Wednesday, February 29, 2012

going nutty

James enjoys munching on nuts at work, but doesn't enjoy all the salt in commercial roasted varieties.  With this in mind, I tried out some new recipes that have a lot of flavor, but not a lot of salt.

The first two come from Madhur Jaffrey's book.  The top is almonds with salt, pepper, and cumin, and the middle is cashews with cayenne, salt, and cumin.  Both are very tasty.

This photo is of sweet and spicy nuts, and the recipe comes from Georgia.  It is yummy!
Sweet and Spicy Nuts:
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/2 cup almonds
1 TBSP. maple syrup
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. salt

1) Preheat oven to 300 F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2) Mix nuts in a medium sized bowl and coat with the syrup
3) Mix in the spices, coating evenly
4) Spread nuts out in a single layer on baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through until lightly toasted.
5) Cool and separate if stuck together and store in an airtight container

Now these were made for James, but all of us have been enjoying snacking on them.  In the process of research, I have found some other nut recipes that I want to try out.  So many nuts, so little time.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Georgia's farm

Our friend Georgia has a wonderful farm that was first her grandparents, which she now keeps running smoothly.  It is lambing season for her, and she invited the boys over to see the lambs.  At her farm, we stopped inside to say hello to Georgia's mother, Florence, and a few kitties too.

This is Grieg - and she is so adorably chubby that I just couldn't stand it.  We all were eager to pet her, but she pretty much fell for Jamey.  Another kitty - a Manx, enjoyed Arthur's petting technique and stayed close to him.

After all the kitty love, we headed outside to the barn to see the lambs.  On the way their we met Georgia's dog, her duck, 3 of her cattle, and a couple of barn kitties.  Inside the barn, we found the ewes with their lambs.  So far, there are 5 babies, with another due any day.  One ewe had twins, and Georgia was helping out by giving these two a little extra milk.  She let the boys help with the feeding.

Here, Arthur is feeding the top one, with Jamey feeding the one below.  Mittens, the grey kitty barn manager, watched everything we did with care and wherever we went, she was quick to follow.

This horse was such a sweetie, and both the boys really enjoyed petting her.  She is 38 years old, and in wonderful shape.  I'm sure having Georgia as a caretaker has much to do with her longevity and health.

On the way back to the house, we toured the animals again, and saw the donkey this time around.  It was such a fun visit!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Baby Ruth Bars

Recently, I downloaded Grandma's Old Fashioned Dessert Bars by Elizabeth Austin for my Kindle.  The very first recipe in the book was called Baby Ruth Bars.  It sounded good, so I tried it out, and it turned out great!  I am surprised just how similar the flavor of the bar is to the candy bar.

There are a lot of versions of this recipe on the web. One unique thing about this recipe that varied from many versions is it uses Rice Krispies, and no butterscotch chips.

The boys are crazy for it, and this recipe alone makes the book a hit.  It'll be rough, but I will try out other recipes as well; for quality assurance and all!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a list

The boys have been brainstorming what they want to do over this summer with much anticipation.  Here is the list they have come up with:

1) play MineCraft
2) play outside
3) play on trampoline
4) build a tree house
5) go to the beach
6) take a train ride
7) go up in a hot air balloon
8) walk down Bunny Lane and look for rabbits
9) relax
10) go on a giant jelly bean search
11) go camping
12) go hiking
13) go on a Bigfoot search
14) go swimming
15) make crop circles
16) argue about spontaneous combustion
17) try out lots of different teas
18) sit with the bunnies
19) go fishing
20) make a sunflower fort
21) create a Hershey Kiss village
22) have friends over
23) pet Easter
24) camp out on the trampoline
25) take a trip to Uwajimaya
26) take a trip to the zoo
27) try a jalapeno
28) spend a weekend in Portland
29) buy a toothless lizard
30) go to the Portland museum

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

chocolate covered strawberries

The boys made these chocolate covered strawberries themselves.

After breaking up the chocolate and melting it in the microwave, they simply dipped the berries and let them firm up.  Such a simple, yet delectable treat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

little valentines

This morning there was a knock on my door, followed by "Can I come in? Oh good - just a moment Mom." After a bit of rustling, Jamey came in bearing a tray full of delightful treats that he put together himself.

"I wanted to surprise you Mom, because you are my Valentine."

When Arthur woke up, he handed me a card he made himself, and with it came a great big hug and a "I love you.".

I am a very lucky, very spoiled mom.  Especially so because I get to spend the entire day with these two sweet valentines.

Happy Valentines Day!