Last evening, while Aubrey and I covered plants to prepare for the incoming freezing temps, and called Dad to wish him a Happy Birthday, Tyler and Wayne went to Science Night at Tyler's school. There were all kinds of hands on ways to have fun with science. When they got home, they were both as excited to talk about all the fun they had as they look in the picture. I heard about the physics of flight, plant germination, animals - like a tortoise wandering around, potions, etc.
One day, Tyler and I went out for lunch at a restaurant of his choice - Granite City. He loved it.
One afternoon (after nap, thus the diaper and crazy hair), Aubrey came down like this and told me she was ready to go to the zoo! It was very cold and icky outside, and we had no plans of going anywhere, so the combination really cracked me up.
Last weekend the weather was beautiful. A combination of our family went to the zoo 3 days in a row. Saturday it was just me and the kids.
Wednesday, we had an ice storm that brought down a lot of limbs around town. Our trees were all fine, but the neighbor's tree behind us fell into our yard. This morning, Aubrey noted that it was STILL there.
I was happy to stay inside, but Aubrey and Tyler had a great time playing with the ice.
Tyler, trying to look menacing I guess.
We (ok, I) painted 3 rooms and finished painting the trim white. One day, Wayne took Tyler to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson. Aubrey didn't nap, so she was my happy helper. Later in the week, when I was painting other rooms that she couldn't help with did not make her a happy camper. But, on this day, she was thrilled.
She is telling me that she has to use the potty!!
We checked out a new park that the kids liked. Later in the week, we took Tyler's friend, Michael, there with us and later went out for ice cream.
1/2 c cocoa
1 c hot water
1 c buttermilk
2 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c whipping cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cupcake tins. (This makes a big batch. I only have 2 mini muffin tins, but the minis are our favorite).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa and hot water until cocoa is dissolved. Add buttermilk and sugar and whisk until combined. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Whisk in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until you no longer see lumps. Finally, stir in cream.
3. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until done. Let cool. I store extras in the freezer and defrost before frosting.
Clearly, Aubrey only eats the top of her cupcakes...
What!?! It's not Thanksgiving!!! I know, but I failed to blog about these at Thanksgiving when I made them. It's always such a busy time of year and I always forget to take pictures of them. So, even without pictures, before moving on to "life," I want to post my Aunt Anna's Pecan Pie and the pumpkin pie I make every year. I started to panic at Thanksgiving when I couldn't find the pecan pie recipe. I did find it, but I don't want to panic the next time I make it.
Pecan Pie - Anna Herbes
1 uncooked pie crust (in 9-inch deep dish pie plate) 1 cup pecans (I usually chop them) 3 eggs, beaten 1 c sugar 1 T flour 1/2 t salt 1 c light corn syrup 2 T butter, melted 1 t vanilla
Pour pecans over crust. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients and just beat to combine (do not over mix). Pour mixture over pecans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. It will be golden brown and still look liquidy when you pull it from the oven. Let cool on wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. (At least I do). :)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. 2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until edges are golden, 12-14 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 T milk
1 T sugar
1 8-oz tub Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 cup milk
1 15-oz can pumpkin
2 pkg (3.4 oz each) Jello instant vanilla pudding
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t ground cloves
Mix cream cheese, 1 T milk and sugar with a wire whisk until blended. Gently stir in 1/2 Cool Whip. Spread into crust.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup milk, pumpkin, pudding, and spices. Beat with a wire whisk for 2 minutes or until well blended. Spread over cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Cover with remaining Cool Whip. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.
Here's another recipe that I've already had to ask for twice. Make sure you make it well in advance of when you plan to serve it. (In the morning, if you plan to serve in the evening, or even better, the day before). It uses simple ingredients, and it tastes fabulous!
Banana Peanut Butter Pie - Michelle Pankratz
1 pre-baked pie shell
4-oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c peanut butter
1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/3 c flour
1/2 t salt
2 c milk
2 T butter (or margarine)
1 t vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream or a small tub of Cool Whip
Combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar, set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar, flour, salt, and eggs. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil then cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Set aside.
Press 1/2 of the peanut butter mixture into a baked pie shell. Slice 2 bananas and place over the top. Sprinkle remaining peanut butter mixture over bananas. Pour pudding over the top.
Refrigerate until completely cooled. (This will take several hours, or overnight).
Serve with a generous dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.
It's been so easy to just take pictures on my phone and post them to Facebook, that I have neglected updating my blog. The biggest reason I want to keep up my blog is that I use my blog like a scrapbook...and print it off at the end of the year to preserve memories for Tyler and Aubrey. So, I'll try to get caught back up...
I also want to make sure I blog some recipes so that I don't lose them...Sometimes, especially recipes I don't make often, it's hard for me to remember whether I have a recipe on Pinterest, in a cookbook, email or somewhere else. :) A few years ago, Beth Rizza gave me her recipe for carrot cake. I love it! I have made it the last two years for Wayne's birthday. He doesn't eat cake...unless it's carrot cake. Beth's recipe notes say it all, "This cake takes extra effort but it's well worth it. Very moist."
Buttermilk Carrot Cake
2 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
3 large eggs
3/4 c vegetable oil
3/4 c buttermilk
2 c sugar
2 t vanilla extract
8-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
2 c grated carrots
1 1/2 c shredded coconut
1 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c buttermilk
1 T light corn syrup
1 t vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c butter, softened
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla extract
2 c powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with waxed paper; set aside.
In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture, pineapple, carrots, coconut and pecans; stir well. Pour into pans, bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While cake is baking, prepare Buttermilk Glaze. Remove cake from oven and slowly pour glaze over hot cakes. Cool cakes in pans until glaze is totally absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn out of pans and cool completely on wire racks. Prepare cream cheese frosting; frost and refrigerate until frosting is set.
Buttermilk Glaze: In a small saucepan, melt butter then add sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar.