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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Busy busy Week with new recipes

I keep meaning to post but I've been fighting a cold and so I've gone to bed early each night.  Combined with working some extra hours at the beginning of the week, I just seemed to run out of time to post each day.  But I have made several new recipes that I want to share.  So I'll put them all into one post. 

I did discover yesterday that I love my house.  I was able to let the kids play in the sandbox while I was inside cooking dinner.  Sounds scandolous these days.  But we back up to a marsh, one house next door is vacant, and the other is a retired couple.  Both of my kids are extremely responsible.  They only left the sandbox to come to the door to ask for something.  As the weather gets nicer this is going to be a great thing!  We're definitely in the right place at the right time. 

We've also pretty much decided not to enroll Carolyn in preschool.  She can already count to 20, backwards from 10, and write her name.  She won't be 4 for 2.5 months!  She has some great fine motor skills too, zips her own coat, buckles her car seat, strings beads, "sews", and helps in the kitchen.  After watching her and James play over the last month, I've decided I want to give them the extra year together.  They're only little once and have a great gift of lots of time together to build an awesome relationship.  If I send her to school in the morning, they'll only have maybe 1 day a week to play in the morning.  If Jon gets a new job for next year, I'll be able to spend more time with her while James naps and work on preschool type things each day.  Even 20 minutes together is probably equal to the time she'd get in a classroom once you factor in all of the play time.  So we're going to save our money and just enjoy her last year before she starts Kindergarten.

Yesterday was my birthday, and so I enter into the final year of my 20's.  My goal is to be in the best shape of my life when I turn 30.  Of course, I don't get to use a personal chef, personal trainer, or suddenly get to stop working/taking care of the kids.  As the weather gets nicer, I know I'll be spending less time working out in the basement and more time playing with the kids and gardening.  So for the next 6-7 months I'm going to focus more on eating healthy than working out a ton.  When I'm outside with the kids I'm going to try and get more active with them.  Carolyn will likely enjoy more games of tag, races, and going on longer walks.  So everyone should be happy.  Here's to a great year of health and ending my 20's on a high note!

Monday Dinner - Baked Potato Soup
I have made a few modifications to fit our liking.  I chopped 3-4 large potatoes, enough to fill the crockpot about 2/3 of the way.  I don't peel the potatoes, because there are a lot of nutrients in them.  I used a little less broth because we bought cans (on sale) and in the past 2 quarts has been so much liquid that the pot overflows when putting the cream cheese.  So I used 4 14.5oz cans.  When putting in the cream cheese, be sure to break it up or you'll just end up with chunks.  I use a knife to cut it into 1/5's as I put it in.  Then be sure to stir real well. 
Both kids gobbles this and the bacon served with it right up. 

Tuesday Cupcake Trial
Attempted this recipe on Tuesday.  I should have known that it wasn't going to work out when I tasted the batter.  They looked really nice, but are very bitter to me.  It's been suggested by a few people that I try an alternate brand of Stevia or simply a different sugar alternative.  Interestingly, Carolyn says she likes them.  Although she chose the second batch for dessert last night.

Wednesday Dinner - Grain free Meatloaf with mashed potatoes (butter, cream, garlic salt) and fresh brocolli
First time with the recipe above.  I think next time I would cook it a bit shorter, closer to just 60 minutes.  We found it a bit cheesy for our liking as well.  I think next time I might take my mom's meatloaf recipe and find a replacement for breadcrumbs instead.  Stuck in our old ways, I know, but we really like her recipe.  Might try tomato paste mixed with tomato sauce for the outside of it though.

Cupcakes second try
I gave the same cupcakes a second try, this time tasting the batter before cooking and adding sugar to taste.  I ended up adding nearly 2 cups of sugar.  They turned out very yummy, but the centers caved in.  So I made a cream cheese frosting (cream cheese, cream, butter, and powdered sugar) and filled in the middle.
We had these after dinner and everyone gobbled them up, very yummy!  Will have to keep trying to find a grain free recipe for the cupcakes that holds up.  I'm thinking I might leave the sugar since we really only make these for birthdays.  Have to find something that works for Carolyn's birthday if anyone has any suggestions.  I'll need something that I can spread frosting on without it falling apart so I can put down the frosting base and then decorate.

Tonight is leftovers and then the weekend is here.  So no more new recipes for a couple days.

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