Friday, May 28, 2010

broken


The words I dreaded hearing last Saturday. Jake landed from of his play structure into the ER with a broken radius. He was showing off to Rachel, the cute little girl who lives next door, who also happens to be in his pre school class, and fell. Crunch. There's a lesson in this young man, care to learn it? He is so not going to be one of those guys. Nuh-uh. No way.

After the fall, he was remarkably stoic and barely shed a tear which was why we didn't take him into the ER until the next day. Remember the broken collarbone? He did the same thing then, just didn't let on that he was in any serious pain. He's one tough cookie who's ever so slightly, um, accident prone.

Caramelized Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust




There is just something amazing about the combination of apples and cheddar cheese. Yep, you heard me. In a pie? That's crazy talk. Nope, that's genius. It's that savory sweet thing that causes uncontrollable drooling all over my laptop as I write this. It's really not pretty.

For the Cheddar Crust
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
I/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 – 4 Tbsp ice cold water
¾ cup sharp Wisconsin cheddar

1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and cut in butter until lentil sized pieces form.
2. Add water and mix just till the dough comes together but isn't sticky.
3. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.
4. When well chilled, roll out between saran wrap and line a 9" glass pie plate.

*Double the recipe for a lattice or solid pie crust topping.

For the Filling

6 cups apples (Jonathan or Granny Smith)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter

Peel and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and add apples. Toss to mix. Add vanilla and cream. Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add apple mixture and cook approximately 8 minutes, to soften apples. Turn into pie shell.

Bake pie at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes until crust is golden brown.

Voila! So, yeah, I kind of failed at the presentation bit, and I probably would do the lattice on top next time, but I was short on time today. Hey, it's rustic.

Radish Fail


Have you ever seen a sadder radish? Jake certainly hasn't.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How My Chickens Say "I Love You"

This, and eggs, of course.

crunch time


Aside from this fall like weather that we've been having (what's up with that?), it's feeling more like spring around here. This is officially the first harvest of the season. A radish!!!

Everything else seems to be doing okay except for my tomatoes which are like the most important... helllllooooo. I'm not sure what's wrong with them. I never knew tomatoes to be so moody. In the past, it was as if I grew them accidentally. I'd forget to water them, prune them or check for pest... Heck, I'd even forget to harvest them. So, by the time I realized I had tomatoes I'd find them half eaten. Some lucky squirrel took advantage of my negligent gardening and ate very well last summer. Well, not this summer, squirrel, not this summer.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

beautiful boy



Jacob is one of those kids that collects rocks, shells, and anything else he can find out in our backyard. He knows the name of all the rocks, shells and leaves, etc.

Jacob has a sweet side that can bring me to tears.

Jacob is picky with what he eats, watches, wears and reads.

Jacob has frequent screaming fits. Screaming, violent fits.

Jacob is very moody.

Jacob is very intelligent.

Jacob speaks very articulately, for his age.

Jacob hums and makes high pitch "train noises" while pacing on his tip toes and sucking on his fingers.

Jacob has trouble following verbal instructions at his preschool and at home.

Jacob doesn't understand when enough is enough.

Jacob doesn't like anything dirty.

Jacob doesn't like social situations.

Jacob doesn't play with his peers at preschool. He plays around them.

Jacob doesn't like loud noises.

Jacob......

is worrying us. Us, and his pediatrician. While a lot of this is developmentally normal, some of it's not. We have been asked by the pediatrician to have him assessed by a Neuro/behavioral development specialist. To us, we just want to know, either way, to finally know if our fears are justified or unjustified. We're just praying that they're unjustified. While I know either way he'll be taken care of and loved, I'm just not sure I'm ready for this. The thought of him never growing out of these behaviors is tough, to say the least.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Momofuku Compost Cookies



Now I'm a cookie fan just like the rest of you but these cookies that I made today quite honestly need a 12 step program to go along with them. Can something come from Heaven but also be pure evil? This may be proof that it can indeed. So what's the deal with the name? Well, these evil little pillows of goodness come from Momofukus Milk Bar and are comprised mainly of bottom of the bag left over snack food, like potato chips, pretzels, coco krispies and chocolate chips. The restaurant version even has coffee grounds in it but I decided against adding that mainly because I was planning on taking them to Chloe's Mommy and Me class and the idea of a toddler accidentally getting a hold of a cookie with coffee grounds just didn't sound like a good idea to me.

