Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cookbook Love: Absolutely a la Carte

I got this amazing cookbook for my 21st birthday  (inside the front cover says, "Happy Birthday, Brooke, Enjoy, Charolette Skelton"-- pretty neat) from some co-workers when I worked at Penny's Pantry, a lunch/catering business, while I was in college. I have really enjoyed it! It has little stories weaved throughout too. I have lots of cookbooks, but this is my favorite! Here are a few of the delicious recipes that I've tried and loved:

A la Carte Fruit Sauce:

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup pinapple juice
1 cup orange juice

Combine sugar and flour in a saucepan; whisk in eggs. Then whish fruit juices into mixture and cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened. Chill.

Jezebel Sauce:

1 (18 oz) jar pineapple preserves
1 (18 oz) jar apple jelly
1 (5 oz) jar prepared horseradish
3 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon pepper

Cook pineapple preserves and apple jelly in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted.
Gradually stir mustard into jelly mixture. Remove from heat and stir in horseradish. Chill.
It's a great condiment for all meats.

The book has several chicken salad recipes; this is my favorite so far. I made one change to it-- I use grilled chicken for extra flavor.

Chicken Salad with Bacon and Pecans

1 cup mayonaise
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon Cavender's Greek seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups choppe cooked chicken breast
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup pecan pieces
5 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken and next 3 ingredients to maynoise mixture, stiring well. Chill several hours.

Canadian Cheese Soup

1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
3-4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups half-and-half
2 (1 lb) processed cheese spread loaves, cubed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, carrot, and celery and saute until tender.
Reduce heat and add flour, stirring well. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to turn light brown.
Increase heat to medium; gradually add broth, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
Gradually add half-and-half, stirring constantly (do not let boil). Add cheese, stirring until melted.
Add cumin and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Sweet and Sour Green Beans

4 (16 oz) cans whole green beans, drained
2 medium onions, sliced and separated into rings
16 bacon slices
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup vinegar

Place green beans in a 3-quart baking dish; place onion slices over beans.
Fry bacon in a skillet over medium-heat until crisp; drain, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon and sprinkly over onion.
Cook reserved bacon drippings, brown sugar, and vinegar in skillet over medium-heat until sugar is disolved.
Pour sugar mixture over casserole and chill several hours.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brooke's Bargains 50

I've found some great deals in the past two weeks for a total of $26. Yay for adding to the girls' wardrobe and mine! :)
Four shirts for me! Love that blue color!
"A" monogrammed shirt, cupcake applique, and sequinned pumpkin shirt

2 pairs of leggings, Robeez for Addison, crocheted hat, scarf, and scarf set

3 cute dresses; the Christmas dress has an "A" monogrammed on it.

hard to pass up cute pjs for $0.75
matching Christmas stockings that I might use in the girls' playroom
cute skirt & fleece pants for Ava's winter wardrobe
night gown, Snow White costume, tutu, snowman onsie, and pink cords
Yes, I did this again. Sorry! Banana Republic shirt for my mom.
Brittany spotted this milk glass pedestal bowl for $1! I had to get it.

I also enjoy the occassional "Facebook" sale from friends or local 'swap' shops! These items are a little more than my usual yard sale pricing but still great deals!

Dresses for next summer for Addison
And I forgot to take a picture of it, but I found a pink minky dot bean bag for the playroom through Facebook  ($5).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Trying to Win...

this refridgerator:
I have wanted one with the bottom freezer drawer and all the bells and whistles! Thank you, 320 Sycamore! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Addison: Two Months

Our precious Addison is two months old! 

Dear Addison,
The biggest change over the past couple of weeks is how much you smile! Daddy, Ava, and I can't get enough of your sweet smiles and sounds!
A few nights ago, you slept for 7 hours-- a new record! At your two-month checkup everything was great, and you weigh 11 lbs, 11 oz now. You enjoy bath time which is always done with Ava-- she holds you while I bath you; you seem to love it!
Some firsts from this month: birthday party, meeting Papaw Little, going to Crowder, fireworks, and movie in a theater. Of course, you slept through a lot of those firsts:)
We LOVE you so, so much. What a perfect addition to our family you are. Thankful.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July 2012

We had a great Fourth of July! It started with a leisurely morning of blogging and coffee and snuggling with the girls followed by some packing. Then Ron took Ava swimming (the temperature was around 98 degrees and miserably humid) while Addison and I ran to Target. On the way, I chatted with my parents who had decided to stay home in the a/c! We had a yummy dinner thanks to Chef Ron of grilled pork chops, chicken, rice, and salad. I stopped off at Brittany's to stay in the cool and sample her homemade Oreo ice cream- delicious!
Next, we headed out to our traditional spot to watch fireworks and enjoy our church's praise band. This is our 6th year in a row to do this as a family, and it holds a special place in my heart. As I sit there watching the fireworks, I always reminenece about how the first year that we attended I was pregnant with Ava (she was born six days later); and I was thinking about how last year, I had no idea that I'd be holding sweet Addison this year. Thankful beyond words for our growing family, our freedom, and our abundance of friends. God is good.

My festive babies! I completed a pinterest project! :) No sewing required!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Daddy/Daughter Date

Ron took Ava on a daddy/daughter date a few days ago. She was so excited!! I got to help by getting her all ready for their evening on the town. She had a nice "belaxing," as she says, bubble bath followed by 'salon' time in her bathroom. I put hot rollers in her hair, painted her nails, and let her wear a tiny bit of sparkly powder and lipgloss (that's super exciting to her:). Then she dressed up in dress that I found for only $12 last year when I was in Hot Springs and her heart necklace from her grandmother.
While we were getting her ready, Ron left to get flowers for her. He knocked on the door, and it was so sweet when she answered the door (I was outside with him and my camera, of course). He had big tears in his eyes when she opened the door and hugged him. They went to have dinner at Outback followed by a little shopping spree at Claire's and drinks at Starbucks. I'm so thankful that they have times like these. It's so precious and important.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Brooke's Bargains 49

I took three Saturdays 'off' from thrifting after Addison was born, but I've been back in the swing of things for the last four weeks-- just haven't been good about blogging lately. Whew, this past Saturday was HOT. I've found some great bargains lately.
smocked dress & swimsuit cover-up, $6

Little Mermaid, Polly Pocket, doll dress, and dress-up shoes, $1 total (the mermaid is $25 at Walmart)

25 cents for this giant activity book...Ava has loved it.

Ava picked out these cowboy boots that are way too big now:) . Basket, Polo shorts, coloring books, Arthur books, Old Navy cardigan, tutu, and 4 solid long sleeve shirts from Old Navy: $5 total

Gap dresses for each of the girls: $2

For Addison: Minnie Mouse costume, tutu, three dresses: $1.25

Pottery Barn and Gap pjs: $1.50

All of this for Addison for $4.50

Hit the jackpot for Ava: Polly Pockets with accessories and wooden dress-up dolls, $2
Jack in the Box for Addison: 50 cents

For me, jeans and 3 shirts: $1.75
I forgot to take a picture of my other jeans that I got for $1. They're so cute!

oops, didn't turn the pic...cute rainboots $1

Ugh, what did I do to these pics?! Well, I got this cute basket and things for Ava for $1