Menu for week of 6/29 - 7/5

This will be a short week as we're leaving for San Diego Thursday morning. Still hot as all get out so the menu will be fairly light.

Tacos with all the fixings

Salad with grilled chicken & choice of dressing

Pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, cole slaw

Grilled hot dogs, corn on the cob

Anything good cooking at your house?

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Safe Sunday & Quotable Sunday memes

Today I am going to be doing two meme's and since the Quotables will be about children I figured I'd put them together since my SS is also in quotes this week. After adding your link for Quotable Sunday, please scroll down and participate in Safe Sunday (speaking out about child abuse) if you have anything to share there.

Quotable Sunday- Head on over to A Daily Dose of Toni to play along.

It takes a village to raise a child.
African Proverb

It is very difficult and expensive to undo after you are married the things that your mother and father did to you while you were putting your first six birthdays behind you.
1928 Study

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
Franklin Jones

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted.
Garrison Keillor

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.
Hodding Carter

To value his own good opinion, a child has to feel that he is a worthwhile person. He has to have confidence in himself as an individual.
Sidonie Gruenberg

Safe Sunday (speaking out against Child Abuse)

Child Abuse casts a shadow that lasts a lifetime.
Herbert Ward

Child abuse does not go away, but 90% of child abuse is preventable.
Karen Adams

Child abuse happens all year long. Abuse doesn't take a holiday, doesn't take a day off, and we can't either.
Jane Donovan

It's important to talk about it. You raise awareness. But you can also prevent it (child abuse) by not letting it be a secret.
Chris Witty

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I'm not a figment of my (or your) imagination.

You may have noticed (and some of you emailed and let me know) there is a decided lack of pics of me. It's not just on the blog, that's my life. I detest having my pic taken because, well, if I thought I looked as bad in the mirror as I do in pics I'd be under the knife all the time.

Honestly I do consider myself cute, just not photogenic. My friend Trina made it all fancy for me.

Today, however, for the first time in the blogosphere I'm going to let y'all see that I am a living, breathing human being, closing in on 50 fast.

To what do we owe such an honor? Well, I'm not one to brag *cough cough choke choke* but I am going to be a weekly contributor for Pink Lemonade. Yes, that's right, bouncing bread and blown up oven aside, I'll be writing about anything to do with the kitchen and cooking and such. What can I say I didn't show those posts, just my pretty bento.

Anyhoo they wanted a pic of me, so natch the little diva's (and mostly me) thought I should ham it up. I always feel like such a dork in front of a camera, might as well act like one, right?

I'm super-excited and I hope you'll check it out, the first piece will run when we get back from San Diego on July 6th.
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Four Foods on Friday meme 81

I had so much fun with the WW meme when I ran across this one at Fun, Crafts & Recipes I had to play along.

Here are this week’s four questions.

#1. Clair’s question. What’s the biggest kitchen blunder you’ve made? When we got a new oven after the mini-diva's fiasco I didn't read the instructions and realize there was a second step so while I assumed the oven was on it really wasn't and when I went to check on dinner (a slow oven-roasted brisket) it was still raw. Naturally we had invited guests.

#2. What’s your favorite snow day beverage? Dawn's super-yummy, super special hot chocolate, served with a candy cane so it gets the slightest hint of peppermint.

#3. What’s your favorite way to eat celery? With cream cheese and sliced pimento stuffed green olives

#4. What’s the most most unappealing looking food you can think of? Guacamole- I love the taste but it took me a long time to get past the teething baby diaper look of it.

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Great sites :) is this great site where people share their stories about good things that, well, give them hope. A couple of the really good ones:

"I work in a bank - a place where good news is hard to come by recently: Today I spoke with a gentleman who told me he needed to know how much money he had. When I asked if he had a large purchase coming up, he said yes. "I'm buying clothes for the man who asks me for a quarter every day on my way to school," he replies. This gentleman was 12. GMH"

"When I was at the store, a family couldn't afford all of the groceries they were going to buy. As they were putting the ones they could afford in their cart (which wasn't that much) the lady behind them said "I will pay for them." The family thanked her repeatedly. This happened 5 years ago and I still smile when I think about it. GMH."

