Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rule-Breaking

Happy Wednesday!

John is beginning to enter a fussy stage of eating.  It's not too bad yet, but his palate is diminishing rather than expanding.  He's a creature of habit, like his mama, and he eats a lot of the same things every day.  Things that he used to really like he's snubbing his nose at now.

If there's one thing I'm a stickler on, it's not making a separate meal for him unless the hubby and I are eating something we know he doesn't like.  Unfortunately, I had to make an exception the other night when sloppy joes were on the menu.


I had been craving sloppy joes since last week, when my friend told me that's what she was having for dinner.  I mean really, who screws up sloppy joes?  This girl does!  I took one bite and realized that the beef was way over cooked.  Even the hubby had a hard time choking it down, and he'll eat just about anything.  I broke my rule and asked John what he wanted for dinner.  Of all the things he could have picked, he told me he wanted a waffle.  Go figure.

All dinners can't be winners, can they? haha

Question of the Day:
Have you had any cooking/baking flops lately?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 26, 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Happy Monday!

My weekend started off on a somewhat sour note.  I got a phone call on Friday that John was running a high fever.  Thankfully he kicked it by Sunday, but, on one of the most gorgeous weekends we've had in a long time, we had a kid down.  Instead of making a mountain out of a molehill I decided to make lemonade. The hubby and I used the opportunity of having a kid who slept a lot over the weekend to clean out the house and hang some pictures.

I don't get in these clean out the whole house moods often, so when I do, it's best to take advantage.  When all was said and done, the hubby and I cleaned out our crawl space and John's playroom and cleaned almost the entire house.  I'll call it a successful weekend.

Speaking of successful, I have an amazing no bake peanut butter pie recipe that it out of this world amazing. From start to finish, it took me literally ten minutes to put this together.

Creamy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie  (from Mommy's Kitchen)

Creamy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie

Ingredients:
2 - 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 - cup sugar
2/3 - cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 - cup whipped topping
14 -  peanut butter cups,divided
1 -  chocolate crumb crust (9 inches) (I used a graham cracker crust because they didn't have Oreo crusts at Target)

Directions:
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy.

Fold in whipped topping

Coarsely chop half of the peanut butter cups; stir into cream cheese mixture.

Spoon into crust. Quarter remaining peanut butter cups; arrange over the top.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Yield: 6-8 servings.


Here's what you'll end up with right if you don't eat the entire batter before putting it into the crumb crust.


There's no doubt in my mind that this will be my go-to dessert from now on.  In fact, it was gone within the first few minutes after all of the desserts were put out on the table.

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful it's almost Friday.



Source
With the start of the new semester at work, things have gotten a little crazy to say the least.  Right about this time every year, work gets overwhelming.  It's not because the work I do is actually overwhelming, it's just that I've been used to the summer pace of things: lazy days with hardly anything to do and barely anything going on.

It's back to the real world, folks.

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Mine was busy but a lot of fun! 

On Friday night, the hubby, John and I met some old friends and went suit shopping.  The hubby needed a suit for my cousin's wedding and one of our friends sells suits for a living.  We let the boys do their thing and the girls walked around the mall.  

Saturday was relatively low key but on Sunday we had plans to meet up with more friends for a picnic.  I was in charge of bringing a dessert, and I can't wait to share the recipe with you!  In the meantime, though, I will share with you a kitchen sink-type of salad that I've been bringing for lunch.

I basically took everything that was about to go bad and threw it together in a container.  This mix includes cherry tomatoes, edamame, chickpeas,mini turkey pepperoni and a mozzarella stick.  I topped it off with balsamic vinaigrette and devoured it.  Balsamic vinaigrette makes everything better!


On a separate note, John's been having a blast at big boy school.  Last week they tie-dyed their own shirts and made crazy hats.  I couldn't resist taking his picture. 



Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful for the relationship I have with my brothers.  We were relatively close growing up - my older brother and I had some tough teenage years battles - but our lives have changed drastically in the last 5 years or so.  Two of us are married and have kids and the other is a recent college grad working as an accountant with a steady girlfriend.


There are some days where I miss seeing them on a daily basis but whenever we are together, we manage to catch up on lost time and I look forward to hearing what they've been up to.


Recently I've had the opportunity to hang out with both of them separately, without there being a family function to attend.  It's times like these that make me realize that despite the miles between us (we don't really live all that far from each other) we have more of a friendship with each other than a brothers/sister - have-to-get-along-for-the-sake-of-the-family relationship.

Even though we are adults, we still act like kids at times but you know what?  That's okay with me.



Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aunt Jacqui's Roasted Veggies

Happy Wednesday!!   Guess what day it is?  Guess what day it is!   I've been going around the office quoting that Geico commercial no less than 10 times already.  My friend who sits next to me at work is probably ready to slap me.





Ok, back to the food part of the blog.  Whenever my brothers and I plan a dinner together, nine times out of ten my sister-in-law, Jacqui, brings her roasted vegetables.  They are incredibly tasty and are a huge hit among the family.

When we met up with my brother's family to go fruit and veggie picking, I asked her what she was going to do with all her vegetables and she told me she was going to roast them.  She gave me her recipe, which I used for all the peppers we collected.

Aunt Jacqui's Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

A boatload of vegetables (I only used peppers because that's what I had on hand)
Olive oil (just enough to coat the vegetables)
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Slice your vegetables
Sprinkle with olive oil and salt

Roast them until the vegetables are tender 20-40 minutes.  About 10 minutes before they are done, sprinkle the vegetables with Parmesan cheese and stir to combine.  Since I only used three peppers, mine were done in about 20 minutes.





I'm pretty convinced that the cheese is the secret in this recipe.  It melts into the vegetables just a little bit and makes them taste amazing.  Thanks for the recipe, Jacqui!  

Question of the Day:
What's your favorite way to eat vegetables - steamed, raw or roasted?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, August 12, 2013

Spur of the Moment

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Mine was busy, but a lot of fun!  On Saturday I took John to my mom's house for a visit.  We stopped over to my grandmom's house as well, which is always a treat.  John loves visiting his GiGi (short for great-grandmom) and watching "Frout" (the children's TV network Sprout) at her house.  It cracks me up every time!

On Sunday John desperately wanted to go to the park.  The hubby and I promised we'd take him if he was good at Church.  On our way to the park, my older brother called and told me he was in the area with my sister-in-law and the kids.  They were going to Linvilla Orchards to pick some fruits and veggies and wanted to know if we wanted to meet up with them.  It was a spur of the moment decision that ended up being the highlight of our weekend.

John couldn't wait.  He LOVES seeing his cousins.  Bonus?  The Orchard has a huge play area for the kids, so John got to hang out with his cousins plus go to a park. To get to the fruit trees and vegetable garden you have to take a hayride.  It's amazing the difference a year makes - last year John hated the hayride.  This year he thought it was fun.  

We loaded our bucket with peppers, tomatoes and peaches.  Today, my shoulders and back are sore. Ridiculous!



The hubby picked up some flowers for our table, which was really sweet.


It's amazing what some flowers can add to a room!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your day?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today I'm thankful that I caught this on video.







I just love my little boy!

Question of the Day:
What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chicki Chock Muffins

Happy Monday Tuesday!

How was your weekend?  Mine was awesome.  On Saturday, the hubby and I went out with my younger brother and his girlfriend for dinner.  It was really nice to spend some time with them! On Sunday morning after church, the hubby and I decided to take a drive to Boyertown.  My cousin's fiancee's sister was recently diagnosed with brain cancer at the very young age of 24.  She was chosen as the recipient of a fundraiser at Rita's Water Ice. There were raffles and goodies that were sold and a portion of the sales from Rita's Water Ice went directly to her.  It was a bit of a drive for us to go but we couldn't think of a better place to have been.  To see the love and support of so many people was overwhelming.  If there's one thing I love about my family, it's that we stick together.

Sunday was a day I got the chance to step back and look at life for a minute.  The big things in my life aren't really so big and people are simply amazing.  You could feel the love beaming in the parking lot at Rita's and I was honored to be a part of it.  If you are interested in donating to Heather's cause or learning a little bit more about her story, here's the link.

Yesterday I was all set to share a recipe with you but realized I had forgotten my camera at home. Oops!

If there's one thing John and I have in common, it's our love for anything chocolate.  He's been on a muffin kick lately, so I asked him if he wanted to make some chocolate chip muffins.  For some unknown reason, he keeps calling them chicki chock muffins.  It made me laugh so much that now he refuses to call them by any other name.

Chocolate Chip Muffins from My Baking Addiction

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or spray the wells of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla, mixing until well combined.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Stir until ingredients are just combined - do not over mix the batter. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan wells. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

6. Remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTES:
- These muffins were best served the day they are made; however, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. I recommend warming them in the microwave for about 30 seconds before serving. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to two months.


The muffins turned out amazing!



The best part was how many chocolate chips were in each one.  So delicious!

Question of the Day:
What was the highlight of your weekend?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday!

Today, I'm thankful for John's personality.  If there's one thing this boy has, it's a big personality.  He's almost always happy, and when he does get angry or frustrated, well....that's kinda cute too.

John is one of the most loving, warm-hearted people I know.  


He loves to make people laugh, and gets a kick out of telling jokes that go something like this:
"why was 7 afraid of 8?  Because mommy."



I love trying to capture every moment I possibly can on camera, especially when he flexes his muscles.  He's super strong, in case you were wondering. ;)


But above all, John is just John and I can't really describe it any other way.  He's such a joy, such a blessing and such a love.


Question of the Day:

What are you thankful for today?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie