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Moose tracks and Tater stacks: 2/6/11 - 2/13/11

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our First Pinewood Derby Race

{Tater’s big Day}

Last Saturday was a very big day in our household; Tater had his very first pinewood derby. He was thrilled at the whole thing and he was such a good sport about it, I was worried about if he would win and he turned to me and said “it doesn’t matter if I win anyway mommy” and he was serious.  

We got to the race and weighed and signed in our little cars. Moose was able to enter too, they do a sibling and parent race that anyone can join in on. I was so nervous and happy but trying to hide all of my anxiety for the boys’ sake.

They were so proud of their cars because they really did make them themselves! Daddy and Granddad helped but the boys did most of the work, paint, adding on the accessories.
(Tater ^)
(Tater again, with Daddy helping)
(Moose ^)

In the end Tater got 2nd place in two of his races but did not place overall and Moose got 3rd place and did not place overall. They were thrilled and didn’t care at all that they didn’t win! It was really fun and we all had a great time.
(Tater's car, it turned out so cool!)

(Moose's car, the Bat mobile, it looked great)

It is so amazing to do stuff with my kids that I remember my parents doing with my brother when we were younger, it makes this whole mommy thing feel really real! Lol. We are ready for next year's race already!

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Wild Rice Chili Recipe

{Wild Rice Chili}
This is one of our very favorite recipes; we make it at least once a month.

  • 2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • A drizzle of olive oil to cook the chicken breasts in
  • ½ Teaspoon of garlic
  • 4 ½ Cups of chicken broth (or 4 cups of water with bouillon added according to instructions on the bouillon container)
  • A box of Rice-a-Roni Wild Rice and seasoning packet
  • 1 Cup of Green chiles diced (I use Hot and I buy either fresh or from the freezer section, if you are buying canned you can buy 8oz worth)
  • 1 Tablespoon of red chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 (15oz) can of whole kernel corn
  • 1 (15oz) can of Great Northern beans


-  In a stockpot or Dutch oven style pot add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the chicken breasts, turning every few minutes. It should take around 7-10 minutes on each side. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit or until it is no longer pink.

-  Dice the chicken breasts and return them to the stockpot add garlic, green chiles, red chili powder and cumin and stir everything together.

-  Add the broth, wild rice, wild rice seasoning, 

-  Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 40 minutes

-  While the mixture is simmering open your can of corn and the great northern beans and put them in a strainer together, you will want to rinse them *really* well! Those beans have a really weird “juice” that I wouldn't want in my chili! 

-  After the chicken mixture is done cooking add the beans and corn and cook them until they are warm

-  Scoop the chili into the bowl

Mexican cheese
Sour cream
Chips- I love eating most chili's with chips and this one is especially amazing with them!

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Tidy Friday- Bathroom Cleaning Tips

{Tidy Friday}

Welcome to Tidy Friday! Clean your bathroom in a hurry using these 8 easy steps! 

(Helpful hint-Instead of buying cleanser you can mix 2/3 cups of white vinegar with ½ cup of rubbing alcohol. You can use the mixture to clean windows and mirrors.)
  • Always clean from the top to the bottom, so your bathroom cleaning should start with you cleaning the walls and ceiling around your bathtub and anywhere else where mold and mildew can grow. You can use a little bit of bleach cleanser and a tooth brush to scrub any mildew that you can see.
  • Using the bleach cleaning spray, spray and scrub down your walls in your shower or bathtub.
  • Next you should clean off the top of your lights and your medicine cabinet.
  • Clean your counter tops, move everything off of the counter and spray it with cleanser, wipe it down and then put everything back where it belongs.
  • Next clean out the sink with some cleaning spray and a sponge. Clean the faucet and water knobs too.
  • Clean the top of the toilet, the back behind the toilet seat, the base of the toilet and a use your toilet scrub brush to clean inside. Make sure to clean behind the toilet on the floor too.
  • Clean the mirrors with a window cleanser or the mixture listed above and a paper towel.
  • Sweep and mop, shake your rugs out (outside). Empty your trashcan.

Ta-Da! Clean bathroom! 

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Gnomeo and Juliet- Review

{Gnomeo and Juliet}
Rated G

We went to see this movie in a sneak preview on Monday night. There were 8 of us; Jason, me, Sunnie (my friend), Moose, Tater, Louie and Sunnie’s girls’ B and C.

I have wanted to see this movie since the first time we saw the preview, which had me dying laughing.

In case you don’t know yet, this movie is a modern day Romeo and Juliet (obvious from the name, lol) and it is about some lawn gnomes. The gnomes are divided into two yards, the blue yard and the red yard. Of course the red gnomes and blue gnomes don’t get along. So it is a story of forbidden love, ahhh so sweet!

This was a fantastic movie, we all really enjoyed it! The 7 year old girls were laughing the whole time and really loved the whole movie. The other kids’ found it very amusing too and said that they really liked it. They were repeating lines from it in the car on the way home and laughing about it.

As parents’ the three of us thought it was a great movie. I thought it was comparable to Shrek as far as humor; there were a few “hidden” adult jokes which I really like. The story line was fun and the characters were super lovable. 

This guy's name is Featherstone, he is adorable and definitely my favorite character!

Overall this movie was very good and I think it was worth watching, the kids loved it and we will probably buy it when it comes to DVD. 

Go check it out it is in theaters today! They have a great website too! You can build your own Gnome find some downloads, games, videos and other fun stuff

The opinions in this review are my own, I was not paid or provided with any products for this review. 

