Family...all because two people fell in love

family...all because two people fell in love

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Months

Oh the winter months!  The rush and commitments for the holiday season, the cold temperatures, the germs, it's all enough to send us all to the nutty bin!  I know because I've been there for the last 3 months!  Just kidding but it sure feels like it.  We have had school parties, holiday gatherings with friends and family, sick days, snow days, Christmas break...just pure madness!  January offers a lull to the months prior but not much!  And can I just say, January has brought nothing but snow, snow, snow, and cold, cold, cold temps!  Can I just get a vacation to a warm sunny beach already!? 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Captain America

Captain America is my trainer.  My friend Cupcake and I started working out with Captain America in June.  Cupcake and I would get up at the crack of dawn to get our butts kicked.  Two training days and 2 cardio days each week for 4 months.  I can't believe we stuck to it that long honestly.  We both got weighed and measured when we started and then again about 6 weeks later.  No results.  Are you kidding me?!  All this work and lack of sleep for no results?  I know, I know, muscule weighs more than may gain weight before you loose also has a lot to do with what you eat, you have to do both...WTF.  But we stuck to it for another 8 weeks or so.  Good for us but still no results!  I say no results but that is not right.  I should say not the results we had hoped for.  I have had no weight loss and no inches lost that I can tell.  I'm not dropping a size in my jeans by all means.  But, I will say I have had results.  I am strong, a lot firmer, and it is now my habit to work out rather than my goal to someday do so.  Our time with Captain America is up for now but I am still getting in a good workout 4 times a week.  You bet I make sure Captain America sees me when I'm in the gym so that he knows I'm there, it's validation.  Plus I do want to train with him again one day so I want him to know that I am committed and doing what it takes.  Maybe he'll use his super powers and take off a few inches for me for all my hard work.  It could happen right?  He is Captain America you know.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween (what's cooking)

Tonight is Halloween and Sis was the cutest pink pig and Bub was a scary blood sucking vampire.  I used to make them wear coordinating costumes like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Woof and Captain Hook and Tinkerbell.  Not anymore, they are just getting too old and too opinionated.  Still cute as can be though. 

Halloween is my holiday to host, self proclaimed.  So we have the plumber's family and my family over each year.  This way everyone can trick or treat together in our neighborhood and we don't have to drag our kids all over so the families can see them.  I really look forward to this event- it is the closest I'm going to get to a holiday at my house, for awhile anyway.  I plan it all out for weeks and try to pick something simple and tasty for all ages and palates.  It is not easy.  Maybe I should just cook a turkey...everyone loves Thanksgiving food!

So tonight's menu was nacho bar- black beans, Mexican corn, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, green onions, cheese sauce, seasoned ground beef, and chips of course.  I kept the cheese sauce warm in the crock pot and just spread everything else out like a buffet for everyone to fix their own.  Everyone ate this- dah!

We also had Buffalo Chicken Chili which the moms just walked by and said "oh that's too spicy".  Oh and my sister who doesn't eat anything with flavor.  I also made a Pumpkin Dessert, which everyone ate and a trail mix with peanut butter candies, pretzels, crunch and munch, cheeze its, and candy corn.  This, by the way, is the first time I have ever bought and/or served candy corn.  Yuck, yuck, yuck!  I served it because, apparently, my whole family loves them.  Not sure where they got the opportunity to love candy corn but I guess I'll be serving it more often.

Buffalo Chicken Chili
(serves 6)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground chicken (I only used 1 lb because it was all I had)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T smoked sweet paprika
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried (he he, I think someone ate this by mistake-ooops!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 C chicken stock
1/2 C hot sauce (yes, I know but don't let it scare you)
1  15 oz can tomato sauce (I used 2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes instead of tomato sauce and 1 15 oz can of regular stewed tomatoes)
1 15 oz can stewed, fire-roasted tomatoes
1 sack whole grain tortilla chips, lightly crushed
3/4 lb maytag blue cheese, crumbled

Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO.  Add the ground chicken and break it up, lightly browning it for 5 minutes.
Add carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. 
Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and the stewed fire-roasted tomatoes to the chili and bring up to a bubble.  Simmer for 8-10 minutes more to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, pre-heat the broiler.
Spread the chips out on a cookie sheet.  Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
Top each serving of the chili with a few blue cheese chips.  ---I actually skipped the chip part since we had the nacho bar but I did serve blue cheese crumbles for a topping to the chili.
This recipe is altered from Rachael Ray's Buffalo Chicken Chili.

Pumpkin Dessert
(serves 24)
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 C white sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1 18.25 oz package yellow cake mix
3/4 C butter, melted
1 1/2 C chopped walnuts (I didn't use all these nuts)

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13 baking pan.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and spice.  Mix well, and pour into a 9x13.  Sprinkle dry cake mix over the top, then drizzle with melted butter.  Top with walnuts.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Tastes great but even better with whipped cream on top! :)
This recipe came from, submitted by Nancy- thanks Nancy!

The chili is actually a low fat, low cal recipe but more than one serving of the dessert, the nachos, and handfuls of trick or treat candy set me over the edge.  Must work my tail off in the gym tomorrow!  In my next post I should tell you about Captain America, my trainer at the gym. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What's Cooking

Italian Sausage Soup
1 lb Italian sausage
1 medium onion
Brown and drain liquid.
Add: 1 C chopped carrots
1 C chopped celery
1 small box fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 28 oz cans Italian flavored diced tomatoes
3-4 cans vegetable broth
1 can water
1 tsp minced garlic
sprinkle of garlic salt
1-2 T Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 pkg mini bow tie pasta, cooked
Simmer 30-45 minutes until veggies are tender.  When you are ready to serve, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Freezes well.
My family thinks this tastes like supreme pizza.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's Cooking

Part of why I wanted to do this blog is to share recipes.  I love to cook and bake and entertain.  I obsess about menu planning.  I used to send emails of recipes to my sister n law, who doesn't cook, just to get her to try to cook.  Sick I know.  I'd like to post some kind of recipe each week so look for Whats Cooking if you're interested.

Sis and I made NO FROST CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES today.  I ate 2.  Enjoy!
4 sqs semi sweet chocolate
2 sticks butter
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 C sugar
4 eggs
1 C flour
1 t vanilla
1C chopped nuts
Melt chocolate, butter and salt together; add nuts and stir -I don't do the nuts.  Combine sugar, flour and eggs.  Blend with a fork or spoon; do not beat.  Combine 2 mixtures; add vanilla.  Blend and pour into 24 paper lined muffin tin.  Bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes.

my lil something

I was thinking about this blog.  Maybe I should have called it my lil something.  My lil something is the name of my baby/toddler products.  But HAZFAM is my lil something too...well, along with the help from the plumber.  HAZFAM consists of the Plumber, myself, and 2 future adults Bub and Sis.  Oh and Jackson and Molly, the dogs at the pool.  They're labs of course.

So I'm blogging now and feeling like I should tell my story like someone I don't know is going to read this.  Does that happen?  Do people read blogs that don't belong to their friend or relative?  It happens right?  All I can think of is that Julie Julia movie where she blogs and has random followers and it becomes a movie.  Well all I can say is if this is a movie you must know how it all started.  Oh and you better friend me now because if you wait til this hits the big screen I might think something is up.

One of the title lines on this blog says:  family...all because two people fell in love.  And so it is.  The plumber and I have been friends since we were 14.  We hung out a lot, we went to dances together and out on dates but mostly were just friends until one day it all changed.  Isn't that something, it just all changed from a friendship to love.  Our friend planned a couples ski trip and I wanted to go but without my couple.  The plumber wanted to go and didn't have a couple at the time.  No big deal, we are friends, we were the couple for the ski trip.  We had a great time on the trip.  Then just randomly things changed for us.  I was in a crappy relationship, unsuccessfully trying to get out and then boom, God gave me the plumber. We were friends for 10 years and then in one day we fell in love.  God did this for us.

Because two people fell in love we became a family of two, then three, and then four.  It's awesome!  Our kids are great.  They are funny, smart, beautiful, and so loving!  I am so greatful that I get to stay at home with them.  Bub is in kindergarten this year and is doing awesome.  It is just amazing how fast kids pick up on things!  He says he's going to be a baseball player when he grows up but there is talk about a dentist and, of course, a plumber. Sis hangs with me and loves to be my big helper.  She is a good helper and if you ever need someone to keep you company, she is great for the job.  She talks A LOT!  She just has so much to say and with Bub out of the house, she doesn't have anyone interupting her.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My First Post

So, I'm blogging now!  We'll see how this turns out.  I love to cook and share recipes.  I make baby and toddler products that I sell.  I now have a blog to share and advertise these things.  Plus, I get to talk as long as I want, and without a point if I like, and no one will interupt.  I'm blogging now.