Monday, February 23, 2009

Homemade German Chocolate Cake Frosting


1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup of sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Combine milk, sugar, yolks, butter, and vanilla in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick (about 12 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in coconut and walnuts. Beat until thick.

Here is a picture of my German chocolate cake frosted with this amazing frosting. Please note that this is actually a double batch of cake and frosting...that's how big this cake pan is. Pretty amazing!


Thank you Kristen for this awesome recipe, this is one of Brad's favorite treats! Also, thank you Mom for this amazing gigantic pan (also seen here)!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Follow Up on Valentine's Day Swap Package

So here is a follow up post about our Valentine's Day Swap that we had last week.

I was able to send my Valentine's themed package to my new friend (thanks to this fun idea) Jean Marie. Here it is:


And here is the awesome package that I got from my cousin-in-law, Kim:


Thanks for organizing this Kim and thanks for the amazing package I loved every second of it. Happy Valentine's Day! Feel free to join the swap next year, it was very fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Major Stroller Upgrade


We got a major stroller upgrade today, a Dreamer Design Manhattan Merge. We have been using a slightly ghetto double stroller that was hand-me-downed to us (thank you to the Colters). Don't get me wrong, it was great because it was free and it got the job done, but it was one of those strollers that you really had to wrestle with.

We went from this:



To this:





The girls were so excited about the stroller that I let them watch a show in it this afternoon while I made dinner...


So here's to many long walks coming up this Spring and Summer without having to wrestle with my stroller.

P.S. Thanks to my cousin Sara for helping me find the great deal!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Honey Chicken


Sauce:
3/4 cups butter
3/4 cups honey
6 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 tsp. curry powder

5 chicken breasts


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make sauce by melting the four ingredients together in a sauce pan. Cut the chicken breasts in halves or thirds and place in a baking dish. Pour sauce over the chicken pieces and move the chicken around to make sure that sauce has touched everywhere on the chicken, but the sauce will not be deep enough for the chicken to be totally covered. Bake for a total of 40 minutes, turning the chicken pieces over half way through. Serve with rice and veggies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Ups and Downs of Potty Training!


There are a lot of ups and downs when it comes to potty training. It is the WORST when it isn't working, and then the BEST (like on the complete other end of the spectrum) when it works. It really helps them feel more grown up, you save money on diapers, and it is so much more fun than changing diapers! Plus little kid underwear is so cute...especially little girl panties:)

So Jane's potty training saga is finally winding down. Here's the quick sum up: I started really potty training in November, although I had tried a few times during the few months before that. I wrote a post about that (this one and this one), and it actually went really well.

That all went down hill in December with my surgery and Christmas traveling. So we decided it would be best to take a break and start fresh...kind of like pushing the reset button.

So, about a month or so ago Jane woke up and asked to wear panties again and said that she was ready to be all done with diapers. I decided that this time I would be more careful to not use Pull Ups too much, just at night when she was sleeping.

So, the first day was horrible, but by day two she was doing really well and seemed to be remembering what this potty training thing was all about. An accident here and there, but mostly good as long as I took her to the potty about every hour and she was wearing big girl underpants all day long. Her main problems at this point were going number 2 in her panties, not telling me when she needed to go, and going number 1 in her pull ups in the morning before I could get her to the potty.

Here are some of the new methods of reward that I used this time:


A sticker chart:


Pee-pee prizes and...


...poo-poo prizes...



So, all in all I thought we were doing pretty well until one day I was watching an episode of Supernanny online and I watched as these parents were letting their 3 and 5 year-olds still drinking from bottles and they were putting their 5 year-old potty trained children in diapers at night so that they didn't have to deal with it when their kids wet the bed. Of course the Supernanny put a stop to all of that immediately and the kids responded really well. I thought to myself, "am I doing anything to my kids that's preventing them from progressing in their development just because I don't want to deal with it?" I realized that the only reason that I was having Jane wear Pull Ups at night is because I didn't want to deal with her wetting the bed. I immediately put all of the Pull Ups away and she has been wearing underwear 24 hours a day from then on and she is doing great (as long as I don't let her drink much in the evening).

This brings me to the reason that I am writing this post today: Jane has gone number 2 in the toilet two days in a row and I think we are on a roll. Also, speaking of ups and downs she has also had two number 1 accidents in the last 24 hours when she hasn't had one in a about a week, so who knows. One thing I've learned is most of this stuff just takes time and patience. So good luck to all of you potty training parents out there.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Best Banana Bread Ever


This is a family recipe on Brad's side of the family and it is pretty amazing!!!

BEST BANANA BREAD EVER

3 ripe bananas (better doubled) (smashed)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Grease two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend bananas, eggs, sugar, oil and sour cream until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to banana mixture. Add vanilla. Combine until smooth. Pour half of batter into each pan and bake for one hour. Let cool before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Burrito Mix aka Cafe Jessie

One of our staple dinners around our household is Burrito Mix. I started making it in college and my roommates would call it "Cafe Jessie."


What's great about this meal is it turns out a little differently every time depending on the ingredients that you have, but it always turns out great! It is usually some combination of the following things:

Burrito Mix:

1 can refried beans
1 can chili or chili beans
1 can black beans (optional)
1 lb of ground beef (browned and drained)
chopped onions
taco seasoning
1/2-1 cup sweet potato puree (optional)

Toppings:

tortillas
corn
rice
lettuce
salsa
sour cream
tortilla chips
ranch

With Burrito Mix you can make the following combinations:

Nachos:



Burritos:



Taco Salad:



Enjoy!

P.S. A big thanks to Erika for the beautiful dishes that this food is pictured on, wonderful Christmas present!