Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Kids Like Quiche?


I love when we discover new foods that the girls will eat.

But would anyone have guessed that it would be quiche?

I got the idea when our neighbor came to babysit Libby and Annie the other week and I wanted to leave something for her other than the usual "kid food" options for lunch. I had everything to make a ham and cheese quiche, so I thought I would give it a shot and maybe the kids would eat it too. I served it with a simple fruit salad and was amazed at the outcome...

After googling the proportions for a basic quiche and making a few adjustments, I came up with this recipe:

5 eggs
1 3/4 c whole milk (or if you're feeling a little crazy, half & half or cream)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash of nutmeg (because Rachel Ray says it makes people stop and say, "Hmmm, what is that?")
1 cup shredded cheese - I used sharp cheddar
1 cup cubed deli ham
1 unbaked pie shell (optional)

Layer the ham and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust (or tart pan if you decide to go "crust-less" which is pictured above) Whisk together the first five ingredients and pour into the crust over the filling. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until set.

Would you believe that my four year old ate 3 slices of this quiche?!? And at 21 months, Annie was asking for "More, Mommy!". There has been very few times when they have requested seconds (not including desserts) so I was thrilled to add quiche to our list!
Now I need to build up the courage to add some real vegetables. Broccoli? Spinach? Don't know how that would go over with the little ones, but the possibilities are endless! The photos here show my second attempt in which I decided to omit the crust and add mushrooms. Very yummy! But there's something about that buttery crust...it may not be "optional" at our house anymore.



You won't believe all of this by the looks on their faces, but the quiche was an unexpected hit. At this stage of parenting, I'll go to any lengths to fill those little bellies with foods that are not in nugget form!

The Last Drop of Summer

We squeezed the last bit of the season out this week and enjoyed some time outside. Now that it's not 100 degrees, it's actually pleasant to spend the afternoons on the deck! Libby and our cute neighbor Aubrey meet up between our back yards on many evenings to swing and play. How great to have a another four year old living right next door!




We made lemonade and enjoyed our last day of summer.



Pucker up!



Annie LOVES to be "at-sye" and has even learned to throw a ball!



This summer has been brutally hot, so it seems like fall might be our time of year to actually get outside and play!



In other news, baby boy is movin' and a shakin'! I've felt those familiar "flutters" for the last couple of weeks, but now there is definite baby movements! Even the third time around, it's just as thrilling.

I'll be back soon with a recipe!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weagle, Weagle!








"I said it's great to be an Auburn Tiger!"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Snips, Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails...



...that's what little BOYS are made of!

Our ultrasound today showed that we will be having a baby boy! We are so thrilled at the news. We can honestly say that we REALLY didn't care about the gender, as long as we had a healthy baby. Dusty and I would have loved to add another girl to our family, but we were equally excited to learn that we were going to welcome a little man to the mix!

Today felt a little like Christmas morning to me - but better! Our wonderful neighbor kept the girls and Dusty and I went to the appointment this morning. We went in to the same little ultrasound room with the same ultrasound tech that we had seen with the girls. She took measurements and punched around on the keypad and finally gave us the good report that the baby was healthy and had a strong heartbeat! So thankful! She then turned the screen around so we could see our little one. Immediately, I could see that this ultrasound picture looked just like Libby and Annie's with one important difference :) Dusty stood there asking, "Well, what is it?" Even after she circled it on the monitor, he still didn't get it. Finally the word "Male" popped up on the ultrasound screen with an arrow and he said "REALLY?" I will never forget the look on his face. He was beaming.

Meet Mr. Man! A skeletal face shot...



and a long leg!



After our appointment we were able to go on a date to celebrate! We went downtown and had lunch at Hamilton's and then walked over to "Giggles and Coos", a baby boutique. It felt strange to go to the OTHER side of the store to look at all things blue. This will take some getting used to after four years of pink.

Dusty found these little contraptions. Pee Pee TeePees - for boy diaper changes.



Really? He found them amusing, but probably unnecessary...I guess the wall behind our changing table will tell. Instead, we picked out a sweet blue nightgown and had them gift wrap it in yellow. We brought it home and let the girls unwrap it to reveal the surprise!



After she opened the present, she was excited, but I think the suspense and anticipation had gotten to her and she was little overwhelmed. She had been asking for a boy since she found out I was pregnant, but after she opened the gown she said, "But I thought it was going to be a girl?". Oops. Sometimes the best laid plans don't go quite as you think they will. After a few questions about this new brother, she was all smiles! Annie is still too young to understand and her only request was to sit in her Daddy's lap while we oohed and aahed over the news.



Hooray for the baby brother!





Today was more than I could have asked for. I enjoyed getting to spend it with Dusty and celebrate this new precious life. It seems so strangely wonderful to say words like "him", "he", and "son". I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for this sweet blessing of a little boy. I'm humbled that the Lord is entrusting us to raise a man! That seems like a big job!

