Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Goodies

Amazing that Christmas is just around the corner! Almost all of my shopping is done...thank goodness! My little sister Sarah and I hit the "Black Friday" sales and scored! At Toys R Us we each saved in discounts about as much as we spent! Everywhere we went we made friends in lines and helped each other get what we all wanted! We hope to see "Mike" on "So You Think You Can Dance" next year.

Now that the kids are back "on-track" I am trying to get our goodies for people made. I got a lot done today! Here is what my little goodie bags look like.

Inside is my traditional Peppermint Bark
12 cut up candy canes
1/2 tsp. peppermint oil (extract)
2 lbs white chocolate

-line a 11x17 cookie sheet with wax paper/parchment paper
-melt white chocolate (I do in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time)
-mix in candy canes and peppermint oil
-spread onto cookie sheet
-refrigerate for 30 minutes and cut into desired pieces
-will stay good in fridge for a week

I also included my chocolate covered cinnamon bears
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening
cinnamon bears/santas

-Mix chocolalte and shortening and melt (I do in the microwave for 30 sec at a time)
-Cover cinnamon bear with chocolate by holding bear with a toothpick
-place on parchment covered baking sheet
-refridgerate for 30 minutes
-will stay good in fridge for a week

Finally, last year my christmas goodies included caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods. They were a huge hit! This year I first dipped the rods into caramel, then chocolate and ended by covering them with oreo or toffee bits. Amazing! Here is a photo:

Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Rods
8 large pretzel rods
5 1/2 oz soft caramel
2 tsp cream
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening
desired toppings

-line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray
-melt caramels and cream (I did in microwave for 30 seconds at time and keep warm in crockpot or stove) an put on baking sheet.
-refridgerate 30 minutes to harden caramel
-melt chocolate and shortening (I do in microwave for 30 seconds at a time)
-coat caramel covered rods with chocolate let dry for a bit and roll into desired topping
-refridgerate 30 minutes.

Yummy treats for a wonderful season!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Recipe

I have found another "winner" recipe for everyone in my little family! Last night we tried Orange Honey Grilled Chicken Strips (found on the blog "the sisters cafe"). They were so tender and delicious! The recipe calles for you to either use chicken tenders or cut the chicken breast into strips and cook on skewers. I chose to marinate the chicken breasts in the sauce for most of a day and just cook them on the grill. Very simple recipe and your whole family will love it!

Orange Honey Grilled Chicken Strips
1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 TB butter softened
2 TB finely chopped scallions
2 TB fresh orange juice
2 TB chopped cilantro leaves (I like a little extra)
1 TB honey
1-2 TB grated orange zest, from ~1/2 an orange (I use just 1 TB)

Cut each chicken breast into 3 length wise strips. (I just bought chicken tenders and used those). Thread 3 strips accordion style, on each of 4-6 long metal or wooden skewers. If using wood skewers, soak them for at least 20 minutes in cold water before using to prevent scorching on the grill. To make the basting sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the butter, scallions, orange juice, cilantro, honey, and orange zest. Brush about half of the sauce on the chicken, covering each strip well. Set aside to marinate for about 15 minutes. If you have to let the chicken marinate longer refrigerate. Prepare grill to medium hot. Grill chicken about 15 minutes, turning several times, until the chicken is cooked through but still moist. Baste several times with the remaining basting sauce. Stop basting 5 minutes before the chicken is done. Remove the chicken from the grill and serve immediately. (Do not serve any of the basting sauce with the chicken.)

Let me know if you like them or if you have any other recipes I can try out on my family!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Time!

Amazing that it is Halloween! Thank goodness that the snow has melted and it won't be too cold for the fun! Still jacket weather! This morning was great! We had a fun pancake breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Tate, headed to Sydney's last soccer game (in her purple Halloween costume) and are getting ready for the big night!

The past week the boys have been really sick, the doctor thought it was swine flu. The poor guys had temperatures, headaches, bad coughs and sick tummies! They were finally better and just in time for their school Halloween parties!
Here is a picture of Sydney and preschool teacher Ms. Brittany

Hunter with 3rd grade teacher Ms. Rollins

Finally, McKay with 5th grade teacher Ms. Simi

McKay is stil loving having so many neighborhood friends in his school class! There are four of them. Here is a picture of them at their school party.

Happy Halloween!

Fall Fun

With the warm weather we have tried to be outside as much as possible! When it was not a preschool day Sydney and I would visit as many places as we could. We went to Wheeler farm (again), Engs Gardens (Halloween fun) and many others (as you can see in former posts). Here are some pictures from Wheeler Farm. Sydney so loved the horses! I was amazed at how brave she was feeding and petting them! I am not so brave around huge animals that I am sure are going to try to eat my fingers!!!

Another day was the Engs Gardens! Such a fun place around Halloween! They have a huge pirate ship, Jack Sparrow, hay maze and decorations everywhere! Just wish my boys could have come with us!

Finally, we had such a fun "Witches Brew" with a neighbor we have become great friends with. The other mom, Kim, and I dressed up as witches and planned a great meal full of Halloween food. The menu included, brains (spagettie), mummy toes (little smokies), witches fingers (carrots with almonds as nails), monster mouths (apples with almonds as teeth), pumpkin juice (orange soda with dry ice), cat hearts (strawberries) and bones (breadsticks shaped like bones). It was so much fun! We then headed to the pumpkin patch and came back to my house to decorate cookies!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Sports

The kids are loving fall and playing the sports that go along with it! We will begin with youngest to oldest! Sydney is playing soccer for the first year and can't get enough of it! I love watching her run circles around everyone that is huddled together around the ball. Literally...she stays on the outside...away from the chaos! Once she gets the ball she is amazing! Her first game she got one goal. The second game she scored two goals! It was so cute! I laugh half the game! She can get a bit frustrated...Things don't go her way so she runs off the field, gets a quick drink and runs back on! She doesn't care that her team is setting up for a throw-in or a kick-off. Adorable little princess!

Hunter loves Flag Football! Most of his team is one or two years older than him, but they are great and he feels tough! He goes after the ball, blocks great and even has a "Hunter Play". When they do the "Hunter Play" he is hiked the ball and runs straight through two linemen.

McKay can't get enough football! He plays everyday at school and a few days after school with his friends! He is getting into the plays, knowing the calls and working hard in his games! He can't wait to play tackle in a few years!

Love Fall!!!

Amazing that fall is here and winter is just around the corner! The colors are amazing and the weather is perfect...just a little cold at games. The other day we headed up the mountain behind our house...never been up there before. The colors were beautiful and it was brushed with a little snow on the ground. The kids loved going up there! The boys used my camera and got some great photos. Here are some of the kids.

The other day my sisters, Mom and I headed to Gardner village. It is all decorated with Witches, pumpkins and Halloween. We had a blast heading through most of the stores (not the ones where the kids could break everything), running through the hay maze and riding the donkies. It was so cute to see the kids laugh at witches and get into the Halloween spirit.

Tonight we had our annual Tate Family Halloween Party. Our family is so big that it is not logical to hold it at someones house! There are currently 20 grandkids and 12 adults. Therefore we hold it at one of our ward houses. This is one of the highlights of the year! This year we played Halloween Charades, played in the bounce house, played basketball and football. We had a great time having an Ichabod Crane(legand of sleepy hallow) walking contest!

We loved that Grandpa Tate dressed up in his Yo-Yo competition outfit (yes he won numerous awards in yo-yo contests). He even knocked an oreo off Steves finger!!! Amazing that he hit the oreo and that he fit into his vest he wore at age 12!!!

The costumes were great as always!!! I love seeing what people choose to dress up as! Here are some photos. Sorry I wasn't able to get pictures of the Williams family!!! If you get some send them over so I can add them!
Jonathan and Rachel Browning Family

Sarah and Chris Ames Family

Warren and Suzanne Tate (Grandpa and Grandma)

Dave and Julie Tate Family

Steve and Jamie Tate Family

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Honey Lime Enchiladas

I have been sick of the same old things for dinner lately! There are always a few people who don't like what I have made and at times...not one kid likes what is for dinner! There is no way that I am going to fix five different things to please everyone! At times I think the only way everyone will be happy is if we all pick our own cereal to eat. There are many days that I decide that I will never make dinner again...until it's time to make dinner the next day. I have found a few blog sites that have some great meals. Here is a great one from The Sisters Cafe that we LOVED here Chez Browning. As a short cut, I cooked the chicken in a crockpot (with a crockpot liner for less mess)with the sauce.

Honey Lime Enchiladas

1.5 lbs pork or chicken, cooked and shredded

1/3 c honey
1/4 c lime juice
1 Tb chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce

equal parts mixed together of:
mozzarella cheese, shredded
cheddar cheese, shredded
flour tortillas

Mix together sauce ingredients then add to shredded pork or chicken. Let the sauce soak into the meat for about 30 minutes.

Lightly spray 2 pans with non-stick baking spray. (I usually use one 9x13 and one 9x9 but it may vary with how thick you stuff your enchiladas) Pour green enchilada sauce into pans to coat the entire bottom. Fill tortillas with shredded meat and desired amount of cheese. Roll and place in dish.

Pour remainder of sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle more cheese on top - don't be stingy! (I sometimes use more like 1 1/2 cans- you can freeze left over enchilada sauce in a baggy.) Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then turn on broiler and place enchiladas nearer the top of oven. Let it broil until cheese is slightly brown and crispy. It is now time to WOW your family!!

If you make this comment and let me know how you like it!!! If you have any others to mix up my routine please let me know!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hunter's Baptism

We are so excited and proud of Hunter for making the decision of being baptized! He worked hard and prepared for his big day! His baptism was suppose to be the first Saturday of September, but was changed to August 22nd so he could attend the Oquirrah Mountain Temple dedication the next day.
We had a fun Family Home Evening to get ready for the big day! We talked about the importance of baptism and about when Christ was baptized. We even walked through the process...each kid wanted a turn! It was so cute to see all of them so excited!
All our family and two friends families came! Hunter had about 52 people there to support him!

Your family is so proud of you Hunter! Heavenly Father is proud of you!

We are grateful for all those who were able to come and participate in the confirmation of Hunter! There are so many great men in his life that are wonderful examples. (Yes, we really missed you Becca and Joel) He is lucky to have the constant companion of the Holy Ghost!

You are such a good boy Hunter! Continue to follow the example of Jesus Christ. Your Mom and Dad are very proud of your decision to be baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Your brother and sister love you and are grateful for your kindness, service and friendship. Congrats!

The next day we had the opportunity to attend the Oquirrah Mountain Temple dedication inside the temple! What an amazing opportunity for us and the boys! We arrived nice and early and had about an hour wait in our seats. After the second song Hunter was ready to get home! We still had about six talks and a few songs to go! The messages were inspirational and great for all of us to hear! At the end of the dedication the children in our room were able to line at the railing of the grand staircase and look down at President Monson and President Eyring waving up at them! What an amazing experience for our cute boys! They were excited, humbled and touched by the spirit! We are so grateful to have a temple so close and to stand as a beacon to all of us each day.

August Celebrations

Wow! August is sure a busy month in our house! It all started with the boys starting school again. They decided to drop the gifted and talented program to go to school with their new friends and neighbors!

They are so happy and are loving it! Here is a picture of McKay with Ms. Simi. She is so good for McKay! She is outgoing, fun, dedicated, kind, exciting, funny and energetic.

Hunter enjoys his teacher! Actually, I got to meet her last year on Sydney's preschool fieldtrips. She ran another preschool that we got together with. She is very kind, fun and great for Hunter.

Next was McKay's Birthday! Amazing that my oldest is now 10 years old! He is growing all the time and therefore his stomach is a bottomless pit! I can't keep enough milk or food at the table for him. For his birthday he had been begging for a ripstick and I let him know that he was not getting one...I had already bough one but wanted it to be a suprise. So, we told him we only bought one present and he opened a UofU t-shirt.

He loved it, but I could tell he was a little disappointed...not a single toy! So I finally brought out the "big" present. Check out the excitement on his face!!!

Then it was Jonathan and my anniversary! It was interesting! Our family caught the stomach flu that was going around! It hit all of us except McKay...lucky boy! So, at anniversary time I was still sick and Sydney was throwing up constantly! We didn't want to lose our money from a priceline bid so Jonathan packed up the boys and headed up to Midway for an evening of swimming, watching movies and making memories! Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you!
Finally was Hunter's Birthday! The big 8 years old! He was so excited to start cub scouts! So excited that he did all the requirements to earn his bobcat in 2 hours (while getting over the flu). He had a great birthday! He got his request of root beer floats instead of cake!

What an exciting time! Sure love you all and Happy August!