Friday, November 17, 2017

Food For Thought

Yep, I'm aware of how long it's been since I posted.  I'm not sure where that month went, or how I spent it, but it just seems to have blown by.  We're heading into the busy time of year - holidays, baking, cooking, more holidays, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and then you add the normal things in family life., and it's a bit hectic.

During all of that you still need to eat.  You'll find some yummy ideas to plan your weekly menus below.


At the time I made this One Pan Creamy Gnocchi with Italian Sausage and Kale I didn't know there was a lactose-free half-and-half, which I would have used in substitute for both the milk and the cream (my daughter is, if not lactose intolerant, then highly sensitive) so I made a light roux to thicken the sauce.  I don't know if it's the roux or something else, that made the flavors a bit muddled and bland.  I'm a big fan of gnocchi, so I'll give this a try again with the LF half-and-half.  And check my salt and pepper.


I haven't made anything pumpkin yet this season, which is so unlike me.  By now,  during any other year, I've almost had my fill, so when I came across this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, I knew it time.  It was awesome, moist, lightly spiced and the chocolate chips floated nicely in every bite.  Note to self:  DON'T use spray oil, grease with shortening, and grease it well!


For a meal that is basically cans of this and jars of that, this Chicken Chili is not only easy, but delish and super fast!  Spiced just right and the ground chicken makes it a little lighter.  We topped ours simply with avocado.  This and a loaf of crusty bread, and it was just right on a chilly night.


I thought I might be able to sneak this Corn and Zucchini Ricotta Stuffed Shells past my "I don't like zucchini" son, since it was shredded.  And it worked.  He ate it . . . once, but he didn't seem to notice it.  His opinion aside, they were good.  I liked the addition of the lemon; it lightened the dish up.  It would be awesome with just-off-the-cob corn, but frozen works when it's out of season.


This Chimichurri Chicken and Rice is full of flavor, thanks to the chimichurri, and a super simple one pan meal to pull together.  You can change up the rice to brown, or get a nutrition boost by using quinoa.  Bulk it out a bit more with the addition of white beans.


I've said it before, and it's been shown here, that I love a good sheet pan recipe.  This Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaves with Potatoes and Green Beans is just another in a long line of good, easy clean-up and make-it-again meals.  The recipe as is serves four by making eight small meatloaves, I opted to make them slightly bigger and making six loaves, which fed us all, thanks to the potatoes and greens.  However, the next time I think I'll add an additional half-pound of beef, because everyone either wanted a second loaf, or wanted one that was a bit bigger.  I would have to agree.

If things are more on the cold, than cool, side of the season where you are any of these will fill you up in a comfort food kind of way.

Happy Friday,

Lori

Ready, Set, Shop!

It's true, I've been counting inventory, locating images, finding pricing and uploading products for the last two months, mixed in with the usual craziness of life and a family of six.  It's sad, but it's true (stupid website for crashing.)  However, I've finally. . .FINALLY. . .got everything up there. 

In the process I did find some other items, that will likely go in Grab-Boxes, but that's for later - but keep an eye out for those.  For now, 99% of the products are listed, marked down and ready to go.  It's time to stock-up for the long winter ahead, like a squirrel storing nuts.  Winters are long and cold here, snuggling down and creating stories and reliving memories warms the heart.  Besides who's not inspired when new goodies hit your doorstep?
Like I said, everything is already marked down.  However, today and tomorrow you can save an additional 10% on your entire order.  Enter code:  MOVEITOUT when you check out. 

Coupon code must be present at time of check out.  Refunds for missing codes cannot be given.  Expired 11.20.17

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

We Are

So the weather liars here said something about 80's this week.  I should, and do, know better than to believe a 7-day forecast.  Shoot, you can barely count on a 12-hour forecast.  80's?  LOL, try barely 70.  Not that this upsets me, I live for the cooler weather. . .I was dreading the 80's plan.


  • Sometimes I think she spends more time avoiding homework
  • Not so much and unplanned test, as someone pulled the alarm. . ."accidentally."  The puller will get two unplanned "days off."
  • Two takes on #nationalcoffeeday 
  • It may be the only way I'm catching Colorado's Gold this year. . .via my girlie
  • It may also be the only way I'll get to see moose. . .she saw four, including a mama and her baby
  • Enjoying a retreat
  • Frosted Evergreens (she said she saw this photo of hers, on someone else's feed from the retreat.  Would be more flattering if they had given her the credit after stealing the photo.)  #alwaysgivecredit
  • Fall and Winter often visit together here in Colorado
  • She's sure her toys are in the laundry, even though we've told her they're not
  • Batman?
  • Well, not so much designated driver in the "mom's planning on a drink" so much as "this car is a manual, and mom hasn't yet driven it and it's the only car we have to get to a BBQ" (side note: I know how to drive a stick.)
  • After directing him back to the fire, twice, for running with a burning stick, it was adding a marshmallow that kept him there.
  • YEESSSS!
  • This is what our mail looks like now - college, college, college - come see us, here's your bill, loan balance update, you've been accepted, apply to us. . .

Happy Wednesday,

We Are

We, well me really, are falling desperately behind. . .in many things.  After looking at what went on the last couple weeks, I wonder, is it any wonder?  Brace yourselves, it's a long post - well picture-wise anyway.


