Thursday, January 27, 2011

JJ's Preschool B-Day Treats

Jayden was so excited to bring treats to preschool for his birthday and to be the special helper for the day.  It had snowed the night before, but luckily the schools just had a 2 hour delay.  Since JJ goes to preschool in the afternoon, they still had school.
I made some individual dirt cake cups for him to take to school.
Here's the recipe…

Dirt Cake
1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip
2 small boxes chocolate instant pudding
1 (8 oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. (1lb.) oreos
Gummy Worms

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Make pudding according to package directions.  Add cool whip and beaten cream cheese.
Crush Oreos (leave icing in cookie).  Use a flower pot (lined with foil or saran wrap) or any container.
  Put layer of crushed Oreos on bottom, add layer of pudding.
Repeat layers, ending with crushed Oreos on top.
Put gummy worms in-between layers if you choose.  Also put some on top of dirt and some half in it with the heads sticking out.
Put a construction paper flower attached to the end of a straw or a plastic spoon and place in the dirt cake.  Or you could put in some cleaned fake flowers and serve with a small garden tool.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthday Banner

A friend of mine (Cristina) had made one of these for her family and I just loved it.  What a cute little tradition to get this out for every birthday!  So I made one in time to have out for Jayden's birthday, which is on Friday.
It's made out of felt so it's super easy!
And it accordion folds so nicely!  I plan to keep it with my tablecloths and then it will be easily accessible.
I bought a 1/4 yard of all the colors I wanted and had plenty left over.  So I asked Liz if she wanted to make one too and passed on the extra felt to her.  And I bought 1 package of extra wide (1/2" inch) double fold bias tape for the top.  I thought it might be cute to make my own with cute colorful fabric, but that was too much trouble to deal with right now.  (And after I opened the bias tape I wished I had made my own, it would have been a little more perfect than the ones you can buy.  But it would take more time to make.)
You can use fabric glue to attach your letters, but I decided to sew mine on.  I have this colorful thread that changes color every couple of inches and I never use it and so I used it to sew these letters on.  I wanted to upload some close ups of letters to show you, but blogger won't let me at the moment.  Sorry!
I had also thought after I sewed the bias tape on with white thread I would use that same colorful thread to sew a train across the bias tape.  My sewing machine (which was my grandmothers) has a cute little train stitch.  But I decided I don't like sewing on the bias tape and I just wanted to be done.  Maybe one day I'll go back and do it.  And maybe one day I'll go back and spruce it up a bit too.
For the triangle, I did mine 7" wide and then 9" inches down.  I don't remember what size letter I used but I'm sure you can figure that out and do what you want if you choose to make one.  When I put the triangles under the bias tape I put them up as far as I could under the fold and I had the tips of the triangles touching, which makes it easier to fold and creates an even balance between triangles.
I was thinking on the one I left blank in between the words, that I can cut numbers out of felt or just print it on paper, and attach them to coordinate with the year of their birthday.  For instance, Jayden will be 5 on Friday so I'll print "5th" or cut out a "5" from felt to put there.
I'm very excited to hang this up for Jayden's birthday and all birthdays to come.  And I hope my kids look forward to it every year too.  Thank you Cristina for the wonderful idea!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Published Again!

 I sent another "Great Idea" to the Family Fun magazine and they decided to publish it!  Yay!  That makes two times in 11 months that I was published in the Family Fun magazine!  And every time they give you $100 to have your name and idea published!  I did think they would use a picture of both boys, because in the email they sent me to check the facts they asked if one of the pictures I sent them was with the older boy wearing a shirt that said "messy" and the littlest one holding the block.  Oh well, it's still a cute picture of Jayden.  Hopefully this link will take you to the page...

These first 2 pictures are the ones I sent them...
 I guess you can see the block better in this picture of just Jayden...
 Last time I sent them pictures of just the thing, that was what they published, I didn't want that happen this time.  I wanted a picture of my cute boys in there.  I took these pictures of just the block to publish on the blog back in August when I made it.

 If you want to read how it was made you'll have to find that post or one day I'll put the link here.

I copied the pictures from the digital version of the magazine so you don't have to go to the link if you don't want to.  Here is the full page...
 Here is the close up of "My Great Idea"...
 Okay, not so clear so maybe you do want to go to the link.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Easy Basil Alfredo with Chicken

I made a yummy recipe off the back of San Giorgio Fettuccine Florentine pasta and I wanted to share it.  While I was making it Dave was playing in the snow with the boys, but Tanner didn't like getting sprayed in the face with snow while they were sledding, so he came in to help me "makes."  He loves to help "makes dinner."  So I let him stir.  Ever since he burned all 5 fingers in the summer he has been so good about only touching the handle to the oven door and the handles of pans.  He will tell me when he touches it "it's cold momma."
 Here's the finished dish, with a side of broccoli...
Here is what the recipe says...

1 TBL olive or vegetable oil
1 Large onion
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 Cup milk
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, cubed
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into thin strips (optional)
1 package (12 oz.) San Giorgio Fettuccine Florentine, uncooked
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil; add onion.  Cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chicken; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thoroughly cooked.  Stir in milk and basil; heat just to boiling.  Reduce heat; add cream cheese and peppers, stirring frequently, until cream cheese melts and sauce is smooth.  Keep warm.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Stir Parmesan cheese into sauce.  Toss hot pasta and sauce; serve immediately.  6 servings.

I used the 1/3 fat free cream cheese, and I don't know why it says a 3 ounce package, I've never seen a 3 oz. package.  I always buy the 8 oz, so I just the whole 8 oz. package and I thought it was fine.  I also drink skim milk and so I used skim milk.  I chopped my roasted red peppers in my Tupperware Quick Chef, I personally don't like chunks or slices of it, but I don't mind it if it's chopped.  And I like to cook my chicken the way I saw Rachael Ray do it, oh and I used 3 chicken breasts.  I cut the chicken up and when the onions started to caramelize I added the chicken to the pan.  You're not supposed to touch the chicken until the pieces start to separate on their own, I'm not very good at waiting and so I normally touch it earlier.  I peak at a piece and when it starts to get this nice brown color on the bottom, I wait as long as I can and then I stir it up.  It makes this nice color on the chicken and a wonderful flavor!
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