jana banana

December 4, 2011

thanksgiving

Filed under: family, food, holidays — Jana @ 6:42 pm

This year for thanksgiving I invited my Dad, step-mom Lisa, and little brother Matthew to our house for thanksgiving.  I made the meal, and I would say I’m almost a pro now, since out of about 7 of the 8 years we have been married I have made the entire  feast myself.  Don’t get me wrong… I prefer it that way.  I am a major control freak when it comes to the kitchen.   It is, however a ton of work.  I am pretty pleased at how it turned out.  Everything was tasty and delicious (excluding a few fails, but we won’t talk about spilled turkey brine or doughy rolls right now).

I brined the turkey in this recipe, then cooked it in a turkey bag… 17 lb turkey cooked in only 2 1/2 hours.  It turned out really good and moist, and it was super easy.

 

I also made this recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole… which is so good, it makes you forget your eating sweet potatoes.

I, of course, made a bunch of other thanksgiving classics but I can’t share the recipes because they are top secret (or maybe it’s because I am way too lazy to post them).

And don’t forget the pie!  Apple crumble, cherry and banana cream (last of which, I forgot to take pictures of and it was gone too fast to do it later), and lots of freshly whipped vanilla whip cream.

 

Here we are about to eat:

 

Please ignore that Lee is blurry, I am exhausted, carmen is bugged that she couldn’t sit by Uncle Matthew… in spite of all that, we had a really great time.

Earlier that day, while I was busy cooking up a storm, My step-mom Lisa kept the kids busy and out of my hair with a plethora of crafts… the most awesome of which was a ginger bread house that turned out really cute.

 

My favorite part was Moseley’s gingerbread (wo)man with the circus peanut bra. Ha Ha!

 

The rest of the weekend was a lot of fun too.  We went to see the muppets, went to the beach (it was 75 degrees in november!  This is why we live in southern california.), ate tons of leftovers,  and of course we did some shopping!  I love the holidays.

 

May 8, 2011

Cuties

Filed under: food — Jana @ 5:15 pm

How would I live without you?

(now I want to see you not break out into song (you’re welcome))

May 4, 2011

easter

Filed under: carmen, family, food, moseley — Jana @ 7:06 pm

This is going to be a marathon post, so I suggest you grab a gel pack and a Gatorade and get ready for it.

First we colored easter eggs, which is one of my favorite traditions, even if it is a total mess. Our kit this year came with a brown tablet, which at first thought was dumb because I thought “who wants a brown easter egg?”.  But then I saw Moseley’s first egg and it turned out to be my favorite one. I just think it is so pretty. I love holidays with kids.  It really brings the magic back into it when you can see how excited about it they get.  The older Moseley gets the more amp’d about this stuff he gets. My kids LOVE eggs, so they were more than happy to eat up all the cracked ones.  I think it’s interesting because I remember not liking eggs as a kid, but that is not the case with these little dudes. The finished product Then we made Easter cookies, which are Lee’s favorite.  (If you’d like the recipe click here)  Or if you want to cheat, you can put that frosting on Betty Crocker’s sugar cookie mix, which is made with real butter and honestly still delicious.  I do it all the time because it’s way faster and easier (I won’t tell anyone if you don’t, oh wait… dang it). The kids had to help in every way possible.  I let them because I hope to one day instill a love of baking in them, that my mother instilled in me. Here are mine.  

Cheese ball I know, Carmen’s are much cuter…I love this girl.
Easter Morning we searched for eggs.  Last year the crows ate all of our candy in the back yard since THE EASTER BUNNY didn’t think it important to put them in plastic eggs.  This year said bunny was very careful and put every last candy in its own egg and woke up to rain outside.  So inside it was… I guess. ugh. 

The kids still were super excited and had fun finding all the eggs.

The easter bunny slipped a few dollar bills in the extra eggs.  Carmen was finally old enough to be excited about it.

I get excited for when my kids are older, then I can put bigger sums of money in and really hide those eggs,  that way the kids will be stoked on our traditions even when they get too old (or too cool).

