Monday, October 31, 2011

Best chip I've ever had!!!

Last night I roasted some was the best crunchy snack I have ever had!!!  Now, I do love most veggies when they are roasted, but this was simply delicious!  If you crave salty, crunchy snacks...this is for you!  I bought almost a pound of kale for 89cents!  So inexpensive and SOOOO nutrient rich. 


olive oil
sea salt

Cut away rough stalks from kale.  Evenly spread the curly leaves onto a large cookie sheet, in a single layer (do not crowd pan or they will steam) and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt or whatever seasonings you like.  Salt lightly, as you can always add more at the end.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, keep checking for desired doneness, I cooked mine longer because I like extra crispy, almost burned!  I heard that you can keep them in an airtight container for a week or longer and they stay crunchy,  I personally wouldn't know because mine NEVER last that long!! Sometimes they don't even make them into a bowl...I munch them right off the baking sheet!

Perfect Dinner for Halloween Night

Both kids love to make jack-0-cheese pizzas. We make them with whole wheat tortillas, i let them paint on the pizza sauce, sprinkle cheese, and then cut out pepperoni eyes & nose...usually we use black olives too!
We make mexican ones the same way but replace the pizza sauce with refried beans, then add the cheese, and black beans & olives.

Every year before, I've made a pot of potato soup...just add some green food coloring to make it creepy...this year the kids voted for the pizza because we made them on pumpkin carving night and they loved them so much!


The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom

Triple Duty

Monday, October 24, 2011

French Onion Soup

I made French Onion Soup from scratch simple, cheap, and oh so yummy!

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large pot.  Thinly slice 4-6 white or yellow onions and drop in pot with butter.  Add salt & pepper to taste, several chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp of thyme, and saute until onions are translucent.  Add 3 heaping spoonfuls of flour and saute a few more minutes.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of your favorite red wine (depends on how much you like the taste of red wine), then add 2 quarts of beef broth.  Bring to a boil and simmer until ready to eat. 

Let's not forget the most important part....the cheesy floater!!!  Slice your favorite bread thickly (I used whole grain French bread that was on the clearance rack), drizzle with olive oil, top with Swiss cheese (i used store brand sliced cheese) and broil until nice & bubbly.  Place on the top of your hot bowl of soup to meld together, you can add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to add depth of flavor.  Serve with red wine, after all you need to finish that bottle!!


I love to decorate for fall and especially Halloween...most of these items that I decorate with were my Mom's.  My decor isn't very scary, just cute and harvesty, if that's even a!

My Mom used to display this antique Casper, I
found a little one to go with it!  I also love to use
candy corn to fill my vase & add corn stalk

I am showing off the kid's Halloween craft of creating
Jar Jack-0-Lanterns

These were my Mom's too...ghost chair back and a centerpiece bowl!

Even dog treats are in a pumpkin bowl with corn stalks

My scary garage-sale find!!  They are candle holders

A wooden ghost sits outside our window

Candle holders hold pumpkins or funky squash

Our pumpkins
Hand made art projects are perfect for my window!

These candle holders are perfect for EVERY occasion...
I just change up the goodies inside!

My white naked tree...i love it!

spray painted pumpkins decorated with jewels
lifted up with candle holders

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

This was the first time we had ever roasted pumpkin seeds...I thought I didn't like them, so we always threw them away, turns out....they're YUMMY!!!!

Remove your seeds, rinse them and remove what stringy flesh you can, boil them in salted water for 15 minutes, then drain and lay out on cookie sheet in single layer.  I let them sit out overnight.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees, place seeds in bowl with 3 Tbs. olive oil or melted butter, mix well to cover them all.  Add your favorite seasonings like, salt alone, or I added garlic powder, cayenne, sea salt, and Cajun to mine!  (you could add brown sugar and cinnamon to create a sweet snack)  Roast for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.  Cook them until they are the desired crispiness!   I like mine crunchy and almost burnt...but however you do it is fine!!!  They are nutty, salty, and absolutely worth "not wasting" !!!

Even he liked them!!! yay!

Fall Classroom party ideas

For my son's 2nd grade fall party we played "Pin the leaf on the Tree"  It started as their "craft" project...we let them decorate some pre-cut leaves with stickers and stick-on craft jewels.  They wrote their name on the back, so that when we were done playing the game, they could keep their specially decorated leaf!  We drew a bare tree on poster board, taped it to the wall, tied a handkerchief around their eyes, spun them around as we made the class sing songs, let them pin their leaf on the tree!  They loved it AND so did the teacher...she is going to use it as Fall Decor before letting them have their leaf back!!
  We served black & orange nacho chips (from Walmart) and individual cheese dips as their party snack!  We also set up a "creation station" for their drinks...we bought a drink color kit from Micheal's Craft Store, and brought in clear cups, and served 7 UP...they got to add the green "slime", the red "blood", or the blue "poison" to their potion!!  They loved it and some added them all to make a special "black" deadly drink!  lol!

We also played "Roll the Squash"  the kids did a relay race rolling a squash to each other.  Sometimes we play "Pumpkin Bowling"  where you set up 3 squash as the pins and let them roll a small round pumpkin to go bowling!!

We put together little goodie bags to give away at the very end, that way they put it in their backpacks instead of digging it out and losing parts.  Sometimes we let them decorate their bags as the craft, then relay race to collect all the goodies to put in it!!  That's fun too! 

We cannot have a Halloween party, we have Fall parties, but if we could, I would give the kids orange paper lunch sacks and let them cut out a Jack-0-lantern face to take home... on Halloween night, they can put a small candle or light inside to light the way of the trick-or-treaters!  We do this as a craft project at home!

I would love to hear your party ideas!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jar Jack-O-Lanterns

These Jar Jack-O-Lanterns were super easy to make!

Here's what you need:
Any clear plastic or glass containe (we even used peanut butter container, a glass salsa jar, etc)
Painters Tape
Orange acrylic paint
Some of those batter-operated tea lights (three in a pack for $1 @ Dollar Tree)

Cut out shapes for eyes, nose, and mouth using the painter's tape, stick it on the clear container, paint it orange, remove the tape, insert your little light, and let it twinkle away!!  I did end up taping yellow tissue paper inside behind the face to give a yellow appearance...loved them!  Even my 3 year old did this project with ease :)