Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Afternoon

My first job was babysitting for a family in California. I love that family and I really miss them. I went to their house almost every Friday for a long time so I could babysit for them. I wonder if the mom and dad sat at work on Friday afternoons anticipating their date that night.

As I sit here on Friday afternoon I am seeing people stressed out by the week. They are ready to be out for the weekend and I am right there with them. I had one guy pass by that said he was going to lunch to find the next 3 hours of motivation. I am not sure he found it. It has also just been slow around here today. But, I guess that is how most Fridays are.

I am looking forward to picking my kiddos up, hitting the Redbox and having a movie night. We will pull out the hide-a-bed, pop some popcorn and try to keep the dog on the floor.

What do you like to do with your Friday night?

Monday, January 26, 2009

{TWD} Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread

Have you ever heard the expression "Slower than molasses in January, running up hill!" It is one I heard often when I was little from my mother. I of course have passed in on in moments of frustration to my own children. That is not the point of the post but, I actually used molasses in January and it didn't run that slow!


I have never bought fresh ginger before so that was an experience in and of itself. I had to google how to peel fresh ginger and discovered if you freeze it it stays good for months. That is a great tip since it cost half my arm to buy it.

Dorie herself sent in a tip to only fill the pan 3/4 full if it wasn't a true 9x9 pan. I had an 8x8 so I used two ramekins to bake the rest of the batter. Yes, you only see one of the small gingerbreads. This would on account of my 75 pound German Shepherd jumping up and gobbling up the second one! The following picture is my attempt at keeping her away from the rest of the gingerbread.

My lovely daughter is a beater licker. She loves to partake in the brownie/cookie batter. Imagine my surprise when she immediately brought the beater back to me spitting batter out of her mouth. She did not want to eat it because she saw me put the eggs in the batter. This did not seem like it would bode well for the finished product. How wrong I was. Everyone in my house loved this recipe! I got to make candied fresh ginger, use molasses and bittersweet chocolate. What more can one ask for? It was kind of a Christmasy feeling recipe but it was soooo good!

Thank you to Heather of Sherry Trifle for choosing this delicious recipe! You can find the recipe on her site or you can purchase the book Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan!

Next week: World Peace Cookies

Saturday, January 24, 2009

LM at Chickfila

Chickfila is a favorite hang out spot for playdates and meet-ups. Last night it was our Lifegroup meeting there. It was a really informal gathering but it was fun. We got there really late due to the kids not cleaning their rooms when they were told to. That is another story in itself.

A fun fact: If you don't open the toy in the kids meal you can turn it in for ice cream.

We only had one kids meal because Munchkin shared a salad with me. When we were done eating Little Man asked if he could open his toy. Right now they have these paper bugs that you punch out and build into 3D characters. LM got a ladybug which we have had before. So, we told him no because we were going to trade it for ice cream. I turned to talk to a friend and when I looked back LM was gone! He had been sitting right next to Bobby who said he didn't know where he went. I had a second of panic until I looked at the counter and one proud little boy had taken his toy all by himself and had traded it for an ice cream cone! We told him he has to ask before leaving the table but we were pretty proud of him for trading his toy all by himself! He is getting more and more independent every day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

{TWD} Berry Surprise Cake

Well my berry surprise was that this cake did not rise....at all. It looked like a very large pancake. I thought about trying again but didn't think I could handle the rejection if the diva eggs in the recipe decided not to cooperate a second time.I did the best I could with the situation and made a raspberry trifle. Honestly I could have just eaten every one of the berries. I got them at Kroger and they were delicious. That was kind of surprising since I don't ever have good luck with produce there.This was my very first time making my own whipped cream. I was pretty proud of that even though I think I put a little too much vanilla in. It turned out fine anyway. Bobby even loved the trifle saying it was kind of a strawberry shortcake...you know with raspberries!
So, even though the cake didn't rise...at all...it still worked out for the trifle. This is something I would definitely make again.
Thank you to Mary Ann from Meet me in the Kitchen for choosing this recipe. You can find the recipe for this on her blog or you can buy the book Baking from my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Also, you can check out how over 300 other bakers did with the recipe by visiting Tuesdays with Dorie.
Even though it I had a hard time with this recipe, improvising saved it. Next week Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Gingerbread.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that one day people will not be judged on the color of their skin but on the content of their character.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Journey to the Center of the Earth

This is the movie that came from Netflix today. We decided that since it was PG we could probably let the kids watch it and just let them know there would be some scary parts in it. We pulled the hide-a-bed out, popped some popcorn, grabbed some fun dip and settled in.

Once we figured out why the dog as whining at us (she lost her bone under the couch) we were actually able to hear.

There is one part in particular that is pretty intense with a T-Rex chasing Trevor and Sean. Poor Little Man kind of freaked out and kind of hid his face. I could see he wanted to know what happened so he sat on my lap and watched from the safety of my arms. Once the T-Rex had been defeated he yelled in a delighted voice "HE SAVED THE DAY!!!!!!!" and was then much happier.

All in all a good clean family movie. I do wish we had seen it in 3D though as there were some parts that would have been really cool. The door was left wide open for a sequel but who knows if that will happen.
This was a good test also for future action flicks with the kiddos. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crazy Cold!

I know , I know! It is far colder in some parts of the country than it is here but this California girl is chilly willy!
Right now it is 16 degrees outside and is supposed to get down to 2. TWO!!
My friend Karen wrote about what they did today. She is in California. Where it is 82. She posted a picture of the mountains and beautiful clear blue sky.....I might be a little bit jealous. ;-)

How cold is it in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Griddle

Once upon a time, or about 5 years ago, I bought a griddle at a yard sale for $5. It was fine but I had a hard time cooking pancakes evenly on it. It also had a broken leg so when in use I had to put a folded up paper towel under it to keep it steady. Well, the time came for me to get a new griddle. This is one of my Christmas presents and I can't be happier! Look!! I am making 6 grilled cheese sandwiches at once!!! Much better than one at a time in a pan. I am obviously easily entertained. One of my favorite features of the new griddle is the warming tray underneath. Now maybe I can sit down with my family and enjoy warm, evenly cooked pancakes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

{TWD} Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins and Pear Tart

I finally feel like I am back into some semblance of a routine. The kids are in school, I am working, Bobby is able to pick up the kids. There is not much time in the evening to do much of anything except eat dinner and put the kiddos to bed so any baking is relegated to the weekend.

This weekend I was able to make the Savory Corn Muffins chosen by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake. These were a nice change from all of the sweets. Check out Rebecca's blog for the recipe or buy the book "Baking from My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan.
I was also able to make the French Pear Tart that was chosen by none other than Dorie Greenspan.
It is her cookbook we are baking our way through and it is fun that she pops in every once in awhile to answer questions, give pointers and even choose a recipe. Tuesdays with Dorie turned one this month so it was a special treat to have Dorie join us.







The muffins came together really easily. Luckily I had just enough cornmeal left over from making Cornmeal Crescent Rolls at Christmas without having to buy more. I chose to go the traditional route on these as no one in my family would have eaten them with the jalapenos in them. As it was my son and I ate the majority of them. I suppose I should have shared them at work. Bobby liked them but I don't think they were his favorite as there are still a few in the kitchen.
The one thing I was worried about when making these was how the buttermilk and butter came together. I don't think I let the butter cool long enough as it clumped up pretty quickly. I guess it didn't matter too much though as the muffins came out nice and crumbly like cornbread. These will be a great compliment to chili the next time I make it.




































Last week was crazy and I didn't get to make the French Pear Tart until this weekend. I think I over baked the crust a little bit but it still turned out flaky and melt in your mouth delicious. I was a little worried about this one as my daughter and my husband don't like cooked fruit. I had not reason to worry. The cream had ground almonds in it giving it kind of a rustic quality. Bobby loved it! Munchkin didn't even want to try it though. So, in our house this was a grown-up dessert, not that we minded of course!
































Next time I may not prebake the crust so it doesn't get so brown. But, I will definitely be making this again!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

YUM!!!

Today has been kind of lazy/crazy day. We are watching the Titans game and hiding from the rain. It has been a day of laundry, baking, playing and just being at home. I was never home before I went to work but now I am really never home. It makes me want to be here even more.

I am way behind on my Tuesdays with Dorie and was really sad to miss this week. However, I just made my French Pear Tart and my Savory Corn Muffins are in the oven as I type. I will post both on Tuesday and hopefully be back on track. It has been difficult with the new job to feel like doing anything but hugging my hubby and kids and sleeping. We are back in routine though with school so that should help!

I can't wait to show you the pictures of my tart. It was pretty and delicious!!!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Narnia will never be the same....

*Thanks for the title Kacey!

Yesterday started out like any other. Baths, breakfast, your basic everyday getting out the door stuff. My sweet little Munchkin was saying some morning prayers in the backseat when out of my peripheral vision I saw a fairly large animal running down the hill toward my car. I was going about 35 MPH and there was no way I could stop before the animal got to us.

