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  1. Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    DELISH cookies

    Okay, I made these cookies last night…and again tonight. They are that good. (Just to be clear, I took the cookies I made last night to book club, so it’s not like we ate 3 dozen cookies in one night…just 1 dozen is all.  But I can’t promise we won’t eat 3 dozen tonight!)

    chocolate chip amish puff cookies from @janemaynard

    I found the recipe on this blog.  She found the recipe on this blog.  That blogger found the recipe in a cookbook. So, I can’t lay any claim whatsoever to discovering this little gem, but I’m sure glad I stumbled upon it! (Thanks to Ashley at Delish for commenting here on TWFD, otherwise I might never have been introduced to my new love…the Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookie.)

    I rolled the cookies in cinnamon sugar as is suggested and it was, well, DELISH!

    Enjoy!


  2. Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Call for Recipes: Worst Recipes EVER!

    My friend Amanda just sent me a terrifying email. Scarier than any horror movie I watched over Halloween weekend. The email contained this aptly named recipe:

    Provincial Macaroni Salad
    – 1 box macaroni and cheese (okay, first ingredient, kinda iffy…)
    – 1 (12 oz.) can luncheon meat or ½ lb. bologna (scare factor has officially set in)
    – ¾ c. celery (what a deeee-LICIOUS vegetable)
    – ½ c. Miracle Whip (okay, miracle whip?  really?)
    – 1/3 c. Kraft French dressing (the French would be so proud)
    – ¼ c. sweet pickle relish (should relish EVER be an ingredient in ANY recipe?)
    – 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion (ooooo…a little bit of raw onion will really make this dish!)

    Prepare macaroni and cheese. Add other ingredients and chill before serving. (CHILL?  I have to eat this cold?)

    Oh man, I’m laughing AGAIN.  Every time I look at this recipe I lose it. (And I apologize to anyone out there who does in fact LIKE this recipe…but I do have to ask…really?)

    Amanda found this gem in her mother-in-law’s collection of recipes, which she is cleaning out as a Christmas gift. Amanda passed it on to me figuring I’d get a good laugh (which I did)…and then suggested I do a different kind of Call for Recipes.

    So here’s the CallShare the scariest, yuckiest, worst, most provincial recipes you’ve got!

    I need a good laugh today. 😉


  3. Monday, November 10, 2008

    Simple Side Dish: Spinach Salad Variation


    I threw together this little spinach salad variation the other day for lunch. Spinach, Raspberries, Candied Pecans & Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette. Easy and delectable! I’ve thrown all kinds of fruit into spinach salad but never raspberries. They were delish!


  4. I {heart} Anna Maria Horner

    One of my favorite blogs is that of Anna Maria Horner, wife, mother, fabric designer, woman extraordinaire. It’s one of the very first blogs I ever read and every time I visit, it puts me in a calm and happy mood.  I’m fortunate to be able to count Anna Maria as one of my {virtual} friends.  She is truly lovely.

    Anna Maria has published her first book, Seams to Me.  Yea for Anna Maria! My copy is in the mail as we speak and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  If you like to sew, get this book.  If you don’t, get it for that someone in your life who does (Christmas is right around the corner…which reminds me, Christmas is right around the corner!!!  AAAAHHHH!).

    Be sure to visit the book’s website this week to enter a sweepstakes…you could win a sewing machine, signed copy of the book, some of Anna Maria’s beautiful fabric and more!  Click here to enter (up to once a day) – sweepstakes ends November 14!

    Congratulations on your book, Anna Maria! I’m so happy for you!


  5. Sunday, November 9, 2008

    Week 94 Menu…and Play-Doh Ice Cream

    Work has been quite busy, which generally affects Cate the most because she has to keep herself occupied on my especially stressful days.  The other morning, though, I decided that no matter how much work I had, I was going to spend a few hours with Cate, one-on-one, completely focused on her.

    She had recently received the Play-Doh Ice Cream Shoppe, which she was dying to try out.  We cracked it open and had such a great morning.  Cate was mesmerized by the Playdoh, and the whole time I felt blessed and content.  I need to make more of my mornings that way.

    On to the menu!  This week features a fast and furious trip to San Diego.  I can’t wait!!

    MONDAY:
    – Shepherd’s Pie (DUH! Last week I had this listed on the menu BEFORE I cooked the pot roast, but the whole reason it was on the menu was to use of the pot roast leftovers…so, here we are!)

    TUESDAY:
    Lentil Soup
    – Whole Wheat French Bread

    WEDNESDAY:
    Chicken Marsala
    – Salad & French Bread

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Going to San Diego!! YEA!
    Book Club

    SATURDAY:
    Extraordinary Desserts with friends! (Okay, I’m sure I’ll grab a little dinner before, but I’ll be saving lots of room for this San Diego favorite.)

    SUNDAY:
    – Getting home from my trip…we’ll see what Nate has cooked up (ha ha)

    Can’t wait to see what you are planning for dinner this week!!!


  6. Friday, November 7, 2008

    And with a pork chop, a gender barrier is destroyed!

    I’ll admit it, I was afraid of the grill.  Why, might you ask?  I think it was due to a widely-held belief that guys are better at grilling.  Which is about as dumb as saying guys are better at math.  But even still, I always made Nate do the grilling.  I wouldn’t even heat the grill up before he got home.  What a wimp.

    So, the other night, when I had some beautifully-marinated pork chops (thanks to Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce) ready to go and found out that Nate would be late…well, I had to step up to the plate.  And boy did I step.  Homerun, people!  I did a little research online and fired up the grill to great success.

    How did I get these pork chops to come out so beautifully?  Sadly, I didn’t write it down.  I think I cooked them over medium heat until they reached 140 degrees.  But don’t quote me on that.  Regardless, they came out perfectly.  We’ll just say it was intuition.

    I am woman, watch me grill!!!


  7. Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Early Childhood Learning Tips

    On Sunday I had the opportunity to attend an event for the Silicon Valley Moms bloggers sponsored by LeapFrogAnne Cunningham, PhD, an associate professor at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, was the featured speaker.  She led a fascinating discussion and, since I know many of you out there are parents or have young ones in your life, I wanted to share a few things I learned from Anne.

    Talk to your infants and toddlers ALL THE TIME. Riding in the car, around the house, at the store, everywhere.  Exposing them to language is KEY to getting them started on the right track to being good readers. All of that talking you do is benefiting them enormously!

    Young children need huge doses of language and huge amounts of print exposure. Read them books, every day.  Let them listen to books on tape.  Whatever…just get them exposed to books and language!

    Readers trump smart people. Anne talked about how there is IQ and there is INTELLIGENCE.  She believes intelligence is something you can grow and develop.  She mentioned that her Berkeley freshman are all geniuses.  But the ones who do best are the ones who read the most, even if their IQs are technically lower than someone else’s. So interesting.

    All of this reading and talking is exposing your children to rare and unique words. That’s what you want to do.  That’s why books are so important.  We tend to “dummy down” our oral language.  When you read books, you are exposing your kids (and yourself!) to words that we may not use on a regular basis, but that they do need to know in order to do well.

    Anne has done many studies regarding these issues and it was fascinating to see the impact that reading can have on a young mind and success in academics.  My biggest takeaway was that I need to TALK and READ to my girls as much as I can and, that even at the infant stages, it’s benefiting my children.  This might seem obvious on some level, but it’s definitely something to think about!

    Of course the discussion was much longer and more involved than what I’m sharing here.  I could type all day!  But I thought these few points were really interesting AND actionable.

    PS: LeapFrog gave us all a few toys for our kids to try out.  Cate received the TAG reading system.  It’s awesome.  And she can’t get enough of it.  I was very impressed with LeapFrog and their products.  Education is their primary goal, which is good to hear from a toy company…and I really believe them.  Okay, plug over, but I really was impressed, so I wanted to share! 🙂  Oh, and here’s a coupon code for you!  Receive $10 off any order of $50 or more at leapfrog.com – enter promotinal code HY8BHPR at checkout! (Code expires 11/15/08)


  8. Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Kitchen Tip: Avocado Ripeness

    A quick Kitchen Tip for you today.  Next time you’re selecting avocados at the market, and you think you’ve found a good one…you know, it’s soft but not too soft, looks about right, but you’re just not SURE…

    Pop out that little stubby thing at the end.  If it’s still green inside and the avocado is soft, then you’ve got a good one.  If it’s dark or brown, the avocado is over-ripe and you don’t want it.

    You’re welcome.


  9. Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Week 93 Menu

    For the Happy Eats Club, we determined Halloween to be one of our legal cheat days, and boy am I glad we did.  I certainly enjoyed eating cookies and candy all day…and I didn’t even gorge on treats quite like I thought I would, so that’s good!

    But now the party’s over and the Halloween cookies I made with Cate on Friday have been teasing me all weekend.  Blasted Happy Eats Club.  These cookies would have made for a delicious breakfast.

    MONDAY:
    – Bertucci’s Tortellini (Cheese tortellini, red sauce with a little cream added, mushrooms quartered, italian sausage)
    – Salad

    TUESDAY:
    – Shepherd’s Pie
    – Salad

    WEDNESDAY:
    – Chicken Paninis
    – Fruit or Salad…or maybe Fruit Salad 😉

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Tacos
    Guacamole & chips

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out

    SUNDAY:
    – Pot Roast (the weather is finally cool, so time for a roast!)
    – Mashed Potatoes
    – Green veggie

    NOW SHARE YOUR MENUS, BIG & SMALL!