Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Simple Things

It just takes a few simple things to feel contentment about my day:

~the sound of the washing machine churning away tells me: something is getting accomplished

~the aroma of Cowboy stew simmering in the crock pot says: your afternoon will be calm and easy

~the taste of Constant Comment tea implies: both little ones are asleep at the same time!

That is today. Ahhh...the bliss of it all.

(Sheesh, I guess I need to get out more. Common household items are starting to talk to me!)
Oh, that photo doesn't really pertain to this post. Just a cheery, springy sight for this cold January day.

Applesauce Muffins

Warm up your kitchen with this yummy snack.

Applesauce Muffins

1 cup flour + ¾ cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups white flour)
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup butter, melted

12 apple slices
cinnamon and sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
Add egg, applesauce and butter.
Stir until just blended.
Spoon into greased or lined muffin pan.
Top with slice of apple and sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

Bake 18-20 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cowboy Stew

Or "Cowgirl Stew" as my girls like to call it. I love this recipe because it is quick and easy, everyone loves it, and it simply cooks away all by itself during that busy time between 4:30 and 5:30 when every child needs my attention and the baby needs to nurse. I can get it in the slow cooker during nap time, at my leisure, without stress. My kind of meal!

1 lb. ground beef
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can cream style corn
1 can pork and beans
1 can chili beans
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
chili powder
salt and pepper
Brown the beef with the onion and green pepper.
Season with salt and pepper, chili powder and cumin to taste.
(I just add a little and taste, add more and taste until I like it.)
Drain well.
Put all ingredients into a slow cooker.
(Sometimes I'll add more chili and cumin after tasting everything stirred together.)
Cover and cook on low 7 to 10 hours, or on high 3-5 hours.
My family likes to add sour cream, shredded cheese, and even tortilla chips to their bowls.
Oh, Cowboy(girl) Stew is great with corn bread, too!
Check out more great soup (or stew!) recipes at Jessica's Soup Swap!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back from a Blogging Break

An unintentional break. Christmas, kids, and a trip to see family, and Facebook have all kept me away. But now, two kids are at school, a toddler is napping in his crib, and a 7 week old baby girl is snoozing in her swing (love that swing!). So instead of putting away Christmas stuff, instead of doing the never ending laundry, instead of taking a nap myself, I made a cup of coffee, grabbed a couple of cookies from the tin and sat down at the computer.

So much has happened since I last posted. Here's a run-down:

Shopped for and wrapped a gazillion presents.

Hosted Christmas Eve dinner and made a ham for the first time.

Packed for myself and four children for a 7 day trip to our old home town.

Survived a 2 1/2 hour flight with four children by myself. Yes, I survived.

Spent a week in the snowy north (see photos below) battling bad roads, but having a great time visiting family and friends, enjoying my mother cooking for me, and generally being spoiled.

Survived a 2 1/2 hour flight with four children by myself. Again.

Kissed the pavement when we landed. Just kidding. Felt overwhelming relief while my husband drove us home from the airport in our roomy, comfy suburban.

Celebrated my 36th birthday.

Started putting away Christmas stuff, not finished yet.

Started de-cluttering and cleaning the house. Also not finished.

Got hooked on Facebook. Connected with some old friends.

Well, better stop there. Just the highlights of the past couple of weeks. Now, check out my photos of the snow!! I took them from the car on the way to the airport after realizing I hadn't taken a single picture of the record breaking, obnoxious, yet beautiful snow. By the time I left, they must have gotten 3 feet or more. The area I visited had storm after storm, and they are still getting more. I wonder if anyone can guess where I went. It made the national news more than once.

Happy New Year everyone! I'm already looking ahead to spring and gardening since it's so warm here today. Probably a little premature, but it's never to early to start planning!

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