Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Today is day 7 of the 30 day challenge...
We have both been struggling with the sweets. I decided to make granola bars to help us in that department. Not only does it help the craving for sweets, it's also good for you!
Here is my recipe if you're interested in making them.
Molasses Granola Bars
2 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 pieces crystallized ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dates, pitted (you can use prunes)
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple
1/2 cup dried crasins
In a food processor, combine the molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, and dates. Pulse three times. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Puree until mixture is smooth. Add the oats and pulse until the oats are coarsely chopped.
Remove the oat mixture from the food processor and transfer to a medium bowl, scrape the edges of the food processor to remove all of the mixture. Stir in the crasins, pecans, pineapple, and pumpkin seeds until well mixed.
Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Press the oat mixture into the baking pan until the mixture is evenly distributed throughout the pan and tightly packed.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool in the freezer until the bars are firm. Lift the parchment paper out of the pan, remove, and cut into 8-14 bars.Store bars in an airtight container for up to a week.
* You can really add any fruit...apricots are good....sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin would be good too. ENJOY!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Can we do it? YES WE CAN! It's not going to be easy though!
Day 1: Valentine's Day. Yep, we started this on the day of love. What were we thinking? We had the best dinner at Boscos and a glass of Pinot Noir would have tasted so good with it.
Day 2: I wanted a stinking cupcake so bad. I don't know why I was craving cupcakes, I don't usually eat them. I wanted a vanilla bean with buttercream frosting one. John was craving a Margarita from our favorite Mexican restaurant. We did good and didn't give into our cravings.
Day 3: No cravings...ate very clean.
Day 4: Today - I had a very busy day I didn't have time to think about sweets...until I got home. I wanted ice cream. I was afraid I was going to give in and eat some Ben & Jerry's (we had 6 small containers in the freezer) so I took the lids off of them all and turned them upside down in the sink and ran hot water on them. I watched all that creamy yumminess slide down the drain. It was painful to watch.
26 more days to go.....
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Color Me Badd sold first....within an hour...:) I got the idea for this one in a dream. I woke up at 3 am and sketched it out...even wrote the name down. Color Me Badd was one of my favorite groups in the early 90's. My girls and I would dance around the living room singing "I wanna Sex you up"...yep, they were only 4 & 2 years old at the time...hey, don't judge me...they turned out just fine! They are both strong, independent, intelligent women!
The 2nd quilt....my monochromatic improv quilt...
I named it "purple haze" actually it didn't "sell". My niece, Morgan, who is 14, is in the hospital for the second time in 3 weeks, liked it. Morgan had an appendectomy on the 22nd of January. She is back in the hospital today with an awfully large abscess...she had to be sedated and had it drained...she has a drainage tube right above her tail bone...she has to lay on her tummy and she is in major pain. She told her momma how much she liked it... my sister said she is on 3 pain killers, but is brutally honest...she even told her daddy he needed a haircut. HAHA I actually thought of Morgan the entire time I was making this quilt, so it is only fitting that she be the owner.
When she was in the hospital last time she had the quilt I made the family with her the entire time....her sweat, blood, tears & spit went into that quilt. Knowing how much it was loved and how it brought her SO MUCH comfort....makes me happy to give her purple haze.
I'm so stoked! I finally sold a quilt!! Woo-Hoo!!!
Friday, February 11, 2011
It snowed SO HARD at times we couldn't see the house across the street. You can tell how hard it was coming down by the picture of my house below. It makes the picture look blurry.
The boys weren't sure about all the white stuff....it almost buried them in places. John shoveled the sidewalk several times just so they could walk.
Within an hour and a half it was covered again.
Dinosaur seemed to like it much more than Reeses did.
Ready to go in the house where it is warm.....they would run in and sit by the heater for at least 30 minutes thawing out.
The backyard.....still snowing at this point.
My backyard the next morning at sunrise....
We ended up with 7.8 inches officially....I measured 8.3. You can see the path John made for the dogs...it goes from the front door to the mailbox.
Being snowed in for the past 3 days I got tons of sewing done! I finished my Postage Stamp Quilt!
I was going to sell this, but John fell in love with it, so it now resides in my living room.
I made a coffee table runner to match it.
It's been a very productive few days! Being snowed in made me realize how much I love my job. I loved getting tons of sewing done, but I have missed my co-workers and kiddos!
I plan on getting out of the house tomorrow. I need to go to the fabric store....I ran out of purple thread. I also need to go to the gym....I've eaten so much I feel like I've gained 10 pounds!
The snow was beautiful...fun...but I've had enough of winter....it can leave now!
Friday, February 4, 2011
Here is a picture of her somewhere in Spain over the holiday. She was in a pomegranate grove...I love this photo of her.
We finally received our Christmas package from her that she sent out the 2nd week of December!! It took forever to get to us!!!
We were super excited to finally get it. How perfect that we opened it on her birthday...she was on skype so she got to see us open it.
She wrote a detailed translation and description of all the goodies!
She said all the individually wrapped items are called "Polvorones & Sortidos dulces" they are all part of the Christmas tradition. Most of them are made just north of her in a giant cookie factory in a town called Estepa. She said the whole town smells like cookies! The only thing that kinda grossed me out was they don't use butter in the cookies....they use pig lard....um, yes, you read that right....pig lard. Once I got past the thought of it, I tasted some of the goodies and you can't tell...just the texture is a little different. They are very delicious!!!
We are huge olive oil users in this home...Meg sent us the best olive oil that Spain has. I love the bottle.
The olive oil comes from a protected natural park in the region of Jaen. She translated the label for us...this is what she wrote:
"Olive oil of superior quality is obtained directly from olives that are only cold-pressed. The cultivation of these olives proceeds the Phoenicians and since the Roman Empire has been converted into one of the most important olive oils in the world for its quality tradition and the volume of its harvest. The olives used in the production of this oil from Our Land, are 100% Picual variety. It is a fruity oil with great balance between sweet flavors, bitter and spicy, and great persistence that culminates into a smooth and elegant bitterness that contributes to its character. Recommended raw, with dressings, with toast or in salsas.
Meg said that they don't use butter over there....they pour olive oil on everything the way we use butter. I can't wait to try this olive oil...it sounds wonderful!
I'm going to share with you all what she wrote in our Christmas card....of course it made me cry.
Daddyo, Momma & Sisterface,
It hurts my heart to be here thousands of miles away from the ones I love on such a special day. But the experience itself is bittersweet. Bitter-because I see all of these families preparing for the holidays together, and it makes me miss y'all so so much. But something about the absence is sweet too. Sweet-because I'm fulfilling a dream here, because I had amazing parents to push me and encourage those dreams and because I had a little sister to share those dreams with and imagine in our childhood. I will miss all of you very much on Christmas day...but I hope my absence makes you appreciate your time together even more. 2011 is an exciting year! I can't wait to show all of you this beautiful place...and most importantly, I can't wait to share this experience with those who made it happen! Love you so much!
Forever, always & no matter what, Meg
Somehow getting this package today made it easier that we aren't sharing her birthday with her. I'm extremely proud of the woman she has become. She is an amazing teacher (her students love her) she is strong & independent, loving, kind, and Beautiful! I made brownies with fudge topping for dessert and we are going to sing happy birthday to her. I can't wait to hug her neck in March.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEG!!!