Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still here

I haven't forgotten my blog.

1- My computer crashed a little over a week ago and although I'm running again, nothing is working quite right

2- The fantastic Thanksgiving weekend was super enjoyable

3- I lost both my camera's memory card (so I had to put some photos on my tiny internal memory) and the cable to upload (to access the pictures on the tiny internal memory). So frustrating.

But rest assured, we have lots going on here in my little corner. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Turkey Treats

Aren't these adorable?!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Science fair and crazy hair

Jedi has worked really hard this last week to learn about electromagnets and get his science fair project completed.

Phew, all done!

And Princess wanted to go all out for crazy hair day today at school. We did the ol' coat-hanger-in-the-braids trick.  I hope she has fun! (Bugs isn't pictured here, but he had me shave a funky design on his head for 24 hours. It's getting buzzed off tonight).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Easy chicken legs

I love the crockpot, especially on busy days.  I wanted to share one of the things I've been trying lately.  We aren't real big on bone-in chicken, but it's so cheap.  I've been hoping for my family to love it at least a little.

My new favorite is cooking chicken legs in a little bbq sauce all day on low (even from frozen).  Then, about a half hour before supper, I pull them out and put in a baking dish.  I baste with a little sauce (like fake grilling) and throw it in the oven for 20 min or so. 

The sauce gets all sticky and they practically fall apart when you eat them.  It's really good and tastes like it was all baked/grilled.  But you don't have to babysit it all day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Joe, say it ain't so

This picture of me and my classmates with the Nittany Lion in preschool was printed in the Centre Daily Times on Dec 18, 1979

Most who read my blog know me as a raving BYU fan.  But long before I wore the Y on my shirt, I was wearing navy blue for dear ol' State; the anchor of the college town where I'm from, the alma mater of my dad and uncles, and where my brother currently wrestles.

Penn State has been a part of me since the day I was born.  My dad was a sports writer for the above mentioned paper.  When he covered games my mom and I would sometimes tag along and wait and watch and wait for him.  My other brother and dad still fly back regularly to attend football games in famous Beaver Stadium.  My mom is there right now, visiting my brother Matt.  My family probably owns a hundred pieces of PSU memorabilia and clothing.  It's who we are.

The scandal involving ex-Penn State coach Sandusky (I went to elementary school with his son in State College, PA) is shocking and disturbing.

The knowledge that the head coach reported one incident to his superior (in title only; we all know Paterno is king) is semi-comforting.

The thought that JoePa could have (should have?) done more to stop it is one that leaves me sad and unsettled.

For our family, this whole story hurts so bad.  Read my sister's blog for a more thorough rundown of the legal vs. ethical issue in question:  Life in Limbo

Joe Paterno

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Football playoffs and whoopie pies

Our team has had a great regular season and won their playoff game on Saturday (in a snowstorm!) 37-0. 

When I saw these about a month ago I wanted an excuse to make them really badly.  Post season was the perfect time! 

Loved it!  Cake mix?  Cute?  Easy?  Count me in.  So I asked if I could do game treats last week.

I made the recipe twice (recipe printed below) and for the filling I made one batch of butter cream and added a tub of vanilla icing and a small jar or marshmallow creme.  It was wonderful!  I used royal icing to make the writing.

The shape was tricky and the cookies vary a lot from each other.  But I figured since the players each would be getting their own, it's not like they'd really be comparing them.  Strider was my cookie-pair-matcher-upper so I could make them into sandwiches.  I packaged the finished whoopies in clear cellophane treat bags.

I was able to make 25 HUGE whoopie pies out of the double batch.  That was awesome because I had enough to do the coaches and the two team moms. 

The photos were taken at about midnight, so I know they're crappy lighting paired with old used cookie sheets.  But I wanted to document.

Here is the original recipe:

Whoopie Pies
from a cake mix

1 chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 sticks of butter, softened
3-4 cups of powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a mixer, combine cake mix, eggs, water and oil. Whip together for 2-3 minutes.

On a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet, scoop out batter into round mounds. I used a small ice cream scoop that measured 1 2/3 inches in diameter. Use the back of a spoon to round out scoops of batter into perfect circles.

Bake for 7-8 minutes. Cool.

For the icing, in your KitchenAid with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar (start with 3 cups of powdered sugar, then add more if necessary for thickness). Whip for 5 minutes until light and fluffy (the extra time makes all the difference!). Scoop into a pastry bag with the end cut with a 1/2 inch opening.

To fill, pipe icing (you can frost with a knife but it's hard!!) onto the bottom cookie (wrong side up), then top with another cookie (right side up).

~~Obviously for a football cookie (instead of round) you use a spoon or knife to pull the batter onto a more oval shape on the cookie sheet.  The batter is quite thick, so it behaves pretty well.  But they get enormous in the oven, so go smaller than you think you need!  They come out fluffy and light and yummy.~~

I totally loved doing it.  And I bet you could adapt them for other things.  Maybe valentine hearts in Feb? Baseballs in the summer?  Hmmm.

Next Saturday is the championship game!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween day

Over the weekend I found out that I am the room mother for Jedi's class.  Yep, and a party was scheduled for Monday morning.  Plus, the teacher I had offered help to ended up having another mom plan the party and didn't tell me?!?  So that was interesting.

Anyhoo, welcome to the quickest and simplest planned class party ever! We did four fun activities and the kids were very well behaved.  Good thing, too, because only one other mom stopped in to help.  What a crazy day.  My sister came to see the kids in the costume parade and it was fun.  Usually we are off track from year round school over Halloween but since we switched tracks this year, we could participate.

Jess was kind enough to watch the baby for me during the party which helped a ton.  Then we went to lunch and the girls got to play.

 Squirt, my neice

After lunch I was exhausted and the angels were smiling down on me,because Rosebud took a perfect two hour nap prior to the craziness beginning again.

Time for costumes again!

Adorable little Cinderella

You'll notice that Princess isn't a witch anymore.  She changed her mind between Saturday and Monday and went with the cowgirl.  I was happy; she looked great.  Last minute decisions, though.  She owns two hats - pink and black.  Her grandmother made her this awesome dress for her birthday.  But it's neither pink nor black.  Since her boots are brown and pink we decided on the pink hat.  But how to make it coordinate?  I sewed a band of pink (from an old sheet in my rag drawer) onto the faux suede belt.  It was perfect!!

Da boys

 They were so excited!!  Look at that face.

We played Kids Bop Halloween ALL DAY and we could not stop dancing to Witch Doctor.  We had a blast. When I set up the van at our trunk or treat on Monday night I had that CD blaring and everyone in the whole parking lot was lovin' it.  Potter came straight from play rehearsal to meet us for trick or treating and brought a friend.  They had fun together and we even brought him to visit the grandparents to end our night.

What began stressful turned out to be a rockin' awesome holiday for us.  Happy candy hangover!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween

(sorry, this was supposed to publish yesterday)

Well, this was our pre-Halloween weekend.  Pumpkin carving, pizza, trunk-or-treat.

 More pics from actual Halloween coming tomorrow!