Monday, February 28, 2011

Desserts. Oh. Yeahhhhh

Remember when I posted about this pie? Well, today I am trying it again, this time with a different kind of apple AND I"m adding rolled oats to the mix. I basically just wanted to start chowing down before I even transferred it into the crock. It smells divine...cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice....Yum-o!

On the post with the chocolate cake recipe from Dawna Mae,    I got a lovely comment from Ginger @ The Crock Pot Recipe Exchange.
How excited do you think I was....another whole big site all about crock pots?! Woo to the Hoo.
While I was over visiting I found a recipe that sounded divine! Slow Cooker Strawberry and Dumplings!!
Seriously? Can you imagine? Add some whipping cream and maybe even a chocolate shaving or two or eight. 

Mock me if you must, but I do so love the crock pot!

Tonight, however, I'm making "Enchilalas" in the *gasp* Oven! The apple pie is cooking away in the crock pot, though, don't you worry.  

What's for dinner at your house? 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What do You do on a Saturday?

Oh this lovely, gloomy, rainy day. How I love thee! I seriously do love rainy cold days. I think I could live quite nicely in the upper Washington area. Saturdays are low key for us, usually. I try to keep it that way because the week days kick us in the rumps. However, once Spring hits and the kids start their various soccer, soccer, softball, lacrosse, gymnastics routine, I have a feeling that our low key Saturdays will be a thing of the past! Ah well. I can't say that I won't be enjoying myself out there rooting for my kids on the fields. I love that :)

A couple of weeks back, my friend and I went to the Relief Society birthday party. We had such a good time, even though I  like to stick with the Primary and not mess with the adults very much. :) The speakers were Michael and Darcy Kennedy. Michael is a direct descendant of Joseph Smith, the first to be baptized since his death, I believe. He really had fun stories to share and his testimony was strong. It was cute to see he and his wife interact and her be totally, "no honey, you forgot this part." The sisters had put together an ancestry theme and some women brought things from their past. It was  really quite interesting and fun to look at all the history in the room. It kind of didn't hurt that my friend and I were in the back causing mischief either. :)

The reason for that story? It brings us to what the Nicholas whan is doing today. I decided to make yummy cookies that we got from said event. This recipe came from Emma Smith. We were lucky enough to get a goodie bag full of these cookies which we promptly hid from our husbands and our children. I was hooked. They were so yummy and the recipe looked relatively easy to make. Since I'm being all domestic and nurturing which is rare!ha! I thought I would share the recipe with all of you. And, don't worry to all my friends and family who do not share my faith, you won't grow horns if you make/eat them. not the first time anyway!

Emma's Brown Sugar Cookies
  1 cup butter, at room temperature
  1 cup granulated sugar
  1 cup brown sugar, packed
  2 eggs, well beaten
  2 cups sifted all purpose flour
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 baking soda
  1 tsp vanilla extract
  2 cups oats
  1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir into butter mixture. Add vanilla, oats, and nuts and stir until well blended.  
       Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet . Flatten to 4 inch diameter. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should be slightly soft when removed from the oven.
Makes 22 large cookies.

**Note--this made about 4 dozen cookies for me. I only cooked them for  9-10 minutes. I don't know if my oven runs hotter than normal, but keep an eye on the cookies. **

Enjoy! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Choc Cake in the....

You guessed it! Crock Pot!! :)
I wanted to share this recipe that I got from my dear friend DawnaMae. No, her name isn't really "DawnaMae", but  I do so enjoy calling her that. She and I go way back to the good old HR days. She and I got into mischief, much mischief together. It was so stinking fun. I still can't look at Cadbury eggs and Peeps without giggling wildly to myself. How I miss those days!
She emailed me this recipe yesterday and instantly my mouth was watering. I'm going to make this for Sunday for the whan. I. can't. wait.

Chocolate Pudding Cake
1 chocolate cake mix
1 pckg (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
2 C (16 oz) sour cream
4 eggs
1 C water
3/4 C vegetable oil
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
Whipped cream or ice cream, optional

In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour into a 5 qt slow cooker that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray.  C over and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.  Serve in bowls with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.  Yield:  10-12 servings. 

Serve with whipped cream? Heck to the yeah.

I told Cary about my dream of owning the triple crockpot. He scoffed. So. Rude.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I may have a teensy bit of an obsession with my crock-pot. I have been cooking everything in it lately, and
Do you cook in  your Crock? Anything besides roast or stew? I have to admit, at first, that's all I really cooked in mine. And, I usually just pulled the beast out on Sundays. Then, I found A Year Of Slow Cooking , the blog is amazing. I also need to buy her cookbooks very, very soon. 

I should back track a bit. I haven't always loved cooking. Some days I even loathe it. But, when you have to feed a family of 7, eating out is not always the most financially responsible choice to make. I found that we were "grabbing something quick" far too often and those debits from my account were adding up. Quickly.

I decided that we needed to be better at sticking to our budget and I could help that immensely, simply by cooking every day. 
Planning, preparing, budgeting. It became a bit of a game to me. I loooooove to see how much I'm saving. I also love to make Cary guess. He doesn't love that game as much I do, however. 

I digress.
So, I started following another blog, Bargain Divas. They have amazing freebies that they list on their blog and facebook pages daily. They offer coupon classes as well. Personally, I have never been to one. I want to attend though. I think it would be cool. Every Wednesday when the grocery sale ads come out, they do a matching thing that allows you to see what each store has on sale and if you couple it with coupons, how much more you could save. The first time that I really did it, I went to Smith's. I was armed with my shopping list, coupons, and pen. That day I spent $50 and I saved $55. Angels were singing! I had so much food to show for it and I was elated! I tried to get Cary to share in my enthusiasm, but he just doesn't get too excited over such things. Boo! It's alright though because I think I had more than enough for him too. :)  
I was hooked.
Now I sit down on Wednesdays and plan our meals for the two weeks. I create excel documents and everything. brekkie, lunch, dinner, and desserts ---they all go on the list. From there, I look at the ads and see who has what  and for how much. I organize my coupons, print them from the internet, and create the shopping lists. I. love. it.
How dorky does that make me? 
 Wait, I don't want to know.

In my meal planning I always list a couple of my kids' favorites . If anyone wants to give me a suggestion, I will put it on the list. I figure if they ask for it, they will eat it. That is important when you have two little girls who sometimes take about an hour to eat a meal. But, that's another rant for another day. Oy! :)

I search the blogs, mainly this one, and I find our meals. I also love Food Network's recipes. I heart Paula Deen and her delicious accent.
I love using the CrockPot. I love using mine, especially, it was my grandmother's. She gave it to me when Cary and I moved from Arkansas to Utah. It's old, kind of ugly, and well worn, but it brings back happy memories for me.

I do have my eye on one of these fancy red, digital numbers  though. 

I really must buy that. Three?! Yes, three. Think of it! You could do a dip, an entree, and a dessert! 
bom chicka wow wow. 

As I said, Obsession. 

Today I'm trying a dessert in mine for the first time. I decided to make a pie. This. Pie. Sort of. Instead of peaches I am using Caramel Apple Pie filling. I am also doubling the recipe. I have 7 piglets to feed. :)
It smells divine. I'll let you know how it turns out :)
So, do you have any heavenly crock pot recipes for me?
Please, share! :)

**Post Edit: Totally made this last night and it turned out pretty well DESPITE the fact that I forgot to add the brown sugar. Ew, right? Actually, it was ok anyway. I'm most definitely trying it again and I think this time I will add rolled oats for a little more texture**

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Fake Holiday

Yep, that's what we celebrate here in this Nicholas Whanau. :)

Cary is very anti-Valentine's day, and oddly enough, that's okay by me. He'd rather jab a kabob in his eye than have me say it, but he writes me beautiful poems for no apparent reason on any given day. I'll take that over a stale box of chocs any day.

What struck me as hilariously funny this afternoon as I walking upstairs was this little note from Cuauhtli.

In case you can't read it, it says: "Happy Fake Holiday"
I love that he taped it to the wall. with a treat. THAT's my boy. :)

Cary's teaching them many things apparently, some I hadn't even realized.

So, to all of you who actually do celebrate this cupid and heart infested day, Happy Day to You!
And, to those of you who don't, I'm with ya!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

1 Corinthians 10:13

 There hath no temptation ataken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be btempted above that ye are able; but will with the ctemptation also make a way to descape, that ye may be able to ebear it.

As I was re-reading my lesson for my class tomorrow, I read this scripture again.  It kind of jumped out at me.
"That ye may be able to bear it" !! 
Am I the only one who feels like I may not be able to bear this or that and especially that?
Some days are hard.
Really Hard. 
I know we are all given our trials and our agency to decide how to handle those trials. I don't think I make the best choices every single day. Do any of us? 
Oh, I'm sure that there are those who really want us to think they do, or perhaps that they don't even have trials. What?! What would that look like?

