Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I'm Reading

I saw a blurb about this book in the current issue of Cookies. The writer, Emily Franklin, talks about cooking, and the adventures that go with it, for 4 kids. She captures you from the beginning, just her talking about herding her kids out the door to school is hysterical! Any mother can relate. She, also, talks about how she dreams about food and cooking, I thought I was the only one who did that. She includes recipes, some of which I am going to have to try.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Julie and Julia Trailer

I can't wait for this to come out! I loved the book, and, of course, Meryl is amazing. And, timed perfectly to come out the day before my 40th birthday! Dinner at L' Etoile, then the movie!

16 boys 1 birthday party

We had J's birthday party last weekend, and we couldn't have gotten better weather. There were 16 boys invited, and they spent 2 hours running around the yard, playing in the tree house, sand box and swing set. We had a pinata, which three kids got a whack at, and then it decapitated itself, so I climbed up to the tree house and threw all the treats out to the boys. A good time was had by all, and everyone went home with a bucket filled with old-fashioned goodies; paddleballs, metal jacks, pick up sticks, Silly Putty, Cracker Jacks and spinning tops. It was intersting that some of the kids didn't know what some of the things were. It was fun to watch parents demonstrate how to use Silly Putty. I always say simple things are the best. I also say "More is more", but that tends to be my justification for decorating 8 full size Christmas trees!

Monday, April 27, 2009

What I'm Reading

I just started reading this book, and am really enjoying it. The author, Michael Perry, lives in Wisconsin, and has written a couple other books. In this adventure he writes about chopping wood, chickens, his love for his wife and "given" daughter, the expectancy of his child, and it all takes place on a rural Wisconsin farm. Now I grew up in Wisconsin, not on a farm, but I can relate to so much of it. Especially about sitting by the stove. At my Grandmother's shack (cottage) we all gathered around an old black stove, heat coming from the wood we cut, split, and stacked in one big family fall weekend. That stack would provide her heat all winter, and keep us toasty as we layed on the floor, in front of it, playing Chinese checkers and Scrabble.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Busy Mom Meal

I rarely use my slow cooker, but this week I was consumed with the bookfair at school. This is an easy recipe, and everyone loves it. Serve it with some garlic bread and salad, and dinner is served. Add your families favorite toppings as well; mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Slow Cooker Pizza

1 1/2 ground beef, browned and drained
8 oz. rigatoni pasta, cooked until al dente, about 8-10 minutes
16 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1- 10.75 oz can condensed cream of tomato soup
2- 14 oz. jars pizza sauce
8 oz. pepperoni, sliced

In the slow cooker, alternate layers of ground beef, noodles, cheese, soup, sauce and pepperoni.

Cook on Low setting for 4 hours.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dinner with Friends

Tonight my friends and I had dinner at Sardine, None of us had been there before, and we really enjoyed it. I had a cheese plate, yum, and a great ribeye. The others had salmon, which they all must have enjoyed because the plates were cleaned. For dessert I had a strawberry ice cream sandwich, all made from scratch and pure heaven. I am going to try to replicate this dessert, and I'll pst about how it turnd out. We choose the next night out, August 14, and restaurant, Harvest. It was nice spending time with just women. I think that is what I miss most about not working outside the home. These women are funny, smart and spunky. What isn't to like?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lights, Camera, Bookfair!

Ah, the joys of chairing the Scholastic Bookfair at school. Round up people to help, set it up, sell 'em, pack it all up. And start thinking of next fall's. I had a teacher sneak peak today, with these adorable cupcakes as their treat. They were so cute, and I got tons of compliments, but what a pain in the backside. Who knew adding marshmallows could so time consuming? 4 hours decorating these mini cupcakes and I still have about 14 that are not frosted, because I called it quits. It was all worth it, because the teachers liked them. Now, how many books will I end up buying? The more shifts I work, the more great books I find.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In the most recent issue of Garden and Gun magazine, I found my barn. Or, the barn I want to build, if we could have the property in back of us. I think it would be great with cement floors, perfect for basketball and bicycling in the dead of winter. Big parties and a place to escape to. I can see it now, take out the fence separating the properties and create a bigger garden, fruit trees, and a pumpkin patch with a flagstone walkway leading to the barn. Dream on, baby!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Levi and His New Lovey

"Ah, Mademoiselle, are you flirting with me? Oui! You naughty girl, you just want to see my new puppy."
I am so glad that Levi likes him present. This has become my go-to baby gift. Soft, washable, and personalized. My boys each had one, and they still love them. Check out

Farmers Market starts Saturday!

I can't wait to start the new season at the Dane County Farmers Market. The setting is perfect, the Capital Square. I get there early, some vendors are still setting up. I start walking, stopping at Stella's Bakery, for some still warm spicy cheese bread. I always have to pick out the hunk of cheese that has oozed out, and eat it right away. My family has no idea that even exists. Next a stop at my favorite flower spot, for some tiny sterling roses. They are a beautiful shade of lavender and smell heavenly. When I get home I will put them into an antique wine glass, and set it on my nightstand. I continue the walk, smelling my roses, looking out for Farmer John's cheese, because his curd is the best, still warm, with whey dripping from it, and of course, squecky. I'll continue thinking about what I can cook, with all the bounty at my fingertips. By the time I'm done, my Lands' End tote will be full. And I will have a wonderful ride home, with cinnamon rolls for the family and big cooking plans for the weekend. If you are ever in the area, don't miss the experience. And check out their website at

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, J!

Yesterday my oldest turned 7. I can't believe how fast the time has gone. He is an imaginative, bright boy, who loves history. Tell him about Davy Crockett, George Washington, Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, and he is in heaven. He is forever packing his beloved backpack, with all kinds of interesting things for the next adventure. He spends all his time outside, playing in his treehouse, coming up with some master plan with his brother. He loves nothing better than a walk in the woods with his Daddy, all the while hearing stories about the "old days". Happy Birthday, my wonderful boy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Be Inspired!

Please......... just watch this in its entirety. After it's over, ask yourself: What kind of risk are you willing to take? No matter what your age. Thank you, The Entertaining House, for tuning me in to this. Thank you, Susan Boyle, you are an inspiration. Jolly good show!

Fanny at Chez Panisse

I ordered this book, and it came while we were on vacation. Alice Waters, founder of Berkeley's Chez Panisse, wrote this charming book from the voice of her daughter, Fanny. The illustrations are adorable, and there are recipes included in the back. One idea from the book I'm going to steal, is creating a tee pee with bamboo sticks and letting beans grow up the sides. I think the boys will love hiding out, and being able to eat while in there.
I think Alice Waters is such an inspiration. I bought a DVD of PBS: American Masters, which featured her. Every time I watch it, I feel inspired to eat and cook better. Watching her talk about the"hamburger mentality", the idea that those that eat the same things everyday, close themselves of to great experiences. Something wonderful comes their way, and they miss it. It is the philosophy I am teaching the boys. And they are great eaters. Someday I hope to eat at her restaurant.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pomegranate, Inc.

One of the fun things I did in Lexington was go to the Pomegranate outlet. I found the best deals! Runners, $2.00, embroidered cocktail napkins 50 cents! And , this is my favorite, tablecloth and napkins that are pink with green frogs, for less than $50! Check out their website, . The designs are adorable, and their sale section changes frequently.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety, Jigg

Ah, I'm back from vacation. And, boy, did we see a lot! We went to the Louisville Slugger Factory, saw the Capitals of Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana, saw A. Lincoln's birthplace, childhood home, adult home, Mary Todd Lincoln's childhood home, his mother's grave, his tomb, Presidential Museum and Library. We toured Mammouth Cave and went to Dinosaur World. We watched Krispy Kreme donuts get made (love the curtain of glaze), saw Daniel Boone's grave, watched a horse race at Keeneland. We toured Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's home, Ashland, home of Henry Clay, and Belle Meade Plantation. We are all happy to be home, and let the laundry begin.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! or as my Uncle Joe would say "Happy Rabbits"!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tennessee and Kentucky or bust

Mammouth Cave here we come! B and I took J there when he was tiny, but now is our chance to see it again with both boys. We leave tonight, and will hit Lincoln's Birthplace, Mammouth Cave, Davy Crockett's birthplace, Nashville for Belle Meade Plantation and the Hermitage. Than onto Lexington, I have always wanted to see a horse race, so we will at Keeneland. It will be a fun car trip, but we are always ready to come home. Write to you in a week or so.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I found this picture on and it made me so happy . I love Charleston, and get homesick (even tough that isn't my hometown) when I've been away too long. I come back from every trip there inspired. In the way I dress, decorate and garden. I want to have garden parties, polish my silver and pour some sweet tea. She never fails to captivate me. Thanks Tea or Wine, you made my day! Check out her blog for more pics. And go visit!

I'm Flipping Over These!

I just got the new LL Bean Summer catalog, and found these great flip flops. Aren't they cute? I only started wearing flip flops a couple years ago, and only have worn those from Eliza B. I can't stand the slapping sound most flip flops make, but Eliza B's don't do that, and these look very similiar. I might have to try them out, for $19.95 I can't go wrong.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Whooped it Up!

I made the Whoopie Pies, and they were so easy! Way sweet, which means the kids should love them! I think they look cute in the cellophane bags ties with pink ribbon and the green stitch.

Tie One On

Ribbon, who doesn't love it?! Okay, my husband doesn't understand the need to have lots (and lots) of ribbon. All these beauties arrived today from . It is my favorite place to order from, and cheap! The organza ribbons are $1.99 for a 25 yard roll! The sweet pink with the hearts was $3.42 for 10 yards. What a deal! They will be tied on Easter Basket handles, bake sale goodies and a May pole I'm making.