Monday, January 30, 2012

Double Trouble

Today you get TWO cookies of the week!

Woo hoo!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

First up are snickerdoodle blondies.

These were sweeping the web (at least in the circles I run in) about six months ago.

And for good reason!

Snickerdoodle Blondies

They were delish.

Well OK, I didn't eat them. I did have a bite of the "leftover" blondies that were left behind after I cookie-cut out the hearts.

These actually were a big thank you to a fellow knitter who gave me probably 100 lbs of baby girl clothes leftover from her daughter this weekend.

I won't have to dress Baby Bez 3.0 for literally a year!

The cookie of the week for the lunches were Chocolate Coconut Toffee Delights.

Chocolate coconut toffee cookies

Oh mama!

Preheat your oven to 350. Melt a cup of chocolate chips in the microwave. Add the melted chocolate chips to 1/4 cup of butter (cut into pieces). Mix in 3/4 cup of brown sugar. Mix in 2 eggs and then 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and a 1/2 cup of flour. Lastly add a cup and a half of shredded coconut, a cup of toffee bits and a cup of chocolate chips. Bake your cookies for about 9 minutes. They're quite chewy and quite delicious.

Even Dr. Mad Scientist, who claims not to really dig chocolate (I guess I skipped over that part when I was vetting him for mate-material!) really liked them.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Potholder Family Portraits

Along with the fortune cookies, pretzel challah bread FAIL, chocolate chip cookies, and the housecleaning this weekend, I finally came up with something to do with these piece of fabric that have been hanging out in my stash.

You see, every year my Grandma comes out from the midwest to visit my Aunt Jaywalker in Massachusetts.

Since we've been living out here in Nueva Jersey, we try to meet up for a day at a place that's half way between us and where Aunt Jaywalker livings in MA.

We did miss hooking up in 2010.

Grandma always comes at the end of July/early August.

August is usually when Spoonflower has their Free Swatch Day.

Because the trip to see Grandma and Aunt Jaywalker is always fresh in my mind--I always seem to make my little free swatches using a photo from our recent meet-up.

But then it came down to--what the hell do I do with all of these swatches???

So this weekend I set to it and made some decorative "potholders" out of our family meet ups.

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And here they hang in our hallway!

The black and white of the boys (look how little they were!) is from 2009 when we met up at Gillette Castle State Park in Connecticut.

The other one is from this past year when we met up at Howe Caverns in New York. I feel kind of bad--I framed Grandma's face all funky when I ordered the swatch--so she kind of got a head-shave there!

The reason for this is because I almost missed the Spoonflower Free Swatch Day this year and I only had a few hours to upload my photo onto my fabric swatch. The site was pretty slow if I remember rightly--all that cheapass traffic!

Maybe someday I'll hang them from some kind of dowel to utilize the tab tops I sewed in there.

But for now I dig them as they are!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Beware of Monkeys In Trenchcoats!

Happy Chinese New Year!

2012 is the Year of the Dragon. Apparently a lucky year--and soon we'll have our own little dragon baby to add to our snake and rat.

Even though there is debate whether these were first made by a Japanese American or a Chinese American in either L.A. or San Francisco--the key word in both of those descriptors is "American."

These cookies are distinctly American!

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I'll have to post the recipe later--basically if you google "fortune cookie recipe" you're going to get what I used.

They were nowhere near as daunting as the recipe said they would be. They are time consuming though because I only ventured to bake two at a time.

The best part was coming up with the fortunes to stick in them--like the title of this post.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Predictable

I mean really, what did you think I would pick?

Flowers?

Nah!

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It's the Snow Queen Baby Sack.

Pattern: Simplicity 5720

Fabric: "Light Blue Blizzard"

Notes: An easy-peasey pattern for even the beginner sewist.

It's funny, when I was pregnant with Chunky, I had just received The Beast from my Mom,, and I had planned to make him a sno-snoot out of fleece, I got as far as cutting it out, and never finished it. It was nowhere near as easy as this pattern was!

I only made one modification--did you see it?

It's the hole under the zipper.

I made a 2" slit on the front and back right below the zipper, because while these sno-snoots are cute, they're not really easy to transport your kid around in.

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Don't worry. Our little snow princess will still get to see her day in the black floral fleece.

I figured I would use the blue blizzard fleece up first because I miss snow, and she's going to fit this thing for all of two seconds before she outgrows it, or it shoots up to 70 degrees in April.

Don't laugh. It's supposed to get up to 50 degrees next week.

In JANUARY.

Marie Grace sent me a lot of different baby/toddler patterns when she sent me this pattern--I'm sure combined with what I have on hand in my pattern stash myself, I'll be able to make Baby Bez 3.0 a cute little fall jacket she'll get more wear out of for the fall/early winter from the black floral fleece!

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Sugar Does Not Have a Daily Value

If you have friended me on Facebook, you'll be familiar with this rant.

For some weird reason upstairs neighbor lady (i.e. "Vector Neighbors") has felt the need to pawn a crazy amount of groceries on us the past week.

She's always done this--a carton of ice cream in the summer here, half a watermelon there. Kinda weird, but only one thing every once in a while.

Until last week.

Last week--over a course of two or three days she gave us:

2 boxes of Trix cereal
1 box of Coco Puffs cereal
1 box of Golden Grahams cereal
1 box Honey Nut Cheerio cereal
1 gallon of milk
2 boxes of those Koolaid drinks in the pouches (20 pouches total)
3 lbs of animal crackers
12 cups of pudding
1 box Little Debbie Valentine brownies
2 cans of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ahhhh....okaaaaay.

Now, granted I'm still nursing a wicked resentment of the infestation they bestowed upon us this past spring and summer, so I'm sure that's tainting my view--but seriously?

What is she trying to say?

I've narrowed it down to three things:

1. I'm crazy;
2. I'm diabetic and I can't have all this sugar laden shit, so I will give it to your kids so they can enjoy a downward spiral into diabetes;
3. Bezzie, I don't think you know how to feed your kids.

Don't get me wrong--it's not like we eat uber-healthy free-range organic free trade nuts and berries all the time--my boys know their way around processed foodstuffs laden with sugar, chemicals and unpronounceable names; however, when pretty much ALL she gives them is this shit and LOTS of it, it's really really annoying.

And borderline weird because she'll come down later to grill Chunky on how he liked XYZ that she brought him.

I know I sound ungrateful, but, the whole thing is just really really weird to me.

What sucks about this is I hate to throw it away because there are starving kittens in Iraq. But on the other hand--is it really humane to donate this type of food to starving kittens in Iraq?

You always read reports on how low income Iraqi felines are prone to high obesity rates...would this food really do them any good? Is bad food better than no food?

But it's kind of moot because I can't find anywhere local that takes donated food during the off season (i.e. not Thanksgiving/Christmas) or only take donations during tiny windows of time that working people can't make (the closest church food pantry takes donations from 1:22 p.m. to 2:39 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month that falls on a full moon).

And most of these places would prefer cash donations anyway. Which makes sense.

So here's the final disposition of last week's "gifts":

2 boxes of Trix cereal -- Trash
1 box of Coco Puffs cereal -- boys will eat
1 box of Golden Grahams cereal -- keep reading
1 box Honey Nut Cheerio cereal -- boys will eat
1 gallon of milk -- I already had a bunch of milk to use up; Dr. Mad Scientist took this to his Friday night AA meeting. The recovering like to have milk in their coffee.
2 boxes of those Koolaid drinks in the pouches (20 pouches total) -- down the drain
3 lbs of animal crackers -- boys will eat
12 cups of pudding -- boys will eat
1 box Little Debbie Valentine brownies -- Trash
2 cans of Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and Meatballs -- these are languishing in the cupboard (probably until the May postal service food drive!)

I feel bad wasting that food...grrrr...but the boys just won't eat/drink it.

As for that lone box of Golden Grahams--

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I paired it up with what you always pair up with graham crackers.

Marshmallows and chocolate.

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Smores-y type krispie treats for the lunches this week.

Melt 1/2 cup butter w/2 cups of mini marshmallows, add 4 cups of Golden Grahams, press into a 9"x9" pan, let cool. Spread 1 1/2 cups melted chocolate chips over the top. Cool. Cut into bars.

Moral of the story: When crazy neighbors hand you tons of sugary cereals, make krispie treats.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Sewing

Well, it's finally chilly outside (for a little bit).

And I have seen a few teensey weensie flurries the past couple of days.

