Bows and Headbands Everywhere!

You’ll notice that it’s been awhile since anyone has posted on this blog (10 whole days!). Well, last weekend all of us girls, minus Hilary the workaholic, went down to Emily’s to attend her baby shower. Katie, nana, mom and myself had a great time meeting Emily’s coworkers and friends, and watching her open all of the presents she received. Since this is the first girl grandchild for my parents, my mother went a little crazy with the presents. Here are some pictures from the shower.

Myself, Katie, Emily, Nana and mom at the baby shower

 

Mom and Emily next to a big pile of presents!

 

Ruffled panties, head bows, and tutus were the theme of most of mom's gifts to Emily.

Of course dad had to get something from Oklahoma State University for the baby

 

All of us girls teared up when Emily opened up a present from Aunt Nancy and our late grandmother

 

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been frantically crocheting some of the items Emily asked for in my spare time. Here are final products!

Baby sleepy owl hat

 

 

Mermaid outfit with crown

 

That’s everything I was able to make before the baby shower. I’m still working on a monkey hat with matching slippers and butterfly wings. Let me know if you want the patterns and I’ll post links to the blogs or Etsy accounts where I bought them.

 

 

Adventures in Cooking – Week 12

What a dreary week it has been in Kansas City!  Like most people, when it’s raining outside I just want to take a nap or curl up with a good book and waste the day away.  Because I’ve been pretty lethargic after work this week, most of my meals have been easy to cook with little experimentation.  Luckily for all of you, I remembered a favorite treat that I would make myself when I was on my diet.  Baked apples (or as I like to call it, reverse apple pie)!  This recipe is from the Living the G.I. Diet book by Rick Gallop, along with many other delicious recipes and helpful information if you want help on eating healthy.  I highly recommend that you read this book.  One of the main ingredients in this dish, other than the apple, is muesli.  Muesli is usually a breakfast food, but it perfectly mimics a crust in this recipe.

Muesli Ingredients (makes 3 1/2 cups):

One cored red delicious apple

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 slice almonds
  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp wheat germ
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  • In a large resealable plastic bag, combing the oats, oat bran, almonds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and cinnamon.
  • Use a rolling-pin to crush the mixture into coarse crumbs.  Shake the bag to combing the mixture.
  • Keep the dry mix in a resealable bag or airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Baked Apple Ingredients (1 serving):

Ready for the microwave

  • 1 apple, cored  (you can also use a pear, but with a shorter cooking time)
  • 3 tbsp muesli
  • 1 tbsp non-hydrogenated soft margarine
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tsp sugar substitute
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Instructions:

  • Place the apple on a smale plate or a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the muesli, margarine, raisins, and sugar substitute.  Stuff the mixture into the center of the apple, pressing any excess filling on top of the apple. Dust with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap (makes sure it’s microwaveable!) and microwave on high until the apple is tender when pierced with a knife, about 3 minutes.

If you’re feeling more daring, you can also drizzle a little bit of caramel on top of the baked apple.  I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I do, it’s one of my favorites!

Adventures in Cooking – Week 11

This week at work we had a food day.  Normally, when we have a food day I can’t eat anything because it’s catered from On the Boarder or some other equally fattening restaurant.  Luckily, this food day everyone was asked to bring in food that started with the letter B (don’t ask me where they came up with). The first thing that popped into my head was blueberries.  I love blueberries!  They are perfect little snacks and they go well in smoothies, pies, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, etc.  Since I consumed so much sugar during the family road trip last weekend, I was experiencing sugar cravings and decided to make mini blueberry crisps.  This recipe is not the healthiest out there, but I tried to make healthy substitutes to the original recipe that I found on Sweet Tooth’s blog so that it wasn’t too bad for you.  For the sugars, I just used non-caloric versions and I used vegan butter from Whole Foods. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture this week since I forgot to take one before I went into work that day and they were almost gone by the end of the day!

Mini Blueberry Crisps

Crust Ingredients:

  • mini pre-made Kebler graham cracker crusts (I like my coworkers, but not enough to make handmade pie crust and fill those single-serving pie tins for the entire office)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice of half of a lemon + zest

Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Quick shake nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, mix together blueberries, vanilla, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Sprinkle zest over berry mixture and place in a 13×9 buttered dish (or about 16 mini graham cracker pie crusts) – (If you are using frozen blueberries, let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so that the blueberries can soak up the other ingredients)
  • In another bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in butter and spread topping over berries – Bake for 20-30 minutes

Something to note, I made these the evening before work and when I tried one it tasted okay, but not great.  I brought then in the next day, heated one up in the microwave for 1 minute and they tasted fantastic!  I don’t know why, but the ingredients just tasted more rich the next day.

