And this is how we do it!

Baby Girl decided that she HAD to get her drivers permit TODAY, on THE day that she turns 15.  No excuses were going to be accepted from me.  It didn’t matter to Julia that we didn’t have a copy of her SS# OR her birth certificate.  It didn’t matter that I had a million things to do in order to get ready for her birthday weekend.  It’s HER birthday so I must comply!  I spent some time waiting in lines at different government offices and twisted a few arms in order to get the required pieces of identification.  YUK.

Well, let me tell you, it came within MINUTES of not happening.  I must have “forgotten” making a promise to pick she and her bff up from school.  I had lots of errands to run so I got home almost an hour after she was supposed to get off the bus.  As soon as I walked through the door the phone rang.  It was Hannah (bff) asking why I didn’t remember to pick them up?  OMG!  If I got in the car RIGHT then, I could make it to school to pick them up and THEN to the police station, where they give the drivers permit tests, 5 minutes before they close the door… and that’s only if there’s no traffic and everything fell into place perfectly.  We all know that when you’re in a huge hurry nothing ever falls into place perfectly.  Well, I’m happy to tell you that today was different.  We made it with 3 minutes to spare before they closed the doors!  lol

NONE of my girls passed the test on the first day.  We had to KEEP going back to retest with a couple of my girls because they wouldn’t study the book.  Not Julia or Hannah.  They BOTH passed TODAY!  These girls were dead serious about their NEED to drive and as afraid as I am, because I HATE when teenagers start driving, I am also SO very proud!  Hannah could have gone to pass the test a couple of weeks ago because she turned 15 before Julia.  But because she’s such a good friend, she wanted to wait for Julia’s birthday so they could go together!  I’ve got to tell you, if it were ME, I wouldn’t have waited.  She’s a sweet girl though 😉  I was a little worried that Julia would have passed and Hannah wouldn’t… only because that’s the way things usually go.  I mean, what if fate decided to punish Hannah for being such a good friend?  OR worse, what if Julia didn’t pass the test and it’s HER birthday?  Either scenario was bad.  Thank JESUS BOTH of them passed.  Hannah on her first try and Julia on her second.  They’re only allowed 2 tries a day.

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Birthday girl get’s her permit!  Look at how happy she is!

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Hannah was so nervous.  She was afraid that if she blinked wrong, the officer would decide to take her permit back.  lol

Congratulations to both girls!  Watch out world… 2 more teenagers on the road.

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Oven Baked Parmesan Meatballs with ALL the Fixen’s! (plus a little brag thrown in for good measure)

Today marks the end of my lil teenaged Munchkin’s self imposed “fast”!  I can’t TELL you how excited she’s been to eat real people food!  lol  For those of you who don’t know, she made a commitment to sacrifice or “fast” for 2 weeks.  It was something she felt she needed to do to show Jesus how much she appreciates his dying on the cross so that we can go to heaven.  She’s also been praying for His grace and guidance.  Fasting for Julia means that she eats only healthy food and mostly just raw vegetables, boiled eggs and lot’s of fish.  The best thing she’s had in the past few weeks was on Sunday, when I made chicken and rice soup!  Poor baby.

So today, she wants meat!  Lots and lots of meat!  hahaha  I let her choose what she wanted me to make. She chose meatballs and french fries.  NOT the most gourmet of meals but something I can do quickly, before she and her friend Hannah go to church tonight.  I need to stop here and tell you how EXTREMELY proud that she still looks at church as a fun, social activity.  ESPECIALLY when I’m just learning that another one of her bff’s (also 14) might be PREGNANT!  Once again, reminding me that it can ALWAYS be worse!  Wow.

Oven Baked Parmesan and Herb Meatballs

(revised by me from Pinterest)

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk or half and half

1/2 cup grated Parmesan (fresh is ALWAYS better)

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (or regular but Panko is better)

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together using your hands.  Form into golf ball sized meatballs .  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

*  I’m eating these right now and they’re SO freaking tasty!  I wish you could smell my house 🙂  Smells like home!  lol

Okay, next I made my easy oven baked asparagus.  This is pretty much the ONLY way we ever cook asparagus anymore.

Oven Baked Parmesan Asparagus

Ingredients:

1 bunch of medium to small stemmed asparagus (with woody ends cut on the diagonal)

About 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

About 1/4 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (eyeball it)

2 tsp salt

About 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Toss asparagus with all other ingredients.  Make sure each piece of asparagus is covered with oil and seasoning.  Place asparagus onto a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until bright green and cheese is melted.

Easy as THAT and I have 2 very happy munchkins and a husband that can’t wait to get home and eat it all up!  I’d tell you about the Ore Ida frozen french fries…. but I’m pretty sure you won’t be impressed with how I threw those babies in the oven for 30 minutes with season salt!  lmbo

Happy Eating to you 🙂

Best CREAM of Potato with Bacon and Ham Soup EVER!!!!!

