Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Bed

I found another great deal on Craigslist! A matching pair of twin beds for the girls.
They are cherry wood, and in great condition. They wanted $75.00 a piece, but I offered them $20 for each. So $40.00 later, the girls have bed frames!

Madison is already sleeping in her bed. We are waiting for Alexa to finish potty training, and then she gets her big girl bed. I was going to paint them white, but they are in such good condition, I might put that off for awhile.

Check them out...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I almost forgot

Sorry Mom and Dad, I kinda forgot your anniversary today. In honor of your 32 years of happily ever after, I will post some pictures of the cutest grandkids ever. Happy Anniversary! LOVE YA BOTH!

Check out those teeth on Peanut! She still only has the two bottom ones, but I can see the two top ones just about to cut through.

Here is Little Miss getting ready for dance.

And last but not least the many moods of Miss Lexa Loo

Monday, February 22, 2010

It's a new week!

Monday! I love Mondays! Little Miss is off to preschool and I am home with her sisters. Trying to get a jump-start on the week. Lots of stuff to do as always.

I'm making Chicken Marsala for MJ and the girls tonight. It's really easy, and it sounds impressive. That is why I like it so much. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Marsala

¼ c flour
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves- pounded ¼ in thick
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp olive oil
1 c sliced mushrooms
½ c marsala wine
¼ c cooking sherry
In a shallow dish mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and oregano. Coat the chicken in flour mixture. In a large skillet melt butter and oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.
*Update, MJ is having dinner out with some "work" peeps. I'll save this till Tuesday. I guess it's a Taco Monday tonight!*

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Still no sweets

I made it through the first week of Lent without sweets!

(insert hallelujha chorus here)

MJ was so kind to point out that it was really only a half week, because it started on Wednesday, but it felt like a week, so that's what I'm sticking to.

I did some research, (if making MJ call his father, counts as research) and I found out that Lent is 47 days. but you don't have to fast on Sundays. So my first thought was "Bring on Sunday. Get ready oven we're baking today"!

Then my MJ, who has given up coffee this year, decides that he's not going to "cheat" on Sundays, and has no coffee all weekend. Mind you, his parents just sent us a big bag of coffee beans from Hawaii. I know it's going to be great! I really want to have some, but I can't even bring myself to make a pot of coffee while he's home. Anyway, back to my Sunday full of sweets, I felt pressured, and weak, I really wanted to make cookies, but I didn't. No cheating here in this house.

Is it Easter yet?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Two things you should know about Lent this year

#1: Easter is late. That means it is 47 days without sweets, not 40.

#2: Contrary to my husband's beliefs, I have not given up laundry for lent, although it has crossed my mind.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Season of Lent

Today is the first day of Lent, and for some unknown reason, I have decided to participate. (Ok, I know why I'm participating, I get the giving it up for God, I just think this time, I might be crazy!)
Growing up I can't remember my family giving up anything, or even eating fish on Fridays. I guess the Midwest Christian Reformed people just leave that one for the Catholics.
The first year MJ and I were married; I tried to do the no meat on Friday thing for him, since he grew up a good catholic boy and all. Well, let's just say, I failed miserably. The first week I made a side dish that had bacon in it, and the second week, I made a salad with bacon bits. (Who knew bacon was part of the meat food group) Turns out bacon bits do not contain bacon, so technically I was ok that week, but you get my point. Turns out it's something I really have to think about.

Now to figure out what I am going to give up. I was going to play it safe and give up alcohol. I have practically been pregnant or nursing for the past 5 years, so not a huge sacrifice. I knew I wouldn't fail, but it kind of felt like cheating. Then MJ suggested the laptop, which I immediately shot down. I need connections to the outside world! Little did I know, the cord would break that night, and the darn thing won't stay powered on. So I felt like that would be cheating. Our friends' whole family is doing no sweets. I laughed that one off. I can't live without them. 40 days is a long time!
Can you tell I'm having a hard time coming up with something?

So guess what I'm giving up for Lent?


Wish me luck!

