Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
So I did it. And the results are fantastic. An early peek at spring above my kitchen sink.
Here's how I did it:
Take clippings of any spring-blooming shrub or tree. I used forsythia.
Stick them in water in a sunny location. Change water periodically until blooms emerge.
For more Thrifty Green Thursday ideas head on over to the Green Baby Guide.
Monday, February 23, 2009
This scrumptious recipe is from The Vegetarian Times February 2009 issue.
2 cups walnuts
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup brown sugar (I use sucanat)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use Sunspire vegan choc. chips)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
2. Blend walnuts in food processor 30 seconds, or until ground into a fine meal. Add canola oil, and blend 2 to 3 minutes more or until mixture has the consistency of natural peanut butter, scraping down the sides of food processor occasionally. Transfer to bowl.
3. Whisk together brown sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring mixture to a boil. Pour brown sugar mixture over ground walnut butter, add vanilla extract, and stir until no lumps remain.
4. Whisk together oat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in separate bowl. Stir oat flour mixture into walnut mixture. Cool 10 minutes. Fold in oats, then chocolate chips.
5. Shape cookies into 2-inch balls, and place 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 8-10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown and tops look dry. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes approximately 30 cookies.
Shingles - he still hasn't quite figured out the best way to do this on such a steep slope...
Corrugated metal sheets on the bottom half (salvaged from the old shed's roof)
Stain the exterior
And then we move to the inside.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Not to worry, Gabriel works his circular saw through all of those tricky angles. He's a master.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Thanks to Uncle Sam's refund and that nifty child tax credit, we finally have the funds to build Gabriel's dream shed. He has been working on plans for the past few months, and yesterday, we finally got to work on it.
The Grays came out to help, even though Micah had worked a 24-hour shift the day before. What an amazing friend!
Crystal and I hung out with the little ones inside and were so incredibly sad to miss out on all the hard work outside in the freezing cold.
The slab all cleaned off and ready .
The Element earned its keep.
tricky, tricky, tricky
By the end of the day, the roof was nearly framed, and the guys were a wee bit exhausted. Gabriel is out there today, finishing up with the framing.
We kept telling her to give Liam a hug or a kiss and she'd bend down and have the mokey kiss him instead.
Friday, February 13, 2009
No, it's not Liam's birthday quite yet (we still have a little over a month), but we bought his gift with our income tax return, and just couldn't wait to put it to good use.
We'd been admiring these European style high chairs for quite some time. Not only is there no plastic involved, but they also adjust in height and can support an adult's weight. So this won't have to be stored somewhere when he no longer needs a high chair. We ended up going with the Keekaroo brand. So far, we love it! Liam likes it, too.
So, Happy early Birthday, Liam.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
It will definitely be something different. The Bouchers will watch Liam, and it's a date.
We're pretty excited.
Last night, we had Caleb and Owen Boucher come and play for a while. They put Liam's train set from Ema and Cora to great use.
Gabriel got in on all the fun (he's blowing a train whistle...).
Sunday, February 8, 2009
And a Bumkins "Chunky Monkey" waterproof Dirty Duds bag.
I was just thinking recently that Liam could really use another diaper cover...and he wears a size medium...
And I was also contemplating getting a new wet bag for the diaper bag.
And now I'm getting both. This is unbelievably exciting and a much needed pick-me-up.
Thank you, Delectible Mommies, for the awesome giveaway!
Friday, February 6, 2009
After a few minutes, Liam's happy giggles turned into complaining cries and I headed downstairs to kick the cat out of his room.
When I got there, Hopkins was sitting on Liam's stomach and kneading his chest. Liam was trying to push him off. And, Liam had drool all over his forehead (yes, this cat drools).
I sure wish I had my camera at that moment, but who carries one around at 5 in the morning?
This reminder will have to do: Hopkins has always insisted on being really close with Liam.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Normally, I just get a busy tone, or get so close as to being the 19th caller; I figure that one of these times I'll get lucky.
Well, today's the day! I was the 20th caller. WooHoo!!! It's so exciting.
Now here is the funniest part:
I don't know what I won.
I was in the other room when she announced the prize, but I heard the part about being caller number 20, so I just called in. I couldn't bring myself to ask her, so what did I win?
I think it's tickets of some sort. Maybe to the Walton Arts Center, or to the Malco movie theater? Whatever it is, it's coming to my mailbox soon...
But the kind we make now is way better. The secret: 5 minute artisan bread dough.
Here is how I make it:
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone on the middle shelf. I know that's really hot, but the pizzas turn out so much better crisp and caramelized but still light and fluffy, and they take only 10 minutes to bake!
2. Prepare your toppings:
3. Scoop out about 1 pound (about the size of a grapefruit) of the 5 minute artisan bread dough from the container. For a smaller pizza, scoop less. For a bigger pizza, scoop more.
4. On a piece of parchment paper, roll out the dough. Brush all over with olive oil and sprinkle crust with garlic salt, italian seasoning, or kosher salt. Or just leave it plain. Scatter on the toppings.
5. Transfer pizza (still on the parchment) to the hot stone. I use a large cutting board to get it from the counter and then a quick slide into the oven.
6. Bake for 8 -10 minutes, or until crust is golden, cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, and toppings are beginning to caramelize.
7. Wait a few minutes before slicing, if you can.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
This bread recipe is for you.
I found this recipe in a recent issue of Mother Earth News, which they reprinted from a book by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking (Thomas Dunn Books, 2007).
The whole concept is to produce an artisan-style loaf of bread with a minimal amount of effort - only 5 minutes of hands-on time.
There is no kneading required. It only needs to rise 40 minutes before baking, and the recipe makes enough for 4 loaves, and the dough keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge!
It seems like a miracle.
So, here is what you need:
2. Cover loosely (I use a plastic tupperware lid), and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until the dough rises and then sags at the top.
3. Put it in the refrigerator, still loosely covered. Technically, you could bake a loaf now, but it is a lot better if you wait until the next day.
6. Transfer the loaf (still on the parchment paper) to the hot baking stone. Put a 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the cast iron pan (to create steam, which helps keep the crust soft while the loaf expands). Bake for 30 minutes.
Monday, February 2, 2009
So today we went in for his monthly immunization (we space them out to one a month) and a mandatory weight check. But have no fear, this boy is growing!