Yesterday something a bit stunning happened. Ethan sat on Santa's lap. There were no tears, no screams, no kicking, punching or resisting. He just got on Santa's knee in a business-like manner and stated his Christmas wishes. I was present, so I got to hear Santa say to him, "Now, if you want me to bring you some presents, you need to be a very good little boy for your mom and dad...okay?" Fast forward to that evening. Ethan is holding still and actually letting me put his undies on after tub time. I comment on how marvelously still he is being. He then says, "Mom, do you know why I am being so nice to you? Because I want GOOD presents for Christmas!" Excellent. Now all we have to do hold that over his head and remind him what Santa said and he snaps into an obedient young man. Ha! Thank you Santa! (aka Matt Tuttle!)
Eric hit 29 years of age on November 16th and Ethan hit the ripe ol' age of 4 on December 1st. Both joyous occasions were celebrated with cake, ice cream, gifts and our cute little family. I think it was more of a shock to me this year that I have a 4 year old than that my husband is almost 30. I remember telling my mother in law when Eth was a newborn that I couldn't imagine him getting any older than 3. It remains true! Year 2 and 3 seemed like no big deal. Four?! My kid is, well, a big boy! I started remembering my life around 4. I started remembering my mom around 4. And my mom was a lot more mature in those memories than I am now! Yikes! As for Eric and nearly being 30...well, I always thought 30 was pretty darn old. Now? I'm not so sure. Thankfully, I personally, am nowhere near 30...tee hee...
My friend Ashley took a few pictures of the kids for me. As you can see, they turned out darling. Here is a preview of a few she took. You can see more on facebook. Thank you, Ash...I owe you a big one.
Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. The company was fabulous and the food was TO DIE FOR. I am going to do all you readers a favor and post the recipes for some of the dishes we had. They were heavenly.
Bik Duggan's Sweet Potato Casserole:
3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes (canned will do great) 3/4 stick of margarine or butter, softened 1 cup evaporated milk 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring Mix the above well and pour into a greased 9X12 casserole dishBake @ 425 for 15 minutes. (It is not done yet!)
Topping: 1 cup crushed cornflakes 3/4 stick of margarine or butter 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1/2 cup brown sugar Melt the margarine/butter. Mix the above and sprinkle over the top of the casserole.Bake @ 400 for 15 minutes.Eat now or cool on a rack and refrigerate for later.
Stuffing (a.k.a. Sausage Creation)
1 box Stove Top stuffing 1 lb dry bread crumbs (I used Pepperidge Farm Herb Cubed Stuffing) 1 lb sausage browned 1-2 Tbsp sage 2 C hot water 3 onions, chopped 6-8 celery stalks, chopped 1 can Cream of Chicken soup 1 can milk 1 1/2 cubes magarine salt and pepper to taste
Combine Stove Top, bread crumbs, sausage, sage, salt and pepper. In a large pan, heat water. Add onions and celery. Cook about 15 minutes, then add soup, milk, and margarine. When margarine is melted, add to the bread crumb mixture. It will be fairly moist. Bake covered 2 hours at 300.
3 small packages of strawberry Jell-o 16 oz package frozen strawberries 2 containers strawberry yogurt
Boil 3 C water, dissolve Jell-o. Fill 1 C with ice, then fill over with water, add to Jell-o. Dissolve ice. Dump thawed berries in a blender, add yogurt and some of the Jell-o. Pour all into a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate.
Apple Crisp Pie
Nothing special! I just used a Pillsbury pie crust, tossed apples in sugar, flour and cinnamon, and topped with the usual apple crisp ingredients (oats, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter). I baked the crust and apples for about 15 minutes then topped with the crisp and baked for another 35 minutes (I left foil on top so it wouldn't brown too much).
Million Dollar Caramel Cookies
1 C butter, softened 1 C white sugar + 1 Tbsp 1 C packed brown sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla 2 1/2 C flour 3/4 C cocoa 1 tsp baking soda 2 Heath candy bars 1 bag Rolo candies
Beat butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla and beat well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a bit at a time and blend well. Add extra flour if dough feels too sticky. Cover and chill about 30 minutes.
