As Miss Janey gently pointed out, Halloween is long gone. I completely skipped Thanksgiving and it's almost Christmas. Seems like we just had Christmas, I can't believe it's upon us once again. I'm not ready. Our halls are decked, many gifts have been bought (and wrapped already), I've made a few batches of cookies and we've even Elfed Ourselves... but I'm still not ready. This year just passed WAY TOO FAST. I desperately want things to slow down just a little. I love Christmas, but I can't stand all the hustle and bustle. I can't stand watching people spend money they don't have on things they don't need, watching people fight over the last whatever hot toy is on sale, arguing over parking spots, and completely forgetting to honor what the holiday is really about. It all just makes me kind of sad. I'm not being a Scrooge, I just wish things were different, more simple. I know, I know...be the change you want to see in the world. I'm trying.
Let's see, what exciting things have you missed in my life since Halloween? Well, we had a decent football season. We ended up making it to the Championship game, but got knocked out by the team that ultimately went on to win the National Championship in our division. Bummer, but it was a good run. As good as we were on the field this year, things were really bad off the field. So much player drama! I love those boys, but sometimes I want to wring their necks! Man, they can make some really bad decisions. This was probably one of the toughest football seasons I've been through. To top things off, one of our former players got killed over Thanksgiving break. He was shot by his sister's boyfriend. It was heartbreaking. He was a great kid.
On a much lighter note, we got to spend a couple of days at Halftime, our new condo in Panama City Beach, over the break. It was WONERFUL! I may never go back to the beach in the heat of Summer again. We pretty much had the entire resort to ourselves and the weather was perfect. The water was a bit cool for me, but that didn't slow the kids down one little bit. They played in the waves all day, floated the lazy river and even braved the super cold waterpark. We had our fill of yummy seafood, did lots of shopping at Pier Park and sent some time down the road in beautiful Seaside, Florida.
It was a much needed break and really helped reinforce our decision to get the condo. If any of you are ever interested in a great beach getaway, let me know and I'll give you a good hookup.
I'm going to REALLY TRY to be better about updating the blog, but given my history, there's a good chance you won't see me again until after Valentine's Day. :-p
I hope you all have a happy and peaceful holiday season.
As much as I love Halloween, I have to admit I'm not fond of all the gory food tricks. I don't want to eat anything that resembles a bowl of worms, eyeballs, severed fingers or brains! Eeelck!
These tasty little toasted bones are just gross enough to send the kids into fits of giggles and still cute enough not to turn my stomach. They are so easy to make and highly addictive. You just take a roll of refrigerated breadstick dough (or your own homemade recipe) and seperate it into 12 strips. Lay them out on an ungreased baking sheet and snip and roll each end outward to form a bone shape.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and sea salt. Bake at 375 degrees for around 10 minutes or until golden brown.
If you wanted to up the grossness level, you could always serve them with a side of marinara blood.
It's a rare occurrence that we get an opportunity to have a lazy Saturday during football season. The kids and I NEVER miss a home game, we drive to all the away games that are within a reasonable distance, and I travel with the team to far away games. This past Saturday, we chose to skip a game. To be honest, we were all tired...really really tired and we needed a break . The team had to travel 8 hours by bus to the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. If there was ever a game to skip, this was the one. Coach gave us his blessing, hopped on the bus and rode off into battle. The kids and I camped out in the backyard Friday night. We ate too much kettle corn, toasted with apple cider, read a stack of library books, listened to the high school football game in the distance, played games, made shadow puppets, told stories and all fell asleep by 9pm. It was WONDERFUL!
Until we all woke up freezing at 4am and took off in a mad dash for the house in search of our warm beds.
On Saturday, we stayed in our pajamas until noon. Again, WONDERFUL! Then we got ready and headed out to a little fall festival. The kids played carnival games, we walked the scarecrow trail and got some yummy hamburgers from one of the church booths. It was such a lovely day and the Knuckleheads were looking so cute, that we decided on a little impromptu photo session. The arboretum and town square were beautifully bedecked for Fall, so I couldn't resist getting some cute pumpkin pics!
