December 28, 2009

Bacon BaNANas BIRTHdays

Heavens to Betsy I feel bloated and hairy.....

Maybe its because I ate this for breakfast....AND then I was forced to eat this for dinner!

The Festival of fat....fried chicken, cheesy potatoes, biscuits&gravy....

If Christmas wasn't enough my boys birthdays are this week. Luke's moving into double digits and Noah will officially become a TEENager! Of course, somehow I have made my children's birthdays all about eating. Favorite breakfast, favorite lunch, favorite dinner, favorite dessert. WHAT have I done? I feel like the girl who turns into a blueberry and rolls away in the middle of the Willy Wonka movie......Cause you know they eat barely enough for a mouse and then mom feels obligated to to not let anything go to waste because there are starving kids....... every where these days.....guilt plays a big factor in my eating.

For dessert Luke wanted chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream filling, and chocolate frosting. I tried to talk him into the 7 minute frosting (fluffy and marshmallowy), but NO, more Chocolate. HELP me...............I love chocolate but that's a bit much! I made the Devils Food Cake from my NEW Magnolia Bakery Cookbook! Filled it with Fox Fudge Freak-out ice cream and frosted it with a chocolate butter cream frosting just as my 10 year old ordered.

Now today I am back to the books...cookbooks that is. The teenager wants chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting....FOR THE LOVE OF........somebody help me. I need respit. Oh I am just know I love it, it's my jeans that are hating me these days. Noah is giving me a break mostly for the rest of the day. He wanted Cream of Wheat for breakfast, smothered in sugar and Hershey syrup....I can do that. Then for lunch its potato skins with cheese and bacon.

I'm still working on that one......

Then for dinner the teenager (I like calling him that) wants to go to Kobe its a Japanese Steak House.....they seat you around this big griddle and cook your food in front of you and give you a little show at the same time flipping food in the kids, mouths.....they love it. I don't mind the food, it's the fact that we have to share our table area with complete strangers that bugs me. And if we got seated with another family that would be one thing, BUT we always get seated with some couple that is either on their first date or drunk, or the last time we were seated with a couple that had a crying baby and they were fighting..... YIKES not appetizing, but the rest of my family is usually completely oblivious to our table guests so I guess its my problem.

The TEENager like DOUBLE rice....tryin to bulk up.

I am just about ready to slip into a grease and chocolate coma.....I definitely need to go outside and shovel....but its soo cold out there AArRgggG. I'm never gonna look good in a two piece bathing suit again anyway. Might as well put on a fresh pot of Java Jo and eat another cupcake.

December 25, 2009

number ONE

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

I LOVE that verse! Today is the ultimate birthday celebration! We get to celebrate the birth of the Christ child.

Yesterday was my birthday and my son wrote me a note that said this " I'm sorry I didn't make you a present, but that's not what your birthday is about. It's about celebrating your birth with friends and family and having a great time, and that's what I hope your birthday is like this year." Love your son, Luke. (I promise you I am not making this up, he really wrote it all by his amazing little self)

Wow! That's my hope for you.....just what he said......that you are able to celebrate Christs birth with friends and family and have a great time. I know it's not that easy sometimes, because we live in a world filled with broken families and pain and hurt......but when we keep our eyes on the ONE true HOPE, Jesus, in this world it makes all that yucky stuff seemed to fade away.

Many blessings to you!

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December 24, 2009

number 11

Parties, people, eating, celebrating! I LIVE for these times. I stay awake at night thinking of how much fun I'm gonna have with these people. Hoping and praying that you too are having a amazing party! Here are some of my Christmas highlights............

Christmas Eve Fondue party 2009

Lunch at the Green Well, my favorite restaurant with my some of my favorite Ladies!

THE birthday girls.....can you believe we are ALL under 30? AMAZING!

Degage' -delivering Christmas goodies with some of the most awesome kids on the planet!

OOOh, who are these angels? Look how little they they're all big and stinky!

LIFEChurch Christmas fellowship! You people are awesome, amazing, super, spectaculaR, and stupendous!!! Thanks for all your hard work Life Serve Teams!

"We wisssshhhh YOU a Meeerrry Christmas, WEEEE wishhh YOU a Merry Christmas, We wishh You a Merry Chrisssstmasss AND a Happeeee New Year!"! Caroling with Friends!

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December 23, 2009

Fa la la la la LA LA LA LA!

Never mind the 6 loads of laundry that need to be done, the trays of cinnamon rolls lining my counter. I had to try and recreate a gingerbread caramel corn that I had when I was in Chicago. I did a test run on my Life Church friends, then today I think I perfected it. So why don't you give it a try and let me know what you think.

GinGerBread CaraMeL CorN

20 cups popcorn NOT microwave popcorn (you will need to do it the old fashioned way)
3 sticks butter
2cups brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup karo syrup
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 dashes or shakes ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 heaping tsp baking soda
1 large roasting pan
*preheat oven to 325
In a sauce pan melt butter add the brown sugar, molasses, and karo syrup. Bring to a boil stir constantly for 3-5 minutes. Take off heat add the ginger, nutmeg, and salt stir well. Then add the baking soda, it will foam up a bit, make sure you stir this well also. Put the popcorn in the roasting pan and pour caramel mixture over popcorn, using a big spoon or spatula fold the caramel onto the popcorn. Put in oven and bake for 10 minutes then stir around, do this two more times then take out of oven and pour on to parchment paper or cookie sheets. let cool and EAT! and SHARE! Okay now there are no excuses its back to the laundry. DRAT!

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NuMbEr TeN

BAKING DAY!!!!! Yahoo, Yipee, Yaha! Today is the day! My shopping is done. (I think...) And I am going to take a shower, put comfy cloths on, put my apron on and bake into the wee hours. Then as tradition has it, my very outgoing, loving, friendly husband delivers the goods to THE list of people, and if they aren't home then to who ever he CAN find home! He takes a kid or two with him too. My oldest surprisingly loves this, I say surprisingly because he is my most reserved child, but he has been doing this since he was a baby. Ken would carry him to the door and as soon has he could walk he sent him to the door sometimes by himself. I have gone, but usually I am whipped the next day and need to recover from my baking frenzy. And to be honest it's really more my husbands thing. God paired us perfectly, I bake, he gives it problems!

Who is on the list? Well, its not exclusive or anything....It's neighbors first. And since we don't live in a neighborhood, that means any ones property that touches ours. Then we venture out to friends and basically anyone we find home. So if you have never received baked goods, then STAY home! It's all sort of random shmandom so no hard feelings. Believe me if I had it in me I would make enough for everyone I know by name.

What do I bake.........well that has evolved over the years to basically two things. The majority of the baking is cinnamon rolls. THE pioneer woman's cinnamon rolls these days. I used to make a old recipe from a church cook book, you had to knead the dough and everything. But PW's are much easier so I can make MORE! Then I make Stollen Bread. It's mostly for me, because it is my German fix. But I have a good friend who's husband loves it and then our beloved piano teacher who is German. It literally takes me all day to make the Christmas Stollen, I make it while I am making my batches of rolls. Stollen is a very heavy braided bread with dried fruits and rum in it. I used to make literally 10-15 different cookies and candies. One year I even stood at the stove top stirring this Martha Stewart caramel recipe for 45 minutes, and then wrapping them individually in waxed paper with tiny bows. NUTS! clearly that woman does not have 4 kids and a husband that works weird hours in an ER! I still miss some of those treats.....toffee candy, almond snowball cookies, gingerbread cutouts, sugar cookie cutouts, peanut butter balls, white star candy, chocolate covered cherry cookies, thumbprint cookies....hmmmm. Carmel corn too! Oh the insanity of it! So now I am off the bake my bread and drink insane amounts of coffee.

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December 22, 2009

number NINE

Oh my goodness gracious me............its day nine!

Remember when you had your first baby, or when you got married or when I guess maybe you went to college......people had advise. Lots of advise. I can remember thinking, "uh huh, uh huh, uh huh", not really listening sometimes at all. HOW RUDE! I'm just gonna say right now SORRY to the person who said to me "be careful what you start, you could make alot of work for yourself". I don't know maybe no one told me that, maybe it's something I have had to figure out for my self. And if I had listened I would not have these adorable tiles, nor would the grandparents. It was easy at first, I just took Noah there, he was so good almost one at the time he just sat in his stroller as I put his tootsy toes on 4 tiles and then painted them. Then along came Ainslie, who was born in August and cried nonstop until March. That was the year I enlisted my poor sister to come with me and help. We quickly got her feet prints and sweated like heck painting them so we could get the heck out of there. Then Luke, I think I hired a baby sitter that year to watch the other two and I took him by myself. Well then along came Cece, I think that's the year I was really brave and we all went and I let the other three paint while I did her footsy tiles. CRAZY! I am sure the people at the pottery place were counting the minutes till this mom with a 5, 4, 2 1/2 , and 6month old got OUT of their store. Great memories.............and every year when I unwrap them from there tissue paper packing we all talk about the size of their feet and where we lived that Christmas.....etc....etc.... I could fill pages with pictures of all the things my kids have made over the years. Its all just too sweet. I still have the first ornament Noah brought home from preschool. Its simply a wooden star with gold sparkles glued on. I love that star!