Some days I forget that He is there to help me and will not "suffer me to be tempted above that yea are able".  Ok, I might forget it a lot. 

I think I am going to make this a FHE lesson for my kids. They have all been through more than their fair share of trials, and I want them to always remember this scripture. 

I love that I get to learn with my kids and have my testimony strengthened because of my life and  even more specifically in the Church.
How lucky am I to be able to teach my little class of 10 year old kidlets?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reading. Machine.

Our little BugBug is a reading machine! She's doing so well. It is SO cool to hear her sounding out words and figuring out what they are. She is a very smart little girl and we are proud of her.
Each day her teacher sends home books and a journal. After she reads the books, she writes what they were about in the journal. I let her sound out the words and write them as she hears them. I will correct her, if needed, when she is finished.
I love watching her grow.
I love watching all of our kids grow.

Here is our newest video. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

BUNCO! I did it!

I finally succumbed to Bunco. I had never, ever played it until last night. And, I played. I was Sooooo not good, but I did it.

 Before the Bunco madness began, I had to leave my littles. Last night Bug was having a particularly hard time with me leaving and this was our conversation:
 Bug: But, where are you going Mumma?
 Me: I'm going with Heidi to play a game at a friend's house.
 Bug: But, I want to go wif yew.
  Me: Sorry, Bugga, this is just a mommy game, but I'll be home in a couple of hours.
 Bug: But!But! You can't leave your baybeee alone.  *smirk*
 Me: Bwahahahaha

Please note that I did not leave her ALONE at all. She was with her Daddy and all of her siblings.
That one, oooooh that one.

I picked up Heidi and after a depressing run to Hart's, NO Fountain DRINKS! Come on Mike! That's insane! and a close call with a red light you're supposed to stop at those?, we finally made it!
 The only person we knew was Jennie at this shindig, and I was a bit nervous it wouldn't be the cat's meow, as it were. I asked Heidi, "What if it isn't fun?!" Heidi replies, "We'll make our OWN fun!"
And we did. We DO.

I didn't win. I was a pretty lousy player, actually. Heidi was the lowest score-er and I was the next! Bwahahaha
But, it was fun!
I hope the other gals can put up with us and will allow us to keep coming.
Thanks Jennie!!
It's good to get a Mommy night out once in a while.
What do you do for Mommy Night's Out?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hungry, Hungry Kiddos!!

Yesterday was fast Sunday. We leave it up to our kids to decide if they want to fast, but the littles generally choose not to fast. Which, is okay, because they are only 5 and 7.  We are of the opinion that if it's forced, then it is no longer a sacrifice. And, in the end, the kids will just resent it and not learn anything from it. 
   Yesterday was a little bit different. On Saturday, I received several emails and "facebooks" that there would be a ward fast for a dear sweet lady who is in ICU and isn't doing so well. Each of our kids know her and love her dearly, as do we. She and I were visiting teaching companions for a couple of years and she's our neighbor, too. Gabby and Bug love to play at her house with her grandkiddies. She is dear to me and is very motherly to both Cary and I.

   At any rate there were complications from a surgery that she had recently and things took a turn for the worse. 

On Saturday night, right before our Scripture reading, we told the kids what was going on and encouraged them to start their fast with us for our dear friend. They were on board, even Gabs and Bugs. 
We usually have something delicious after our scriptures, but this night we didn't and we might have heard a couple of murmurs about it. Cary gently reminded them of the reason and they quieted.

And so began our fast. I should preface this by saying our church time is 11am-2pm now. Everything was going as smoothly as it can go for a family of 7, all getting ready at the same time. 
I hear a knock on the door about 10:15am, and it's Bug. 
"Mumma, I don't want to fast anymore. I want breakfast!"  I call her into our room to have a cuddle and I ask her if she knows why we are having a special fast for our friend. She replies that she doesn't know. 
As I begin telling her why this fast is so special, I am overcome with the Spirit. I realized more clearly why we were fasting and what it meant. It was such a special moment, one that I do not want to forget. As I finished, I asked her if she wanted to continue to fast or if she wanted to eat some breakfast. She decided that she wanted to continue with her fast. 
and let me tell you, primary classes for little ones is like a candy extravaganza sometimes. She saved all of her treats for after dinner, as did all of the kids.

Dinner is ready!
We made it!
We celebrated by having a huge yummy dinner and more treats than we should have. We were able to talk about our little sacrifice and how important it is. I hope that it will help strengthen our kids' testimonies. 

I also hope that special family feels our love and prayers for them each day. We love you guys.