So, yesterday my husband and I had to run into the city for some groceries & do some clothes shopping for the kids.. Afterwards, we stopped by a neat little restaurant that has been a family-favorite for as long as I can remember, China Cafe.
I remember as a kid, my parents taking visiting friends there for lunch/dinner and I remember even back then that their crab puffs were the best thing since sliced bread.
As I got older, I soon realized I loved just about everything else there as well and it quickly became MY favorite restaurant all around. It was the place my husband (my then boyfriend) and I used to go on dates for an order of crabpuffs and hot & sour soup when we really didn’t have the money for fancy dates.. And it’s the place my little family are affectionately welcomed and recognized immediately. Oftentimes with a “Where’s the kids!” if we happened to show up without them. No matter what, we’ve ALWAYS felt welcomed and at home in China Cafe.. Even if it’s been 6 months or so since we were there last!
So.. onto the food that is ammmmmaaazing.
Seriousely.. China Cafe is one of those places you just have to experience in order to really appreciate. It’s this tiny little place in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym on Clearwater in Kennewick, and truly a hidden treasure.
Ah…. Well, my plant has lasted a total of 2 weeks.. And it’s slowly fading. I’ve watered it every other day (in the hopes of avoiding root rot) and have been keeping it up on my shelf.
My aunt, the rose-queen, told me I probably need to transplant it.. She says that the soil from the store often times doesn’t have enough nutrients in it for the plant. So, I’m hoping I can get to town to get some new soil and a pot for my little mini-rose before it dies completely.
As you can see, it’s looking pretty homely, but… I’m STILL not giving up!
On another note, my husband’s been looking into getting into school and is in the application process, so… Crossing my fingers! I’m so excited but nervous for him to be doing something new. I guess part of the excitement for me is not having to worry about him working up on top of houses every day, framing.
Hope you’re all having an awesome Wednesday!!
Hidey ho everyone! Have a new little snack idea I wanted to share with you all.
With the recent holidays promoting ‘snack-days’, (is the Super Bowl really considered a holiday?) we’ve ran across some pretty amazing snack-recipes around here.
One, which I have to say has been one of the easiest hot-snacks I’ve ever made. Crockpot Kielbasa.
Why so easy? It takes a total of 5 minutes to prepare, and about 2-3 hours to cook.. Depending on how high you have the crockpot on and also the texture you prefer in the sausage. (overcooking seems to give it a strange-soft-feel to it)
1 Jar of Grape Jelly
1 Bottle of Ketchup
1-2 Kielbasa Sausages (depending on how many you want)
Chop up the kielbasa, Drop in the crockpot and add in the jelly and ketchup.. Mix it all around and voila! The beginning of a yummy snack for any kinda get-together.
Cook on low for 2 hours.. Checking every so often to make sure it hasn’t gotten overdone. I know.. I really should perfect the timing and exact amounts of stuff, I just always go by what works best for me as usually my stove, oven, crockpot or microwave are never consistant.(Yeah, I’ll blame them for that. )
Time to pull out the crockpot! I’m really lovin’ how easy it is to make things with it.
Enjoy! [<3] Sticky
My anniversary was last Sunday… And since every anniversary, my husband gets me a new plant…. And every month or so after the anniversary, the plant dies.. My husband kissed me on the forehead, passing me a cute little white mini-rose plant with the words “Because I’ll never give up on you.”
So.. with that thought in mind… I realized something has to be done with my very NOT green thumb.
My biggest problem with growing plants (and keeping them alive) is root rot. I’m not sure HOW I manage it as I oftentimes forget to even water my plants… However, I’m determined to figure out how to keep from doing it this time.
According to Department of Botany & Plant Pathology:
Root rot: The most common problem with houseplants is root rot. Several factors may cause the roots of a plant to rot; but, without doubt, the number one reason is overwatering. Heavy soils (containing too much clay) and containers that lack adequate drainage water holes will often be associated with overwatering and aggravate the problem.
Watering frequency is individually determined for each plant, the type of pot, soil, and the growing conditions surrounding the plant (which will vary depending on the time of year). Always water thoroughly until water comes through the pot’s drain holes; do not water again until the soil just beneath the surface is barely moist. Planter boxes and pots should have adequate drainage holes so that excess water can drain from the container. Potting media should be porous enough so that water soaks quickly and uniformly through the soil.
If root rot is suspected, remove the plant from its container and examine the root system for indications of rot. A healthy root system will appear fibrous with white root tips; where rotting is present, roots will show blackened root tips with various degrees of a slimy, brown-black decay. If root rots are not extensive, attempt to improve drainage and water only as needed! If root rot is severe the top portion of the plant may be saved by air layering. Refer to publication HO-1A New Plants Form Layering. If air-layering is not possible the plant should be discarded.
So, in the hopes of trying something different.. Not only have I moved my plant out of my kitchen and into the living room where it feels more open and a lil more lighted.. I also moved it up a lil higher on a shelf. (have you ever noticed the plants that sit up high in houses seem to thrive?)
