Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday night grateful moment

What a week... Short but long, all at once. I lost all track of days after Monday... and here we are at Friday. Serenity now, is all I have to say about that!

Very much to be grateful for:

* Summer well and truly has arrived. Sunshine. Warmth. Watering. Blooming. Weeding.

* Health is good. Sleeping is good. Energy is good. Need to pick back up with the actual exercise (yard work is only halfway there...), but feeling good about the downward trend pounds-wise too.

* All the garden hoses are still in good shape and Ruby has yet to bite into them. That alone is a miracle!

* My husband brought me some beautiful roses tonight. Such a sweet man.

* Seth is home. Three wonderful words.

* My work is at home again now. Mostly. This will bring good things for our little family, I believe. (Remind me of that when I start rumbling about wanting to commute to a job again, OK? Say: "Sher, you have plenty to do at home." I promise to nod and listen. I can't promise to actually hear you, but I will try.)

* Found this really cool color game online. It is very fun, and addictive. Mom, I can see you rocking this test, you are such a color whiz.

* I haven't tweeted in weeks, it seems, but still follow the whole phenomenon... and I do plan to pick it back up again in my spare time (I know, so funny). Here is a very interesting article about Twitter as a medium for what's termed "locked-in" individuals--those who can't communicate using more traditional methods. Fascinating. And if you want to see tweets relative to a particular topic, in a visual way, check out I typed in "weather" and got all kinds of updates and opinions from around the globe. I'd almost forgotten it's currently winter in Australia, but sure enough, it is!

* Had a great lunch with one of Seth's former teachers-turned-into-my-friend today, and just enjoy and appreciate her so much. She lives her life so beautifully and is an inspiration to me in many ways, not the least that she's raising four lovely children. Wow.

* Take a look at this time-lapse video of the Milky Way. Such a reminder of how little we human specks are in the grand scheme.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo
* I'm still grateful as ever for those things that inspire me and pick me up when it seems there's more rain than sunshine. Color, words, textures, images, words, flavors, aromas, words. Did I mention words? Here's something that makes me want to read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy again... since the one time I read it was under duress in high school. I think I might just be ready for it now (I can be a little slow on these things...).
It’s like in the great stories--the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something… that there’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.
Sam Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(Art above from Check it out. Creative and touching. Great combo of words and images.)
Happy weekend! Soon I'll actually get back to the food posting. Right now I make food. I take pictures (usually). We eat it. And then I move on. Somehow the posting step is getting missed in there. Must remedy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day video joy

I saw this video posted on a friend's blog: Triple Dog Dare Me. Check out her blog, as well as the video; it's a hoot. Meghan, the very entertaining blog writer, was once Seth's babysitter of choice (for a number of years!), and is the daughter of a dear friend. She's off to make her way in the "big city" and we wish her well with her daring adventures! I just had to repost this video. Such a good smile.

And then there's this creative video featuring an interesting take on grocery shopping. Not sure I've got what it takes to give this a whirl, not to mention how my produce already in the cart might feel as well... but still, good fun.

Happy Memorial Day! I will later post on the wicked rhubarb crisp we partook of this afternoon, following what was a truly memorable Perfect Bite (TM)-filled meal of steak for me and salmon (well, surf and turf really, I gave a wee bit of my steak away, sweet wife that I am) for the husband, with all the fixings of summer. A truly glorious way to spend the holiday, whilst wrapping up a riveting season of 24 from the dvr. Life is truly blissful.

Oh, and I should mention it before things change and I won't get to toot Ruby's little kudos trumpet: She hasn't chewed a garden hose ALL DAY. Not there's something! I know that pretty much as soon as I write this I'll go outside and something will have been chomped on, but I just wanted to get that little bit of doggy praise out there while I could! (It doesn't happen too often, as you know!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday night grateful moment

Ah, the long weekend. Finally here, with peace and quiet and sunshine.

This week I'm grateful for:
* The fact that we're staying put for the weekend, more or less. Maybe a day trip tomorrow, maybe another one on Sunday... OK, so maybe we're not "staying put," but we're not headed out on a major road trip. There is a small difference!
* Catching up with old friends. I had a lovely afternoon coffee catch-up with a friend I haven't seen in a few years, only occasionally talked with and Facebooked with... it was very nice to see her and hear about her world.
* Sunshine still in the forecast! Did I mention that already? Probably will a few more times...
* The ability to sleep in tomorrow. I probably won't do it, but just the fact that I could if I wanted to... ahh, sweet bliss.
* The summer approaching fast, with end-of-school activities for Seth and then, joy-of-joys, summer vacation! We went to a fun band concert this week that combined both middle schools and the high school. It featured different movie theme songs/scores, and it was quite entertaining. I can't decide if my favorite was Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Star Wars. It definitely wasn't Under the Sea... the 6th grade band got a little lost in the middle of that one... but it was heartening to hear how much the middle schoolers have improved this year!
* My husband and all he does to keep our lives sane and stable.
* My childhood and all that it prepared me for as an adult. I am daily reminded of the life lessons that one's upbringing prepares one for... or not. Makes me mindful of raising the boy...
* Crochet lessons. A new-er friend gave me a crochet lesson this week and I'm off to the races. I have always had the basics (sort of) down, and apparently I even have made up a stitch or two over the years... who knew? So I'm unlearning some old bad habits and learning some new tricks to add to my crochet basket. Very fun.
* Color. In my wardrobe (gone are the gray and black, ugh), in the flower pots, it seems like it's finally colorful everywhere. So thankful for that. It's like we've been in Narnia (under the White Witch's rule, when it's always winter and never Christmas) for too too long.
* Seth's thoughtful nature. He's a gem.
* Energy to get things done. My energy is good right now; I feel like the effects of eating more cleanly and lightly are paying off in many ways. Now I just need to get to bed a little earlier, and the energy should increase even more!

* Babybel light cheeses. Have you checked these out? Major yum.
* Great old music. My friend Jen posted a status about The Carpenters on Facebook today and how her love for them took away "cool points"... oh, Jen... I can un-cool you under the table. Harkening back to the aforementioned childhood and all I have to be thankful for, Roger Whittaker and Anne Murray and John Denver all played a big role in my musical "foundations." Here are some great clips of each of these dear old musicians. Dork alert: When I first started watching the Roger Whittaker one I actually got a little misty. Yikes.

This clip of John Denver on The Tonight Show is just precious. It's sweet to see these two men who have since passed, talking so naturally. It seems like a kind of television that doesn't exist anymore. Wow, that makes me feel old.

And to prove how much the husband loves me: he went with me to an Anne Murray concert a couple of years ago. I loved it! Such an evening of nostalgia for me. Of course, we were absolutely the youngest couple there, but it was so fun for me to get to see and hear her live after loving her voice my whole life.

* Last but definitely not least, I'm thankful that So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 is on! Seth and I stayed up last night to watch the first round of auditions, and only one piece was really painful and we had to fast-forward past it... we're wimps, what can I say? It's hard to watch really pathetic dancers. We like the real dancers; there were some great auditions! Popping is definitely getting more widespread--there were a couple of freaks trying out! Scary and kind of gross joint manipulation... not really dancing in my book, but hey, express yourself, whatever...

Happy weekend! Don't burn yourselves too badly on the barbeque!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday 13: A sure sign of summer: 13 potato salad recipes

I've gotten a little bit carried away this past week with potato salad. I thought I'd make one for a picnic on Saturday... so I boiled up a bunch of potatoes, more than we needed for one picnic-for-3. So then on Sunday I made up a couple of different kinds--customized for the husband and myself. Then finally for lunch I tossed in some asparagus spears and called it a 4th.

While pondering my Thursday 13 this week, and whether to even try and cram that in to an already-packed week, I realized I'm already more than a third of the way there!

So, here are some potato salad options to kick off the summer. I know it's not exactly rocket science to throw potatoes and whatever strikes your fancy into a bowl with some dressing and call it good--as the first four recipes will attest. (However, I have made many a potato salad over the years that just didn't "sing." The secret is in those additional flavors from vinegar, mustard, etc., it seems...) The other recipes I've included just shouted out to me from the interwebnets (or I have made the recipe already and can recommend it heartily!), and I know they will find a home on my table sometime soon. Scrumadum-delish. Summer is here!
Salt and vinegar potato salad
In homage to Kim, fan of all things salt and vinegar!

(Major tip that applies to all potato salads: If you want a flavor to really "take" in your potato salad, add it to the potatoes when they are still hot. They are like sponges and will just soak in the flavor. In this case, a white wine vinegar. White basalmic vinegar is also great.)

4 cups cubed boiled potatoes
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp celery salt/
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour half the vinegar over the boiled potatoes while they are still hot. Mix the rest of the vinegar with the mayonaise and sour cream and blend well. Toss with the potatoes and green onions, add the celery salt and additional salt and pepper as desired. Chill for an hour or so in the fridge so flavors blend nicely. Enjoy!
Note: I am very comfortable using lesser- or non-fat ingredients for my sour cream and mayonnaise. I know that is like heresy to some, but truth is, I just can't justify the full fat anymore and after awhile, your tastebuds are numb anyway. No, not really; I think you just get used to it.
Sher's Sunday special potato salad
Same as above, just with a couple of additions: 4 boiled eggs and 1/2 cup of chopped dill pickles, and half as much vinegar.

Husband's favorite potato salad
Same as first recipe, but with 1 cup diced radishes, 1 cup of chopped dill pickles and 1 cup of chopped garlic-stuffed Spanish olives, 4 egg whites, 1 Tbsp. brown mustard and half the vinegar.

4. Sher's special + 2 cups chopped steamed (and cooled) asparagus = rock solid yum yum.
5. Curried sweet potato salad. I might give the cranberries a pass with this recipe, but in general it sounds very good.
6. Blue cheese potato salad. I used to make this very frequently, back in the catering days. Even people who traditionally don't like blue cheese would eat this and love it. A big favorite with the husband too. Might need to make this over the long weekend...
7. Caesar potato salad. I love a Caesar salad, so this sounds right up my alley!
8. Mexican-style potato salad. This sounds like it would quickly become a family favorite.
9. Mediterranean potato salad. I remember the first time I had this variation on potato salad--in Vancouver while visiting dear friend Corinne during college... long time ago! It was a lovely visit, and I still remember the deli where we picked up a picnic lunch. This recipe looks close, but ours had red and green peppers along with the olives. Very tasty.
10. Mustardy potato salad. I think this would be good with our very own local Walla Walla Sweet Onion mustard!
11. Green Goddess potato salad. Courtesy of Oprah! I love a Green Goddess dressing... must give this a whirl soon.
12. Potato salad with peas. If I'd thought of it with my asparagus lunch this week, I would have added peas... a really great natural flavor combo with potato salad.
13. Mashed potato salad. Oh yeah!
Enjoy! And happy Thursday 13!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday night grateful moment

I'm barely making it in under the radar this week... But I'm bound and determined that this is a Friday night grateful moment, not some Saturday morning, post-coffee, grateful moment. So it may be a little shorter (we did a quick jaunt to Tri Cities after work/school today), but it's heartfelt nonetheless.

This week I'm extra-grateful for:
* Good health for me and my family. I do not take that for granted. Daily I hear or read stories of illness/accidents/sadness from near and far. My heart goes out to so many parents, children, spouses, friends. I started following a blog this week of a shaken-baby survivor: Noah's Road. Courage, family of Noah.

* Seth's back for another week of fun and frivolity. And chores and grumbling and homework and trumpet too. But still, he's back and all's right with the world. The hugs, oh the hugs.

* My husband's sense of humor. I do love laughing with him. Even when it's at/with me! Apparently my snorting is quite humorous. Who knew?

* That I was raised in a family with a work ethic. Didn't always love the chores, but I am glad they existed and that I learned the work first, play second rule early on. Hasn't always stayed front and center, but it's embedded enough that I return to it, at least!

* Summer food is on its way. Earlier this afternoon, I prepped for the first potato salad of the season for a picnic tomorrow. Hot dogs. Deviled eggs (not like we wait for summer on those...). Ice cream. Tomatoes from the garden. Zucchini from the garden. Squash from the garden. Basil. Basil. More Basil. Mmmm. Can't wait.

* Gracious people. There are so many people you run into (not literally, you know what I mean!) every day who are ungracious. They push. They crab. They want you to be aware of their needs. Their agenda. Ugh. When you meet someone gracious, it really stands out. That's kind of sad. But it does make me aware of how I come across, and how being gracious is a goal. I had a job candidate say to me this week that they wanted to leave each company they were at better than when they'd gotten there. A good sentiment.

* The smells of springtime. So much is blooming, so much is scented and wafting! Very nice. From the lilacs to the hyacinths and soon the mock orange will be blooming too... The flower picture I posted above is one of my favorites, but my Friday night brain simply can't remember what it's called. I call it yummy, but I don't think that's the official name.

* Creativity. Always. Check out this entirely fun video.

Happy weekend! May you have sunshine and peace, wherever you are!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday 13: My 13 favorite songs right this minute

Music is a big deal to me. Maybe not quite as big a deal as food, but pretty high on the list. I can track very specific memories to songs, time periods in my life, etc. (Not that I think I'm unique in this... I think most people are like that to a certain extent.) I'm no Rob from High Fidelity, but I'm just dweeby enough to make music mixes for just about every occasion.
My mix of current musical obsessions changes frequently... here are my 13 favorite songs, today. Some were recently discovered, others have been on the list for some time... The links are all to YouTube, fyi. Happy listening/viewing.

1. The Way I Am. Ingrid Michelson. Still. Favorite. Maybe forever?
2. New Shoes. Paolo Nutini. Catchy and fun fun fun.
3. Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk. Rufus Wainwright. For someone who doesn't smoke, I still love the sentiments in this song.
4. Everything. Michael Buble. I am in the "a little Buble goes a long way" camp, but this song is just precious to me.
5. Don't Speak. No Doubt. A little late to the Gwen Stefani party, I think she's very chic. So unlike me in every way... hence, chic!
6. Cellophane. Ashley Slater. I will forever associate this song with bombing up and down See Canyon this spring with Corinne. Happy sunshine times.
7. Sunny Day. Kristiina Wheeler. I love to sing along with this one. Loud. In the car. Please don't point and laugh.
8. Extreme Ways. Moby. This is from one of my favorite action movies too--The Bourne Identity. I think Moby is way cool.
9. Hide and Seek. Imogen Heap. Seth introduced me to Imogen and I love her voice, her style. Very unique.
10. Oh Timbaland. Timbaland. Love the rhythm of this song.
11. White Flag. Dido. This song has kitchen time written all over it. I used to listen to this Dido album on repeat while I prepped for catering events. Along with Jamie Cullum and Sarah McLachlan's Fallen album. Etched in my brain forever.
12. Falling Slowly. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. Granted, I did actually fall slowly asleep during the movie, Once, that featured these two artists and their music; but the music itself stayed with me.

And last but not least,
13. Life is Wonderful. Jason Mraz. How fun is that video?

Not on the list of favorites yet, but maybe someday... I discovered a new (to me) group this week named God Help The Girl. Music not released for purchase for a few weeks yet, but also discovered the joy of imeem.

Here's the offer of the week: Send me your snail mail address to my email and I'll pop a CD with the above songs in the post to you.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lemon meringue cupcakes become reality!

I posted a lemon meringue cupcake recipe in Future Files a week or two ago, with full intention of making these for more than just the three of us! As the Goerlitz Jr.s were coming over for Mother's Day weekend, it seemed a great opportunity to give these a whirl. And since baking gluten-free means Lucy gets to eat along, I thought it would be a good opportunity to break out some gluten-free baking mixes I've seen around, too.

