Modified from Taste of Home
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 tsp peppermint extract [they used double this and it was WAY too strong, hence I'm recommending half.]
1-3/4 cups flour
Green colored sugar
In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Gradually add flour and mix well.
Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets; flatten with a glass dipped in colored sugar. Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 3 dozen.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
BOOKS Keep them (with one exception). Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.
Their exception, in case you don't read the article, was cookbooks because of new apps that really combine all functions. We don't have a smartphone, so that's useless to me.
And while they say get rid of GPS, well I don't have a smartphone and I ADORE my GPS. So there!
I'm resisting all these fancy phones...I don't think I want to be that connected!
"From our perspective, the child is certainly extraordinary, but the house is also unique," said study co-author Ben Potter.
Remains of salmon, ptarmigan, ground squirrels, and other animals suggest the hearth was in use for weeks or months before it was turned into a grave, the study says.
The dwelling's floor had been dug about 11 inches (27 centimeters) into the ground. Poles may have supported walls and a roof, according to telltale stains in the sediment.
In other words, this was a home—the oldest known in Alaska.
"All of the other finds dating to this period or earlier tend to be associated with either short-term hunting camps, or workshops where people are gathering high-quality stone materials and working them into tools," said Potter, an anthropologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Anthropologist Ted Goebel, who wasn't involved in the research, agreed. "What's most exciting for me is that we finally seem to hit upon a residence site where it looks like people were actually living."
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Then it was off to my dentist appointment. We had planned for Ray and the boys to come back here, but we ran out of time, so we all went. That took an hour and it turns out I am STILL not done as I need the final bridge, which the lab has to make. AGH!!
Ray and the boys had ate lunch while I was there and since my mouth was numb, that was fine. Then we came home, grabbed some stuff and left again as we needed to run errands downtown. We went to the county admin building and parked and went in to apply for passport cards for the boys (MUCH cheaper than full passports, only good for this continent (so Canada, cruises), but that's all we need at this time. Then we walked to city hall and pay city taxes. That means we are completely done with this year's taxes, though.
We walked back, picked up the hat Andrew had lost along the way (I went back and found mittens last week...I do NOT want to buy new winter clothes that he'll be too big for next fall...he cannot lose them!).
Then we went home, I ate something (carefully, still numb), we put the boys down for a nap (Adam had done lots of running!). Adam fought, but fell asleep hard. Ray and I did some work and some housework.
Then we got the boys up and decided to go for another short walk (have to take advantage of the weather as ours has been so variable!). We are turning into our driveway and I trip over something and fall. I must have landed on the corner of an uneven square (there are lots) as I gashed my knee - enough so Ray decided I needed stitches. So off to ER we go! I ended up with a tetanus shot and 5 stitches. The arm where they gave me the shot hurts the most!
By then its 7:30 and no dinner yet, so we stopped on the way home for some food. I think we need to stay home tomorrow.....
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
We had planned to leave for MI today, but we didn't want to get everyone there sick (or travel sick), so we are hoping to go tomorrow. We had mostly better health today and did some of the shopping we planned on doing Friday today.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Modified from Rachael Ray's "Week in a Day"
8 ounces bacon, cooked and diced [she cooked this in the bottom of the pot first, then pulled it to add back in later...I did that, but I am terrible at pan cooking bacon, so I plan on microwaving it next time and then adding it when listed....while that means you don't get the bacon grease (mine collects for me as I have a really cool bacon microwave cooker, so I could add it in if I really wanted), I don't think I'll miss it...I'll put in a little more oil if necessary.]
8 to 10 pieces chicken, chunked [okay, she mixed dark and white...I don't like dark meat, so I used three breast halves and chunked them]
salt and pepper
2 onions, diced [she did huge wedges...that isn't for eating them, so I diced it]
4 carrots, peeled, sliced on an angle 1/2-inch thick [or whatever...]
2 tsp thyme [she used fresh]
2 to 3 bay leaves [she used fresh, I used dry, I only used 2]
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups cloudy apple cider
1/3 cup dark amber maple syrup [she says you can use honey if you want...I had this, so I used it]
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 cups chicken stock [I used bouillion cubes and hot water]
1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled and chunked
Heat oil in a medium dutch oven. She did the bacon, first, I'll microwave it, so I will start with the chicken in the future.
Season the chicken pieces liberally with salt and pepper, then brown in 2 batches on both sides, and remove to plate. Add the onions, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the flour and stir 1 to 2 minutes, then add the cider, syrup, vinegar, and 1 cup stock, stirring between each addition. Slide in the potatoes, and apples, and sprinkle the bacon over the top. Nest the chicken into the pan and add more stock until the liquids reach the edge, but do not cover the chicken. Cover the pan, reduce the heat, and cook the chicken through, 15 minutes or so. Cool completely, and store for a make-ahead meal.
Reheat in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F, or on the stovetop over medium heat, covered until warmed through. Once hot, serve immediately. Remove the cooked chicken to a serving platter or shallow bowls, stir to thicken and combine the sauce and vegetables, and spoon over and around the chicken. The suace is more of a sweet brine - not really a broth you'd want to eat. It does make good chicken though!
Serves 8 [she said 4....yeah, right...4 summa wrestlers...]
Monday, March 14, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
So I had to break down and replace it (we splurged on the accident policy that will replace it for any reason if it breaks in a year...those little boys...). I also am upgrading to Office 2010. I just was forced to go to 2007, now I'm being forced in 2010. I hate change!!!! I really hate the new Office!
Windows 7 isn't too bad (that was a last upgrade issue), I've been able to "fix" most of the stupid stuff. I really like an ORGANIZED set up and I don't like change!!! Did I say that enough?
Excel is what is making me the most furious though. I use Excel A LOT and to have to FIND everything again is VERY obnoxious. And there is no reason!!! I think software developer are just evil and enjoy making our lives difficult.....
Can you tell I'm not happy? In addition, I'm sorry, but I do NOT think you shouldn't be able to reinstall your PURCHASED software as many times as you need on your OWN computers. Evil Microsoft....I don't think I should be penalized for having to reformat!!! AGH!!
Okay, rant done for now....I'll rant more after I use my new laptop for a week...we'll see if it makes me happy or not....also a week of 2010...we'll see how mad I am.....
We are actually looking into Open Office for our desktops - does anyone have any recommendations on it?
Friday, March 11, 2011
What is interesting to me is just that these aren't well known photographs. I agree with the article that these don't portray Eva well, but she loved Hitler....I didn't really expect her to be a great person.....
I also found this made barely any cookies (very small batch), which since I usually freeze and ship is a problem for me. I'd have to double this recipe at least.
I went back and read the comments and found most people didn't use mint and I think most of the other spices would be better, in my opinion.
Butter Mint Cookies
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Some background - its been raining here for a couple of days and I noticed at story hour yesterday that this was showing in ALL kids, not just mine. Adam and Andrew both a bit of "cabin fever" - they want their outdoors back!
So we went shopping and Adam played in the grocery story playround, but its a fairly low key place (as it should be) and I noticed he was draggy. So we get home and he starts crying, "not home, not home...PARK..." Well, that's not possible. Then he says "Mall?" He wants to play and I know he needs exercise/some fun. So I tell him we have to take in the cold stuff and then we can go. Now my issue is it is now 12:30 and Andrew (who is asleep in his carseat) will need to eat, as will Adam, even though he might not think so (I asked him if he was hungry, he said no). So I decide the Kent Library, whose kids room is open on Thursday, is a closer and better option so I can feed Andrew a bottle while we are there. So off we go. I get there and the boys seem happy. Andrew refuses to eat much as he wants to crawl around and play as well, but aside from that we have fun for an hour. By then its 2 PM and we haven't eaten lunch, so I call Ray, who is between classes/meetings, and we do a quick lunch with him as company (he fed Andrew for me while I ate). We drop Ray back off at work and Adam stil really doesn't want to go home and I know that while he's played, he really hasn't RAN, if you understand what I mean. So we go to the mall (30-45 minute drive, though, is the issue). So we get there, still raining, and go in. The boys had a blast - we went to playland first and it was deserted, so it was just them, and they played for awhile, but then Adam was bored (I really think he wanted other kids), so we ran around the mall for awhile. Malls really are a mother's friend - seriously, toilets/food, lots of space to run instead, usually some kid related fun stuff. So we ran up and down the halls (I didn't need anything nor was I interested in shopping...unfortunately this mall is very "teen-bopper" stores, which are pointless to me...although they do have a nice Sears...no bookstore though!) for awhile and then went back to playland as some kids had shown up. Adam had a ball playing Tag. I'm not sure he got all the rules, but he did get the concept of run in circles after hte other boys! He ran his heart out, which was great. Adam crawled his out - he loves the tunnel...in and out, in and out...he goes through, turns around comes back and checks in with me and does it again. He so isn't afraid of the kids running around him either! The kids (and their parents) were also making sure that Andrew didn't get stepped on, as was I.
So then we pack up to leave (unloading and loading strollers in the rain is SO much fun....) and the boys are exhausted, but I realize Andrew, who didn't eat much of his bottle, is probably hungry/thirsty and not only do I not have formula, I don't even have a bottle anymore. I had one sippy cup for Adam (which he'd been drinking out of it), but Andrew is interested in them, but hasn't started using them yet (soon, actually we plan on trying). So we head towards home, Andrew fusses, but falls asleep (all that crawling!), and so does Adam. So I get home and I have a sleeping Adam, who I want to CONTINUE to sleep and a waking up, hungry, Andrew. So I ran, got a bottle and fed Andrew in the car in my own driveway!
Ray gets home about then (it is now just after 5 PM), but we have to be at our friend, Mo's, for dinner at 6. So we wake Adam up (he got an hour nap), haul the boys inside, change diapers, repack and leave for Mo's. We had dinner with her (she made Chinese....awesome egg rolls..I will making those!) and then I stayed to scrapbook, so I didn't get home until 10 PM!
Not the day I had planned, but the day I think Adam needed....since we are going to get snow on Friday, I hope it helps!
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
- Adam making music
- Adam eating a sandwich - this is a big step for the boy who wanted all his food separate for a long time! He's really gotten better on the food stuff - he always tried, but was fairly picky/strange for awhile, but is doing much better.
- Drawing circles - we're good at this, not so good at other shapes yet (he knows them though)
Jasmine Rice Pork Chops
Modified from Rachael Ray
1 cup jasmine rice [I doubled their amounts]
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp basil [they used fresh]
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger [I grated frozen]
8 small boneless pork chops [rather than than 4 large bone-in, I used smaller boneless]
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°. Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Stir the hoisin sauce, scallions, garlic, basil and ginger into the cooked rice.
They used big pork chops and sliced and stuffed...I made sandwiches of two smaller ones. Next time, I'm going to do a casserole - dump rice over the pork chops. I'm lazy!
In a large, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the pork registers 160°, about 25 minutes. Serve the pork topped with the pan juices. So they did this with the stuffed chops, as did I, but I had troule with temperature, so as I said casserole next time - I'll brown the plain chops and then dump together.
Makes 4 servings.
Today, as usual, was a push for the meatless thing. I never have the first week worked out! I plan on shopping tomorrow with this in mind to get some fish into the freezer. I also wanted to repost the information I put up last year on why we can have fish and not other meat on "meatless" Fridays:
St. Thomas Aquinas answered this question in this Summa Theologica. Pretty much, the gist is that "flesh meat" give more pleasure (in general) than fish, so that's why we can eat fish - its less pleasurable. You can see his entire piece on this topic if you follow the link.
Butterscotch Bonanza Bars
Modified from Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
1/2 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar [remember you can make brown sugar with white sugar and molasses!]
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
optional add ins (see later)
Grease a 13 by 9 inch casserole pan (I used Pam for Baking). Melt butter (I used the microwave) and mix with brown sugar. Mix in baking powder and salt. Then stir in vanilla. Then beaten eggs. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time until it is all incorporated.
Now at this point you can add a variety of add ins. I actually like them plain the best. Some other choices, though: 2 cups butterscotch chips (about a 12 oz bag), 2 cups chocolate chips, 1 cup nuts...or anything you want in any combination. I just did 4 batches and did one plain, one with nuts, one with butterscotch and one with chocolate chips. I was shipping overseas and to Alaska as I think my mother will really like these as she's a butterscotch nut.
Spoon batter into cake pan (and you'll have to work this around - with the mix ins, I actually resorted to clean hands!). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (these are different than regular cookies, so pay attention to the outside...mine took about 25 minutes).
Cool completely before cutting into brownie sized pieces. I got about 2 dozen or so from each pan...this says 40...obviously I cut larger! So it just depends on what "brownie" sized means to you!
Now about this book - I'm addicted to this series and this is the newest one and just out. I enjoyed it as always, but I'm so ready for Hannah to make a decision on boyfriends (she REALLY needs to pick Norman) and it seemed she was leaning my way and now a huge new wrench into the works...yes, yes, I realize the author does it on purpose, but PLEASE give me something here....I think it would help with the entire series to have make a decision - a new step in her life!! Just had to rant.....
