Saturday, June 23, 2012

Strawberry Picking

Drew, Maddie, and I met some friends at the orchard Friday morning to pick strawberries.  
 It was a beautiful, warm day to be at the farm!  For $3.00, we got to pick a quart of strawberries, play on the playground, and see the animals in the petting farm.
 We rode out to the strawberry fields on a big golf cart.  The boys were very excited!
 Drew listened well to the picking instructions, and he found some nice berries.

 Cute little berry pickers

 Drew kept showing me all the berries he picked.
 The boys worked hard, but they got hot and tired before they got their baskets filled.  The last little bit of picking was pretty tough!
 Drew with his basket of berries
 Some of our group's strawberries
 Back in the golf cart to return to the barn

 When we got back, we let the boys play while the moms and the baby girls sat in the shade to cool off.  After they played for a little while, we ate lunch, and then they went back to playing.
 Drew was sad to be leaving and would not cooperate for a picture.
 Maddie and me
Maddie was a good girl at the farm.  I had her in a carrier, and every time I crouched down to pick a strawberry, she would fuss.  I think she was just uncomfortable.  She was happy once we got back from the field.
 We stopped for drinks at Sonic on the way home - it was Happy Hour!  Drew chose a strawberry slush since we had been picking strawberries.  The first grade teacher in me loved that he stuck with the theme of the day!  :)
 Maddie fell asleep on the way home.
We had fun at the farm, and we were all a little worn out that evening.  My back and my knees were a little sore from all the crouching and bending (with a baby strapped to me!).  Now we have to decide what to do with our two quarts of strawberries!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

We had a very nice Father's Day yesterday.  Jim had to work in the morning (Father's Day is pretty much the busiest golf day of the year), but he got off mid-afternoon, and we were able to spend the rest of the day with him.  We had a family party that evening, and I took a few pictures of Jim with the children when we got home from the party.
 Maddie is getting so chubby!
 We think she might be teething.  She sucks on her fingers and hands a lot, and she is drooling all over everything!  Speaking of teeth, Drew lost his second tooth yesterday afternoon before the party!
 I was asked to bring a dessert to the party last night, and I decided to make fruit pizza.  It was delicious!
 I made mine on a cookie sheet instead of on a pizza pan for easier cutting and serving.
We are already trying to think of a reason to make this fruit pizza again. We really liked it!  Here's how I made it:

Fruit Pizza
1 package Betty Crocker sugar cookie dough mix (I had planned to make this from scratch, but I remembered that I had this cookie mix in my cupboard and decided to save a little time on this step.)
1 stick of butter, softened
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cookie mix, butter, and egg.  Pat dough down evenly onto a 9x13 inch cookie sheet.  Spread it all the way to the sides of the pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

1 package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups marshmallow cream (I made mine using this recipe.)
Mix cream cheese and marshmallow cream completely (I used my KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment).  Spread topping on cooled cookie crust, spreading it toward the outer edges, but leaving a bit of the crust uncovered - like a pizza!
Cut pizza into bars (I cut mine into 18), and then top each bar with your choice of fruit.  I used sliced strawberries, mandarin oranges, and blackberries.
I hope you all had a very nice Father's Day!  We are looking forward to seeing my parents next week when they come to visit us!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Jim and I have a new favorite breakfast - baked oatmeal muffins.  They look like muffins, but their texture is not muffin-like.  They are almost puddingish, but they hold together and taste very good.  One of these muffins and some fruit will pretty much get you through the morning.
I found the recipe on Pinterest, but after reading the comments, I made it with a few of the many variations the readers suggested.  Here is how I make them.

Baked Oatmeal Muffins
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup pumpkin (I use half a can)
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 cups oats
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, pumpkin, and brown sugar.  Add oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix well.  Pour in milk and add chocolate chips.  Stir to combine.
Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray and scoop mixture into cups.  I fill mine pretty full because these muffins don't rise.  I also press a couple of chocolate chips onto the top of each muffin.
Bake 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and enjoy or freeze.  This recipe makes 24 muffins.
These muffins taste great warm, and they freeze very well.  I usually pull out a few from the freezer and let them thaw overnight.  They taste fresh and delicious each morning!
 I baked a batch of these muffins this morning, and while I was baking I had Maddie sitting in the Bumbo seat on the kitchen table.  She was fussing toward the end of my baking and kitchen clean-up, but I wanted to finish, so I let her fuss.  She had gotten quiet, and when I turned to check on her I saw that she had fallen asleep in her Bumbo!
 Drew finished up his Wednesday night program at church last night.  They celebrated by having a carnival for the children.  Drew also got a medal (we weren't told exactly what it was for), and he was SO proud of it.  When Jim and Drew met me by the baby nursery after church, Drew strutted over to me with his chest puffed out to show me his medal.  After he showed it to me, he bent over to Maddie, who was in her car seat, and showed it to her.  It was adorable!
 Our big boy with his medal!
 After I took Drew's pictures with the medal, he took one of me!
I hope you are all having a good week!  Let me know if you try the baked oatmeal!