It’s still snowy and kind of yucky out.  ALTHOUGH that winter storm they tried to call a weather state of emergency?  Yeah… NOT SO MUCH!  I swear, the weather people had us prepared for the storm of the century and although it WAS more snow than St. Louis is used to having (in these past few years), the temperature rose to 37 F today and pretty much melted all that ice and snow they wanted to call the national guard about!  lol

what Julia’s lips look like after Hannah brutalized her

That’s okay.  We still had fun.  Julia (teenage munchkin) and her friend went to shovel driveways for the elderly people in the “hood”.  That was a blast in itself because Hannah (friend) knocked Julia (who’s a beast so please don’t feel sorry for her) in the mouth with a shovel.  NOW my little munchkin closely resembles Angelina Jolie!  One fat and bloody lip later, they came walking through the door, cold and hungry.  BTW…  These girls are like boys.  This is the way they play.  Earlier, Julia busted Hannah in the nose and they SWORE it was broken.  WHY did she do this?  Good question.  She says it was because Hannah scared her so she tackled Hannah to make her stop.  IDK.  I don’t get it.  lol  ANYHOO…  Hannah’s mama called to ask me about it. The sad thing is that I hadn’t heard a word about a broken nose (exaggeration)!  It happened in my house, granted it was in the basement but still!  The only way I found out about it is because Hannah “texted” her mother to tell her about it!  lol  Wow, I’m still not going to get that mother of the year award, huh?  Thank GOODNESS Hannah’s mom was okay and we’ve known each other ever since the girls were 7.

what Hannah looked like after Julia brutalized HER nose

Broken nose and busted lip deserves something special on this cold day, I think.  SOooooo…. I whipped up my favorite batch of potato soup.  Actually, this is EVERYONE’S favorite potato soup.  I have people telling me that it’s all they want for Christmas, as in for a Christmas present!  I’ve made half gallon sized mason jars full for family and friends to take home.  It’s THAT good.

Michelle’s Cream of Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb bacon, cut up

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large, sweet onion, diced

4 chicken bouillon cubes

2 tsp ground thyme (dried)

bacon grease

1 cup chopped ham

4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

2 TBSP parsley flakes

2 TBSP cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water

Directions

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until crisp.  Don’t drain bacon grease.  In the same pan, add potatoes, ham, onion, bouillon cubes and thyme.  Add just enough water to cover potatoes.  Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down heat, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes in colander to remove water and return to pot.  Add cream, milk and parsley flakes to potatoes, bacon and ham.  Stir in cornstarch and water mixture for thickening.  Heat through and serve.

This is awesome with a little cheddar cheese added to your bowl!  If you don’t THINK you like potato soup, PLEASE try this one because chances are you’ll love it 🙂

What the girls are doing on this snow day? Making “cotton candy cookies”.

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Teenage Munchkin and her BFF are snowed in with us today.  It’s been fun listening to them laugh.  You know teenagers don’t like to be bored and these two definitely aren’t bored.  They  came to me earlier, asking if they can make “cotton candy” cookies!  I’d never heard of this type of cookie but they found a recipe on the net and who was I to say no? EXCEPT that the recipe called for 4.5 cups of flour and all we had was 2 😦  We had  “self rising” flour, so the girls looked up how to substitute self rising for the regular all purpose.

This recipe calls for 4.5 all purpose and if all you have is self rising, you need 2.5 cups.  Hope that made sense.  I’m just going to give you the recipe they found on the net, the way it’s written (without our substitutions).  They were FANTASTIC!  They really just tasted like more of a really good sugar cookie 🙂

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Teenage munchkin and her cotton candy cookies.

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The mess of flour teenage muchkin left on my floor… but hey!  it’s a snow day, right?  lol

Cotton Candy Cookies

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

4 1/2 all purpose flour

few drops of food color

enough baking sugar to roll unbaked cookies in (they look like crystals) OR you can use regular granulated sugar.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F

Cream together sugars, butter and cooking oil.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients (the next 4 ingredients), mix to incorporate.  At this point add the food coloring until the desired color.  Roll dough into small balls about the size of a quarter.  Roll ball into baking sugar.  Using a heavy bottom crystal vase or a cookie press dipped into bakers sugar (or regular sugar), smash ball out flat, leaving an imprint from cookie press (stamp) or bottom of vase.  Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.  Cool slightly before transferring to baking rack.

*I realize this recipe isn’t written the way I’d like it to be, where it’s easy to follow.  However, my girls followed it just fine and the cookies turned out perfect!

**we used enough blue food coloring for these cookies to look like a light blue cotton candy.  Especially after rolled in bakers sugar.