"I was at the store and I saw a really attractive guy in his twenties in a wheelchair. Just as I was thinking how terrible it was that someone so attractive had to lead such a different life and depend on others...he held the door open for me."

You really need to check it out. It's very happymaking.

Another good site is People put Post-Its on mirrors and such with messages like "You're beautiful" or "You are perfect just the way you are." It's very good because people are far too hard on themselves and their bodies.

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Wordless/Mostly Wordless Wednesday- missing Auntie's Birthday

Since Ian missed Auntie's Birthday we had to make it up to him with a little cake we bought- barely big enough to hold all the candles.

I decided to play along with *almost* Wordless Wednesday. The pics really do tell the story.

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Step 2 Water Rush Quarry Review

I won a Step 2 Water Rush Quarry sand and water table for Ian from Life Starring the Kids & Me.
It totally ROCKS!
We've not had a chance to get sand yet- or even take it outside- yeah, it's in the living room/den with all his other crap like the horse and trampoline.
He's already having a blast with it.
Pitched a fit when his mama had to take him to visit his daddy and other grandparents.
I'll be honest with you, I've been pretty loyal to Little Tykes since my kids were little- those are some toys that can take a beating.

I have to say that from what I have seen so far, so can Step 2.
I'm pretty sure they never intended for an oversized 2 1/2 year old to get in the darn thing, but not even a little dent, and Ian is... well, to be kind I'll say rough on toys.
You can see he's having a blast- and gets the most intense look of concentration when he's operating the crane.
His fave thing to do- send his matchboxes and trains through the tunnel and down the slide.
And while this is intended for children, I will admit the rest of us have played with it as well- we set the dumptruck that comes with it at the end of the pit near the slide and prop the slide up a bit and try to land in it. ;-)

I can only imagine it will be more fun with sand and water.
We LOVE LOVE LOVE that it breaks down super easily and the pieces fit inside and the red part makes a nice little cover for the rest of it- you can leave it out and not worry about the neighbors' cats making a giant litterbox out of it.
One thing that we've noticed- the drain does not stay shut- this may be because it is empty- not sure about that part, will update when we know if it will stay closed when there is some weight from water or sand or whatever on it.
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Yummy baked ham

Blondie's BF is on a very limited diet and has to cook everything himself so he doesn't accidentally ingest something that would make him extremely ill- he's dairy free, gluten free, a few other things. He's also very bored with his repertoire, so Miss Picky told him about my ham and it has nothing he can't eat in it. (It's one of her fave things I make.) This is an exact copy of the recipe I sent him- so yes, I really am like this in real life, I don't put on airs especially for y'all.

Yummy Baked Ham

1 Ham (already cooked)
1 can pineapple slices, save juice
Brown sugar- ¼ to ½ cup
Squirt of mustard
Maraschino cherries

Bake ham for 15 min lb @ 325 degrees

30 minutes before it’s done, take it out and score* (if it is the fatty/skin on kind cut that off)

*score means cut crisscrosses not too deep all the way across top and sides of ham

Lay pineapple slices all over it. Put a cherry in the middle of each slice- if they fall off- oops, it happens, shove some more on- the more the merrier. ;-)

Mix the pineapple juice with the brown sugar (this is to taste I could be WAY off on amts- just do a handful, put in a squirt of mustard- I HATE yellow and use Gulden’s spicy brown- if you can’t eat that either dried mustard or some cider vinegar or something to give it a little tang)

Put back in the oven for 15 minutes, baste then put back in til time is up.

Let it set 10 or 15 minutes to distribute juices, then gobble it up.

Tastes so good you wanna slap someone’s mama- DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES SLAP CASEY’S MAMA unless you want to buy her the Silver Jeep Wrangler Rubicon or you will never ever ever be forgiven.

