Wednesday, February 26, 2014

One Year Old

Ok, let's get the cliches out of the way:  Where does the time go?  How did she grow up SO fast?  I can't believe that my mini baby is one year old today!

At one year old, Little is adventurous, exploring every nook, cranny, and crumb on the floor.  She is also a cuddly, good natured kid with big smiles that instantly help her make friends with anyone who looks her way.  She's flexible and adaptable . . . as many 3rd children have to be . . . and as long as she can be a part of the action or a spectator, she's happy to just go along with the rest of the family.

Our family would not be the same without this little precious girl.  Her sisters constantly tell me (and other people) how happy they are that they have a baby sister or how cute they think their baby is or how much they love her.  These pictures speak for themselves and I'm so grateful that Little will grow up being so loved by her big sisters.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Meyer Lemon Muffins

Let me help!  I want to mix too!

Well, at least I get to try them!

Not much to say - they were delicious and didn't last long around our house!

Meyer Lemon Muffins (makes 18)
adapted from LA Times

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 Meyer lemons
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.  Cut the lemons into 1 inch pieces removing the seeds as you go.  Put them in a chopper, blender, or food processor and pulse until the lemon is finely chopped.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Add the milk, butter, and lemon.  Stir.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the lemon mixture.  Stir until all the ingredients are just moistened.  Spoon the batter into a lined muffin tin, filling about half way full.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack and serve warm.

*Half of the recipe makes 24 mini muffins.  Reduce baking time to 12 minutes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Red Curry Noodle Soup

We've had a couple of busy & rough weeks in our family - illness, funeral, dental procedures, ER visit - stuff that inevitably happens in family life but definitely not the fun stuff.  I am pleased to report that we're all on the mend and I'm hoping the end of the week is brighter than the start!

After my husband and daughter were feeling better from the flu, I wanted to make some soup for supper because it sounded comforting.  This isn't too spicy and with a broth & coconut milk base, is pretty easy on the belly.  It can easily be gluten free if you use a gf soy sauce (the Thai Kitchen curry pastes and others I've looked at are gluten free).  Baby girl loved the plain rice noodles!  I had the thicker pad thai kind (more like fettuccine) but the thin rice stick would work well too.  I want to try it with Thai basil in addition to the cilantro for garnishing at the end.

Red Curry Noodle Soup (4 servings)
adapted from Considering the Campbells

4 oz rice noodles (I used pad thai noodles)
1 T olive oil
2-3 T red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño or other pepper, minced (optional)
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1.5 c. sliced carrot (I bought a bag of shredded carrots)
1 can lite coconut milk
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup soy sauce
a bunch of cilantro, chopped

Cook the rice noodles according to the package but don't overcook - al dente is good.

Heat the olive oil and curry paste in a large pan and stir it together until it's bubbly.  Add the garlic and jalapeño, sauté a little bit, and then stir in the chicken broth and carrots.  Bring to a boil and boil for about a minute.  Add the red bell pepper, green onions, and the can of coconut milk.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and lime juice.

Put the noodles in a bowl and ladle the soup on top.  Garnish with cilantro.

Friday, February 7, 2014

3 and a half and 6 and a half

February and March are when the girls have their half birthdays.  I wrote a list about them last year and it's fun to look back at it and see what they're like at different ages.  Here's the 2014 version for my 3.5 year old and (almost) 6.5 year old!

  • Favorite thing to pretend:  Doc McStuffins
  • Favorite thing to eat:  cucumbers or salami
  • Favorite color:  green
  • Favorite sport:  running
  • Favorite thing to do at school:  art and chapel
  • Favorite playmate:  her sisters
  • Favorite place to go:  the park or the Children's "Moooseum"
  • Imaginary friends:  Kony (a "good boy" with blue hair and brown skin) and Fraytche (a "bad boy" who always "wrecks stuff")
  • Favorite thing to wear:  skirts that twirl or fancy dresses & lots of accessories
  • What she wants to be when she grows up:  a boat driver
  • Recent accomplishment:  Chewing gum without swallowing it
  • When I can't find her she's most likely:  filling her little purses up with stuff . . . usually my stuff
  • Last thing I cooked that she liked:  spaghetti

  • Favorite thing to pretend:  Frozen (she likes to be Elsa with "powers")
  • Favorite thing to eat:  cheeseburgers
  • Favorite color:  yellow
  • Favorite sport:  tennis or golf
  • Favorite thing to do at school:  computers, art, play with her friends
  • Favorite playmate:  her sisters
  • Favorite place to go:  Pretend City
  • Imaginary friends:  She's the leader of a club of (imaginary) girls named Colleen, Techna, Tenna, Emma and Sarah.
  • Favorite thing to wear:  character t-shirts (My Little Pony or Merida)
  • What she wants to be when she grows up:  a marine biologist
  • Recent accomplishment:  Reading "little books" from her classroom that use the sight words
  • When I can't find her she's most likely:  in the backyard playing in the dirt or looking at books
  • Last thing I cooked that she liked:  teriyaki salmon

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

I love meyer lemons and recently was given some yummy ones.  I had to try new cookies although I still like the Meyer Lemon Cardamom Crinkles we made last year.  That last year's recipe and post was almost exactly a year ago and it's crazy to see how much bigger my girls look now.  As Middle helped me out in her Rapunzel dress, it also reminded me of baking with this other Rapunzel . . . ironically, we made a lemon meringue pie.

The verdict on the new recipe:  While these had less lemon in them, they were a delicately flavored and textured sugar cookie.  It actually reminded me of my Grandma's sour cream cookies with a lemon flair.  We all gave them 2 thumbs up and with 4 dozen, passed some out to teachers, our tennis instructor, and friends.

Before I share the recipe, here are some pictures to show you how huge my kids are these days!  How did I get to be the mom of 3 so beautiful, smart, and funny children?  Most of the time, I can't believe believe I'm the mom.

Meyer Lemon Cookies (makes 4 dozen)

2 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter, softened
1.5 cups white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of one large Meyer lemon
4 T fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/2 c. sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice.  Add the dry ingredients, beating until just combined.  

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and then roll in sugar.  Place on prepared cookie sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until delicately golden and and slightly cracked in the center.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.