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Monday, June 27, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

Finally! We had spaghetti!
Haven't found any spaghetti sauce here, so tonight I got my act together and tried to make some...
I didn't really have a recipe that I could follow perfectly, so we made it up as we went!
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 onion,  chopped fine
1 cup of ground beef
12 tomatoes, diced
1 cup tomato paste
1 T. sugar
1/4 cup basil (fresh), chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Start with some olive oil, brown the meat.  Throw in the diced onion and garlic cloves (that are pressed)! When they are all cooked through, add in the 12 tomatoes (dice them first!) and the salt and pepper.  While this is cooking, chop and add the basil.  I added the paste at the see how much was needed to thicken.  Last, I added the sugar.  My mom said that I should add this, but I'm not sure that it needed.  I think that my tomatoes were sweet.  
That's it!  If you are a veggie person, add sauteed mushrooms, zucchini, squash, even grated carrots.  
We would usually mix some butter and pressed garlic together to spread on some bread, but didn't get that far tonight!  Better for the thighs.
Oh, and I'm open for any suggestions.  This was good and worked well for anyone wanting "fresh", but I'm sure there are other tricks to great sauce out there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Paddle boating

Does this bring back memories?
If not, you're either missing out or it's been too long!!
The Big Mr. took Mr. S on one today.  It was so nice to get out of the city and enjoy some fresh air!
The boats were in the shape of cars.
The speed boat, there on the doc was sort of like the police boat.  He would rev his engine and go after anyone that was being too wild.  Beautiful day with a wonderful breeze.
So...if you haven't gotten out there yet, now's the time!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Bake Cookie Recipe

I thought everyone needed a friendly reminder of the most delicious summer cookie out there...we've almost polished off an entire batch of no-bake cookies, even though we are rationing the peanut butter!  It was well worth using on this recipe!
For some reason, the pictures are not downloading, but you can see pics at her blog as well!
This recipe comes from a picture I saw on Pinterest.  I'm sure a lot of you have your own version, but this comes from Lick the Bowl Good blog.  
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick margarine or butter (I used butter)
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats, not instant)
Mix the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a medium saucepan.* Boil for 1 minute.
Add the peanut butter and vanilla. Mix quickly until peanut butter melts, then add the oatmeal and mix til well blended.
Drop spoonfuls on tin foil, wax paper or parchment. Allow to set and cool completely.
Makes 2 dozen 3 inch cookies.
NOTE: *I opted to pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl before adding the oatmeal.
p.s. please let me know if you have a low-fat recipe for these things!  

Monday, June 20, 2011

My 2 year old wants a Mustache

Today, Mr. S declared 
that he wanted a mustache when he turns 5..
Should I get him this card?
Or this tshirt to wear around the house, until then...
This is it!  The only way he'll get a stache by age 5!!
Ha!  We'll keep you posted on his progress!
Thanks again,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Today we went to a park with huge fountains coming out of the grates in the ground.  The boys took some warming up to it, but LOVED it in the end.  You can see all 3 Mr.'s here:
At Fellowship tonight, we were talking about the responsibilities of Dad's (by our Great Example).  
1. Protector
2. Provider
3. Pardoner
(In no specific order)
I can hardly be one of these at a time, let alone 3. 
A good reminder of what our men are seeking to be and how to encourage them. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 DIY Jersey Scarves

A scarf?  In the summer?  Really?
Dedicated to all countries that wear SCARVES in the heat of the summer.
(I could only bring myself to post about jersey fabric...everything else looked WAY too hot.  We'll re-visit this in the winter).

Number 1: How to make a circle scarf
- very EASY
- no sewing machine needed
- see blog for more details (and pic)

Number 2: How to make a straight scarf (or two, or three...)                     
- sewing optional                            

Number 3: Gathered Scarf
- some hand-sewing needed
-GREAT gift idea!

Sew...I mean, time you need a quick and VERY easy gift idea, click on one of these links -- directions are ready for you!  TGIF!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day Soap

Ha ha ha!!!
Just in case you needed a last minute gift idea:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paper Wreath, DIY

Well...this idea was taken from several different places.  Some on, some on blogs, some at stores in the U.S, before we left.  I've been wanting to try it and finally gave it a go since we desperately need home decor!
First, you need a piece of cardboard.  Cut it in a circle.  I used a recycled cereal box:
Then, you need some paper cones.  I used pages from a book we got on the side of the street.  You may have a book on your shelf, or go to a thrift store:
 Okay, now the fun part!  Glue the cones onto the cardboard!  I could not find a glue (tried two different ones) that would stick, so I finally defaulted to a glue gun, but that seems a little extreme for this project:
Keep on!  Glue your heart out until you want to be done layering.  I put an accordion fold and jewel in the center, but you can do SO MANY things.  Some people added monograms.  Some people added profile silhouettes.  There are a lot of ideas out there:
Close up!
  Let me know how it turns out...and, I'm always looking for other good, cheap, resourceful ideas!  Please pass them on!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I got this recipe from a cookbook my mom gave me before we headed over here.  We decided to try it because we were desperate for some Mexican food...anything that resembled Mexican food!  (I have changed some of this recipe around, so I'll add my changes in blue as the recipe goes...)

