Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Poor is the Nation that has no heroes, but beggared is the Nation that has and forgets them.

~author unknown
*Please remember to pause today at 3:00 p.m. local time for a minute of silence, in observance of the National Moment of Remembrance*

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Bagels

I use to make bagels quite frequently, before I had children. For some reason, after I had Camden, I'd decided that I couldn't possibly make bagels anymore, because I had a child to look after. A couple of days ago it dawned on me that I should whip up a batch, because really, they are a cinch to make (especially if you have a bread machine). It cracks me up sometimes, when I think of the things that I thought I couldn't accomplish when I had one child, because now I have two and I get twice as much done. Weird. Anyway, onto the recipe...

1 cup warm water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast


3 quarts boiling water
3 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
3 tablespoons poppy seeds, sesame seeds, Asiago cheese...whatever toppings you like!

Select the dough setting on your bread machine. Place water, salt, sugar, flour and yeast in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. When cycle is complete, let dough rest on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces, flatten, and then form each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a clean cloth, and let rest on your lightly floured surface (such as a large cutting board or counter top) for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of white sugar.
Sprinkle an ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water, 3 or 4 at a time. Boil for 1 minute, turning half way through. Gently lift each bagel from the boiling water (I used a slotted spoon). Drain briefly on clean towel. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of toppings.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until well browned.

Note: If you're looking to make gargantuan-sized bagels, then maybe cut back to 9. If you divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, you will get small bagels.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where Did This School Year Go???

I seriously cannot believe that tomorrow is Camden's last day of first grade. This school year seems to have evaporated right before my eyes. I have been counting down the days for a couple of weeks now - - I can't wait to have my Big Boy for the summer, and I know Griffin feels the same way. That poor child has spent many a day, asking me over and over, "When will Cammy be home?"

This past Tuesday was Camden's class picnic and Field Day, and we had such a nice afternoon with him. Steve had arranged to work from our local armory that day so that he could be there (he's good like that).

Camden and his classmates, enjoying their picnic lunch

With his buddies, Ryan and Roman

Daddy, under the parachute

Griffin, getting in on the fun

Camden and Nadia. Camden informed me today that he has a "major" crush on Nadia. I promptly reminded him that no girl will ever be good enough for him, and that he will live with Mummy FOREVER. Okay, I didn't. But I wanted to.

Griffin displays his photography skills

With his wonderful teacher, Mrs. Lyter

Camden had a challenging and wonderful school year. I am so thankful for the incredible teachers at his school, and all that he learned. I can't believe my baby will be in the second grade in a few short months. It doesn't seem possible.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


It has been busy around these parts. Not long after my friend Jen came for a visit, my father came to visit for a little over two weeks, and it was great! All four of us have been missing him, since he left last Monday - - it was so nice having him here.

The boys received a lot of love and attention from their Papa, which, of course, they loved. My dad is such a gentle and patient man, and a wonderful grandfather. Camden and Griffin are very lucky boys.

While he was here, spring soccer came to an end for Camden. Griffin is so anxious to start playing himself, but he misses the fall cut-off by just a few days, so he'll have to wait another year, unfortunately.
Camden absolutely loved soccer this year, and it was so much fun to watch him. As a parent, I have to admit that I'm not exactly sure how I feel about organized sports at this point! I truly feel that at this age level, organized sports are there to teach children how to play the game, how to be a good sport, and to simply have fun. Although I try very hard to let my children find their own way in life and not hover too much, I saw some things this time around that caused me (on more than one occasion) to want to throttle some kids and some parents. That's all I'll say about that or I'll get myself all worked up!
Thank goodness when my dad was visiting, he helped me arrange my photos on the bare living room wall. I knew I wanted all black frames, but rather than going and buying matching frames, I spent $2.99 on a can of spray paint, and painted what I already had. It came out just the way I'd hoped it would.
Camden's spring school pictures came in, and I cannot help but smile, every time I look at this picture. Still no front teeth, and no signs of any coming in. I just love his gap-tooth smile and hope it stays that way for a few more months.

Where did that warm weather go? Currently, we are freezing here in Idaho. I sure do wish it would warm back up!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Blueberry Muffins a la Martha

The other night, I made a veggie quiche for dinner, and decided that blueberry muffins would be the perfect side. I don't have a "go-to" recipe for blueberry muffins, so I paid a visit to my good friend The Internet for some inspiration. I didn't have to go any further than to find just what I was looking for (no surprise there). This recipe comes from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.

Makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries (I used canned blueberries - just drained them well, then sprinkled with 1-2 teaspoons of flour and tossed to coat)
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Working over the bowl, toss blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons flour mixture to lightly coat; set aside the flour mixture and the blueberries.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Mix in vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add reserved flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add milk, beating until just combined. Do not over mix. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. If desired, in a small bowl, mix together remaining 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of muffin batter.
Bake, rotating pan halfway though, until muffins are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes. Turn muffins on their sides in their cups, and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe produces a really delicious blueberry muffin. Light and fluffy, with a lovely vanilla flavor. I especially love the sugar/nutmeg sprinkled on top. These muffins did not last long in my house.

Saturday, May 01, 2010


The boys wanted to check out some yard sales this morning (I've raised them well, you see), so off we went. We only made it to one, where Camden spied this beauty. I had only let them take a dollar each from their piggy banks, and I felt badly for Camden when he approached the person in charge, to ask how much it cost (because I knew it would be more than he had). I'm guessing his sweet smile must have charmed her, because she replied, "For you, one dollar." These boys have played with their new "construction site" for hours today, and it is currently parked next to Camden's bed as he sleeps. Love these little boys so very much!
p.s. Yes, Jen ~ that is Riley, licking Roy, in the background.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin