Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fred Fuller Park

We took the boys to Fred Fuller Park in Kent for a picnic, a walk and some play time.  It was so hot that we didn't walk as f ar as we thought and drove downtown rather than walk from the park, but we did walk around there and tried the new popcorn place.
Picnic
Climbing the castle - he made it all the way up and onto the play structure by himself!
A good day ends with falling asleep in the car! Notice Andrew's nose...he fell out of his crib (we are moving to a toddler bed...this just meant no more crib!) trying to climb out the wrong way, then he face planted about two more times trying to run fast enough to keep up to brother! We wanted to put Neosporin on it, so we band-aided it for for awhile.

Children's Museum of Cleveland

So I had a plan....Ray came in last Thursday from his trip to GF for a conference.  So I was going to take the boys to the Cleveland Chidren's Musuem, then pick him up (he was to land at 4), the idea being they could go to sleep as they'd be exhausted. Well, musuem was fun and the boys were happy. But Ray called, he'd be late, but just a little.  So I stay a little longer, we head out.  The boys do not go to sleep....and then Ray doesn't show up....so I call my mom to have her check the flight....and he's way late (like 2 hours)....and the boys are NOT sleeping.  So I find a McDonalds for a snack....we wait more....finally Ray shows up....so not theday I had planned! The lesson here: never plan anything around a plane arrival.  Which I knew....just didn't listen....






Car Seat

I want the camera! But notice he's using the cupholder - both of them do know! So smart!

Monday, May 28, 2012

What reading material!

He's a budding historian right?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Antipasto Squares

This is an older recipe that I got from my Auntie Sue and this is the first time I've actually made it - it was a hit at our last game night!

Antipasto Squares
From Auntie Sue
2 pkgs crescent rolls
1/4 lb ham (I used Bavarian as it said imported...I really think you can use whatever you want...)
1/4 lb provolone
1/4 Genoa salami
1/4 lb Swiss
1/4 lb pepperoni [the sandwich stuff...although you can use pizza pepperoni, just take a lot more)
1 large jar of roasted peppers - drained
3 eggs
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/3 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 9 by 13 pan. Press 1 pkg of crescent rolls in the bottom of the pan. Layer meats and cheese in order given. Place roasted peppers on top. Beat 3 eggs with grated cheese and pepper and pour over peppers. Reserve 3 tbsp to glaze top. Place 2nd package of crescent rolls over the peppers and brush with remaining egg mixture. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes more until brown. Let set 10-15 minutes. Eat hot or cold.

I made this the night before and we heated in the oven for awhile before serving, but I still microwaved mine...I like my cheese melty.:) But it is fine cold as it all disappeared!

Spring Cleaning

We are making progress on spring cleaning. Upstairs and basement are done. We moved all the books from upstairs to the basement....a LOT LOT LOT of work....

Adam

 "Exercising"
He noticed that Daddy had his feet up on the TV tray...so he hauled his table over and put his up!
Hanging out at the Akron Zoo
This was Zoo and Me last week
Making a bird feeder
Time to put seeds on it!
Hanging up in our yard!
Checking out feathers!
They also did a basket of ribbons for bird's nests to hang in the yard as well, so that's up too.

Outdoor Fun

"Fishing" 
Playing with the water table with their buddy Niles
Climbing right in seemed like a good idea! 
Olga decided to try to outside...then got around the fence...and promptly lost it!   We got her back inside....although I will admit I considered letting her figure it out....she's currently annoying us with pooping outside her litterbox whenever she's "mad" at us.  Very annoying. And yes I know she could do SO much worse (she obviously gets the limits that we'd take before she'd be getting a new home), but still VERY aggravating!

Bird's Nest

This robin is sitting on eggs right in our backyard in our flowering plum!

Kitchen Remodel

My parents are remodeling their kitchen - looking good!

Andrew


With Jason's mother - he took advantage of the "Grandma" gene to get sympathy!

My little cutie!

Andrew's Cake

Andrew turned 2 on the 12th.  I don't know how he got so old!  Anyway, he quite enjoyed his cake! He also is the proud new owner of a tricycle!

Hmmm...what is this?
Oh, cake...I like it!

 My new trike!
He also got this water table, which both he and Adam adore!

