Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baking the Day Away

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Oh I am so in love with my new book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I tackled more of the bread shapes today, enjoying one for breakfast and the other with dinner.

New Tea Pot Asian Beef for Dinner
I made a new dish for dinner. I placed a 2.5 lb pot roast in the crockpot when I was making bread this morning and it cooked all day. At dinner time, I began creating a new dish.
Asian Beef
4 Romaine Hearts, chopped
1 scallion, tiny chops
1 Cup of chopped carrots
Small handful of sesemae seeds
2 cups of shredded and/or chopped beef
Dressing: 3/4 cup chicken broth, 2 T. Peanut Oil, 3 T. Red Wine Vinegar, 1 dash of Soy Sauce and Pepper to taste, if you like more spice, add 1 t of red pepper flakes. Poor dressing over salad and serve with bread.
So the photo of the new Tea Pot is important, because we recently bought one and the bottom cooking portion developed a pin like hole in it. I contacted the company Copco and they gladly replaced the tea pot. I will standby this company from now on, because they stood by their consumer.
I made strawberry jam for the first time and amazingly it turned out well. I hope to make more in the coming days.

New SpringWidget

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Visit the Widget Gallery

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wine and Bread

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Today was the day that my husband returned home from a week long chemistry class, today was a reunion for the kids whom missed their daddy in addition to my husband turning another year older.

Yesterday I packed up the van with the kids plus my neice and nephew and we went to the mall in seach of a book that I have been lusting after, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day . Well after throughly reading through I tackled the basic recipe and lo and behold, we had bread appetizers before heading to the local wine vineyard. We sampled numerous wines, drank a bottle their and brought 2 more bottles home. Yummy, we loved everything we tried.

Ciabatta Loaf

This is what I saw on TV and was hooked. I love bread and everything associated with bread.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All in a days work

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Today started early with some lawn mowing exercises. I moved the yard for the 3rd time in 4 years, I thought it was getting a little long even for GREEN people. Mowing was followed by filling the bird feeders, hummingbird feedings and weeding the 6 gardens. My 2 year old was with me every step of the way, his favorite part is to water when we are all done.

We finished the yard work, just as the crockpot had our Sweet and Sour Pork Chops done. All I had to do was cut up summer squash and cook some rice with almond silvers and we had lunch.

I thought since all the activity occured this morning we would hide out in the house today baking. We had some excess blue berries from my fathers generosity so I decided to make Blue Berry Buckle.

Cream 1/4 c butter, 3/4 c sugar, and 1 egg.

Combine 2 c flour, 2 t baking powder, and 1/2 t salt.

Alternate adding dry mix with 1/2 c milk total to creamed mixture.

Add 2 T flour to 1 pint blue berries and then fold into thick mixture.

Make crumb topping, by squashing 1/4 c soft butter, 1/2 c sugar, 1/3 c flour and 1/2 t. cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle on to batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for approx 1 hour, start checking at 50 minutes with a chop stick or something thin. I recommened using a grease springform pan like you would use for cheese cake.

The kids make what they call Sushi Balls while I mixed up the Blue Berry Buckle.

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 t. cocoa powder

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup coconut

1/2 mini chocolate chips

Combine all and refridgerate for 2 hours. Take a cookie spoon and drop into a bowl of coconut flakes (1c), roll into hands forming a ball, then roll in sesame seeds and flax seeds (2/3c) and then roll into cashews crushed (2/3 c). The dip measurements are approximate, as some kids can get more to stick to the peanut butter rolls. Place the Sushi Balls on the cookie sheet and then refrigerate to harden and then you can place them in a covered dish in the fridge to store.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Needed project turns to fun

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After reviewing Sidney's school list, oh yes school list, it came to me. Sort through old crayons marking new bags full of crayons, rather than buying more and adding to the million of crayons already in our home. We sorted through tons and tons, keeping the nicer ones and then piling the paper off of the nubs so they have been recently called in the house. We then broke into smaller pieces placed by approximate color into tiny muffin pan holes and then melted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, until melted. I then removed from oven, sat on the cook top until cool, then placed into freezer, this is a must to get the new crayons to "POP" out of the muffin pan. And there you have it, new crayons, perfect for the toddlers in your home. Seems to be we had a lot of blues, who knows.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Work Work Work

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Well the past few days have been busy so I have not been able to blog. I feel a sense of need to do so now.
I worked a long stretch of 4 days, and to me that is long. My household falls apart and I spend a whole day making things up. Laundry, cooking, cleaning and playing.

I was able to can a few more green beans, attend the local farmers market early Saturday morning and attend my daughers last Softball game of the season. I picked more Raspberries at my mothers home and enjoyed a blackberry pie from her garden as well.

My husband left yesterday afternoon for a 2 week educational quest, leaving me at home to figure out how to parent 4 kids all by myself.

Soren has been unusually upset the last 24 hours and with deep inspection as to why, I discover his cutting his first tooth. At 4 months!!! Oh my.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shopping Sale Day

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Waking up to a thunderstorm, oh my favorite morning. Seems to be that the kids all enjoy staying in bed these days, so our first visitor to mom and dads bed arrived at 8:30, joy joy. We had breakfast then my daughter, my mother, niece and I made our way to the mall for shopping. Clothes for the coming school year. I can't believe that we are in the middle of July already.

I was able to can 6 more quarts of beans today. Stock piling for winter. I also enjoyed picking snap peas and eating some along the way.

Supper was started right after lunch today. I have a Moroccan Stew for the stove, but inspiration from the Crock Pot Lady, I transferred it to the crock pot.

Moroccan Beef Stew

  • -1 pound chuck roast, chopped
  • -3 carrots, chopped
  • -1 Yellow Squash
  • -2 pints of tomatoes
  • -2 potatoes, chopped
  • -1 can of chickpeas
  • -1 zucchini
  • -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1/2 t. pepper
  • -salt
  • -1 t. red pepper flakes
  • -1/2 coriander powder
  • -1 t. cumin
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

Place all in crock pot and cook on low 8-9 hours. Serve with couscous, yum.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Summer Day

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The day was filled with interesting things. This morning we all packed up and headed to the family doctor for a 2 year old check up and 4 month old checkup and shots. The doctor wanted an updated photo of the kids with him for his desk and so this is why we all went. It is amazing that two adults and four kids can fit in the office room.
Lunch was a quick pasta dish, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, that is. I used the alfredo recipe that I used for one of the party pizza's, microwaved some store bought chicken patties and boiled some pasta, yummy yummy.

This afternoon the big kids and dad went golfing. Evan thinks he is ready for a new golf set and Sidney whom has not used her clubs in over a year, besides the backyard declared that she too needed a new set. I believe Evan will get a new set before Sidney.

Shafer and I tended to the raspberries, blue berries, vegetable gardens, and flower gardens today as the baby slept. I can't believe how the dirt is so dry right now and the grasses are turning nasty brown. I snapped 3 quarts of beans and I am expecting more to be here soon, from my mothers home.

My mother has moved the pressure cooker to my home and hopes that she can preserve her white cook top. I always wondered why she got a white cook top stove???

Sidney had a softball game this evening, and finally I brought the camera. The 8 year old girls softball is slow moving but they have learned so much this summer and I am very excited to see what happens in the years to come. Sidney stated that she might not want to play softball next year, but instead wants to participate in Gymnastic, we'll see.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


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Last year while at the MOA, we had the oldest 3 kids pictures drawn by Jarrett. We were very impressed with his drawings and people who have seen them ask, who drew those? Will after the 4th was born we have made plans to return in hopes of finding the same person and lo and behold he was there, so Soren attempted to pose, but as any baby only could hold the pose for 1 second, but Jarret did a fine job. We are very happy to have the fouth and final caricature drawing for our family room. Thanks Jarret.

Venturing Out

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Oh wow, what a day. We left the home very early today heading to the zoo to spend the morning and then picnic in the park. After all the visits with the animals, we braved the Mall of America and went to the the theme park within. I am constantly reminded of poor etiquette everywhere I go. My biggest pet peeve is when you are trying to exit an elevator and others are trying to enter, hello.

We had a wonderful, fun filled day and then on the way home we stopped at my favorite food co-op and got a refill of couscous.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birthday Party

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Evidence of my domestic engineering, reusable gift bags.

Today started out very early, 6am in fact. I watered the gardens, fixed breakfast, and started the birthday party food.

The cake recipe was something that I have combined a few recipes to find the right mix of ingredients. The frosting was yummy homemade, which I made way too much of.

Cake Recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 t. vanilla

  • 3 eggs

Frosting Recipe:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 6 T milk or more for consistency

  • 1-2 t. vanilla

  • Food Coloring: preferably gel

I decided late yesterday to make homemade pizza's, because Shafer loves pizza, so this is a must at his party.

We made pepperoni pizza, chicken, artichoke, spinach, Alfredo, and Parmesan cheese pizza, Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza, and sausage, mushroom and black olive pizza.

I put together an Alfredo sauce from trial and error.

  • 2 cloves garlic, 1 T. onion powder, sauteed in oil.
  • 3 t. cornstarch, 1/4 t. salt, pepper, basil, parsley, 1 1/4 cup milk, mixed and added to pan, heat until thickened on medium heat.

  • Add 4 oz cream cheese and 3-4 T. Parmesan Cheese.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Active Summer Day

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Off to the Fun Days Parade in Town, active outside of home. We all left early to get a good seat at the parade. Seems to be the individuals whom live along the parade route get the best seats in town. The kids enjoyed numerous candies thrown their way, way too much in fact. The weather was just right, but a little to sunny. I am amazed at home many adults and kids alike do not wear hats, nor sunglasses to protect themselves from the rays of the sun. I am proud to say that my husband and myself have trained our kids to put on hats before going outside. I prefer not to apply sunscreen if we do not have too. The two big girls are neighbors of ours how went along. The more the merrier, well most of the time. We had a lot of fun. The kids went to bed early today in preparation for the family birthday party for our 2 year old Shafer.

Oh yes I canned 4 more quarts of beans, cut the first broccoli bunch from the garden and enjoyed the first blue berry from the bushes, as well as 4 black raspberries from the back yard. Sh, don't tell the kids.

I planned the meal and started the cake for tomorrow.

Soren enjoying the his LAZY day of summer.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Canning Day

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Well this morning started out with getting more green beans picked off the plants and canning. I have already canned 12 quarts, you can see 4 of them. I took a picture of my canning cabinet for future reference, so I can feel good about all the hard work of summer preserving.

Today is my toddlers official 2nd year of life.
We had pictures taken today of not only him
but of also of Soren for his 4th month of life. For each child I have taken professional pictures of each month for the first year and then they fall off the raidar. We will celebrate his birthday on Sunday with family.

I ventured across the street this morning to pick raspberries at
my mothers home, as she always has raspberries 2-3 weeks before me.
Yogart and berries, yummy.

My oregano is hanging to dry, but will take awhile I think this time.
I was reading though my herb treatment book last night and am constantly amazed by how many natural growing things one can use as a remedy for the common problem.

I have solved the birthday cake design problem, I will make a turtle cake. I figured since we had a painted back turtle as a garden pet for a few weeks that this would be perfect. I am so antsy to have winter parties because of the nasty weather, I have found it hard to get motivated with summer parties.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day #1

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Hello. I am taking on a new concept. Blogging. I have been impressed with all that I have seen in the past few days that I thought I would blog, creating a hobbie for myself.

Today I tackled alot before heading to work. I approached the herb garden quitely and calmly as the bumble bees have been working away at the blooming flowers. I decided it was time to cut my oregano as the dried supply was shrinking, as I have been marinating quite a bit in the past month. I tied the oregano with a rubberband and hung it to dry, in a few days I will rub the stems together to knock the leaves down for more drying, then I can use it.

I put a meal into the crockpot this morning, so supper would be as easy as possible. Got all 4 kids up and dressed, feed, teeth brushed and then took care of myself, ate breakfast, read the paper, and nursed the baby and started a load of laundry with my new soap nuts. Gotta love.

I returned home at 5:30 today and the meal was done, yummy Parmeasan Chicken with pasta. The kids at lots and I enjoyed. I wished I had a bottle of our homemade white wine, but used it all last night cooking.

My two older kids, headed across the street to my parents for a night out. The two little kids and I took a bath, played in Burt's Bubbles and lathered ourselves in Burts Lotion, dressed in comfy cloths, lounged, ate popcorn, and watch the new "dog" show. Off to bed the little kids went and then I am enjoying a few minutes to myself and then my husband arrived home after an afternoon of golfing. He makes the statement, "I am finally getting the hang of it again". Seems to be that he lost his groove for awhile, during our intense reproductive years, ha.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Busy Summer Day

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Recapping what I tried to start yesterday but just could not find the time nor energy. My 4 kids and I started our day out trying to decided what to do. Since the weather was projected to be HOT, my kids don't like HOT, we decided to do a few craft projects until it cooled down. We headed to the Fabric Store and picked up a few different kinds of fabric, some to make into reusable gift bags and the other was fleece for a new blanket for Evan, son #1. He picked out black and neon green, ohhh. We brought the fabric home and cut strips and tied, the whole blanket took 1.5 hours to tie and cut and is a twin sized.

We played the rest of the afternoon outside. 3:30 arrrived and I did not have plans for supper. I opened up the deep freeze and searched though the milk crates of chicken, pork, beef, hamburger and fish, I selected thick cut pork chops. I defrosted them and tried to decide what to put on them. Well fruit always tastes good, but I have limited amount of apples at the present time. So I searched the pantry. This is what I am up with.
  • 1 can of cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
  • 3 T spoons of crushed garlic ( we love garlic, and my father swears it keeps the mosquitos away)
  • 4 pork chops.

I mixed the first 3 ingredients up and poured over the chops in pan, placed in oven @350 for 60 minutes. Served over jasmine rice with sugar snap peas on the side, YUM YUM.

Off to Sidney's softball game at the newest softball diamond in town, so there are no trees. Too much sun. I was crocheting a new washcloth out of some yarn Sidney found in my closet. The girls on her team were so intrigued that they paid way too much attention to what I was doing. Most of the girls said that they had never seen anyone do this. That saddened me! Sidney is learning to crochet with a very large hook but still does not have the dexterity down, but it is coming along quite nicely.