Just incase you are worried about my health, I'm fine. Turns out I'm allergic to Keflex. I just need to take some Benadryl tonight, and it should clear it up. I knew I should have made those lava cakes last night.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Fat Tuesday.

Tonight Mr. MJ is making dinner. We are having a little Jambalaya in celebration of Fat Tuesday. I was going to make the most wonderful "Little Lava Cakes" again, because they are mmm...mmm...good, but I am suffering from a swollen tongue and swollen glands, so I am just taking it easy tonight. Here is the recipe just incase you want to make them.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

• 4 pieces (squares) Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
• ½ cups Butter
• 1 cup Powdered Sugar
• 2 whole Eggs
• 2 whole Egg Yolks
• 6 Tablespoons Flour
• 2 cups Real Whipping Cream (seriously It's So Much Better!!!)
• 2 Tablespoons Sugar

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray 4 custard cups with Pam and place on cookie sheet. (This is really important!)
Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is also melted.
Stir in sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour.
Divide between cups.
Bake 13-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
Combine sugar and heavy cream and whip until stiff.
Invert cakes on dishes and top with whipped cream.

I got this recipe from Tasty Kitchen. You can find it on

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Presidents Day!

It is Monday today, but it still feels like Friday. Little missy has no preschool, due to the holiday, so we are all hanging out at home. I think we need to get out today and go do something. I need to go visit the craft store and look into getting a poster framed for our bedroom. Maybe while we are there we can look into a little craft for the girls. I am not a very crafty person, but for my children I am trying to be.

I made my favorite chicken salad for lunch on Saturday. Here is the recipe:
First put on a big pot of water to boil. Add in a bullion cube for a little flavor. When the water boils add 2 or three chicken breasts. Let them cook for 15-20 minutes. (You can use any type of cooked chicken. I find this the easiest method when you don't have a rotisserie chicken, and you just want to whip up a quick lunch.) Once chicken is cooked thoroughly, dice chicken and add to bowl.
Here are the rest of the players... sliced red grapes, chopped pecans, diced apples and diced celery.

Throw these into your bowl with the cooked chicken.
Next, add in some mayo (not miracle whip, that's gross), honey mustard, salt, and pepper.
I usually just eyeball this part. *Note, in the above picture, there was not enough mayo. After stirring it up I added another big scoop* I would guesstimate (is that a word) about 1/2 cup mayo and 2 tbsp honey mustard. Salt and pepper to taste. I like to start on the shy side, then taste, and adjust as I go.
Here is what it should look like when finished.

If I was serving this to guests it would come on a bed of lettuce with a piece of parmesan toast. MJ likes to put this on bread with a slice of cheese. I think it is best just out of the bowl, but eat it however you please. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Today is a day all about LOVE so I am going to write down some of the things I love.
my three girls
friends that are only a phone call away
my gimpy dog
jeans that fit just right
summer nights
cozy blankets from pottery barn
bonfires in Iowa (sorry Jersey, but lighting a fire pit in your backyard just doesnt measure up)
a good book
MJ's hamburgers
the softest puppy dogs ears
shopping with my sister
homemade cookies
sunday afternoon naps
smell of coffee in the morning
floating down a river
riding on the back of MJ's bike

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day Dinner

Since MJ is so good to me, I made him something special for dinner tonight. I know we are a day early but it just works better for us to do it on Saturday. He mentioned a few days ago that our oldest asked what steak was. I guess we don't eat steak here very often. So steak it is for Valentines Dinner.

I made Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce, Crash Hot Potatoes, Spinach Salad with warm Bacon Dressing, and Rosemary Rolls. All of this came from The Pioneer Woman's website. Just look for a cooking post called Marlboro Man's Birthday.

I was going to take lots of pictures to post here but time ran away from me and we ate it all. It was soooo good! We are definitely eating more steak around here now. I forgot how much I like it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A new name needed

I need a new name for this little blog. You see, Haley doesn't cook all that often. MJ made us some chili yesterday. It was delicious as usual, and we have enough for leftovers tonight!

With all the snow here (another 8-10 inches), we were trapped in the house all day. There is no preschool for the rest of the week, and no school Monday, due to Presidents Day. So we are all home until Tuesday. Send help soon!

The girls and I are going make some cookies to share with our neighbors today. They were kind enough to help MJ shovel out this morning. We have awesome neighbors!

We are going to make Fudge Crinkles! They are so easy, even a five year old can do it. Here is the recipe:

Fudge Crinkles
1 box devil's food cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
confectioners sugar, for rolling

Heat oven to 350. Stir cake mix, oil, and eggs together by hand. Roll into 1 inch balls. Roll balls into sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes. (Use Betty Crocker Super Moist Devil's Food Cake if you have a choice. I made two batches, one with Betty and one with Pillsbury, and Betty's Crinkles were much better. If you do use the other ones, try adding just a bit more oil. They just didn't spread out as pretty. Both taste fine.)

So I changed the name of the blog from "Haley Cooks" to "Haley and Girls". This fits a little better. I may change it twenty more times or I may give up on this writing thing all together.

*Notice to those who try these with children* Five year olds can keep the little balls in perfect shape while rolling in sugar. Two year olds can't!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Unfinished Business

This is my life some most days. I never used to be like this. (Did I?) A ball of half done ideas, projects, tasks. All started, non complete. I have been known to rip into major home improvements on a whim. Forget loads of laundry in the washing machine. Hell, I rarely serve a complete dinner. Just ask MJ. Meat... check, Starch... check, Vegetable... I need a vegetable every night? See what I mean.
I used to blame it on being pregnant, or at least my out of whack hormones. I've been pregnant or breast feeding for what feels like the past 5 years, so it seems like a reasonable excuse right? Or maybe the television really does rot your brain? Lord knows I have seen enough Disney Channel for one lifetime. I am trying to be more aware of myself, and over the past few weeks, I have noticed this more and more. So tonight, I made dinner, and I even remembered the veggies! One step in the right direction.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sweet Something

I may have mentioned that I am a huge fan of sweets. I need to have a little sugar after each meal. Yep. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner! A little sweet something needs to follow each of them. We were running low on the good stuff, so the girls and I whipped out a batch of Blonde Brownies tonight. Yum! These hit the spot and will work perfectly for snack day at preschool tomorrow.

Here is the recipe if you want to try them out:

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pan Cookie
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. You can also use a 9x13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Now lets hope I don't eat all of them before preschool.

Monday Monday

So I started off thinking that this day was going to be a long snow day since most public schools are delayed because of snow here, but fortunately, little missy's preschool decided to remain open! Doing the happy dance!
However, this is only because they are afraid we will have another snow day on Wednesday. Yep that's right, 10-18 more inches of snow. We already have 26 inches. Please let the weatherman be wrong. New Jersey can't handle more snow, and I'm almost out of hot chocolate!  Check out some other pictures from our snow storm. I am sure I will post more pictures later this week if we get more snow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our SuperBowl Playbook

This year's super bowl game is not a huge event at the Jordan house. Now had our J..E..T..S... Jets, Jets, Jets beaten those pesky Colts (sorry Mom), it would be a different story, but alas, we are just hanging at home.

Here is what our game time menu looks like:
Guacamole & Queso
Take 2 Avocados and mash with fork. Add juice from 1 lime, finely diced red onion, finely diced roma tomato, minced garlic, cilantro, and a little garlic salt to taste. Mix well. Store this in the fridge with a pit from the avocado to prevent browning.  The queso came out of a jar. When I don't have the jarred stuff, I just warm up some Velveeta and mix in some Rotel. Easy Peasy

Ceviche (this is all MJ)
I don't know the exact recipe, but he is making a fruit based one, and a vegetable based one. The fruit one has tuna, shrimp, mango, pineapple, cantaloupe, red onion, and cilantro marinated in lime and orange juice.
The vegetable one has tuna, shrimp, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, and cilantro marinated in lime juice.

Taco Dip
So easy. Mix one packet of taco seasoning with 8oz softened cream cheese. Spread on a plate and top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and black onions. Serve with tortilla chips.

Something Sweet (tbd)
I got lazy, so I just threw in some store bought cookie dough in the oven.

Maybe we will have a baking day sometime this week. We are running low on sweets. This is a tragedy in the Jordan house. This mom loves her sweets.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

For a Cold Winter's Day

Well the weatherman wasn't joking when he said more snow was headed our way. It started yesterday at about 8pm and I don't think it stopped until 4 this afternoon. Needless to say we got quite a bit of snow. Like over two feet (yes, I said FEET). I think the actual total was just over 26 or 27 inches.
This left us trapped in the house most of the day, but we did get some work done!

If you are looking for a delicious soup to warm you up after playing shoveling snow all day, try this one.

Crab Bisque
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 stalk celery, diced fine
4 tbl butter
4 tbl flour
4 c milk
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp old bay (seafood seasoning)
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1 bay leaf
4-5 shakes Worcestershire Sauce
hot sauce (to taste)
2 tbl cooking sherry
1 pint whipping cream
2 tbls parsley, chopped
1 lb crabmeat

Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat, add onions and celery and cook until translucent. Stir in flour to make a roux. Slowly add milk until well blended. While stirring constantly, add cheese and tomato sauce, cook until mixture thickens. Reduce heat and add seasonings, sherry, cream, and parsley. When mixture is heated thoroughly, add crabmeat and stir gently to keep lumps intact. Enjoy.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Feels like home

The other day I was a little hungry and homesick. I knew just what to make. (Besides I had about 6 different boxes of cereal open with no place to store them.) So off I went to make Grandma Steenhoek's Gorp.
(warning... I have been told, by my East coast husband, that this is not gorp, but that is what I have called it for 20 some years, so that is what I will continue to call it. Feel free to call is something else if it makes you feel better.)

Here's what you willl need:
1 stick of butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white karo syrup, 1/4 tsp. baking soda
10 cups creal (Crispix and Cheerios)
First measure your cereal into a large pan. I use one of those flimsy turkey roasters. Use what you have

Melt one stick of butter in a sauce pan.

Add brown sugar and karo syrup.
bring this to a boil for 3 minutes.

Then turn off heat and add baking soda. Stir this briskly together

Pour this over the cereal and stir gently to coat

Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes.

mmm. This is a great comfort munchie for me.

Store it tightly covered to keep it fresh.

This reminds me of my auntie Marge everytime I make it. She always served this for The Red Lollipop's Tour of Stores. Some many good memories of her and that store! Man I miss those cute clothes.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Today is going to be a good day

Good Morning Everyone! My husband left me some coffee, so all is well with the world. Now if I could just gather some motivation to get some things done around the house. Here is a list of things I should be doing today:

Tackle my mountain of dishes
Wash everyone's sheets
Thank you sent
Steam Clean Carpets
Freecycle stuff
Clean Coffee Pot
Taxes in order

I am sure there is much more to do, but I'll start there. I hope you get some things crossed off your to do list today as well!
I am going to update later and let you know how I did. Wish me luck!

*update* I got a few things done (like the vacuuming, the sheets, and the dishes), but not even close to everything. Note to self, only pick a few things to tackle in one day. Then you might feel like you have accomplished something.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Drowning in snot

Have I mentioned that all of my girls have colds? My oldest is off to school today for the first time this week. My two youngest are still too little to take any medicine to dry up their noses. The baby hasn't eaten in two days (only wants milk) and has a nasty croupy cough. For these reasons she refuses to sleep at night for more than two hours at a time. If you need me, I will be wiping noses and getting covered in snot. Happy Wednesday to you all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Welcome to Haley Cooks

Welcome to Haley Cooks. Hopefully one of these days I will share a recipe with all of you! Hope you enjoy following along as I make old favorites and try finding new ones. You will also have to put up with me posting about my family (mostly my 3 little chicks) as they are what my world revoles around. Thanks for listening! Enjoy