Friday, January 29, 2010

Toddler Time

Wednesday, we went to Toddler Time at the library. There were lots of kids there this week, and Elizabeth had a good time. They read "Hickory Dickory Dock", so the craft was to make a clock. Here's Elizabeth coloring her clock face.

"Hey, whatcha doin'? Mind if I help?" She minded a little and didn't really want Elizabeth's help!

Oh, well, at least she's not shy!

Visiting Nana & Grandpa

At the beginning of the week, Elizabeth and I went to visit my parents. We had a fun visit and got to see some family I didn't think we'd see!

Nana taught Elizabeth how to play Patty-cake. Here they're patting...

And rolling...

Throw it in the pan!

Oh, that was fun! Again, again!

Monday night was kids eat free night at Roadhouse. There was a "Balloon Lady" there who made Elizabeth a pretty butterfly.

Tuesday was all about playing with the train.

Before we left to head back South, we stopped to see Grandpa one last time...and we brought him some dinner!


Elizabeth wanted to climb up into the cab. I had to stop her from punching all of the "bu-ons" (buttons). She seemed to really like it...just like her Momma! Maybe Grandpa will take her for a ride next time.

She's just so tiny next to this big 'ole thing!

We had a very nice visit! See you soon!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Elizabeth & I will be out of town for a couple of days and Travis will be in Arkansas until Thursday, so I'm not planning too many meals for this week. We'll eat leftovers when we get back and plan for the end of the week once I make a grocery run.

Hopefully, I'll get some good pictures to post and will try to get them up Wednesday or Thursday. I hope you all have a good week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Better Than Shoes

I love boots. There's nothing I'd rather wear. I've had the same pair of work boots and same pair of "good boots" for close to four years. (Yes, I know that's nothing compared to your daddy - or mine - who's had the same pair of boots since you were born.) Still, a long time to go without a new addition to the collection.

Well, I had been itching for a new pair of boots for a little while and finally found the pair that I wanted. (They're the ones in the box.) I sweetly convinced Travis that I had to have these boots. ASAP. I had just bought a dress for a wedding shower I'm co-hosting and wanted to wear them. (We'll see if anyone vetoes that later...)

I had Cavender's order the boots early this week. They came in today. I had no idea they'd be in so fast. So, I loaded up Elizabeth and told her that we were going to town. "Shoes? Shoes? Shoes?" she replied. "No, baby. Better than shoes. Boots!"

A peek inside the box reveals...

Cherry red boots! Cherry red stove pipe with distressed saddle boots to be exact. Oh, they look so good.

They are gorgeous. The kind of boots that make you want to wear a blue jeans skirt around the house just to show them off!

So, my work boots are still work boots, but my "good boots" are now my everyday boots and the new boots are my going out boots! Catch all that?

I love all of the different toes. Round. Square. Wide Square.

I love the tube stitching.

I love the toe stitching. Oh, and that gorgeous color.

I just love everything about them. They're better than shoes.

One day, Elizabeth will realize that, too!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week, the weather is promising to be much nicer, so I'm going to steer away from soup. Hopefully, we can get outside a little and play. We received 2.7" of rain last week, so there should be plenty of mud holes in the yard!

Here's what's on the menu for this week:
  • Sheppard's Pie
  • Chicken Fried Steak; Gravy; Rice; Corn
  • T-bone Steak, grilled; baked potatoes; green beans
I hope y'all have a nice week!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Applesauce Muffins

Mmm...muffins! I love 'em! Especially when I can mix them up the night before and stick them in the fridge. Let's get started on this goodness.

You'll need 1 cup of margarine, softened. I never use that stuff except for when it comes out of the Country Crock tub! I just use good 'ole butter. You'll also need 2 eggs, room temperature, and vanilla.

2 cups of sugar...

4 cups of flour, sifted with 1 teaspoon of cloves, 2 teaspoons of allspice, and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. I feel like sifting is something special and only do it when completely and utterly necessary. This is not that time.

Just so you can see I'm doing fancy things with my pictures (haha), I've labeled the spices.

You'll need 1 (1 pound) can of applesauce. I picked up the 1 lb, 8 oz can so I weighed mine out.

Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla to the applesauce and stir...

Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda to the applesauce and stir...

And then freak out a little when the soda reacts with the applesauce and almost spills all over the counter. I had no idea that this would happen!! Luckily, this was an almost mess, but stayed in the bowl. Whew.

Put your butter into your mixing bowl, add the sugar, and cream them together until nice and fluffy. Just a minute or so.

Add the two eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and mix.

Then, add the flour mixture. I missed a picture of this step, but my mixer was getting really, really bogged down by this point because the batter is so thick. I tried to stir it a little and my spatula broke. That's how thick it is. I suggest using a wooden spoon. In this spatula's defense, I had accidentally melted the handle a little in a previous cooking endeavor and that's where the break the weak spot. Too bad it also sliced my finger open in the process. I'm taking one for the team here.

Add the fizzy applesauce and mix again. The mixer can handle this with ease! It just needed a minute to rest after all of that flour.

Looking good!

At this point, I poured all of my batter into a bowl and put it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning... Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cups and spray the cups with cooking spray. You may think that there's no reason to do this, but trust me, there is. If you don't spray the cups, the muffins will turn evil on you in the oven and will adhere to the paper. You'll have a devil of a time separating the paper from the muffin and it will cause lots of frustration. At least it does at this house. Don't believe me? Try not spraying'll only do it once!

Fill the cups half full and set your timer to 17 minutes. (Ovens will recipe says 12 minutes, but they're always soft in the middle still...)

Need a closer look? Yummy!

Serve warm with butter or sprinkled with powdered sugar. So good!

The batter will keep in the fridge for a week or so, so I only make 12 muffins at a time. These muffins are so good that you'll want to put them in your breakfast menu rotation!

Here's the full recipe:
  • 1 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 (1 lb) can applesauce
Cream margarine, sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Sift together flour and spices; add to creamed mixture. Blend 2 teaspoons vanilla into the applesauce and add baking soda. Blend applesauce mixture into the batter. Stir until well mixed. Spoon into greased muffin tins half full.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 17 minutes.

Serve hot with butter or sprinkle with powdered sugar

Makes about 4 dozen.

Very cute as mini muffins, too. Just adjust your baking time!


Getting Ready

It's that time of year again...time to get ready for our Spring Garden. Although we won't be participating at Farmers Market this year (so we can stay a little more focused on the remodel), we still want to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for ourselves.

Last week, I planted seed for transplants. Mom and Dad gave me two Burpee trays that act as their own little greenhouse, so I used those first. There is a small pellet of compacted soil in the bottom of each cell.

When warm water is poured over the top, they expand, filling the cell with soil.

It takes a gentle mashing to break apart the expanded pellet. You then plant your seeds in the cells. (I forgot to take a picture of that step!)

Be sure to mark your trays! I started Dianthus and Verigated Chili Petin seed in this tray. Both are ornamental plants for our front flower beds.

After the seed is sowed, put the lid on! Viola, all finished!

Well, sort of finished! I also started a few tomato and pepper varieties I had here at home that we wanted to use again. I've got more seed ordered and it should be in early next week. I've been working on writing up our tomato demonstration from 2009. This year, we've decided to do a bell pepper demonstration. Should be exciting!

Elizabeth wanted to help after she woke up from her nap, so I let her. I had more trays that needed to be watered in and she was itching to use the watering can. She actually did pretty well and didn't completely soak herself until the last can full.

Going back for more...

She even leaves the beanie on! So, even though her little hands were freezing by the time we went in, her head was nice and warm!

Here's a bonus photo of Elizabeth that I just thought was cute. She went into her room to play and came out wearing one of her new jackets and her camo cap! Too cute not to share!

How are you getting ready for spring?