Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What’s for Dinner? Unnamed Pasta Dish

This dish is yet unnamed because I had not planned to post it on here.

I needed to pull together an easy dinner for my five of us. I had a partly thawed sausage roll and thought spaghetti sounded good but maybe with a little twist.

I started to pull things from the fridge and pantry and came up with a sort of goulash that my niece declared to be her new favorite meal.

So, no pictures this time, sorry!

Here’s what you need:

1 pound bulk sausage – any flavor, I used medium
1 pound Baby Bella Mushrooms – these are optional but I like the earthiness they add to the dish
1 jar pasta sauce – I used a garden veggie variety
4 cups elbow macaroni noodles – cooked to al dente
Mozzarella Cheese – about 2 cups

Brown the bulk sausage in a medium frying pan. Push the sausage to the side and add the mushrooms. Mix and heat through.

Prepare the pasta to al dente.

In a large bowl, mix sausage, mushrooms, pasta sauce, and pasta.

Pour in a 13 x 9 casserole or cake pan.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Everything is already hot so you really are just melting the cheese.

Serve with garlic bread and a spinach salad.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

It was very good for a thrown together dish!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Girl Can Change Her Mind – It’s Her Right!

If you have ever read a post about Heidi before, you know she is very high energy and only stops her gymnast moves to sleep. Because of this she has always preferred yoga pants, sweatpants, and skirts to jeans.

She has owned a few pairs of jeans in her short life but I completely stopped buying them for her when I became fed up with spending $14 on pants she would wear twice and then hand down to her cousins.

She didn’t like them and I didn’t see a reason to make her wear them. She found them restricting and unnecessary.

I find them cute and versatile.

So I was completely taken by surprise when we walked into a Target over the weekend and she asked if she could try on a pair of dark blue jeans with purple hearts running down the leg.

I grabbed a 5 and a 6 and we made our way to the fitting room.

I had a few pairs of jeans to try on as well so we ducked into the family changing room and modeled for each other.

I found one pair that were very flattering and would be dressy enough for a business trip I am on this week.

Heidi pulled on the size 5’s and buttoned them up. She pulled her t-shirt up around her waist and looked in the mirror. She liked what she saw. She felt very grown up. But, would she be able to move freely?

I told her to do the splits to find out. She, without hesitation, dropped down in the left leg front splits and dropped smoothly to the ground. Just like she does when wearing yoga pants. Just like she does in her gymnastic and dance outfits.

She was sold!

Next stop – belts! Just because she likes them doesn’t mean they actually fit in the waist and are long enough!

Monday before school, she told me I needed to let everyone know she likes jeans now so she is sure to get them for her birthday.

And now I ask, what happened to my little girl? She is going to be 6, not 16. Right?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's For Dinner? Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I found this yummy recipe on Tasty Kitchen, posted by MyLittleNutmeg yesterday.  Heidi has been asking to have the left over Turkey Chow Mien we froze a few weeks back so I thought these might be a good compliment to that dish.

Boy, oh boy, was I right!  They were fantastic.

Here is what you need:
3 tbsp butter
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 package of frozen meatballs

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, add the diced garlic and cook for about 60 seconds.

Add the ketchup, soy sauce, and honey and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Add the meatballs, stir to coat and heat through.  If the meatballs are frozen, this will take about 15 minutes. If they are fresh, then just a few minutes to let the sauce kind of soak in.

It was the perfect side dish with the turkey chow mien. It would also be good in a crock pot for an appetizer at a potluck.  Just add the meatballs to the sauce and let them simmer in the crock pot for about two hours.

It is easy, quick, and very yummy.  Enjoy!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Girl Scouts, It's More Than Just Cookies!

When I was in Elementary School, I was in Girl Scouts. I absolutely loved it and made lots of friends. Those friends and I have lost touch and reconnected many times over the years but they really are the kind of women who I know would be there if I ever needed anything.

Losing my mom early in life taught me that having these types of women around me is vital.

When Heidi asked to join Girl Scouts, I was beyond excited! In addition to the lifelong relationships, many other life skills are fostered. This was very apparent this weekend.

