When humor goes, there goes civilization. ~Erma Bombeck

November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving = Mmm Mmm Good!

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie.

Pecan Pie.

Pumpkin Pie With Gingersnap struesel.

Turkey. (He looked so familiar.)

Last minute frenzy.

Frenzy continued.

Aaaaah Family.

She needed a love from Nana.

Family around the table, nothing better!

Snuggling with Papa. (and you thought we ate him)

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Today will be full of baking pies and cleaning house. Hope you all have a great day filled with love and family.

November 24, 2009

Peanut Butter-Banana Sandwich, Bread Pudding With Dark Caramel Sauce

I found this recipe in the November 2009 Southern Living Magazine. If you want to find some really, really tasty recipes this magazine is the place to go. Pioneer Woman is featured in this particular month also, so if you are a fan of hers check it out.

I am not thrilled with my picture here, it doesn't do the dessert justice, sorry.

When I served this Sunday evening all I heard was ....Mmmmmmmmmm, a couple of OH MY! I got a Honey This Is Delicious from Papa, so needless to say it is a keeper.

Here goes:

8 buttermilk bread slices, crusts removed. ( I did not remove the crusts)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 bananas, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS. brown sugar
1 3/4 cups shipping cream ( I used heavy whipping cream, I am now trying to see how fat I can get)
Peanut Butter Streusel Topping (Oh Yeah)
Dark Caramel Sauce

1. Spread bread slices with peanut butter. top 4 bread slices with bananas and remaining bread slices, peanut butter sides down, pressing firmly. Cut sandwiches into 1 inch pieces; place in 8 lightly 8oz. Ramekins or mixture may be prepared in an 11x7 inch baking dish.

2.Whisk together eggs and sugars, whisk in whipping cream. Gradually pour mixture over sandwich pieces ; Sprinkle with Peanut Butter Streusel Topping. Place ramekins or baking dish in a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hrs.

3. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Let puddings or pudding (depending on what you are baking it in) stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, set, and puffed. Serve warm with Dark Caramel Sauce.

Peanut Butter Streusel topping:

Stir together 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a bowl. Cut in 2 TBS. butter ( cold butter, I wish the recipe would have specified this, it makes the streusel more crumbly) and 2 TBS creamy peanut butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. stir in 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts.

Dark Caramel Sauce:

Cook 1 cup sugar in a 3 qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until sugar caramelizes, tilting and swirling pan to incorporate mixture.

Now this is a procedure that was new to me. I have never caramelized sugar before. It took longer then 8 minutes. I was freaked out because I thought I was burning it, therefore I didn't do it quite right.

When doing this don't be worried when sugar starts to brown, it is supposed to. Just don't let it burn. The sugar will start melting as you cook it, just keep tilting and swirling as the recipe says. Don't leave it on the burner unattended or you will screw it up.

Stir in 1 cup whipping cream. The mixture will bubble and harden, like a rock. Don't be alarmed.
Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture melts and begins to boil (about 5 - 7 minutes). Quickly pour sauce into a bowl; stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

To make ahead, cover and chill up to 3 weeks. ( 3 weeks seems a little long to me) To reheat, cook, uncovered, in a microwave-safe glass bowl.

This is so good it is worth the time it takes to prepare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are a bread pudding fan you will love, love, love this.


November 20, 2009

My Little Helpers?

After Tonio's championship football game on Saturday some of my kids came over for homemade chicken noodle soup.

It was snowing like crazy Saturday. During the game Papa yelled to my two sons "Hey your mom made chicken noodle soup last night, should I call her and ask her to warm it up?" He said the whole crowd yelled back "YES," as they all sat and shivered.

Izzy and I stayed home, she didn't want to nap........

However, this is where we found her.

Later that evening Zeke came over. Mom and dad went out for the evening.
Zeke has learned to turn on the water and is quite impressed with himself. (He wouldn't let Papa take his onesie off of his head.)

We had to lock him out of the bathroom.

Little Will looks so sweet when he wakes up I just had to throw this one in.
Last night Tonio had his football awards dinner. Any of you who have been to one of those things know they last about 5 hrs. which is 4 1/2 hrs. too long.
Izzy came to spend the evening with us. I told the kids they could help me decorate my family room tree. I always put it up before Thanksgiving because I don't have the energy to do two trees after Thanksgiving any more.

