Friday, September 30, 2011

Pumpkin Bars

With it being cold and gloomy, I got the desire to bake a little bit. It made me feel good too. I had some canned pumpkin in the cabinet, so I went searching for a recipe for something that had pumpkin in it. I came across one for Pumpkin Bars. I had everything it called for and went with it. They turned out soft, moist and so comforting. Forgive the pictures. They aren't the best because I took them quickly with my cell phone.

Like I said they were fantastic. I even made a glaze to go over it. Yum!
Here is the recipe.

Pumpkin Bars
4 eggs
1 2/3 Cups white sugar
1 Cup vegetable oil (or melted butter or applesauce)
1 15oz can of pumpkin puree
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium bowl mix eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin puree with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir into pumpkin mix.
Spread batter evenly into ungreased 10x15 jelly roll pan.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Ok now for a few notes on the bar recipe. I only did 3 eggs. I wanted it less cake-like so I only did 3. I also added nutmeg. Nutmeg and cinnamon should go hand in hand. So I added it. I didn't measure it, but it was a little less than half a teaspoon probably. And once it started baking, it almost ran out of the pan. Almost. So be prepared for that just in case. It was an easy recipe and my stand mixer did all of the work.
Here is the recipe for the glaze. Make the glaze. You want the glaze!

2 Cups confectioners sugar
3 tbs milk
1 tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together to combine. You can thin it out if you'd like by adding a splash or 2 of milk. Just do it little by little. This recipe actually made just the right consistency. Once your bars are cool, pour the glaze over. My glaze did run over the side of the pan, but that was ok, because I had put a larger pan under it to catch the run off. The glaze slightly hardens and is wonderful. Make the glaze.

This is a wonderful treat to have on hand. And it will serve quite a few people if you cut it into squares ahead of time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Do any of you remember the old television show Bewitched? I watched re-run episodes. Of that show and Gilligan's Island. They even did a movie years ago with Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman. Wasn't her ability to just wiggle her nose and make things happen awesome? I wish I had that ability. Or power I guess you could say. But I can't wiggle my nose like that. And I don't have witch-like powers. If I did, my house would be clean. Now! I'd wiggle for dinner each night. I would wiggle to find my ring too. Since I haven't found it yet. I would wiggle to make all of my groceries just appear in my cart each week. I could use some help getting some things fixed around this house too. Don't you wish you had Samantha's power to wiggle and make things happen? What would you wiggle for?

I had so many things that I wanted to get done today. Not much of it happened. I can't focus to get a good enough start and stay with it. I was easily distracted. With pointless stuff. I still haven't decided what we are going to get Dylan for his birthday. It bothers me that I can't come up with anything. I am stumped on what to get a 5 year old. Christmas will probably be the same. We don't usually get him much, just 1 or 2 things, but I can't even come up with one! I at least picked a date for his party. Other than that, nothing else has been figured out. Shopping for your kid shouldn't be this hard should it?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where is the sunshine?

We had sun this morning. Its gone now. Like every other day. Gloomy. I am so tired of the gloominess. It takes its toll on your mood after a while. I have had an off and on headache for 3 days now. It comes and goes as it pleases. Ugh. Yeah Im whining again.
Not much has been going on around here. Ryan has been busy, I have been on kid over load. Its all been a bit much. Most of it has to do with my mood lately. It's just been pretty crappy. I do look forward to preschool mornings. It gets me out. It gives me a bit of down time too. With only 1 kid.
I don't know. I am still here, but in a funk I guess...

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's My Blog and I'll Whine If I Want To

The weekend was boring and crappy. How's that for a lead off sentence? But yeah it's true. Ryan worked 90% of the weekend. I somehow managed to lose the ring that Ryan gave me before Ethan was born. The emerald ring he gave me. It meant a lot to me and all of the sudden it is gone. Just gone. That ring has NEVER fallen off of my finger. But Saturday that's what it did. Based on the last place I remember it, it HAS to be in this house. I have looked everywhere. It didn't go down the drain. It wont fit. I have turned the couch upside down many times and nothing. I don't get it. I don't understand how it just falls off.
Today started off very wet. It was raining and raining hard. In and out of the car so many times. Wet hair, wet clothes. Not fun. Grocery shopping ticked me off as usual. Unstocked shelves. Carts with no child strap, employees that don't want to work. And food that isn't quality. Gotta love grocery shopping! I get to go to my photography class tonight. I am glad. I need time out with out the boys. I need time for myself.
This week needs to be better too. Better weather, better attitude on my part.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freezing Friday

Ok so its not technically 'freezing' out. But I am so cold! Its breezy, cloudy, rainy and cool. The kind of day that makes you want to sit under a blanket and read. Or nap.
Yesterday's play date went fine. Dylan was a bit hyper. Which was annoying and lead to him getting into trouble here and there. Ethan was shockingly good. We left after lunch and it was hard keeping him awake on the ride home. He slept for a long time once we got home. It was nice. Yesterday I got a couple of emails. One telling me that I won a giveaway on another blog for a print of a lovely photo that someone has taken. It should be here late next week and I can't wait to get it and get it framed. Its a very lovely photo. I will share it once I get it. The other email told me that I won an apron! Yes an apron, haha! All I had to do for that was respond early enough with my address. I have never owned an apron in my life! But yay for me being lucky yesterday!
Today has been filled with laundry. I don't know how I manage to get so far behind on laundry at times. In between laundry loads, I dropped off those stuffed animals that I told you all about in a past post.If you haven't read it, please read the post. It talks about a great organization. Dylan still has quite a few stuffed animals. Don't get me wrong, I didn't get rid of them all. There are about 5 or 6 that he keeps on his bed all of the time. I didn't touch those. But ones that had been sitting there for years, I did get rid of. Most of them he had gotten before he turned a year old. He was fine with it, and understood why I was giving them away. He knows that they will go to little boys and girls who don't have any and need a hug. We came home and back to the laundry. I am also working on a loaf of bread. This (if it turns out) will be the first loaf of bread that I have made without using my bread machine. I still love that bread machine, but I want to see if I can do it without. I have a feeling that the bread machine isn't going to last much longer. It acts funny at times. I will keep using it until it bites the dust though. I like the extra help if offers, haha! If it turns out, I'm sure that I will post a picture of it.
I don't think we are doing anything this weekend. Oh well. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am seriously frustrated with so much lately. Everything. My psoriasis is acting up like crazy these last few days just adding to it. I haven't been sleeping well. Every time I go to bed, I am totally exhausted, yet I can't seem to fall asleep for what seems like half the night. My brain just will NOT shut down. So I am tired. Being tired does a number on you. Its just a vicious cycle that I have going on right now. My patience is at an all time low. Especially with Dylan. I know its a phase and it will end. I am just waiting it out.
I can't even begin to tell you how short my patience are. The smallest thing will set me off. Keeping myself busy with things around the house does help, but again, it also goes back to being tired. When I feel so worn out it is hard to get moving and hard to force myself to stay busy.
We have a play date with a friend of mine and her boys today. I hope it goes well. It doesn't always. Thanks to my boys. Wish us luck.
Cross your fingers that I can find my patience again. I need them back. Now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cloudy again!

It is yet again another cloudy, rainy day. The lack of sunshine really gets to you after a while. Today was my first day co-oping at Dylan's school. It went well. I was a little nervous. There was another mom who was there also. I don't think that happens all of the time. It was just a coincidence. I dropped Ethan off with Ryan's mom. I guess he was a major turd the whole time. He cried as soon as I turned to walk away. And apparently didn't stop for quite some time. I don't know why he does that. There was no reason for him to act that way. So anyway, the morning went ok. It was nice to see how the kids are while they are there. I didn't do much, just some odds and ends stuff. Some of those kids are so sweet and adorable. Anyway, I just wanted to post a short update. I am kind of tired and blah right now. Its the weather. It must be.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rainy Monday

