Thursday, January 30, 2014

Apple Oatmeal muffins

In one of my all-time favorite  books, The Tightwad Gazette, Amy does an article on how to create a breakfast muffin using various leftovers as add-ins (page 466 for those of you with the complete edition).

Isn't this article just brilliant!
For the article Amy looked at lots of muffin recipes and came up with the basics of what most of them call for and what amount.  The article goes into a lot of detail about the types of possible add-ins and how that affects the other ingredients.  I have always thought it was a great idea, but was also a little overwhelmed at the figuring necessary to just try it.

Apple Spice Oatmeal Muffins

But lately I have been on a homemade kick and so, I decided to give it a try.  I made Audrey some oatmeal for breakfast with chopped apples, brown sugar, and our apple spice mix.  I made enough for Meredith to have some too, but naturally she decided oatmeal was not her thing today.  Using the leftover oatmeal and the muffin instructions, I made apple oatmeal muffins for afternoon snack.  They turned out awesome.  Meredith gobbled down 2 1/2 muffins right away. :)

Apple-oatmeal muffins (makes 1 dozen):

1 1/2 cups flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t apple spice mix

1/2 c milk
1/4 c oil
1 egg
1/2 c brown sugar
1 cup leftover oatmeal with apples in it (it may have been even more than that, I didn't measure)

mix the dry stuff together, mix the wet stuff separately.  pour the wet into the dry and just mix until incorporated.

bake at 400 for 15 min.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow days - the surprise fun

Ryan worked late tonight and then he heard a strange housing sound when he walked in the front door. It turns out the pipe to the sink in our powder room burst.

I don't use that bathroom often, so i didn't notice. However, i am not at all surprised by this. It is a definite design flaw that we mentioned as a concern to the builders... The pipes to the sink run along the outside wall of the house. We winterize the only other pipes that run on the outside of the house - the hoses.

So after we were sure it was water hissing out of the pipe, we turned the water back on long enough to fill the tubs (water for flushing) and a few other water pitchers for drinking.

Audrey was reading so I told her to use the bathroom one more time while the water was on and explained that a pipe burst in the downstairs bathroom. Her response was priceless. "I wondered what that hissing was in the bathroom this morning"... She knew!?! Something was weird and didn't say anything! and the water has been hissing into the wall for at least a day.

Luckily we know a good plummer. He offered to come tonight, but i was afraid the commotion would wake up Meredith, so he is coming in the morning. Should be a fun day. And it's another snow day.

Snow Days

Since her winter vacation, Audrey has had 4 snow/cold days off.  That is a lot in only a few weeks time.  I have loved having her around more often.  It has also made me so glad that I am not working for money right now - because all of these unplanned days off made life very stressful before, but now, are just delightful.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Afghan season

This time of year, I start feeling the itch to make Afghans.  I have the big one that I am still working on.  It was my new years resolution for 2013.  I made significant progress on it, but then I started to run out of yarn for the various color stripes and I have not gone out to purchase more yet.

I have two lovely Afghans - one from each of my grandmothers.  One is white, the other is oatmeal.  Both are well made and neutral so we keep them out on couches and chairs all year long.  They are a favorite of the fort-making crew because they stretch and breath.  They are just awesome.

When I see pictures of houses with stacks of folded colorful homemade blankets and afghans, I start wanting to make some more for my own house.  I love the colorful patchwork blankets and afghans, but I often lose the courage to just let them happen willy-nilly.

These are my Afghan ideas:
-Leftover sock yarn woven into little squares on a small loom and sewed together with grey sock yarn
-cotton granny squares afghan with the blue, taupe and chocolate brown yarn scraps that i have
-hexagon granny afghan with the pinks and purple cotton yarns
-simple knit baby afghan with pinks in stripes

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Christmas 2013

I need to download pictures from my camera.  I should have taken more pictures, but that is always the case. I'll add the pictures in when I get to them, but in the meantime, I want to at least record what we did so that we can do the good things again next year.

Fun things we did:
-Audrey was in her first production of the Nutcracker.  She was a Chinese dancer and that song is about 2 1/2 minutes long.  So it was a low-pressure, quick performance.  She loved being a part of it and did well.
-Audrey and her friend Maddie (a neighbor from across the street) and her Grandma Margie and I all went to the Warner theater production of the Nutcracker.  It was awesome!!! It was the best production of the Nutcracker that I have ever seen.
-Lights at BullRun Park - it was a drive through a really neat light show.
-making lots of cookies - molasses spice, Russian tea cakes, Christmas cowgirl cookies (red and green m&ms), and of course sugar cookies rolled, cut and frosted.
-Advent calendars - my mom sent the girls a chocolate advent calendar each and they were so excited to open a new piece of chocolate every morning after breakfast; a playmobile winter woodland advent calendar (also from my mom); and a felt tree and ornament calendar
-Patty the elf made his appearance the morning after Thanksgiving and hid around the house.  December 23 Patty was in Meredith's room and December 24 Patty was in Audrey's room.
-The first day of Audrey's winter break we went to the in-laws and did the above mentioned sugar cookies and the girls got to play with all of the in-laws decorations including the train around the tree which they both love.
-Watched Christmas movies - Muppet Christmas carol, Sponge Bob Christmas, Cricket on the Hearth, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, National Lampoon's Christmas vacation (just me - it was awesome as always).
-Decorated the house including the two trees and some out-door lights (candy canes, icicles, and a net light for one of the bushes).
-Listened to Christmas music mostly in the car on the radio because the girls wanted to listen to the Frozen soundtrack more than Christmas music at the house

Christmas Eve
-Audrey made a ginger bread house with Grandma Margie
-I made ham and sweet potato casserole (turned out awesome), Margie brought a homemade cheesecake - yum (and salad and fruit, but those are not as interesting)
-More cleaning than I want to remember (it did make for a magical Christmas morning...)
-We let the girls open one present which was pajamas
-We sang Christmas carols and read the Night Before Christmas
-Audrey wrote a note to Santa and picked out a cookie loaded with frosting and sprinkles and candy on top as well as a carrot for Rudolph
-Nina goes with Patty to the North Pole

Christmas Day
-Opened stockings while skyping with Claire
-opened presents
-Dutch Baby for breakfast and Westfields for lunch/dinner
-Nina grew up!! Meredith got a cabbage patch baby doll named Shelly Sheryl
-After Westfields we went to Ryan's parents house for presents and hung out there into the evening doing a puzzle.