Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

I am still batting this very bad awful horrible cold. So things have been pretty slow at our house. My birthday was Sunday, exactly a week before Christmas, and that night we decorated our Christmas tree, a tradition that began when I was growing up.

First Caitlin organizes all the branches for the artificial tree.

Now it is set up and….anchored to the window sill (behind it) with fishing line because I a) have young boys with ADHD, and b) have cats with feline ADHD. Notice that the kitten wasted no time in snuggling in beneath it.

The box of tree ornaments is set on the coffee table. Some of the ornaments are handmade by my grandmother; others are real German glass; and usually every year I buy the children a special ornament that one day will go with them when they leave and start their own families. The kids’ stockings are in there too. I made them several years ago.

My First Assistant Caitlin puts the lights on the tree; 3 sets of 100 colored lights.

Megan is putting on a little snow girl ornament she received when she was very little.

Timmy puts on one of the many gingerbread men ornaments we have.

Ryan is putting on a snowman ornament he got when he was 5.

Caitlin always puts on the construction paper ornament she made in 1994 when she was 3.

This angel is one of the most special ornaments in our collection, and because of the “scary” face on it, we named it Fangula. Now how many of you have ornaments that have their own name? hee hee

Finally, the tree is finished and we turn the lights off and view our handiwork. No matter that we see the same decorations on it year after year…..it is always a special delight to see our decorated Christmas tree. J

Monday, December 12, 2011

Picture This....

Since I’ve been sick for a while, I have not been up to posting anything. And still being sick and not up to much deep thought, I figured I could just share something light and easy. Does anyone else ever see things and get goofy thoughts?

A Saturday morning ritual: the feeding of the cell phones. Makes me think of little electricity addicts.

Did the cat eat my plug-in? This must be my wireless mouse….

I hear this is what Mr. Ratburn, from the PBS show Arthur, eats for breakfast:

And finally, this is what happens when Hershey kisses run wild; they give birth during the night. We can tell by the baby’s wrapper that the father was silver….

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eat Them Taters!

That’s something my Uncle Rene used to say to me when I was very little. He was such a loving man, and I miss him so.

I think of him when I make potatoes or use them in recipes. I think he would have liked the pancakes I made this morning for the family. They go like this:

Start with some sweet potatoes, and nuke them in the microwave until soft. I usually cook them on high for 5 minutes at a time, turning them over for each round. When they are done and cooled enough, you simply cut them open and scoop out.

For this recipe you only need one cup. I freeze cooked sweet potatoes in one cup increments for ease of use.

Turn on your griddle to medium low heat on the stove, or electric griddle if you use one. It can begin heating while you measure the ingredients and mix up your batter.

If you are having sausages with the meal, which are a nice accompaniment for pancakes with maple syrup, start cooking them now. One of our favorite varieties is apple maple chicken breakfast sausages.

As usual for products like pancakes, biscuits, and muffins, your dry ingredients will go in the bowl first.

Next you will add your wet ingredients, such as eggs, milk, and the cooked sweet potatoes. You don’t even need to mash the potatoes beforehand; they will mash themselves as you whisk together the batter.

Spray your hot griddle with a vegetable spray, or use a knife to spread on butter or coconut oil. (Yes, I did say spread coconut oil. If you’ve never worked with it, just ask me. I’ll do a blog post on the many coconut products I use sometime too!)

Ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. The ladle I use is a standard one that holds approximately 1/3 c. and makes 5” pancakes.

When the edges are bubbling, flip the pancakes.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Oh no, wait…..that is what we do for our hair. Refer back to the post from Nov. 30.

Pull off the cooked pancakes and place on a platter.

I usually keep mine covered with a cloth and set in a warm oven (200 degrees or lower) until I am done cooking and ready to dish up.

Serve up the pancakes with plenty of butter and maple syrup, and remember a little syrup on the side to dip your sausages in. ;)

                                                       Sweet Potato Pancakes
                                                            2 c oat flour
                                                            1 c whole wheat flour
                                                            1 tsp salt
                                                            2 TBL baking powder
                                                            1 ½ tsp cinnamon
                                                            ¾ tsp ground cloves
                                                            2 eggs
                                                            2 ½ c milk
                                                            1 c cooked sweet potatoes
Mix dry ingredients together in bowl. Add wet ingredients and whisk well to blend. Ladle onto hot greased griddle and flip when edges bubble. Makes about 10 5" pancakes. Serve with butter and maple syrup.