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The boy is a genius!

Yesterday I was putting together a quick lunch for the kids and was slicing banana bread.  Mack asked me to put Nutella on it.  Yum, yum, super yum.  Not a single kid left a single crumb on a single plate.  Now go forth and mash some bananas and make some bread.

A Microplane

A microplane is not a tiny aircraft for children, although if there were such a thing I am quite certain my husband would have bought one by now.  It is a tool used to zest citrus fruits, grate parmesan cheese, and grate fresh ginger.  Seems like every food related tv show has one.  They look like this:

 

It is basically a cheese grater with super tiny cutting blades.  Know what else it is for?  Grating whole nutmegs!  Here is my tip of the day – grate some fresh nutmeg on your green beans.  Ancient Dutch secret.  They know a lot about spices – remember the Dutch East India company?  Spice traders.  All those famous Dutch explorers?  Looking for faster spice routes.  Trust this Dutch girl and put some nutmeg on your green beans or any other green vegetable.

Breakfast Enchiladas

These sound weird – but really you gotta try them!  I put this all together, baked it, sliced it, put some on my plate and thought – hmmm…what am I going to eat when this tastes as bad as it looks?  Ha!  was I ever wrong!  Even the leftovers were great. 

2 cups ham, cubed (I zipped mine in the food processor)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

8 flour tortillas

2 cups half and half – don’t substitute please!

6 eggs

1 T flour

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese on top

Directions:

 Mix together ham and cheese in a bowl – divide evenly onto 8 tortillas and roll up.  Fold over the two sides first then roll into an enchilada shape.  Time for some options.

Option 1:  Place all of the enchiladas into a greased 9 x 13 pan to be baked all at once

Option 2:  Place 4 enchiladas into a greased 8 x 8 pan for tomorrow morning and the other 4 into a ziploc bag to be frozen and baked later.

If you chose door 1 – mix up the half and half and eggs and flour with a whisk and pour over the top of the enchiladas.  Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning bake this at 350* for 30-40 minutes.  Top with cheese and put back in the oven to melt the cheese, then eat.

If you chose door #2 – mix together 1 cup half and half, 3 eggs, and 1/2 T flour with a whisk, pour over the top of the enchiladas.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning bake this at 350* for 30-40 minutes.  Top with cheese and put back in the oven to melt the cheese and then eat!  Do NOT put the other half of the half and half mixture into the freexer with the other enchiladas!  Eggs do not freeze well this way.  When you are ready to bake the other half – take the enchiladas out of the freezer and place in a greased 8 x 8 pan.  Mix up the half and half, eggs, and flour.  Pour over the frozen enchiladas, cover and refrigerate overnight, then bake as usual.

Recipe adapted from one found at plainchicken

Baked Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal

This oatmeal was very good.  Can you hear my mom yelling?  She can’t believe I said I liked oatmeal.  When I was a baby I refused to eat oatmeal – gave it all right back to her.  My brother too.  As a result we did not eat oatmeal as kids and now I think of it as a treat.  Just like brussels sprouts – never ate them growing up and now I love them.  Weird, huh?

What?  Oh, you want the oatmeal recipe!  Sure! I got this from JoyInMyKitchen.  She tends to eat a little healthier than I do so I will include my tweaks to make this oatmeal more like dessert.

1c oats

1/2 c applesauce (I used 1/4c butter)

1/2 c milk

splash of vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

3 T maple syrup ( I also added some brown sugar)

Mix all of this up and place in small oven safe bowls or ramekins and bake at 375* for 15 minutes – meanwhile:

Frosting:

1 T cream cheese (again I switched to butter – I don’t like cream cheese frosting)

4T powdered sugar

splash of vanilla

Milk to make it just right

When your oatmeal is done baking pour a drizzle of frosting on the top and eat.

Tip!  If you are feeding this to kids or eating this in the car or eating this on the couch here is a great way to protect fingers from very hot bowls:

 

Get a large cereal bowl, put a dish towel in it, then put your small bowl inside it.  Keeps your fingers nice and cool!

 

Ipod Speakers in your kitchen

Did you know you have a speaker for your ipod or other device with a tiny speaker built-in in your kitchen already?  You do!  Just place it in a cereal bowl and listen to the amplification.  You are welcome.

Preparing for New Christmas Toys

Decorating the house for Christmas is the first day of Christmas prep.  Second is shopping.  Third is cooking.  Fourth is clearing out room for the new stuff to be put away.  Fifth is cleaning for company five minutes before they show up otherwise it will just get dirty again and you will have to do it twice.

