Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

Here is another tasty muffin with veggies inside.  No pictures of this yet, but imagine yummy in the shape of a muffin, and you should have a pretty good idea what these looks like.

1/2 C oil
1/3 - 1/2 C brown sugar (to taste)
2 large bananas, mashed
1/2 can pumpkin (so about 1 C, but I never measure, I just eyeball half of the can)
2-4 carrots, grated (as many as you think you can hide in there!)
2 eggs
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C oat flour (grind oats in a blender to make the flour)
1/4 C wheat germ (or substitute with more oat flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp salt

Cream together oil and brown sugar.  Mix in the bananas, pumpkin, carrots, and eggs.  Stir in all remaining ingredients until just combined.  Scoop into greased muffin cups.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Store in fridge.

And now some pictures of our cute, wild things. 

This little guy LOVES his bike.  He gets better at getting some speed and balancing everytime we take the bike out.

Pretty girl on her blessing day.

A teaser from our newborn photos that we just got from our fabulous photographer/friend Andrea.  She did a beautiful job and was ever so patient with both Brooklyn and crazy little Isaac.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baked Banana Oatmeal

Today I read a blog post from my delightful sister-in-law and instantly thought of a few favorite "muffin" recipes.  And since I've been taking pictures of food for months with the good intention of one day blogging again, I even had a photo of these muffins.

3 mashed bananas, the riper the better
1 C vanilla almond milk (or use normal milk and a few Tbsp brown sugar to sweeten)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 or more grated carrots (I do as many as I think I can get away with)
1 Tbsp oil
3 C oats (I use about 2 1/2 C old-fashioned oats and 1/2 C oat flour)
1 Tbsp baking powder
Chocolate chips (a small handful - I probably end up with about 1/3 C)

Combine bananas, milk, eggs,  vanilla, carrots, and oil.  Add oats and baking powder.  Stir in chocolate chips to taste.  Drop into well greased muffin tins.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on racks.  Enjoy!

Part of my lack of blogging is due to this adorable little girl: 

She was born February 6th, weighing in at a mighty 5 lb 12 oz.  And while Isaac my be indifferent (at best) regarding her, I love her to pieces!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Isaac!

Wearing Dada's shoes around one day.

Here is a belated birthday post for this little man!  We started his birthday with a mickey mouse pancake - most excited breakfast boy ever.  Since then, every time we have pancakes he points at the plain round circle and says "Mickey? Mickey?"  For dinner we had homemade pizza and chocolate cake.  It was a good food day, if I do say so myself.  Here's a bit about 2 year old Isaac:

Favorite Book: Little Golden Book's version of Pixar's Cars - so much so that the other day after reading it to him for the 10th time that day, mom took her chance and hid the book behind the cushions of the couch.  She needed a break.
Favorite Movie: Cars
Favorite Show: "Cats!" The first time he watched this he laughed uncontrollably for the first 2 minutes and spent the last 2 minutes catching his breath.  Now everyday he walks over to the computer and asks for "cats? cats?"

Latest Obsession: Mickey Mouse.  In addition to loving Mickey pancakes, he is thrilled if mom draws a picture of Mickey for him when we're coloring and he is convinced that one of the cacti in the Little Golden Book Cars is shaped like Mickey.  He points at it and yells "Mickey!" every time we read that page.
Favorite Food: Cubed ham, cheese, or Mac & Cheese
Favorite Toy: Any car.  He is an equal opportunity car lover, which is fortunate as I'm positive cars are disappearing and it would be problematic if he had a favorite that he couldn't live without and it went missing.
Favorite Shirt: A red shirt with a motorcycle (pictured above).  The other day I wanted to dress him in this shirt.  I knew it was clean and that I had put it away just a few days ago when doing laundry but I couldn't find it in his drawer.  So I asked Isaac "Where's your motorcycle shirt?" To which he responded "Bike! Bike!" and ran into his closet where he had stashed the motorcycle shirt in the corner, along with a collection of toy cars and a dump truck.  Usually I know if he's been emptying his dresser as clothing is strewn all over the floor, but only the motorcycle shirt was taken.  Silly kid.
Cutest Thing:  When dad is about to leave in the mornings, Isaac runs to him and yells "Hug!"  Geoff obliges and give him a hug and boy does that kid death clench to his neck for a good minute or two before he will let him go.

Boy is this kid a cute little thing, even if he does run mom a little crazy (and a little tired - we had to leave the park the other day after the chase after Isaac had caused 7 contractions in too little time.  We'll have to avoid parks with lakes in the future if mom doesn't want to have to take her prescription of Terbutaline.)  He loves hugs right now and tries to bestow them on a less than excited Tina.  Poor thing tolerates the abuse but has been known to try and hide between the piano and the piano bench.  It's fun to watch the two of them play outside, though.  He'll get her riled up so she goes sprinting in circles around the yard and that makes him giggle so hard he falls over into the grass.  She'll come over to him and play-bow excitedly, waiting for him to get back up.  Then he'll try to get back up, still giggling, and she'll jump up in the air, causing him to erupt in giggles again and fall back down in the grass.  This can go on for quite awhile, much to mom's amusement.

Well, enough about the crazy little goose.  Time for a recipe:

Carmel Apple Pie

Yes Please!

Cider caramel:
4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Apple Pie Filling:
5-6 cups sliced apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup cider caramel, warmed

Double Pie Crust (My favorite recipe is here).

To make the caramel:

I have to confess, my mom made most of the caramel while I made the crust and chopped apples.  The process took a little longer than we anticipated, so make sure you get that cider good and bubbling so it can reduce faster.

Boil cider until reduced to 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Add butter & sugar, cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Can be made 2 days ahead, (store in the refrigerator.  Stir before using).

To make the pie:

In a large bowl, combine apples, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla, and caramel. Mix well. Spoon apples into pie plate (I read that you want apples to be very thin and then spoon them into the crust so they are all laying more or less flat - this will help avoid air bubbles in the crust). Cover with remaining crust. Cut steam vents into the top crust. Brush with  a little milk, and sprinkle with sugar & cinnamon.

Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool before serving.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweet Potato Soup


Sweet Potato Soup?  Yes please.  The fresh parmesan and bacon garnish really made this dish so don't leave them out.

 2 lb sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 C water
olive oil
1 C onion, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper
4 C chicken stock
1 slice bacon/person
Parmesan cheese for ganish

Place potatoes cut side down in a microwave-safe baking dish.  Add 1/4 C water.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Microwave 10-15 minutes (depending on size of potato) until tender.  Cool slightly and discard skins.  I couldn't fit all my potatoes in the dish at once so had to split them into two cooking shifts.

Heat saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add oil.  Saute onion for 1 minute or so, stir in cumin and red pepper.  Add stock to pan, bring to a boil.  Place sweet potato and stock mixture in blender.  Blend till smooth (make sure you allow steam to escape through an opening in the top of the blender.  Mine has a tiny hole at top which is adequate but I've also opened the whole top and covered with a paper towel to allow steam to escape as it blends).  Return to pan and repeat with any remaining broth/potatoes until the soup is pureed.  I made my soup an hour before Geoff got home so it sat on low for an hour with a lid, but the directions say you can serve immediately.

Garnish with 1 slice bacon, crumbled, and some shaved parmesan cheese.

 And now a few pictures from Halloween night.  It was pretty cute following this little guy around as he went trick-or-treating.  He got side-tracked at one house where they had a TV outside and were sitting in chairs watching a football game.  He crawled right up into an empty chair, ignoring the offered candy, and said "ball, ball", happy to watch the game rather than get more candy.  Goofy kid, we had to forcibly pull him away from that house.  Oh, and yes he's shirtless but it was plenty warm Halloween night in Houston - comfortable in sorts and a T-shirt and no bugs to speak of.


Enjoying the spoils of his work.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween and Dinner in a Pumpkin!

We took Goose to a pumpkin patch last week and much to my delight they had sugar pumpkins for baking - those are hard to come by out here where all we ever see are jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  So, logically, when we got home I promptly starting looking up recipes for Dinner in a Pumpkin and here's what we came up with:

1 lb ground beef (or turkey, which is healthier and ALWAYS cheaper out here)
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 C cooked rice, give or take (we just used leftover rice.  I don't know how much it was)
1/4 C soy sauce
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Cut 3 inch circle top off pumpkin and remove seeds and strings.  Replace pumpkin top.  Place pumpkin on a cookie sheet covered with foil.  If desired, draw a face on the pumpkin.  Brush the exterior of the pumpkin with oil and the interior with melted butter.  Bake the empty pumpkin for 45-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef with the veggies until the meat is cooked and the veggies are tender. Drain any fat, if necessary.  Stir in the soup, rice, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  Fill pumpkin with meat mixture.  Return to the oven and bake an additional 1-2 hours, until pumpkin is tender when poked with a fork.

To serve, remove some of the meat mixture so you have room inside the pumpkin to scrape pumpkin flesh off the walls.  Mix pumpkin flesh into the meat mixture.

This was quite yummy.  We didn't pre-bake the pumpkin, but after 2 hours of baking the filled pumpkin it still wasn't done.  So when I make this again, I will for sure pre-bake the pumpkin as I directed here.

And finally, happy Halloween from Wilma, Fred, Bam-Bam, and Pebbles (coming Feb 2014!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pineapple Chicken Burgers

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded thin and cut into two pieces
1 small can of pineapple slices (4 slices)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar + some brown sugar for pineapple
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 buns
Provolone cheese

Combine the juice from the pineapple can, soy sauce, brown sugar, and mustard.  Marinate the chicken overnight in juice mixture.

Rub some brown sugar onto the pineapple slices.

Send the husband out to grill the chicken (about 7 minutes on one side and 6 on the other, he said).  Add the cheese near the end so it can melt.  Right after you flip the chicken, throw the pineapple rings onto the grill, turning once.  Serve on buns with two pineapple slices per sandwich and any other fixings that sound delicious to you.

Here are some pictures from out trip out to Utah in September.  Since we spent most of our time chasing Isaac, most of the pictures we got were of his back as he swiftly ran off to explore something else.  

We spent most of our time at temple square trying to keep him out of the fountains.  We ran into my uncle and a few cousins and stopped to chat for a brief moment.  When we looked down at Isaac he had a foot in the fountain (not the fountain in this picture) and was seconds away from getting the other leg in, too.  My cousins two year old obediently stayed with his parents, watching our son spew craziness in every direction.