Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lenten Pretzels

A pretzel before baking
On Ash Wednesday, the boys made pretzels at church.  They brought home a recipe, which I altered somewhat accidentally and somewhat on purpose.  It is so yummy!!  You need:
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pkg dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
3 c white flour
1 1/2 c wheat flour
1 egg

In bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Mix in salt, flour, and egg.  Knead dough for about 5 minutes, then cover and let it rest for one hour.  It will rise some.  Now shape into pretzels, or whatever shape you prefer.  Brush lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, or cinnamon and sugar.  Bake in a preheated 425 oven for 12-15 minutes.  These are soft inside and lightly browned outside.  (I cook them for 12 minutes.)

Shaping the dough
"Mine is a balloon!"
"My pretzel!  Mine!!"

The finished pretzels, salt on the left and sugar/cinnamon on the right.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busy weekend!

Hi everyone.  We've had a good but busy week.  We celebrated two kids' birthdays yesterday, and we were so happy to have my family here with us!  The kids had a great time.  And then my parents and my sister's family were able to stay overnight and see the boys sing in the church choir this morning, which was really fun.  They both did so well, and the girls enjoyed watching them.  I also was busy working at the church preschool consignment sale this week, and I'm happy to be able to put some money in the adoption fund from that.  All in all, a happy, busy week.


Thursday, March 17, 2011


I am so happy with how the boys' lizard shirts turned out!  They are so proud of them, too.  I think I might actually be getting the hang of this sewing thing.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Getting ready to garden!

We started some seeds in the sunroom, and they are taking off!  The ones in the foreground are brussel sprouts and broccoli, which both like cold weather and so are doing great.  Some of the tomatoes have just started sprouting, too.  I have one Box Car Willie, an Amish Paste, a Better Boy, and an Old German popping up.  They are small but growing.  The cucumbers and zucchini are looking good, too.  Some of the stevia is also starting to show up.  All in all, I'm very excited with how our start-from-seed experiment is going.  I plan to move some of the broccoli outside next weekend, because they actually like the cold and it says you can move them out several weeks before the frost-free date.  (But I'm keeping some in the sunroom in case they die!)  The boys helped plant the seeds, and Elijah helped label the tags.  Malachi is in charge of watering, and he's really good about keeping up with it.  Nathaniel tilled the garden patches last weekend and dug the poision ivy out of the strawberry patch, so things are getting ready.  I cut out dead plants from the flower beds, and we have purple crocus blooming!  We also have some yellow/orange, and white.  The daffodils are almost ready to put on a show.  Spring!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fabric Collages

Since I've been doing a lot of sewing, I have a lot of fabric scraps.  I've been saving them for a while, and today was a good (rainy) day to make fabric collages.  Some fabric scraps, yarn, a little ribbon and miscellaneous (including holey socks), glue and scissors add up to a good time.  The kids all had fun with this project.
Here are some of the finished pieces:
Malachi's soccer ball yo-yo
Elijah's garden, with turtle and worms

Malachi's cool picture

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ready for Spring

I am so happy with how this turned out!  And I managed to make it really quick after I figured out the pattern.  (It was a little confusing to me.)  I think she may need more of these kinds of outfits for summer; they are so cute!  But next up is spring green shirts for the boys.  They will be a bit harder, I think, but I'm gaining confidence.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moroccan Stew

I got a cookbook from my friend Karen called the Healthy Cook.  I started thumbing through it and came across a recipe for Moroccan Vegetable Stew.  I immediately made changes, without ever trying it (as usual), but I didn't change any of the spices, which I guess is what makes it "Moroccan".  I really wouldn't know, though, because I've never had Moroccan food, so here's the disclaimer for those of you who have: I have no idea if this tastes like Moroccan stew or not.  But it is really delicious!  So here is the stew the way I made it:
1 small onion, chopped
1 c chopped celery
1 bell pepper, diced
4 or 5 cloves garlic, minced
1 T flour
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
1 small (or 1/2 of a large) butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 c tomato sauce
2 - 3 c stock*
1 - 2 c water
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp each)

Cook onions, celery, pepper, and garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of your pot until softened, maybe 5 minutes.  Add all of the spices and flour, and cook another minute or two.  Then add everything else.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or so, until the squash is tender.  You can add more stock or water if you want it, but I like mine very thick.  Enjoy!

*I actually used pork stock, but chicken or vegetable would work fine.