Saturday, February 26, 2011

cookies that are good for your soul

when searching through my recipes to find something to take for the "soul food sampler" at church, i came across this cookie recipe that i haven't had in years, and the thought of yummy peanut butter fingers sent warm fuzzies all the way down to my toes. they're hardly good-for-you treats, but they're definitely good for your soul.

peanut butter fingers
(from janice gamiere)

1/2 C. margarine
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 C. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. flour
1 C. quick oats
6 oz. chocolate chips

peanut butter drizzle:
1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 C. powdered sugar
4 T. milk

1) cream margarine and sugars
2) blend in egg, peanut butter, soda, salt and vanilla
3) stir in flour and oats
4) spread into greased 13 x 9 pan; bake 20 - 25 minutes (350∞)
5) immediately on removing from oven, sprinkle 6 oz. chocolate chips, let stand 5 min. and spread evenly.
6) drizzle with peanut butter mixture

if you're going to pack this one to take somewhere, make it a day ahead as it takes some time for the top to get "unsticky"
i wish i had a really nicely styled photo of the finished product, but trust me, this recipe is worth a try.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

have you seen this?

sometimes i wish i had a brain that could come up with stuff like this. but think i'd get even less sleep than i do now.
full story here.

sam's cafe

perhaps it's the ina garten we've been watching before naptime, but sam's becoming quite the little chef lately. this morning we set up a little kitchen for him using his wood storage crates (complete with refrigerator and basket sink—for washing dishes, of course), and he's been fixing up fancy things for me and buckeye bear and caterpillar to eat.

the menu (as of this morning) includes:
chocolate milk with ketchup and salt (and sometimes birdseed)
soup (with chocolate)
blue and green sandwiches
ice cream

i'd highly recommend sam's cafe to anyone in the area who enjoys a good pretend feast. amazingly, there always seems to be an open table, so feel free to stop in and have a bite.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the art gallery

sam's started to make some really cute drawings (mostly garbage trucks and rocks), and i wanted a nice place to put them on display. so i went off to the dollar store (i love the dollar store!) and got a few of these white metal frames. they're super easy to open, so i can add drawings when sam makes something new.
i'm not precisely sure where i'll put them, but at least they won't be on the refrigerator (where they'd most likely be either knocked down or pulled off by the artist himself), which means i can (sort of) keep them for posterity without having them feel like clutter.

the artist at work

Monday, February 21, 2011

so much for the thaw…

at least it makes for some interesting photo ops in the backyard.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

snapshots of sam 2/14-2/18

i forgot to mention

we successfully celebrated sam's second birthday last weekend. it was still pretty low-key (chili in crockpots, cherry-topped cheesecakes, and just a few festive decorations), and even so, i was still pretty stressed about pulling it all together (or as pulled together as i could manage). but sam had a good time, which in the end is all i'm really after.
since then, sam has been devoting a lot of time to making his new cars and trucks and books feel at home.
thanks to everyone who was able to come and be with us to celebrate the second anniversary of our little peanut. it makes a happy occasion just that much better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

what to wear: my little valentine

in his pre-valentine's day church outfit.

shirt: old navy (christmas gift two christmases ago)
pants: old navy (birthday gift from aunt angie, uncle chris, and cousins abby and gavin)
red suspenders: ulite inc. (via
socks: hand-me-down
ball: birthday gift (from aunt tiffany, uncle eric, and cousins carter and annie)

happy valentine's day

sam's special breakfast.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

sam at two

snapshots that i want to remember of sam at age two:

how he sings, and sings, and sings. how he wakes up and i can hear him in his bed singing "la la, elmo's world", or when he breaks into the "truck song" or "row, row, row your boat" or "itsy bitsy spider" at the drop of a hat.

how he loves to "wash hands" because it means a chance to stand at the sink and play in the water (and lick the soapy bubbles off his hands).

how when he gets called for dinner, he gives a big "OKAY!" yell before he heads up the stairs, and a big "YES!" if asked if he wants to help with the wash—the excitement is palpable.

how he asks if i'm "okay?" if he hears me drop something or make a loud noise, or says "bless you" when i blow my nose.

