - Fish Tacos with Seared Cabbage and Avocado Cream


Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce

2/3 Cup milk
2 Cups breadcrumbs
2 T. butter
½ Cup olive oil
3 Cups sliced mushrooms
2 ½ T. wheat flour
1 Cup beef Broth
2/3 Cup Red Wine
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 t. brown sugar
1 T. finely chopped fresh basil
4 green onions chopped (including green parts)
1 lb. ground beef
1 t. paprika
1 lb. cooked egg noodles

1. Combine milk and breadcrumbs and set aside.
2. Melt butter and 4 T of oil in a pan. Fry mushrooms for 4 minutes, then add flour and cook 2 more minutes. Add stock and wine and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar and basil. Season and simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Mix green onions, beef and paprika with the bread crumbs. Shape into meatballs.
4. Heat 4 T. of the remaining oil and the rest of the butter in a large skillet. Fry meatballs until brown on all sides.
5. Transfer into deep casserole dish, pour wine and mushroom sauce on top, cover and bake in a pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Pour over egg noodles and serve.

Fish Tacos

1 ½ lbs. firm white fish (mahi mahi or halibut)
2 t. ground chipotle powder
2 t. ground coriander
1 cup flour
1 t. sugar
½ t. baking powder
1 bottle Mexican beer, 1 ½ cups
2 T. hot sauce (depends on your family’s heat tolerance!!)
Vegetable oil for frying
1 small head of Savoy cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded.
1 onion thinly sliced
2 limes
2 avocados – peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 clove garlic – minced
½ heavy cream or sour cream (we are using heavy cream b/c we will be using more later in our hot chocolate)
Flour tortillas
Cilantro - chopped

1. Pat fish dry and season with salt, pepper, chipotle pepper, and coriander
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and 1 t. salt in a bowl. Add beer and hot sauce and stir until combined.
3. Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.
4. Dip fish in batter then place in hot oil. Fry until golden brown, then place on a paper towel lined plate.
5. While fish cooks, heat about 2 T. of oil in another pan. Saute cabbage and onions. Squeeze lemon juice over the top.
6. Add avocados, garlic, cilantro and cream in the blender or food processor and blend until a thick sauce.
7. Serve fish, cabbage and sauce with warmed flour tortillas.

Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Cutlets

4-6 chicken cutlets
2-3 T. olive oil
4 – 6 sliced procuitto or ham
4-6 slices Fontina cheese
½ Cup dry white wine or Chicken broth
1 lb asparagus

1. Lay out chicken cutlets, place a slice of procuitto and cheese on each cutlet. Roll or fold the cutlet and hold in place with a toothpick.
2. Place in a shallow casserole dish and pour wine/broth over top.
3. Bake until chicken is done (approx 20-25 minutes)
4. Heat olive oil in sauté pan and cook asparagus until tender crisp.

Friday, December 5, 2008

There is nothing like getting home in the afternoon after a long day and finding fabric sitting at the back door!! I am so excited about getting to work on the spring collection! Thanks Sandy from for my order!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Gifts

This past weekend I finally had the opportunity to work on a few of my own projects. This wristlet is for one of my nieces. It was made using Joel Dewberry's Fabric collection. Inside will have a Target Gift card.

This bag was made for a barter with my sister-in-law. She put together a family cookbook and is giving me extra copies to give as gifts. I love the fabric! It is called "Gothic Rose" by Amy Bulter. I think I might have to make myself one!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time is Bald in the Back

God gives each of us 86,400 seconds in each day to use or abuse. Opportunity is a statue with hair in front, but bald in the back - you can't grab it once it's gone. Psalm 90 asks the Lord to teach us to number our days so that we may apply your hearts with wisdom. We are instructed to make the most of our opportunities. Before we were even born, God knew how many "seconds" we would be given. God also knew that those "seconds" would be plenty of time for us to complete (or chose not to complete) his will for our lives. We must make choices about how we choose to allot our time. Here are some simple steps you can use to begin seizing the day and doing what counts:

1. Make a "to do" list at the end of each day for tomorrow.
2. From the list, set your priorities. List each activity A, B, C based on its importance.
3. Question everything; Ask yourself: Is doing this really important?
4. Avoid clutter; Have a place to put everything. Keep it simple.
5. Do things with excellence but avoid perfection.
6. Use a calendar ; It will help you see the big picture of where you are going.
7. Think about your long term goals: How does doing each activity fit with your purpose?

