Thursday, June 30, 2011

Don't blink...

This season of life can be intense- as a stay at home mom of three little ones, sometimes my life seems like a jumble of noise, mess, and answering questions... 

…lots and lots of questions.

Sometimes I wonder how we're going to make it to bed time when we've only made it to 10AM.
Well, on Monday I was out with my husband for the whole entire day. Believe me, it was really lovely and refreshing, in fact I didn't want the day to end!
But I missed my little people 
and wondered what they were thinking and how they were doing.  
I gained even more perspective as I peeked in on them at the end of the day- they were all sleeping and they looked so cute and so big. 
I thought about all the things I love about them right now.
Yesterday my 5 year old said 
When I was little, I called maple syrup 'mustard' but I don't call it that 
since I'm grown up. 
Oh, boy. Before I know it he will be grown up.
Have you heard the song Don't blink?

I turned on the evening news
Saw an old man being interviewed
Turning a hundred and two today

Asked him what's the secret to life?
He looked up from his old pipe
Laughed and said, "All I can say is

Don't blink, just like that you're six years old
And you take a nap
And you wake up and you're twenty-five
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife

Don't blink, you just might miss
Your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads
Next thing you know your better half

Of fifty years is there in bed
And you're praying God takes you instead
Trust me friend a hundred years
Goes faster than you think, so don't blink

I was glued to my TV, when it looked
Like he looked at me and said
"Best start putting first things first"

'Cause when your hourglass runs out of sand
You can't flip it over and start again
Take every breathe God gives you for what it's worth

Trust me friend a hundred years
Goes faster than you think, so don't blink.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Say Cheese(cake)!

"Here is something to smile about: luscious, lemony, no bake cheesecake squares with less than 5g of fat"... well, that's what it used to be... before I changed it!  I found this recipe by Janet and Greta Podleski a couple years ago in a Taste of Home {Healthy Cooking} magazine and I fell in love with it the moment I read it! I followed the recipe precisely a couple times (which is kind of a big deal for me) and it turned out really yummy but my husband pointed out a few problems: the crust was seriously crumbly, and the cake itself was almost too light -like flavored whipped cream- delicious, but not very satisfying.
So, with the help of my chefly husband (and a little extra butter), I believe I made a good recipe even better! And I really didn't change that much... I promise.
This doesn't have to be low fat, you can use regular cream cheese and cool whip... hey, it doesn't even need to be lemon! I've changed the Jell-O and juice to lime which tastes awesome! Oh, and I also want to do strawberry and maybe raspberry... the possibilities are endless! Well, as long as they make that flavor of Jell-O... anyway, on with the recipe!
    1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, but not set (about 45 minutes).
*if you are making this at midnight and you really don't want to wait 45 minutes, you can put the bowl in the freezer, but don't fall asleep! I assure you, the Jell-O will be thickened AND SET in the blink of an eye.
And then it will be Jell-Oooocrap*
2. For the crust: combine graham crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. 
Press the crumb mixture into one 9x13 or six(ish) ramekins, depending on the size of your ramekins.
don't forget to use your sieve thingy when you squeeze the lemon!
for the filling: beat together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla.

Check your Jell-O! It should be slightly thick but not set. Once your Jell-O is finally thick enough, blend it into the filling mixture.

*you might be a wimp if: your arm gets worn out just folding in whipped topping*
pour the filling onto the crust and spread evenly to the edges of the pan. Refrigerate for approx. 4 hours or until set. 


1 pkg. (3 oz) lemon Jell-O
1 cup boiling water
1- 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (the original calls for 1-1/2cups)
6 tbsp butter, melted (the original calls for 3 Tbsp)
1 tbsp brown sugar
8 oz light (not fat free) cream cheese brick, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups light whipped topping, thawed

1. Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Refrigerate until slightly thickened, but not set (about 45 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, prepare crust. In a medium bowl, combine graham crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar. Stir well, using a fork. lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish with butter or baking spray. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.  

3. To prepare filling, beat together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla on high speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add thickened  Jell-O and beat on medium high speed until well blended. 

4. OK! This is the part we changed the most. If you want the original, super-light dessert, simply fold all the whipped topping into the filling, pour filling onto prepared crust, spread evenly to edges of pan and chill for several hours.

OR if you want a slightly richer dessert with two distinct layers, fold 1/3 of the whipped topping into the filling until smooth and creamy. 
Pour approx. 2/3 of the filling mixture onto crust. 
Chill for an hour. 
Again, fold 1/3 whipped topping into remaining filling and pour onto thickened layer of cheesecake. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until set.
Garnish with remaining whipped topping and something pretty~ maybe a curl of lemon peel...
...or a random slice of strawberry?


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scavenger Hunt

1. Windows/ Doors
 2. Eyelashes
 3. Paint
 4. Leaf Veins
 5. Faceless Portrait

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's up with sidewalk chalk...

What is it about sidewalk chalk that's so magical?
Well, we all know that it can transform the driveway into a big game board, a major highway
or a huge ocean that everyone can jump "into." 

We know it's something the kids can do without getting hurt 
(well, as long as they don't color down to the nub- concrete can be rough on your knuckles)!
We also know that you can write on anything (except vehicles!)
just wash it off and you can do it again! 

For kids, I think they love the colorful, dusty mess everywhere.
For moms, I think the charm is in the clean up- toss that dust bunny in the tub and...
You have your sweet little child back as if by magic, happy and ready for bed.
What's your take on sidewalk chalk?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bruschetta Chicken Salad

 Here is one of my favorite recipes of all time. It's the cure for the common cold supper!

Marinate 1 lb chicken in some balsamic dressing for an hour (I pounded these thoroughly before marinating).

Seed and chop 7or 8 Roma tomatoes.
Add a pinch of kosher or sea salt.
Let sit for about an hour.

In another bowl combine:
1/2-1/3 cup good balsamic vinegar
1/2-1/3 cup good olive oil
1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bunches fresh basil, finely chopped
Let sit for about an hour
*note: it is very important that the basil be fresh. In fact, I have a basil plant specifically for this dish*

Grill the chicken, cool slightly, then slice it into strips or bite size chunks.
Just before serving, mix the vinegar/oil mixture again, combine with tomatoes. On each plate, arrange sliced chicken on a bed of spring greens and pour tomato mixture over the chicken. Serve with slices of 
lightly broiled baguette.
for a cold appetizer, forget the chicken and pour the tomato stuff right onto the slices of baguette (if you don't have a fresh baguette you can substitute other crusty bread or even crackers and cheese). 
It's the cure for the common munchies!

Oh! And one more way to enjoy this is in a wrap: 
tortilla, lettuce, sliced chicken, tomato, mozzarella, Parmesan.
It's the cure for the common lunch!

ok, I'm done now:)

Monday, June 20, 2011

i heart faces:

 Let's hear it for the boys!
Big brother whispered in baby brother's ear and then said "I told him how to walk."

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges and Photo Tutorials

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scavenger Hunt

1. Emotion
This little guy doesn't talk much, but he sure does express emotion!
 2. From a flower's point of view

3. Natural Frame

 4. Letters
5. Bliss
You probably already guessed that I didn't take the photo on the right :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous Friday

Well, it's been a good week~ I've learned a lot about myself~ mostly that pride goes before a fall. 
Nothing epic, just a little look into my heart. 
I picked up my camera on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised with almost all of my images! I thought to myself Abi, you've done it! You're out of the slump, in fact you've reached a new level...maybe it's time to go professional! 
So I took out the old camera again on Wednesday with great expectations... nuthin
Not one good pic. 
Not to be easily deterred, I took my camera to the barn with me on Thursday with the Scavenger Hunt item {bliss} in mind. 

crap. never mind.

So, I guess I'm back to being myself: just a girl who is happy to have a camera.

here's one from Tuesday :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's a good thing he's so darn cute...

...because he sure is a stinker!

the long road

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Trying on the Ties

They made him feel pretty important...

...very serious...

...and when I asked him how the tie felt he said:

It's so tight it could kill me!

Hmmm, you are not alone my friend, you are not alone.

Monday, June 13, 2011

i heart faces photography challenge:

Bright & Vivid
I love this kid!
He recently told me how a garden grows: "You put the seed in the ground and then you put up a sign that says what kind of plant you want. God sees the sign and makes that plant grow." 

He loves cars and he remembers almost everything he hears but he also makes a lot of stuff up. He pretends to be on a car show called Top Gear, and he gives all sorts of auto advice (using a British accent) ‎"Do you know what's the fastest car in the world? You might be surprised, it's not the Bugatti Veyron, it's the VW beetle (which is a lot cheaper)!"

‎"Ferrari and Mustang both have a horse on the front, but you can tell which is which because they look completely different!"

I Heart Faces - Photography Challenges and Photo Tutorials