Saturday, April 23, 2011

Christ the Lord is ris'n today, Alleluia!


A moment with Ryan and A Moment with Brenna

Ryan, Mom-Mom & Otto the Orange
 While the others were getting dressed for church last Sunday morning,
Ryan was telling me about the little guy he found
at a garage sale on Saturday.
Otto the Orange 
is the mascot for the athletic teams of Syracuse University
in Syracuse, New York where Ryan's daddy got his math degree.
Ryan is still sporting the remains of a bruised cheek and black eye
from a collision he had playing tag with a schoolmate.
♥ ♥ ♥
Very early Thursday morning we heard gentle knocking on our bedroom doors (we have two ~ one from the hallway and one from the room we use as a nursery).  We asked who it was and what they wanted but received no answer.  The knocking continued back and forth, from door to door for a long time but no response.
I finally opened one of the door to see Brenna!
"What do you want, Honey?"
Her princess-like blue eyes gazing up at me, she asked:
"Mom-Mom, would you wear your blue shirt that matches mine?"
It must have been so important to her!  I was happy to oblige her sweet request. 
♥ ♥ ♥
But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children
Psalm 103:17

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grandchildren and Children

We had a great week with kids.
Jill and family are heading back to Central New York tomorrow.
How we enjoyed every minute they were here!
John and Brad worked really hard doing some
landscaping in the front yard on Wednesday.
After a long day and warm (80 degree) temps, Jamie and kids
joined us for Pizza and Cheesesteaks for dinner and
ice-cream cones for dessert.
It was a perfect evening to eat outside and play ball!

Baby Cambrie toddled about.
John took a second vacation day today and we headed to Philly
 to see the Liberty Bell
 and the Betsy Ross House
This evening, the little ones were left with a babysitter and we all met at Outback Steak House for a late dinner.  It was so much fun!
It was hard getting pictures in the subdued light, but everyone was together
my heart was very happy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Bread

I posted this pretty Easter Bread
with dyed eggs last year but thought I would share again.
I tried something a little different this time.  Because
my family thought the eggs weren't cooked as much as they like,
I hard boiled the eggs first instead of putting them on the bread
dough raw and allowing them to bake in the oven.
We thought they were better this way.
The eggs can be eliminated all together if you prefer.
Here is my recipe

Dough Ingredients:
1 large egg plus enough water to equal 1 cup 2 Tablespoons
1/4 cup butter at room temp.
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Bread flour (add a little more if dough seems too wet)
3 tbsp. nonfat Dry milk
3-5 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. bread machine yeast

If Desired: 5-6 raw eggs, dyed and brought to room temperature (I have found if the eggs are cold, they will not cook completely during the baking time for the bread)

Dough Instructions:
  • Place dough ingredients in bread pan in order listed above
  • Set on Basic Dough
  • When cycle is completed, remove dough from bread pan onto a lightly floured board.
  • Cover with inverted bowl and allow to rest 15 minutes.

  • Divide dough in half.
  • Roll each piece into a log about 24-inches long.
  • Pinch top edges together and begin braiding each piece over the other.
  • Form into a circle and pinch ends together.
  • Transfer to a baking sheet sprayed with PAM.
  • Gently snuggle each egg into the dough. It helps to make an indentation with your fingers so the egg sits deep enough.
  • Cover; let rise in a warm, draft-free place 1 hour or until double in size.
Baking Directions:
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

In addition, you may want to drizzle on a glaze made of 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp. melted butter, splash of almond extract and a few grains of salt stirred with a bit of milk, water or orange juice to desired consistency.

*For a large opening in the center of the finished braided bread, I coated a Pyrex bowl (5-inch diameter) with PAM and placed the braided dough around it. (see top photo).
The bread looks just fine baked without the bowl as seen in the above photo
 * I have made two smaller breads by cutting the dough from the bread machine in half and then proceeding by cutting each of those in half to begin braiding. You will probably want to reduce the baking time to about 18-20 minutes.

Baked with or without the eggs, it makes a delicious bread.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easter / Springtime Bird Nests

I first saw these sweet Easter/Springtime nests
at Pam's (Our Adventures in Home Improvement)
and knew they would be fun to make with our grandchildren.

