Friday, November 27, 2009

Is Everybody Stuffed??

Happy Black Friday Everyone!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We sure did!

Here are some photos of our special day. I wish I had snapped a few of the boys, but they were so busy running around and playing that they were all doing their own thing and really didn't want me stopping them for photos! It's Homemade Holiday Recipe day! Boy do I have a sinful one for you today! See below for my "FA, LA, LA FUDGE PUDDING CAKE" ! It is scrumptious and easy too!

Above is the "kids" table. I made this turkey
out of fruit and cheese and few wood
skewers. It turned out cute don't ya think?

This is our dog Lily and our friend's dog
Jersey. They had fun racing around
the house and having a little "taste"
of turkey. :)

This is me and my dear friend Jennifer. She
made an awesome stuffing and pumpkin
pies. Oh, let's not forget her Chutney!

This is the "grown ups" table. I made the
apple cone centerpiece using a cone
shaped form with nails sticking out of
it. You just stick all the fruit on and
fill in with pine, bittersweet and walnuts!
I love the Colonial look of this!

Fa, La, La Fudge Pudding Cake

(Courtesy of Gooseberry Patch Holidays)
1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
3.9 oz. pkg instant Choc. Pudding Mix
2 C. Sour Cream (I know, sinful!!)
4 Eggs
1 C. Water
3/4 C. Oil
1/4 t. Salt
2. C. Semi Sweet Choc. Chips (whole bag!)
non-stick spray
whipped cream or ice cream (we had ice cream and it was super!)
* Combine all ingredients except the choc. chips in a large mixing bowl.
Beat for 2 minutes until well combined. Stir in Chocolate Chips. Spray a Slow Cooker with your non-stick spray and pour batter in. Cook on low for 5 hours. Serve right out of the crock pot by the scoopful with a dollop of whipping cream or scoop of ice cream. Heavenly!!!

Well, I am off to tuck kids in now, I will be back later in the week with a couple holiday decor photos and some pictures of the boys! Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Prayer, A Craft, A Recipe and a Laugh

Good Day Everyone!
I have lots to share with you all today. First of all I was recently informed that a sweet friend of Spencer and Gannon's was diagnosed with Leukemia. The boys took it hard and have been asking a lot of questions. Mostly "why"? I wonder that myself!! After reassuring them quite a bit that God is watching over Abby and that she is getting great care at Children's Hospital, we came up with a little prayer just for Abby. It goes like this... "God bless her laugh, God bless her smile. Watch over her now, and for a long while!" So Abby, if you read this.. we are all hoping you feel better soon!!

Now, on a lighter note, I have a FUN Thanksgiving "Kids Table" craft project for you all! These cute, cute Pilgrim Photo Napkin Rings. Are they not hilarious!! They are a surprise for my boys and the wonderful Woolfolk boys who will be joining us this year. (Seven kids in all!) They are a snap to make, and really inexpensive. Both things I look for in a craft project!!

You will need:
Black card stock or construction paper
White paper
Photo of your child
Glue Stick

First cut a 2" X 7" strip of the black paper.
Then cut a 1/2" X 7" strip of the white paper.
Notch a "V" in the white paper and glue it to the
top portion of the black strip.

Next, cut out the head part of your child's photo.
glue the head to the top of the strip just above
the "V" notch. (the collar) Then, make a pilgrimish type hat out of the black. Cut a small
white strip for the hat and a small square piece of black to make the hat's "buckle". Glue the hat
in place on the head portion of the photo.

Allow the glue to dry a bit and then come back
and "curl" the strip to form a ring and staple
in place. Slide a napkin through the ring and ta-da!!
You are done! I added some pine and bittersweet sprigs
to make it festive. Now that is easy peasy!!!

Since Thanksgiving is coming up so soon, I decided on a cranberry chutney that
is a cinch to whip up! This is great on pork or turkey and even better spread on
a block of cream cheese and served with crackers! Great for hostess gifts in a
pretty jar!!!


1 C. Fresh Orange Sections

1/4 C. Orange Juice

4 C. Fresh

2 1/4 C. Sugar

1 C. Chopped unpeeled apple

1/2 C. Golden Raisins

1/4 C. Chopped Walnuts

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger

1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon


Throw everything in a large sauce pan and
bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer
5 minutes or until berried begin to "pop"
Chill until serving time.

This colorful sweet chutney stores great in the
refrigerator for up to 2 weeks! Makes 5 Cups.

Now, for the laugh!! Today I went to my youngest son Nick's
first grade "Feast" at Twin Lakes Elementary. They
had a long "Table" made out of brown paper running the
whole length of the hallway outside the classrooms. They
feasted on carrots, corn (puff corn), craisins, pumpkin pie
and cucumbers! They made costumes too! (this is the funny part)
Nick got to make a Native American Costume. Some kids were Pilgrim
boys and girls too. Well, Nick decided that he didn't want to be a
Native American, because he thought that the Pilgrim costumes were
"cooler." So... he decided to run back in the classroom and make a "new"
costume. He came back out with a Pilgrim Hat, a Native American "Smock" and
an apron. He said "look at me, I'm a Native Pilgrim American!" No one laughed but me of course. It was a fun time, and all the kids enjoyed sitting all together in the hall. Thanks Mrs.

In keeping with the "Gratitude Attitude Challenge" my thoughts are simple.
I am thankful for funny moments like the ones today, messy pumpkin pie faces,
and for the gift of being a Mom!

Thank you for all your recipes, crafts, fun stories and photos! I am
truly inspired by you all everyday! Enjoy the weekend, and I will be back
on Wednesday with another recipe and a fun centerpiece for your Thanksgiving
table! Take Care!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Silhouette Tutorial

Hi everyone! Today I have a great little tutorial and Slow cooker sloppy joes! Mmmmmmm!

See below for the recipe. They are easy, hot, and yummy!!

With the holidays inching closer, I have been busy doing projects while I have a little bit of extra time. AND I thought, gee... I have to catch up to Colleen , Kindra and Grammy Linda with all their SUPER tutorials! Thanks ladies for the inspiration!!! I made these neat silhouettes of the boys over the weekend. They are very inexpensive and relatively easy to make!! Follow along for some simple instructions.

You will need:

Side view photo (I used a 5X7)
Sharp smaller scissors
Heavy black cardstock
White or ivory cardstock
Frame of your choosing
#2 pencil
Double face tape or scrapbooking Paper adhesive

step 1: Cut out the side view photo CAREFULLY with your sharp scissors.

step 2: Trace the cutout photo outline onto the black cardstock with your #2 pencil. Don't worry, it WILL show up on the black!

step 3: CAREFULLY cut the traced outline out.

step 4: Put several strips of double faced tape or scrapbooking paper adhesive to the back of your silhouette and center it onto a piece of the white or ivory cardstock.

step 5: Put your finished silhouette into your frame. I added an ivory ribbon hanger too!

See how easy that was? They turn out very old fashioned looking and cute!

Here is my Friday Recipe for the Holiday Swap, ENJOY!!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 c. catsup
1/2 c water
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. mustard
2 T. vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire
1-1/2 T chili powder
1can kidney beans
6-8 toasted buns
1cup shredded cheese for topping

* Brown ground beef with onion and garlic, drain and set aside. Combine all remaining ingredients except for cheese in a slow cooker, stir in beef mixture and cook on low setting for 6 hours or on high setting for 3-4 hours. Spoon onto toasted buns. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Gratitude Attitude abounds me today! I am thankful for these four beautiful boys in the silhouettes above, the inspiration I have found in others as of lately and for the bounty of friends who will share our Thanksgiving feast this season. May you find your blessings plentiful, and your tummies full this Thanksgiving!! Until next time, thanks for stopping by my friends!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holiday Recipe Swap Starts Today!!!

Happy Friday Peeps!!

I am joining my new friend Colleen from "and baby makes five" in doing a fun Holiday Recipe Swap! It starts today, so be sure to click on the link at the right of this post to visit her blog! She has wonderful craft tutorials and a lovely home as well as more great recipes for you to check out! Each Friday, there will be new ones posted! Thanks Colleen for starting the fun! I am always on the lookout for new simple recipes to try especially this time of year!

I have a great cheese ball recipe for you to try today. I am sorry that I don't have a picture of it. In the future, I will try to have photos along with the recipe. :) This is a great one to bring to an ornament exchange, or to make when those wonderful friends stop by over the holiday season. I hope you like it!

Today I am thankful for making new friends through my blog, the fresh autumn air coming in through a crack in my kitchen window, and for the ability to laugh at myself. If not for that, life would just be tougher!!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

You will need:
12 oz Package mini semi sweet choc. chips
12 oz Package peppermint candies crushed
(great way to take out your stress, simply place in a tightly sealed freezer bag and pound away - ha!)
8 oz Package cream cheese, softened
1 C. Chopped pecans
Chocolate sugar wafers

*Blend chocolate chips, peppermint candies and cream cheese together: roll in pecans and serve with chocolate sugar wafers
makes 2-1/2 cups

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick-R-Treat From Our Home To Yours

The night air was calm and crisp and our house was all aglow with Halloween excitement!! Lily the Westie was at the ready! She loves to greet the trick-r-treaters every year. You can't see it, but she has a "jingle-jangle" collar with ghosts and pumpkins on it! She was sooo cute! Each year we get over 200 kids at our home for tricks and treats! Andrew was Ozzy Osbourne this year, as you can tell by the hair, Nick and Gannon were army men and Spencer was a ghastly ghoul!! They all had loads of fun carving pumpkins too!

Today I am thankful for my family's good health, my wonderful good friends who are with me through thick and thin and the fact that we are able to pay our bills and have a little bit extra each month for a night out with my wonderful husband!

Oops! Someone got caught with their "paw" in the candy bowl!! Here is Lily with a Milk Duds box stuck on her foot! She wanted a treat too, but NO chocolate for doggies Lily!! HILARIOUS!
OK, here is a FABULOUS recipe to try during these chilly days!! (courtesy of Gooseberry Patch Harvest Kitchen Cookbook!) They are simply d-licious!

Prairie Praline Muffins
3 T brown sugar, packed
1 T butter, softened
1/3 C. chopped pecans
3 ripe bananas
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 C. oil
1-1/2 C. pancake mix
* Stir together brown sugar and butter in a small bowl; add pecans and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash bananas and stir in egg, sugar and oil until well blended. Add pancake mix; stir just until moistened. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Drop one teaspoon of the pecan mixture on top of each muffin. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Makes one dozen. Mmmmmm!