Monday, July 30, 2012

Bippity Boppity Boo

How can kids grow up over night?  It's like magic perhaps.  Munchkin has discovered movies and can now put a DVD in the player by herself.  If it has Fast Play she doesn't even need me to press play, the movie will just start.  This is a big milestone in my opinion, but it also means that she only watches about 20 min of a movie and then wants to put in another one.  I've seen the beginning of Bambi at least 6 times.  I've finally convinced her that we need to finished one movie before we start another, but man, as soon as those credits start to roll, she's up there hitting the eject button! 

And my little Squishy...or not so little, I guess...she just started crawling a week ago and she's already pulling herself to standing using whatever she can get her hands on.
Just standing around...
My girls are getting bigger everyday, which I know is what happens, but why does it have to happen so fast!?!? 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Easy Meatloaf

Last night I was going to make Shepard's Pie for dinner, a favorite around here, but after I had cut up the potatoes and the beef was almost defrosted, I realized that I didn't have everything I needed.  So, I remembered I had a meat loaf recipe on my computer.  I went and checked the ingredients and saw that I had almost everything except a sweet potato, but I thought I could just use a green pepper instead and it turned out great!

First I chopped and partially cooked the green pepper in a saute pan with a little olive oil.  Set that aside when it's just starting to get a little translucent look to it.

Then mix together all ingredients (except green pepper) in a bowl until combined.

This was before I added the bread crumbs
Once every thing is incorporated, gently stir in the green peppers.  Place mixture into a greased loaf pan or for individual servings (which freeze nicely) you can use a muffin tin (greased as well).  Mix together ketchup and BBQ sauce and spread on top of the meatloaf.

Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 50-60 min (only about 40 if you used a muffin tin) make sure the meat in the middle is at least 160 degrees.  Take out and let rest before slicing.  I served it with garlic mashed potatoes and corn.

It was a big hit and I forgot to get a picture before everyone served themselves...

Here's the original recipe (which calls for a sweet potato, but feel free to try something else like I did this time)

Easy Meatloaf
1 lb ground beef
1 small sweet potato (peeled and chopped up small)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 to 3/4 c. bread crumbs (start with less, but if the mixture is too wet, add more)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 c. shredded cheddar
salt and pepper
ketchup and BBQ sauce mixed together for the top of meatloaf

Preheat oven to 375*.  Grease  loaf pan or muffin tins (I lined the muffin pan with tin foil and then sprayed with PAM).  In a saucepan, boil salted water, cook the sweet potato until partially cooked, about 3 or 4 min. Drain, set aside.  Mix all other ingredients in a bowl, stir in sweet potato.  Place into loaf pan or divide between muffin tins (I used a jumbo tin and made 6, but they weren't mounded up very high).  Mix together ketchup and BBQ sauce and spread on top of each meatloaf.  Bake until cooked through and brown on top, about 55 min.  (40 for muffins)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We just returned home from a road trip.  We left Portland early Sunday morning and started our drive to Meridian, Idaho (or "hideaho" as Munchkin calls it).  Hubby had to go out there for work and we decided that we would go with him and then drive up to Joseph, OR for a few days. 
A beautiful scenic drive

That little blue sign says "Welcome to Idaho"
 As expected, this took a lot longer with two kids than it did if we had been by ourselves. It was four days of messed up schedules, no nap times, several meltdowns and lots of fun.

Hanging out in the hotel while daddy was working.

Hubby and Squishy in the pool. (Sorry ladies, he's taken)

Getting ready for bed in the hotel.
 Monday afternoon we left Meridian and headed through Hell's Canyon to Joseph, Oregon.  Most of the trip was pretty uneventful until Munchkin decided to get car sick.  Luckily I saw she was about to get sick and we were able to pull over and avoid a huge mess.  We got cleaned up, changed her clothes and were able to continue on.  But then of course, Squishy woke up and was hungry, so we found a safe place to stop where Munchkin could get out and run around while I took care of feeding Squishy.  We made it in five hours, which was only one hour longer than mapquest told me it was going to be, not too bad.
As we drove into Joseph we had the most amazing view.  The clouds had opened up right over the city and made for a great photo op.

We got into town, had dinner and then went to our motel (the same one we stayed at on our honeymoon) to relax for the night.  Getting ready for bed was going well until we realized we left Munchkin's monkey slippers in Idaho.  She wears these things to bed every night, so she wasn't not too happy about it.  We managed to convince her it was OK and she fell asleep in my bed.  (Still pretty jealous that Hubby got a whole queen size bed to himself both nights, while I shared mine with both girls).

Early the next morning we headed up to the tram at Wallowa Lake to take us to the top of Mount Howard.  Munchkin wasn't too sure about the gondola at first, but she had fun once we got to the top.

In the gondola on the way up Mt Howard

Hubby and Munchkin at the top!

Feeding the "chipmonkies"

Squishy was trying to grab them and was laughing hysterically
every time she touched one.

The amazing view from the top!
We had lunch then went back to the motel to relax.  We walked around town for a bit, headed to the lake to play in the water for awhile, then went back and changed clothes and went out for dinner. 

After dinner we went to bed early because we were planning on leaving first thing in the morning.  Hubby was up at 6:30 and being in a small room all together meant that all of us were up by 7.  We were on the road by 8 and headed home.  We stopped for breakfast in a tiny little town called Elgin at a place where everyone knew each other.  It was like something on the Andy Griffith Show.  Someone would walk in and the waitress/cook would say "Hey (insert name here)!" And immediately pour them a cup of coffee without being asked to.  The place filled up quick and the conversation turned to bull riding and the movie '8 seconds'.

We left and continued our journey home.  The rest of the trip was pretty boring, all of us girls fell asleep and left Hubby to drive in peace and quite.  We didn't make another stop until just after the John Day Dam when we crossed the river into Washing to stop at Maryhill Winery to pick up a couple bottles of my favorite wine that is only sold there.  We went to the museum/park and had lunch while Munchkin ran around.

There's a little bird on the other side of the hose thing that Munchkin was feeding crackers to.

After lunch, back in the car and our next stop was home!  It was so nice to be back home even though we all had a lot of fun.  Our next big trip is to Spokane in September for a wedding...another 6 or 7 hours of least we know we can make it!  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mommy has a potty mouth...

I always thought it would be Hubby who ran the risk of having his swearing repeated once our kids got old enough to talk.  I didn't think about the fact that I would be the one with them for the majority of the day, every day.  I'm the one who got the first toddler throw up in the car...I got locked out of the house by that same toddler just the other day...why I thought I could escape "teaching" swear words is beyond me. 
Munchkin wanted chicken and french fries for lunch, which I have to bake in the oven.  No big deal most times, but today after having opened and closed the oven door several times, when the final timer went off, I tried to open the door and the handle came off right in my hand and caused the front of the door (not the whole thing) to come forward like it was going to fall off.  Needless to say, a word I would rather not have my two year old say, came out of my mouth.  It's a hard habit to break when things like this happen. And if course she repeated it immediately. 

I guess now is the time I have to make a decision, do I work harder on not swearing at all, or do I teach her that those are adult words and there is a time and place for them when you're older?  I know she's two and doesn't understand, but I think most kids swear to get a reaction from adults. 

Either way, I do need to cut back on the swearing (which I must admit, I've managed to do quite a bit, just not when oven doors come flying at me)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blueberry Pound Cake

We have a ton of blueberries that we picked from a local farm and I've been doing different things to use them up...smoothies, frozen yogurt (kind of) and Munchkins favorite, blueberry pancakes!!  But I found a recipe on pinterest and just had to try it...blueberry pound cake.  Now, I love me some pound cake so adding blueberries seemed like a no-brainer, but I've never made pound cake so I was a little hesitant.

But, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I made sure we had what I needed and baked two loaves yesterday (technically only one was a loaf though, I had to bake the other half in an 8x8 pan and it turned out just fine).

Blueberry Pound Cake

  • 3 1/4 cups flour (plus 2 tablespoons for tossing blueberries in)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 sticks ( 1 1/2 cups) butter, softened, plus more for greasing pans
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5x9-inch loaf pans. (or in my case one 5x9 and one 8x8)
    2. Combine 3 1/4 cups flour and salt in a bowl.
    3. Cream butter, sour cream, and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add vanilla and mix.
    4. Beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in small additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Add flour mixture in small additions, mixing until just incorporated.
    5. Toss blueberries in remaining 2 tablespoons flour; fold into batter. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.
    6. Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. I started the timer at 45 min since I had the different shaped pan. The 8x8 went for about 55 min and the 5x9 went for the full 65.
    7. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.
    We had a BBQ that we went to and I took this loaf, it was a huge hit!  Plus everyone loved that it was made from scratch with fresh picked blueberries.

    Mmm...just look at that berry goodness!

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    The joys of technology...

    I typed up a big long entry yesterday, only to have the website freeze.  I highlighted and did ctrl-c to try and save it that way I could just paste it into a new entry...but that didn't work either.  Blah!

    So, rather than re-type everything, I just slammed the laptop shut and went about my day. 

    I haven't had much time to bake/cook anything lately, but we went and picked some more berries so now I need to do something with those. 
    Munchkin and her "raspberry fingers"
    I did find a recipe for blueberry pound cake that I'm wanting to try, just need to pick up a few things from the store.  I'm wondering if raspberries might work too, but they're pretty juicy even when they're not cooked, so I'm not sure I'd be willing to sacrifice a whole pound of butter to find out.

    I hope everyone had a good 4th of July...we had a BBQ at our house with some friends, the kids played and then we lit off some lame fireworks since all the cool ones are illegal here in Oregon, I left those to the idiots in my neighborhood.  I'm all for watching, I just don't want to pay the fine should the cops show up! 
    Munchkin and her very first sparkler, or as she
    called it "candle"
    (She was riding her trike and wouldn't take her
    helmet off...hence the headgear)