Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top Chef

So, in an effort to 1) teach her some cooking skills and 2) encourage her to use her newly healed arm (Bella broke her arm a month ago--yeeeaaahh...I'll blog about it some time next year) we busted out our Paula Deen's childrens cookbook and Bella decided she was going to cook Porcupine Balls for dinner.

Yes, Porcupine Balls. Doesn't sound appealing, now does it? Actually, this meal was really good. Like surprisingly good. It was also a sinch to make and our kids loved seeing what happened to the meatballs. A definite recommendation if you've got kids intrested in cooking. But the best part? It's the only Paula Deen recipe that doesn't include a stick of butter!

Here's the 411....


1 lb. of lean ground beef
1 1/4 cups of uncooked white rice
1 tsp dried onion
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 10.5 oz. can of beef broth

1. Turn the oven to 350 degrees

2. Put the ground beef in the mixing bowl. Measure 1/2 cup of the rice and put it in with the meat. Add the dried onion, seasoned salt, and Italian seasoning. Mix it all together with your CLEAN hands. Roll it into 8 or 9 golfball size balls of meat. NOTE: Bella wanted to instead make 20 smaller ones. Whatev!

3. Put the rest of the rice in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour in the tomatoes and the beef broth and stir with a spoon. Put the meat balls on top. Cover the dish tightly with foil.

4. Bake for about an hour. When you carefully remove the dish you'll see that the rice in the meatballs will have puffed up all around the meat looking like little porcupines!

And the result?

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Well, at least she has confidence!

So one day I overheard Bella singing and the coach in me mentioned to her, "ya know Bella, the best singers sing with heart." She asked me what that meant and I replied, "to sing the words like you really mean it, to take your time and have control." Bella nodded her head and I could tell she was seriously thinking about the advice I bestowed on her.

And now, this is how she sings. Every single time.

Is that not the funniest thing you've ever heard? I'm telling you--it's the miracle cure. When I'm pissy or frustrated, I make her sing and all is well with the world--I can't help but laugh. Guffaw even. But of course, as silently as I can :)

And bless her heart, she tries to calm Chance down with her "amazing singing" all day long.

To top it off, she's now giving Mia singing lessons.

Lord help me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hiatus of Sorts

Hey there, long lost friends. It's been awhile to say the least. More like the whole summer, huh? We've been housing a total of 13 different visitors since the beginning of July and while it's been extremely difficult to blog, we've been having an amazing time over here.

I have so many stories and so many pictures to share so hang tight. We are going out of town this weekend, but after that I will have more time on my hands. Bella starts kindergarten next week.....AAGGGH.  Do you think I'll be that mom who chases after the school bus once it pulls away? I think I might.

And little Mia starts preschool in 2 weeks. We're all so excited for her and her new school. And Chance-oh my goodness-this guy is walking everywhere and getting into everything!

I promise I'll be back!


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