enjoying spring time

looks about right

Life right now looks a lot like this.  Lots of love between the brothers and lots of happiness when Daddy is home.  Benjamin's time in grad school has been very demanding recently so we didn't see him much this past weekend and I find myself often thinking ... one ... more....year!  I can't wait for it to be over- the idea of him coming home each night at a normal hour sounds amazing.  The idea of no homework or projects on the weekend sounds lovely too.

We've also been sick a lot recently- I've had strep twice in a month and Anderson has had two ear infections in the past month.  Needless to say I'm beyond thrilled with the spring weather that has finally shown up.

Tucker is proving to be a very different baby than Anderson was- he's challenging me with sleep and having me thinking about how I need to read more about what he should be doing right now.  Right now he really would just love to be held all the time which as any mama knows, it hard, especially when there's a big bro around.  Overall I'm trying to look on the bright side and see Tucker's late nights as a way that he sleeps in so I get to spend a couple hours with Anderson before he wakes up.  

On that note, time for bed.  No telling what the night holds...

apple butter french toast roll ups

I'm back with a recipe that can brighten up your weekend.  I'm always looking for fun breakfast ideas and this one was quite clever.  The idea of french toast bites for a brunch is perfect- serve a crowd and have them all be warm at the same time.

In our case it meant serving Benjamin, his Mom, Anderson, and me.  In true form Tucker wanted breakfast just as we were all sitting down so I had my french toast bites a little after everyone else.  I dipped mine in a recommended sauce, but next time I'd just opt for maple syrup.  I'm from Ohio- I chose maple syrup any day.

This recipe comes from another blog, Chocolate Moosey, and was used with one of my favorite ingredients, Musselmans Apple Butter.  Although I love using it in my apple butter pancakes, this was a fun new way to use it.  After making these Anderson decided he wanted his sandwiches now in roll-up form.  Of course.

Ingredients You'll Need:
  • 16 sliced wheat sandwich bread
  • 1 cup apple butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with silpat and then get your bread out.

2.  Roll out the bread til it's thin, spread apple butter on it, roll and place on the baking sheet seam side down.  Repeat.

3.  In a bowl beat the egg, milk, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg.  Dip the roll ups in this then place back on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes brush them with butter then place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  

4.  Take them out of the oven, roll in cinnamon sugar (3/4 teaspoon cinnamon with 1 tablespoon sugar) and serve warm with maple syrup.


chocolate pudding

During our last snow day I decided to make chocolate pudding.  Anderson kept talking about it because his buddy Caillou (a show for all non-Mom's) loves chocolate pudding.  I try to limit Anderson's Caillou viewing because the kid really isn't nice to his parents or sister often and they really don't discipline him, but then again there are times when Caillou is sweet and I'm glad he's watching a show that seems more easy to follow than other cartoon nonsense.

I looked up chocolate pudding and was happy to find a one bowl wonder of a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  It was of course delicious and to help with portion control for Anderson (and myself) I put it in these vintage cups and stored them on a platter in the fridge.  The pudding lasts three days and that's about as long as it could last around here.

The pudding was delicious- just what you'd hope for in a childhood treat.

Recipe thanks to and loosely adapted from Deb of Smitten Kitchen.  

Ingredients You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 6 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate or I used 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
1.  Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the milk then stir til lumps are gone.  Place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a whisk.  

2.  After about 10 minutes- before it starts to simmer- the mixture will be thickened and coat a spoon. Add the chocolate now, and continue stirring for 2-4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

3.  Distribute among cups and chill 2-3 hours in the fridge.  Enjoy!

let's catch up

I can't believe a month has gone by since I blogged, but then again I can believe it.  I've hardly had time for myself these days so finding time to blog has been hard as well.  We're "in the trenches" as some other Mom's have told me with a 2.5 year old, almost 4 month old, husband in grad school, and as of this weekend my mother in law is visiting us for a bit.  Life is full and busy and Praise the Lord (!!!!) it is finally feeling like spring outside today.

This past month we have been real over the snow and hope yesterdays sitings were the last we see until Christmastime.  We made it to a local winery with everyone else the one day recently that it was warm, and we've explored some around our still new-ish country surroundings as well.

We've found a great restaurant we love, a lovely little bakery, and are thankful still for this house and season we are in, although I'll be happy when grad school is over- one more year!

I know this time will be gone before we know it - Anderson is growing up so fast it seems and Tucker is right there behind him.  I love each of their stages, though of course they each have their moments.  I tell Anderson his whining really hurts my ears and Tucker still hasn't figured out going to sleep to the point where I'd feel like Benjamin and I could safely leave for dinner alone.  Soon I'm sure we'll be able to.

In cooking news we're living off freezer meals.  I'm thankful to have a friend who I cook batch freezer meals with and last week I added to our supply but making some meals that are frozen then just need to thaw and go into the slow cooker for easy dinners with the warming temperatures.  We'll see how they all taste but it feels good to have dinners done in advance for sure.  I used recipes from the site All Things Katie Marie.  I also made and froze Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and although they were delicious warm I wouldn't make and freeze them again.  Any cinnamon roll recipe suggestions?

That's all for now but I hope to be back again real soon... with recipes and pictures of my almost four month old if you don't mind...

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