Saturday, October 31, 2009

punkin carving

"You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!"
- Linus from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

caramel apple recipe recommendation

If you love caramel, you MUST make this recipe...the caramel is stupendous! You will never look at a plastic-wrapped caramel cube again. I used Honey Crisp apples (of course).

Friday, October 30, 2009

tell me what you think of these posts on Halloween

I'm interested what you think about a couple of posts regarding Halloween:

This post over on the Stand to Reason blog talks about Christians worrying much too much about Halloween at the expense of not worrying about more important things...

This is another good one over on the Coffee Talk blog written Professor Rick Walston of Columbia Evangelical Seminary.

Speaking of Halloween, the maxim "Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about hair" is being played out in my home. I decided to do a costume dry run this afternoon. (Yes, this family does trick or treat). Let's just say my girls have COMPLETELY unrealistic expectations about what their hair is going to look like tomorrow night as they dress as Belle and Tinkerbell.

5 year olds just don't understand that can't have a Tinkerbell bun when you have a chin-length bob, and 3 year olds don't understand that Belle's ballgown hairdo was DRAWN and defies gravity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

blender pancakes

This hearty pancake recipe is great on a cold, blustery day. We never get those, so I just make 'em when I have a craving.

1 c. milk (or 1 cup plain yogurt, or a combination of the two totaling 1 cup)
3/4 c. whole wheat berries, NOT flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. oil (I use olive oil)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Blend the milk/yogurt and wheat berries about 4 minutes
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, blending just a few seconds until thoroughly blended
  • Pour batter onto well-oiled, hot griddle or well-oiled hot non-stick skillet, and cook until bubbles are clearly breaking the surface. Turn and cook until steaming nearly subsides. Don't overcook!
  • Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup. Mmmmmmm......

so you want to make bread, but don't know where to start...

Well, start here! I just posted a video at the bottom of this page demonstrating the no-knead bread method. It is so easy a 5 year old can do it. I'm not kidding. This is not the "artisan bread in 5 minutes a day" method. This method is what kick-started the renewed interest in artisan bread baking about 5 years ago, when the method was published in the New York Times.

After you watch the video, go to Breadtopia for more info. You'll catch the artisan bread-baking bug like I did, and you'll never be satisfied with store-bought bread again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

not so hot kid-lit

Dr. Albert Mohler has an insightful perspective on the state of children's literature. Here's an excerpt:

In this sense, the books we read to our children reflect the cultural values of our age. Inescapably, these narratives for children reveal far more than a storyline. Indeed, the books tell us more than we may want to know about the tenor of our times.

Click here to read the full article, "Parents, Obey Your Children?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

another bread book to recommend

My newest bread book just arrived: Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart. It was my birthday gift from the fam (I got to choose). This book in conjunction with the grain mill rounds out my collection of artisan bread baking tools. This book is not for the casual bread baker who decides some lazy Saturday afternoon that they want a loaf of bread for dinner. It requires planning, sometimes 3 days in advance. Many of the formulas require a sourdough-type starter (which had to be made weeks before!) or a biga made "yesterday". But this is the way I've already been making bread, and I have a starter in the fridge from which I will spin off a whole-grain starter. I'm excited!

a new church in ft. collins, colorado

If you live FC-way, you should check out the new church that is being established by our good friends, Vince and Kirsten in Fort Collins, Colorado, "The Town".

godly parenting

Another wise post from Pastor Andy, Trinity Church of Minot, ND. Here's a snippet:
Christian parenting rises or falls based on whether we parent according to the Law (focused on behavior modification) or the gospel (focused on heart transformation). The thought which struck me after I finished preaching which I wish I would have said is this: If our true goal in parenting is gospel-saturated, grace-driven heart transformation (which will give rise to increasingly more holy choices in our children as a gracious by-product, but not as the primary goal), then the most fundamental question we as parents should be asking ourselves when our children are increasingly recalcitrant, rebellious and non-responsively sinful is this: "How can I make Christ and His grace more beautiful, glorious and compelling to my child?"
So what can I do TODAY to make Christ more beautiful to my girls?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

honeycrisp apples are here

I just bought my first Honeycrisp apples of the fall at the grocery store this week. I squealed out loud, people looked, my girls thought I was crazy, and I didn't care. Life is very good.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

i'll have to remember this line

Instead of "Facebook" I'll be checking The Well Trained Mind Message Board
"Rhymes with Orange" as read on The Seattle PI website. Click the image to go to their site.

financial training

Ingrid has been wanting a flashlight for months, so, Chad decided that she could earn it. Watch that little girl move! For three weeks now she has voluntarily picked up our room, folded laundry, helped pick up yard debris, and done Ilsa's share of pickup when Ilsa dragged her feet. So last night on the way home from work, Chad stopped at Ace Hardware and bought her a REAL flashlight...not some junky pink plastic princess flashlight...a beautiful red Maglite. Hard work pays off!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

christmas joys & christmas toys

Just a mere 13 weeks until Christmas! This is when we really need to hunker down as a family and make an purposeful decision to NOT make this Holy Day a toy grab for our kids. However, there is an aspect of the celebration that as parents, we do believe, warrants a celebration of gift-giving. So. What to give?

The girls have been asking for a dollhouse. Have you priced nice, wooden dollhouses (not made in China) lately? Maybe this will be a combined gift for the girls, with a few little furniture pieces for each of them. I love the Plan Toys modern "chalet" dollhouse, but I don't think the girls would dig it. They aren't modern like their Mama. But isn't it cool!? It actually comes in two pieces, and the staircase is movable, too, so both girls could play with their own part.

I'm sure they would love this one, too, and it's a bit more traditional. However, I'm sure what THEY want is pink, flowery, princess-inhabited and plastic. They don't know this, but we really don't want to buy any more plastic junk, and no more battery-operated anything. (I'm not the only Mama who thinks along these lines, either. What prompted this post, was a visit to a fellow Well-Trained Mind Mama's blog about this very topic.)


This blog once more might be about BIKING as well as book and bread. I have spun 2 out of the last 3 days! Woo hoo!
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