Monday, November 26, 2007

A Simple Task and ...

If you know me, you know I'm basically a simple person. I don't need designer clothes, handbags or shoes, big fancy cars or the latest of anything. Basic cable and my old VCR works just fine for me. However. When we moved into this house, it had and still has a self cleaning oven. OH MY! How did I ever live without one? I cleaned my oven yesterday afternoon. Except for the minor smoke smell from the stuff that was burning off, it pretty much is a painless, simple task. Oh, and it makes the house so toasty warm! So this morning, I started to wipe out any of the residue left from the cleaning. A very easy job. I went to rinse my towel out and when I turned around, I found THIS!!!! Well, I'm sure my Mother would say "ACK, CAT HAIR!" But I did what any true scrapbooker would do. I ran and grabbed my camera...the whole time praying "please don't let her jump down!" Now if you eat my cookies at Christmas, don't worry, I've wiped any and all cat hair from my oven. I'm just hoping she doesn't make this a habit or things could get "cat"astrophic!

Have Fun!
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you enjoy a wonderful day with family and friends!

Don't eat too much!

Have Fun!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

No, I'm NOT having a Blog Strike!

Curtis asked me yesterday if I was having a blog strike? I know it's been a while but life is certainly busy these days. Tis the season! I have not forgotten about my blog. I know I need to continue and complete "An Unplanned Journey" but knowing about it and actually sitting down and getting to it is another thing. I had planned this last Wednesday to do an entry but then I remembered it was Parent Visitation Day at Allison's school. Sorry, but I would much rather be sitting in the classromm with Allison!

I don't have much time now. We have plans later on today and I am trying to get some of my house in some sort of order before we take off. That in of itself seems to be an overwhelming job these days! Before I go, here is our contribution to for The Turkey Protection Program for Allison's school. We had to disguise a turkey to save it from being cooked and eaten on Thanksgiving. I don't know about you but I wouldn't mess with a "Turkeetah", would you???

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

My Chicken Pot Pie Recipe!

Wow! I've posted sporadically for the last two months and then BAM...two in one day!

A friend asked for my chicken pot pie recipe so I thought I would share it with all of you too. In fact, it got my brain thinking and I said to myself: "Self, you should post recipes more often and use pictures to help as visual aids." I have to admit, it wasn't my original idea to do it with pictures. I've been addicted to a blog called "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman" written by Ree. She also has another blog called "The Pioneer Woman Cooks!" that I love. In that blog she shares her amazing recipes with pictures. You HAVE to check out her blogs. They both are very addicting. She's also writing the story of how she, a self-proclaimed city girl, met, fell in love and married her cowboy, Marlboro Man. Her story is better than a Danielle Steel novel! I find myself checking all the time to see if she's posted the next part of "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story." My friend, Kim, and I decided that as soon as she starts holding get-a-ways for overworked Moms on their ranch, we will be the first ones to relax and watch the cowboys! Anyone want to come along???

Onto the recipe already! Enough about country living and hot cowboys! Okay, first let me say that I do not claim to be a chef or any kind of professional cook. I do have some cooking skills which allow me to take a recipe and make it my own. Most of the recipes I make are either my own or from friends and family. If they are from friends and family, I've usually put my own spin on them. Not because I didn't like them, but because I've changed them around for my family's likes and dislikes. Feel free to do the same with any of these recipes. I promise to give credit to whoever has passed on the recipe to me ... that's if I remember or have it in my files. I also have collected a good amount of recipes that are yummy and easy to make. I, like most of you, am too busy to cook elaborate recipes. I love to cook for my family but I hate to decide what's for dinner. One more thing I want to share is that some of the pictures are a little blurry. I'll work on that but I am no Ree. I'm sure her camera is much better than mine anyway. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

Chicken Pot Pie
The basis of this recipe came from Adrian who I "met" on a scrapbooking message board.
The Participants: 1 box of Pillsbury Pie Crusts (I told you I like easy recipes), 1 lb. of Chicken, 1 bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables (we like the ones with lima beans in the mix), 1 can of Diced Potatoes, 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup, Salt and Pepper.
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.

First cut the chicken up in to bite size pieces and put it in a big the vintage Pyrex one I bought at Goodwill to resell on eBay but fell in love with it and now I don't want to part with it! I boiled white chicken breasts from Market Day this time. It doesn't look too good in that white bowl, does it? You can use whatever you like. I also like those rotisserie chickens you can buy at Sam's Club or your local grocery store. I like to buy one and pick all the chicken off of it. I cut or tear it up and use my "suck and seal" to portion it out and then I throw it in the freezer. I use it for pot pie, soup or casseroles. It's a huge time saver!

Drain and rinse the diced potatoes and add those to the bowl. Add in about 1 1/2 cups of the frozen mixed veggies. Add pepper and a little salt. Be careful with the salt because you can't take it out if you over do it. I add a little more when I use boiled white chicken breasts but when I use those already done chickens I omit the salt.

Mix it well in that pretty Pyrex bowl!

Take out one of the crusts and press it into the bottom of your pie plate. I use a cranberry Pyrex one...hmm, I see a pattern here. Next dump all of your mixture into the pie crust.

