Monday, November 23, 2009

Update on Miss K

Thought I'd share a typical morning with Miss K. K woke up with a start as soon as I opened her bedroom door (sometimes I'll find her sitting up in the dark or talking to herself). She immediately shouted "Wow, look at my binkies!" and started "herding" them in her crib. Then I got the "Mommy, what to wear?" question. Kira loves picking out her shirts every morning, although she sometimes decides she loves two shirts so much that she has to wear both. Once the shirt of the day is chosen, it's time to hop out of the crib and run to show Daddy what "she wear today".


Getting K dressed is somewhat like herding cats, what with all the "work" that she needs to do. This morning, K felt that Daddy needed extra help, and pulled his deoderant out of the bathroom drawer to give to him. She then of course proceeded to systematically ask the names of all things in that same drawer. Luckily, in order to do this, K was relatively motionless, so I managed to wrangle a clean diaper on her and get her liquid vitamins in her mouth. She then whipped her head around and said "OH NO! TOOTH BRUSH!" -- she knows what comes next in the routine.

After tooth brushing, she says "bye daddy, I go dress" and runs towards the living room. This begins the wrangling of clothing (K would only wear a diaper all day if she could get away with it). Today, she was fine with the shirt, but did not want to wear pants. So there was wailing and gnashing of teeth while mom pins K down to put on the dreaded pants.

Once clothes are on, suddenly K becomes starving for breakfast. "I want some pan-cakes pease" Bing-bing is K's name for the microwave. She likes to touch the pancake to verify that yes, indeed it is cold, and requires microwaving (Oh, NO! COLD! Pancake go bing bing!). Once pancakes are made, we settle into high chair mode while K happily eats her pancakes while Mom does K's hair, socks and shoes.

Once Frank is all ready, K's remaining breakfast goes in a sandwich bag for safe transport, and she slowly makes her way down the stairs. It's very dramatic for her. Today, she wanted to count, but kept getting stuck on four (one, two, three....six!). She decided today that she was walking out the door on her own, and turned around half way to say "Bye Mommy, I have good day."

So there's a typical morning for Miss K.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Pirates Next Door

Kira watched in fascination as our neighbor backed up their huge boat into their backyard while I was grabbing the mail. When I got back in the car, she said "Shit!"-- and my head swiveled around. No worries, she was saying "Ship!". And then...

"Pirates. Pirate Ship. Arr...Arr...Bye Pirates, bye Ship tomorrow!"

And every day after that, she says hi to the pirates. Cute!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Good Start

This morning, K was no trouble at all. It was the first morning for months that Kira did not have at least one crying fit or balk during her morning routine.

How amazing to see her grab her clothes, demand to be changed/dressed, and willingly brush her teeth. Throughout the whole routine, she was smiling and enthusiastic. She even had time to walk into our closet and consult on Daddy's wardrobe ("What WEAR??? Pants???") She egged Frank on out the door ("Come ON! DADDY!"), and at the end, blew me a kiss as she walked out the garage door and into the car.

Sounds like such a small thing, but it was like a star appeared and all the angels sang to me and Frank. I know every morning is not going to be like this, but even the fact that a no cry - no struggle morning is possible is reassuring.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ATTENTION

To the woodland creatures on the wall runner in Kira's room:
Please stop pestering my daughter. I am tired of hearing about it at night and in the morning. No more "bunking of the head" no "moose poking the eye" and by all means no "eagle poop de pants!".

And which one of you is talking to her about Darfur?
K this morning: "Darfur! Momma Darfur!"
Me "What? What are you learning in circle time?"
K: "No. Darfur. RAWR!"
Me: "Ah, Dinosaur!"
So..dinosaurs. Stop having discussions with my political activist baby. Next thing you know she'll be lobbying for health care reform, and that's the type of discussion I'm not expecting to have for at least a few months.

And as for Swiper...no Swiping. OK? If I hear another sippy drop to the ground and "Oh, NO! Swiper STOP!" or "Oh, NO! Swiper hide de BOOTS" I'm coming after you!

And which one of you goes by "SUPER-POOPY!" Let's have none of that super poop either.

Thank you,
the managment

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Reviews/Giveaways!

For those of you looking for great giveaways and reviews, I'll be posting these at: http://northtoakgnr.blogspot.com/.

