Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Busy week, busy weekend

Why is it when I want to clean, and I even have set the time aside to clean (naps, after boys are in bed, while they are eating breakfast) that I don't get any cleaning done?!? Geez, all I want to do is get the laundry done, and it is now 2 days later and there are still loads of clothes coming out of the this rate, by the time I get it all put away, it will be time to do laundry again. I also wish I could find joy in putting away the dishes or cleaning out the fridge.....these two things I dislike more than anything!
Well, thanks for letting me vent! :)
I have been enjoying my past few days though. Even though I don't remember much of the things that happened, I do remember how much the boys made me laugh, and all the funny things Gabe said. Like lately, everytime we have been asking Gabe to do something or stop doing something, he responds to us, "You need to be patient!", we can't help but laugh, but he also says it in the same tone of voice I do......creepy.
Well, nothing is really new going on in the Sautter household at this point. We are enjoying the sun that is out (at times) and singing lots and lots of songs.
Here is 2 recipes I want to share with you, one not so healthy and the other a bit better :)

Yummy Carmel Popcorn (you will not be dissapointed)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars (we make these for a quick filling snack)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
6 T honey
2 T vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup rolled oats (not instant or quick)
1 cup dried blueberries or other dried fruit....I usually do half the pan with mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º.
Combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine the applesauce, honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir in the oats. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the flour mixture, do not over mix. Add blueberries. Press into pan. I find that if I put a piece of saran wrap over the top and press down to make it even, it isn't as messy.
Bake in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish at 350º for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Friday, February 22, 2008

3 little cakes

Well, my days have been so busy the past 3 days. I really enjoy posting but have found NO time in the last 72 hours. Yesterday was jammed pack full of events of taking Gabe to school, taking stuff back to Target, taking Gabe to an appointment that never happened because the doctor was an hour late, and then some Relief Society work, and then making lots and lots of cake. It was all in all and very successful day and everything went smoothly (besides the doctors, which I am still bitter about)

Today was a bit less chaotic, we finally got in to the doctors (but with the nurse) and Gabe is 42 lbs and 41 inches tall.....A BIG BOY! Then Heather came over to put together tester cakes for the girl we are doing a wedding cake for.........yes.........a wedding cake.......yikes. It is our first one and she knows that we are just starting. We are offering 3 different types of cake and three differnt types of filling (pictures below) We are getting a lot better with the fondant and we are putting them together so much faster. Today I think it took only like 30 minutes!! (Right Heather?)

So after we put those cakes together I had a personal project cake to do for James. So here is a quick story about the cake I had to make. Out at James' work, when ever any of the guys go to another shift or another job they always have a cake. One of the guys James works with is going to another shift before he retires and James said that WHENEVER you see this guy he ALWAYS has a white styrofome(sp?) cup with coffee in it. This guy is known for it. So James asked me the other day if I would make a cake that looks like a white styrofome cup with coffee in I did. (pictures below) I also made a bunch of cupcakes which I havnt frosted yet so I dont have pictures of those (tomorrow I will) But i wanted to post a picture of the cake now because it is so darn funny.

Make sure you take a look at the two great recipes I have posted also under the pictures!!!!They are GREAT!

I have found quite a few friends and family on here! I am so excited to keep in contact with a lot of people who have blogs, I had no idea how big the blogging world was and that it was the new "cool" I love seeing how peoples families are growing and how people are doing. So I do hope I can keep in contact with you guys!!


Yellow ribbon: Vanilla Cake with a Chocolate Ganache frosting

Brown ribbon: Chocolate cake with an almond Buttercream

Pink ribbon: Strawberry cake with a cream cheese frosting

All are covered in Marshmallow Fondant (soooo much better than the bought stuff)

The coffee cup :)

These next recipes I have both tried quite a few times. I love them both so much. James and I love the Olive Garden soup and salad. So I thought I would give you guys the two soups we love so much, they actually taste sooo much like them if not better, yes, I wrote that right, better.

Zuppa Toscana
1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage (we use "hot" turkey sausage)
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (we use turkey bacon)
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
6 potato, thinly sliced (I cube them so they don't dissolve)
1 cup heavy cream (Heavy cream is good, we used 1% milk last time and it turned out great)
1/4 bunch fresh spinach, tough stems removed

Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the spinach into the soup just before serving.

