16
Jul
13

Yogurt Blueberry Muffins

I just wanted to share this yummy recipe I tried this morning. We have lots of blueberries on hand right now (thank you, Costco!) and I was craving some yummy warm baked goods, so I browsed my pinterest boards until I found this one. I changed a few things around though so I’ll repost it with my alterations. I can’t vouch for how these taste when they’ve cooled as we always gobble them up right away! But I can say that straight from the oven they were extremely moist, almost to the point of seeming like a bread pudding type consistency. Maybe not everyone’s idea of a perfect blueberry muffin, but these really hit the spot!20130716-120830.jpg

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

makes about 16 regular muffins

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3 T. ground flax seed
  • 3 T. wheat germ
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. full fat vanilla greek yogurt (I used Zoi)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350°. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray.

Combine flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.

Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.

Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon into muffin tins.

Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

27
Apr
13

Stomach Bug Survival Kit

Whether you need to run to the store for your family or you want to bless someone else’s family whose  has been hit by the stomach bug, here is a list of survival items we’ve found essential to weathering the storm.

  • Saltines: Mild carb, easy to digest.
  • Sprite: Sugar helps balance electrolytes and fights dehydration.
  • Chicken noodle soup: Salt also helps balance electrolytes. I’ve found chicken and rice soups to be more unpleasant to throw up. The rice gets stuck in the throat. The noodles slide back up easily.
  • Jello: Sugar and Salt for electrolytes and smoothly travels up and down.
  • Pedialyte: For electrolytes and fights dehydration, use sparingly since it is pretty strong and overuse can actually induce diarrhea.
  • Wet wipes: Because you can’t give them a bath every time they vomit on themselves.
  • Lysol III: It’s the only cleaner (aside from bleach) that I’m aware of that kills stomach bug viruses.
  • Rubbing alcohol: For cleaning cloth furniture that has been vomited on. It disinfects and evaporates quickly.
  • Paper towels: For vomit clean up.

Luxury Items:

  • Spearmint essential oil diluted in water (brown bottle): I spray this inside their cleaned vomit bowls to keep the vomit smell at bay (which can make them feel more nauseous).
  • Nice smelling all-purpose cleaner: To use as needed.
  • Laundry detergent: Because we do a lot of extra laundry during these times!
  • Diapers (if sickies are at that age): We go through double (triple?) the amount of diapers we go through normally.
  • Entertainment: Thankfully we have Netflix, but  if that isn’t available, bring some movies or stories on tape to help keep the kids entertained while they are laying down.
  • Food for mom: Often mom will end up neglecting to eat because she is so busy with the kids. Bring her something easy to eat (a sandwich, a ready made salad, protein smoothie?) and maybe some coffee to keep her going strong.
  • Garbage bags: For mess control!
  • Straws: Because it is better sip then gulp when you are throwing up a lot.

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05
Mar
13

Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Pancit Bihon (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

Tried this recipe from Lemons and Anchovies today and fell completely in love. This is going to be a new staple meal in our home. Even my almost 11-month old son loved it!

Ingredients:

(See the link above for the recipe and original ingredients. This list is how I altered the ingredients a to serve 2 adults and 4 children to our liking.)

  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly in 1 – 1½ inch pieces
  • 5 ribs celery, sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • ½ cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 4 Bok Choy stalks, sliced thinly on a diagonal
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 chicken breasts, poached in the stock
  • 4 cups stock  (vegetable)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 8-ounce package bihon noodles (rice stick noodles)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Ground white or black pepper for garnish

dinner

03
Mar
13

Port Infused Mushroom Bruschetta

Since having tasted Maialina‘s Funghi Pizza last week, I’ve been craving mushrooms. The goal today was to make a mushroom bruschetta for lunch that was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
Mission accomplished!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/3 c. port
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 8oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 5oz Aged Kerrygold Cheddar, grated (or other favorite aged Irish cheddar)
  • 2 small loaves of sourdough bread, sliced lengthwise (this recipe makes enough to top 3 halves, with the 4th, I spread broth over it and just topped it with the cheese and rosemary since my kids struggle with the texture of mushrooms)
  • 1 spring of rosemary

Directions:

Combine butter, garlic, bouillon and port in a saucepan. Mush up the bouillon cube. I know these aren’t the healthiest, but they add a nice kick of flavor with virtually no work and don’t change the consistency like adding a liquid broth would have. On top of that, layer your onions and mushrooms. Cover and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400′. Place all four halves of bread on a cookie sheet, crusts down. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and spoon the broth evenly over the bread. Return the onion and mushrooms to the stove, uncovered, and saute until the mushrooms are seared to your liking. Depending on how particular you are, you may wish to transfer them to frying pan to sear the veggies. Spread the bread with the mushrooms and onions and sprinkle the grated cheese and rosemary pieces over the top. You really could use any green herb. I was thinking cilantro, parsley or basil would bring a nice pop of flavor. Bake the bruschetta for about 10 minutes and then broil it on low for about 4 minutes (until cheese begins to brown slightly). Remove from oven and serve when slightly cooled.

Port Infused Mushroom Bruschetta

06
Feb
13

Because it is Wednesday

I decided it was time to take a break from winter casseroles, pasta, potato dishes and soups. Tonight, we partied! The best part was, the whole thing was easy to throw together without much preparation. The only thing I had prepared was soaking the garbanzo beans overnight to make hummus. Other then that, it was easy to whip up on the fly.

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Easy crustless ranch quiches, fresh fruit with instant banana pudding to dip it in, hotdogs, veggies with hummus, green pea and avocado crostinis, and sparkling apple-grape Martinellis’ for the kids with an added shot of Domaine de Canton for Mommy and Dad.

The Green Pea and Avocado Crostinis called for lime juice and I found out too late that what I thought was a lime  waiting in my produce bowl was actually a lemon. So I ended up substituting the fresh lime juice for 3 tbsp. of sweetened lime juice I had in my fridge. I also added an extra clove of garlic and some more salt. It didn’t taste as good as it did last time, but there were no complaints.

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23
Jan
13

Birthday Cupcakes

Birthday Cupcakes

I am working on my cake decorating skills. This is what I did for my daughters 7th birthday, as you can see, it’s a work in progress. She asked for chocolate (boxed, thank you very much), with blue and white frosting. At the last minute she decided it needed to be more girly…enter sprinkles. I think I might of messed up the frosting because I had to unclog the decorating nib several times. But she loved them, so mission accomplished.

18
Jan
13

Chore Charts

#3, #1, and #2 camping in the living room

I grew up in a home where there were 6 of us kids. I was the 3rd. Both my parents worked and we were homeschooled, so you can imagine what my chore list was like. My parents did a good job of teaching us to be hard workers.  I’ve been scrubbing baseboards and toilets, doing my own laundry, hand washing dishes (we didn’t have a dishwasher back then), and taking out the garbage for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember enjoying all of my chores, but I certainly didn’t hate most of them. With my own kids,  I have tried in the past to set up chore charts for their edification (they end up being more work for me to enforce then to simply do it on my own), but nothing has stuck this far. The older ones do help me around the house with whatever the current need is, but whenever I tried to have a more structured system it only ever lasted a couple months before dissolving. It could, admittedly, have something to do with my frequent HG pregnancies. It is hard to stay on top of chore charts when you are in and out of the hospital, and barely able to get out of bed. We can make plans, but ultimately, God decides the course of our lives (Proverbs 16:9).  The relative chaos in the housework department doesn’t bother me much anymore. My chaos meter has changed a lot since spending collective years listening to my family live while I helplessly listened from my bed. I can get involved again and bring some order to our little world. Plus, I have long since gotten over any aversions I had to chores. I enjoy cleaning. It occurred to me the other day that since we are done home growing our family, that the odds of sticking to a basic program have greatly increased.   I’ve also noticed a good deal of boredom going around our house. During the day when my oldest is at school, my second plays with our third, but then #3 takes a nap and #2 becomes my shadow, her questions cycle around on a loop, “What day is it? When will sister be home? When will brother get up? What are we doing tonight? Can I play games on the ipad or watch tv?” When I have my wits about me I take the opportunity to give her something constructive to do. Preschool workpages, wiping down surfaces, helping me fold the laundry or tear up lettuce for supper. If I am really on top of my game, I’ll drop everything and build a fort with her or host a tea party for just the two of us (and sometimes baby #4). However, more often then not, my wits get lost somewhere between my morning coffee and the Magic Laundry (you know, it pulls dirty clothes out of thin air and strews them about the house). Add into this the constant direction I give throughout the day and it’s no wonder I am ready to crash the second I load the last dirty dinner dish into the dishwasher (Praise God for technology!). The time has come for change. Today I sat down, searched through all those chore lists I’ve pinned on Pinterest, and came up with what I think is a decent working list for us. I’ll share it here, but I would like to hear what your thoughts are. What chores have you found work well for different age groups? What are your thoughts on incentives? Sticker charts or check lists? Have you found any certain flaws in the system that I should be aware of?

 Chores for a 7 Year old Girl 

  • BEFORE SCHOOL
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
  • AFTER SCHOOL
*** *** *** *** ***
Change clothes.
Put dirty school clothes in laundry hamper.
Wipe down bathroom sink.
Clean your room (make your bed, put clothes away, put toys away, sweep).
Unload dishwasher.
Homework.
Help fold laundry.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
Wash your hands.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to braid your hair for bed.

  Chores for a 4 Year Old Girl

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Do school.
Help fold laundry.
  • AFTERNOON
*** *** *** *** ***
Dust coffee tables.
Disinfect doorknobs.
Clean your room (make your bed, put your clothes away, pick up toys, pick up garbage and throw it away).
Unload dishwasher.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wipe off kitchen table.
Set table with plates or bowls, napkins and silverware.
  • AFTER DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Clear your plate.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.
Brush your hair.

Chores for a 2 Year Old Boy

  • MORNING
Mon
day
Tues
day
Wedn
esday
Thurs
day
Friday
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER NAP
*** *** *** *** ***
Make your bed.
Wipe down front of dishwasher.
Wipe down front of oven.
Wipe down front of fridge.
Wipe down bathroom cabinet.
  • BEFORE DINNER
*** *** *** *** ***
Wash your hands.
Wash your face.
  • AFTER DINNER
Put your toys away.
Put on your pajamas.
Put your dirty clothes in laundry hamper.
Politely ask Mommy or Daddy to brush your teeth.
Wash your face.



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