Monday, April 29, 2013

Brown Mountain Cake...

Saturday wee rushed home after the "Fight for Air Walk" and had to get some Desserts made for the Scout/YW's Auction Dinner. 

We decided to go with a Brown Mountain Cake, which is one of our family favorites.  YUMMY
Brown Mountain Cake...YUM!!
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Sift together flour, soda, salt and Cocoa.

Add alternating with buttermilk to cream mixture.  Stir in vanilla and warm water.

Pour batter into lightly greased and floured pans. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

After cakes cool on rack, frost.  Can you say "So So GOOD"


1 cup butter                                                   2 cups sugar
3 eggs                                                            3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda                                          1/2 tsp salt
3 tlb cocoa                                                    1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla                                                  1/2 cup warm milk
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Sift together flour, soda, salt and cocoa, add alternating with buttermilk to creamed mixture.  Stir in vanilla and warm water.  Pour into lightly greased and floured pans.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Cool cake on rack.  Good with Homemade Chocolate frosting.
NOTE:   You can also use milk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar if you don't have any buttermilk.  Works good!
3/4 cup Cocoa                                                6 tlb butter
2 2/3 cups powder sugar                                5 to 6 tlb milk
1 tsp vanilla
Combine cocoa and sugar in bowl.  Cream butter with 1/2 cocoa mixture in small bowl.  Add remaining cocoa mixture alternately with milk beating to spreading consistency.  Blend in vanilla.
Makes 2 cups.   SUPER GOOD!!! 

Saturday is a SPECIAL DAY...

...Its the day we get ready for Sunday...RIGHT?

Well after all the craziness we do!

Saturday was truly packed full of fun and business!

Our day started out early with the "FIGHT FOR AIR" 5K Walk.  This was our 4th year being on "TEAM SYD'A" with our close friends the Degraffs.  Our team was put together in support of Sydnie, the youngest DeGraff who suffers from sever asthma.  We started out as a small team and now we've grown to over 50 members! 

Its a totally fun filled family event starting at 8a.m in Scottdale!  So that means we head out to get there at 7a.m...yes that's in the morning on a Saturday, when you are suppose to sleep in...NOT FOR OUR FAMILY!! 

Our team has always been a little CRAZY at the walks!  We try and make it all about our families that day!

The best part of the walk is the END...FREE PANCAKE BREAKFAST and the WATER FIGHT (the water fight isn't part of the walk...its just trouble that our families like to get into)
This years water fight was started by Seth (the little booger). But when you try and be sneaky, guess what...YOU GET SOAKED!!  Everyone gained up on Seth and the kid looked like a drowned rat!  It was FUN!!!

These two share a has something to do with being born on the 17th of Dec
Seth was trying to get Teresa, but I think Teresa got Seth!!
Seth you shouldn't sneak up on Teresa!
Erics first walk!

Seth LOVES pushing Eric
The Gassaways were getting into the walk...and so was DJ!
DJ, Eric, Craig, Cayla, Teresa and Austin
Everyone enjoyed playing with Eric while eating pancakes
My three boogers and our newest booger!

The Gassaways joined the team last year
Josh getting a fast drink during the water fight
Seth started this fight!
Seth tried to get his dad wet...I don't think it turned out too well for him.

The water is dripping off his head!

WOW Brenna is getting Seth good!

Hes a drowned RAT!
Josh is after Brenna!

The after effects of the water fight!

Caylas little family!

Our family after the walk...Seth was so wet he had to change...can you see him!

Brenna, Syd'a, Masie and Seth

Ryan was just as sneaky as Seth was at the walk...maybe it has something to do with the fact that they were both born on the same date!

DJ got Brenna

After the walk was over we had to drop Seth off at his grandparents so grandpa and Seth could go to the movies...Now isn't Seth just special!

Then the other race was one...we rushed home and got ready for the next BIG EVENT!!  We got home around 1:30ish and the COOKING BEGAN!

Saturday night was the youths spaghetti dinner/auction and we needed to get some desserts made for the auction.

Nothing like rushing to bake a double decker chocolate cake and 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes!  But we did it while trashing the kitchen...WHOOWHO it mess time!!  (I'll post pics and the recipe on another post for everyone)

Once at the dinner, DJ and I made sure we sate at the table Joshua was serving at!  Trust me, we made him work for his tip that night! 

It was nice to finally get home that night and sit down for more than 5 minutes. 

If Saturday is the day we get ready for Sunday - well we were busy at every task we did so we should be set...RIGHT?

Monday, April 22, 2013




Everyone knows that the Hansen's just love our SOUP!! 

We take SOUP pretty seriously in our family! 

So much so that we have SOUP NIGHTS A LOT!!

There's the traditional Stew and Hocus Pocus Movie Night at Halloween time (we've been doing this since Cayla was a baby - WOW that's along time).  Then of course the first SOUP of the cold season (cuz everyone who lives in AZ knows its not cold at Halloween time), Rainy day SOUP, Sick Day SOUP (which we just had again last week)...
...There really doesn't need to be a reason in our family to have soup!  We just LOVE SOUP!!
But last year we started a new tradition with our extended new family...THE BIG SOUP NIGHT!!  Can we say heaven on earth!! 

See Cayla got married and created our new extended family with the Gassaways!!  Whoowho!!  We love them to death and really didn't want to only see them during the holidays or birthdays, so that's how the BIG SOUP NIGHT came to be with the Gassaways!  (We've done soup nights with other families but this one will keep going and going...we hope)
So I make about 5 different SOUPS each year and the Gassaways and their grandparents (who also come to our little get together) each bring a pot of SOUP each!  And then we eat SOUP all night long, play games, visit and eat MORE SOUP!! 
What a fun night of SOUP!! 
Enjoy some of the recipes from this year...
Zuppa Toscana  (from Steak N Potatoes Kinda Gurl)
(I've changed up their recipe a little)
9 slices of bacon, diced (Turkey bacon works also)
1 lb ground sweet Italian sausage
1 large red or yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken stock
3 to 6 cups russet potatoes, cubed  (depends on your taste)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups kale, washed and cut into bite size pieces
about 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream (may need a little more or less)
Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
In a large pot, cook bacon until crispy. Drain the grease.  Add the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks.  Once sausage is browned and crumbled, remove sausage and drain off grease leaving a tbsp. to sauté the onion. 
Add the onion to the pan; sauté until translucent; add garlic; sauté until fragrant.  Add the bacon and sausage back into pot. 
Stir in the stock and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Add kale and heavy whipping cream.  Bring to a simmer.  Top with Parmesan when serving.
Mushroom Barley Soup (from Taste of Home)
1 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4 cubes
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup diced carrots (I usually added more)
1/2 cup sliced celery (I usually added more)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can never have too many so add more)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup medium pearl barely
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
In a dutch oven brown meat in oil.  Remove meat with slotted spoon and set aside.  Sauté onion, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, garlic, and thyme; cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add broths, water and barley, salt and pepper.
Return meat to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the barley and meat are tender.
Tortellini Soup
3 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 medium celery stalks, chopped fine  
4 medium carrots, chopped fine
1 small onion chopped
3 cans for chicken broth and 3 cans of water (if using your own broth make sure to use equal amounts of water and broth)
1 20oz of fresh cheese filled tortellini (can also use chicken and mix and match)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp of ground nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in  Dutch oven over medium-low heat.  Cover and simmer garlic, celery, carrots and onion in butter for 10 minutes. 
Stir in broth and water.  Heat to boiling.
Gently put in fresh tortellini.  When the tortellini floats to the surface, about 6 to 8 minutes stir in pepper and nutmeg.  Cover and simmer about 10 more minutes.
Serve in bowls sprinkle each with parmesan cheese.
Stuffed Cabbage Stoup (from Food network-Rachael Ray)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup of long grain rice 
1 quart plus 2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (can use turkey, beef)
2 tsp of Garlic Mesquite Grill
(or you can use 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 1/2 tsp coriander)
1/2 tsp allspice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, thinly sliced
3/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced (I use the whole cabbage)
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato sauce
Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat with 2 turns of the pan of olive oil.  Add the rice and toss to coat in oil.  Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bring up to a simmer, cover and cook for 16 to 18 minutes unitl rice is tender. 
Heat a deep pot over medium high heat.  Add the remaining olive oil, once hot add meat and begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Season the meat with allspice, salt, pepper, mesquite (coriander/paprika).  Add onions garlic and carrots.  Cook veggies 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften them, then add cabbage and wilt it down a bit.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and remaining stock and cover the pot.  Raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Once the rice is cooked, spoon some in a bowl and pour soup over the top. 

Crafty week...

Last week was a very busy crafting week for me... 

There was a lot of simple crafts to get done in a short amount of time!!

First up was Seth's play!
Seth was playing the wizard in "Munchkin Mediation". 
It was a play the Jr. Drama Club got to perform at the High School and Seth (if I do say so myself) was AMAZING...he even sang a solo! 
I think we found something he really enjoys!  Bout time if you ask me! 
But that brought me to my first and second crafts! 

What do you give a boy in a show?!?
You give girls flowers and balloons,
 I gave my kid BUCKETS and BOUQUETS of CANDY...
What an AWESOME MOM I my kid all this sugar!!
 Next was what to give the teachers (directors), because again, I didn't want to give flowers and one of them was a man...hummmm, well you can NEVER go wrong with chocolate in my book!

It was very easy to put these together...all you needed was:
Paper, stamps, ink, tape, paper cutter and ribbon
As soon as I got these together it was back to stamping for my monthly "Card Club".
I've always loved stamping and making cards and this way I get to make cards and visit with friends every month...the catch:  you have to make ten of the same card!
Well, I missed last month and we were doing two sets last month.  That's 20 cards, plus this month, so that's 30 was a busy stamping week!


Can I just say I love stampin!!  Its so much fun, I think the hardest part for me is coming up with the ideas, but once I have them...I'm off!