Actually I did pretty good on the murder this time - I'm always proud if I have a good inkling of what is really going on!
What I am ranting on is delivery trucks stopping in travel lanes! Why is this allowed? I'm not allowed to do it, they shouldn't be either! So, in general, this bothers me - when you are struck trying to get around the UPS truck stopped in front of you, but today was the height of stupidity on the subject! So I was leaving story hour and I pull up to a light in downtown Kent when I see that right after the light is a SEMI backed into the auto parts store, obviously unloading and completely blocking one lane of the road as they are straight out from the store! Seriously! Now so not only are they blocking traffic so you have to go around, but this is the top of a hill - you CANNOT see! And they are unloading a SEMI!!!!! Not quick, which is the argument for like UPS!!!
I just turned and went the long way as I was not trying to go around as traffic was fairly heavy and, as I said, you couldn't see!!!!
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
So I'm trying to clean as I go, so the boys and I head downstairs to do the postage and I get laundry started. Okay. So then I start boxing up cookies (I'm shipping overseas, to Alaska and one more place). This is going slow (Andrew and Adam are "helping"), but its going. Then I look down and Andrew has obviously done something...and not kept it in his diaper. So I change him completely....seriously, it was bad and Andrew is the king of this...yet this was a topper for him! Then I finish boxing cookies. As anyone with kids knows, I've been interrupted a few times. So I sit down to my computer to print postage....and it errors out...so I restart...still erroring out. So I go look...yep, the PO has charged me for postage I didn't get THREE TIMES. So I have to cancel that (the PO has this set up to be pretty easy even if it will take a week to all process through my accounts). Then I switch computers to Ray's and try again. Finally I get the postage to print. Then do custom forms....so I finally get all this printed. Now I have to attach it all...with help, of course, as Adam likes to play with the scale I use and he's also bored with this process and so asking for various things and whatnot. I finally get this all boxed up and realize that it is now lunch time. So I feed the boys and then finally make my "quick" trip to the PO TWO HOURS after I started!
I honestly think I'm usually pretty good at getting stuff done with the kids, but Monday was definitely a test for me!
Friday, March 04, 2011
Here's my personal favorite:
"Sleep when the baby sleeps." Everyone gives you this one — annoying relatives, pediatricians, the cashier at the drugstore where you were buying newborn diapers. Are these people all robots, capable of instantly dropping off to sleep whenever their child is unconscious? Do they not have other things to do, like bathe, or simply relish the rare moments of silence you get when you have an infant?
I had a class end on Sunday, two more start on Monday and I have one more ending on Friday. So I get through that Friday class and I think we are back in control.
I finally got my bridge scheduled - spring break - so I'm hoping that will FINALLY be finished. We also have one other doctor's appointment scheduled. Adam was referred at our last pediatrician appointment for speech therapy. I'm really not sure how I feel about this, so we'll see after the first appointment. I'm not sold on the entire idea, but I also do realize that Adam has been slow to speak and I want him "normal" for kindergarten. I also plan on starting pre-school in the fall and I want him to be comfortable there. I hadn't put this up yet, because I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I'm trying to be positive about it and go with an open mind to get Adam to a level where he can communicate well. I know he understands fine, but he's not great on making HIMSELF understood. His cognitive skills are fine, but his speech are behind. My experience is with the school district, which is not, in my opinion, done well, so I'm hoping for the best. I really don't want the schools involved, so if this is needed, I'd rather do it now.
Andrew is SO close to walking. He can stand really well and doing some "cruising." I think he'll be walking by summer, which will be great for outdoor activities as it will make it MUCH easier on me. Andrew also is a talker - I think he'll be talking early. He's still only got two teeth so no "real" food yet, but he's well into 2nd foods and loving them as long as it isn't green - he hates green food!
We've gotten a lot of rain and getting more now. We'll see how the weather shapes up, but there has been some flooding in the area, so I'm hoping for LESS water.
Over spring break we also have some shopping that we need to get done (finally get a headboard for Adam...we ordered one, Sears discontinued it....been a mess...), we want to apply for passports for the boys (both parents need to be present) and we want to do our city taxes (you have to talk in and do them here, but they do them FOR you for free). We are also going up to Dave's for a few days. That's about two weeks out - we'll excited!
Adam climbed in with Andrew, still dressed, after giving Andrew a bunch of toys...guess he thought now Andrew needed help playing! He did end up sitting down at one point and soaking his clothes...to be expected!