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Finnish Oven Pancake

Preheat oven to 400

4 cups milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
4 Tbsp melted butter

Beat eggs

Add milk, sugar, salt, vanilla and flour, mix well

Add melted butter and mix until blended, this will be a thin batter.

Pour into greased 9X13 pan, bake 40 mins until custard is set and the top is lightly browned

Serve hot with syrup, powdered sugar or our favorite way with lightly macerated berries and whipped cream.

Delicious, easy and a great crowd pleaser.

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Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

If you want the taste of the deli chickens you can buy but not the expense this is a very easy way to do it without heating up your kitchen too much.

1 whole chicken
Your fave seasonings- lemon pepper, seasoned salt, barbecue blend, etc all work well.

Crumble up several balls of aluminum foil loosely, about 4-6 and place in bottom of slow cooker.

Wash and pat dry chicken then rub with the olive oil- you can use the spray if you prefer.

Sprinkle all over with your seasoning of choice then place breast side up in the slow cooker on the foil balls.

Cover and turn on high for 4 hours- we've found this is more than enough time even for the larger chickens.

It is fine as it is and if you are using the meat for recipes.

If however you want the skin browned and crispy carefully remove chicken onto a pan that can go under the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes or until desired doneness is reached.

This works every time and makes moist, delicious meat that is perfect for salads, casseroles, etc.

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Trampolines- fun for more than jumping.



Trampolines- they're good for more than just jumping- it's into the brig with you, matey!

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Menu for week of 6/22 - 6/28

Although we usually do pretty well with fresh, in season produce you'll notice that winter squash was what was on sale in our area this week so a couple of meals with those are on the menu.

Breakfast for dinner- bacon or ham, egg, cheese and tomato on English Muffins, cantaloupe

Pork schnitzel, roasted potatoes, baby carrots, tossed salad

Pasta with broccoli and a little bit of Parmesan cheese, marinated cucumber and tomatoes

Stuffed acorn squash, tossed salad w/choice of dressing

Homemade pizza, 1 cheese, 1 white with spinach, lettuce and tomato salad

Cheddar and mashed potato frosted meatloaf, green beans, tossed salad

Roasted butternut squash soup, mozzarella, tomato and basil paninis

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New meme- Safe Sunday- Please Join!

I am swiping a post from a blog my friend Trina did and I'll put it in at the end here.

In case you don't know, Trina was a victim of child abuse and is in the process of breaking the cycle, not just for herself but for the 4 children (3 nieces and 1 nephew) she is adopting.

Abuse is not always physical, but it always does damage and it always leaves scars, whether we can see them or not.

Her sister was not able to break the cycle but with her husband and children, my brave, strong (yes, honey, you are very strong) friend is doing just that, for all of them.

It is not always an easy road, but it is worthwhile. Sometimes she has felt like it is too hard, sometimes that life isn't fair, but now she knows that she's on the path she is to give her family something they might not have known- hope for a better tomorrow.

Anyways, since I am a Mr. Linky member I told her I'd make a thingy for her. Go and grab it, write your post, link here and add your own.

Pass it on to whoever you can- we've all seen what bloggers can do- let's spread the word and let it be known that we won't sit back quietly, silently and let abuse victims feel shame or like they are at fault any longer. Give them hope, strength, courage, whatever you can.

Share your stories or hotline numbers or even statistics so they know they are not alone.

Thanks, everyone.

Okay- in Trina's own words:

Safe Sunday . Please everyone read

It’s time for all of us to start standing up against child abuse. Every Sunday I will make a blog called “Safe Sunday” the blog will be stories or stats on child abuse. I am asking all of my friends to do the same and ask their friends to also do the same. So many people turn their head and close their eyes when it comes to child abuse. It’s time to open our eyes and see these stats are not going to get better until we all take action. Everyday children should be safe we can atleast take one day a week to speak out against child abuse.

Children use the internet everyday and many use blogs it takes one child to read our Safe Sunday blogs and reach out for help. We can save our children one child at a time. Let's blog our way into a safer more healthy future for our children.

We all have time to get on the internet we can make time to post on Safe Sunday's and help our children of the future, no child should ever be abused or neglect. The post could be a short post with a hotline number or a website for them to get help, it could be a story of abuse or even your own story. You could even post the same post every Sunday as long as we are posting we CAN change the future.


If you are being abused or neglected please visit

Please add the url to your Safe Sunday post, not your homepage, then leave a message so we can come visit and support each other.

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Menu for week of 6/15 - 6/21

Once again I am going to try to stick to a (loose) menu.  I'm listing the meals we'll be eating but not the days we'll be having them.

Spaghetti & meat sauce, salad, Hawaiian sweet rolls (storebought, not the incredible bouncing bread we made).

Chef salad with l/o ham, shredded cheese and hard boiled egg slices & choice of dressing

Tex-Mex casserole, salad

Breakfast for dinner- Finnish oven pancake, berries, whipped cream

BLT's, milkshakes

Veggie stir fry, brown rice

Baked pork chops, acorn squash, faux Caesar salad (no anchovies or eggs) 
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Being Lovely is the Best- a couple more awards.

I'm thrilled to announce that we have garnered a couple more awards from Mar Matthias Darin at The Matthias Chronicles.

Now for these rules for these beautiful awards:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
These are in no particular order. (Save these images to your comp to add them to your blog.)
I know I'm not great playing by the awards rules so this time I am (mostly) and I am giving them to people I haven't passed any onto yet (that I remember... I have that old timers you know).
1) Hanging With Mrs. Cooper
2) nobody-but-yourself
3) Eighty MPH Mom
4) Nanny Goats In Panties
5) Blah Blah Blog
6) Buried With Children
7) The More, The Messier
8) Just A Little Something Something From Me
9) Monkey's Momma
10) Texas Word Tangle
11) Ronda's Rants
12) Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder
13) John Deere Mom
14) Mama's Losin' It
15) Proud Mommy of Four
A bit of a cheat- I'm also giving this to Trina at 6 Daily Blessings.
These are some great blogs if you haven't checked them out yet, you're missing out.
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Big changes coming & add your giveaways here.

I've been messing around with the blog some - and I'm especially fond of the wicked cool collage puzzle I made- and you can expect even more upgrades soon.

Plus, since I've not been as diligent as I might have with this blog, I've added a Mr. Linky that I will keep up permanently HERE for y'all to add your contests and giveaways. I'm also enlisting the little divas' help to keep it current.

I've been so lucky with the wins, especially from fellow bloggers that I want to support everyone who hosts them and for now this is the best way I can since as previously mentioned, I can't or don't always blog daily.

And for those of you who just like to enter, bookmark this page and keep coming back so you can win the latest and greatest prizes!!!!! Then be sure to come back and tell me about them, I love hearing about others' wins almost as much as winning myself.
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Hey mom, is bread supposed to bounce?

