Friday, October 13, 2017

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

We went apple picking last Wednesday and it was awesome!

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Now begins the flood of apple based baked goods!

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Today we have Apple Pumpkin muffins:

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this recipe makes A LOT like 15 regular and 24 mini muffins. So plan accordingly.

2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

1 Large egg
1/4 C canola oil
1/2 C yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 C pumpkin puree

2 C apple chunks

pre-heat the over to 375 F

whisk together the dry ingredients
whisk together the wet ingredients
make a well in the center of the dry and pour in the wet. Stir until everything is just incorporated.
Dump in the fruit and fold it all in

spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake regular muffins for 20-25 minutes, mini muffins for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the tins to cool on a wire rack. Eat and enjoy!

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Pi Day Pie

Our family tradition is to always make pie for pie day. Usually the Llama requests Sweet Bean Pie, but the impending storm had me all distracted and I forgot to cook the beans so I made Pumpkin pie instead.

First you need a good crust, this is my favorite, tender and flaky!

Perfect Pie Crust

2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt

1 stick room temperature butter
1 stick super cold butter – fresh from the freezer is best

1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 large egg
cold water

put the flour and salt into your food processor and whir to mix.
Add the room temperature butter and pulse until it is almost completely incorporated.
Cut the frozen butter up into small chunks and pulse until it resembles large peas, maybe even a bit bigger.

In a measuring cup whisk the egg and vinegar and add enough cold water to make 2/3 cup.

Dump the flour mix into a large bowl and add the egg mix, stirring with a fork until it mostly comes together.
Separate into 3 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Each ball makes one crust.

When you go to roll out the dough fold it in on itself a couple times – like puff pastry – before rolling it into the final size and putting into your pie plate. Refrigerate at least half an hour before baking.

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Sweet Bean Pie

2/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp flour
2/3 C evaporated milk
4 Tbsp oil
3 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/16 tsp cloves

1 C mashed navy beans, packed down well.

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

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Pumpkin Pie

2 C pumpkin puree
2/3 C evaporated milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I use my homemade recipe)
1/2 tsp salt

3 large eggs
3/4 c dark brown sugar

Whisk together the eggs and sugar, set aside.

Whisk together pumpkin, milk, and spices until smooth. Stir in egg mixture.

Pour into pre-baked pie shell and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sort of bullet journaling, planners and a review.

For a while things like the BulletJournal have been popping up on my radar, but I've always been a person who didn't really thing they needed that sort of thing. I could just remember what I needed to do and do it.

But recently I've really been noticing how my housework has been slacking and how I have a lot of things I want to do, but I wasn't actually doing much of anything and I was feeling really adrift. Just about the same time the video for the bullet journal popped up on my radar. And since I was procrastinating on something I watched it. It was as if angels sang. Ok, not really, but previously all I had seen was the website, and while cool, I just didn't quite get it, but the video made it all make perfect sense. This was just before the beginning of April, so I quickly dug around in my giant pile of unused notebooks (because who doesn't have a giant pile of notebooks, I mean come on, notebooks!) and make a quick setup for April and I was off!

BuJo endofapril 2015 1

Right away a few things became apparent. I need much more structure than the pure BuJo philosophy requires. I couldn't just start a new page for a new list in the middle of something else. Having things randomly sprinkled throughout my daily entries drove me bonkers, even with the index. Also I didn't like the monthly calendar/list. I very visual and needed a real calendar. And along the same idea the lack of forward planning was kind of bothersome. (although not as bad as for some people, I don't really have a lot of appointments and future things going on to plan for)

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as the months progressed and I found more and more planner communities I began to discover nifty weekly layouts and things like tracking pages and interesting inserts and lists to keep and the limits of a bound book really began to show. By the end of May my poor little book was literally bursting at the seams - I had taped so many things into its pages that it wouldn't close properly and when I used its elastic closure to hold everything in, it put so much stress on the spine that it broke!

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And so I began to look at ring binders like the Filofax. I knew that I wanted something small - My little BuJo was only 3.5x5.5 inches and I really liked how easily it fit in my purse, and I wasn't so busy that I needed a lot of room to write. And I wanted a snap/tab closure – I didn't quite trust zippers and elastics didn't seem quite as secure. I drooled over the personal sized Macarons, and Doikibook and Kikki K, and Webster's Pages Color Crush, and man I really wanted a purple Filofax Malden. But they were all soo expensive!!! Especially for something that I really wasn't sure if it would work for me or not.

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I experimented with sketching out planner page like layouts in my BuJo and spent hours making custom inserts on my computer, and deciding exactly what I wanted to put in my planner and how I wanted everything laid out, but still no planer. Until this week that is.

