Riviera Maya

We recently returned from Mexico. I’m already anticipating our return next year.

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JCP

I’m always the last to know. JCP rocks! No. Seriously, it does. They have great deals on portraits (I found a great deal on Living Social) and their store is awesome. Great prices and super cute baby clothes. I love the Sephora store right in the middle of the store. I can’t believe I’ve been driving all the way to North Park just to buy makeup. Geez…. This location is so much closer and it has a separate entrance from the Sam’s/Walmart section of the shopping center. It’s been years since I’ve been to a JC Penney and in that time they have really turned their store around. JCP is my new BFF!03-22-2013 17-35-P16

Lately

I made stuffed peppers….the red, orange and yellow variety. Boy those orange ones get sweet once roasted. Add feta for tangy goodness and you won’t be disappointed. Cheddar for good measure because why not.

I made chocolate chip cookies, buttermilk pie and brownies. Oh my…the brownies. Um…I ate half the pan on a Friday night. I had to toss the other half of the pan out the following morning. I had zero will power when it came to these brownies. Below is the link if you want to indulge. It would make a great treat for the Super Bowl.

http://www.hersheys.com/pure-recipes/details.aspx?id=4315&name=Ultimate+Chocolate+Brownies

 

Chex Mix

I ditched the Cheerios and pretzels for Bugles and Cheezits.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all. What a wonderful Christmas we shared with family and friends. We are so blessed and thankful for these precious moments to be remembered always.

Check out the new Thomas the Train table. Whoo hooo!! Fun times for arts and crafts.

055Nice Christmas jammies. Maybe next year. Dear Santa, please make yellow Christmas jammies for Tripp in 2013. It’s his favorite color.

Weekend

I love Nick and Vito’s. Their frozen pizzas are available at Central Market and they taste great. Unfortunately, we opted for the cheaper Digiorno variety last night. Last night’s pizza bummed me out. Our pizza was broken. What the heck?

We had a few beers at our local watering hole; Go 4 It Sports Bar. I love their bacon wrapped jalapenos. Delish. They have like 8 IPA’s on tap as well. Score! It’s nice to get out of the house for a few beers and watch college football for a couple of hours on Saturday. Plus, we don’t have to drive across town to do so.

I love that little shopping center. Not only is my hair stylist at that same location, but Kroger is there too. I love me some Kroger. I wish our store were bigger and nicer like the Mockingbird location. The wine and beer selection could use a makeover as in get rid of the open air coolers and invest in doors. What a waste of cold air. And get a better selection. Don’t listen to me. I’ll just go to Total Wine instead. Their prices are awesome. It’s called Total Wine for a reason. Don’t go looking for great deals on bourbon. You’d be wise to head over to Goody Goody.

That little shopping center also has a classy storefront; Vapes. Seriously, we have a Vapes and a head shop?? Um, so now I can get a smokeless cigarette and a bong after my shopping trip at Kroger. Classy! I’m all for supporting local business, but come on…

Okay, it’s time to walk the dog and clear my head before the kids get up. Note to self. Marinate the chicken and roast cherry tomatoes before your forget.

TGIF

Happy Friday! Things are going well with the household.

Tom is finally sleeping through the night. This started last Monday. Tripp is sleeping in a big bed in the evenings. For some reason, he prefers his crib conversion for nap time. Whatever works as long as he naps. He does not go down for a nap on Saturdays. We tried for a long time, but it was a lost cause. He’s too wound up.

The weather is beautiful. That means we’ll be outside whether it be at the park or the school or even in our very own front yard all weekend long. Gotta run the beans out of Tripp. Have a great weekend.

 

Why does my page look like this?

Is it just me or does my page look giant? Yes, it’s giant like jitterbug and I don’t know how to fix it. Ahhh! I’ve tried different themes and changing the header size and the paragraph size yet everything remains big. So I have a big blog. Nice. Not.

Next subject, please. The weather is gorgeous. It’s time to get the boys outside and take some pictures. We are heading to the Arboredum today. They have the most beautiful landscape for pictures. My oldest is obsessed with pumpkins. It should be a fun day.

 

 

 

Frozen

Last night, I heated up the pan of frozen stuffed shells in our freezer. What a fast and easy meal. I’m so glad that the recipe makes enough for two pans of food. One for eating right away and the other to be stored away in the freezer for a later date. Stuffed shells, toasty garlic bread and red wine made for a quick and easy week night dinner.

Stuffed Shells and Pumpkin

This recipe is great. It makes 2 9×13 pans of food. That means one for baking and one for freezing. I didn’t portion my filling out properly so I ended up with uneven amounts in each dish. The recipe is from Simply Recipes. You can find it here:
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sausage_spinach_ricotta_stuffed_pasta_shells/
I love dishes that provide enough food for left overs. I hardly have the time to cook each night of the week. We served these shells with a big loaf of crusty bread and red wine.
For dessert we had pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. This was a make up and see what happens kind of recipe. I was going to make banana cake, but instead of bananas I added one 15 oz. can of pumpkin. I added a variety of spices as well. The pumpkin is very dense and required more cooking time than the banana cake. The final product was a super moist cake with just the right amount of Fall spice. Look forward to the recipe in the next month or two. I’d like to test it one more time before posting. You could try the same thing with your go to banana cake/bread recipe. Simply replace the bananas, add spices and additional baking time or stare at it in the oven like I did.
Here is a recipe from Sweet Revelations. It looks almost identical to the one I made. She used a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. I used powdered sugar (aka confectioners sugar), butter, vanilla, cream cheese, a dash of Kosher salt and bigger cake pans (9 inch rounds).
http://sweetrevelations.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/brown-butter-pumpkin-layer-cake/