Monday, March 28, 2011

A New Decade







That's right.
Somebody in this household enters a new decade today.
I'll give you a couple clues:

A) It's not...



















B)  Or...










Still can't figure it out?  



A few more clues:

HE likes to wear band-aids on his head.



He has a wild side.





Happy Birthday!!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I spy something..

Green.  
No, not the giant green explosion in the middle.
That's the cabbage from last fall that never really did it's thing.  

But do you see that, in the front of the cabbage???  


That is butter crunch lettuce!  
Growing in my garden.  
That I planted last fall.  
That I thought died, after the garden cover blew away.  


And if the butter crunch lettuce wasn't enough...
there...do you see it?  

Red leaf lettuce!!!  


And these were behind the cabbage.  
Seriously...those are full blown carrots...



And this iris was blooming on the edge of our neighbor's property.  



As was this daffodil.
Which is clearly trying to get out of jail.  



Oh, I guess I didn't find this guy in the garden.  
But, he did eat that leaf.  



"This is crunchier than applesauce."












Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Growing Chair

Hey guys - 
Can you believe it's been another month?  

Love - 
Luke

6 months


5 months



4 months





















12 weeks




















8 weeks






















4 weeks



Monday, March 14, 2011

3.14

The day of...

 π

(do you even remember what that symbol stands for?)  

Shepherd's π

Strawberry π  



I definitely didn't measure the circumference or diameter of anything.  
Especially not either of those pi(e) plates.  

Happy Pi Day!  


Luke's rendition of "The Foot Book"

Left foot, left foot



Right foot, right


Feet to ride.  


Feet to bite.  



...  ...  ...


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pucker Face!!!


A review of Luke's introduction to solids: homemade applesauce.  
Pictures speak louder than words.  
(or jibberish, in Luke's case)










Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ode to Savory Carbs

I used approximately 10 lbs of flour today (give or take 2 lbs, maybe).    

Yes.  You read that right. 

We baked for 6+ hours.  
(Me and my alter ego.)  

Actually my friends Erin and Nicole came over, but I didn't get a picture of them.  
I couldn't have done it without their help!  

My kitchen smelled divine.  

"Quality Control" was necessary throughout the day. 

I finally made a garlic flavored bread that Matt liked!  


Roasted garlic cheddar twists in the making

Roasted garlic cheddar twists completed.  

No Knead Whole Wheat with Steel Cut Oats and Wheat Bulgur
The finished product.  Complete with mohawk.  

Savory Bread Strips

The goods.  


Rustic Whole Wheat Sourdough with Flaxseed Meal

The thief in the night.
Matt's review (in regards to the sourdough):  "This crust is AMAZING!"
What you really want...the recipes.  
(Disclaimer: I'm not going to give lengthly instructions on working with yeast.  You're already on the internet, so just open another page and Google "how to bake with yeast", or something like that.  If you don't have a heavy-duty stand mixer, aka KitchenAid, skip the gym today.  I promise, you're arms will thank you later.  Okay, enough of this disclaimer business...on with the recipes.)  


Roasted Garlic Cheddar Twists
Rolls:
2 c warm water
2/3 c butter
1/2 c sugar
6 c flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbs instant yeast
2 eggs 
Flavor:
4-6 cloves roasted garlic, crushed
3 c shredded cheddar 
Rolls: Follow basic instructions for yeast bread.  
 Before kneading, add crushed garlic and 1 1/2 c shredded cheddar.  
After 1st rise, roll in remaining cheese and twist.  
Yields: 48 twists (24 dinner rolls)
Bake @ 400
15 min.  
Note:  Dough can be stored in refrigerator up to 3 days at first rise.  
Remove rolls from refrigerator, bring to room temperature, shape, second rise, bake.  
*The dough sans garlic & cheese makes a delicious dinner roll.  


**A huge thanks to my sister for her GREAT roll recipe!

No Knead Whole Wheat with Steel Cut Oats and Wheat Bulgur
adapated from Kiss My Spatula

Rustic Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread with Flaxseed Meal
1 c sourdough starter
1 1/2 c lukewarm water
1 tbs instant yeast
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbs flaxseed meal
5 c flour (1/2 WW, 1/2 white)
Follow basic instructions for yeast bread.
Yield: 2 loaves
Bake @ 425
25-30 min.
Hint: When you put the loaves in the oven to bake, splash in 1oz of water.  It does something magical to the crust!  

Savory Bread Strips
(adapted from tasteofhome.com)
1 tbs instant yeast
6 1/2 tsp sugar, divided
1/2 cup warm water
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs dried minced onion
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c ice cold water
3 c flour 

Topping:
1 c shredded parmesan
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c dried parsley
1/4 c olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced 
Directions:
Dissolve yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in warm water, set aside.  In a saucepan, combine oil, onion, basil, oregano, sage, and garlic powder; cook over medium heat for 1 minute.  Remove from heat; stir in ice cold water.  Add remaining sugar, flour, and herb mixture to yeast mixture.  Knead lightly.  Place dough on 15inx10inx1in baking pan.  Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over dough.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 min or until well browned.  Cut into strips.  Yield: approx. 4 dozen  

Roasted Chile Monterey Jack Yeasted Cornbread 
(not pictured, adapted from allrecipes)
3 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1 tsp salt
3 tbs white sugar
3 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 c milk
1/8 c water
1 egg
1 tbs instant yeast

Flavor:
1 can fire roasted green chiles
2 c shredded monterey jack cheese

Follow basic instructions for yeast bread.  
After 1st rise, roll into rectangle, top 1/2 of dough with chiles and cheese.  Fold other half of dough on top.  Press together with rolling pin (seal the layers together).  Cut in strips and make desired shapes (twists, wreaths, knots, etc.).  2nd raise.  

Bake @ 400
10-15 min (until golden brown)
Yields: approx 15.  










Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hiking buddies

The signs of spring are everywhere right now.  
The sun didn't go down until 6:45 last night.
I woke up to Luke crying birds chirping yesterday.  
There are daffodils blooming EVERYWHERE! 
And, you actually have to dodge roadkill again.  

We took advantage of the great weather a few weekends ago, and met Luke's friend Ivy to go for a little hike.  


Luke's really back there.
He's just hanging out in his super cool hand-me-down kiddie-backpack!  


Evan, Kilby, Ivy, and Zoe (the dog).  


We met Evan and Kilby in our birthing class this summer.  
There's something about doing pelvic rocks next to each other that just encourages bonding.  

Or maybe it's the pregnancy induced swollen feet and raging hormones.  

Or the fact that we go to the same church.  

I'll let you decide.  


All that to say, we like them.  And Ivy has the BEST HAIR.    






Teaser

Tomorrow I'm baking bread for 55 people.

Prepare yourself.

There will be drool-worthy pictures.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Matt's version of the bedtime classic...

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Luke.  Goodnight Jetta, Goodnight Jeep.  Goodnight noises everywhere.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

And the seat of honor is reserved for...

Luke has assumed his position at the head of the table. The Chicco 360 high chair works beautifully. And - our new table FINALLY arrived.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Great Car Experiment


Last month (January 27 to be exact) we sold our second car.  We had been talking about it for a little while, and I decided to see if we got any interest – after all, is there much of a market for a 24 year old Mercedes?  An offer was made, accepted, money and keys exchanged, and it drove off into the sunset…or something like that with a cloud of diesel exhaust.

No biggie – we still have a car, Lynette is only working once a week, and the Center has access to cars that I can use when I have to travel for work.  Besides, the money we will save in the meantime will help us save up for a diesel Jeep Liberty (what, you thought we’d add a gasoline engine to the garage?)

So, the experiment began.  Fortunately, we live close to my office.  Most days, I drive to work in the morning, come home for lunch, and then Lynette and Luke will take me back to work in the afternoon.  On Tuesdays when Lynette teaches class, I’ve been walking home with Luke in the stroller.  I’ve hitched rides with coworkers, and thought about riding my bike if the weather was a little warmer.  (Good news, – my EcoVessel bottle allows me to get coffee to work without spilling, even on my bike!)

We also live close to a grocery store and the place that we get milk, meaning that Lynette and Luke can walk up to the store if necessary.  So all-in-all it was a well thought out (albeit over maybe a day or two) plan.

What have we learned?  We CAN live with one car.  We have to keep our calendars up-to-date, and communicate several days in advance about the details of our schedules, paying double attention to where and how Luke will get places as well.  Walking home from work also is good exercise.  There were no major fights…and, believe it or not, we’ve actually driven fewer miles with just one car in the past month than we would have put on each car normally!  In fact, today is March 2nd, we have not purchased fuel since February 13!

But, there were a few things that we did not consider:
  • Record snowfall.  We’ve had two huge snowstorms this winter.  One so bad that we couldn’t get the VW SportWagen out of the garage for a day until the alley was cleared.
  • Carseat.  Anywhere Luke goes, it’s gotta be there.  Luke’s not old enough to ride a bike.
  • Matt can’t always get a car from work…meaning that sometimes he HAS to take the car.
  • Luke occasionally sleeps in…and it’s never wise to wake a sleeping baby…even if it is to take Dad to work.
  • Matt likes cars.  Especially ones with diesel engines.  And Lynette is beginning to feel like her husband is spending more time reading Jeep forums than doing…well…about anything else!


So…after 1 month and 3 days…we are officially ending the experiment.  This weekend (hopefully) we’ll be picking up our brand-new-to-us 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD.  Luke is so excited about the torque curve of the diesel engine...Lynette is excited to have her husband back.  Let’s pray for another blizzard!