Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The final days of December

I hope that December has been good to you.  We have been go go go since Thanksgiving.  Dinner’s have still been planned, breakfast’s cooked – I’ve just not taken the time to stop to tell you what all we’ve had going on in the kitchen.  (This is what breakfast looks like in our house at 6:00 in the morning.)


Today was the baking day - 100+ little tiny chocolate chip bunt cakes made for the hubby to hand out at his office.

Here ya go…THE Chocolate Chip Cake…

Preheat over to 350 degrees

1 box of vanilla cake mix

1 small box of vanilla instant pudding

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of oil

1/2 cup of water

4 eggs beaten

Dump all of that into mixer and mix until ingredients are, well, mixed.

Now add one grated german chocolate bar.

and one bag of semi sweet chocolate chips.

Stir until all mixed up….

Pour mixture into greased or well sprayed bundt pan.  Cook for 50 minutes….If you are going to use the little bundt style pan – it takes about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter per little cake and should cook for about 20 minutes. 


My dining room became the “staging area” (Jessica – you KNOW I have to have a staging area)


And this is about 80ish all done and packaged for hubby.  

Then there is my Uncle Barry.  Here he is with Gracie and Sally – two of his caregivers.  These women are amazing!!!!!!  He’s doing great here in Charlotte. 



And this would be my goofball son (who is getting ready to graduate high school by the way!  Yippeeee!!!) When his picture he posted on instagram got 200 likes.  (Oh – the picture is one of the ones I’ve included – let’s see i fyou can guess)

I have no idea – don’t ask me to explain WHAT he was doing.  He is a whack-a-doodle.  (More news on what the oldest has got going after the New Year)


And now my favorite end of the year game – SEE HOW THEY’VE GROWN!

The Bubba in 2010.  Seriously – cracks me up the think that he was BALD!


And December 2011 – the blond curls had been HACKED off once…..







And Lola – 2010.  She looks like a babe here…


And December 2011….the short hair cut year….she went the year then decided it was time to grow it back out.


And 2012





and now – 2014


And my blonde baby boy, Crash 2010…he has changed so much!!!


And December 2011…


And 2012….he is such a young man. 



And 2014



And Pootie - 2010


December 2011 –








The group shot from 2011 –




kids grp



And 2010 -









And 2011









And here are some great shots I just have to share of my kids from last weeks “annual” make my happy by going to get our pictures taken event.  I have to say – we had the BEST time- the kids too – the photographer that got stuck with us – she had a blast!


7C He just could not stop laughing…


Cute – but not my kids (not the Christmas card)


Them being goofy – those are my kids.

34C Love this one of my boys


And Sassy-molassy here.  Just love her. 

I must share the picture that Pootie and Crash INSISTED be taken.  There really are no words.


yeah- they were taking a little inspiration from StepBrothers

Merry Christmas to you and yours.  Enjoy the time with family and friends.  It’s what really matters. 

See you in 2015!!!!!

Disclaimer – we went to the Picture People in 2012.  That is the ONLY reason we went there.  My photo friend reminds me that those type of places make there money with traditional style poses – but that does NOT work for our family.  We’re just not like that.  The fabulous shots of my kids in the red and black outfits are done by Suzy of Suzy Moore Photography.  She has been taking pictures of all my kids since they were wee babes and gets the best out of them.  Portrait Innovations has done the rest.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Planned and Prepped

Just got home from the weekly grocery store circuit.  The week is planned out – and I’m getting ready to prep what can be prepped. 


Hubby has refereed all weekend at a soccer tournament – So I know that he is going to be REALLY hungry tonight.  I’m going to do steaks on the grill, baked potatoes and a big tossed salad.  I also picked up a cheese cake from Sam’s.  He will be pleased.


I have a lot of things I want to get done tomorrow, so I’m making something easy.  Beef tacos with chorizo and all the other toppings including fresh avocado slices and some refried beans.  Nothing fancy, but it’s an easy way for everyone to have what they like.  I have crunchy shells, tortillas, chips and good old queso dip. 


At EVERYONE’s request – I’m doing the Chicken Tikka Masala again.  I’m wondering if I can quadruple the the recipe. I tripled it last time and it still was gone in a flash!!! I have the naan – purchased from Aldi- in the pantry.   I am going to do something a little different this time – I’m going to marinate the chicken overnight instead of just the hour recommended. 



