Friday, January 30, 2015

Conversation Vacation

Scene: Kit insists on accompanying me to the bathroom. She walks by the toilet, balancing the tablet precariously in one hand uncomfortably close to said toilet.

Me: Sweetie, please move the tablet away from the toilet. I really don't want it to fall in.

Kit: Will it drown?

Me: Yes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Le Petite Chef: Egg Salad

Grace loves egg salad.

Really loves it, as in she would eat it every day most likely.

So it was no real surprise that one of the things she wanted to learn to make during our cooking sessions together was egg salad.

So that is what we did.

There are about as many ways to do egg salad as there are condiments and spices and herbs in the world. So there is endless variety when it comes to flavor, which I happen to think is awesome.

This is our basic recipe.

Supplies: 

  • Eggs
  • Mayo
  • Mustard
Step One: Grace filled a saucepan a little over halfway with water and then gently set the eggs in the pan. Make sure there is enough water to cover the eggs with a little room to spare. Put the pan on High heat, we want the water to boil. When the water reaches a boil, turn off burner. Let eggs sit in the hot water for 8-10 minutes.

Step two: While the eggs rest in the hot water, fill a medium bowl with ice and just enough water to come to the top layer of ice. (We used a large bowl because it was clean and within reach.)




Step Three: An adult should drain the hot water from the pan. 

Step Four: Grace used tongs to transfer the hot eggs into the ice bath. Then allow eggs to rest in ice bath for 10 minutes. This makes the eggs cool enough to be handled by little hands, keeps the yolk from turning green, and helps make the eggs easier to peel.






Step Five: Drain the water from ice bath. We set the eggs on a towel for simplicty of work space.




Step Six: Peel eggs. (Note: Fresh eggs are actually kind of a pain to peel. To learn why check out this cool post!)


Step Seven: Cut eggs into pieces. We don't have a potato masher, which is how I did it as a kid, so we just use a fork and a knife, which is great motor and utensil practice anyway.


Step Eight: Add desired amount of mayo. We don't really measure it, but it probably is about half a cup for eight eggs.


Step Nine: Add mustard. Again, we don't measure, we add and taste. But we probably use about 1/8 cup for eight eggs.


Step Ten: Add any other desired herbs, spices and ingredients. This time we didn't add anymore. We were out of both sweet and dill relish, which we usually add one to the eggs depending on our moods that day. 

Step Eleven: Devour! Spread on bread for sandwiches. Serve on crackers. Or grab a spoon and eat as is, which is one of Grace's favorite ways to chow down on this dish!



How do you like your egg salad? Share with us and we'll try out your recipes!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Looking Back: Part One

I have multiple things I'm working on and attempting to get out of my head and into posts, but this is slow going and often interrupted.

I am deep in the midst of Burnout. Have been, to a greater or lesser degree, for the last two years in fact, but this time feels worse than the others. It's much slower digging out, and the hole feels much deeper this time, but I'm slogging away at it nevertheless.

One of the things I have been wanting to do is to re-post some of my older posts. I know not everyone has the time, energy, or desire to read through two years of archive posts. So I will, over the next few weeks, re-share some of my favorites. Reading back over these, it's amazing both how close and far away these days feel. We've made much progress in so many areas. Others were better back then, but prove challenging right now. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy reminiscing with me.

The following piece was originally posted September 30, 2013, while we were still primarily using ASL to communicate with Kit, and when sleep issues still dominated our days and nights. I will forever appreciate Victor for taking over bedtime when I simply could not function anymore. But I think the bond he and Kit have as a result is way beyond priceless, and I'm so glad they still share a unique bedtime routine, even if it doesn't need to happen in sign language anymore.

Once Upon A Bedtime Story...

Ever since our youngest was born, sleep has been one of our biggest challenges. After months and months of two steps forward one step back, and trial and error (oy, lots of error!), we can finally say we are making some progress.

Baby and Daddy still sleep on the couch.

Every night though, for about a month, Daddy gets her corner ready just how she likes it. Then she cries because she doesn't want to be apart from Mommy. But then he says its time for a story...

She quiets down, settles in and waits.

Then, every night, Daddy tells her a story using signs. They are usually about a baby, and a daddy, and going outside. And when Daddy forgets a sign or doesn't know one, he asks her...and she always knows, and shows him.

She listens, she smiles, and she signs along.

When they finish, Daddy says a prayer with her, lays her down, and covers her with her weighted blanket.

And for the first time in her life, she falls asleep by herself, without nursing, being held or rocked, or even touching one of us.

She amazes us everyday.

And I...have fallen in love with her Daddy all over again!




Saturday, January 24, 2015

Indoor S'mores

Hi everyone. Sorry about just sort of dropping out of the blogosphere for a while there.

I don't want to go into the details of the last month, suffice it to say I've been bled of all energy and the demands for it have only multiplied. Blegh!

So I had to let things go in order to better focus my energies on the things of highest priority, my family. That included blogging for a while. I hope to get back to it it more regularly soon, but for today, here is a recipe that I originally found on Pinterest, but tweaked, and I think improved.

We call them Indoor S'mores, and they are amazing!


Here are the ingredients:

  • Non-stick Muffin Tin
  • Ready to bake Sugar or Snickerdoodle cookies. We prefer the Snickerdoodle. A package of these contains 24 cookies, so you could either make just a few, or the whole batch if desired.
  • Nutella
  • Marshmallows, little or regular size both work. I've used both and I prefer the large ones as they stay in the middle of the cookie better, making it easier to remove from the muffin tin.
  • Crushed graham crackers (optional), we made ours by putting a couple crackers in a zipper bag and crushing with a coffee cup.
  • Chocolate - bars, chips, kisses, of whatever variety you choose all work, though I didn't like the chips as they didn't stick well to the marshmallow. We've tried various kinds, Krackle, Butterfinger Bites, Andes Mints, and regular milk chocolate Hershey's. The original Hershey's tends to be the favorite, though I really like the Andes mints with them, but I am a mint person. I would still like to try AlmondJoy, Mounds, and peanut butter cups with these.




Step one: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step two: While the oven is heating up. Place one cookie in each muffin cup according to the number you want to make. If you are making less than six, the cooking times might need to be adjusted down by a few minutes, so check on them frequently so they do not overcook.

Step three: When oven is ready, bake cookies in muffin tin for approximately 11 minutes. Then remove from oven and set on a heat resistant surface. The cookies will not be completely cooked. Do not remove from muffin tin.



Step four: If using graham cracker crumbs, pour 1/4 teaspoon onto each cookie and spread gently.

Step five: Add a dollop of Nutella, about 1 teaspoon, on each cookie on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Step six: Press five mini marshmallows or half of one large one into the Nutella in center of cookie.




Step seven: Put back in oven and let cook for 3 minutes more. Then remove from heat and turn off oven.

Step eight: Place once piece of chocolate of choice on top of each marshmallow (or group of mini marshmallows). Allow to cool for at least ten minutes (but we like to let them sit longer, at least 30 or more).

Step nine: Devour, and delight in chocolaty marshmallow cookie goodness!! Faces and fingers may get quite sticky, but these are sure to bring a smile to little faces and make a great-just-in-from-the-cold kind of snack.



Keep cozy, everyone!