Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mike

I sent Ruthie to get a picture of Mike...and this picture was the best of 10 tries. (Now that I'm thinking about it...I think this picture should be turned around some.) Mike turned 58 on Wednesday but we didn't celebrate it until tonight. (Lizzie had guitar lessons until 7 pm, so it was late when everyone got home.) So tonight we invited Mom and Dad over for chicken dinner and birthday cake.

Even though Christmas is over, the sewing machines are still humming. Unfortunately, no dresses are getting sewn, but lots of other fun stuff is. Anna borrowed this book from the library and made the only two projects she liked:
This adorable fabric envelope that hides a special message:

Isn't it cute and sweet?! I love being the Mom of such seamstresses!
And this beautiful floor mat! Anna backed this with heavy khaki denim. The book used one fabric for the whole top which gave it a completely different look. I like these three fabrics that I bought at the thrift shop. I can't wait to see what Anna's next project is!
I also bought this cute cake pan for 50 cents. Since Maggie was making a carrot cake for Mike's birthday, she went ahead and filled this teddy pan as well.
He came out beautifully!
Ruthie used chocolate chips for the eyes, nose and ears, then iced the rest of him. I think she put too much ricemilk in the icing:-)
This meal was the third meal this week that we ended up laughing through. It sure hurts my tummy.
Since Maggie made carrot cake for dessert (Mike's favorite), she thought she would expand on the theme and make a bunny cake. This, too, is a cake mold (and another thrift shop purchase).

Cutting the cake ended up being quite an event. We have had a dozen rabbits over the years...all much loved. We are down to two very old rabbits. Trying to decide where to make the first cut was heartbreaking. Then Maggie cut the tail off...and we laughed hysterically from that point on.
My mother looks like she's crying...but actually she's laughing. We decided to never make another rabbit cake. Never. We also decided we will never make a Winnie the Pooh cake for Abigail. We never want anyone else to go through what we went through.

Speaking of dinners...Sarah gave Mike a gift certificate for Monterey Mexican Restaurant in Lexington Park. This Monday evening, 1/17/11, there will be a Mariachi Band playing live from 5-8 pm!! Mike will be taking me...anyone else going? Actually, I'm trying to talk Mike into taking the whole family for such a cultural event. We'll see. Email me if you're going!
We have been trying lots of new dishes recently. Maggie made this delicious lentil salad with cranberries, pecans, parsley and a dressing. Delicious!
She made this dairyfree and eggfree Waldorf Salad to go with it. (It should have grapes...but they were $2.98/lb so we did without.) The sauce was made with ground pine nuts...which gave it a great taste. Yummy!

Tonight for Mike's birthday dinner, I made a dozen of Paula Dean's Easy Yeast Rolls. I was really curious about this recipe. (I forgot to take a picture.) They were good...but not that good. Dense and crumbly. My sourdough rolls take just as long to make, so I'll stick with them. Nice experiment though. Added later: After Anna read my blog post, she reminded me that everyone loved the dinner rolls...I was the only person who didn't care for them. She said she would love to have them again. So don't be afraid to try them!

This week I found this new dairyfree cheese at the health food store and bought a bag of the cheddar shreds. It was expensive, $5.69, for an 8 oz bag, but I always like to try new dairyfree products. Was it good?! No, not was fantastic! My family loved it!
I made Chicken and Bean enchiladas with it. Yummo!! I went back and bought a bag of the Mozzarella Shreds to try next. I'll let you know how that goes. I can't wait to try Macaroni and Cheese. Let me say here, Daiya Shreds is the best nondairy cheese we have tried. There are some other good substitutes...but this is definitely best. (And it comes in a 5# bag for $39.95.)
I made this Root Veggies dish to go with the enchiladas. There were no leftovers of either dish...bummer! The root veggies are onions, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. I got lots of requests for more.

Tonight I am watching an online auction with the hopes of enterring the winning bid for a birthday gift. The item is on Have you seen this website? The prices are exceptionally reasonable. If you are in the market for a musical instrument, this is the cheapest place to go. The photos and descriptions are so good that I think they must get professionals to post them. Shipping is usually the actual cost, sometimes with a small handling fee. Be sure to check it out.

Monday is a holiday, so our family is feeling relaxed. We got lots of chores done today with just a few for tomorrow. I'm hoping to get some sewing done. I'm thankful to be warm on these bitterly cold days.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

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