Welcome! Are you new here? You can subscribe to my RSS feed or Subscribe to Four Generations One Roof by Email

Author Archive | Jessica Bruno

Jessica Bruno

We are a crew of four generations all living together under one roof. We share our
Do-It-Yourself renovations, project tutorials, room makevers and bits of what life is like living together under one roof. Could you live with multiple generations?

Find more about us on:

Here are my most recent posts

Gram’s Delicious Clam Chowder {crock pot}

My grandmother use to do a ton of cooking. Not so much anymore but she still has all of her recipes. She prefers to bake now instead of preparing large full course meals. We made a delicious clam chowder a couple days ago in the crockpot and it was perfect! We have been eating a lot of stews, soups and crock pot meals lately mostly because it’s freezing cold here in Massachusetts and there is nothing better than a house that smells so good all day long as the dinner cooks.

Delicious New England Clam Chowder

Gram’s Delicious Clam Chowder {crock pot}

Ingredients

  • 4 (6 ounce) cans minced clams
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 carrot, grated
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Drain the clams and save the clam juice.
  • Add all ingredients into the crock pot (except the clams) and cook for 4 to 5 hours on high. I usually add the clams in at the 3rd hour. I have also added them in the beginning if I am not going to be home all day and they taste fine!
  • Cook on high: 4 to 5 hours or until potatoes are tender
  • TIP: if you prefer a thicker broth (I do) use corn starch to thicken. Follow directions as noted on box.

We could eat clam chowder every week that is how popular it is in our home. It’s perfect for dinner or lunch the day after. My grandfather and dad love the idea of corn in the chowder so that is what we do ;). If you love seafood, try our seafood chowder recipe, it’s amazing! Be sure to check out our latest recipes over at “our kitchen” page.

First Colonoscopy + FODMAP Diet {lets talk about poop!}

This is an off topic discussion today so I apologize if you are stopping by to see DIY or Family stuff. I am sure talking about my poop and a colonoscopy isn’t that appealing! ha. However, I think it’s a discussion that probably is beneficial to all of us whether it be now or down the road. A Colonoscopy is an important way to check for colon cancer and to treat colon polyps. Polyps are abnormal growths on the inside lining of the intestine and both of my parents have had polyps removed at every colonoscopy they have had since they turned 40. I do have a family history of colon cancer so that is why I am starting early with preventative measures. My stomach has been an issue since I was a kid. I have always been told I have IBS and basically what that means, is I have an intestinal disorder causing pain in the belly which leads to gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

Well aren’t you glad I shared that?

One thing I have learned from blogging, as your blog grows, you end up having a voice that reaches thousands, if not millions of people and this topic is a no brainer when it comes to spreading awareness.  I am here to tell you that the procedure is an absolute piece of cake. There is nothing to worry about. In fact, you are sedated and will remember nothing. Can I just tell you how cool it was to look at the clock and it said 10:45am and I woke up 30 minutes later to see 11:15? I was so HAPPY! haha. You feel and see nothing. So if you are worried about it, STOP. The prep the day before though is the worst part. You basically cleanse your system with a salty (not so good tasting) drink. I was thrilled with how flat and unbloated my stomach was though once I was done ;). ha

colonoscopy polyps

The image above, courtesy of Dana Farber, shows what a polyp looks like in your colon. The goal is to have none and if you do, get them out right then and there. The doctor basically inserts a tiny tube that goes inside and looks for any abnormalities such as polyps, ulcers ect. I am happy to report that I didn’t have any polyps and everything looked good. He did take a couple biopsy’s of skin tissue to test for Celiac, Crohn’s  disease and a few other things. I should have those results back early next week. In the meantime, he suggested I go on a FODMAP diet for a couple weeks to see how my stomach feels after eating foods that are low in FODMAPS. Yes, that is a scary sounding acronym, deriving from Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols.

What does FODMAP stand For

 

FODMAP.COM

The first thing my Dr. said to me before he started was, “is this going to be on the blog?”

I laughed and said, “you mean the pictures of the inside of my buttocks?”

I said, “ummm probably not.” :)

Basically, I need to eliminate everything I love from my diet :(. I hit the grocery store to buy stuff I have never even heard of. Just kidding, although I never thought I would be making green smoothie shakes and buying exotic fruits. Stay tuned, I have been keeping track of my recipes and progress about what works and what doesn’t with regard to my stomach. I am AMAZED at how much better I feel. I will share more info soon ;).