A few years back my dad brought over a baggy, pre zip-loc, he had found it in a box he was going through from the attic. He is always going through some box these days and offing all kinds of junk on my sister and I.........thats a whole other post. What was in the baggy you ask? Cookies! Christmas cookies that I had decorated as a little girl and gave to my Grandma, she couldn't bare to eat them apparently, and she saved them for nearly 30 years!

Amazing the things we hang on to.....

December 21, 2009

Number EiGhT

La la lalalala la lala lalala lala, can you hear my song in your head? Probably not, cause if you were right next to me listening you wouldn't be able to make it out either. I stink at singing! I mean I really stink, ask my sister and my family. If I can't think of a song I will humm it and say "you know that song?!" and they are looking back at me painfully confused, because they know if they don't guess it right they will have to endure my further attempts at trying to sing the song. Okay enough about my horrendous vocals. THIS is my next, and newest favorite thing! I LOVE IT! It says it all doesn't it.............My good friend and fellow foodie (PW partner), is the creator of REDLETTERwords, she gave this to me. And beware because they are my favorite gift to give these days. Take a second and click on the redletter up there and check out her website. Dee loves the Lord and has put Gods word into a format that we can have on our wall in front of our faces everyday! LOVE that... By the way I was singing "Away in the Manger". Yeah, I know it sounds nothing like the song.

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December 20, 2009


Are you starting to think I have a thing for little guys??!! A beautiful, friend of mine, who unfortunetly I do not get to see very often, saw this one day bought it and brought it over. She saw it and knew I had to have it! I love her, LOVE this Santa! He is holding in his hands the Nativity scene. And he is smiling SO big. Makes me smile everytime I walk by him. As you can see this Santa is black, he is very special to our family because of our Cece. Our fourth (last but not least) child, came to us by adoption. I will share more about that later right now you go and love on somebody for NO apparent reason....go, go, shoo, it's Christmas time, give hugs freely!!!!

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December 19, 2009

NumBER 6

This is getting hard. Not because I can't figure out what to put as my favorites, but because there are just too darn many things that I cherish this time of year. One thing I (and my husband) really look forward to is Christmas cards. I LOVE getting cards, its like getting dozens of little gifts everyday. Like when you ordered something online and you are waiting, waiting, running out to the front porch everyday...........

Of course as the saying goes "giving is always better than recieving", NOT SO MUCH to be honest I way rather recieve Christmas cards than give them. I guess it's not so much that I dont want to give them, its just one more thing that I feel like I have to check off my list. But if others like recieving my card HALF as much as I like recieving theirs that makes it ALL worth it!!!!!

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straight UP appleSAUCE

Okay I am really hoping none of you was Johny on the Spot and made the Cinnamon Hanging recipe as soon as you read it. And if you did I am sincerely hoping that you used PLAIN applesauce because I did not specify that in my directions. NO sweeteners just PLAIN ol' simple applesauce. And just to be safe add 1/3 cup then add the 2nd 1/3 gradually to get the right consistency. Well I started to make mine this morning with sweetened, and I now have Cinnamon Glue Soup. It's lovely! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Praying that yours went fabulously......................Remember PLAIN applesauce!

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December 18, 2009

number FIVE

Oooohh, sniff, aahhh do it again ooohhh, sniffff, aaahhh. These little babies smell so amazing. I try to make them every year. I hang them on my garland on the staircase, I put them in baskets in the bathroom. I tie them on gifts of caramel corn and cinnamon rolls, or what ever kinda gift, it doesn't really matter. Tie them on a bottle of spiced wine! Ooh that's a good one, I'll do that. In the cookbook I have they are called Spice-scented Ornaments. I call them Cinnamon Hangy things............ I always have had a way with words.......I'm sure you can tell that if you have been reading my blog at all.