A day full of rain. We made it out the door to go to school before the rain started. Ethan and I managed to get groceries into the car before it started. By the time we got home, it was raining pretty good. It has been raining all morning and now into the afternoon. Its a cool and gloomy day.
Yesterday I managed to get Ethan's room cleaned up. There was so much junk and clutter in his closet. I ended up with 3 bags of stuff that I dropped off at Goodwill today.There is also 2 whole bags of trash. Insane. His closet became kind of a "catch-all" for us. His room kind of echos now! There was a lot of stuff in there. Ever since they opened the Goodwill store in this town, I have been taking a lot of clothes up there. Its nice to get rid of it without tossing it or having to put on a yard sale. There has been a trend in some of these posts lately. We kind of have a bad habit of setting things aside, putting them away...somewhere. What we should be doing is getting rid of it. So things eventually get piled up where ever we can find a place. But know that we are NO where near the what you see on tv on that show Hoarders. We just stuff closets or shelves and then I get tired of it and get rid of it.
My photography class has been cancelled for tonight. I guess that the instructor is sick. I don't think that it is going to be re-scheduled. It may just be a class that we lose. If this class isn't rescheduled, I will be mad. I mean, there were only 7 classes to begin with. I wanted to learn something from this. So far, I haven't had the chance. So I wanted to show a couple of shots that I had taken for tonight's class. Before the class, I had never shot anything in RAW. I knew about it, but never tried it. He wants us to shoot everything in RAW. So that is what I have been doing. The detail difference is pretty cool. But then once you convert it back to JPEG some of that is lost. At least it was with the software I have. Which, in my head, says that it isn't worth the extra steps. So I don't know. We'll see. I'm not totally sold on RAW. Especially since I am not pro or ever going to go pro. So here are a few. We needed a shot from a "bird's eye view." So I climbed the steps alongside the grain bin, to the top, and snapped a few. I didn't take many because the longer I was up there, the more I began to freak out inside.

Too bad it was such a gloomy day out when I took those. And we also needed a shot from the perspective of "looking through." So I went and snapped these. Although I am not happy with them at all.

Again, another gloomy day. Notice a trend? Yeah. What a gloomy week its been around here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting rid of things and giving to a good cause

As some of you know, I have been doing my best to get ahead of the mess and clutter in the house. I don't know why it is hitting me now. It's not spring. Anyway, we'll call it "End of Summer Cleaning" instead of spring. Its amazing. Every room that I get to, I get at least a whole bag of trash. Today was the bathroom/laundry room. It's all one room. One small room. Again, I got a bag of trash out of that room. There was just so much clutter. Torn clothing that for some reason didn't toss right away. Stuff that got pushed to the back of the cabinet. So now things are a little more organized in there. And it feels so good to get rid of all of that stuff!
Oh before I forget. The topic of Halloween has come up in the house. Dylan says he wants to be a monkey. Goober. So anyway, I thought it was going to be expensive. I see costumes this time of year for over $40! I am so cheap, that I couldn't pay that for one. Just can't. So anyway, I posted Dylan's decision on Facebook and within a minute someone came through for me and posted a link to Old Navy and a monkey costume that is on sale for less than $20! The sale ends tomorrow, so I need to get on it. But anyway, if anyone is looking for costumes, I got an email last week with a code for 10% off at . Go there, find a costume you want and then at checkout, enter this: BLOGGER10
That should give you 10% off. It is not valid with any other offer, and is good through October 16. I have never used the site myself, but if you find something you like, you might as well save some money!
I went into Dylan's room today with the intent to toss some stuff from there too. He has a desk in there filled with stuffed animals. Animals he has never played with. So I came back out and got on the Internet to look for a place to donate stuffed animals. I have seen on television that there are people that give children who have been through a disaster, or traumatic experience, a stuffed animal. It gives them a sense of normalcy and gives them comfort. So when I sat down to find something, that was what I was looking for. Well I think I found it. I have put in an email to my local volunteer apart of an organization called Stuffed Animals for Emergencies, Inc. SAFE for short. According to their website they have been featured in a few magazines recently. They consist of local (a relative term) volunteers who collect these stuffed animals to distribute through the organization or locally. Please check out their site to find out more. Again, I have yet to actually take my animals to my local volunteer. But once I get an email back from my local volunteer, I will be taking them down immediately. They are ready to go into the car. Click on any of the pinkish/purple-ish words in this paragraph to be taken to their website. I have made it pretty easy for you to find out more! If you need help, just email me and I will point you in the direction of the organization. I am glad that I came across the site and just wanted to bring it to your attention. If you have stuffed animals that are just sitting around, not being touched, it is something to think about.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wrong Side of the Bed