But even if it stays in the mid-40s for the rest of the winter with absolutely no snow, Baby Bez 3.0 will need a sno-snoot (snowsuit) for her ride home from the hospital and for taking her brothers to and from school until the spring/summer is properly upon us.

This weekend I want to make the bunting from this pattern that Marie Grace so kindly gifted me.

I ordered two cuts of fleece from Fabric.com for this.

Black Flowers

Shagadelic girly neon flowers on black

and

Blue Snowflakes

blue snowflakes.

Any bets on which one I'll use?

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whoosh!

That's the sound of yet another drive-by post.

Things have just been insane lately.

Work and a nice little bug that has been working it's way around the household are mainly to blame.

So let's do the quickie wrap up--

First, a round up of the awesome presents my Mom and Youngest Younger Sister got me for Christmas:

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Black Alpaca Lace from Mom!

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My Youngest Younger Sister went on her belated honeymoon (wait, honeymoon? What's that?) to Australia. There she got me the above yarn and Polwarth roving. Love it!

She got a great story out of it too--apparently they had really hoped to see a kangaroo in the wild. By the time they got around to stopping by this fiber store checking out the wool--the proprietress asked them how their trip was going and they mentioned this one regret to her. She told them to hold on a second.

She went to the back of the store.

When she came out--she had a little joey wrapped up in a towel!

Apparently she's got a permit to rehabilitate orphaned kangaroos. Too cute!

I also didn't realize that kangaroos are like the deer of the Lower 48--you see them as roadkill on the side of the road all the time. Huh!

Moving on, here's what I did this weekend---

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We went to Chunky's football banquet. Not sure why they had it so late after the season has ended, but there he is "being modest" with his little trophy. All the kids got one.

They said everyone who finished the season got one. Because apparently finishing what you started these days is an awardable feat. Whatever, it was fun and one of his coaches sat at our table had nothing but good things to say about Chunky even though his season was cut way too short.

And how can I forget the Cookie of the Week?

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Mmmm! A chewy coconut oatmeal cookie!

Not sure if it's the "cold" weather but I've been on a big oatmeal cookie kick lately.

And finally--and update on the latest addition to our family: Trevor!

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He's a snuggler! YESSSSS!

I love Squeaky and Happy Feet, but they're not lap cats. Not like my dearly departed Springs was.

While Trevor will never fill the spot on my lap that my Springsy did, he certainly comes close!

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New Year

The first post of 2012.

I don't really do new year's resolutions. My motto every year is to just "roll with" whatever BS the year throws at us. Which is what I'll be doing again this year.

What a year it will be!

With Baby Bez 3.0 upon us, I know one thing that will be tight come September--money.

Two kids under 5 years old in daycare while I work? Oh that will be $2400 a month. Gotta love New Jersey.

Yes, I realize I could give it up and become a stay at home mom, but it's my decision to work. I saw too many SAHMs have their worlds fall apart when I worked in family law. I can't take that risk, slim as it might be that Dr. Mad Scientist will divorce me or get hit by a bus.

Honestly though, if you have ever driven/walked in New Jersey, that bus-hitting scenario isn't too far-fetched!

But it's OK. It's:

a) temporary -- in three years, Mooch will be in kindergarten or, in the more pleasant alternative, we'll be out of New Jersey--maybe in the land of Grandpa's Dog and Babysitting Service!

and

b) we've done it before -- I had a take home pay of approximately the same after daycare when Chunky was first born. We can adapt.

I'm already squirreling away money for our "fun" yearly stuff that we do that is complete luxury and non-necessity--our summer trip to the shore (or the "beach" if you don't live in New Jersey); our annual apple picking outing in the fall; another year in the township's football program for Chunky; and our Christmas tree cutting outing.

I'm also crossing my fingers that our tax return will be enough to pay off Dr. Mad Scientist's damned student loan (for his BACHELOR'S degree of all things--he didn't pay a dime for his PhD, if you don't count how much of his soul he sold) and we'll be debt free.

So we'll see. We'll just ramble on thru 2012 doing our best to keep up.

Don't worry, there will be plenty of cookies too.

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Did you see those cinnamon M&Ms they had on sale at Christmas?

I don't think they were very popular. And while the one I ate was OK, it was nothing I could consume in excess.

I think many people were thinking like me because they had OODLES of bags of them at Target on sale for 50% off this weekend.

Pair them up with your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe?

Delicious!!!

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