Friday, August 17, 2012

Peaches in Vanilla Syrup

Yesterday during nap time I canned four quarts (and a pint, since I guess I improperly weighed my peaches) of summer peaches in vanilla syrup from the book Canning for a New Generation by Lianna Krissoff. I've made a few things from this book, mostly jams. I love this book. Lianna Krissoff has made the canning steps easy to understand, and her recipes are wonderful. She warned me to make sure that they were freestone peaches. She even suggested that I go out to the car to cut one open to make sure before I bought a ton of them. I did not listen. I have two tiny kids and two weeks worth of groceries in my cart. I am not going to purchase one peach to see if the pit comes out with little coaxing. Luckily, they were mostly freestone and I only had to struggle with pitting a few of them. That was enough, though. Pitting cling stone fruit is a pain. I'm hoping to crack a few of these open to top plain yogurt or add a few to a fruit salad. Let me warn you, though - I started during nap time but Wild Child (The Older) woke up right was I was about to put these in the water bath. It is much more difficult to can with a small child underfoot, and I do not recommend it. I had to kick him out of the kitchen for 15 minutes so I could finish up, since all that hot water and glass jar business can be dangerous for little fingers.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Egg free banana bread

As is usually the case a few days before grocery shopping, I have no eggs and a random assortment of things that I need to make TODAY RIGHT NOW ASAP EMERGENCY before they go bad. I need to really get up on my meal planning. And of course, since I am just not planning much these days, I decided to make banana bread with a few extra ripe bananas and got pretty well into the batter before I remembered, "I have no eggs. Hello." More coffee, anyone? Luckily for me, I keep a box of milled flax seed in the refrigerator. Well, lucky depending on who you ask. You can usually substitute one TB of flax and 3 TB of water for one egg. I took a chance and tried it out. This is my mother's recipe, but with a few changes. It turned out wonderfully!

No Egg Banana Bread

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup ripe, mashed banana
2 TB milled flax seed
6 TB water
1 TS vanilla
1 TS cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 TS baking soda
1 TS salt
1/2 cup sour milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips or walnuts (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar. Add banana, water, flax and vanilla and mix well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add alternately with sour milk. Fold in mini chocolate chips or walnuts if you're feeling a little adventurous. If you're baking for someone like The Husband, then leave these out. There's no time for frills when it comes to banana bread! He says.  Grease two small loaf pans and bake in a preheated oven at 350* for about an hour (until a knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the loaf.) These freeze well, if you have the room!

Monday, July 30, 2012

This is why I can't get things done

So I put the boys to bed the other night and came into the kitchen to check some things off of my to do list. I found this on top of my agenda book.

Watch out, to do list! You've been conquered. I love having boys...

Friday, July 27, 2012


I canned my first jars of jam this week. Blueberry apple! I'm impressed with myself, though it took me longer than expected and I had to work around not having all the right equipment. I mean, who keeps a 21 quart pan just hanging around? Not me. Next on my agenda is strawberry jam and then (if I can work fast enough during nap time) a spiced cherry preserve. Time to find a good scone recipe.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A rose by any other name

Y'all. Is this not the most pathetic rose bush you've ever seen? I challenge you to find a more poor excuse for a rose bush. I'll be honest - I didn't even know what it was until we got that little bloom. I know I should probably dig it up, since it's a mess of branches and they are all flopping over and sad, but part of me hopes that I can try to prune it up and salvage it. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


How cute is this baby? So cute. I don't remember Wild Child (the older) smiling so much, so young.

This kiddo is a charmer, for sure.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Look who's TWO!

I cannot believe I have a two year old. He's becoming such a sweet boy. And adorable, to boot!

The night before his party (and I use that term loosely) we had a power outage that ended up leaving us without electricity - for five days. We busted out some awesome gifts from his grandparents that we enjoyed in the heat.

Since we were going to lose all our food anyway, we went ahead and fired up the grill and hung out in the heat. We got him a new climber, since he could spend all day outside and needed a bigger slide.

 A few of his best friends came to enjoy the morning and helped him break in his new wheels.

 And, of course, the kid ate his weight in cupcakes.

Because we had to clean out the fridge because of the power outage (and also because his grandparents were in town) we had a week-long binge of cupcakes and donuts. The kid had a sugar crash from a week of birthday treats. It was pretty serious. But how can you deny a little face like this?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Frozen Yogurt Pops

It's summer, and while it's not Texas hot here in Maryland, it's still pretty hot. We try to limit sugar in this house (except for The Husband, of course) but that doesn't mean that treats get kicked to the curb. Here's a quick and easy yogurt pop that's a favorite around here. It's pretty versatile, so add and subtract what you'd like.
 2 cups plain yogurt (one cup can be vanilla if you want a little extra sweetness)
1/2 cup each: strawberries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries (frozen)
1 banana
Orange Juice (As needed. I usually add a little as I blend until it gets to a consistency I like)

Stick everything in the blender and give it a good pulse. Make sure you add a little liquid if it seems like it isn't moving. Blend until you've got a consistency you like, adding juice as you go. When you're pleased, take your pop molds and fill until you've got about half an inch left at the top - these will expand as they freeze. Of course, your little Wild One will probably want to help.                                                                                                                                                                        

             Once you've got that all figured out, you'll need to find space in your freezer. This is the hardest part. They need to be fairly upright, but if you're life me and you've purchased enough frozen veggies in case Armageddon becomes a movie based on real life, you'll need to do some rearranging.