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While my parents were visiting my Dad took me to Barns and Noble and I got a bunch of cool coloring books and most importantly an amazing personal sized planner for only $10!! now the quality isn't exactly top notch here, the cover is made from clear vinyl, so it probably won't last too terribly long, but at least I can get an idea of how ring bound planners behave and experiment and try it out and see if I like it. (all the grid pages are some custom pages I Printed out for myself, I also rounded the corners on some of the pages already)

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This planner came with four tabs and two decorated flyleaves. It also has a nifty little zip pocket with a matching bookmark and tiny notepad, and a sheet of coordinating stickers. There's a good sized pen loop and a pocket in the back of the binder.

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It also came with a year and a half worth of week on two pages (Wo2P) with lines and moon phases and holidays printed on them, Two 'notes' pages, a year and a half worth of monthly 'events' pages and four 'numbers' pages. None of which I plan on actually using – I like Wo2P layouts but I hate that the weekends were given fewer lines and for some random reason Wednesday also had an extra line. I liked the monthly events pages, but I already had a custom printout with all important holidays, birthdays and anniversaries on it, and have a separate place for future appointments and other events so I didn't really need them. Ditto for the numbers and notes pages, also there weren't really enough of them. All pages are personal sized (3.75x6.75 inches). I don't know how ring spacing compares to other brands since I don't have anything to compare them too. ({EDIT} I just went and looked it up and it looks like the ring spacing is comparable to Filofax personal size)

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Since I was changing the layout a bit I covered the labels on the events and numbers tabs with some of the included stickers – awesome.

The rings are rather small, everything that came with the binder fits well, but you wouldn't be able to add many more additional pages (probably why there were so few numbers and note pages).

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All in all I gotta say, if you aren't sure if you would like a planner binder or want to try out a personal sized binder before going for one of the expensive models I would totally recommend one of these. These would also be great for a kid's first planner. And of course custom planner printables like those from DIY fish should fit perfectly.

They are by Punctuate by Barns and Noble and come in a handful of designs - I saw The rainbow eastern/paisley design I got, Pink with shoes and handbags, a cute one with Owls and a couple with opaque sparkly blue or black covers. You can also find these on the Barns and Noble website if you can't get to one in person. (in fact I see some designs on the website that my store didn't have.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

At the cottage

So, this is an old post that should have been made ages ago. Sorry about that.

This post is very long, and incredibly picture heavy.

This summer the Llama Papa got a few days off and we all piled into the car and drove up north to visit family. But instead of staying in a hotel like we usually do, we got to stay in an awesome cottage right on the St. Lawrence! My parents had rented the cottage for almost a full month to celebrate my mom's retirement, so we hustled to get the time off so we could go and visit.

Since no trip up north would be complete without some weird car malfunction, the driver's side window decided to fall out of its track while paying a toll, and we ended up driving the last (very frigid, and slightly drizzly) half of the trip with it wide open. While the Llama Papa and I were miserable, the Llama himself was having a Blast! The wind blew his hair all over the place and he laughed maniacally for a good portion of the ride.

Once we arrived at the cottage, the first thing the Llama did was to give Sam the basset a biiiig hug.

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Then we went out to explore. The rocks were a bit too slippery to actually get into the water, but the Llama had a great time tossing pebbles.

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My parents had gotten him a new 3D book about animals, and he spent the rest of the night wandering around looking at everything in 3D

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After such a long and exciting day, the Llama settled into his room surprisingly easily and we all had a pretty good night's sleep.


The next day was picnic day, but first we went to visit the Llama Papa’s family.

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They had gotten him a bubble whistle, and he had a blast trying it out.

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After a while we wandered down to the river and the Llama got to explore, throw more stones, and sit on a boat with Grandma.

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The Llama Papa's brother and his wife were also visiting (but couldn’t make it to the party) so we had to take bunches of pictures with them too

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the lalonde
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Then it was back to the cottage for the Llama's half-birthday picnic party!
We got to visit with my friend Momo, her husband and her daughter (who took an immediate liking to the Llama's bubble mower)

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and the Llama got his big present: a shiny new tricycle!

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He was in love, and was very sad when it was time to put it away and go back inside.

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The next day wad supposed to be farm day, but instead we spent most of the day at the mall waiting for the Llamamobile to be fixed

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Luckily, the Llama is easily entertained.

We finally made it out of the Mall, and along with my Mom and Aunt Mary, to Old McDonald's Farm. The weather had turned drizzly, and we got there just before closing, but we were not to be deterred!

First the Llama got to brush butterscotch the plush horse while we bought our passes.

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Then it was off to feed the goats!

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Then after an interval to chase some ducks, he got to visit some sheep, and Guinea hens, and feed the bunnies and piglets.

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Then there was a barn full of horses and donkeys, and some emus and even reindeer. Then the Llama got to feed some cows and visit a few of his namesakes, and then he got to pet some goats!

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I have to stop a moment and say how awesome the staff was, even though it was so close to closing time, they still insisted on opening up all the barns for us and even urged us to stay as long as we needed once closing time had passed.

Finally after all that it was back to the cottage for one last night before heading home in the morning.

Overall it was an amazing trip, and the Llama had a great time visiting with family and all the critters. We definitely want to do it all again next year!

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