We were going to have this super-amazing blog post for y’all about the fantabulous new recipe we found for Hawaiian Sweet Bread.
We absolutely LOVE Hawaiian Sweet rolls, bread, and now the new kinds they have for making sandwiches. What’s not to like, right? Well, they are kinda pricey, but other than that, perfection.
We thought SCORE! when Kyra found the recipe – reading it, it looked simple enough, especially with one of my great loves, my Kitchen Aid Pro to do the mixing and kneading for me.
First off, it took for-freakin’-evah to rise and even then not so much even though the yeast proofed fine.
The consistency seemed- off a bit- nothing I could quite put my finger on, just not the way my usual bread and rolls look, which I thought- well, maybe the potato flakes or something.
Anyhoo, it was not enough to make me say well needs this or that or whatever, and it did form into the- well not loaves as you put them into round baking pans.
They raised a bit more, even sitting in a warm (inside the turned off oven so no stray draft of a breeze from you know, us walking by or breathing on it would keep it from rising) :P for double the time but still PFFT! not doubled.
So, they rose a bit more in the oven when they baked, but… the outsides got brown way faster than the insides cooked. Yeah, so doughy, no big, just make sure they don’t brown too too much (the directions said you can put foil over if needed to prevent) and cook them a bit more.
They get done and a couple of the girls tasted (you can tell when something is… interesting, we… and yes, I’m awful, but I know they got this from me) passed it to the next and so on.
Why on earth do we do that, I wonder. Ewww taste this, it’s nasty! Uhh, no thanks. But I do it to the poor put-upon kiddos anyways.
Anyhow, verdict is flavor is pretty good (NOT like the packaged Hawaiian Sweet Bread that we buy, but good nonetheless) but it was DENSE. REALLY REALLY DENSE. You would have felt a lead ball in your belly if you actually ate as much as we do with the rolls or bread.
So, I go into the kitchen and see this bread sitting there, 3 round loaves with only a tiny sliver gone and 7 of us here, and 5 dogs that eat people food.
Not exactly a keeper.
Anyhoo I pick up the plate and dump the loaf into the trash can (which had just been emptied out) and it bounced up over the rim before falling back in.
We were all, including Dan, standing around the island and just looking at it, with dumbfounded looks of wonder and extreme puzzlement on our faces.
The mini diva picks up the next plate and dumps it in and it bounces, but not nearly as high, nor did it make such a wondrous thud.
Slightly disappointed, she turns to face me and says it’s not nearly as fun when they bounce off each other.
Verdict- NOT A KEEPER!, however, the cost of the ingredients and time and effort were worth it for that first glorious bounce.
Anyone have a *GOOD* recipe for Hawaiian Sweet Bread? (We love love love King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread and Rolls, if that helps tell you our preference.)
Have y’all had anything come out… not quite how you expected but something about it made it worthwhile anyways?
*Disclaimer- the blonde (yes, the one in this post who blows up ovens and catches microwaves on fire) had NO part in this kitchen disaster other than having the less exciting bounce.

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WOOHOO Dan's here!!! Guess what he did first.

Dan's here, and the first thing they did on the way home from the airport? You guessed it, stopped at Wal-Mart. Yeah, I know, but we live in Arkansas, what do you expect. ;-)

The toy section. They are having target practice now, they all got Nerf guns, including Ian.

I am going to kick all their butts, though, cuz I have the 2 super-soakers I won.

See y'all soon, enjoy!!!
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The excitement level is off the charts around here today.

Dan is coming, flying in from Hong Kong. For anyone who doesn't know, Dan is Dawn's boyfriend, they met online about a gazillion years ago playing EQ (Everquest).

Dan's dad is from Austria, his mom is from Hong Kong and he was going to school in England. They keep houses/apartments in both Hong Kong and Austria and get around.

Dawn went to Austria a few years ago and Hong Kong last year, but somehow things never quite worked out for Dan to be able to come here. Finally! he's on his way and his plane will land in about 8 hours. He's been flying since early yesterday morning.

We are all excited to finally get to meet him in person- although we've all talked to him via Skype and IM's. Ian especially - they *game* together, with Dawn's help, of course.

Apparently Dan is already spoiling his godson and picking up this and that and has plans for things that were just too big for the luggage. He made sure there was a Toys R Us close enough to drive to. ;-) He and Dawn are definitely doing their part to make sure Ian is a little gamer.

Cross your fingers for us that Dan does okay with the dogs- he's just never really been around any, so we are really hoping he's not allergic or anything.

Off to be a goombah with the girlies while we wait til it's time to go pick Dan up from the airport. Have an awesome day, everyone!!!
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How to outlast them- wearing kids out.

