Thursday, January 29, 2009

Challah II

Like I said, I've been having fun with Challah latley.    The site Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a day gets me craving home made bread.  I really want their book. Here is the link to their site and if you are looking for this particular recipe it can be found here.  It is made with spinach, feta, and pine nuts.  It has sesame seeds on top.  I coat the bread with egg and then add the seeds.  The egg helps make it a golden brown as well!  The first time I made it Josh and I devoured it!!  Even Orlando said, "Mom, thanks for making a yummy bread.  It looks great!"  The second time was for a baby shower, and I can't wait for another excuse.  Here is a link to a great you tube video on how to braid and do other fun stuff with Challah dough.  Have fun and let me know if you try it! 


I have had some fun with Challah lately.  These empanadas turned out fabulous and were really fun to make.  I've since also made calazones.  For the calazones I put in my favorite pizza ingredients, for these empanadas I made up a recipe.  Occasionaly I get that brave.  I had some leftover pork, added veggies, hot sauce a heaping spoon full of miracle whip, and a squirt of honey mustard.  They turned out great and the boys like playing with the dough.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why is it. . .

That after planning a family night to swim and getting to the gym, we didn't have the swim bag-EVERYONE had wanted to carry? (no swim night after all).

That after making casserole, Lando draws a picture (we have a chalkboard in the kitchen) of a rectangle with a large red X over it and states, "Mom this is your food and the X means, NO! NO! NO!?"

That Ivan threw a plush toy basketball hard enough to break one of my favorite picture frames into 100 pieces?

That for the first time in months I went to paint my nails with my new OPI polish and Ammon spilled it on white clothes? (He was two stories away when I started.)

That when we were driving home the van started smoking on us?

That the newly vacuumed floor was the best place to throw Ritz crackers around?

That Ammon poops in the middle of spinning class?
That my friends kid who I have for a short time poops while here with no diaper on?

That my zipper in my skirt was stuck so badly I barely had time to get my clothes changed for the Temple session?!

That I looked in several mirrors while getting my eyebrows waxed but not until I got home did I notice the spinach between my teeth? (seriously!)

That the two pounds I thought I lost are both back stronger and possibly weighing more than they did just last week? (Yes, the very same two pounds!)

That after being snowy for weeks, the snow melts the day before I actually had plans to go sledding?

That when sending out an invitation (to the entire ward) I forgot to put the date on it!?

That after working to make a beautiful bread wreath for a baby shower Josh is so late getting home that it is cold and not nearly as good? I was almost an hour late. Ugh!

That Ivan is not as well potty-trained this week as last month?

Does anyone know? WHY? Why-why-why? Just thought I'd ask.
We are fine, but these little things are driving me up a wall! Oh and yes, these all happened this last week.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tile Time!

I got on a tile kick during Christmas this year. Several friends and family members got my beautiful coasters! (LOL!) Probably not on the top of their list, but I think they worked out okay. I did enjoy making them!

Making Crayons

The boys and I really had fun making some snowmen crayons a while back. Today we made some for Valentines in the shape of hearts. Lots of fun and easy. Can't get out much in the cold, so whatcha gonna do?

Monday, January 19, 2009

For the Sistahs!

A new blog is up and running for anyone who served in the Brazil Curitiba Mission--well, sisters who served under the Paulsens. Very cool, so check it out!

Com Amor,
A sister Balsters

For my Sistahs!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A fond adieu to 2008

2008 has been one of the best years of my life. I will always look back at this year with much fondness. (Perhaps the joy has been greater due to the terrible year of 2007?) So, before I go on about all my new adventures and goings-on and goals, etc for 2009, I want to take a moment and share some of the Mackelberry accomplishments of 2008.

1. Ivan has continued to improve and no longer has the restraints of his helmet. His last MRI looked cancer-free!!

2. Orlando started public school and is thriving. In fact--this just in--Lando will not need speech starting in Kindergarten! Way to go, Orlando! He has had speech for almost 2.5 years. It was always my hope he'd be ready for Kindergarten speech-free!

3. Ammon got his tubes, and they work great, he is still on his inhalers, but hasn't been sick nearly as much! Ammon also walks better, talks great, and even shares!

4. Ivan potty-trained! This makes any mom a new woman!

5. Ivan and Lando played on their first soccer team!

6. I had some successes with sewing and quilting!

7. Josh and I went on a honeymoon trip to South Carolina and Ohio trying to decide where to live. Columbus felt right, and he matched here!

8. To do number 7 means he graduated and is now a Doctor!! Congratulations!

9. We celebrated by going on the trip of our lives to Brazil! We stayed with people from my mission, went to a Temple Dedication, visited the most beautiful park in the world, Parque do Iguacu, went to the ocean, etc, etc, etc. This trip was planned in 2002, and what a miracle for the timing to work out. I'm now in touch with more people from my mission than ever before!

10. In addition to all of this, I lost ten pounds this year and am exercising regularly. Sorry, there is no bikini photo to follow this available. (LOL!)

Hope all of you had a great 2008! And here is to a wonderful 2009!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


A healthy Christmas Tree I threw together to enjoy with friends on Christmas Eve. We were thankful to have a fun night even though it wasn't with family.

The Sunday before Christmas we made Christmas pancakes. Snowmen are not pictured, neither are the Santas, but boy o boy, did my boys love this!

