Monthly Archives: January 2011

Dancing Machine

Our son is…hilarious.  I laugh with him daily.  Hubby and I have a hay day exchanging silly Little Man stories at the end of the day.  The most hilarious one recently happened early this morning as Hubby went to correct  Little Man after he had thrown a play tractor across the room.

Hubby (with his morning breath..we’ve all got it!) got down to his level, got close to Little Man’s face and told him firmly, “We do not throw trucks across the room…”

Little Man sniffed the air and reported back to his Daddy, “Smells like poo poo…”

I laugh so hard out loud right now as I type, just recalling the incident.  (Updated to inform that I have hubby’s complete permission to share that story!)

Here are some videos from this MLK holiday morning of our hilarious Little Man being a dancing machine.

 

 

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Upstairs bathroom= Pink and Black Beauty

So remember when I took on the task of re-doing our yucky super small upstairs bathroom with all the pink porcelain?

Well, she’s done. (Has been for…6 months maybe??)  And I LOVE her!  I found a gold framed mirror on Craigslist,  painted it white and hung it over the bathroom sink.

I found that nifty little shelfy thing between the toilet and the sink at a yard sale and brought it home for 2 bucks and gave it a fresh coat of white paint.  Hubby cut off some of the legs on the bottom and it fits like a glove into that little space between the sink and the abode.  It’s nice because our bathroom is SO TINY and doesn’t have a closet or any cabinets or drawers.

The little black shelves on the wall I bought at Hobby Lobby when wall decor was 50% off.  The little square mirrors I bought for 0.25 a piece at a yard sale and painted them black.  The glass apothecary jars I found at Wally World for a couple bucks a piece.  And the glass jars on the top shelf…one is a Frank’s Hot Sauce bottle and the other two are olive oil jars.  I soaked them both and took off the labels and plopped a fake hydrangea that was used at Hubby and my wedding as decor for the pews during the ceremony.

I feel as though this little bathroom is ready to rest for a while.  I like it.  She’s a cutie.  Even with the pink tile remaining!

I love all the black and white toile in here.  I think it looks classy.  Not bad for scrap fabric and yard sale items!

Now Hubby is focusing in on building our master bath…from scratch.

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Homemade ‘White Cheddar’ Popcorn

So I won’t even attempt to argue with the fact that bagged pre-popped popcorn or even microwavable popcorn is both delicious and convenient.

However I can argue that it is not healthy for you…even if the box says it is! BOXES LIE! 🙂

Not only are most bagged popcorn’s laden with preservatives, MSG, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavorings, but the bags themselves contain a carcinogenic (meaning known to be cancer causing) substance called PFOA.   It is the same substance found in non-stick pans made with Teflon.  The PFOA in popcorn bags and others items (including most ‘made-for-the-microwave’ foods) repel the oil inside the bag and create a non stick surface, much like a pan would.

SO…all of that said to say:  We make our own popcorn ’round these parts.  And boy is it delicious!  AND SO EASY!

Here’s my new favorite recipe:

Homemade White Cheddar Popcorn

1/3 cup plain popping corn

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. butter (can sub all butter if you don’t have coconut oil)

1/2 tsp salt and additional for shaking on later

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I like the powdered kind for this)

sprinkle of garlic powder

In a larger sauce pan or medium soup pan heat oil and butter until slightly simmering over medium high heat.  Pour in popping corn.  Wait 30 seconds or so and sprinkle in 1/2 tsp. salt and a bit of garlic powder. Cover with a lid.  Turn the heat down to a little above medium.  Wait for the popping to start.  It will pop vigorously for a minute or two.  When it slows down significantly to around 1 pop every 5-10 seconds, remove from heat. Have a large bowl and parmesan cheese ready.  Pour the hot popped corn into the bowl and immediately sprinkle cheese over the corn tossing with your hand to evenly coat.  Use a salt shaker to add any more salt to taste.   Then enjoy as a mid afternoon snack, a treat with a good movie, or a fun light lunch.

I am telling you it is SO good.  You will want to have extra ingredients on hand so you can make some more as soon as its gone…SO GOOD!

From our home to yours, enjoy! Let me know if you try it!

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Healthy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are SO good.  I think I may have finally broke my ‘cookie curse’.

Cookie Curse by definition is a problem I suffer from in which I am entirely unable to make any cookie recipe without it turning into pancakes on the cookie sheet…until now!

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups + 2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour (freshly ground if available)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt.