Put the top pie crust on and fold the edges under the bottom crust. Pinch the two together. Using a sharp knife, cut air holes in the top so it doesn't explode and make your oven a mess! Hey be careful with that knife! I don't do first aid!

Next I put it on a pizza pan because I HATE cleaning the oven...and I have a self cleaning one! Now go find your foil and tear thin strips off the roll but be careful of the teeth on that box. Do you have any ideas how many workers' comp incidents I've seen over the years due to foil box teeth? Trust me, it's not pretty! Okay, now go and cover your crust with the foil. It doesn't like to be naked the whole time or it gets too brown. You don't have to squeeze it tightly. Just press it on so it doesn't fall off.

Now place the whole kitten caboodle in the oven that you should have preheated to 425 degrees. Set your timer and bake it for 20 minutes. When you timer goes off, go and get yourself some tongs and pull the foil off the pie. This is why you don't squeeze it on tight. It should just fall off with a little tug. Next close the oven door before you let too much heat out and reset your timer for another 20 minutes.

Watch it closely at the end because if your oven is like mine, it'll be too dark in 20 minutes. My oven is a liar and is hotter than what I set it for. I know, I know. I can fix that but although I can read a recipe, I'm a little not so good at the manual for the stove. So I'll just take mine out when it's nice and golden and bubbly.

YUM! Doesn't it look good? Ya, this piece is huge. It takes up most of the dinner plate. It's for my man and he loves it so it'll be gone in just a few minutes.

I hope you try it. It's so easy and gets great reviews. No one will ever know that you didn't make the crust yourself!

Have Fun!

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A Halloween Pictures!

Allison changed her mind two weeks before Halloween and wanted to be a gorilla. As always, I made her costume but I keep finding fur everywhere! Curtis even found it in his lunch the next day!

Doesn't she look scary?
Ever see a dancing gorilla? This was at the Family Fun Night at her school. It was a Halloween Dance.
I got to help out with the Halloween party. I supplied little treat bags filled with candy.
This was Allison's treat for all her classmates. I used the same concept as I did Easter treats last year and started with a cup. I filled it with a mini Hershey bar, M & M's, Skittles and four coupons from McDonald's.
Allison wanted me to take a picture of her stuff she got from the school party. The Beanie Baby gorilla was the model for the costume and the purple bowl was the treats I bought to give out to the kids but everything else on the table came from the school party.
My expert pumpkin carvers. I'm in charge of roasting the seeds.
"I'm not afraid of the pumpkin guts!"
"Mom, take a picture of my hands in the guts!"
Allison wanted us to surprise her with the design so Daddy is hard at work!
The finished product!
This was the third year we went back over to where my Mom lives to go Trick or Treating. We go with my Goddaughter. She's the mummified cheerleader. This year some of her friends came along. Allison had a blast and I get to visit with my friend. We always start at their Mom's...just like when we were kids.

Have Fun!
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Friday, November 02, 2007

An Unplanned Journey, Chapter 4

The first step was to have Allison meet with the school guidance counselor. I sent a note in stating that I wanted to talk with him before he spoke with Allison. He called me and asked me what I thought was going on with Allison. I told him that I felt she was testing Mrs. B.. I shared with him that we were not very happy about the way she approached us and that she sounded as if she was talking about someone else's child. We didn't understand how the assumptions could be made after the first day of school. I asked if she had told him about the inappropriate response about the snakes. He said yes. I explained to him that is wasn't out of the ordinary for Allison. I explained that Curtis has a business client who is known at the "Snake Man" here in town. He is an engineer by day to support his love of snakes. We have had a private tour when Allison was 3. We walked into his front door, through his living room and into his garage where he has about 400 snakes. After we were done there, we walked back into his home, down the hall past his bedrooms and through another door which lead into another garage. This garage was home to about 300 more snakes. So as you see, it is possible in Allison's mind to live with snakes.

I continued to tell him our feelings on everything. One other thing that struck me was the Thursday before school started. It was registration night and we had a meeting with Mrs. B. after it. Usually they come to your home for a home visit but she was having problems with her car and didn't want to travel to our home. We met with her in her classroom and one thing I noticed was that Allison's desk was by itself. It was right next to hers. The other student desks were in groups of two. There was one other desk by itself on the other side of the room. That student was the student of the "homeroom mom" (I don't know how she got that title. I don't remember voting on that or even being consulted...but that's another story) who helps out in the classroom. I thought it was odd that Allison was placed by herself. It was as if she had preconceived notions about her...before school even started. I told him all about this and if she felt Allison was "anti-social" then why did she put her off by herself? He agreed.

I asked him how often he does a report so I know how his sessions go. He said that he would let us know in January and then at the end of school. I told him that this was not acceptable and asked him for his number because I would be calling him. He agreed and gave me his number.

The following week was his first meeting with Allison. Afterward he called me because he knew that I would be calling. He said that we have a very nice and outgoing young lady. He said that he doesn't think he will be having many sessions with her. He also said that he doesn't see the need to push any panic buttons yet. Hmmm. Interesting! be continued...

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