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Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas from The Molzers

It's almost the new year.  Christmas is over for 2013 and yet...there's a stack of my Christmas cards, in envelopes--addressed and sealed--sitting on my desk.  I never mailed them.  Even though we didn't have any family pictures done this year and I went to the trouble of PhotoShopping our little smiling faces onto one of those "awkward family portraits" (you can see the original and other contenders here), and created a humorous card.  I wrote our Christmas letter, printing it out and gluing it to the back of each card.  I looked up all your addresses, typed out labels, printed them and put them on every envelope.  I sealed them all up and got them all ready to go...and that is as far as I got.

So, if you usually get a Christmas card from us, don't worry--I didn't forget you.  I just forgot everyone (I'm not sure which is worse, right?).  I apologize! I haven't decided if it's worth sending them out's so late...but they're all ready to go...

Well, I did decide to just post it here on the blog so everyone gets the chance to see my PhotoShop work and read the short synopsis of how our year went.

I hope each of you had a FANTASTIC Christmas with family and friends.  While we endured the stomach flu during ours, we still were blessed to enjoy the time with family.  We certainly enjoyed the number of cards we received (from those of you who were WAY more on the ball than me!) and we enjoyed our tradition of taking part in the community dinner our church provides while helping serve, as well.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us!

"Dear Friends & Family,

I hope you enjoy our crazy Christmas card this year.  We did not get any family portraits done so we decided to use Heather’s PhotoShop skills to make a silly one (no we did not dress up as toy soldiers & the boys are NOT that big).

We have had a great year!  Joe has been working hard at FedEx enabling Heather to continue to stay at home as much as possible.  Our family also enjoyed a great vacation in Seattle together as Cainan went to summer camp & the rest of us enjoyed the sites in the city.  We also began hosting a small group through our church & have so enjoyed the blessing of new, close friendships.

The boys are growing at a frightening pace!  It is actually such a joy to see them develop, mature & learn new things every day.  Both boys are learning to love the Lord & serve others—that is the greatest gift a parent can have!  Cainan decided to be baptized this summer (you can watch the video on YouTube).
Cainan is having a fantastic year in 3rd grade with a wonderful teacher! Asher has been identified as being “talented & gifted” and we are struggling to keep him engaged in school as he LOVES to learn but goes at a much quicker pace than his class.

Heather has grown tremendously in her job at FACT, providing trainings & resources to parents about Special Education.  From a terrified, shy public speaker, to someone who enjoys getting up & teaching a group about advocacy, she has come a LONG way this year!

Joe was able to take a break from school this term so his 60+ hour work weeks during the season were more manageable (how does he do it?!).  None the less, he is closing the gap on his Comupter Science degree and we’re so proud of him for working hard to accomplish this goal.

That’s the Molzers’ year in a nutshell.  Hope you all have a blessed Christmas & we hear from you in the coming year!"

Friday, October 25, 2013

Low Cal Frozen Pizza

Tonight, the boys are spending the night at a friend's house for the FIRST TIME!!!  It's also their friend's first time having overnight guests.  We both have kiddos that have specialized needs when it comes to food among other things, so they've been very eager to try and accommodate Cainan's.  Their usual Friday night is a movie night with pizza and popcorn.  That's totally doable for Cainan.  Their pizza is gluten and dairy free, which is great but it's probably not low calorie.  Cainan needs low cal so I offered to bring over a pizza for him.  Asher will be happy with whatever they're having.

Since I was going to make his pizza, opening a new jar of marinara, I just decided to make a bunch and freeze them so I didn't have a jar of marinara with just a couple of tablespoons of sauce removed and forgotten in our refrigerator.  I do this from time to time because it's easy to make a bunch at once, assembly line style and it's very handy to have a frozen pizza ready that can accommodate Cainan's calorie needs when we decide to eat pizza as a family.

Sometimes I buy the fresh dough from the grocery store, weigh out the individual portions and roll them out super thin--but this does take a lot of extra work.  This time, I had a fresh package of Light Italian Herb flavored Flatouts, so I just decided to use the whole package and make six pizzas.

The Flatouts are 90 calories.

 I weigh out the 28 g of mozzarella that equals 70 calories.  

The marinara I used is about 35 calories per pizza, then there's the toppings.  I usually load his with veggies--onions, peppers, mushrooms--but I was short on veggies currently and wasn't going to run to the store.  I still had some chopped red and green peppers in the freezer, so those went on top.  

