Monday, November 30, 2009

The Weekend in Photos

This past weekend we went to the Zellwood Corn Maze. I've been wanting to go since last year and we finally made the trip out there. My parents tagged along and we met up with my cousin BJ and his girlfriend Stephanie, who both just happened to be in town that weekend.

The main corn maze is 6 acres and after about a half hour of wandering around, going in circles, you wish you would have paid the $2 for the glasses to see the hidden map. But instead we took a picture with my cousin's iPhone and wow was that a lot of help.

To make the maze more fun they have clues hidden all around for you to find that then helps you figure out a puzzle. It was a lot of fun. We let Cohen walk around it for a while and also put him up on BJ's shoulders, which he loved!! It took us somewhere between 1.5 to 2 hours to finish the whole thing. After that we played a pit in the other mazes, bought some Zellwood Sweet corn and headed out to my cousin Marcella's home for some grub and UF/FSU Rivalry Football watching. You see, I come from a large committed FSU family and I happened to marry a Gator. But they love him and forgive him for his choice in life. I guess when you have a blood relative turn to the dark side, it's not as hard to welcome outsiders. haha. It's all out of love and they don't give him as much of a hard time as they use to.

Then later that evening we went to check out the light show in Downtown Mt. Dora and then called it an evening.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

We spent our day as a family of three. Relaxing at home and going to the park.

We had a lovely cool front come in last night and wanted to take full advantage of the 60 degree weather God blessed us with.

Our Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Ours didn't fair too well. My brother missed his flight home and therefore spent the weekend on base, I sliced my finger, and Cohen had a 24 hour stomach bug, which Mommy got to wear, twice.

But we did get to spend some quality time with each other and my parents and eat lots of yummy food. There is a lot to be thankful for and we are truly counting our blessings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Weekend in Photos

This past weekend we had a rather relaxing weekend. I had some things I wanted to do, but didn't need to get done, so they didn't. But that's okay.

Saturday morning I spent my time photographing our best friends Christmas Photos. Unfortunately I didn't have a dSLR to use, but I made do. It was fun and I'm pretty excited with how they turned out.

We spent Saturday Night and Sunday afternoon with Jason's sister who was up for the weekend. And then just relaxed the rest of the time. I think it was a smart move, since the holidays are right down the street and are a comin' a knockin'.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Unfortunately Tonight I did not make a new recipe for dinner. I opted not to since this weekend I'll be cooking away for our Annual Engaged and Young Married's Thanksgiving Dinner. Instead I saw some prepared Salmon and thought that's what we'll have for dinner. Along with some asparagus and rice.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Weekend in Photos

This past weekend we went camping at Disney's Fort Wilderness. Our church goes every year, the first weekend of November, and this year there was around 450 people that went!!! This is only our 2nd time camping there, but we have gone up on Saturdays to spend time with friends. We traveled with our best friends Josh and Kelly after we packed our car full. I don't think we could have put any more into the car. Jason and Cohen sat quite comfortably while the rest of us were quite snug. Now, I realize Fort Wilderness isn't real camping. You can't have a fire, their are electrical outlets and water faucets at each site. There's a playground, heated pool, outdoor movie theater and much, much more. But it makes it rather comfortable for people who aren't big campers and 17 month old's that need to be entertained 24/7. We hung out with friends, played kickball, swam, saw fireworks, made s'mores and ended the weekend with a church service surrounded by God's beauty. It was a great weekend to just get away with no distractions and be with great company!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans


  • 2 pounds beef chuck for stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 small onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 handfuls green beans, ends trimmed


Season the beef cubes lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 6-quart pot over medium heat. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown, add half the beef and raise the heat to high. At first, the beef will give off some liquid, but once that evaporates, the beef will start to brown. Cook, turning the beef cubes on all sides until the pieces are as evenly browned as possible, about 5 or 6 minutes after the water has boiled off. If the pan starts to get too brown at any point, just turn down the heat a little. Scoop the beef into a bowl and brown the rest of the beef the same way using the remaining butter.

Scoop out the second batch of beef, then add the carrots and onions and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook until the onion starts to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until it has been worked into the veggies and you can’t see it any more. Pour in the chicken broth, wine, and crushed tomatoes, and toss in the rosemary. Slide the beef back into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.

Turn down the heat so the liquid is just breaking a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook 50 minutes. Stir the stew several times while simmering so it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom.

Stir the potatoes into the stew, cover the pot completely, and cook until the potatoes and beef are tender, stirring occasionally, about another 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the green beans turn bright green and are cooked through but still have a nice snap to them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Banana Bread


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed banana (5 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 recipe Streusel-Nut Topping (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch or two 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). If desired, sprinkle Streusel Topping over batter.

3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5x3-inch pan or 40 to 45 minutes for 7-1/2x3-1/2x2-inch pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

4. Makes 1 loaf (16 slices)

5. Streusel-Nut Topping: In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 tablespoons butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.

The Weekend in Photos

This past weekend was Halloween!! And it was a Halloween filled weekend. Friday Night we went to our Church's Annual Fall Festival. Cohen as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and Jason and I wore t-shirts with our Wild Things on them. Jay was Carol (Moishe) and I was KW (TZippy). We entered Cohen in a Costume Contest, but he didn't win. We spent most of the evening following Cohen around or watching him jump in the toddler bounce house. He was exhausted by the end of the night. And I think we were as equally tired.

Saturday Night my parents watched Cohen while we went to a Halloween Party. It was so nice to have a kid free night and morning. My parents kept him overnight and we picked him back up at church the next day! (I think we should do this one weekend every month!!!) Jason and I dressed up as 1920's gangsters! You'll notice our gangster faces in the pictures. We're pretty much hard core! There was a costume contest, Princess Lea won, and a pumpkin carving contest, with only one entry. But the winning and only pumpkin was pretty cool. We had a great Halloween weekend spent with friends and family.