Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013


Last night was one of those long nights up with a sick kid night.  I had planned to go grocery shopping today but obviously plans are not changed and I am staying home.  So now what to do for dinner.  I had planned on eating out but now need to look to the cupboards to find what can I whip together.  And the answer is...ENCHILADAS.  They are quick easy and you typically have everything you need for them in your fridge and pantry.  I have tried so many varieties of enchiladas and this is a combination of different recipes and different ingredients but you know, it works and taste good.

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1 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 28oz can enchilada sauce I used medium  but use what you like
2 cups chicken broth
a handful of fresh cilantro*

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the enchilada sauce, chicken broth and cilantro.  We use cilantro so frequently here we were out.  I just love the freshness of it.  It was on my list that I did not make it to the store to get so I used my back up emergency dried cilantro about to tbs.  It worked out just fine especially since it was going sauce but the fresh is better if you have it.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

1 lb ground beef
1/2 can chili with or without beans
1 4oz can diced green chilies
1/2 onion diced
4 sweet peppers diced

Brown the beef and drain off the fat.  Stir in the chili, onions, sweet peppers and green chilies.  Set aside.

1/2 cup vegetable oil
corn tortillas approximately 8 for a 9 x 9 pan or 14 for a 9 x 14

8oz shredded colby jack cheese 
1 bunch chopped green onions
more fresh cilantro
white cheese dip

Heat up the oil and do a quick fry to each tortilla maybe 15-20 seconds a side, so it is still soft to roll.  Drain on paper towels.

Now that you already have a ton of dirty dishes it is time to put it all together. Preheat your oven to 350. 

Spoon a small amount over the bottom of the pan enough to cover the pan.  I used a 9x9 pan and this left me with enough leftover filling for nachos tomorrow and to freeze ziplock for something to be detrimened in the future.  Dip the tortillas into the sauce and remove to a plate.  Spoon  2 spoonfuls of the filling on to the tortilla and cover it with cheese.  Roll up the tortilla and place it in the pan.  Continue until the pan is full.  Pour more of the enchilada sauce over the dish and top with more cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Top with the cheese dip in a cool drizzle form and then with the green onions and cilantro.

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Sorry not the best picture we ate them quickly.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


We are all fish fans here.  And at Amazonia at the National Zoo we saw so many cool fish.  Huge fish.

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It is hard to see in the whole fish in this picture because it is so dark but the fish was larger than 2 Faith's long!  Faith is just over 3 feet so lets use my fantastic college skills:

 3 + 3 = over 6 feet

Faith  + Faith = it could sallow my kid easy peasy

Actually most animals there could eat my kid.  Glad they are behind glass.

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The fish were probably thinking the same thing.

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Gracie thought they were amazing.  

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I wonder if this will show up but it made me laugh.  Here is a picture of my dad and Gracie, Faith being a goof ball in the back ground too.  They were looking at the stingrays.  I took a picture and my dads head reflected in the glass on the stingray.   

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Awe now sitting pretty.  That more like it, although we see the goof faces as much as her beautiful smile, sometimes combined too.

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The prettiest girl in the word.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

End of summer fun

So once again I have neglected this poor blog.  I wish I had more time but it is not there.  In this last week before school starts for me on Monday and the kids on Thursday we have been moving a bit more back to a "normal" routine.  I tried earlier and have succeeded with bedtimes.  They have been going back to bed at 8:30 sometimes as late as 9 but have only been waking up at 7.  We need to be up at 6ish but I have been so tired too, sleeping in a  little is not to bad, till Monday hits.  But with routine I hope come more of a routine that I can update everyone on our family and other cool things.

You know summer is coming to an end when the annual end of summer events start happening.  On the 14th we went to our church's 3 annual End of Summer Party.  We have been going for the past three years and it is always a great night of food, fun and fellowship.

