Mountain Mama!

Mountain Mama!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Not sure if you have seen the movie "Julie and Julia", but it was great. I went with a bunch of ladies from the church and we really enjoyed ourselves. There are a couple of choice words but other than that it is pretty clean, not to mention mouth watering! There is one scene early on in the movie where Julie Powell's husband is eating Bruschetta and you just want to jump into the movie and eat it too! It looks so yummy I had to try it. I did a google search for the recipe from the movie and found these 2 options. Since Tomatoes are not in season I couldn't find the multicolored heirlooms so I am trying option number two. It is What's for Dinner Tonight and I will let you know if it is as mouthwatering as it looks on the big screen.

1. Bruschetta alla Julie and Julia – Recipe

4 slices rough textured bread, such as focaccia, or from a crusty baguette, cut lengthwise
16 oz. assorted heirloom type tomatoes (I used President’s Choice Rainbow heirloom cherry tomatoes) chopped and seeded if the seeds look sketchy
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
sea salt
chopped fresh basil

1. Toss tomatoes with 1 T. olive oil and about 1 tsp. sea salt.
2. Fry bread in 2-3 T. olive oil in skillet, browning on each side, and adding 1 more T. oil if necessary.
3. Rub cut half of garlic over 1 side of fried bread.
4. Spoon tomatoes (with oil and accumulated juices) over bread. Top with chopped basil and more sea salt to taste.
5. Eat with plenty of napkins on hand.

Serves 2.

2. Bruschetta
* 1 loaf(s) (8 ounces) Italian bread
* 1 clove(s) (large) garlic, cut in half
* 1 1/4 pound(s) (8 medium) ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoon(s) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, slice bread diagonally into scant 1/2-inch-thick slices; reserve ends for making bread crumbs another day. Place bread slices on 2 cookie sheets.
2. Toast bread on 2 oven racks 15 minutes or until crusty and dry, turning slices over once and rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking. Transfer bread to wire racks to cool slightly. When bread is cool enough to handle, rub 1 side of each toast slice with cut side of garlic. Discard garlic.
3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, gently toss tomatoes, basil, oil, salt, and pepper until combined.
4. To serve, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon tomato mixture on garlic-rubbed side of each toast slice

Friday, February 26, 2010

Flash Card Flipbook

G is a little sponge, like most kids are. She just spits out everything she hears said. So, I make a conscience effort to make the things she soaks in profitable. We look for fun ways to write God's word on G and J's heart and this one has been very fruitful.
I wrote Psalm 23 on flash cards and drew some primitive pictures to express the words. I let G color them in, any way she saw fit. We hooked them together with a colorful binder ring and now she can practice reciting this TRUTH whenever she feels like it.
I never knew how concerned I would be for my children's souls. I find my self on my knees so often begging for God's spirit to move on their little hearts and call them unto salvation. Oh, how I will rejoice on that day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Road kill?

What’s for Dinner Tonight? Something from Mindy's cookbook.

Porcupine Meatballs

1t. Parsley
1 cup cooked rice
1 egg (2 if needed)
1 lb ground beef
½ t. onion powder
2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Ketchup
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl except the ketchup and water.
Form mixture into balls (smaller is better)
Brown meatballs in skillet and drain
Combine ketchup and water in a bowl
Pour ketchup mixture over the meatballs
Transfer to a baking dish and cover
Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes

These are so cute to see all the little rice popping out to look like little porcupine's. My kids won't eat them but my hubby and I enjoyed them.


I had the best Mother-in-law in the world! She passed away from bone cancer metastasized from breast cancer in May of 2008 and I miss her dearly. I can't relate to all the horror stories about MIL's because I was truly blessed to be loved by mine. One thing among many, that she was GREAT at was cooking. She loved to watch cooking shows, and she was a collector of recipes. I was a witness to her large collection shortly after she passed. I had decided to put together a cookbook of her families favorites. She had a box that had thousands of clippings from magazines or notes she had written down and countless cookbooks. However, she had one book compiled with all the oldies and goodies. So I made a scrapbook out of them inserting family pictures and little stories that went with a family favorite. Here are a few pics of the finished product. I had 3 goals in making this book.
1. Not to put any part of myself into it (not my handwriting or my own thoughts). Only Mindy's.
2. Put stories and pictures of happy times to make us think of Mindy whole and happy.
3. Put recipes into the book that would make the tasters of the food think of the times that Mindy cooked it for them. There is something very strong about food memories. You feel closer to your loved one somehow by eating what reminds you of them.

Every time I cook something out to the book for my hubby I feel the joy that it brings him. I know he appreciates me bringing back a piece of his mom and filling his tummy with her yummy food.

A Sad Day

Today we were going to go to a Valentine's Day party that had been rescheduled due to bad weather. However, we had another winter storm. We were unable to get to the party. G handled it like a pro. I think I was more depressed about it than she was. I had put a lot of work into their bags, valentine's, and treats to share. I wanted to get out of the house too! It has been a whole lot of home lately. So, I threw my family our very own Valentine's Day Party. I had G in her room cleaning it while I set everything up to surprise her. I threw it together last minute but I think she really liked it. She really like getting to feast on the goodies she was going to be giving away.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Magic Powder

I don't know about you but sometimes my kids are just not in the mood to eat. So, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs and found this neat trick to make your own colored sugar. I gave each kid a sack full of sugar and told them to pick what color they wanted it to be. G wanted pink of course and J wanted buoo (blue). They had a grand ole' time shacking and smashing their bags and magically in a few minutes they had colored sugar. G calls hers Belle powder and J had WooWoo (dog) powder. Now in the AM they get a little sprinkle of their special sugar on their oatmeal. Good till the last oat! Full tummies and a happy Mommy!


I made these for a Valentine Party the kids are going to tomorrow. Late for a Valentines party yes, but we had to reschedule because we had 2 blizzards in one week! No Joke. I have made Oreo truffles before however never in the shape of a kiss. I didn't think it would be that hard just a little pinch at the tip and your good to go. The shaping part was a cinch however, the dipping in chocolate was a disaster for me. I started dipping them and it was very awkward to get the bottom of the kiss coated so I started wiping them on the back of the spoon, yuck! Chocolate Everywhere! Then my chocolate was thickening up so I heated up again and then it was lumpy, so I added milk. MISTAKE!! It totally changed the consistency of the chocolate and it became more like frosting. I had to dump that batch of chocolate and start again. They are done, they look OK. I didn't have enough chocolate in the end to do the whole batch. I guess I inherited my mothers baking gene or lack there of. I am sure the kids are not going to care that they are not picture perfect, but I will know better next time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Biggest Icicle I have ever seen! Picture taken @ Grace Chapel Reformed Baptist Church.

80's Party and I am not talking about he Temperature!

My Sister (in-law) and I are a lot alike. We love to have a good time and be silly. We live hours upon hours away from each other so we don't get to spend as much time together as we would like. During out last visit together we made each day have a theme. We planned silly activities for our kids (and us) to do each day. We made all the adults participate as well. I don't have pics of everything, shame on me, but here are a few. (Not pictured are silly day, and Indian day)

Bright Colors Day. It was too bright for the kiddos for me to take this picture.

Cowboy Day. We roasted hot dogs over an open fire, listened to cowboy music, and wore hats and bandannas to celebrate.

Camo Day. We visited a army museum in our camo and an army surplus store.

The apex of the visit was our 80's party. We truly had a blast with this. Our kids thought it was so fun to dress in such silly clothes and to do our hair so crazy. Little do they know that we really wore these things. We had planned to watch a Richard Simmons video, sweating to the oldies but we didn't have a VCR (I guess we were not in the 80's after all).

Our Family in 80’s attire. Don't you love my sequin tiger on my shirt!

Everyone looking good!

G ended up winning an award for being most realistic for the 80's and my brother (in law) for the silliest outfit. G really wanted a trophy for winning but it was more of a pat on the back award. She looked just like I did as a kid.


I must give credit where credit it due. So here is to my sister! (in-law) She is one of the most creative people I know. While visiting with her last, I observed her boys playing with swords and guns and all other types of manly weapons. They would stash/carry them into their belts. Their belts were the woven leather type, that will lock in at any point along the entire length of itself. I made a mental note of this.
For Christmas my son J got a tool belt with lots of accessories to carry on it and a cowboy holster with 2 guns. He also got 2 swords to battle it out with his daddy. But the belts that came with these great toys were HUGE. They probably wont fit him till he is 8.

I employed my sister's great idea. Out came the belt and now we have the ability to be cowboys, a handyman, a pirate, or just a silly kid with a belt on the outside of his shirt.

I Taught Myself to Knit

While looking at a lot of my favorite blogs lately I have been getting the urge to knit. However, I don't know how to knit. As a child my mother wanted to teach me all kinds of amazing things like sewing, canning, embroidering, etc. and I didn't have the time nor the interest for such things. Now, I wish I had sat down and soaked in all of her homemaking knowledge. So, I was seeking someone to teach me this wonderful skill and came across this great book, "I Taught Myself to Knit". It was at my local Wal-mart in the crafting section for under 5 dollars with the needles included. I picked myself up a skein of yarn and this packet and headed to the check out.

The book is very informative and helpful and has great diagrams to show "how to". I have to admit I am not the best at knowing my left from right on the spot so it takes a bit of concentration for me. But, I think I am doing well.
I called my Mom and told her about my new endeavor and she said, "you can't know you are good at something unless you try." She is good at a whole host of things but it because she just jumps feet first into it. I am not that way at all. I fear that I wont be good at it so why try. However, I am trying to listen to her advice and try new things.
Hopefully I will have a finished scarf picture to add to this posting soon!

Meatloaf Muffins

My grandmother always made her meatloaf with Corn flakes, so I thought I should give this a try. I usually use bread that I tear into little pieces but I find that the bread sometimes doesn’t get torn small enough, and you get soggy bites. So here was my attempt. I have to say they were pretty good and I don’t think I will ever go back to my old ways!

Meatloaf Ingredients:
2 lbs. lean ground beef or turkey
3/4 c. crushed Corn Flakes Cereal
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T. Mustard
2 eggs
2 T. grape jelly
1 C. finely shredded carrots (Great way to get in an extra veggie serving and the kids will never know)
Garlic powder, to taste
Onion powder to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all meatloaf ingredients well in a large bowl. Roll into round balls the size that you can cup it between your two hands. Put into your muffin pan. Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes or until center is done.
Tip: About half way though you will want to drain off the fat. And to keep it from dripping all over your oven put a cookie sheep under to catch the mess.

I had lots of leftovers so the next day we made meatloaf sandwiches. Toast bread, spread mayo and ketchup on, add meatloaf muffin, and enjoy! They are even better the second day in my opinion.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For Choaz!

Yesterday, while having lunch with neighbor/friend we were discussing the versatility of corn. Her hubby had made up a use and it just happens to be a real thing. Corn Chicken! I was on Betty Crocker and came across this recipe. This is for you Choaz.

Corn Chicken

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Fresh Peach Salsa

5 medium peaches, peeled, chopped (3 cups)
1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In large bowl, mix all salsa ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
2. In shallow dish, mix cornmeal, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Coat chicken with cornmeal mixture.
3. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Serve with salsa.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The beauty of the Gospel!

"The Truth is a river where the strong can swim down deep. The weak and the broken can walk across so easily."
~Caedmon's Call

I love this song and this truth! Lord may I always delight in your beautiful mystery.

Beautiful Mystery Lyrics
I tried to know
Every mystery
Soon realized, no
It was too much for me

'Cause most things true
Are simple and complex
So it is with You
What else should I expect

You suffer the seeker
In You they abide

You are to me
A beautiful mystery
You are to me
A Servant and a King
You're a beautiful mystery

You're like the water
I can feel but not grasp
Still You say all I've gotta do
Is seek and knock and ask

You are to the river
What hems it in and sets it free

The truth is a river
Where the strong can swim down deep
The weak and the broken
Can walk across so easily

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Princess Party

G turned 4 in October and we had the most fun @ her Princess Party. I didn't have my blog back then to post my pics and idea's so I am doing it 4 months after the fact.
After going to many girlfriend's 4th birthday's she was hyped about her own. She debated the theme of the party for months. Indians, fairies, strawberry shortcake the list goes on and on. Finally she decided on Princesses. We had a princess party for her the year before so I was set on making it a little different.
In the invitation we told all the girls to dress as their favorite princess. To our surprise the day of the party we had a wide variety of princesses. Cinderella was the only repeat. Even some of the Queen's (moms) wore their crowns to the party.

I wanted to highlight all of the princesses in some way. I took classic games and gave them a twist.
We played Snow White's poison apple game or better known as "hot potato". I bought a fake apple at the craft store to be my "potato".
I changed the words to:
Poison Apple, Poison Apple
Pass on by
Poison Apple, Poison Apple
I might die.
To our delight Princess Snow White won this game. The kids wanted to play it again, and my kids still play this @home together. We gave out princess fruit snacks, candy bracelets, and ring pops as prizes.

For Jasmine, we had a Magic Carpet Ride "tire swing". I just draped the tire swing in a pink towel and employed one of the fathers to push. This was time consuming because only one princess could ride at a time. However the princesses were very patient and didn't mind waiting for their multiple turns.

Cinderella was the princess we used for our craft. We made Magic Pumpkin Picture frames. I pre-cut all the foam pieces for the Princesses and placed them in individual paper bags. I took photos of the princesses with the Birthday girl as they each arrived. So, in the Thank you notes we sent out we gave each girl a photo from the party to put in their Pumpkin Frames.

Another game we played was Aurora's Musical Thrones "Musical Chairs". We set up everything just the same as musical chairs however in the instructions we called it Musical Thrones. We played a CD of Princess Music put out by Disney. King Daddy was the D.J.

G's favorite Princess is Belle from Beauty and the Beast. We decided to read her story. This was a very sweet part of the party. The princesses were very attentive. I was expecting a bunch of wiggling but they all sat sweetly together and helped me tell the story. Reading a story this way gives me great appreciation for my teachers in grade school. You almost have to know how to read upside down and backwards.

For our cake G decided on chocolate cupcakes with pink icing. We let G do the icing and sprinkles. I needed to stack them but I did't have a fancy cupcake stand so...I made my own. I used some candle sticks that have a wide base and my own dinner plates. I stacked them on top of each other to create height. I then turned a bowl upside down on the top plate to set the birthday girls cupcake on. I think it turned out pretty good. This would not have been the best idea if it had been within the kiddo's reach. I am sure it would have been knocked over had it been set on a lower table. But it did the trick.

Opening presents with kiddos can be a challenge but I have found a better way to do it. This is not an original idea, so I am not patting myself on the back. It really worked. We let each princess come up and sit by the birthday girl while she opened their present. This took care of recording the gifts as well because each girl had her pic taken with G and the opened gift she brought. They stayed seated and were attentive to the action waiting for their turn to help with the unwrapping. yay!
I had a really great time putting this party together and I can't wait till the next party. G just informed me that her next theme will be fairies (we will see about that).