"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cranberry-Wheat Cinnamon Bread


I tweaked a new recipe today and love it! It's a perfect autumn bread, and it smells amazing. Here's what I used.


Cranberry-Wheat Cinnamon Bread (makes one-2 lb. loaf or two- 1 lb. loaves)

1 1/2 cups hot water
2 3/4 teaspoons yeast
4 TB honey
2 TB melted butter
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat bran (or quick oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 Tb dough enhancer
1 1/2 Tb vital wheat gluten

Mix, knead, then add 2/3 cup dried cranberries.

I mixed, kneaded, and baked AS USUAL. 350 degrees for 30 minutes. YUM!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Averie's on the Table!!

I've been looking for a kitchen table since we moved here. The "nook" was just not cutting it anymore for our growing family. We love bumping elbows and spilling all drinks at every meal, but asking company to join us at the nook was a little too much to ask...

(Here we are gathered around the "nook" this last February. I usually squish in right there next to Ellorie.)


I wanted a long, somewhat narrow, dark finish, heavy duty table with two long, sturdy benches. Is that too much to ask? Oh, and cheap, don't forget cheap. Well, as it turned out, I couldn't find a set like I had in mind at any price. The benches alone were crazy expensive, and not really what I wanted.

So imagine my surprise when Saturday morning I happened to peek on Craig's list, and just happened to click on this beauty:
I got it for a steal. A lady in IF was moving and didn't have room for it. Solid wood, heavy duty construction, and exactly the dimensions I was hoping to find. I am so excited! And apparently I'm not the only one:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rocket is not "Bolt"

Please add to list of things NOT to color on: The dog.








Her favorite movie DOES portray a dog with a lightning bolt painted on his side, but I think I am the only one to blame for negligently leaving the markers down again. (I was just blow-drying my hair!) No real harm done. The markers are washable and it just started raining. Have a fun bath Rocket...

*Also, I promise the child was fully dressed with hair done earlier today. She looks like a homeless orphan in these pictures for crying out loud.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shiner

My baby came home from school yesterday with this:
He had a small collision with another kid's head on the playground. His glasses caused the cut and the bruising.

Not too terribly bad, but not pretty either. The cut is sort of deep and will probably leave a little scar. I wish the school would have at least called me. I probably would have had it stitched.

Did I mention that school pictures are on Monday? *Sigh* I think he had a beat up face last year for school pictures too. Poor boy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Canning Salsa



We love salsa, but I think canning it is a total pain. I've never done it by myself before, so I was gearing up for a big ordeal. I ended up making it in two "sessions" which was much better.


Day one I washed, cut up, and finely chopped all the peppers, jalapenos, onions, and garlic. I had a food chopper but it still took me about two or three hours. This is by far the worst part. Then today all I had to do was dump all the ingredients in my stock pot and prepare the tomatoes. Easy peasy!

Our tomatoes were a motley crew. UGLY. I didn't plant very good varieties for canning. This made it harder to peel and cut them, but it wasn't too terrible. I scoured my kitchen sink, put all the tomatoes in and then poured boiling water over them. This way I can blanch them all at once, and the water cools down pretty quickly so they don't turn all mushy. It worked really well. It took me about two hours to peel and chop the tomatoes. (This includes numerous interruptions helping Averie.) I put the tomatoes into a colander with a bowl underneath to drain off all the excess water and juice. (We don't like the salsa too runny.) And then they were ready to add to the stock pot with all the other ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

I used the recipe from the Ball Canning Book, but I changed the seasonings. I kept all the proportions the same, and adjusted for altitude, so it's a safe recipe. Here's what I used:

6 cups mixed mild peppers (Anaheim, Bell, Banana, Wax)
2 cups jalapeno peppers
5 cups onions (red and white)
20 cloves minced garlic (the cloves were pretty small)
3 Tb fresh chopped cilantro
1 1/4 c cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
3 Tb salt
1 Tb black pepper
1 Tb onion powder
1 ts garlic powder
1 Tb cumin
10 cups tomatoes (blanched, peeled, chopped, and drained.)

At my higher altitude I processed pints for 25 minutes in a hot water bath leaving 1/4 in head room in the jars. This batch made 11 pints. It's SOOOO yummy!

Labor Day Weekend

We went to my Mom's house this past weekend to celebrate Ken's birthday, and for the three day weekend. I am so terrible about taking pictures when I'm there, but I did get some of the kids. We has a lovely relaxing and fun weekend.

The kids had a blast on the trampoline, especially with the sprinklers on underneath. They would have stayed out there for hours. Averie loves to jump on the "jumpoline", but she's not a big fan of the sprinklers.
We enjoyed a wonderful feast for Ken's birthday celebration. Amazing food as always. It was fun to see everyone and visit! The "grown ups" had a blast playing games. Mah Jong. The kids has a ball with their cute cousins. They got to have a sleepover in the Indian teepee and go swimming at Grandma Sherma's pool. What could be better?
I also helped Mom scrapbook a little, which was a lot of fun. And I finished a big Christmas gift I have been working on for Averie. I want to post it here, but I don't dare. The kids will see it, so ya'll will just have to wait! I've been busy...

We had a super fun weekend. Thanks Mom!

Let's Play Music



Mason and Ellorie have started a new music class this year called "Let's Play Music". Once a week they go to their class and learn all about music, solfeggi, theory, rhythm, etc. It's awesome! They are learning to play the bell tones and sing lots of great songs. They absolutely LOVE the class.

Averie and I attended the first class with them, and now Averie is feeling a bit slighted. She loves to play the bell tones too, has learned most of the songs.
She was NOT pleased when we dropped them off yesterday. So we went home and painted for a while. That made her happier.

Mmm...

Apparently Averie has been looking for a few more calories in her diet. Nice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ultrasound


We had the ultrasound yesterday at the doctor's office. Baby is healthy and all looks well. It is definitely a BOY! We are all thrilled. Especially Mason. (He said it just wouldn't be FAIR to have another girl. It's all about fair you know.) I'm happy because the boys can share a room and we don't have to finish the basement just yet. We would have been excited either way of course.


I love finding out the gender of the baby because it makes it seem just a little bit more "real", and it makes it a little bit easier to start making plans and such. It was fun to watch my little baby move around on the ultrasound screen. We have a video of it that the kids watched last night. Ellorie couldn't believe that the baby kicked me so much. (Tell me about it!) He is measuring exactly right for my estimated due date, which is January 20th. We can't wait for his arrival!