Monday, January 31, 2011

Image from Martha Stewart Living
I'm feeling good about today, which is not typical for me.  I'm not a fan of Mondays.
Perhaps it's because we had a glorious weekend.
Brian took the kids sledding Friday night, we got take out, and watched despicable me.
Saturday the kids and Brian went to the water park for Tyler's birthday.  I started my review (barely) and made really yummy soup.  When the kids went to bed, Bri and I watched the cooking shows. 
Sunday we slept in.  Katie went to Missions trip meeting. We putzed around our home all afternoon.  Mom and I decided to cancel the sleepover, the weather was going to be questionable.  Brian made us steaks and I made a spinach salad.  He picked out a great red wine.  Nice.  Oh, and we watched part of that Hallmark special last night.

The children and I are up and at it this morning.  Sheets to be washed, beds to be made, laundry to be folded.  I'm giving them some practice homework.  They get points for completing it and then they get cool prizes.  I think we will make brownies today and maybe make these crayon hearts.  Valentines day is coming soon!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Weekend

It has been a long and busy week here, so I am more than excited for the weekend!
Were going to do a little switcharo here and have family night tonight
This shall include:
Homemade Mac n' cheese
Despicable Me
Tomorrow is Tyler's Bday party at the water park. Brian's presence was requested to help throw children around in the water.  While they are gone I will work on another cookbook review.
Sunday Katie has  a missions trip meeting and then the kids are going to spend the night at Amachi's to keep her company.  They don't have school on Monday!
What are you up to this weekend?
I know a lot of you saw this already but I wanted to post this here.
Have a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Grace's Hot Artichoke Dip

I have been meaning to post this recipe forever but keep putting it off because I don't have a photo. Well, phooey on the photo! I decided that you need to have this recipe now, so you can make it for your Super bowl party.  This recipe comes from our good friend Judy who would always bring this appetizer to any event upon request.  Which pretty much meant, she always brought it, because we always asked.  I like to bake it in a shallow dish, but if you don't have one it is not necessary for this recipe to turn out great!

2 cans Artichoke hearts
1 8 oz. package of light cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (not from a can)
3/4 cup Light Mayo
3/4 cup Light Sour Cream (I'm curious about using Greek Yogurt)
1-2 Jalapeno peppers or 2 tbs. canned
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder

Chop the artichokes into small pieces and set aside.  Mix together all the ingredients except Jalapeno until combined.  Add the artichokes and jalapeno.   Place mixture into a shallow baking pan. Bake at 325 for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Source: Judy

I created a tab with Super Bowl snack ideas

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Avocados two ways

We love avocados and I'm always looking for new ways to eat them.  Here's what I came up with.

Avocado with balsamic vinegar

Half of an avocado sliced
Balsamic vinegar
kosher salt

Drizzle on the balsamic sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Avocado with Blue Cheese dressing

Half of an avocado sliced
3 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
3 Tablespoons low fat buttermilk

Combine the blue cheese and buttermilk.  Mash the ingredients together.  Add pepper.  Drizzle over avocado.

Source: Young Adventures

Hugs ~

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Egg Nest

I really love cast iron but I also love eggs and hash browns too. So is it any surprise I might come up with a recipe that incorporates all three at the same time.
This is so easy and delicious that I dare you try to make it.


Heat a small cast iron skillet (6 or 7 inches in diameter).


Add 3 tbls of vegatable oil.


Add a couple handfuls of frozen hash browns and let cook till brown and crispy on the bottom (about 5-7 mins depending on heat).


Flip and form a slight indent in the middle of the crispy hash browns.


Crack an egg (or two) into the indent, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover.


Let sit for about 5 mins.


Check that the bottom is browned and that the egg is white on top. (The egg should look like a fried egg but without the crispy edges.)


When all is cooked transfer to a small plate and serve with some "rooster" (Siracha) sauce, if you want it spicy.

This is a dish you can experiment with. I once diced jalepenos and mixed with the hash browns and it was great. I don't doubt that diced onions might also be a welcome addition.
If you are feeling really daring then you might even cover the eggs with shredded cheddar and cover a minute or two as well. Enjoy.

This recipe shared with Gooseberry Patch

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm a little obsessed...

