Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Birthday, 4 Things & This Week's Cake Recipe!

Happy Birthday to my Mom! "Ba Ba" as Allison calls her celebrates her 72nd birthday today!

I was clearing out some old emails and found this one that my friend, Nancy sent to me a while ago. I saved it with the intentions of responding but never did. So here's my 4 Things now.

Four Things about me you may not have known.....

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Restaurant Accountant
2. Restaurant Manager
3. Bank Teller
4. Waitress

Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Gone with the Wind
2. Steel Magnolias
3. Pretty Woman
4. The Mirror has Two Faces

Four places that I've lived:
1. Butler, Pennsylvania
2. Boardman, Ohio
3. Ohioville, Pennsylvania
4. McLean, Virginia

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Desperate Housewives
3. Law and Order: SVU
4. Ugly Betty

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. San Francisco, California
2. Orlando, Florida
3. Ocean City, Maryland
4. New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Four of your favorite foods:
1. Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
2. Steak Salads (Pittsburgh style)
3. Potatoes
4. Tiramisu

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In bed sleeping-I am sick
2. South Carolina with my friend, Sandy whose going through a tough time right now
3. On a beach somewhere with my family
4. In a mountain cabin in front of a roaring fire with my family

This week for our church's Fish Fry, I made Pistachio Pudding Cake. I wish I could cut it open to show you what it looks like inside. It is a bright pistachio green. Curtis's Mom and brother, Bill love this cake. It is the cake that I take to Curtis' parents's house every Easter. It has become an Easter tradition. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Pistachio Pudding Cake


1 package yellow cake mix

1 package Jello pistachio pudding

1 1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon almond flavoring

4 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

7 drops of green food color


~Grease and flour bundt pan. I use Pam for Baking spray.

~Mix ingredients in order listed.

~Pour into bundt pan.

~Bake for 50-55 minutes in 350 degree oven.

~Drizzle with confectioner's sugar glaze (powdered sugar & a little milk)

~Decorate. I sprinkled green sugar crystals on this one but an Easter sprinkle mix or Spring sprinkle mix would be great too.

Have Fun!

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age."

~Lucille Ball
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Eeeeeewwwww & Grooooooossss!!!!!

I'm back to share with you what Allison said when she saw my last post. After I publish my posts I always go back and read them in their true form to make sure it reads okay. Well, Allison saw it and immediately said "Eeeeeewwwwwww & grooooossss" when she saw the turkey. He he! I clicked on the picture and enlarged it and she put her hand up to block the screen (similiar to what I do to the television if they are showing something I can't stomach) and repeated those words. She is SO my daughter!

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A Turkey and a Fortune!

I'm stopping by to post a little something this morning while I wait to wake Allison up for school. I might be back tonight with another post. I'm not sure. We'll see.

My first thought that I wanted to share is turkey. Since my sister was here over the weekend, I decided to make a traditional turkey dinner. Truth be told is that it was taking up too much room in my freezer and I wanted the space. I also wanted to "suck & seal" (click on the link to see what I'm talking about) the turkey in portions and freeze it for turkey soup and turkey pot pie. So this was the perfect time to cook my 19 pound bird. I had so much turkey that I sent a big pan of it with her to my parent's house (she was going there next.) Anyway, I had been doing a lot of reading on how if you cook the turkey upside or breast down in the roaster that the white meat will be juicier. Of course, I would have to test that theory. So, here is the before picture of my upside down turkey. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it when it was done. I guess I was just too excited to see if the method worked. I would have say that I agree that it is moister. In fact, if I do say so myself, the turkey was delish! YUM! However, there is a couple of things that I want to caution you about if you try this method. First, that little pop-up thing they put in the bird that is supposed to pop up when it is done will be upside down so you can't rely on it. Once I took the turkey out from the roaster, I found that mine didn't even pop up. I found this turkey cooking calculator online from Butterball. It will calculate how long you should cook your turkey. Second, be sure you cook your turkey to at least an internal temperature of 180 degrees. I suggest using a food thermometer. They are inexpensive and you can pick them up at any kitchen or restaurant supply store. You will want to test the turkey in the thickest part of the breast and the innermost part of the thigh and wing.

My second thought is that my 5 1/2 daughter, Allison is amazing. I know, I know, we all think our child is amazing and we all are right. Last night Curtis, Allison and I went out for Chinese food and at the end of our meal, we always do the fortune cookies. We usually make up fortunes but we found that we really can't do that anymore. I said mine said that "Allison is Mommy's little girl" since Curtis and I always battle on whose little girl she is. Allison immediately said "No, it doesn't! Let me see it! My name isn't anywhere on there!" LOL! Too funny! She then opened hers and tried to sound out the words. They are just learning to read but she is so good at sounding out everything...from the cans in the pantry to the street signs she sees while we are driving. She will even debate on how a word is pronounced if it doesn't follow what she has learned in school. They say that English is the hardest language to learn because there are so many exceptions to the rules. I am seeing this through Allison. Anyway, here is her fortune and she was able to sound out all the words except "wealth" and "are." I was amazed that she got the word "friends" but she blended it beautifully. That's my girl! The sad thing is that Curtis and I will not be able to spell things to each other for much longer. She is just too good and so eager to learn everything new. By the way, how about her fortune? I love it! It is what I believe and my friends are so important to me! Hey, maybe I see a blog entry of "my friends" in the future. I'll have to give that some thought!

Gotta go wake the amazing one!

Have Fun!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
~Dr. Seuss

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

An Afternoon at the Ballet!

My sister, Alesia, treated Allison and I to an afternoon at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts to see the ballet, Peter Pan. It was AWESOME! Allison sat in her seat the whole time and loved every minute of it. I was a little worried that there was no speaking but I don't even think she noticed. Her favorite part was the crocodile. He was adorable! He did a little dance and then at the end, him and Captain Hook danced together. Allison giggled and giggled. It was definitely a good day. One thing did surprise me today though. While it was the first Act, Allison jumped up on her knees in the seat and spun around and said something to the people behind us. I immediately asked her what she said and she said "Those people behind me were kicking my seat and I told them not to." Oh my, such boldness and independence! I had to laugh a little to myself. I always correct her when we are out in a restaurant or wherever and she starts kicking her feet. I tell her it's bad manners and it's inconsiderate of the others around her. I guess that must of sunk in to her little brain and decided to share a lesson with those patrons behind us. LOL!

Here are a few more pictures. One of Allison and Alesia outside the Benedum. The next one is of Allison in from of this really cool balloon sculpture of Captain Hook (her favorite). They had all the characters. It was really quite cool.

After the ballet, we went over to Station Square and had dinner at Houlihan's. I LOVE that place! I always get the same thing but it is so scrumptious that I am afraid to get anything else. It's the Mandarin Grilled Chicken Salad. The description taken from their website is: Our classic grilled chicken salad with snow peas, red onions, red bell peppers, wonton strips, oven toasted white and black sesame seeds, peanuts, mandarin oranges in a tangy-sweet peanut dressing. It is YUMMY and I highly recommend it if you ever go there. I also got a bowl of their baked potato soup but in all honesty I wasn't as good as it used to be. It seems as if they have changed the recipe. I guess I can cross that off my list of "must haves" when I go there.

One more picture before I leave. This is of Allison on the train at Station Square. Isn't she adorable. I stood there watching her and thinking back to the first time she rode the train at our mall. The man had to stop it after one time around because she started to cry. She has gotten so big and not afraid of anything. Have Fun!

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land!” ~Peter Pan

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Not a Snow Day but a Sick Day!

