Reese Witherspoon’s New Baby



Welcome to the world little Tennesse.  Reese Witherspoon takes her 6 week old son for a stroll in a Vista stroller in LA.   Reese is looking great in skinny jeans and adorable flats.

Photo courtesy of Daily Mail.

First Lady Cookie Recipes





Every 4 four years we can look forward to a Presidential election and a cookie bake off with the First Lady and the hopeful First Lady.  This year Michelle Obama and Ann Romney had a bake off, Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip versus M and M Cookies. 


The holidays are approaching, and I thought I would share Michelle and Anne’s recipes since they didn’t get much attention in the midst of the battle for the highest position in the land.  

Family Circle Magazine announced the winner of the bake off in their October 2012 issue.  The winner, Michelle Obama. I have not made either of the recipes, but intend to whip up a batch of each for Christmas gifts this season.    Here’s the recipes: 


Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 375°.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
5. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
6. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes 5 dozen.

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
6 ounces chocolate chips
2/3 cups M&M’s candies

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream sugars, butter, peanut butter and corn syrup on high speed until well combined. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla extract.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together oats and baking soda. Stir into peanut butter mixture until combined. Mix in chocolate chips and M&M’s.
3. Using a standard-size ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets (about 9 per sheet). Bake at 325 degrees F for 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 3 dozen.

Children’s Birthday Party Food Ideas

I found these adorable fruit ideas and just had to share them with my readers.  I actually made the butterfly slices shown in the last picture for my grandchildren’s birthday party, and the children devoured them.  They’re easy to make and make a statement on the food table. 

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Chicken Salad Recipe

The holidays are coming, and if your like me you will be entertaining.  This recipe is great for finger sandwiches for birthday parties or baby showers too. 

Ingredients:

1 Perdue Oven Stuffer Roaster
1 medium onion
6 medium dill pickles
6 boiled eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/2  tsp. pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 bullion cubes
1 30 ounce jar Hellman’s or Kraft real mayo


Boil the oven stuffer roaster in a  large pot with the onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bullion cubes until it falls off the bone.  Broth can be kept for soup. 

Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Remove the skin and de-bone the chicken while it’s still warm.  Chop the pickles, eggs and a small onion to add to the chicken salad.  Place the warm chicken in a chopper and finely chop.  Thoroughly mix the ingredients with the chopped chicken in a large bowl by hand.  Next add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  Add in 3/4 of the jar of mayo and mix thoroughly with a spoon.  Chill overnight and add the remaining jar of mayo. 

 Spread mixture on party rolls and enjoy. 

Vegetable Garden Closed



I’ll be spending the day closing out the garden.  Frost it hit Friday night, so it’s done for the season.  This is my second year gardening, and I’m really enjoying it.  There’s nothing better than picking fresh vegetables in your back yard and preserving them for future use.  This year I planted a variety of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, peppers, green beans and Sugar Baby watermelons.  

I love sliced tomatoes with a little mayo.  I freeze the green beans to use with green beans and corn for holiday meals and family gatherings.  This year I froze a variety of peppers and tried my hand at pickling them.  I have to say the pickled peppers are the bomb.  I sent a few jars home with my daughter and in-laws and they received great reviews.  They are so good the cleaning lady at my office chased me down as I was leaving with two empty jars asking me to refill them, lol. 
I eat them on nachos, in chili and anything else that I can find to put them on.   I made fresh salsa and canned it.  It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.  I love being able to pull out a jar of garden fresh salsa during the winter and it tasting like I just worked down to the garden and picked the ingredients.  I’ll be munching while reading my kindle when the cold weather sets in.  What I’ve enjoyed most is having my grandson involved in watering and harvesting the veggies. 

Here’s a picture of one of my prized tomatoes weighing in at 1.136 ounces.  It was huge and delicious.  I managed to harvest at least 6 colanders of green beans putting away 5 – 6 quarts in the freezer.  Probably the same amount for peppers.  In addition to the frozen peppers, I’ve canned (pictured below) 30 – 40 pints/quarts of pickled peppers, most given away.  
 
I’m working on 12 pints of salsa this week-end.  I’ll be putting them in baskets along with salsa chips and homemade cookies and brownies for Christmas gifts.   Do you have a garden?  How productive was it?  If not, are you interested in planting one and exchanging gardening techniques and seeds next season?  Please leave me  a comment and let me know your thoughts.  You can find my gardening blog here

Celebrity Baby Nurseries We Love


It’s been a year since we decorated Zarriah’s nursery.  I was browsing pictures of celebrity nurseries that I found adorable, and thought I would share them with you.  I love taking ideas from various rooms, they may inspire you or give you an idea for a baby shower gift.  

This is Buddy Valastro’s, Cake Boss, nursery.  I love anything chocolate, and feel in love with the Espresso colors used in the nursery now.   We used the Espresso furniture in Zarriah’s nursery with lavender and pinks.  Not on the scale of a celebrity, but you can see our ideas for her nursery here: http://mother-2-mother.blogspot.com/2011/10/decorating-nursery-on-budget.html

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This J.R. Martinez and his wife’s nursery for their new daughter Lauryn Anabelle.  They too used the Espresso furniture.  I love how the name is spelled out and the angels above the crib watching over Lauryn is adorable.  This may be one of my all time favorites.  Simple, but elegant. 
 

This is a picture of P. Diddy’s twin daughters nursery.  They went with the off white furniture.  Check out the mural on the wall.  They too incorporated angels into their nursery theme.  Talk about bringing the outdoors in, I love it

This Dr. Phil’s granddaughter’s nursery.  I personally don’t know any grandparents who have a nursery in their home especially one of this caliber, but it is absolutely beautiful.  I love the window seat and the colors are soothing. 

