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Friday, January 6, 2012


Writers block
Writers block
Writers block

<-insert interesting read here->

Writers block
Writers block
Writers block

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Day That It Snowed

It finally snowed here in Indiana. It's not much. Not even a full ground cover. The kids decided to go outside while the gettin' was good. You know...in case we never get a heavier snow this season. 
 Ansel enjoys rolling in the snow. I'm sure the cold feels good on his fat back. <3
 The lake is thawed out and looks pretty lined in trees dusted with snow. 
 Ansel and Max enjoyed some rough play!
 Max is not a fan of cold puppy paws either!
 Andrew actually came outside with us for 5 minutes. 
And of course the Artist had to take advantage of the opportunity for some snow art.

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Meatless Monday: White Bean Chili & Cornbread

White Bean Chili & Cornbread

I created this recipe on a whim when I realized that none of my dinners from this weeks menu plan would work without meat. I'll update with pics after I've served it. If it's not good...I will delete it. Ha!


8 cups water (You could use veg broth for more flavor. I didn't have any)
1 4 oz. can green chili's (chopped, diced, sliced, doesn't matter)
1 cup chopped white onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped green pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili pepper
1 cup dry Lima beans
2 cups dry Great Northern beans


Pour water into crock pot. Add all ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Test beans for tenderness to ensure cooked through.



1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 box Jiffy Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
1 can creamed corn
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce


Combine all ingredients. Pour into bakign dish and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

Meatless Monday's

Last year I pitched the idea of Meatless Monday to my family. I was widely out voted 5 to 1. It kind of bummed me out that they didn't seem to appreciate the fact that I am not that big of a meat fan, much less the many benefits of cutting back on our meat consumption.

Balance.  If there is only one thing I manage to accomplish in my life in 2012 it really needs to be Balance.  

Now...I'm not really sure where I found the idea for Meatless Mondays. I'm sure I heard it somewhere. I recently came across an article about Meatless Monday and I remembered all about my failed attempt to eat less meat.

Well, this is 2012 and it is my year of transformation. I'm the head chef of this joint and I want to participate in meatless Mondays. So, I will prepare a new meatless meal every Monday, and will try to blog it out over on Cheecha's Cookin' page. If my beloved family does not like my cooking they are welcome to prepare themselves a PB&J...another meatless option.

There are many benefits for everyone in eating less meat. If you would like more information you can visit http://www.meatlessmonday.com for more info!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Kids Have Goals Too

I asked my children what accomplishments they were proud of achieving in 2011.

My teen son said he was proud to have survived the first half of his freshman year in high school.
He said he hopes to try harder to get good grades in Spanish and learn better study habits in 2012.

My pre-teen daughter said she was proud to have all A's in her advanced classes and one B in Biology.
She said she has the irrational goal of beating the 1 mile school record. I think she can do it.

My 8 year old son said he was proud to have been chosen for the Math Bowl team, and Spell Bowl even though he didn't accept the invite to the Spell Bowl team.
He said he is going to prove that the world is NOT going to end on Dec. 22nd by staying awake all night and laughing when the next day comes and we're still here.

My 5 year old son said he was proud to have learned how to read in kindergarten this year.
He said he wants to learn how to tie his shoes this year.

We've been working on it. To be honest...I never really understood the whole bunny rabbit in the hole thing. It'a probably the worst subject for me to teach a child. Shoe tying 101. I'll take Physics any day over that.

Good Stuff. Here we come 2012. Watch out!

Resolutions for 2012

I have a few goals that I've set for myself in 2012. I'm hoping that creating this list will give some direction to my days as we enter 2012. I'm not real big on big commitment resolutions but I do well with new year goal setting so here are the things I am set to accomplish in 2012.

For my mind:
Reading goal: I would like to read 12 new books this year. It may not seem like a lot but I am easily distracted and have 4 busy kids so this one is really a challenge. I usually get through 4-6 a year.

Blogging: I'd like to blog 3-5 days a week even if it is just a quick blog with pictures.

