Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Fancy Excuse

I don't know how to imbed videos into my blog, so I am giving you a link to view this one. I hope it sheds some light on this terrifying condition that seems to be sweeping the nation. Click here to view the video on the contagious obesity virus (it has already affected Jessica Simpson apparently).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Didn't quite get around to it

Okay, so maybe I was too ambitious in my double post day announcement yesterday as you could see the second post didn't quite make it up, but here it is!!! I know that means you are really anxious to see it. Today's post is about something truly fancy- Fancy Nancy.

My dad bought me this GREAT book for Christmas. It is obviously meant for little girls, around 8 years old, but knowing my affinity for fancy things it also suited me quite well. If you have any little girls in your life, I would highly recommend this book! Here is one of my favorite parts, be sure to read the page on top right.

It says, "My family and I like to eat with our pinkies up and call eachother 'darling'."

Here is me demonstrating the pinky finger in my fancy robe after I had read the fancy book.

This books comes with lace, a crown, stickers, hair pins with butterflies and many other fun items!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Double Recipe Day!

So, I have been saving a post for a while, not because it is extra special just because I have not had the time to put it up. So, I thought I would make it a double post day and you will actually get three items! Wow- if only maternity clothes had bargains this good.

I saw this video online and it is a recipe for Steak & Bacon Blue Cheese Wedge Salad. It looks and sounds great. Watch the video by clicking here and get the full recipe.

Now, I will share a recipe I made for friends last weekend. My darling husband wanted us to cook instead of go out, and he even decided what dinner should be. Once again, I don't actually have a name for this recipe and it is only in my head so this will be my attempt at writing it down for you, and my new name for it - well, please send some suggestions.

Lay out 4, 18in. pieces of parchment paper.
Wash and snap the bottoms of 1 bunch asparagus
Cut approx. 3 zuchini in thick diagonal strips that will lay flat
Wash and thick slice 2-3 portabello mushrooms
Salt and Pepper 4 white fish steaks (mahi-mahi, halibut)
Cut 1 red onion in large chunks

Layer all the items in the order listed above in the middle of the parchment paper. Then create a seasoning mix to your taste. I always include garlic, shallots, salt and pepper, and in the pictures shown, I also used zest of 1 orange and half a jalapeno. Mix your seasonings together and then divide evenly over the 4 piles of parchment delight. Dot with butter, fold the parchment paper over to one side and roll the paper up so that it is touching the ingredients in the middle and tight that it will not come undone. Smear some butter on the top of parchment paper in the center. Place on baking sheets and bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. You know it is done when the butter on the top of the parchment paper has turned a dark golden brown. Open and serve! (be careful though as major steam will come out when open the paper. Here is what it looks like cooked.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

3 Year Old Craft

So, this idea is not three years old, but actually the intended audience of this craft is three years old. Micah and I recently had a slumber party with some dear friends of ours, and the following morning their three year old pulled out a bag of beads and pipe cleaners. She threads the beads and then can create her own necklace, rings, bracelets, Christmas Tree decorations, crown, etc. It was great fun and kept her entertained for long periods of time. I am thinking about purchasing this for my niece for her birthday even though she is 5. I have a feeling this can entertain girls of many ages!

And, not to be completely left out, here is a picture of the darling younger brother.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


This is one of my all-time favorite meals. Salty, fall-apart brisket with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. We had this delicious meal over the holidays so I thought I would share it with you. You can make the sides whatever you like so I am just going to give you the recipe for the brisket.

approx. 8 lb. brisket
1 small bottle of Liquid smoke
Soy Sauce - approx. 2 cups soy sauce
Fresh Crushed Garlic - 5 cloves
Lemon Juice - approximately juice from 3 limes
Beef Broth - 2 - 3 cans

Remove lid about half-way through cooking. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 400 for 20 minutes and then 350 for approximately 3-4 hours. The liquid should mostly cover the brisket at the start of cooking and will reduce down a bit over the duration. Also, make the liquid in a pitcher or bowl before putting over the brisket so you can try the sauce before mixing with the raw meat to make sure you like the flavor and adjust accordingly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Year in Review

As it is now the first week of 2009, I thought I would do a brief review of last year, and also give you all an idea of a way to start out this year:

From top left to right, some of my highlights of 2008 are -
  • Going to Uganda with my husband on a missions trip
  • Going to a One Republic concert in St. Louis with friends (us under the arch)
  • Good food!
  • Find out we are going to have a surprise baby!!!
  • Home renovations and decorations continue
  • Micah and I's first ever non-school race- the 15k Tulsa Run
  • Two of my best friends getting married
  • Trip to Chicago
  • Work- I did alot of that
  • Stopping through New York on our way to Uganda
  • Welcoming many new babies this year to friends and family
  • This was taken at New Years 2008- the very start of last year! I love being married to Micah.

Last year was great- it had crafting, love, new friends, new family members, many babies, a couple of weddings, alot of really yummy food and drinks, wonderful travel experiences, and some fulfilling work moments too. As I look forward to 2009, I was challenged last night to not only set goals and resolutions for myself for 2009, but to look at the closest person in my life (who for me is my husband Micah) and to offer something that I would like to see come about in his / her life too. Often in life it is easy to become "me" focused, and this is one way of trying to keep others centered, and make sure you are helping others find greatness, fulfillment, and yes, even fancy things in life. It was a fun exercise and prompted good discussion later. So, maybe as you think about your New Year's resolutions, add one or two in for some other people you know that maybe you can help them reach! I wished for great depth and passion for Micah; that he could find more of the richness that life has to offer. (I would plan to start that goal with poetry, but not sure that is really up his alley)
Happy 2009 everyone!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Fancy Dessert

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe, and I made one of my favorites over the holidays so I thought I should share. I am still not cooking quite as much as I used to because of Baby Barnard, but that should change soon when I enter the second trimester which is any day now! But, back to the recipe...A friend shared this with me in college and I have since continued to evolve this recipe a bit at a time. I also made this for the staff Christmas party in 07' and it was a major hit with many of the women calling the next week for the recipe! I hope you enjoy this too.
There isn't a real name for this dessert so let's just call it the Fancy Dessert! It is angel food cake, topped with a caramel sauce, whipping cream, ice-cream and fresh berries.
Layer the following in any order (but I would suggest cake first):
  • 1 Angel Food Cake (I make my own Chocolate / Cinnamon angel food cake, but if you want to cut out a step, you could purchase one too)
  • Drizzle Caramel Sauce over the cake
  • add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream
  • add berries (I buy frozen berries and let them defrost so they have a softer texture and a little juice but you haven't added any sugar to them at all)
  • Add whipping cream and another layer of caramel sauce if you want
To make the caramel sauce:
3/4 stick butter
approx. 1/2 to 3/4 c. brown sugar (to taste)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
stir over the stove until heated through, but be careful not to turn the burner up too high as this can burn easily.

To make the Whipping Cream:
One small carton whipping cream
cinnamon to taste (approx 1/4 tsp)
nutmeg to taste (approx 1/8-1/4 tsp)
Sugar or honey to taste (approx 4 tablespoons)
We use one of these gadgets at our house, but you can also use a beater until it is the consistency you want. I would highly recommend making it yourself though, this tastes soooo much better than cool-whip!

Fancy Pants

I apologize again for the delay in postings- my how time flies! I hope my dear few readers all had an enjoyable Christmas and New Years. As part of the celebrations at my parents house, my Mom completely cleared out her hall / entryway closet to make "Ellie and Myra's Christmas Cottage"- a little Christmas bungalow complete with gold glittery stars, Christmas lights, tea-sets, mini table, dolls and a play kitchen stocked with all the necessary accessories (real candy to pretend bake, toy blenders...) The granddaughters spent much time (and therefore my parents with them) enjoying their cottage while they were at the Newman's for the Holidays.

Well, somehow in unearthing all that joy and clearing out the closet, an old pair of my childhood panties was found. You might ask why we had held on to a pair of my childhood panties and I would say, "that is a valid question". I will also add to that "valid question" response, that it is because they are notoriously fancy. In case any of you wondered when I grew an appreciation for fancy things, you will now learn that it started at a very young age. These are not just any normal panties, they had lace on them! The lace was supposed to be worn in the back, over the bum, however, I wanted to look at the lace so I would wear these panties backwards and with no other clothes so that I could appreciate the lace and fanciness of my toddler underwear. In case you don't believe me, well, here is a picture of my fancy pants.
Since part of the effort of this blog is to provide ideas for others on fancy things, temporarily emptying out a closet, corner space, or any other fort-like hideaway is truly a genius idea to keep kids entertained. It keeps the children in one area, makes them feel special (and fancy if you add the glitter), and definitely provides hours of occupation. Just make sure they are easily within ear shot and reach in case anything traumatic happens (example below of Myra after sneaking in water in to the cottage and giving herself a refreshing splash!) I would also highly recommend purchasing some fancy pants for those girly toddlers in your life. They provide memories for a lifetime.