Pork Chops, homemade macaroni and cheese and french style string beans.  Think I’m also going to make a loaf of pumpkin bread.  It will make the house smell super yummy!!!!


Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya.  It’s a recipe I’ve had FOREVER!!!  And it’s super good with a salad and a crusty loaf of bread. 

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon dried basil

dash of red pepper (or more)

6 ounces sliced smoked sausage, kielbasa or andouille sausage (I like spicy andouille)

3 garlic cloves

2 14.5 cans diced spicy tomatoes

1 12 ounce jar pimentos

1/2 pound peeled deveined shrimp

3 cups cooked long grain rice

In large dutch oven or stock pot, Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and the next 9 ingredients - (basically everything but the shrimp and rice)  Cook 7 minutes or until tender.  Stir in shrimp- cook until pink.  Add the rice and warm thoroughly.

I have found that adding the rice too soon makes it gummy.  Cook the rice and let cool in the fridge then add when almost ready to serve.  Which means – the rest can be done ahead of time :-) and that’s always my favorite kind of recipe!!!!


Leftovers – assuming there are any.  If not, we will do chili and grilled cheese sandwiches

Breakfast and Lunches

I just made a large “batch” of chicken salad.  I take the easy way – I buy two rotisserie chickens from Sam’s (they are less than $5 a piece) and pull all the chicken off those suckers.  (White and Dark meat.)  I cut it into small pieces, chop up celery, add mayo, salt and pepper and a tiny dash of garlic powder.  This is the recipe that we use for the chicken salad at the beach each year – it’s simple, but oh so good.  For Pootie and Crash’s lunch, I’ll put it in a zip loc bag and the bread in a different bag.  They can then put it on the bread when it’s time to eat.  This keeps the bread from getting mushy.  Lola takes it in tupperware and just eats it with crackers and a fork.  Bubba will take it for lunch too….

I’ve also got deli oven roasted turkey and some nice rolls from the bakery – those will make nice sandwiches.

Eggs, sausage and Grits, french toast and biscuits and gravy are also on tap for the weeks breakfast. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Wrap Up….

I decided to go about this week’s menu publishing backwards – tell ya what we ate after we ate it. 


We had INDIAN food – and my family LOVES INDIAN food.  I found a recipe on line for Chicken Tikka Masala – one of our favorites.  So I surprised the family…and oh my goodness…my boys were SO happy.  (Yes, even the 5 year old throws down on some indian!) 

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA with Basmati Rice and warm garlic nan.  It was not identical to what we get at our favorite local indian restaurant – but IT WAS DELICIOUS!!  I read many of the comments – most said the recipe was too salty – so I did cut down as others had – but we also like spicy – so I added more cayenne.  HIGHLY recommend!!!!



Pasta with Italian Sausage in a Cream Sauce  also very good.  Very simple too.  And it rocks as leftovers!!!!




Since I had tried two new dishes Monday and Tuesday, I went to an old faithful for Wednesday.  Salmon with Dill and sautéed greenbeans.



Ordered Pizza :-) I was just DONE with the day – think the weather was giving me a headache.


I’ve had some ask about breakfast.  I do get up early in the mornings to fix breakfast for the kids.  Mostly because it makes everyone happier.  I start the pot of coffee and get it all ready before the big boys awake.  They have to be up by 6 and out the door by 6:45 – just feel like it gets their brains working!

Some mornings I fry eggs and make toast.  Some mornings I make Bacon, Eggs, and Grits.


Or Sausage, Eggs and Grits (the kids love some grits)



Or Waffles.


And some mornings they get oatmeal and coffee. 

It makes me feel good.  That’s really all I can say about.  It’s weird…I HATE getting up early – I really do.  BUT once I’m up, I actually enjoy being downstairs by myself.  I turn on a bit of music….and check emails while I cook.  And really – WHO doesn’t like waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking!??

In other news

Bubba is on cast number two for this botox/casting series.  He is such a champ about the whole deal. 



My baby boy is one more quarter of school away from graduating high school.  (yep, he’s graduating early)  This is him (left) with one of his best friends, after the last high school soccer game.  I just love this – it was probably the last time his friend will play soccer.  (He’s got knee issues and is not planning on pursuing it in college).  It makes my heart sad and happy looking at this. 




Enjoy the weekend!