As Libby and I were praying before bedtime, she laid her hand on my tummy and said,
"God, thank you for my baby brother...that was just so SWEET of you, Jesus!"

Little one, you are already loved. We can't wait until February!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

The guest room is now underway! What was once a sad catch-all room full of leftover decor and bare walls is (hopefully) soon going to be pulled together to be a comfy retreat for our out of town family and friends!

It's taken a year, but I finally got a "vision" for what I hope this room will be.



First, I had to find the right green. If you read this post then you know that paint color chips cause me extreme anxiety, so I spent a couple of weeks gathering some different shades.

I have learned my lesson when it comes to trying before buying paint. If you ever visited our old house, you know we had a "Guacamole" kitchen. It was a fun color but pretty bright. Although, in my own defense, I did pick out that shade when I was 23 years old...

Can you guess how many samples I purchased for the guest room? Four.



And one I didn't even try on the wall once I saw how the others looked. It just goes to show you that that little chip can be so deceiving! Notice the one on the bottom? Crazy! See why we sample?



At first I was going to go with a recommendation I found on this designers blog. She reveals her favorite paint colors in that post and says they are tried and true. She names "Salisbury Green" by Benjamin Moore. (Shown in the top sample patch)



It really is a beautiful green. What I failed to realize is that I'm not a designer and that when she uses these colors, she has the artistic eye to create everything else in the room to jive with it so that it SINGS! It seemed to have more blue in it and would have been a bit of a bold move. I used that color as a guide and found something similar. I went safe and chose a lighter green that was a little more...me.

On Labor Day, I bit the bullet and painted...



After I cut in around the window, I fell in love with "Softened Green" by Sherwin-Williams. And miraculously, it covered in one coat - hallelujah!

I'm looking forward to sharing more pictures once the bed comes in and it looks more "guest-worthy"! On to finding a box-pleated bed skirt...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Me-Maw's Peanut Brittle


Pregnancy cravings are a powerful thing. I don't simply want a certain food - I HAVE TO HAVE a certain food. On Thursday, it was Peanut Brittle. Nothing else would do. I ran over to Kroger during Libby's ballet class to buy the ingredients and then immediately came home, threw the girls down for a nap, and got to cookin'!

Dusty's sweet grandmother, Me-Maw, sent a giant tin of this Peanut Brittle to the hospital after I had Annie. I can still remember happily munching on it as I snuggled my tiny new baby. I also remember crumbs ending up in the hospital bed :) After it was gone, I immediately asked Me-Maw to share her recipe with me. I imagined it would involve old fashioned candy making techniques, pulling out my candy thermometer, and figuring out what exactly is the "hard crack" stage of boiling sugar.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to receive this precious handwritten note
from Me-Maw...



MICROWAVE PEANUT BRITTLE???

I love it! I've made it a dozen times, and it always comes out the same. Truely a fool-proof recipe!

Here's what you'll need - oops, I forgot the sugar!



Combine:
1 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup light corn syrup
2 Cups raw peanuts (they have to be raw - will say so on the package)
1 tsp. salt



Pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes.



Take it out and give it a stir.

Cook for 4 more minutes. See how it is turning a pretty caramel color?



At this point, the bowl will be insanely hot! Be sure to use an oven mitt, or better yet, an Ove-Glove!

We have two of these and use them everyday. They have a better grip than a traditional oven mitt and they claim to be flame proof, though I hope to not ever have to find out! Anyway, back to the brittle...

Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. of butter. Stir.

It goes back in the microwave for 2 more minutes.



Finally, add 1 tsp. of baking soda and stir well. You'll notice that it will start to bubble up and get very thick. Quickly pour the (HOT!) mixture onto a greased baking sheet or parchment paper.



Allow to cool then crack into pieces.



Thank you, Me-Maw for passing along this delicious recipe! With the power of this latest craving, it must already be a hit with your newest great-grandchild!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our Hard Wood Safari

I hear "MOMMY!!!" a million times a day.

Usually it's followed by "Can you put this baby doll's hair in a braid?" or "Annie's climbing the stairs!" or "Can you wipe me?" or in the case of little sis, "I want Mick Mau" (Mickey Mouse). Basically, they think everything is very urgent, so I never know what will follow when they call my name.

Over the summer, we spent a lot of time at home. The girls and I enjoyed our days of endless playtime, and it allowed for lots of pretending and made up games. On one of these particular mornings a few weeks ago I heard Libby scream from under the kitchen table...



"MOMMY! You have GOT to come look at this! There's a MONKEY in our floor!!!"



This is one I had not heard before. As I rounded the corner, both girls were closely inspecting this little critter -



Can you see it?







I had to admit it was, indeed, a monkey.

A Capuchin, to be more exact. Remember Marcel on Friends?



This prompted Libby to lead Annie and me in a game of trying to find other animals that might be "hiding" in our hard woods.



This was our morning. I just love days like these.