The three Musketeers.

A little of their handy work.

Time for a break. I don't know what they are cooking up.

Some more of their handy work.
Tonio returned from his awards dinner victorious with all of his trophies. His team did not lose one game this season.

He is getting too big.

Also, wanted to share this flashback photo of Dad with Donny Osmond.

That's right, I'm droppin' names. Donny. Osmond.

The 70's star Donny Osmond of yesteryear....

Apparently Dad was working on a construction site for the Osmond Center (I think) in 1979. Donny would come to the site most days to check it out. Dad called Donny, "Don." Donny would correct him and say, "Actually, I go by Donny." This gave dad ALL the more reason to call him Don. So Don called him "Philly."

This photo is also bittersweet for anyone who knows much about Dad's condition called Ataxia that causes his body to deteriorate. It's good to remember him standing and healthy, but it's sad to know the freedom that has been robbed from him. But if you ask him how he's doing, he'll say, "Never better!" every single time.
Gotta Love my dad!!!

Happy Friday.

November 16, 2009

Pooba Speaks Banana Bread

First I must say this is not my picture. I feel such an urgency to post this recipe that I decided to swipe a picture in order to do so. (I don't have enough banana's to make my bread at this time.)

You see Pooba and I are face book bud's and well she has been harassing me for a Banana Bread recipe, yes she can be a bully! I'm scared, she knows where I live. So here goes:

This makes a really good bread if I do say so myself.
I got this recipe from my daughter Taylor, who got it I believe from her MIL.

5 large very ripe banana's I know. You are thinking, but Nana when will I have 5 very ripe banana's all at the same time? Don't fret, you can freeze banana's. "What's that?" you say. Yes freeze your very ripe banana's. Mash them and put them in a baggie, Tupperware, or my favorite LOCK and LOCK first. Toss in freezer for banana bread later. Easy as pie. Now let's move on.

4 eggs, beaten
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup shortening
4 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 - 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Mash banana's well and add sugar. Mix in eggs and shortening with electric mixer. Slowly add dry ingredients, mix well. Spray 2 large loaf pans or 5 small loaf pans w/ nonstick cooking spray. (Pam) Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Enjoy!!! I hope Pooba will stop threatening my grandchildren now. Please Pooba. I have done all I can.
(like she really bakes anyway)

November 11, 2009


I wanted to teach Henry and Izzy how to climb a tree. (they were less than thrilled, don't let their phony smiles fool you) I would have shown them but, this poor little tree would not have survived my girth.

Jumping in the leaves is always fun. Too bad the pile isn't bigger.

Look at Izzy's hair. The drop is not as high as it looks. Really.

A leaf fight is always fun.

Henry loves it when the cousins come over. He gets so excited. Today when Chloe came by he was just as excited as when Izzy comes to visit. As you can see playing with Izzy is a totally different experience than playing with Chloe. I thought it so sweet that they can find so much joy no matter what the circumstance. Chloe radiates love, she therefore attracts it. I wish everyone I knew could see and feel that. I am especially thankful that her little cousins all feel it. They love her, want to include her and protect her.
My older grandchildren, nieces and nephews have realized just this past Summer that Chloe is not a baby, she is different. I have heard my children, my brothers and sister in law explain to them just how different she is. What a blessed experience for these little ones to learn love, patience, empathy, and charity for someone so fragile

Chloe came by today and well........ could that be any cuter?
They had a little wrestling match.

I don't know how I ended up in the mix, but I want you to note my hair is not fixed.

I wouldn't want to be any place else!!!!!!!

November 9, 2009

Pecan Sandies

This cookie is a huge favorite at my house, huge!! Did I say HUGE?

1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
1 Cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teas. almond extract
3 - 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 teas. baking soda
1 teas. cream of tartar
1 teas. salt
2 Cups chopped pecans
2 Cups English toffee bits
Additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add oil, eggs and extract, mix well. Combine flours, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt, gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in pecans and toffee bits. Shape into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets, flatten with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove to wire racks to cool.

Enjoy!!!!!!!! I know you will.