Today is one of those days. Normal things that irritate me on a daily basis, that I can normally move on from and not dwell on are totally pissing me off today. I am stewing in my thoughts. Stewing in my annoyances. So steer clear. Just steer clear of me today. I wish the kids got that message. All I wanted to do this morning is stay in bed. I was tired. I am tired. I am frustrated. At everything. Even the wind.
I had a bunch of stuff that I wanted to accomplish today. But I didn't. I can't focus on anything. Including this blog post. I set out with intentions of it being a decent sized post. But now I can't seem to finish it. I hate days like this. Days when I feel so awful. Days when I am irritated by everything. No, I'm sorry. Irritated is the wrong word. Let's try that sentence again: Days when I get totally pissed off by everything. Yep, that's better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls

I am always looking for ways to put whole wheat into my diet over white. I have a wonderful dinner roll recipe already, but made with white flour. So I wanted a recipe with whole wheat in it that was just as good as my current recipe. I came across this recipe in Cook's Country magazine and thought I would give it a try.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the first time I made this, the dough was way too wet even after rising, so I started again. The second time it worked well. The recipe calls for 20 minutes of bake time but that was probably 2 minutes too long in my oven. They were a dad over done on the top. They have good flavor, but aren't as good as my current recipe. I will try this recipe again before I move on though. Hopefully by not over cooking them, they will be softer.

In the mixer ready to go

Ready to rise

Waiting on the second rise

Done and like I said, a bit over done on top

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try them yourself!

Honey Wheat dinner Rolls

1 3/4 C whole milk, heated to 110 degrees, plus 1 tbs

6 tbs plus 1 teaspoon honey

5 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tbs instant or rapid-rise yeast

2 1/4 tsp salt

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 200. When oven reaches 200, turn it off. Grease a large bowl and a 13x9 baking dish. Combine 1 3/4 cups of milk, 6 tbs honey, 4 tbs butter and egg in a small bowl.
Using stand mixer with dough hook, mix flours, yeast and salt on low speed until combined. Slowly add milk mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and almost clears sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom, about 6-8 minutes.
Transfer dough, scraping sides of bowl, to greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in turned off oven until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Punch down dough on lightly floured counter. Divide dough unto quarters and cut each quarter into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Arrange in baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rolls rest in turned off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
Remove rolls from oven. Heat oven to 400. Combine remaining 1 tbs butter and 1 tsp honey in a bowl. Brush rolls with remaining 1tbs milk and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Once rolls are done baking, brush with honey and butter mixture. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Random Picture Post

I still haven't gotten around to typing up that recipe for the rolls I mentioned the other day. I haven't forgotten, I just haven't had the time to type out a recipe and all of its instructions. Sorry. So anyway, here are a few things I wanted to share.
The other eve...maybe a week ago the sky was so gorgeous, but only for a short time. It was just after 8 I think. It didn't last long, but the colors were amazing. I did NOT edit this photo in any way except to re size it so I could post it here. That is all.

Yesterday I watched a cicada buzz around and land. I was able to get close enough to snap a few pictures of it. Nothing spectacular (I wasn't going to get any closer...ick) but still...

Hopefully I can get that recipe up tomorrow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

We all know what today is. There are still so many things that I learn about from that day. There are so many stories out there to be told. Everything that happened on that day still amazes me. It still seems unreal.
I remember where I was and what I was doing. I actually watched it happened. The television coverage had already started and I saw the second plane hit. It was just unreal. I can't imagine what all of those people went through. What their families went through. Where were you? Do you remember? Please read this post about a book called Unmeasured Strength, written by a survivor of that awful day.
There are a lot of tribute ceremonies happening around the country today. Its wonderful that people still come together to show support.
I'd like to hear where you were and what you were doing when it happened. If you have a moment, will you share?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So so Saturday

We haven't done a whole lot today. I am sort of in a funk and doing my best to get out of it. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Ryan was busy today. So just another normal day for us. I set out this morning to make a nice dinner. I have a beef roast in the crock pot with some potatoes and carrots. Then I wanted to make a new roll recipe that I saw in a cooking magazine. So I am in the process of that. It has taken so much longer than I intended it too. I got the dough together and set out to let it rise. It seemed very wet. But the recipe warned that it would be kind of wet and sticky, so I just went with it. I let it rise. Only when I went back to check on it, it hadn't done much. So I again, just went with it. I couldn't do anything with it at all. It was way to wet. So I scrapped it and tried it all again. This time it is going much better. So look for that tomorrow or Monday. I can't post it until we have tasted it. And we aren't there yet.
I have had the Food Network on in the background all day today. Some days I just enjoy listening to it and watching them cook. Dylan has been more interested in the Food Network than he has been in any other kid show. He hasn't complained once and gets glued. Its pretty funny. Ethan was good for the first round of dough. He played with various things in the kitchen and kept himself very entertained. It was so pleasant. The second round of dough, he was horrible. He basically cried the whole time. Something he did, just didn't go right and it totally pissed him off. He is now napping, thankfully and I sent Dylan to his room for some down time. For both him and me.
I mentioned that I put a beef roast in the crock pot. Buying beef lately has been frustrating. Ever since I switched stores, I haven't been able to buy a good steak. Well this week when I went to look for a roast, I had the same problem. That is why I put it in the crock pot. I am honestly surprised that there is such a difference in meat quality between 2 stores within the same chain. I shop at a Kroger. I just recently switched towns though, so it is a different Kroger store than I have been at for a couple of years. Even some of the produce just isn't what it was. I am assuming (someone correct me if I am wrong) that at each Kroger store, the butcher is the one putting out the cuts of meat. I want to say that they are the ones cutting the meat. Which means that the butcher in this new (to me) store is the reason the meat isn't as good. Does anyone know any behind the scene stuff at a Kroger store? It is becoming frustrating and getting the not so good cut of meat is almost making it so that its just not worth the time it is saving. I mentioned the produce...this past week was the second time that while buying strawberries, I have to pick through the containers for so long before I find one that has good berries in it. I keep finding containers that are already growing mold! Fuzzy mold! Not just one trip to the store. Twice now! This store is a busier store too! It is just disappointing and frustrating.
I am not sure what we are going to get into this evening. Probably nothing. It turned out to be a pleasant day out. The sun was out this morning and it was beautiful. Clouds have moved in, but it is still warmer today than it has been in a few days. Perfect jeans and t-shirt weather. I love jeans and t-shirt weather.
Oh, I almost forgot! I wanted to show you my first ever handmade gift from Dylan. At school the other day he made me a bracelet! So here it is:

See you tomorrow or Monday with the recipe for the rolls. Please, if you missed it, check out yesterday's post featuring a survivor from 9/11.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Unmeasured Strength

10 years. 10 years since the world changed. I wasn't in New York City when it happened, but I still knew the significance of what just happened. Recently I was sent a book. A book written by a survivor of that horrible day. Lauren Manning made it out of one of the buildings alive. And 10 years later, she is able to tell her story. Here is a description of her book, Unmeasured Strength

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Lauren Manning, a former managing director and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, left for work.  On Friday, March 15, 2002 – six months and four days later – she finally returned home. So many lives were changed that infamous September morning, including that of the most gravely injured survivor of 9/11.  Against all odds and with more than 82 percent of her body burned, Lauren, wife and mother, vowed to see her infant son’s face again.
Unmeasured Strength (On-sale August 30, 2011)takes the reader to the site of the World Trade Center Towers just before the planes hit all the way through Lauren’s life today. Her life was recast on 9/11, but not as a victim, as a survivor. Lauren’s transformation, both mentally and physically, tells us of the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit and gives us hope that even in the wake of tragedy, our experiences are mended by our strength. 

The book...Lauren herself, is just amazing. Her story is very emotional. She talks about the moment it all happened. The terror she went through on that awful morning. She takes you through her entire journey. She makes you feel what she felt. I don't know how many times this book brought tears to my eyes. You get a sense of how strong she is. How she was able to fight for her life. You get to know who Lauren is and who Lauren becomes. She went through so many surgeries, so many physical therapy sessions, so many set backs. But she never stopped fighting. I love reading books like this. Books that take you to where the author was. The detail was wonderful. It allows you to connect with the author. With Lauren. Hearing everything she had to fight through was so inspiring. Writing a review for this book isn't easy. I mean the book is fantastic. But trying to put in words how you felt reading a book like this is hard. You are hearing a true story. Someone went through this. Someone survived this. You can't help but be drawn into the story and into Lauren's world. You just want to reach out and give her a hug and a high five. If you didn't live in New York City or know someone who went through that, you never heard a story like Lauren's. I watched the news nearly everyday, and I never got to hear these personal stories. The survivors of a tragedy like this deserve to have their stories heard. I am so glad that Lauren was able to tell her story, and I am thrilled that I was able to read it. In a world like this where there are so many things going wrong, it's awesome to read a story like this. Unmeasured Strength is full of hope and inspiration. I hope you get a chance to read it as well.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Time Last Year

Its time for another look back. I haven't done this in a while, so here we go!

Overall, not much has changed in our daily lives. We added a couple of days of school for Dylan at a new place, but that is probably the biggest change. The boys have both changed of course. Ethan is walking...running and into everything. Last year he wasn't into "everything" just a few things that he managed to reach. We all basically have the same schedule.
Here is a photo of Ethan from around this time last year:

And Dylan last year:

Here they both are a few weeks ago:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Down with the Sickness

Colds. Why do we have to get colds? And just because Mother Nature decided to chill a bit, doesn't mean that I deserve to be sick. Yes I am sick. The 2 boys have a cold and because they love their mommy so much, they decided to share. Too bad that's the only thing they know how to share. It hit me yesterday with a sore throat and a slight rundown feeling. Overnight last night it kicked in full force. There is so much head congestion, that it makes me feel fuzzy at times. I dug out a cold pill just a while ago, and I am really hoping it helps with the pressure and the constant runny nose. Sleep last night was sparse...but for a number of reasons. The dog is lucky that I didn't throw her outside last night. I don't know what she was doing but it sounded like she was chasing her and on for hours and hours. She sleeps upstairs with us, but in a different room and in a large cage. She has plenty of room to stretch out if she wants. Well last night it sounded like she had plenty of room to run circles as well. The reason I heard it last night is because last night was the first night that we didn't have a fan running. So it was all quiet. Well except for the frickin dog.
Remember yesterday that I said I wanted to get a bunch of stuff done in the kitchen? So didn't happen. I cleaned and organized the top of the fridge. Somehow it was sort of a "catch all" location. Then I decided to get off of the chair, because like I said earlier, my head was a bit fuzzy. So I moved on to an easier activity. I cleaned out the summer clothes from Ethan's room. There is a large bag of clothes that are too small or are for summer time that are now ready to go to donation. Then I went through and did the same from Dylan's room. Only those are being saved for Ethan. Ethan's drawers are nearly empty right now. The few long sleeve shirts that I saved from Dylan at this age are still too big. When I saved Dylan's clothes, I had hoped that Ethan would be able to use them. But the seasons aren't matching up as well as I hoped. I am going to have to get a few winter clothes for Ethan I think. Good thing Christmas is coming up. I won't have to buy much.
Speaking of all of that, Dylan's birthday is coming up in just over a month. I have no idea what we are going to do, when we are going to do it, or what to get him. People are going to want gift ideas, and I don't have a single clue. He doesn't seem into any one thing. Not much holds his interest. He doesn't play video games. The only thing he seems to enjoy doing is getting into trouble. As far as I know, they don't make a gift for that.
Cross your fingers for me that we all get over this cold....SOON!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend in Review

Not a bad weekend. Ok. Friday Dylan ended his first week of preschool. He had a good week. He spent the weekend with my grandparent's. The rest of us didn't do anything Friday. I just enjoyed my time with only 1 kid. Saturday Ryan and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 7th Anniversary! Technically the anniversary wasn't until Sunday, but that doesn't matter. We ran some errands before dinner. For dinner we went to a place called BD's Mongolian Grill. We had never been there. It was a pretty cool little place! The food was good! We left very very full. They give you a bowl. Then you go and build your stir fry meal. Everything is raw. You go to the meat station and get whatever you type of meat you want. If you don't want meat, then leave it off. Once you get as much meat as you want, you go to the veggie section and pile into your bowl whichever and how ever much of the veggies you want. Next is the sauce and seasoning area. You can do whatever sauces or seasonings you choose. It is all up to you. Then you go to the grill counter. There are a few guys standing around this HUGE cast iron grill thing. You hand them your bowl and they stir fry it for you! Once it is done, they put it on a plate and you are ready to eat. Watching them grill it is interesting. They have these long sword looking tongs that they use to cook your food. Sometimes they will toss those tongs around and up into the air. Anyway, it was a good meal and a fun experience. I would go back! Saturday was nice. Mom stayed here with Ethan so Ryan and I could have a kid free evening.
Sunday Ethan woke up with a cold. Very snotty. You could hear his congestion. And he didn't sleep well at all on Saturday night. So great. I also picked Dylan up on Sunday. And he came home with a cold. How do both of my kids, who were NOT around each other all weekend, come up with a cold at the end of the weekend? Fun. Ethan slept better last night. But I loaded him up with vicks vapor rub. He and Dylan have both been playing like normal today,  but you can hear their congestion. I guess it is a good thing that Dylan didn't have school today.
We aren't doing anything today. Ryan is working. They boys are sick. I did some cleaning here in the living room. Dusting, sweeping. Moving the furniture to sweep and clean. Washing walls (well what I could reach anyway). Some of the walls in the living room are beat up. Beat up from toys. I tossed a bunch of crap. Tomorrow I am going to do the same in the kitchen. Lots of stuff is going to get thrown away. I am going to do my best to get through the house 1 room at a time. Ethan makes it a bit difficult at times...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Friday!