We’ll see in another week!
We all know the sterotype meatloaf gets… Greasy or dry, hard of crumbly.. It rarely ever sounds like someone would WANT to eat meatloaf, willingly.
However, in my family, things are a little different. I remember growing up, my mom always made the best meatloaf. It was perfectly sweet and crispy on the outside while nice, moist & filled with good flavor on the inside.
From the time my son was small enough to be eating in a high chair, meatloaf was his favorite meal. It wasn’t that uncommon for him to have two helpings and still want more.
My mom used a broiler pan to help drain out the grease but .. After I got married, a broiler pan was one of those things I never wanted to spend the money actually getting.
So instead, I learned a nifty little trick!
What you’ll need:
Take several pieces of the aluminum foil and roll into long cylinders, fitting them into the loaf pan to create a little ‘rack’ for your meatloaf to sit on.
I prefer doing them longways as the raw meat tends to stay better together it seems like.
So, now you’ve got the grease-free down… How about trying out a few new recipes?
Hi everyone! Valentine’s Day this year came with the sniffles so in the attempt of doing something special for my husband *and me!* I thought I’d do something a little different. Sure, it could also be that I just didn’t get out to get him any chocolates… But we’ll pretend that isn’t the case.
Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups have always been Jono’s favorite candy SO, with the help of google, I found this fun website with a super-easy recipe for Dark Chocolate Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups.
These nifty lil Baking cups seemed like the perfect size, but I’m thinking next time, I might need to spray the insides with a very thin coat of nonstick PAM or something. It took us just as long to unwrap them as it did to make them.
For the filling, Mr. Pete Bakes! (i just like the sounds of that. ) mentions using Graham Cracker. At first, I didn’t think I had graham cracker, so crunched up Peanut M&Ms for texture. Finding out I had graham was a bonus So I made the graham mixture and added crushed M&Ms to it.
As the recipe calls for melted chocolate, I usually just melt the chips in our microwave, however Mr. Pete Bakes! suggests for a double-boiler, a metal bowl in a hot pot of boiling water.. Which I tried and fell in love with. No more hardening chocolate as you rush to finish coating something.. Stays nice, warm & melted..
The recipe can be found at Pete Bakes!
Like I said, I added crushed peanut m&ms to it and it really made it delish, but his recipe is the amazing.
This morning was spent as usual… Running around, getting the hubby out the door for work, my daughter up and around for school and rushing out the door a little too late as the school bus pulled up at the corner. Thankfully, she had mercy on me today & spotted us coming out the door… Making my day that much better that I didn’t have to call the school with ‘my daughter missed the bus’ again.
I swear she has waged a silent war on me. Her times range anywheres from 7:15-7:35am & it’s not always so easy to predict when she’ll show up. I’ve actually started going out in the morning at 7:15 and standing to wait for her, letting Jada stay inside until the bus starts coming down the hill since it’s so cold out.
We have only one car, and my husband drives it to the ‘truck-stop’ to carpool with my dad & brother in law so, missing the school bus really means, staying home from school… Which means I have to call the school with my excuses.
I can hear the heavily dissaproving tones in the office staff whenever I call.
SO… I wanted to post a follow-up recipe for the ham I blogged about yesterday. With me, I had a ton of leftovers. My husband was gone the day I made the ham & ended up not having it for dinner. I was in desperate need of a meal involving that particular meat as I try to stay away from it for the most part due to my diet-plan.
Fiddling around, I came up with a quick & easy recipe that called for cheap ingredients.
Ham & Potato Soup
* 6 potatoes
* 1/3 cup red onion
* 1 T. Butter
* 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
* 3 Cups Cubed Ham (See brown sugar ham recipe here)
* Milk (Enough to almost cover cooked potatoes after drained*
* Johnny’s Seasoning
* Garlic Salt
* Lemon Pepper
Chop up & begin boiling potatoes in large pot. Saute onion in butter & drain cooked potatoes.
Return to pot & add enough milk to almost cover potatoes. Add can of soup & onions.
Chop up ham & add to soup.
Season & let simmer for 15 minutes on low.. Soup will thicken as it sits
The hubby loved this soup.. And I’m not a fan of Cream of Mushroom soup, but I really wanted to add some kind of soup to add that extra flavor & thought I’d give it a try. It’s barely noticed when paired with everything else and REALLY adds to the flavor, just right! I think the brown-sugar ham really helped with the flavor as well. Definitely a cheap and repeat meal.
I’ve been wanting to keep better track of the recipes I create, so was fiddling around with creating a recipe-card to print out to replace my scribbled notes. Here’s my first attempt!
And… A lil spreadsheet, just in case. I hate using a full sheet of paper for one recipe & that way I can have on hand and pass to a visiting friend or family member after dinner. It also makes a super-cute gift-idea for bridal-showers.
Wellp.. Off to get my day started.. Have a great day everyone!!
So the other day, I tried a recipe that I fell in love with. It was SO good… And definitely going to be a staple in our life.
Friday night, I pulled out a 9lb ham to thaw for the following day.. After scouring the internet for a good ham recipe (my previous attempt at crockpotting a ham was a massive failure resulting in a vinegary-too-sweet-ham that my husband valiantly forced down) I finally found one that was simple… And delicious.
It calls for 2 cups of brown sugar & of course the ham. You lay down a layer of brown sugar in the crockpot,.. Squeeze the ham into the crock pot (I had to take the bone out & cut the ham up a bit to make it fit). I also sprinkled brown sugar over the top of the ham & turned the slow cooker to Low for about 5 hours where I then turned it up to High for a half an hour or so before going back down to low for another hour. During this amount of time, I turned the ham over a couple times to make sure it cooked equally in the amount of brown sugar that had pooled up around the base of the meat.
The ham was YUMMY. Fattening… But Super good! Our dog, Trip, got a good bit of fat to munch on that night.
Un-Food-related.. I’m working on a children’s story. Slowly but surely! I’m so excited to actually get it done. I’m sure actually getting it published will be a feat in itself. But, I’m looking forward to trying at least!
Thinking I might post the cover here in a few days.. If I can get the nerve to!
Wellp.. Off to enjoy the rest of my evening with the hubby & kids.. Take care & have a great night, everyone!
Is through his stomach, right?
But what about those of us who aren’t lumped in with the male gender in the world’s population? Obviously, I love food.. And I doubt I’m the only one. Among my favorites are Chinese, Spaghetti, sandwiches, chocolate, Gourmet & comfort food.. Which brings to mind another favorite..
I remember as a kid, my sister used to make french toast and add orange juice to the mixture before frying. As the years passed and I began making it myself, I started trying all sorts of variations including: different fruit juices & wines (the alcohol cooks out), different creamers, egg nog & different extracts.
Morning or night, this meal always seems to be a huge hit around here & the kids love when we scramble up a couple eggs to go with it. Grille a few slices of bacon or some fried potatoes and my husband’s in heaven.
Partridges and Gold Rings come to mind when thinking of Christmas’ happiest days.. It seems that the Holidays of Yesteryear were filled with glimmering tinsel, happy children eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival and angels getting their wings with every ring of a bell.
Christmas of 2011 can seem far from what it used to be for many families. Mostly because the economy. While it’s said money cannot buy happiness, it can certainly buy peace of mind when a nice little stack of bills are beginning to pile up on your virtual desk.
While we haven’t always had the easiest time around Winter with work, Christmas has been such a neat time of the year for us regardless of how much money we had. We’ve had so much help from family, friends and even complete strangers.. Just to make our Christmas special. More on this in a few!
The guys were out of work for a little bit this Winter so with the thought that we wouldn’t have quite as much to spend on presents, I went ahead and came up with a fun idea to make Christmas seem special to the kids.. The plan was to do some kinda crafty/bakey type thing related to Christmas for the 12 days leading up to the big holiday. It really ended up being not quite so organized and less craft, more baking but.. here we go! 9 days of Christmas. (The other 4 got eaten up with being busy. )
Day 1 -Decorating the Christmas Tree!
It was dark and Jada was moving all over the place so.. A tad blurry!
Our snacks for the night Before they were put in the oven. You bake at 175 for about 8 mins and then press an m&m into the top of each. Chill in the fridge for a half hour and voila! Easy, yummy snacks the kids love.
My two nieces came over for the night and made Gingerbread cookies. Jono had a lot of fun decorating wth the frosting.
Day 3 -Christmas Party!
Made peppermint chocolate chip cookies.. Which my daughter has fondly named ‘chocolate chip candy cane cookies’. I guess that sounds cuter anyways for the holidays. I realized after pulling out my eggs that I was one egg short… So as I waited for my totally-awesome hubby to run to the store and get me some more, I started this blog post. Thankfully it didn’t take too long and we were only about 30 mins late to the party.
It was really a lot of fun. We had a Dirty Santa exchange which Jono scored a huge tin of belgium chocolate cookies and I brought home some yummy holiday yuletide taffy in eggnog, buttered rum, peppermint.
While we were there, my sister gave jono and I an early Christmas present… That in itself was already a huge surprise but you can’t imagine how shocked I was when I opened it to a brand new camera! It was so nice that Jessica and Jaydon did that for us.. And now, as Jessica said: ‘Now you don’t have an excuse not to blog!’
So here we go.. My pretty Canon PowerShot camera:
Here’s the recipe I used for these cookies.. Just a slightly modified version of Nestle Tollhouse.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels (I used more then 2 cups I think)
Peppermint Chunks – Equal amount of Peppermint to Chocolate Chips
1 T Vanilla Extract
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peppermint. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I think these were made a little differently then normal but were still great! I’ll have to post a recipe one of these posts.
Whew, it’s late.. I’ve been waiting for the hubby to get to a ‘good stopping point’ on the gift he’s making for the kids. I’ll post pics when he’s done! But, I think it’s about time to drag him off for a few hours of sleep before the kids wake up.
Gnite!! [<3] heather