Saturday, April 26, 2008

More Snow?!

This was the view that greeted us this morning.

Luckily the Minnesota Children's Museum isn't too far from our home. We had a fun family day despite the crummy weather. Thanks for coming down to visit us Auntie Julie!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gorgeous Days

We've had three in a row! This means we've been working/playing, exercising/resting, cooking/eating, LIVING outside. It feels wonderful!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Version Of The Perfect Saturday

Today isn't over yet, but I think I can safely say that it was one version of the perfect Saturday. I think I'll just list the things that happened to make it great.

Craig and I slept in until 8:30. We were able to do this because the kids are now at the age where they can get their own breakfast.

After we got up Craig made delicious scrambled eggs for our breakfast.

Then he spent the day outside making shelves and organizing our shed. It looks awesome!

I finally managed to conquer Mt. Washmore. In fact I can just call it laundry now.

After weeks of not wanting to cook or eat much of anything I spent part of the day in the kitchen. I made; chocolate chip cookies, egg salad for our lunch tomorrow, grilled pork chops, Gorgonzola scalloped potatoes and sweet corn sauteed with pancetta and garlic for our supper.

I also looked at every one's suggestions for a falling apart tender pot roast and combined some ideas to try for tomorrow's supper. It's going to be cooking while we're gone all day.

Last but not least, the kids happily played outside all day long. They are absolutely filthy, so now it's time for baths, a snack and bed.

I hope everyone else had their version of the perfect Saturday as well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Family Portrait

By: Micah - age 6

Don't you just love that Craig and I both have a baby in our tummy in this portrait?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Belly Files

14 1/2 weeks

Check Out These Buns!

Or rolls, or whatever you want to call them.

This is probably nothing to you accomplished bread makers out there, but it's a big accomplishment for me. I've never been able to make beautiful and great tasting homemade rolls until now. I have watched several friends go through their favorite bread recipes step-by-step for me, but usually I was too chicken to try to attempt it myself. Finally after being told repeatedly that there was no way I could mess these up, I made my friend Marjan's potato rolls. If I can make them folks, so can you!

Potato Rolls

1 1/2 C water
2 T yeast
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
1 C mashed potatoes
Up to 7 C flour

Dissolve the sugar and salt in the water over medium heat. Let cool slightly then pour into your mixer. Add the yeast & stir. Check back in 5 min. or so to be sure the yeast is working. Turn the mixer on & add melted butter, eggs and mashed potatoes. I have a Bosch mixer and with that I just add one cup of flour at a time. I know I have enough flour added when the dough starts pulling away from the sides. I think I only used about 5 1/2 cups of flour. You can let it raise in the bowl or just go ahead and roll it into balls and put them on the baking pan. I opted for latter since it was getting to be supper time. I preheated the oven while I was rolling the dough and then shut it off. When the pans were ready I popped them into the oven for 10 minutes or so to hurry up the raising time. Turned the oven back on to 400 & baked them for 10 minutes!

I didn't try to make them healthy at all. I used white flour and regular cane sugar. The kids were thrilled. This was as good as dessert for them. I think it will be a fun recipe to mess around with though. I'm sure I'll try to make a healthier version at some point. My next goal is to learn how to make the perfect pot roast. I have never been satisified with the ones I make. They just aren't falling apart tender when I make them. If anyone has a delicious pot roast recipe please feel free to share.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How Do You Pack A School Lunch?

Today I was one of the chaperone's at Micah's field trip to the Children's Museum. After an hour and 40 minutes playing it was time for lunch. We all ate together and we all brought our own lunches from home. Let me tell you that I found it slightly appalling when I saw what most people had packed. Lots of soft white bread, preservative laden pudding cups, and "fruit" snacks galore. In the group of nine we sat with, we were the only ones that brought fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Two of the most hyper kids in the class were in our group and I found it very interesting indeed that they had the absolute worst lunches. I kid you not, one kids lunch looked like it came straight from the local convenience store. He had a plastic bottle of Kool-Aid to drink, a Wonder Bread pb&j, a large bag of Doritos and Pop-tarts for dessert. The other hyper kid in the group had more of the same, but his pb&j wasn't even homemade. It was a prepackaged Smuckers thing with the crusts cut off. I was sitting there feeling a bit shocked and I must admit a little bit smug until I looked down at my child. He was quietly noticing the same things I was. Then he looked up at me and said, "Mom, what did we bring for dessert?" I had to look back at him and admit that I thought the juice boxes I brought would be dessert enough. You have to realize that this kid always has water in his thermos so I thought he'd be thrilled with the juice boxes. Instead he looked rather crestfallen. Then I realized that I'm probably creating a closet junk food junkie. Our lunch was good. It not only tasted good, but it was healthy. However, it just didn't cut it for him. So what's a mom to do? I refuse to pack the "norm" in his lunch every day. I'd rather he was hungry than filled up on sugar and preservatives. I'm at a loss people. What's the happy medium? I'd love to hear every one's take on this subject. Please feel free to disagree with my philosophy on food. I'd just like to hear some opinions.