Monday, February 28, 2011

One Fish Two Fish We Love Suess-fish

To celebrate Dr. Suess' birthday, this week we're going Suessical.  This week, I've planned an activity for each book that we're reading.

Crafty, Creative, Sensory Activities
  • One Fish, Two Fish - fish counting activity
  • The Cat in the Hat - H is for Hat letter craft
  • Green Eggs and Ham - green eggs and ham cookies
  • Hop on Pop - rythming words association activity
  • Fox in Socks - sock matching activity
  • Yertle the Turtle - paper plate turtle craft
  • Horton Hears a Who - Pom Pom sort and pattern

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pepperoni & Ham Rolls

Every Sunday, for the past few months, I've been making a batch of Pioneer Woman's awesome pizza crust.  Let me tell you - it is the BEST pizza dough eva.  But a batch makes enough for two big pizzas.  Sometimes we just don't need that much pizza.  So I tried making some teensy calzones.  And they are the bomb.  Oh yes, the bomb.  Thank you P Dubs - your dough has brought new joy to my life. 

Pepperoni & Ham Rolls

1/2 batch Pioneer Woman's Pizza Dough

1 pound pepperoni
1/2 pound deli honey ham, chipped (or however you prefer)
1 pound pepperjack cheese, grated
Montreal Steak Seasoning
garlic powder

1 - Break off 2-3 inch round piece of dough & flatten into a circle
2 - Sprinkle lightly with garlic powder and a dash of Montreal Steak Seasoning
3 - Add a layer of pepperoni around the circle, leaving 1/2 inch margin
4 - Top pepperoni with bits of ham and shredded cheese

5 - Pull edges up to the middle of the circle and pinch to seal

6 - Bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown


Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Munchkin: Mom, do you like cows
Me: Yep, cows are nice animals
Munchkin: I like cows.  But not lions... I like tigers though.  And sheep.  And piggies.  {thoughful pause} Those are my favorite animals...  And ducks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Just when I thought the icky flu season had passed us, it snuck up and knocked us with a 1-2 punch.  First Munchkin got it...and now me.  I did manage to pull out some green inspiration for a few St. Paddy's Day decorations...

Hopefully I'll be back with a few things in the next day or two. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Special K fun

Now that my favorite candy holiday is over, I'm ready to lose these pesky 20 pounds (again).  Last fall I tried to drop some chub-a-bub before the holiday season started.  Sooo here we are again.  Still with these darn 20 pounds.  And summer swimsuits looming in the distance.  Instead of this for lunch

the past few days I've been having this

Oh yeah, I'm doin the Special K Challenge.  I've been eating a Strawberry cereal bar for breakfast, a Strawberry Protien Meal bar for lunch and then another Strawberry cereal bar as an afternoon snack.  Then it's a 'sensible' dinner followed by...nothing.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to lose something because I'm STARVING. 

In the interest of keepin it reals - the cereal bars are pretty good.  I'd eat them as a regular snack.  But the protien bars, in spite of looking delicious, are kinda gross.  They have the chalky ickiness that all protien bars seem to have.  But, I'm only in it for 2 weeks, so I'm suckin it up.  (If someone's tried a non-chalky icky protein bar pleeeease let me know.) 

I've got 2 days under my belt (hehehe) and another 12 to go :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


This past weekend we hosted a Happy Retirement party for my in-laws.  They've both officially retired this year, and my Hubs and his siblings wanted to have a fun little get-together.  We bought a whole farm's worth of fried chicken and I made my not-yet-famous-but-totally-should-be Pizza Supreme Lasagna.  Hubs isn't a fan of Ricotta cheese but he is a huge fan of supreme pizza.  Luckily for him I am willing to sacrifice my love of Ricotta cheese so that he may know deliciousness.

Sorry, this is the best picture that I could get - this huge pan was pretty much devoured by the time I could elbow my way in with the camera. 

Pizza Supreme Lasagna

1/2 pound ground meat
1/2 pound hot sausage (either bulk or links with the casing removed)
1/4 pound pepperoni
1 green pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms, diced (I use button mushrooms for this recipe)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups mozarella cheese, grated
2 cups fiesta blend cheese, grated  (you could also use Colby Jack)
plain-jane traditional pasta sauce  (your own or store bought)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 box lasagna noodles

For Sauce:
  1. Start by browning the ground meat and sausage in a large stockpot over medium-high
  2. Once browned, reduce heat to medium-low add in the onions, green pepper, garlic pepperoni and mushrooms
  3. Cook for 20-30 minutes stirring every few minutes until nearly all liquid has evaporated
  4. Reduce heat to low and add pasta sauce, stirring well to incorporate
  5. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 2 hours
  6. Add sugar and stir well to incorporate
  7. Cook for an additional 30 minutes
This is right before I added the sauce to simmer - mmmm

You can make this sauce a day in advance and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the lasagna. 
To assemble lasagna
  1. Cook noodles according to the package directions and drain
  2. Mix the mozarella and fiesta cheese together
  3. Ladle a small amount of sauce into the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish
  4. Add layer of noodles
  5. Followed by a layer of sauce (just enough to cover)
  6. And topped with a layer of cheese (just enough to cover)
  7. Repeat with the remaining ingredients
  8. Bake, loosely covered with aluminum foil, at 450 degrees for 1 hour
  9. Remove foil and broil on low until the cheese is bubbly (3-5 minutes)  This broiled a little too long - I put it in and got busy with greeting everyone.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope your day was filled with all sorts of yummy love!

Aargh Matey!

Munchkin has recently become interested in Pirates.  Every once in awhile he breaks out with some pirate-speak and a hearty Aaaargh.  I'm pretty excited to work his budding interest into this week's activities. 
If yer be interested, here's what we bucaneers be up to this week, arrrgh!

Letter of the week: P
Creative, Crafty, Sensory fun:
  • P is for Pirate letter craft
  • Treasure hunting
  • Pirate's booty sensory tub
  • Pirate dress up (with pirate hats, patches and felt beards)
  • Canonball spooning activity
  • Walking the plank (balance activity from No Time for Flashcards)
  • Swabbing the decks (aka cleaning!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine Tree

I've been loving all of the different Valentine trees out in blogville this year and I wanted to get in on the fun.  But I was having a really hard time decided on which one to copy errr use as inspiration.  Then last week I had a brainstorm...or I was really too lazy to go out to buy craft supplies...could go either way.  In Munchkin's room this Christmas, I put a tiny red tinsel tree.  Just something fun to make his bedroom festive.  Hmmm, I want a Valentine tree...I have a red tinsel Christmas tree {pause} ding ding ding we have a winner.  All by itself it looked a little to Christmas-y. 

See, even in the Valentine pot, it wasn't givin the V Vibe.  So off I went (instead of cleaning the house for the party we're having this weekend) to find some stuff to help the little guy along.  And here's what I ended up with

I lurve it.  About an 1/8 yard of pink shimmer tulle and some felt heart ornaments and she's all ready for Valentines day.

What's that?  You love her so much that you'd like to make one of your own?  Well by all means - here's how I did it ;)

Cut strips of tulle 2 inches wide and in varying legths.  The ones at the top of the tree were about 3 inches long, the ones in the middle were about 5 inches long and the ones at the very bottom were about 6 1/2 inches.  I used about 4-5 stips on each 'row' as I made my way around the tree.  I tried to stagger them as I went.

To attach them to the tree, fold the strip in half lengthwise and twist in the middle a few times. 

This gives the hot glue something to adhere to (other than your fingers).  Apply a dab of hot glue and press into the center of the tree

I'm not gonna lie to you - this took me about 90 minutes of cutting and gluing.  But I really like the fullness (and the pink) that the tulle adds. 

Now onto the felt ornaments....

These I cut free hand because they're hearts.  I swear there is no simpler shape to free hand cut.  Start with cutting a little heart out of felt.  To cut the larger heart, layer the smaller heart on top of another piece of felt

Using the small heart as a guide, cut the second heart a bit bigger.

You could just glue the two hearts together with a piece of string/floss/ribbon and call it a day, but I wanted to embellish mine with a simple running stitch around the small heart.

To assemble, cut a piece of string/embroidery floss/ribbon to the desired length.  Apply a dab of hot glue to the center(ish) of the larger heart.  Press the ends of the hanger into the hot glue (and scortch the skin off your fingers). 

Then dab a small amount of glue on top of the ends and smoosh the smaller heart on top

And there you have it.  Adorable little felt heart ornaments on my Happy Valentine tree :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

My mom brought a bag of Reese's minis over last week.  Technically they were for Munchkin as he's been doing so good with the potty.  I made an executive decision to use them in yummy pretzel bites.   

They are delicious.  They are amazing.  I love them.  It's the perfect little balance of chocolate and peanut butter and pretzel.  I'm not so much a fan of the Hershey Kiss pretzel bites - too much chocolate, not enough pretzel for my liking.  But these.  These are perfect. 

The recipe for these bites is all over blogland but here's the rundown:
  1. Line up a bunch (technical term) of butter snap pretzels on a parchment/wax paper lined cookie sheet
  2. Top with chocolate of choice
  3. Bake in a 170 degree oven for 4.5 minutes (6 minutes if you're doing Hershey Kisses, 7-8 minutes if you're doing chocolate chips)
  4. Immediately top with M&M
  5. Pop in the freezer until set
I had no idea about these minis.  Apparently I live under a rock.  Or I'm not as big a chocoholic as my mother.  Could really go either way ;)

Here's what the bag looked like in case you too a) live under a Rock and b) like yumminess in chocolate-peanut butter form

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Molten Chocolate Love

This is my hands-down favorite chocolate dessert.  It takes less than 10 minutes to throw together, I always have the ingredients on hand and the results are heavenly.  It's kinda like a flourless cake...but with flour  (hahahaha) but it does have a luscious molten chocolate core.  I prefer to let my pot o chocolate love cool for awhile to let that molten goodness solidify into a lovely ganache consistency.  That and I like the roof of my mouth - molten chocolate + me = 2nd degree burns.  One cannot fully enjoy their chocoliciousness if they have burned off the lining in their mouth. 

Molten Chocolate Pots

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 stick butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablesppons flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
additional butter - for ramekins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and butter four 2/3 cup ramekins
  2. Add chocolate chips and butter to a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate chips are melted.  Let cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour
  4. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla to flour mixture and mix until blended
  5. Divide batter evenly between ramekins and put ramekins on a baking sheet
  6. Bake until tops are shiny and cracked, about 20 minutes


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