Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MOPS Meeting, October 21st

Yes, It's that time again! We are having our second meeting of this month on Thursday the 21st from 9 - 11:30! We will be having our Second Annual Clothing Exchange (OK, so its the first clothing exchange...last year we did the we expanded it a bit! Yea!) Please bring any clothing, coats, shoes, etc...that is in GOOD condition (We are not the dump!) Make sure everything is clean. You can bring adult, child, baby - whatever you want. We will have a rotation set up so it is fair for everyone to "shop" Anything left at the end of the day will be hauled off by the Lodi House Thrift Store. This is a win-win-win! YOU get rid of stuff that you don't want. YOU get to shop in a comfortable environment. We get to DONATE to a worthy cause when all is said and done! How awesome is that?!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mom's Night Out!

Remember those teenage sleepovers with too many sweets and lots of laughter? Let's relive those glory days and have a Game Night at Aimee Ritchie's house! Bring your favorite game and snack to share and get ready to make some new memories! The fun starts at 7 on Thursday, October 28th! See the Lodi MOPS Meetup to RSVP and get the address!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

5 Things Every Smart House Needs!

1. A world map, posted on the wall for easy access. Name a country and see who can find it first.
2. A good dictionary. Choose an unusual word, have family make up definitions. Vote on the most convincing one!
3. A jigsaw puzzle table. Puzzles build visualization skills as well as memory and pattern recognition.
4. A brain-boosting library. Stock it with books of crossword puzzles, mazes, and brainteasers.
5. A domino set. Playing this game reinforces number skills and then create and knock-em-down to enhance creative thinking!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Impact Sports Playdate!

On Tuesday, October 26 at 10:00 a.m. we are having a MOPS playdate at Impact Sports in Lodi! The cost is $5 for children ages 3 and up. There is lots of room for them to run and play while mom's chat...or even join in with them! If you are looking for something to do to get ya out of the house, this might just be what you're looking for! Go to the Lodi MOPS Meetup to RSVP!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


...that in order to clean out your dishwasher, all you need is some baking soda and a little time? I just saw this somewhere (I have no idea where) but I tried it and it works! At the stores they are selling Dishwasher Cleaner that you put in your dishwasher and it cleans your dishwasher of all the icky stuff that can build up. Try This - turn on your empty dishwasher for like, 30 seconds. Dump in at least half a box of baking soda. I used the box I planned on replacing for baking. Let it sit overnite - or as in my case, all day. Run dishwasher. Go ahead and use the light wash setting, and turn off the dryer to save energy. There is nothing to dry. I was amazed at how clean it got it! I hope it makes a difference in how it runs!

Swap out Pricey Ingredients....

Have you ever looked at a recipe and chose not to make it because you didn't have that ONE ingrediant on hand? Here are some quick replacements to use in your cooking so you can experiment and not go broke buying items you just may not use again!

Use this.... Instead of this....
Red wine--- Pure cranberry juice
White wine--- White grape juice or apple juice
Mascarpone--- Cream cheese mixed with a bit of heavy cream
Buttermilk (1 cup)--- 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
Creme fraiche (1 cup)--- 1/2 cup sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup heavy cream
Maple syrup--- Brown sugar with a little water
Molasses--- Honey
Cake flour (1 cup)--- 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Macadamia nuts--- Walnuts, almonds or cashews
Fresh herbs (1 Tbsp)--- Dried herbs (1 tsp)
Allspice (1 Tbsp)--- 1 tsp ea cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
Unsweetened chocolate (1 oz)--- 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Black Bean Burgers

These burgers are great served on whole wheat buns with fresh lettuce, tomato, onion and avocado added. Obviously you can add what you want, but for a "Meatless Monday" they are definately easy and economical (Like, $.70 each!)

1. Preheat oven to 375; Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.

2. Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add 1 stalk chopped celery and 1 yellow onion, finely chopped. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 clove minced garlic and saute 1 minute more. (*I added 1/2 red bell pepper, diced, to this saute - yummy!)

3. Drain 1 can black beans and rinse. In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste. Add celery mixture, 1 large egg, 1 Tbsp. cumin, 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Form into 4 patties and bake on baking sheet until firm and set...about 10 minutes on each side.

5. Put on buns with your favorite toppings and serve with green salad or french fries!