Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Norwegian Apple Pie

Thanksgiving and Apple Pie, that is about as American as it gets. 
Well, on my mother's side of the family no one came over on the Mayflower or celebrated the early and traditional Thanksgiving meals. We are Scandinavian- Norwegian and Finnish, so Apple pie is a type of kake (no, not cake) and does not have a crust. 
So the "american version" would be a crustless pie (and would use cinnamon instead of cardamom)

Norwegian Apple Pie

2 egg whites
C Sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1tsp baking Pdr
1/2 C flour
1 C apples diced (smaller the better)
sprinkle or two cardamom

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray an 8" cake pan/pie pan with cooking spray. (I use glass)

This handy dandy thing is an egg separator. I like it because it gets most of the white off the yolk with no bits of shell in it.
No idea where I got it from, I probably stole it from my step mom when I moved to Austin! 
(Thanks Suzanne)

Beat the egg whites, sugar and vanilla until mixed.
Add the baking powder and beat until fluffy. 

This makes the top "crust" of the pie, so you take your time with the eggs, but we are not making a meringue (Although that does sound good right now, probably due to being pregnant at Thanksgiving)

Beat in the flour until blended and smooth. I would think you don't want to overbeat the flour and activate too much of the gluten, but I am not a chef, so who knows!
Sprinkle in the Cardamom before you add the apples. I used less than 1tsp because it is super strong stuff- and a Norwegian dessert spice go to. You can't have Norwegian Desserts with no Cardamom.

Add 1 C diced apples.
Make sure you DICE not SLICE
How Un American!

Any apple will do, I had Fuji because they were on sale and are a staple apple at our house. 

The next batch I am making with Washington Reds, so I'll compare. 
 When my mom made apple pies, she always made two, one with the reds and one with the granny smiths, I figured the Fuji would be a combo of the two.
Bake for 30 minutes. The pie will puff up while cooking and settle when it cools.
I guess I didn't take a picture of the batter, but it is really thick, similar to a cake when you put it in the pan. Lily asked "Mom- are you making cake?

The hard part is waiting until it cools to eat it, but you HAVE TO! I promise it will be worth the wait. Go put it on a window will and forget about it. 
(Because it is easy to forget about pie when your entire house smells like it)

Traditionally Norwegians top this with a goat cheese. Well, we didn't have any lying around, but I could have used yogurt, or what the heck, a big dollop of Whipped Cream.
NOT Cool Whip, you gotta go for the real deal there.

 The pie is fairly thin, maybe a bit over 1", so I am going to try to double the recipe and see if I still get the same crunch. 

Yes, that is what was left after dinner!

My friend who is a chef got the first one I made. She was thinking of how to "Americanize it"
I suppose if you don't have Scandinavian tastes buds, you could use cinnamon and brown sugar.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

New Wake Up

I normally get the bulk whole bean Organic Coffee from Sunflower, which is a steal at $7.99/lb. They don't offer bulk at the HEB I was shopping at yesterday so I was stuck with other "options". There were the basic Starbucks brand, which looks like a decent deal until you realize the package they sell is only 12oz!
I almost gave up there when I discovered this brand-I say discovered because it had not been on the shelf there before, but I distinctly recall seeing this coffee before. Lo and behold, it is a local brand, grown in high altitude of Nicaragua, hand picked, then roasted here in Austin.

The taste rivals Starbucks, with that strong almost acidic taste.
 I guess that is from the local roasting (I am an Austinite and down for anything local).

My husband commented on the beans when he put them in the grinder, they were so oily they looked wet, I even rubbed a bit of the oil onto my fingers. In fact, I could smell the coffee as soon as he put it in the grinder, before he turned it on.
This is my new favorite: Fair Trade, deep flavor, localish, $6.99/lb

*Update* The HEB did a major overhaul and now offers bulk coffee, to top it off, they offer FARA'S different flavors and blend in bulk!
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Paper Bag Curls

A little late to post this since my hair is short again: 

Here was my first attempt at paper bag curls.

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It's a...


When we went to get the ultrasound, the place we had the appointment at told us that they did not take our insurance. Of course they neglected to take down a current phone number so they were calling one I have not had in over 5 years. They also failed to ask what my insurance was.
So we left.
 (Like we were going to pay $450 cash for an ultrasound!)

