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Sunday, June 19, 2016

An Abundance of Blessings

Last weekend my parents, a few siblings as well as my sister and her family all joined us for dinner.  It was a lot of fun having everyone here.  We had a lot of fun.  I made these strawberry rhubarb bars...they were a hit. Definitely eating one for breakfast!  Today being Father's Day I thought I would share this recipe, since Dad, my husband and his dad all love rhubarb.

Irresistible Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/05/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp-bars/

3 cups quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
12 T butter, melted (I used 1 stick butter and 4T coconut oil)
2T cornstarch
2T sugar
2 cups rhubarb, diced small
2 cups (1lb worth) strawberries, diced small

Preheat oven to 375.  In a bowl combine oats, brown sugar and butter.  In another bowl combine remaining ingredients.  Pour almost all (minus 1 cup) of oat mixture into the bottom of a well greased 9x13pan (line with greased parchment too). Press into the bottom to form a crust.  Top with berries-rhubarb mixture.  Sprinkle last cup of oat mixture on top.  Bake about 30-40minutes. Cool on counter slightly.  Cover and chill in fridge (store for later too).  These bars slice better when cold, as well as tasting delicious!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Fun In The Sun (Before Summer Officially Hits)

Summer break has started with a bang.  We skipped the last day of school in order to embark on a 3000+ mile trek across country. Despite a few down days (carsickness and plugged toilets), we all made it back safe and sound.  We were able to squeeze in some visits with family.  Great fun! We first stopped and visited my husband's sister. He and she enjoyed a beer at the local brewery before we continued on our way.

Auntie with Nephews

Next stop was almost to our ultimate destination.  We stayed with my cousin and her husband.  SSP could not remember their names the whole time we were there.  As we departed he shouted good bye to "Tom and Jerry."  We (grown ups) all had a good laugh then we were off. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.

"Tom and Jerry" with BAP & SSP

Next we stopped by Santa Fe in hopes to tour the Cathedral there.  However we could not since they were prepping for a Corpus Christi Procession.  This statue of St Francis of Assisi was out front; we had to get a picture.

Visiting Santa Fe

Despite carsickness, deterring us with stops every 10minutes.  We made it in order to see the bats fly out of the caverns.  Impressive!  The boys and daddy were very giddy in seeing them...me, well not so much.

First View of Bat Flights 
at Carlsbad Caverns

"Tom and Jerry" told us about the awesomeness of these sand dunes. They had the softest sands ever.  People were riding sleds down them.  We only spent about 25minutes here...next time will have to be longer, make it an all day event (at least a half day).

Great Sand Dunes (softest sand ever)

The highlight of this campground was being able to sleep in a "genuine" teepee (with electricity). Fun but cold. SSP was beyond thrilled that we were about to sleep in a teepee "for true life."

Fun Sign at the Campground

We hiked about 1.25miles along the southern rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was hot!  SSP was complaining that his legs hurt quite abit...took us 3hours....guess little legs and extreme heat don't mix well.
Grand Canyon
Someone made this watch tower for fun out of whatever materials she could find. The boys were intrigued about how the inside went "around and around."

"Artsy" Watch Tower

As I had never been through Canyonlands, Moab or Arches National Parks, we thought it would be fun to explore.  A friend of ours told us about the "more open" back road and less crowded way. Thank you Mr T for mentioning this.

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park

We stayed a campground at almost every stop. BAP was able to light "1match fires" consistently. Way to go!

BAP lighting his famous "1match fire"

This park was magnificent and huge.  The boys loved being able to explore and just play for an hour and a half.
BAP and his girl friend

SSP and his girlfiend

Hubby caught!

Return home!
Home Sweet Home

Sunday, May 15, 2016

With Tongues of Fire...

Today we celebrate Pentecost! FIFTIETH day of Easter!  Happy Birthday Mother Church! Today I wanted to make a "red" meal to represent flames of fire, as descended upon the Holy Apostles and the Blessed Virgin.
This 'red' was delicious. However BAP and SSP were saying their tongues were on fire from dinner though they did still enjoy it.

Baked Parmesan Chicken
adapted from: "A Catholic Family Cookbook Recipes for Life"

1 cup rice krispie cereal
1 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan
1 t Italian Seasoning
Combine in a pie plate. Set aside.

2 (heaping) minced garlic
1 t dried thyme
1 T Italian seasoning
3/4 cup butter
Melt butter with garlic.  Stir in thyme and Italian seasoning. Pour in to a second pie plate.

3 large chicken breast halves.

Coat chicken in butter mixture.  Then cover in Parmesan-cereal mix.
Place in a well greased 9x13pan. Bake at 350 for about 45minutes.

Marinara
Made up as I went

1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce (No salt added)
1 -2 T Italian Seasoning
1 T (dried) minced garlic
1 t honey
1 -2 t red pepper flakes  (made it fiery)
1/2 t salt
1 t fresh ground black pepper

Dump all ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Simmer on Low for about 20minutes until thickened. Pour over boiled and drained pasta (about 6-8oz worth). Serve under the chicken or on the side.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Reminder of Childhood...BEST Ever Feast

When I was younger Mom made a lot of things from scratch.  I try and do the same.  Sometimes the recipe works out and other times it has failed for me. Mom made a recipe like this when I was younger (and before there was a bunch of us hanging off her apron). I made this recipe last week; it definitely brought back comforting memories.  It was THE best enchiladas ever. I have now found my go-to recipe.

Taco Enchiladas with Cornmeal Crepes
adapted from: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/taco-enchiladas-with-cornmeal-crepes/

Crepes (makes about14)
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal (corn flour...not corn starch)
4 eggs
2 cups milk

Taco Meat
1/2 red onion, diced
1 (3.5oz can) diced green chilies
1 lb ground beef
1 (16oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
garlic powder
onion powder
1/2-3/4 cup water

1 small can red enchilada sauce

4 cups shredded cheese

In a mixing bowl whisk crepe ingredients together until super smooth.  Pour by 1/3 cupfuls on to a greased frying pan.  Cook as if you would really thin pancakes. Remove to a plate (its okay to stack them).
In a frying pan, brown meat with onions and chilies (drain fat if needed). Stir in remaining ingredients let simmer for about 15minutes.
Preheat oven to 375.
Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of meat filling in the center of each crepe.  Top with 1 T cheese. Roll up and place in a greased  9x13pan; They will be snug.  Top with remaining cheese and enchilada sauce. Cover with foil and bake 22-25minutes. Remove foil and let cheese get gooey (about another 7minutes.)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tea Parties

Growing up, my sister and I had the occasional tea party (even if all our brothers were included in the fun).  The other day I had the honor of watching my nieces and we had a tea party at Oma's house.  So much fun.  I made these first thing in the morning (as BAP got ready for school), so we were ready for our party at 930am.  They are so delicious...so hard to eat just one.

Cinnamon Chip Scones
adapted from: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/amazing-cinnamon-chip-scones-best-basic-scone-recipe/

3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 cup COLD butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract (my addition)
3/4 cup cinnamon chips (the mini ones)
2 T butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Warm the oven to 400. In a food processor, cut butter into flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly pour in milk, vanilla and almond.  Remove to a lightly floured surface and fold in cinnamon chips.  Roll out and cut into scone shapes.  (Since our tea party was with the nieces, I used a donut holer). Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (This made about 28 small cakes). Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 15-20minutes until lightly golden.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Big Day for a Special Young Man

BAP received Our Lord in (First) Holy Communion
(On his 8th birthday!!)

Grandparents

Best Buddies

Some friends from school came

Friday, April 1, 2016

Aha! Let There Be Dinosaurs

Until now dinosaurs have been extinct.  However I recently made dinosaur eggs, aka "scotch eggs." Last summer my husband and I tried them for the first time, they are basically just a glorified hard boiled egg. Perfect (especially when you like your eggs and sausage together).

Scotch Eggs (Dino Eggs)
adapted from: http://www.ditchthecarbs.com/2014/07/30/paleo-scotch-eggs/

12oz sausage (I used Italian links), casings removed & divided into 6 lumps
6 medium eggs, boiled (for 7minutes) & peeled when completely cooled

Preheat oven to 350. Patty out each mound of sausage.  Place egg in the middle. Form sausage all the way around and put on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat 5 more times. Bake for 30 minutes.