Monday, February 28, 2011


Comfort food. Why do they call it that. I notice that every thing that is labeled "comfort food" is usually seam splitting dishes that your grandmother or Paula Dean would make. More butter, more lard, more cheese.. YUMMY gooey cheese! Okay lost me for a second. 

For me a comfort food that goes back to when my grandpa Jim was here with us is his Sunday Gravy. I make it here for my family and it's like the best treat in the house. When I make it for my husband and kids I think we all get a little excited about it. But for me it brings back memories. The smell, the process, the memories of my grandpa Jim and I talking about my crush on Elvis, which by the way wasn't the singer Elvis it was a statue that my grandma had of a conquistador. From the time I could walk I would go up to it and kiss this statue and talk to it. I then named it Elvis.
 Back to my grandpa. I miss him. Since he passed away I have always imagined him with me. Call me crazy whatever but I often just talk to him. When things were bad for me as a teen I swear to you he was listening to me and holding my hand. Maybe that's why I continue to make this Sunday Gravy goodness! For the memories & so my kids can experience a little bit of my grandpa. I want them to still come home on Sundays and enjoy a good meal with us and talk about the things going on, the good the bad all of it.
 It's Famiglia.

back to tasty Tuesday. This is a meal I thought I would share with you to bring your families to the table. It's not my Sunday Gravy recipe which well I just will not share you will have to stop over and have some with us sometime. But it is a Lasagna recipe we do enjoy and consider comfort food because of all the CHEESE! yummy gooey cheese! This is not my lasagna recipe but a recipe that we enjoy.
I hope it brings your loved ones to the table.

This recipe is from the pioneer woman's website Best Ever Lasagna Recipe

Deals ending! act fast!

Just wanted to toss out a few deals that are ending today! 

A few reminders- Amazon coupons are expiring today 20% and 10 dollars off in your parent magazine, parenting, and babytalk. Great way to save good money on diapers, and wipes. (see previous post)

80% off restaurant gift cards follow instructions. Exp 2/28/11 TODAY!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~ flash back

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

J-man's Toddler Tuesday specials

For those of you that like a good deal I'm starting a new thing on Tuesdays. Toddler Tuesdays. Now this is not a toddler only special that I will be posting but it just sounds better then baby Tuesday. It's the T's. 

So here we are for entry number one~ 

-Old navy printable coupon This is good until 3/3.

Carters 20% coupon This is valid until 2/23

Target printable coupons $1.50 off up and up diapers, $2.50 off huggies diapers 48 count and up, $1.00 off Gerber nursing accessory items.

- Border's books is celebrating Elmo's birthday 2/26 Elmo's Birthday Info The information is on the bottom right of the page


If you sign up for subscribe and save on amazon when ordering a pack of diapers you will save 30% off that pack. You can also find 20 % off coupons or 10.00 off coupons for amazon in parent magazines, baby talk, and parenting magazine. I stacked a 20% off and the 10.00 off and ended up saving 30.00 on a 176 count pack of Pampers baby dry diapers! Great deal! this is how we always buy our diapers you should give it a try! Plus you get prime shipping which is FREE shipping on all your orders from amazon. 

J-Man wanted to help all of you with some deals like he helps momma everyday around the house :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

bad housewifey!

Today I decided that I was going to relax. Relax and do nothing but what needed to be done rather then what HAD to be done. Let's just say nothing got done around here. As I write this I see dishes that need to be done, laundry needing to be folded, things need to be put away, and J-dude's toys sitting on the floor all over the house. This is the way I left my house today & I guess because the other people that reside here think I don't like change they left it as it was.

Instead of tending to my home like a good housewife I tended to my emotional needs for the day. I needed to spend some time with my mommy guru. 

 Went to my sisters to drop off my nephews presents for his birthday, then stopped at my moms and J-dude and I hung out for awhile only to come home and sleep. Seriously succeeded in nothing around the house, but mentally it felt good to be out enjoying the little things..

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Today we loaded up Joshua in the car and had hopes of finally getting answers!
Justin and I made our way down to Eagan Mn to find out what this strange red, sometimes bumpy, sometimes really apparent sometimes not, rash was on our sweet one year old sons shoulder.
I posted about this last week. It's been an on going battle trying to get answers from doctors. Justin googled, yes googled, top pediatric dermatologist in Minnesota and we found one name pop up quite a few times. And this time we were not going to be hasty. We looked into him called around and got some info on him through our pediatrician who knew of him and all his awards and achievements.
So back to our car ride, we sang songs with Joshua dancing in the back until he fell asleep and then talked about all the diagnosis's we had gotten prior and feared that he had one of them. Although neither of us said it I know we both were scared.

We made our way into the office an hour later 20 minutes early NOT normal for us, so you can see how eager we were to get some answers! 
By 11:15 we had them. Our son has a rare skin condition that may or may not go away at puberty or sooner. 
The condition is Urticaria Pigmentosa. it is one of several forms of mastocystosis, which occurs where there are too many inflammatory cells(mast cells) in the skin. It is most often seen in young children. So we need to put a cream on his shoulder and cover it at night every night and be seen in a month. He said it should greatly improve if not possibly go away?? I might have to ask Justin about that because it was like once I heard him say we have nothing to worry about and this can be treated I drifted off and chased Joshua around the room.
It usually goes away 80 percent of the time according to our MD. Bee stings may also cause allergic reactions in some pt's so we will have to carry an EpiPen which I have to discuss with the MD as well. 

And.. sigh.. Although we have answers and I feel relieved to know that we are being treated by a good doctor who seems like he knows what he is doing, and Joshua doesn't have any of the crazy things listed by the previous Dermatologist, the mom in me still wants to take this rash and everything that goes with it and stick it on my shoulder. Take it from him!

I want to take all my children's pain from them.  
That's for another post. 

Now time for bed where I can finally rest my eyes and maybe my mind for a few minutes. 
Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipe time

This recipe I picked up from the show Mad Hungry. I love these! My family loves these! 
They may seem like quite a bit of work but honestly double the dough and make twenty of them and thank me in a few weeks when lunch or snacks have gotten that much easier and your kids are eating veggies and have no idea.

This is the first recipe you will need. I just make it and put it in the fridge while I continue making the filling for my mini pot pie's. (link to recipe to follow)Also when making the pie's I add pea's and maybe a small diced potato to them. 

Click here to open Cream Cheese Pastry Crust

Click here to open Savory Chicken Pocket Pies

I often make a day out of it when I make these. Because you are boiling a big enough chicken that you can make at least two more meals. I use the broth to make a chicken noodle soup along with some of the chicken. You can just use all of it if you would like but I also like to make these (click here to open) White Chicken Enchilada's from Pioneer woman's site.

My kids LOVE the pocket pies. You can also use this crust to make turnovers. YUM! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

forecasting a warm up

the forecast for the Tundra this weekend HEAT WAVE! 38 degrees above zero. 

That's a record for us northerners lately. We are talking shed your coat, hat, mittens, scarf, go from 3 layers to maybe 1, and get outside for a nice Minnesnowda winter walk. I promise you that when  you look outside tomorrow you will see neighbors that you thought had moved away because this is the first time you see them in months!

People outside getting all that ice off the roofs, sidewalks will reappear, driveways will once again be black tar or concrete colored rather then snow white. Ah nothing like a Minnesnowda warm up to bring out some smiles in this house.
Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rash troubles

Four weeks now and Joshua's rash is finally seeing some change. 
After 7 doctors opinion's, a post of the rash on a message board and a wonderful Dermatology PA responding to my post and finally giving us some relief I think it's going away.

 Joshua has had this rash since about mid January. It is on his shoulder. One night I put him in his pajama's put on a little lotion, and put him to bed. 

The next morning we are up and ready to face the day when I change him into his clothes, there it is! This strange rash that I think maybe it's eczema. But how weird that it literally appeared overnight. 

So I start putting on cetaphil, that doesn't work. Then move onto OTC hydro-cortisone that doesn't work. Frustrated I take him into the family practice doc because on top of this I think he has an ear infection. And he does. But the family doc says to me she has no idea what it is just keep using the hydro-cortisone. 
Off I go. Back home through the weekend. Now keep in mind this rash isn't bothering him at all. At least not that I can tell. 
But he is 1 and seriously I don't think he has any idea how to itch something. We have seen him get annoyed by it while in his car seat. that is all.

Fast forward to the next week, we go into my pediatrician's office. All four of the ped's come in to look at this strange rash. None of them have seen this before. So back to square one. Keep up with the hyrdo oh and if it doesn't go away here are some dermatologist you can see.

Well I walk out the door put Joshua in the car and guess what I did. Made the appointment to see a derm! I was not waiting. I wish I could have just done this to begin with but thank you insurance companies for making me have to jump through a hoop or two to get a referral. 

We head in a few days later to see this derm. Now here I'm thinking okay this is it I will get some answers.
Well long story short he walks in, you can tell he is in a hurry I'm the last pt of the day. Looks at the rash, tell's me 6 different things it could be has the nurse write them down and tell's me to look them up ONLINE!!!!!!! 
I was stunned. I couldn't say anything. I just had all these thoughts as he said have a good weekend. I have NEVER had a MD tell me to look something up online. They usually say stay off the net for medical advice. And here he is saying get some advice from the WWW! hahaha Did I just pay this guy? UGH! He could have given me some ideas as to what these things were that he wanted me to look up. So on my way out I stopped him and said nicely "do you have any brochures on these things or could you explain to me this one" he said he would explain them more to me if I wanted to come in next week. I said well is there a reputable site I can go to online and look these up. His response well google it you should find a lot about the first two, I just did that and found a few good links. 

Joshua and I head home. I can't wait to get home so I call my husband to have him look them up. Let me just say by the end of the call I was bawling and he was panicking. These possible things he could have were just not something you left up to the pt and WWW to figure out.

Well about a week later I decide to post on my 12-24 month message board a photo of the rash. I was going crazy! This wasn't going away it wasn't changing but it wasn't spreading I didn't get it. I made an appointment with a new Derm but couldn't get in for about 2 weeks. Within a hour I get a response. It's a PA that works for a Derm in Florida. She PM's me and ask's me to send her new photo's zoomed in etc and ask me a ton of questions. She sends all this off to the MD she works for and they respond about 2 days later. It could be one of the things listed by the previous derm I saw but it also could be contact dermatitis. She called it a stubborn case maybe? She offers to send me Cloderm I was like sure if you think it will help. 
Well the photo's I'm about to post say a lot I think this cream is working! 

I'm just hoping it continues to go away! And we will be keeping that appointment with the new Derm just to make sure and also he has to have his birthmark on his face removed because as he get's older it could become cancerous.
Thank goodness for the PA in Florida! Now if you have ideas I want to send her a little thank you gift.. Any ideas?
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My recipes

here are a few good recipes that I use for some awesome Italian cooking. They are family favorites! These would make for a great stay in valentine dinner with loved ones.

Recipe for: Chicken Cutlet’s
To prepare: heat canola oil, about a ½ cup or more in a deep pan. You want the chicken to be covered almost completely by oil. I like to add about ¼ cup of olive oil as well.
4 chicken breast
2 cups bread crumbs (store bought or homemade)
¼ cup of grated parm
1 c flour
3 eggs
Salt and pepper

On a cutting board lay down either saran wrap or wax paper. Butterfly the chicken breast and then pound each until thin. You can make them as thin as you want or leave them butterflied.
Set up the dredging station. Flour, eggs add some parm into eggs if you like, then breadcrumbs and ¼ cup of parm all on separate dishes. Dip breast in flour then egg mix and then the bread crumb mix. Test the oil if ready set the breast in just so the oil almost covers it.  Cook until golden brown on each side. Lay on play with paper towels to drain excess oil.
 Recipe for: Vodka alla Penne
To prepare: I do not like vodka so I make this recipe without it. Great for the kids J
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
I large(28Oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp basil(dry) mash in your fingers before adding to pan.
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup heavy cream

Fill large pot with water and bring to boil for noodles
Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan
Add onion, cook until soft. Then add in garlic,basil, and S&P cook one minute and then add tomatoes, and sugar.
Cook for about a half hour.
When the noodles are done begin beating 1 cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. So it’s the consistency of whip cream but thick.
Drain noodles, poor into a large serving bowl. Then add cream to the red sauce, mix and poor over pasta.
I serve this often with my Chicken cutlet recipe.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
pig cake

A few weeks ago scrolling through pioneer woman's recipes I run across this cake. Never heard of it thought it looked good then thought nothing else of it until today. 
I wanted to feel like spring. So I went with what I would consider a spring type dessert. 
I swear at this point I'm trying anything to feel that sense of warmth, even attacking my sense of taste in hopes that the feeling of the warm sun peaking through the green leaves on the tree's and the big bright blue skies return sooner then later! 
And for that brief moment today while enjoying a piece of this cake I tasted a bit of what I would think spring would taste like. 
At least at this point of being cooped up in a house for months.
Maybe I'm losing it, quite possibly, cabin fever has taken over!

                                                   the finished product

long winter

this winter has been horribly long! I feel like a prisoner in my own home sometimes. We get out of the house only to go into another building! 
Snow is great and so fun! But not when it's -4 degree's out! I sometimes think this state should be closed during the winter months and all the residents required to move where it is warm. Jobs available etc they all move. Oh how great would that be!
But for now Joshua and I will spend our days at playgroups, story time, gym classes, & going to the mall once a week just to play and walk inside.
Will Punxsutawney Phil be right and save us from this long winter?!

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