Updates...

The Ales Family blog has been updated with Freddy updates!

What's Cookin? 12/28 - 1/3

Sunday - Mom leaves! (We will miss her greatly! She has been the most amazing resource and help ever!)
Monday - Thanksgiving Casserole/Turkey Shepherd's Pie (F)
Tuesday - Pepperocini Beef Sandwiches (F) & Fries
Wednesday - Omaha Steaks (F), Baked Potatoes, & Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Thursday - Mexican Potluck w/Friends. We're bringing taco fixin's.
Friday - Sausage Lentil Soup (F) & Rolls
Saturday - Convenience Dinner (F)
Treat/Dessert - Beste Holiday Cherry Bread & Cheesecake

(F) designates a meal pre-prepared and stored in the freezer.

Note to Self... I am not Wonder Woman - and it's okay.

This having a baby business has really made me realize a few things about myself. Seriously.

#1 - I am not Wonder Woman - and it's really okay. I don't have to be Wonder Woman and it's alright. I am learning to accept this new found knowledge (not that I thought I was Wonder Woman before hand), and to take things slower.

#2 - It is okay to relax, put my feet up, and let others do things (including putting away the groceries).

#3 - Having your abdominal muscles sliced in half is hell. Pure Hell. Thankfully, the reason why they were sliced is well worth the hellaciousness (and then some) but I need to chillax and realize that I have, indeed, had my body sliced open and as a result must slow down and let my body heal.

#4 - Tall beds are great, unless the above situation applies. Then, they suck. Big time. Thank goodness for step stools... forever and ever... amen.

#5 - If I didn't already think so, I now know that my Momma is the best(e)st momma in the whole wide world, galaxy, universe. She is here and I honestly don't know what Steve and I would do without her here. She's been through lots of kids, grandkids, friends kids, and c-sections. She knows what my limitations are (and what they should be) and lets me get a far as I can push (and then a bit more) before she yells at me (at Wal-Mart even) to stop and let her do things for me. She is one smart chickie and let's me do just a bit more than I should so that I hurt enough to learn a lesson, but not enough to do any damage. See, she is one smart chickie!! And  I want to grow up to be just like her when I finally grow up.

#6 - Stupid people go to Wal-Mart the day they come home from the hospital, after delivering said wonder child via c-section, to do grocery shopping. Said person would be me. Stupid me. My body is paying me back today for abusing it yesterday.

#7 - Vicodin is awesome. However, when previously mentioned trips to Wal-Mart occur, just after miracle drug is taken, it should be no shock to person taking it, that you don't know you're over doing it. Stupid person. Stupid, stupid person.

#8 - My husband is amazing and I am blessed to call him my husband. Seriously beyond blessed. He even brought me chocolate - and good stuff too!

#9 - Taking a shower first thing in the morning has to become a priority... or it may never happen that day.

So, yes, I'm in the learning process of taking it easy and slow. So weird for me. Not that I was crazy active or busy before the baby came, but usually I just do what I need to do to get things done. Sometimes the cost is losing sleep. Sometimes, the cost is drinking an energy drink (or twelve) to keep going full throttle. Sometimes, in the past, it has been not spending time with my Prince Charming in order to get something that I thought was super important accomplished or finished. 

I'm learning. I really am learning. Lots of new things too. Babies are precious and wonderful. And, though they are small and young, they know how to wrap you around their tiny fingers and get you to hold them all the time (maybe it's that addicting smell they have), and love on them always - even when you want to sleep.  

I am over the moon happy with life today. Overjoyed at where we are in our marriage and with our new son. But, with that is time to learn. For me, today's lesson is definitely on taking it slow and letting people help me out - especially when I don't know I need it and they do.  I am loved, and loved more than I probably deserve. I am forever thankful for it though.

What's Cookin? 12/21 - 12/27

12/27: I'm adding last week's menu purely for Cara's benefit. That, and this way it's easy for me to refer back to what we had during a previous week.

Sunday -
Party Chicken (1 meal into the freezer), White Rice, Rolls
Monday - Bierocks
Tuesday - Meatball Subs (F) w/ Fries (F)
Wednesday - Pissed Off Sandwiches (LONG story, no cooking on my part involved whatsoever)
Thursday - Ham, Turkey Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Rolls (P.S. Turkey loaf is GROSS)
Friday - Chicken Enchiladas (2 meals into the freezer)
Saturday - Mi Pueblo (Local Restaurant)
Treat/Dessert - Fudge, Cookies, more Fudge, "The Stuff that Mary Makes", more Cookies,

(F) designates a meal pre-prepared and stored in the freezer.

He's Here!

The bean is here... the bean is here! Our family website has been updated with the details and links to photos! We're thrilled, he's healthy, and we're all in love with each other!

What's Cookin? 12/14 - 12/20

Sunday - Chicken Spaghetti Casserole (2 freezer additions)
Monday - Bierocks (meat & vegi stuffed rolls) & Sausage Lentil soup (from the freezer)
Tuesday - Cinnamon Rolls & Saltgrass for dinner (Mom arrives!)
Wednesday - Nothing! It's BABY DAY!!!
Thursday - Hospital Food (AKA Fend for yourself day)
Friday - Hospital Food (AKA Fend for yourself day)
Saturday - Coming home from the Hospital - probably delivery pizza!
Weekly Dessert/Treat - Puppy Chow and Chex Mix

Next week, we'll probably move into using our freezer stash! YAY!

After 35 years... still Lovebirds

Today is my parents 35th wedding anniversary! WOW... GO THEM! In today's society, it's a rare occurance to come across a couple who has been married for 10-20 years, let alone 35!

My parents have always set the best(e) example for all of their children in regards to how to be married, (mostly) happy, and successful in a relationship.

I say mostly happy because, no relationship is 100% perfect and no one is perfect, so I'm absolutely positive there were times they were frustrated, angry, upset, and irritated with each other. However, they've always been respectful of each other, and have never been negative about each other to us - their children.

Amazing! Yes they are! And as I've often said, they are the awesome-est parents I could have ever have been blessed to have! They ROCK! Though I was the "black sheep" of our family for years because of choices I made and the different paths I've chosen in life they've never stopped loving me and being there for me. I've always danced to a different tune (i.e. wasn't into the same style of clothes my mother was, or into doing things the way that my parents would have preferred them being done). They've accepted me for who I am and for how I like to do things.

In the end, it's funny to realize I am more like my parents than I ever thought I would be. I love to cook (and be domestic) exactly like my mother, I love to read books about and help people like my father. I have a business mind like both of my parents, and often am thinking about "why" people do things, rather than just acceping people's actions for what they are - mostly just actions. My parents accept people for who they are - not for who they could or should be (well, for the most part - KWIM?)

I hope that my marraige will be as succcessful as my parents, and that our family will be as happy and accepting as my parents are.

Congratulations Mom and Dad! May you have the Best(e) coming years ever!

What's Cookin? 12/7 - 12/13

12/12/08 - Edited to add... Ugh! I have been posting all week, but everything has been going into my "draft" bucket instead of publishing! Anyone else having issues with Blogger?

Sunday - Zuppa Toscana & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (fontina cheese w/corned beef on sourdough)
Monday - Chili (adds 4 meals to freezer) & Rice w/skillet cornbread.
Tuesday - Swiss Steak (adds 2 meals to freezer) & Egg Noodles w/homemade rolls
Wednesday - Cinnamon Rolls (double duty from last nights rolls), Chicken Fried Rice (adds 3 meals to freezer) and Egg Rolls (from freezer)
Thursday - Mini Pizzas (using up Rhodes Rolls and pepperoni from freezer)
Friday - Jambalaya (from freezer)
Saturday - Chicken Spaghetti (adds 3 meals to freezer)
Weekly Dessert/Treat - Whole Grain Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Scrappy Jessi's Holiday Cookie Swap: Eggnog Cookies

12/12/08 - Edited to add... Ugh! I thought this was posted late (Thank you Joanna for saving me! I thought the swap was on Saturday, not today! YIKES!) but it turns out it's even later than I thought! I have been posting all week, but everything has been going into my "draft" bucket instead of publishing! Anyone else having issues with Blogger?



Today is the day - Scrappy Jessi's 2nd Annual Cookie Swap! Be sure to check out her blog and view the list of other participants. I've had such a great time trying out all of the recipes from last year - they're delish! I'm sure this year will be even better (oh my growing thighs)! Last year I shared my recipe for Linzer Cookies, this year it's something even easier! Eggnog Cookies!
And... here it is! One of my favorite holiday cookies to bake are Eggnog Cookies. Steve loves eggnog, and I don't. So, this is my way of getting "my share" of the bounty in!I love cookies that are a bit unusual. So, if we have an ingredient in the pantry or fridge and it’s in danger of going “bad” I’m definitely one to try and find a way to use it up. This is a perfect way to use up eggnog before it goes bad. LOVE it and it freezes brilliantly! I often double the recipe (sometimes triple!) so that I can freeze the dough for later. I so love to make these easy cookies!

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not over mix. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.
NOTES: Try making an eggnog frosting using powdered sugar, eggnog and a pinch of cinnamon. I dyed the frosting bright yellow to make them a bit more eggnoggy. If you do this, be sure to refrigerate the cookies as the milk may go bad!Another fun addition is to add mini-chocolate chips to the dough. It’s a fun different twist!

Scrappy Jessi's Annual Cookie Swap

Last year, I participated in Scrappy Jessi's Holiday Cookie Swap and found some incredible recipes. I do mean INCREDIBLE! This year, I'm participating again! The cookie swap will be this coming Saturday, December 5th. I have a couple of cookie recipes I'm going to try and share this year. I definitely know one that I'm going to share for sure, but depending on time I might share a few more. It all depends on whether or not I have time to get them made so that I can photograph them for the post.

Be sure to stop by on Saturday to join in on the fun!

Eggnog Bread

This is another of my holiday favorites! And, it’s another way to use Eggnog before it goes bad! (I wonder why we have to even worry about it going bad if it’s a Steve favorite. He should be drinking more if it’s so great…. LOL!)

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs
1 C. granulated sugar
1 C. eggnog
1/2 C. melted butter
2 t. Rum
1 t. vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. fresh ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Blend in sugar, eggnog, butter, rum and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Mix into eggnog mixture. Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes then remove bread from pan. Wrap tightly and store in refrigerator.

Eggnog Cookies

I so love to make these easy cookies! I am not a fan of drinking eggnog, but Steve is. And… I love cookies that are a bit unusual. So, if we have an ingredient in the pantry or fridge and it’s in danger of going “bad” I’m definitely one to try and find a way to use it up. This is a perfect way to use up eggnog before it goes bad. LOVE it and it freezes brilliantly! I often double the recipe (sometimes triple!) so that I can freeze the dough for later.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream sugar and butter until light. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks; beat at medium speed with mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until just combined. Do not over mix. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until bottoms turn light brown.

NOTES:

Try making an eggnog frosting using powdered sugar, eggnog and a pinch of cinnamon. I dyed the frosting bright yellow to make them a bit more eggnoggy. If you do this, be sure to refrigerate the cookies as the milk may go bad!

Another fun addition is to add mini-chocolate chips to the dough. It’s a fun different twist!

Updates and Etsy

Over the last two days we've met with the OBGYN and sonographer. Somehow I managed to lose 7 pounds since my appointment last Wednesday. Wierd. All is okay though and the bean is growing like a weed. If his thigh measurements are an accurate indication, we will have a very long kidlet. The doc is working to schedule 12/17 as his birthdate. We'll see how that goes. Personally, i'm praying for my water to break (and i'm so sorry to anyone I'm with when/if it happens). I'm so ready to not be pregnant and to meet this little guy!

I have been working on a few things to list in my etsy store. I'm hoping to have them listed by Thursday or so. I was able to find a few more crowns to turn into charms - and just in time for Christmas too!