Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Funny Valentine ('s Day)

I have been composing this blog in my head for a long time (duh, you say, Valentine's Day was like 3 weeks ago). Trust me, this "funny Valentine's Day" will go down in Main family history...

So, after many years of attempts, I finally talked the kiddos into making their Valentines this year. Three days later, we had adoreable heart butterfly Valentines! And Mom had a lot less scrapbook paper:)

Friday night, Jason's parents offered to watch all three kiddos so we could go out on a date. Date? What's a date? So I digress, Jason and I went to one of the finest resteraunts that Columbus has to offer. There was excellent food, good conversation, and a consensus that we no longer belong in the finest resteraunt in town. I believe Jason made the observation that we are much more suited for the place that throws peanut shells on the floor!

Saturday night we met up with some friends for dinner at "Grazianos". Grazianos is the transformation of a church west wing into a quaint dining area, distictly resembling something out of Lady and the Tramp. We had an excellent time soaking up grown-up conversation and pasta.

Sunday after church was Ruby's pick for a resteraunt of her choice. (Sidenote: In 2011, one Sunday each month is go-out-to-eat-after-church-Sunday. The 12 months were divided evenly among us, with each person being allowed to choose the resteraunt 3 times.) Ruby chose the ever-classy, Pizza Hut. While we were waiting for our food, we played Heart bingo.

After lunch, we can home and played Steal-a-kiss. We played this last year for the first time and had so much fun, we had to do it again. Here's all there is to it: Take a bowl, add a bag of Hersey's kisses, give each person chopsticks, say go. Of course, the goal is to get the most kisses, but really, when there's chocolate involved, everyone wins!

This is my four year old lining all of her kissed up in a row, seperated by color. No OCD in this house:)

Monday was the actual 14th. I took this photo of all the kiddos before school. My intention was to e-mail the photo to all of the grandparents as a "Happy Valentine's Day" card. That didn't happen for awhile because...
11:30 I get a call on my cell as I'm picking Ruby up from preschool. Jason tells me that his side is hurting. He thinks it might be his apendix and if it gets any worse, he's having someone drive him to the hospital. I try to convince him that I can come to get him; if it is his apendix we centainly don't want him to be at a hospital an hour away from our home. No deal.
12:30 Jason calls the house phone. He is in transit to our house, in extreme pain. I need to have everyone ready to leave for the ER when he gets to our house by 1:00. I tell him that he is getting a stern yelling at for driving an hour in pain, once he's feeling better.
1:00 Right on time, and we are off to the ER. So, without all the details, I will tell you, that my very romantic Valentine's day involved not candlelight, but florescent light. Not a fancy evening gown, but a green hospital gown. Not champaign, but lots and lots and lots of water. Looking back now, though, I'm not sure I'd change a thing. Luckily, it was a kidney stone, not an apendix (yea!). But still, it was quite a funny Valentine('s Day)!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Heart Faces: Red

Posted by Picasa
Today I am a happy girl! I just found out that you can now go to your photos in Picasa, take them to Picnik, edit them, and then send them back to Picasa. How exciting is that?!?!
So I digress.. this "red" photo was taken of my eight year old, Eli, at the Indianapolis Children's Musuem's "Noon Year" festivities. Last year he and his sister spontaneously made confetti angels-- for which Ruby ended up in the Indianapolis Star. This year, they had to be coaxed a bit, but I think this still turned out great.
Head on over to I Heart Faces to see all the beautiful red entries. AND.. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Contest

So... it's a not so wordless Wednesday. One (above) of my family's photos is in a contest by the world's best photographer-- Jen Sherrick. The winner receives a free photo session during 2011. Please help by voting at

click on the "photo contest" header

vote for #15

If you leave a message for the photographer, you will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card to Starbucks. It's a win-win! Thanks!

Disclaimer: If this is the third time you are hearing about this contest, I apologize. I promise this is it. I will not go door to door or make phone calls;)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff

Ok, so remember on the first Tasty Tuesday I told you how much I love traditions? This is another tradition from Kotnik get-togethers... Beef Stroganoff. My Grandma Alice made this at least once or twice a year when we all had dinner. I should admit, I have never made it myself (nor will I any time soon-- definately not IC friendly!), but even reading this recipe reminds me of dinner at Grandma's!

Grandma Alice’s Beef Stroganoff—Better Homes and Gardens—1960

1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound beef sirloin; cut into ¼ inch wide strips
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (or 3 oz can)
½ cup chopped onion (or 1 tablespoon minced dried onion)
1 clove garlic, minced or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ¼ cup beef stock or 1 can condensed beef broth
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons cooking sherry

Combine flour and salt; dredge meat in mixture. Heat skillet, then add butter. When melted, add the sirloin strips and brown quickly, flipping meat to turn all sides. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic; cook 3 or 4 minutes till onion is barely tender.

Remove the meat and mushrooms from the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan drippings; when melted, add in 3 tablespoons flour. Add the tomato paste. Now slowly pour in cold meat stock—cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens—no lumps!

Return browned meat and mushrooms to skillet. Stir in sour cream and sherry; heat briefly.
Serve with parsleyed rice, noodles or pilaf. For serving or cook-at-the-table drama, use chafing dish or electric skillet. 4- 5 servings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Heart Faces: Heart

Posted by Picasa
This week's iheartfaces photo challenge is "Hearts". Although this is a very literal translations, I really love this photo taken last year of my two sweethearts to send to grandparents. To me, there is something hauntingly beautiful about Ruby's eyes. It doesn't hurt that they're also sitting smack-dab next to each other and not fighting! LOL.
Head on over to iheartfaces to see all of this week's entries. I'm sure you'll heart them too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Grandma's Cheese Ball

Posted by Picasa
I am a sucker for several things. One would be family traditions, another would be recipes, a third, would be cheese! YUM!
I found this cheese ball recipe, written in my Grandma Alice's handwriting, right before our Kotnik family Christmas gathering. Because I am following an IC friendly diet, I have made some adaptations, but this is still the yummiest cheese ball I have ever had. It also is super simple to make (seriously, I can't believe I ever purchased a cheese ball!). Without further rambling, here it is...
Cheese Ball
1 pound white American cheese, torn into pieces
8 oz regular cream cheese (not low fat!)
1/2 stick butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (if you can tolerate)
crushed almonds
Mix first 5 ingredients and shape into ball (I use my Kitchen Aid, but it could be done by hand as well). Roll in crushed almonds. *The original recipe calls for for 1/2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce. If you are not following an IC diet, feel free to include it.*