This is Mel B’s nursery.  I love the pastel colors.  The canopy and bows are adorable.  It has just a hint of color, but it’s bold enough to bring the room to life. 

I hope these celebrity nurseries inspire you!  Leave me a comment, and let me know which is your favorite. 

Christening Day

 

 

Last month we lifted Zarriah to the Lord.  It is such a blessing to know that your children and grandchildren will be raised as Christens, and the icing on the cake is being a witness to the event.  We chose this adorable 2 piece Shantung Dress from Pink Princess for the big day.  I’m glad we did, the picture doesn’t do the dress justice.  The price was great, and it was exactly what we were looking for, simple but elegant.  I’m going to have it cleaned and boxed for Zarriah.  We ordered an adorable bracelet; however, it wasn’t shipped.  Pink Princess did give me a refund promptly, but when you’re counting on using a particular accessory for a special occasion it can be disappointing when it is not received.  Thankfully, a friend of my daughter’s had given Zarriah a bracelet as a gift.

 

 

I must say, my little Zarriah was an angel during the service.  Because we had the huge carnival party the day before, we only had a small family gathering after the service.  We used the ladybug cake made for the carnival party for dessert.  Zarriah is enjoying her cake along with her God mother, who is a friend of my daughter’s from college.  Amazing lady, she was juggling a 3 month old and a 4 year old that week-end, but still made time to celebrate the Christening with us.

We were so blessed to have so many family members join us at the service.  I will always cherish this picture.  Zarriah will be able to look back one day, and see how much she is loved and those who stood as a witness to help raise her as a Christian. For other Christening Day ideas, click on this link, Christening Day – Make It Special

 

Squash Casserole

Need to use up that squash and zucchini from the garden or that pile that you found on your porch from the neighbors?  You’ll love this recipe.  It’s quick, easy and delicious.  My garden didn’t produce an abundance of squash or zucchini this year.  I started an abundance of plants inside to get ahead of the season, but I got hit with vine borers and squash, but I was able to salvage a few for this recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 – 10 ounces of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • bread crumbs.

Cube squash and zucchini
and saute for 10 – 15 minutes along with the chopped onion.  Mix the mayo and
eggs.  Add the cheese to the mixture; blend well.  Drain the squash and zucchini
and add to a greased baking dish.  Mix in the mayo, egg and cheese mixture.  Top
with bread crumbs and drizzle the butter over the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30
minutes at 350 degrees
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Follow my garden adventures at A Diva’s Garden, http://adivasgarden.blogspot.com

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Look Who’s 1

Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted.  I took a much needed break to focus on my grandchildren, rest and just figure out where I was headed in my life.  I ended a long term relationship, got tired of being in it by myself.  I did a few home improvements, planned and hosted the grandchildren’s birthday parties, planned and hosted my little Zarriah’s Christening party, planted a garden and harvested and canned my crop, vacationed in St. Croix and the list goes on.  I’m feeling energized and have lots of posts for you so lets get on with it. 

Look who turned 1 August 28.  My little preemie, Zarriah, who weighed 2lbs 10 ozs. when she entered this world is thriving.  Miss Muffin is weighing in at 20 plus pounds as you can see.  She’s not walking yet, but she’s crawling, pulling herself up and taking steps while holding on.  She has become quite a handful.  She’s no longer on formula and we’ve moved to stage 3 foods. The doctor said her eye sight is fine and they don’t foresee any vision problems in the future.  She’s had an ear infection, but other than that she’s a picture of health. 

We decided to celebrate big for her 1st birthday.  We felt so blessed that she had survived and was doing so well, we wanted a big birthday bash for her with family and friends.  Celebrate we did. Stay tuned for pictures and all the happenings with the children and my journey as a 50 plus single mother.   It’s so good to back. 

Veggie Tales – Robin Good & His Not So Merry Men Review

My grandson and I love the Veggie Tales.  We had the opportunity to review Veggie Tales’ Robin Good and His Not So Merry Men DVD.  A long time ago, in the faraway town of Bethlingham, roved a band of merry men, led by the fearless Robin Good.  Their mission:  to help people by fundraising from the rich and giving to the poor!  But when a greedy Prince starts stealing the townspeople’s hams, donations are down and Robin’s friends take off and decide to give robbing from the rich a try.  Feeling rejected, Robin thinks can’t get any worse, until he finds out that the ham-hoarding Prince has also captured his friends.  Can Robin overcome his own hurt, rescue his friends and restore the townspeople’s hope?  Find out in this fun Veggie Tale story where kids learn that there’s no hurt too big for God!  God will take care of you.  It teaches children to give their burdens to the Lord.  I think this lesson is so important to children these days.  They need to know they have someone they can always talk to about their problems. 

There’s another fabulous story on the DVD, Lenny & the Lost Birthday.   Lenny is sad because he thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday, which is March 1.  Because it is Leap Year, February has 29 days.  Lenny is not aware of the extra day and doesn’t take the extra day into consideration when counting the number of days to his birthday.  His mother explains Leap Year, and tells him that his birthday is the next day.  Lenny realizes that he is not forgotten, and all is right with the world. 

I love the lessons on this DVD.  I think it’s important to teach our children Christian values.  My 4 year old grandson loves to go to church.  He understands saying prayers and counting blessings. 

We would love to give away a copy of this wonderful DVD to share with your children.  Here’s how you can win:

Let us know your favorite Veggie Tale character- 1 Entry
Tweet about this give away – 2 Entries (Leave a comment with your Twitter Name & that you tweeted about the give away)
Follow Mother 2 Mother – 2 Entries  (On Left)

This give away will end April 6 at mid-night.  The give away is open to US Resident only.  The winner will be selected randomly, and notified via email.  Please make sure your email address is current.