Monday, October 31, 2011


Monthly Dinner at Johnn and Lois' lovely home. Menu consisted of -

Homemade Meatballs and Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti

Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli

Bleu Cheese Ravioli w/ Sweet Onion Butter Sauce

Ceasar Salad

Focaccia Bread w/ Olive Oil and Vinegarette Dipping

Strawberry Tiramisu Cups (with a side of heaven) for dessert

We had a few technical difficulties with the homeade pasta. Sticking together and such. Lois and I debating whether to serve it or trash it.

We served it. Lasagna style.

Johnn's pasta drying before turning into spaghetti noodles

Lots of kidos this evening...

Like I said, lots of kids. Some taller than others.

Some taller than the whole table...

Some sitting on little green high chairs for baby dolls...


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Monday, October 24, 2011

Weekend Wanderings...

Spent the weekend at my sister's house and it was just us and the boys, due to Girl's Camp stealing Caitlin and Brad. So we started the weekend off with brownies and ice cream (can't go wrong with that)... and I peek into the kitchen after Brant has had several helpings of ice cream to find THIS -

Don't bother putting it in a bowl when you can eat straight out of the container. Saving motions, of course.

AND - I have recently learned that Brant's name is spelled BrantLY and NOT BrantLEY like I've been spelling it for the past four years. How do you know someone for four years and not know how their name is spelled? I'm ashamed.

Braden took me on an adventure. Or we might've gotten locked out of the house and AND had to go on an adventure. To the tree house -

Heights are not my thing.

Bird traps are.

Little boys trying to show off are not. Especially that high off the ground.

Braden - "Aunt Kristen, look at me!"

Myself - "WHAA- cough, cough, well well, thats nice. Now slowly, gently, grab hold of that branch and make your way back into the tree house..."

Braden - "Oh, we do this all the time, it's not dangerous"

Myself - "Well, obviously it IS or you wouldn't be trying to convince me that it's not. You're making me nervous, get over here."

Braden - "Wheeeee, I love swinging with just one hand!!!"

Myself, broken out in a sweat, my fingers already on the 9-1-1 buttons on my phone.

Oh my goodness, that did not make me smile.

Marching on. To Trinity Park and then the IMAX theater with lots of Braden and Brantly's friends -

To learn about the Hubble Telescope

Verrry interesting. After all that floating around in space, I feel like a germ. So tiny and invisible (anndddd dangerous muhahaha juuust kidding). And lots of prompted discussion on whether there is life out there other than just us humans on earth. I say no because I like to believe that God made such a vast and incredible universe to SHOW us what He can do and how much he loves and cares for us individually, so tiny and invisible and germy.

The End

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pan of Diabetes

Perhaps it's the fall weather of late...

Perhaps it's my love of eating...

Perhaps it's being sick and having a couple days off work (bad advertising for the clinic)...

But food seems to be getting quite a bit of attention lately. Thank you,, for my latest creation...

White chocolate chip cookie dough...

... topped with Oreos...

... topped with brownie batter...

... and covered in hot fudge right out of the oven...

Yes, I did.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Apple Braid Bread with Nutmeg Glaze

This, my friends, is a breakfast to behold.


3 Granny Smith apples (peeled and thinly sliced or chopped)

3 Tbsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp whipping cream

1 Tbsp lemon juice


2 1/2 cups bread flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp yeast

dash of salt

1 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp vegetable oil


1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla

a couple dashes of nutmeg

Combine the apple filling ingredients in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Set aside.

Combine dry bread ingredients in electric mixing bowl. Add water and oil and mix for 6 minutes on medium/high speed with a dough hook. Knead dough briefly (a couple of turns, not too much or the bread will be tough) and roll into a large rectangle. *As a side note, this is the easiest dough I have ever rolled out. I haven't rolled out that much dough, but I know this is the recipe I will be using for... oh let's see, pizza crust (minus the sugar), bread, bread, bread... anything that requires bread dough...*

Move to a greased baking sheet and cut 1 inch strips on both sides, leaving a third of the dough uncut.

Fill the uncut third with the apple mixture and fold each strip over the center in a braid pattern. Fold ends over.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Set on baking rack to cool for a few minutes. Make sure it has several minutes to cool or else the glaze will go... slip, drip, drop... off the sides. No fun. Also, make sure baking sheet is underneath cooling rack so excess glaze will not make the bread soggy.

Mix the glaze ingredients and brush over the top of the bread.

Eat yer heart out.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Best Cheesecake

This here happens to be the best cheesecake recipe in the entire world, so consider yourself lucky for even getting the privilege to read this. This recipe belongs to Jill over at You can make a traditional cheesecake in a springform pan, or you can make mini-cheesecakes (like I did) in cupcake wrappers in muffin tins, just shorten the cook time to 20 - 25 minutes. I also used chocolate cookie crumbs instead of graham cracker. Take your pick.

New York Cheesecake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup & 2 T sugar, divided

5 1/2 T butter, melted

5 pkg cream cheese, softened (and don't you DARE use the ''1/3 less fat cream cheese'' because it does NOT taste the same. I tried it. Utter fail.)

3 T flour

1 T vanilla (I always use a little extra)

3 eggs

1 cup sour cream

Mix cracker crumbs, butter, 2 T sugar together. Press into the bottom of a springform pan, forming a crust. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, set aside. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla well. Use a couple fingers to snitch a taste. Add eggs 1 at a time on low speed, just until blended. Blend in sour cream. Pour on top of crust. Lick bowl and spatula thoroughly.

Bake at 350 for 50 - 60 minutes or until just set. Not too jiggly, not too firm. Nothing worse than an overdone or underdone cheesecake, perfection required. Not really. One thing that helps with that though - I always put a 9x13 pan full of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Keeps moisture in and prevents the top of the cheesecake from cracking.

Remove cheesecake and let it cool completely before serving or refridgerating. You can also freeze the cheesecake and pull it out of the freezer a few hourse before you want to serve it.

Enjoy. Immensely.

*I added a chocolate drizzle and sliced strawberries

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Casey Family

The Casey family was so fun to photograph! Baby K pulled through after a rough and emotional start :) and Miss H did great, showing off her somersaults and her incredible running speed.

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