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Easy Calzones

{Calzone Recipe}

{Ingredients for the Dough}
  • 1 Package of active dry yeast (.25 ounces)
  • 1 Cup of warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 Teaspoon of white sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 2 ½ Cups of all purpose flour, plus extra to keep it from sticking when you roll it out
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked together with a teaspoon or two of water)

{Filling Ideas}
You can use any combination of ingredients to fill the calzones, here are a few options but these are perfect no matter what you do or do not put inside! Anything that would taste good on a pizza will be great inside of these.
  • 1-2 Cups of Ricotta cheese
  • 1-2 Cups of Mozzarella
  • Diced pepperoni (we use turkey pepperoni)
  • Mushrooms
  • Basil
  • Provolone
  • Onions
  • Cooked chicken (Barbeque would be good)
  • Spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce for topping once the calzone is cooked

{Directions for the Dough}

    1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

    2.  Put the warm water into a small bowl with the sugar and add the yeast, do not stir it or move it, leave it until it foams- about 5 minutes.

    (this is what it will look like when you put the yeast in the water)

    (When it looks like this it is done)

    3.  In a larger bowl mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, yeast (once it has finished activating) and 2 cups of flour.

    4.  Knead the dough for about 5 minutes or until all the flour is incorporated, if the dough is too sticky you can add more flour until it isn't sticky anymore.

    5.  Roll the dough into a ball

    6.  Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil on top of the dough and then roll the dough around in it so that it is covered with oil

    7.  Dampen a clean kitchen towel with warm water and put it over the bowl

    8.  Place the bowl in a warm place (I put mine in the microwave because it is a closed space) and allow to rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled

    9.  Punch the dough down and separate into 4 equal pieces

    10.  Roll the dough out

    11.  Place filling on one half of the dough, not too close to the edge 

    12.  Fold the dough over the filling

    13.  Press the edges of the dough together with a fork and poke a few holes in the top so that the steam can escape, otherwise your calzone will break open and leak

    14.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet

    15.  Apply a thin layer of egg wash with a basting brush (if you don't have a basting brush you can use your fingers to smear it around) to help the calzone brown in the oven

    16.  Place in the oven and cook until the top of the calzone is slightly brown, around 25-30 minutes.

    17.  Top with spaghetti or pizza sauce and serve

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          Review for Calphalon Contemporary 11 Piece Cookware

          {Product Review- Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-pc. Cookware Set}

          We received this set a couple of days ago and we are in awe of the cookware! It is an 11 piece set which includes; 10 inch omelette pan (I would describe it as a frying pan), 12 inch covered omelette pan, 1.5 quart covered sauce pan, 2.5 quart covered sauce pan and an 8 quart covered stockpot.

          {Features of this set}
          This cookware is made of a virtually pure, heavy-gauge aluminum for even heating. The bottom features rounded edges which makes it easy to get your utensils in and stir without missing anything in those pesky corners.  This cookware also features 3 layers of nonstick coating meaning you have to use little to no oil for your cooking, which is great for low-fat preparation. You can use Nylon coated or wooden utensils with no issue; you should not use metal though, as is true with any nonstick cookware. The exterior is hard anodized and will not chip or crack.

          The lids are made of tempered glass, so you can see what you are cooking and they are also a dome shape so that any moisture that builds up will return back to the food. 

          Everything in the set is oven safe to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which is useful too!

          {What do I think?}
          When we received the set we immediately opened up the box and started pulling everything out. 

          We were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over them and were instantly in love with the way they look. They are a very dark gun metal type gray, which is lovely. The lids are glass so that you can see what you are cooking, I love that! The lid is framed with a chrome colored metal and the handle is that color too, the contrast against the dark gray is wonderful. They are quite heavy and definitely sturdy feeling. The pan and pot handles are also “stay cool” which means you do not have to have a pot holder to handle them while on the stove, just in the oven.  
          I have cooked a few times in these pans already and it is like a dream! They heat really evenly and very quickly. With my old set I had to turn the heat to high to get my water to boil and with these I can use a medium high heat.  I cannot imagine anything being able to stick to the bottom of the pan, even if it wanted to!

          I would recommend this set to anyone who is looking for really high quality, long lasting cookware. I can see that this high quality set will last for years and years if it is taken care of. The do cost slightly more than some of the sets that you can find but I really believe that if you have the money to spend now, it is worth it and will save you more money in the long run.

          It has only been a week but the only thing that I have found to be a negative so far is that the lid handles are not “stay cool” and I have to use a hot pad to remove them. 

          Go here to purchase this awesome cookware or to find a local retailer-

          The opinions in this review are my own, I was not paid or provided with any products for this review. 

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          Wednesday, February 9, 2011

          Wordless Wednesday

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          Tuesday, February 8, 2011

          Colorado Butterfly Pavilion

          I took Moose, Tater and their cousin Louie to the Butterfly Pavilion for some homeschooling fun!

           We had a great time, I love that place! There is so much to do and so much to see, even though it seems very small.

          Tater got to hold “Rosie” the tarantula and he loved it! Moose and Louie refused to even look at her at first but eventually held her.  

          (Yes, Louie is a girl)
          The kids were obsessed with finding the dead or dying butterflies and kept seeking them out, crazy little kids! 

          We made it just in time for the butterfly release, which is really cool! They hatch the butterflies there at the pavilion so every day there are lots of new babies emerging. 

          When the butterflies first hatch it is a great time for the zoo keeper to show them off to the crowd. Newly hatched butterflies can’t fly yet because their wings are too soft so they basically have to sit around and wait for their wings to harden. 

          He puts them on this branch to wait for their wings to harden for flight but until then you can get up close and look at all of their details. They are so gorgeous up close! I have been to the pavilion a few times but the butterfly release is something I have never seen before; I will make it a point to see it every time now!

           If you live in Colorado and you haven't been to the Butterfly Pavilion you should check it out, it is good, decently priced family fun!

          The opinions in this review are my own, I was not paid or provided with any products for this review.

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