I played it somewhat safe and just used potato chips and pretzels, but if you like living on the edge you could put really anything in these. Goldfish crackers? Mars Bars? Captain Crunch?

So, here it is, yours completely free....

Momofuku Compost Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Syrup (I didn't add this and they turned out fine)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs
1 3/4 cups AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups Your favorite baking ingredients!
(chocolate chips, raisinettes, rollos & cocoa krispies)
1 1/2 cups Your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, goldfish, ritz, & fritos)

DIRECTIONS:
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.

When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 45-60 sec just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

On same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30-45 sec until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.

Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or up to 1 week.

Heat the conventional oven to 400F. (350F in a convection oven)

Using a 6oz ice cream scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.

DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.

When the oven reads 400F, arrange your chilled cookie dough balls on a parchment or silpat-lined sheetpan a minimum of 4" apart in any direction. (DO NOT miss this step of spacing out your cookies or they could turn out like my first batch in this photo here...)

the 1st batch never turns out

Bake 9-11 min. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.

At 9 min the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies stills seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh 5 days. In the freezer, cookies will keep fresh 1 month.

Yield: 15 6oz cookies

Recipe compliments of



Monday, May 10, 2010

preschool

this isn't so bad

So, I'm about a week behind on this news but that's just the way it is these days. Chloe is officially a preschooler. I'm not even kidding.

It's hard for me to believe too, a very tough pill to swallow. My baby girl [sniff] is all grown up and will probably start demanding her own phone in her room. Oh, wait, it's 2010, I guess that would be a cell phone now days. I'm old..

meltdown

All in all she did pretty well. Better than I did in fact. At first she clung to my arm like she was dangling off a building and and wailed "MOOOOOMMMMYYYYY DAAAAADDDYYYYY" over and over again, and even though I stayed for a good 20 minutes or so and watched her happily play with the train table and play with the dress up clothes, as soon as I'd try to leave she was frantic. Holding onto both legs, literally trapping me. I finally knelt down, wiped both our tears, gave her a kiss and handed her off to one of her teachers. I stood outside the classroom for about 10 minutes, sniffling into a tissue until she finally stopped crying. There were plenty of tears from the both of us, but she was happy as a clam when I came to pick her up. She ran over to me and practically tackled me to the floor. Jake even asked to see his little sister in her class to make sure she was doing ok. Yep, I could barely get through typing that without tearing up. That kid surprises me every day.

Today when I dropped her off they had finger paints set up and once she saw them, I was free to leave without incident. Not one single tear! While I'm not fully ready for this, the first of many school milestones, she's slowly making her way to the edge of the nest.


Making friends

we are what we eat

This has been circulating for a while but I really liked it and thought I'd post it on here. Yes, it's a bit flowery and sort of, well, nonsense maybe, but whatever, I thought it was clever. There's also a principle in homeopathy that "Like cures like". Although that particular phrase appears only to be associated with homeopathy, it comes from earlier beliefs that superficial resemblances between things meant that there was a "spiritual" connection between those things, and so in medical terms, they could be used to treat each other. I'm a big fan of homeopathy, flowers and all.

Anyway.... if anything this is a good thing to show the kids or husbands to encourage them to eat more veggies and fruits.










A tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.










A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.






A walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.








Sweet potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the Glycemic index of diabetics.







Onions look like body cells. Today’s research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.






Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries. {I think I have heard this before}









Kidney beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys. {not sure about this one}










Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.






Grapefruits, oranges, and other citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.
{Well, as a technicality, there are a lot of women out there whose "mammary glands" DON'T "look just like" citrus fruits. I'd also note that lemons and limes are citrus fruits and I think any woman whose mammary glands look like either of those would be visiting a physician to have them checked out}








Eggplant, avocadoes and pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female—they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods; modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them.







Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of sperm as well to overcome male sterility. {he he he}