I discovered The Civil Wars yesterday and I can't stop listening!!
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Happy Monday!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tyler turns 13

This past weekend my family got together to celebrate my nephew's birthday/sending my Dad off to India.

Susie was in charge of dessert, but ended up not coming because she was sick.  So Liza ended up searching for a white cake with white frosting because that it Tyler's fav.  The kids loved it "it tastes like a donut."
Our Mom is the most amazing Indian cook!  My sister's and I have tried to replicate her recipes with no luck!  She needs to give us lessons or something.
Don't get me started on her's pretty much out of this world!  Next week I hope to give you all her recipe.
Yeah it's Friday!!
The"Queen" is coming over this weekend with her royal subjects for a sleepover.  We are also hoping to spend some time with my Mom,now that my Dad is gone.
How about you guys, any plans?
If you're local stay inside and stay warm!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Here is another easy and healthy snack.
Be careful though, they are addicting.  If you eat a whole bowl by yourself you and your family will pay the consequences.  They are beans after all.

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

*1 cup dry garbanzo beans, soaked overnight and cooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Drain the beans and shake out any excess water.  Lay paper towels on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place the beans on top of the paper towels.  Using another paper towel gently press and dry the beans.  Roll the beans around with the paper towel, this helps remove the moisture.  If any of the thin skin comes off, just discard them.  Remove the towels.

Drizzle the olive oil on top of the beans, toss them around to coat.  Roast the beans for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown and crunchy.  Watch carefully so they do not burn, especially at the end.  Place in a bowl and toss in the salt and spice mixture.  Enjoy!

You can use canned garbanzo beans.  Rinse and drain them well.  Steamy Kitchen has linked up a variety of spice options, so check those out.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Please let me introduce myself...

Hi it's me Ian.  I like electricity, science, and technology.

I like to draw.

I like to read.
I like my long hair.  My Mom and Dad think I should get it cut.  I think I will get a trim when I'm 18.
I like breakfast,
and dracula soda.
My Dad is cool and sweet!

See ya next time!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Love and to Cherish

Secret # 7 ALWAYS,ALWAYS kiss and make~up!
To My Darling Husband ~

It has been a rough couple of weeks, hasn't it?  We thought we knew how much hard work we were in for, but we had no idea did we?  I want you to know there is no one else that I would rather be with on this adventure than you.  I look forward to starting and ending each day with you for a very long time.  You truly are a treasure to me.  You have my whole heart and I love you deeply.

All my love ~
Your Adoring Wife

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Desk

Does this ever happen to you?
I'm not exactly sure how, but it happened to us over our Christmas break.
I remember walking into the guest room thinking, this is driving me crazy!
So I spent some time clearing it off.

Much, much better.
Brian's Aunt Kathy gave us this desk a few years ago.  I'm hoping to refinish it this summer.  Have any of you refinished furniture?  Any tips or suggestions?
It's been a busy week and I am really glad it's Friday.
Date night tonight.
Friends for dinner tomorrow night.
Birthday party for my nephew/going away party for my Dad (he's going to India to help with the ministry).
Visiting a new Church on Sunday.  This would be number 4.
How about all of you?  What are your plans for the weekend?
  I would love to hear about them.
Well, whatever you do stay warm! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thank you and Muddy Buddies

Well it seems we had a little company over here at Young Adventures yesterday.  We had about 1,700 visitors  Most of you were checking out the Banana Bread Pie, some stopped by and left a note, and we even made some new friends.  Very fun!  We love it!  We hope that our little blog brightens your day and brings a smile to your face.  Thanks so much for stopping by we would love to have you over again!!

Do you guys remember this snack?  A couple months ago at Katie's birthday party, her sweet friend Haleigh asked me if I had made those things with the chocolate and peanut butter.  Frankly, I had no idea what she was talking about, I said you mean peanut butter balls?  She said no, it was made with cereal.  Puppy chow/ Muddy Buddies!  I'm not sure when the last time I made this yummy treat was, but that she remembered was pretty amazing, it was a looong time ago.  So, I promised for her birthday party I would bring some.  Bring some I did!

This dessert type snack is so easy to make and any chocolate peanut butter loving freak will fall in love with you for making these.  Go ahead, try it.  Just make sure to keep a secret stash for yourself!