Gluten Free Banana Muffin Recipe {with oats}

Who loves banana muffins? I have been trying to eat gluten free as much as possible and it seems to be helping my stomach. Buying gluten free is a bit expensive so I have been trying to find easy recipes especially in the sweets department. I decided to try a gluten free banana muffin recipe using my same old recipe but substituting the regular flour for gluten free flour. I am not a die hard gluten free eater. It’s really hard. I try though about 80% of the time. I am still messing up recipes though, thinking it’s all gluten free and then I find out there was some kind of gluten hidden in one of the ingredients. Geeeesh, they make it so hard to read those labels!

Gluten Free Banana Muffin Recipe {with oats}

 

Gluten Free Banana Muffins {with oats}

Ingredients

  • 3 large bananas
  • 1?2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1?2 cups gluten free flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1?3 cup melted butter
  • 1?2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats (optional)

Instructions

  • Mash bananas, add sugar and the beaten egg. Stir in melted butter and add dry ingredients. Spoon into greased muffin tins.
  • Bake 20 minutes at 350F degrees - 375F degrees.

adapted from Food.com

Gluten Free Banana Muffin Recipe {with oats}

I used a 1/2 cup of gluten free oats in my banana muffin recipe which gave them an extra little yummy flavor. I love oats in everything! I made these before Valentine’s Day and used a cute little heart muffin tin for a few. Aren’t they cute? They are a perfect gluten free snack or even better, delicious for breakfast. Be sure to check out our gluten free blueberry muffin recipe too.

February school vaca + 103 inches of snow + hibachi

Last week was our winter school vacation. We stayed home and tried to stay warm! ha. We have over 100 inches of snow now and it’s borderline crazy. Who gets that much snow? I hate snow. I mean, I don’t mind the first snow in December but this …..I can’t deal with. I am a lot like my grandfather when it comes to winter. I would much rather be in Florida or Arizona. My son started skiing last month and is loving it. We enrolled him in ski camp and wouldn’t you know it, he loved it but only if “mom” was there every hour to check in. Separation anxiety at 8 and a freezing cold snowy mountain isn’t exactly my cup of tea for 5 days in a row. I am not sure how I ended up with a kid who is obsessed with cold weather sports but I did. I told him, he is the only person on the planet that I will stand outside for hours freezing my butt off as he flies down a hill on sticks. The things us mom’s will do for our kiddo’s! ;)

103 inches of snow + february school vacation

Just in case you don’t know what a lot of snow looks like. Here is our back door.

103 inches of snow + february school vacation

You know the snow is high when your son can run along the snow banks and the 6 foot high pool fence is barely showing.

103 inches of snow + february school vacation

Last weekend, we all headed to a local Hibachi Restaurant to celebrate my nieces birthday. Last week I shared my grandparents braving the blizzard to attend dinner. Today, here are the pictures. There isn’t much that will keep them from a delicious meal.

103 inches of snow + february school vacation

My dad enjoying a squirt of sake.

103 inches of snow + february school vacation + hibachi-2

The kids “water” version of Sake in a baby bottle.

103 inches of snow + february school vacation + hibachi-3

 

It’s usually the highlight of the dinner ;).

103 inches of snow + february school vacation + hibachi-4

Schools back in session and hopefully the snow melts soon.  I can’t wait to get to the campsite and start cleaning up. Before we know it, this snow will be a distant memory as we cruise the lake in our boat and cook marshmallows over the campfire. I can’t get it here soon enough!

How to add new door molding {our front door}

Last summer we added on a new portico around our front door and we finally just finished adding the new door molding inside. Sometimes these projects linger on for months. We decided to add a piece of pine board to the top of the door (to the ceiling) to define the two rooms on either side of the door. This also allowed a place for the paint to stop! Before, the entire wall (which covered two rooms) needed to be the same color because there was not place to stop a color and add a new one.

How To- Front door interior trim

I asked my dad if we could beef up the door with molding in order to accomplish these two things:

a) give the illusion the door was larger and

b) have a place to stop and start a new paint color

His response, “what’s wrong with just leaving it all one color?” He thought about it over night and came home the next day with a pine board and said, “will this work?”

AFTER:

How to add trim to a front door {before & after

My fancy camera was having a small issue this day so these pictures were taken with my cell phone so they are not the best but you can see, the door needed a little cosmetic work ;).

How To- Front door interior trim -2

When we removed the old door, we had to remove all of the old trim. The old door was over 50 years old and of course, the new door didn’t fit exactly in the same space so we used pine filler to fill in the gap between where the old door space and the new door.

How To- Front door interior trim -3

After:

How to add trim to a front door {before & after

Once we cut the pine filler to size, we nailed it to the existing door jam and filled in the gaps with spray foam insulation. Here is an image of what it looks like from Home Depot.

spray foam insulationYou can see below how we sprayed it in along the top of the door.

How To- Front door interior trim -4

Here is the door completely trimmed out with the pine insert pieces.

How To- Front door interior trim -5

How To- Front door interior trim -6

We added primed 2.5 inch wood trim molding that we picked up at Home Depot around the door along with the pine piece at the top. After a couple hours, the door looked fabulous and the two rooms are now separated and ready for their own color! Be sure to check out our latest DIY project on our Home and Projects page. New stuff is added daily!

Easy Yogurt & Go Lean Crunch Breakfast

What do you eat for breakfast? I am guilty many times of not eating. You would think that would be good (not eating) but actually, it’s not good. I end up snacking on crackers or whatever random little snack is laying around. I have a friend who is all about exercise, eating well thought out meals and basically eating a well balanced diet. She is everything I am not when it comes to that kind of stuff. She told me to try eating yogurt and adding a small amount of granola or some kind of a crunchy cereal as a topping as my breakfast.  I usually buy a plain dairy free yogurt and add a crunchy cereal topping.  Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal happens to be one of my favorite cereals on the planet so when Shaws asked if I would like to share their “Oats Made Great” campaign, I said of course!

Delicious Yogurt & Go Lean Crunch "Oats Made Great"

We only had frozen blueberries in the freezer from our smoothie extravaganza last weekend (my son is hooked on smoothies) so I added a few to my yogurt and Go Lean Crunch. Strawberry’s are yummy too as a topping.

Yogurt and delicious Kashi Go Lean Crunch breakfast #oatsmadegreat

I absolutely love the big crunchy clustered oats and how delicious it tastes with yogurt. I am not a fan of plain old yogurt so this crunchy topping is perfect for me. Too much of anything is not good so I normally buy the small cups of yogurt and mix a 1/2 cup of Go Lean Crunch topped with cut up fruit and this tides me over for a few hours until lunch.

Yogurt and delicious Kashi Go Lean breakfast-2

Doesn’t it look delicious?

Kashi Oats made Great

 

Shaws has a fun campaign going on right now where you can share your “oats made great” over on their website. Click here to see how to enter your own fun creation. Kashi Go Lean Crunch along with their strawberry cereal bars are two of my favorites for breakfast. How about you? What is your favorite breakfast food?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Star Market. The opinions and text are all mine.

Weekend Update – Another blizzard + Skiing + Tubing

Guess what we have been up to? Hanging out in the snow! It’s not even fun anymore, unless you are a kid. If you live in Massachusetts like we do, the snow (check out my post from last week) has become a daily ritual it seems and we are starting to believe that the snow cloud has been permanently stopped over our state. The old saying, “if you can’t beat them, join them” is where we are at.  Over 85 inches of snow in 2015 to date, some spots in our yard are not even safe to be in as if you fall through, you might be buried. When it finally does melt, hopefully it doesn’t invade our basement.

blizzard 2015 + skiing

You know it’s bad when you need a backhoe to push the snow on to your front lawn so you can see pulling out of your driveway. The snowbanks along the roadside are over 10 feet high and climbing.

blizzard 2015 + skiing

If it wasn’t for my dad’s new toy, the horses would never be able to go outside. Thankfully he has been able to snow blow a small area for them to get outside and stretch their legs. Deep snow is very dangerous for horses as they can get stuck. Our little pony is only 9 hands tall and he is a dare devil so we need to be really careful when he is outside.

blizzard 2015 + skiing

My grandmother finally left the house after being inside for 3 weeks last night.  Of course, it was in the middle of another blizzard. We made plans a couple weeks ago to celebrate my nieces birthday and Valentine’s Day last night not knowing there would be another blizzard. We celebrated at a local Hibachi restaurant and she had a great time, although dragging her through the snow in her wheel chair proved difficult. She said, “it’s been over 50 years since I have been out in a blizzard.” She wasn’t kidding. We ended up moving our reservation to late afternoon yesterday and still ended up driving home in the brunt of the storm. My grandfather was disgusted once again with Mother Nature.

blizzard 2015 + skiing

The kids enjoyed skiing and tubing on Saturday at a local mountain nearby.

blizzard 2015 + skiing + tubing

My son started ski lessons a couple weeks ago and loves it. I am not sure our wallet loves it though……

blizzard 2015 + skiing + tubing

I am a warm weather girl. I am not a fan of cold weather sports but I do enjoy hanging out in the lodge with my laptop and a warm beverage. Sometimes a cold one ;). We are headed back to the  Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont for vacation soon and I am really looking forward to the resort. A warm cozy lodge and an on-site spa is my kind of a cold weather vacation. Happy long weekend!