My baby woke up this morning with the cough she's been fighting all week. Except today it sounded worse so I thought I would make an appointment. Usually I take her in and it's just a cold and her lungs are clear but not today. She has a bacterial infection. Her lungs are clear but she has a lot of drainage in her throat. She has a cold and she has fluid in her left ear although you wouldn't know it. Her spirits are good. Our pediatrician was surprised she wasn't complaining about her ear. He said there was a lot of puss in there. He prescribed amoxicillin for 10 days and she is not too happy about it. She says it tastes yucky and is not taking it. Ya, right! She's not used to taking medicines. She isn't sick all that often. Even our pediatrician commented that it's been a long time since he has prescribed medicine for her. Actually the last time was when she was under a year old so it's been over 4 1/2 years. We have been VERY lucky and VERY blessed to have a healthy child.

LOL!! She just came over to me while I was typing this and said that she got a paper cut on her foot from her magazine that she left on the floor. She put her foot up on me and I said "Oh my" and she looked down, saw the blood and then looked up at my face and said "I can't bare to look!" LOL! A little dramatic, don't you think? Too funny!

Well, she's all fixed up and resting on the couch so I better go throw a load of laundry in and cut my coupons from this past Sunday that I haven't cut yet. There's never enough time to do all the things that I want. After this week, I am ready to go back to work. Allison and I are just too much alike and get on each other's nerves after being together all week. However, in all honesty I wouldn't leave her to go to work while she needed me. There isn't any other place that I would want to be...even if she drives me crazy at times and knows how to push my buttons.

Have Fun!

"There is possibly no guilt in this world to compare with leaving a sick child with a babysitter. The sitter could be Mother Theresa and you would still feel rotten. There is something about having your child throw up without you that is difficult to live with."

Erma Bombeck
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A School Closing, A Recipe & A WOW!

Allison's school had a 2 hour delay on Thursday. Since the school was closed the previous 2 days, I felt more comfortable in taking her than sending her on a bus with no seat belts. The roads were not all that great so I am glad that I did. Well when we walked into the classroom, her teacher, Mrs. Robinson, informed us that school had been cancelled...sort of. See we live in the Butler School District but since Allison's school is in the South Butler School District, we follow the closing or delays for that school district since they run our busses. At the time that I left our home, both schools had a 2 hour delay. Well, after South Butler took the high school students, they decided that the roads were too dangerous to bus the they closed the 10:08! Who would have thought to check the television or radio at that time. I was outside cleaning my car off so we could leave at 10:20. Nice! Huh? Mrs. Robinson said that the teachers were staying and the school was open but with less than half the class there, all they would do is play. I had planned on coming back and picking Allison up after school so Allison and I decided to leave and surprise Daddy by taking him out to lunch. I do have to admit, that I stood in the classroom and for a split second thought about leaving her there to play and have some much needed Mommy time but I just couldn't do it. We ended up having a good day together and so I am glad my gut instict kicked in and I took her with me.

Our church has a fish fry every Friday during Lent. It actually starts this Friday and ends the Friday before Good Friday. I have signed up to bake a cake every week for the seven weeks of the Fish Fry. I thought I would share them here every week and post the recipe. This week's is Blueberry Squares. This one will probably be a repeat since you can use any kind of fruit in it and it's easy to make. The original recipe is from my Aunt Carole and is for cherry but I had blueberry on hand so that is what I made.

"Blueberry Squares"


1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter or margarine

4 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 can of blueberry pie filling (or any kind)

~Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

~Add eggs, one at a time.

~Add flour and vanilla and beat well.

~Pour batter in a well greased 9 x 13 pan.

~Mark 20 squares.

~Pour on tablespoon of pie filling in each square.

~Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

~Dust with powdered sugar. (Cinnamon & Sugar on Apple.)

And now for the WOW! Grey's Anatomy! WOW! All I can say is that I can't wait for next Thursday night! WOW!

Have Fun!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day continuted...

I'm back! As promised, here is the basket of treats we made for Allison's class.

They are pink heart shaped Rice Krispie treats. It was so easy and a fun activity for us to do together. I saw it in my Family Fun magazine and here is a link of it on their website. They have such cute ideas in their magazine and website, you should really check them out if you have kids. You can go to and pick it up for $9.95 a year and if you are a member of Upromise you will get $5.00 off and 25% of the $4.95 will go into your Upromise account. However, to get this discount and rebate, you have to link through the Upromise site and the discount code is UPMAG07. I don't know if it would work without linking through Upromise but you could try it. I find myself always tearing something out of the magazine or printing something from their website and putting it in my Holiday Binder.

In other news from yesterday, we had to dig our cars out because the plow truck plowed us in. Here is a picture of Allison and our neighbor and babysitter, Audrey, getting ready for the challenge. I am so glad it stopped snowing because there is no place left to put the snow!

Have Fun!

"Let every man shovel out his own snow and the whole city will be passable."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

I know it's been forever since I've last posted. Curtis told me about a week ago that I needed to update my blog. I guess my blog does get read by someone other than me. Anyway, for those of you that really know me, probably already know that not posting on my blog isn't because I've had a lack of things to say. I usually always have something to say! :) It's just been a very crazy month and I really haven't had time or the energy to sit at the computer and recap the day. I just kept on going and figured I would post "tomorrow." Well I guess my tomorrow is today.

So, Happy St. Valentine's Day to all of you out in blogland! How is it where you are? Pittsburgh and it's surrounding 14 counties including us up here in Butler are under severe weather warnings. We have been since Monday evening and it is yucky outside! School was cancelled yesterday and of course today. Yesterday I took Allison to work with me, worked a half day and then it took us forever to get home. The roads were AWFUL! Fortunately I am off on Wednesdays so Allison and I are having a Mommy & Me day. I am glad that I had the good sense to stop at Giant Eagle on our way home yesterday and did some speed shopping. I didn't have my grocery list with me so I forgot some things and I also didn't have my coupons with me so I spent about $40 more but we are safe in our warm home today and that is all that matters. As of right now, there have been 741 closing or delays reported to our local news channel. This includes schools, colleges, meals on wheels, meetings, humane societies, gyms, community centers, Salvation Army, libraries, shopping malls, museums, government offices, churches, performing arts centers and more. The list just goes on and on! The "T" is not running in Pittsburgh along with some buses. The Northbound lanes of I-79 are closed which is what I travel so I am glad that I am at home today! It wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't snow ALL day yesterday and then turned to sleet in the evening. When Curtis was walking out this morning to scrape the ice off of his car, his feet was crunching through the snow that was on top of the ice that was on top of the snow. Here is a pic of this morning at 7ish. Notice the mound of snow to the left of his car. That snow is just from yesterday morning until about 3:00 in the afternoon.

So, any big plans for St. Valentine's Day? Allison and I are going to make treats for her class party that I am guessing they will have tomorrow if they go to school. I'll post a pic later when we have them completed.
Since we are stuck in the house today, I thought I would make it fun for Allison so for starters I made her this Valentine's Day breakfast. I used my Wilton heart shaped cookie cutter. The pink heart plate and heart acrylic glass are from Target. I picked them up on sale a couple of weeks ago. Everything was a big hit. She ate the whole thing. Hmm, maybe I should make all of her food heart shaped!

Here are the cards Allison received for Valentine's Day. Do you see a pattern here? You wouldn't be able to tell she likes kitties by the front of these cards, would you? Speaking of kitties, we may be getting a kitten at the end of the school year. I am not sure I am ready for another one but I can't see denying Allison of a childhood pet. She has been asking for one for a while now and we told her that if she continues to bring good progress reports home, then she can have one. I guess I am kind of excited to get another one but to be honest, no cat is ever going to replace my Pooki. He was the best cat ever. Even my Mom grew to love him and let him sit on the couch by her while she petted him and she is not a cat person or a pet in the house kind of person. He definitely was a special little buddy.

One more picture and then I have to go. This picture was taken on Monday night when I came home from work. Please excuse Allison's wild woman hair. Curtis had gotten her all ready for bed and let her stay up until I got home so I could see her open the box my Mom and Dad had sent her for St. Valentine's Day. She has the wildest curliest hair until I tame it with a little mousse.
Have Fun!

"I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."

~Author Unknown

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