Monday, July 27, 2009

Movie Munch

This stuff totally rocks!! It is also simple, easy, and quick to make. It took me about 10 minutes total to make (there is an hour or so that it needs to cool in the refrigerator to set though...). We are enjoying it tonight with a movie!

Movie Munch
from Crepes of Wrath

1 bag microwave buttered popcorn
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 (12 oz) package white chocolate chips
1 cup Cheerios (you can use Coco Krispies, Rice Krispies, or any other cereal)
2/3 cup M&M’s (or whatever candy you like)

1. Microwave the bag of buttered popcorn and set aside to cool.
2. In a bowl, microwave the peanut butter and package of white chocolate chips until smooth (in 30 second increments).
3. Take popcorn out of bag by hand, so you don’t get any unpopped kernels, and put in a large mixing bowl. Add Cheerios to popcorn and mix. Slowly pour in the melted chips and peanut butter and mix into the bowl until it’s all coated.
4. Add M&M’s or candy of choice. Spread mixture onto waxed paper on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about an hour.
5. Break popcorn up into clusters and serve in a big bowl. Store in the fridge so it doesn’t get too melty.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lake Geneva

On Monday we took a short day trip up to Lake Geneva, WI. What a great place! I can hardly believe I have lived here for 8+ years, and have never been to this wonderful lake that is a short hour drive from our home. Cute little town with lots of fun shops, restaurants, beautiful fountain, and beach. We even ran into good friends that we haven't seen for awhile, Greg and Heather Johnson, and their kids. I definitely want to go back soon...

The fountain...

Family pic at the fountain...

Matthew and me on the pier...

Some pics of the beach...

Dairy Haus

On Sunday evening we went up to the Dairy Haus in Rockton, IL for some yummy ice cream. (Undoing whatever good we did with the bike ride...ha.) Their ice cream is the best!

The Dairy Haus, and Matthew enjoying the ice cream... (He was bouncing up and down in the stroller wanting more.)

Family Bike Ride

True to our word, we purchased a toddler bike seat for Chris's bike so we could go on family bike rides. (We enjoyed doing this on our vacation at Hilton Head.) So far we have been on two bike rides since Sunday. Matthew likes to wear the helmet only in the bike seat, go figure...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cool Dude

Matthew trying on a pair of sunglasses yesterday while we were at the cottage in Lake Mills, WI. He is such a ham... (Yes, it was only 65 yesterday, hence the outfit.)

Grandma's Little Cheddar Meat Loaves

My Grandmother Selzer makes the best mini meat loaves! She has always been a really great cook. She loves to prepare meals for the whole family when we visit. These were prepared for us when we visited during the 4th of July. Chris loved them so much, I knew I had to have the recipe. I made them this past week and served them with mashed potatoes, and a salad with fresh ingredients from our Farmer's Market. Comfort food at it's best!

Dorothy's Little Cheddar Meat Loaves

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. lean ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard

Beat egg and milk together. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 8 loaves, then place in a greased 9X13 inch baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard, and spoon over loaves. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until no longer pink.

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Madison Zoo

This past Tuesday Matthew and I went to the Madison Zoo with Kristin Schmidt and her two kids, Annalise and Ian. The best thing about the zoo is that it is free! Matthew LOVED watching all the animals. He was quite animated when pointing to the different animals, and making funny sounds. He also had his first carousel ride. It was a great outing, and we will definitely be going back in the future.

Some of the animals...

Matthew, Annalise, and Ian enjoying their time watching the animals...

Matthew in the polar bear face...

First carousel ride...

Just Chillin' Out...

I found Matthew watching one of his video's this way...I guess it's a natural guy thing to relax this way. I'm glad he is enjoying his new bean bag so much. :o)

Island Honey Burgers

My friend Laura recommended these tasty burgers, as she and her family are trying a different type of burger each week this summer. They are very yummy! I have recommended them to a few people already, and have been getting rave reviews back. Here is the link to the recipe. The only change I made was using fresh pineapple instead of canned. I served them with Trader Joe's Chipotle Ranch good!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Luau: The Food!

Here is some sampling of the food from the luau...

The fruit "cascade", and the proscuitto wrapped asparagus...

The pasta I made with leeks, peas, and proscuitto...(I tripled the recipe!) It was really good!

Pasta with Leeks, Peas, and Prosciutto

12 ounces of spaghetti
4 Tbs. butter
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces, well rinsed
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips (about 1/4 cup)
2 ounces ricotta salata or parmesan cheese, shave with a vegetable peeler (about 1/3 cup)
coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until aldente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot.
While pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbs. butter in a large skillet over medium. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add peas; cook, stirring, until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
To drained pasta, add leek mixture, remaining 3 Tbs. butter, lemon juice, and proscuitto; season with salt and pepper. Add reserved pasta water a little at a time, tossing until a thin sauce coats pasta. (You may not need all the water.) Served sprinkled with ricotta salata/parmesan.

Luau: Friends and Decorations

Last night our Women's Ministry Team hosted a ladies luau at our church. The decorations and food were nothing short of incredible and fabulous. I made one dish in which I'll share the recipe in the next post. Everyone had a great time!

Nikki and I taking pics of one another, and the table setting...

Having fun eating, and my sister-in-law Linda and I...

Inger and I...

Yummy Muffins

These muffins are delicious! I took them to Park Day, and everyone loved them. How can you go wrong with banana, peanut butter, and chocolate chips? I found the recipe on the food blog Crepes of Wrath. Here is the link to the recipe.

Summer Time Blooms

My star-gazer lilies are beautiful right now!

Bean Bag

I picked up a bean bag for Matthew this week at Target. He is more than thrilled with it. He loves to run and jump on it, and climb all over it.

Having fun with the bean bag, and watching his favorite movie: Horton Hears a Who!

Operation De-Clutter Part 2

Here are a couple more before and after pics. The kitchen itself still a work in progress.

Kitchen Table: before and after

Operation De-Clutter Part 1

I am very embarrassed to admit that my home has become less than "kept" properly as of late. Chalk it up to too much traveling, life with a 16 month old, and good old fashioned laziness. All the clutter finally got to me, and something had to be done. Here are some before and after pics of the clean up...

Dining Room Hutch: before and after

Dining Room Table: before and after

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July !

Chris, Matthew, and I...
Papaw and Grammy with their grandkids... (Doesn't Matthew look thrilled in both of these?)

Pretzel "Sparklers"

My sister-in-law Jill and I made these fun treats for the 4th of July, from a recipe I saw in Taste of Home's Fun Food magazine that is out right now. We used shorter pretzel rods, and they turned out so cute! What is cool is that you can change the sprinkles for different holidays...

Here they are in the making...

Pretzel Sparklers

8 squares (1 ounce each) white baking chocolate
1 package (10 ounces) pretzel rods
Colored candy stars or sprinkles

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; heat until melted. Dip each pretzel rod about halfway into chocolate; sprinkle with stars. Place on waxed paper to dry.

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Grandma Great

My Grandma Selzer loves all her grand kids, especially all the great ones! Matthew is so fortunate to still have his "grandma great" in his life.