Heidi’s weekend started out with a dance at the Middle School. The dance was for area Troops and was hosted by two older Troops. They do this every year and seem to have wonderful success. The girls who organize this event do all the leg work themselves. There were parents there “just in case” but the girls were responsible for taking tickets, serving food, keeping supplies for the craft stocked, decorating, and clean up. I have to say, they did a fantastic job!

There were about 200 girls in attendance and even though I saw a few tears from other girls, they all appeared to have a fantastic time. It was a night of bonding with not only their troop but other troops as well. Everyone was disappointed when 8 pm rolled around and they had to head home.

Saturday brought Cookie Go Day, the day to officially begin selling Girl Scout Cookies.

Heidi’s troop set a per girl goal of 100 boxes. If the troop sells 1200 boxes, the girls will get a pizza party. Some of the girls were worried about this because they have sisters in Girls Scouts so they are competing with them. Heidi became aware of this decided to step it up and sell more than 100, setting her personal goal at 105.

As of noon on Sunday, 36 hours after Go Time, she had sold 91 boxes and is well on her way to exceed her goal.

Sunday afternoon, we went out to sell to the neighbors. We had little luck as most people had already headed out for their Super Bowl Parties but we did find one family home.

Heidi knocked on the door and her friend Amanda answered. We had practiced what she should say, over and over again. She had it down.

But when Amanda opened the door, Heidi froze. She couldn’t even remember her name, let alone her speech! So, I gently encouraged her and then spoke for her. They ordered two boxes and I had to remind her to say Thank You.

At that point, I was thankful no one else answered their door. And I now realize we should have practiced by having her give her sales pitch at her Grandparents door instead of at brunch on Sunday.

It had not occurred to me how much she will learn from selling cookies. Not only about fundraising but about herself, her comfort zone, and her need to occasionally step outside of it.

My hope for Heidi is that she gets as much from Girl Scouts as I did. Lifelong relationships and important life skills.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Hedgehog Day

Wednesday morning

Me: Hey, Heidi! Today is Groundhog day.

Heidi: What does that mean?

Me: There is a Groundhog in Pennsylvania how will look out of his hole. If he sees his shadow, he gets scared and goes back to sleep meaning there will be a late winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then there will be an early spring.

Heidi: Did he see his shadow?

Me: Nope. So, winter should be over soon.

Wednesday evening

Heidi: Mom, did you know today was beaver day?

Me: Beaver Day? Do you mean Groundhog Day?

Heidi: No. Beaver Day.

Thursday evening

Heidi: Mom, did you know yesterday was Hedgehog Day?

Me: Hedgehog Day? (snort!) Don’t you mean Groundhog Day?

Heidi: No. Beaver Day.

Me: I am pretty (snort) sure it was (wipe tears) Groundhog Day.

Heidi: I don’t know how to say that. Grouuuuu…. Growwww… Nope. It was Headgehog Day.

Me: Or maybe Beaver Day. (snort!)

Heidi: Yeah. That’s it. Beaver Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Shawn's New Toy

Shawn is known for researching before he takes on a new project.  Our bookshelf is full of home improvement books with broken spines.  His email sent items is full of questions sent to friends with experience.  Our Internet history is full of google searches relating to the current project.

So it was fitting that Shawn watched youtube videos on how to ride a unicycle before setting out.
The seat needs to be just right.

Getting on is tricky.
But he got it!
Ready?  Set...
Let go!
One full revolution and...

No broken kidney. At least, not yet.  We will see what happens when he gets out of the basement after the snow melts...  Got to run, I need to update our life insurance policies.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do They Sell Dog Weaves?

Daisy continues to have her good days and her bad but I am happy to say she has many, many more good days than bad.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how well she was doing and the next day she got something like the stomach flu.  Pig had the same thing just a few days before so we are pretty sure they picked something up but it took Daisy twice as long to get over it.  And any time she is even a little off, I get a bit freaked out.

On the up side, look how well her hair has grown back in!

Except on her scruff which is not even trying to grow back.  When she gets worked up some random little hairs stick up.

Does anyone know where I can get her a Doggy Weave?