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Thursday, January 31, 2013

January

Sometimes I wonder if half my Pinterest fails are because I don't really follow the directions to the letter....Okay, okay...maybe half of life's fails can be attributed to this particular trait. But then again what letters are we supposed to follow? Your letters or recipes or directions certainly aren't going to work exactly right for me and mine for you. It's pretty much one of those learn as you go things combined with do what seems good at the time for your family. Which I obviously follow maybe a little too closely when it come to cooking. In the grander scheme of things, yes I believe there's a higher plan to follow but even when two people believe the same thing we know that plan isn't going to work out the same in both our lives. So obvious disclaimer here is these are totally my opinions and you might see the same Pinterest pin and have it work great for you while I flop it.

Back to January's pins. I don't think we had any huge flops, but nothing really turned out the way I expected it too either. My tastes were good in the choosing but I'd personally tweek some if these pins if you want to check them out for yourself.

Take the Crock Pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup I made in the middle of the month. I love creamy potatoes and my kids hate the ideas of onions, so I loved that this pin used the blender to both mask the texture and look of the onion and satisfied my creamy factor, especially when you added cream cheese after simmering the potatoes and chicken broth all afternoon. Here's the part where I tell you how I didn't really follow the recipe...I didn't actually check out how many grams=ounces so I ended up having about 50 grams or 2 ounces too much cream cheese. I just thought it ended up tasting like WAY too much cream cheese.   So even tho I used more then the recipe called for, it wasn't that much more and I think next time I'd only use one package of cheese more potatoes so you'd end up with the same creamy result but not such an overpoweringly rich soup.  Richness might be great if you are serving it in small portions as an appetizer but is not so hot as a main course dish. (And how often do you actually have soup as an appetizer except when you are out dining fancy, which around here is a very rare occurrence. ). Anyways, good idea but beware the cream cheese. Everything else was super quick and easy to throw together and Moose and M&M loved adding the cheese, bacon, and sour cream toppings and mixing them into their individual bowls.

**The hubby got home really late the night we had this soup and just ended up eating some chili leftovers, so I felt safe to remake this soup for our family dinner Sunday.  I added more chicken broth, and some mashed potatoes and put the bacon right in our leftovers and it was MUCH better.  There was just a hint of the richness and since I had cooked a ham as the main dish it went great as a side.

Same night as the original potato soup, I made Biscuit Bombs which are basically just cheesy Pillsbury biscuits. I thought they were fairly impressive and better than my usual standby of crescents and cheese because the cheese did a better job staying in these rolls, plus the added seasonings on top were a plus. There again though I had ran out of parm cheese which prob would have made the biscuits a lot better and maybe even company worthy rather than a last minute side for my too-rich soup!

I also made a couple batches of cookie pins I found on Pinterest. We must have been into cream cheese this month because both cookie recipes used cream cheese too. First came the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies that called for a boxed mix of cream cheese pudding. Didn't have it so I just used plain old cream cheese and the result was the cookies weren't really that much different than normal. I dipped them in choco tho like the recipe called for, something I've never done with peanut butter cookies and we all really like that. Next time I'm going to try to actually use the pudding mix, that is if I can find such a thing.  This recipe more than likely came from the states and it can be hard to find the exact same things here.  Like breakfast sausage in a tube....never buy it in Northern Ontario.  They use bread crumbs as a filler and it is disgustingly gross!  Back to the cookies:

Cookie(s) number two were Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies and, surprisingly, the hubby really liked them. He hates cream cheese and I love it so I'm always trying to mask it in other things. Everyone seemed to really like the cookies but I'd make sure to use mini chips like the recipe calls for because using the normal chips (to me) made them taste like a glorified chocolate chip cookie and I'm not sure why because they are really totally different. Have a tall glass of milk handy if you want to make either of these cookies, it's a must!

Haven't been very crafty/project inspired this month. I relied on my mom to help me with curtains for the kids room, which meant I cut and she sewed. Turned out cute, I think, and just went with some simple but cheap curtain rods. Thinking about doing some ruffle curtains like these for our room now, but I'm such a chicken when it comes to sewing and I don't know why because halfway through I always love it.

My only other project this month was to whip up a quick birthday present for my sister-in-law that lives next door.  I'd been wanting to try some of the sugar scrub recipes that I've seen on Pinterest.  I did have to pick up some coconut oil and peppermint essential oil at the health food store, but ended up coming home with jojoba oil and lemon essential oil instead.  It made a nice pint size batch when mixed with the sugar and olive oil I had on hand, plus a little leftover that I've been trying.  My only issue is that I added a bit more essential oil than it called for and it was a little too liquidy.  By this I don't mean the hand scrub was actually a liquid, the color kept sinking to the bottom so it was more yellow at the base and whiter at the top.  I kept tipping the jar upside down and within a few minutes the entire jar would be the same.  I wanted it nice and scentsy so next time I will use less olive oil and more essential oil.  This is the link to my pin.  As you can see I also used this inspiration of a cupcake liner to hide/prettify the boring lid.  She is also a peanut butter and chocolate lover so I made Sloppy Peanut Butter Pie, which was very good, but also very rich.  Definitely easy enough to make again but I would halve the powdered sugar!

I can't say I've been getting the kids into too many crazy activities either. I guess the Christmas toys have kept them pretty occupied. A little surprised because M&M had four snow days this month, a day at home because of a dentist appointment and another day at home because of a planned teacher protest that ended up being cancelled. That and the month started off with still being on winter vacation for a bit at the beginning which meant we've only had two weeks of school this month! The only thing we tried was this  plastic bag finger painting which kept then occupied and independent for maybe 15 min and then they were sick of it. Not sure if I needed to use more paint or if my craft paint doesn't work the same as the tempura used in the link, but it wasn't worth keeping. They had five minutes of fun and then I had to keep encouraging the two to try to make a fingerprint or draw a picture. M&M has a pd day on Friday to start off February and I already have supplies to make some fake snow so hopefully that provides more entertainment. I'm sure it will be messier.


I used this great organizing idea for my small scrapbook scraps. Found these cute magazine boxes at the dollar store and at two for 1$ the price was right.  M&M and I waded through this overflowing box of teeny tiny scraps and some bigger stuff too and ended up with a big box for her classrooms art centre and a much more manageable system for momma, color coordinated too!



I've been pinning tons of stuff for my sister in laws upcoming baby shower I'm hosting and super excited about. Party planning is sooo much fun! So I will keep you posted on that as we work through it. My other sister in law doesn't want me to over do the food like I usually tend to, so I'm trying to really find things that will come together nice. We are going with a "Popping" theme and throwing as many chevron patterns in as possible. Check out this idea for her baby room: cute, eh?! I've finished up the invites and my pinsperstion is here and here! Plus a new niece? What's not too love? I already got a totally cute mute button pacifier like this, but in pink as a Christmas gift for the new squaller, that I thought was rocking when I saw it in Pinterest!  Hope you are looking as forward to February's pins as I am!

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