Muddy Buddies

9 cups of corn chex
1 cup of semisweet chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Place cereal in a very large bowl. 
In a microwavable bowl place the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter.  Microwave on high for 1 minute, and then stir.  Microwave for another 30 seconds, until the mixture can be stirred smooth.  Add the vanilla and stir.  Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until evenly coated.  Pour the cereal into a large ziploc bag and add the powdered sugar.  Seal the bag and shake until the cereal is well coated.   I did this in batches and it worked well.  Place the coated cereal on wax paper spreading it out, allow it to cool.  Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Source: Chex
Happy Snacking!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Unfried" Buffalo Wings

It's been a looong while since the "Mister" posted here.  I asked him to share about one of his favorite foods...

I love Buffalo Wings.   I am addicted to their flavor.   I love their 'spicyness' and don't require any bleu cheese or ranch dressing to cool the heat.  That being said, most of the time buffalo wings are fried and are 'bad' for you.    I have discovered a recipe that doesn't require frying and still results in crispy and tasty chicken wings.

Unfried Buffalo Wings

1 dozen wings
1 bottle of Buffalo Wing Sauce (you don't need the full bottle for this :)

Preheat the oven to  450 degrees.

Steam the wings for 10 mins in a steamer.    (Yes, steam :)

When the wings are done steaming, transfer the wings to a baking sheet with a rim.    Put the wings in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, turn the wings over and bake for another 20 minutes.

After the wings are done, then put them in a bowl and toss with the buffalo wing sauce. They should be crispy, spicy, and delicious.

Happy Eating.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yeasted Waffles

Yes, we have a little waffle king here and yes, we love chocolate waffles and cake waffles, but these waffles are in a totally different category.  Dare I say the best tasting waffles ever!  The batter calls for a couple of teaspoons of yeast which adds such an amazing artisan bread like flavor. The texture is light and crisp. Everyone was ohhing and ahhing at the table.  After Ian polished off two and a half he said "life is good."  Even Katie had more than one, which is unheard of.  The recipe requires a little bit of advance planning.  You do need to mix up the batter the night before, but it doesn't take long at all.  The next morning you just add a couple of ingredients and voila it is ready to be made into delicious waffles.  Typically when I make waffles I place a platter in a 175 degree oven.  As the waffles are done I place them on the platter, so we can eat all together.  I found that these waffles didn't hold that well for me.  So next time, and there will be a next time I will make a couple and serve them right away.
Run, don't walk to the store and get yourself some yeast and make these waffles for your Saturday morning breakfast, because life is good!

Yeasted Waffles

1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups skim milk warmed
8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour (I like unbleached)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Combine water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let sit for five minutes.  Please make sure you use a large mixing bowl, the batter will rise and you don't want to wake up to a mess on your kitchen counter.  Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, and flour to the bowl.  Whisk until blended and smooth.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature overnight.
Add the eggs and the baking soda right before you are ready to make the waffles to the bowl.  Whisk until smooth and well blended.  The batter is thin, but don't worry that is the way it should be.  Add the batter to your waffle iron according to your manufacturer's directions. Cook until crisp and light brown.  Serve immediately.


Source:  Barely adapted from Annie Eats

Monday, January 10, 2011

Banana Bread Pie

 If you your family is like ours you always have a few stray bananas laying around.  I always throw them in the freezer to make our favorite banana bread. 
I have had this recipe book marked for quite awhile now and thought I would whip it up for date night this past Friday.  I'm sure glad I tried it.  First of all it was so easy, almost too easy.  After I put the "pie" in the oven I wondered if it would be any good, because it required no effort.  Seriously I think my eight year old could make this.  While Brian was making dinner, I snuck a little taste...WOW!!  The cake is very moist and has a really nice banana flavor reminiscent of banana bread.  The best part is the texture is almost custard like.  For dessert I served it with whip cream, but ice cream would be nice too.
 Ian's exact words while devouring his piece were "love it."  Brian really liked it too, he kept saying "this is really good."
I don't usually have Bisquick on hand and bought it for this recipe, it was worth it.  I think next time I will try to use the non-fat sweetened condensed milk.  If you try this recipe let me know what you think.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  I found this recipe on Jane's Apron.  She has quite a few easy recipes that look good.  If you get a chance stop by her site.
Banana Bread Pie

2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup light Bisquick mix
2 large eggs
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon of butter melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Peel the bananas and place them in bowl.  Mash them with a mixer until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix until blended.  Pour the mixture in a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.  It should be brown around the edges, but soft in the center. 

