Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How much Growth Can 1 Year Bring?

Now, I have often said my kids grow up too fast. They were all born within a couple ounces on one side or the other of 9lbs. The problem is it's like they are on some kind of Super Growth Hormone ever since. As Jonathan was first nearing the 6' mark, our pastor was concerned about him outgrowing his own ....ahem...."limited" stature. One day he asked him what his mother fed him to make him grow so fast. Jonathan's answer, "ummmm....children's vitamins?"
It would seem my children need more junk food in their diets as they all seem to be shooting up around me....literally.
I have felt like I was shrinking over the past year and now I know why!
Christmas 2009:
Jonathan is our measuring standard as his growth (at 6'6"), has slowed the most, though he felt a full foot taller when I first kissed him after not seeing him for 4 months.
Michael and Maria are almost the same height here....both approx. shoulder height to Jonathan.
June 2010:
Michael has shot up a full head, leaving Maria behind but wait! Jianna has almost caught up to Maria in the past 6 months!.
Christmas 2010:
Maria went in to over drive and is now catching up to Michael...and they have both almost passed me, (actually, if I didn't have to lift my head to see over Jianna, you'd see that Michael has slightly passed me). Speaking of Jianna, she was at Jon's belly button a mere year ago!!! At this rate, the next time we take a family picture...with the shortest in the front...it will be this 5'9" Mommy who is front and centre!
Does anybody else find this rate of growth mildly alarming?!?!?!?

Eat more Junk Kids...Your Mama's heart can't keep up to you all!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cookie Monster(s) Live!!!!

Isn't this the greatest little basket?
This morning, this adorable little basket was filled with Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I knew I should have taken a picture....if you look closely, you will see the grease evidence on the red napkin. There were a minimum of 6 dozen cookies in this basket, I kid you not.
It was oh so cute too, the girls and I felt like Little Red Riding Hoods....just wishing we could deliver these to Grandma.

Who does this to a perfectly good cookie!?!?!?
Scavengers I tell you!
Well, since there were no grandmas within delivery range, the girls had friends over to go sledding and Mike had an overnight Gaming Buddy....and this is what is left of my sweet little basket of cookies.
Sorry Nanny.
We were thinking of you.
Now, you all understand why Christmas Baking must be frozen in this house if there is any to be left for Santa on Christmas Eve.
Even still, I am afraid to look in my cookie containers stored away in the freezer....I have noticed a lid or 2 sitting helter skelter on more than one occasion.

Now, these little guys....were made by my ever so artistic daughters yesterday. There is a replica of every family member including Kallie and Tutter, (our pets).
Heaven forbid that anyone dare to touch one of THEIR creations...
and yet..........

WHO ATE MARIA!?!??!?!??!

hmmm.....Jianna appears to be missing a hand as well!
Nothing is sacred in this house I tell you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bars

  • For Cake Base:
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar-- packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup minced dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup quality white chocolate -- coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger

  • For Frosting:
  • 4 ounce cream cheese -- softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter -- softened
  • 2 teaspoon orange juice

  • For Garnish:
  • 2 Tablespoons minced dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons minced candied ginger
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips -- melted
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a jelly roll pan.
Beat butter and sugar together for the cakebase, and add eggs/vanilla beating until fluffy.
Sift together flour, ginger, and salt and then add to the butter/sugar mixture beating well.
Fold in the cranberries, chocolate, zest and ginger.
Spread thick batter in pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until light golden.
When cake is cooled, mix all frosting ingredients together and spread a thin layer over the cake. Immediately sprinkle with the minced cranberries & ginger. Then use a cake decorating bag of melted white chocolate with a tiny decorating tip (the size used for writing on cakes) and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.
Cut into bars immediately as the white chocolate hardens pretty fast and makes cake cutting messy.
I initially cut 6 x 4 squares, then cut each square on the diagonal to make 48 triangles.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fresh Pico

This is one of those wonderfullly simple recipes that just screams "SUMMER". Mind you, looking at the photo right now....I am thinking this is going on my list of Tree Trimming Party Foods this weekend. Actually, if it wasn't 10:38 at night, I think I'd be heading to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make it right now....Soooooo Yummy....and guilt free!!


  • 8 Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Med Onion
  • 1/2 Seeded Jalapeno finely chopped
  • 1 Fresh Lime
  • 4-6 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Bunch Fresh Cilantro chopped

  • Chop onions and tomatoes and toss together in med sized bowl.
  • Add chopped Jalapeno and chopped garlic.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Squeeze juice of lime into the bowl. (Microwaving the lime for 20 or so seconds will enable you to squeeze more juice)
  • Add chopped Cilantro, stir together.
  • Let set in fridge for 1 hour if possible before serving.

Chicken Enchiladas

I know, on first glance, you are thinking..." what in the world?!??!?! I am NOT making that let alone eating it!'

This is just one of those times where you are going to have to do a wee bit of self talk, "Has Jen EVER posted a recipe that was lacking in flavor? Has she led me astray even slightly when it comes to taste?"

Believe me, these babies are incredible....I served them to 10 people the very first time I made them. Six of which were kids....there was not one unhappy tastebud in the bunch. In my world, if a main course passes the multiple kid test....it is worth repeating.

I served them with Fresh Pico for which I will post the recipe following this one. It's simple, fresh very healthy and Divine.
In my family of 6, only one child and myself like fresh tomatoes...ALL of my family loves this stuff and eats it by the cup full.

  • 2-½ cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken
  • 2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken
  • 1 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 12 Tortillas (I like to use Spinach tortillas...my theory, "If it's green, it's gotta have some nutritional value")
  • 1 Bell Pepper Chopped
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated (or Mozzarella)
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, Chopped

Preparation Instructions

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, peppers and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, , and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you’d like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.

Serve with Pico de Gallo and Sour Cream