            Give them a night to freeze. If they don't come out right away when you try to bust them out, warm the container a little in your hand or let them sit on the counter for five minutes or so. Then, enjoy! These can get pretty messy, so they are best enjoyed outside (or inside with a towel!)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Look what we did!

I didn't have anything planned Thursday, so at 7 am I decided to have a baby. He arrived at 11:46 am, which was great, because I was ready for lunch. We had a fantastic birth experience at Special Beginnings, which released us a few hours later with the blessing of my midwife and his nurse. He was 19 inches long and 6 pounds, 14 ounces and nurses like a champ.

 Wild Child isn't quite sure what to do with the Tiny Wild One yet. So far all he knows is that mom's lap time is limited now and he's watching more Sesame Street more the last two days than he's used to. Luckily Dad is home and is able to spend some extra time playing so he doesn't feel like baby is getting all the attention. Look at my sons; aren't they precious?
Here's a photo of just the Tiny One:
 And of course, all my boys:

I am one lucky momma!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Per Uncle Dragon's request:

You're welcome.

Where we are

I fell of the internet for a while. I mean, it's good to have a little break now and then. I've been nesting like a maniac in our new home. I can't believe that we're home owners, or as a friend said, "Home Moaners." Two days in we had to fork over $500 to the 24-hour plumber after I flushed the toilet and the basement started to flood, so she pretty much nailed it!  Check out our sweet cherry blossom tree, though.

RIGHT?! The inside of our house is coming together nicely. We have Wild Child's "big boy" room finished, though he's still sleeping in the nursery. His sleeping habits are so erratic I don't think putting him in a bed is a wise decision. We're still waiting on the newest arrival and hope he arrives soon. I hope to be back soon with photos of the house and some projects we've already completed. Here's to being back in the game!

Monday, March 19, 2012


Things have been crazy around here, but thankfully as I was packing up the desk I found my camera cord so I could finally upload some photos. It's amazing what you dig up when you start to pack. I've decided after this I never want to move again. I say that every time; doesn't everyone? Here are a few photos from the last few weeks.
Building is our favorite.

Granddad sent us some presents from his trip to Honduras!
Getting so tall!

Eating a "nanana"

Lemons are a special snack.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


So I'm packing up our house and mentally decorating our new place. It's dangerous, you know, making over a place you don't even live in yet. I've been scouring Pinterest for weeks in order to get some ideas for cheap and easy upgrades, how-tos and decor ideas. I came across this blog - The House of Smiths. I have been pouring over it for days now and it's serving as quite a bit of sewing and decor inspiration. I've decided our first "major" project will be this one:

Beautiful, right? Our hall entry closet has bi-fold doors, though, so the demolition step won't be quite as dramatic as theirs. We plan on just taking the doors off and adding molding. It will give the Husband a chance to use some of his new tools and get back into woodworking. I've already put him to work at designing a new dining room table for us. Just a few more weeks!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I've been doing a lot of waiting lately. At present, I'm sitting on the couch waiting for my Tylenol Severe Cold and Flu medicine to kick in so I have full use of my nose back. We're also waiting on this little guy:

Cute, right? He has his little arm up by his head just like WildChild did when he was born. Come spring, when he's due, we hope that we'll be HERE:

I'm done renting. We wanted a place with walls to paint and a yard for the boys. I have dreams of a garden in the back, surrounded by fruit trees. Of course, I'm going to need to figure out a way to keep the deer out. Yesterday I was scoping out the raised beds and noticed deer tracks all over the yard. Because the house backs up to a wooded area, they come down to the house to feast.

It's so hard to trust and rest and wait. I'm praying that God continues to direct our steps and gives us peace and we go forward. In the mean time, I'm hoping I don't have too much time before this medicine kicks in. I'd like a nap before the kid wakes up!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dad time

Wild Child is loving having Dad home during the days he's off. They walk around the house together and it actually gives me a chance to clean the bathrooms without having to worry about little hands in the toilet. It's glorious! Here are a few snapshots from the last few days.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Daily Bread

My dad got me a great book for Christmas - Jennifer Reese's Make the Bread, but Buy the Butter: What you should and shouldn't cook from scratch. I have been known to sit and read through a cookbook for fun, and I couldn't put this one down. Not only is it a cookbook, it's a very funny rendition of her trials and errors in making everything from cakes and cheeses to moldy meat in her crawl space. I finished it in two days, every so often saying, "Hey, did you know..." and then inserting some sort of food trivia. The husband wasn't as interested, but one day I'll win Trivial Pursuit with my knowledge of trees poisonous to bees. You'll see.  What's great about this book is she breaks down the cost and gives you a gauge of how difficult each task is. Bread is high on the easy list, so I decided instead of buying pre-made frozen rolls I'll just make them. This isn't one of her recipes, since I the one in Reese's book calls for whey and I have yogurt making on my list for next week.

Basic daily bread:
     4 cups flour
     2 cups hot water
     1 packet yeast (about 2 tsp)
     1 tsp salt
Mix together and leave on the counter in an oiled bowl for an hour or more, covered with a damp towel. It will look something like this:
 After the dough is doubled in size, it should look something like this:
 Punch your dough down and preheat the oven to 450. Sprinkle some corn meal on a cookie sheet and shape your dough into whatever shape you'd like. I'm used to frozen rolls and didn't realize how much this bread would rise when you cook it. Next time I'll make the rolls a little flatter.
 And this is what it looks like when you've pulled it out. I baked these for about 25 minutes. They have so much more character than store bought, don't you think?