Saturday, July 21, 2012

Glimpses Week 28 | Knitting Club


This week's been full of realtors and packers and painters photographers as we prepare our house for market and our big move up north.  On more than one occasion, the kids have heard the words, "When 'they' come to the door, just go down into the basement!"  Obediently, although not willingly, they oblige.  Fortunately for the girls, they have a new summer craft:  Knitting!  Arielle is already a pro with picture perfect stitches.  Maybe someday they can teach me!  We'll probably need a few more hats and scarves where we're going!






Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apricot Glazed Black and White Cheesecakes

 

I always look forward to the 15th of the month because it means that I get to try a new cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcake Book!  When I first decided to participate in the Martha Stewart's Cupcake Club, I just thought baking cupcakes would be fun.  And easy.  And fun.  Little did I know at the time that if one actually bakes through this book, it's like going to pastry school.  These aren't just cute little cupcakes with decorations, each recipe is like a mini version of a delicious confection and each employs different techniques!  Almost two years later, I'm a much better baker because of it!


In this month's recipe, we baked cupcake-sized cheesecakes.  The crust called for chocolate wafer cookies such as Nabisco's Famous Wafers.  Of course, no such cookie could be found in my local grocery store.  And why would they carry it?  I mean, what's a chocolate wafer without the filling?  Since no wafers could be found, I had to make my own - by unscrewing the tops off of an entire package of Oreos!  Do you see what's left?  At this point, I may have said OUT LOUD something about having to throw the scraps away.  Immediately, the same ears that can not hear me ask them to empty the dishwasher came scrambling from throughout the house and the result was this Oreo Frenzy! Needless to say, no Oreos were forced to live the remainder of their lives in the trash.


This recipe was simple and came together quickly.  If you ever feel intimidated about making cheesecake, try the cupcake version!  It's much more manageable!


The crust was comprised of crushed chocolate wafers, sugar and butter.  Use your thumb to smush them in place.


The simple vanilla cheesecake batter gets scooped on top.


After baking and cooling, heat apricot jam and mix until smooth.  Spoon a teaspoon on top of each cheesecake.  The recipe suggests straining the apricot jam so it's not lumpy, but I happen to like a little pulp.  Or I'm lazy.  Or both. 


For a cherry version of this recipe, check out Rebecca @ Beurrista!  (Who also picked this month's assignment!)

If you'd like to bake along with us, just grab the cookbook and link up your POST!  You can find the RECIPE on Martha's Website!

THIS POST MAY BE LINKED TO: MONDAYS MADE BY YOU MONDAY, BEDAZZLE ME MONDAYFLOUR ME WITH LOVEMANIC MONDAYOUR DELIGHTFUL HOME TUESDAYSTALENT SHOW TUESDAYS, TEMPT MY TUMMY TUESDAY,TWO MAIDS A BAKING, TIP JUNKIE ,GET YOUR CRAFT ON, CRAZY SWEET TUESDAYS!   MANDY'S RECIPE BOX  WEDNESDAYSSNAPWORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY, GINGER SNAP CRAFTS,  THURSDAYS IT’S A KEEPER THURSDAYSSTRUT YOUR STUFFFULL PLATE THURSDAYS , CHIC & CRAFTY PARTYSOMETHING SWANKY  FRIDAYS: I’M LOVING IT, FOODIE FRIDAYGROCERY CART CHALLENGEFOOD ON FRIDAYS, TATERTOTS AND JELLO,  SWEET TOOTH FRIDAY SHINE ON FRIDAYSFRIDAY FAVORITES,  FUSION FRIDAYS FRIDAY FOOD , BACON TIME , KITCHEN FUN WITH MY THREE SONS, AROUND MY FAMILY TABLE  SATURDAYS:SWEETS FOR A SATURDAY SIX SISTERS STUFFCRUMBS AND CHAOS SUNDAYS: NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, A ROSIE SWEET HOME

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Glimpses Week 27 | Oreo Frenzy



I never buy Oreos, except for Thanksgiving when we make Oreo Turkeys!  After you see my Black & White Cheesecake post tomorrow, you'll understand why we experienced a moment of Oreo Frenzy this afternoon!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Super Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treats


Today is our dog's birthday, and yes, he was even born on Friday the 13th.  This might explain why he got stuck with the name he did. Kujo.  Kujo because my husband thought it would be funny to name a cute little white English Teddy Bear Doodle puppy such a hideous name (a.k.a. the big scary dog in Stephen King's psychological thriller) and Kujo spelled with a "K" because I have never seen said movie and when I went to the vet, that is how I spelled it.  

