Monday, May 31, 2010

Remembering


On this day that is meant for remembering, I'm going to remember to be thankful. To be thankful that my husband made it thru war safe and sound. To remember that when he came home, he walked off his plane and into my arms.

I am going to remember and be thankful, that while my kids miss daddy while he's away, he's always come home.

I am going to remember that for so many other families their sacrifice has been far greater then I can imagine.

For those who never returned home in the way they should have, who left widows and never met babies, for mom's who's hearts break over the loss of their grown up little ones, for dad's who shoulder the grief of losing a child who was following in their footsteps..... for all the Soldiers, Airman, Marines, and Sailors who have lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom, for that I remember and I am thankful.

Today and everyday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fly a flag - and another giveaway!

Dash 1 asked me an interesting question last year. He asked why we fly a flag on our front porch. I explained what the American flag means, how his father serves, proudly, under that flag, how many others have fought and sacrificed so much for all that the flag stands for...for freedom.

He took my answer to heart, looking very seriously while I talked, he then asked, so then what country the bear flag stand for.

The bear flag?

"You know those bear flags that you see on houses with the flowers on them", he said.

I realized that he meant those seasonal type of novelty flags and well unless there is a new country out there who's flag is a bear wearing a straw hat holding a sunflower I'm pretty sure its just for decoration.

Then came another great question, "well why doesn't everyone fly an American flag like ours?"

And for that I didn't have an answer. Why doesn't everyone fly a flag?

We live on a long country road and I think I can count on one hand the number of American flags I see. This disturbs me. I see a Puerto Rican flag, a Yankees flag, a Confederate flag, and a couple of those damn bear flags, which I understand, many find adorable, but not so many American flags.

I remember back to right after 9-11 the American Flag was everywhere.... and now.... not so much.

Even if you have disagreements with the politics or what have you, you have to admit, we live in a pretty damn amazing country. Why not show pride in your country and fly the flag out of respect for those who serve to keep us free, for those who have sacrificed?

Inquiring minds want to know.... do you all fly a flag?

Well, do I have a solution for one of you.

A GIVEAWAY! And to me it seems rather fitting that it falls over Memorial Day weekend.

A free flag!

CVS Flags {check them out here} is offering to one of you lucky gals {or guys... do any guys read my blog?} your choice of either an American Flag or a military flag in the standard 3x 5 size.

Hop over to their site and look around. They have tons of beautiful flags {I'm thinking about getting flyboy a Gasden flag for father's day, nothing says happy dad's day like a Don't Tread On Me Flag right?} no doubt if you're looking for a flag, they will have it.

And if you already have an American flag and a military flag, enter anyways and give the flag to someone else so that there is one more Flag flying out there.

So to enter here are the rules:
{don't forget to leave a separate comment for each entry}

first entry- let me know which flag you think you would like {and whether or not you have a flag if you want to answer that question}
second entry- tweet about the giveaway
third entry- blog about giveaway
fourth entry- follow the ol' blogoro of mine

This giveaway will be open till Tuesday June 1 until 6pm so spread the word and lets get some flags a flyin!

And the winner is....

Sepsi!

Or according to True Random number generator, comment #2. Trust me I randomly selected the drawing, I just cant seem to figure out how to get the image of the drawing to post.

I cook better then I do computer stuff.

Thanks to everyone for posting some great recipes. I've found several that I'm excited to try out and I'm slowly making it thru the hop to check out every recipe and I hope you're doing the same. Not only have I found great recipe but some awesome new blogs {and the people behind the blogs}.

So congrats sepsi, now I just need your info to mail off your stuff!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Last day for giveaway!

HURRY UP!

If you haven't entered the recipe blog hop giveaway today is the last day for entries!

In case you haven't even checked it out, its a cute little giveaway if I may say so {and since it's my blog I may} it's for 2 foamy Bath and Body Work kitchen soaps {lemon scent}, a little kitchen candle also from B&BW in lemon scent, a magnetic shopping checklist, AND a year subscription to Rachael Ray's Everyday Magazine.

All sorts of goodies for the cook {or cook wannabe}. After all, you don't have to be a good cook to appreciate a good magazine, wash your hands, grocery shop, or like your kitchen to smell good.

So check out the recipe blog hop for some great blogs 'n recipes and to enter!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Recipe Blog Hop

I love a blog hop. I love a giveaway. So why have just one? Why not combined the two and host BOTH!

Without further ado, I present to you all, the recipe hop. Here's a quick review:

*Write up your recipe, with or without a picture, on your blog page. Post as many recipes as you want, just remember to have one recipe per post {link}.

*Grab this button for your recipe post and if you're so inclined for your sidebar to let others know about the hop. {just copy the code in the box, again, many thanks to skinnie piggie}

*Add the link to your post{s} to the mr. linky at the bottom of this page

*And then..... hop around.... check out as many of the recipes as you can and be nice and leave a comment, we all like comments.




Some people are having problems with the button linking back on their blog, this code is now fixed and perfect for linking. Sorry about that, I left something out when I sent the link to skinnie piggie. Whoops.




And the giveaway.....

Someone is going to get a basket with 2 great kitchen soaps and a candle in a yummy lemon scent from Bath and Body Works and a really neat magnetic Time To Get... checklist to keep track of what you need from the grocery store.

{Flyboy thought the checklist was lame but he doesn't know what he's talking about.}

AND they'll also get.....

a YEAR SUBSCRIPTION
to one of my favorite food magazines, Everyday with Rachael Ray !{if you have that one well I'll figure something out}

Now the giveaway rules are pretty simple {leave a comment per entry}:
-If you link a recipe your entered! More than one recipe post = more then one entry

for additional entries {leave a comment for each additional entry}
-follow my blog {let me know if you're already a follower}
-follow me on twitter {same as above}
-tweet about the blog hop {it runs for a week the 19-26}
-let me know which recipe {or recipes} you've checked out that your dying to try out

Hope everyone has a good time and finds some great new recipes! NOW GET HOPPING!

Turkey Meatballs AND a twist on meatball subs



I tried a couple times last year to make meatballs. Lets just say the phrase "disgusting failure" comes to mind. My beloved flyboy who will eat anything I place in front of him made quite the face as he tried one and then actually pushed the plate away.

That spoke volumes.

But then I found a recipe for them on Rachael Ray's site and over the past few months I've tweaked it and they are quite yummy and another staple around here, quite simple.

Oh and actually not too bad for you.

Now I know not everyone is a fan of ground turkey, GIVE IT A CHANCE! Trust me, I don't like new strange things so if I'm cool with it that should say something. Around here that's pretty much the only ground meat we eat for a couple of reasons, the two main ones, its better for you and its cheaper. At the commissary and at W@lmart you can find a pound of 93%lean ground turkey for just under 2bucks, almost 3 bucks cheaper then ground beef.

Turkey Meatballs

First things first, get your sauce going on the stove. For this I use just a basic Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce in a big can {79cents at the commissary, cant beat that and since I'm adding meatballs I don't need a lot of flare. Plus we're Irish, we aren't picky about tomato sauce.}

Get that all bubbling and simmering on the stove

Then take 3 slices of bread {I use whole wheat cause that's what's in the house} and tear them into little peices and soak them in 1/2 cup of milk {fat free works fine}

Soak for about 5 min. Then squeeze out the excess {no need to go to extreme} and add the bread to 1 pound of ground turkey.

Add in 1/4 c. of Parmesean cheese {I use the lowfat kraft stuff in a can, nothing fancy shmancy} and garlic powder. {I don't really have a measurement for the garlic powder, I tend to think that garlic should be it's own food group and add it to everything}

Mix well

Form into little balls and add to your sauce.

Allow to simmer in the sauce until cooked all the way thru. I usually put them in the sauce and let them sit in there on a med-low heat for 10 min or so and then simmer in the sauce for about 45 min while I get everything else together and wait for dinner.

These are YUMMY!

and a bonus recipe- Twisted meatball subs

And if you want meatballs but you don't feel like spaghetti here's a little twist on a meatball sub.

Take a loaf of frozen garlic bread cook it per the instructions, then cut each half into four pieces.

Place two meatballs {or three depending on their size} on the garlic bread, then place some cheese on top, either provolone or mozzarella. Place under the broiler just till the cheese bubbles.

Ok so these are not so healthy, but very yummy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Handy tip for scum

If you're new I should explain something real quick, I ♥ baking soda.

We are talking borderline addiction levels here. In fact I should give it it's own tag on the old blogo. I just got this months copy of Redbook and imagine my delight when there was a baking soda quick tip in it!

{I can't help but think that somewhere along the line I've gotten dreadfully boring that I was that excited over a quick tip}

It was how to clean scum from your drains with baking soda. This is pretty handy for me, I hate using chemically drain cleaners in the house with the kiddos, especially the bathtub. Something about pouring burning chemicals and then a short time later putting your kids naked in the same general area seems a bit off to me.

-Take 1/4 cup baking soda and pour it down the drain.

-Follow with 1 cup of vinegar. Allow it to bubble and sit for five minutes {you can't see it but it's descumming}

-Pour some boiling water down the drain and you're good to go!

How simple is that? And cheap. And best of all? It worked! Really, really well and you can take my word on it. I was curious so I *might* have taken the tub drain apart a little and shoved my hand down there to check to make sure it was less scummy.

I was so impressed I did the tub, the kitchen sink, and the bathrooms. And I considered asking the neighbors if I could come over and do theirs. But I decided that would be a little weird.

Hmmmm.... reading this post paints and odd picture of me. I have a baking soda addiction, I get excited over quick tips, and I shoved my hand down the tub drain to see if scum was gone.

*sigh* An odd picture but an accurate one.

Hey have you checked out the recipe blog hop? There are some amazing recipes on there so click here and find some new blogs and some new eats. Oh and a pretty cool giveaway if I may say so. And I may. Cause it's my blog.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Eggless Banana Bread

Dash-1 is allergic to eggs which means that baking is slightly more challenging, however, you would never. EVER. know that this bread doesn't have eggs in it. It's delish and if you make muffins I betcha they'd be even more amazing with some cream cheese frosting on them. {I'm just sayin}

What you need:
3 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup of applesauce {I use the au natural stuff so that I don't add extra sugar but if there is cinnamon in the applesauce that's a bonus}
4tbl of melted butter or canola oil {the last batch I made I totally forgot the butter and with the exception of being a tad denser you couldn't really tell so if you could probably cut the butter in half}
1/4 tsp of vanilla {oh who are we kidding add a smidge more}

toss all of those into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

then add in your dry ingredients {which you've already mixed together right folks?}

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

bake, either in loaf pans or muffins in a 350 degree oven {preheated of course}. Loaves tend to take 45 min and muffins 20 mins.

Some like it hot, but I like my banana bread stored in the fridge and nice and cold. But then again I'm kinda weird.

Hope everyone is having fun on the hop and making sure to visit all the new recipes and blogs!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ham and Ziti Casserole

Despite it being the middle of May, yesterday was cold and rainy. Not quite stew weather but definitely not the kind to grill in. So what's a girl to do? Casserole. A yummy, gooey, cheesy one.

With some broccoli and whole wheat pasta so it's not a total caloric black hole.

Baked Ham and Ziti Casserole
Excuse the craptastic picture, it was a gloomy day and the lighting sucked and by the time I realized the pic was a little blurry, dinner was looooooooooong gone.

What you need:
-8oz of whole wheat penne pasta {or regular penne if that's your preference}
-12oz broccoli florets {I usually just eyeball it and put more in after all, the broccoli is the good stuff}
-8oz ham steak cut into cubes

-preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
-boil the pasta in rapidly boiling water for 4 min, add the broccoli and cook until tender and pasta is al dente
-drain and put in a serving bowl that is oven safe, add the ham
-toss with the cheese sauce {recipe below}
-place in the oven for about 30 min or until browned and bubbly
-serve immediately

For the cheese sauce
-melt 4tbs of butter in a microwave safe bowl
-stir in 4tbs of flour to the butter, I use a fork to make sure I get all the lumps out
-add 2 cups of milk {I use either 1% or skim milk and it still comes out creamy. Also heat up the milk for about 30-45 sec in the microwave so that it blends with the butter without lumping.}
-heat the milk/flour/butter mixture in the micowave, until the sauce is thick and bubbly, stirring every 30 seconds. I find it takes about 3 or 4 min but every microwave is different.
-when its nice and thick, add 3/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese


I serve this usually with either some fresh bread or some rolls. and since the leftovers are lunch for flyboy today its safe to say this is as yummy the next day as it is for dinner. Enjoy!

I had a hard time deciding what recipe to do so I have a couple more to post before this is over so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

he knows just what to say

After I put dash-3 to bed I went in to give dash 1 and 2 a kiss good night.

In dash-2's sweet little voice he asked, "lay down with me mama?"

me " Sorry my love, mommy is stinky and needs a shower after riding the four wheelers tonight."

dash-2 "oh its ok you don't need a shower, I love stinky girls."

Sidenote, I do so love the invite, however this has become a bit of a habit. Please don't think I'm heartless but its very tough when flyboy's away and I have three little ones to get down to bed so I'm trying to break this a bit.

And another sidenote, reason #917 why we don't live in housing: four wheeling around our 120+ acre "backyard".

Fan-friggin-tastic.


Don't forget to get your recipes ready for the Recipe Blog Hop that starts up on Weds! Check out the post below {or click here} for more info!

And what do you think of the three column layout?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Start flipping thru the cookbooks!



A date is set, a button is made {many, many thanks to skinnie piggie who made this darling little gem, her blog is beautiful go stop by and give her some love} and I've almost figured out Mr. Linky. So what's left?

Recipes! Recipes! Recipes!

What kind of recipes you ask?
It can be anything.

Anything you can eat or drink with a recipe. {And no playdough although it does have a recipe and you can eat it.}

Your favorite comfort food, a party food, a crock pot go to, a dessert that can induce tears, an easy appetizer, a drink to get your fun on, anything.

When is the cookin' taking place?
The hop will be up from May 19th to the 26th.

And if you want to do more then one recipe {I'm having problems picking just one} then go ahead and post each recipe as a separate post with a separate link. {Separate post will make it easier to search for recipes later}

Oh and did I mention the giveaway? If you link up your entered! More details to come on that once I get all the goodies together.

So spread the word!

The more recipes the less my husband will complain about eating the same things over and over. Flyboy's tummy thanks you in advance!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Handy tip for flowers and ? about buttons

For mother's day my adoring fans {aka my husband and the boyos} gave me not one, not two, not three, but SIX bouquets of flowers.

Yes that's right. 3 dozen roses, 2 mix bouquets, and 1 dozen daisies. Though my friend is more impressed with the 5 1/2 hours he spent cleaning the inside of my car.

Anyways, my only beef I have with flowers is that they die, all that money spent and then end up dried out and yucky. So that brings me to this handy tip to pass on to you all....

Clorox bleach.

Yup. I've heard of it before but I hadn't tried it and I was a bit of a doubter, that's why I'm posting it here for you guys. I'm not trying to pass this off as my tip but I wanted to share that it ACTUALLY works.

Just add a little bit of bleach to fresh water and your flowers will last longer. That simple. {I do like simple}

Curious why it works? I thought for sure the bleach would kill the flowers but it actually helps them by keeping the water clean {ie mold free} cleaner water = more oxygen = healthier flowers.

There ya go. Now go find some bleach.

Oh and I'm going to go ahead with the recipe blog hop, I'd like to get a little link back button made, anyone know someone who can do one most ricky tick {ie fast?} and cheap? I like simple but I LOVE cheap. Please email me or leave a comment.

I'm thinking of having it good to go in 2 weeks or so. So go ahead and cook up those recipes so you can snap a pic. I think the hardest part is figuring out which recipe to post! I'll also post up a little post with the run down of it once I get a button made {if I can get one}.

Happy thursday folks, go forth, save your flowers and start cooking!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

recipe blog hop anyone?

My food network magazine came today.

I'm in love with it. Big, bright pages filled with food.

Some deserts, some appetizers, main courses, a whole issue devoted to eggs {I have to say I didn't get much out of that one what with dash-1's allergy and all}, this issue is dedicated to the find art of grilling burgers.

Be still my heart.

Anyways, I've been trying to find new recipes to try out around the old flyboy homestead and I have found one little problem with recipes from magazines.... sometimes they are a tad on the fancy pants side.

I'll look at some recipes and wonder who is really making that?!

I wanna know what other "real" people's favorite recipes are.

So I turn to you all, anyone wanna have a little recipe blog hop?

I did this a year {or two?} ago as a cookie swap and it was really fun, this one can be open to ANY recipe.

Desert, single dish dinner {aka casserole}, crock pot fun, snack, favorite burger recipe, appetizer, anything and everything.

Just post the recipe and if you can, a picture to go with it. I like to see the food I'm making. If anyone is interested in this, I'll set up a linky and then we can just blog hop around and easily print out the recipes to try.

Oh and find new blogs! Finding new blogs rocks.

And if you post up a recipe you'll be entered in a recipe/cooking related giveaway. Once I figure out what I'm giving away....

So think about it folks.

And

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My special mommy

Dash-1's school had a Mother's Day party for all of the moms, the kids sang a couple little songs, we had some cupcakes, the kids gave us a plate they made.... and they gave us a little thing they had written about us.

Or rather filled in the blanks about their mommy. {The colored parts will be what dash-1 filled in. Don't forget I cant work the scanner}

I saw the other mom's faces when the teachers told us about the paper about us, most you could see where excited and touched. Me? Terror. After all, you all know that you never can tell what's going to come out of dash-1's mouth.

Without further ado...

My Special Mommy

My Mommy is the most wonderful Mommy in the world.

She is as pretty as - a princess because she is a princess.

She likes to cook - bread, ham, turkey, and everything.

Her favorite thing to do is - lay down and do nothing.

In the good old days when Mommy was little she would - play and ask her mom for a lot of stuff.

I love my mommy as much as - rockets.

She is the best mommy in the world because - she makes the best food and is very nice.


Have any of you made is past the third one? I enjoy laying down and doing nothing. And I'm not going to lie, I do. I really do. But last I checked, I don't get to do it very often. Unless of course you could REM but shoot even then deep sleep is hard to come by around here.

Maybe it was that one time I made the boys fan me with palms while I ate bon bons.... maybe he's remembering that.

I'm also a little confused about the whole she makes the best food one, seeing as though how most dinners end up in a flat refusal to eat anything I've made unless its a grilled cheese or chicken nuggets.

But I can't argue too much with what he said, after all, he does love me as much as rockets.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The quest for organization

Happy belated mother's day to all you moms out there!

I had a couple of mommy post planned for the week leading up to mother's day but well, with a trip to the allergist for dash-1, a trip back to the dr. for a weight check, PT and eating for dash-3, 2 tee ball games, mother's day projects to make and pack up for the grandmas, cupcakes and cookies to make for dash-1's mother's day party at school, and not to mention a teething and very grumpy 8 month old who has decided to go back to sleeping for two hours at a time, last week was busy.

I'm planning to get them up this week. But then again we all know what they say about planning....

Anyways, I feel like I'm running around in circles lately. That I'm constantly doing but yet nothing is getting done. Anyone else feel like that?

I can't help but feel like I need to get my shit stuff in order. In a very big way.

But the problem is.... I don't know how, or rather, I don't know where to start. I have a master calendar on the fridge, my problem more seems to be getting things done around here. There are days its tough just to get the little things done.

After all, lest we forget, I do have three kids under foot.

I certainly don't mean to use my kids as an excuse but my goodness there are some days that as much as I love the little boogers darlings, they can slow ya down.

Some days just getting the dishwasher unloaded is a major feat. The balance between entertaining/refereeing the kids, getting household stuff done some days is tough. And dare I try to squeeze in time on the treadmill, blogging, reading a book, or going to the bathroom?

I'm curious what you guys do for organization.... perhaps someone out there in a similar position has some advice or words of wisdom.

Or an escape plan.......

Saturday, May 8, 2010

According to my husband...

My husband "borrowed" my computer one night and set this as the background, actually he uses it more then I do lately because I tend to always have a wee one latched on to me but that's neither here nor there.

So thanks to my husband and verymotivational.com, I leave you all with this:

And just so you know, he doesn't quite think my mom is this bad and I don't quite think I'd qualify as a hot wife. But its pretty funny none the less.

And dash-1 calls it a leprechaun. I'm not sure what to think of that.

More mom fun to come.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What to spend?

This weekend I was watching some crappy chick shows because flyboy was flying and I didn't have to listen to his moans about how crap tv will make me stupid, so anyways I spent some time watching a show on TLC Say Yes To the Dress.

Wow.

I must really, really be a cheapskate.

I think the lowest budget point that someone had was 5k. And someone who had just lost her job bought a dress for like 15k.

Oh wait, time for my disclaimer, {if I forget I get the nasty comments in which people ream me for something} a. props to the sales people, they really lecture people about trying on dresses outside their budget, frequently explaining that they will love the more expensive dress and will be screwed. In nicer language of course. and b. no, no I don't know the details of peoples financial situations but do to the beauty of editing, they edit the show to be aobut people breaking their budgets or what not.

I paid 500 bucks for my wedding dress. I thought, and still do, that it was just lovely. I'd put a picture up but I don't know how to use my scanner.

{yeah that's right I have a college education and can't use my scanner}

Flyboy and I had a low key wedding and like I said... I'm cheap. But I didn't feel like I settled on a dress or anything, I just didn't want to spend a crap ton of money on a wedding, because, well, a wedding is only one day.

{Another disclaimer... this is just my opinion}

My brother is getting married and we went to look for wedding dresses, well his fiancee and I did, it would just be kinda weird if my brother and I went, but she found a beautiful dress that I think is going to be "the one" for just about a thousand bucks.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I thought that was expensive. But still reasonable.

Spending 15 thousand dollars because you just have to have a dress yet you lost your job and in your own words don't have any money and your budget was 5k? That makes no damn sense.

So I'm curious..... what do you all think is reasonable for a dress? I'm not asking what you paid for your dress, I'm not that forward, I'm just curious what you think you would spend, either if you had to do it all over again or if you are doing it for the first time.

And by the by, my brother and sil wedding is going to rock, can we say destination wedding in Savannah! And the thousand dollar dress would look SMASHING on her.