Later we sat down and scarfed our turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. (if you haven’t tried pioneer woman’s sweet potato casserole, do yourself a favor and whip up this recipe next thanksgiving… even if you previously weren’t a huge fan of sweet potatoes, I think you’ll like these)

We sat around the dinner table and talked about how thankful we are for Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice he made so that we can be so blessed and have this amazing little family.   I feel like the luckiest girl alive to have all that I do, and holidays like this one really make me appreciate that.

Booya.

(I don’t know why I am so irreverent and can’t just leave the post on that nice note,  I just had to end it with booya.  It just feels right. )

April 17, 2011

mangoes

Filed under: carmen, food, moseley — Jana @ 9:05 am

Do you like Mangoes?  They have always been my favorite.  When my parents would get them for us it was such a treat.

They are definitely a staple in our house.  I like to buy the little fresco ones at costco.

I like to cut the sides off of the big flat pit in the middle, and then score them so they are in perfect little bite size pieces.

The kids obviously love them too. 

Mose just likes to go to town.

He heard the shutter clicks on my camera and came alive.  This kid started giving me some serious face.

To keep the shutter sounds coming he was posing like a baby gap model.  If baby gap models were still in the pajamas they slept in with bed head, and a  total mess. :)

This little girl, on the other hand, could not be bothered to look at the camera.

Can’t win them all I guess.

March 17, 2011

happy st. patties day

Filed under: food, holidays, projects — Jana @ 6:00 am

Top o the mornin’ to ya!

 

I have been wanting to try this beautiful cookie recipe that I saw on this other chick named Jana’s blog. Her valentine cookies are to die for.  Mine didn’t turn out quite so cute, but still fun.  The next time I make them I would probably buy actual cake piping bags, instead of cutting the tips of of some ziplocks, but I think they turned out alright in spite of the shoddy tools I had to work with.  They did turn out yummy.  Will I make betty crocker mix sugar cookies and slap some of my cream cheese frosting recipe on top next time?  Probably, but that’s just because I’m lazy like that (and have a slight obsession with cream cheese), but I did have fun doing this as a little change up.

June 27, 2010

a day in the life (moseley)

Filed under: food, mess of the day, moseley — Jana @ 12:29 pm

Moseley finally learned to walk!  While Carmen started at 10 1/2 months, I was happy Moseley took a little longer… it helps me to cling to his baby-ness just a little longer.

Here is a video of him right when he first tried out those first steps (and also other silliness) he was about 14 months.

Now that he is 16 months old, he is getting pretty good at walking.  With his newfound physical freedom, he has also learned to make lots of mischief.

Here is my view of him while I am on the computer.  I can always find him down there at the printer pushing buttons and generally jacking it up as much as possible.

The other day I was making chicken enchiladas.  My kids have quickly learned that while I am cooking  they can get away with almost anything (short of starting something on fire).  I was all greasy and gooey assembling the fillings into the shells… when Moseley decided to get into the cupboard where I keep the waxed paper and such.  After about 20 minutes this is what my kitchen looked like (this one is a little long):

Whatever.  The crinkly paper kept him busy so I could finish dinner… it was worth the mess and wasted wax paper that day.

Besides destroying the house one cupboard at a time, Moseley loves balls.  “Bah” was his first word and he manages to find balls wherever he goes.

Here is one at a toy store that he was stoked on:

But the mother lode  was when he saw this fountain at Disneyland.

This huge marble ball spins on water and the kids can all control the movement by pushing it with their hands.  He loves it and thinks that he is really helping it to spin.

My baby is becoming a big boy so fast, it boggles my mind.

July 13, 2009

the fourth

Filed under: family, food, holidays, me — Jana @ 12:10 pm

I actually took a whole mess of pictures this year, so buckle your safety belts because, yes, I do feel the need to share EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Ok so I left out a few choice swimsuit shots of people… but that was for the good of everyone.

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These are in no particular order.

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He makes me melt like a Popsicle, on the fourf of July…

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The people with the huge army parachute were back, so the kids had fun playing with that.

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Uncle Ryan and his girlfriend Annie came to visit.

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So did Grandpa.

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I just love how, when you go to a crowded beach, there are always tons of hotties in minimal clothes in the background of every picture of your kid being cute.

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Carmen playing football.