Antique Roadshow

Trying on old-time hats

As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve been a little absent from the blog for the past week.  We have an excuse, I promise!  When my Grandmother moved to Texas, mom and dad would visit her via a scenic highway through Missouri and Arkansas that was littered with antique stores.  As most women know, men don’t really like to stop and shop when they are traveling, so my mother would always tell herself that she would come back to these little antique shops later. About a week ago, my oldest sister Hilary calls me saying that she wants to do something fun for our mom’s birthday this year.  So we all decided that we would surprise my mom with two fun-filled days of antiquing along that same scenic highway.  So Hilary, Katie, mom, and I packed ourselves into a minivan and hit the road early Friday morning (Emily was there in spirit since her pregnancy did not allow her to travel so far for so long)!  Put four women together and you have a guaranteed recipe for silliness.  We kept track of all the crazy quotes that we said and tried to find the ugliest item in every store we went into.  Since we had so much fun, I thought I would share some of the highlights below.  They might not be funny now, but they sure were hilarious when we said them.

Favorite Quotes from our Trip!

  • Mom, if I marry someone like Gerard Butler then you will have so many grandchildren. – Tory
  • I don’t remember people I don’t like. – Tory
  • Yeah, I want to take my butter with me. – Mom (her sarcastic reply when I asked why she was getting a to-go cup at Joe’s Crab Shack)
  • That’s right buddy, you want my cupcake. – Hilary (in response to someone in the car next to us looking at us eating cupcakes from Smallcakes.  Yummy!)
  • I don’t think those are pallets, just wood things. – Katie    They’re called lumber.  – Mom

    Hilary with a statue of Regan

  • We’re also going to pass the natural bridge – Mom   The National Bridge?! – Kate (we kept teasing Katie about this one the entire trip)
  • Tory’s purse will never die because she puts it in a sleeping bag at night and plays it soft music – Hilary (she’s just jealous of my new purse.  Did you know that some designer purses come with their own storage pouch?  Who knew!)
  • Hilary’s super power is a mouth of steel. – Katie
  • Remember that a man’s name is, to him, the most important sound in the English language.  (quoted from The Household Encyclopedia, 1951,  by N. H. and Sylvia K. Mager – a book I bought at one of the stores)
  • Arkansas kind of reminds me of New Mexico, but green. – Katie
  • Everyone has a whip! – Hilary
  • Everyone in Hollywood has dated Jennifer Anniston.  It’s just something to do before you die. – Hilary

Left side of a barn filled with old stained glass windows

And the right side of the barn!

Grant's new bedside lamp

Enjoying the beautiful scenery on the way back home!

We found our ugliest item in one of the last stores we stopped in that day

Adventures in Cooking – Week 10

This week, as most of you know, is the final week of the NCAA tournament.  I’ve had to listen about different basketball teams from all the guys at work and the guys at bowling (oh joy!) for the past month in anticipation of this event.  Now, I’m not a big sports fan.  I’ll watch games on television if someone else is watching it and I’ll even go to a live game or two, but I’m not the kind of person who remembers players names and their statistics.  Because of my indifference to sports, I’m sure I surprised a couple of people when I filled out a bracket this year.  Sadly, I’m doing pretty bad so far.   My final two teams are still in the playoffs, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’m right on that front so that I gain back some points!

This week’s recipe from “How Sweet It Is” is perfect for any party, especially for the games this week, and it’s super simple to make!

Creamy Feta Dip with Jalapeños

Creamy Feta Dip with Jalapenos

Ingredients

  • 16 oz brick of feta cheese
  • 3 whole jalapeño peppers
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tbsp
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Chose the top off the garlic bulb and drizzle it with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Wrap it in foil and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, or until garlic is golden in color.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Once the garlic is cool, squeeze the roasted garlic of the bulb onto a plate and mash with a fork.
  • Change the oven setting to broil.  Brush the jalapeños with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place them in the oven for 3 – 5 minutes, until the jalapeño skin starts to bubble and brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool. Once the jalapeños are cooled, remove the skins, cut in half, and discard the seeds.  Chop into small pieces.
  • In a large bowl, crumble the feta bricks.  Add the chopped jalapeños, the zest of half a lemon, the juice of half a lemon, the mashed roasted garlic, and 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Blend the ingredients with a fork.  You want the feta to be a bit “wet”, a mix between a spread and a dip.
  • Taste the feta and season with salt and pepper as desired.   Serve warm.

This dip can be served with pita chips, warm pita or naan, spread on sandwiches, or any other type of chip.  This recipe is probably in my top 5 for dips and I’m sure I’ll make it again and again since it’s just that good.

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