Happy Birthday Bud!

What's Cooking Wednesday - Mama's Cabbage Rolls

My mom makes the best cabbage rolls. I have had many rolls in my time, but I prefer my mom's hands down. They are definitley a bit finicky to prepare but worth it in my opinion.

Mama's Cabbage Roles

Cabbage Rolls

* I always freeze the cabbage prior, and soak in hot water, MUCH easier than boiling them.


1 pound lean ground beef
5 hot italian sausages (out of their skins)
3 slices of bacon (chopped fine) (I used ready cook bacon)
1 large onion (chopped fine)
2 fresh cloves of garlic
2 cups of uncooked minute rice
2 tbsp of tomato paste
salt and pepper to season
a lot of paprika (enough to cover the meat)
dash of worceshire sauce

Place all of these ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Place a small amount (about 2 tbsp) into a cabbage leaf and roll. Place seam down in a Dutch Oven.

Continue until they are all rolled. Fill the Dutch Oven with water and begin simmerring. Simmer until the water is about an inch from the bottom of the pan and add tomato juice. Keep adding tomato juice as it cooks down. You will simmer it for about 5 hours total. Add extra tomato paste if needed.

Yummm! I give this recipe 5 stars but I am biased :)


One of the things that make me happiest in life are family traditions.
I have friends that laugh a bit at how many my family seems to have, and I am sure they often wonder why they are so important to me.

Our family has a few traditions, some that have come and gone over the years, and new ones that we have started recently. The longest standing one would have to be family movie night.

Every Friday in the Hagglund home, we do Family Movie Night. This consists of pizza, and a family friendly movie, and all of us camping out in the living room to watch and eat together. After that is done, the boys get into their Pj's and go downstairs for "their" movie, and Dave and I settle in for our date movie.

I am very anal about not missing it. So much so, that we have often bypassed other opportunities and activities, but it is just one of those things that make our family, the family it is.

Even when Dave and I were seperated there for awhile, we still did FMN. It is the one constant thing in my boys lives, and so it ranks as one of the highest important things for our family.

I even made it a stipulation when the boys went to visit my sister, and my parents over the summer. They had 3 FMN's with them, and my mom was very interested in how I can eat pizza EVERY friday without getting sick of it. I live with 3 boys...what do you think??? LOL.

A newer family tradition is our family walk on Sundays at the Dog Park. This is Snoopy's time to frolic and play, and socialize with other dogs, and its a time of "Who can throw each other into the snow the most"

Its great exercise, a lot of fun, and just a really feel good, happy, family time.

Michelle and Finn have been joining us a few times, and that has been wonderful!

Here are some pics:


I know, bizzare isn't it.

Who knew that Julie could feel great? I sure didn't.

Well, ok that is exagerating. Really though, I am feeling brightly optimistic about life these days.

I think it is a culmination of many things. Stress surrounding some major issues in my life have now resolved themselves, I am eating healthier, moving more, breathing more, meeting new online friends, growing friendships with older ones, and reconnecting with my family.

I suppose you could say that I see the light at the end of the ever talked about tunnel.

So...this is me stretching out my shoulders, and trying to make the tension that has lived there for years roll away....


What's Cooking Wednesday - Deanne's Taco Soup

Here is this week's recipe!
Comes together super easy, and is incredibly delicious and filling!

Servings: 8
WW Points: 3 or 5.5 with "extras"

1 pound lean ground beef (I use extra lean)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cans of tomato soup
4 cans of water
1 1/2 cups of salsa
1/8 cup reduced sodium taco seasoning

Mix these all together and bring to a boil.

Add broken tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and 2 tsp of grated cheddar cheese as extras.

YUMMM..... 5/5 stars! Thanks Deanne :)

Deanne's Taco Soup

the dust bunny...

When Lisa was home visiting...She was so kind to be understanding of the insane amounts of dust that accumulate in my house.

There was one particular "gathering" of dirt and hair and dust that had taken up permanent residence in my hallway.

I kept meaning to sweep it up, but strangely enough, I had seemed to grow quite fond of it. Kind of like a bizzare little pet.

Lisa and I joked about it, and I promised her that I would leave it there till she comes back to visit.

So, here is a pic Lisa....look, hasn't she grown since you saw her last???


Glad for the white stuff....

While I know that most of you are enjoying the "snowless" winter, I thought I would post some of the reasons why I am thankful for it :)


I love this picture!


and even the dogs get in on it!


My first edition of "What's Cooking Wednesday"

Borrowed from my friend Shannon, I thought that with the new year, I would try this out. Not guaranteeing it will last very long though, but we will try it out!

I thought that it would be a great way to get my boys involved in the kitchen, and spend some quality family time together. We had been doing something similar, but I wanted to just stick to one day a week.

So, last night we made our first attempt!

Spinach and Cheese Frittata

Spinach and Cheese Frittata

2 large egg(s)
2 large egg white(s)
1 cup spinach, fresh, baby leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp scallion(s), finely chopped ( I used 1 1/2 tbsp of Epicure's 3 onion dip mix instead)
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
cooking spray
1/2 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used cheddar and mozz)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Beat together eggs and egg whites in large bowl. Stir in spinach, scallion, salt and pepper.

Coat a 12-inch in ovenproof, nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook 5 minutes or until partially set.

Sprinkle cheese over eggs. Bake until cheese softens and eggs firm up, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 1 minute before cutting in 8 wedges. Yields 2 pieces per serving.

This is also 4 points per serving. (I am back on my need to lose weight kick again)

Overall, I give this recipe 4/5 stars. My boys ate it, which AMAZED me!! Served it up with some bacon and toast on the side, and it was very well received.

So Success for our first attempt! Thanks for the idea Shan!


insomnia again...

It has been awhile since the big I-Monster has shown its face for me, but when he does, it is always a tough one to overcome.

It think that truthfully, I bring it on myself when I am stressed or confused, and cannot seem to find peace enough for my head and heart to slow down and allow me to sleep.

As a Christian, I have struggled with this for years. I know that I am supposed to cast away all fears, and not worry. I know that I am supposed to be able to have peace in my heavenly Father, but truthfully, I have never quite mastered that. I can sometimes, but not nearly as often as I would like.

My heart is heavy as we begin the year 2007. I have so much hope for this year. I want to believe it will be the best yet, but so far I have been saddened by goodbyes.

I think that my heart does things to protect itself on a regular basis. I think that being such an emotional person, I have had to "shut-off" where a lot of my family and friends are concerned. I keep them at a safe distance so as to allow myself to enjoy my life where I am, and not hurt at the thought of them being so far away all the time.

Unfortunatley, sometimes when I am face to face with this reality, it truly seems too much to bare. People I love with all my heart are struggling with so many things, and I feel so helpless.

One of my dearest friends lost her child at the beginning of this year. My heart is so broken for her. How can I, someone who believes in a just God, offer her any kind of hope or answers, when I myself wonder how God could allow such a horrible thing? I know that bad things happen, I know in my heart that these things can happen at any time, but it seems so useless and cruel. I am angry. I am sad. I wish I could be there for her. I wish I could make it all better. Again, I am helpless...

I do not mean for my first post of the year to be so depressing. I am hopeful for good things to come, but I also need to allow myself and others to feel the sadness of things that have come this year.

To those of you near and far, I am sorry I am not stronger. I may seem shut off sometimes, and uncaring. The truth is, I care too much. So, in case you need to hear it again, in the passing of the old, and beginning of the new. I love you...may the new year be a happy one filled with many blessings - and may we grow stronger with our trials, and build our relationships through our losses.