28 April 2011

Ice Cream in the middle of the night!

I don't know about you - but I HATE going grocery shopping! I stall it as long as I possibly can - which usually means that after two weeks there is not much left to snack on at 10:30 at night! Until we discovered this! [Truth be told I have gained an undisclosed amount of weight in the last few months... this recipe is probably why :) it feels like, "this isn't bad for me, it's just sugar" apparently I am unable to admit that sugar calories are still calories... but anyway - here is the recipe (I am using the term recipe very loosely here, there are no actual measurements, I ususally make it using cereal spoon)

1 scoop powdered milk
2 scoops hot cocoa powder
1/2 scoop sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 a ice cube tray

Run it through the blender until all the ice is gone.

It ends up tasting like a frosty from Wendy's - kind of like cheap soft serve ice cream. When you are home, late at night, and don't want to go to the store - cheap ice cream is a good deal better then no ice cream at all :)

20 April 2011

drop scones

I found a treasure a couple of weeks ago! Drop scones. I found them in The Joy Of Cooking. I love that book!

Dried Fruit and Buttermilk Drop Scones

Moist, light scones with a golden crusty exterior. Buttermilk produces a pleasantly tangy flavor that complements any dried fruit.

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

2 cups all-purpose flour, or 2 1/2 cups if using oil instead of butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Whisk together then add all at once:

1 large egg
1 cup low-fat buttermilk* 3 1/2 tablespoons warm melted unsalted butter or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins, or dried currants, blueberries, cherries, or cranberries, or chopped dried apricots or pears

Mix with a rubber spatula, wooden spoon, or fork just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter will be quite sticky. Use a soup spoon or ice cream scoop to drop the batter in mounds 2 1.2 inches in diameter at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops with:

Cinnamon and sugar

Bake until the tops are golden brown, 12 o 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack or serve warm.

I don't usually have buttermilk on hand either, so what I do is put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup, and then put enough milk in to make a complete cup. Let it sit for 1 minute. And then you have a substitute for buttermilk.

I made this recipe three times the week I found this recipe(without the dried fruit). The kids love them, and so do I! Granted, they are a bit lighter than your classic scone. More like a nice sweet drop biscuit. But hey, I was wanting to find a recipe like that anyway! :)

16 April 2011

is it just me?

I need to rant for a second here ... and since I'm the boss of this blog, I will do it if I feel like it.

Is it just me, or do a number of the home design blogs out there come across as being totally fake? The "inspiration" collections of such and such designer or whatever. These rooms cannot possibly be lived in, or even had a human being set foot in them. The whites are way too pristine, the fabric is much too straight, there's not a speck of dust or clutter anywhere in the picture, and what idiot thought of open shelving in a kitchen? Doesn't everything on them get coated with ... whatever that crud is that's all over my cupboard doors and ceiling near the stove that I can't get off? If people actually do live in these rooms (as opposed to them being mock-ups for a catalog or magazine), there certainly aren't any children.

Also - kitchens or bedrooms that look like they're the size of my entire house - right.

Where does one find the amazing fabrics featured, for furniture upholstery or drapes or just a throw pillow? Maybe I'm just in a non-cool-fabric part of the country (which would not surprise me), but I can't find anything except really boring shades of brick red or brown or navy, whether I'm walking through a furniture store, a craft/fabric store, or just the housewares section of Target. Memo to the local stores: it's SUMMER. Or at least spring. Lose the navy and brown. I love the seaglass color combination - light blues and greens - but have never actually seen it anywhere except these unrealistic house blogs. I would redo my bedroom in about 2 seconds if I could find those colors of bedding, and not with flowers all over it. It's my husband's room too. No flowers except real ones in a vase.

And "tablescapes" ... 20 dishes/flatware per place setting, fancy linens, and so many centerpieces there's nowhere to put the food on the table. Really? Again - no children. There can't be. There's no way my kids would let anything like that sit for more than 5 seconds without having to touch, rearrange, and destroy (or at least damage) in some way.

So what gives? Is it realistic to have a nice house, even with destructo-children? I'd like to think so. Am I just that incompetent when it comes to actually decorating a home? (I'll go with a Yes on that.) I need to do something with my house because it's driving me nuts, but I don't even know where to start. All this "internet inspiration" does is make me think that a nice house is completely out of reach because it's not even real. Argh.

13 April 2011

Christmas project 3

We were out of town for the first 2 weeks of March, then I had really bad allergies when we got back, then my sister was here for a week ... so my March Christmas project had to be a quick and easy one.

A couple of years ago, a friend gave our family the gift of a Christmas ABC book - it was blank pages in a 3-ring binder and plastic sleeves, with a Christmas poem at the bottom and we were supposed to add old Christmas cards to "illustrate" it. I'd just slid old cards into the sleeves but had not trimmed or glued them down yet. So that was my March project - to get the ABC book caught up.

We received blank pages like this. Some pages are still blank because I don't have cards with those pictures on them. I'll give it another year or two, and then maybe we'll fill these in with drawings from the kids.

I added our old Christmas cards like this. We have a couple of pages with personal Christmas photos on them (rather than cards), like my brother's family on U is for Uncles and Aunts.

Sometimes we had enough for a 2-page spread. One of my sisters has her Christmas "trademark" of sending cards with penguins.

If you would like to make your own book, here's the whole poem (author unknown).

A is for angels with white robes so bright. Their carols were heard on that first Christmas night.
B is for baby, the Christ child so dear. We celebrate Christmas, his birthday, each year.
C is for candles that flicker and shine, and send a warm welcome to your friends and mine.
D is for doorways whose garlands of green make Christmas merry as far as they're seen.
E is for elves who cheerfully make fun Christmas toys for Santa to take.
F is for fun the whole season through. With family and friends, there's so much to do!
G is for greetings, a merry hello, with a heart full of love for the people we know.
H is for holly with berries so red to make into wreaths that hang overhead.
I is for ice on the snow-covered hills, where sledding is fun, along with the spills!
J is for jingle bells merrily ringing, telling the world of the joy they are bringing.
K is for Kris Kringle, old Santa himself. Have you ever seen a jollier elf?
L is for lantern. I'm sure that its light helped Joseph and Mary that first Christmas night.
M is for Mary, her heart full of love for her baby son Jesus who came from above.
N is for Noel - the angels did sing to herald the birth of Jesus, our King.
O is for ornaments, shiny and bright. With lights on the tree, they sparkle at night.
P is for packages under the tree. They're filled with surprises for you and for me!
Q is for Christmas quilts, bright green and red. Will Grandmother make one to go on your bed?
R is for reindeer who stomp overhead. But you do not hear them, asleep in your bed.
S is for shepherds who first saw the star over Bethlehem's manger, and followed it far.
T is for trees trimmed with lights and with toys, surrounded by presents for good girls and boys.
U is for Uncles and Aunts that we greet at Christmas time parties, a holiday treat!
V is for voices that rang through the air announcing the birth of the Christ-child so fair.
W is for Wisemen who brought gifts so rare and fell down to worship the Christ child there.
X is for Xmas, a short spelling for Christmas. But I like to spell it this way: Merry Christmas!
Y is for yule log, whose bright sparks fly high and give a warm welcome to friends passing by.
Zzzzzz is for snores of dear Santa asleep. For on Christmas morning, his work is complete!

Christmas project 2

I may not have been posting anywhere for the past few weeks, but I have been working!

February's project was my Christmas cards - I got the idea to sew fabric onto the cardstock on MADE here. I used the scraps from the tree skirt, took some time to slice and dice the little squares from the red for some of them, and just laid the fabric criss-crossed on some of the others. Sewed, then trimmed all the edges.

If you look closely enough (or just look at them at all), you can tell that these are NOT professionally made, or made by anyone with any sewing experience. The fabric got bunched up or folded over wrong somehow on every single one, and my lines are most certainly not straight and even. But actually, that makes me like them even more. These are Christmas cards with personality!

I will admit, though, that I will most likely never do this project again. It was fun and I can say, "I made that!" But for the hours it took and I got only 25 cards ... I'll stick with scrapbook paper and stickers if/when I make cards again in the future. Much faster, they look a lot better, and my kids can participate and have fun with me.

all 25 cards. Where there is white space on the card, that is also fabric.