how he draws on his magna-doodle—slow and careful and deliberate, and then how it inevitably breaks into an all-out scribble. how he carefully puts the "orange pencil" back into it's spot, and how he says "bye drawing!" before erasing his picture.

i want to remember games of "want some?" when he fixes us drinks and cupcakes and birthday cakes and ice cream—all of which are the most delicious imaginary concoctions that you can imagine

i want to remember sitting down so sam can "fix it"—which means he will sit behind me and "fix" my hair for me

and speaking of fixing it, i love how he will change elmo's diaper and make sure that elmo gets his own snack

i want to remember how he dances to commercials, to songs on sesame street, and to music playing over the loud speakers at the store—this boy is not shy about showing off his moves, and i. love. it.

how, just recently, he's started to ask if he can color, and "mommy color too!"—why, certainly!

how he greets his garbage truck with a huge smile and a "garbage truuuuuuck!" like it's an old friend—which i guess it is—and how he still needs to have his little garbage truck in order to properly appreciate the big garbage trucks on trash day

how he will say "goodbye" or "sleep tight" as he leaves the room, closing the door behind him

how nothing is quite as awesome as a chocolate kiss after dinner, or m's with his peanuts at snacktime, or daddy coming home from work—complete with waves and a round of applause

and most of all, how every day is better with sam because he's amazing and fantastic, even on the days when he is more challenge than child

i love this boy to the stars and beyond.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

what i'm craving—soup, of course

i've been making a ton of this souper-easy split red lentil soup lately, and totally loving it, so i thought i'd share.

split red lentil soup
  • one medium onion, chopped
  • three stalks (or thereabouts) celery, chopped
  • two large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • *optional* one tomato diced
  • two cups vegetable broth (or two cups water + 2 tsp better than bouillon <—i love this stuff)
  • half a can of tomato paste (you can freeze the rest in ice-cube trays for use later)
  • one cup water
  • 1/2 cup split red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (you can do garlic powder if that's all you've got)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (i might use more than this, but i'm a little bit cumin obsessed)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (i might use more than this too, it's sort of hard to tell)
  • salt and pepper to taste

the split red lentils are great because not only are they high in protein (and low in fat and calories), but because they're split, they cook quickly, so you're a go for the eating part (which is by far my favorite) fast.


addendum:—the "how" part:
i try to avoid talking about how i go about cooking, because i'm pretty sure that my technique is terrible, but since mom asked…
  1. heat the pot at medium heat, and give it a little squirt of pam.
  2. toss in the veggies, seasonings, and about a half cup of the broth.
  3. start fixing mike and sam's dinners (because they don't eat my tasty soups—which means more for me, so yay). the veggies should be getting good and cooked down in that broth. if you need to add more liquid, do so at any time.
  4. at some point remember that you're making soup. throw the lentils and tomato paste in the pot and stir until the tomato paste is mixed in.
  5. add the rest of the broth, stir, and let it simmer.
  6. back to mike and sam's dinners (probably 10 minutes or so, though i'm not sure).
  7. add the water, stir again, and let the soup sit on low until you're ready to eat (it usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes for the boys to make their way to the table, but i'm guessing the soup is ready before then.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

bib for alice

i finally finished alice's bib just in time for her birthday.
i had this cut and waiting to sew since missy's first announcement because i was really, really hoping i'd get another niece. and i know that missy's got quite a few of these bibs from mom (and probably some she made on her own), but i had to make one for little alice myself. i hope she'll make good use of it. it looks like it will work well for chocolate pudding or strawberry yogurt, though it will be good at catching spit-up/drool while she's still on her way to table food. it will be making it's way south shortly.

welcome to the family alice!

ps - you can download a pattern for the bib here.

getting ready to party

sam is turning two this week. which means decorations are going up, gifts are being wrapped, and cake baking is on the to-do list.

sam at almost two

and speaking of sam turning two, here are a few recent photos of the little rockstar (taken with the new camera, of course).
he sings, he dances, he rocks our world.

photos from around the house - trying out the new camera

a couple weeks ago we invested in a new canon rebel 2ti, and i've been playing around with it.


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