We had a fabulous day and made it home in time to hear Coach give us a shout out on his radio show. We then spent the next three hours yelling at the radio, cheering our team on to another big victory!
I'll just tell you now, this stuff is highly addictive. If you have no self control (like me), you might just want to walk away and forget you ever saw this.
Homemade Kettle Corn
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
In a large pot with tight fitting lid, heat the oil over medium high heat and toss in 3 popcorn kernels. Once all 3 kernels have popped, pour in remaining kernals and sugar. Give a quick stir and cover. Once the corn starts to pop, use potholders to lift the pot off the heat and shake vigorously for a few seconds, return to heat for a few seconds and repeat until popcorn is finished popping. Once popping slows, remove from heat, pour in large bowl and toss with salt. USE CAUTION, the kettle corn will be extremely HOT. Let cool completely and enjoy.
The weather here has been FANTASTIC! The minute the kids get home from school, they drop their backpacks, kick off their shoes and head to the backyard. Their new tent has become their headquarters, a perfect place for a good book, a big bowl of kettlecorn, a game of cards, a hideout from lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) and other big adventures.
When they're not hanging out in the tent, they can be found cooking up some fun over at the
Mud Pie Kitchen.
A week ago, I was ready to take their old plastic kitchen to the curb. The kids protested, so I decided to give it a second chance. I gave it a new home under the little oak tree, gave the knuckleheads a pile of dirt and permission to go crazy with a few jugs of water and...tada...the Mud Pie Kitchen was born.
Pesto is one of my favorite treats. I love it on pasta, warm bread, grainy crackers...I'm even guilty of eating it straight out of the jar all by itself. So when the garden is packed with basil, I don't like to waste a single leaf. If I time it right, I can put up enough pesto to last us until the next growing season. I always put a couple of jars in the fridge to enjoy right away and I store the rest in quart size freezer bags, making sure to squeeze out all the air and freeze them flat for easy storage. When I'm ready to use the pesto, it's easy to break off the amount I need.
Pesto is so easy to make and almost impossible to mess up. You can easily add or subtract ingredients according to your preferences. I don't have a set-in-stone recipe. It's more of a handful of this and pinch of that. I'll give you a rundown of how I usually make mine, but experiement a little and come up with your own perfect pesto!
Basil & Spinach Pesto
2 big handfuls of basil leaves
2 big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese (not the powdered stuff in the green can!)
red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or pinenuts
olive oil (amount depends on how thick/thin you want your pesto)
Whirl it all together in a food processor until desired consistancy. Enjoy!
* I went back through my archives and found this pesto recipe that I posted last year. As you will see, it's a little different from the one above, but they are both delish! As I said, it's hard to mess it up!
Basil Pecan Pesto
4 handfuls of basil leaves (rinse well and dry)
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pecans
juice of one lime
red pepper flakes
Toss basil, garlic, cheese, pecans and lime juice into a food processor or blender. Begin to process and slowly add olive oil to desired consistancy. Add salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. Store pesto in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for future use.
Happily married to a college football coach for 14 wonderful years, mom to 2 amazing little knuckleheads, photographer, crafty chick, loves to cook, wannabe gardener, beach bum, pool floater, Saints fan, happy girl ___
ORIGIN: Natchitoches, Louisiana___
MAY BE SEEN: Getting rowdy at football games, riding on a Mardi Gras float, arguing with my computer, jumping curbs in the minivan, with my nose in a book, dreaming about a vacation, digging in the dirt, chasing kids and acting crazy with a camera strapped around my neck___
SECRET WEAPON: PhotoShop___
CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT: Flipflops, Coca~Cola, computer, camera, library card, kids' giggles, husband's love and support___
ENEMIES: Long lines, slow drivers, hurricanes___
HEROES: Parents who made sure I've been loved every day of my life, my children who make me laugh until my belly hurts and my wonderful husband for always saying yes to my crazy ideas and loving me uncondionally no matter what___
LITTLE KNOWN FACT: Can recite all 50 states in alphabetical order in under 30 seconds