Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Juggling Act

 Sorry I have been so MIA lately!! A big part of it is that I haven't been able to transfer all my pictures from my phone to the computer, so all the blog posts that I took pictures for aren't able to be put on my blog as easily. Not sure what is going on with that. The other part is that life is just plain hectic around here!! We only have a couple of weeks of school left, and with Ruthie coming during the school year, we had to take a few weeks off. So we are doing 6 days of school in each school week to try to get done by June 8. I'm ready for summer break!!
I pretty much have to make school the main priority in the mornings. I really try to get it all done by lunch time, or at least before nap time. So between feeding Ruthie, making breakfast, rocking Ruthie to sleep for her nap (which is often pretty time-consuming throughout the day), getting the kids dressed, and cleaning up after breakfast, it's a pretty hectic and busy morning. Ruthie's schedule isn't very predictable yet, so if she wakes up from her nap, then school usually gets put on hold for a little bit. I try to keep Maddy on schedule and doing things without me while I nurse, or reading a book to me if Ruth doesn't get too distracted.
But these days are extremely hectic when it's one on three. One mom, three kids who all need mom. Thankfully, Maddy is pretty self-sufficient so she can not only get most things that she needs, but she helps a lot with Judah too. I count down the hours until Tad gets off work, and until his days off!! It's so nice to have his help! I don't feel as insane when he is here and I can usually eat breakfast at a normal time when he is here to hold the baby!
I will say that it is so nice to live near family during this busy time, and have Tad's siblings stop in to visit, help, and to just go over his parent's house and have the kids run and play and have lots of aunts and uncles to love on them!
I'm hoping that if I can get my picture situation figured out, and once we are done with school here in a couple weeks, I will be much more present in the blogging world!! And if anyone has any advice why all of a sudden my phone won't upload any new pictures to my computer, feel free to leave a comment!!
I know I'm behind on my blog when my husband checks it and says I've been slacking!! I miss it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ice Cream Pie with Caramel Sauce

This is such a fun dessert!! Of course, anything that Pioneer Woman makes is fun, and I haven't posted one of her recipes in awhile!! I don't know what's wrong with me!! I have come to realize that ice cream is one of my all time favorite desserts, and I crave it on a regular basis. So, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with an ice cream dessert!! This recipe combines two different kinds of ice cream, your choice, with a yummy meringue crust that is whipped together with pecans. The caramel sauce is simple to make, and you can use the leftover sauce for an ice cream topping for later!! So make sure you buy extra ice cream!! This is also a great recipe for when you are entertaining because you can make it ahead of time, and stick it in your freezer for whenever you need it!! 

For the Caramel Sauce:
4 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup half and half
Pinch of Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

For the Crust:
1/4 cup egg whites
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Pecans, finely chopped

For the Filling:
2 Pints of Ice Cream (1 Pint each of different flavors)

Making the Caramel Sauce:
Mix butter, brown sugar, and half and half and salt in a saucepan over medium low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minute, until thicker. Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken it a little bit more. Turn off the heat and pour into a jar; I used a little mason jar. Refrigerate until cold. 

Making the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites until frothy (this took my little hand mixer quite awhile, but if you have a nice stand mixer, it shouldn't take as long or as much effort!!). Add sugar and salt and beat on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in nuts. Spread this mixture all over the bottom and sides of a non-glass pie pan; make sure you adequately coat all of the pan or else you won't have a sufficient crust!! Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, making sure you watch to make sure it doesn't get too dark. It is done when it is a golden brown. Let it cool completely. 

When the crust is cool, take the ice cream out of the freezer. Let it soften a little bit. When it is soft, spread the first pint over the bottom of the crust (Pioneer Woman used Butter Brickle, I used Butter Pecan which I think is the same thing! But you could use any ice cream flavor you want! Just remember you have a pecan meringue crust so you will want it to go with that flavor well!). Spread the second pint over the first pint (Pioneer Woman and I used Vanilla Bean, but again, you can choose your flavors!). Cover and freeze until very hard.

To serve, cut slices out and put onto plates. Serve with cold caramel sauce drizzled over the top! It's a great summer dessert! Pioneer Woman kept talking about how she wanted to use Coffee Ice cream sometime, and the possibilities are endless with what kind of ice creams you could use!! Enjoy!! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Decorating Fun

I am so not an artsy person. Ask anyone who knows me. If I buy something from the thrift store or a garage sale, it is going in my house the way it is, no matter how rough it looks. I almost find it comical when people  say to me, "you should just sew that, or make this, or use this pattern, or sand or paint this," because I have no idea how to do any of those things.
Well, I found this super cool old frame or whatever it is at the thrift store for like $3, and I put it up on the wall. But it looked a little bare with nothing in the middle. I know that people decorate like that these days, but with only one big frame, it needed something else. Maybe it would have been fine if I had several other empty frames with it. But I didn't.
So I was asking some people what they thought I should do with it. My sis-in-law looked up some ideas so it got the wheels turning. Eventually I am going to have pics of each of my kids in each frame. Originally I was going to get the first letter of each of their names instead of the crosses. But I really liked the look of the crosses I found, and the letters I saw didn't have the same look.
So anyways, that's that. Not too much effort. And some help and ideas from family. But I think it turned out pretty cute!! It's also up on Pinterest!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Homemade French Fries

 This is one of my staple recipes, especially to make with burgers!! They are so easy, and so tasty!! All you do is peel and slice potatoes into the shape of fries, however thick or long you like. Then you throw them into a bowl and add the seasonings that you like. I like to add garlic cloves, parsley, salt and pepper! Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil, and stir all together. Next, you just throw them onto a pan and bake them until they are fork tender. My husband likes when they are crispy so you can turn the oven to broil towards the end of cooking to get that yummy crisp!! They are so much healthier than actual french fries, since they are baked, and they are delicious!! I will say they don't keep too well, so you should really only make as much as you think your family will eat for that meal! Enjoy!!