Camping, Stealing Ham and other fun things :)

3. Go camping 4 times (1/4)
We finally took our first camping trip since August 2009. We were way overdue for it! This was an untradional camping experience, as we actually camped in my parents' yard! My parents own 40ish acres of land so we had our own little piece of it to ourselves. It was Easter weekend and my family from NJ was visiting, so the house was full! We had a blast over the weekend, and I can't wait for another weekend of camping for just our little family! I don't feel like hunting down my camera for pictures, so here is one of Caleb with his cousins on Easter Sunday.

18. Try 25 new recipes (10/25)
Tonight I tried a new recipe! Brooke over at "...and a cookie for dessert" posted this recipe for Ranch Ham & Cheese Pasta last year. Ham is very rare in our house, so I snagged a bag of Easter leftovers from my Mama. :) I made a few changes, my recipe is below. I only had a taste but this dish has great flavor. The whole thing came together in about 20 minutes, great for a weeknight dinner!

Ranch Ham 'N' Peas Rice

80z brown rice, cooked
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (8 ounces) reduced-fat sour cream
2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1 cup frozen peas
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, melt butter; whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk and seasonings. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Reduce heat; fold in sour cream until blended. Add ham, rice & peas; cook and stir until heated through. Remove from the heat; stir in Mexican cheese blend until melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.



One year update

It's been one year since I started this blog. Here's how I've done so far:

  • 20 goals are completed
  • 11 goals are in progress
  • 70 goals are untouched
  • I have until January 2013 to complete my list.
Seems manageable, huh? I definitely need to step up my game!


Handprint Easter Sheep!

83. Do 20 art projects with Caleb. (2/20)

I snagged this fun craft idea from Paint & Prozac/Heir to Blair. It was easy & I love love the result!
A few things I learned:
  • Its hard to make black paint. LOL. I only had certain colors, so I kept mixing until I got a brown I was happy with.
  • It takes 10 toddler hand prints to get 4 I can actually use.
  • Using a hot glue gun is fun, I forgot how much I enjoy crafts.
  • Caleb hates to be messy. He kept complaining he was dirty. Sigh. He's not 100% boy... :)
  • I used Easter grass on the bottom to make it more of a scene. It was super messy!
Here are a few pictures! I framed one for Grandma & made 3 other sheep. I think I'll keep 1 on the fridge, send one to Glen's office and maybe give my MIL the 3rd.

Also, the shadow box frames are 40% off at Michael's, then you can use this coupon here! I got mine for less than $5!


18. Try 25 new recipes (9/25)

8. I recently tried a new pizza dough recipe. It was a success! The dough was much easier to work with than my previous recipe, and I love that it makes enough for 6 small pizzas. I made 3 one week, and froze the other 3 for the next week. Now I just have to practice making round pizzas...mine are always an odd shape:)

9. I was able to snag 2 free tubs of Philadelphia Cooking Creme during HT's last Super Doubles event. The recipes on the package seemed blah, so I started Googling for other ideas. Someone suggested using the cream cheese in a vodka sauce. I used this recipe as a base, below is what I made. It was REALLY good and super easy!

Becky's Vodka Sauce

  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Vodka
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (I used Furmano's Chunky Crushed with Basil/Garlic/Oregano)
  • 1 tub Philadelphia Cooking Creme, Savory Garlic Flavor
In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion in butter until slightly brown and soft. Pour in vodka and let cook for 10 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes and cook for 30 minutes. Add in cream cheese and cook until melted. Serve over your favorite pasta.


Lots getting done!

I have been blessed with the chance to spend 6 weeks being a full time SAHM. I have never really done this, I've always worked at least part time. Being a SAHM was always my dream, life just has not worked out that way. When Glen & I first started dating, my dream of the future was a house with a white picket fence, 2.5 kids and a dog. I still look for that, I'm happy with the simple, ordinary life. Anyway...enough of my tangent! I hope to get a lot checked off my list soon, especially focusing on things with Caleb!

In the last week, we have:

Gone to the park twice. Once with Daddy on a perfect spring day. Once with our playgroup. Both times were a blast.

Visited the Durham Museum of Life & Science. TOTAL blast. Caleb loved every second. We played for 5 hours straight.

Got Caleb his first pet. We actually bought him a fishtank for his birthday, but had to do some rearranging to make space. This week we set it up and got him a few little fish! So far they are still alive and no toys have landed in the tank. We'll see how that goes.

I finally got a physical. My last physical was probably when I started college. In 2002. Like 9 years ago. I made the appointment, kept it, and made a few follow up appointments. I was glad to get some answers to my healthy concerns. Go me. :)

And I finished another book in the Peter series by Dave Barry. Awesome read. I seriously could not put it down. I borrowed the next two from the library!!

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my boy at the Science Museum!


Peter & the Starcatchers

16. Read 50 books (6/50)

My 9 year old nephew Alex lent me the book, Peter & The Starcatchers. It is the first in a 5 part series by Dave Barry, and provides a back story to Peter Pan. Have you ever wondered how Peter became Peter Pan? How did the Lost Boys get on that island? Where did old Captain Hook come from? Read this book! It was a great read - I'm already halfway through the sequel.

Side note - this is the 6th book I've read in a year. That is kinda sucky. At this rate, it would take me more than 8 years to read 50 books. I used to read books more than I drank water. :) I miss reading, I honestly hate being glued to a TV or a computer. I want Caleb to develop a love of reading. I really, really want to focus on this goal!