Finally getting around to some vacation pics. Not as many as their could have been, but considering it is me we're doing great to have any. Mom lives in New Hampshire, which is just a hop, skip and jump to almost anywhere on the East coast.

Oh, before we get to the nitty gritty I just have to know... how many of you have a most excellent, hasn't steered you wrong yet gps and are sure you know better than it does how to get somewhere you have never driven before? Not once, but twice??? Love you mommy!!! Funniest thing about that- mama has no sense of direction, has never had a sense of direction, knows this about herself and absolutely panics when she gets lost. But still, she KNEW BETTER! Ha! Lucky for us the GPS just said recalculating and got her headed back in the right direction.
This is Asialea kissing Hampton Goodbye. Notice the mani- we did the hair and wax thing at the spa one day and one of the lovely people who worked there gave Asia a manicure while they cut mine and mama's hair.

There should be a gigantic gap here because we went and saw one of my cousins and his mom near Albany that I hadn't seen in way more years than I like to count and his family- his wife and girls are absolute dolls and I could kick myself for not getting pics.
Aside from seeing everyone the best part was the Harley ride.
Dumbest thing I did... we're zipping along and in my usual bright wisdom I blurt out... geez it looks just like upstate NY. Yes, I am that freaking dumb sometimes. Naturally I meant it looks like I remember (I was born near there) but that's not how it came out.
Looooooooooong arse trip to my sisters house. She lives near the Jersey shore. This little park is a short walk from her house. I think she lives in Brick but not 100%... I do know she lives on Tamiami Rd- y'all can go hunt her down and give her a kiss from her fave sis. Yes, I know I'm her only sis.
I met her husband and saw her kids whom I hadn't seen in longer than forever, all of them were very sweet (not like the sister I remember at all) JUST KIDDING, T! I love you.
We had a really good time, and dude, it's near the ocean! Feels like home.
Cassidy and Asialea are great friends, you should see how adorably they play together. Asia took over the camera for a while, but here's the only pic I can put up here. All of the rest are of boobs, butts and bellies. This is one of T's kitties... I don't know how many she even has, but this one almost held still long enough for Asia to snap.
Anyhoo to wear the kids out take them to the mall and let them go on the Merry-Go-Round. And round. And round.
Go to the kids clothing stores and swipe swipe swipe (left that up to Grandma Tracy) then head on over to Build-A-Bear.
Let Cass, Kimmy and Asia take for-freaking-evah to pick out just the right animal and accessories.
How cute is she making her wishes to put inside? It is truly one of those instants that will forever be etched in my brain.
Cass had to have her turn too. It was so sweet. Kimmy (Cassidy's mommy) made one as well but those pics didn't come out here- sorry, honey. Go to umm where the heck did we go to eat- some chain place that is famous for their burgers, I think. Oh- I am pretty sure it was Ruby Tuesday's. I had pasta, it was pretty good.
Let Mama take the kids back to the Merry-Go-Round and play area while we do a bit more shopping - Naturally Asia has to be on the upper level so I (yes, me, who doesn't know how to do the zoom thingy on my not cheap camera) don't get a great pic of her.
That, folks, is how you wear out the kids. Let them play and run (a LOT) and buy them stuff that they get uber excited about... so hyper that they have to (eventually) crash and burn. 5 minutes out of the parking lot they were deep in dreamland with their new furry friends.
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Another toddler friendly bento

Kyra made Ian another bento, very colorful and Ian loved it.

Top tier has vanilla yogurt and some nice fresh strawberries

The bottom tier has baby spinach, cut up cheese, grape tomatoes and thin sliced pepperoni.

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Ian's Bento (toddler friendly)

Ian loved his aunties bento lunches so we made him a very simple, very toddler friendly one. The two tiered bento box works out very well for him.

Bottom tier is some cubed colby jack cheese and hot dogs made into some octo/squid type things - we need a little more practice with these, but he really enjoyed them.

Top tier is snow peas- we like to get the steam fresh ones when they are on sale for a dollar and let them defrost and eat as is.

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Lemon Meringue Pie with a Twist

This is my (Kyra's) lemon-lime meringue pie! Is delish ^_^ I used a base recipe from my old and worn Betty Crocker book, with some alterations.
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstartch
1/2 cup cold water
4 large egg whites
1/8 tsp salt

3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup and 1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp blended lemon lime zest, to taste
1/2+ cup lemon-lime juice

How much lemon to lime you do depends on your personal preference, I did three lemons, two limes, and one lime for garnish. I also was heavy on both zest and juice because I like it VERY tart. This is the only pie I want to actually make me pucker, and its wonderful! Also, for anyone who doesn't know, nuke your lemon/lime for about 15 seconds, roll it on the cutting board, zest then juice for the most juice, and if you can, ALWAYS use fresh juice it just tastes so much better!

Have a pie crust of choice ready, preheat oven to 350 and begin with the meringue. Mix the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan, stir in water and cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it thickens and boils. Continue boiling and stirring for one minute then set it aside off the heat and move on to the filling for now.

Beat egg yolks with a fork in a small bowl and set aside. Mix sugar and cornstarch for filling in a 2-quart pan and gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and boils, then continue stirring and boiling for one minute. Look familiar? Stir at least half of this mixture into the eggs then stir it back into the pot. Boil and stir for a minute, then remove from heat. Stir in butter, zest, and juice. Press on plastic wrap so it doesn't make a scum.

Back to meringue. Beat egg whites and salt in a large bowl on high, or if your lucky like my Mama use your Kitchenaid mixer, because it's awesome. Beat it on high until soft peaks JUST start to form and gradually beat in the sugar cornstarch mix until it makes stiff peaks.

Spoon meringue filling into pie crust, top with meringue making sure to seal the edges so it doesn't pull. Back for 15 minutes, until merginue lightly browns. Set to cool for two hours out of moisture and draft, then cover and put it in the fridge.

Once its cool, slice and enjoy!

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Yummy goodness in my kitchen lately

We've been spending quite a bit of time in the kitchen lately- partly because Ian and Kyra have been staying with us and partly because I actually missed making and eating *real* food while I was on vacation.

 Kyra is making a pie right now- taking a standard recipe and mixing it up, as we are wont to do. We'll take pics of course and post the recipe if it is any good.


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Last bento for the school year, vegetarian.

The last bento we made for the school year is vegetarian- Dev is doing Meatless Mondays and Thursdays, and I had not been home from vacation long so we made do with what we had. It was delicous and several of her friends wanted to share- she usually takes between 4 and 6 pairs of chopsticks when we send her with bento as they *fight* over the special lunches.

Plenty of baby spinach (her favorite) cheese stars - mozzarella and colby and apple flowers on skewers, craisins, cucumber spears and kiwi slices, oyster crackers, pretzel sticks and multigrain wheat thins

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Oatmeal Lace Cookies - recipe and review.

We were out of Craisins today so we tried out a new Oatmeal Cookie- naturally we changed it up enough to make it our own. ;-) I made these with Devon and Ian- that's her giving them a taste since she did most of the work. Definitely a keeper. They are light, crispy and delicious.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats (can use quick cooking)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla.
Stir in soda, salt and flour. Add in oats.
Drop dough by scant teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets about 4" apart. (They spread. A lot.) Instead of grease you could use parchment or waxed paper.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit a couple of minutes then put on cooling racks (or watch everyone come in from the awesome smell and gobble them up before you can even get them cooled).
Store in airtight container or Ziploc bags.
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2 Tier Bento

The pics are not great, but here's a *super yummy* bento I made for Devon with the box we won for our lunch picture.

Bottom Tier- Baby spinach, leftover chicken breast and cheese cubes.

Top Tier- Orange, peeled and in segments and quartered strawberries.

Dev said it was super yummy and just the right size.  These types of meals are perfect for those hot summer days.

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