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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Roast

I miss this.  In England, it is customary to gather on a Sunday at a family member or close friend's home and have a Sunday Roast, usually late in the afternoon.  The roast can be any meat or even veggies, which I have had over a baked potato. Yum.   Even the local pubs serve a Sunday Roast menu instead of their regular fare.  My favorite was usually the roast chicken.

I want to continue the tradition now that we live back in the US.  Today, however, I have a cold, so the kids will be lucky to get freezer pizza.  But, if you are inclined to have a nice lazy long dinner with friends on a Sunday, I will share with you a really good recipe that we have tried several times.

Pork Tenderloin Roast with Stuffing and Apples.  Enjoy!
(It only takes a few minutes to assemble, and only 30 minutes to cook. ) from Food Network

               2 whole pork tenderloins, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total
               salt and pepper
               1/3 cup apple juice
               1 tablespoon butter
               1 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crumbled
               3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
               1/2 cup chopped onion
               3/4 cup herb seasoned stuffing crumbs
               1 cup apple juice
               4 slices bacon, halved crosswise

Cut each tenderloin lengthwise, but not all the way through. Flatten. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1/3 cup apple juice with butter and sage. Stir in chopped apple and onion and stuffing mix. Spread stuffing mixture over one flattened pork tenderloin then top with the other flattened pork tenderloin. Skewer shut. Place pork in a shallow baking pan. Pour 1 up apple juice over the meat then lay bacon across top. Roast uncovered at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, or until cooked through. Remove skewers.
Serves 6 to 8.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Project 8: Bath Salts for a Cold

I am trying to minimize the cold that I have just gotten.  According to the internet, I can't, but I am determined to feel better in order to take my kiddos to a Halloween Party tonight!  (In case you didn't know, Halloween is my favorite holiday!!!)

This is a simple recipe for making a bath salt.  Mine is Eucalyptus, Orange, Lavender, and Peppermint. The Eucalyptus and the peppermint will help me breathe a little better, and hey, who doesn't feel just a bit better after a hot bath?

Basically, I used half epson salts, half sea salts and added essential oils, zest from an orange, and a little food color.  You can do this all to your preferences.  It is fun to play around with different combos.

I also wanted to add ground oatmeal, which makes your skin really soft, but the baby was sleeping and the coffee grinder would have woken her up.  (Put oatmeal in a coffee grinder until it is powder.  Voila!)  You can also use JUST the oatmeal mix for kids who have eczema.  I used to put this in Tate's bath with a little lavender oil.  It makes a mess in the tub, but it really does help his skin.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Project 7: SQUAM!

I just returned from "Squam by the Sea", an art retreat that was held in the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  I booked this event back in the very beginning of the year, as a much needed getaway since I have never really left the kids in the 7 years since I have become a mother. 

It was so much more than art, and these things usually are, and I have returned tired, but rejuvenated.  I don't want to describe with words because I think the photos do a better job.  

A table of trinkets to choose our inspiration for a bit of creative writing.

What I chose....

From the class I took called "Awaken the Muse."

My new friend, Michelle's, cool camera strap.

A gift for Paul. 

Two of my fellow squammies:) I miss them already.

I finally had an outlet for my face painting!!  I loved that lots of folks wanted a little decoration.

Project 6: Photo Op Mural

One of the folks from Tate's school asked me to make a colorful photo op mural for the upcoming Did de Los Muertos celebration.  It was great to paint, and was a perfect activity to accomplish while Soleil took her daily nap.  (She didn't take one today, and I am really, really, really hoping that she isn't growing out of them!) 

Tate took my photo trying it out before I was done:) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Project 5: Crockpot Cooking

Still working on the project for Tate's school...  No need for me to be cryptic--it is a Dia de Los Muertos photo op board for the kids to look like happy skeleton and Frida Kahlo.  I love that it got me painting, but I have to remember sometimes that it is for elementary school kids to have a giggle with, not something that will be placed in a museum! (This ridiculous need for perfection made me love to fly  on instruments, so I guess it is good for something...)

As for this week, I turn to the crock pot.  Pinterest is a wonderful thing!  I have used the crock pot in the past, with so-so results, but it was great that I didn't have to cook.  Lately, I have things that have been downright yummy!  My favorite inspiration?  The Crockin' Girls.  I love their Texas accents, their great personalities, and their stuff turns out great!  Yes, they do use the occasional cream of whatever soups in their stuff, but it is really good AND you can use a healthy alternative if you really want.  (I found several substitutions online when I went looking once.)

Apple Cake (from last post) We made that twice in a month!
Pot Roast+2 French Onion Soup Mix Packets on a bed of celery.  (YOu can add carrots and potatoes, but I roast separately in oven.)
Little Meats and Gravy (from crockin girls) --everyone loved it!
Cheesy Sausage Casserole--(also from crockin' girls) Hubby loved it, kids didn't, but they don't like creamy anything!  I loved it.
Chicken for Shredding --Whole Chicken, 1 cup BBQ.  You can also use broth and veg instead.
Many Bean Soup--dry beans, italian dressing, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, carrots, celery

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Project 4: Fall Decorations

I have actually been working on a crafty project all week for Tate's school, but since I don't want to spoil the surprise, I will have to post something else for Week 4.

Here are our fall decorations and a few photos of our neighborhood Harvest Party that we had last weekend.  I think it will satisfy my "Project 52" requirements, since it was creative work to make sure the party and all the decor happened!

 Our bubble maker!

The favorite soup of the day.

The coolest soup bowl cozy!! My neighbor, Nessa, made this and Mom, pleeeeeeeease make me one! (Did mention that Nessa made it without a pattern?  Awesome.)

Soups, Plain Noodles, and Bread.  Simple but yummy.

Our new fave: Apple Crockpot Cake! 

  Just add apple pie filling (or we just cooked up apples with spices and a little brown sugar in butter)+yellow cake mix+a teeny bit of hot water+melted butter.  Cook for 2 hours on high and it magically makes cake.  Sticky, yummy, appley cake.  Serve with ice cream!

I love this time of year!!!