In other family news, K is still a fantastic child. The unboundless energy she has in the morning is infectious. This morning, I found her already sitting up in her bed, taking charge of the day by rearranging her binkies in her crib. Suddenly, I heard "Panda!" "Ud One" "a Ud One!" describing her sleeper with lots of pandas on it. When her feet hit the floor, she was immediately off to find Daddy and tell him all about her pandas.

Yesterday, I heard in day care how all she could talk about was her Gamma and Papa. All day. She told everyone about Gamma and Papa, where they are (she still thinks they are in the airplane, although sometimes she supsects they are still waiting in the car).

One tough thing to realize is that in her world, TV shows are just always available -- with Tivo she thinks her sources of entertainment are endless. If we run through all the backyardigans, she thinks that if we just look at the right menu, they'll reappear. When they are not there, she gets frustrated...literally pulling the remote from one parent and handing it to another (obviously, it's there, we're just incompetent). She then explains in a very authoritative voice "b'yargins, Oh-Tay?" and nods her head like she's looking for agreement. I wonder where she gets these things from.

In other news, it's fall. Our tomatoes are not red yet, which is a bad sign. I think frost is only a week away or so.

Got to go, but that's the update!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Giveaway on Blessings Abound!

Hi everyone --

Please follow this great site Blessings Abound! Fantastic giveaway to shabby apple, which has fantastic dresses:
http://www.akblessingsabound.com/2009/08/31/1st-blogoversary-party-shabby-apple-giveaway/

Friday, September 04, 2009

Better late than never?

Another funny story about Kira (in between meetings)...

So two nights ago, Kira woke up, as she usually does, around 3am. However, this time it was a full on screamfest for quite a few minutes. Frank got up to check on her. Kira kept talking about a Moose. He brought me in, and Kira informed me that a moose had poked her in the eye. When I asked where? She pointed at the woodland creatures in the wallpaper in her room. Great. Woodland creatures coming to life and poking my daughter in the eye at 3am. Ugh. Finally got her back to sleep around 4am to make a conference call at 4:45am. Argh!



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quick Kira update

Thought I'd share an ancedote on Miss K:

Starting on Saturday, Kira has been really interested in her "potty". We've been encouraging her, telling her "Pee goes in the potty" and walking her through the wonders of the bathroom. Yesterday a light bulb went on, perhaps not the right light bulb. She suddenly looked worried and rushed out of the bathroom, returning with a doll, whose nose got dutifully dabbed with toilet paper before being stuffed in the toilet. That doll's name? Sweet Pea.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Update

We are having FANTASTIC weather up here in AK! It's beautiful, dry, and finally all the leaves are budding. It's so warm, in fact, that we wound up planting our herb garden yesterday. Pictures to come soon.

In Kira news, she completed her first week of toddler-training, which means she is learning all sorts of new behaviors:
1) She's decided that clothing -- including diapers-- is optional and rather disagreeable. So, every clothing change is a struggle now. Luckily, I have learned that she can do stand-up diaper changes, which makes her much more compliant.
2) Her love of books is insatiable. She calls them BOCKS. And she wants to read them repeatedly, sometimes six in a row.
3) She loves going on walks. Of course, this is only to pick up everything that she finds on the sidewalk, from gravel to trash. Each little find is a little treasure, and she raises it up, starts running to the nearest parent, with a "WOW WOW WOW". We "almost" made it to the neighborhood park yesterday, but not quite.
4) Regarding the diaper changes, when she is stopped from doing what she wants (especially when we pick her up to move her) she shouts OWEE OWEE OWEE over and over again. Cute, I suppose, and better than "NO" which will come later.
5) She continues to be a little martha stewart in training. How do I know? How else to explain her stash of interior paint swatches? How about the diligent cleaning of the coffee table? The constant monitoring of the carpet for bits of string/choke hazards (with a "Uh OH!"). Next thing you know, she's going to come home armed with glitter, felt and a glue gun.
6) "Babies" are becoming much more important. Elizabeth, baby beluga, and baby bear must be taken care of constantly. They are constantly being put to sleep under blankets, diapered with tissue paper, or carried by their hair around the house. To see Miss K carry three dolls around is really sweet.

Anyways, hope everyone had a great mother's day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Weekly Recipes: Brazilian Black Bean Stew and Baby Food

Yesterday, we had a fantastic and easy slow cooker brazilian black bean stew.  I made it up based on multiple recipes but here's the idea:


Ingredients:
Two cans of black beans, with water
.75 lb Italian Sausage (ground is best, but I suppose you could slice up a kielbasa if you wanted)
Hot salsa of your choosing (I used safeway's deli brand)
sweet potato cut up into small chunks
Mango slices (Del Monte does all the hard stuff for you)
Cilantro (chopped)

Directions:
Take all ingredients except mango and cilantro.  Put into slow cooker on high.  Make sure there is enough water to just cover the ingredients -- if not, add water by filling up one black bean can.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until sausage is not pink inside.  Plate with mango slices on top and chopped cilantro.  Yum!

Baby Pasta with sweet potato chunks:

Note: I used sweet potato chunks from the stew above.  One key to baby food prep is identifying baby food components in your regular meals, and putting aside those components.  Slow cooker made the sweet potato soft, so I didn't have to individually steam/bake the sweet potato.

Ingredients:
one handful chunks of baked sweet potato (soft according to baby palate)
two handfuls Baby Farfalle Pasta (bow-tie, but you could use macaroni as well)
dab of butter
dab cream cheese
two tablespoonse shredded cheese

Cook the farfalle to instructions while you find the rest of the ingredients.  Drain the pasta and put into a medium sized bowl.  Throw in your butter, cream cheese, and shredded cheese while it is still warm and stir.  It should form into a cheese sauce.  Throw in your potato chunks so they get cheesy too.  Yum!

For Breakfast:  Apple, banana, strawberry, mango smoothie
Note:  Again, used the sliced mangos from the meal above.  The rest of the ingredients we had on hand.  Use less cider than you think you need; mangos hold a lot of water.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup apple cider
two bananas
two strawberries
four slices of mango
squirt of lemon

This one's easy.  Spin with your immersion blender, add apple cider to your desired consistency. To freeze, scoop into ice cream trays and place in freezer.  Transfer into ziplocs once solid.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

New Photos!

New photos on the right --->

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Six things about baby.

So Baby this weekend was a true character!


Some of the best parts...
1) Going to brunch at a friend's house.  Seeing Miss K interact with new people, playing peekaboo...demanding to see everyone's belly buttons.
2) Palm Sunday -- Kira at first was not into the palm branches.  But then, she saw all the kids waving them and marching around during the first song, she was transfixed.  After a nap in the nursery, she grabbed a palm and waved it, triumphantly shouting WOW! WHOA! as she toddled up and down the hallway!  I can't wait for the easter baskets next weekend.
3) Kira loves the kitchen, which is why we now have drawer locks on the most dangerous drawers.  K is known to walk around with a pie pan for tens of minutes, talking to herself, and licking the pan like she's eating something yummy.  
4) It was fun watching her play with a melon baller.  Out of all the things she could have done with it, she decided to scoop puppy food out of the dog bowl and feed it to puppy.  
5) Her language skills are improving by leaps and bounds.  She now knows the sign (followed shortly by the word) Please and says HIYEEE! and BYEEE! to everyone and everything, particularly birds.
6) She LOVES Galileo.  This weekend, while he was trying to take a nap, she pet him on the back gently and sang to him(because this is how she is put down to sleep at school), then found a blanket to put on top of him.  In the evening, I sometimes find the two of them lying next to each other.  The first thing she asks for every morning is puppy.  Galileo loves the attention, especially the extra treats she feeds him.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ba-Ba Bahbit-Baht? Dis? Dis?

Thought I'd share a little snippet of Kira-speak for you.  We spent some time watching the basketball games last afternoon.  


Me:  Look!  There's a ball!  That guy is bouncing the ball!  He threw the ball!  He makes a basket! Yay!
Kira:  Baht?  Baht?  (Kira makes the sign for ball)
Me:  Yes that's right, it's a ball...
Kira:  Bahbit! (throws hands up in the air)
Me:  Yes!  He made a basket!
Kira: (claps, pauses, pats chest) ba-ba. 
Me:  Yes, you're the baby.
Kira:  Ba-ba baht?  (points to tv) Dis? Dis? Baht Dis?
(pause, then off of my lap and on to the next thing)

Kira also knows most of the time about her Het (head), Ice (eyes), Ba-ba Ba-ba (baby beluga), chuice (shoes), Tiktyu (thank you), and the incessant Dis? Dis? Dis? Dis? (either a I want whatever is out of my reach or tell me what its' name is over and over again).  It's great to see her communicating more clearly, although now that she knows we understand the angrier she gets when she can't have something.  Can the terrible twos start at 13 months?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kira on the Move!


