Archive for the ‘Bits and Pieces’ Category

Our li’l cowpokes


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First off, let me answer the “Question of the Day.”  No, I have not had this baby yet. 

Ok, now that we’ve got that out of the way…I think it is time to get the name situation straightened out.  For the purposes of this blog, I’ve been calling my youngest, Baby.  However, any day now (hopefully), Baby will no longer be the baby of the family.  So, I’ve decided that from now on she’ll be called Sunshine.  Her new favorite song is “You are My Sunshine,” and she has brought so much laughter and light to our family, that I think it is appropriate. 

When this new little guy finally decides to arrive, he’ll need a name, too.  So I’ve decided for various reasons, to call him Li’l Britches. 

Now, if only he would decide it was time to meet us…

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Home Cookin’

Ah, comfort food.  Holiday recipes.  Traditional meals.  I love this time a year when all the favorites, the tried-and-true, and the nostalgic food is being served.  Of course, it isn’t great for the waist-line, but then this year I don’t have to worry about that, since our soon-to-arrive blessing gives me an excellent excuse to eat.  🙂

While it hasn’t been hard to think of yummy holiday goodies to make (spiced nuts, Chex mix, Texas sheet cake…), I have been having a bit of trouble in the regular meal planning.  When it is time to go grocery shopping and I sit to make my list, I think of the things we’re out of, I include the chocolate and the flour and the sugar for the “goodies”, but I can’t seem to plan a menu for the week.  It’s like having “Chef’s Block” or something.  And it isn’t for lack of thinking of the situation.  I feel like all I have thought about lately is, “I don’t know what to fix for dinner!”

Well, when in doubt, I try to go with something easy, something comforting, and (if possible) something healthy.  Today for lunch, I decided on this lovely version of Chicken and Dumplings that I have adapted from several other recipes.  When you can’t think of what else to make, and you only have a few ingredients, this works well.

 Amanda’s Chicken and Dumplings

  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs (or a 2-3 lb. chicken, whole)
  • 6 cups of water or more, to cover chicken and make stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a stock pot and simmer until chicken is tender (about an hour or an hour and a half).  Skim off any fat or “scum” that rises to the top.  When chicken is cooked, remove from broth and shred or cut into bite size pieces.  (If using a whole chicken, remove chicken from bones.)  Return the chicken pieces to the broth. 

For dumplings:

Beat one egg until light in color.  Add one cup of flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp. of pepper and 1/2 tsp. of sugar.  Mix until a dough forms (will be very sticky).  Drop dough by half-spoonfuls into the simmering broth.  Let cook until they hold together on their own, about 2-4 minutes.  Ladle into bowls and serve.

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Oh, Forget It…

I just typed a really long, carefully-worded post on my reflections over the past few months since putting Bud on medication for ADHD, and when I tried to post it, only half showed up.  So, I am mad at the computer.  I just wasted an hour of precious free time on a Saturday while DH was swimming with the older kids and Baby was asleep.  Maybe I’ll just go back to reading my book.

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Well, I am very satisfied with a recent purchase I made.  My money was well spent when I bought Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey on Amazon.  I never would have heard of this little book if not for Amy at Contemplations Amid Chaos.  Thanks, Amy!  My hair will never be the same (thank goodness).

I have tried so many different styles, products, and “tricks” to get my naturally-curly hair tamed and presentable.  I could get my hair to look nice, but then it would be crunchy from all the spray gel.  I could get it to feel nice, but then I looked like Rosanne Rosannadanna. Gilda Radner (Ok, well not quite…but still.)  I dreaded humid days. Haircuts often turned into nightmares.  I would say to the beautician, “Please, just don’t make my hair poof out around my ears…”  And then cry when my hair dried and bunched up around my ears. 

But after two weeks of doing the “Curly-Girl Plan” I have soft ringlets of curls with no frizz.  My Curls(Well, ok, there may be a little frizz, but I do live in Hawaii where it is pretty humid.)  The change is wonderful.  And I don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive products.  Just conditioner and clear gel, and I am good to go.

Of course, it isn’t enough that I like my curls.  My womanly vanity also desires that others think my curls are beautiful.  Well, I can rest on that issue, thanks to Missy this afternoon.  She was playing with one of my curls, making it bounce, while I was buckling Bud in the car.  Then she said, “Mom, if your hair was food, it would be Curly Fries!”  A fine compliment, indeed. 🙂

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Well, this week has been rough.  Particularly the last day or so.  We are struggling through a schedule change with DH’s work, we are having a very difficult week with Bud, and overall we’ve just been cranky and tired.  But, there are always moments of joy.  Sometimes we just have to look harder to find them.  (more…)

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                    Pumpkin Muffins

I know it isn’t “pumpkin” time, but I love this recipe year round.  My kids ask for these regularly for breakfast… though with our push for morning protein, I don’t often make them.  Tonight, though, I was feeling generous.  The kids will be thrilled when they wake.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (can use vegetable oil)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin (or 1 small can)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups flour (can substitute with whole wheat…still yummy!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 -1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Grease muffin cups.

Mix sugar, oil, eggs.  Add pumpkin and water.  In separate bowl mix together flour, soda, baking powder, spices and salt.  Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  (Yields about 20 muffins)

*Note: this recipe was adapted from one on Allrecipes.com submitted by user name Donna

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