Tuesday, January 28, 2014

favorite winter crafts....so far!

a few of our favorite winter crafts so far!


snow ice cream!  recipe coming soon...

and maple snow candy.
i remember this from when i was a little girl, reading Little House in the Big Woods.  
anyone else??

snow painting with spray bottles and droppers full of colored water!

snow marbles!  balloons filled with colored water, frozen overnight and upwrapped!  

and a sunny, beach lunch to really round things out ;)

Friday, January 24, 2014

hello, Baby.

hello, Baby.
i decided to write you notes throughout your stay in the womb.  i hope i keep it up!  i am notoriously bad about keeping a journal but i've kept this little blog running for awhile so hopefully that'll inspire me.
we weren't expecting you.
well, let me rephrase.  we weren't expecting you so soon.  we agreed on a starting month to try to get pregnant again and prayed a lot about it but definitely weren't expecting to actually get you on the first try.  mv was a second try and jack was a first so maybe we should have known better :)  so, your daddy was in california when i took that little test and saw that little line and i was very surprised.  honestly, Baby, the first thing i thought was, oh no...morning sickness.  and then, i bowed my head and prayed for forgiveness for thinking that as my first thought.  i laughed as i thanked the Lord for you and laughed as i already knew how much i loved you, in that little line.  and i do love you so much already, Baby.  i do.
i told your daddy, when he got home, when i was six weeks along.  he was expecting something else when i emerged from the bathroom, as i had him going that i wasn't pregnant.  when i brought the little jewelry case out, with a tiny green pea inside, he was a little confused.  but, when i told him that's how big our Baby #3 was, he smiled and got choked up and just couldn't believe it.  he is so, so happy, Baby.
i told your nanny and paw paw and uncle vince on christmas morning when i was seven weeks along.  we wrote a little note in the runaway bunny for them to open.  nanny just thought at first that we were telling her that we were coming to see them in august, but a few seconds later, she understood and burst into tears.  i had fooled her too!  later that morning, we video chatted with g-ma, poppy, and your great memere and did the same thing! i love a good surprise, Baby.
it hasn't been very easy...but then none of my pregnancies have been a breeze.  i am very, very tired...probably from chasing your two brothers around all day :)  mv is 3 years and 3 months and jack is 15 months.  active boys, your brothers are.  and i am sick most of the time.  very nauseous and food doesn't look very good to me right now but i tell myself it's okay because that just means you are growing strong, Baby!
you aren't sticking out of mommy's tummy too much yet...just maybe as much as a very big, mexican dinner :)  but, i'm not in any maternity clothes yet and haven't gained (or lost) any weight yet so that always makes your vain mommy feel better.  (hopefully, your more self-less daddy can teach you about vanity...)
we saw you for the first time last week, in your ten week sonogram.  you kicked around for me and it kinda choked me up for a second!  your mommy doesn't cry too, too often so that caught me by surprise again.  you looked great, Baby.  the doc said  you were measuring just perfectly and your heart was beating so fast.  i just love sonograms...they calm your worried mommy down.
we will get to hear your heart beating again in a few weeks and hopefully your brothers will understand a little more of what that means when they do.
we all love you so much, Baby, and can't wait to meet you in august.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

perfect hollandaise

This is a cheat.
I didn't take step-by-step pictures.
But, again, this is just a journal for me so I want to record my favorite (and easiest!) hollandaise recipe ever.

I made it just the other day for my sweetie's birthday breakfast in bed.
It's our splurge food.
We adore it.
I can totally eat it out of the bowl with a spoon.
I don't.
Very often.

But, hollandaise sauce is so so versatile!  (Besides just a spoon...)
My next favorite, besides over poached eggs, Canadian bacon, and English muffins (as seen above), is smothering steamed asparagus, next to poached halibut fillet.
Or over smoked salmon.
Or over smoked salmon omelet!
Oh, the possibilities.

Anyway, the recipe is super easy and doesn't require the typical hollandaise "fuss".

Hollandaise Sauce
Makes about a cup or so.
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 stick, unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (optional)
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)

Get a small saucepan of water simmering.  This will serve as your double boiler.
In the (stainless steel or glass) bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks.  Add the lemon juice and whisk until well combined.  With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the melted butter (it works best if pouring from a spouted container).  If it starts to separate, you are drizzling too quickly!  (Or your mixer isn't whisking fast enough).  *You can absolutely do this without a mixer.  Just use a stainless steel bowl and whisk by hand and drizzle the butter in with the other hand.  It's tricky, but do-able for sure.* Once all incorporated, place the bowl over simmering water and whisk by hand for 5 minutes.  Do not stop whisking.  If it starts to break, lower your heat and whisk faster!  It should start to look very creamy after a couple minutes and continue to thicken as the 5 minutes end.  Once 5 minutes are up, turn off heat and add salt, pepper, and mustard or hot sauce, if using.  Taste and adjust seasonings, as necessary.  You can leave the sauce on the warm water for up to about 10 minutes (while you get the rest of the meal ready), but you'll have to whisk occasionally to prevent separation and breaking.  Serve while warm and enjoy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

coming in august 2014...

...and we couldn't be more thrilled!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

homemade puff paint

i found this little recipe on (where else?) pinterest and unlike some pinterest crafts, this paint turned out perfectly!
we used it for painting a polar bear in homeschool the other day but had so much fun that we tried it again for our afternoon craft of the day!
it's easy and cheap and a fun sensory craft :)

pour some craft glue into a small bowl.

add an equal amount of shaving cream.

mix, mix, mix!

and paint!
mommy is soooo creative with her amazing smiley face.

don't worry, the clean up is very easy too.  just wipe everything down.  and soap and water takes care of your hands.  and face.  and little brother's hair.

the dried artwork.

closeup of the "puff" when it was dry.  

easy afternoon of fun!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

gingerbread men!

I know, I know.
It's after Christmas.
But, we have a felt song/story every week in homeschooling and since the month of December was filled with the Nativity story, I thought we'd do The Gingerbread Man for the first week in January.
And, of course, you can't possibly do this story without actually making real gingerbread men.
So, as good of a time as any, let me share my favorite gingerbread cutout recipe!

Gingerbread Men
Makes about 2 dozen, depending on your cookie cutter size
Adapted from Food Network3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 large egg
Decor of your choice, cinnamon buttons, jelly beans, chocolate chips, etc
Icing, for "gluing" the decor on

Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350*.
Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer at high speed, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg. Using a wooden spoon, gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. (The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.)
To roll out the cookies, work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. If the dough has been chilled for longer than 3 hours, it may need a few more minutes. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, being sure that the dough isn't sticking to the work surface. For softer cookies, roll out slightly thicker. Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and transfer to cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart. Gently knead the scraps together and form into another disk. Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling out again to cut out more cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until dry on top.  Remove and cool completely.  Decorate as you wish.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

corn sproutlings with pancetta and runny egg

if you follow this little journal/blog at all, you'll know that during november, we did a little experiment in homeschooling.
indian corn.
it totally freaked me out how that corn grew in a bit of water and a bit of sunshine.
but it was awesome that mv got to see, daily, how plants grow, hydroponically.
and after the week, the little corn sproutlings were about two inches high and i thought, why that was neat, now what?
i asked a few of you about suggestions on what to do and my great friend, courtney, had a great one...cook them!
of course.
so, i googled corn sproutlings and not a lot came up but i improvised a bit and a couple weeks later finally got around to cooking them. (and just now getting around to blogging it...)
and they were delicious!
no recipe really, but if you ever have a hankering for something very sweet, kinda bitter, and completely interesting, give these a try!

Corn Sproutlings with Pancetta and Runny Egg
Serves one!

Fry up some pancetta.

Snip your sproutlings, wash, and add to skillet. 
*make sure your sprouts are only about 2" high....otherwise, they'll be too bitter!*

Saute just lightly and remove to small bowl or plate.
Fry egg, the way you like it, and serve on top.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

homeschooling wrap up: december!

our felt song/Bible story for this month was obvious.  
and we used silent night, away in a manger, little drummer boy, and joy to the world as our four songs!

 K for Koala! 

and Kettle corn!

and Keys!

and Kumquats :)

our culture series unit was on India this month...

so, we had spice tastings...

digging for jewels...

and decorating an Indian wedding ;)

L is for Lemon (stamping)

Lima beans

and fresh Limeade!

M is for Monkey!

and Macaroni, for our textile letter of the week

N is for Newt

and Nuts!

we practiced our tracing...

and we did lots of winter/Christmas-y crafts...

we even home-made some Christmas gifts!

we took a small break for Christmas and did a little of DC with our family...
Jefferson Monument

Washington Monument

and Lincoln...always a great time to teach a little!  even to very young minds :)

another great month!

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