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Saturday, December 10, 2011

A good day, all around.

This morning, Andy, Matthew, and I woke up with a somewhat lazy Saturday in mind. Lazy day of playing trains, Transformers, a load or two of laundry, and baking homemade goodness for Matthew and I. And Andy? He had plans to attend a toy drive at a local comic book store. Local sketch card and comic book artists are donating their time during the toy drive. Donate a toy to benefit the Children's Cancer Network- and receive a free sketch from one of the artists.

Fast forward to Andy getting ready to walk out the door. Matthew is begging to go with him. Neither consoled nor convinced staying home with Mommy would be fun, Matthew insists he is going with Daddy. What can ya say?  The boy loves his Daddy. Remedy: Lightning McQueen backpack filled with juice boxes, crayons, coloring books, and animal cookies.  Matthew is going to spend the morning with Daddy at the comic book store's toy drive.

And my day? My day began with 6 cups of Beech-Nut brand apple-blueberry baby food. Matthew's daycare class needed 12 baby food jars for a Christmas project they're making. I volunteered to bring the jars knowing I could find a recipe to use the apple-blueberry baby food.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut
Covered Apple-Blueberry Cake
So here is my first batch. It is beautiful and delicious (just ask Andy who sampled it on his way out the door). I'm doing my best to stay away from sweet treats so I had just a small taste. This was quite possibly the moistest cake I've ever made or eaten. (And I've eaten a lot of cake.)

Square Muffins!
Second batch, naturally I had to try making them in the square muffin pan. They were a challenge to get out of the pan because they couldn't be turned over without losing all their chocolate-y goodness on top so one by one they were unloaded with care. Square and beautiful.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Covered
Apple Blueberry Cake

I liked the look of the muffins, but wanted the cake instead of muffins. The cake from the first batch was beautiful with one exception: I don't like serving baked goodness in the baking pan. Remedy: Phone Mom and ask to borrow a spring form pan. Here is batch three and the remainder of the apple-blueberry baby food. 

Hopefully, this afternoon after Matthew's nap, we'll be headed to one of my student's baseball game. A good day, all around.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's not writer's block...

For a long time, I have been toying with the idea of trying to write a children's book.  Fear of failure coupled with avoidance as a coping mechanism is not a productive mix of character traits. Avoidance and lack of creativity (call it over worked and tired) to come up with a subject matter to write about have prevented me from even trying my hand (pun-tastic!) at writing. Enough of the excuses, I'm not getting any younger.  So here it is, in black and white to keep me motivated and accountable..
...Gilbert "Gilby-Do" Gilbmeister "Gilb-man" Gibby...

By December 31, 2011, I will have a rough draft of my story.  My subject?  None other than Gilbert.

With Andy's artistic skills, my book will have better illustrations than story line.  That's it!  The art will sell the book!

Truthfully, I'm excited to get started. I have a few ideas  for a picture book or two.  What do I have to lose?

Nothing like a self-imposed deadline to get ya crackin'.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adventures in Carrots part 2

Old fashioned fun.
Ever since Matthew was invited to his first friend birthday party from school he's been obsessed with turning 4.  In fact, we already have the #4 candle sitting on the counter because as he says, "We need it."  Today, we made a chain to count down the days until his birthday.  We included Christmas and New Years along the way but he is more excited about turning 4 than anything else.

Who is excited?
Now back to those carrots from my in-laws. Today's adventure in Beta Carotene.

Carrot and Potato Latke

There is nothing more beautiful than a purple onion!
Neither my camera nor my camera skills do it justice.

2 c. shredded carrots
1 c. shredded potatoes
3/4 c. purple onion
3/4 c. herbed bread crumbs
3 large eggs
salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Mix it up then drop by spoonful on to preheated pan with non-stick spray.  

Cookin' on cast iron - my Granny would be proud.

Three dozen latke later, I'm latke'd out but I have finished bag #1 of oversized carrots. I still have another bag of carrots in the refrigerator- oh no! Not to mention these beauties left in the teacher workroom free to a good home...

I have just the plan for these!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Make Cake, of Course!

What do you do when your mother-in-law gives you a small bag of Herculean size carrots?  Offer to make her a carrot cake.  What does your Father-in-law do? He reaches into the refrigerator and takes out another bag of carrots on steroids. What do you do? Bake cake, LOTS of cake.

This was the whopper from bag #1 of gargantuan carrots.  
10.55 ounces!

Here are the 'Sweet Delights' of the day:

3 Square Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple-Upside-Down-Cakes

 And 24 Square Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple-Upside-Down-Muffins with Toasted Coconut on top.

Batch Number 1- all 12 muffins are accounted for...until hubby comes in.

Batch 1 & 2 sans 2 muffins...hubby has arrived.
Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple-Upside-Down Muffin w/ Toasted Coconut

I still have half of the first bag of carrots left.  The second bag hasn't been touched...yet.
In search of carrot baked goodness.