Monday, January 30, 2012

Being Sick is Rotten....

We are finally getting into a good rhythm and now I'm sick...just so unfair! We've actually been healthy for a few weeks and I wanted this to continue! Our weather (really rotten this winter) is definitely not helping!

I'm trying for a good schedule this term and to actually make progress on some long term goals. Last semester was really tough on us and we just could never seem to find any "normal" routine and both Ray and I are "routine" people.

So this term, with Ray and I having lighter loads, hopefully we can do that. My aim is Story Hour on Monday (and we made it today) and then grocery shopping, Adam has preschool T/R and Andrew and I will do cleaning here those days. Wed are speech, but just in the morning, so hopefully we can do whatever the rest of the day. Friday and the weekend are more ad hoc and hopefully we can keep them relatively "free."
I started two major projects last term that quickly got derailed and am hoping for better this term. First, I want to inventory my books (I know, such the librarian!). Second, I'm trying to organize all my pictures and scan any that need to. I'm evening culling some. I also need to organize my digital photo files. These are things I can do around the kids, so we'll see how they go. In addition, I want to continue to scrapbook and cross stitch when I can.

We are also trying to do exercise each night. I'm also taking calcium in hopes of better teeth health for 2012! I just can't take much more of this. I'm also going to use that to help me lose some weight hopefully my reducing nighttime snacking by flossing earlier (so I can't forget). Hopefully it will help with both goals. I'm terrible about nighttime snacking.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pizza Quick Bread

I made this with Ray in mind and it turned out really well. Very yummy, but I think better warm. Mine was also fairly greasy, so I think I need less pepperoni as that's so greasy when cooked.

Pizza Quick Bread
Modified from Picky Palate

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 eggs (they say large, I only use extra large)
2 tbsp oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (remember you can use regular milk and lemon juice)
1 3/4 cups shredded Italian cheeses (they used 1/4 Parm, 1 1/2 Mozz...I used the store mix)
1 cup quartered pepperoni slices (I think I used a little too much as mine was a little greasy, which is the pepperoni)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 and spray bread pan with Pam.

Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Mix eggs, oil, buttermilk then mix into flour, slowly. Fold in cheeses and pepperoni.

Pour half of the batter into bread pan. Top with marinara sauce then put rest of batter in.

Top with Italian seasoning and additional Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm (room temp is fine, but warm is better).

Makes 8 servings.

Ancient Popcorn

Thought this was pretty cool as my boys just adore popcorn!

Potato Tacos?

I tried potato tacos tor dinner tonight. I'm a potato freak...had to try. Can't say this was good as a taco and it honestly isn't much of a recipe, but we liked the filling on its own - hash, maybe with some grilled ham, with leftovers and I think that will be better.

I used smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin and S&P as the seasonings.

Applesauce Bread

This is so good...seriously, YUMMY!!!! I made three loaves, one plain for us and froze two with raisins and nuts for my next overseas package. I just love the taste! So go make this!

Applesauce Bread
Modified from Taste of Home

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups applesauce (I used unsweetened)
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 cups raisins (I see these at optional...I did a loaf plain and it was great)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I see these at optional...I did a loaf plain and it was great)

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and applesauce, mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves. Stir into creamed mixture just until moistened. Fold in raisins and nuts.

Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Death by Caramel Bars

I saw this recipe and thought of my mother, so I made her a batch while they were here. We took the batch with us to CT and they got good reviews. They are VERY rich and you'd better like caramel! I didn't actually try any as I hate nuts, but that's the report I got. They are also VERY messy and sticky! The recipe recommends using them a sundae base with vanilla and that would probably be a good suggestion as it allows a utensil, plus cuts some of the caramel with vanilla.

Death by Caramel Bars
Modified from My Recipes

3 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 cups butter, melted (they said unsalted, I used salted....)
3 eggs, lightly beaten (they say large, I only buy extra-large)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked regular oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
6 caramel-peanut bars, chopped (they used 2.07 oz Snickers...I actually used PayDays, as they are my Mom's favorite and I was making these for hers...I think something like Snickers would probably actually make this a letters less gooey, but everyone liked these as is)
1 (14 oz) can dulce de leche (I did find a squeezy bottle of this that was like 15 oz that I used....I honestly think you could just use regular caramel sauce like you buy in the ice cream aisle...this was in the Mexican aisle, by the way)

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stirring until just blended. Fold in chopped candy cars.

Put batter in foil lined 13 by 9 pan. Make sure to full foil this - it is STICKY!!!. Spoon dulce de leche over batter, swirl...I actually think I had too much...I did use it all though.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely (REALLY!!).

Lift out with foil and then peel off foil (seriously, this is hard - this is sticky, sticky, sticky). Cut into bars.

Makes 2 dozen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adam's Birthday

Adam turned 4 on the 17th (can you believe it?) and so we had a little party at home for him plus he got to celebrate at school on the 19th.