Kira is officially a toddler this week. She is definitely walking (more like running) and talking more than ever. She is working on her greeting skills this week by announcing HIEEE!!!! and BYEEE! to everyone within earshot at the grocery store. She can spend 15 minutes waving and jabbering to the "boids" in our trees in the backyard. She also loves to play jokes on Mom and Dad by calling us by each others' names and cackling. When she walks, she walks with her arms outstretched like frankenstein, usually wiggling her fingers, bidding whatever is in her path to move to her.

With toddlerhood, of course, has come a myriad of new behaviors. Some of these are very sweet and loving, as when she tries to brush puppy's hair, or takes her hair ribbons out of her hair and pins them on my head. On the other hand, she now gets mad when you take things away from her, throwing her head and body back and forth with incredible force. This morning, I took the raisin box away from her and the response sounded like she was mortally wounded. And the fun, I hear, is that I can just expect it to get worse. Yikes!

In other news, we have a volcano that's erupting near us. But don't worry, we are somewhat prepared and now that the equinox has passed, we alaskans are all in a much happier mood.

I've been lax on baby food mondays. Let's talk about beverages. When K gets a snotty nose, I've learned now to give her a little bit of weak herbal tea that's lukewarm -- it warms the nasal passages and gets the snot out without having to use the evil bulb. My favorite is lemon echinacea, because we all know that the battle with day care crud is ongoing, especially in winter.

For our KFC Monday this week, I did slow cooker pork tacos:
1 4 oz can of dried chiles
2 tbsp chile powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 can of chunky salsa
1 lb pork roast
1 bag of dried kidney beans
Water to cover
salt, oregano and pepper to taste

Fixins:
Tortillas
Cheese
Extra salsa

Take all the ingredients and dump it into a slow cooker in the morning. Put the slow cooker on low obviously. Check periodically to confirm that the beans haven't taken all of the water -- if so, add a half cup of water and check in an hour. It's supposed to take nine hours, but I was able to raise the slow cooker to high at the five hour mark and things were tender by 7. You'll know that it's done when you press onto the pork with a wooden spoon and the pork just falls apart.

When the pork is done, take the pork out and shred with a fork. Make tacos using the beans, cheese, salsa and pork. Yum!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My first post using Plinky

I'd probably split between AK, HI and vacations. I love the nature of Hawaii and think it would be a fantastic place to retire. On the other hand, I love the spirit and snow of Alaska (more general, the mountain west).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Baby Food Monday

Hi All --

(by the way, new videos to the right)

Here's another scoop for Monday...you can freeze sandwiches! Cut sandwiches into quarters, wrap individually, and voila.

Spread of the week on her sandwich is...squash ricotta. Basically, we had a great squash soup this weekend, and all I did was scoop the leftovers into a free ice cube tray, then placed in a bag. 20 seconds in the microwave of two cubes + two scoops of ricotta = tasty bread spread.

On the family food front, we had KFC Curry last night -- that's Kitchen Food Cleanout Curry. Buy any curry jar from the grocery store, and chop up just about any vegetables you have hanging out in your kitchen. Fruit can be used to, and gives the curry a sweet flavor.

Have a good week!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Baby Food Monday

Since I have to make food for K every day for daycare, I thought I'd try to do a baby food monday theme.  This makes sure I can actually write down what we're doing with Miss K for food and perhaps share some nice tips for toddler/baby food with the internets. 


The menu for daycare this week is...
Ham, Cheese and Avocado spread sandwich with steamed carrots

