Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Buttermilk Bread

Buttermilk has become a staple in our refrigerator. I think it heightens the flavor and moistness of baked goods - it makes them simply yummy. Grace and I made this tasty loaf of bread to accompany our roasted chicken sandwiches. It was so good I thought you might enjoy the recipe:

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

2 packages of yeast
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 TBSP salt
3 TBSP softened butter
1 cup buttermilk

Proof the yeast along with the sugar and water. Mix the flour, salt, butter and buttermilk until well blended then add the yeast mixture. Mix well then knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel until dough has doubled in size. Punch down dough and place it in an oiled bread pan. Cover with a towel and let it rise until doubled in size. Bake in a 375 degree oven for approx. 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Here's another recipe (found here) we love that uses buttermilk. I'm making them for breakfast on Saturday - our Easter a bit early.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Backyard Friends

We have long fed the feathered friends in our backyard but lately we have had some furry friends wanting food too. Our neighborhood had been squirrel-less for years but in the last few months they have seemed to find our backyard. Grace decided they needed a place to eat too - so today we made them a feeder. We pulled out the power tools and got busy creating what you see below. Grace filled it to the brim with nuts and cracked corn. We hope to have a furry visitor by morning.

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After we finished with the squirrel feeder we headed out the gate to feed the ducks. She was sitting in my lap when I took this picture of her feet - I just love all of the bread chunks surrounding her cute toes!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Making Cake Bites

I'm not quite sure how on fell upon the Bakerella blog (found here)but now my baking obsession has hit a new level. I found the recipe for cake bites on her site and just had to make them this week. They look relatively simple to make but be forewarned - they're quite time intensive. After trying to shape the cake balls in various ways I ended up making them into hearts. About half of the bites were taken to Grace's school for a fundraiser (which was called "Hearts for Hannah" so the heart shaped cakes were perfect) and the remainder will be consumed by my two chocolate lovers. Any guess of who they could be?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Walking Foot

The house has been cleaned, the laundry is near completion and I'm finding myself with a bit of spare time before I need to get Grace from school. It happens to be just enough time to tryout the new walking foot for my sewing machine. I have always enjoyed hand quilting - I find it relaxing and I love the finished "organic" look of imperfect stitches but in this case machine quilting was a must. I'm making a large blanket for us to use outdoors and hand quilting it would be much too time intensive. So far the walking foot is cooperating with me - I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Remembering Grandma

Grace and I spent the morning outside in her little garden planting pretty flowers to remember Grandma. Grace chose a variety of flowers, with the marigolds being her favorite saying "these are beautiful for Great Grandma". The weather was perfect, the sky was a shade of vibrant blue and the sun was shining brightly - just what Grandma would have loved!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pure Bliss

While at the park over the weekend Grace spent a long time in the "spinning cup". The giggles were priceless. The title sums it up......pure bliss!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Saturday Morning

A bit of yard work was in order for the morning. After Grace was done "nipping" some plants with the clippers she got busy with the sidewalk chalk. Here's the result - a pretty little flower with a rain cloud. Oh how we could use some rain around here!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Doctor Visit

Grace had her four-year check-up with Dr Keeley today. She's in the 55th percentile for height and the 75th for weight. Thankfully only one vaccine - with no tears!

She just loves this exam room. On the way to the appointment she said "I wish to be in the room with the giraffids". She got her wish so I had to take a picture!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Clover for You

We went on a four-leaf clover hunt around our yard this afternoon (the idea was from the great book "I Love Dirt" by Jennifer Ward). Unfortunately, we were only able to find the three-leaf version. Grace enjoyed the hunt anyway - counting the heart shaped leaves on each of the wee clovers. We're now off to make Shepherd's Pie and a loaf of Irish soda bread for dinner.

We hope you find that lucky four-leaf clover - Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Our Disney Weekend

We're back from our weekend stay at Disney World. As always we had a great trip. Here are a few of the pictures:

..........Tossing a penny into the wishing well at the castle

..........After having a yummy dinner at the T-Rex restaurant

..........At the China Pavilion showing off her kiss from Mulan

..........Posing with the must see character of the trip- The Genie

..........Our tired girl after a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ten Years

We're celebrating our ten year anniversary. It's amazing how time flies. Our bags are packed and we're headed to our favorite weekend getaway - Disney World!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Grace received a Pat-on-the Back award at school today for special talents. What's her special talent you ask - well it's being a caring friend. She was very excited to receive this award because she is so proud to be a little helper to one of the newer children in her class named Megan.

...........Receiving her Pat-on-the-Back from the guest speaker

...........Proudly displaying her award. Congratulations Grace!

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Cookbook for Dean

During our last trip to the library Grace and I stopped by the cookbook section to look for some dinnertime inspiration. Here's what we found - "How to Eat Like a Republican". I don't think there could be a better cookbook for Dean - I'm surprised the author didn't contact him to submit a recipe!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Art Swap

Grace participated in an art swap. There were over 900 children involved. Thankfully they were placed in groups of six so Grace only had to create five masterpieces. She chose to paint a giraffe on each of the artist trading cards using acrylics. She has enjoyed receiving the little pieces of art from the other children.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Day of Music

We had a day full of music. It started off with Grace attending her weekly music class with Miss Bobbi. After class we attended "Music in the Park", a series of free concerts offered on Thursdays in March. Today's concert was by a Barber Shop Quartet. We brought along a picnic lunch and were joined by Cadence (a friend from music class) and her Mama. After the concert Grace and Cadence had fun on the playground.

Oh, yes that is a black eye you see. Grace had a mishap on her flower chair on Monday night. It looks terrible but she claims it doesn't bother her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Performance

Grace participated in her school's spring performance this evening. Her class sang six songs to the theme of "playing in the park". Grace was adorable up on stage - singing and dancing along to all of the songs. After the show we went to Tijuana Flats for dinner. We were so happy to have Meme and Pop join us for the fun evening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Chilly Afternoon

Just when we thought the cold weather was behind us we had another chilly day. Grace spent her allotted T.V. time watching Dora the Explorer while snuggling on the couch with Sophie (Molly was on the couch too, but far from the snuggling).

We then made a pot of chili and a banana cake (found here) together for dinner/dessert. The banana cake was delicious. I followed the recipe except for adding some chocolate chips to Dean's and Grace's half. Grace insisted on trying a slice of both and decided the piece with the chocolate chips was "more gooder" - what a surprise.