Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ps. 51:10

Psalm 51:10



Friday, September 28, 2012

And what do you think Derek did with all that dirt?

Play in it...of course! What, you thought he was just amused by the dump truck yesterday?
Derek spent hours digging for buried treasure and pushing it around with his little dump truck and sliding down the big pile. If the level of dirt that I rinsed out of the bottom of the bathtub is any indication, he had a wicked good time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Visit from the Dump Truck

As part of project "grow grass" (more details forthcoming), we needed dirt since our soil is full of rocks, leftover screws, nails, and other fine treasures from the builder.
So, we had several yards of soil delivered and from Derek's perspective you would have thought it was Christmas! A DUMP TRUCK CAME TO HIS HOUSE!
He even did a dirt dance...more like running around yelling "dump truck" and "dirt" but I am just repeating what he called it.
Waving to the truck driver and telling him to come back soon.
And now the real fun begins...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pinterest Busters: Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

Aren't you excited? Two recipes in 1 week! I saw this recipe on Pinterest and knew I needed to try it. I remember eating Texas Sheet Cake (or Iced Brownies) at my Great Grandma's House as a little girl. Since my Mom and Grandma just went out to see her in Indiana, I felt the need to make something that reminded me of her since I wasn't going to recreate Tenderloin sandwiches...yet.

I used the recipe even though it was a tad different than the one I am used to making. One change that I made to the recipe was to add cinnamon. It wouldn't be the same without cinnamon. I added 1 teaspoon to the icing since I forgot to add it to the batter.

Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

1 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 24 cupcake liners into muffin pans. In a small saucepan, bring the butter, water, and cocoa powder to a boil. Turn off and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Stir until well blended. Pour batter into cupcake liners (about 2/3 full). Bake for 18-20 minutes or until done. They will be moist- make sure that you don't overcook them! Cool completely.

6 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine milk, cocoa powder, and butter. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until it starts to thicken slightly (about 3-4 minutes). Drop a tablespoon full onto center of each cupcake. The frosting will thicken quickly, so do not make the frosting until ready to put on cupcakes.

Overall, it was a success. I will probably try my grandma's recipe in a cupcake pan next time but for the most part we liked it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Applesauce Muffins & Cooking with Mom

The other day, we decided to make some applesauce muffins for quick breakfast or snacking. I was trying to finish up the remainder of my applesauce stash from last year's batch in preparation for the new containers of applesauce (that will be made once we go and get apples). With all of the various spices in the muffins, these smell and taste like fall. My little helper carefully counted out the Thomas cupcake papers and he did a fabulous job counting to 12. He was very annoyed with getting his picture taken by Daddy but he finally realized that Daddy was going to keep clicking until he smiled (and I have the outtakes to prove it!).

My cutie-patoodie helper approved of the batter to the point where we had to remove the bowl from his possession.

Applesauce Muffins

1 cup softened butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 oz applesauce
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir baking soda and vanilla into applesauce. Combine flower and spices; add to creamed mixture alternately with applesauce mixture. (Batter may be sore, covered, in refrigerator up to 2 weeks)

Spoon batter into muffin pans 2/3 full. Bake for 17 minutes.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Derek's Car Needs A Fix

The other day while playing outside, Derek decided that his car needed to be fixed. So he grabbed some of my tools. The comical thing is the tools he chose were my De-Walt drill bits. In the end, nothing was wrong with his is car it was just the working of Derek's imagination. Gotta love his monkey "assistant".

Friday, September 21, 2012

Grilled Cheese Croutons

Something I have seen in several magazines and online is Grilled Cheese Croutons. This idea needed no convincing for me to try. Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a staple in our house in the fall and winter months. Since the weather is getting a chill in the air, this seemed like a perfect time to try this. One of the recipes I looked at (yes, there are recipes for this kinda thing) said to use Gruyere cheese. Well, I don't keep that in my fridge and I wasn't making a special trip to the store. I just used what I had on hand, American cheese and homemade white whole wheat bread. It was delicious in my Tomato Cheese Soup. Yum!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Thursday Adventure

On my day off, I ran to the store to pick up a few things for dinner. The kids enjoying the car cart at Food Lion.

Derek helped me make dessert for the evening...pudding

Our dinner was homemade mashed potatoes and pork chops. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pinterest Busters - Balloons

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I thought this had potential. The premise is to use vinegar and baking soda to blow up balloons. 
When baking soda and vinegar are mixed it creates carbon dioxide and it will rise it will fill the container and fill the balloon on top.

It does not create helium which is lighter than air keeping the balloons high. Carbon dioxide is not heaver than air hence these balloons stay on the ground (or in my case the counter).
This is more of a cool science experiment rather than a cheap way to fill balloons (as it is portrayed on Pinterest). I wouldn't call this busted, just misrepresented.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mirror Install

On our recent trip to IKEA, we purchased a mirror for Brooke's room. I should have know something was going to be different with this project. As was already mentioned in another post, Derek was to short to play in the IKEA kids area. Since when is the minimum height 37 inches?? Really?? I definitely was more upset than Derek.

So, when I opened the packet with the mirror. I noticed that while it included the braces to hold the mirror, it did not include screws or mollies. Read below for their pathetic reasoning.

I had plenty of the needed hardware to finish the project but it was annoying none the less. Most importantly, the finished product turned out great!

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Crazy Girl

She has an obsession with teddy bears (even if they are bigger than she is!).

She loves her cookies.

And she can show a little attitude.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Refreshing Drinks

We have introduced straw sippy cups to Brooke. She wants to tip the cup up and gets frustrated when she does not get any liquid. The other night I found the solution to her problem while I was enjoying my favorite drink, a Coke Zero

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Baltimore Trip: Day 3 & 4

On Monday, we headed back to the Aquarium to finish what we missed the previous day. One thing both kids LOVED was the bubble tubes.
This picture cracks me up on so many levels. To me this is the funniest picture of the trip but I'm just biased. This is part of the Australia exhibit which had fish, birds, crocodiles, turtles, and snakes. Derek was FASCINATED with the crocodiles.
We then went to the Dolphin show and spent time in the Jellyfish section.
We spent the rest of the day touring the Inner Harbor area. We even got to catch up with a long time friend that had just moved the the area. After dinner, we went to the hotel "garden" and had cookies and canoli's from Vaccaro's. Since the garden had a fountain, it became our spash pad.
Alright, since my sisters have refused to answer the question. AHEM! Here is the answer...When Mom and I walked past the restaurant (mentioned here and here), we immediately thought of this place. It is a Greek Souvlaki Restaurant that we ate at when we went to London. Mom had fish tacos and I had souvlaki.
On Tuesday, we headed home. We made a pit stop at Potomac Mills (a large shopping mall) and IKEA. We were so excited because we thought that Derek would be able to play in the kids area while we shopped, but he was 1/4 inch too short. I think Chris was more upset than Derek was! Nevertheless, it was an uneventful ride home.