Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Okay so I have been incognito for a little while now!!!

A lot has been going on and I have had a hard time getting into the swing of things. I am going to try my best to get back on track.

2009 has been pretty good to me so far. I am about to pay off my van...yeah!!

I began college classes online. This is week 3 and so far I have earned all my possible points on my assignments and quizzes....go me!!

I became coach certified for Cal Ripken baseball and I am assistant coaching my twins' baseball team this season.

It seems my job is still here, although my boss just left out of state to attend a managers meeting so, I am afraid some cuts will be made soon. I am hoping not but I know it is bound to happen.

The boys all had straight A report cards (twins get E's which are the same as A's)for this last quarter...WooHoo!!!

Anyway I will try to keep posting!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

DIBS Recipe Number 4

This is a recipe for Pumpkin Bread. It makes 2 loaves. I haven't tried it YET but it has numerous rave reviews on recipezaar. Here is the link for the recipe I hope to make it for our CIJ Family Dinner this Friday!!!

DIBS setup goes like this

Quart Size Bag- 3 cups sugar
Quart Size Bag- 3 1/3 c. Flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cloves


2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-Heat oven to 350.
2-in a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil and eggs.
3-Beat until well mixed.
4-Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cloves into a separate bowl and stir until combined.
5-Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.
6-Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and dust with flour.
7-Evenly divide the batter between the two pans.
8-Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
9-Cool for 10-15 minutes, then remove from pans by inverting onto a rack and tapping the bottoms.
10-Slice and serve plain, buttered, or with cream cheese.
11-Note: Cream cheese is the ONLY thing to put on this bread because--it is so so so yummy!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

DIBS recipe Number 3

WOW can you believe this is the beginning of week 3 of Christmas in July???? Anyway Terri aka liltattoo was gracious enough to share this recipe with us. You will need more than one DIBS for this recipe also.

Sandwich size bag-1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1/4 cup sugar.
Quart size bag-1 tsp cream of tartar,1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1 1/3 cups flour.
snack size bag-2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa, and 1 tsp ground cinnamon.

Here's what she sent me:

Great! Here's my of my favorites. I wanted to bake some cookies but try something new. This recipe sounded good and I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. They kind of remind me of a snickerdoodle.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Crinkles

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or leave un-greased.

Beat butter, brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Add flour; mix until dough is blended and stiff. Stir in chocolate chips. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, cocoa and cinnamon in small bowl.

Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls about 1¼ inches in diameter. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture until coated on all sides. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Do not over bake. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Hope this recipe works for what you've got planned.


Thanks again Terri for sharing this with our MHH family!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

DIBS Recipe Number Two

Just a recap below you will find the explanation of DIBS and my recipe for Banana Bread which is the biggest DIBS item in my house.

Snack size bag filled with 1 cup sugar
Quart size bag filled with 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp baking soda

The next recipe selected for my DIBS is my Grandmother's recipe for Dream Cookies also known by others as Thumbprint Cookies.


PreHeat oven to 300 degrees

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
favorite jelly or hersey kisses

DIBS setup
snack size bag- 1 c. sugar
quart size bag- 2 c. flour and 1 tsp baking powder

Cream together shortening and sugar then add vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients (premixed in the quart size DIBS bag) until mixed through. Roll into small dough balls, place on an ungreased cookie sheet, and press thumb into the middle to make a small well in each ball. I fill mine with Smuckers Seedless Strawberry Jam but you can use any kind of jellies or chocolates you desire. Place in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The larger the cookie the longer they will need to be in for. The bottoms will have a light golden color to them . Place on a cooling rack to cool before eating!!! When my sister puts these on a dish she sometimes sprinkles them with powdered sugar to make them look festive, kind of like snow fell on them!!

I hope you are enjoying the DIBS process!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"PRE"paring for DIBS....

DIBS is "Dry Ingredient Bags Setup". These are the dry ingredients of your favorite recipes premeasured and stored in ziploc bags.

This storage method enables you to prepare many recipes months in advance. It does not take long to do and yet will save you precious time during the MOST HECTIC time of the year. I will be using my BANANA BREAD recipe as an example throughout each step.

BANANA BREAD---Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla or banana extract
3 or 4 large, very ripe bananas
pinch of cinnamon (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar; add the egg. slowly add the dry ingredients (DIBS). mash the 3 or 4 ripe bananas with a fork in a bowl. Add the extract of choice and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon. Slowly add the banana mix to the batter and mix completely. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. You can also use mini loaf pans for 20-25 minutes.

STEP ONE: To begin you will need to gather up all the recipes you are going to use for DIBS. Next you will have to figure out how many batches of each recipe you want to have "pre"pared for the rest of the year.

STEP TWO: After you have completed step one, you need to disect your recipe according to the method the ingredients are being used. For example the dry ingredients for the banana bread recipe include sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder BUT the sugar is used in a separate step to be creamed with the butter. Therefore I need TWO separate bags for this recipe.

