Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just can't keep up

I know there are lots of people out in "blog world" who post lots of fun things to their blogs, and have time to keep up with everything else too. For some reason, I've just gotten really far behind on our blog lately. I think I will still post a few things from time to time here (especially videos until I can figure that out on Facebook). But, I guess if you want to know what's going on with us, check out my pictures and posts on Facebook (or send me an email). Hope you are enjoying a wonderful November wherever you are!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

G-A-B-R-I-E-L-L-E

I am SO proud that she can write her name by herself (and she's only 3 1/2). She can write a smaller version too, but I thought her "E"s were just too cute in this picture! :)

These are a few of my favorite things...

A new haircut AND going on a date with my hubby.

Saving money on my shopping trips to Target...did you know you can stack two coupons on each item you buy (one Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon)! I only spent about $20 on all of this!!!

Indoor fun

Sweet kisses for my sleeping little guy.

His favorite thing to do right now...sit inside the Boppy and play with his toys that are spread around the floor.

Sibling love...Gabrielle had to get in on the picture action.

Gabrielle playing "airplane" while I work on my leg muscles!!!

Benjamin getting in on the airplane too.

Just havin' fun.

Daddy with his kiddos...I love Gabrielle's pose!

Playing with friends at the mall.

Outdoor fun

We went to the park, met some friends there to play, and then ate a picnic lunch...it was beautiful!

Benjamin enjoying the outdoors.

Trying to hold his bottle for the first time...and smiling about it behind there. Just too cute!

Gabrielle playing outside with Daddy.

Figuring out the monkey bars--all by yourself!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Easy Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 jars prepared salsa (opt.)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) jar prepared salsa con queso
  • 10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese blend

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, and pour the salsa into the bottom of the dish (Nick liked it better when I left this out). Set aside.
  2. Cook and stir the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until meat is browned and crumbly. Drain the grease from the beef, and add the salsa con queso to the skillet, stirring to mix well. Place about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture down the center of each tortilla, roll the tortillas, and place them seam side down on top of the salsa in the baking dish. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the enchiladas. (I only filled as many as we were going to eat for one meal, and saved the second half of the mixture for the next meal...they tasted much fresher the second time around this way!).
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese is browned and the enchiladas are hot and bubbling.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Texas Rice Festival in Winnie

Love this picture of Gabrielle holding Nick's hand!

Gabrielle riding the rides with her friend, Brady.

Looking pretty stylin' with her sunglasses.

My happy little man.

Gabrielle holding Brady's hand as they walk the midway.

Future wedding slide-show picture? :)

Taking a break from the rides to eat some food (Nick and I shared a turkey leg) while the kiddos wear off some more energy in the grass.

Trying to do a cartwheel.

Help me!
Benjamin still smiling while he hangs out in his car seat.

Yea!

Going through the house of mirrors with Brady's mom.

At the top before sliding down...

Riding in the spinning cups.

Daddy with Benjamin at the end of the evening.

Gabrielle and I right before we left...we had a great time!

video

Playing in the grass with Brady.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

What a big girl!

Every time we mop the floors (which isn't all that often since we don't have house pets or anything messy) Gabrielle BEGS to help mop the floors. I think I need to hire her out to some of my friends who don't like housework! :)

The latest "tent" complete with a door this time!

As a reward for having a good day last Sunday, Gabrielle chose to have a "mommy-daughter date night" at McDonald's. We even brought home some ice cream to eat outside and share with daddy. Cheers (with spoons!).

Playing some basketball with daddy.

Slam dunk!

And, a hook-shot for daddy.

Cheese (ignore those legs in the background!).

video

I LOVE to hear Gabrielle sing, especially praise songs. And this time you get the bonus of watching her dance with one of her baby-dolls too!

My little guy is growing up!

He's sitting up pretty good by himself, but does even better inside the Boppy pillow.

He's getting better at playing with the stuff on the jumper.

Sitting up in a swing at a friends' house. At first I freaked out when I realized that he was almost going to fall out, and then I remembered that I strapped him in, so I tried to relax.

My two favorite boys.

Precious kiddos just hanging out in the hallway.

video
Just a short clip of Benjamin trying to figure out the rug on the living room floor (and some precious smiles too)!

Friends for supper

We've met some wonderful friends while we've been living here in Texas. We enjoy hanging out with is the Snodgrass Family, and they've helped us out in the past. While Lauren was in England for her brother's graduation, we had Marc and their two boys over for a meal and play time.

Gabrielle and Paul enjoying some dress-up time.

Marc and Nick enjoying some guitar-playing.

Even Benjamin and Luke "played" together!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

***When I made this, I doubled the recipe so that I used the whole box of cake mix, and baked it in two pans (one in the freezer for later).

1 3/4

cups Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® German chocolate cake mix (from 18.25-oz box)

1

cup shredded unpeeled zucchini (about 1 medium)

1/2

teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8

teaspoon ground cloves

1/4

cup buttermilk

2

tablespoons vegetable oil

1

egg

1/4

cup chopped nuts

1/4

cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F for shiny metal or glass pan (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom and side of 9- or 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, zucchini, cinnamon, cloves, buttermilk, oil and egg with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan. Sprinkle evenly with nuts and chocolate chips.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Kitchen Tips

Out of buttermilk? Use 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar plus milk to make 1/4 cup. Let stand for about 5 minutes before using.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Macaroni Grill’s Pene Rustica

So, Nick's been asking me to try to make one of his favorite entrees from Macaroni Grill. And, I must say, it was delicious...my first time cooking with shallots. And, I got to use my Pampered Chef chopper for the first time...I don't know how I cooked without it before--love, love, love it!!!

Gratinata Sauce:

2 T. butter
2 T. chopped garlic
1 tsp. chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Saute butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add marsala wine and reduce by one−third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.

Penne Rustica:

1 oz. pancetta or bacon, chopped
6 oz. butter
1 tsp. chopped shallots

18 shrimp peeled and devained
12 oz. grilled chicken breast, sliced
1 pinch of salt and pepper
4.5 cups of granita sauce
1 cups parmesan cheese
48 oz. Penne pasta, precooked
3 tsp. pimentos
1/2 tsp. paprika
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Saute pancette until begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add granita sauce and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce thickens. In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimentos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475 for 10−15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.
Serves six.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, Monday

Okay, so this wasn't from Monday, but I just had to include a picture from our time swimming at a friends' house (one of the only benefits of living so far south is that you can swim later in the year...since it's SO hot). Thanks for having us over to your house!!!

In our front living room we created a "tent" out of the couch, cushions, a card table, and some blankets. Gabrielle told me that it was "AWESOME!"

She had a great time playing in her tent...peek-a-boo!

She even had to eat her afternoon snack in her "tent".

And, after their afternoon naps, she decided to share her "tent" with Benjamin...very cute!

Helping me mop the floor...too cute!