When making your "to do" list, consider the following activities that may need to be scheduled in:

1. Time alone with God
2. Time with family
3. Sleep time
4. Planning time
5. Service to others

One last interesting thought. One very rich woman was boarding a life boat as the Titanic was sinking into the ocean. Suddenly, she begged the crew members who were helping passengers board those rafts for 3 extra minutes. She had to return to her room to get something. The crewman begrudgingly gave her the 3 minutes to get back to her room but said if she wasn't back in 3 minutes, they would give here seat to someone else. She scampered back down the hallways, passed all kinds of valuable statues, expensive furniture before she reached her room. She quickly passed a large handbag full of cash, and she passed her closet where she had placed thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. Instead she opened a drawer and retrieved 3 small oranges. She knew that she would need them for nourishment on the raft. Interesting. What had little worth just one hour before was now priceless. And, what was valuable just one hour before suddenly was of no value in that moment.

Time and events tend to dictate what is valuable; supply and demand tell us what is really important. So how do you determine what's important to you? How does your situation tell you how to invest your time? How do the opportunities in front of you teach you what to do?

Have a great day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Meal Planning Monday

This is a busy week for us. Luckily, some of the grocery items I already had available, so shopping was easy yesterday. Here it is:

Sunday: Seared Ahi Tuna, vegetable fried rice, and fruit salad
Monday: (Christmas Program at the School) Spaghetti
Tuesday: Turkey and artichoke over puff pastry and green beans
Wednesday: Dad cooks! Burgers and roasted veggies
Thursday: Chicken Stirfry (frozen from Trader Joe's)


Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

1. 3/4 frozen Ahi Tuna steaks, thawed
* Melt 1 T butter and 2 T soy sauce in skillet.
* Add tuna and cook 3 minutes per side. This will leave the middle pink. Cook longer if desired.

Vegetable Fried Rice

1. 3 C. cooked rice
2. 3-4 green onions, sliced
3. 1/2 zucchini chopped
4. 1/2 C. peas and corn each
5. 2 eggs
6. 1 clove garlic chopped fine
7. 1 small can mushrooms
8. 1 T butter
9. 3-4 T vegetable oil (approx.)
* Melt butter in skillet. Scramble eggs and add to buter and cook. Remove eggs and set aside. Add vegetable oil and saute the rest of the vegetables until tender crisp. Add rice and eggs. Cook several minutes stirring a couple of times. Add soy sauce if desired.

Fruit Salad

1. sliced strawberries, bananas, and canned chunked pineapple ( any other fruit about to go bad in the fridge)
2. small container of favored yogurt
* Mix all together.

Turkey and Artichokes over Puff Pastry

1. 5 T. butter
2. 1/3 C all-purpose flour
3. 4-6 green onions, sliced
4. 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
5. 1 C. chicken broth
6. 1 & 1/2 C milk
7. 1/2 t salt
8. fresh ground pepper to taste
9. 3 C diced left over turkey
10. 1 can artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
11. 6-8 frozen puff pastry shells, baked (could also substitute rice, noodles or biscuits)
*In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender. Add flour and stir until smooth and well blended. Add broth, stirring until thickened. Add milk, salt, turkey, and artichokes. Cook until thick and bubbly. Pour over hot cooked pastry shells.

Roasted Veggies
1. Fresh Broccoli, cauliflower, quartered onions, carrots, etc.
2. 1 clove garlic, chopped
3. 1-2 T olive oil
*Mix together and spead out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 until edges are brown (about 25 minutes)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Green Tea Latte Recipes

I discovered Green Tea Latte at Starbuck's about 2 years ago. They have become my total and complete self-indulgent item. Thankfully, Starbuck's Coffee has not found our little town. I would gladly sacrifice my grocery money for my addiction. I think God is saving my family from starvation, by ensuring that my special treat can only be found about once a month.

Over the weekend, my craving was overwhelming so I began scouring the Internet for "Green Tea Latte Recipes". Most of the ones I found looked something like this:

1/2 to 1 teaspoon green tea powder (Matcha)

2 ounces warm water

4 ounces warm milk

3 teaspoons sugar or honey

1/2 to 1 cup ice cubes

Mix the green tea powder with the 2 ounces of warm water, mixing well to dissolve. Transfer this mixture to a blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Well, that sounds great except what in the world is Matcha?? So I went to the kitchen to invent my own satisfying concoction. I came up with a creamy, rich and slightly sweet drink that was high in fat and calories but dreamy to drink. Here it is (notice that I was grabbing things I could find in the fridge)

1 & 1/2 cup brewed green tea (cooled)

1 T whipping cream

1 T french vanilla coffee creamer

1 cup (or so) ice

1/2 T Splenda (I think you could substitute any type of sweetener here)

I placed it all in the blender and mixed until it was smooth. As Rachel Ray would say, "YUM-O"

Here is a picture of my empty coffee mug. It is my favorite mug because 1) it is big and can easily hold 1 and 1/2 cups of drink and 2) the curve of the mug sit perfectly in my hand and 3) my mother in law made it.
By the way - Check out the "meant to be" blog for more recipes!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meal Planning Monday

Why Plan Your Meals ?

*Saves money at the grocery store
Planning your meals allows you to purchase only what you need. Gone are the days of wilted veggies and 3-year-old cans that were purchased because they looked good at the time. Meal planning also takes advantage of buying in bulk with less waste. If you know that several meals will be using onions, you can purchase an entire bag of onions rather than just a few at a time.

*Makes the 5 o’clock rush less hectic
I don’t know about you, but 5 o’clock at our house looks like a train station. Kids being shuffled back and forth to activities, homework spread on the table, kids are hungry and searching for a snack…do I really need to go on? Meal planning eliminates one big question: “WHAT’S FOR SUPPER?” Meals can be planned according to your schedule. For instance, if we have several commitments that afternoon; I will plan to have sandwich night or a crock-pot meal.

*Planned meals are healthier
Convenience foods and restaurant foods are loaded with fats and calories with very little nutritional value (per calorie). Taking the time to sit down and make use of fresher ingredients eliminates those extra calories and overly processed ingredients. I like organizing my week of meals to insure variety. One night we may have beef another fish. My family has often sunk into the rice pit. When I wasn’t efficiently organizing my meals, it seemed we were having rice with every meal. Proper planning helped me to decrease our consumption of rice and increase our consumption of fresh vegetables.

*Allows for more eating at home as a family
Studies show that families that eat together at least 3 nights a week have children that are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. However, I also believe that it helps EVERYONE in the family. I believe that eating together as a family helps reduce stress and build stronger family relationships. Family meals are not always pleasurable. There is the whiney toddle, spilled drinks, annoying table manners and much more. Keep your expectations reasonable and take small steps. This is a journey, not a sprint.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My New Year's Resolution (2008)

I am finally getting around to accomplishing my new year's resolution. Just in time for 2009! My resolution was to read the entire Bible. My epiphany occurred last year when a friend asked how I can follow a religion when I don't know EVERYTHING it proposes. Well, I was raised in a Christian home, attended Church more Sundays than I have not and decided to become a Christian myself at age 11, but true, I don't know EVERYTHING the Bible preaches. I found in August. The site breaks down the Bible into daily readings for 365 days. Since I was behind the curve, I have been reading 2 - 4 days worth to catch up. I have now read 1 /3 of the Bible and am very proud of myself. My goal is to finish before its time to make a new resoluion! I have really enjoyed this though. I started getting up in th mornings about 15 minutes earlier than normal. I fix my cup of joe and enjoy the silence of my normally bustling house. That 15 minutes has grown into 30 and now about 40 minutes of time. I don't know what I'll do once I have finished, but I am loving this schedule. I also think that this is setting a good example for my kids. They both know about my goal and ask how I'm doing. I hope that this encourages them to read the Bible more also.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Holiday Set

YAY! I was actually able to get another holiday set made. This was designed for my sweet little niece for her birthday, but I loved it so much that I decided to offer it as a custom. My neighbor is already in line for 2 sets. I love my neighbor. She has 3 younger girls and always keeps me busy ;) I was so proud how the applique turned out on this one. All that practice is finally paying off. Earlier in the summer, I was working on a t-shirt for my son and I became firmly convinced that applique was not for me! This would be a great Valentine's Day set too! You can find the listings at my etsy store: and on ebay:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My friends and I have a "Fill the Freezer Party" each year. We always plan it near the beginning of November before the holiday craziness starts. Each attendee brings one or more homemade freezer meals. We draw numbers out of a hat. Number 1 get first pick of the meals, then number 2 and so on. Here are the rules:

– Make servings that would be appropriate for 4 to 6 people.
– You do not have to bring all the same thing.
– Make as many batches as you want to swap. That is, if you bring 3- you take 3 home; bring 6 – take 6 home.
– Make a soup or casserole that you can freeze and bring your cooler.
– It does not have to be already frozen.
– Also- even if you can’t come you can send your food and we can swap for you.

· * Also if any anyone has allergies to things we should try to avoid cooking feel free to let us know.

· Storing the soup in freezer bags or disposable containers works well.
· Remember to let your soup or casserole cool well before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer
· Label your soup (provide the recipe if you want to).
· As I recall from last year – about 10 cups of soup is enough for 4-6 servings for a meal. If someone remembers differently, let me know. Don’t stress over the amounts – it will all work out and we will all go home with yummy soups and/or casseroles for great meals during the Holidays.

We have a great afternoon together and come home with supper! It is a low key get together and easy to plan. Popular meals include casseroles, chili, and soups. I had a difficult time this year deciding what to take. Last week, I made a breakfast casserole for supper and it filled to pans. So the extra became one freezer meal. Yesterday afternoon, I was watching Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals. She took chicken breasts and stuffed them with goat cheese, spinach and parmasean cheese. They were then wrapped in bacon and baked. Yum-o! Sounds like a winner!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Green Sauce

If my family has a favorite herb, it has to be cilantro. It is a staple on the grocery list and look for new recipes that use it all the time. One family favorite is seared ahi tuna with "green sauce" and fried rice. Green sauce has turned out to be wonderful on steak and chicken too! Give it a try and let me know how you like it!
Green sauce
3 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 minced jalapeno with seeds removed ( if you like extra heat, do two)
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of one lime
Place everything in the blender or food processor. Serve. Yum!

Monday, November 3, 2008

My New Holiday Set

This holiday set is one of my favorites! This 2 piece set is bound to turn heads! The lined top has a contrasting peter pan collar trimmed in pink ric rac. The sleeves are three-quarters length and also show the contrasting dots. The top features diagonal buttoning with lime green buttons.
The blue jeans have an adjustable waist and have been embellished with the dot fabric and pink ric rac. Just contact me if you are interested in having this set re-created in sizes 3t-5. Thanks!


Thanks for visiting the blog of N'Stitches Designs! Please be patient as I learn this foreign technology. I will hopefully be adding news things each week. Let me know what you think! I can handle constructive criticism.