Happy Baking!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nutcracker Collection

Katie and Ian love Nutcrackers!  They started collecting them a few years ago, and this is where we are at today.  I'm running out of room.
Have a wonderful weekend friends!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Spicy Edamame

Quick. Easy. Healthy.
I like to serve this as a side dish, but I think it would be great as a snack or appetizer.

Spicy Endamame

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 14 oz. bag of frozen Edamame

Steam the edamame for 4-5 minutes.  While the edamame is steaming.  Mix together the spices in a large bowl.  Place the steamed edamame in the bowl with the spices.  Toss and serve. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Penne alla Vodka

Another family favorite.
Tomatoey (I don't think that's a word) and creamy.
Quick and easy!

Penne alla Vodka

One 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes with their liquid
1 pound penne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 medium cloves of garlic
Crushed hot red pepper
1/4 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for finishing the sauce
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring six quarts of water to a boil in an eight quart pot over hight heat, add 2 tablespoons of salt.

Pour the tomatoes and their liquid into a blender or bowl of a food processor. Using quick on/off pulses, process the tomatoes until they are finely chopped. (If you do this for an extended about of time you will incorporate too much air and turn them pink).

Stir in the penne into the boiling water. Bring the water back to a boil quickly, and stir frequently. Cook the penne, semi-covered, stirring occasionally until it is done according to the package directions.

Meanwhile in a very large pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Crush the garlic cloved with the side of your knife and add them to the hot oil. Cook, shaking the paan until the garlic is lightly brown. This will only take a few minutes. DO NOT BURN the garlic it will ruin the whole dish so watch it very closely. Add the tomatoes closely and carefully to the pan - they will splatter! Bring the tomatoes to a boil, season lightly with salt and crushed red pepper, boil for a couple of minutes. Pour in the vodka, lower the heat so the sauce is simmering lively, and simmer until the pasta is ready.

Just before the pasta is done pour in the cream. Add the tablespoon of olive oil. If your pan is large enough for both the sauce and pasta. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan. If not, drain the pasta and add the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil. Stirring to coat the pasta with the sauce. Check and see if it needs additional salt or red pepper. Boil until the sauce is reduced enough to cling to the pasta.

Remove the pan form the heat and sprinkle the cheese over the pasta and mix. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen, Lidia Bastianich


I will be responding to your comments in the comment section from now on. Thanks I love them!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Game Night

Sunday night is family night. At least we try. Usually it means a movie or the wii. Tonight I thought it would be fun to play a board game. I couldn't believe all the huffing and puffing made by my small friends! I I only raising my children to love technology? We pulled out scatagories a game that Brian's parents gave him for Christmas a verrrry long time ago. I thought we would be lucky to get one round in. The children were engrossed. After playing three sets which is nine lists Brian and I said last time. They didn't want to stop! We were all having laughing and having so much fun!
I can't wait to play some more board games. We actually have very few so I am going to invest in a few more. Are there any good ones that you guys love? I have heard that apples to apples is a good one? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bits of Encouragement

Here is an excellent article written by my dear friend Collen's Mother, Lynette J. Hoy. The article is titled Rebuilding Trust.
I found the article very insightful and really opened my eyes to looking at trust in a different way. If you have a moment please read it. I think you will really enjoy it.
On another note we are going to change things up a bit around here at Young Adventures. You mostly see the rest of my family through photos, but I am hoping that you will hear more of their voice this year. It should be fun and I hope that you like it.
This week is probably going to be a little rough. After having two weeks off, getting back into a regular schedule isn't going to be easy.
Have a wonderful week friends!
Stay toasty~

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

My silly niece Mira on New Year's Eve.

I hope you all had a fun New Year's Eve! We had our annual sleepover at the Buckman's. We had a great time as usual with them.
For those of you who want to get organized this year, head on over to A bowl full of lemons. She is doing a 21-day challenge. It starts today and seems pretty cool. I'm not offically going to take part, but I am going to try to do each challenge. Today's challenge was to clean out your junk drawer. It didn't take me too long and now the junk drawer is nice and tidy!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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