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Monday, January 23, 2012

Dinner Tonight...One Potato, Two

At our house, we've been hoping for snow for weeks and honestly, we're pretty disappointed in this mild winter.  I know we are some of the very few but we actually LOVE winter!  By March we're ready for Spring but not in January.   Soup tops our favorite winter dinner menus and on that list baked potato soup is among our favorites.  I love this dinner because it's super easy, tasty and everyone is happy.   It's also a two-for-one dinner because I bake lots of potatoes earlier in the week and have baked potato bar...another crowd pleaser

This recipe is so easy.  The only change I make is to double the number of potatoes.  Very soon I'll need to double the recipe, last night we had NO leftovers.  We serve with grated cheddar cheese and bacon.  

I also bake this bread-
Another huge winner in our house.  The kids ask me at least once a week to bake it.  It makes two loaves and I try to freeze one for very busy days.

I'm sure some people would serve it with a big green salad...we never do.  It's a big carb load dinner, at least you won't be hungry later in the evening!  

I've got my boots on, now who do I call about getting some snow?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Yesterday, Lucy started daycare, she'll now be attending one day a week.  It's the same daycare Emma and Eleanor attended....same teachers too.   That says all you need to know about this place.  That doesn't happen at just any daycare.  We've been working on getting her comfortable with the idea, Lucy and I visited and we've all been talking to her about how much fun she'll have.
On her big day Lucy woke up an hour and a half early.  She barely touched her breakfast , we even had her favorite "moatmeal" and she was a bit fussy.  Eleanor said "Mom, I think she has butterflies".  I smiled and nodded, then told the girls to wait at the door for me while I did one last thing (swept the moatmeal off of the floor---I was determined to leave it---couldn't do it though).  When I finished up this is what awaited me.
I pretty much lost it.  Maybe it was taking my baby to daycare for the first time or maybe, better yet, almost certainly, it was my thankfulness for living with such kind, loving, and intuitive people.  Butterflies be gone.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Finally, the snow we've been waiting for!  I just picked up the girls from school and they came in only long enough to eat a chocolate chip cookie.  I tried to tempt them to stay indoors (18 degrees!) with a promise of a movie and cocoa but they wouldn't be swayed.  They went straight outside to sled.  Lucy is happy to stay indoors as long as I don't try to take her snowsuit off.  I can live with that.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dinner tonight

Although she'd try if we let her, we can't eat cheese puffs all of the time.  Really, what was Santa thinking with that tub?
One of my resolutions for 2012 is to become more disciplined in the area of cooking.  Over the last year or so I feel like our weekly food budget has exploded and sadly our food waste has as well.   In an attempt to curb this I'm making a binder full of our favorite recipes.  I currently use a weekly menu planner that I like but I feel like I could do a better job if it was a bit more long term, like 3-4 weeks.    I'm giving myself the entire year to complete this task, I want to do it right not just get it done.  To keep myself on track and to document some of our favorite meals over the year I'm going to post one meal a week.  Something different each week, so at a minimum I'll have 52 meals for my handy dandy binder. 

Marinated Flank Steak

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Red Potatoes
1 small bag of red potatoes, halved
Put halved potatoes in a bowl, drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle salt (garlic and rosemary if you   want)
Stir until potatoes are well coated.
On a foil lined baking sheet, put potatoes in a single layer.
Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, turing potatoes over once, half way through.

Eleanor's Spinach, Feta, and Pea Salad with Lemon Vinagrette
( in all fairness Jaime Oliver should receive credit for this super salad, however in our house Eleanor receives credit as she is the one who requests (no complaints from any of us) and makes this salad).

1 bag of fresh spinach (or as much spinach as you want to eat)
Feta (use your judgement, how much are you in the mood for)
Peas (we use half of a frozen bag, thawing them in the microwave)
1 lemon (or lemon juice from a bottle)
olive oil

Mix together
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
teaspoon of salt

Toss ingredients.

Homemade butterscotch pudding

This find totally made my day.  I got out our Naked Chef cookbook because I wanted to include accurate measurements not just the eye ball estimates we use.  I 'm usually the one to make comments in the margins of our cookbooks.  I love that someone is picking up the habit!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Welcome January

Our last day of Christmas vacation was perfectly spent at home, which was just where we wanted to be.

There were
pancakes to be made 
lots and lots of balloons to be blown up
plenty of opportunities for our helper to lend a hand
cocoa and marshmallows to be readied for what will likely follow our 2011 tradition of daily after school cups
windows to brighten after all the Christmas trimmings came down
and girls to watch and listen to and enjoy.  

December was full and lovely and so much fun but welcome January with your quiet and your peace and your simple days.  I do love you.

Monday, January 2, 2012


New Year's Eve brought the end of 2011 and the beginning of Eleanor being a 6 year old.  Eleanor is considerate, happy, helpful, smart and always ready for fun.  We are so very, very lucky to have her in our family!  WE love YOU!!!