Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow Creations

Here is our first snowman of the year.  You can barely see it on the patio table.  I think this snowman died soon after he was created. 

After the last storm, the kids went out to build a snowman but Gregory came back in after two minutes because it was "too snowy to make a snowman".  Daddy and Maggie built one instead.   This snowgirl's name is Ariel.  She's wearing a pink scarf made from fabric scraps.  On her head you will find a blue Pittsburgh Pirates hat.  Her nose is a carrot and her eyes are rocks. 

Ariel didn't last long either.  She did a face plant and broke into three.  So a new snowman was in order.  This one was made by Maggie, Gregory, Grandma LoLo and myself.  Gregory needed his mittens cleaned off every time he got snow on them.  "My mittens are wet", he kept saying.  He didn't quite understand that the mittens were doing their job.  This snowman was named Frosty.  We took Ariel's eyes, nose and scarf and used them for Frosty.  The Pirates hat was missing though.  So we used a dead basil plant for hair.  It was the best smelling snowman I've ever met.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lasagna Roll Ups

I'm going to begin my "one new recipe a week" quest again.  Just trying to expand our dinner options a bit.  Last night I made Lasagna roll ups.  I probably looked at twenty different recipes.  Some contained cream cheese (not in my lasagna please), some contained spinach (I didn't think my kids and husband would let me get away with that), some had only white sauce and some had only red sauce, but no one recipe had exactly what I was looking for.  So I combined a bunch of them together and came up with my own.  


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 TBSP  flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim Lactaid)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce. 

  • 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella
  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat.  When it reaches a boil, salt and drop noodles.  Stir occasionally and cook to just al dente.  You want to leave them slightly more firm since you'll be baking the pasta.  Drain noodles and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add beef and brown.  When almost cooked through, add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add 1/2 the basil and stir to combine.

 In a small bowl, lightly beat egg.  Add ricotta, Parmesan and remaining basil and stir together.  Cover the bottom of the pan with the bechamel sauce.  To assemble, on a drained noodle, add a spoonful of ricotta mixture.  Top with a spoonful of meat sauce and roll up.  Place seam side down in pan.  Continue until you've used all the noodles.  Top each with a little tomato sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake 15 more minutes until cheese is bubbly and turns golden.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don't Judge

I needed to contain him while I took the laundry out of the dryer.  As you can see, Joseph enjoyed his time in the hamper.  And yes....he was still in his jammies at noon. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentine Door Hangers

I am NOT a crafty person.  My crafts still look like someone in kindergarten made them (no offense to the five year-olds out there.)  But my kids hear the word "craft" and they squeal with glee.  Their current obsession is to make door hangers for Daddy's office.  With Valentine's Day coming up, we decided to make a heart shaped hangers.  To begin this process I needed a hard piece of bread to keep the youngest kid in check. 

Next I cut out two hearts out of craft foam.  Both kids wanted to spell "LOVE" on their heart so we started to search for the letters in the gigantic mess of alphabet stickers.  No matter how hard we looked, we could only find one "E".  Fear not though, we had a 3.  Just turn that sucker backwards and you have yourself a fabulous "E". 

After doing crafts with toddlers, I've realized that they will never decorate the way you would...don't even try to make them.  If they want to put a yellow lion on their Valentine, just let them.  The final product will be just as sweet.  Now Daddy has two lovely door hangers from his little munchkins.  He'll have the most stylish door in the building!
Maggie's Door Hanger
Gregory's Door Hanger

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Naked Dance

Add ImagePotty training is on full force in our house. Gregory has been really excited to wear the new underwear he got for Christmas and even tells me "oh no Buzz Lightyear is sad. I went pee pee on him" when he has an accident. Lately, he has also been into dancing, especially when he has his clothes off. When we get dressed in the morning or get PJs on for the night, you can be sure that Gregory is going to shake his booty. Unfortunately his dancing skills go well with the bright white color of his skin. The boy has no rhythm. Instead of shaking his butt, he shakes his head (really hard). When I tell him that he isn't actually shaking his butt, he'll grab his little cheek and do it manually. Yesterday, while in the middle of a diaper change, he jumped up and tried to take his shirt off. I asked him, "What are you doing? We are not going to take our shirt off". His reply. "But how can I do a naked dance if I don't take my shirt off?" Good question Gregory. Add ImageAdd Image