Tuesday, January 24, 2012

one hundred days of school

I can't believe today is the 100th Day of School.  It seems like just yesterday we were posing on the first day!

I volunteered to send a special snack for Banks and Mary Reese's classes.  One year I did cupcakes and placed them on the tray in the shape of an 100.  Last year I did a giant rice krispie shaped in an 100.  This year I went back and forth on what to do.  Both the kids said they wanted rice krispie treats.  I turned to my new BFF...PINTEREST...for a twist.  [Are you a pinterest addict like myself?]  I found a recipe for Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats and turned it into this...



Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats

3 Tbsp. butter
1 (10 oz.) bag of mini-marshmallows
1/4 cup cake mix (the dry cake mix, not prepared into a batter! I used white, the original called for yellow)
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 (1.75 oz.) container of sprinkles

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in (dry) cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a greased baking dish (any size will do) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I find spraying a knife with nonstick spray helps to cut them.

[I made a double recipe and pressed it into my lined, greased half sized sheet pan.  I let them set for about an hour.  I put my 100 template on top and cut away.]


Happy 100th Day of School!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

3rd Grade Bibles

Sunday was a big day for Banks.  An important rite of passage in the Methodist Church.  Banks and the other 3rd Graders were presented their bibles...

3rd Grade Bible2

Back Row:  Banks, Charlie Taylor, Carter McCollum & Ian Jones
Front Row:  Carson Palahach, Emily Ann Vought, Jack Self, Meredith Nichols & Anna Kate Talley
[Minus William Penley and Luke McKelvy]

I remember getting presented with my Good News Bible when I was in 3rd Grade.  This coming Sunday they start learning all about their new bible with the Gregorys.  He can hardly wait!

Such a special moment in his life!  [Mary Reese was a tad bit jealous she did not get one...two more years and it will be her turn.]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

family favorite: sausage stuffed french bread

Truly a Christmas morning tradition in our house...dating back to my childhood and still continuing on today!  I honestly can't remember a Christmas morning without it.

This is the first Christmas morning we actually spent at our own house with absolutely no where to be.  So after all the presents were ripped open and everyone was occupied with their new favorite toy, I whipped up a little Christmas morning breakfast for our little family of five.  The menu:  Sausage Stuffed French Bread, Christmas Morning Sticky Buns and Cheese Grits Souffle.

To make the Sausage Stuffed French Bread:


Brown a pound of sausage [I use hot but we like things a little spicy around here] with ¼ - ½ c. chopped onion and ¼ - ½ c. chopped celery.  Drain.


Mix ¼ c. milk, 2 eggs, 1 t. salt, ¼ t. pepper and ½ t. sage together.  Add to the sausage/onion/celery mixture.


Cut the top off a loaf of French bread.


Scoop out the center of the loaf, reserving the bread crumbs.  Add the crumbs to the sausage/egg mixture.


Stuff the sausage/egg/bread crumb mixture back into the loaf.


Place the top back on and generously butter it.  Bake it at 375° for 15 minutes.  Remove the top.  Place some pepper jack cheese slices on top of the sausage.  Place the top back on and bake for an additional 5 minutes.


Slice and devour!


I got this text Christmas morning...


Glad I could share my family tradition!  Apparently there was a shortage of French Bread on Christmas Eve.  I had bought 2 loaves on Friday.  Camp ate them while we were out running around that day.  Jody went back to Publix that night and bought the last loaf.  He had to go back on Christmas Eve for the second loaf.

Sausage Stuffed French Bread
1 lb. hot sausage
¼ - ½ c. chopped onion
¼ - ½ c. chopped celery
¼ c. milk
2 eggs
1 t. salt
¼ t. pepper
½ t. sage [I used ½ T. fresh sage]
Loaf of French bread
Pepper Jack cheese

Brown a pound of sausage with chopped onion and chopped celery. Drain.  Mix milk, eggs, salt, pepper and sage together. Add to the sausage/onion/celery mixture.  Cut the top off a loaf of French bread.  Scoop out the center, reserving the bread crumbs.  Add the crumbs to the sausage/egg mixture.  Stuff the sausage/egg/bread crumb mixture back into the loaf.  Place the top back on and generously butter it. Bake it at 375° for 15 minutes. Remove the top. Place some pepper jack cheese slices on top of the sausage. Place the top back on and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Slice and devour!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

twenty twelve :: a new year

I was a slacker in December. I didn't do nearly the things I normally do. I made zero batches of peanut butter fudge. I didn't even do a Christmas card!

Last year I had my cards done and sent out early December. We went to The Grand right before Christmas and I wish I had waited to do my Christmas cards when I saw those pictures. This year we didn't go to the Grand until after Christmas, so I thought some New Year's cards might be appropriate for us this year...


They have been designed and ordered. They should be here this week so I can get them sent out. Maybe I can be more with it by December [I have almost 12 months right?].

After our low key Christmas, we had an even more low key New Year's. For the past several years, we have decided to just stay home with our children and forgo all the New Year's Eve parties. I wouldn't have it any other way!

New Year's Eve we had a steak dinner...


...with grilled shrimp, twice baked potatoes, and asparagus. Banks built us a little fire to keep warm with while Jody cooked the steaks on the BGE...


He has gotten to be pretty good with his fire making skills. He might could even try out for Survivor!

For dessert...


Bananas Foster. Yum!

The kids didn't make it until midnight. I barely did myself. We rang in the New Year and I went to bed!

The next day we all enjoyed a traditional New Year's Day lunch with our families...


I forgot to take a picture before we dug in. This is all the leftovers!

The day before, Owen and Debbie picked some greens Popsy planted a few months ago in one section of our raised bed...


We combined those with some out of Popsy's garden for our mess of greens. Since this was all that was left over...


...we should all be wealthy in 2012!

We had our Black Eyed Peas for luck...


We actually had them two ways both inspired by the PW...Zannie's Black Eyed Pea Dip and Hoppin' John.

I made my traditional Mac & Cheese with a twist...


It seemed like every cooking magazine for December had Mac & Cheese on the front cover. On the cover of Cuisine, theirs had kielbasa sausage. I opted for a little andouille sausage.

We also had some Shrimp Artichoke Dip, Meatloaf smoked on the BGE, mashed pototes, cornbread and Banana Pudding. It was all delicious & delightful. I perfect way to start off a new year!

A recap of 2011...

In January, we went a little stir crazy with tons of snow and missed several days of school...


In February, we got more snow and passed the time making Valentine's doughnuts...


In March, we celebrated Owen's 2nd Birthday...


In April, we spent a relaxing spring break at The Grand...


In May, Mary Reese graduated from Kindergarten...


...and Banks was awarded Student of the Month...

In June, we fought strep throat during our summer vacay at The Grand and the beach...


In July, we spent the Fourth shooting fireworks at the lake...


In August, we spent the last weekend before school started back in Hotlanta where we saw the Braves play and visited the Georgia Aquarium...


In September, Mary Reese lost her first tooth...


In October, we took the big kids to Alabama's homecoming...


Then a few weeks later, Jody and I spent the weekend with some college friends for the Alabama/Tennessee game...


In November, Mary Reese turned seven...


In December, Banks turned nine and killed his first deer...

Here's hoping to a fun & exciting 2012!