Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 Summer Calendar!

Our MOPS summer calendar is already filling up... we'll have plenty of options over the summer to stay in touch & keep our kids entertained & active!

Several of our ladies have offered to host playdates this summer, which is pretty much awesome. And we have some other things lined up, including a picnic at the park & a summer movie that your kiddos will love!

Also, I'm pretty sure that we'll be adding to & tweaking this schedule as the summer continues, so please keep checking back here on the blog & also our MOPS facebook page to stay updated on times, directions, etc.

Here's a list of our preplanned events, or scroll down to get a printable to hang on the fridge:

2013 MOPS Summer Calendar

  • Tues, Jun 11 - playdate at Nicci P's house, 10am
  • Tues, Jun 25 - playdate at Kelly A's house
  • Tues, Jul 9 - pool party at Margaret B's house
  • Tues, Jul 16 - morning at the movies at Amstar or Regal Cinemas
  • Tues, Jul 30 - playdate at Becca H's house
  • Tues, Aug 13 - playdate at Melissa C's house
  • Tues, Aug 27 - picnic lunch at Grace Episcopal Park

Click here to get a printable of the summer calendar.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Fruit Salad with Orange-Vanilla Syrup

Someone brought this fruit salad to our Memorial Day dinner & it was SO good. Like I seriously wanted to drink the juice with a straw. I snagged the recipe & here it is!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest & juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean (found in produce section of grocery store) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 pints strawberries, hulled & halved
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 cups green seedless grapes, halved
  • 3-4 kiwis, peeled & sliced
  • mint leaves

The Directions:

In medium saucepan, combine water, sugar & zest of orange. Cut orange in half & squeeze juice into pan. Slice vanilla bean open & scrape out "caviar" of bean (it will look like little black flecks) & add to pan. Or add vanilla extract if you're not going the bean route.

Bring mixture to boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat & simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until syrup is slightly thickened. Place syrup in fridge to cool completely.

*tip: you can make this syrup the night before if necessary

Wash & slice all fruit. Chop up mint leaves (or leave them whole for a more concentrated minty flavor) & add to fruit mixture. Gently toss with chilled syrup & serve. YUM!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Crockpot Baked Spinach & Mushroom Rigatoni

This delicious slow cooker pasta recipe was shared by Meili!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1/2 lb rigatoni
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 lb mixed mushrooms, trimmed & sliced (such as cremini, button, shiitake)
  • 2 10-oz bags frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed of excess liquid
  • 1 15-oz container ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella, grated
  • grated parmesan, for serving 

The Directions:

Break up the tomatoes & their juices in a medium bowl with your hands or potato masher. Add the oil, garlic, 3/4 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper. In a separate medium bowl, combine the uncooked rigatoni, onion & mushrooms.

Spread a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with half the pasta mixture, half the spinach, a third of the tomato mixture, half the ricotta, & half the mozzarella; repeat. Cover & cook on high until pasta is tender (about 3 1/2 to 4 hours).

Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan.

Friday, May 10, 2013

May meeting recap!

This past Thursday, we had our first meeting in our new location... wow, what a huge transition! Thank you for your patience with all the changes that MOPS is undergoing. Boulevard is so excited to be our new host church & our Steering Team is going to be hard at work throughout the summer to make sure that everything runs very smoothly!

Since our last meeting was more of an end-of-the-year wrap-up, here's a brief recap in pictures... 

Welcome to Boulevard!

MOPS moms checking in:

Brittany did our last devotion of the year:

And Abbey's last craft was a great one... everyone made a set of personalized coasters for themselves or for last-minute Mother's Day gifts!

Thanks for a great year, ladies.... & next year is going to be even better! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Here's a yummy (& fun to make) cookie recipe from Emily!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar plus extra for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Hershey's Kisses

The Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine peanut butter, sugar, eggs & vanilla. Using a teaspoon, scoop out dough & roll into a ball. Roll the dough in sugar & press a Kiss into it.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.