Saturday, July 28, 2012

White Bean Burgers

This is one of those "oh my goodness this is the best thing I've put in my mouth in a long time" kind of recipes.  I was flipping through a magazine recently and saw something similar.  Since I've been avoiding cheese and we were trying to use up ingredients in our house before vacation I decided to modify the recipe and this is what I came up with.  It is seriously super yummy.

White Bean Burgers

1 can great northern beans
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 slice white bread
1 slice rye bread
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
bread crumbs

Grate the carrot and finely chop the onion.  Crumble the bread as much as you can.  Drain your beans and rinse.  Combine all of your ingredients except the bread crumbs in a medium sized bowl and mix well.  It should look like a paste.  Form into patties and coat in breadcrumbs.

Coat a frying pan with olive oil and fry until golden brown on each side.

I served these with toasted buns, cabbage and a lemon mayo.

You could serve these with or without the bun.  They are very flavorful and filling.  And as always....seriously yummy and easy!

Family Lake Day

We spent our first full day in TN at the lake.  Boy was it fun!  We had lots of food, a boat ride, jet skis, plenty of sunshine and did a small early birthday party for the Little Guy.

Little Guy & Cousin Taylor chatting

KK & Bailie on the jet ski

Uncle Steven & Schaeffer

Birthday smiles with Mama

Little cake for our Little Guy

New truck!

Liz & Sis

Max aka Mac


Nothing says a picnic like baked beans

Short and Sweet and Super

We are having a blast visiting our family. It is exhilarating and exhausting and I'm trying to soak up as much family time and sun as I can for the next 10 days.

Hang with me new followers! I have an awesome white bean burger to share and another fun Pinterest project! I'll be back to regular posting soon!

Until then here is a picture of the Littlest Guy. He is clearly having a super time meeting his family!!

Have a great week!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Oatmeal Scotchies

My sister-in law introduced me to this recipe.  She is oh-so-kind and always makes them for me when we visit.  I love her version with the chocolate chips so that is what I'm sharing with you!  You can find the recipe on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse butterscotch chips!

Oatmeal Scotchies

1 1/4 cups unsifted flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 cup butter, softened 
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
3 cups Old-Fashioned Quaker oats 
1 (11 ounce) package Nestle Toll House butterscotch-flavored morsels (about 2 cups)

Combine your flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.  Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in oats and butterscotch chips.

You can either make these into cookies or bars.  I use a jelly roll pan and then cut into bars.  That way there are lots of "inside" know kind of like the cinnamon roll that never touches the outside of the pan?  Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes.  For a variation I use 1/2 a bag of butterscotch and 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips.  These are also really good frozen!

Monday Miscellany--The Messy Version

This weeks miscellany is brought to you by the many messes of my number one son.....

Here is the Little Guy enjoying a cupcake at his buddy Ethan's 2nd birthday party.  You may remember this picture from the party last year....amazing the difference!!!

How cute are these three little buddies enjoying their birthday treats?

We love sandwiches in our house.  Everyday we take the pieces of bread apart and each the jelly and peanut butter off of the bread before eating the bread.  We no longer eat with a shirt on.  It is way too messy.

Just the Littlest Guy saying hi!

Apparently someone wanted goldfish for breakfast.  Sigh....

Helping Mama lick the batter after making scotchies.  I finally posted the recipe after I promised it last week!

Apparently the fish wanted to go swimming in the water table.  Sigh....again.  

Hope your week is full of fun and less mess than me!
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinterest Test--Glitter Bottles

Ok, I admit it.  I wanted to do these because they have glitter!!  I love all things sparkly.  This was one sparkly project to be sure!

Here is what you need for this project--

A durable water bottle with top
A glue gun
other fun objects of different size and weight (weight is important!)

