Monday, October 20, 2008

Outcome of Fall Camp Out Party

Saturday was our youngest daughter's Fall Camp Out Party. She invited 6 but only 2 were able to attend. They had a great time even if it was just a party of 3. We started the party by taking the girls on our party barge(pontoon boat). Then we came back and roasted hot dogs. After dinner they danced on the deck and played limbo. They warmed up in the hot tub, then warmed up by the bon fire. They roasted marshmallows & made s'mores. I'm not crazy about s' I just ate the chocolate! Then the girls played flashlight tag outside in their jammies. They worked up an appetite from running all around so then they ate the homemade caramel apples that I made...yummy they were so good! Daughter said they were too chewy, but the other girls loved them! Around 10:30pm they went into the tent & were fast asleep by 11pm. The temp got down to 44 degrees, so they said they kinda got cold, but that it wasn't too bad. Hubby slept outside in a seperate tent to make sure they would be safe. I opted to sleep in my warm bed in the house. I was actually thrilled to have the bed to myself! Overall it was a great time & hopefully created lasting memories for all the girls!

Leaf shape sugar cookies that I made


Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Trip to the Farm

A friend of mine arranged for my girls & I to go horse back riding. We thought we were going to just ride my friend's horses on her property, but she arranged for us to go to another lady's property which was much bigger (180 acres) We were so thrilled when we arrived to find that not only were we going horse back riding on this beautiful property, but she had lots of farm animals. We all love animals! We are city girls, so seeing all these animals was a true treat for us! Better than the zoo!

My youngest daughter holding this 1 week old baby goat

Mama goat

This Llama was so sweet and so soft!

This rooster had such pretty coloring!

1 week old babies

This kitty was so sweet!

Ready for our ride! My girls are wearing blue shirts.

Cows & baby calf

My oldest daughter (she's thrilled to be surrounded by all these animals!)

Can't forget the ducks...ya know how we love ducks!

Hope you enjoyed the photos from the day at the farm!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Garage Sale Finds...Update

About a week ago I showed you some tall intricately carved candleholders I bought at a garage sale for $4. Well I painted them cream, then applied a glaze to pick up the carved areas. Although I liked it, made it look old world, I decided that since I wasn't positive where I was going to use them that I would just paint them a solid cream color. This is how they turned out.

The intricate frame I bought for $3 I ended up painting black. I had many suggestions to make it a chalk board, but since I already have a custom made chalk board & it was only a small 8X10, I have decided to have a mirror cut for it. Think I'll use it to put candles on and the mirror will reflect the glow of the candles. May even add some small round balls to the underside as legs. Anyway, here it is painted black.

Now to change the subject. On monday I mentioned that we were going to throw a "Fall Camp Out Party" for my daughter & her friends. Well here are the sleeping bag invitations we made.

Today I need to go buy some hay bales, indian corn & some mums. Also need to bake some sugar cookies in the shapes of fall leaves & pumpkins. Still looking for a fub fall type outdoor game...any ideas??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Awesome Mexican Tortilla Soup

My throat was filling kind of sore today & feel a bit of a cold coming on, so I figured a spicy hot soup would make me feel better! I remembered seeing this recipe on the Food Network and it looked amazing so this is what I made. Yummy! It's also easy & inexpensive to make!

MEXICAN TORTILLA SOUP (from Tyler Florence)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
1 quart chicken stock, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil, for pan-frying
8 corn tortillas, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 cup shredded Jack cheese, optional
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving
Place a stockpot over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes; cook, stirring for 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked down and pulpy. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-inch of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until they are crisp on all sides. Remove to a paper towel-lined platter and sprinkle with salt while they are still hot.

Ladle the hot soup into 4 soup bowls and put a pile of shredded chicken on top of each. Top with the diced avocado and fried tortilla strips (and cheese if using). Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Camp Out Party!

It was a beautiful fall weekend spent mostly cleaning and getting ready to have a garage sale in a couple weeks. I swept up thousands of pine needles off of the deck and somehow got inspired to throw a fall party. I asked my 11 yr old daughter if she would like to have a fall party and after discussing it for a bit, we decided that we were going to throw a Fall Camp Out Party for her and her friends this next saturday. It's not her birthday or anything...just felt like throwing a party! Now the fun for begins...planning & decorating!

I have decided to set up a caramel apple station where the girls will make their own caramel apples and dip them into goodies such as; candy corn, nuts, chocolate chips, and sprinkles.

Here is a recipe for Crock Pot Caramel Apples:
1. caramel candies. This time of year in the produce section, there should be bags of soft caramel complete with popsicle stick handles.
2. apples (one bag of caramel makes 4 large apples)
3. nuts/sprinkles/whatever topping you want
4. 2 T water
5. popscicle sticks

The Directions.

Use a 1.5 quart or larger crockpot---I used a 4 quart.

Unwrap all of the caramel, and add them and 2 tablespoons of water to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, checking every 20 minutes or so. The caramel is ready when it is shiny and can be stirred easily.

Put the popsicle sticks into the apples by the stems. Use a spoon to ladle the caramel over the apple, and swirl to completely cover the whole thing. Dip into chopped nuts or sprinkles if desired.

Let cool on parchment paper or Release foil.

I have some more planning to do & a tent to buy so I'll keep you posted throughout the week on the plans. If you have any ideas for a fall punch, outdoor fall games, etc.. please let me know.

The Family

The Family