 

  • Football and homework. . .okay
  • A night out with her boys
  • And why shouldn't it, she's my girl!
  • When you have to stop within just a few pages of being finished and it takes you more than a week to get back to it
  • Karma. . .she's not nice
  • He wanted a Mustang logo (of course) on his cake.  I baked it, but his sister made it genius and free-handed that horse.  He was beyond thrilled.
  • A Mustang birthday means huge smiles
  • My (now) 17 y.o. and I have shared birthday celebrations since he was born six days after my own birthday.  When the (now) 9 y.o. was born the day before my birthday, it became a threesome celebration
  • It's not her birthday, but someone brought her a gift and she hasn't let it out of her sight for more than 48 hours. . .yes, she slept with it
  • The 9 y.o. watches Chris Fix videos (a DIY car guy.)  We've had a couple car issues and the 9 y.o. swears he can fix them thanks to Chris Fix.  He throws around car words like break pads, catalytic converter, differential. . .so when we bought a car to add to our growing drivers pool, it needed to have its headlight covers replaced (aged, yellowed and just yuck.)  Naturally, Chris Fix had a DIY solution, and the 9 y.o. had seen the video...several times.  We put him to work and he was in H.E.A.V.E.N.
  • Some day I'll learn who, or who NOT, to hand off my camera to for party photos
  • Yes. . .I turned 51.  Bleh.  But I'm not Lary, nor do I spell my name (if that's an "O") with a "Y"  Oh, well, the cake was good.
  • When you're in High School and your friends bring you gifts on your birthday (courtesy the 17 y.o.)
  • His two older siblings took him out for lunch on his birthday.  It's times like that, that I think, "Well, maybe I got some of this raising kids thing right."  Of course, then I get a call from the school and well. . . 
  • We don't do traditional birthday cakes (except me because I love a good cake.)  The 17 y.o. has had donuts as his dessert choice since he was four.  We've piled, stacked, grouped.  It's time to up your game when you turn 17. . .Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes Trifle
  • We didn't doubt he had enough hot air to get all 17
  • When you're ready to go, but your family takes issue with your pants choice.
  • More crafting
  • She's always good at the sleeping
  • Hit up a local performance of A Chorus Line with the girls Sunday afternoon
  • It's been raining for three or four days, plus we've had fog roll in on two evenings.  It's been AWESOME!
  • Impromptu night out to a concert with his sister
Happy Wednesday,

Lori




Tuesday, October 3, 2017

December Daily 2016


A while back, on this post, I had some creative outlets, and some time with which to pursue them.  I ran into a few road blocks - you can read all about it.  One of my options was playing with a December Daily kit I picked up on sale from Ali Edwards.

I have participated in December Daily for several years now.  Not all of them are in albums, but I'm pleased to say there are quite a few up on the shelf.  I opted to use my newest kit on our most recent December, that being 2016.  Frankly, it saved me a dig through of what years still needed to be done.


I am pretty sure all my December Daily albums are kits.  I'm thinking. . .and yeah, they are all kits.  Some came with an album and others the kit became the album, meaning that the pages were bound in some way: rings, ribbon, clips, etc.  For this one, I picked up a 4x6 album (also on sale.)  This kit contained three sheets of stickers - one with various shapes, one with washi tape strips and one with two mini alphabets.  It also contained a package of enamel dots and stars in four colors.


There was a package of chipboard strip words, well they were numbers, but words that are numbers.  Got that?


There was quite the stack of 6x8 sheets of two-sided patterned paper.  I didn't count it, but I'd guess it was a couple dozen - two sheets per pattern.


There was also a big stack of 3x4 cards and maybe a half-dozen 4x6 cards.  All were double-sided.  There was a repeat of designs, but generally in different colors.


Unlike other albums I've done, this is the first pocket album; there was little to think about.  Print and go.  The album I picked up was a pocket-page album - I could have made individual pages and just chucked the pockets, but my December Daily albums are generally about quick and easy.  So I needed to have a little thought about laying it all out so that I had the pictures I wanted and enough cards to make it through the album.  I had the photos printed and did a general layout of them, interspersed with either the 3x4 cards or the 4x6 cards. 

This is the inside cover opening page.


I knew, or thought I did, that the pages came in 4x6 (check) and 2x3 splits (wrong.)  So I printed my photos, which were mostly vertical, to fit what I thought were 2x3 pockets - which were vertical, the 4x6 were horizontal.  Those split pockets turned out to be 3x4 - duh, half of a 6x4 is a 3x4.

So my 2x3 photos have a nice crisp white border, which I actually like.  Creative solutions. . .never a mistake. ;)

The above, and following, all are the inside pages.



Some pages had some journaling to go with it, some the photo (or text on the photo was sufficient.)  I used the embellishments on both the cards and photos.



The 4x6 cards I used for multi-photo days - St. Nick's, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day.  In the case of St. Nick's, I opted to embellish the title card.



There are quite of few photos that I snagged off of various kids' social media feeds.



I had one 4x6 horizontal photo, from my (then) 8 y.o.'s class Christmas Party.  I used another 4x6 card to journal about it, on the back.





Christmas Eve title card



Christmas Day title card


I chose one photo of each of the kids - surprise they were 4x6 - and then used a 4x6 card (or cut one of the 6x8 sheets in half) and put it in the back to journal about the kid on the facing page.


This 4x6 card (left) was actually one of the 6x8 sheets cut in half.


And there you go.  Simple, but finished, glimpse at our 2016 December.  Up on the shelf waiting to be brought down with the rest of them in a couple months.

Happy Tuesday,

Lori