Snack/breakfast:  Blueberry multigrain pancakes with cranberry apple sauce

1) Raw Apple sauce -- 
Prep -- cut up as many apples as you have around and douse them in lemon juice (bottled works fine).  Put about half of the apples and a half cup of juice (I used cranberry) and blend.  Add apple pieces until you get your favorite applesauce consistency.  Taste.  Add cinnamon if you'd like.  
Storage -- You can set it in the fridge for about a week.  You can also freeze it in little ice cube trays for about two months.
Uses -- Use it in muffins, cereal, yogurt, as a spread, in a dessert, or in a lunch spread (below).
2) Steamed carrots -- 
Prep -- cut your carrots into baby-sized morsels (depends on baby).  Put into a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water (alternatively, use a steamer (some rice steamers come with veggie steamer attachments like mine).  Go ahead and throw in a few sprigs of herbs if you have some. Cover.  Cook for 12 mins or so for al dente carrots; 15 for mushy carrots for little eaters.  
Storage -- Cool, then spread over baking tray in your freezer shelf.  Move into zip top bags once they are frozen through.
Uses -- Use them like frozen veggies in stews and soups.  Thaw them and puree into tomato sauce to up the nutritional content.  Serve them tossed with a salad dressing, olive oil, or maybe some soy sauce.
3) No Brainer Sandwich Spread -- I'm always looking for ways to sneak more veggies into baby.  Here's something to try to use on your sandwiches.
Prep -- You need one mashed vegetable, one spready or shredded cheese, and one sweet saucy thing.  I used this time avocado, ricotta, and apple butter.  I know, sounds gross, but it's actually tasty.  Mix the veggie, cheese and sweet all together until you get a spread consistency.  Use only a little bit of sweet at first and then adjust to your taste.  
Uses -- Use it as a dip or as a sandwich spread -- HINT:  You can make a bunch of mini sandwiches in advance, then freeze.  I used ham, american cheese and this spread to make a tasty sandwich for myself, then another one that I froze into tiny 1 inch cubes of sandwich for baby.  Now, in the morning, I just have to throw the sandwich cubes in her lunchbox!

Anyways, I'll let you know what miss K thinks about the food next Monday, and I'll post the menu for next week.  Later! Lori

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A ten minute treatise on time with a ten minute update


Yesterday, Frank asked me late at night how my day had been. It suprised him and I when I really didn't have a good answer, in fact, I was pretty happy just to be at the end of the day, not at the beginning.

Don't get me wrong, I like my job and my family. But my days are a blur and many days there is no room for contemplation. Every weekday, I get up at 4:50 to get to work at 5. At 6:30, I get K up for the day, and Frank shortly afterward. K has breakfast, lunchbox, vitamins, teeth brushing, diaper/clothes change, and binky before I hand her off to Frank to take to daycare at 7:30. Then, I go back downstairs and work until at least 2. Then comes the cleaning (yes I do do it), the dishwashing, the shopping list, the bottle washing, dinner-ing on M/W or anything else best done without baby in hand. Anything not done off of that list, it has to go onto the "post-K bedtime list".

(I've got 4 mins left)
Today I got out at 2:45, meaning all I could muster was a quick dishwashing/tidy up. If I want to exercise for at least 20 mins (how sad is that, to go to the gym for 20 mins of stairclimbing?), I have to get out the door in 3 mins. So I can pick up K at 4. So I can get to the grocery store by 4:30, then feed baby by 5:30. Dinner for me must fit between 5:30 and bathtime at 7. Baby in bed by 7:30, and I from then to my bedtime to relax and/or eat and/or finish everything else on my list. Bedtime for this bonzo is 9 sharp.

This isn't a pity party, it's just the way it is. So the next time I am asked what my day has been like, I may just reference this blog note. It would save time. I'm already late by 2 mins for my gym time. Whew!
Posted by Picasa
UPDATE: So I reread this today and thought I'd clarify a bit. Of course we've got it good -- certainly there are a lot of parents juggling a lot more than I am. I have a wonderful husband who likes to cook and helps out where he can. This schedule above is just the result of the combination of our schedules and the choice that we all have to make to manage our time against what needs to get done everyday. For example, I could do more while K is in the house during weekdays, but I choose to spend as much of that time as I can with our family as the priority. So while I do sometimes wish for some personal time, this schedule above obviously is busy but it at least works.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The MVP is...


YAY STEELERS!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dinner Impossible!

So, it used to be that I would actually think about what we were going to have for dinner. I remember scouring cookbooks on the weekends for hours, looking for the most perfect dish to use the remaining ingredients in our fridge. Post-baby, Frank does most of the scouring for recipes, and I am grateful for anything that comes my way that's not cheerios or cheese slices.

However, during this semester, I actually have cooking duty on MW. With crawling, curious, and post-daycare clingy baby. Fun times.

