Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pretty Peach Muffins

If you've read the post about the salsa, you know the background on my insider advantage on the peaches, and why I can't bake a pie in August.  If not, you can read the full story here:

Next to step up to the plate was a muffin recipe that I Googled and tweaked. It was easy enough for my 5 year old to do most of the measuring and mixing on her own, while I snacked on the salsa and sipped some summer wine. 

Here's what you need to make about 16 muffins:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches
  • ¼ tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease or spray a muffin pan. 
In one bowl combine the dry ingredients, in a separate bowl mix the oil, eggs, sugar and extract. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and then gently fold in the peaches.  Spoon evenly into muffin tins, and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Eat, repeat, share, enjoy! 
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Simple Peach Salsa

I am incredibly fortunate to have awesome neighbors!  It is such a gift in life to be surrounded by interesting, caring, friendly, generous people.  But what's even better is when they have peach trees!  My next door neighbor told me last year to help myself to her peaches, and at the time, I had no idea what to do with the bounty.  So, like any warm blooded American, I baked a pie!  It was the most delicious summer time treat I had in a long time, but I finished the whole thing and then suddenly realized why pie is not popular during swim suit season!
This year, I filled my basket of peaches and decided on two recipes: salsa and muffins.  Sweet, savory, and in safe portion sizes, I could better enjoy the goods without paying the price!
The salsa was a big hit, and my only complaint was that it was such a small batch, I didn't have enough to gift back!  I will definitely be making this again!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Check Off Morning Chart Success

I have to admit, I really do have it easy most days.  There are 3 mornings a week when I am mostly off the hook on the home front.  While my husband struggles to get the girls out the door on time and off to school before the bell rings, I am long gone and likely one hour into surgery, unable to be reached by phone, and totally in the zone.  While being a mother to two wonderful girls is the best part of my life, school day mornings can be very difficult, and I would much rather stop a bleeder at 8:30AM than beg two children to please just get out the door already.
This week, I took to the computer to draw up a morning routine plan for each girl that will help keep them on track.
This was really easy to create using Microsoft Word.  I just went into the templates and typed "checklist" into the search box.  I found the one I wanted under "checklist for child's chores", but there were lots more to choose from (including a "To Do List" that I will likely re-visit in the future).  Once I clicked to download the template, I was able to click in each of the fields to customize the chart.  By inserting clip art, I was able to make things a bit easier for my pre-reading 5 year old to understand. I tested this out one morning on a clipboard with a pencil to see if she would play along.  To my surprise, she loved it!  Getting ready became a game for her instead of a struggle.  We also were able to talk about the words on the sheet, the times listed and finding them on the clock, and cheer on her success!
Once I was settled on the task list, I stopped by the dollar store and found an 8x11 frame to place this into.  The next morning, it was waiting for her with a dry erase marker, and a note on the bottom that reads, "If I have all my boxes checked off, I had a really great week!  When I've done a great job, I get to have:".  This allows her to set a goal each week.  She felt really proud to check off all those boxes, and shows me when they are complete.
I've seen chore charts on loads of sites, but this one was easy, quick, convenient, and so far a success with us.  School starts Wednesday, so we will see if that success continues.  I hope it does!
Oh, and by the way, once Maddy got to try hers out, I had to make one up for my 8 year old too!  Maybe weekday mornings are about to become double the fun!
Linking to

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blueberry Lemonade Bread

Blueberries and lemonade!  Some of the best that nature has to offer us comes from these tasty treats in the summer.  At our last home, we planted blueberry bushes in the backyard and had our fill when ripe, ready and rinsed under the hose. This year we had an awesome time picking our own bounty at The Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, Massachusetts.  This place is one of the best pick your own farms in New England, definitely worth the trip.  When we got home, I was ready to bake up some batches of blueberry breads but found that I was out of lemons!  I did have some lemonade on hand and was really pleased with the substitution results!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Growing With A Group

Towards the end of spring, I was starting to ask myself just what the heck I was doing with this blog...
Thankfully, I found a great way to explore what had been missing all along, and find the answers to all my start-up questions.  The time was right to join a group and gain some knowledge to replace my inexperience.
For a mere $35 investment, I enrolled in a course that has helped me create and meet goals, improve blog design, make and share buttons, improve photography, edit photos with online apps, and begin to embark on the world wide social media web that has tangled my mind for so very long.  We're only half way done, and the fun has just begun.

Friday, August 2, 2013

DIY Photo ID

A little while back, we took the kids to the Mystic Aquarium.  As we were getting organized to go, I started to have that maternal worry creep up on me.  You know, the one that creates that voice in your head reminding you to check with your kids to be sure that they know their name and phone number, just in case they wander off.  Is that just in my head?  Hope not!  Anyway, I thought of sticking some form of ID on my little one, just to be crazy and sane at the same time.  Are you following me?  
When I thought quick, it came to me that a duck tape photo ID would be just right to create a wearable form of ID, fun for the kids, and easy for me!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cabinet BBQ sauce

When I was shopping last week, chicken thighs were on sale.  I was craving BBQ chicken,but I knew that my husband would balk on the thighs. I would have to kick things up a notch to make this good.  Enter Google Search for BBQ sauce recipe...