Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rain, Shine or Tornado's, the Game Must Go On!

We were hit with terrible tornadoes Wednesday. The town of Moody was hit hard & has a lot of damage! I thought there was no way David would have a t-ball game but I was wrong. Baseball must go on!

There was some damage to the ball field. The t-ball field lost a dug out!

After the game, we went home. Our church is having a dessert auction tomorrow so I baked while the kids took a nap. I will post more about that tomorrow. :)

For dinner, I experimented. My family is so sweet & make wonderful guinea pigs! We all agreed that it turned out pretty good. I made a cheese stuffed meatloaf & mac & cheese cups. I think the next time, I will not bake it as long & probably not put as much cheese.

Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
1 lb ground beef
1 cup ketsup
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Combine everything but the cheese.
2. Divide meat mixture into thirds; spread one-third in bottom of an ungreased 9x5 loaf pan. Cover with half the cheese. Repeat layers, ending with meat.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Mac & Cheese Mini Cups

**I got this recipe out of one of my Mom's cookbooks, Fun Stuff Silly Snacks.**

3 T butter, divided

2T all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup (4oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup (4oz) shredded Muenster cheese

1/2 lb uncooked elbow macaroni, cooked & drained

1/3 cup toasted bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1 T butter in small saucepan over low heat. Grease 36 mini (1 3/4 in) muffin cups with melted butter.

2. melt remaining 2 T buter in large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes. Add milk, salt & pepper; cook & stif 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses. Fold in macaroni.

3. Divide macaroni & cheese among prepared muffin cups. Top with toasted bread crumbs.

4. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes in pans, remove carfully using sharp knife.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Little Getaway

The kids & I decided we needed a change in scenery so we made a trip to my parent's house. It was nice to have a night that was stress & worry free.

The kids started by having some fun playing in the sprinkler. This was the first time this year we have gotten the sprinkler out. David remembers playing in the sprinkler last year but Grace does not. They both, being the water babies they are, loved it. I did not have swimsuits with so we just put on a swim diaper & some sunscreen, & let them go to town in the water.

For dinner, Grandpa & Nanny took us to a Japanese Steakhouse. We used to go with David when he was real little. He used to love to go & watch the cooking & show they put on. This time, it was Grace loving it & David was scared! After the first big fire show, he would not touch his food until the cook was gone. All David wanted was his Grandpa & hang onto him! Grace loved it & kept trying to stand up in her chair to get a better view!

After dinner, we played outside. David rode his bike, we played with bubbles & walked around a bit.
Pretty Grace

Looking for cars

Bike Riding

Grace's turn to ride the bike.


Popping the bubbles

Chasing Nanny with the bubbles!

Sweet Home Alabama

Wednesday, April 27th was a very hard day for the state of Alabama. We were hit by a massive mile-wide tornado. I have been struggling with what happened for the last couple of days & I'm sure I will struggle with this for much longer. My family & I have been very blessed & have received no damage (not even loss of power) from these terrible storms.

I watched a tornado go through Cullman, AL (the town Justin was born in) Wednesday morning. I watched the news all day waiting for the next storm to hit. I then watched a massive mile-wide tornado go through Tuscaloosa & come toward Birmingham. Justin was supposed to work until closing (10pm). I was so thankful when he called to say he was closing up the store early for the night & was coming home. He was home no more than 10 minutes & the tornado sirens began to go off. The four of us spent the rest of the night in the basement. As I sat in my basement with my husband & two kids, I can't begin to put into words the fear I felt. Our house & family were protected by the grace of God. I spent time checking in with friends in the area. I am thankful none of them were hurt. Some had damage to their homes & some even lost their homes but they walked away unharmed.

Now I am struggling with how I can help. I hate feeling helpless. Justin & I decided we needed to put a donation box in Schlotzskys. I went through my stockpile & was able to add a little to the donation box. I feel very blessed that I am able to contribute something.
I wish I could do more & hopefully I will be able to. For now, I am praying...I hope you will join me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Scarf #13

Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny made a visit to the Wagner house & left some treats for David & Grace.

The Easter Bunny also left some eggs filled with candy around the house.

The Easter Bunny came!

Hunting for eggs!

Christ is RISEN! Allejuela!
After a wonderful church service, we headed to the helicopter egg drop. It was pretty neat to watch a helicopter drop colorful Easter eggs from the sky!!

Here comes the helicopter!

Hunting Eggs!

Family Picture!

Someone was wore out from the helicopter egg drop!

While our Easter feast was cooking for lunch, the kids decorated eggs!

I made our Easter meal for lunch. We had ham, escalloped corn, glorified rice, italian bread & deviled eggs.

Escalloped Corn
**This is a recipe my Mom made while I was growing up. This recipe came from my Nana & has been one of my family food favorites!**

2 T butter
1 cup milk
1 heaping T flour
1 egg, beaten
1 can cream style corn

1. Melt butter in saucepan, blend in flour, add milk & heat to boiling point.
2. Take off heat & add can of corn, stir well.
3. Add the beaten egg & stir well.
4. Put in casserole dish & bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

Glorified Rice
**This is another recipe that has been a family tradition & one of my favorites!**

1 cup rice, cooked
10 maraschino cherries
Sugar, to taste
1 can crushed pineapple
1 cup whipping cream

1. Cook & cool rice with cold water.
2. Add sugar to suit taste.
3. Add drained pineapple.
4. cut maraschino cherries & fold in whipping cream.
5. Chill.

Happy Easter everyone! We hope you all had as wonderful & blessed Easter as our family did!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Scarf #12

Preparing for Easter!

David had a t-ball game this morning. During the second inning he was able to play the pitcher position. He did really good hitting the ball & he was so excited to have Grandpa & Nanny here to see him play!