November 3, 2009


The other day, for some reason while reading Kathy B's post about Halloween, in my mind I went down memory lane back to 1990.

To set this particular story up though I have to take you back to 1986. Through a series of unfortunate events my little family had to move from a "Leave it to Beaver" neighborhood to.....

"What's up Beaver Boy, you wanna buy some crack?" neighborhood. It was not a happy time.

The home we moved into was beautiful, something like the one above. It had been Papa's grandmother's home. This home was full of peace, love and security. It was also the only house on our street that did not look like it was about to fall over. To say it stuck out like a sore thumb would be a huge understatement! Papa had grown up spending many a weekend with his grandma and grandpa in this home. In fact although grandma had recently passed on we could very much so still feel her presence there. That may sound crazy to some but, none the less many times I felt if I turned around quick I would see her standing there. To us this was a comforting feeling. We were going through a difficult period in our lives and, as I mentioned our new neighborhood was less than stellar so it was nice to have grandma around.

Grandma had built this home in the 50's, being the frugal woman she was she had actually built a triplex, so there was an upstairs apartment and a downstairs apartment on the west side of our home. She always had renters in these apartments this helped her with her house payment. We lived in the main part of the house. (does this make sense?)

Anyway, JaNene ( her name has been changed to protect the innocent) lived in the downstairs apartment. This woman was at least (no kidding) 6 ft. tall and weighed at least (no kidding) 400 lbs. Her voice was LOUD. When she spoke it sounded as if her throat was full of gravel and she had a megaphone up to her mouth.

JaNene would show up at our house when she could smell dinner cooking and I would begrudgingly fill a plate and send her home. This went on for awhile until one evening Papa had had enough and in his polite (insert sarcasm) way told JaNene if she wanted to eat she better put her money on the table. ( you always know where you stand w/ Papa) She started crying and went home. Her crying was not an unusual event. I will have to tell you about the time she clogged our toilet, her many requests for car rides, me cleaning her house...... I could go on.

I digress, this story is about Halloween. However, I felt you needed a little background story for full effect.

This particular Halloween our youngest was 4. We had a 4 yr. old, six yr. old, 8 yr. old, and a 12 yr. old. ( I told you Papa liked to grab things in the dark)

JaNene had been telling the kids for weeks not to forget to come to her apartment after they were done with all their trick or treating because she had a special treat for them. They being the mindful diligent little children they were followed her instructions. Remember also their was a special treat involved.

They all ran to JaNene's apartment for their treat. She gave them each a nickel, yes I said nickel.

Then told them since she was so generous they had to give HER something out of their trick or treat bag. She then began rummaging through their bags taking what ever she could get her big fat man hands around.

Well the older kids were no dummies and as soon as they could grab back their grub took off. This left their poor little 4 yr. old sister to fend for herself.

I was in the kitchen and I heard this little scream " Mom she's stealing all my candy!!!!!!!!" The three other turds confirmed the situation so I went running. Sure enough there was JaNene bag in hand grabbing what she could.

As I was running towards the scene I gave out a good mean mom "JANENE". She dropped the goods and started whining that she had given them a treat so she deserved one back. I grabbed the bag and the kid. Then I proceeded to tell her she should be ashamed of herself as I stomped back home.

When Papa could see the fumes coming out of my ears he inquired as to what was the matter. I gave him the spill he then decided to wait until around 10:oo p.m. and..............

go give JaNene a visit. Oh, but first he put on the above mask. Went to her back door pressed his face up to the window and began ringing the bell. JaNene was in bed so it took awhile for her to get to the door. When she finally got there as usual she lifted the curtain on her window to see who was there and tada.............. there was Papa growling. She screamed (big surprise) but, Papa not wanting her to have a heart attack quickly took off the mask. Through her chocolate smeared mouth she told him he nearly scared her to death.

His reply was "Never mess with my kids Halloween candy, you got what you deserved!" I told you he was polite.

I guess the moral to this story is don't mess with Papa and never trick or treat at JaNene's house.

Actually this story is quite juvenile but I just wanted to tell you all a little tidbit about our old neighbor JaNene. Just one of the odd characters from our past.

Also I like most tall fat people. There is no way I can make that sound good so I will just shut up.