Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm in the kitchen

Do you remember when I posted this post about our favorite breakfast?? In that post I said that the "recipe" called for two cans of biscuits, but if you were a memaw, you could use homemade...remember?? Well I went all memaw on my family this weekend and made that fabulous Monkey Bread-ish breakfast using homemade biscuits! Well...if you consider Bisquick to be homemade, which I do because I didn't have to tear the wrapper off of a can and then beat the can on the side of my counter to make it pop.

I decided to make a full-all-out Monkey Bread instead of the modified muffin cup monkey bread simply because I got a Pampered Chef Fluted something or another for Christmas. It's a bundt pan I think. On a side note, my sister is now selling Pampered Chef and would love your business! Anyway so I wanted to try out my new fluted bundt pan, and I knew it would actually be a full recipe, meaning that it would take four cans of biscuits instead of just two. Well I didn't have four, but I did have a box of Bisquick. On the box it said that the recipe made nine biscuits so I doubled it...because I think that's what all other culinary geniuses would do. I just rolled that dough into little balls, dropped them in the cinnamon and sugar and then strategically placed them in the flute. Then I poured that buttery-brown sugar goodness all over it and let it bake. Now since I didn't have an actual recipe I didn't know how long to let it cook, and I was afraid that the middle biscuits wouldn't get done. But let me tell you that if I hadn't overcooked that monkey bread, it would have been DELICIOUS! The middle ones were cooked well so I could tell what it would have tasted like all over! It was addicting! The outside was a little hard. I think I'm going to have to experiment with this to get the perfect cooking time and then I'll share. I'm in a weight-loss challenge right now so I can't experiment TOO much, but I did buy the heart smart Bisquick for when I try it next time.

Did y'all know that there's pretty much a low-fat version to anything you want to eat?? I was reading something the other day that said when going low-fat to definitely buy the low-fat version for meat and dairy. I can't remember the exact rationale, but it just makes good sense. I also have discovered and fallen in love with Morning Star products. They are vegetable products that taste amazingly similar to your favorite high-fat meat products! They have substitutes for hamburger patties, ground beef, sausage, corny dogs. I'm sure there's more, but those things caught my eye. I've tried the hamburger patties and the veggie crumbles that you use instead of the ground beef, and I am SOLD! They're incredible!

I just realized that I did a lot of brand-dropping in this post. Here's where I'd like to pretend like I'm a famous blogger and just let you know that I have not been compensated by any of these brands. Have you seen where people put that in their blogs?? Crazy isn't it!?! That companies pay bloggers to promote their products! Like a whole new advertising strategy. Hey...whatever works, ya know??

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bring on the New Year!

We had a small, last minute get-together for New Year's. Small if you only count the adults! There were also nine kids running high on sugar and excitement so that was like having about 45 people! Those 45 people seemed like they had a blast and were very well behaved considering that I don't think any request for food was turned down! I love having laid back friends with well-behaved kids!!

The night came about when Trey and I were consuming way too much fried fish and shrimp at the Old Feed House and we were talking about how much we missed having game night with friends. Our minds went back to our college years where we were never far from a night of Trivial Pursuit or Catch Phrase. So I said, "Why don't we just host one??" So I called up a couple of friends and lucky for us some of our besties didn't have plans yet so they brought their kids on over and we feasted on snack food and played games! We played Wits and Wagers, which is new to us, but apparently, I'm a natural since I won 2 out of 3 games! E! True Hollywood Story and Entertainment Tonight come in handy when playing trivia games, as if you need an excuse to watch the classics!

This was the first New Years since parenthood consumed me that I have even attempted to watch the ball drop! We made it through two of them! First we watched along with the New Yorkers at 11:00. I'm not sure what we did to kill time until our own midnight, but I'm pretty sure that it involved saying, "Get this mess cleaned up!" no fewer than 100 times since 8 of the 9 kids were still up and full of energy! Ava was even still going strong!

Well they got the mess cleaned up and we gathered around our small dinosaur of a TV and counted down. We all kissed our kids and probably reflected internally on how lucky we were to have them! Although, about a millisecond later the mass exodus began and everyone parted ways!

In the picture above are Richard and Joanna, Trey, me and Ava, my sister April (do you think we look alike? Some say we do!), and our friends Brian and Amie.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chirstmas #4

The day after Christmas we got together at my Aunt and Uncle's house. At this gathering, the adults get stocking stuffers and everyone buys a little bit for the kids. There's a $5 limit to the stocking stuffers so it's fun every year to see what creative thing everyone's come up with! This year I decided to make homemade cinnamon rolls for everyone! I used Pioneer Woman's recipe. It makes so many that there were a couple of small tins left for our family, and let me just say, they're the best homemade cinnamon rolls I've ever made. And I'm not just saying that because they're the only ones I've ever made. They really were good! I hope everyone else enjoyed them too!

Here's a picture of my aunt reading Twas the Night Before Christmas to all of the kids. Well all if you don't count Ainslee who was acting a little bit shy that day and insisted on sitting in my lap. You can see Ava and Layton right in the middle of things! And look how nicely Tyler is sitting! If that's not kindergarten training, I don't know what is!

And here are Tyler and Layton with their footie pajamas! Layton was so embarrassed when he first opened these up, he wouldn't even take them out of the box. Once he saw that older, cooler Tyler got some too, he was all about showing them off! He has asked to wear those every single night since then! Even after he dripped breakfast on them and they didn't get washed that day. Of course, I do have my limits and had to say no, but I did wash them the very next day so that he could start all over the process of wearing them way too many nights in a row!
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Christmas #3

OK so I'm almost done blogging about Christmas Extravaganza 2009! I can't quit without mentioning the fun time we had with Trey's parents on Christmas day. We spend Christmas lunch with them, and we have a traditional Christmas lunch and I make all the sides! Yeah you read that right! I make my Nanny's dressing, real mashed potatoes (we usually eat instant!), and some sort of vegetable. This year I made green bean bundles, and they turned out fabulous! Trey's aunt Barbara came with them this year! We had plenty of room around our brand new kitchen table that they got us for an early Christmas present!

For some reason I didn't take many pictures, but here are a couple of the girls opening their presents! If I had taken any pictures of Layton, you would see that he and Ava both stayed in their pajamas all day! Ainslee had to change into her new Hello Kitty shirt. Usually I try to stick to pajamas and underwear when it comes to character clothes (before I had kids I SWORE that they would never ever never wear any clothes with characters on them! Boy have I eaten those words time and again!), but when she said that she really hoped that Santa brought her a shirt with a cat on it, I thought it was clever to go with Hello Kitty instead of some awful feline like the one that was on WalMart's 4th of July shirts this past summer!
Here's Ainslee with her new jewelry box! She's so girly. She and Ava both got one from Trey's parents, but now, looking at this picture, I think they must have gotten swapped when we put them in their rooms. Oh well, they'll never know the difference...unless of course, years from now they look back at this picture and Ava wonders why Ainslee posed with her jewelry box!

3 Christmases down! 1 to go!
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