Monday, May 28, 2012

Facebook Round-up

In Which I re-post highlightsof the stuff that I posted on Facebook instead of blogging, going back until I get bored.

Did you know that if your baby slobbers up some colored paper, the dye will get on his face? A few days ago, he got into a sheet of hot pink, and looked like he had a beard of sunburn, and today he found yellow and looks jaundiced. 

So, in another semi-annual ritual, I was using my feather duster. Samuel asked whether the feathers were real, and I explained to him about how the ostrich feathers don't have oils, so they allow a build-up of static charge, which makes the dust stick. When I went outside to shake out the dust, he said, "Wait, I thought the dust stuck to the feathers. Oh, I know - you reversed the polarity." #toomuchsci-fi

At the library today, I noticed a couple of books that had been reinforced with binding tape, with the title re-written in marker on the spine: "Ann of Green Gables" and "Ann of the Island". Apparently, that librarian is NOT a kindred spirit. Anne-with-an-E!!! 

Shawn agreed to lector at the 7:30 Mass today, so we all had to drag ourselves out of bed much earlier than usual. As we were stumbling about getting ready to go, Samuel asked, "Do I wear a long-sleeved shirt or a short-sleeved shirt?" I told him short-sleeved in a rather exasperated tone (hey, it was early), and he said, "Well, I didn't know if it was chilly this morning!" I told him, "Samuel, it was ninety freakin' degrees yesterday." Shawn helpfully added, "And when you convert from Freakin' to Fahrenheit, that's REALLY hot." 

Well, thank goodness the baby isn't afraid of the vacuum cleaner. Because if he was, he'd be very unhappy, like, 2 or 3 times a year. 

More praise for babies from Samuel: "I like how they roll around... and how they try to eat your knee." 

So we were looking at the Greek alphabet. Samuel says, "Hey, alpha and omega! I've heard that in the Bible!" I ask him if he knows what that means, and he replies, "Yeah, the beginning and the end... the A and the Z... the call button and the hang-up button." 

Samuel: "I like baby cheeks and baby noses and baby tummy rolls and baby noises and baby faces... I like babies! Can we have more babies?" 

Samuel can't claim that the dog ate his homework, but his brother almost did. 

Why did God make babies so darn cute? I'm pretty sure it's to make up for when they spit up in your eye. 

You know the baby is hungry when, as soon as Daddy hands him over, he excitedly tries to latch on to your face.  

Samuel just announced to me that Sir Crabby-Butt the Tiny is fussy. Well, he may be fussy, but at least he has a fancy title, right?
     
     

Sunday, May 27, 2012

fancy eatin'

So I've been feeling all creative in the kitchen lately. I mean, did you SEE my granola post? I'm not normally the type to alter a recipe, so all this throwing caution to the wind is new for me. Last week, I was craving jerk chicken. No big departure from the recipe there, the only difference from what we usually do is I decided to crock-pot it instead of grilling so it would be more saucy. Two thumbs up there. My recipe uses chili sauce, sauteed chopped onions, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, allspice, and cayenne. Mmmmm.

Just thinking about it got me all inspired, so I decided to make coconut-lime rice with it (2 cups water, 1 can coconut milk + enough lime juice to make another 2 cups of liquid, 2 cups brown rice), and then things got really crazy when I decided the meal needed something... else.  Something... with sweet potatoes. And black beans. And cloves. So I made Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans with Cloves (ingredients: sweet potatoes, black beans, cloves. Oh, and sweet onions.) Everything was good, but the sweet potato dish was a bit lacking, so that was remedied on Day 2 (because I always try to make enough for two dinners) with the addition of a little brown sugar.  Even Samuel said it was alright then.

Finally, because I don't know when to quit once I start on a theme, I made baked pineapple for dessert, which turned out really good.  We ate it by itself the first night, and had it with vanilla ice cream the second night.  Good both ways.  This one is also super-simple: chop up some fresh pineapple into individual oven-safe bowls.  Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar.  You may think that putting brown sugar on fresh pineapple is gilding the lily, to which I say, maybe, but when you're gilding with brown sugar, even the lily won't mind too much.  Top with shredded coconut, pop in the oven (I used the toaster oven) on 350 for 10-15 minutes (I dunno, I didn't time it) until the top is nice and browned and it's heated through.  Eat yours, hope your son doesn't like it so you can eat his, be disappointed when he does.

If you're wondering if this is going to turn into a recipe blog, well don't.  All those improvised recipes in one meal wore my creativity out.  I'm going to go lie down now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Samuel's Wild Adventure

I guess this is what happens when your son watches too much Discovery Channel!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Joseph meets stacking rings: a story in photos


thanks for this... ah... what is it?
thanks for this... ah... what is it?


hmm, maybe if I take some of these pesky rings off, I'll figure it out
hmm, maybe if I take some of these pesky rings off, I'll figure it out


that's looking better
that's looking better


see, I'm making progress
see, I'm making progress


I'll just pause and enjoy the anticipation of getting them all off
I'll just pause and enjoy the anticipation of getting them all off


aren't you excited?
aren't you excited?


okay, back to work
okay, back to work


that should do it
that should do it


i'm so excited i just couldn't contain myself!
I'm so excited I just couldn't contain myself!


finally!  i don't know why all those stupid rings were on this chew toy to begin with
finally!  I don't know why all those stupid rings were on this chew toy to begin with


mmm... the sweet taste of success
mmm... the sweet taste of success

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Granola!

In the interest of augmenting my hippie-mama street cred, I thought I'd share the granola recipe that I've been using lately. You can find the base recipe, Skillet Granola, over at The Common Kitchen, recipe annex for one of my favorite blogs, The Common Room

Reasons I like this recipe: 
- I prefer stirring on the stovetop for 10-15 minutes than checking and stirring a pan in the oven every 10 minutes for an hour or whatever. I don't even really know, I've never made oven granola. I just know I'd forget about the whole stirring thing, and come back later to find a batch of half-raw, half burned granola about 45 minutes later, when the smoke alarm goes off. 
- It's quick! If you don't mind warm-ish granola, you can eat this within half an hour of starting. 
- It's easy to change up. Which is the point of this post. We've eaten several yummy variations on this recipe lately, and here they are! 

First, the recipe base is just 1/3 cup of oil, 1/3 cup of sweetener (liquid is best, I tried brown sugar once and it didn't work so well), and 4 cups of oats. From there, you can add all kinds of spices and extracts, dried fruit, nuts, wheat germ, etc. Below are some of our favorite combinations.  

Gingerbread 
1/3 cup oil 
1/3 cup molasses 
1 teaspoon ginger 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
4 cups oats 
1/2 cup dried apples 
1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Banana Nut
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups oats
1/2 cup dried banana chips, crumbled into bits
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

PiƱa Colada
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups oats
1/2 cup dried pineapples, snipped or chopped into bits
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Citrus Ginger with Strawberries and Bananas
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon ginger
4 cups oats
1/3 cup dried banana chips, crumbled into bits
1/3 cup dehydrated strawberries, snipped or chopped into bits
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

That last recipe was less "planned" and more "what can I use up", but it turned out just as good as the others.  I also made a chocolate cherry version, but it needs work.  The dried cherries I bought just taste like raisins, and none of us really like raisins much.  I know I've had better dried cherries, so I need to look around.  I also added the cocoa powder at the beginning, and by the time the oats were done (which was really hard to discern, since the cocoa turned everything so dark, you couldn't see when the oats were browned) it tasted slightly burned.  Next time, I'd add the cocoa at the end, mixed with a little extra oil to make kind of a slurry.  I'll post that one if I ever get it right.  I also want to try a cranberry orange version.  What else sounds good to you? 

modelling the baby hat I made
I can't wait 'til I get to eat granola!