I placed a call to Bluebonnet Imaging in Round Rock who got us in the next morning.
The place was small, but the staff was wonderful. The tech told us that she would tell us what she sees, it is was neat that she typed what she was looking at on the screen, so we knew what all the blobs were.

When she got to the "goods" she first stated that everything was flat so she was thinking it was a girl. Of course, we were hesitant to take that word. 
She kept looking because she wanted to be sure. When the baby moved over, the tech got really excited and said "OH! WAIT!" and backed up the screen shot. She asked if we saw the image on the screen, we did, and she told us that if it does not light up- it was NOT an umbilical cord.
So she put the pulse/blood measuring thing over it, and there was no color on it. 
She said "Not lighting up, you can paint the room blue"

We were so thrilled with the experience there and she said we can come back for free once to get another view of him. We did not get to see his face, so I am hoping for a nice profile shot!
We may also get the 3D, but Corey thinks it is creepy to see the sienna image of a squashed baby, so perhaps not.

I will try to upload the picture later, as Blogger is not liking me at the moment.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Taming the Flyaways

No, not the hair fly aways, although this time of year when the weather turns, hair gets full of static and stands on end.
I am talking about taming the fly aways of your mouth (or my mouth as I am thinking about it.)
I have always been one to mean what I say, or pop off at the mouth no matter what or even worse, let my mouth drive my ship. I have gotten much better over the years as God has worked in me, but even a quick tongue that has been silent for awhile can come back full force.

I had to think about what causes me, my soul, my heart to allow my mouth to get away with things. It was re evaluation time.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one Col. 4:6

I don't always have grace with people. Sometimes, I think things should be done my way because to ME- that is the right way. And when people close to me don't do it that way, I get frustrated. A little frustration can cause growth, but when you don't check yourself and let God work out that frustration, it can cause bitterness which will cause you to get out of character, or let that old character come back.

Lack of sleep can cause you to get tired and weary which causes you to not think about the actions of your words. Being a mom of 2, pregnant with my 3rd and having a busy life style, I have to schedule and plan to go to sleep early. When this does not happen, I get too tired to be good to anyone and then I get short with everyone around me. This always comes out in my tone. "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." 
Do you remember when you could ask your husband something so sweetly and your voice was light and girly? He would do it! But when you ask blunt and forceful (even using the same words) he has no interest in helping. He may even call you a nag!


If you are bored with what you are doing, not only are you going to not do your best, but you are also going to be negative about what the other people are doing.
If you are bored with whatever it is you are doing, find a way to change it up, or learn something new to add to it. This goes for anything: work, play, schooling, exercise, housework, church. God gave us a fullness of life, to enjoy his creations, not to be bored with our very breath!

So take today to actually think about where your heart is. If there is someone you feel you can't talk to without having a condescending or condemning tone- tell God that only he can change your heart so it comes out in your mouth.

Be careful little children what you say.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

All my Gender Tests

So I wanted to try all the fun gender tests and while I am waiting for the post to deliver our Gendermaker gender test, I thought I would try the cabbage test
1) Cut a large chunk out of a purple cabbage (the directions say 1/2 but I don't like to waste)
2) Boil water and add the diced cabbage. Let boil for 10 minutes. (I used filtered water so as not to change the ph of the water itself and mess with the test)
This is what is will look like when you are done. The directions stated that the smaller you chop, the better the results will be, but I read that after I had already started boiling it.
3) Pour cabbage water in a glass and let cool.
4) You might as well let your urine cool too. (Yes, you will pour pee in a glass. Corey thought it was disgusting that I was using our good glasses, but that was the only clear glass we have.
Equal parts cabbage water to urine:
BOY: Lighter Reddish/Pinkish
GIRL: Dark Purple/Blue
The mixed product:
As an experiment I added cabbage water to more (clean) glasses and added baking soda to the one on the Left and Vinegar to the one on the Right
I KNOW this is all in good fun, but you have to admit, it was pretty fun and there could be some scientific basis to it considering purple cabbage has ph test qualities. It just needs to be determined if your ph in fact changes based on the gender of your baby, or are some moms more acidic/alkaline than others.