Grandma frosting cupcakes - I made my regular cake and frosting, but did it as cupcakes.
Making dinosaur cookies to take to school

Dino cookie - pretty high art for Grandma and Mom!


CT pictures

Car ride home - Andrew was so proud of getting to control the DVD player for a bit!
Cruising at Great-Gram's

Great Gram reading to Adam

Adam vaccuming Grandma's feet

Andrew at Great-Gram



The cousins: Grayson, Andrew and Adam with Auntie Sue

Reading to the boys (they are just 6 weeks apart)

Playing

Andrew and Grayson



Bridge at the pond

In Sam's shoes - Andrew loves shoes!

The boys and I at Emily's


Adam also figured out how to "fly"

Andrew and Farley

Andrew taking pictures at Auntie Stasia's

Andrew taking a break with some toons - I was working upstairs (on actual work) and he wanted to hang...I think he needed some pesronal space!





Grandparent pictures

I'm trying to get the rest of my pictures up from my parents being here.


Riding the Grandpa "Moose" - see his antlers?
The park

Sliding down in the snow!


Dad compiled all the videos into one as well
Marching to the park


Olga spending some time with Grandma


Andrew in a box


Breaking the ice




Andrew's new favorite game - pretending to sleep!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Teeth....Again....

So when I went in my regular check up at the end of October, we had a new dentist as our old one retired. Okay...not enamoured, but never am, so I was trying to be non-judgemental here. He seemed to find a LOT, but my old dentist, near retirement, tended to be reactive...the new one seems more proactive...okay, probably a good thing. So I go in for what I think is ONE appointment...no, then it has to be TWO....then THREE....and the third had to be approved and they put in a temporary on the last tooth. I'm NOT happy at this point, but I'm trying to get this finished and then might be finding a new dentist....but again was TRYING. So on Wednesday, I get a phone message that our insurance is screwed up...turned out he did so much work, he maxed out my limit so the insurance won't pay....and they closed until Monday for whatever reason. So on Monday, I'll be yelling. Well, Wednesday night my temporary fell out (I already had an appointment in a week to finish this supposedly) and they are CLOSED now until Monday. I can't live with this hole plus it is very sensitive (even the temp had been due to being close to the nerve). So I call a different dentist and get in on Thursday. They look at it - it will need a root canal (which they can actually do unlike the other guy), which is NOT what I had been told and would have probably meant I would NOT have been finished after the third appointment anyway. I'm super upset (I was crying all over the poor new dentist...I think he gets I have issues with dentists....), but I schedule the root canal as I do want this finished and they are sending in to my insurance (new year, they should pay....ugh....insurance is good, but so problematic....) then we can do it and they did put in a temporary crown, which is actually better than what I had before.

So the short version is I have to go in on Monday, probably pay the old office way too much money for their mistake (they should have known...one reason we'd kept on here after the first check up is that I like the staff and they do a good job...I totally blame this new guy and all his "new" ways....), then cancel all my appointments with them and get my records transferred. Then once my insurance clears the root canal I get the fun of that...it sounds like they might be willing to do it all in one appointment, which would make me much happier than the three they were originally going to do...I'm not a fan of spread it out...I'd rather just do it all at once and live with it.

I really need a break from teeth problems!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cute Boys

Checking out the new furniture!
In control of the remote - how MALE!

Mailing letters

Working the key


Matching overalls!



New Furniture

We got a few new pieces of furniture today as my parents rented a van (we are trekking to CT to see family, Ray is staying here as he has to work) and it gave me room to move large items!

We are going to use this for the components to our TV (on top) and I'll use the drawers for storage. Eventually it will be one of the boys' dresser as Adam has built ins that we obviously can't move with us to the next house in a few years. This is tall enough to detract regular boy poking and prodding, which was the goal. But still MUCH smaller than an entertainment center!
New couch, also from the used furniture store. You can see it is in good condition and if the pattern gets on me, I'll just slip cover it. But after YEARS of whining, I'm giving up my favorite couch that "sucks" you in as everyone else hates that about it.


You can see the couch actually matches the carpet, strangely enough, and looks pretty nice. It is also smaller than the last one as it is more "contained." In our living room every inch counts!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New TV

We bought and mounted a new TV - no more entertainment center!


Exploring the entertainment center as Mommy empties it


Andrew helping Grandpa put up the wall mount

Grandpa needs my tools!

New TV (we are looking for better component storage)

The box is fun!



Whose feet?

Boys

New boots?
Playing with a dinosaur

Self-portrait of an artist

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Today's Fun

Drinking Grandma's 7-UP (not really)
Daddy fixed my dinosaur and gave it a tail!

Adam's picture of Grandpa

I fell in the water....

Walking with Grandma

Checking out the water and sticks