Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sour Cream Cookies

These are my great-grandmother's recipe and they are fabulous!  They are quite possibly the world's best cookie dunked in milk or especially coffee :-)  I decided to make them the other day since we had large quantities of sour cream in our fridge, but not much butter.  Why - who knows?  I suggested to the kids that it would be fun to color the frosting orange and put chocolate sprinkles on them to make them look "fall".  They told me that their favorite colors were blue and pink (yes, my 3 year old son loves pink) and in no way was it acceptable to make the frosting any other color :-)  They taste just as good either way!

Sour Cream Cookies

3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c shortening
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 deg.

Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.  (Note that I measure the flour first and then sift, unlike many other recipes).  Mix shortening, vanilla, and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add sifted ingredients alternately with sour cream.

Drop by rounded teaspoon (silverware spoon, not actual teaspoon) about 2 inches apart onto greased pan (shortening, nonstick spray, parchment paper - it all works).

Bake 10-12  minutes until they just begin to brown around the edges.

Cool and frost with your favorite buttercream frosting.

Linked up at Around My Family Table.  Hope you enjoy!

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

These last two weeks have been a little crazy, with sick kids on and off and a baby who doesn't want to sleep (what's new?!).  I have found a few pictures to include for PHFR, though.


I indulged my inner geek and made a calendar to schedule Christmas-related activities around here.  Yes, it's color coded. It makes me happy, OK?!? There is one for November, too, but I won't torture you with that.  My goal a few months ago was to get all the shopping done before Advent starts so that I could properly prepare for Christmas this year, but that's clearly not going to happen.  The new goal is half the shopping done and all the lists ready.


Big girl is SOO excited to get in the bathtub with her big brothers.  As soon as she hears the water running, she crawls as fast as her chubby legs will go to the tub, stands up, and bangs on it until you let her get in.

Sometimes it's just too much work to stay awake the whole way through dinner.

These are the favorite toys in our house right now.  WHY, oh WHY??  I don't understand the allure of Transformers, except that the other kids in kindergarten like them.  Furthermore, the movies are nowhere near age-appropriate, so the boys have been watching old cartoon episodes on YouTube.  I can transform the big one without the instructions, though.  Oh the crazy things you learn when you have boys.

round button chicken

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Happened Here?

I'm working like crazy on Christmas planning, but this caught my eye as I was downloading pictures.  Miss E fell asleep after dinner the  other night and we put her in the bouncy seat (which is still sitting in the living room despite the fact that she is now crawling.

How is it that just 2 weeks 8 months ago, she looked like this! Where has that time gone?

Stop getting so big, Baby Girl!  Start sleeping, but stop getting so big!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off lately trying to get Halloween costumes done and then having three sick kids and a teething baby.  Never mind that Christmas is bearing down on us with amazing speed, which is great if you're five - less time to wait for Transformers - but not if you're Mommy.  So of course, what have I been doing in my spare time - knitting on a sweater I started at least 3 years ago.  I decided this morning I'd post a few UFO's (unfinished objects) so I can get them out of my mind and move on for now.  There will be ample time after Christmas to knit away, but there are so many things to be done between now and then.

UFO #1 - Navy sweater
This yarn is cursed with being in between a sport and fingering weight and it took me forever to find a pattern I like.  It only needs one sleeve and a neckband, though, so its almost done.

UFO #2 - Gray Shrug
It will eventually be a lightweight drapey shrug, when it gets past the boring rectangle phase.

UFO #3 - Winter Coat
This probably goes in the category of "Yes, I can make it, but do I need to?"  I mean, there are a million gray coats in the stores, but I got it into my head last year that I would make one.  Never mind that I only got as far as the lining before I was too pregnant with Elizabeth to fit myself any further.

And then there's my current obsession - laying laminate floor somewhere, anywhere.  Maybe even by myself.  I just measured the master closet and it's only 78 square feet.  I could do that in an afternoon, right?!  From the interwebz, it doesn't look that hard and we have a nice chop saw to make square cuts.  I'm so tired of nasty carpet and Elizabeth trying to eat nasty carpet.

I think I need to get some Christmas fabric and start on the kids pajamas.  Maybe that will help me move on from all this.  Yeah, just buy more fabric and start something else.  That's a great idea, right...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real - The Spooktacular Edition

We were in Halloween mode here last week (along with everyone else it seems).  In true procrastinating fashion, I only completely finished the costumes on Monday afternoon, a few hours before trick-or-treating.

Of course the pretty for this week is Princess Prissypants all dressed up for her rookie year trick-or-treating.  She was happy here, although not so happy about not being able to crawl in her dress.

Two big kids very happy to be setting out on their adventure.


This is from a few days before Halloween.  Even ninjas and SuperWhy have to do schoolwork when Mommy says its time!

The princess just cut her first tooth and got a cold from her big brother.  Neither of us has slept well the last few days.  But, a teething biscuit makes it better for a little while.  Speaking of real, apparently her nap was only a half hour...again.  I'd best get upstairs.

round button chicken

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hamburger Sour Cream Casserole

I thought I'd post a recipe to enter in this week's Turning the Tables over at Around My Family Table.  Most of my cooking is from cookbooks - I'm not really that creative - but this is one of the recipes from my box of oldies we used to eat when I was a kid.  Both of my kids with teeth love it and it's really easy.   As you may notice, my food photography skills could use some improvement, but then all my photography skills could use some improvement :-)

Sour Cream Hamburger Casserole

2 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
30 oz. tomato sauce (2 small cans or one large one)
2 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
16 oz box shell noodles (you could also use penne, wagon wheels, etc)
8 oz. cream cheese
2 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
1/2-1 c shredded cheese

1. Brown ground beef with onions.  Drain fat if desired.  Add tomato sauce, chili powder, bay leaves, and brown sugar.  Simmer at least 10 minutes or until ready to assemble.

2.  Cook noodles in boiling water to 1 minute shy of time on box (so that as they heat in the oven they won't get mushy).  Drain noodles and combine with cream cheese, sour cream, and milk.

3.  Layer noodle mixture, then hamburger mixture, then top with shredded cheese to taste.  Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Serves at least 8

This recipe will fill one 9x13 pan or, like I usually make it, 2 8x8-ish pans.  We are not big eaters around here, so I usually make one square casserole and one foil pan for the freezer (as seen below).  Each will feed us about twice. 

Also, you can adjust the chili powder and brown sugar amounts to your taste.  The original recipe I have calls for 1 tsp chili powder and 4-5 tbsp brown sugar, but we think that's too sweet.

Halloween Costumes and Changing Gears

At 4:00 Monday afternoon, I finally finished the Halloween sewing!

I made Elizabeth's princess dress from Simplicity 2569, size 1, and it fit reasonably well after I cut off 4 inches at the hem.  Apparently the girl is the width of a 1, but the height of a 1/2, but I sort of already knew that!  I didn't put on the crazy layers of tulle, figuring that she would hate me enough for putting her in a long skirt that was hard to crawl in.  I learned that I hate costume satin, and that I need A LOT more practice inserting zippers (really just the topstitching - it worked just fine, it was just ugly).

I also made Christopher's Lego Ninja costume after his favorite Ninjago ninja, Jay.  Because, really, how many blue ninja costumes have you seen lately?  It was made from Butterick 4222, a pajama pattern that I've made a bunch of times.  I used the shirt back to draft a crossover front and put ribbon to tie it shut.  This costume was easier to construct, but it took forever, owing to the fact that he kept reminding me of more parts he just had to have.  I made a shirt and pants, then had to make a black belt, then had to make a sword-holder strap (with gold "lightning guy" buckle), and then he just had to have a blue ninja mask to go with it.  But, it was all finished in time and he was the happiest ninja on the block.  For those of you wondering, Patrick was SuperWhy from PBS, courtesy of the internet and a $5 off coupon.  I wasn't about to figure out how to do that book on the front.

Now to change gears and figure out what to do next.  I always seem to have trouble switching to the next project, maybe because I have too many ideas and not enough time.  I think this week I'm going to work on getting the house cleaned up, getting the sewing area cleaned up, and planning/ordering for Christmas sewing.  I'm hoping for pajamas for all, a bishop dress for Elizabeth, and ties or something to coordinate for the boys.

Halloween is fun for the kids, but I'm getting excited about Advent and Christmas.  I can't wait to get out the Jesse Tree I made last year and start our (liturgical) new year - there's just such a hopeful feeling about Advent.