 I use one large slice of pepperoni for each pizza cause I had just bought some from the deli, cut into 8 pieces (usually I get the Hormel turkey pepperoni that's 70 calories for 17 slices--I would only use about half that many) and I had some frozen meatballs.  I used three for all six pizzas...yes that's only half a meatball per pizza but when they're finely chopped up, they go a long way.  That ended up adding another 19 calories per pizza.  

I topped it with some grated Parmesan that adds only 20 calories for 2 teaspoons.  That means these pizzas are roughly 265 calories.  He can still have a small salad to go along with the pizza to make his average 300 calorie meal.  And with a 100 calorie bag of popcorn, he can enjoy snack with everyone as well!


Package of Flatouts wraps (6 total)
Favorite marinara or pizza sauce
Part Skim mozzarella cheese
Favorite veggies and meats to top pizza

Set oven to 400 degrees and pre-bake Flatouts on a cookie sheet or pizza stone until rigid but not browned (about 5 minutes).
Top with approximately 2 tablespoons of sauce.
Top with cheese and favorite toppings.

Lay finished pizzas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, add addition wax paper and stack pizzas as needed. 

 Freeze for several hours until toppings are set.  Pizzas can be placed in baggies or vacuum sealed once frozen.

*Note: if you are using raw meats or hard veggies that take longer to cook, pre-cook them before topping pizza.

To serve: 
Remove frozen pizza.  Place in preheated 400 degree oven and bake until cheese is melted and golden (approximately 7-10 minutes).  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jicama Mango Slaw

Apparently, Cainan’s sophisticated palate is accompanied by a desire to elaborate with staff in his school cafeteria about the meals he brings for lunch.  I’ve been asked by staff and campus monitors before about recipes for some of the lunch items he brings.  Unbeknownst to me he has offered detailed descriptions of his food, as well as offers to let them try a taste!  

Many of my tried and true recipes are on this blog but I recently had a request for the jicama mango slaw that is a particular favorite of his.  I realized I do not have that one posted!  

I originally saw this recipe on the Food Network’s Cooking for Real with Sunny Anderson.  I tweak it just slightly for our tastes but her original recipe can be found here. The slaw is super easy to make and very low in calories.

1 lime, zested and juiced     (20 cal)
3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar  (3 cal)
2 tablespoons honey  (128 cal)
Salt to taste
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced  (1 cal)
2 ripe mangos, peeled and grated     (260 cal)
1 large jicama, peeled and grated     (90 cal)

In a large bowl combine the grated mango and jicama.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, apple cider vinegar, honey, jalapeño and salt until well combined. Pour dressing over mango and jicama, and toss to combine thoroughly.  Chill for 15 minutes before serving. 
This recipes has six servings with approximately 85 calories per serving.  

Note: All calorie counts are approximate.  Using a food scale and calorie website or nutrition information on the packaging is the most precise way to measure calories.  As we know, fruit or vegetable sizes and quantities in teaspoon/tablespoon/cup measurements can be subjective.  So, do your own research and weighing if you need an exact count.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Easy Chalkboard Paint on the Cabinets

I am feeling organized today.  That doesn't always happen...okay, it happens a lot less than it should...

I have a son who thrives on organization, routine, and structure.  I try to accommodate both of our needs: his for schedule, mine for freedom and spontaneity.  Neither of us can function without some element of those complete opposites in our daily lives. 

Some time back I used some of the leftover paint we used to paint just about every surface in the house and made my own matching "chalkboard paint".  I painted two of our cabinets with it, thinking it would be a great place to leave notes, put up verses, write a menu, etc...

Today, I decided it was time to try and put some order into our extremely busy fall schedule and help Cainan have a visual that will give him some peace.  

I broke down each day of the week.  I included a verse each day that one of them is working on in Awana for the next week.  I added in their responsibilities after school, as well as the extracurriculars we have going on each day (the first three days of the week are super heavy!).  This crazy schedule will only go for the next 6-8 weeks but that's plenty!  

I also included the dinner plan for that day IF I have one.  This will help keep me a little more accountable, too when it comes to planning dinner.  Although, we love our spontaneous dinners out with the parents/friends/no-reason-except-mommy-doesn't-want-to-cook nights, too (even structured Cainan can roll with those).

If you want to make your own colored chalkboard paint, it's easy.  I used the recipe from this site:   She says to use acrylic paint but I just used our semi-gloss enamel and it worked just fine!