Monday, August 31, 2009

A new twist on an old favorite: Zebra Cupcakes

Wednesday nights at the Alpha Chi Omega house at the University of Alabama was always Chapter Night. It was always my favorite night to eat dinner! We usually had boneless fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and Zebra Cake! Zebra Cake is simply a layering of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers and Whipped Cream {flavored with a little vanilla extract}. I usually layer mine in a trifle bowl {some people make theirs on a platter or into a log}. I was short on I used Cool Whip instead of making my own whipped cream. Zebra Cake The cookies are the hardest part to find. Walmart use to be the only store in town who carried them. I despise shopping we don't have Zebra Cake often. I was ecstatic when I noticed them at Publix yesterday {on the end cap with the ice cream toppings}! So tonight I created a new twist on one of my old favorites:
Zebra Cupcake A Zebra Cupcake! I started with a chocolate wafer, added a dollop of whipped cream and repeated my layers...ending with a cookie. {I ended up with 4 cookies sandwiched between 3 layers of whipped cream.} You need to leave them in the refrigerator overnight so the cookies absorb the cream and become almost cake-like! You can then garnish them with chocolate curls, sprinkles or cocoa powder. I was lazy and since they were just for my family...I omitted the garnish! But if I was taking these to someone...they would definitely be garnished!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Project

Pepper Jelly
Between Debbie/Christopher's garden and my garden, we had several green bell peppers that were ready for the picking. Christopher also had several jalapenos and habanero peppers. So this afternoon, Debbie and I made some pepper jelly using Paula Deen's recipe. It was super easy and will be great to have on hand! We have some red peppers that are almost maybe some red pepper jelly next weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Cousin

By brother and sister-in-law welcomed their second baby into the world this morning {and cousin Carter became a big brother}! callen

She is a small fry compared to the rest of the bunch {weighing in at a pound less than Carter and Mary Reese and about 1.5 pounds less than Banks and Owen}. We can't wait to meet her! Mary Reese can't wait for her to play dress up and dolls!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bubba Beefcake

Owen has a new nickname around our house...Bubba Beefcake! The boy loves to eat and hasn't been too picky! Tonight he discovered a new favorite... YUM Yogurt! I couldn't get it in his mouth fast enough. He was grabbing my hand that had the spoon in it and shoving it towards his mouth. Yogurt Needless to say...he went straight to the bathtub after this meal!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

R & R

This is the view I woke up to this morning: Lake Isn't it beautiful! We spent an almost fall-like weekend at the lake getting some R & R! It was so peaceful...the weather was perfect and we had almost all of our end of the lake to ourselves.

These two spent a lot of time doing this... Best Friends ...nothing better than fishing with your dog by your side! He never caught anything, but he loved every minute of it.

Most of our meals were cooked on this... Weber these two... Dumb&Dumber
Dumb and Dumber is what I called them all weekend {Dana and I decided they were somehow related}. It was a wonderful weekend...probably one of the last ones of summer! I can't wait to go back in a few months to see the leaves changing!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Food 101

When Banks was little, my mom encouraged me to make my own baby food. It is super easy, not too time consuming and a HUGE money saver {especially if you know someone with a garden who gives you food}. Owen started eating food a few weeks ago. So far he has eaten these:

baby food 101

First I cut everything up and put it in the steamer basket of my pressure cooker. You don't have to have a pressure cooker...any pot would do! I didn't even peel the sweet potatoes or apples before steaming. I did peel the carrots but you could use baby carrots and eliminate that step completely. I just snapped the green beans {actually Popsy did before he gave them to me...even better}! baby food ready to steam I steam everything until tender {about 15 minutes}. Then I drain it, remove the skin {if I didn't before steaming}, throw it back in the pot and use my hand blender to puree everything to baby food consistency: mixing it up If you don't have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender or food processor {the only drawback is more dishes to wash}! Here is some finished product:

baby food

Apples, green beans and sweet potatoes
After I get the consistency right, I spoon it all into these... ready to freeze ...and pop it in the freezer! Once it is frozen, I just bag it up in plastic freezer bags until... all bagged up ...this porky pig is ready to dive in!

yumming it up

I like to make mine in bulk because I have been blessed with this chunky monkey... chunky monkey Here is a close up of those rolls and those thighs: close up He is eating us out of house and home! But I LOVE having a baby with tons of rolls {and I have been blessed with 2 of them}!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mystery Outing

Yesterday afternoon, we all loaded up for a mystery outing. Jody and I didn't tell the kids anything about where we were going {partly because we weren't 100% ourselves}. Let me give you a hint and see if you can guess what it involved... owen Did you notice the bowling balls behind Owen? We went bowling {and more} at The Station 2 at Bridgestreet. We had an absolute blast! The Station 2 has 12 bowling lanes, 2 rollerball lanes, pool tables, arcade games and a restaurant. When we got there only about 1/2 of the lanes were full, so we snagged one {good thing because by the time we were done, there was a long line for lanes}! The best part of bowling was new bowling shoes {not the nasty ones they have at our bowling alley}!

Here is Mary Reese watching her ball head for the gutter: mary reese Notice Banks and his perfect form: perfect form Too bad our scores weren't reflective of our form... final score I don't think any bowling leagues will be knocking at our door anytime soon! We looked over at the lane next to ours {on our last frame} and discovered they had their bumpers up. I think next time we will ask for the bumpers...we might even break 100! After our pitiful game of bowling, the kids played this: rollerball Banks even got one of these: strike By the looks of there scores...this was more their speed! rollerball score After rollerball, we gave them some tokens for the arcade games. Banks loved the deer hunting game and skee ball. Mary Reese loved a snow mobile riding game and skee ball. We ended up with 90 tickets but decided to save them to cash in next time! Mary Reese has here eyes set on some Disney Princess items for 225 tickets.

We were going to head next door to try out The Melting Pot but their wait was 1 1/2 hours {next time we will make reservations}! We opted for eating at The Station's restaurant because there was only a 20 minute wait!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Owen goes to "school"

Owen went to school for the first time today! He will be going on Thursdays and Fridays with Mary Reese. We packed his backpack last night...just like his brother and sister: ready for the 1st day We packed him some bottles and sweet potatoes... bottles packed And a happy for his new teachers.... Teacher happy He was riding in the stroller when Banks and I got there to pick him up. Here is the report of how his day went... Owen's first day Basically...he ate, slept and got his diaper changed! But his got some great loving while he was there! While he was getting loved on, Mary Reese was down the hall reading The Kissing Hand and drawing pictures of her mommy:

my mommy

Aren't I cute? I love my dress but the blue lipstick is what I love the most!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cleanup on aisle 4

When Banks, Mary Reese and I arrived home today, we were greeted by this by the front door:

care package

It was 2 huge boxes from our friend Tony:
tony chachere

When he was here last month, he said this was a fabulous recipe for burgers:

We searched all the grocery stores around town...there was no Honey Bacon BBQ Marinade to be found! Jody called Tony to see if he could ship us a bottle or two. So what started out as a couple of bottles of marinate turned into 2 huge boxes.

The smaller box contained 25 pounds of Fry-All...

This is what he breaded the fish and shrimp in for the dinner after the golf tournament.

Here's a bird's eye view of the larger box:
bird's eye view

It contained...
12 bottles of Honey Bacon BBQ Marinade

12 boxes of Jambalaya Mix

12 big shakers of original seasoning
big seasoning

and 5 dozen small shakers of original seasoning
5 dozen Seasoning

Banks even had to do his 1st homework assignment around the goods {because the stock boy had not show up to restock our pantry}:

I told you this was one of the most generous people I had ever met! Tony

He uses popcorn to package things...the kids had a ball feeding the birds in the front yard!

bird feeding

Aren't ya'll glad to see Mary Reese with an actual skirt on instead of a top for a skirt?

Monday, August 10, 2009

1st Day of 1st Grade

Banks was up and at 'em shortly after 6:00 am this morning! He has been ready for this day for about a week was his 1st Day of 1st Grade! I can hardly believe it! Here are the school goers ready to get in the car {complaining about me taking their picture together}: Out the door {Notice Mary Reese had a wardrobe change. She decided she didn't like the outfit she originally picked out last night...the pants hurt her stomach. Go figure!}

I was just going to drop Banks off and let him walk in by himself. When I pulled up at the school...everyone was walking their child I parked my car and walked him in! Here he is outside his classroom door: Outside Mrs. Propst's door
Here is the big 1st Grader at his desk: 1st grade desk He is sitting with Eppes, Ian and Marque. I think they had a wonderful day! He came home with a cute workbook they worked on all day. Since it was a new school for all of them, they went on a scavenger hunt around the school: 1st day book They found the library, the playground, music, drama, Spanish, the office, art, enrichment and the ever important lunchroom! A fabulous way to learn their way around a new school!

I loved this All About Me Glyph! All about me He came home and got right on his first "homework" assignment: a slice of me He had to gather 3 things about him that fit in a brown lunch bag! He picked a dinosaur because he likes dinosaurs, a fireman because that is what he wants to be when he grows up and a car because he likes cool cars!

Our sweet guidance counselor even sent me a happy for our first day of school! She spoils me rotten! from sarah