Sunday, May 29, 2011

John's Birthday

John had a birthday yesterday (the big 5!). There were a couple things that stood out yesterday:

1 - He was surprised that his clothes still fit him since he turned 5!

2 - When he saw that he got two water guns in his present, he told Ruthanne that she could have one with no prompting from anyone or Ruthanne asking. Such a sweet boy!

Oh, his other present was a bicycle (no training wheels). I never got a picture but we've been out practicing and he's getting pretty good, I just barely hold on to the back of the seat. In a day or two, he'll have it for sure! Of course John has been telling me that he won't be able to ride until he's 8, sorry John you're almost there already (then we need to work on Ruthanne). But, seriously none of my kids (except Ruthanne cause I didn't know better) will have training wheels ever again! Balance bike to regular bicycle is the way to go!

On to the photos of some present opening and cake time! Gotta put together a little kid party for him sometime this week. I'm thinking we'll just do some water games in the backyard.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zucchini Breakfast Cookies (Chocolate ones too!)

At Missy's request (thankfully, I've been meaning to do this forever), I'm gonna write down my zucchini breakfast cookie recipe variation.

Zucchini Breakfast Cookies

1 heaping cup wheat flour*
1 heaping cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt (maybe 1/4 tsp)
1 heaping tsp cinnamon*
2 tbsp oil (I use extra virgin coconut oil but a vegetable oil will work)
2 eggs
1/2 cup sweetener (honey, sugar, etc)
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together all the dry ingredients, add in all the wet and mix (don't go crazy but mix it together). Now, you may need to add more flour (or wheat germ if you want) if its too liquidy, you want it to keep its shape when put on the baking sheets and not run out like a pancake (I'll try to take a pic the next time I make these). For this much batter I make 12 cookies on 2 greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes (rotate your pans around while cooking).

*If you want to make these into chocolate zucchini breakfast cookies, use 1 level cup wheat flour, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, just 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and add in some chocolate chips if you want something truly decadent. You still may need to add more flour depending on your zucchini that day and what sweetener you use.

**Other varieties: Banana
For apple or pumpkin, just replace the zucchini with applesauce or pumpkin puree, easy and yummy! Get creative! I keep thinking of making a carrot cake version sometime, if you do it first, tell me!

New Bread Recipe

So, I had a bread recipe I had been using for about a year that for some reason was becoming unremarkable to me. I decided to go back searching, and remembered a King Arthur recipe I liked. I made it a couple times, but it was too orange-y to me. So I modified it a bit and came up with something nice and light and it really does keep well. There is nothing "weird" in the recipe that you have to search for except the vital wheat gluten (I buy it in bulk from amazon).

10 ounces warm water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dried milk (you can just use warm milk instead of the water)
1/2 cup instant potato flakes
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp some kind of oil/butter (I use extra light olive oil but canola or a low flavor vegetable oil would work best)
1-2 tbsp vital wheat gluten (you generally need less in the summer, if your bread is gummy, use less)
1.5 tsp salt
3.5 cups white whole wheat flour*
2.5 tsp instant yeast

I combine all the ingredients in an order recommended by my bread machine but you could use standard bread making procedures. After its kneaded (and whole wheat needs a good long knead) and risen, shape it into a loaf pan (metal works best, and actually I use three mini loaf pans because it keeps better if the loaf hasn't been cut into), cover and let rise again. Place bread into a cold oven, turn the oven on to 350 and set the timer for 20 minutes. If you use a regular metal loaf pan it will take longer (about 30 minutes), but my mini loaves are done at 20. Take it out of the oven and immediately out of the pans and let cool, then store in a ziploc bag.

*I use freshly ground white wheat flour. If you use wheat from the store you may need to use less. Sometimes I need less/more depending on the humidity anyways, so just make sure it has formed a nice ball and isn't too sticky while kneading.

**Metal is better by far than glass (I found some good pans at Kroger recently, and bonus, they were cheap, but still bake really well!). If you use a glass loaf pan you may also need to cover it with tin foil to prevent too much browning on top.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Paul is Two!

Happy Birthday silly boy!  I don’t dare want to jinx myself, but he has seemed a little mellower lately.  I really doubt the terrible twos are going to be all peaches and cream though!  You all need to wish me luck too though, John will be moving into Paul’s room soon!  Yikes!

A couple photos of the birthday boy.

IMG_2258 IMG_2265

We get to have Boy oh Boy! tonight.  Maybe I should share the recipe on the blog huh?  Its an old Wilson favorite, Luke’s favorite actually which is good because its for his birthday too!  I decided we didn’t need two treats this week!