Lauries Kitchen

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Catching Up!

Thought I would catch up on some recipes we've enjoyed over the break. The punch recipe is from Grace's AP English teacher. She made it for the class when they had an Oscar Wilde party. I've made two complete batches this break. The girls really like it. I made up the stroganoff recipe this morning. I needed to use some thawed out beef and just started throwing thing sin the pan. Turned out pretty good. The cookies are pretty much pure sugar. Not much hiding it in this recipe. I've made something like this before but never had the flavor from jello. I'm thinking i can make these for any holiday--just adjust the jello flavor. They are really simple since I have a stand mixer. Just turn it on, do something and then when I come back it is ready!

Almost Champagne Punch
1     2 liter Ginger Ale
1     2 Liter Club Soda
1     Jug White grape juice

Mix together and serve. I buy the ginger ale and club soda in 1 liter bottles and make 1/2 batch at a time.  I have no clue if it almost tastes like champagne or not!

Jello Cookies

3 eggs whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 T any flavor jello (I used strawberry)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar

Heat over to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with pam. Beat salt and egg whites until foamy. Add jello and sugar and beat til stiff peaks form--may take as long as 10 minutes---it will also be glossy! Gently add in vinegar. Drop onto cookie sheet or pipe onto cookie sheet. Bake 25 minutes., Turn oven off and leave in oven for another 20 minutes. Cool completely before eating--I can never wait that long. Just remember it's like eating pure sugar!


1 1/2 pound beef--I used steak fingers and cut them into chunks after tenderizing
2 cans cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1 cam french onion soup
wide noodles

Sear, season and cook beef in skillet. When done, add soups and simmer til ready to eat. Cook noodles and serve stroganoff over noodles.

This month we have 2 birthdays--mine and JoGail's! I still think it's cool that Grace shares a birthday month with Coy and JoGail shares one with me. JoGail was due (they thought) and my doctor was going out of town, so they took her about a week early. According to the sonograms, etc she was supposed to be an already big baby. Well, I think they missed everything on her. She was only 6 pounds and have major difficulties breathing, so off to the NICU she went. I went and saw her for the first time after the finished the c section. Then I told my doctor to knock me out and he did. She was out of NICU pretty quick--I think like 24-36 hours, once she could breathe well. Amazingly, she has not had trouble with her lungs ever since.

There are so many things to be thankful for this New Year's Eve. As a family we have a had a fun year. We have grown-especially the girls! Grace has adjusted to being a freshman and JoGail has ventured into Junior High. We vacationed in Florida and came back ready to tackle yet another school year.

IF I were to make a New Year's resolution, it would be to enjoy every minute and live so that others see God in me. That includes listening more and talking less, and loving others. Oh and I want to journal more in my book, so that the girls can reflect on it later in life and maybe remember some memories that may have gotten tucked away.

Happy New Year's!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What a wonderful Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas we had! It was so laid back and relaxing. I love those and hope we are teaching the girls that it's ok to just be us and do things our way! Everyone go ttheir gifts then played mopst of the day yesterday. Coy has had fun playing JoGail's new keyboard.I'm betting he teaches himself how to play before long. Luckily Santa brought head phones!! --The old fashioned kind--neither girl knew what they were!

For lunch we had ham, dressing, gravy, roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes. green beans, rolls and cranberry sauce. Then later we have strawberry cheesecake and pumpkin pies. The girls made the pies on their own this year! They did a really good job, too. So now Grace san say she can 'cook' cereal, spaghetti, and pumpkin pies!!! JoGail's favorite part of the meal is the sweet potatoes and I must admit these were pretty good. I followed JoLynn's recipe and they always turn out great. You wash then  boil the sweet potatoes 2-3 days before you want to serve them. After they are tender, cool them. Them wrap them in saran wrap and place in a bag(to catch drips) in the fridge. When you are ready to cook them, just slide the sweet potato out of its 'jacket'. Seriously, they just slide right out. Then cook as normal. I mash them then mix them with butter and brown sugar before I bake them. Then I top with marshmallows. You will have the best sweet potatoes ever. There's something that happens to the sugars with them when they are in the fridge.