Deep-Dish Taco Squares:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 C dairy sour cream (if you don't have quite enough, add more mayo)
1/3 C Mayo (if you don't have quite enough, add more sour cream)
1/2 C shredded cheddar (I used parts of 3 different cheeses - none being the orange cheddar I'm used to)
1T chopped onion (I used green onions)
1C Bisquick biscuit mix (I found an already made crust that was like a Pillsbury flaky crust...worked great!  May also want to try a pizza crust or breadstick crust that is already made!)
1/4 C cold water
1-2 fresh tomatoes
1/2 C chopped green pepper
1/2 package of taco seasoning
Cook beef until brown; drain (add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 package of taco seasoning).  Mix sour cream, Mayo, cheese and onion.  Mix Bisquick and water until soft dough forms.  Pat in greased 8 x 8" pan, pressing 1/2 inch up on sides (I have halved this recipe and doubled the recipe...both turned out GREAT!).  Layer beef, tomatoes, and green peppers in pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Add lettuce and olives to garnish?!) Makes 4 servings.
Here are some pics:
cooking up the meat!
fresh produce!
 ready to go in the oven! (who knows what temp it is at!)
ready to eat...mmm!  It would look so much nicer with some olives and lettuce.

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Custom Family Tree!

A Map Lamp!

Not sure what we'll go with this year, but these are some of the gifts that I saw on my favorite online shopping place --!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Home made play dough -- (without cream of tarter!)

Here it is!
I brought one jar of cream of tarter with me and I just couldn't bring myself to use it on the first batch!  I found a great recipe.  I think the dough is a little sticky -- on the other hand, it is week 3 and not dry or crusty (2 ways to look at this!)
1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
Mix it together! 

 I'm not sure what to recommend for the food coloring.  
We get little packets here and I put the whole thing in. generous in what you drop in!  

ALSO...someone had told me a year or so ago that I shouldn't put koolaid or flavoring in because the boys would want to eat it.  They have wanted to eat it, so I'm glad I didn't!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mr. Mischief

If you knew you were missing a green marker and you were looking for it...would you be shocked to open the toilet and see this?  
If you saw a lid of a marker, with no marker, would you be concerned?  If you had a 1 and a 2 year old with a missing marker...would you be concerned?  If the couch had green stripes drawn all over it, would you suspect one of the kids?  The nanny?
 We found the culprit.  All the pieces did come together...
It was simple, really.  I was cooking dinner.  The Big Mr. was Skyping with grandparents.  I had Mr. S with me and Mr. T was running between all of us.  Somewhere in the "running between all of us" he had time to reach his chubby, little hand up to the table and grab a green marker.  He got the lid off (a new trick) and headed to the couch.  After seeing his masterpiece, he must of gotten a little nervous that mom or dad might see his masterpiece and he RAN. I could hear this part, but it's a common sound around the house.  Next, we heard a door close.  Also common, but not always good.  So, I started to prowl.  I went into the living room and saw the couch.  Minor freak out, but it washed off okay.  Next...
 ...found the lid on the floor.  So, I knew I was hot on the trail. At this point, Mr. T was joining me in the hunt, but not letting on.  I decided to check out the bathroom, wondering if he had drawn all over the tub or the walls (please, not the walls).  Nope.  But, where was the marker?  Under the couch?  In another room? Where?...Wait...the toilet?  No...surely not that.  Wait.  (lid opening)...There it is! green water!  (did I fool you with the first picture?!)
 (clean couch -- SO GLAD!)
And, one other piece of evidence:
We all had a great day...and a good laugh.  Thankful for little boys!

Thrift Stores and Pom Poms

I found the equivalent of Goodwill here.  I think there are three within walking distance, several near the big market and others up and down different allies.  They are actually everywhere and my understanding is that it is not the most popular thing to shop in these little "closets" of a store.  Literally, the space is maybe 10x15 sq. ft. -  the WHOLE store.  I guess the trend of second hand goodies hasn't spread this far.  The other interesting fact that has been passed on is about the clothes.  Apparently, the clothes (and shoes, scarves, belts, linens, etc) are from the U.S where they didn't sell at a thrift store.  So, this is like a double dip of thrift.   Exciting or scary?  It will definitely make a "find" much more of a celebration!

So, I have found a great new craft idea...
it's for pom pom's made out of t-shirts.  
I went right out and found a x-large red t-shirt in perfect condition and whipped one of these up.
It was fun, easy, and will be used as decoration for holidays and the upcoming 3rd b-day for Mr. S!!

Here's the link.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dinner out...

Here are the pics I promised of our language teacher and a dinner at her place a few weeks ago:
Look out...wires!
 The Mr. enjoying the art:
 Amazing Chandelier: 
 Our teacher:
Today, our teacher said that I should become a linguist.  It was the funniest thing the Mr. and I had ever heard!  Grammar is not my strength.  We are plugging away at it and so thankful to be three (almost 4!) weeks in without any major breakdowns!