Friday, September 25, 2009

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Note: I would highly recommend adding the chocolate chips. It's good without, but I think better with. This is a large serving, so one whole cake really feeds 2. But, if you just really want to indulge, don't let me stop you! It's so yummy, it's worth it!!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or high.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Busy!

Emily has been busy the last week or so. She wanted to show you what she's been up to.

I know I already posted this one, but it's too cute! She was trying to get Papa's watch off her leg!

Emily has found a love for my Bible cover. She carries it around on her arm and loves to open the zippers!

Emily had a ball playing with our comforter while I was changing the sheets.

She got into this all by herself. She squeezed between the pack n play and wagon just to play with the seat belt straps! She was entertained there for about 10 minutes!


Here she is again with my Bible cover. She took the cross out of the cover and just plays with it.

Monday night, she learned to high-five.

video

Every morning, Emily helps me put away the dishwasher. (Yes, it's portable, but I'm just grateful that I have one!)

video

Emily must have had a rough nap yesterday. This was what I found when I went in to get her.

This morning it was 56 when we left for our walk so I bundled Emily up in one of my old coats (and new mittens) and wrapped her up in a blanket. She never got cold and even sang along the way, though the mittens did come off!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Industrious

That's what I was Friday night. Phillip was gone to a football game so I had a bit of free time on my hands. Since we'll be using our umbrella stroller quite a bit this week, I decided it was time to finally do this project I'd bookmarked long ago.


Our umbrella stroller, though cheap--$7 at consignment, is a no-frills stroller. No storage, no parent tray, no canopy. Fortunately, our diaper bag will hang on the stroller. But that still doesn't give you a place for a drink. So, I made one. Actually, 2! I made 2 bottle holders and a storage bag last night out of vinyl table cloth scraps I had from Emily's changing table pad. Now, we don't have to take the whole diaper bag if we don't want to!

(If you're crafty and need some nursing/baby/babywearing stuff, check out this link.)

This is just a picture of our cutie trying to get Papa's watch off her leg. So creative!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fair time!

Last night we headed to Abilene for Cantastic night at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo. With 6 empty coke cans, you can get into the fair for free. That includes the rodeo!

We enjoyed some yummy food, including Aggie french fries. Emily loved those!!


Then, we found the petting zoo (after looking at all of Pearlie's WINNING entries!!). Emily wasn't too sure about the animals because they were all looking for food, i.e., practically jumping out of their stalls at you. But, she did look at the goats before we headed into the inside part of the petting zoo.
After walking through the exhibitor building (and getting free Texas maps!), we got our funnel cakes and headed to the rodeo. Emily enjoyed watching the Hardin Simmons Six White horses bring in the colors of Texas.
Toward the middle of the rodeo, however, it was apparent that it was past this little girl's bedtime (the little one with pigtails, that is!). So we packed up and headed home. I can't wait for next year when she'll be able to talk to us about what she's seeing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

15 months

After a comment yesterday by my mom ("There's something to the fact that studios used to take babies' pictures on tables...look how still she is!"), I thought I'd try something new. Emily's alwasy still on her changing table, so I thought I'd try the month picture on there. Emily wanted Mr. Snuggles in her lap instead of in front of her so, here's the one (and only) picture we had to take this month!


At 15 months, Emily can sign "more," "hungry," "thirsty," "all done," and "sleepy." She hasn't used any words regularly, except "buvuh" which means balloon (she gets super-excited when she see balloons or anything that looks like a balloon). She will (usually) follow directions when you tell her to do something she knows how to do and knows where the following things are in the house: her room, where she takes a bath, where she gets a new diaper, where drinks are and where outside is. She loves looking at and pointing to dogs and lights up when she sees one on TV or in person. She knows where her nose, feet, eyes and tongue are and occasionally knows her left foot from her right. She's such a smart girl!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bread

I've always loved bread. I mean, who doesn't? But, I really love homemade bread!

When I was little, my dad frequently made bread on Saturdays. (Maybe it wasn't really all that frequent, but that's how I remember it.) He'd use his grandmother's recipe that made 10 loaves and make all kinds of varieties...cinnamon bread (with or without raisins), monkey bread, rolls, cinnamon rolls, regular loaves and, one of my favorites, onion pie! (Make a loaf of bread, put the dough in a pie plate and pile on LOTS and LOTS of sauteed onions, then bake. Yummy!!)

I picked up bread making from him and it was even a science fair project for me for two years in high school. I experimented with different sugars, different water temperatures, different yeasts to see what combinations worked best. If you really want to know, I can pull out the old project and tell you, but really...just follow the recipes!

Anyway, I digress. My dad also made sourdough bread on occasion and at Christmas time would color it red and green. That was always fun to take to school...a green sandwich!

But, in all my years of making bread, I had never made sourdough bread. Until this week!

A while back, I decided I wanted to make it so last weekend I made the starter and let that sit for the requisite 48 hour period. Then, Sunday night I started the bread and let it sit overnight as the recipe said. I spent Monday babysitting it (not much work involved really...just punch it down a few times and let it do its thing).

I must say, warm bread, straight from the oven, with some melted butter brushed on it....YUM!

If you'd like to try it for yourself, here's the recipe.

Sourdough Bread

½ C starter*
½ C sugar
2 C warm water
3 C flour
Mix ingredients, beat until smooth. Cover with towel, let set overnight. Next morning, beat thoroughly and place ½ C back in jar and refrigerate for next time.

To remaining, add:
1½ C warm water
2 t salt
6 - 8 C flour
½ C sugar
½ C oil
As dough becomes too stiff to beat, turn out on floured board and knead until dough is smooth and not sticky. Place in greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 2.5 hours). Punch down and allow to rise again (about 2 hours). After second rising, shape into loaves. Allow to rise until double in volume (about 2 hours). Bake at 375° for 30-45 min. Remove from oven, butter tops and allow bread to cool with damp towel on top. Yield 4 loaves.

*Sourdough Starter
1 pkg. yeast
2 C warm water
2 C flour
1 T sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large glass or pottery container (3qt works well). Cover with towel and let stand at room temperature for 48 hours, stirring it down several times. Refrigerate in quart-size glass jar until ready to use.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sneak peek


Here's a sneak peek of Emily's Halloween costume. Yes, I'm early, but that shouldn't surprise anyone!

Anyone have a guess as to what she'll be? Family members who already know can't guess!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Catching up

August 23 was Granddaddy's 97th birthday so Emily and I surprised him at the University Place birthday party. Fun was had by all and Emily got to bring home some "buvhs" (balloons). She goes nuts any time she sees balloons or anything that looks like balloons!
(Notice Emily signing "more" as Granddaddy's blowing the thingy...what are those called?)

"See? My balloons are up there!"
Last Friday, Emily and I babysat Riley. It was a rough day, but we had fun going to the Pep Rally at school. Emily kindly shared her wagon!

Grandpa & Pearlie (and Aunt Jenni) came last weekend for Pearlie's birthday. Grandpa brought in his suitcase with a bit of bling on it!
The football game was interesting. I'm so glad I had help! (Aren't overalls wonderful?!?)


My cutie!
Emily has one speed at football games...RUN!
We always take family pictures when we're all together. Don't we look nice?

Yesterday, we had to go to Brownwood so Pearlie and I took Emily to a park. She loved the slides!

Then, Grandma & Grandpa came to town for the Robert Lee football game. Too bad it was windy and raining (downpour!!). We came back to the house while Phillip stayed at the game (he had to work).

It's been a good few weeks. Sorry to be so late in getting an update up!