Pasta E Fragioli

2 lbs ground beef
onion , chopped
carrots , chopped
4 stalks
celery , chopped
2 (28 ounce) cans
diced tomatoes , undrained
1 (16 ounce) can
red kidney beans , drained
1 (16 ounce) can
white kidney beans , drained
3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
3 teaspoons
2 teaspoons pepper
5 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
8 ounces

Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

He is now a BIG boy! :(

Well, it is done......Nolan is now a big fact he looks exactly like Gabriel now, which means he looks exactly like James, which means now I have 2 boys who look nothing like me!!!! lol.


I had to add this one because he looks so funny :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Also, wish me luck...tomorrow I am taking Nolan to get his hair cut!!! He is going to look like such a big boy!!! I told James not to be surprised if I cry a little bit. Ugh. But it is time because of how unruly his hair is. I will post before and after shots tomorrow :) SORRY MOM!

The rest of our weekend

Well, cleaning didnt go quite as planned....we did get a lot done like laundry and what not, but it was such a nice day that we had to get outside!! We took the kids to the park (photos below) and let Gabe bring his new soccer ball and baseball bat and he just had a blast running around and racing james around the bases. Nolan just had a great time throwing the baseball and eating dirt, he seriously just sat between the second and third bases and rolled in the dirt, ate the dirt and dug his fingers into the dirt. It definatly was hard getting them back in the car to go home.
It ended up being such a nice relaxing Saturday, we don't get many of those!

So yesterday was church, I think i learned a lot yesterday about young minds and how much our children and learning and soaking up information about the gospel. Gabe had his head in my lap while I scrached his back while there was a older gentleman talking about fasting. All of a sudden Gabe started talking about what the man was saying, about sharing (He was talking about some kids sharing their candy) And he was saying how much he loves to share. He then he was talking about he would share with Jesus. It just made me realize that when we dont think they are listening that they probubly are or at least picking up some stuff. Also during the meeting Gabe also wrote his name by himself for the very first time!!! It actually looked like his name, all the letters and everything! I am so proud of him, he is just growing so much everyday.

So as some of you know my sister lives in Hawaii and just got married to a great guy. James and I have been going back and forth about us going to go visit. James keeps telling me to go by myself and I keep trying to get him to go with me.....who wants to go to Hawaii by themselves?!?! I tried to get him to let me take Gabe since he is now at an age to enjoy it, but James doesnt want to pay for another ticket. So guess what?!?! I was telling my bestfriend Tara about this and it just clicked in my brain! So Tara and I are going to Hawaii!! It will be a nice girls trip to relax. I am so excited to go see my sister and her husband and spend time with them. It will be so much fun just laying back in the sun on the beach and going hiking (maybe?) I am a little nervous going without James, but he keeps telling me that he wants me to go.

So now that James and I have eaten all of our Valentines day chocolate and have had our share of hamburgers from Sonic it is time for us to get back to eating healthy....we pretty much go in spurts of how we eat. But it is time and we both know it....we are going to do a lowfat diet. It is going to be hard for me with my baking. I seriously go through withdrawls if I dont bake something almost everyday. I am going to have to start looking for some new recipes and if I do make something that is not low fat I am going to have to give it away (any takers?!?)

So here is a new recipe I have come across, they are very very yummy.

Blueberry Muffins (I will post pictures later tonight or tomorrow when I make them)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 pint fresh blueberries - rinsed, drained and patted dry (I have used frozen a few times also)
2 tablespoons white sugar

Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated. Crush 1/4 of the blueberries, and stir into the batter. Mix the rest of the whole blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of the flour, and fold into the batter. Scoop into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly tapped.

Here are also some pictures from this weekend :) enjoy!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spring cleaning, here we come!

Well, I guess since the sun has been shining the past 4 days straight, it must mean spring is getting closer. Today is filled with a bunch of cleaning, sorting through stuff, and getting rid of things we dont need.
I am going to attempt to get Gabe and Nolan in on this cleaning extravaganza as best I can. We are going to go through clothes, deep clean the floors, deep clean bathrooms and dust the whole house. If Nolan sleeps well during his nap, I might make James attempt the garage which is in great need of a cleaning if not a deep cleaning!!!!
So even though we have nothing on our agenda today, we are going to be soooo busy.
Last night James and I were able to go over to some friends house and enjoy company of 4 other couples, it was one of the best dinner parties I have been too. It was a candlelit dinner with some wonderful food. Everything was decorated beautifully and the conversation was really nice. We played the newly wed game and we were all laughing so hard at some of the answers. We also played name that tune to love songs. What a great time, I could keep going on and on at how much fun it was but I dont think I could explain it well enough.
Here is the recipe of the day followed by pictures for the rice pudding in the post with the rice pudding recipe down below(make sure you take a look at how easy it is!!):

These cookies are so good! They are very soft but have a nice crisp outside. Best right out of the oven while they are still warm.

Grandmas Gingersnaps

3/4 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses until well blended. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the molasses mixture to form a dough. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll the balls in the remaining sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Have a wonderful day! And wish us luck in our cleaning adventures :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

yay for Valentines day!

Today was a good day. Gabe had his very first Valentines day party at school and came home with a heap load of candy. Nolan and I went to the park and had a blast while Gabe was at school (dont tell Gabe, he would be so mad!)

I had a great meeting for Relief Society, it is amazing how we can put our heads together and come up with such amazing ideas!! We had to plan for the Relief Society Birthday and I feel that the sisters are going to be blown away at how great of a event this will be!! I absolutly love being in the Relief Society Presidency, what an amazing way to get to know and serve the sisters. I have made some great friends already.

I had my mom and grandma over tonight for dinner of chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. It turned out really good and we really enjoyed our time together. It was a great Valentines Day dinner, a nice "girls" night.

I will post pictures on how to make the rice pudding tomorrow, they are in detail.

Here is a great recipe for everyone, I found this recipe for Buttermilk pancakes and I will never make a different recipe again, these are great!! We had a bunch left over this morning so James took them into work for the guys to have.

Buttermilk pancakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together buttermilk, milk, eggs and melted butter. Keep the two mixtures separate until you are ready to cook.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. You can flick water across the surface and if it beads up and sizzles, it's ready!
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon or fork to blend. Stir until it's just blended together. Do not over stir! Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/2 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Here is some newer pictures of the family :)
Happy Valentines Day!!

Gabe and me

Nolan licking the mixer

Gabe eating his birthday cupcake :)

James and Gabe

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

my busy life

Creamy Rice Pudding
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In another saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg and raisins. Cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla. Serve warm. You can also substitue Splenda nicely

Step one: put rice, milk, sugar and salt into saucepan

Step two: after boiling until thickened add rest of milk, egg and raisens (stir fast so the egg doesnt scramble)

Step three: after stirring for 2 mintues take off burner and add vanilla and butter

Last step: sprinkle with cinnamon and eat up, really yummy while warm

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My first post!!

So after a lot of family and friends telling me to start a blog or a myspace for all the cakes and other sweet treats I make, I decided while James is on nights to start my very first blog!!

This blog will be for all the yummy things I make whether it be sweets, or actual meals. When I find a new great recipe I will post it with pictures for all to see! And when I make a new cake I will post pictures of that too. And last but not least, this blog will be for those to keep up with our busy family and see new pictures of the boys! I hope you all enjoy!

So Heather and I are getting really good at our cakes and we are starting to get a lot of people asking for them. It is so nice to do something you really love doing and seeing peoples faces when they see the outcome. We are having so much fun so far and I feel it can only go upward from here.
Here are a two we did yesterday: It was a dark chocolate cake with almond buttercream filling with a chocolate ganache on top. It was for my grandmas birthday last night (Happy birthday grandma!!)
This one we did for a friend of James' at work. His little girl turned one and wanted a pretty cake. The layers were chocolate and white cake with almond buttercream and marshmallow fondant on the outside. We did a smash cake on top for the little girl to have to herself, it was done with just iciing on top and no fondant. Heather did a beautiful sugar tiara on top which turned out so darn cute!!!
So while I am starting this blog up, it may take a while to figure things out. Thanks everyone for looking!!