{12} – 2

•August 18, 2009 • 1 Comment

I have it punched in my Blackberry for the last day of every month.  It’s the day I come see you.  And as I promised last time, I brought the O’Douls.

I’m a few weeks late with this post, but it’s worth sharing.  It was dark, and the only light I had was streaming from the headlights on my car…Gerry’s car…I thought it really captured our evening together well.

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{16} – 3

•June 30, 2009 • 3 Comments

Amanda over at The Flock introduced me to Avocado Pie from a fun foody blog, Pinch My Salt.  I will admit…I was hesitant about this recipe, but my goodness it was so delicious!!  Now, I only baked the crust in this, but I did make the entire thing from scratch so I think it passes for my one a month baking goal. IMG_1532

Ingredients

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 3 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • graham cracked pie crust with brown sugar (Use recipe on box of graham crackers)
  • whipped cream (I used light)

Directions

  1. In blender, mix avocado and milk thoroughly, then blend in lemon juice.  Pour immediately into pie crust (it starts to set up fast).  Top with whipped cream and refrigerate for a few hours.

xoxo.jenifriend

{10}

•June 3, 2009 • 4 Comments

I did it.  I made it through 24 hours of time with the niece and nephew!!  At only four months difference in age, I was blatantly reminded of the fun, and challenges, that having children so close in age can produce.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking, and at the end I’ll share my favorite moments with my favorite babies!  🙂

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First we enjoyed some fun at the playground…

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Then we walked home together.  I had to carry Ms. Gracie, though…she got blisters.  No bueno.  😦

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Then we put on our aprons and made some pizza ala english muffin-style.

Then there was bath time…but those pictures are left to the parents only.  🙂

Then we threw on a movie and enjoyed popcorn. Two kinds to be exact: Extra Butter…and Kettle Corn (my fave).

And because I couldn’t leave these out…our favorite Caeden/Grace conversations:

Grace: *enters bathroom*  “What are you doing Caeden?”
Caeden: *sitting on toilet*  “I’m pooping, Gracie.”
Grace: “Oh yay!  You can do it!!  Go poopy in the potty!”
Caeden: *giggles*  “I’m trying!”
Grace: *walks over to observe Caeden’s progress*  “Yay!  You pooped (pronounced poop-id) in the potty! *grabs a piece of toilet paper and proceeds to wipe Caeden’s bum*  “Okay, come on!”
Caeden: “Thank you?” (really this was stated in the form of a question…I would’ve been in shock too if someone else wiped my bum for me!)

Jeni: “Okay we’re going to go to church here soon.”
Caeden & Grace: *in unison*  “Yay church!”
Jeni: “Caeden do you love church?”
Caeden: *smiles*  “Yeah.”
Jeni: “Do you love Jesus?”
Caeden: *smiles even bigger*  “Yeah.”
Grace: *screaming at the top of her lungs, hands in air, dancing in circles*  “I LOVE JESUS!  I LOVE JESUS!”
Jeni: *doing everything to contain herself*  “Jesus loves you too Gracie!”
Grace: “YEAH, I LOVE JESUS!!”

xoxo.jenifriend

{23}

•June 1, 2009 • 7 Comments

Ahh to be a kid again.  The freedom that comes with youth, oblivious to the sorrows of the world, and enjoying the simple things in life.  Running until you drop, laughing until your sides hurt, romping around the playground without inhibition.  These are the days I remember, and live vicariously through my niece and nephew to return back to.  Upside down, arms hanging overhead…I feel free.  All of my screaming fears and stresses are reduced to a murmur, and calmness perseveres.  Little hands holding mine, little people giggles and little people conversations remind me that things don’t always have to be quite as complicated as I make them out to be.  And life can be just as joyous for us adults as they make it out to be.

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Go be a monkey.  Hang upside down.  Let loose.  You can thank me later for the momentary change it brings.  🙂

xoxo.jenifriend

{16} – 2

•May 25, 2009 • 1 Comment

Last week we had a food day at work, where the theme was Mexican food.  There were no desserts listed, so I thought it appropriate to find a dessert that went with the theme.  So I googled “Mexican Desserts” and up popped these Chipotle Brownies.  After using every possible bowl and utensil in our kitchen, the brownies were complete…and veeerrry interesting.  They are most certainly a taste to acclimate to.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate – broken into small pieces
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins – soaked overnight in beer (I didn’t add this!)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts – toasted & chopped (…or this!)
  • Confectioners’ sugar – for garnish (…or this!)

Directions

  1. Put butter and chocolate in a microwaveable dish and melt together on HIGH for a few seconds at a time until the chocolate is melted.  Stir well.  Cool.
  2. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until they start to thicken.  Add the sugars.  Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla and chocolate mixture.
  3. Lightly toast the spices in a skillet over low heat, stirring often and don’t allow to burn!  Combine the spices and flour in a bowl with a whisk.
  4. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Gently add the raisins and hazelnuts, stirring just until combined.  Don’t over-mix.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 9″ round pan.  Bake in a 350°F oven just until set 25-30 minutes.  Cool in the pan.  Turn out and cut.  If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream.

I’ll give credit that these brownies are tasty, in my own opinion.  The double batch I made went home with a few guys from work who were absolutely in love with them.  But I encourage all of you to proceed with caution if you have an aversion to all things spicy or prefer brownies in the traditional sense.

Oh and this also fulfilled my second item to bake from scratch for my 101 in 1001.

xoxo.jenifriend

{76}

•May 14, 2009 • 12 Comments

May marks the second month where I have gone makeup free for one full week, per my 101 in 1001.  I can’t lie about it; I feel homely.  Really.

Unkempt.  Raggedy.  Homely.

I just can’t believe I have grown so dependent on makeup to turn me beautiful every morning.  The thing is, I love makeup.  Always have.  It was like art for me, painting a masterpiece everytime I drew on my face.  I never realized, though, how accustomed I have grown to feeling only beautiful when I have makeup on.  It’s sad, really.

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I am sure I’m not the only one, so now is the time for you all to be honest with me so I don’t feel so alone in this revelation.  What superficial item or task do you rely on and feel like you would be utterly horrendous if you were to go without it for a week??  Have you tried??  What happened/how did you feel/did you return to your old habits with new insight?  Do tell!!

xoxo.jenifriend

{16} – 1

•April 29, 2009 • 3 Comments

I always enjoy baking, especially from scratch.  That’s why I made a goal in my 101 in 1001 to bake something from the ground up once a month.

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Don’t let this beautiful (and slightly blurry) photo fool you…I burnt what was supposed to be “World Famous Chocolate Chip Banana Bread” into dried up not-so-good bread.  Bummer.  Welp…maybe next month things will be better.  🙂

xoxo.jenifriend