Here is my adapted recipe:

Easter Bird Nests

2 cups Mini Marshmallows (I used 3/4 of a bag of large marshmallows)
1/4 cup Butter
4 cups of Chow Mein Noodles
Jelly Beans, M&M's or Robin's Eggs to fill

Recipe makes 12 nests.

Spray muffin pan with PAM

In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt the butter.  Add marshmallows, stir and microwave 45 seconds on full power.  Stir; microwave an additional 45 seconds.  Stir; add Chow Mein noodles.  Stir until coated with marshmallow/butter mixture. 

Spray a little PAM on your hands.  Spoon the coated Chow Mein noodles in each cup, then use your hands to form it into  little nests.

Put the pan in freezer for an hour or so.

Pop each nest out using a knife or fork.

Place on a lightly buttered serving plate or a plate lined with parchment paper or wax paper  so nests won't stick.

Fill with candy and enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken Riggies

Jill introduced us to this delicious, regional dish from where her husband grew up and they currently live.
This is her own version of this pasta dish.
She is still my Jilly Bean
Chicken Riggies or Utica Riggies is an Italian-American pasta dish native to the Utica-Rome area of New York State. It is a pasta-based dish usually consisting of chicken, rigatoni and hot or sweet peppers in a spicy cream and tomato sauce, although many variations exist
(source:  Wikipedia)
  Chicken Riggies
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb. rigatoni, cooked according to box directions
1 med onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz jar roasted red peppers, cut up
1 pint cream (Jill uses light or fat-free half and half)
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 Tbs butter
2-3 Tbs olive oil.

Melt butter and oil in large pan and cook onion until soft over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just a minute more.

Add chicken; cook until half way done.

Add tomato sauce and roasted red peppers. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through.

Add cream, stirring gently until heated through.

Add Rigatoni and toss until coated.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sweet Visitors

Our New York kids arrived late Friday evening for a week long visit!
After a full day of school and a long drive, they played for a short time
before we found Ryan (8) and Brenna (6) sound asleep in the...
Adaptable children, I would say!
They slept soundly till morning, Brenna still in her clothes.
Shaela was snuggled in a quilt and blankets on the nursery floor.
Now I lay me down to sleep
is a classic children's prayer from the 18th century.
The version printed in The New England Primer
(and the one I was taught as a child) goes:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
if I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
After garage sales Saturday morning and enduring some very cold and blustery weather it was home with a box of
donuts (a Pop-Pop tradition) and teatime (a Mom-Mom tradition).

To keep Raider from constantly barking at Rudy (their Yorkie-poo puppy),  I placed two baby gates in doorways keeping one pup in the front of the house and the other in the back. I don't think Raider will ever be keen on having canine house guests.
We also learned of a MOST UN-WELCOMED visitor in our home.
Can you guess from this photo who that might be?
I guess we do have a picky eater because this was one of the only packages
nibbled upon before he ended up here...
I need not tell you who loathes those skeevy critters
more than anything else in the world!
Since I am the official spider splatter in the house,
John took the role of pantry disinfector!
Funny that it was the cheese that he got into.
I do have another trap set just in case there are more
nasty rodents afoot.
After note: Found the problem.  When John replaced our dish washer, he did not seal the wallboard under the sink where the pipe enters.  He bought some of that foam stuff
and sprayed it around the pipe to seal the area and we haven't seen evidence of any more critters. 
Our precious daughter, Jill
(mother to Ryan, Brenna & Shaela)
Torrential rain with lightening all day and night on Saturday kept everyone indoors. Jamie and family came over and Jill made a big bowl of her own version of
Chicken Riggies.
It is a regional dish of Utica/Rome, New York and it was delicious.  (I will be sharing her recipe)
All the cherubs gathered around the table enjoying

Aunt Jill's dinner.
The kids all played really hard.

I didn't head upstairs where the boys
spent most of their time.
But, I could hear they were having a great time!
Shaela was full of giggles when Rudy came by

and licked Keri's toes!
Little girls having fun!


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