Sunday, September 9, 2012

Catching up and Rock and roll camp

I can't believe I haven't posted in MONTHS but this summer is a big blur.  We were busy with field trips and barely getting through this pregnancy.  Dear childhood friends got married so we go to go to Staunton, VA and Virginia Beach for their blissful days.  We didn't get to go on any big summer vacations but Thad at least got to go on a few business trips to fun Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Dallas.  We had the big derecho storm in the beginning of July where we lost power (like most of the area!).  The following weekend we went to Chicago for my grandmother's funeral, sad affair but always a blessed reunion to see family out there.  With my cousins having babies, the boys have second cousins that I am so glad they will get to know.  Our goal is to go out to Chicago once a year if we can swing it!  The weekend after that Grandpa came down for a weekend visit.  *phew*  And that just got us through July!  I would post pictures of all these fun events but my laptop died and I haven't transferred any files yet to my new computer. 

August was nutso.  Fun news that I had 6 friends have babies in August so lots of fun baby news this past month! 

At the end of August Julian got to go to rock and roll camp.  I thought it would be a fun segue into preschool (which starts tomorrow) after being home with us everyday.  It was for 5 days at a place called Bach to Rock in Herndon, VA.  I was nervous that he would have a hard time being gone for 5 mornings in a row but for rock and roll, this kid was READY.  Every morning he was ready to get dressed and out the door, by the end of the week he was sitting on the couch by the shoes wearing his backpack, hat, and already had his shoes on by the time me and Dash were downstairs.  He got to learn about drums, rhythm, piano, recorder, violin, and of course his favorite, the electric guitar.  The camp was only 3 kids (ages 3.5-5) and the teacher was FABULOUS with the kids.  I couldn't recommend this program more!!  I know they have locations in MD, NY, and VA so if one is close to you, check it out.  They have programs for all ages of kids and its not a typical music school; they also teach DJing and mixing, and beyond. 

Without further ado, here is a video of their closing week 'concert.'  Enjoy!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recipe: Caveman Cookies

Courtesy of Peas and Thank You.  Enjoy!!  If you are not used to working with almond flour, do take care to bake until set, don't watch until 'brown' otherwise they'll burn!  

Caveman Cookies
by Mama Pea
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 12 min.
Keywords: blender bake snack dessert gluten-free soy-free vegan vegetarian Paleo cookie

Ingredients (16 cookies)

  • 1 1/2 c. almond flour
  • 2/3 c. almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 c. honey or maple syrup
  • 1 “flax” egg (1 T. ground flax + 3 T. water) or 1 organic egg
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using a flax egg, mix together and set aside.
  • Combine almond flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream almond or sunflower seed butter, honey or maple syrup, egg and vanilla.
  • Add almond flour mixture gradually until a dough forms, then fold in chocolate chips.
  • Scoop dough by the tablespoon onto a cookie sheet, spacing cookies at least an inch apart.
  • Bake for 11-12 minutes or until set.
  • Allow cookies to cool on pan for a minute or two before transferring to a cooling rack.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reading List: 2011

I have decided to write down the books I read last year.  Fabulous reading and let me know if you have any questions about these reads!   Don't judge me from my reading of steamy romance novels...sometimes a girl's just gotta read something sexy!  

127 Hours by Aron Ralston 
Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Journey to the Edge of the Light by Cristina Nehring
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Open by Andre Agassi
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Shaken, Not Stirred by Tim Gunn
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Unconditional Love by Alfie Kohn
Raising Happiness by Christine Carter
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne
Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Loving What Is by Bryon Katie

Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Two Step Temptation by Emma Jay
Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn
Unlocked by Courtney Milan 
The Reiver by Jackie Barbosa
Eye of the Beholder by Emma Jay 
Twelve by Twelve by William Powers 

A Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Monday, January 2, 2012

Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin-Peanut Soup

I got this recipe from Women's Health magazine, October 2011 issue.  I've made it multiple times since then and to make it vegan I replace the chicken broth with veggie broth and leave out the sour cream.  I did try it with sour cream and without and I will say, the little dollop of sour cream really does make the texture *that* much better but it's up to you.  I hear the vegan version of sour cream is amazing.  Best of all, this whole soup is done within 30 minutes.  If you do Weight Watchers, I worked out the points for this to be about 4 points per 1/2 cup of soup.  Enjoy! 

Creamy Pumpkin-Peanut Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes 

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 can solid packed pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 jar roasted red peppers (7 oz) drained, 1 tablespoon chopped and reserved for garnish
1/2 cup smooth reduced fat natural peanut butter
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 Tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp chopped scallion greens

1.  Heat oil in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.  
2.  Add turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes; stir.  Add pumpkin puree, broth, peppers, and peanut butter; whisk to incorporate and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in sugar, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
3.  Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with sour cream, peanuts, chopped reserved red peppers, and scallion greens.

Makes 4 servings of 1 cup.  Per serving:  270 cal, 18 g fat, 22 g carbs, 450 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein.