Archives for September 2012
There was a time, when my kids were very young, where I put aside absolutely everything I enjoyed doing in my free time. “Free time” was the craziest phrase I could imagine. There weren’t enough hours in the day to work full time, feed my family, keep a fairly clean house,
bake cookies, and still have enough time to do something for myself.
Now that my kids are a little older, I’ve taken back a little time for myself. Well, I can’t say actually have time all to myself, but my kids are interested in helping out with my hobbies. They’re curious and often want to learn how to do things. Sometimes it’s hard to step back, especially when I’m in a hurry, and just let them try something.
Both of my kids enjoy cooking with me. My son loves to chop things (although, I’m so afraid he’s going to cut his fingers off). He’s actually quite helpful in the kitchen and will often just whip up a little lunch, if he thinks I’m being too slow.
My daughter prefers to help with baking. In her own words, “I like to help make the things that we put lots of sugar into. Those things always taste the best.” It only took her 8 years to figure that out.
Both of my kids love being outside with us. My son has always been a strong kid and has no problem hauling wood chips, moving bags of dirt, mowing, or digging up plants. The other day, we finished up working in the yard, and next thing I knew, he was setting up the sprinklers. He just thought the plants needed a little water. He was right. They did. I love that kid!
I absolutely love to sew. My kids will sew with me, although my son started losing interest long ago. My daughter and nieces worked on a few project at Auntie Becca’s Sewing Camp this summer. I can’t say they love it as much as I do, but they know how to work a machine and have no problem creating something from fabric scraps.
My newest hobby has been photography. I have truly enjoyed learning everything I can about photography over the past few years. There are so many cool things a camera can do!
Of course, I can’t forget my ALL TIME FAVORITE HOBBY… camping!
Okay, maybe not. Here’s the reality.
How about you, friends? What’s your hobby?
Waiting less and eating sooner makes everyone happy at my house.
On a lighter note, I needed a little pick-me-up after one of our days at the hospital. I asked my hubby to get my fall boxes down so I could do a little decorating. The front door was my first stop. I’m trying to add a bit more yellow to the front of my house. I love black-eyed-susans and mums, so those were the obvious pick. I wasn’t quite ready to change to my burlap pillows, but summery stripes just didn’t cut it anymore.
My hanging baskets are still all about summer, but I’ll be changing out a few plants to yellow or orange mums as the petunias start to die.
The leaves are even starting to blow onto the driveway. I love fall, but I’m always sad to see summer slipping away.
I wasn’t feeling very creative this year, so I just went with basic wreaths, garland, and mums. My old milk crate gets to stay, just because I love it.
We went with a rainbow theme, which thrilled my kids to no end. I’m not a huge fan of dyes and food coloring in my kids’ food, so when my daughter saw the bright colors, her eyes lit up. It was certainly a special birthday treat for her.
We made rainbow cupcakes, with rainbow cupcake toppers.
My kids were excited to tell everyone that their mom decided to do a plain old white cake this year. The little rainbow bunting was a hint of the surprise to come.
I won’t lie. The cake, cupcakes, and decorations were a lot of work (and dishes), but nothing more than I usually do for my kids’ birthdays. The result and “happy” birthday girl were worth the work!
Happy baking! (And Happy Birthday to my big 8 year old!)
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try them.
• 1 cup butter, room temp
• ½ cup white sugar
• ½ cup powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1 egg
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
• ½ teaspoon salt
Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop 1 inch balls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes at 350 degrees.
I doubled this recipe to make the cookies you see in the picture above.
•1 cup butter, room temp
•1 cup shortening
•7 cups powdered sugar
•1 tablespoon vanilla
•2 tablespoons milk
Beat butter and shortening. Slowly, add powdered sugar. Add milk and vanilla. Adjust the amount of milk you add, depending on the consistency you’re looking for.
I use Wilton food coloring to get bright colors in my frosting.
Assemble the cookies like a little sandwich and arrange in rainbow order.
Does anyone else need to say, “ROY-G-BIV” as they figure out which color comes next?
“If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love to spend time in my kitchen. I’ve always felt like food is a gift I can give to my family. It makes me so happy to cook a yummy meal, from scratch, and feed my family. It’s the way I grew up and I hope my kids will enjoy cooking meals for their own families some day.”
Big old home cooked meals have always been a family tradition that my hubby and I both enjoyed growing up. I don’t remember eating many things from a box, or eating prepackaged meals as a kid. We ordered our meat from the butcher, grew veggies in our garden, and the milk man delivered milk to our doorstep. (Boy, that makes it sound like I grew up in the olden days! I’m really quite young!) We ate fruit that my mom canned herself and I never knew that people did things differently. As a mom, I strive to do those things for my family. I want to know where the food for my family comes from. I want to prepare it from scratch and keep out all that artificial stuff that comes in a box. It tough! I can’t say I meet this goal all of the time, but it helps that I enjoy cooking, baking, and spending time in the kitchen.
A few weeks ago I shared a meal I prepared for the family and I promised I’d post the recipes. So, here you go!
I usually start by putting a few chicken breasts in the crockpot with some taco seasoning (Yes, I buy the package even though I just said I try not to buy prepackaged stuff.). I let that cook all day and by late afternoon, I’m ready to assemble the enchiladas.
Combine 1 cup sour cream with one can of Cream of Chicken Soup.
Add a package of taco seasoning to the creamy mixture.
Lay out a tortilla shell.
Spread a little of the creamy mixture on the tortilla.
Add cheese and chicken.
Roll it up and put it in the (greased) pan.
Think of it like a taco and build it like that.
You can decide how much meat, cheese, and sour cream you usually like.
Once you’ve used all of the meat, lay the enchilada in the pan and smear (that’s a technical term) the rest of the creamy sauce over the top. Top with cheese and bake for 30 minutes at 350.
I tried a new recipe for homemade ranch dressing.
The kids thought it was a little strong, but I LOVED it.
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed OR a few tablespoons of chopped dill
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
I started by putting the herbs, garlic, and scallions in the food processor. I gradually added the other ingredients, and that’s it! So simple! This recipe doesn’t last quite as long as bottled salad dressing from the store. It only lasts as long as the expiration date of the milk and sour cream. I’m fine with that, since I know there aren’t as many preservatives.
One of the things I’ve loved about blogging has been people telling me that they tried something for the first time, after reading about it on my blog. If you try these recipes, I’d love to hear how you like them! (Ok, don’t tell me if you didn’t really like them. Just pretend you liked them. It’s the nice thing to do, right?)