Once again my camera stinks so sorry about the fuzzy, glaring, picture. (if Santa brings me what I asked for, this possibly might improve after Christmas) So I would love to share the recipe with you....I am giving you the recipe doubled, and if I were you I would double it again. Not sure what they were thinking when they published it, because it would make approximately one and a half ornaments. It calls for lots of cinnamon so go to Costco or Sams Club and get your self some cinnamon, its so cheap there less than 3 bucks for a huge container.

Cinnamon Hanging Thingy Recipe

1/2 cup ground cinnamon

2 Tblsp ground allspice or pumpkin pie spice

1/3-2/3 cup applesauce PLAIN must have no sweeteners

4Tblsp white glue or wood glue

Then you will need cookie cutters, extra cinnamon for dusting, straw or tooth pick, wire wrack for drying, glue if you want to embellish with sparkles or beads, ribbon to tie them on to stuff.

Mix all the ingredients together in a glass bowl, add 1/3 cup applesauce then gradually add the next 1/3 cup, (if you do it in plastic its fine but it seems to want to stick to the bowl) it is a very sticky messy dough, you need to use your hands and add a bit more cinnamon if it seems too stick when you get a good ball, then sprinkle some cinnamon on a hard surface and roll out with a rolling pin. They need to be rolled out quite thin, cut with your cookie cutters (I have found the smaller the better, wouldn't advise using a cutter any bigger than three inches, if they get too big they break and are hard to transfer) then transfer to a wire cookie cooling type wrack, with a spatula. Make sure you DON'T forget to put your holes in for the ribbons, using a toothpick or straw. Then simply let dry. You will want to turn them every so often. It may take at least eight hours or a good day, so plan ahead. I just referenced my recipe and it says to let dry 2 to 3 days! Yikes I am not patient enough for that, 1 day is good. One last note, they will last from year to year, I pack them away in tissue with my garland.

I do hope you enjoy my 5th favorite thing!

December 17, 2009


Our Advent Wreath, is one of my favorite things. I look forward to how it brings our family together to remember that "Jesus IS the reason for the Season".

Week one, Hope-the prophet Isaiah gave us Gods promise of a Saviour and that's our HOPE.
Week two, Faith-faith WOW did Mary and Joseph have faith or WHAT???!!*&^% just take a second and pause on the thought of God coming to you as a young teenage woman, telling you that you are caring HIS child, the Creator of the Universes Child!, (Luke 1:26-38), and she believed! "I am the Lords servant, and I am willing to do whatever HE wants." Okay, reality check in my own life............... Week three, Joy- the shepherds candle. To think THEY got to be the first to see the Son of God! Week four, Peace-the angels candle. I just love the thought of the angels singing then and now in heaven. Wow! now that's a concert I DO not want to miss!

So what do we do with this wreath of candles??? Well we give each child a chance to read the scripture that goes with that week and to light the candle. Then we sometimes sing a song, like "Angels we have heard on high", or "Away in a Manger", "Joy to the World", while Noah or
Ainslie plays the piano. Okay don't gag yourself, if you think it sounds like the Von Trap family from "Sound of Music" or something, and you are saying "PaLEEEASE...." Usually there is some sort of argument, Cece is talking while Luke is reading, "why do I always have to go last to light the candle" "I don't want to sing, this is stupid....", sometimes there are lots of rolling of eyes. And to tell you the truth, some nights I just rather let everyone stay in their corner of the house, than haul us all together and hear the whining. BUT, in the end, WHAT is this season all about anyway???? We need to remember....God made a lot of promises and he fulfilled everyone of them for us through Christ. HALLELUJAH!

You don't need a special wreath to do this with your family. Just open your Bible AND your heart to Gods promises, and take a moment to remember what Christmas is really about. Many blessings to you~

December 16, 2009


Okay, this little guy is the coolest thing, I just love him. He is kinda like my Thanksgiving Pilgrim People.........I hug him and make him do a little jig, I sing Oh Tannenbaum as I unwrap him from his Rubbermaid slumber. BUT there is one thing about him that's gross and totally not in line with the Christmas spirit. Its that.............

HE SMOKES! He really smokes. You can't see it in the picture, because my camera stinks.......but this little guy literally smokes his pipe. My kids love it. They are like "make him smoke, make him smoke!". Kinda weird, I know.......You have to tear the little man apart at the waist insert a lighted incense cone in his belly and put him back together and then it appears that he is smoking! One of my souvenirs from Germany. So if you can't find someone to smoke with you (out in our garage) this Christmas season you are welcome to take "little smokin' guy" out in the garage with you!

