Monday, November 24, 2014

the eyes have it

Natalie is in kindergarten this year. We've been working on learning to read. It hasn't been going overly well. But I did finally realize that at least part of the problem was that she couldn't quite see those letters on the page. When I would ask her about a particular sound, she'd say some random thing. "No, look at the page," I'd encourage her. And suddenly she'd have the book practically up to her nose to see just what that letter on the page actually was.

So Nelson took her to the eye doctor. Sure enough, the poor kid has quite the astigmatism.

She comes by it honestly. Every time I go to an eye doctor, I have to sit through hearing about just how unusually strong my astigmatism is. Doctors tend to go on and on about it. Apparently Natalie's is about as bad.

Genetics can really stink sometimes.

Making glasses astigmatism that strong means a long wait. But today we were finally able to pick them up. She's extremely excited about them. She's also excited about being able to see the computer and the letters in books more clearly. I'm pretty excited about that too.

Natalie in her new glasses

Sunday, November 9, 2014

blueberry biscuits

 I need to go grocery shopping. I won't give you the whole list of what I need, but I will say I've run out of eggs. 

This makes breakfast difficult. Most of our favorites require at least one egg. 

Thankfully, these blueberry biscuits do not. 

I'll never be a food photographer, will I? 
I guess I depend on berries a lot for breakfast. Strawberry soup. Blueberry pancakes, muffins, biscuits, or scones. Berries of all sorts thrown into smoothies. We like berries. We liked these biscuits too.

The recipe:
2 cups flour (I think I used about 1/2 cup all-purpose, and 1.5 cups white wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
maybe 1/2 tsp salt (I didn't measure very well)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter 
1 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk)
3/4 cup frozen blueberries (I may have used slightly more)

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut butter into the flour using a pastry blender (or two forks. Or a food processor). Once the mixture resembles those course crumbles you need for biscuits, toss in the blueberries and mix in the milk. You want a soft dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl.

If you roll and cut biscuits, do that. Roll out on floured surface to about 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter. I do drop biscuits instead. Drop by spoonfuls on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

The recipe said the yield was 10 biscuits, but I got 12.

P.S. I started writing this post on Friday. Thankfully, I've been to the grocery store since then. Pickings were getting quite slim.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

strawberry soup

Soup for breakfast? Yes, please!

This is ridiculously easy. And pretty. And yummy. If you make it the night before, it can chill in the fridge overnight. I'll confess that I didn't do that. I just made it up in the morning. 

2.5-3 cups strawberries (I didn't measure. If you're making it the morning of, frozen berries work best.)
2 cups vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
1 cup strawberry-flavored kefir (or cream)
0.5 cups vanilla-flavored yogurt (or plain yogurt)

If you have an immersion blender, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and blend. If you don't have a stick blender, you can use a regular blender. You may have to work in batches though. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

bacon cheeseburger pasta

I'm not a gourmet chef. I'm a schlep-it-all-in-the-pan and get-the-food-on-the-table sort of cook.

I'm certainly not a food photographer.

And I don't Pinterest.

But I know a lot of people do Pinterest. And I know a recipe needs a picture before it can be pinned.

So...voila! Bacon cheeseburger pasta!

I'd already stowed the leftovers in the fridge before I remembered to take a pic--see slightly "frosty" look the container has?

This is an easy recipe, and everyone ate it (yay!). I saw the original recipe in a magazine years ago, but I've long since lost it. I just recreated it tonight.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta
1 lb. ground beef
4 slices bacon
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
8 oz. spaghetti, cooked
1 cup shredded cheddar (or whatever cheese you like) seasonings (more on that in a minute)

Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain. Cook bacon until crisp, drain off grease, and crumble into beef. Season however you like your hamburgers seasoned. Tonight I used salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, cumin, and a chipotle barbecue spice rub I have. But use what you have and like. Add tomato sauce and spaghetti noodles. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add cheese and allow to melt.

That's it. Pretty simple.

(I would have LOVED to add sauteed mushrooms to this. My family would kill me for that. But if yours won't, give it a whirl--and send me some! I'm sure sauteed onions would be great too--but don't send me that.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

it's fall, y'all

We were sick.

Then it rained. And rained. For days.

But our reward for surviving all of that? Today!

Today with its absolutely perfect weather.

I wish I had a better camera. Because it's gorgeous here, and the iPod doesn't do it justice. But here's my best effort to share. (I'll try to post more pics as we move further into the fall season and the colors come out more.)

The shade of blue the sky turns in autumn is one of my favorite colors on earth

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sarah's artwork

Sarah got an art set for her birthday. She was eager to try it out today. 

She wanted me to share her first picture using the set. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

dawning of a new decade

I have a ten-year-old.

Pause. Deep breath. Let me let that sink in for a minute.

I have a ten-year-old.

Yeah, it doesn't sound any less weird.

Part of me can't imagine that she could possibly, in any universe, be ten. She was four just ten minutes ago, I swear. Two just a couple of minutes before that. So she was only a baby about half an hour ago, right? Right?!

Okay, so no, I guess not.

And yet another part of me feels she always been here, always been a part of my life, always been a part of me. It's hard to put into words exactly.

We had cake and gifts at my parents' house yesterday. We were planning to go to the Apple Festival today, but she's sick. She's currently sleeping on the couch. (The only good thing about her being sick--she sleeps pretty much constantly when she feels bad. And that seems to help her recover quickly. I'm hoping that will be the case this time.)

Since I don't have fun Apple Festival pictures to post, I'll just post a few other photos of my girl who is now a decade old (nope, not getting any less weird).

Oct. 4, 2004

Sept., 2006

July, 2008

December, 2010

Oct., 2012

Oct. 3, 2014
Happy birthday, Sarah! (And feel better soon!)