I am not doing a photo link up this week. No inspiration what so ever for photo taking. So yeah...sorry. Dylan is spending the weekend with my grandparents. Sunday is our 7th wedding anniversary! We are hoping to go out on Saturday evening to dinner. Other than that, not much else going on this weekend. Dylan had a good first week of school. He enjoys going and as far as I know, he hasn't caused any problems! So yay! I look forward to hearing what they did each day. And he is getting better about filling me in on his morning. Its fun.
Sorry for the short post today, but I just don't have anything else to say! Have a good weekend

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust!!!

I love whole wheat...anything. Whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta...ect. When you buy whole wheat products you need to be careful. If you truly want whole wheat foods, you need to look for the words "100%." Or you need to read the ingredients. Just because it says "Whole Wheat" doesn't mean that it is 100% whole wheat. If you have never tried whole wheat before, go and buy the whole wheat pasta, and give it a try. It takes a bit longer to cook, and is a bit firmer if you cook it right. The added flavor is awesome. Its just the slightest added yumminess. I don't remember the last time I bought white pasta. So I have been looking for a pizza crust recipe that is 100% whole wheat. Most of what I would see on the internet was only half whole wheat at the most. Finally I came across one that called for JUST the whole wheat flour. No white flour. On vacation, our last night there we ordered pizza. I ordered us all a pepperoni pizza on whole wheat crust. Now I can't say that it was 100%, because I didn't ask and couldn't find the info online. But it was still good and had that flavor I like. So today I gave the recipe I found a shot. I made a 100% whole wheat pizza crust. And it is GOOD! It may be safe to say, I might be done with my old "go to" recipe.

I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer instead of my bread maker like I have been. And it was just as easy as throwing it into the breadmachine. Once it was done rising, I topped it and tossed it in the oven. It came out thin, and crispy. Just like I like it. Here is the recipe:

2 c of Whole Wheat Flour
1 package of active dry yeast/instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 c of hot tap water (120-125 degrees)
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of honey or sugar
1 tablespoon of gluten (this is optional)

*the gluten will help the dough rise, which will also yeild a thicker, chewier crust. If you don't want a thicker crust leave it out. *

Prepare the Dough-In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Blend in the water, oil and honey (or sugar). Stir by hand until all of the ingredients are well combined. Then cover and let rise until desired size.
Grease a 15x10x1 pan or a 12-14 inch pizza pan. Press dough out until it covers the pan.
You can pre-bake the crust for 3 minutes BEFORE you top it. It will help to make a crispier crust. You don't have to though.
Top the dough with desired toppings and bake 15-20 minutes.

Here are my notes: I used rapid rise yeast. I don't know if that matters or not. It's just all I had on hand. I also did NOT use the gluten, because I wanted a thin crust. I did have to add a bit more flour as it mixed because it seemed a little wet. I let it rise until it was almost double in size. And like I said earlier, I used my stand mixer to mix it up and it turned out fine. I also pre-baked it. Like I said, I like my crust thin and crispy. I also poked it with a fork all over before baking. Once I topped it and put it in the oven, I kept my eye on it. I actually pulled it out of the oven around 13 minutes. So your oven may be different as well. Just watch it.
Give it a try next time you make your own dough. You will love it!

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