Devens (my father-in-law) and his new salt water fishing rod
Monday, December 29, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The past week has been a busy one, as I am sure it has been for all of you. Here is what we've been up to over the last few days...
Angel Cakes. I made this Apple Crisp Pie for a gentleman at the Veteran's Home.
Snow. For the second year in a row, we are actually getting snow that doesn't melt away by noon time. It is so wonderful, and so much fun for the boys.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I'll be using mine to make cosmopolitans on Christmas Day...cheers!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I seem to have two little boys who are each dealing with some separation anxiety, and I must admit, I'm tuckered out! Griffin is knee-deep in a typical 2-year-old deal where he wants me in his line of sight at ALL TIMES, doesn't really want anyone else to try to hold him, etc. He doesn't want to nap, doesn't want to get in bed at night, and if he does, then he gets up a zillion times while I try to remain patient and get him back to bed. Last night I was thinking to myself, "What is up with this child?" when I suddenly remembered that Camden actually did this until he was 2 1/2. He woke 1-2 times per night, every night. Steve was gone for 1.5 of those years, I was working full time, and had nobody but myself, so I just powered on through and didn't really think about it. He didn't start sleeping through the night until Steve came back from deployment. At least this just seems to be a recent development for Griffin (the not napping/fighting bedtime part), so I suppose it could be worse! As for Camden - - he is also struggling a bit. Not wanting to go to school in the morning, not wanting to leave me...very unlike him. It kills me to see him feeling like this, so I hope that we will be able to work through whatever is bothering him very soon. After some consultation with my mother, and my dear friend Lisa, I am feeling better about the situation. It is so great to be able to pick up the phone and call my mother whenever I need some mothering advice, or any other time for that matter. We talk on the phone a lot, don't we, Mum? I am her own personal phone stalker, I think.
In baking news, I've been cranking out the biscotti all week. I love biscotti because, 1) It is delicious, 2) It is so easy to make 3) It freezes really well and is so easy to pop out of the freezer when you suddenly need snacks to hand out. I made cinnamon hazelnut biscotti, which turned out perfectly. I also made orange chocolate chip pistachio biscotti, but it came out really "fat", and isn't as crunchy as it should be. Oh well, what can you do. Later today, I will be making these cookies, and I hope they come out as good as they look in the picture. I also have two huge batches of granola mixed up and ready to bake...don't you just love Christmas baking?
I'm still trying to get use to writing down every single morsel of food that enters my body. Kind of makes eating a bit of a chore, and sucks any enjoyment out of it. However, I'm determined to do what I need to do to start feeling better.
I cannot believe it is almost Christmas! I'm nearly ready...just a few more things to make, packages to mail, and stamps to buy. Steve's folks arrive next Friday, which will be nice! We've only yet had a dusting of snow, but it sounds as though we could possibly get some more over the weekend...I would love that!
Oh! I almost forgot...Steve casually mentioned on the phone earlier today that he has some upcoming travel (albeit, not set in stone...yet) to Hawaii, Florida, and Las Vegas. Stinker. Granted, he'll be working while in those locations, but STILL!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Grammy Dunphy's Cream Puffs
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted flour
Let water and butter come to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in one cup of sifted flour. Remove from heat, place mixture in a mixing bowl, and let cool. Next, add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed with an electric mixer after each addition, only until combined. Be careful not to over mix, or you may end up with pancakes instead of puffs! Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I usually get 10-12 puffs) and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
To serve, cut puff open with knife and fill with ice cream, then top with hot chocolate sauce. Yum!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
And that, my friends, is the story of my 10-cent Elf on the Shelf!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Perfect Dinner Rolls (a.k.a., Nana Rolls)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup non-dairy powdered creamer (you can also use dry milk powder)
2 1/4 tsp. salt
6-7 cups bread flour
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, shortening, creamer, salt, and 5 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 24 pieces. Shape each into a roll. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Snowman-shaped slice of wheat bread, coal for snowman's eyes/mouth (black beans), snowman arms (pretzel sticks), snow (mini-marshmallows), noses (carrot sticks), the ever-present Ranch dip, and "ice cold hot chocolate" (chocolate milk), just like in the story. The boys seemed to really like this one, and I had fun making it for them.
* To see more great Muffin Tins, go here.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
After my parents have been here, it always takes me a few days to come out of the funk I find myself in after they go home. I'll give myself through the weekend, and then I'll need to pull myself together! Steve is out of town next week, and I will be very busy with the boys and with the library. I'm hoping to wrap up all of my loose Christmas ends over the weekend, so that I can start shipping boxes out to the east coast. Can you believe Christmas is only 3 weeks away? Crazy.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
We had such a great day today! All six of us packed up and headed to Boise for the Festival of Trees. The weather was just spectacular (once we got out of our little valley). After we'd seen all of the beautiful Christmas trees, we headed for the Boise Co-op for some food, and then headed to Camelsback Park so the boys could play on the playground. Next, we paid a visit to the Sierra Trading Post outlet, where we scored some massive shoe and boot deals. Mum and I rounded out the evening with a little sewing, after everyone else went to bed. We are working on an apron that we hope to finish up tomorrow.
