Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Very Favorite Stars:



Core School of Arts, Spring Spectacular 2010

I love everything these guys are doing. The school started in our community 3 years ago as a way to bring the arts back to the younger generations.
The kids usually have no previous experience and the school teaches them some core values through music and dance. Values like: believing in yourself, trying to do things you think you cannot do, pushing forward past failure and difficulty and believing in the impossible.



My girls were a part of the school again this year and I just love watching them grow and mature in their abilities, but even more so in their confidence.
No matter their abilities, they will always be this mama's pride and joy and they challenge me to reach deeper, farther, higher than I ever thought I could.

I am in awe of their confidence at such young ages, I am deeply blessed by these 2 little girls.
Maria and Jianna, my dolly faces...love you both so much!

Jianna and Maria singing with their group...Jianna has the final solo piece.

video

Maria and Jianna singing "The Climb"

video


Unfortunately, Hubby filmed Maria's entire dance before realizing he'd had the camera on pause...thankfully, the school also does a DVD, which we ordered.

Here is Jianna's Beginner Dance Group:



video

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Left over Easter Feast

This is a little out of sinc time wise, but was so delicious, I just had to post it.
It was one of the dinners we enjoyed from our leftover Easter Feast.
A terrific mid week meal to pull together.

The Spinach salad was left over from Easter and because I did not toss the dressing into the greens, it kept quite nicely.

I happened to have a 1/2 Calabrese bread in the freezer from a wonderful bakery in Kingston.
I split it in 1/2 horizontally, spread honey mustard on it, then homemade cucumber relish. Next came slices of left over ham, and a mixture of shredded mozza and cheddar.

I used both cheeses simply because if I used 1 or the other, Someone in the house will have decided recently they don't like that particular cheese any longer...They do this to me rather often. SUDDENLY, someone doesn't like something that they have always eaten and somehow I was supposed to know this. Can you believe two of them have decided they don't like chocolate??!?! Is it even POSSIBLE to not like Chocolate?
I am not a tearably indulgent mother, so my general response is...
"I don't care if you don't like it, eat it anyway"
With 1 or 2 children, I might be more inclined to work around their idiosyncrasies...but with 4, and constantly evolving taste buds...not gonna happen.

Once topped with cheese, I baked it until the cheese was bubbly...I have to tell you, even the child who recently decided they don't like ham....LOVED this meal.

It was Delicious.
If I had leftover turkey, I'd try something similar with cranberry sauce...or possibly think open faced turkey club.
Leftover roast beef...endless possibilities.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My daughter says I could open a Pizza Joint-Pizza




Having four kids and having been on unbelievably tight budgets for many of their formative years...pizza became our one take out treat. Actually, when things were ABSOLUTELY unbelievably tight many years ago, I learned to make pizza, including the crust from scratch.

It might be my mind associating pizza with abject poverty...or simply the fact that you can only eat so much of some foods before they become detestable. I am really NOT fond of Pizza anymore...unless it is really authentic tasting or some modern twist with some delectable flavor combinations.
My kids' favorite, pepperoni....BLECK!!!!

(Mind you, that has never happened with chocolate or really good cheesecake!)

In spite of all of this, a couple weeks ago, I decided to pull out my 18 year old pizza crust recipe and see what the kids thought.
The verdict was: Pizza devoured, kids went to bed happy that there was no broccoli on the menu and I was able to twist up the recipe enough to make it palatable ...OK, even enjoyable to this non pizza lover.

My last few weeks have been kind of busy and I figured the kids might boycott another homemade soup, (though we have discovered some amazing new recipes), I decided tonight was a good night to make it again.

My Maria declared that she LOVED my pizza and that I could open up my own "pizza store" after tasting tonight's offerings.

Since I have no "Pizza Joint Aspirations"...I thought I'd share the simple crust recipe with Y'all.

2 1/4 C. Flour
1 1/2 Tbs instant yeast
1 Tbs Sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 C. oil
1 C. warm water
(now for the 'Jenisms')
A generous sprinkle of both powdered garlic and Oregano...in the crust ingred.

Mix it all together in 1 bowl, I use my Kitchen Aid...it'll mix and knead in one shot.
In the early years, I mixed and kneaded by hand...both work.
Makes 1 large pizza crust.
Top away...

Bake 400* on low rack until done-you'll figure it out.



No really, she likes it....so much she couldn't wait until it cooled down to eat.
Oh! and yes, that IS a paper plate!
Mark and Jonathan are working this eve. and I'd spent my lunch hour scrubbing my kitchen, SO, tonight, it's pizza and paper plates.
(no judgements please)

Mystery-man-Michael who loves to make it difficult to get good photos of his cute face.

(Debbie, if you're checking this out, look what's on the shelf behind Michael)

I know what you are all thinking..."eewww...GROSS". At one time, I was a non believer as well.
This is something My hubby has always done and EVERYONE says the same thing.
Then they hesitatingly try it....
"Oh MY WORD!
You have GOT to be Kidding Me!"

Two of my kids feel they have been jipped a little piece of Heaven if we have pizza and are out of the dressing.
As of yet, I have never led you astray in the area of tasty food....
You owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Many a teen have lept into the French Dressing Fold after having been convinced to:
"Just TRY it"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Really Yummy Banana Cake

  • Do yourselves, your families, coworkers and neighbors a favor...even your enemies will love you!
  • You really must try this cake....Yummo!
  • The original recipe was slightly different...(I know you're shocked about that), one of the differences is that it called for nuts, which I personally would find VERY tasty, but if this was truly for my family, it would have to be sans nuts. Add them if you like and if there are no anaphylactic type people you plan to serve it to.

  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour,
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed..I used 6...OH MY WORD!!!
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Spray 9 x13 pan with cooking spray

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the eggs and oil and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened; do not beat. Stir in the banana and vanilla mix well. Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (sweetened is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons milk

    In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients for frosting. Spread evenly over warm cake. Set oven to broil and place cake back in oven about 5" from element. Watch carefully as topping will burn easily. Broil until topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

    Serve warm with Tea...You will be VERY happy!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

He knew...

He knew, and yet...

He knew he would be mocked.
He knew He would be spit upon.
He knew He would be judged.
He knew He would be misunderstood.
He knew he would be betrayed.
He knew He would be misrepresented.
He knew He would be hated.

He knew He would be crucified....yet He opened His heart to these very ones.
He loved these very ones.
He still welcomes these very ones...

I say I follow Him, that I belong to Him, that I love Him and He is my everything.
I would give my very life for Him...but can I do what He did?

Can I love when I have been judged, misunderstood, mocked and betrayed....

Can I?