I got the Namaste brand vanilla cake mix, and then lemoned it up--instead of the water it called for in the recipe, I just added fresh sqeezed lemon juice. The cakes themselves smelled lemony as I was spooning them into the cupcake papers, so I was pretty confident it would work out OK.

Once those were made and the lemon curd as well, it was just a matter of waiting for Master Apprentice Maizy to show up and assist in the meringue making and assembly. Saturday morning we busted out the egg whites and made the cute meringue toppings in no time.

I experimented with a new lemon curd recipe, which you can find here: A Foolproof Way to Make Lucious, Light Lemon Curd. It turned out really well, especially great considering that I used a non-dairy, non-soy shortening to use as the fat replacement for butter, by Spectrum. It looked and acted a lot like Crisco.

The meringue recipe was pretty basic: I pretty much followed the one in the original recipe, but of course thought to myself, "There's no way only 4 egg whites [I was already doubling from the original recipe!] will make enough meringue," and in true Sher-fashion I doubled it (again!), only to have twice as much meringue as needed. (Which did lead to a serendipitous brunch pavlova for Sunday, so there. See Sunday brunch post to follow.)

Once the meringues baked up, it was a happy little project to put the curd on the cupcake and top it all off with a little meringue hat. Very cute. They got mixed reviews from the crowd; the cupcakes themselves were a little dense for the adults, and the lemon curd was a little intense for the kids. But they are definitely worth keeping around as a fun dessert, and I'll probably try them again without the gluten free constraint and see how that goes.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday night grateful moment

Ah, the weekend. And Mother's Day weekend too!

And for those of us lucky enough to live in Walla Walla, also the annual stampede of balloons. Of the many many years I have been living in Walla Walla, there have been more than a handful where the weather was flight-prohibitive and balloons spent the whole weekend on the ground. Monday, Tuesday and even Wednesday I thought that would be the case this year... I think it probably still remains to be seen, but today dawned sunny and mostly clear. A few balloons made it up this morning (I didn't see ANY of them and was sort of keeping an eye out every few minutes in that general direction), and hopefully tomorrow and Sunday will have multitudes lifting off and heading out into the wheat/alfalfa/pea fields.

Update: Guess what came floating by as we were getting supper ready? Yup. About a half dozen or so made it up this evening, and the wind brought them to us! Hooray!

In addition to balloons, this week I'm grateful for:

* The sunshine (you didn't see that coming, did you?).

* My men. I know I'm loved and that's a great feeling. Mother's Day is icing on the cake. Being a mother to Seth is really a great deal of joy, every day. (See following grateful bullet for a less-so anecdote, but these are rare, and if you read closely, you'll notice Seth is just being Seth. Mom on the other hand, was having a highly sensitive moment.)

* My mother. I am a very lucky daughter. I got to see how great mothering is done. Now, if I could only do it every day... (Ask Seth exactly how PO'd I was just last night as he was fidgeting and twisting his hair while we were reading before bed. Extremely. For no reason. It was so annoying, all I could do was laugh. It was either that or... well, I can't say. That wouldn't be fitting on Mother's Day weekend. I'll tell you later.)

* My Mother's Day dogwood tree. It's blooming, right now. A little late, but very timely. This tree was the first present Alan and Seth bought for me together, 4 years ago. Good times.

* My brother and sister-in-law, for trekking over for the weekend, battling all manner of who-knows-what flu and colds all week in Seattle to come over and bring me licorice from Trader Joe's.

* Optimism. Could Michael J. Fox be any more amazing? I think not.

* Sunshine. Yes, it deserves a double-mention.

* Happy trends on the scale. Not feeling like TOO much work yet, but I know that day will come. I even watched Seth down a cookie dough DQ Blizzard this afternoon and was semi-satisfied with a bite. That's my story and I'm not wavering.

* Flowers in pots, and not having to water them every darn day yet! It's nice to have the pretty colors, but not yet gasping for moisture from the heat. See, I'm able to see the silver lining, even when my teeth have been chattering in the cold. Even today out mowing, the sun was shining brilliantly, but man, it was chilly.

* A cleaned out fridge. This is a real accomplishment for me, for some reason. I can't really ever figure out why fridges get dirty--everything is in containers when you put it away, right? So how do so many dribbles and drabs find their way onto the shelves? A mystery. I will strive to maintain this clean state! (And yes, that bright yellow container on the top shelf is lemon curd, for the highly anticipated lemon meringue cupcakes tomorrow!)

* A full moon coming up over the hills while enjoying the hot tub with the nieces and Seth. For this I am truly grateful. And for Kim's company and chatting, and for the evening air which really did hold the promise of summer, not just spring!

Happy cousins, enjoying a bounce together soon after welcome hugs!

Peace to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday 13: Favorite books from childhood

There's been a rash of "favorite books" notes going around Facebook this week and I thought that might be a fun exercise. I decided to narrow it down to my childhood favorites--probably between the ages of 10 and 13, these were my go-tos.

Not in any particular order:

1. Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume. Classic.

2. Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh. I think every kid who's ever felt like an outsider at any time can relate to Harriet. That and making a big mistake that feels hard to come back from.

3. The Tower of Geburah, John White. This was my first fanstasy book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good-evil tug of war. Many images from that book still stay with me, though I have this sense if I were to read it again, I'd be less enthralled. I might give it a go, though, and see. I noticed on Amazon that there are some sequels, which definitely weren't around when I was a kid.

4. Betsy and Tacy series, especially Heaven to Betsy or Betsy in Spite of Herself, Maude Hart Lovelace. Oh my, did I love these. They came home from the library with me MANY times. For some reason they were deemed not-quite-classic enough to purchase for home... probably because these were also my first "romance" books. Pretty chaste and sweet.

5. The Great Brain series, especially Me and My Little Brain, John Fitzgerald. I could totally relate to that younger brother. That's all I'm going to say about that.

6. Spotted Boy and the Commanches, Mabel Earp Cason. Loved this story of abduction by Indians, though I think it kept me up a couple of nights...

7. Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, Judy Blume, again. What a girl Sally was.

8. Anne of Green Gable's series, especially Rainbow Valley, Lucy Maude Montgomery. Now these ones I got to own! I just saw Rainbow Valley on my bookshelf and it makes me smile, still today. All of the Anne stories are so worthwhile and lovely, but you really have to read them at a certain point in your life... I know a few women who tried to initially read them as adults, and it just doesn't have that same magical quality as it does to adolescents. These would probably be at the very top of my list. Anything by Montgomery--I've read them ALL!

9. Jo's Boys, Louisa May Alcott. I preferred this book to Little Women--I think it was the tomboy in me. I fell in love with the name Nathaniel from this book, I remember. And does anyone else remember that great kitchen that Jo set up for her niece? I thought that sounded about perfect.

10. Island of Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell. Loved it.

11. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis. Another classic, this one obviously stands up to re-reading as an adult!

12. Heidi, Johanna Spyri. Early memories of yummy bread and cheese lunches for Heidi and Peter. The goat's milk, not so much.

13. The Little House on the Prairie series, especially By the Banks of Plum Creek and Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wonderful--the whole bunch of them. Loved loved loved. I still remember reading about Laura and Mary's new calico dresses, their dugout house with the dirt floor and of course, Almanzo. So sweet.

Maybe some time I'll share my 13 favorite books from more grown-up days, but even though I have many memorable reads, I don't think any of them evoke such fond memories as some of these titles. I think I'm off to order some Betsy-Tacy from Amazon! And crack open Rainbow Valley.

And I'd love to hear what your favorite books from childhood were, too!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #2: Delightful deviled eggs

(No, your eyes do not deceive you. The yolks really ARE that deep yellowy orange. Gotta love the farm-fresh eggs.) (FYI, words between parentheses don't really exist. So yes, this is still a Wordless Wednesday post.) (Told you I couldn't be completely wordless. Can't happen.)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seth's Home Ec success!

Oh boy, does this bring back memories! Seth is currently in his six-week Home Ec rotation, and the benefits are immediately evident. Saturday morning he wanted to make the cinnamon treats the kids made in class last week, as well as a version of the Orange Julius too. (He is so my kid--he makes "versions" of things, even when he doesn't have all the ingredients. This will bite him in the butt sometime, but still, it's a great quality to have in the kitchen. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

I swear we made something very similar in Home Economics when I was in grade seven or so--cinnamon biscuity things. I think we called them "cinnamon rolls" but they didn't much resemble for me the heavenly yeasty things my Grandma Kandt made. Similarly, Seth called these cinnamon "pull-aparts," but in my book that usually implies a yeast dough. So, obviously no one trusts adolescents with yeast... not surprising. I trust very few adults with yeast. Just saying.
Seth's Cinnamon Pull Aparts
Biscuit dough
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 T butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon*
1/2 tsp water
In class they used a tube of Pillsbury biscuit dough. We did one better (sort of) here at home and used the lower-fat Bisquick mix.
Make up the biscuit dough, or undo the can--I do like that "poof" sound! Break off 2 inch balls of dough and roll them into rough biscuit shapes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the brown sugar and butter in an 8-inch baking dish, and warm in the oven until the butter is melted. Stir the brown sugar and butter together, add the cinnamon and water and mix thoroughly.
Take the biscuit shapes and roll them around in the brown sugar and butter, making sure to cover all sides, until you have rolled all of them.
Bake for 10 minutes. This is a very specific instruction. Apparently when I said, "Just bake them until they're sort of golden and look done," this was deemed inappropriate kitchen activity (don't worry, I'll wear him down on this one too...). Thus the timer was set, they were pulled out at 10 minutes precisely, and they were yummy!
The orange-banana-julius-like smoothies were also quite lovely. It was a happy breakfast.

(*Many thanks to Grandma for the question, upon reading: "Now, do you put cinnamon in this?" Good question, Grandma! We missed that in the original posting.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Friday night grateful moment

This week I'm:
* Grateful for antibiotics and ear drops. And a husband who knows how to put the drops in my ear JUST SO.

* Grateful for the rain at the beginning of the week, very nice to not have to turn on the sprinklers, yet.

* Grateful for sunshine, all the better to make the green stuff grow and bloom!

* Grateful for the continuing lack of allergies. Hallelujah! Even post-lawn-mowing tonight!

* Grateful that the special flu is not here yet! (One of the first things Seth said when I picked him up from school: "Maybe we should stay inside all weekend to avoid the flu." Yeah, right. I think someone's looking to avoid yardwork!)

* Grateful for a lovely week with the husband, but happily, the boy is home safe and sound! Let the celebration continue onward through Mother's Day. (Who doesn't love Mother's Day, really? Best holiday. Ever. And I'm saying that looking toward my own mother as much as myself, really. Really.)

* Grateful for laughter. Just wish sometimes I didn't snort unexpectedly... how did that start happening? I am going to be THAT old lady. I'm just preparing you now.

* Grateful for faith in the Bigger Picture, aka Larger Plan... and my little place in it.

* Grateful for friends and all that they bring to my life, and my hope to in small, individual ways pay it back/forward over time. Also, grateful for closure and resolution for some friends. New opportunities for others. And for still others, peace and quiet and enjoying where they are. Right. This. Minute. Ah.

* Grateful for Smarties. Did you know they are only 5 calories each? Such a happy little candy. God bless Canada. (Yes, I'm talking about the M&M wannabes, not those little rolls of pressed sugar... though those aren't bad either...)

* Grateful for flowers and blooming and grass, even though it took me 2x as long to mow today, simply because of the aforementioned rain and sunshine. Looking forward to planting some pots this weekend! (See, Seth, it's not ALL about weeding!) (Just mostly.)

Flowers, ready for planting!

These remind me of my Grandma Goerlitz. I have a bunch of these sweet bleeding hearts, and love it when they bloom each spring.

Look what I found, Ma! Wire vine! And this side of the border too! Now let's just see if I can keep it alive!

Happy weekend! And happy May Day too. I can't believe it's May already...

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