Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here are the finished products just as I started assembling the plates so it's not that great of a picture:BUT, I wanted to show off my new hair cut. I am a little vain this week, but I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair, and I feel pretty hot right now. I told you I am a little vain. But, you have to understand that I have had "mommy hair" for the past 20 years. I know I got the short end of the pretty stick, so I have to admit that I am greatly enjoying the compliments I have been getting. I will repent tomorrow.
On to the recipes.
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels:
Melt chocolate in the microwave (many of the recipes require you to do this- the best way Ihave found to do this is to microwave for 1 minute, stir, microwave 1 minute, stir, etc.)
Place pretzels in chocolate. Remove with a fork. Place on wax paper to dry.
Magic Cookie Bars
Here's a link to the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/magic-cookie-bars-from-eagle-brand/Detail.aspx
This is perhaps the greatest treat on the planet, and very easy to make.
Rice Krispies: on the box, but I wanted to just say that I make them every year and they are ALWAYS the first things to disappear, so I will continue to make them as they seem to be a favorite treat.
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c Miracle Whip
1/4 cup sugar
2 bars (7 oz. each) milk chocolate candy, broken into pieces, divided
1 c mini-marshmallows
Heat oven to 350 F. Mix crumbs, dressing, and sugar; press into 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with 1 1/2 of the chocolate bars; continue baking 2 minutes. Spread melted chocolate over crumb mixture. Top with marshmallows.
Microwave remaining 1 1/2 of the chocolate bar in microwave-safe bowl one high 30 seconds. Drizzle over marshmallows. Refrigerate. Makes 24.
I made these this year, and I am not sure that I like the Miracle Whip in it, but you can't really taste it so it is good. They turned out great, and I will make them again. This is a recipe from Kraft Foods.
Milk Chocolate and Caramel Clusters- I absolutely LOVE these- I always double this, and it is one of my favorites! This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens- the best cookbook ever.
12 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup milk chocolate pieces
2 T water
2 c honey graham cereal, slightly srushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 c peanuts
Line 2 cookie sheets with waxed paper; set aside. In a heavy medium saucepan combine caramels, chocolate pieces, and water. Heat and stir over low heat until caramels are melted. Remove saucepan from the heat. Stir in cereal and peanuts.
Working quickly, drop cereal mixture from a teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheets. Let stand until firm.
Marbled Mint Bark- LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe for Christmas- super easy, and super yummy! Again, from the Better Homes Cookbook.
1 lb. vanilla flavored candy coating, cut up (I use white chocolate bark)
3/4 cup finely crushed red and/or green striped peppermint candies (I use candy canes)
Red food coloring- optional
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate pieces
Line baking sheet with foil, set aside
In a microwave-safe bowl microwave candy coating pieces on 100 percent power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after each minute. Stir in crushed candies and, if desired, red food coloring to tint to desired color. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Spread to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Melt chocolate pieces in microwave. Drizzle over peppermint mixture.
Let candy stand about 2 hours or until firm. Use foil to lift candy from baking sheet; carefully break candy into pieces. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to two weeks.
5 minute fudge: I won't give you this recipe because it was given to me from a friend and I don't know if it's a family recipe or something, but it is YUMMY!
That's pretty much it- if you have any questions, let me know!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Claire turned 5 months old today, and this past month has been interesting.
You all know Claire has been sleeping with us, and that had been working out perfectly. But, about 3 weeks ago she started waking up 5, 6, 7 times a night just screaming. Ben started sleeping in Claire's room again, and I started getting zero sleep again. Right before Thanksgiving I had a breakdown and Ben got to hear more four letter words come out of my mouth then ever before, and I knew things had to change. I decided to try sleep training her in her crib. So, the day before Thanksgiving I put her in her crib for the very first time to try and take a nap. It didn't work very well- she only napped for about 30 minutes, but at least it was a start.
I should interject and say that I absolutely HATE the cry-it-out method. I know many of you use it and love it and have had great success with it and that is wonderful. But, for me I don't like it- it failed miserably with Audra and I never want to go through that again. But, we do like Dr. Ferber's method. He is a cross between cry-it-out and go to them every time they cry. Basically, you let them cry for 5 minutes then go in and soothe, then let them cry for 7 minutes and go in and soothe, etc.
The day after Thanksgiving we decided to give it a try. I could never let her cry for a full 5 minutes before I went in to soothe her, so I went in every few minutes. But, she has actually always been able to self soothe, and this method seems to be working well. The first couple nights were rough, but last week she slept until 5:30, then just nursed and fell back asleep until 9. That gave me hope, which was quickly dashed by 2 horrible nights in a row, but the last 4 nights she has just woken up once around 3:30 to nurse, then she goes back to sleep until morning. She goes to bed in her crib great, without any crying, and she is now napping for longer stretches of time in her crib which is great! Of course, it would be better if I was home more for her naps, but we are doing our best.
So, hopefully (I really don't want to jinx this!) we have a sleep-trained little girl without hardly any crying. At least until she starts teething. Or gets sick. Or has a growth spurt. Or gets shots...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Total Spent: $ 231.35
Not bad, but I am still not to my goal of only 200/month. But, I started out at over 400 a month so I am feeling pretty good! Plus, I did have one "binge" week where I bought a lot of stuff not on sale and without coupons because I needed things for Thanksgiving pies. Oh, well- I still came out looking good!