Wednesday, September 24, 2014

French Toast with a Twist

Okay people. Here's the deal. I just deleted and scrapped my "Recipes" page. CLEARLY it wasn't meant to be since I only had one in there since I've started this blog.  I thought it would be better if you would like to browse through my many, many customized and highly anticipated swanky dishes.....you can just click on Recipes under Categories in the right hand side bar and view both of them.

Let's get on with it. Oh MY-Lanta ! You've got to try this. This French Toast deserved better picture's than my little cell phone can manage. But as usual I didn't think about photo's until I was cooking and the cell was quickest. 

The secret weapon is......drum roll please......a Croissant !!!  And you must say it with a British accent like I am right now. It makes it sound so much fancier. And it's hilarious when your kid tries to repeat you too. 

Cut the croissant in half. Make your french toast mixture as you normally would. You know, eggs, milk, whisk it.
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Dunk it and toss 'er in the skillet.
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Flip 'er.
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There it is. Such a yummy way to spice up your French Toast life. I had nothing fancy like strawberries or powder sugar. I just went with plain old syrup.
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Thursday, September 18, 2014

River Front Relaxing

A friend of mine has a little summer home on a river nearby and we've never visited her there. So at the beginning of summer, we planned a day for us to come out. Since we are very water driven. Love being in it, on it, near it. Love throwing rocks in, dangling toes in. So by the end of summer, as in very later summer, we FINALLY made it happen. 

Do you know how relaxing it is here? Even though she's darn near right in town, it seems like you are forever away from everything.
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I'm thinking we'll have to move in with her next summer. Shhh, don't tell her.
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Chillin on the dock after we had lunch. Speaking of lunch. It was so good. We had hot dogs cooked on the fire. Noodle salad, 7 layer salad, watermelon, tomato's. Yummy lunch. 
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Even though this particular river is not one you'd love to linger in. Just saying, it's not the cleanest by far. As in, pretty grody really. But you'd never know it by those pretty reflections in the water on a nice sunny day.
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A- loved when a boat would go by and the waves would rock the dock.
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Ok, how long has it been since any of you has skipped rocks?  You would think this wasn't a big deal. Teaching A- how to skip them, she actually had the best skipper of the day. But we skipped rocks, trying to perfect the technique for several, several hours. You would not believe how sore our arms were. Not A-s am either. Me and T's arm. Holy Moly, 3-4 days later we still had complaints about it. Clearly, we were a little rusty.
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Awww. T- and A-.
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S mores time!!
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Do you know how flippin hard it is to get in one of these?  We got A- in, she looked like a banana when that net went all the way up. Then T- proceeded to show A- how it's done. And I've not heard A- laugh that hard in a long time. All though I can say it was as comical as I want, when it was my turn, I did NOT do any better. All we got to say is, thank goodness A- doesn't know how to turn the video on to my camera yet. And she was too distracted by laughing to think of using the camera herself, which she does know how to do.
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Thanks for a great day T-.  See you there next summer. 

Field Trip to Orchard

Oh LORDY, one of the things I love most about the approaching season is apple orchards. Any orchard!  A- got to visit one for a field trip this year and I went along as a chaperone. This is an orchard we've been to many times in the past, but the neat tour for the kids showed her and I both a side of it that we've never seen before. It was really neat. And the tour dude was so kid friendly with little silly jokes and making them laugh throughout. I even learned quite a few things. See below for the most exciting tip to keep your apples fresher longer. I could be the only sheltered soul that didn't know this, but I will share it anyway just in case. 

We had a sudden cold snap this day and we were not prepared at all. We could have used hats and gloves, but since we went from the 80's to the 50's, our warm clothes were still packed away in the garage. Somewhere. 

These are the 3 cutest little Musketeers ever !
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She dug in for the perfect apple. Each student got to pick 2.
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After that machine back there squishes the apples to smithereens, you are left with this fine dry particle pieces from the apple that they in turn, put right back in the orchard for fertilizer. If I have that wrong, don't judge. Sometimes I listen about as well as the kids do.
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One of the best hills to roll down. Even if it was 50 degree's, damp and will probably get sick because you're mother didn't dress you properly....it's just too fun.
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Never seen this spiderweb thing before. Kids seemed to really like it.
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Apple Freshness Tip:  If you are like me, which God help you that you're not, say you buy apples from the store, set them on your counter and hope they are eaten by the end of the week before going bad. Or say you buy them right from a Farmers Market or Orchard, and get a little longer out of them. 

Did you know, you should not leave them out on the counter? No! You should actually keep them in your refrigerator. Here's the important part. Keep them in a box, perforated bag or sack of some sort. Something that gets air and is not sealed tight. Then put a couple tablespoons of water in. Obviously if you have a large quantity of them, maybe a little more water. Anyway, the coolness, and water will keep them moist and crisp and will last MUCH longer. Also, you should remove any with holes or nicks in them. Eat them first, or just keep them away from the whole perfect ones. He said every type of apple is going to be different for how long it will last. Or maybe it was Google that said that. Obviously I didn't believe the apple orchard tour dude, because I googled it as well when I got home. Sure enough, he was right. Some varieties can last several weeks, and some will last 6-8 weeks or longer !!!!!  

So I obviously tried this. So far, still fresh. So far, they are crisper and juicer. I'm just simply happy with lasting longer. 
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This is not my opinion. This did not come from the orchard. I found this on the internet for this type of storage method.
" Tart, thick-skinned apples like Jonathans, Rome, Melrose, Fuji, and Granny Smiths are usually your best bet.
Sweet, thin-skinned apples, like Red Delicious or Golden Delicious, do not generally do as well."

Rainbow

Although there is nothing extraordinary about this rainbow. We just don't usually see rainbows so vividly. Usually looks like a colorful smear, whereas you can see each color in this one. And it was a double rainbow.

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Scholastic Book Club

One of the things we love most is the monthly Scholastic Book Club flyers that come home once a month. We've gotten so many good books from there for such good prices. We've practically got our own library here. Since A- loves to read and be read to, I'll keep building that sucker, for I believe reading benefits you on so many levels throughout your life. 

With our last order, we got a few books and something we thought would be fun. A Science Kit. It has 15-20 experiments in it. Mostly done with vinegar, baking soda, food coloring, dish soap and basic kitchen items. A- has been having so much fun with it, and learning so much as well. 

(Terrible cell phone pic. Comes with a dropper, test tubes, diaper powder, stir stick.)
science lab

Friday, September 5, 2014

Snuggle

No words. No story. Just cute. 

toby A

Strides for Students

So well before leaving for Canada, I signed up for this 5K called Strides for Students that my friend over at I'm Running on Fumes puts together. I signed up to do this one alone since I'd have to cancel if we didn't make it back from Canada in time. We made it back. So I went to this one solo, which is all fine and good. But at the starting line a few minutes before it started, out pops an old high school friend from the crowd !!  I love running into old friends like that. The shirt she is wearing is the cool shirts we got. I've got my trusty comfy good breathing Chesney shirt on. I don't know what the material (can't read tag anymore) is but I need to find more like it. Or else I'm going to have to attend another concert. Which wouldn't be all bad I guess. 

Anyway, this race is in Morrison, IL at Rockwood State Park. It's one of the prettier nicer courses I've done. Tree's came over the road to shade most of it. Looped through a nice clean campground area.

strides for students



Snack Box

So A- has made herself a little snack box pedestal out of a water softener box. 

Not exactly safe. Not exactly not safe. Either way, all I could think of if she went through was a dunk tank. 

snack on box

Hat

Have you ever made a fuzzy stick hat? Hmm, well, maybe you should. Can you beat a 3-tiered fuzzy stick hat though. 

fuzzy stick hat

Park Picnic Play Date

Love going to parks, but love it more when you include a picnic !!  Just doesn't get any better and cheaper than that. 

We grabbed a friend and met my Mom and Dad at the park. Cooked up some dogs. (Hot dogs). Had chips, salads. Then let the fun and playing begin. Great weather day too. 

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Sand. Water. Toys. Play ground. Room to run. Woods. Campgrounds. Trails.
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Strike a pose Madonna girl !  I'm so glad she's growing up weird. It's a top quality no one should be without.
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Fishing with string stick poles.
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Just enough of a breeze to blow hair into a mustache in every single picture I tried like this. I took about 6.
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Called it good here. Actually A's friend L- said "NO MORE PICTURE'S, this is your last one".  Apparently she doesn't know me quite well enough yet.
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A 'last one' doesn't exist in my vocabulary.
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Small Town Fair

Small town fairs. You've just got to go at least once during the summer. 

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Riding big kid rides these days.
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We don't play many games and we only play the ones that say "Prize every time".
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The petting zoo is always a fun place. Especially since we've never been this close to a zebra before let alone pet it. He/she was super soft.
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I really wanted this kangaroo to stand up so I could see it better. But he/she wasn't budging.
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Baby schnookums here needed a little scratchin behind the ears.
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The face painting lady was really good. And quick. And sweet for giving A- extra hearts on hers.
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A- is really good at finding buddies anywhere we go.
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EXCEPT for having to slide down with these boys who wanted to race her. She did NOT want to race. I motioned her to go down and take her turn anyway so she didn't hold up the kids behind her.
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3 seconds later she tosses up her victory hand !!!!!  She showed them we-hafta-race boys. I could hear them yell "Aw MAN, we got beat by a GIRL"!!!!
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