Let’s talk about clearing out room for new toys in the kids’ rooms shall we?  A couple of years ago I dropped my daughter off at Grandma’s house and went home, into her room and filled boxes for Goodwill and bags of trash.  I got rid of the wrong stuff.  It was heck but spelled with L’s instead.  The next year I put two boxes on the floor in her room and told her that any toys that were broken went into the trash box and any that she wanted to give to another kid to play with went into the Goodwill box.

Any guesses what happened?  Ha!  You are wrong!  You were thinking she only threw away a couple of scraps of paper and donated one scary-looking stuffed animal, weren’t you?  Nope.  She cleared the place out!  She filled the trash and the Goodwill box by herself.  She got rid of waaaay more stuff than I would have.  Turns out she was happy to pass along toys she no longer played with as long as she knew it was going to be loved by someone else.  Who knew?  Not me, I was completely shocked!

So this year I was thinking about my son’s room and what to do with all the stuff.  I really liked Tanya’s toy closet, but I don’t have any closets.  So then I thought, why does a closet have to be behind a door?  I started by painting his room.

 

The poor boy has been sleeping in a room covered in birds and berries for far too long.  Time for some gray, I say.

That’s better.  Now a trip to the home improvement store with some money I won in a bet with my husband.  He bet me I couldn’t quit a terribly awful bad habit for one year.  Ha!  I won!  wait…..maybe he just wanted me to stop smelling like an ashtray and played me like a fiddle……I always forget he is much smarter than me.  Dag nabbit!

Sorry for the terrible picture.  I am not camera savvy.  This is not the end product, this is just what was lying around the house.  I bought all of the shelves and brackets and just slapped all of the toys on the shelves.  After Christmas when I know what is staying in there I will make it prettier with nice buckets and boxes.  Plus all of the organizing stuff goes on sale in January so BONUS!

 

Thought Train

1.    I thought today would be a great day to catch up on all kinds of things.  Millions of things that take less than 5 minutes each but add up to a lot.  The kids are being great and wanting to be helpers – who am I to deny them?  Sure, you can put that book away.  Okay, go ahead and put those socks in the hamper.  I am so nice to them….ha!

So I sat down to finish two receiving blankets for a friend.  They were already cut and all I had to do was zip around the four sides of each with my serger and then I could put the serger away where it belongs instead of on the piano where I claim it is a decorating statement but no one belives me.  Serger had other ideas!  A thread popped out and I figured out where it went, put it there, and kept sewing. Thread popped out, same one.  I looked more closely, put it back slightly different, sewed some more.  Thread popped out, I got out the tweezers and turned on the light, put it back and kept sewing.  This went on for about 8 more rounds.  On the ninth try I put the thread back the exact same way I did it the first time and it worked.  Can you explain this to me?

 

2.      I made my kids pose for this picture outside in the freezing cold yesterday.  They are plotting revenge.  I expect ice water as a key element in their strategy.

3.      I blew up my van on Saturday.  Well, just the motor.  I think it is because I read the latest Stephanie Plum novel this week.  I see some similarities in our abilities to keep vehicles running smoothly.  If you have not read her books and you are not my mother, go out and get all 18 books by Janet Evanovich immediately.  If you are my mother, wait a little while……cuz I said so that’s why.

4.     I love our little library.  Miss Linda reads to the kids and does crafts with them and lets them use paint (brave woman) and the library director was waiting at the door with the newest Stephanie Plum when I came in at my usual Tuesday time.  She feeds my addiction. 

5.     Small towns are wonderful.  Especially when you live out in the country and are not part of the local gossip but you still get the great service.  A couple of weeks ago when it was still warm the sheriff’s deputy came storming into the house with his gun drawn. 

         “hi Tim, what’s up?” I ask. 

         “oh, hi, saw the garage door open and thought you were being robbed, sorry” he says.

         “no problem, thanks for checking, say hi to your dad for me” I say

         “will do, bye!”

6.     It is fun to stop at Grandma’s house when she is in the mood to get rid of stuff.   I am making a pork loin in my new roasting dish today.  Yum.

7.    My toes are cold.

8.    My friend is having a baby very soon and I will get to borrow him every day when she goes to work.  I am tired of waiting.  Think I can convince her to do jumping jacks?

9.    If I bake her cookies and put castor oil in them to bring on labor will she taste it?