Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Madly in Love

Diva and I were talking about Engineer.
She saw the twinkle in my eye and the coy half-grin on my face while I was talking about him.

Diva then looked at me and said, "I'm so glad you and Daddy love each so much."
Then she bounced off to go play.

Me too my sweet girl.  Me too.

1-4-3 DM for recognizing that my having goo-goo eyes for your Daddy is a  good thing.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Diva was at church camp last week and Engineer went on a couple of day-long business trips.  I, again, remained home...canning...I think we have turned a corner though, that is, until pear season...

Loved last week's cookbook so Dori Sanders' Country Cooking (1995) made the cut.  I loved how she told stories of the old south with each recipe.  If you get the chance, I would recommend it as good bedtime reading even if you don't want to make things like battered frog legs.

Last week's recipe of the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Squares inspired to take on more of Maw-maw's clippings and handwritten recipes.  This week's menu is totally from the bits and bobs that fell out of one of her cookbooks.  I'm hoping to find some gems amongst the scrap paper.  Once I removed all of the excess pages in that particular cookbook, it reduced in size by about a third.

We will be eating:

Sunday - Finger Food Buffet including:  Spinach Dip w/Carrot Sticks, Grapes, Tortilla Roll-Ups, Sweet & Sour Meatballs, and Salad
Monday - Chicken Denise, Broccoli, & Salad
Tuesday - Tuna Casserole, Green Pea Salad, & Marinated Tomatoes
Wednesday - 20 Minute Tamale Casserole, Beans, & Salad
Thursday - Dinner w/Family
Friday - Date Night
Saturday - Leftovers

This is part of MPM.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Squares

Tweaked vintage recipe from my Maw-maw:
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Squares
My Maw-maw was a fantastic cook.
She told of a time when she couldn't boil water - I could relate - but throughout my lifetime, I had never eaten anything that came from her kitchen that wasn't delicious.

Before she passed away, she had begun giving me her old cookbooks.
They were marked up - she rated recipes like I do.
And crinkled - she dog-eared pages like I do.
And inscribed - her friends gave her these books.
I cherish each and every one.

But the cookbooks weren't the only recipes I got from her.  Stuffed inside of these treasure chests were other little golden nuggets - her hand written recipes.

One of the most fun, yet often frustrating things about going through my Maw-maw's recipes is that she wrote them in pencil...on scraps of paper (like the backs of envelopes or canceled checks)...with no title...

See where I'm going with this?

You have no idea what you are making until you start to decipher the recipe.

As I was using one of her precious cookbooks for a canning recipe (as I do every year), several pages of newspaper clippings from decades ago as well as handwritten recipes came spilling out.

This recipe for Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Squares was one of them.  I'm calling it that since this is one of those untitled handwritten recipes - it's basically a homemade peanut butter cup.  You could easily adapt this to be vegan if you were so inclined.

This is very rich so you can just cut tiny squares (about an inch or so) and this recipe makes a whole casserole dish's worth; it most definitely feeds a crowd.

Maw-maw's recipe called for Oleo, I chose to use butter, because, well, I like butter.

Original recipe written by my Maw-maw on the back of a
giving request card for "Marshall's youth"

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Squares 

1/2 c. Butter, melted
2 c. Peanut Butter
2 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
1/2 c. Light Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Mix together all ingredients with a handmixer.
Press down into a 9x13 baking dish making sure it is even.
Let that cool in the fridge while you make the topping.

1/4 c. Butter
6oz. Chocolate Chips (1/2 a bag)

Melt butter and chocolate chips.
Spread evenly over peanut butter mixture and chill.
Cut into squares before serving.
*Tip - Let the chill come off a bit before you cut it into squares.

This is part of FPT.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Perfectly Practical #211 - Helping Your Child Adjust to Moving Part 1

We have had an extremely eventful year...and it's only halfway over!

Most of this year's major happenings all stem from us deciding to move to another state.

Engineer and I discussed moving and decided to move before we told Diva.  We didn't want to burden her with all of our back and forth conversations.

The decision to relocate came down to this question:  what's the best thing for our family?

Once the decision was made, then, we mentioned it to Diva.
By not telling her while we were in discussion, it gave us a chance to settle into the idea first so we could "sell" it to her.  We needed to be united in order to get her on board.

Here are some of the ways we tried to make the process a little smoother for Diva and hope they may help you with your kids if you are in this situation:

  • Tell your children when everyone is in a place of calm - This is why we didn't talk to Diva about the move before the decision was made.  Moving is stressful business and anything you can do to calm some of the stress is encouraged.  Make sure everyone is happy and willing to listen.  The mood they are in when they are told will definitely affect how they react.
  • Talk about the move - Once the cat is out of the bag, be available to talk to your child about their fears, worries, or expectations.
  • Tell their close friends' parents - Diva is a child always concerned with others.  We told her friends' parents so that they could help her friends cope - one less worry for her.
  • Tell their teachers - We told Diva's teachers to be aware that she may be out of sorts or extra clingy or generally different because she found out she was moving.  It was precautionary grace. 
  • Give them as much notice as you can - That way they can get used to the idea in their own time.  I realize this is not always possible.  Time, does in fact, heal wounds.
  • Encourage them - Let your child know that it is okay to feel sad about leaving and it is okay to feel excited about moving somewhere new.  Either way, they won't be abandoning or betraying their friends.
This is part of WFMW.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Madly in Love

Every summer since Diva was little, we have had kind of a little home schooling session.  No, not math or science or anything that would be considered useful to her academic career.  Instead, we watch movies.

I pick a theme every year and then rent/borrow/stream movies that fit that theme.

Past themes have included musicals, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers films, etc.  This year, Engineer picked the theme - something he has never done before - and that theme is movies from the 80s.

He felt that we had somehow deprived our child of some classic films such as "The Neverending Story" "Rocky" "The Goonies" "Gremlins" and various others.

Yes, the movies from our childhood have been playing one a day while Diva is home.
Everything from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" to "Adventures in Babysitting" to "Star Wars" (which I know is not technically an 80s movie but she had to see the first one before she could see the others right?) to "Can't Buy Me Love" to "Space Camp" have gotten screen time.

I had no idea how she would react to these movies that hold such nostalgia for her Daddy and me.
Here's the thing:  she is loving them!

It's funny to hear her reactions and observations.  Like the fact that all the same actors are in all these movies.  Or how the plots are all so predictable.  From the title, she will guess the plot...and is usually right.

Ferris has been her favorite thus far...until she saw "Back to the Future."  And they were both neck and neck until "The Karate Kid" was shown.  When it finished she shouted, "That.  Was.  EPIC!!!!!!"

Yes it was my dear.  Just as epic is was to me when I saw it in the theatre...30 YEARS AGO!!!!!

1-4-3 EM for making a great suggestion!
1-4-3 DM for validating my childhood viewing.
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