Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Magic ...

What happens when you put your pajamas on inside out, place a spoon under your pillow, do the chicken dance in front of the refrigerator, and chunk 2 ice cubes in the toliet and flush?  It snows! 

Simple magic...who needs a combination of warm air associated with an extratropical cyclone flowing up and over the cold air surrounding part of the cyclone, combined with abundant water vapor and falling ice particles...Who knew it was that simple!

And  too make it a little more magical, it snowed on Grandma and Grandpa's first day here in Tennessee (although they may not call it magical since we had been bragging about 60 degree weather here and they didn't bring coats) but now they have a 4 day weekend with the kids which should ease some of the weather disappointment!

So, to celebrate we pulled down our snow box we haven't had to open much since we left Montana and dug through all the clothes that all the kids except Meredith and John had out grown and put together a hodge podge of snow clothes for a few minutes of fun outside.







We discovered this hidden treasure in the corner of the backyard...one of John's old baby blankets frozen where the kids had left it...

It makes a pretty good hat...but talk about brain freeze...



And then we headed inside because us eastern Tennessee folks are not  quite use to that much cold...

Where everyone hung up their snow gear...So, the next time you think you need a snow day, give it a try. 

P.S.  The more people you have wearing pjs, stashing spoons, flapping their wings, and flushing ice cubes, the more likely it is to work!  Just rememeber to take pictures!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pioneer Woman - Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

 photo via



We had these yummy stuffed jalapeno poppers on New Year's Eve at a friend's house.  They were D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!  I had been thinking about making them ever since a friend loaned me her "Pioneer Woman Cooks" cookbook a couple of months ago, but I was too chicken...I thought they would be too hot.  But they're not and I'm so, so happy.  Cardi was hoping they would be a little more spicy  (remind you of anyone else we know?).

I love that the recipe is so simple.  You may want to double the filling depending on the size of the jalapenos you use.  I needed to whip up a second batch of filling to stuff our peppers which wasn't a problem because it's pretty quick and easy.

Ingredients:
18 fresh jalapenos

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese


  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese


  • 1 green onion, sliced


  • 18 slices thin bacon, cut into halves


  • Bottled barbecue sauce


  • Toothpicks


  • Rubber gloves (or plastic bags) for working with jalapeños


  • Preheat the oven to 275ºF.

    Cut the  jalapeños in half  (lengthwise).

    With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and light-colored membranes.

    In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped green onion. Mix the ingredients together.

    Next, spoon the cream cheese mixture into each jalapeno half.

    Wrap bacon slices slightly loose around each half, covering as much of the surface as you can.

     Brush the surface of the bacon with your favorite barbecue sauce. 

    Secure the jalapenos with toothpicks and pop them in the oven for 1 hour, or until the bacon is sizzling.

    I like to add a little more of the barbecue sauce  before serving but that's because I really like barbecue sauce and maybe because I'm a little  wierd.

    These can be served hot or at room temperature.  They even taste good cold!

    For a step by step guide and of course mouth watering pictures click here for the recipe. 

    And if your looking for a stuffed sweet mini pepper recipe, you can click here .

    P.S.  If you're still a little wary that these might be too hot, you can substitute the sweet mini peppers in lieu of the jalapenos.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    Jackson's Birthday

    Jackson turned 6 on Sunday! 


    He was pretty excited.  It was pretty low key (just the way we like it).  He loves dinosaurs and I found a 2 1/2 foot tall dinosaur at the store.  For his birthday shopping trip Jackson picked out a pop up dinosaur tent and insisted that he wear his dinosaur pjs.  I have to say, he was pretty happy with his Thomas the Train set from Grandma and Grandpa too!  ...So happy that everyone actually got dressed for church so they could play with the train set.

    And then they decided to play with the balloons...










    Let's pause here so you can admire my baking skills.  That's 4 lemon cakes scattered all over the kitchen counter.  That doesn't count the 2 lemon cakes I baked in the cast iron pan yesterday, that smelled like the tacos we cooked for dinner in the pan the night before.  For weeks, I planned to make Jackson a 3D dinosaur cake for his birthday, let's just say that might not have been my best idea.    I baked 6 cakes trying to make one  silly dinosaur cake.  Our kitchen looked like cake had exploded every where and that doesn't include the pan of cupcakes I  burnt.
    So, I rethought my idea and then I  baked 2 more lemon cakes and this time I called  a professional engineer to cut out the parts for the dinosaur.  Because, really that's what you need.  So, thanks, James for be willing to help!  (Just a side note:  you can find instructions for this cake on http://www.instructables.com/id/3d-Dinosaur-Birthday-Cake/)

    And voila...a 3d dinosaur cake...that looks sort of like a blue puppy...and looks sort of like he's in serious trouble from all those hungry dinosaurs surrounding him...



    So, just to recap, Jackson turned 6, he  liked his cake (and so did Rex, the dinosaur) and we all had a roarin' good time!





    6 reasons why we love this kid!

    1.  He is so incredibly sweet! (As evident by the fact, that when he walked into the cake covered kitchen he told me he didn't care what the cake looked like he would love it anyway.)
    2.  He's pretty silly!
    3.  He's a great brother!
    4.  He likes to help!
    5.  He's kind and shares his toys (even his birthday ones)!
    6.  He melts my heart!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Jackson!!!  We love you!!!