Normally I use Stacia's cheesecake recipe, but I was preusing my cooking magazines the other day and noticed one that I wanted to try. It, like Stacia's, was simple. It turned out good and now I have two cheesecake recipes to fall back on!

Simple Cheesecake
2 packages, 8 ounces each room temperature cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

graham cracker crust-9 inches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanill until smooth. Add eggs, beating until just combined. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or til center is set. Cool on wire rack. Chill for 2 hours. Use whatever topping you would like on top.

Weather wise, its still yucky and rainy. You think of winter when you look out the windows...luckily it' snot below freezing here. My sister Missy says there's snow up in Amarillo and I saw pictures where Lubbock had a white Christmas as well!

I have enjoyed getting up to a pretty quiet house, not having to think about what to wear, what's on the list to do at work. It's nice having a break.


Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm up!!!!

I'm up and ready to get some final things done today! Lots of cooking going on today--making strawberry swirl cheesecake, more cranberry salsa, icing sugar cookies,  making Karen's taco chili mix she gave us, cooking the sweet potatoes, and who knows what else! I am ready and willing though to get going. Coy's getting his truck door handle fixed (don't even ask me how he broke it opening the truck door).  The girls are sleeping in for a bit. Seems like we have had something to do or somewhere to go every day of break so far. And that's ok... it's still been nice. We feel like we have accomplished many things already!

Lately my oldest daughter has been posting some things on facebook that have made me feel proud. She is posting things that show she is thinking for herself and that she realizes the love of God and having a relationship with God is the greatest thing. These are two things Coy and I have prayed she would learn as she grows up. I guess that means she is growing up. She amazes us with her depth of understanding.

JoGail is growing up, too. her body is looking more like Grace's (athletic) every day. She follows her sister and is outside alot kicking a soccer ball around or dribbling the basketball. She is witty and funny. I laughed yesterday as I watched her play her nintendo game while we were at Children's. She was holding it and looking over her glasses to see it. Made her look funny!

Made a date yesterday to see Coy's sister Judy and her husband Jerry and his nephew and his wife (Todd and Michelle). Always love seeing them--we have ALWAYS have fun! We are trying to plan a spring trip to Lubbock to see JoLynn. Of course Coy and I have different spring breaks this year, but I think we have a plan. Just waiting to hear back from JoLynn when her spring break is! Excited because it's been a couple of years since we have ventured out there. Coy was calling it a 'road trip'. Of course it also hinges on the track schedule..

I heard something the other day that I wished we had thought of when the girls were young. Only giving three gifts per person. The guy's reasoning was that three gifts were good enough for Jesus so it should be good enough for us. Made me think.

Ok, it's time to get sure is quiet around here............I kind of like that!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A completely random post

Wahoo!!! Christmas Break has started here! I almost hate to see it coming because it seems like we are just adjusting to high school life and middle school life! Seriously, though, we are thankful for the break and grateful for our family time.  The time is flying fast. I sit here on the couch sometimes and think about how fast time is going by and how it won't be long til it's just me and Coy sitting here...ahhhh but I MUST enjoy the moment!!!

But before I get to that let me just say how thankful I am to the staff at Eustace ISD. I know I have said it before, but I cannot IMAGINE my kids having a better second family than the staff at the school and church. I always fret before my kids go to a new campus, but I shouldn't. God always sends someone to help my girls adjust and look up to.

I made this new recipe the other night when Coy  was at board meeting--hence all the cheese! It was a hit and the girls liked it. I think I got it off pinterest--not really sure because like any good recipe, this one is written down on a stray envelope.

1 box cooked penne pasta ( I found the kind that cooks in 3 minutes)
4 oz sour cream
1 jar chicken alfredo sauce
small container ricotta cheese (I used cottage cheese to save $2)
1 pound cooked chicken
2 eggs
1/4 cup paremeson cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Mix together everything but the mozzarealla cheese and put in prepared baking pan. Spread mozzarealla cheese on top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

We finally got some rain in this part of the world. Hoping for even more. Missy (sister in Amariallo) and I have a weather thing going right now. Dallas forecasters are calling for a sleet/thunder snow on Monday for Amarillo. Amarillo forecasters are just calling for rain...............We will see who's right!!!   Guess we could have at least betted  a coke or cup of hot cocoa or something.

Our annual dish exchange was yesterday at work. Unfortunately I didn't get to stay for the party since I was taking JoGail to the doctor, but there was lots of food and neat dishes there! Jill brought back some cheese curds from her weekend trip home to Wisconsin. I had never had them until she brought some last year and they were really good! Gina made a lighted up pumpkin roll for Bob and Jane made some candy for her person.  There were lots of other goodies as well! We always have such a good time doing that. We draw a name and then literally buy a dish that person wants and then cook something in it (we have a little questionaire) and then we eat buffet style and you get to take home the dish and whatever's left in it. It's so fun!

Some of you may have heard about the nativity scene activity in Athens--we were unable to attend the rally but have heard wonderful things about it and are proud to be Americans.

Washed Grace's two ankle braces this morning....She pulled them out of her basketball bag and oh my! Those things could have walked to Dallas by themselves. They were wet, too. She said she sweated alot last night during the game in Leon.'s bad when SHE comes to me and says that they stink and need to be washed ! (Told you this was a random post!)

We have been watching alot of ICarly, Victorious, and even Drake and Josh (all nick shows for teenagers) as a family. They really are funny and of couse Grace and Coy catch things no one else does!  In alot of shows their characters overlap.

I didn't get my bed remade this morning. I was going to take off the wool blanket and put the electric blanket on....while I love snuggling under three layers of blankets Coy is not so fond of it and actually I don't like it when my foot sticks out. Somehow I usually end up with all the wool blanket on my side of the bed. I have daylight time left so I might get that done before the night's up!

I'm making chicken soup for Sunday lunch's going to be good and I hope it gets our JoGail to feeling better! She has strep again....yes, AGAIN....

I haven't even started the Christmas meal menu yet...I know we are having ham though....I figure I have a week! I'm sure Coy will want dressing and gravy and JoGail will want sweet potatoes....rolls and tea....have lots of sweets but Coy and the girls will make some pumpkin pies too.

I am truly happy Melissa ISD won the the football championship for our division! We played them in the Area Championship and lost to them. It's nice to be able to say we were beaten by the state champs!

I am glad I am not a chef. I don't think I was designed to handle the pressures they go through on a daily basis. Yes, I have stress at work, but it's unlikely I would kill someone or put someone in the hospital with food poisoning during a routine day as they might.

I'm late getting photo cards out this year. No real reason why, just haven't done it. I did get out the photo albums with all the photo cards from years past out, though! Some go back as far at 1993!!!!  It's so fun to look back and see how kids and families have grown. Just looking at how our girls have grown amazes me! But, I still put my favorite pictures of them with Santa on the mantle! Every year!

I don't care about politics. Really I don't. I know it's important to our country and state and all it just isn't me. Never really has been. I read it on the internet a little, but really don't pay much attention to it all. I have always tried to live by the by the 'be nice to others' and treat others they the way you want to be treated" theories and they don't seem to do that. Neither do the news stations. And that completes my thoughts on politics.

I'm thinking about buying some kale and making kale just break it up and put some olive oil on it then bake. Anybody tried this????

I am getting used to my glasses. They are a pain when I want ot read something up close, because I have to take them off, but other than that no main problems. You'll be glad to know they really make a difference when I drive!


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Chocolate cherry bars

I found this recipe in a Gooseberry patch cookbook. We like them! They were super simple to make!

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon almond extract

Mix together (You can do this by hand)
Then stir in 1 can cherry pie filling.

Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 mins. Let cool completely.

In a saucepan on low mix 6 tablespoons butter,
1  1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons milk

Heat over low til boiling. Boil 1 minute .
Stir in 1/2 c semi sweet choc chips until smooth. Spread over bars.