Monday, August 29, 2011

Five Grain Banana Muffins

This is my own creation and they turned out great!
Here's the recipe:

1 c. Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled cereal, dry
1 c. flour (you could use either whole wheat or all purpose)
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
2 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with Pam. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center and add the mashed banana, the egg, and the buttermilk. Using a fork, mix together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. Divide batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake for about 12 mins, until golden brown and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack.

Nutrition information:
There are 104 calories per muffin, less than one gram of fat,
21 grams of carbohydrate (with 7 grams from sugar),
2 grams of fiber (with all purpose flour),
and 3 grams of protein.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Nicole and Jeff with their medals.
Congratulations to my half marathoners!! They completed their first half today, and they did it together. We're talkin' 13.1 miles, people. I could not do it!

I'm really proud of both of them! Nicole has exercise-induced asthma and could have used another puff on her inhaler starting about mile 10, but she pushed through and she did it! Jeff stayed with her even though he could have run faster, encouraging her and keeping her going. He's the BEST dad. Ever.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Letter to Nicole

My cute little (actually, not so little anymore) Nicole is heading back to college tomorrow...the last of my kids to go back to school. She and I have had lots of fun this week shopping, and talking, and laughing, and playing, and shopping, and eating Mrs. Field's cookies (shh...don't tell!) and shopping some more. **For the record, we window shopped a whole lot more than we actually bought stuff.**

Anyway, I'm dedicating this post to Nicole because I'm going to miss her. She has been wonderful to have around this summer. All her little sisters adore her and they will miss her a lot!

I love you, Nicole! You will have an awesome time this year. Keep your head on straight, like you always have. Smile that lovely smile and laugh that contagious laugh of yours. We'll miss you, but you won't be far. I know you'll call if you need food money. ;)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If you can eat it, try it roasted.

I think this is my kids' philosophy on campfire roasting ideas. Because of them, we have roasted Starburst candies (pretty good), dill pickles (not as good--they said it tasted like "a hot pickle"), and Twinkies (yum). After the experimentation, we roasted the old standby marshmallows and made s'mores. You can never go wrong with s'mores! We've tried our s'mores with Reese's peanut butter cups instead of Hershey's chocolate bars, and they were delicious.

What have you roasted over a campfire and loved?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I love a guy who isn't afraid to try new things

Jeff started his new job yesterday. It actually involves crafts! He's been in the sporting goods industry, the bedding industry, and the defense and aerospace industry. Now it's crafts. This is kind of ironic...he never does crafts. Until now. See that colored wheel up there? He made it. And in this pic he's putting together his first set of rubber stamps. I am so proud. 

The kids all tried his stamp set after he put it together. It was a rockin' time around here yesterday, yes it was.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes (and back to school?--Bah!)

I thought I was ready for back to school this year...because I usually am more than ready. This year, however, it turns out I wasn't. Don't really know why, other than my kids are just growing up too darn fast. So let's not talk about that, shall we? Let's talk about the Cinnamon Roll Pancakes we made on the first morning of our camping trip.

In a nutshell, they were yummy. You'll find the recipe over at Recipe Girl. To be completely honest, we were CAMPING. There was not the wherewithal to swirl the cinnamon mixture into the pancake batter all prettily like Recipe Girl did. So hey, we just sprinkled it on over each pancake right after we poured the batter on the griddle. I'm sure they tasted the same. The cream cheese glaze is just about The. Best. Part.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The only thing constant is change

We just returned from a camping trip, sort of a last blast before school starts...TOMORROW. I can't believe it starts so soon! Part of me isn't ready and it doesn't seem real, but part of me is ready to buckle down and get back to my own work (freelance writing). This is a pic of all my kids, taken on a hike we went on around the area of our campsite. I didn't realize when I took it that they have really changed from the last time we took a pic of them lined up by age. Their heights used to match their ages. When did they grow and change so much?! 

Don't mention to Jared (3rd from the right) that his little sister (younger by 25 months) is the same height he is. That won't go over well. Poor little dude. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Make bread without yeast

Sourdough starter after about one week.

 Did you know you can make bread, even if you don't have any yeast? Yes, it's true! My Daddy taught me how, and I'm convinced it is a good skill to learn. There may come a day...

Anyway, if you've got flour and water, you can make a sourdough starter that will allow you to make bread without yeast. It's not very hard to do. The biggest thing is the time it takes to get going.

To make a starter, mix equal parts flour and water. A good starting point is to use one cup of each. Put it in a glass bowl (no metal) and simply stir it twice a day. DON'T cover it. It's going to gather yeast from the air and it can't do that if it's covered.

When your starter looks nice and bubbly like mine above (in about 5-7 days), you can make bread. To do that here is what you do:

To starter, add 1 cup water, 1 cup flour.
Allow this mixture to sit for 2 hours.
Add 2 cups water and 3 cups flour.
Allow this to sit for 6 hours, or overnight.
Use 4 cups of this for your bread and save 1 cup in the fridge.
(This 1 cup you have left is now your continuous starter anytime you want bread).
To the 4 cups of starter,
add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup buttermilk,
1 T. sugar, 3 t. salt, 1/4 c. butter.
Mix that all together and then add 5-6 cups of flour to make a sticky dough.
Let the dough rise until double. 
Form into 3 large loaves or 4 medium loaves and rise again.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 mins.
Reduce the oven temp to 375 and bake 20-30 minutes longer.
Cool the bread on wire racks.
Slice and enjoy!!

**The next time you want bread, take the 1 cup of saved starter out of the fridge,
let it warm a little, and then start over as above, adding 1 c. water, 1 c. flour, and letting
the starter sit for 2 hours, and so on. Every time you do this you will use 4 cups
for bread and save 1 cup in the fridge.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kid to Kid Fashion Show

I love shopping at Kid to Kid! I often find great looking, brand name, gently used clothes for my younger girls there. We went shopping this morning, and this is some of what we found.

Libby loves the hot pink/black plaid ensemble, Mia loves the green hoodie outfit, and both love their skinny jeans. If I looked that good in skinny jeans, I'd love 'em too.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Recent Happenings

This picture is about three weeks old, but our garden is growing very well this year.
We're getting tomatoes, zucchinis, swiss chard, basil, yellow squash and cilantro so far.

As of two weeks ago, Jacob had saved enough money from his job to buy himself this Yamaha dirt bike. 
He's very excited about it! 
Way to go, Jake!
(Now he just needs to learn how to ride it!)

This little squirrel spent about two hours
on my deck one day,
chirping and chirping and chirping and chirping excitedly
because he couldn't figure out how to get back off.
I think he got there by way of the Silver Maple right next to the deck....
but for some reason he could not just retrace his steps.
(Did you know squirrels actually do chirp? Yes, it's true.)

My hubby got a new job!
This is where he will be working in the near future.
I'm so happy for him!
His mom would be very proud, crafty lady that she was. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Nicole kept talking about wanting chocolate chip muffins yesterday...and neither of us had ever made them. So last night I went looking for a recipe, found a basic one and altered it to my own liking. They turned out really tasty! The original recipe made 12, but my adaptation made 16 muffins.

Chocolate Chip Muffins
adapted from

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 T. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
1 egg, beaten
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
additional sugar for sprinkling tops

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 16 regular sized muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Make a well in the center and pour in milk, oil, sour cream, vanilla and beaten egg. Mix until just combined and all flour is moistened. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown on top. While still hot, brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crackle Paws

Have you heard about the latest craze in nail polish? It's called crackle, and it actually crackles when it's dry and reveals a base coat of another color underneath. Here, Molly the dog models crackle polish in hot pink with a base coat of silver, inspired by my daughter Sarah.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Shawni over at 71 Toes uses this acronym a lot in some of her posts: IWAN. What it means is this: I Want A Newborn. Well, I don't. Hence the title of today's post: I-D-WAN, or I DON'T Want A Newborn.

Don't get me wrong, newborns are cute, precious, adorable, and all that other jazz...but I'm just done with all that. I'm DONE. with pregnancy, diapers, midnight feedings and breastfeeding. However, my little (and big) girls would love to have a newborn around again:

This is Nicole, Sarah, Amelia and Libby with their tiny second cousin, Meili. Meili got to join her mom in a bridal shower I helped give for two of my nieces on Saturday. Meili is adorable, so naturally my girls went ga-ga over her! I don't blame them, but I still don't want one. :)

Finally, here is a shot of the food table for Saturday's shower:

Everything turned out really yummy. Check out Mel's Kitchen Cafe for this pasta salad recipe I used. It was delish.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book Review: Betrayal of Trust

You can find this one here. (Deseret News Sunday edition).

I have another coming up shortly. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Something to Believe In"

We all need something to believe in. Something bigger than ourselves, whatever that means to you. It's an individual thing. I'm glad that I have something to believe in. It just makes life bearable. Doable. And enjoyable!

Enjoy this song from one of my new favorite bands, Parachute.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Patience is a virtue

Graphic from

Ever feel like you may die waiting for something? My kids do, all the time, even though I assure them they won't. Admittedly, it's tough teaching patience to kids who are growing up in a "one click" world. I like the Dutch proverb which states, "A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains."

Right about now, I'm feeling like I should be pretty darn smart after all the handfuls of patience I've exercised.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hidden surprises

 I love when I get onto my camera's memory card and find pictures that I didn't take. I don't know which kid (or kids) took these, but thought they were worth sharing. They provide a small glimpse of real life at our house. This is Dukie. He really loves his teddy bear!

 This girl is such a card! I'm so glad she showed up...she was an actual "surprise" herself.

Again, Libby is just crazy. And a lot of fun to have around!

 What a cut-up!

I have no idea if this is a pose or a captured moment. I'm guessing pose. Gotta love kids and their hidden surprises!