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my husband ended up being out of town for twenty-some days after no more than dropping the puppy off at our doorstep. I had no opportunity to bring him to his senses.  The kids, having no prior association with the name, however, thought it was a much better name than the other choice my husband gave them: Spartacus.  By the time my husband returned, Kujo's name was well engrained. It was too late to change it. And so, despite his name, (and his Friday the 13th birthday), Kujo has become a much-loved member of our family.


Even though we are in the middle of moving (did you miss that in my last post?) we still took time out of our schedule to make some Birthday Preparations: Homemade Dog Treats.  That's what you're supposed to do on the morning of your staging move, isn't it?

Homemade dog treats are a perfect activity for kids, because this simple dough is as easy to cut out as play dough! If you mess up, I promise you, the dog will love you anyway!



We cut out hearts and K's and dinosaurs.  
I mean, what four year old boy wouldn't want a dinosaur treat?



Look below to see how easy the recipe is.  
Your dog will thank you!




Super Easy Peanut Butter Dog Treats

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Dissolve peanut butter in hot water.  Stir until mixed.
  3. Mix dry ingredients
  4. Add peanut butter mixture to dry ingredients and combine to form dough.  Add more flour, if needed.
  5. Chill dough for 1 hour or more.
  6. Roll out dough and cut into desired shapes.
  7. Placed on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 40 minutes.
  8. Turn off oven and let the treats sit there for another hour so they will be nice and crunchy.

THIS POST MAY BE LINKED TO: MONDAYS MADE BY YOU MONDAY, BEDAZZLE ME MONDAYFLOUR ME WITH LOVEMANIC MONDAYOUR DELIGHTFUL HOME TUESDAYSTALENT SHOW TUESDAYS, TEMPT MY TUMMY TUESDAY,TWO MAIDS A BAKING, TIP JUNKIE ,GET YOUR CRAFT ON, CRAZY SWEET TUESDAYS!   MANDY'S RECIPE BOX  WEDNESDAYSSNAPWORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY, GINGER SNAP CRAFTS,  THURSDAYS IT’S A KEEPER THURSDAYSSTRUT YOUR STUFFFULL PLATE THURSDAYS , CHIC & CRAFTY PARTYSOMETHING SWANKY  FRIDAYS: I’M LOVING IT, FOODIE FRIDAYGROCERY CART CHALLENGEFOOD ON FRIDAYS, TATERTOTS AND JELLO,  SWEET TOOTH FRIDAY SHINE ON FRIDAYSFRIDAY FAVORITES,  FUSION FRIDAYS FRIDAY FOOD , BACON TIME , KITCHEN FUN WITH MY THREE SONS, AROUND MY FAMILY TABLE  SATURDAYS:SWEETS FOR A SATURDAY SIX SISTERS STUFFCRUMBS AND CHAOS SUNDAYS: NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, A ROSIE SWEET HOME


Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Instagram Day

I had to get the kids dressed and out the door by 7:30 this morning.  In the world of normal, that wouldn't be so unusual.  But in the world of summer, it seemed liked an unearthly experience.  Not for the kids so much, but for me. I admit it.  Getting up at 6AM every school day stresses me out.  I never really adjust.  My inner clock longs for summer vacation when I can stay up late and make up for it in the morning.  In my attempt to justify the Proverbs 31 woman who gets up before the dawn, I'm convinced that that chapter was written during winter.  In Norway.

 

This was our destination.  The orthodontist.  Here's a shot of Samuel and Anna in tandem.  I love it when I'm efficient.  Reclining chairs and cartoons?  I guess it helps ease the pain and suffering.


The orthodontist is strategically located between Starbucks and Steak 'n Shake.  This is my new summertime favorite drink:  Iced coffee with Soymilk (half coffee, half milk) and sugar-free vanilla syrup.  I mean, a girl has to get her calcium, right?  I feel it's my obligation to drink my way through the 100 dollars worth of Starbucks gift cards that I received this spring for taking a few Senior pictures.  Wasting gift cards is a shameful crime.


