Saturday, July 25, 2009

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie thingys

We had a friend coming to visit today, and she was bringing me some homemade cherry jam. So I decided to have something for her to take in exchange, and made these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Thingys. I should come up with a better name to start.

First I started off just making these:

Then I decided to make them smaller:

So that I could make these:

And these were FABULOUS--- of course so were just the cookies too. Here's the recipe.
The base is an Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanutbutter- chunky.
Blend those all together,
then add 2 eggs and mix well.
Then add 1.5 cups flour, 2 tsps baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well.
Then add a little under 2 cups of quick-oats. Mix well.
At this point you could stop and have yourself a fabulous cookie after baking at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. Or you could mix in Choc Chips for Oatmeal PB Choc Chip cookies. Those are yummy too.
Or you could make them smaller (in which case I used my small pampered chef scoop), and sandwich them together with your favorite chocolate frosting. You can cheat and use a canned frosting which is perfectly fine. I like the chocolate frosting recipe found on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder can. If you do 1/2 that recipe you'll have just the right amt of frosting to make this batch into sandwiches.
Enjoy! Let me know if you make them!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top 10 Reasons I have been...

...such a blog-slacker!!!
10. I'm feeling uninspired and low on creativity
9. We are kind of in our summer routine, so things are pretty "same ol, same ol"
8. All my exciting news I've been putting on facebook; that I've run a mile or more all at once a few different times lately, the girls are doing good, I became an aunt, etc.
7. Hannah has been c-r-a-b-b-y-- I'm really hoping we get some new teeth soon as we have not gotten any since our cruise!! She still just has 6 and she's 17 months old!
6. I've actually been trying to do a little house cleaning and organizing, and maintaining it!
5. Matt and I spend a lot of time vying for computer time once the girls are in bed. We sooo need a laptop.
4. The weather is cooler so we've been doing some walks (wagon rides) in the evenings, along with the usual sprinkler time, etc.
3. I've been working on stuff for the Mothers and More Open House, which I am chairing again this year. I find if I start early and do a little bit here and there, it is easier to handle.
2. I've been busy doing a lot of other random little stuff; getting quotes on the roof that will hopefully get replaced via insurance, some travel agent work, some planning of our Vegas trip, some kindergarten preparation, etc.
1. I have developed a serious(ly ridiculous) addiction to Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. It is taking up way too much of my time and attention!

Forgive me, loyal reader(s)! And what have YOU been up to?

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm an Aunt -and- the Banana Cake Story

YIPPPEEE! I became an aunt (finally) at 143 this morning! My brother and sister-in-law welcome Brayton Joe to the family! I don't know when I'll get to meet the little guy (they are about 6 hrs away), but I'm excited he's here! My bro and I are 8 yrs apart, so I had to wait awhile!

Now....onto the "Banana Cake Story."

Today I am making banana cake for Matt. He's been a little crabby about work lately (albeit always happy to have a job!), and the heat doesn't make things any better. So I try to keep him supplied with yummy baked goods to cheer him up when he gets home.

There are 2 reasons I am making this particular goody-- the first being that I got a new recipe from our friend Michelle and happened to have all the ingredients, so decided to give it a go.

The second being because banana cake is something Matt will never live down. Let me insert a note here--Matt doesn't read my blog....and the upcoming story is one that he would probably be mortified that I told on my blog. So--blogreaders-- you have now become part of our secret bananacake story society. Never let on to Matt (or his mom!) that I posted this story ;)

Even back when we were brand-spankin-new newlyweds, I had a hankerin for baking. I made "hello dollies" for dessert. Matt got a call from his mom asking if we wanted to come over for dinner. Fine with me, I hadn't come up with a dinner. When we were getting ready to leave I said "hey! I made hello dollies!" (and I think I suggested we take them with us). Matt's reply- which he will never live-down was "You can keep your hello dollies, Mom made banana cake!". Now depending on the inflection you put on this sentence, it might not be a big deal. But when he said it, it was an enthusiastic-can't wait-for mom's banana cake which will beat hello-dollies anyday- tone of voice! I looked at him, this new husband of mine, with an "I can't believe you seriously just said that to your new wife." He backpedalled real quick...but that statement will forever live in infamy.

Not much banana cake has been eaten since... his mom doesn't really make it much, and after that I didn't bother to try. But today, because I'm a rockstar wife even 10 years into this marriage, I am making him banana cake.

And he damn well better LOVE IT!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Little Supermodel

Some of you may have seen this on facebook, but I'm blogging about it anyways...

At the pool last week, a lady approached me commenting on how cute Hannah is and her gorgeous eyes. She said she is a photographer and does mostly weddings but is starting to do more babies and is working on a new website. She wanted to know if she could do some pics of Hannah to use on the website.

She was concerned I was going to think she was crazy or that it was a strange request, but I was too busy being flattered and excited about the prospect.

Hannah and I went this morning to do her pictures, she did a great job...well-- as great as a toddler would do!

In return I'm going to be getting a CD with some of the best images so I can get whatever prints I want. In the meantime, she's posted the pics online and here is the link for you to view my little supermodel!

Now if only we could get her college education paid for!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meatball Smothered Mac-n-Cheese

I started working on a concotion today and decided to food-blog it for you. First let me tell you- this is not a quick-make. It might have gone quicker if I did it all while the girls were napping, but I had to do it in steps to accomodate my children's need for mommy's attention.
Two much-loved dishes in this house are macaroni and cheese, and anything with marinara meat sauce. I decided to make a combo dish.

I decided to blog it after I'd gotten the meat mixture put together, so let me tell you what is in this bowl:

1 lb hamburger- the 85/15 kind.
lb italian sausage
one egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs soaked in 1/4 cup milk
italian seasoning
onion powder

if I had grated parmesan and fresh garlic, there'd be about a 1/2 cup of parmesan and two or three cloves of garlic. I didn't have that, but I found in my cupboard "Pampered Chef Parmesan Garlic Oil Dipping Seasoning" I sprinkled some of that in. Whatever works.

Mix it up good with your (clean) hands. Then take a small scooper like the one shown in the picture, and start making little meatballs to put into a preheated, pam-sprayed skillet:

Keep going. This makes lots of little balls. You could make big balls if you think size matters, but I wanted a bunch of little ones, like this:

After they brown on one side, gently turn them over either with a spatula or tongs. You have to be gentle with them at this stage in the game, they are still tender. After they brown some more, you can rough them up a little bit more. At this point, I'd put the lid on for quicker, more thorough cooking.

When they are done, pile them up on a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

If you're well organized, while they were cooking you might have gotten a pot of water boiling and boiled 1 lb of your favorite pasta. You could go with the traditional macaroni, today I decided rotini sounded good.
Meatballs and cooked macaroni--set aside.
Let's make some cheese sauce!
In your now-empty pasta pot, throw in a stick of margarine or butter and let it melt. Don't let it burn. Once it's melted, whisk in about 1/3 cup of flour. Whisk it good so it doesn't get lumpy. is something I learned from the chef on our cruise; let it cook! "It" being the Roux you just made of butter and flour; it needs to cook a bit. About 5 minutes, it'll be all bubbly, pay attention to it and whisk it periodically.

Then, add some whole milk.... probably about 1 cup. I didn't do a lot of measuring today. I have whole milk because I have a one-year-old. When she outgrows whole milk, we'll probably be making this with the family-preferred milk of 1%. Whatever you've got I'm sure will work. Whisk it in and let it thicken up a little, but don't let it get too thick. If it does, add a little more milk.

You need cheese for Mac N Cheese. Today I chopped up about 10 oz of Velveeta and used about 2 cups of shredded cheddar. Stir it into the cream sauce and get it all melted.

We need to season this sauce. I did not take a picture. I don't know how Pioneer Woman does that. It has to take her hours to make a recipe. I don't have that kind of time! Anyways, season it with some salt, pepper, a little red pepper, maybe some lawry's. Whatever you choose. That's what I put in mine. I kept tasting the cheese sauce and adding more salt and pepper till I decided it was tasty. You can do more red pepper if you want some kick, but I need to keep this batch little-kid-friendly.

