Sunday, May 31, 2009

Homemade salsa

Homemade Salsa

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes (plus the juice)
4 teaspoons jalapenos (canned,diced, not pickled)
1/4 cup yellow onion (diced)
1 clove fresh garlic- minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Fresh cilantro to taste
Juice from a lime

1. In food processor place jalapenos and onions and garlic.
2. Process for just a few seconds.
3. Add both cans of tomatoes, salt, sugar, cumin, cilantro and lime juice
4. Process all ingredients until well blended but do not puree.
5. Place in covered container and chill.
6. A couple of hours of chilling will help blend and enrich the flavor.
7. Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips.
When we watch Nascar, we have to have some good munchies. I love chips and salsa and this is a great recipe for homemade salsa. Super easy. Pretty much just dump and blend. This recipe is very agreeable to adjustments- add or subtract jalepenos to your desire. Yummy!

Weekend Fun!

Sprint All-Star Race Practice

I have a confession of sorts. I LOVE NASCAR!!! Actually, I love all kinds of car races. I love the thrill of those cars flying by, the drama of jostling to the front and competing for the lead. I love the roar of all that horsepower. I love the smells related to racing- rubber, racing fuel . . . ahh! This is what we are doing this afternoon. Sacking out in front of the TV to watch today's race. Son #1 and I share the same favorite driver- #17 Matt Kenseth. We will be cheering for him! This is definitely a family passion- much to my sisters dismay. She gets tired of all the left turns, she fails to see all the great things that are so obvious to us! So to all my racing buddies out there: "Let's go racing boys!"

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wild Olive Tees

While surfing the net a few weeks back, I stumbled across a great company that is making really neat (and cute!) t-shirts. Wild Olive Tees is a mom run company that makes shirts that are beautiful in design and share the gospel in a classy way. I am anxiously awaiting my first order. I hope that you will check them out.
A note to my wonderful husband: This is the website that I was telling you about- these are the shirts that I would like for my birthday!!♥

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summertime Money Saver

When the temperature starts to rise in the summer, I have a huge money drain. We get very thirsty. Going into a gas station for drinks when we are out running errands runs me close to $10 every time. A fast food pit stop for something cool and wet? You guessed it $7-$10. This adds up very quick. I have come up with a solution that works great for my gang. Keep a large cooler in the trunk of my van stocked with drinks of all kinds. I either dump ice in to keep cool, or if I am planning ahead, freeze a bunch of water bottles and use those as both a coolant and a drink when they have melted a bit. It is really so simple, but I have found that the more simple something is- the least likely I am to think of it! That is what Works for Me, check out Works for me Wednesday for more awesome ideas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We love to have bread with our Italian dishes (and who doesn't?). When I get tired of repeating the same garlic bread, I turn to this great but easy focaccia recipe. This one is a winner, it is also very versatile. It can be eaten like a bread, or used as a pizza crust (yum!). I hope you give it a try. For more great recipes check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday .

Mix 1 cup warm water (105°-115°) and 1 package yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes to get all happy.
In another but larger bowl combine: 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp, oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp basil and a dash of black pepper. Add yeast mixture and 1 Tbsp olive oil to the flour mixture. Combine until dough has pulled together. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°. Punch the dough down and place on greased cookie sheet. Pat into desired shape. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Birthday and a heartfelt Thank you!!

Happy Birthday to my very best friend!!!

I hope that this coming year will be a great year for you.

Thank you to all past and present servicemen and women. May God bless you and your families for your dedication, your honor and your sacrifices.
Memorial Day weekend in Washington.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Menu for week of May 25

This week will be a bit off for us. Not only will my hubby be home on Monday, it is also his birthday. So we get to eat where ever his tummy takes us! For more awesome menu ideas check out Menu Plan Mondays . I always find great ideas and recipes there!

Monday: Happy Birthday Honey!

Tuesday: Mexican Stuffed Shells , rice, chips and salsa

Wednesday: Whole Chicken Crock Pot recipe with mashed potatoes- this recipe followed us from last week, because life got in the way of us eating it last week!

Thursday: French Dip with Savory Oven French Fries

Friday: A popular one at our home- Breakfast for dinner: Pancakes, Bacon and eggs and fruit.

Saturday: Honey Ginger Grilled Salmon, Hot-Off-The-Grill-Potatoes, Frozen Peach Daiquiris

Sunday: Crock Pot BBQ sandwiches* with assorted cut veggies and chips

*Crock Pot BBQ Sandwiches*
Place a brisket (not corned beef brisket, but just plain brisket) in your crock pot with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove meat and drain drippings. Shred and return to crock pot. Pour one bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce over top and keep on low for people to serve themselves. Scoop the desired amount in hamburger rolls and enjoy!

Five Things that I am thankful for

I am so very blessed and as I was sitting in church today, I was feeling especially thankful. Here is a very mini list of some of the things that I am thankful for.

  1. For all the men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces. Thank you so very much for your sacrifice for our country and the freedoms that we have the privilige to enjoy.
  2. For my hubby- whom we get to celebrate his birthday tomorrow. I have known the man for over 17 years and I am still completely in love with him.
  3. For having a great relationship with my brother and sister. I was very blessed to have been put together in the world with those two.
  4. For chocolate. I like it a lot. It makes the end of a long day a little sweeter.
  5. For rain. I love the smell of rain and the sound of rain. I even like puddles!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time out for us

We took a much needed mental health day this past Monday. We went to our local rec center pool and had a glorious aftenoon in the lazy river, sliding down the slides and splashing in the splash zone for my youngest.

My 9 year old loves the lazy river. He spent better part of the afternoon floating around the lazy river.

My husband and my 11 year old took our six month old out in the big pool for his inagural swim. My baby is the most serious child! Not once did he crack a smile or cry about the water. In fact, he just carried on in his most studious manner. He is just so very sweet! I also have to say that any 11 year old who chooses to hang with his dad and baby brother is so very sweet as well!

And then there is this character- my 7 year old. He is always entertaining, always making us smile.

Our special family day restored our balance. We are so thankful to have jobs, a home, food and each other. But sometimes we need to focus on the "each other" part. I am glad that we took the time to do that.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Laundry Schedules

As the mom of 4 boys, I will honestly tell you that they can make a whole mountain of laundry with out even trying! I was drowning in their dirty clothes.
One of my goals as a mom is to give my kids the skills that they will need as an adult. At some point my goal and my reality would have to meet. For some strange reason I doubted my children's ability to do laundry. But then a dear friend of mine shared with me that her children- slightly younger than mine- had been doing their own laundry for over a year! I don't know why I believed that my boys couldn't do that.
So, we have implemented a laundry day for each boy. They must wash, fold and put away their own clothing. Monday is Boy #1 (age 11), Tuesday is Boy #2 (age 9), Wednesday is Boy #3 (age 7), Thursday is Boy#4 (age 6 mo.) obviously I do his laundry for him, but in a few years . . . ., and Friday is Mom and Dad's day. Saturday is left over for sheets and towels.
It has been awesome to only have to worry about my laundry Thursday through Saturday. I had been doing a load or two or three every day of the week. This is much better for me and for my kids.
This is what works for me! Please visit We are THAT Family for more awesome ideas!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Banana Snack Cake

I always seem to have over ripe bananas. I thought that I would use those up tomorrow in this kid pleasing snack cake.

Banana Snack Cake
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
6 Tbsp. milk
2 1/2 - 3 cups confectioners sugar
Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl and mix well. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
To make frosting: Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar until it reaches spreading consistency. Frost cake. Enjoy!
I have been making this cake for years, Sometimes I will throw into the cake batter a cup or two of mini chocolate chips if I have them. If you are in a hurry, it is also great without the icing! I hope your family likes it as much as mine.
I love to find new recipes. Go check out Tempt my Tummy Tuesday for more!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first time doing this, but the whole list thing appeals to me in so many ways. I hope to join in often!

Monday: Grilled Hamburgers and Brats

Tuesday: Antipasto Wraps and carrots sticks

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Breasts with grilled veggies and bread

Friday: Picnic in the park night- sandwiches, chips, carrot sticks and chocolate chip cookies

Saturday: Leftover Buffet

Scoot on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie who hosts Menu Plan Monday for great menus and recipes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday Blessings

This morning as I woke up at 5 am, I was grouchy. It had been a long night with the baby and I was simply not feeling very thankful. So as I was nursing Jesse back to sleep, I was looking out the bedroom window. At first, my exhausted eyes could not focus very well, but when they did, I was surprised to see a red fox trotting along the sidewalk behind our home. Boy, was he a pretty thing. He made me smile, and then I noticed that the birds were chirping. My smile grew bigger. And I realized that I really just needed my eyes to focus on the simple things around me, and I will naturally feel a lot less grouchy. I will simply be thankful that I did not miss them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Cabbage Salad

Growing up, my mom used to make the simplest of things special. This was a salad that she would make to take to church potlucks, parties and for everyday fare.It is a great summer salad because you don't even have to turn on the oven!
Cabbage Salad
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
3 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 package chicken flavored Ramen noodles, broken up
Five minutes before serving add the following dressing:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
The package of Ramen noodle seasoning
I am linking this post to A Listmakers Life who is hosting Saturday salads. Please visit her for her delicious salad recipe.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Journey Begins

I am doing something for myself. I am starting this journey. Instead of sitting back and watching others, I am taking steps to do, steps to participate, steps to go forth. I don't know where this will lead me, but I figure that I will never know if I don't try. So join this newbie as she shares her life. Because I am starting this journey and I would love to take it with you.