Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lydia's Favorite New "Game"

Lydia's favorite new "game" right now is to change her baby.  She strips her doll and gets her own (real) cloth wipes.  I can hear her talking to her baby.  "Oh, poop.  Clean you up.  Change you." 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pink Applesauce

Around here, pink applesauce has been extremely popular.  No, I haven't been buying the neon pink, expensive concoctions you can find in individual servings at the grocery.  I've been making my own strawberry applesauce, which we all enjoy, even Malachi, who won't eat strawberries or apples!

When I first looked into making applesauce, I consulted my husband's grandmother's old (1950s?) cookbook.  It listed applesauce under dessert, and my first thought was who in the world would ever consider applesauce a dessert?  And I certainly kept in mind that this is a cookbook that actually advised housewives to serve margarine at every meal for their families' health!  But I get it now.  Homemade, hot applesauce topped with a bit of vanilla ice cream definately qualifies as a delicious dessert (and you know I love desserts!).

This is more of a how-to than an actual recipe.  All you need is strawberries, apples, cinnamon, and water.  If you have one of these:
The boys love turning the handle on the apple peeler.
it really helps.  My corer/peeler/slicer is from the Pampered Chef, but I'm sure there are other brands, too.  The only thing is, you have to have firm apples, so you need to use it soon after you get your fresh apples.  Waiting a couple of weeks means that you will have to peel and core by hand!
I basically fill my biggest pot almost full of apples and add about 2 cups of frozen strawberries.  (No need to defrost.)  I add 1-2 cups of water and a healthy amount of cinnamon.  Then you just cook it until the strawberries turn to goo and the apples can easily be smashed with the back of a spoon.  You do need to stir it, but not constantly.  I'll stir, then put pajamas on my daughter.  Stir, then read the boys a book.  Stir....you get the idea.  Then you can either leave it lumpy or blend it smooth.  I love using the immersible blender my sister gave me, but the food processor or regular blender will work just fine.  Whatever you use, be careful; it is HOT!  I usually turn off the heat and let it sit a while before blending.  It does freeze well, but I put the jars in the fridge overnight to cool before freezing.   Try other fruit, too.  We also like purple applesauce (made with blueberries), and I've thought of trying other combinations.

In other news, Nathaniel is home from Europe!!!  We are so glad to have him back.  He and the kids are all asleep now, and it is wonderfully quiet and peaceful here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Down time and etc

Lydia's been taking a regular, longer nap these days, so I've had a bit more downtime in the afternoons.  It's been wonderful.  I've been busy crocheting and cooking lately.  I messed around with my ranch dressing recipe and improved it (I will update it on the blog, if anyone's interested).  I'm currently crocheting Nathaniel a wool hat.  I hope it fits.  And I've had to spend many mornings this week at the school.  One of the reasons was Malachi's Thanksgiving program.  And he and Elijah both got medals at the assembly for participating in the PTA art contest (which they loved!).  We've been keeping busy, which is good since Nathaniel's been in Europe all week.  We can't wait to have him home tomorrow night!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry-Orange Muffin on a placemat my wonderful friend Karen made for me!
This weekend, my sister and nieces came to visit!  We had a great time.  Nathaniel watched all 5 of our kids (in the evening, including bedtime!) so my sister and I could go see Burn the Floor.  Fabulous!

For breakfast, I made the ever-popular pumpkin muffins, but I decided to try something new, too: Cranberry-Orange Muffins.  I am happy with how these came out.  Malachi particularly liked them.  I think they are better cool; the orange flavor doesn't come through when the muffins are hot.

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c honey
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/4 c water
1/4 c applesauce
1 orange
1 c fresh cranberries

Chop the cranberries.  (I measured them before chopping.)  In a bowl, combine milk, water, egg, and applesauce.  Zest orange into bowl.  Then add the dry ingredients and mix.  Add cranberries.  I peeled the orange and broke it into small segments.  I added half of the orange to the mix (my kids ate the other half).  Bake at 400 for 9-10 minutes for mini muffins or 19-20 minutes for regular muffins.  Enjoy!