All of a sudden there was a speed bump under my right rear tire.
"Oh , no!!! I just hit a beaver!" are the words that escaped my lips. Munchkin got a very worried expression on her face and said "Oh no, he was probably going to cut down another tree!!! I hope he is OK!!"
Little Man said nothing but usually laughs when we go over big bumps like that.

I looked in my rear view mirror and saw the animal run to the other side of the road. No, it was not rolling from being hit!
I am not sure how it survived and upon reflection I think it was a groundhog not a beaver. I don't remember seeing a large flat tale flash across the road. I hope it is OK.....

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Exit/In - Picture heavy post ahead

I do not remember the last time I got a babysitter so I could go watch Bobbys band play downtown. But, last night I did it! I got a babysitter and managed to make it downtown in my car that is practically limping at this point.

Parking was easy to find and lots of our friends from church came out to see the band. It was nice to see such support from our friends! Salient doesn't play in town very often just because no one wants to pay you to play and it is difficult to get people to show up. If every show was attended like last nights or better they would play in town more often.

For those of you not in Nashville Exit/In has been open since 1971 and has been a hot spot for up and coming big name bands as well as tons of local acts. The last time Bobby and I were there was in 2003. We went to see ours friends Downhere play. The club was cramped, dark and smoky so when the guys were talking about it we didn't see to remember it being great. But, they were talking about it being a great historical place to play. Well, last night it seemed so much bigger! There is a balcony area now that opens up the room a ton plus a fresh coat of paint in the green room. The sound was amazing and the lights were spectacular. But nothing could compare to how great the band sounded. Of course I am a little bit biased but they were tight on everything from rythums to vocals and of course my hubby shreds on the guitar! It was good for me to see him play again and really be able to rock out! I mean I know he is talented but it makes me appreciate his talent even more when I see him in action.






This is our new bass player Ty. We still love our old bass player Ivo but he moved away to Ohio. That makes it a little difficult for practice and shows.

The crew from Lifechurch showed up!! Kasey and I were 2 of about 8 girls in the entire club. Is it a guys things to go out to hear bands? These are some of the friends we have made at Lifechurch and we are so glad to have them in our lives. Ray is in there too and we all know about Ray. ;-)
I had the opportunity to meet Emily last night. This lovely lady is Tys wife. She is very sweet and I am looking forward to getting to know her better. My other two band wife friends didn't make it last night. One due to no babysitter and the other due to impending new baby. I missed seeing them and will hopefully get to hang out again soon.
Melodie (Marks sister) came with her husband David. They are hilarious. She and I both took a bunch of pictures for the band. I am hoping she will let me snag some of hers!

















If you missed last nights show and still want to see Salient in Nashville they are playing at The French Quarter on February 21st. There is a $5 cover charge but it will be worth it!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

So much to do, so little time

We have been working on and off all day on putting away Christmas decorations. It looks like the outdoor lights will stay up one more day but that is OK. We don't keep our lights on, on our front porch all year long.

I really need to be doing laundry and that hasn't begun yet. It looks like we will be taking a quick trip to Wallyworld or Tar-jhay to pick up another plastic tub. I saw them on clearance and need an extra as evidenced by the large pile o' Christmas still in the living room. We are trying to take back the space from the Christmas explosion that happened.

Ok, off I go to get back on top of the mess.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I know New Years resolutions seem to be passe. People think it is lame to make them if you are just going to break them. Well, I think the beginning of the new year is a good time to look at the past time and see where you can improve. Some resolutions may be silly, some profound, self-improving or for improving the world around you.
On that note here are a few of my resolutions for 2009.
- Spend more time playing with my kiddos
- Write at least one handwritten letter a week and actually mail it
- Read the Bible through using YouVersion.com
- Cook more healthy meals for my family
- Be better about clipping coupons and trying to find grocery deals
- Bake every week with TWD
- Be more active

I don't think these are things that are too crazy and out there. They should be a part of my life anyway. Now, if I can just get in the habit and actually follow through that would be good.

Do you make New Years resolutions? What are yours?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

1 year Bible

Amy posted a link to this blog the other day. A group of women are reading the Bible through together this year. It looks like a wonderful group to be a part of.
I am using Youversion 1 year plan even though I plan on popping by the other site as well. On Youversion you can go straight to the chapters to read for the day and you can choose the version you want to use. If reading the Bible through in a year is something you would like to do, check out the different sites!