Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I love making this tasty, easy recipe for luncheons. I serve it with croissants and fruit...
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1 (6 oz) package Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice
1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in half
3/4 cup celery, chopped
1 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. milk
2 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
Cook chicken in covered sauce pan. Cook rice according to directions. Combine chicken, rice, grapes and celery. Mix dressing ingredients and fold into mixture. Refrigerate 2-3 hours; add cashews before serving.
Notes: I use 2-3 large cans of chicken breast instead - much quicker and easier! I also use the 5-minute quick-cook Uncle Ben's wild rice - again, quicker and easier.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
...and of course, Rachel, having a blast in the water!
We visited a small, but excellent zoo in the area that weekend.
...while Hannah and her friend Abbie feed two more docile critters.
Abbie got to feed a bird.
Hannah and a turkey check each other out.
Rachel grinds some coffee the old-fashioned way.
The girls enjoyed the old one room schoolhouse.
We also spent a beautiful afternoon at Garfield Historic Farm in LaFox.
Rachel and Abbie play checkers with slices of dried corn cobs.
Hannah learned about dipping candles in tallow.
Laundry isn't nearly this fun at home!
Enjoying my favorite animals, the sheep!
We had some friends in for a barbecue the day before the Fourth of July. I have always wanted to make one of those American flag cakes like in the magazines. Not especially pretty, but the spirit was there!
It's always more fun to eat outside, especially with good friends!
Every holiday, Al goes running with some friends in Wheaton. On the Fourth of July, Hannah joined him for the first time. She's becoming quite a runner, just like her Daddy!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Crock Pot Mac 'n Cheese
16 oz dry macaroni (I prefer rotini, but you can use pretty much any shape you like)
10 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
8 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
12 oz can evaporated milk
1 cup milk
Cook macaroni according to package directions. While macaroni is cooking, add soup, grated cheeses, evaporated milk, and milk to crock pot on low. Stir to combine. When macaroni is cooked, drain and add to crock pot. Stir to mix. Cook on low 3 hours.
See? I told you it was rich. But I also told you how easy it was! This can be frozen to be eaten later, but we've never gotten that far! You can also double or triple the recipe and freeze some. Also, I usually use a full 16 oz of extra-sharp cheddar instead of 8 sharp and 8 extra-sharp - more flavor!
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
- My BFF Linda visited for 10 days
- Linda and I painted my laundry room
- She and I took the girls to Chicago by train, rode the water taxi to Michigan Avenue, ate lunch at the Walnut Room in Marshall Field's (I refuse to call it Macy's), and went to the Art Institute where the girls drew in their sketch books
- Went to a free movie at the library
- Signed up for Summer Reading at Barnes and Noble and our library
- Spent a weekend with Hannah's China group at our friends' Greg and Betty's (an annual tradition)
- Swimming lessons for Rachel and Abbie
- Basketball camp for Hannah
- My mom visited us for a week
- Had the girls portraits taken
- We've eaten a lot of ice cream
- Abbie had her first eye exam for Kindergarten, and I got new bifocal contacts
- Saw a movie outdoors at the Purple Store (Hill's General Store) in Kaneville
- Went to the huge annual Wilton tent sale
- Planning for, purchasing for, and beginning several projects for Christmas gifts, both knitting and sewing
- Lots of visits to the library
- Took my mom and the girls to Blackberry Farm
- Completed another round of Immigration paperwork for Sarah's adoption
- Discovered what a wonderful movie "Singing in the Rain" is and watched it several times
- Planted a little garden (tomatoes and green beans) - watching it grow like crazy
- Visited Garfield Historic Farm where we dipped candles, spun wool and chased chickens
- Made some yummy jams with my friend, Jackie
- Had a BBQ with friends
- Saw Ice Age 3 in 3D
- Spent an afternoon at Lake Geneva
- Sang and played at church on several Sundays
- Had play time and lunch at a new park we learned about
- Had a play date with Rachel's China friend, Jasmine
- Took the girls on a "firefly walk" one evening at a local forest preserve
- Ate more ice cream
And that's just through the first week of July! Our calendar is quite full already for the rest of the summer until the girls go back to school on August 26th. And while we won't be taking any big trips or vacations this summer, I think it's the little outings and activities that will make lots of great memories for the girls!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
This is my Grammie, Lucia, with my Grampie, Albert Skalski. They were newlyweds here, in the late 1930s. Love the car.