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Please…no more cookies!

Our Santa decided several years ago that by this time in the holiday season, he is up to his ears with cookies. If he has to gobble down one more thumbprint, chocolate chip, shortbread, snickerdoodle, sugar cookie, etc. he'll turn into a cookie himself. You see, Santa's wife is a little obsessed with baking. She's obsessed with baking in December and is obsessed with baking the 11 other months as well. Santa just wants a cookie break. As much as the thought behind giving him cookies is appreciated, he is thankful when alternatives are sought out. I've heard that Santa is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but a nice steak just didn't seem like an appropriate thing to leave out for him. For this reason, our Santa Clause receives yummy, gooey, warm from the oven Cinnamon Rolls every Christmas. This works out as an advantage for our family too. Santa gets a tasty treat (something other than cookies) when he delivers the presents and we have a nice breakfast all ready for us on Christmas morning. To make things even easier on me, I use a Cinnamon Roll recipe that utilizes the bread machine. Talk about easy! If Santa comes to your house each year, what do you leave him as a snack? One week ago today I dished about The Placecard Lineup Over at our Family Blog I dished about  A Really Loud King … [Continue reading]

Just “Deglegate” it.

Kids are so funny sometimes, aren't they? Today we were in the car and we passed a house that was being built. There was a man standing on the roof of the house. Jacob said "I'm never going to stand on the roof of a house. Even when I'm an engineer, I won't do it. I'll "deglegate" that to my team. I'll still build part of the house, but I'll stop to take a drink of water and then get back to work." On another note, little Ella has been sick. I spent most of the evening at Children's Mercy urgent care with her last night. She was running a fever of 104 degrees. Today her fever with Motrin has been 101 degrees and without Motrin it shoots right back up to 104 degrees. Supposedly there is some kind of viral thing going around that just causes really high fevers. If she's still running a high fever tonight, I'm supposed to take her back in. It seems like everytime we are supposed to be heading out of town, one of the kids gets sick. … [Continue reading]

Is it really okay to eat Puppy Chow??

"Is it really okay to eat Puppy Chow?" This is a question my almost 5 year old son asks me anytime I make this delicious snack. He just can't get over the fact that we are eating something named after dog food, and that looks like dog food too! I wish it bothered me more because Puppy Chow is my weakness. Put a plate of cookies in front of me... I can pass. Put a box of chocolates in front of me... I can resist. Put a bowl of fresh Puppy Chow in front of me and I go nuts. I just can't stop nibbling from the bowl. Where the heck was I this week when I was reminded that I hadn't made my annual batch of puppy chow? It was someone's blog, I know, but now for the life of me I can't remember where it was. If it was you who gave me the reminder, please speak up so I can give you the credit for adding 5 pounds to my waistline. If you haven't had Puppy Chow before, you are missing out. It's not the most sophisticated of snacks, but it sure is good! Puppy Chow 9 cups Chex or Crispex cereal 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter 1/4 cup butter 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar Pour the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. Microwave the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and stick butter for 1 minute on high. Stir and then microwave for 30 seconds longer or until smooth. Add vanilla and stir. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until coated. Pour mixture into a large paper grocery sack. Add powdered sugar, close … [Continue reading]

Santa Clause is Watching You!

Jacob is almost 5, which seems to be the perfect age to really get into the whole Santa Clause thing. If you'll remember back to our visit to sit on Santa's lap, Kelly didn't want to have anything to do with him but Jacob was perfectly happy to sit on his lap all day long, smiling and telling him what he wanted for Christmas. We have been getting voicemails from Santa every day. It's amazing how if Santa Clause says "I hear you haven't been listening to your Mom and Dad very well" Jacob will get off the phone and turn into Golden Child. He'll listen the first time, go around helping out with extra chores around the house, etc. He has been a dream helper around the house this week, just because I will remind him that "Santa Clause is watching." This week we even received letters in the mail directly from Santa at the North Pole. Included in the letters were Christmas ornaments for our tree, made especially for the kids by the Elves in Santa's workshop. This really got Jacob's attention and now the countdown to Christmas Day has officially begun for him. He's beside himself with excitement. My countdown to the end of using Santa Clause as a bribe has officially begun to. I wonder if I could stretch out using Santa Clause is watching as a behavior modification program throughout next year. Think it would work? Anyway, the real reason for my posting today is that I wanted to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. May the magic of the holiday season stay … [Continue reading]

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread Cookies

I am constantly making meals for people. Some people donate money, some people scour their house and pack up things to fling to Goodwill, some people volunteer their time, some people have charity auctions. I do those things as well, but what I find myself doing at least once on a weekly basis is cooking something for someone. I enjoy cooking and baking and I enjoy blessing others with the things that I make. I hope they enjoy it too. My friend Amy had a baby a couple of weeks ago and I volunteered to make dinner for her family this evening. She had a special request... chicken enchilada casserole. I was excited to not have to play the guessing game on what they would like and was pleased to make her a chicken enchilada casserole. It's a simple recipe, and one that I can make in two's so my family wouldn't go hungry. Along with the chicken enchilada casserole, I made a spring mix salad and chips with black bean dip. Things were all good until I started to think about what to make for dessert. After my day of baking on Sunday, the last thing I really wanted to conquer was more baking. If I did bake something, I sure as heck wanted it to be something simple yet different. Something that they wouldn't be getting a ton of this time of year. I decided to pull out my trusty copy of The Good Home Cookbook. Do you have a copy of this cookbook yet? If not, run out and get one today. You deserve it, as it should be a staple in any and everyone's kitchen from here on out. It is … [Continue reading]