I got my inspiration from The Pink Pistachio.  Her tutorial is easy to follow and her bottles are so cute! I wish I had done a couple of things that she did.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. our house I told the Little Guy that we were going to do a project.  He is always interested at the beginning of the project.  So interested in this one that he dumped the entire jumbo sized bottle of glitter all over the dining room table.  Sigh.  I keep finding glitter on the mail, plates and even on the baby.  Regardless we pressed on.

I filled the water bottle halfway and gave him objects to put into the bottle.  I added the glitter and he added the pompoms, sequins and pieces of pipe cleaner.  More than 1 sequin definitely made it into his mouth.  Sigh...again.  I seriously can not wait for the day that he stops eating craft supplies!

After we were done filling the bottle I tried to put superglue alone the inside of the top like suggested.  However I am slow at glue-gunning and so it started to dry before I could screw on the lid.  I suggest gluing a ring around the bottom of the lid to keep it shut tight.

One suggestion I have is make sure your items are of different weights.  They float through the bottle at different speeds and make the fun last a little longer.  I wish I had used objects that were harder.  She used dice and pony beads.  The more noise a project makes for a little boy the better!

All in all this was a fun project.  I have seen the little guy pick up the bottle a few times and say "shake shake shake".  But I think it would actually be a better craft for a younger child that would enjoy watching the glitter.  This two year old has an agenda that doesn't include sitting still!

This project is definitely worth the time and minimal money and effort!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this project if you try it!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Blog Hop!

Welcome to our reality!  I like to think of life as a storybook....but let's be honest....with two under two it is definitely part storybook and lots of reality!

I blog about my family...and food!  I love teaching people new recipes and trying them out for myself.  I've also started trying out projects on Pinterest to see if they are really as cool as they claim to be!

I have 3 big one who I love dearly.  He is a wonderful partner, leader and friend.  We are enjoying learning how to be parents of boys together!  My two little guys are 23 months and 12 weeks.  They are THE cutest things ever.  I love sharing pictures of them and funny things my oldest is saying.  They challenge me in new ways everyday and are helping me grow as a Mama, a believer and a wife!

We're playing with a lot of trucks around here lately and we love animals.  We have a local zoo membership and go there often.  And all my boys love to eat!  We are also a military family so we are learning to adjust to being away from family and friends for the first time.

I love ... Jesus, Kentucky, Charleston (that's where we met!), food, costume jewelry, finding a good deal, traveling, learning to take better pictures, writing, reading and spending time doing anything with my boys!!

Here is a fun recipe that boys of any age can help out with and will love to eat!

And here we are tonight....covered in took forever to get this picture!

Thanks for visiting!  I'd love to have you follow our story!

It's 9 AM.... you know where YOUR toddler is???

MIscellany Monday

1. A New Phase

I think we've officially entered the "my toddler might potentially embarrass me in public stage". It might be a while but my Little Guy is already saying some pretty funny stuff. Tonight I put him to bed and we prayed. Then I told him "Night Night" and started to leave the room. As I'm closing the door I hear "See ya!".

2. All-American

We took to the boys to their first baseball game this weekend! We went with our good friends Brian and Amanda and their boys as well as Brian's family. We had so much fun! The boys chowed down on caramel corn and hot dogs. We survived a little bit of rain and the boys were very well behaved considering it was way past their bedtime! Sadly the game kept going into extra innings so we didn't get to see the fireworks. I'm determined to see fireworks at last once this year!

3. Nestle Toulouse

Did you ever see the episode of Friends where Phoebe and Monica try to figure out the secret recipe to awesome chocolate chip cookies. At the end Phoebe finally remembers the name of the recipe's author....Nestle Tollhouse. Turns out, the recipes on the back are pretty good! I suggest making the ones on the back of the butterscotch chips! My sister in law introduced me to these and they are fabulous. I'll share the recipe later his week!

4. Little Green Monster

The Little Guy has done pretty well adjusting to his new little brother. The only time he seems to be really jealous is when I am feeding him. Today he kept pointing to the carseat and saying "seat" while I was feeding the Littlest Guy. I finally realized that he wanted me to put Reed in the carseat! I was excited that he was communicating things to me but I feel sad that he is jealous!

