Tuesday, May 22, 2012

PreK 3 Graduate!!

Matthew is officially done with his last day of school for the year.  This morning he had his last day of PreK 3 at Rockford Christian.  He loved having Mrs. Hanna and Mrs. Domberg for his teachers.  They were amazing and he learned so much this year, as well as had fun!

Mrs. Domberg getting Matthew at drop off for the last time...

Enjoying circle time, one last time...

Mrs. Hanna congratulating Matthew for completing the year...

One last picture with Mrs. Hanna and Mrs. Domberg...

The cute "Teacher Appreciation" gifts I made for Mrs. Hanna and Mrs. Domberg...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry Glazed Pie

Oh my.  This pie.  One of my favorite summertime treats.  I love many pies, but this one is in my top three along with apple and banana cream.  The beauty of this pie is really how simple it is to make.  You just need some time to bake the crust and let it cool.  Along with some time for it to chill and "set up".  So it is a good idea to make it in the morning if you want to serve it later in the day.  I managed to pull it off this time in a few short hours, making it as quick as possible during afternoon nap time.  :)

Here is the recipe:

Strawberry Glazed Pie

One recipe for single pie crust from Crisco (my secret is to add 1 more Tbs. of shortening! Shhhh...)
Make sure to fork the crust well before baking.  Also, mine took a little longer to bake than mentioned. Let it cool completely.

1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Water
2 1/2 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 Small Box Strawberry Jello
1 Quart or 4 Cups of Strawberries, quartered

Cook first three ingredients until thick over medium to medium high heat, stirring often.  Next add the packet of Jello and mix well.  Let mixture cool awhile, around 15 minutes.  Add the 4 cups of quartered strawberries and gently fold in.  Pour mixture into pie shell.  Chill well, at least a couple hours.



Don't you just want a slice?? :)

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Let Summer Begin!

Today was a super nice day.  Our first day of temps in the 90's for the season.  I busted out the little kiddie pool for some fun in the sun.  The boys loved it!  Summer is here.  It is hard to believe that Matthew only has one more day of school left for the year.  It went by so fast!

Action shots...

Short and cute video of them enjoying the water...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day! '12

It has been a nice Mother's Day so far...  We attempted several times before and after church to get a decent picture of the boys and I, but alas, it is not to happen with a 4 year old and almost 18 month old!  I am blessed beyond measure to be mom to these two boys.  They are the greatest gifts ever!

Take 1...

Take 2...

Take 3...this is my life! :)

The "flowers" we got at church for moms...

My Mother's Day lunch...Baja Pizza from Mary's Market!  Super yummy...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

At long last, I am posting another new recipe!  I seriously made this meal, and took the photos back in JANUARY, and I am just getting around to blogging it.  Let's just say being the mom of two young boys can be very busy! :)

On to the recipe!  This is soooo good ya'll!  I cannot take complete credit for everything though.  The meatball recipe is from Our Best Bites blog, and the idea of combining Ragu spaghetti sauce and a can of Rotel is from She's Becoming Doughmesstic's blog. (Check out both of their blogs, they are fantastic!)  However, the idea to marry the two recipes, and use the crock pot is all mine.  And boy it was a good one!  Let's get started...

Gather your ingredients...

Make your meatballs, and place them on a foil-lined and sprayed baking sheet. (Making your own homemade meatballs is so worth it, and really key to this recipe!)

Place under the broiler until lightly browned and fragrant...

Combine the Ragu sauce, a can of mild Rotel, and the browned meatballs in your crock pot and cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours, that's it!

When your meatballs are cooked, boil your spaghetti according to package directions.  Serve spaghetti topped with the sauce and meatballs, and parmesan cheese if desired...  YUM!

This recipe is so simple yet so delicious and comforting.  The only real work is making the meatballs, but they come together quickly, and hey, it's all done in a crock pot after that!  Combining the amazing recipe for meatballs, with the "secret" ingredient of mild Rotel in the sauce, is the key to it's yumminess!  In a pinch, I'm sure you could simmer this sauce for 30 to 45 minutes on the stove top if you are short for time.  I just like to plan ahead for the crock pot to do the work of finishing cooking the meatballs, and combining all the flavors so well!

Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs

For meatballs:
1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Sweet Italian Sausage
2 Eggs, beaten
1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
2 Tbs. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. Basil
1/2 tsp. Parsley
1/4 Cup Dehydrated Onion
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper

For Sauce:
1 Family-Sized Jar of Ragu Old World Style Flavored with Meat (2 lb. 13 oz.)
1 can MILD Rotel  (I made it once with regular, and it was too hot for our taste for this recipe...)

1 lb. of Spaghetti (cooked according to package directions...)

1.  Turn on the oven broiler.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  Gently combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a medium bowl.  Shape meat mixture into meatballs.  A cookie scoop is great for helping maintain a uniform size, although you can make them bigger or smaller if you'd like.  (Makes about 36 meatballs.)  Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.

3.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes under the broiler, or until the meatballs are becoming brown and fragrant.  Since you are finishing the cooking of the meatballs in the sauce in the crock pot, it is best to cook them until they're just brown so they can release some of their flavor into the cooking liquid.

4.  Combine the Jar of Ragu and Rotel in the crock pot, and then add in the meatballs.  Stir gently to combine, then cook on low for about 3 to 4 hours.

Serve sauce and meatballs with cooked spaghetti and freshly grated parmesan on top if desired.

Serve with some homemade garlic bread and and a nice salad and you have a meal to remember.


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