Dump in that previously cooked-and-drained pasta. Stir Stir Stir.

Put into a sprayed baking dish. Sprinkle with some more shredded cheese. I am doing two 9" square pans today; one for my family and one to take to my friend Debbi's new house so her kids don't have to search thru the moving boxes to find dinner tonight.

Remember the meatballs? They need a bath. Grab the skillet and wipe most of the grease out with a paper towel. It's okay to leave some stuff in the pan. It's just flavor. At this point I would tell you to use your favorite spaghetti sauce. If you make some from scratch, more power to ya. I usually have a can of Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce or Prego in the cupboard. Got to this point in the recipe and *gasp* no spaghetti sauce. Crap.

But I did find a can of tomato sauce, so I threw it in the skillet, doctored it up with some garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and sugar. Now it is close enough to spaghetti sauce.

Throw the meatballs in the pan and swirl them around in the sauce to get them coated. I did a few at a time because I had intended on not using ALL my balls for this recipe and freezing some for future use... but in the end decided to use them all.

Put them nicely on top of your macaroni, but don't get a lot of excess sauce, we just want the flavor not the full-on spaghetti effect. I was trying for rows but gave up. When you have the meatballs evenly distributed, spray a piece of foil and cover your pan. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until it is hot all the way through. (The baking time depends on if you assembled this and put it right in the oven, or if you it has been sitting in the fridge for awhile).

Now if you think about it; I have taught you two recipes today. Meatballs. and Homemade Mac N Cheese. You didn't know it was BOGO day here on littleworthwhilemoments did you!? You can easily make this batch of meatballs, and freeze half of them for future use in a freezer ziploc bag. Then you've got the makings of meatball subs, or spaghetti, or another batch of this, or whatever!
I really think you should try to make this version; but if you're ever in a pinch you could certainly get a box of shells-and-cheese, make it, top if off with some frozen meatballs that you've nuked in a bowl of canned spaghetti sauce, and serve it all together. But I think this would be yummier ;)
Enjoy, and if you make it, post a comment and tell me what you think!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Just some pics

We were cleaning up the 4th of July aftermath this morning and pulling a few of the 1000 weeds we have, and I got some cute pics. Thought I'd share. Had a couple of gigantic, perfect hibiscus blooms open up today

Have a great week!

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I Love These Guys...

We had SO MUCH FUN at the New Kids on the Block concert last night. My dad said the other day "you're never going to outgrow them, are you" and my answer is definately "NO!"

My cousin Danica drove down from KC to go to the concert with me. She was a big fan along with me when we were growing up, but she didn't get to go to any of their concerts back then. I got to go to two of them with my friend Erin. I had just as much fun last night- maybe even more-- than I did at those concerts all those years ago.
Jabbawockeez opened for them...a great dance troupe from "America's Best Dance Crew." They were so entertaining.
Jesse McCartney performed as well, and I enjoyed the few songs of his that I knew...but thought that he should have gone first and Jabbawockeez second.
NKOTB came on the stage at 9 and performed till 11. It was AWESOME. They did a lot of the old stuff, a lot of their new stuff, and it was just fabulous. I screamed like a teenager. I am hoarse today with a sore throat. It was so much fun. Their stage was big and neat, they had pyrotechnics which were cool--or hot actually-- and our seats were fabulous. We were in the first row of the balcony-- so just a few inches above the "floor" and only about 15 rows back from the stage. So fun.
It was great to share the fun night with my cousin, and my BFF Debbi. She is so fun to be with. We had a rockin good time with all the other 30-something women in the arena. Once NKOTB came on, pretty much the whole arena was standing the entire rest of the show.
My bloggy friend Jodi ( was there with us with two of her friends, and my friend Crystal ( was there with her sister. I spent most of my time looking at the stage to my right so didn't see a lot of what was happening to my left- which is the side they were seated on- but I'm going to assume they all had just as much fun as I did. I might have been the giddiest of the group though. And I bet I screamed more than Jodi. She seems a little quiet to be as loud and excited as me :)
Here are some pics. Fun Fun Fun. I'd go again in a heartbeat.
Joey McIntyre--the other love of my life!
Cute cute cute