Chop Heath bars and toss with 1 Tbsp sugar. Wrap a piece of chilled dough around each Rolo forming 1-inch ball. Dip top of dough ball into Heath topping and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 7-10 minutes. Cookies look soft but don't overbake! Cool on pan slightly then move to rack. Store in covered container.
Green Bean Casserole (This is the recipe that comes from Campbell's website, I think...but I tweaked it a bit)
1 can cream of mushroom soup 3/4 cup milk salt and pepper to taste 2 (9 0z) pkgs frozen green beans, thawed 1 1/3 cups french fried onions
Mix soup, milk, salt, pepper, beans, and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Bake 350 for 30 mintues, or until warmed through. Stir and top with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes more. Note: Before I baked it, I added about 1/2 cup sour cream and sprinkled it with grated parmesan cheese.
Karla's Rolls - makes 2 dozen
4 tsp yeast 1 1/3 cups warm water Mix yeast and water with 1 tsp sugar and allow to bubble, about 5 minutes.
1 cup warm milk 1/2 cup veg oil 6 Tbs sugar 1 Tbs salt Combine these ingredients in mixer fitted with bread hook. Add the proofed yeast and gently mix.
Gradually add 5 1/2 - 6 cups flour, one cup at a time. Let knead in the mixer for 5 minutes (you can do this by hand though). Dough will be sticky, do not add too much flour or the rolls will be tough and dense. Put in a greased bowl and rise until double (about an hour). Separate dough into two balls. Roll out each piece to 1/3 inch thick. Brush dough with melted butter and cut into 12 triangles. (Like a pizza) Roll each triangle (starting at the biggest end) into a crescent shape. Rise again for about 45 minutes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 for 17 minutes or until golden brown. I like to brush them with melted butter right when they come out too.
Unfortunately, there's no recipe for this one. After the potatoes cooked, I mashed them and added melted butter, evaporated milk, sour cream and salt/pepper to taste.
1 stick butter, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup flour 1/8 tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup chocolate chips 1 pie shell, partially baked
Preheat oven to 350. Partially bake crust, about 12 minutes and allow to cool completely. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and mix well. Add flour, salt, vanilla, nuts and chocolate. Mix well. Pour into crust and bake 45 minutes to an hour until center is set and top looks like a golden baked cookie.
Chocolate Pudding Pie
1 graham cracker crust (or pastry crust) 1 large box Cook and Serve jello chocolate pudding (NOT instant pudding)
Cook pudding according to package and pour into crust. Chill before serving.
Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
2 bunches lettuce (romaine or green leaf) 1/2 package bacon, cut into small pieces 1 c. swiss cheese 1/4 c. craisins 1/4 c. candied almonds 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar 1 c. oil 1 T poppy seed 1/2 t. ground mustard 1/2 c. sugar 1 T minced onions 1 t salt
The dressing tastes better if it is made a day in advance!
BYU MOA Curry Chicken Pasta
(I got this recipe from my friend who worked at the MOA and the batches they made were huge so I just pretty much make the recipe however I want. But here are the basic guidelines)
Orzo pasta diced cooked chicken chopped celery slivered almonds green onions grapes lots of canned pineapple and its juice (chunks or crushed)
Dressing: equal parts sour cream and heavy mayo sugar salt and pepper tons of curry powder
I just make this according to the things I like the best and it always turns out yummy!
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle
* 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix * 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix * 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling * 1/2 cup packed brown sugar * 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon * 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping or real whipped cream * 1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional
Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.
These are some of tastiest recipes I have ever put into my mouth. You readers are just lucky there is no charge for this post! (Thank you for sharing, Melissa, Loralee, Heather...)
So the other day I was sitting in the living room having a piece of chocolate cake for lunch when Ethan comes up and says, "Mom, are you gonna help me clean up this house or are you just gonna sit on the couch and eat cake all day?" Wow. I think I just got called out.
We are Eric and Natalie Pelfrey. We've been married for 7 years and we have a energetic little boy, Ethan (5), and a sweet and stubborn little girl, Libby (3) and a chunky, precious baby boy, Oliver (1). Eric is workin' his life away as an attorney in the Big D, and I am going crazy as mommy. We are very blessed and very happy!