Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blocks for Christmas

Cousins Ezra and Henry loved their
homemade gift of baby blocks this Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Our Christmas Card...Merry Christmas!

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." - Dr. Seuss

We pray this Christmas season you reflect on God's gift of salvation, the real meaning of Christmas!

Merry Christmas!


Peter, Hana and Ezra

Delicious Homemade Squash Puree

My babe is widening his palette. He tried about 1 tsp. of squash today after his regular lunch of breast milk. I can say with confidence that he loves squash just like his mama!

Squash Puree Recipe - 

1 or 2 medium to large sized winter squash (or as many as will fit in your oven.)
1. Cut acorn, hubbard, or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds
2. Place an inch of water in a baking pan, then place squash halves "face" down
in the pan. Check on water level while baking
3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell
4. Place squash "meat" into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
5. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
6. Then freeze excess puree in ice cube trays. Once squash is frozen solid, empty squash cubes into freezer storage bags.

All situated in his chair. He loves sitting up to the table!

Drooling over this homemade squash puree.

Yum...that squash was amazing!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup

Today I added a little of this and a little of that and ended up with the best black bean soup yet.

Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Soup
amount: one full crockpot

5-6 cups Taste Adventure Black Refried Bean Mix/ equal amount of water
3 sweet potatoes (cut into 1" cubes and roasted)
1 cup frozen or fresh corn
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 Tb. lemon juice or lime
1/2 cup medium or hot salsa
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 clove of garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2.  Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over sweet potato cubes and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 min. (till potatoes are soft, but not mushy)
3.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil till onions are translucent
4.  Add green pepper and cumin, cook till slightly soft
5.  Add Black Bean Mix and water, bring to a boil, then simmer
6.  Add corn and salsa, continue to simmer till soup is desired consistency. Add more water or bean mix if needed.
7.  When soup is ready, stir in cilantro and lemon juice or lime

Serving Suggestions: Garnish with: tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream and/or salsa.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sewing up a storm

This weekend our family had a wonderful time snowed in with dear friends in Chicago. We ate delicious food, played with our babies and fellow bloggers Laura, Clair and I sewed up a storm that rivaled the tumultuous blizzard outside. In attempts to remake our own "pottery barn kids" owls we sewed and resewed till we found the right pattern and successfully finished some adorable owls for our even more adorable babies. My babe agrees, his owl is cute, but not nearly as cute as him.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mac N' Cheese

Mac N' Cheese sounds great on a cold, snowy night. Too bad it is too blustery to go to the store and get the ingredients.

Recipe: Homemade Mac N' Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small sauce pan: Melt 1/2 stick of butter
Stir in: 3 cups coarse bread crumbs, 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Set aside

In a large sauce pan: Melt 1 stick of butter
Stir into melted butter and whisk for 2  minutes: 6 Tb flour
Whisk in: 5 cups milk
Bring to a boil, Whisking constantly, After boiling turn down to a simmer and whisk for 3 minutes
Stir in: 1 pound (6 cups) of cheddar or colby jack cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan

Cook pasta aldente and save 1 cup of the water

Combine pasta, sauce, and 1 cup of saved water from the pasta; pour into a large baking pan. Spread topping over. Bake 20-25 minutes, til golden brown and bubbling. Enjoy!

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins

I plan to taste this recipe soon....with a cup of freshly brewed Christmas Blend, of course.

Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

1 1/2 cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, and egg.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant espresso powder,baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Fill each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to finish cooling on the cooling rack. Store up to 2 days in an airtight container.