This is one of the newest tests on the market. You buy a little test that looks like a dollar store pregnancy test and you drop some pee in it, then wait for it to turn pink/blue/purpleish.

So, I took the test TWICE, and both times I got the same result:
Needless to say, I am so curious to know what the baby will be. We are hoping for a boy- and this pregnancy has been completely different from the last two, so maybe so!
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Friday, July 29, 2011

You and me and baby is three

As in this is the 3rd Baby!

Yes, you read it correctly, we are surprisingly expecting another child.

This was not planned, not though out and came as a shock. But who are we to question God? We are hoping for a little boy this time (the last time). Lily has been saying she is having a baby brother for 6 months I am blaming her for speaking us into this! She will be such a great big sister, as will Chloe.

It is hard to think of Chloe as having to be a big girl since she is still so small, she mutters little words but is not nearly as easy to understand as Lily. I think that has to do with the prophetic word spoken over her that before she is able to speak she would be used by God to heal people. Maybe she will take longer to be a chatterbox (or at least not in baby speak) but God is going to use her in that time!

The 3rd time around you really feel different, or at least I did for the first 4 weeks. I was queasy and tired. 8 weeks is a little better, but I can't fit in anything. With the girls, my hips were the first to grow but this time, I have a bloated big belly that does not allow me to button my pants.

This is around 4 weeks, or when I found out (I had JUST lost 5 more pounds too)

And this was at 8 weeks EEK!

I guess I am going to get really big fast, but hopefully I will only get a belly this time and not a big bottom too!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 1 challenge

relaxing and fresh
comforting, inviting, welcome

a home is a haven but only when stress less;
to achieve this- I want it mess less

good stewards, peaceful,
a place of our own

open for friends at any hour
a clean home is in my power

happy husband, encouraged kids, satisfied me-
it all starts when we come home from the outside

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Friday, April 29, 2011

clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere

My sister recently turned me on to a new blog. She really does find the best, whether vegan chocolate covered goodies, or making yourself a better mom through your walk with God-
I love the blogs she sends me links to.

I really wanted to share one (if I can figure out how) that happens to be in the first week of a 31 day challenge for a clean house.
Mary and Martha were sister in the bible that had two very different ideas of how to run things. Mary hung out literally at Jesus' feet while Martha was busy tending to the house to make sure everyone had all they needed.

I am somewhere in the middle. I hang out with the Lord, but often find myself distracted by the workings of being a stay home/WAH mom that I get too busy to sit and be with Him.

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean

Link to this blog- she is a wonderful writer and an encouraging word for all moms!
I'll let you in on my progress (I am only on day 5 because I started late!)
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

baby shower pins

I am all about making useful items as give away treasures. I am not a big fan of taking home little cluttery trinkets just to remember that I was was somewhere; so when I was asked to bring the party favor for a shower, this is what I showed up with: Yes, they are pins for the "don't cross your legs/say baby/say the mom's name" game.
They are also magnets for holding items on the fridge
Or a chip clip
But they are also

Wooden Clothespins
strip of self adhesive magnets

First- paint your pins (these are pink I promise) When they are dry, flip them over and stick the magnets to the back. I used 2 because they were small and I did not want them falling off the fridge for the cat or dog to eat.
You can add the ribbon at the end, or before you get the magnets on, but the ribbon really made it stand out. I still have mine on the fridge and even thought about making more for chip clips to give away- maybe for Christmas.

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doing something useful

I finally found a use for the scrapbook paper that I have hanging around!

I made cash envelopes for the Dave Ramsey program. The ones that come with the kit are pretty basic and meet your needs, but I got a new wallet and the system did not fit with the spiral that is on it. I cut the envelopes off the spiral, not realizing that they were going to fall apart! oops!

I found numerous ideas online, but they were all from men so they stuck to the same old manila envelope based system that was so drab and boring. My new wallet is pink and girly (Thanks Elly!) I got it for my birthday and needed to represent some pink frilly cuteness- manila was not going to cut it...
so I cut my own

(yes, a $10 is all that I have in there)

I found a template online (free) for do it yourself envelopes and printed it on pretty paper to make my envelopes more festive and fun.
Hopefully this will motivate me to use them more often.