5. Fashion Forward

We are into all things transportation in our house. Our favorite however is the firetruck. When Peter ran the Tacoma marathon they handed out plastic fire hats at the expo. The Little Guy didn't pay any attention to it until a couple of weeks ago. He now wants ME to wear it everyday. I try to give it back to him and he just says "wear it! wear it!". I guess I'll have to resort to hiding it soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pizza Roll

This is another family favorite.  We seem to have a lot of those.  Probably because we love to eat!

As usual this recipe is super easy and super delicious!  It's another one that you can customize based on your preference for ingredients.  I love recipes like that because you can tailor them to your family's likes and dislikes.

Pizza Roll

2 loaves of frozen bread dough
mozzarella cheese
turkey pepperoni
Italian seasoning

So...I'm a self-proclaimed non-baker.  I'm also still getting the hang of planning ahead.  I love this recipe because you can keep all of the ingredients in the pantry or fridge.  It's a great Friday night family dinner. Ok, on to the good part!

Take your pizza dough out in the am and place on a baking sheet.  Spray it with a little big of cooking spray or olive oil and cover it with wax paper.  Let it rise once.  Punch it down and then let it rise again.

After you let it rise a second time you are basically finished!  Just add your ingredients and roll up the bread like a jelly roll.  I like to brush the top with a little big of olive oil and sprinkle it with Italian seasoning.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until dough is golden.  Slice and serve while it's still hot!

We like to dip this in spaghetti sauce!  I suggest making two so you can fill them with different ingredients.

Hope you enjoy another of our family favorites!

Chomp Chomp

I'm pretty sure when Peter's Mom prayed for me for years and years she secretly prayed that I would love to shop.  All the girls in our family share the love of a nice shopping trip and a great bargain!

When Mimi and Grandad came to visit back in May we took a little trip and Mimi bought the boys these matching shark outfits.  All four boys have these so we'll have to get some additional shots when we are in Tennessee.  I'm sure with 4 boys those will turn out great :)

Love how the Littlest Guy is watching the Little Guy

Love this little man!

This was the best picture I could get of the two of them!

They look like the poster kids for "my parents make me take way too many pictures" club.

Let's hope for a little better success the next time!  Regardless we love our cute little outfits!  
Thank you Mimi!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dining Room Revamp

When we moved to the PNW we thought we had left the hospitality of Charleston behind us.  Not so.  The people here in our neighborhood are wonderful and we couldn't ask for better neighbors.  We could however do without the palmetto tree wallpaper covering our dining room walls.

We live in a gorgeous little craftsman house.  It has a built-in bookshelf, gorgeous ceilings and century old door handles.  The palmetto tree wallpaper had to go.

Peter left on his overseas assignment 4 weeks after we moved into our house last year.  We thought we could take one weekend just steam the wallpaper off.  Underneath was what can only be called a HOT MESS!  The plaster was crumbling and we didn't have the time or the expertise to fix it.

So I lived with the crumbly plaster wall and the palmetto wallpaper for 6 months.  Right before Peter returned we had someone come in and put up beadboard and re-plaster the walls.  Then when my Dad was here to visit he painted it all.

Here are the before & after pictures.  I love my dining room now!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pinterest Test Kitchen: Dried Strawberries

Strawberries are in season for another week or so here in Western Washington so we've been eating as many as we can!  In Charleston we used to go strawberry picking but in April or May!  We seem to be about 6 weeks or so behind the South here as far as crops maturing.

Peter was out of town last week and our sweet neighbors always take such good care of me when he is gone.  They brought over fresh strawberries one afternoon and then returned later that day to mow and edge our lawn.  What a blessing!  They also LOVE our little ones.

Since we had an overabundance of juicy berries I decided to try drying them.  If you are on Pinterest often you've probably seen this picture and if you haven't just search "dried strawberries".  About seventy five zillion people have pinned this one.