Making sugar cookies with friends. Me and 2 friends have 8 sons all 6 and under. The boys each got frosting and enjoyed mixing the colors like paint.

These were new! Peanut butter balls with cranberries and oats, yummy!

We gave these away and they packaged up so cute!

Our Christmas day spread: We enjoyed, fruit, cinnamon rolls, veggies, bread, meat, cheese, etc. That night I asked if anyone wanted me to fix dinner. Lando said, "Mom, it's Christmas, we just eat and eat and eat whenever we want!!"

Don't you just love all the great food Christmas brings?

Lara's Kale Soup

As requested, here is the recipe:

8 C Water
Generous Chicken Bouillon. I used "Better than Bouillon" from Trader Joe's. It took a heaping T.
8 C fresh Kale
2 Cans of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cans White Beans ( I used Great Northern-Cannellini or even Kidney would work also.)
1 T Olive Oil
1 Small apple chopped
1/2 medium onion
Heaping TB garlic
Dash of McCormick Garlic Pepper (LOVE this stuff)
1/2 TB of Rosemary
Dash or Parsley
Dash of salt as desired
Sprinkle of generic Italian seasoning.

This recipe is a combination of ideas I got on line. So feel free to use what you have--I will say the apple was truly original and the sweetness it added was awesome!
Okay, first heat your oil and add garlic, chopped onion, and chopped apple, cook until onion is transparent.Then add Kale (chopped small and you might want to remove some of the real stemy parts.) Let this cook on low until the Kale is completely wilted.
In a separate pan make a yummy chicken broth. Take the tomatoes and beans (undrained) and mix them with a blender (if you want a creamier less stew-like soup-if you want more brothy soup, don't do this!). Then add this mix to the chicken broth. Add your seasonings. Add the kale/onion/apple/garlic/ mixture. Simmer until you know all the flavors are mixed and eat warm!! This was fantastic! Even Orlando ate his! This recipe could be cut in half, but I made enough to have some for lunches during the week. It also freezes well.
The only thing to count for W.W. points are the beans
2 pts a can
the tomatoes
1 pt a can
one apple (1 pt)
and the olive oil
2-3 pts.
You get tons of soup, so it is probably .5 pts a cup roughly!! And super healthy! Another idea, you could add noodles, potatoes, or rice if you wanted it more starchy. However, I found it surprisingly more filling than I expected.

What is your latest healthy recipe? Please share!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SnOwFlaKe sKirTs

This winter I overcame a fear. I sewed. I don't sew. I will work on quilts, but they don't have to fit anyone! Sewing a skirt was a very BIG step for me, though you probably don't understand unless you had Mrs. X for sewing and she traumatized you. I won't go into details, but it has been many many years since I have attempted a sewing project. Plus, I really don't come by it naturally. Okay, okay, enough about me. What about these amazing beautiful girls? These are my two nieces. Roxy and Ruthy. I just love how beautiful they look, and I wish I was closer to them. The skirts were really fun to make, I found a few ideas on line and mooched some inspiration from some talented friends. My fabulous mother in law also came down over Thanksgiving and helped me get started and troubleshoot. So, these skirts are full of flaws, but who cares? When you put 'em on beautiful girls, they work just fine. My favorite picture is Roxy dancing. That is all I wanted, a little girl to dance in a twirly-whirly snowflake skirt!! Oh ya, and picking out the fabric was really fun!

Monday, January 5, 2009

What a Mess!

I may have made the biggest mess of my life today. The irony was I was trying to clean my house!! I put old food down the disposal and well, the pipes clogged up with spaghetti (no, I will not do this again!) Anyway, when I felt water on my foot, I knew it was bad. I had to take everything out from under the sink and there were small chunks of old food thrown all over everything!!! So gross!! It was basically cleaning up a bunch of vomit.(Chinese and Italian). Sorry for the visual, but just so you know what I was going through. I did take the pipes apart myself. That was kind of interesting as I've never done any plumbing before...ah the things you learn to do while your hubby works....
No, I didn't take pictures, it was just too yucky and my hands were wet. But, I do have pictures of another mess from a few weeks ago. This time it had been an especially trying day, so I went with a frozen pizza. I should have paid closer attention, because here is what I saw when I went to take out the pizza:

So what are you going to do???
Weight Watchers or Not, this was the only answer:

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"Wee" Three Kings

Before you read on...think of the tune to "We Three Kings" it? Okay here is the latest new line....

Wee three kings from not very far, come with bread to offer to y'all!!!

Christmas eve's eve (the 23rd) I lay awake knowing the next day would be tough. Josh would spend the entire day at the hospital and what was I to do with three boys?? Finally, an idea came. I told Josh to wake me up at 5 when he left for work, I had a plan! I got up and made several loaves of bread. They turned out great with my secret Italian ingredients. Then me and the boys took them to friends that live near by. Some of Lando's classmates and the boys soccer buddies and church friends. I think we did about 8 or 9 loaves without driving more than 3 miles! It was great and we could go in the morning when I figured it wouldn't be as imposing as the evening. The boys loved, loved, loved this activity! They decorated their Burger King crowns with Christmas stickers and we put their names on them. They got so in to giving the bread away, that we had to have a specified bread giver for each home. I hope it helped to teach that it truly is better to give than to receive. And maybe, we have found a new tradition!!

Disclaimer; The rest of my Christmas Eve wasn't as picturesque, but that's another story....