Autumn Weekend 2011

On Friday we went for a run and picked wild flowers on the walk home. Java joined in the fun. Then Daddy cooked us up some potato and egg skillet lunch while Mommy baked a homemade sweet potato pie. Both were delicious!
On Saturday, we got up and started our pumpkin carving. Thalia quickly drew her “silly face” on her baby pumpkin. While she had a messy little tea party, Daddy carved a Gator! And Mommy went for a skull since her pumpkin was skull-shaped. It all turned out perfectly. This afternoon, we’re all heading to Thalia’s best school bud Maria’s birthday party!

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Thalia somehow got it into her head that she wanted Ice Cream Sandwiches. So last week, we rounded up our flour and sugar and honey, made us some yummy chocolate chip cookies. Then we turned them into… dun da da daaaa! The Ice Cream Sandwich!

Italian Pasta Salad

You know a meal is going to be good when it starts out like this:

But it’s even better when it winds up looking like this:

Then again, I love sausage (cue inappropriate AL joke), so this meal wins me over in many ways. I think my favorite part was the homemade Italian dressing, which I improvised with Ricotta cheese. Oh yum!

And my sweetie and I have made it a weekly date to make fresh-baked cookies. This week is Apple Oatmeal Cookies. She has to add sprinkles to them, no matter what kind they are. Fine with me.

Sad Sad Cookies

I’ve got to post my failures as well as my successes, right? Thalia wanted some cookies yesterday as we were driving home from school. I said, sure I’ll make some when we get home. I pulled out an easy kid-friendly recipe to make with her then discovered we were out of baking soda. So I had to find another recipe that didn’t use baking soda. She wanted “sprinkle cookies”, so I picked out an easy sugar cookie recipe. Well, something went terribly wrong. I halved the recipe, because I didn’t want dozens and dozens of cookies around the house for no telling how long. The recipe said that it would be dry, but my dough was wet to the point of being soggy. I added more flour just so it would stay together. I used kitty cookie cutters to punch them out, and Thalia decorated them all with sprinkles. Once they were cooked and cool I took them off the cookie sheet…. and all their heads fell off. It was a sad day for kitty cookies. Thalia loved them anyway.

And AL made a beautiful awesome delicious Cobb Salad for dinner. Delicious salad you say? I know! Who’d have thought a salad could be so yummy. But it really was. Link!

Bunches of Lunches

I’m playing super-mom this week. I’m making Thalia the best lunches. I also created my own sandwich holder for her. I’m in heavy crafting mode lately. It’s made out of a plastic milk container… see?

Yesterday, I prepared homemade mini-pizzas for her… along with melon jello and strawberry yogurt and blueberries.

The shark Easter egg contains goldfish. She decorated her own lunchbox with princess stickers (one of her back-to-school countdown gifts).

NayNay’s Graduation Goodies

Hooray, Renee! We are all so proud of you! But this isn’t a post about how awesome you are and how wonderful your graduation was. This is a post just to show my crafty attempts at making an appetizer and centerpiece… since I like to keep track of my craft endeavors on my site. I’m not trying to brag, I swear!

I found a wonderful recipe in a kid’s cooking magazine. It’s a pool ball setup (cheeseballs) with cues (breadsticks). It turned out very well. The numbers got smudged after covering it in the fridge, but you could still tell what it was. Each cheeseball has a different topping. There were red onions, white onions, green onions, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese dyed blue, black olives, green peppers, yellow peppers, and beef jerky.

Next I made a couple of centerpieces, which turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. First of all, lemons float. And getting them to stay put required a bit of patience and luck. One turned out very well.

I’ve learned over the past several years of throwing parties with AL, mainly Halloween parties, that the more patience you have and the more time you spend on party details, the better they turn out… and the more like the picture. So I try not to rush through these things anymore. The cheeseballs took over 2 meticulous hours. But it was fun.

Congratulations again, Renee! We love you!


After seeing the movie a hundred times, I finally decided to make Ratatouille. It was a different recipe than in the movie. It included garbanzo beans. Thalia LOVES them. Along with the soup, I made a fresh batch of garlic bread sticks from scratch. I found this recipe at a site called and thought it looked easy enough. I liked them, but AL thought they were too crispy. So if you like crispy bread, then you might like these. The Ratatouille was good… though mostly due to the fact that I love garbanzo beans too.

Grilled Peaches

From Whole Living Magazine… Grilled Peaches. You put some olive oil, salt and pepper on them then grill them for several minutes. Then you add some more olive oil and some basil. It’s supposed to go great with prosciutto. They tasted great! But more importantly, they came out beautiful!


Thalia loves corn on the cob.

Next up… Yams!

Pico de Gallo

We did our usual grocery shopping this morning. We’ve taken a strong liking to a natural food store in town called Sunflower. They have really good prices and the freshest, yummiest food. Today I decided to make some salsa. I was shocked to discover that it turned out delicious and beautiful. So I had to take a picture.


AL made us a lovely sub sandwich which I forgot to take a picture of. Thalia had some mac and cheese. We watched one of her movies and had nice lunch.


Then Thalia got a hold of the camera. She figured out all on her own where the picture-taking-button was. Here are just a few of what she took pictures of:


Silly girl!


Now we’re going to play Boom Blox while I bake some cookies.

Chicken and Dumplings

I’ve been sick the past few days. Not terribly so, but I’m pretty much worthless. Yesterday, however, I was determined to make a nice meal. I’ve been into cooking lately, and we’re taking full advantage of that. I found a recipe last week for Chicken and Dumplings… completely homemade and from scratch. Well, I was skeptical. It looked pretty complicated and I thought I would probably mess something up in the process… especially the homemade dumplings. But it came out perfectly. I mean, I couldn’t believe how yummy it was. It was perfect. AL said it was the best southern meal I’ve ever cooked and I have to agree. All three of us devoured it and I definitely plan on making it again. What a success!

Snow baby: