June 14th, 2011
I wasn’t ecstatic when the boys picked out this movie at the library, but it turned out to be great! Enjoyed by all! – Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole.
Tasty homemade spaetzle and lettuce from the garden (what’s left of it after the local bunny population devoured most of it).
Monster Mini Golf - one of these just opened in our town. Man – where were places like this when I was a kid??? CheezWaster I’m sure will want to have a future birthday party there (and the party room is killer – seriously – it looks like a haunted mansion – how cool!)
1001 Bugs to Spot – My mom spotted this in a store while they were on vacation and had to bring it home to The Destroyer. He just LOVES looking at bugs (and unfortunately for them crushing them when he is done….hey…we don’t call him The Destroyer for nothing!) Not only is this a great look and find book, it also lists all of the names of the bugs on the pages making it a great learning book as well. If your kids aren’t into bugs, these books come in all different genres – 1001 Pirate Things to Spot, 1001 Animals to Spot, 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, 1001 Things to Spot in Fairyland, etc. There is something for everyone! These would also be great for plane trips or long car rides!
Jem and the Holograms - THANK YOU The Hub! My favorite childhood show makes it’s triumphant return! After telling the basic gist of this as a bedtime story, my boys think it is Totally Outrageous!
May 24th, 2010
This past weekend, I took the kids Strawberry Picking at one of our favorite NJ U-pick farms, Lee Turkey Farm. Not only was it perfect weather for strawberry picking, we had a great time and picked a ton of juicy, tasty, super-sweet strawberries. After realizing 1) that I had no idea what I was going to do with so many strawberries and 2) I probably didn’t have quite enough to make jam, I decided to check out my dusty cookbook shelf. I stumbled across a random strawberry cookbook. It is small and shaped like a strawberry and is entitled “Strawberry Recipes”. I have no idea where this cookbook came from, but there are some great strawberry recipes in it. Tonight, we made Summer Strawberry Muffins. YUM! They are quick and simple to make and would make a great addition to a brunch table or as a Father’s Day breakfast.
Summer Strawberry Muffins
Summer Strawberry Muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk (I used fat-free)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup hulled and chopped strawberries
- 3 TBSP chopped fresh mint (OPTIONAL – I did not use as I don’t like mint)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 medium muffin cups. (I got 12 regular sized muffins and 5 mini muffins) Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture to well and stir into flour mixture until just mixed. Stir in the strawberries (and mint, if using). Pour the batter into cups and bake 20-25 minutes (mine took 23 mins). Let cool slightly and then turn out onto a rack to cool.
April 22nd, 2010
Happy Earth Day everyone! Since planting season is just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to plant in my garden this year. At the end of the season, I always leave my plants to die and to allow the local critters some additional food supply. Less work in winter means an early work start to the gardening season. Right now, I keep looking at my garden dreading the pre-planting season clean-up, but already dreaming of the summer’s bounty. Next week, I plan to start ripping out all of the old plants and the weed paper and also begin weeding the nasty purple flower weed that is starting to take over my whimsical garden. My mom informed me that if it gets into the grass, it will NEVER leave. This year, we’ll plant the old standbys: tomatoes and cucumbers, and the new favorites: corn, italian frying peppers and leek. I’m tossing around the idea of pole beans and I’m going to attempt to grow lettuce again this year in planter pots on shepherd’s hooks so the bunnies can’t eat them down to the root. I also like to peruse the nursery to find something interesting each year (last year it was leek). My whimsical garden is another story. The winter wind and snow demolished my cute little animal spinners and The Destroyer has managed to break 2 out of 4 of my turtle stepping stones. I’ve thought about planting lavender in its place. The flower is beautiful and purple (my favorite color) and can withstand the full sun that patch receives, but given my already horrible allergies this season, I’m leery. I’ve also been looking at a plant called dragon’s blood (it just sounds cool, right?!). I’m not sure this will be available at my nursery, so I might have to catalog order it. All in all, I’m planning and gearing up for the season. A little bit of elbow grease and sweat will give us a plethora of tasty (and organic!) vegetables this summer, all while contributing to the environment.
October 13th, 2009
A few weeks ago, we went apple picking with our friends to Wilklow Orchards
, their family owned apple orchard. Since we picked 2 very large bags of apples, I decided to make homemade applesauce and can it. I didn’t really use a recipe, I just kind of made it up as I went along.
Firstly, I sterilized my jars.
Peel & Finely Chop Apples
Then, I peeled and finely chopped my apples. Depending on how much applesauce you want to make, will dictate how many apples you need to cut up. I cut up an entire large bag of apples to make one soup pot of applesauce. Remember the apples are going to cook down a lot.
Add Sugar & Spice
You can add as much or as little sugar & spice to taste. For the entire pot, I added about 1 Tablespoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice (a nice mix of spices for applesauce) and a 1/2 cup of sugar.
Simmer on Low Heat Until Desired Consistency
Simmer the apples in a COVERED pot (allows apples to steam) on low heat until desired consistency (DO NOT ADD ANY WATER). I like my applesauce chunky so after a few hours and a few passes of the potato masher, I canned mine. My pot wasn’t quite full and I got 4 3/4 pint jars (larger than a jelly jar) of tasty applesauce.