STEP THREE: After you have "disected" your dry ingredients for each recipe you will need to take a running inventory to see what you already have in stock. Keep in mind that if the recipe will not be made til December than all the expiration dates need to meet that timeline also. You will also need to figure out the amount and sizes of ziploc bags you will need. As a rule of thumb all of my flour mixture DIBS will easily fit into quart size bags. Any separated sugar for creaming (up to one cup) will fit into snack size bags. Any exceeding a cup can be filled in sandwich size bags.

STEP FOUR: SHOPPING- With prices in the grocery store climbing as much as gas, this preparing with DIBS will hopefully save us money along with time for Holiday Baking. If there are any ingredients you need to buy then get them ASAP. Don't forget to check the expiration dates and to stock up on ziploc baggis (especialy when on sale).

STEP FIVE: Labelng--Label your bags ahead of time. It is much easier to have the ink dry before handling them. I usually label two different ways. The separated sugar for creaming bags are usually labeled by the ingredient name and the amount (1 cup sugar). The "flour/dry" ingredients bags are labeled by recipe name (Banana Bread Dry Ingredients). If I feel it necessary I will also list the date of the earliest expired ingredient in the bag.

STEP SIX: SETUP--Depending on how many bags you are making and how much room you have, you can approach this in two different ways.

1-You can do one recipe at a time, filling all the bags with the same ingredient before moving on to the next needed ingredient. For example if you are making 4 batches of banana bread you will need to line up 4 snack size and 4 quart size bags (labeled). put one cup of sugar in each of the snack size bags and seal. Put 1 1/2 cups flour in each bag, then move on to the baking soda, baking powder, and then the salt.


2-If you have the space and the FOCUSED mind you can line up all the recipe bags for all the recipes you are doing and "have at it". For example you can put all the required flour in all the different recipe bags and then move on to the next popular ingredient. I personally don't have the space for this method on my countertop BUT I will sometimes set up in the dining room and do a marathon fill (one ingredient at a time). Also to avoid confusion I make index cads for the DIBS and place in front of each recipe section of bags on the dining room table. Definitely worth it. DON'T FORGET TO PRESS ALL AIR OUT OF THE BAGS BEFORE SEALING!!!

STEP SEVEN: STORING- I save many boxes from goods bought at warehouses like Sam's Club or any boxes around the house. I then store my DIBS in the boxes and place in my hall pantry so it is in a cool, dark place. IF you have room in your refrigerator or freezer you can store them there also. If my recipe calls for shortening or other "storable" ingredients I make sure that I store them close to my box if it doesn't fit in the box.

STEP EIGHT: CLean up. Wash all your measuring cups and have a cup of tea, coffee, or hot cocoa!!! Remember how quick and easy it was to set everything up at once. Then when you do your bakefest during the holidays you will be SOOO pleased at how easily it went.

JUST REMEMBER- to stock up on key items on sale keeping in mind their expiration dates. ALSO this is a great way to get the kids involved in the holiday baking. They can help hold the bags, pour ingredients, close the bags, etc.... After you have empied the bags, you can save them to restock for the next batch. I usually will refill mine the next week after my bake sessions. It saves money plus they are already labeled

Have a glorious experience with DIBS!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April continues on...

Yesterday was my niece Princess Harper's 2nd birthday. She lives in NY so I don't get to see her much but I love and miss her dearly. The boys and I called her and sang Happy Birthday. I hope she will remember who I am when I come to visit her when her little brother (my future godson) is born and getting christened. As soon as I get myself and my life more organized I hope to be able to send more pictures and letters to my niece so she doesn't forget me and her cousins as she grows up. Maybe expecting something new in the mail will remind her of us.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April saga continues

It is midweek for Spring break week and April has already given me headaches!! I have been to the ER because my back went out again on March 30th and I waited til Ffriday April 4th to call my doctor and of course he wasn't in so I had to go to the ER. The ER cost me $250 (copay) and then another $20 in prescriptions and I am still in major pain. These meds are not working for me. Along with my prescriptions the ER doctor gave me a no work for three days note so I brought it to my boss and she asked if it was my weekend to work and I said Yes (and thought to myself if it wasn't, I wouldn't be bringing this to you) and she looked at the note and then turned to face her computer and said she'll have to see if someone can work my hours and I again thought to myself umm you WILL have to find someone else to cover. I have called out one day in a year of working and that was when my son was home from school because he was puking in the middle of the night. I mean seriously she needs some people skills. I can't believe she is a manager!!! Anyway as of today I am still not doing well and between the meds and the heat lotions nothing has really eased my pain!! I might have to call my doctor tomorrow and see if I can get stronger meds and maybe an MRI. And I seriously need to start looking for another job and look into healthcare for ma nad the boys from the state. And go after my ex for ALL the money he owes me!! I am on a roll and have no reason to stop.....