Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sugar Cream Pie!

Updated with Photo...

This is my absolute FAVORITE pie. I believe it is native to Indiana. There is a bakery in my hometown that makes a scrumptious version. I found this particular version in my home church's cookbook and it comes really close to the bakery version. I have been trying to perfect it over the last few years and have made some small mistakes in the process...so pay attention to the little notes I've added to the recipe if you decide to try it. It is actually really easy to make, the most difficult part is remaining patient while it comes to a boil over low heat.

Without further ado...

Sugar Cream Pie

½ Stick butter
1 cup half and half
1 ½ cups milk
¾ cups of sugar
¼ cup +1 Tbs. of cornstarch
1 Tsp. of vanilla
I pie crust

Bake and cool one pie crust. Stir butter, half & half, and milk over low heat (I set mine at about 3.5) until butter is melted. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch; immediately add to milk mixture. Cook, stirring until mixture begins to thicken, and boils (this takes awhile, don’t turn the heat up...it will eventually boil). Continue stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Meet Spot

Well, it was inevitable. I knew at some point in my married life that I would end up succumbing to my husband's love of dogs. I just didn't know he would use our sons so deftly in his ploy to accrue one. Let me set the stage for you...

Saturday morning + Petco + One particularly cute dog from a shelter + "Puppy Dog" eyes from all of my boys...especially the BIG one + Mommy looking like a deer caught in headlights = Flawless execution of Petco's brilliant (gotta hand it to them) marketing ploy (CHA CHING) and a new family dog!

I must admit I've spent the last few days in somewhat of a stunned silence at my current reality. I'm still not sure exactly how I got here. I've never been a dog lover. Please don't judge. I had a bad experience as a young child when I was ATTACKED (okay, maybe it wasn't an attack, but it seemed like it to me at the time) by a Doberman Pinscher. And let's just say, the experience did not exactly create in me a sense of ease in regard to the species we call canine.

But I digress. What was the original point of this post? Oh yeah, to introduce you to the dog.

Meet Spot. He's a JackRat (Jack Russell/Rat Terrier mix). He is five months old. So far he has a very calm and sweet disposition. The only real issue so far is with house training, but he's learning. And thankfully, the guy that had the biggest puppy dog eyes is working on that while he is on break from being all "professorial".

Almost everyone in the family is completely smitten. And honestly, if he could stop emitting bodily secretions on my carpet for awhile, I might consider coming around. That is, AFTER I call the carpet cleaner. Time will surely tell.

Oh wait...what's that? You want to see some pictures? Alright, alright already...here's Spot in his OFFICIAL BLOGGING DEBUT. Drum roll, please....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You Are A Friend of Mine

I really hate the term, but per a fellow blog reader's request I finally put the "follower" widget in my sidebar. I decided to title it "friends" instead, though, because that is a much more accurate description. If you would like to be a "friend", just look over to the left hand side of the blog (directly below my favorite verse) and click "follow this blog". I would be honored! Also, if you have one of these widgets on your blog and I have yet to click on it, please let me know...I would love to do that!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy Peasy Pizza Dip and More

I just came up with that name, but the recipe does not originate from me. I got it from Shelley, but I know she got it from someone else...I'm not sure who it comes from originally...Sonja? Heidi? Dawn? Carissa? I want to give credit where credit is due! This recipe is easy and fast, but not exactly cheap, and definitely IN NO WAY Big D friendly, which is why I am enjoying a bit right now as I type this (leftover) because that is one of the advantages of being on The Big M for the time being. And because I'm WEAK. But I did run today, soooo hopefully it will all balance out. At least that is what I'm telling myself!

Moving on...

Easy Peasy Pizza Dip

8 oz sour cream
8oz cream cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
pepperoni (optional...I did not add it)
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Mix sour cream and cream cheese, put in pie plate, then add pizza sauce (I used a little more than 1/2 cup), and pepperoni. Bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add mozzarella and bake for an additional 5 minutes until melted. Serve with crackers (I like wheat thins), chunks of bread, etc.

And while I am at it, I might as well share a couple of other easy recipes that I use during the holiday season for "dish to share" parties. None of these originated from me, so let that be known.

Cranberry Meatballs
(Easy, but not incredibly fast or cheap)

Meatballs (frozen if you want this to be easy!)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. of brown sugar
1 Tbsp. of Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in saucepan (I use the crockpot), add meatballs, and heat thoroughly.

