Tuesday, August 30, 2011

more muffin madness

There has been a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer for some time now (I would disclose the actual amount of time, but it's just embarrassing).

Rather than throw it away which is probably what Federal Food Safety Regulations would dictate, I decided to make some muffins out of them.

The girls didn't like the tartness of the cranberries, but me and the hubs liked them.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

1-1/2 C. chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1-1/4 C. sugar, divided
3 C. flour
1-1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 C. butter
2 eggs beaten
1 C. buttermilk (I used lemon juice and milk)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 C. toasted and chopped pecans or walnuts
Grated orange peel from one large orange

Toss cranberries with 1/4 C. of sugar in a bowl; set aside. Grease muffin pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and remaining sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine eggs with milk; stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Gently fold in nuts, orange peel and cranberries. Fill muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min.

Friday, August 26, 2011

first week of kindergarten: check

Katie on her first day of Kindergarten this week.

Being pregnant was difficult. Labor was tough. Mastitis sucked. Potty training an only slightly bumpy road.

But getting my 5-year old to school at 7:55 a.m on Friday -- for me, this was a near impossible feat. Now, before you respond similar to how many of us west coasters did in response to the "big" east coast earthquake -- "wah" -- understand I am not a morning person.

"Mama, your eyes are red," Katie told me this morning when she hopped over to me.

"Yes, well Mama's eyes don't' like being open this early."

Some (like my husband) might call it lazy, but I don't think the act of wanting to sleep in a little should be so villainized. I mean, it's my little pocket of "me" time before the day becomes, well, less about me. I mean if Jack Johnson preaches to "wake up slow," how bad can it be?

Oh yes, and Katie has been doing great at school. Where has the time gone, etc., etc. No seriously, I am sad -- my babygirl goes to real school now.

Also, I am glad no one was hurt in the earthquake... just like poking a little fun.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

random wednesday

If I had my druthers:
blue chairs for my dining room
Filter for my new 50mm lens
Red Funkis clogs
Calcutta marble counter tops (totally not practical, but just love the way they look)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

50 mm lens + baby e

After months of pondering and much discussion with a number of people I finally bought a 50mm lens.

I'm liking the clarity (prior muffin shots) and portraits you can do with it.

I took some picture of my friend Katie's baby the other day and was pretty happy with the results.

Baby E was not happy anywhere but on mama's lap, but with a low aperture setting I was able to get some decent shots without seeing too much of mom.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

mini banana nut muffins

Two reasons to make them mini.

1) They only take 13 minutes to bake so you can whip them up quickly for breakfast or a snack.

2) They are perfect for mini hands.

Banana Nut Bread

my adaptation of James Beard's recipe

1-1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1 C. mashed very ripe banana
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C. softened unsalted butter
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. walnuts
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan(s). Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl cream butter. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. Add eggs & banana. Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Slowly alternate mixing in flour mixture and milk mixture. Mix until completely incorporated. Add nuts and chocolate chips last. Sprinkle a little sugar on the top before they go in the oven for a sweet extra crunch on top.

Bake until toothpick comes out clean.

Loaf pan ~60 min.
Muffins ~20 min.
Mini muffins ~13 min.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

truth lives in the mouth of a 5-yr old

Katie: Can I draw you.

Me: Only if you make me skinny.

Me (observing the drawing): I'm a little hippy.

Katie: But you are hippy Mom.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Maddie has been sick for a couple of days now. While she seems to be recovering, she's at the stage where she sounds like she's a pack-a-day smoker.

So, we're laying low.

We've taken to "beautifying" the house today.

We filled my latest finds with flowers from our garden.

The hallway plant died, so we split off a bit of a plant that my friend Laura gave me which was doing really well outside.

We'll see how it does inside.

It's grey outside, so I'm thinking baking will be in order next...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

running or shopping: hmm...

This morning I asked Katie if she wanted to go with me running and then to play at the park, or if she wanted to go to a couple of garage sales.

She picked garage sales (that's my girl).

Ever since I picked up my blue suitcase awhile back, she has been lobbying to use it.

This morning, we found a blue suitcase for her.

It's heavier than mine, which might prove difficult for her when it's packed, but she "had" to have it.

And, when I saw the matching little case, I kind of felt the same way.

We scored both for $15 which I was quite pleased about.

Later we happened upon a lady who had a table full of thousands of broaches, clip on earrings (none of which matched) and other trinkets. She called it her 25 cent table.

I told Katie she could spend $1.

She picked four charms. We found a necklace on the table which worked perfectly to attach them to and with the help of some needle-nose pliers... voila!

Yes, there are only three charms on the bracelet. One was lost in the car as she was admiring them on the drive home.

Still, a very happy Katie.

Friday, August 5, 2011

the fair: back to back

As what is fast becoming tradition we attended the fair on opening day this week. There were friends, games and more. Katie rode rides without abandon, Mo not so much. All in all it was a pretty exhausting day.

I however, forgot the battery for my camera, which made it very difficult to take pictures for a piece I was supposed to be doing.

Because of this, we headed back the following day with the aim of completing my interviews, and seeing the (perhaps) calmer side of the fair.

Bonus: when you interview 4H kids, they bring their animals out of cages for your kids to pet.

I don't know how those kids keep those all white outfits clean.

All the kids I spoke with were delightful. You can see some of them here if you're interested.

The girls wanted to take a picture with Willie the horse.

This is as close as they would get. Future 4H girls, I fear they are not.

From the baby animals, geese and pig races to the fish and frogs in the aquariums, the day was really nice, and almost leisurely compared to the day before.

Perhaps the best part of the day was the live butterfly exhibit. You dipped q-tips into nectar, placed them under their feet and they would climb right on.

And, in the end the Little Wickies were rewarded for being so patient with mama while she was working.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the baby is officially

The only two requests Mo had were:

"Me want jump rope party," and "Me want pink and yewow party."

And, so it was.

The week before the party, the girls and I painted a bunch of frames pink and yellow which we hung from the tree in the front.

There was pink and yellow play-doh (easy recipe here).

There were bubbles and a pull-string pinata which rained candy down on the kids.

Mo was beat at the end of day. She straight passed out watching her show before bed.

Happy Birthday Mo!