Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's OFFICIAL!! We have a girl!

On December 16th, we finalized our adoption in the United States and the book is SEALED! We are officially the parents of a beautiful three year old girl!!! I must say this process has been an intense three years of labor pain. But, it has been totally worth it!!!
Posing in front of the courthouse with her 'present'
Caroline wore pink for her Embassy appointment and she wore pink for her readoption appointment!

We celebrated by going to eat breakfast and then to a local cupcake bakery!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Little Elf Magic

Percy the Elf baked this yummy cupcake for Caroline at the North Pole!! He surprised her with it on Saturday morning, which she promptly ate for breakfast! Isn't it adorable???!!!

Excuse the bedhead...we hadn't been up long!!!
Eating her cupcake for breakfast....the breakfast of champions, lol!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa Visit

We went to see Santa this weekend! The pics are acting crazy and somewhat out of order, but oh well! :) I didn't get a great picture since the elf made me stand outside of the fence to take my two personal pics. But the picture we bought turned out GREAT!

Caroline is telling Santa that she wants a 'Pizza Set' and a 'Donut Set'....both from Melissa & Doug (great toys!!) WOW! Taking pictures with and of Caroline is SUPER difficult these days! She wants to 'fake' smile, squint her eyes and be silly. All of these things I love, but not when you're sitting in the floor of a crowded mall, lol!!

My mom HATES having her pictures made, but I BEGGED her to get in the picture with us. I am going to treasure this picture one day! :)

Caroline posing with the book Santa gave her

Friday, December 3, 2010

Warm Mexican Crab Dip Recipe

I don't have a picture of this DELICOUS recipe but trust me...IT IS TO DIE FOR!!! Caroline and I love watching cooking shows and this recipe was featured on Paula Deen's. It looked rather easy and 'smelled' so good!

Warm Mexican Crab Dip Recipe
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp seeded and chopped jalapeno (I omitted this)
1/2 cup light beer
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
1 package (8 oz) pasteurized cheddar cheese
1 lb lump crab meat (I used 1/2 lb and it was fine)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
tortilla chips
In medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Stir in the beer and cook until liquid is reduce to half. Stir in the cream, cream cheese, and cheese block, whisking until melted and smooth.
Stir in crab meat, lime juice, cilantro, green onion, and chili powder and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cumin. Serve with tortilla chips!
This dip was INCREDIBLE! I omitted the jalapeno peppers since I forgot them at the store and I only used 1/2 lb of crab meat due to expenses. This dip is expensive, but well worth it for special occassions.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole Recipe

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole Recipe
1 lb ground hot pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups frozen cubed hashbrowns
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup bisquick
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
topping ingredients: picante sauce, sour cream, salsa
Cook sausage and onion in large skillet over medium high heat until meat crumbles. Stir in hashbrowns and stir for 5-7 minutes. Drain mixture on paper towels. Spoon mixture into a greased 13x9 baking dish.
Stir together eggs, cheese, and next 4 ingredients. Pour evenly over sausage mixture, stirring well. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Bake, covered with foil at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Garnish with assorted toppings.
**I saw this recipe in Southern Living and thought it sounded so good! I made it after Thanksgiving and my family enjoyed it for dinner! It did take some time, but it was well worth it. Add a bit of salt and pepper at the end though... Some fresh fruit would also be a perfect compliment to this if you decide to forget the salsa.**

Monday, November 29, 2010

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

I found this recipe in Cooking Light and thought I would try it out. It was pretty easy to make (I took some shortcuts) and it made a TON!

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
About 5 pounds of cubed, peeled sweet potatoes
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
cooking spray
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put potatoes in dutch oven, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 12 minutes until tender. Drain.
Combine half and half and next four ingredients (half and half through egg) in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into 13x9 pan that is sprayed with cooking spray.
Combine flour and sugar in food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans and sprinkle over potato mixture.
Bake covered for 15 minutes. Continue cooking uncovered for additional 25 minutes or until topping is browned and potatoes are thoroughly heated.

**I used the Ore Ida Steam and Mash Sweet Potatoes instead of peeling my potatoes and cooking them! SO MUCH EASIER! **

**Also, recipe can be easily halved for less servings**

Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Afternoon in Savannah though Caroline's Eyes

On our way home from Hilton Head, we stopped in my FAVORITE city and spent the afternoon. SAVANNAH! I would love to live there!!! Anyway, Gene had never been so Caroline and I decided to show him some of our favorite things. The majority of the photos were taken by Caroline, so I thought I would label the post "....through Caroline's eyes".

We are eating at one of our favorite restaurants in City Market...Tapas Caroline caught Papa eating some yummy She Crab Soup!!!
A snapshot of me waiting on my yummy She Crab soup!
Caroline's view of City Market...isn't it beautiful?
She remembered her carriage ride and desperately wanted to go on another one!
She said this was her 'favorite' horse
The fountains at Ellis Square. Last time we were here, it was under construction

Posing with her lollipop in front of Riverstreet Sweets
A real 'pirate' ship that we got to go on a tour...VERY cool!
Relaxing in front of the Waving Girl Statue
Caroline is telling Papa all about the history of the Waving Girl
The boat Caroline said she bought for Papa and Nana....yes, we wish! ;)
This is a REAL pumpkin sitting in front of a restaurant...couldn't help but pose with it!
I did NOT want my pic taken but when your daughter begs...You give in :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Halloween at Hilton Head Island

Caroline and I spent Halloween weekend at Hilton Head Island. I had two furlough days on that Monday and Tuesday, so we packed up and off we went. We were joined by my mom and Gene and had a GREAT time! We arrived late Friday evening so we unpacked, got some sleep and woke up early on Saturday morning. Caroline had such an awesome time and LOVED playing in the sand (her favorite thing). I got some much needed relaxation and even got to read a book! There are tons of pictures and I will post a few more of our quick stop in Savannah that Monday.

Sunrise on Saturday morning...I could totally wake up early if my view looked liked this!
Seeing the beach on Saturday morning
Looking at her new beach toys and dishing out orders!
One of my favorite photos!

Dancing for us in the sand

Posing for us while we wait to do a bit of Trick-or-Treating at the Marriott

My happy, dancing little diva

Trick or Treating at the Marriott

Caroline LOVED rolling around in the was EVERYWHERE!

Doing a bit of swimming
Completely tuckered out after a long day at the beach