 

Chili Stuffed Peppers

My mom loves making stuffed green peppers. She always fills them with hamburg and rice so when I saw the Pioneer Woman filling her peppers with Chili this past weekend on the Food channel, I thought, that is a GREAT idea! Our chili stuffed peppers turned out delicious and the only regret, I wish I made more of them!

delicious chili stuffed peppers

I used this chili recipe from a couple months ago and stuffed it inside the peppers.

Chili Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients

  • Red, Green or Yellow Peppers

Instructions

  • Wash and remove the top of the pepper. Clean out the seeds inside and fill with your favorite chili. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and bake on greased pan for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Top with sour cream and serve! It’s a bit messy but I found that cutting the pepper in quarters made it easier to eat. Also feel free to serve with your favorite nacho chips. Chili stuffed peppers……Oh so good! Looking for more dinner ideas, be sure to check out our new kitchen page.

Our cute little Tea Station

Sometimes you just need a little something to warm you up. The weather is out of control here in Massachusetts so the only projects we are doing involve shoveling, eating and finding ways to stay warm. Last month I shared our DIY coffee station and I recently shared our cute little tea station over at HomeGoods. Nothing fancy, but a designated spot on our kitchen counter for a variety of teas and hot chocolate.

Warm up with a Winter Tea StationWe love to setup fun spots for beverages especially when we have guests over. Although my grandfather thinks I do it special for him ;).

Warm up with a Winter Tea Station

We have been hit with over 70+ inches of snow in 3 weeks so all we do is snow blow and shovel it seems. I set up the tea, coffee and hot chocolate station a couple weeks ago and it’s still there. Head over and visit me at HomeGoods where I am sharing how you can create your own tea station.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Oreos {Cookie Pops}

Have you heard of Red Velvet OREOS? When I tell you that you don’t want to miss out on this ridiculously tasty cookie, I am not kidding. A few days ago I bought two packages at my local Shaws Supermarket and ended up eating half of them by myself. I mean, who doesn’t love Oreos? The Red Velvet edition is by far, my favorite flavor so far. There are so many things you can do with OREOS so when Shaws asked if I wanted to share their new cookie flavor and the Stop & Play with OREO contest, I knew just the treat to share. Of course, you can eat them as they are or you can make fun chocolate covered OREO pops like we did below.

Red Velvet OREO Cookie Pops

 

Are you ready? Ok, here we go.

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops

These would be great for a school Valentines Day party.

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-2

 I melted white chocolate candy in the microwave and poured on top of a tupperware cover I had.

TIP: Be careful not to overcook the chocolate as it will harden. I use a teaspoon of vegetable oil (or more) to help keep the chocolate creamy. 

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-3

So yummy!

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-4

Slide the lollipop sticks inside and coat with melted chocolate. Work quickly when adding the sprinkles, the chocolate tends to dry fast.

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-5

 Place on parchment paper and add sprinkles.

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-6

I wrapped them in small lollipop bags and secured with a ribbon.  Needless to say, my son and dad were thrilled with their OREO treats, although my dad couldn’t understand why I had to make them so difficult to get in to. ;)

Red Velvet Oreo Cookie Pops-7

Now it’s your turn to show us how you play with OREO!

 Red Velvet OREO cookies

All you need to do is create a fun recipe with OREO and submit here, for a chance to win. Each entry receives a chance to win a Polaroid CUBE camera or OREO prize package. We will definitely be stocking up on the Red Velvet OREOS. I personally think they should make them an everyday OREO flavor. It’s just like eating red velvet cake! You can pick these up in any Albertson, Shaws, ACME, Jewel-Osco or Star Market grocery store.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Shaws. The opinions and text are all mine.


MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

Advertising & Privacy Policy
All the photos and text on this blog are copyright protected. You may share one or two photos from this blog if linked back to their original posts and for the sole purpose of featuring my work. You may NOT copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Feel free to contact me jessica {at} fourgenerationsoneroof {dot} com. Thank you! Four Generations One Roof and its members including but not limited to family, are not responsible for any harm or damage caused by any projects or tutorials you see on this site. Try at your own risk.

COPYRIGHT FourGenerationsOneRoof 2011-2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Designed by Chena Designs Development and Hosting by Evenpar Solutions
Web Hosting By RFE Hosting
Jessica @ Four Generations One Roof