Friday, October 29, 2010

Oops, they can count!

We've been getting excited for Halloween and we are now in the thick of it: ballet party Wednesday (done!), school party today (done!), club party Saturday and Trick-or-Treating Sunday. Halfway through and I can't believe how much candy the girls have already collected! In the past Kevin and I would combine all of the girls' candy, put a few pieces of the candy we would allow them to eat in their treat bags, and then we would enjoy our favorite candies and Kevin would take the rest to work for his co-workers to munch on. I was assuming that would happen this year.... until both girls dumped out their candy today after school and counted each and every piece! The jaw of my salivating mouth dropped open and the hope of eating those delicious Reese's cups and Hershey bars at 8:05pm tonight were dashed. Oh well, I guess I'd rather see my girls happily counting than me sadly counting the pounds I would have put on eating all of their candy!

Do you allow your kids to eat all of the Halloween candy they've collected? I'm thinking I'll most likely do some filtering of the girls' stash (sending it to work with Kevin!) so it doesn't hang around for too long.

Have a very safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kitchen Confession!

Wow, things have been busy around here! I usually rely on the time my girls are in school to get my daily house chores and grocery shopping done, but that time during the past week and a half has been filled with multiple routine doctor and dentist appointments, a room parent meeting and other tasks. Since I haven't been shopping and our cupboards are pretty bare, I'm not sure why I started preparing French Toast for the girls this morning. It wasn't until after I had mixed the eggs, milk, cinnamon and a drop of vanilla extract together that I remembered that we haven't had bread in the house for 3 days! So, in an effort not to waste perfectly good food, (I still can't believe I did this!) I cooked up that egg mixture into French Scrambled Eggs! To give myself a little credit I did ask my girls if they would eat it before I served it to them. They ate it all!

Head on over to Mama Seasonings and Shades of Sunshine for some much more appetizing recipes!

PS: I'm relieved to report that I managed to get to the grocery store this morning and we're well stocked once again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

White, Black and Red

Have you heard about RSA Animate? A friend posted a couple of videos on facebook and I'm hooked! Check it out here. Let me know what you think (& which is your favorite?~ I already know you won't be able to stop at just one!).

After you work up an appetite watching videos and thinking about them, head over to Bull in a China Shop where Tina has recipes for Spaghetti Squash Gratins and Apple Cider Donut Holes. YUM!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Number Seventeen

This morning as I walked down the steps of my girls' preschool the wind kicked up and the colorful leaves swirled and danced on the sidewalk. I couldn't help but think of Bert from a famous Disney movie and his quote:

"Winds in the east, mist coming in
like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
but I fear what's to happen all happened before."

A&O love the movie and this past weekend we went and saw the Broadway Musical of Mary Poppins. It was so much fun to witness the magic that occurred at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane and to see Mary Poppins fly! If the show will be coming to a theatre near you, get tickets!
My sisters and I had these spoons when we were little. My Mom saved them and two have been handed down to A&O!
Stop over to see what recipe Jennifer has in store for you as part of The Recipe Exchange at Whisk it Good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mani-Pedi Mommy?

Being the worry wart that I am, I would not let my girls have their nails polished for the longest time (the toxins!). I finally caved when they were around three and I found this great line of products called Peacekeeper Cause-Metics. Not only do they make products with better-for-you ingredients, it is "the first cosmetics line to give donations to human rights issues for women who live in poverty or servitude". Learn more about this wonderful company here.

image via here

PS: I painted my girls' nails two weeks ago with Paint Me Grateful and their nails still look awesome. Unheard of with other nail colors!

Find another great recipe over at Scrumptious where Stephanie is making Crockpot Chicken Spezzatino which looks like it will be Saturday night's dinner at my house!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is it really October 19th already?!?

A&O's hand painted pumpkins. Black is a favorite color right now!

It seems as if we have been on the go ever since school started and I can't believe how quickly the days are passing! Fortunately I have been able to stay on top of most things and our Halloween costumes are ready (Mermaid & Little Red Riding hood) and the candy has been purchased for all of the Trick-or-Treaters we are expecting. Now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we don't have snow for the 31st!
Next week my girls have their first ever field trip to a pumpkin farm about 40 minutes away and I have to admit that my heart was beating quite a bit as I signed the permission slips allowing them to go (buses and all). Parents are allowed to follow the buses and meet up at the farm. I was torn about whether I should stay at home and allow this to be a growing and learning experience for the girls and me, but then both girls found out that some other parents were going and thought they'd like me to be there. What a relief! I'll try to be less of a worrier and stay home for the next one, I promise!

Pretty Mommy's great fall Recipe Exchange continues... please stop by You+Me Equals for Elisabeth's Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas and Miya's Mexichoctofu Pudding, Domestic Reflections for Jora's Homemade Chicken Stock, and 5th Joy for Abby's Hearty Chicken & Cabbage Minestrone. All look soooooooo delicious!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heirloom Apron!

We headed over to my parents' house last weekend so I could help go through some things in their basement (my kiddos were busy in the kitchen with "Eema" while I was sorting and digging through boxes!). I was so excited when I opened a box from my Grandparents' attic and found one of my Mom's aprons from when she was a little girl! I ran upstairs and "O" was willing to model. This one is about 60 years old and the fabric is threadbare in places (lots of use from my Mom and me when we were little). I know there are more, and in better shape that my girls can actually use. I'll keep looking!

Today's recipe, Mediterranean Pot Roast, comes to you from Rebecca at The Reluctant Floridian. I'm planning on making this yummy sounding dish on Sunday!

Have you prepared any of the recipes I've been linking to? If so, let me know!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A great way to spend your loose change

This past weekend I was looking through ReadyMade magazine and saw a wonderful product from Greenaid: a seedbomb vending machine. What a great way to green the gray spaces in your community! Learn more about it here.

The recipe swap continues today over at Look Linger Love where Chassity has prepared some yummy White Chicken Chili. Yesterday Danielle of domestic dish shared a Pumpkin Lasagna recipe that I hope to make for dinner on Halloween! Check them out!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Holiday Headstart

Just wanted to give anyone interested in giving great natural toys as gifts this coming holiday season a heads-up: The Wooden Wagon is having a Columbus Day special of free shipping on orders over $25! Our family loves their products, like this Sunrise Stacking Puzzle (photo from The Wooden Wagon).

Please stop by Under A Pink Moon for Estelle's contribution to the Fall Recipe Swap Michelle is hosting (we hope you're feeling better soon, Estelle!).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Delicious Apple Tart

Back in the Fall of 2005 I started what would become 4 months of bedrest while pregnant with my precious baby girls. One day I fell asleep with the television on and woke up to a cooking show (not sure which one) where the host/chef was preparing a yummy looking puff pastry apple tart. I was too tired (read: lazy!) to pick up paper and pen to jot down the recipe, but since there were so few ingredients and the instructions seemed simple enough, I thought I would remember it and planned on making it one day.

Fast forward 5 years.

I was grocery shopping last week and a box of puff pastry in the frozen section caught my eye. I remembered that I had a similar box somewhere in my freezer because a while back I had planned on making that Apple Tart and never gotten around to it. Fresh in my mind, I picked up some local apples and headed home to my kitchen to try it out. The whole process from start to finish was E-A-S-Y and the end result delicious! This will now be my go-to dessert for last minute entertaining!

Puff Pastry Apple Tart

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed per package instructions)
3-4 baking apples
1/2 - 1/3 cup sugar
cinnamon (1 teaspoon or to taste)
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll puff pastry sheet, still folded, on lightly floured surface until it is a large rectangle about 9x13 inches. Place on baking sheet and set in freezer.
Peel, core, slice apples and toss in a large bowl with sugar and cinnamon. Let sit for several minutes.
Remove pastry from the freezer and brush with egg wash (keep wash 1/4 inch away from the edges).
Score (but don't go cut completely through the pastry) around the pastry with a sharp knife to create a 1 inch border that will puff.
Place apples inside the border (you can arrange them or just spread them evenly) and dot with butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are puffed and golden. Cool slightly, serve with your favorite vanilla bean ice cream and enjoy!

photo from here

*We had some leftovers that we placed in the toaster oven to reheat and they were just as tasty.

Speaking of Aprons....

I love, Love, LOVE aprons! Not only are they practical, they also bring back wonderful memories of spending time in my Grandmother's kitchen learning the basics of cooking and memories of my Mom preparing our nightly family meals.
My girls have basic aprons they received as part of a birthday gift from a friend, and they love getting them on and helping me in the kitchen (they also make great preschooler bibs!). I hope to whip up some cute Anthropologie style aprons for my budding chefs soon... or maybe Mom has those old aprons of mine packed away somewhere? A project for a rainy, fall weekend!

Please don't forget to check out today's fall recipe offerings from Katie at 'the 30 girl': chicken pot pie and pumpkin apple breakfast muffins!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grab your apron!

Michelle from Pretty Mommy is hosting a Fall Recipe Exchange and I've signed up (something new and fun for me)! Yesterday Michelle shared a Taco soup recipe I know my whole family will love, and today Torrie at a place to share has a soup and salad that sound amazing!

Bring on the cool weather and stop by daily throughout October for some seriously good seasonal dishes!