December 15, 2009


Another of my favorite things is the receipt of our "Germany package". Every year my German exchange sister and I send packages full of things that are special to our memories of the other ones country. She sends me Stollen Bread and Lebkuchen and I send her chocolate chips and taco seasoning! Now that we both have kids it has become even more fun. The kids anticipate the arrival of this box almost as much as Christmas morning.

Andrea always way out does me, with many candies and all kinds of clever small gifts for us all. This year the hit was finger soccer and puzzle balls, and as always KINDER chocolate is the BEST!

December 14, 2009

12 of my FAVEorite THingS

Christmas is by far my favorite time of the year. What other time of the year can you run around like a crazy person spending insane amounts of money on your kids, eat 15 bagillion calories every day for 2 weeks straight, show up at peoples doors with cinnamon rolls and other goodies and not be asked, "what's this for?". I love IT! So I want to share a few (well 12 to be exact) of my very favorite things about Christmas. Some are Christ centered and others are just funky things I have collected. But I hope you enjoy the next 12 days.


gIngerBread HouseS

Many years ago my good friends Cindy and Jodi gave me a gingerbread house kit, I think it sat in my cupboard for 3 or 4 years and it made a few moves with me before I used it. (sorry cind and jode) But now I use it every year. Its great. Each kiddo gets their own house to decorate as they want.

This is the sugar bomb that goes off in my kitchen while my crazily, creative children are decorating their houses.

I am still finding royal icing blobs on my floor and table and other places I won't mention. It IS worth the mess, it smells so awesome. And you can smell that gingerbready, spicy smell all season long.

December 10, 2009

gift IDEAS

These are two of the easiest things to make and give away. And most of the ingredients you probably already have on hand so you just maybe need to go buy some cute containers and even those don't need to break the bank. Dollar store that's what I am talkin bout........

Hoping I don't make the Tastefully Simple people mad. Because I am giving away their secret. So NOW you too, can afford to have and give beer bread anytime you like!

3 cups of flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

This is all you need to mix together and put in a package of some sort. Then type out the directions. Add 1-12oz. bottle of beer (any sort will do), and 2 tablespoons melted butter, pour into a buttered bread pan and bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Brush with one more tablespoon of butter as soon as it comes out of the oven for extra yummyness! Voila! Beer Bread. You could even give them the beer to go with it.

1 cup instant coffee creamer
1 cup Nestle Quik
2/3 cup instant coffee crystals
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
instructions: add 3Tbl of mix to 6oz of hot water. ENJOY!

Mix the above ingredients together well. I usually make 5 or more recipes of this stuff at a time, because this is only like two gifts. I guess it depends on how much you are going to give. After making the mix you need to get some airtight containers together and write out instructions. Its cute if you have your kids do it on squares of paper in crayon or maker. Then take a hole punch and attach with ribbon to gift. My favorite way to give this gift is to get mugs (dollar store) or mason jars (cheap at grocery store in canning section), then go to Target and buy those smallish, stretchy gloves that are in bright colors, they are like two pairs for $1.99. Tie a pair of gloves to your container with ribbon and the instructions. Too CUTE! Makes a great teacher gift.

If I wasn't on my stupid laptop I would put in pictures for a visual, I will try to do that later. Have fun. LUV U!


Look past the yummy biscuits to the boy in the back ground. That would be my Noah. What is he doing you ask.... finger boarding or tech decking if you are using momtalk. Yes, he is boarding through my baking space. If you have a boy that does this finger board thing, you know how annoying that slap, slamming noise is. SLAP, slam, WHIZ, skid, slap, slam, slap ,slam........... Oh my! My hormones, my head!

If you don't have boys...I'm sorry. I am blessed to have two of each. God is allowing me to experience his creation of man and women two fold. And truly girls and boys are so dramatically different from each other. When I'm cooking the girls are touching, tasting, smelling. They are making pretty sugary things from my leftover dough. And the boys are tech decking through my flour dust. Don't get me wrong. My boys love to be in the kitchen. What they love to do is chop, stir, smash crackers in a bag, brown meat that is spewing hot grease at them. You get what I'm sayin.

I would say if I could do anything all day it would be to stand at my kitchen island with my jammies on, apron over them, and my kids all around me. That's a good day!

December 09, 2009


Potential snow days are apparently a HUGE motivator to me. I guess I need to work something out with our local meteorologist to forecast a gigantic storm every week. One that threatens to shut down the city and then and only then will I be able to accomplish nearly all my Christmas shopping, all my grocery shopping, and I got alot of my food for parties bought AND my toilets got cleaned too!

I hope you don't think I am bragging, but I also got a work out in this morning. NO I am not bragging if you know me you would know that I usually spend lots of time spinning in circles, doing a little of this a bit of that. I have realized, since I turned 40, many things about my self and one is that I am ADD. I find it very hard to focus on anyone thing too long. There are just to many thing to do and only 24 hours in everyday!

Well I really hope that "they" weren't wrong today about this storm, because ME and my kids are gonna be bummed! I guess for me its a win win situation though when I think about it. If the kids don't have school I get a day with my kiddos with not alot of stuff hanging over my head, and if they do go to school then I get a FREE day.........................Lunch anyone?

December 06, 2009

Chicago is my Friend

Have I said "I love Chicago?". Did I tell you that Chicago is the beast? Has anyone ever told you how much I like to visit the windy city? NO?!!!! Well I have only been there three times in the last three weeks, so go figure! There is some goooood eatin in that town, I am hear to tell you and I am wearing my belt a bit looser too because of it. Yowza!
Okay this story needs to start three weeks ago. Yes you guessed it this does tie in to my Pioneer Women experience. When my friend Dee and I went to see PW we had to check out someplace new, we were in a city with 50 bagillion restaurant choices. Why would we go to someplace we could eat at home or had eaten before. BORING. Sorry, that is very boring and I am gonna stick to my opinions about that sort of behavior. We decided to seek out a Diners-Drive-ins& Dives restaurant. Since we both love Mexican food, and discovered that we are both mole' lovers, we went to a place I had seen on the show. They made this amazing looking mole sauce. The whole segment on triple D (above mentioned show) was about this restaurants mole sauce, and how the father flew back to Mexico every so often to get the special spices, it makes my mouth water just writing about it. So we drive all over the place looking for this joint, because Gabbie gets silly sometimes and can't figure out a restaurant from somebodies back yard. Gabbie by the way is our navigational system. So FINALLY we see the sign, Cemita Puebla- authentic cuisine famous for our mole sauce, right on the sign. Yahoo, we could taste it, all spicy and chocolaty. As we stoond there and looked over the menu, the owner greeted us and offered to help us with our choices. I say, "I don't see mole on the menu any where" AND in a thick (but very cute) accent he says "no one a order the mole, I take off menu". WHAT! Are you flippin kidding me??? Is this a bad joke? Dee and I give each other the wide eye, and recover quickly from our near fainting experience. We enjoyed our food very much, it is very cheap and plentiful, and the staff was helpful and friendly. But we laughed our hineys off once we got in the car, because we thought the cute old man was probably saying "none of you will eat my mole, two white chicks walk in here and want the mole!"
Now our family Chi-town adventure! We were a little more conservative with our food adventures, because the kids have there Chicago favorites. Lou Malnatis the best deep dish chicago pizza by far in our book, a must try. And if you are willing to veer from pepperoni try Lous favorite with mushrooms and garlic and lots of spinach. Super Yummy! My youngest had never been to Ed Debevics so we had to go there. Ed's is all about the atmosphere. Don't get me wrong the food is always more than edible, but the show the waiters put on is very fun! We had the meatloaf, ribs, hamburgers, and other normal kids fare. The shakes are worth the calories, my daughter ordered butterscotch, and it was addicting. We also started out with the chili cheese fries and the platter looked like we had all gone around and licked it. Don't judge us we were starving after a day at the Planetarium and Shedds! We went to one of our ALL time favorite breakfast spots for Thanksgiving day dinner , Ann Sather,(which was very odd for us, but we had done our at home Turkey feast the Sunday before turkeyday). The cinnamon rolls weigh at least 100lbs each and they seriously give mine a run for their money. We started our thanksgiving day dinner out with a platter of cinnamon rolls, and other delectable baked goods and ended with pumpkin pie. In between we had the traditional turkey and all the fixens, well almost all.( Hey, Ann you got sumthin against green bean casserole!) If you have to eat out on Thanksgiving in Chicago I would recommend it. Well we also sought out a triple D this week end and it was the HonkyTonk BBQ on 18th south west of downtown. TO DIE FOR! A must try. But two things , make sure you have gone potty ahead of time, cause I guess there toidy gets plugged easy and they ONLY take cash. Everything is all homemade everyday. Must try the mac&cheese if you are a pecan pie folk then do that too!