Camden heads back to school tomorrow, and Steve is off to work. As for me, I have an Angel Cake to deliver to the Veteran's Home, and then I will spend the rest of the day fasting for an endoscopy and colonoscopy on Tuesday (more than you wanted to know, I'm sure). I am so not looking forward to the fasting/"cleansing", or the procedure for that matter, but alas, it must be done! Please eat something delicious tomorrow and dedicate it to me, because I will not be eating anything!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Our turkey, brining itself silly in the fridge
I feel compelled to mention that I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert, and I am still in a snit over how it turned out. For me, it just didn't taste cheese-cakey enough, nor was it dense in texture, which is what I personally prefer. I followed the recipe to a "t", but was not impressed. Due to the caramel sauce being poured over the crust (prior to adding the cheesecake filling), the baked result yielded a crust bottom that I needed a chisel for, in order to serve up a slice. Alas, I won't be making this again...instead I will go back to this recipe, which produces the world's most fabulous pumpkin cheesecake, in my humble opinion.
Friday, November 28, 2008
In other news, I have discovered the joys of downloading music from the Internet, and making my own cd's. I forgot my laptop had a burner, and it had just never crossed my mind to download music in the first place. It is very addictive, I must say. I've looked up about a bazillion songs over the past 48 hours, and I made the boys a cd this evening. I feel like such a technology whiz. That is, until I look at this picture:
Here is a photo of Camden and my father (and Steve's feet), listening to my dad's iPod. I wouldn't know how to turn an iPod on if someone handed me one, along with explicitly written instructions. Each of my parents have one, and on top of that, my father has been downloading music and burning his own cd's for years. Something tells me I need to get with the program.
I have to admit, I actually went Christmas shopping today. I took Mum and Dad with me, and we waited until after 11:00 a.m., which turned out to be a wise choice, because most of the crazy, stampede-inducing sales ended at 11:00, so it was really like any old shopping day. The trip was very productive, and I am happy to say that my shopping is just about complete. My motto this year has been "keep it simple", and I'm happy to say that I have.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We are busy here, as I'm sure you all are, preparing for Thursday. The turkey is soaking in a lovely brine in the fridge, our menu has been finalized, and grocery list written. I'll work on desserts tomorrow, and am looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving day.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
He especially likes to take extremely unflattering pictures of his mother, but I will spare you from having to look at those.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
(Jenny & Mandy, circa 1979 & 1977)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
We had an interesting day here at the homestead. Griffin was a World Class Pill for most of the day - - he is a Mumma's Boy through-and-through, and he wouldn't let anyone near him all day. He focused the majority of his energy on being naughty, and insisting that I hold him at all times. Ack! I seriously hope he's snapped out of it by tomorrow, because I don't think I can take another day of that.
This evening, I put on a special event at the library in conjunction with Idaho Family Reading Week. I had a "pajama story time" complete with milk and cookies, and I was so happy with the large turnout. Griffin dug deep and behaved himself while we were there - - thanks for that, Griff. My boss seemed pleased with how it all went, so I'm glad for that, too.
The dead squirrel. Well, a couple of days ago, 12-year-old Riley managed to seriously injure a squirrel in the back yard. Bless his elderly heart, Riley isn't overly swift, so I'm still not sure how he outwitted the little sucker. Lo and behold, we looked out in the back yard this afternoon to find Roy in a mad embrace with a lifeless squirrel corpse, which I'm guessing was Riley's victim from the other day. Roy proceeded to flip Mr. Squirrel's limp little body to and fro, even laying on his back a couple of times and sort of boxing at it with his hind legs. I think at one point, Roy was wondering why the little guy didn't "play back", and he eventually lost interest. That's when I sent my Dad out with a plastic bag to dispose of the cadaver. Thanks, Dad! You're a good sport.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Grilled cheese (cut out with an acorn cookie cutter), carrots and broccoli, ranch dip, All-Bran crackers with peanut butter, apple sauce (Camden had vanilla yogurt), and sliced bananas. The boys' favorite part was the inclusion of the red plastic knife, so they could spread their own peanut butter on the crackers. Griffin actually used the knife for spreading, while Camden used his to chop up his sandwich. I love how excited the boys get when I say, "It's Muffin Tin Monday!", and I have fun putting the tins together. Next week's theme is: "Foods Your Kids are Thankful For/Favorites". I'm totally going to let the boys pick their favorites - - I'm sure Monday's lunch will be completely unbalanced, and laden with sugar.
(That's the top of Camden's head on the right, picking his plastic knife up off the floor - those suckers are slippery!)