Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Lucy!

Sweetie Lu is 6!

My rock star turned six this year.

First Grade

I think Lucy had a great day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reptile Zoo!

I would like to wax poetic about how I like to give my kids experiences for the birthdays instead of gifts, but I have nothing eloquent to say about it.  There is a lot of storage space in my home being taken up by toys when they would really much rather play with a laundry basket and a cardboard box.  Lucy loves animals.  Her laundry basket is usually home to an orphaned puppy, kitten or cheetah.  So when I saw a Groupon for the Great Lakes Reptile Zoo I thought it she would love it.  Turns out I was right.  Grammi and Grandpa came and we all really enjoyed it.  It didn't take all day, we were there about 2 hours and part of that time was painting pumpkins for their Boo at the Zoo.  I highly recommend it for a family outing or a field trip.

Noah kept saying, "Get in the water! Take a bath!"

This one was my looks like it's smiling.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Costume Reveal

These guys had fun at our ward Halloween party and I had fun dressing them up.
Lucy wanted to be Joan Jett but I discovered wigs are expensive so we went with a generic rockstar.  She loved it.  I love that she loved it.  For her costume I bought an adult size vinyl jacket at Salvation Army and then took it apart and altered it for her.  It was a lot of work since I've never done those kinds of alterations but I love the way it turned out.  It was all worth it when she put it all on, she was so excited and kept saying, "I love my costume."  

Noah's was a bit easier, I got him the pants and jacket, also at Sal Army, cut the hood off the jacket and added some interfacing to the collar so it would stand up.  I added the checkered flag duct take.  Not pictured is his race car trick or treat bag. 

During the fishing game Noah exclaimed, "I like a fish, I catch one!"  I thought to myself...well you were born into the right family.

We are excited to go trick or treating this week and happy we have Friday off.

Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Time

October Recipes

I love German food.
I tried a few new recipes this October and they are worth sharing.

The first is Oktoberfest Stew.  I loved this one and will be making it again this winter.  It has a distinctly sour/savory flavor that I love.  I had to buy beer for this one, and since I am not a beer drinker, I felt really silly.  I perused the choices at the grocery store but I realized I would have a lot of left over beer, so I decided to go to my nearby liquor store.  The clerk was really helpful and I promised to bring him the recipe since he is a stew-lover. 

The next is for Pretzel Dogs.

These were really good too, and very filling.  I used hot dog sized smoked sausage for these, like big smok-y-links, which I think made them a lot more appealing.  I will make these again but use Mel's Pretzel Bite recipe for the pretzel part but still do the boiling part.  This dough was a little more dense than I would have liked.  It was fun to share this one with Lucy, she liked helping wrap the dogs.

In other news...I have finally perfected my pizza crust recipe...I mean, really perfected.  It's awesome.

This recipe makes enough to completely cover my standard size pizza stone which easily feeds my family of four, usually with a few extra pieces.  

2 1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 C warmish hot water
1 t vital wheat gluten
2 1.4 T Yeast
1 t sugar
1 T olive oil
1 t salt

This is how I make dough and it works beautiful 99.9% of the time.

In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, add the yeast, sugar, gluten and water.
*the water should be very warm to the touch, almost hot.
Mix at high speed for 30 seconds.  Let stand 5 minutes or so.
Switch to the dough hook and add the rest of the ingredients. 
Let the machine knead the dough for a few minutes until it's pulled away from the sides of the bowl and bounces back nicely when depressed with your finger.

Let it rest while you prepare your pizza toppings.

Roll it out to the size of your stone, I usually have to roll it off the edge and then let it shrink back a bit.

*Another tip is that I do not heat my stone in the oven and I cook my pizza at 550 degrees for about ten minutes.  Because I cook it so hot, if my stone is that hot when I put the dough on it, it starts to cook and then is much more difficult to roll.  Also, add some corn meal to the stone, covering the middle two-thirds of the stone and then roll from the center.  That will keep the pizza from sticking to the stone and keep more of the meal of the stone than your floor.


Sunday, October 06, 2013


Look at these cuties!
After the game yesterday Lucy proclaimed,
"I love soccer! It's my favorite sport!"

I'm so glad she stuck with it.