Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Card Photos

We took some quick family photos this morning for our Christmas card. Many thanks to my sister-in-law Cathy for stopping by on her way to work to take them for us! I had to get in on all the great deals at Shutterfly that end in the next day or so, and it is always good to get your Christmas cards done as early as possible, that way you can enjoy the holidays more!

These are some of the pics I used for our card...

This is how the majority of the pics went...tough with a 21 month old! Love how Chris is standing in the back like a statue...had to put the "santa" hat on him for fun...

Awesome Cookies

When I saw these cookies on the food blog In Praise of Leftovers, I knew I had to try them. Everything but the kitchen sink is in them, and boy are they good. The addition of pretzel pieces is genius! We made them last night, and the recipe makes quite a bit, 5 dozen or so...

Leftoverist Leap of Faith Cookies
Makes two dozen. You can take your own leap of faith with these cookies, experimenting with other things like corn flakes, potato chips, dried fruit, other kinds of nuts or baking chips.

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. oats
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 ts. salt
1 ts. soda
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 cubes (1 c.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c. granola
1 1/2 c. pretzel twists, coarsely broken
1 c. whole raw cashews
1 c. butterscotch chips
1 c. chocolate chips

Combine flour, oats, sugars, salt and soda in a large bowl.

Add eggs, melted butter, and all other ingredients. Gently stir until everything is just combined. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Drop refrigerated dough by Tablespoons onto a parchment-covered cookie sheet and bake until just set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before removing from the baking sheet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

I got this yummy recipe from my friend Michelle that I know from my MOPS group. It was fantastic. The struesel topping definitely makes it. If your not a sweet potato fan, this one just might cure you of that. No joke!

Start with 4 large sweet potatoes, just look at those beauties! After you dice and boil them for 20 minutes, you mash them and add all the good stuff...

To make the streusel topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon together, then "cut" the butter in with a pastry utensil. Next stir in the pecans and marshmallows. When you spread it on top of the sweet potatoes, add some more marshmallows for good measure. It's the right thing to do!

Mmmmm, just look at that pan full of yumminess!

Sweet Potato Casserole

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla

Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan/pot. Cover with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Place potatoes in bowl. Mash. Stir in milk, sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla until blended. Spread in a greased13x9 baking pan. Cover with streusel topping mix. Bake 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until marshmallows are golden, and casserole is bubbly.

Streusal Topping Recipe:

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. pecan pieces (or peanuts)
1 c. mini marshmallows

Mix flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry utensil. Fold in the pecans and marshmellows.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving this year, even in spite of taking Matthew to an immediate care facility in between the feasting and the pies. More on that shortly. The Doherty clan celebrated over at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house, and every dish was very good. I'll give the recipe for the sweet potato casserole that I made in my next post. It got rave reviews as well. Chris was able to make it back in from a trip as everyone was going for round two, or the turkey noodle soup that was simmering on the stove.

On to the story with Matthew. He has had a little cold since last weekend. He woke up from his nap yesterday, and was in a horrible mood. He cried for almost an hour. Wouldn't eat or drink anything, so everyone suggested I run him to an immediate care facility to have him checked out. Turns out he does have the start of an ear infection, so we filled the prescription today, and he is doing much better. At least he is back to his old happy self.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. God has truly blessed us, even when the times sometimes seem tough. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

Our nephew Ian made these cute little turkeys for the kids table... The feast!

My plate (shameful to admit it!), before I added the cranberry sauce... A view of the kids eating...

Chris made it back in time to do a little celebrating, right from work as you can tell...:o)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

First "Blogaversary"!

Today marks the first anniversary of my blog. It all began one year ago today with this little post. Matthew was only 9 months old, and still not even crawling yet. My, what a change in a year's time! He is 21 months old today. I thought I would capture him in his cute little sleeper this morning just like he was in last year...

One year ago: 9 months.............................................. Today: 21 months

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Celebrating Adoption

Yesterday we went to a "picnic" to celebrate National Adoption Month, hosted by our adoption agency, Children's Home and Aid Society. It was great to meet and see other adoptive families that went through the classes with us. Matthew loved all the balloons which he calls "buvfs". He also got his face painted for the first time. He got a football to match his outfit he was wearing. It was cute...

Matthew is not so sure about this lady, and what she is putting on his face...

Holding his hands down so he won't mess with it again while it dries. (Second attempt at painting, as you can see the first is smeared on his fingers.)

Cute close up!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mushrooms Stuffed with Brie

In the words of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman: "You want to make these. Oh do you want to make these!" And I am so glad I did. I made these last night when we had some friends over to play cards. Extreme yum. Will be making these again for some upcoming holiday parties.

Mushrooms Stuffed with Brie

  • 1 package White Button Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 of a stick)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • 4 whole (to 5) Green Onions, Sliced (up To Middle Of Dark Green Part)
  • Splash Of White Wine (optional)
  • 1 slice (wedge) Of Brie Cheese
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add mushroom caps and toss to coat in butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt (kosher) and cook for 1 minute. Remove mushrooms from pan and place upside down in a baking dish.

In the same saucepan (without cleaning it) throw in garlic, parsley, and green onions. Sprinkle very lightly with salt (kosher) and splash in wine, if using. Stir around until wine evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Cut rind off of brie wedge, then cut pieces of brie to fit each mushroom cap. Place inside, lightly pressing to anchor each piece of brie.

Top mushrooms with parsley/garlic mixture.

Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until brie is melted.

Note: mushrooms are best when they’ve been allowed to cool slightly. Delicious

Friday, November 13, 2009

Southern Indiana Visit: Copper Springs

Copper Springs is a natural spring of water that comes out of the side of one of the hills, that my Uncle and Aunt (mother's side), made many years ago into a bunch of cool little water falls using a bunch of stone to create the "falls". It's name refers to the coppery or sulfur smelling water that comes from the hill, which used to be an old coal mine. We have not made many "repairs" to it over the past few years due to the kiddie factor in our family. Chris and I were able to take a two hour hike in the woods one afternoon, and tried to patch things up a bit.

Me fixing the falls, and a close up of one of the "water falls"...

A better view of it...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Southern Indiana Visit: Food

We enjoyed many a great meal while on the "farm". Both my Grandmother and Aunt Jean are awesome cooks, so I guess you can say it's in my blood. :o) Below is the recipe for my Aunt Jean's awesome pork roast with herbs. I cannot begin to tell you how good it is!

Bounty from the garden, and me admiring some peppers...

Well, if this meal is wrong, then I don't want to be right! My Grandmother's pot roast with mash potatoes and gravy with all the fixins'...

Roast Pork with Herbs

In a bowl mix 2 tsp. each salt and rosemary; 1 1/2 tsp. each oregano, thyme (leaf) and sage (rubbed); 1/4 tsp. each pepper and nutmeg. Spread this mixture all over a nice boneless pork loin roast. Add a bay leaf on top. Wrap in two pieces of parchment paper and secure with butcher's string. Place on a pan, and cook in a 200 degree oven for at least 7 hours. Note: You could also cook this in a dutch oven (no parchment paper), covered in the oven at 325 degree for a little over 3 hours...

Unwrap the finished cooked product and gaze upon what you have created, for it is good, very good! Slice and enjoy...

Southern Indiana Visit: Family

Last week we had a great few days visiting my relatives in Southern Indiana. The weather was perfect the whole time, sunny and in the high 60's. It was great to cook with my Aunt Jean, and spend time with my Grandmother. Matthew was quite taken with Uncle Rolly. It was such a relaxing time. We are bummed we can't make it there for Thanksgiving, but are glad we were able to go this past week. Fall on the "farm" is my favorite time of the year!

I thought this video was precious:

Great Grandma Selzer reading to Matthew, and Rolly and Matthew having a "conversation"...

My cousin Heather and Matthew playing...

Matthew and my Grandmother again, and a pic of my Uncle Allen, Aunt Ruth, Cousin Andy, and us...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Costumes at Kindermusik

This past Wednesday all the kiddos were able to wear their Halloween Costumes to Kindermusik class. The teacher took a cute class photo of all of them.