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Also Cousin Erik came to visit.  It was a house full of Eric/ks.  (my dad’s name is also Eric… for those who didn’t know)

Erik and Moseley have the same taste in fashion…

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I made some yummy root beer float cupcakes… deceptive because it looks like chocolate… but still yummy in a surprising way.

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We ate some delicious church’s chicken, and went home to watch the fireworks, and listen to the pachanga pow wow from our front yard.

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Carmen was pretty excited about the fireworks.

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It was a really fun day.

The next day was fun too because we woke up, ate some homemade waffles made with my own ground wheat (sorry I always have to pat myself on the back for that one).  Then we played guitar hero  for the rest of the day.  I unleashed my inner rock star.
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Those little rocker guys are like, my favorite part of that game… Oh who am I kidding,  I love this game.  Everything about it.  I like to imagine myself as a real rock star, and when I hit a particularly electrifying note and the crowd goes nuts… Man there is nothing like it.  I like to think that would be the part when the ladies all start throwing their bras up on stage… Oops wait, no… that would be weird.  Sorry, that took an unfortunate turn. :)Anyway enough geekin’ out about some video game.

It was a great weekend, and I had a ton of fun.  Holidays are always more fun when you spend them with people you love.

April 28, 2009

the latest

Filed under: family, food, moseley — Jana @ 9:26 pm

We decided to make a last minute trip up to Utah to see family for a few days.

It was really fun.  The kids did great in the car, only minor meltdowns.  We had a dance party jamming to some boom boom pow (this was not your parent’s road trip).  Plus it was just fun being in the car for 12 uninterrupted hours with Lee, I tried to get him to let me read Twilight to him while he drove…He wasn’t too into it, but I think I am wearing him down.

I had an awesome few days shopping and doing all things girly with my mom and sister.  Lee and I got to eat dinner with his sister Gwen and her husband Lawrence. I was able to chill with all my high school girlies, which was a lot of fun catching up (I missed the few of you who couldn’t come)!

I got to eat at a bunch of my favorite restaurants while there, and even added a few to the already long list.  Papa Kelsey’s is this little sandwich joint that has the most amazing cheese bread.  And JCW’s has some freaking delicious hamburgers and chicken wings.  So if you could just bring those to California people, that would be great.  Those along with  cafe rio, wingers, bajio, taco amigo, teppanyaki, and betos…  Then I will be happy, and about 400lbs.  We weren’t able to go to all of them while we were there, but I got fry sauce, so I feel satisfied with the trip.

Here is the only picture I managed to take while there… I know, I’m lame.  At least it was cute,  Moseley chillin’ with Uncle Law and cousin Cooper.

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We were going to go to the super brunch at little america (yep that’s right, more food)  sunday before leaving but we awoke to Carmen barfing, so we decided our Utah experience was over, and headed home.  Luckily there was no more chunkage on the road, she just waited a day to continue having the flu… just to fake me out.  Luckily she is finally old enough to run to the toilet on her own now, so YAY for the new mile stone.  My poor Carmie, I sure hope it’s over soon.

Yesterday I decided that Moseley had rocked the old man hair for long enough and gave him his first hair cut.

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I just got out the clippers and buzzed it all off.  Now he looks like a little soldier or something.  You cant really tell in the picture but he has blonde hair growing on top of his head finally.  I think he looks dashing.

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I took him to the doctor today to get his shots… He was so tough, he only cried for about 2 seconds while they were poking him and then he was fine.

They measured and weighed him and he has grown a ton.  He is 25 1/4 inches tall and weighs in at a hefty 14lbs 13oz.

Here he is in all his rollie pollie glory.

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I am getting sad that it is going too fast, I know every one says it… but really, I need more time with my tiny baby, I cant get enough of him.

December 13, 2008

yay for me

Filed under: food — Jana @ 4:12 pm

I finally made a decent loaf of bread,  Lee even ate some and Carmen wanted seconds, so I would consider that a success.

The recipe I used was Mignon’s Harvest House Bread, if you are interested.  I just didn’t want you all to think that I was going to give up making bread for life.  Plus I have all those buckets of wheat that have been sitting in my garage, that I will finally start using.  If you haven’t tried grinding your own wheat, you really should.  I always thought it would taste heavy like the store bought stuff, but it is really light in texture and it has a great nutty flavor that goes really well with raspberry jam.  Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

December 4, 2008

frick!

Filed under: baby, carmen, family, food, friends, holidays — Jana @ 11:16 pm

I finally go to post and wordpress is typing my letters backwards… Fate doesn’t want me to blog.

Ok since it is now working I will give a  recap of the past few weeks of no posting.  It should probably be 3 different posts, but I just don’t wanna.

It was thanksgiving, which means I hosted my (count ’em) 4th thanksgiving dinner.  Remember I have only been married 5 years, so I am a veteran by now I think.  I am huge and tired right now, so I gave all the hard cooking jobs to Lee’s mother and sister Mignon.  The stuff I did make turned out good, so that was a relief.  I did not however have the energy to take a single picture the whole time Lee’s family was in town, so whatev.  No pics of delicious turkeys or anything. It was really fun to have them visit.  But having that many people in my house is pretty good birth control… Not that I’m not already pregnant, but it pretty much reaffirmed that I want a small family, and therefore this will probably be my last child. (if I have anything to say about it, but how much control do I have…really?)

We visited the beach a lot while they were here and Scott took some really cute pictures of Lee and Carmen, so here they are.lee-and-carmen-at-the-beach2

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Since then I have been nesting like crazy.  I have been going through and trying to organize all the baby clothes that Lauren is letting me borrow, thank you Lauren!  She is a life saver. I really don’t need anything for this new baby, other than tiny diapers, and a double stroller (which is probably something I don’t really need, right now anyway) I finally switched Carmen into her big girl bed and converted the toddler bed back into a crib.  She is still adjusting to this new state of affairs… As soon as I set up all the crib bedding, she opened up one of the drawers in the changing table, pulled out a binky, climbed into the crib, pulled the quilt onto herself and said “I’m the baby”.  So… this should be fun.  baby-bedding-001 But all in all I am feeling really good. I actually feel prepared, which is such a huge relief for me.  If I could just get Carmen 100% potty trained, it will be smooth sailing.

Then today amidst the thousands of loads of laundry I was trying to catch up on, I went on a little bit of a baking spree.  While Lee’s family was here they taught me how to grind my own wheat, which is actually much better than I previously imagined.  So I made us some whole wheat waffles, then I wanted to use the rest of my flour to make bread.  Now, I consider myself to be a pretty competent cook, I love to bake and I think my stuff usually turns out really good, but for the freaking life of me I cannot bake a decent loaf of bread.  I don’t know what my problem is, I have tried so many times, and every single time I am disappointed.  I think my problem this time was that I didn’t let the bread rise long enough, but I have let bread rise too long in the past, so I figure I just don’t have the touch.  I just want to drop kick the two loaves I made today.

Anyway, since I was so bummed about my sucky bread skills, and since lee has been begging me to make him these cookies I decided to whip him up some of these million dollar cookies.

Million-Dollar Caramel Cookies

(Makes 4 dozen)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar, plus 1 Tbs
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1⁄2 cups flour, plus 1⁄4 cup
  • 3⁄4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Heath candy bars
  • 1 bag Rolo chewy caramels

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy, then add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

2. In a separate bowl, mix 2 1⁄2 cups flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture a little bit at a time and blend well. If the dough feels too sticky, sprinkle in a little extra flour. Cover and chill dough in fridge for about 30 minutes.

3. Chop Heath bars into small pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with 1 Tbs sugar.

4. Once dough has chilled, wrap a piece around each caramel, forming a 1-inch ball and covering the candy completely. Dip top of the dough ball into the candy topping and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Cookies will look quite soft, but do not overbake. Cool in pan slightly, then move to a rack or the counter to finish cooling. Store in a covered container.

These kind of made up for the bread fiasco, at least I got to eat caramel.

Now that I am all caught up on blogging I am exhausted and will leave you with this one last nubbin of cuteness from Carmen.

Carmen: “What’s that?” (pointing to my protruding belly)

Me: “It’s a baby.”

Carmen: “That’s not a baby, it’s a tomato!”

Then she laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d ever said.

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