Uncle Billy also sent these planets (and Aunt Erika)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pizza Dough

We like homemade pizza, but the crust options at the store aren't impressive or overpriced.  So I'm trying to make my own. The dough is delicious and, with bread maker help, it is easy.  But I totally fail dough manipulation!  You can see "circle" is a loose interpretation here! My friend Samantha gave me this recipe and made it before for us - hers was good AND looked nice. I have some work in "looks" good area. I normally don't care about presentation, but here this verges on making it impossible to eat, so I need to work on it!
Modified from Samantha

1 cup water

3 cups flour (1 1/2 cup white and 1 1/2 cup wheat or all white)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey (or sugar if you use all white)
2 tsp active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in the bread pan, select "Dough" setting, 1 1/2 pound setting, press Start.


When it beeps, turn off bread machine, remove from bread pan, and turn out dough.  Form into a mound and let set for 10 minutes.
Grease two pizza pans. With your hands, stretch and press dough into pans.(I totally SUCKED at this....maybe practice? You can see I had a strange space, lots of holes...).  Form a small ridge on edge.
Preheat oven to 450.

Spread pizza sauce and toppings on (they did this weird...kind of like Chicago style...I just did it normally!). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cut into slice and serve.

If you just one a one pound loaf (I actually did this, but think I'm going bigger next time in hopes it will help dough manipulation...)
One pound variation
3/4 cup water
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast.

Bacon-Cheddar Pinwheels

As I mentioned earlier, I'm working on appetizers receipes, so this is my latest trial.  This is good, but not great, but defintely a good option for our game night as it will apply to a wide range of palates.  I honestly thing it would be better with like pepper jack and different ingredients, but since we are taking this for kids to eat with, the simple is better!

Modified from Taste of Home

1 can (8 oz) crescent refrigerated seamless dough sheet (refrigerated cresecent dinner rolls)

2 tbsp ranch dressing
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup onion, minced

Heat oven to 350. Unroll dough and cut into 2 long rectangles. Press each into a 12 by 4 inch rectangle (this pretty much is as is) (if you use the crescent rolls, you have to cut then press the perforations to seal...I used the seamless and it worked great....as me and perforations are not a good thing!).

Spread dressing over each rectangle to edges. Sprinkle each with bacon, cheddar cheese and onions.

Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle press edge to seal.

With serrated knife, cut each roll into 8 slices; place cut side down on the ungreased cookie sheet. (Okay, I only got 7 per, but I didn't measure...and don't really care....).
 
Bake 12-17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm. 

Makes 16 appetizers (I got 14....). 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I got a request for oatmeal raisin and so made this recipe. Ray just loved these!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Modified from Paula Deen

1 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup raisins (I didn't use the pecans and doubled this)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350.

Add 1/2 cup water to raisins (and pecans if using), then microwave for 90 seconds. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugars and beat until very creamy. Add the vanilla extra and eggs, and beat again until mixed.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add it to the butter mixture. Add the oats, raisins and pecans. Mix together.
Drop heaping tablespoons of batter on to a prepared cookies sheet. Leave room for spreading. Bake until cooked in the middle, 10-12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 3-4 dozen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

BBQ Chicken

Remember that port barbecued chicken I made to freeze awhile ago?  Well SO SO SO SO yummy!  Ray did a great grilling job and even the kids ate it!

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I made this a few weeks ago and served it with rolls.  Nice and filling. A little too tomatoey for me, but still good. If you like tomaotes, you'll love this.

Stuffed Pepper Soup
Modified from Auntie Sue
1 lb ground meat (I used hamburger, I think she used chicken)
1 cup chopped onion
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
6 cups of chicken broth
3 cups chopped green peppers (I actually used a mix of colors)
2/3 cup brown rice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp basil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown meat, onions and garlic. Drain and add to crock pot. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.

This makes a VAT! We ate it and I ended up freezing about half of it.

Yard

 Bird nest in our flowering plum
 Clean garage
Our cleaning helper!

The Boys

 Eating in the backyard

Fishing, I guess?


Big Boys!

I redid our upstairs.  With Andrew moving into a toddler bed, I decided to do some moving around. The boys, who don't get "yours" and "mine" right now (except when they are playing with something then it is theirs and they get that if they drop it the other can take it...some interesting fights!), I decided to do a bedroom/playroom rather than two bedrooms with toys in each.
So both beds are now in the smaller bedroom (the one that was Adam's) 
The is the playroom and is also the guest room (you can see the bed in the corner). This also gives our guests (mostly grandparents) a little privacy!  The crib will be going in about a month so then this will be nice and open!
The boys sleeping in their new room!