2 cups sucanat (a less processed form of sugar, if using white sugar, maybe use only 1 & 1/2 cup)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2  cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Set the butter and two eggs out on counter to be brought to room temp. an hour or two before wanting to bake cookies.  Do not soften butter in microwave.  In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl place butter, coconut oil, and sucanat.  Mix with an electric mixer on low until combined and then cream together on higher speed for several minutes until very light and fluffy. (This I think if one of the keys to non-pancake cookies…maybe?) Once light and fluffy, mix in room temperature egg and additional yolk.  Then add vanilla until just combined.  Gently mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate dough for at least an hour before baking. (This is the second most important key to non=pancake cookies…maybe?) When dough had been refrigerated, preheat oven to 325.  Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I think this also prevents them from spreading.) Take a scant 1/4 cup of dough and roll it into a 2 in. ball.  Take the ball in your fingers and break it in half.  Then turn the jagged broken middle edges upward and smoosh the sides together making a 2 in. glob with the jaggedness facing up…does that make sence?

Supposedly this also helps to prevent spreading.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.  Bake for 7 min.  Then rotate the pans in oven, putting the top one on bottom and bottom one on top.  Also rotate the backs of the pans to face forward.  This will help with even cooking.  Bake another 7 min. (14 min. total)

Take cookies out of oven and cool them on the pan.  Remove from pan with large flat spatula and cool completely before storing.  Don’t forget to enjoy one warm…mmm soooo gooood.

Makes 18-24 larger cookies

 

 

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Ginger Garlic Salad Dressing

(Photo Credit)

This dressing makes me want to sing…seriously it is SOOOOO good.

You know that dressing you can get at Japaneses Steak Houses on the salad that comes with the Hibachi grill?  The kind that’s all gingery and garlicky and you’re always thinking…”What IS this dressing that is SO good?”

Well, I found it.  And I made it.  And it makes me happy.  And I have been eating it on everything.

Ginger Garlic Dressing

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

3 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, grated

1 tsp. dijon or spicy brown mustard

2 tsp. honey

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4-1/2 cup water (if you want to dilute the strong flavor, other wise just use a few spoons fulls at a time)

1 cup olive oil

Pour liquid ingredients into a small mixing bowl EXCEPT for the olive oil.  Mix. Grate garlic and ginger.  Add to soy sauce mixture.  Add salt and mix again.  I store the vinegar part of the dressing in a fancy shmancy glass container in the fridge since it does need to be refrigerated after making in between uses.  I just pour a LITTLE (I do mean a little, like a couple spoonfuls on my salad because it is flav-o-FULL) on my salad/food of choice and then drizzle a little olive oil over my salad.

The reason I do not add the oil to the vinegar is because olive oil becomes solid in the fridge and it has to come to room temperature before the two parts will mix and I am way to impatient for that.  And mostly because I never remember to set it out enough in advance… so I keep the oil separate from the liquid…but if you are more patient and full of memory than me, by all means, add the oil and store it together 🙂

Enjoy my friends!

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Alabama’s Snow Apocalypse

Supposedly this only happens like, once every 10 years. But look what we woke up to this morning.

Silly Alabamaians…they just don’t know what to do with all this stuff.  I think we got around 7 inches.

(Little Man walking in the middle of the street)

Our neighbor had the COOLEST Radio Flyer classic wood and metal sleds that were his kiddos when they were little and he let us borrow them!

Gotta love neighborly chats in the middle of the street about how no one here even owns a snow shovel because you only need it once every 10 years so you have to use a garden shovel instead…see?

Hubby’s home from work and Little Man’s sleeping and I am enjoying this beautiful quiet afternoon.

Hope you are too!

Happy Snow Day to you!

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The happiest little girl I know…

I got the joy and privilege of meeting my sweet Sal’s little baby girl, Lydia, for the first time during our visit with my family.

She. Is. Precious!

I seriously could not get enough of her.

Little Man even fell in love at first sight.  All he wanted to do was hold her.

This kid loves babies.

I even got the special treat of getting a long hang out time with Sal and her sweet little girl again later during our visit.

I got to give her a little gift I made…I think she likes it!

I mean really…what girl doesn’t appreciate clothing and matching accessories!  🙂

Even over her little sleeper, she looks like she ready for a night on the town!

I really don’t think I could get this girl to stop smiling if I tried.  She is just so cute!

Breaks my heart to even just look at these pictures!

Miss you already Sal!

Here’s a picture Sal took of her Daddy holding her on New Years Eve, all ready to party the night away in her little outfit!

I mean, really, how much cuter can a little girl even get than this?

 

 

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