I used regular paper, not heavy-weight card stock, so I am sure I will need to make more in the very near future but I don't have all the materials to score and hole punch with the pros.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

I can dig it

Can you dig it? I can!

I spent all day on Friday digging a garden. I don't know what happened to all our garden gear, all I could find was a shovel that Corey had altered when the handle broke, and a rake. There was no Hoe, spade, pick axe or anything that would have made it a little easier. I almost wanted to just go get a tiller, but I figured I could forgo the gym and work out outside. I started with a little patch a few feet from where I actually wanted to plant the garden. The reason the location was changed had to do with the spring buttercups. Lily would not let me dig them up to plant my garden. So we went 4 feet left and Corey can just cut down the scrub tree that is causing shade over the tomatoes.

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Are you ready?!
This is for all my Victory Outreach Folks: are you making a way to conference or are you letting little things get in the way and saying "I'll make it next time?".
You need to get your bags packed, get a plane ticket, or find a car to get you there- no matter what.
World Conference will IMPACT your life.
You will be impacted, excited, encouraged, recharged, and so many other adverbs that I am too excited to work out on "paper" right now.
The first thing when you go to conference is that you will realize that God has hand picked you for this ministry. He has called you out of the world, into his light. You will see that you have a hope and a plan for the future here. God will give you a word for your life, maybe even your calling. Things will be revealed to you through the speakers, the music, the messages that you may have never thought of before. You will see that God has a plan for your life an wants to use you in a higher capacity.
The second thing that will be revealed to you is that you are not the ONLY one! When you are there in the sea of people from all over the world worshiping in different languages and dialects, you will truly see the brevity of reaching the world. You will want your family there with you, your brothers and sisters and mom and dad. You will want to share the message of Jesus with them because you will not only want them saved, but you want them to do more than they are doing now.
You will see just how far into the corners of the world our ministry goes, in to the almost literal depths of hell, to take back what the enemy has stolen and to bring the peace of the Lord into the highways, the byways, the lost the desolate cities.

So if you have been making excuses and reasons not to go, you need to flip the script and start making plans and arrangements to get yourself and your family there. Don't wait until "next time" God has a diving appointment with you THIS TIME.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Hair do

I am going back to my roots.
Well, a lighter, spunkier version anyway. I am a blonde, I swear. (A dirty, faded dishwater, straw blonde now)
I am going to highlight (Well, Sam is) my hair a little at a time to go back to blonde with character.

BEFORE: (Faded auburn)

AFTER: (woven highlights)

Sam did a great job! I was going to just do a full color and go back to blonde all at once, but I decided to have a little fun with it and let her play with color!
I feel like Spring- now to get some gardening in!
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National Atheists Day

Yep- today is the day given to all Atheists so they don't have to complain about not having a holiday. Why today?

14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

The scripture goes on to say:

They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.

Are all atheists bad people? No, but the definition of bad/evil is purely the absence of good/purity. Therefore by that definition, they are bad by the absence of God, who is holy. I have heard atheists say that humanity is inherantly good and therefore they should not have to rely on a 'being' to tell them they can go into a heaven for eternity.

Well...what is school for? You don't just expect to get a good paying job one day because you held an old lady's hand while she crossed the street, or gave money to the poor do you? NO! You are instructed in the way of the career path you seek. The word of God is our instruction manual (the lamp unto our feet) that allows us to make sure we are doing the right things. Couple that with the Holy Spirit (the teacher who steers us in the right direction while we are in lifelong training) and you will see that humanity needs direction. We are all born with the desire to know the creator, but some fill that with a self-gratifying sense of "me". They are not willing to give anything in their life to anyone higher than themselves.

Oh and humanity in all is not inherently good. Have you ever noticed that even when not taught, a child still disobeys, gets into trouble, lies and even steals? So how are we supposed to be good when by nature, our flesh wants to sin? We have to learn NOT to do wrong.

It is not by good deeds that you have eternal life. I am amazed at all the atheist websites condemning and arguing (full of rage and hatred) against Christians, even using scripture and saying we are misquoting the Bible! To that I say:

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, "I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE." (20) Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

How can you say we as believers are misquoting the word of GOD (whom you so blatantly believe does not exist) Why not use your own references?


I'm so glad Jesus Set me Free!

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

the indomitable inkwell: pieces to a puzzle...

the indomitable inkwell: pieces to a puzzle...: "Ever read Revelation? Ever think about how it will all go down? Watching one crisis after another unfold in every part of the wo..." Pin It

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fast Friendly "Alfredo"

Don't tell my husband what is in this, he'll never let me make it again!

We are on the Daniel Fast and I can only take so many rice and beans before I feel I will turn into a burrito. Money was a bit tight this week, being the tail end of the paycheck week, so I needed something to make that would stretch. Lily can not have tomatoes because of her nightshade sensitivity so we try to make unique pasta dishes anyway.
I found this online and made my own variation to stay true to the Daniel Fast. The original calls for cream, but I trade that out for veggie broth, or soymilk (unsweet)


1 sm head califlower, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 sm shallot, diced
2 Tbs EVOO
1 pound whole wheat linguine (or noodle of choice)
1/4 C veggie broth or soymilk

Cook pasta according to directions. In a skillet heat the EVOO and saute the garlic and shallot until transluscent. Add salt and pepper. Steam Cauliflower until very soft, drain and add to garlicky oil mix. Mash with potato masher or use a mixer until it is creamy, add the broth or soymilk until the consistency of sauce (it does separate a little) S and P to taste. I added red pepper flakes to mine after the kids were served.

Everyone ate it up and no one knew what it was!
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Deny the Flesh and celebrate new life

We are in day 9 of our 40 day Daniel Fast and thus far, it has been going well.

This is not, I repeat, this is NOT a diet. Yes, we are denying ourselves of grease, sugar, simple carbs, coffee, cheese, meats, butter, soda, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, ice cream etc. But this is more than what we are not allowed to have. We are denying our flesh the satisfaction of eating what feels good in that moment, what satisfies our cravings so God can satisfy our Spirit.

We eat pretty well anyway so adjusting to the Daniel Fast has never been hard for us, with the exception of CHEESE. Rich, creamy, salty, melty cheese...I digress, this is where I honor my Lord by denying myself from cheese (even a Vegan substitute).

However, my birthday was on the 22nd; we are most always fasting around March and April which means I fast for my birthday.
Corey surprised me with dinner at an all vegetarian place: Mother's Garden Cafe.
The place on the outside looks reminiscent of a 50's diner with the blue and black decor. When you walk in, the front cashier is seated right inside the door, almost like a chinese restaurant. Then you walk to the back room. There are plants and colorful lights adorning most surfaces of the walls, tastefully though- not like they are creating the tropics in Austin. In the middle of the room is a pond with Koi. You can hear the waterfall and there is a quiet serenity that would be lost in the world of surf and turf. I could not bear eating meat with a knife and a fork there in the peace of the garden.

Corey had their "Bueno Burger" Which has been voted the best veggie burger in Austin for 10 years running. This was huge and tasty, with flavor and freshness. The pickles were the thick, crunchy homemade type, the bun was whole grain and toasted with sesame seeds, the patty was a thick veggie mix and it was topped with lettuce, guac and tofu dijon.

I choose the "Mole Enchiladas" Vegan cheese (I substituted this time!) vegan mole, guac, served with rice and beans. I will say the brown rice was a bit chewy for my taste, but everything else was wonderful and I ate more than I have in a long bit.

Lily had quesadillas and a fruit platter. Chloe ate most of the quesadilla and my beans while Lily devoured the fruit and her cup of rich soymilk.

This is a new favorite, fasting or not. We spent $40 with tip, but for the amount of food we got, that was a fair price and we left full, but not heavy and sleepy like if we would have dropped $40 on Jack Daniels Steak and Shrimp or Sizzling Chicken.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

They say it's your birthday...

And it is!
I turned 28 today. Although people keep pushing it to 30. I told Corey I was hanging on tightly to the last 2 yeas in my 20's.

Do I feel older yet? A little, My hair is a dull color and the roots are hanging out, I have about 20 pounds lingering here and there that need to be dismissed and Chloe keeps me up during the night so I am super tired during the mornings...those are things that make me feel not so much old, but weathered. Those are things that are adjustable though-starting with the body clutter. My Advocare cleanse was delivered today and I was very excited to get on the 10day system. They were out of Citrus, which is my favorite, so I settled for Peaches N Cream which is palpable. I have not cleansed since Lily was born so I am sure there is a good 3 years work of toxin and debris in my gut waiting to be released.
We are fasting at church which goes hand in hand with the 3-4-3 Cleanse-
no junk, fats, fried foods, sweets, dairy, meats etc.
(Annual Easter Fast, which means I am usually fasting for my Birthday each year)

What do I want to do this year and next year while I am still in my 20's? Well, I have my 10 year reunion this July which is a good time to reflect on the last 10 years of my life, which went by so fast I can't believe. What have I done and not done in the last 10 that I can look forward to in my 30's...
This year I want to establish exercise in my life as habit and lifestyle choices.
I want to buy a house.
I want to plant a garden.
I want to enroll in singing lessons or in school for music.
I want to learn to play piano.
I want to keep a shiny sink.
I want to invest in someone other than myself.
I want to teach my girls something new.
I want to be comfortable being me.
I want to go back to blonde (!)
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Monday, March 21, 2011

When you gotta go

My cat has been in the habit of urinating on clothing. It started with the birth of Lily 3.5 years ago. When she was born, he started peeing in her room, her carpet, her carseat, even her crib once. After she started crawling I guess he got used to her and stopped peeing on her items.

Then came Chloe

And here we go again. He pees in their laundry basket, always on the dirty clothing. Recently he peed on a shirt Corey inadvertently left on the living room floor, it was dirty however and there was one of the girl's socks mixed in with it.
Well- the kicker (I say that because that's what he got when we discovered his recent pee pile) came when he peed on our BRAND NEW Ikea mattress on OUR BED!
I am infuriated and so very close to making him an out door cat for good. Of course I can't really do that because we adopted him and signed an agreements saying we could not put him outside or face a fine of $1500!
But come on - the bed...he peed on clean laundry on the bed. Of course it soaked all the way down, we just took off the mattress pad so it went right on to the new mattress itself too.

So this is the adventure of odor removal.
So far, we have:
rubbed baking soda on it: No go.
Step 2: 50/50 vinegar and water dousing. I'll blot it and add more baking soda. I need to put it in the sun to dry but me moving a queen mattress all by myself is silly and I am liable to break something in my path. (Call it a path of destruction)
Step 3: Vacuum with a NEW vac. Our old one was 8 years old and not going to cut it- it sucks, no wait...actually it doesn't.
*update* I got a new vacuum- The Hoover that says it works better than a dyson! WOW- there was loads of old dirt and fuzz in our carpet that the old vac was not getting.
The vinegar solution worked, but the mattress smells a bit sour like vinegar now. When we get a hot sunny day (like tomorrow) I am going to put some water on the spot and put it out to dry and get some UV sterilization.
HE also peed AGAIN and his litterbox was 3 feet from the bed. This time though, the topper was in place so it did not make it to the mattress. But now I don't know what to do to clean the topper, it is memory foam and won't go in the washer. I guess vinegar/sun/baking soda.
I am beginning to hate my cat.
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Friday, March 11, 2011


My blogs are usually random things that are going on in my life, or things I found edible and interesting. I love reading my sister's blog-it is more of a truth searching mom trying to make it in a "modern" society blog. Her links really inspire me to dig deeper as a mother, a wife, a leader, a sister, a daughter, a woman.

I love that I am not the only woman out there appalled at the number of women "trying to make it is a man's world". It is encouraging to remember that there are mothers, working out of an in the home that still cherish good old-fashioned values, that make their own bread (even if only a few times a year), that love their husbands no matter what and discipline their children with stern love. In this world of highlights, high heels, acrylic nails and eyeliner (all of which I have or do wear) it is refreshing to see the woman underneath the temporal things.

Thanks Sis for reminding me of those things!
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A little off the top

Or a little off the sides really. Each year in winter, Corey starts his winter "coat". Which meant 2 years of Christmas photos with him in a beard. Not that I am anti-facial hair, but he looks older with the beard and I don't like to feel the scratchy poky facial hair when I want a soft kiss. Even Chloe agrees, crying when he tried to kiss her cheek. (Score 2:0)
This is him taking it off one layer at a time, down to my favorite soul patch. I really want him to go back to the chin-strap, but he said it is impossible without a good trimmer...
"the wrasler"

"the pobber"

"the baron"

" das fuhrer"

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Seeing Red

Did you know that until recently, red food dye was banned in the US? It is STILL banned in the UK for being a carcinogen and linked to ADD/ADHD and other diseases.
. I recently started trying to wean us off of food coloring because it has to be better for our health. DH is not going to well with it, he loves colorful candies and I can't find many that are all natural and colored in blue and green and red and pink and yellow. We also love Red Velvet cake which contains...GULP-2 bottles of red food dye when I make it.
I am on the search for natural alternatives for the next time I make a RVC. I found many online shops that sell natural colorings, some do say they will deposit flavor into the cake. I don't want a cherry flavored RVC and definately not a beet flavored one.
I came across a website that not only gave an alternative, but said it is being used in some foods as well and we may not even know it...
That red popcicle you are holding may be colored with bug guts!

"The way for you to know if you're consuming red beetles is to check the label. Although it won't read, red beetle, it can appear under several different names that unless you know what they are, you'd never suspect what it is."

Red Beetle Color:

  • Red 4
  • Natural Red
  • E120
  • Carminic Acid
  • Crimson Lake
They give them a clever name to disguise what it really is!
Now, I know that these bugs are, they live in cactus and if you squish them, which I have, they turn pretty purple red and you smear them on your face as war paint while you play cowboys and Indians, or you draw on your brother's arms with them when he isn't looking. But I never would have considered smooshing them up in my batter to make it red.

I have a feeling if I call it red bug blood, Corey will refuse a slice of Red Velvet, no matter what it looks like. Pin It

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

I did it! I made marshmallows. This started last year, around my birthday. Austin is knows for their Trailer Eateries and we went to one that has cake balls. I got Lily homemade marshmallows, which I never thought about making from scratch. The taste of this fluffy, squishy white powder coated square was enough to send me to Google for some recipes. I came upon one that gave trial and error about the mess involved and to not expect clean beater, bowls or spoons.

Makes about 96 1-inch cubed marshmallows

About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 1/2 envelopes (2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups granulated sugar (cane sugar worked just fine)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla (alternately: 1/2 of a scraped vanilla bean, 2 teaspoons almond or mint extract or maybe even some food coloring for tinting)

Oil bottom and sides of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch rectangular metal baking pan and dust bottom and sides with some confectioners’ sugar.

In bowl of a standing electric mixer or in a large bowl sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold cold water, and let stand to soften.

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook granulated sugar, corn syrup, second 1/2 cup of cold water, and salt over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to moderate and boil mixture, without stirring, until a candy or digital thermometer registers 240°F, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour sugar mixture over gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved.

With standing or a hand-held electric mixer beat mixture on high speed until white, thick, and nearly tripled in volume, about six minutes if using standing mixer or about 10 minutes if using hand-held mixer. (Some reviewers felt this took even longer with a hand mixer, but still eventually whipped up nicely.)

In separate medium bowl with cleaned beaters beat egg whites (or reconstituted powdered whites) until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat whites and vanilla (or your choice of flavoring) into sugar mixture until just combined.

Pour mixture into baking pan and don’t fret if you don’t get it all out (learning from my mess of a first round). Sift 1/4 cup confectioners sugar evenly over top. Chill marshmallow, uncovered, until firm, at least three hours, and up to one day.

Run a thin knife around edges of pan and invert pan onto a large cutting board. Lifting up one corner of inverted pan, with fingers loosen marshmallow and ease onto cutting board. With a large knife trim edges of marshmallow and cut marshmallow into roughly one-inch cubes. (An oiled pizza cutter works well here too.) Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar back into your now-empty baking pan, and roll the marshmallows through it, on all six sides, before shaking off the excess and packing them away.

These are her directions, mixed with my images.
I used my hand mixer, for the mixing and a regular knife (not oiled) for the cutting.
The best part was bouncing the fluffy white squares in the powdered sugar. I toasted my first one on a shish-kabob skewer, over my stove's flame. It was delish~! I boxed them up in Christmas containers and gave them to family and friends to eat alone or with cocoa. The next time we get the fire going, I will be sure to have a batch of these for smores. Maybe I'll even make graham crackers...!

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