For my body:
Weigh loss goal: I want to lose 40 lbs. This would bring me down to my goal weight. I want to be healthy and toned but I work best with a measurable goal that I can see as obtainable.

Running goal: I would like to run 5 days a week. I am going to commit to running 3 days a week as a start. I'm guessing if I stick to 3 a week I will eventually fall back in love with running and work through some of the pain and make it to 5 days a week. I was considering setting a goal for a set number of miles but for now I think just running is all I can ask for. Maybe later on this year I can make mini challenges for lengths and times and such.

Stop biting my nails. After 36 years this will be a huge challenge but I quit smoking in 2011 so surely I can do this in 2012, right?

For my soul:
Meditation: I want to make more efforts to meditate daily. My goal is to keep a meditation book so that I may journal the feelings that wash over me during my morning meditations.

Yoga: My goal is to start every week day off with a morning yoga routine. I think starting off each day more centered will do my spirit a great service.


Rumaki is an hors d'oeuvre that I came to know growing up as my Aunt has made it at least once a year for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. I've never used a recipe before for this but today I decided to actually measure the ingredients out so that I could share this with you. I've never been a very precise person when it comes to measurements...I'm an "ish" kind of cook so...it's safe to say if you are a little short or have a little extra the math will all work out in the end. 


1 15-20 oz. Tub Chicken Livers (I bought a 20 oz. Tyson brand but did not use it all
1 package of bacon (cut slices in half)
1 can sliced water chestnuts (You could buy whole and slice them yourself, but why?)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 clove of garlic, minced (approx 1/2 tbsp)
1/4 tbsp ginger, ground (I used the powdered stuff but I am sure fresh is better) 
1 cup low sodium Soy sauce

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees

 Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
 Cut bacon slices in half. Open and drain water chestnuts. Clean and cut Chicken livers into approx 1 inch chunks. (The rolling pin? I used it to smash the garlic clove for easy peeling.)
 Lay a piece of bacon down, lay a chunk of chicken liver and a slice of water chestnut on top. 
 Wrap it up with the bacon and use a tooth pick to secure the end of the bacon. Place the Rumaki into the bowl of Soy marinade. Roll the next piece and repeat until you use up all of the bacon. You will have left over water chestnuts and chicken livers as well. If this bothers you...buy more bacon. :)

This is only half of the batch. I cooked them in 2 batches because I have small baking sheets. 
Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 400 for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is thoroughly cooked and crispy. This makes approx 40 Rumaki. 

Do not marinade for more than 10 minutes...they will be VERY salty if you do!

Happy New Year!

Well, it's 2012 and i could not be more relieved. 2011 had some really great parts, but it has had it's fair share of downs, and most of them came in the last quarter!

I was recently hit by a drunk driver and this made the idea of going downtown to the bar scene less appealing, and staying home and risking dying of boredom a more attractive option.

So...we did just that.

I made some Rumaki
 Jon made some Guacamole!
 I drank some beers
Jon tried to make a chorizo queso dip. 
It wasn't bad. It wasn't good. 
You win some, you lose some. 
After the grazing hors d'oeuvre's we did the "make your own pizza" night for our dinner.
 Aiden likes pineapple, ham, and sausage.
 Dane likes everything with just a little cheese
 We used pita bread pockets for the crust this time.
 Andrew always uses a half a jar of sauce, a can of pineapple tid bits and 3 shreds of cheese. True story.
 They were pretty good!

After the eating, and the eating, and the eating, we watched Rio.
For the umpteenth time since Christmas Eve.
Cute movie. 
 After the movie we played Hedbanz. Nadine had a really hard time with "bicycle".
 Dane watched the timer closely.
 Aiden is just really cute with the questions he asks!
Andrew was in a panic. The pressure of the dropping sand was so hard on him.
He knew that his object was food, and that it had meat and bread and that it was not a sandwich or a burger. He could not figure it out for the longest!
 A family tradition passed down from my momma. You beat on pots and pans at midnight.
Our neighbors hate us.
The feelings are mutual.
Happy New Year Everybody!