Church is so scattered for most people in the summer this gives us all a chance to come back together and connect.  In our area there are many many farmers and summer is such a busy time you don't always see them.  But when they come back,

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They pick your kids up in tractors and bring them to church.

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haha my poor country kids, sorta, I think they have a pretty good life growing up out here.  It is just far different than the big city.

There were many activities for the kids and so much food.

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Is gaga ball popular anywhere else?  It is crazy popular out here.  My kids have become masters of it.  I still don't know the rules.  Either way Faith though she was winning and the other kids helped in that sweet story.

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Don't feel bad for babycakes here.  Yes she is fallen down and her brother is obviously taking pride that he bounced her that way.  But she is big enough now she was up and jumping on it as well.  It was impossible to drag the tiny team out of here.

They played games, rode rides, made balloon items, all sorts of fun for hours.  I wished we could have stayed longer but sadly the night came to an end.

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On the bright side it ended in time for us to get home and me put the kids to bed to be able to watch the season premier of Duck Dynasty all by myself!!!!  What a treat!

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What a great show and fantastic message.  We all enjoy it as a family but it was nice to watch it and hear it too.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trout Fillets in Grand Marnier Sauce

I can't tell you how lucky we are sometimes.  In my last post I said how we were blessed with pounds of vegetables, late last night after bible school we stopped for pizza and the owner, friends of my husband sent us home with far more delicious food than we ordered.  We have a good neighbor who is a great fisherman and always brings us back plenty of fresh fish.  More fish than we can eat at once.  I cook up some and freeze the rest.

  He brought us back a ton of trout.  And I started looking for trout recipes.  I went to an old, 10+ years, cookbook.  It is one of our favorites but really how often do you go to a cookbook anymore?  This cookbook has a lot of seafood recipes.  We used to use it all the time when we were just a couple with no kids learning how to cook.  Since our cooking skills have improved we have drifted away for no good reason.  This book still has many good recipes I found one that sounded good and tweaked it just a touch.

2 trout, boned and halved
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/3 cup more butter
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Melt butter over medium heat in a large frying pan.

Put flour in plastic bag add trout and shake to coat.

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Place skin side up in frying pan and brown for 5 minutes. Season with the lemon juice.   Turn and brown the other side for 2 minutes.

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Remove and place on a platter cover to keep warm.

Pour off any butter in pan, and add Grand Marnier. Evenly coat pan over low heat.

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Now I remember why we do not use these recipes to much.  They all contain alcohol and Grand Marnier is expensive.  And actually neither of us like it.  Oh well at least the fish was free and you should have all the other ingredients in your kitchen already.

Using a long lighter set it a blaze.  Allow flames to subside.

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Whisk butter into pan until sauce thickens.  Pour sauce over trout, sprinkle with parsley.  Pour any remaing sauce into a bowl and serve with trout.

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It actually wasn't a 5 star winner 3.5 to 4 stars would be more accurate.  Not everything turns out perfect.  And you can take it and change it to make it perfect for you.  It certainly was a good start.

Monday, August 5, 2013

A bountiful blessing on a boring weekend

Before I give you another week back in our life  We still had this weekend to wade through. It was not that busy or impressive, we did not do to much, and Saturday the weather was not that good.

Saturday I was expecting friends over to go to an event here in my little town and that did not happen I called them at 8 to say don't not come.  Don't come near my crazy busy town today.  It was horrible the event had drawn out over 5k people to my town of slightly over 1k.  I drove by the fair grounds in the morning and waited in traffic to get near them.  Once I got in I saw a line that contained this crowd of 5k serpentined over a mile long, no joke really.  To top it off every news station in the tri state area was here to report on the crowds.  Mayhem could only describe it.  I would not let my kids out of the house during these hours.  To many cars flooded the streets going much faster than they should have paying no attention to anyone.  It was sad them begging me to let them ride to the park, but me saying no  for  nothing they did wrong but because the oblivious to them that other are not seeing.

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When we got home from our waiting in traffic drive by I went to facebook to talk with a friend who was stuck in the ranks volunteering there and I saw a picture from the local newspaper of us driving through the crowed fairground saying "absolutely not, we are not going to those lines"!  I showed the kids they laughed paused and slowly said in a rising voice we....Are...FAMOUS!!!  They crack me up.

To get an idea here is the width of the line that went for a mile!  Black Friday looked like a beginners game compared to this!!

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CRAZY huh?!!

Do you know what is even crazier?  We went back.  Later in the day I heard the music playing ( I don't live far at all from there) and thought okay lets give it another try maybe the crowds will be down.  This was 6 hours later.   It was still busy but not like before.  There were lines but we went got lunch and listed to some good music till we got rained on.

Sunday we started the day off at church.

Grace wore a new dress from Mema.

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It turned out so pretty.

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Traveling with this crew is crazy.

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never easy, never fun, my daughter in the pink gets terribly car sick, my Smiley back left constantly asks are we there yet ALL the time, and Gracie cries unless I sit with her and play with her.

So you could imagine the good times we had when their dad decided to go out to eat after church and we drove to the first BBQ place in PA which said they weren't having BBQ today only turkey or crab.  He had his heart set on pit beef BBQ so he said no and we all had to pile back in the car and drove down to MD 35 min away, to the next closest BBQ place only to find out they were closed for a private party.  We were all so very hungry.  The next closest BBQ place was on the MD/PA border a good 45 minutes away.  Thankfully we skipped that one and ended up a are go to Mexican restaurant.  They food was good and they don't mind when we undress our girls to eat.  HAHA.  They will probably tease them about it when they get older.

With enough carzieness already in the day I forfeited grocery shopping for staying home.  Plus we had lots to do at home.  The boys and I spent hours on Sunday snapping green beans while  watching Duck Dynasty.  It made it a bit more bearable.

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So did their green bean smiles :)

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There was so much to do.  We had almost 10 pounds after they were cleaned and snapped.

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Thanks to some local farmers we were gave these beans, bags of corn and potatoes.  I am guessing 45 pounds of produce!  YAY!!

I am going to blanch most of the green beans and freezing them in usable sizes for me and my mom for soups, stews and dishes through fall and winter.  I have done it once before but am no pro so during commercials the boys and I would run to the computer to watch youtube on how to do it.  I am so thankful for youtube.  I wanted to make some dishes now but could not because I chose not to go grocery shopping.  However, I plan on making a couple of make ahead green bean casseroles too.  You make them you freeze them and they last up to two months.  Great for me to feed my family and for her to bring as a dish to some of the many meetings she goes too.  Those dishes will easily use up all the green beans but now what to do with 30 pounds of potatoes?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Going backwards

Rather than start from the beginning I am going to try and go backwards week by week to record my memories.

So this week from Monday July 29 to today Aug 2 here goes:

The older boys had soccer camp all week.  The weather was wonderful and they did AWESOME.  Greg and his team of 2 other players, 1 boy and 1 girl (skinniest thing I have ever seen.  I was so worried anytime she would collide with people I thought she would break.  I would have no trouble in saying I believe Smiley at 4 out weighs her.  She was as old and tall as the boys which made it/her so scary skinny) but they came in first place completely undefeated and never a goal scored on.

Evan's team also 3 players came in second!  Way to go both my boys.

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The boys got first place for the patriotic attire on team USA day.

Faith came running to me today saying give me your toes.  I looked at her funny and she kept repeating it, so I did as she wanted.  She started painting them.  haha.  She loves to be like mommy.  I paint her toes and she loves that, but she was truly happy to paint mine and hers today.

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She picked Dora purple sparkly polish

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She is very good

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And look at this little one growing!  She climbed on big sisters bike all by herself and wanted to go.

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And here is one I found of Gregory that Evan took.

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Pretty good if I do say so.
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