It comes from the World Wide Gourmet.  Aren't they beautiful?  They look like candy and that is just what the recipe claims!  It's an easy recipe (so you know I like it!).  Simply halve or quarter the berries and bake in the oven at 210 for 3 hours.


Those directions don't seem too hard to follow.  Here's mine...

Yeah...they look like I charred them on the grill.  The good news is the picture looks worse than they taste.  I didn't cut many of mine because they were small to begin with.  I'm going to try this again and slice them instead of quartering them.  I'm not sure how the website managed to keep them so red but clearly I didn't have the same experience.

As far as taste.  Eh.  They are ok.  They aren't gross but they certainly don't taste like candy!  If you've ever had dried apricots, that is the consistency I was envisioning as these were in the oven baking.  They smaller ones are close to that.  The bigger ones still have a little juice in them even after over 3 hours of baking.

They definitely aren't pretty.  So making these would be for a personal snack and not to serve at a party.

Overall, I'm not mad that I tried it and I will try it one more time but if it isn't successful I won't be trying it again.  I was kind of hoping they'd be so super yummy I could use them as a dessert snack but I'd rather just have a cup of fresh berries.

If you are a strawberry fan I'd just stick to fresh berries, especially if they are in season!  Here is how I like to eat mine...

Quick Balsamic Strawberries

1 cup strawberries
1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 Tablespoons goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Halve or quarter your strawberries depending on their size.  Mix vinegar and sugar together.  Pour over strawberries and sprinkle with goat cheese.

This is the perfect blend of sweet, savory, salty and tart!  I hope you enjoy!!

Miscellaneous Fun

It is gorgeous here in the PNW.  We took advantage of the beautiful weekend and spent as much time outside as possible.  We hit the playground, the beach, the sprayground and a local restaurant on the water. I love being able to be outside without sweating, although I did get a little sunburn!

Littlest Guy is shouting out to Heathera in his shark onesie!

I LOVE this picture!  I wish he were in the frame a little better but I just love the action, the water, his little cute!


I mentioned last week that I felt like I can't get on top of my cleaning.  Still there.  But I did go out this week and get some cleaning supplies that I think will help motivate me.  I've also started a box of "things to get rid of" that I hope to start filling up.  I'm WAY better than I used to be but I still do hold on to things longer than I need to.  I try to be good about cleaning out my closet each season and I need to do that in each room of the house.

A few weeks ago I blogged about my obsession with the Little Guy's matchbox cars.  Well come to find out the reason I couldn't find the missing wasn't here!  Little Guy had apparently forgotten it at a friends house.  I can't even explain the weird relief I felt when we got it back.  Since then I've also realized what a bad idea the sand/water table was.  It makes me INSANE if sand gets in the water section.  Maybe I'm more of a rule follower than I thought I was!


A couple of weeks ago we went to the members night at our local zoo.  This was one of THE best investments we've made.  Our zoo is wonderful.  It is right on the water in the middle of a large city park.        
It has everything from tigers to reindeer to tigers.  

My favorite area of the zoo is the Asian area.  I'm sure this isn't unique to our zoo but the animals in this area are rotated.  It is always a surprise to see which animal is in which area.  The cats are always the most elusive.  The leopard is always really hard to spot and the tigers are hit or miss.  Not this night!

This tiger was in a great mood.  He was strutting all over the pen and for some reason at that moment no one else was around.  It isn't a perfect picture but I love this one of the Little Guy and Peter looking at the tiger.  After this the tiger walked over to the glass and started licking the glass (which is what he is doing in the second picture).  It was strange but neat!


I've started planning the Little Guy's SECOND (I can't believe it) birthday party.  I've decided on a barnyard theme because I figure it might be the last year that I get to actually choose a theme.  For the next few years it's probably going to be trucks and super heroes....not cows that say "boooo".  I just realized that I only have a MONTH left to plan and we'll be on vacation for a good part of that month.  I can't wait to share some of my ideas for food, decorations and party fun!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday!!!


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