Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes

adapted from Whole Living Magazine (the BEST magazine ever...)

12 oz brussels sprouts cut in half (about 4 cups)
12 oz grapes (about 2 cups)
2 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil

if desired:
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350, on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper toss brussels sprouts, grapes, and butter.  Roast until caramelized and tender, about 30-40 minutes.  Drizzle with vinegar (if desired), olive oil, and toss in walnuts (if desired).

This is an AMAZING, simple side dish.  It is even great heated up the next day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Avoiding going crazy this winter....

It is only week 1 of cold weather; the boys and I have been outside ALL summer and are having a rough time adjusting.  Okay, honestly it is just me.  They are content with legos and cars... however I am SO bored!  Here are some indoor activities I came up do with them when I wish I was outside...  I am going to print these out, put them in a jar and whenever we get bored this winter we will choose an activity!

-Go 'fish' with a pole, magnet, and catch some cute fish w/ magnets attached
-Dance in the kitchen
-Play candyland/memory/chutes and ladders/bingo
-Play kickball or ride bikes in the garage
-Mall day (shopping, chocolates, kid rides, you name it!)
-Make and decorate gingerbread men
-Play marbles
-Teach them to play 'pick up sticks'
-Pool Party!  We fill the kiddie pool up in the living room (with tarps and towels under it to protect the floors), make summer type foods/drinks, and blow bubbles
-Make blanket forts
-Tea party w/ scones (I buy kid friendly tea and they LOVE it; but you could also use juice)
-Puppet show (make sock/paper bag puppets first!)
-Family Movie time (popcorn, etc)
-Coffee shop!  The boys and I LOVE to eat pastries and get out of the house for a little while  
-Cleaning day (exciting, I know lol BUT it is something to do, and wonderfully enough my boys love to help clean)
-Pictures (dress them up and have them do funny poses then make a collage)
-New puzzles
-"Preschool time" 
-Story time
-Hide and Seek
-Make apple cider 
-Craft time

Hopefully this helps some other Mamas out there!  Please feel free to comment with any additional ideas!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

ala Starbucks.  My boys LOVE these scones.  They could literally survive on scones, and only scones for the rest of their lives.  I have to bake a double batch of these to make them last longer than a week.... here is the recipe:

8 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3 vanilla beans
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8tbs) unsalted butter (cold)
4 eggs
2 1/4 cups of heavy cream
4 tablespoons applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 360* and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In food processor, combine flour, sugar, scrape the seeds from 2 vanilla beans (by slicing the length of the bean pod then scraping them out), baking powder, salt, and butter (sliced into tablespoon increments to make it easier for your food processor).  Process until just combined (mixture should be crumbly).
In mixing bowl, beat together eggs, heavy cream, applesauce, and vanilla extract.
Combine two mixtures, using your hands to evenly distribute liquid but not over mix.
Pat down on flat surface until dough is about 3/4 in thick. Using a knife, cut into triangles.  Bake at 360 until slightly browned.  Remove from oven and let cool, then frosten.

Start by mixing 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup milk, and seeds of 1 vanilla bean.  Thicken to desired consistency; I prefer VERY thick and layer it on with a knife instead of drizzling.  I find if it isn't thick enough it makes the scones a big soggy.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I am so so SO excited for the holidays.  I know, it is only October.  But hey, a girl needs TIME to prepare to make Christmas WONDERFUL for her family.  Here are some things I am loving: