Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Little Maycie

So I know I posted about Maycie rolling from her front to her back, but at 3 months and 22 days she has now started rolling from her back to her front. She doesn't enjoy it . . .

and hasn't quite figured out how to roll back onto her back, but I was excited nonetheless. So thanks for letting me share my little news... and here's just a couple pics just cause I think she's pretty cute.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cheesecake Brownies

I made these for a graduation party and they were a total hit! They are rich, chocolaty and are perfect with the cheesecake top. You will not be dissappointed.

Cheesecake Brownies

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp Flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/4 cups Butter, softened
2 cups Granulated Sugar
3 large Eggs
2 1/2 tsp Vanilla
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, 22-25 minutes (don’t overbake or this brownie layer will be too hard and crumbly). Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

Mix cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into 24 squares. Squares will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days. (Really only 3 days, after that they are not very good)

Recipe Source:

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Brent's Birthday

Brent's birthday is May 23rd. We had cake for Ross and Brent because their birthdays are on the same day. This is Brents cake. 
I know it looks sad. I just went to the store and bought an angel food cake. That's what he likes and it is his birthday so I obliged. The cake was for strawberry shortcake.

The next day my parents took us all to the Cheesecake Factory. 
Happy Birthday Bud!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

This pasta dish is very good and has a really fresh taste. I made a few changes to the original recipe because it was a little strong for me. But is very delicious!

Creamy Chicken and Mushrooms

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 average-sized Chicken Breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
8 ounces white Button Mushrooms, quartered
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
3 cloves Garlic, finely minced
3/4 pound Pasta (I used mini Farfalle)
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup reserved Pasta Water
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf Parsley
1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until tender. When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the pasta and set aside.

While the pasta cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and mushrooms. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the pasta, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

Recipe Source:

Friday, May 21, 2010

An Obsession with the Table

Annie loves sitting on our coffee table. I am not sure why, but she loves it. I was upstairs putting laundry away this morning and heard Annie yelling 'stuck'. So I ran downstairs to find her like this . . .

The leg of her chair was stuck in the hole in the table. While I was taking her picture she managed to get it out. . .

She then tried to sit on it. Luckily I was there because you'll notice how close to the edge of the table the back leg is. She is crazy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Maycie can roll

On Monday May 17th, Maycie, 3 months and 12 days . . .

decided she was sick of being put on her stomach. She can now roll from her stomach to her back. I am so excited to see all of the firsts start!

Simple Skillet Lasagna

I have never attempted to make lasagna ever. It seems like too much work and I never seem to have all of the stuff to make it. Lasagna is one of Brents favorite meals so when I found this recipe and couldn't resist. I loved it. I did change one thing... the original recipe says to just put dollops of the ricotta cheese on top, I decided to mix mine in. Either way, it was delicious!

Simple Skillet Lasagna

3 - 14.5oz cans Diced Tomatoes
1 - 8 oz can Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 med Onion, minced
3 med Garlic Cloves, finely minced
1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 lb Ground Beef
12 curly-edged Lasagna Noodles, broken into 1 inch lengths
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
3/4 cup ricotta cheese (do not use fat-free)

Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a blender or food processor until they are coarsely ground and no large pieces remain.

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until it is lightly browned and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

Scatter the broken lasagna noodles over the meat and then pour in the ground tomatoes and tomato sauce over the pasta. Stir in the basil and oregano. Cover, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in half the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan. Dot heaping tablespoons of the ricotta over the noodles, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and let stand off the heat until the cheese melts, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Source:

Monday, May 17, 2010

A book called Babywise

I have decided to post a little something about this book. My sister-in-law gave this to me for my birthday just before I had Annie. She used it with her 2 boys and it worked awesome. I am just going to share a few of my thoughts about it. Take it for what its worth...which probably isn't much.

I read Babywise the first time highlighting everything I thought I might need to know. But as soon as the baby came I had no idea what I was doing. The things the book said weren't working with the way Annie was sleeping. Apparently it takes time for them to be awake long enough for you to be able to start working on what it says. For us it was about 3 or 4 weeks.

This book is all about a schedule, getting them to eat, have wake time, and then sleep. The book says it should make your life predictable. They should wake up at the same time everyday and naps and everything will follow the same. That's not the way it worked with us for the first little while. During the first month I found it impossible because Annie slept all the time. She slept when she was supposed to, but she also slept while she ate, while she had baths, and while she was getting her bum changed. There was no waking this baby, she preferred to be awake from around 11pm to 3am. After that first month it was much easier to get her to eat, be awake and then take a nap. I was really good at the routine part. I fed her when she was acting hungry as long as it wass close to 3 hours in between, then wake time which was only about 45 minutes that includes eating time, and a nap would follow. It wasn't ever the same time everyday, but it worked. By 10 weeks Annie was sleeping through the night, and has ever since. With Maycie I knew that I had to wait a little while to try and get her to stay awake long enough to try doing what it says in the book. At her exact 8 week mark she slept through the night, and she has every night since. She has her last feeding at 8pm and goes right to bed after and we don't hear from her until 7 or 8 the next morning. I need as much sleep as possible and so it is awesome.

It sounds horrible but I don't want to have to be there for my girls to fall asleep. This book tells you that they need to learn to be able to put themselves to sleep. So now I put them in bed and they fall asleep without any fussing. That isn't how it starts out though. They have to learn to console themselves, so for the first little while they will cry themselves to sleep, if you have a hard time listening to your baby cry you may have a little trouble with this book, but it gets shorter and shorter every time. If they wake up during a nap and are crying I leave them in their beds and they always, always fall back to sleep. I don't ever let Annie get up from her nap unless she is happy. If she comes out crying I make her go back to bed, sometimes she falls back to sleep and other times she will lay there until she is ready to come out happy. Either way she is learning that when she wakes up from her nap she has to be happy. I feel like if she comes out of her room happy after a nap I know she has gotten enough sleep.

There other things the book talks about, like when you should be able to drop feedings, how many naps they should be taking, stuff like that.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a schedule and not wonder what each day will bring. To someone that wants their kids to be able to fall asleep by themselves. Those are the main things I have gotten from the book.

I am sorry this is so choppy and I probably didn't explain it very well but I love it and it works for us. This book has worked wonders and I have happy girls and I am a happy mommy because I am getting the sleep that I need too.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken

I found this recipe while I was going through my mums massive stacks of random recipe clippings and it has to be one of the most simple recipes ever. You will love this, its always a hit.

Hawaiian Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts
3/4 cup Ketchup
3/4 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Mustard
3/4 cup Crushed Pineapple
3/4 cup Brown Sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients together. Pour some sauce on the bottom of a baking dish to coat. I cook it in a bread sized Pyrex dish so the sauce will cover the chicken while it cooks. Place chicken breasts on top and then pour the remaining sauce on the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Skillet Mac 'n' Cheese

In the past I have tried to make macaroni and cheese and have failed. It is always gritty for some reason. I am probably doing something really simple wrong, but now I don't have to worry about how to fix it because this recipe is so good and easy.

Skillet Mac n Cheese

3 1/2 cups Water, plus extra if needed
1 - 12 oz can Evaporated Milk
3 cups Macaroni
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cornstarch
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded 
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Butter, cut into small chunks
Black Pepper to taste

Bring 3 1/2 cups water, 1 cup of the evaporated milk, the macaroni, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, the cornstarch, mustard and hot sauce together in a small bowl, then stir into the skillet. Continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Off the heat, stir in the cheddar and Monterey Jack, one handful at a time, adding water as needed to adjust the consistency of the sauce (I needed additional water when I made it). Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fun at the park

Our first trip to the park of the season. Annie's first trip to the park where she is actually able to play on the toys without much help. I love it. I love how much fun she has. I love to watch her enjoying herself outside in the fresh air. She is such a cutie!

My cool dude ready for the park!!

Ready for the slides!

At least she is going down by herself . . .

She made it!

She was so proud she made it to the bottom

Swinging is her favorite activity of all time. It is the only thing on 
her mind, especially when we go to grandma and grandpas.

We are going to have so much fun outside this summer!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I keep trying different chocolate cookie recipes and there is always something about them that I don't like. This had none of those things. These are soft and chewy. They are so good! I can stop looking for new chocolate chip cookie recipes because this one is it for me. One thing I did notice though, I tried one when they first came out of the oven and wasn't overly impressed. But when I had one the next day I couldn't believe how good they were. Maybe I am just crazy but I think these are better completely cooled.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ cup Margarine
½ cup Butter, Softened
1 cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
½ cups White Sugar
2 whole Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2-¼ cups Plus 2 Tbsp,  Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1-½ tsp Salt
¾ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup (heaping) Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together butter, margarine, brown sugar, and white sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and stir together. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients in batches, stirring gently after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet within 1 minute of coming out of the oven.

Recipe Source:

Maycie at 3 months

I cant believe my little baby is already 3 months. She is getting so big. That's one thing about my girls they grow fast. Maycie is in the 95th percentile for her length and only the 25th percentile for her weight. Tall and skinny. 

My Maycie. . .
- Smiles, smiles, smiles
- Loves attention
- Likes to suck her thumb
- Likes baths but hates getting out!
- Loves to watch Annie play
And the best part for me . . . Maycie takes 4 naps a day and sleeps from 9pm to 7am. 

My girls together. I think they decided to dance. . .?

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Giant Picnic Quilt

I have been so excited about this project! It was so much fun, I think I have found a new passion! Brent kept telling me that I should make a picnic blanket and I had been thinking about it myself. So I searched the internet to find a pattern and found the perfect, perfect inspiration in my opinion. Red and white, the colors of picnics to me. Trying to figure out the measurements was another story. I thought a queen quilt was something like 102" x 115" turns out that's what a king is! I didn't want it the size of a king, I thought that would be way too big. In the end my giant quilt turned out to be 110" x 116". Whoops!

So I am going to try and walk you through how it all came together, I apologize for any confusion, but I will try.

My ruler is only 6 inches wide, so that was the easiest size to make my squares. 6" x 6". I chose 8 different materials because that is the number of triangles in the block I chose to do. That's 45 squares of each material or 360 total.

After I cut all of my squares I decided to build a tower out of them . . .

Anyway. . .

The next step is to cut the squares in half so we have a ton of triangles. 90 of each color to be exact, that's 720 triangles total. 

Again with the towers, I know. . .

The next step is to figure out the placement of each piece of material.

I came up with 9 completely different blocks and tried to arrange them so that none of the same material was touching when I put the blocks together.

Then I sewed my blocks into rows . . .

And sewed my rows into a quilt top. I then added a 4 inch red border around the edge and sewed it all together. I bought some material and padding for the back, had it quilted(at American Quilting) and sewed on my binding. I know that isn't very helpful but I didn't take pictures of how to do the binding so I will save how to do that for another day.

I usually hand bind my quilts but with this being so big and because it is just going to be outside in the dirt I decided to machine bind it. I wont be showing you any close ups on the binding because it looks horrendous. Sewing with a walking foot is much harder than I thought. But anyway, my finished product . . .

I am just afraid now I wont want anyone on it with their dirty shoes!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Vegas Baby!

We went to Vegas over the weekend because our nephew got the aaronic priesthood and we are supportive like that...well any reason anyway to go to Vegas. 

It was our first long trip with 2 little girls and thanks to Brents mom, who let us borrow her dvd player, it was a quiet trip!

So thanks so Sandy for that!! They did fall asleep eventually. . .

My favorite part of Vegas has to be the garden at the Bellagio. It's always so beautiful!

We also went to the Mirage and saw the dolphins, lions and tigers. The dolphins were Annie's favorite . . .

But we did see the lions and tigers . . .

On our way out we started to feel kinda guilty because we realized Maycie wasnt in any of the pictures that we had taken. I guess thats what happens when you constantly sleep. You miss out on moments.  So we stopped, woke her up and took a couple!

After all that we had to eat so we drove around and eventually found a place and Annie had a really good time eating the grapes daddy kept giving her.

All I have to say is that it is harder than you think to get a grape on a fork, but she sure had fun trying.

On our way to Vegas it was snowing, when we got there it was sunny and 70. Perfect for having fun outside playing with all the buds.
 Grandpa and Maycie

 Megan the acrobat

 and Brent and Mason.

So much fun, our girls were so good the whole time. That just means we'll have to do it again!
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