Meeting with the coach after the game.

After the t-ball game, Grandpa & Nanny took us all to to movies to see Hop. It was a really cute movie & both kids really liked it. My kids love going to the movies. We try to go as much as we can during the summer because most of the movie theaters play free movies. Otherwise, we don't make it to the movie theater much. Both the kids sit so well through a movie at the theater & of course, they love the snacks (aka popcorn)! :)

While the kids took their nap, I got some thing cooked for our Easter dinner tomorrow (I will post those yummy recipes tomorrow). I also got some eggs dyed so the kids can decorate them tomorrow. I don't think we are ready to dye the eggs together so I took care of that & the kids can cover the eggs in stickers. :)

For dinner, Justin grilled a london broil. With it, we had steamed broccoli & leftover Italian bread.

Marinade for London Broil
**This is a recipe my Mom got from a friend of hers. This is the only way I have ever eaten london broil & it is SO good! This is a big favorite!**

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
2 T A-1
2 T sugar
2 T cider vinegar
2 T worcestershire sauce
2 T salad oil
1/4 cup water

Heat to boiling, then let cool. Good for 1 1/2 lbs of meat. Pour over meat & let stand in refrigerator up to 12 hours.

For dessert, I tried a new cake recipe. My Mom found me a new cookbook while she was visiting my Brother in SC a couple weeks ago, Taste of Home Cake Mix Creations. I made out of this cookbook, the Pastel Four-Layer Cake. The recipe had me use a boxed cake mix but I had to make my own frosting. I had never made homemade frosting before. I was surprised how easy it was! AND it is soooo much taster than the jarred icing you can buy in the store! I'm in love! I definitely suggest you try to make this cake! It is so good & it doesn't involve anything complicated. I had all the ingredients in my house except for shortening (I used up all of mine during Christmas). I love recipes where I have pretty much everything in house!

Pastel Four-Layer Cake

1 package (18 1/4 oz) chocolate cake mix
3 T all-purpose flour
Dash salt
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
Yellow, red & green liquid food coloring
1/4 tsp each lemon, peppermint, almond & vanilla extract
3 T baking cocoa

1. Prepare & bake cake according to the package directions, using two greased & floured 9-in round baking pans. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
2. In small saucepan, combine flour & salt. Gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook & stir over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; cover & refrigerate until cooled completely.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening & sugar until light & fluffy. Add milk mixture; beat until light & fluffy.
4. Divide frosting equally among four bowls, with 1 1/4 cups in each. To the first bowl, add 2-3 drops yellow food coloring & lemon extract until blended. To second bowl, add 2-3 drops red food coloring & peppermint extract. To third bowl, add 2-3 drops green food coloring & almond extract. To the last bowl, add the cocoa & vanilla.
5. Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate, spread with green frosting. Top with the second layer; spread with yellow frosting. Top with the third layer; spread with pink frosting. Top with remaining cake layer; spread with cocoa frosting. Do not frost sides of cake.

The kids set out their Easter baskets & a carrot for the Easter bunny before going to bed tonight.

Grace stealing a bite of the Easter Bunny's carrot

Sharing with Nanny

Story time with Grandpa before bed (It's Not Easy Being a Bunny)

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Start of Easter Weekend

Grandpa & Nanny came to spend Easter weekend with us. We are so excited to have them here!

For dinner, I made meatball soup, homemade Italian bread & ham & cheese sandwiches. It is a little warm outside, I know, but I am trying to clean out my freezer, so meatball soup it is! :)

Crock pot Albondigas (Meatball) Soup
**This is a recipe I found on A Year of Slow Cooking blog. I love this blog because there are so many recipes for the slow cooker! It is definitely worth checking out!**

4 cups chicken broth (I have used chicken broth or beef broth)
3/4 cups baby tomatoes
1 cup baby carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
3 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup prepared pasta sauce
1/2 tsp dried mint
15-18 frozen meatballs (Italian)
1 cup frozen peas
6 qt slow cooker

1. Put the broth, veggies (except peas), pasta sauce & mint in slow cooker.
2. Stir in frozen meatballs.
3. Cover & cook 8-9 hours.
4. Stir in frozen peas 20 minutes or so before serving.

Ham Party Rolls
**This is a recipe my Mom got from a friend of hers. My Mom made these when I was growing up & they were always a favorite. These sandwiches freeze really well so I always try to have a package or two in my freezer. We like to have these in the car when we are driving on a long trip. I bake them in the oven & re wrap them in aluminum foil to keep them warm. They are bite size, so they are easy for the kids to hold & eat without making a mess in the car.**

1 cup margarine
3T mustard
3T poppy seed
1 medium onion finely chopped (I use onion powder)
1T Worcestershire sauce
20 slices ham
30 slices swiss cheese
5 packages Peppridge Farm Party Rolls

1. Blend margarine, mustard, poppy seed, onion & Worcestershire's sauce.
2. Cut rolls in half.
3. Spread mixture on both sides of rolls.
4. Place 4 slices of ham & 6 slices of cheese on each pan of rolls.
5. Return rolls to foil pan, cut into individual rolls, wrap in foil & return to plastic bag.
6. Freezes well. When ready to use remove plastic bag & bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until cheese melts.

The recipe for the homemade Italian bread is on the post from 4/10/11.

Grace & Grandpa on the deck (someone missed her Grandpa!)

Story time before bedtime.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Package!

A package showed up on our door step this afternoon from up north! The kids were so excited to have Easter presents come from Papa & Nana!

The kids got some really cool hard books about God & Peeps! The kids had Peeps for their dessert after dinner! :)