Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It only took thee years and three days!!!

About three and a half years ago, this little fella was born:

A little while later, I bought this fabric:

 (Yikes!  Ignore those wrinkles in the picture!!)

You see, I was super excited to finally become an aunt.  Both my sisters had been aunts for years and I was the only one who wasn't an auntie.  My husband had some nieces and nephews but I was just couldn't wait for my sister's son to be born.  So when she decided to decorate his room in the Disney Cars Theme I thought, you know, being the cool aunt that I am and all, that I would make him a blankie.  Donovan LOVES blankies.  So I started to make him one - no big deal, made a ton of them before, I'll just whip one right up.  The cars cotton fabric for the front, some blue fleece for the back and I cut some strips to make a cute little gathered ruffle.  I pinned the whole thing and decided the ruffle looked too girlie.  I kept trying to "boy" it up a little and couldn't decide what to do, so I threw it in the closet and left it there for three years.  Phew!  Problem solved!!

Fast Forward a couple of years and I decided to clean out said closet.  Donovan still loves his blankies and still loves the movie Cars so I decided its time to finish this darn blanket.  I added some checkered flag fabric for a border, left off the ruffle completely and swapped the blue fleece backing for red fleece for a little contrast.  Then I top stitched it around the checkered flag border.

Since my dad was traveling to my sister's for a visit, it was good motivation to just get it done so I could send it with him.  But my sister has had two daughters since then and guess what?  They like blankies too!  So I couldn't send one for Donovan and not for them.  So I made a quick run to Hancock's and found some Tinkerbell and some Disney Princess Material  and over the next two days made two more blankets for the girls.

For Princess Meagan:
(This fabric is really cute - the princess dresses have sparkles on them!)

And for sweet little Mackenzie

So it only took my about three years (and three days) but now all three of them have a 
blankie from their aunt Clair!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie Sandwich

I hardly ever watch daytime TV anymore, but I was in the living room vacuuming and one of the kids had left the TV on.  Rachel Ray was cooking something up so I stopped to take a peek.  She was making Turkey Burgers and it just so happened I had ground turkey in my fridge waiting to be turned into Turkey Burgers that very night!

But she put a little twist on the whole thing, and it looked soo yummy I thought we would give it a try.  The original recipe can be found here.

As usual I modified it according to the ingredients in my pantry and the picky eaters in my family.

Open Faced Turkey Pot Pie Sandwiches

2 lbs Jennie O ground turkey
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Finely Chopped Parsley
Finely Minced Garlic
Ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 can chicken broth
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl.   I didn't measure out my spices - I just eyeballed it.  I then separated the mixture into 8 patties.  (I cooked four and put four in the freezer for later)

Cook the patties in a large pan - mine took about 5 minutes on each side.   When the patties are done cooking, remove them from the pan and then add the butter to the same skillet.  Next add in the flour, whisk it together and cook it for about a minute.  (Just long enough to cook out the flour taste)  Next added in almost all of a small can of chicken broth and bring it to a boil.  Last, add in the canned veggies and cook until the veggies are heated through.

I'm sure this would be much tastier with fresh veggies or even frozen ones, but since I didn't have either, I had to go with the canned stuff.  We just used toasted hamburger buns instead of the English muffins.

This was a great recipe for our family because our picky kids were able to just take the parts they liked.  For instance Riley just had a plain turkey burger on a bun with some cheese and I didn't have to cook a separate meal for him.    And it only took about 20 minutes to get dinner on the table!


A Very Belated Birthday Party!

It seems like things are never calm in our household and when Ciara's birthday rolled around this year, our life's were as hectic as usual.  School was coming to an end and baseball and softball was in full swing so we decided to postpone her party till after school finished.  We kept waiting for the calm to arrive, so we could have her party but finally decided if we keep waiting the party may never happen.

So today was the day.  She wanted to help me make a cake so we made two little cakes that we split and then filled with strawberry and buttercream filling.  I covered them with pastel colored fondant and from then on Ciara was the creative director.  She even made some of the fondant flowers - not bad at all for her first attempt!!

My fondant was really dry for some reason and I wasn't sure how to fix it, so I had a hard time getting the fondant to lay nice and smooth.  You can see all the cracks that developed.  Thank goodness Ciara wasn't as nitpicky as I was - she loved the finished product and I guess in this instance her opinion was the one that mattered the most!

Our Hero! - Happy Father's Day 2010

Due to a family members medical emergency last month, things were kind of really hectic around here!  Throughout it all, my dear husband was so supportive.  Coming home from work early, working from home, eating fast food, helping more with the kids and just being ready with a hug!   It would have been really easy to postpone our Father's Day Celebration to another day but I wanted to make we took at least part of the day to acknowledge how much Chris means to me and the children.

Thankfully a few weeks prior to Father's Day, I stumbled upon a great idea on one of my favorite blogs:  http://jordanferney.blogspot.com/

The kids and I assembled some of Chris's favorite snacks, placed them in cello bags and labeled them with cute labels:

(Pardon my poor photography and my kitchen tablecloth in the background!)

I found a cute blue wicker box on clearance at Michaels.  It had a cute mini chalkboard on the front.  The kids wrote little messages on it.  I'm not sure if Chris will use the box again but I'm sure we will find it a home around here somewhere.  So after a breakfast in bed of Eggs Benedict, the kids proudly presented their gift basket.

Happy Father's Day to an all around great guy, wonderful husband and fantastic dad.........
Our Hero!!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Treats

Almost a month ago now, my stepfather had a stroke.  Needless to say, our life's were quickly turned upside down.  After a lot of ups and downs, I am thankful to say that he is now slowly but surely recovering.  He is currently in Rehab ward and has actually been there for about two weeks, but before that it seems like we never knew where he was going to be from day to day.  Started in the ER, to ICU, then to Neurological monitoring and then Rehab. 

Every single staff member that we came in contact with were soo kind and caring.  We wanted to make just a little something to show them that we appreciated them, so I started making cookies.  Because we were all so busy I opted for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Easy to make and everyone loves them!  We made bags and bags of cookies.  Each bag had two giant cookies in it.

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to use, is the Tollhouse Cookie Recipe.  I use an ice cream scoop to scoop the dough and then let it chill in the freezer for a few minutes.  This helps the cookies keep their nice round shape. 

A special Thank You to all those wonderful nurses, doctors, medical staff, rehab therapists, counselors and anyone else I might have forgot!

And to my mother:  You are AMAZING!!