Okie Dokie, I was back in my home away from home this past weekend. I was a passenger on the D express! I went with one of my favorite foodie friends (hey triple F), Demetria. We stayed with her sister who lives in Chicago, so that was a bonus. More money to eat with my dear...... We tried a place called Mixteco. Guess what? They had MOLE'! I can hear the angels singin..... Or was that me? Oh did they have mole. It was not some place I would take my kids, I could take my kids there, but it was more of an adultish kinda place. The dinner prices were around 14-20bucks a plate. But we were stuffed. That could be because whe had two appetizers and who can leave with out trying the Tres Leches and the Flan! Its on the corner of W Montrose and Ashland. (sorry this is going to have to be continued I have to get something done around here I was just gone to Chicago for three days!)
Phew! Okay I'm back. Sorry about that. My kids had no undies so I had to get some washed! On Saturday we went to the "One of a Kind Show" that was pretty cool. I didn't really buy much, it was just fun seeing ALL the stuff people think of. Check out the link and go next year it was super cool. Okay I have to admit. I did buy one very super cool thing for my boys that I am feeling very selfish and not wanting to share. But I am gonna get over my self...................okay I am over it and now I am going to share the Pook. You MUST check this hat out. The demonstration these guys gave was fit for SNL. Demetria had to reign me in I almost bought 6 of them. (I bought two for my boys)
Two more places we ate were Garrets THE popcorn heaven in my life. I actually went to Chicago three times and only got popcorn at Garretts once. What is wrong with me? The three of us bought about 50lbs of chicago style popcorn (cheese and carmel mixed). It was all warm and we could not wait to eat, so of course we dug in to it as we headed to catch our train we looked like we had a run in with an orange marker, orange fingers, orange lips, "oops little on your nose there". Who can stop eating it? It is more addicting than Mcy D's fries. So quickly two last places I ate in Chicago LeShets, awesome german food! Brought back many a yummy memory of my days in Deutchland. And then last but not least Paulinas a great breakfast spot, near Andersonville. Hey anytime you all are up for a eating adventure in Chicago, I'm your girl!

December 03, 2009

Comfort FOOD

I don't really have much to say. Or I guess I should re word that, because I have alot to say, I am just to lazy to write it all down write now. But I do want to share with you a yummy dinner I made this week. Shepherds Pie! Yummy, yummy, yummy feels so good in my chubby tummy. That little diddy is brought to you by my father who has many a little diddy he likes to say. So ok here it is..............


1 1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 can tomato soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 sm can or 3Tbl of tomato paste

1 Tbl worcestershire sauce (okay I had to go to my fridge and check the spelling on that one)

1 tsp paprika (if you like smokey flavors use a smoked sweet paprika)

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder or just regular ol' chili powder is good

1 tsp curry powder

couple shakes of crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)

season salt to taste

2lb (8-10) yukon gold potatoes

1cup shredded cheese (whatever you have will work I almost always use the Mexican blend)
1/2 stick butter
1 bag of frozen green beans, or corn, or peas (pick your poison)

Brown the ground beef in a good sized skillet so you have room for stirrin. Then add everything up to the seasoning salt, cook until bubbly and flavors have come together 10-15 minutes over med/low heat. Meanwhile boil your taters, drain water add butter,add butter, and splash or two of milk, whip those up with mixer, stir in cheese, a dash o salt and pepper of course. NOW you need to take a casserole dish and layer the meat mix on bottom, your choice of vegi on top of meat (sometimes I put halfsies ie. corn on one side, peas on the other) then spread the whipped cheesy taters on top bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Yummy! This freezes well too, and is better as left overs.

The first time I had this dish was on my honeymoon at a brewpub in Vermont, I would like to go back and see if my version compares with the one I ate there, it was so scrumptious. Then the next time I had shepherds pie I was in another pub in London and it was not so yummy. It was bland, no spice and the taters where dry, BLAH, but what could I say I was in London, so whatever right?!
Enjoy, and make your kids try it, they will come to love as my kids have. Courtesy bite for the cook.