Friday, December 30, 2011

Hello

We just got back from visiting my family last night. It was wonderful.


I'm popping in briefly to say that I hope everyone had the merriest Christmas and wondering what this weekend holds! How will you ring in the new year? I am asking because I need ideas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yarn Along- So Close and Yet...

Excited that I could possibly finish Olivia's pair of fingerless gloves this past weekend, I left my knitting on the couch, which in hindsight was not the best idea. Therese, being 15 months old, thought it looked awfully interesting and started to play with my knitting. Quickly, I grabbed up the glove and yarn and moved it on top of the mantle. Later that night, I put on the fireplace, got all cozy in my favorite chair and prepared to finish the last few rows. Only the fifth needle was missing. Guessing that it fell between the couch cushions, yet not wanting to leave my cozy spot, I asked Olivia to check. She triumphantly lifted half of a needle in the air as I heard a tiny cracking sound. The other end had caught in the fabric and it snapped right in half!

 I am awaiting a replacement set of needles from Knitpicks. Meanwhile, I made a little something for someone's stocking. Sometimes she reads over my shoulder while I am typing, so that is all I can reveal for now.
My reading these days? "Destination: Bethlehem". Anna and I are loving it. Jack, not as much.

Thanks to Ginny, for being the host of this yarn along.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Not So Normal Morning

This morning started out like any other. Tousle-headed and in great need of a haircut, Jack shuffled into our room just as I was waking up. I had been hearing Olivia getting ready for a while, but laid there for a little bit, asking for God's guidance this day and relishing the warmth of the blankets. I took Jack's hand and we walked down the steps together to the kitchen and each had a glass of orange juice. From above came the coos and giggles of Therese in her crib. Those are some of the sweetest sounds, by the way. I peeked in her room and saw her sticking her foot out between the slats of the crib. I snuck in and tickled those little toes. She gave me a big grin and I scooped her up and hugged her tight. Back down the steps we went and looked at books while she sat on her potty. No success in that department, I put a nice fresh diaper on her and went to the kitchen again to start breakfast. Anna wandered in about this time. After I got them all fed, I sat down to check my e-mail.

The normal squeals and laughter of morning play were in the background. I took a sip of coffee. Then I heard many things falling. Jack cried out, "Oh Mama, I hurt my head!" I walked into the foyer to survey the scene. He had been wiping the "fog" off the storm door and had gotten as high as he could reach. Wanting to reach higher, he pulled over his Tonka dump truck and stood in it. It did not stand still and he fell back on his head on the marble floor. I gave him an ice pack and he seemed fine. Thirty minutes had passed when he came to me and said his eyes hurt. Slightly concerned, I looked at his eyes and one pupil seemed a little larger. I called a neighbor to see if she could watch the other children and got them dressed all the while praying under my breath. We drove to the ER and before I could even get us signed in, Jack started vomiting. Overly concerned, I prayed even more fervently as I sat there, holding Jack and stroking his hair and comforting him. A CT scan revealed that there were no fractures, bleeding, or swelling, praise the Lord.

We are home now, nursing a concussion, resting and not standing on anything that has wheels.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe


Several years ago, I first heard the story of Juan Diego and how Our Lady appeared to him. Ever since, I have had a special place in my heart for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her image is so beautiful, so serene and gentle.

Today, along with two other families, we celebrated her feast day. I found all the ideas for our tea here. We began our morning with a reading of this book. It was so nice to have the kids all gathered together, while I sat in the cozy chair and read the story. I will admit it is very hard to read upside down! How else can the children all see the pictures though?

Then we moved into the kitchen to have our tea. The kids all loved the sombreros. OK, so this might be a stretch, but they were gobbled up and more were made! The ham roses in the tortilla 'tilma' was so cute. I was amazed that most of the kids actually drank tea! Only the littlest ones had apple juice.

 Our 'sombreros'.
Pringles and string cheese.
 The table as I was preparing for our tea.

 Tortilla 'tilmas'.

 'Roses' made from ham slices.
I put a few in each 'tilma' for each kid to find.

 After the tea, we moved onto the craft table, where we made paper roses. I should have realized that we only have a couple pair of scissors and had eight kids. I had originally thought the kids would cut their own petals. We quickly made an assembly line to fold and cut petals for our roses.
 Some roses
 Scattered petals
Working diligently.

It was a lovely day. Happy Feast Day!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Welcome to my crazy cooking for kids with allergies

If I had any talent as a blogger, I would set up 2 columns, side by side so you could easily see how I make changes to our recipes, to accommodate two people who are dairy and soy intolerant. Jack is almost 5 now, and can tolerate some dairy, just not every day, and it is best if it is baked into something and not straight up dairy. Therese, who is 15 months, is still much more sensitive, and I have to be very careful.

I found a recipe on foodgawker a while back that looked yummy, but was filled with forbidden ingredients, so I kept putting off making it, till tonight. It was easy to fix and the results were most delicious. I will note that I doubled the ingredients since this said it only served 2, and made some collard greens as a side.

Sweet Corn, Bacon & Tomato Tart

Crust

2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
4T. cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1T. + 1t (or more) cold water

[Here I made a batch of my biscuit dough instead. The ingredients are simply: 1 cup white flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp. salt, 3 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 cup rice milk, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Tonight I tossed in some flax meal for good measure.]

Filling

2 slices bacon, chopped  [ok, so maybe I more than doubled the bacon! I think I used 5 slices.]
raw kernels from 2 ears of corn  [I used one 16 oz. package of frozen corn]
1/4 cup chopped red onion  [I used half of a large vidalia]
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped 
1 tomato, seeded and chopped  [I used my remaining tomatoes from the garden, which came to roughly 2 cups]
1 large egg
2 T. cream + extra for brushing on crust  [2 eggs and 4 T. rice milk and none was brushed on crust]
2 oz. grated sharp cheddar  [omitted altogether, though I had shredded cheese available in a bowl on the table for those who really wanted it.]

Making the crust: Place the flour and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Add in the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add water and pulse. Squeeze the dough to see if it comes together, if its still dry add another 1 tsp. Flatten the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1/2 hour.  [ I combined all biscuit ingredients and let rest while I picked up Olivia from school. Then I coated my hands with oil and pressed the dough into a 9 inch pie plate.]

Making the filling: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat starts to render. Stir in the corn, onion and jalapeno. Cook until the bacon is starting to crisp and the onion is translucent. Let cool a litte.

Whisk the egg and cream together. Stir in the cheddar. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. [Here I obviously left out the cheese and added the rice milk instead. Also, I am much less generous with salt than most people. When we eat out, I am always SO thirsty the rest of the evening! I am assuming it is the amount of salt.]

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 6" pie plate with butter. Roll the dough out to about a 12" circle. Fit into the pie plate folding over the edge of the crust to make an edge. Mix the tomato into the corn mixture then pour into the crust. Pour the egg mixture over the top then press down with a spoon to help work through a little. Brush the crust with some cream. [Bigger pie plate. No butter. Did not brush the crust.]

Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is firm and the crust is golden brown. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

So there you can see that it is not so hard to cook around allergies! It only took me 4 years to get the hang of it!