Friday, November 28, 2008

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble and Family Food Faves

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We were blessed this year to have our friends Brent and Renee here from Iowa. They arrived on Monday and left this morning. The boys had lots of fun having house guests to play with! Brent and Renee taught them lots of silly faces!

One day Renee, me and the boys had a fun day of Christmas shopping while Jimmy and Brent went golfing. The guys got their annual hike in together while I prepared our Thanksgiving meal. Thankfully Renee was here to help keep the boys entertained for me!

Bryce and Drew have never really eaten a Thanksgiving meal before. Bryce loved turkey dipped in gravy and a mediterrannean cheese dip. When he wanted more turkey, he said "More gobble, gobble please!" Drew loved the cheese dip and cranberries!

Stuffing is one of my very favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. I grew up eating Stove Top stuffing and still enjoy it, but I prefer something a little more hearty and fresh! This is my favorite "homemade" stuffing.

Sourdough Bread Stuffing

1-pound loaf sourdough bread
8 tablespoons butter
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2-inch thick in both directions
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 to 4 stalks celery with leaves, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
About 10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
10 to 12 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and set aside.
Cut or tear the bread into 1-inch cubes and spread it evenly on 2 baking sheets. Toast the bread in the oven until completely dry and beginning to crisp and brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add celery, onion, 2 tablespoons butter, and thyme. Once the butter has melted, cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes. Add sage and remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Add chicken broth to skillet and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl. Pour the chicken broth mixture over the bread cubes and toss to combine until the bread cubes absorb the liquid. Pour the mixture into the greased baking dish, and sprinkle with parsley. Bake in the center of the oven until heated through and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove the stuffing from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Family Food Faves

A yummy muffin recipe just in time for the holidays! The cinnamon sugar "makes em!"

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup pure pumpkin (from a 15 0z. can) I misread the recipe and actually used the entire can of pumpkin! I think I will make them again this way - it made them really moist and "pumpkiny!"

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350. Put liners in muffin cups.

Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/4 cups sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined.

In another bowl, stir together cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.Divide batter among muffin cups - fill about 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon-sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean - 25-30 min.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Way Back WHEN-esday!

Dateline: November 2007
Bryce and Drew's Age: 19 months
I love these portraits of Jimmy and I with the boys. The fall colors are so beautiful! We have these portraits framed and hanging above the boys' cribs so they can always see the love and adoration we have for them. They point to them and say things like, "Look, Mommy, Daddy and Bryce/Drew! Oh, look, so happy! I love my Mommy and Daddy!" It's just so sweet!

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Out Of the Mouth of Drew!

I have to write this down before I forget...!

Last night at dinnertime, Drew said HE wanted to pray. It's always a contest between the two of them!

Drew: "Dear God. Tank you fo my toasted cheese sandwich and soup. Tank you fo all my Nanas and Papas. And God...tank you fo EVERYTING!"

This morning, he asked where his Daddy was. I told him he was working.

Drew: "Daddy fwy airpanes! Mommy fwy rocket!"
Mommy: "Sure honey, whatever you say!"

Does this look like a rocket to you?!


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Love My Boys!

No matter how challenging 2 2 year olds can be, I am privileged and honored to be their Mommy. I just love these little boys with all my heart!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall Fun With Papa and Grandma M

Papa and Grandma M got to come visit us again. They were also here for a Fall visit last year and got to join us for our outdoor portraits. I love this picture of the 4 of them. The boys have grown up so much since then!

Bryce and Drew LOVE to pick up their grandparents from the airport. It's not the clearest picture but when they saw Grandma and Papa in the terminal they went running with their arms outstretched to hug and kiss them. What a nice way to be greeted!

Grandma and Papa had a bag full of goodies for the boys. One of their favorites was this "geeee-tar!"

The weather was beautiful while they were here so we tried to get outside as much as possible. We went to the local pumpkin patch and had fun...

Feeding the goats!

Going on a hay ride!

And walking through the corn maze!

We had fun shopping at the outdoor mall and watching our favorite water show

Grandma and Papa took the boys to The Disney Store and told them that they would buy them a toy...they were so excited and completely overwhelmed. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is the #1 show in our home so when they walked in they immediately loaded up their arms with Mickey and his buddies! Too many choices!
We enjoyed brunch at our favorite Lodge and playing on the fall displays. The boys "rode" the corn stalk horsies!

Bryce and Drew love Grandma and Papa...they had lots of special times with them. They are getting old enough now to understand that they have to leave and fly home on an airplane. It makes them sad. Bryce especially has a hard time. We love you Grandma and Papa and are thankful for the time we have with you. Thank you for coming to see us and for all of your love!

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