Which is why I had to take the kids to Steak 'n Shake for breakfast.  I had gift cards.  They don't have Steak 'n Shake where we're going.  Which is why, after breakfast, I had to go home and pack.  

We're moving.

There.  I said it.  I just slipped it in there.  It's official.

After 13 years of living in The South, and feeling like a stranger and missing my mommy and having babies and play dates and discovering new friends and volunteering and cheering on the sidelines and praying through loss and laughter and growing and discovering who I am, we are moving back North.  I never thought a homecoming could be so bittersweet.  I never thought a foreign land could shape what I'd become.  I never thought that returning home would mean leaving some of the best friends that I would ever have.  But God did.  And so the journey continues....


...... for some, it's a journey with straight teeth and no braces!

He couldn't stop smiling all day.
And when I saw him, neither could I.
Today, I needed that.

xo
Rachel





Sunday, July 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars


"Highly Addictive" --The Family Chronicles.
"The best breakfast ever!" --The Daughter's Best Friend.

These Cereal Bars lie somewhere between your basic Rice Krispie Treat and the Special K Bars that delighted me in my youth.


Summer is always a good time to eat down the pantry so when I saw this GIANT box of cereal that was sitting untouched (don't you love COSTCO?), I decided that a little transformation would go a long way.  These bars will work with almost any cereal, but this low calorie, high fiber cereal left me feeling almost guilt free when I served it for a sleepover breakfast.


The reviews speak for themselves, as does the fact that the entire pan was gone in less than 48 hours.



PEANUT BUTTER CEREAL BARS
by Rachel @ Simple Girl

12 cups cereal such as Fiber One Squares
2 bags marshmallows
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup peanut butter
Semi Sweet chocolate Chips for drizzling

Grease a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Melt marshmallows and butter on low heat in a very large pan.  When mixture is just melted, add 1 cup of peanut butter.  Stir to combine.  Remove from heat.  Add cereal and stir until cereal is evenly coated.  Pour mixture into the 9 x 13 inch pan.  With greased hands, or better yet, a greased plastic bag placed over your hand, pat mixture down.  Let cool.  Run a knife along the sides of the pan and flip pan over to remove the bars. With a sharp knife, cut into 24 squares. Drizzle individual squares with melted chocolate chips. 

THIS POST MAY BE LINKED TO: MONDAYS MADE BY YOU MONDAY, BEDAZZLE ME MONDAYFLOUR ME WITH LOVEMANIC MONDAYOUR DELIGHTFUL HOME TUESDAYSTALENT SHOW TUESDAYS, TEMPT MY TUMMY TUESDAY,TWO MAIDS A BAKING, TIP JUNKIE ,GET YOUR CRAFT ON, CRAZY SWEET TUESDAYS!   MANDY'S RECIPE BOX  WEDNESDAYSSNAPWORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY, GINGER SNAP CRAFTS,  THURSDAYS IT’S A KEEPER THURSDAYSSTRUT YOUR STUFFFULL PLATE THURSDAYS , CHIC & CRAFTY PARTYSOMETHING SWANKY  FRIDAYS: I’M LOVING IT, FOODIE FRIDAYGROCERY CART CHALLENGEFOOD ON FRIDAYS, TATERTOTS AND JELLO,  SWEET TOOTH FRIDAY SHINE ON FRIDAYSFRIDAY FAVORITES,  FUSION FRIDAYS FRIDAY FOOD , BACON TIME , KITCHEN FUN WITH MY THREE SONS, AROUND MY FAMILY TABLE  SATURDAYS:SWEETS FOR A SATURDAY SIX SISTERS STUFFCRUMBS AND CHAOS SUNDAYS: NIFTY THRIFTY SUNDAY, A ROSIE SWEET HOME

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

iheartfaces | Enjoying LIfe



Our Fourth of July festivities begin at 9AM and by 2 o'clock, after a kiddie parade and a HUGE neighborhood carnival, we're done.  I remember when I used to be able to Hula Hoop!  I think I'll put that on my list of things to do this year.  Try Hula Hooping again.  At home.  Alone.

Happy Independence Day!
We are blessed to live in this country!


Glimpses Week 26 | 4th of July Fun!