Easy Fantasy Fudge (from my friend Sarah)
(Easy, Fastish, and fairly cheap)

3/4 cups of butter
3 cups of sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (5 oz)
1 pkg (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Lightly grease 13x9 pan. Mix butter, sugar, and milk in heavy 2 1/2-3 qt sauce pan. Bring to a full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients mixing well. Pour into prepared pan. Cool at room temperature and cut into squares. Yield 3 lbs.

Pretzel Treats
(Easy, fast, and cheapish)

Square or twist pretzels
One bag of Rolo's

Preheat oven to 250°. Lay out pretzels on baking sheet. Top each with a piece of candy. Bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven and top with one M&M (push it down a bit). Let cool.

Enjoy! So, now it is your turn...anyone??

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hey There, Hi There, Ho There...

So. My blogging has been a bit sporadic lately. It's just that composing updates on Facebook seems to fit a little better into my busy lifestyle these days. I'm sure many of you can relate. It's like I've lost the will to write in paragraphs or something. Troubling, I know.

A lot has been going on lately. I started a new part time job with Big Brothers Big Sisters. A few of you were wanting to know more about the job, so I thought I'd fill you in a little bit. My official title is Case Manager. My duties will be varied, but my main role will be processing applications for "bigs" and "littles", interviewing them, and matching them up. How fun is that? Also, I will be supervising the current matches and staying in contact with them. I really love that it is purposeful work. Also, the hours are very flexible and I can take Will to work with me as well!

Last week was rough. Richie was REALLY sick. The doctor was thinking at one point that it was Mono, but apparently it was just a Mono type virus. He is doing much better this week, though, and went back to school yesterday. I knew he was going to be fine when I saw him skipping to the car at pick-up yesterday. Richie is not Richie unless he is skipping or running to his destination ;-)

The Big D. Actually, it is more like, the Big M, right now. M standing for maintain. Because let's face it, trying to diet in December is like trying to run uphill 7000 miles in a blinding snowstorm. Or something like that. I will be happy if I make it through the holiday season without gaining and if I lose a couple of pounds in the process, that will be a nice bonus. So, I haven't updated you all in awhile on my progress. I'm still plugging away at it. Seriously, I am probably the world's slowest weight loser, but I persevere, nonetheless. I am about half way to my "ideal" goal. And not far from my "I could be happy here" goal. When I get to the "I could be happy here" goal, I will decide whether or not to persevere to the "ideal" goal. I'm trying to decide if the "ideal" goal is realistic for this 33 year old Mommy body and/or worth the sacrifice to get there. ¿Comprende?

Speaking of December, you know it is in full swing when there isn't a day that goes by that doesn't involve preparing a "dish to share" for various Christmas parties and get togethers. I thought it would be fun to ask for some of your favorite "dish to share" recipes. Let's talk categories like easy, fast, or cheap. Or better yet, easy, fast, AND cheap! Last night, my friend Shelley saved the day by giving me a recipe that literally took 15 minutes...which was good because I only had about ZERO minutes to prepare it. I'm sure this is or has been done somewhere else in the blogosphere recently, but not with this particular mix of people, right?

Love to you all, it's been fun catching up!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Thankful List

Just like last year, I compiled a list of things I'm thankful for all throughout November (one for each day of the month). And just like last year, I loved it! It was all a part of Leah's Give Thanks challenge. I wanted to post the list here for posterity. Enjoy! I hope your Thanksgiving was a blessed and grateful one!

I'm Thankful for...

  • A relaxing afternoon with friends
  • My freedom through Christ
  • My freedom to VOTE!!
  • A sweet comment from my husband
  • Road trip with a friend!
  • Seeing my sister on her birthday!
  • Crunchy leaves
  • Roasted marshmallows on an flat top stove
  • A warm and cozy home
  • An enthusiastic welcome home from my boys
  • Great friends
  • Free babysitting
  • Amazing Love, How Can it Be?
  • A new job!
  • A clean house (for now)
  • God's provision
  • Chocolate
  • A quiet moment
  • Kids' rooms purged!
  • Christmas Decorations up!
  • Impromptu date night with Rich!
  • The opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with my family!
  • That my vomiting child is old enough to make it to the toilet....best I can do today.
  • My blankie
  • A wonderful Thanksgiving with family
  • Noble Romans...YUM!
  • Nertz!
  • Girl's Day out with shopping and lunch!