Saturday, November 15, 2008

First Tooth

Lukas cut his first too this week. It's hard to believe how fast the time is flying by. When we just had Alek it seemed like he was a baby and toddler forever but I guess we just had more time to devote to him. Lukas and Mikah have to share that time now and I always feel like there just isn't enough of it to go around.

There isn't enough of me to go around most days either.

Peanut Livers

I bought a bag of roasted peanuts in the shell yesterday for the kids. Today Alek was busy shelling them and enjoying the peanut meat. In his mind, the shell is the skin so the inside must be the liver. Hence; peanut livers.

I really have no idea where he comes up wit this stuff.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Song of the Day!

*Just insert "Barb" where you hear "Jenny".

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's Snowing!!!

It's snowing outside and I'm busy baking inside. Ahhh, winter is finally here. I made brownies tonight and the smell combined with the cold view outside the windows is making me feel nostalgic. I guess the combo takes me back home to the farm.

Here's our family recipe for Never Fail Brownies if you want to try and create a little winter magic in your house.

Never Fail Brownies
These are the best, easiest, quickest to make brownies ever! We have been making them in our family for about 25 years and they always turn out tender and chewy in the middle with just the right amount of crust on top. I always double the recipe!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1. Cream together butter and sugar.
2. Blend in eggs.
3. Mix in salt and vanilla.
4. Blend in flour, cocoa and nuts.
5. Mix until just blended.
6. Pour into a 8x8" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Grand River Toys

I MUST order something from this site this year! They have some great items and I spent more than an hour the other night checking out absolutely everything that they have to sell and making a wishlist so that I could refer to it later. They even have a special on shipping right now so I should take advantage of that.

Check out Grand River Toys. Here are a few of my faves...

Beautiful Butternut Squash

I made the best thing for supper tonight. Thank you Sobey's for having squash on sale and to Epicure for making such wonderful spices. I was feeling creative and in need of comfort food on this cold and blustery day so I decided to came up with the recipe Butternut Gnocchi with Apple-Sage Brown Butter Sauce. Are you hungry yet??? Here's the recipe in case anyone wants to try it.

  • take your butternut squash and slice it down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and place it cut side down in a microwavable dish (with a lid) and about 1/4" of water. I cooked mine on high for 14 minutes; 1 half at a time.
  • let squash cool so that you can peel it.
  • mash squash. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Mix.
  • start adding flour about 1/2 a cup at a time until you have a semi-firm sticky dough. I used about 3 cups. Don't use too much flour or you will definitely taste it in your gnocchi.
  • once you have a nice dough that sticks together get a medium size Ziploc bag and snip one bottom corner off. Fill the bag about half full for easy handling. Hold the bag like a piping bag over you pot of boiling salted water and start squeezing out dough. Use a sharp knife in your other hand and cut the dough in about 1" pieces.
  • When the gnocchi floats on the top of the water it is done. Scoop it out with a slotted spoon and place in a warm dish.

Brown Butter Sauce

  • in a small sauce pan melt 1/4 cup of salted butter and 1 Tbsp of Epicure Apple-Sage Dressing mix. Let the butter brown on a low heat so that the spice mix has some time to soften and the flavors meld.
  • Pour over the gnocchi and serve!
Thanks to my lovely kitchen assistant Lev for his expert gnocchi cuting : )

I know that gnocchi should be rolled and then cut into pieces but I can nevr get that to work quite right. The Ziploc piping bag works like a charm though and I'm going to use that from now on. Half the work means quicker eating!

Mikah Loves the Bongos

Mikah and I have a new activity that brings us great joy. While I am in the kitchen either cooking or doing dishes I like listening to music. The kids enjoy this time too and there is usually much singing and dancing while doing chores. I was cooking at the stove the other day and Mikah decided that if only he had some bongo drums his life would be so much better. So he found some. On my butt. Now whenever I'm standing at the stove he pounds away on his drums and laughs and dances. Hopefully he'll outgrow it at some point...

Halloween Howlers

Halloween has been and gone, as is almost all of Alek's candy. This year Alek went trick-or-treating with a friend which was nice break for us. The Halloween "howler" turned out to be Mikah this year. A major fit was pitched every time that I tried to put his dog hood on him. He was insistent that he wear his favorite hat. I conceded that particular battle of wills. I've decided to save my wins for the battles that actually matter; I'm sure there will be many with that one.