Here are my requirements for a meal:
1) Has to be done very very fast -- either with prep hours beforehand or with no-chop ingredients.
2) Has to be able to be eaten with one hand -- Knives + babies do not mix.
3) Has to be healthy, preferrably possible to feed to baby.
4) Did I mention it has to be made very fast?
5) Cannot require constant attention -- risotto is right out.
6) Preferrably can be prepared with one hand.

So with those thoughts, I am trying to find the easiest food imaginable to prepare. Today I'm going to try salmon in a teriyaki sauce with frozen veggies. Wish me luck!

Update -- apparently I didn't actually publish this yesterday, so I can tell you how it went :). We had a good meal -- the fish was very easy (here's the Recipe). I made twice the sauce in the baking dish before picking up K, then K and I went out to the store to get salmon and frozen veggies. At home, salmon went flesh-down in the baking dish in the fridge to marinate, until we were ready to eat. In went the salmon with the bread coated in Pam olive oil spray (yay Pam!), veggies were made while we waited. It took an extra 4 mins to cook the fish in our oven, but that's pretty much par for the course for our oven anyways.

So, all in all, tasty dinner done in 20 mins. Could be done one handed, very pleased!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Baking Day

Hi All --

I promised Mom my muffin and granola recipes, so here they are for everyone:
Jam Muffins:
Muffin pan (butter and flour pan (use PAM for baking-- EASY))
2.5 cups of AP flour
1.5 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp Allspice
.5 tsp salt
.25 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 and a pinch more baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup of jam/preserves of your choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of nuts/dried fruit
Coarse sugar (like turbinado sugar) -- big crystals for garnish

1) Position rack in the lower third of oven, heat oven to 325
2) In a large bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt and cloves
3) in a little bowl combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Let it stand for 7 to 8 mins
Cut butter into 1/2 inch cbes and blace in the bowl of the kitchenaid with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and lighened in color, about 2 mins. Add the sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time, taking about 3 minutes to get all the sugar in there. Add the brown sugar next, taking 2-3 mins in the same manner. Scrape down the side of the bowl regularly to get all the sugar to combine with the butter.
4) Add the eggs, oneat a time, beating for 1 minute before adding antoher egg.
5) Add in the jam and vanilla. The mix will look curdled but it will look a LOT better once the flour is added.
6) Reduce mixer speed to wlow, add the flour mix alternately with the buttermilk mixture -- flour, buttermilk, flour, buttermilk, flour (divide into parts). Mix until just blended after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
7) Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in your nut/fruit mix.
8) Spoon the batter into your butter/floured muffin pan. Give it a tap to make sure the batter settles. Take your good large-grain sugar and sprinkle on each muffin -- this will give you a nice hard top.
9) Put in oven -- it takes about 35 minutes in my oven, but check after 20. They are done when you can stick a knife or fork in one and it doesn't come out goopy.
10) As soon as they are done, give them about 2 mins to settle in, then pop them out over a metal rack (or a dish towel). Let them cool, then pop into a tupperware or freeze them individually.

Granola
You need a flat rimmed pan
Wet and sticky ingredients -- 1 cup
-- you can use maple syrup, molasses/water, honey (not for kids under 2), etc. Vanilla extract is nice (1/2 cup)
The flakey stuff: 8 cups
--Rolled oats, wheat/rye/millet flakes, bran flakes
The nuts and seeds stuff -- 1 cup
--hazlenuts, almons, pecans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc
The fruits -- 1 cup
--cranberries, raisins, currants, blueberries, dates, apricots, mangoes, whatever

1) Heat the oven to 250.
2) Mix the flakes nuts and seeds into a big bowl (no fruit yet). Stir in the gooey stuff -- eyeball it, you want some pieces to clump together, but not all of it, you also want it not to be all liquidy. So add dry and wet ingredients so you have a clumpy/individual ratio that you like in your granola.
3) Spread the mixture out on your flat sheet. Bake in the oven for about one hour - check every 20 mins or so and stir up your granola. When the granola is slightly brown, take it up.
4) While it's still warm, drop it into a bowl with the dried fruit. Cool it off, then put in airtight containers. Works great with yogurt, soy milk, milk, ice cream, etc.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hi All --

Sorry for not posting photos of our holiday trip pronto. Between work eating up my free time, two daycare closure days, and the fact that all of my electronics died as soon as I came back from HI, it's been difficult to get anything useful done.

However here are the pictures: