Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things To Do With 20 Lbs Apples - Part Two

Bake them! Super easy, and a pretty harmless dessert. Core apples, peel if you wish. If the apples are small they can be baked in muffin liners, otherwise place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Add  a dollop of butter, sugar and cinnamon to taste to the cavity of the apples. If the apples are sweet, you really don't need much. Bake at 350 until softened, about 20 minutes.

These are great with ice cream, or the vanilla custard sauce from this post.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Russ turned 4 this week. I guess that means we don't really have a baby in the house any more. Whew! 
At the same time, kind of sad...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First World Problems: No Internet

Our internet has been in and out for almost a week now. I know there are bigger problems in the world, but it is getting quite frustrating. Half the time I open the browser, I get that screen that suggests checking for typos, in case I didn't use enough "w"s in the address. I think that screen has looked the same since the internet was invented,  and I can't remember the last time I actually typed in any "w"s at all in a web address. Maybe time for an update?

Anyway, we have spent hours on the phone, turning things on and off as instructed, and two guys have come out to try to fix it, a third one coming today. Fingers crossed it will work, but so far their advice has been limited to things like "make sure you're not connecting to the neighbors' wireless, then you'll get a slow connection." Um, yes.

Last night I had an order of clothes for the kids ready to check out with 30% off. Then the internet went out again, and today everything is back to full price again. So frustrating! For now, the internet is on, and if it stays on my plan is to spend the day listening to the song in that Zillow commercial until I don't love it any more.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Things To Do With 20 Lbs Of Apples - Part One

Apple Crumble!

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pie pan and fill about halfway with thinly sliced apples (about 4 apples). Sprinkle with cinnamon, and a tablespoon or two of sugar. In a bowl, mix 6 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup chopped pecans or other nuts, and enough flour to get a good crumbly dough, about 1 cup. Spread over the apples, and bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly brown.

Back home, apple pie is almost always served topped with a vanilla custard sauce. It can be made up while the crumble is in the oven. In a medium pot, carefully whisk together 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (real vanilla would be even better!). Bring to a boil, stirring often. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

In the Apple Orchard

We went out to pick apples with some new friends! Progress!

I guess sometimes people get hurt?

There was only one rule: Do not climb the trees. It was a hard to resist.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Can you believe this kid is turning four next week? Crazy!
I am a happy lady today. It is officially fall, my favorite season, and we are going out to pick apples!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Farmer's Market Veggies With Polenta

The park by us has a farmers market not once, but twice a week (a huge one on Saturdays)! Since we don't have a vegetable garden ourselves anymore, we make a point to go as often as we can. Getting to pick out farm-fresh veggies for the evening's dinner is such a luxury when you live in a city. Now the fall veggies are starting to come in, and with the cooler weather, I am ready for apple pie and pumpkin soup! But for this time, here is a quick and simple veg dinner: veggies with creamy polenta (we love polenta!).

Cook polenta according to package instructions. Sautee chopped veggies (onion, squash, chard etc.) over medium heat, cover and cook until desired texture. Add tomatoes and a can of black beans (rinsed), salt and pepper. Heat and serve!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nature Sketching

All the kids' classes began last week, so we have been pretty busy here. Being completely new to the area, I've basically signed the kids up for classes at places I know nothing about, putting more trust than I'm comfortable with in random bits of information gathered online. But so far things have worked out great. I especially feel like we struck gold with the girls' art class. It is held at a wildlife center nearby. This first week they each came home with a small bouquet of flowers from the butterfly garden, and pencil sketches of them. They had even learned to identify the flowers!


Monday, September 10, 2012


First day of soccer, and Gaya gets a tooth knocked out. Fortunately a baby tooth, so no need for a trip to the emergency room, like when she split her lip playing basketball last winter. Still enough blood to impress, or so I hear. But what do I know, I wasn't even there...

Both girls lost their first games. Rasi made it through an hour of the craziness of toddler soccer without crying, so I guess that means he won?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Week Done

We survived our first week of school, though out of three kids (that had been healthy all summer), two got sick with a cold and fever. It was enough to test our enthusiasm for sure. I know a lot of kids get sick when they go back to school, but we homeschool! We concluded there must be something in the books. A conspiracy! It was also the first week of classes at the university, so Dave had several evening orientations and receptions to attend. Typical. In the end, it turned out to be a pretty good week. I am happy with our workload and what we were able to get done. And the kids had fun. They are particularly excited about the animal reports they are writing.

This week all their activities start, so we'll see how it goes. It will be a busy time: Soccer, swimming, and art lessons. A bit of science, and a class at the zoo. That's more than we've ever done before, and maybe a bit more than ideal, but we did just move here and I am hoping the kids will make some friends!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Between getting familiar with our new oven, trying to avoid using the AC too much, and having a vegan bakery around the corner, there's been ridicilously little baking happening here this summer. A batch or two of cookies, a box-mix coffee cake from Trader Joe's (it's really good!), and maybe a tray of muffins. But for Dave's birthday this weekend, I finally got around to baking something a little more exciting.

These are the tiramisu cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World. It was my first time making them, and I have to say out of all the recipes I've tried in the book (many!), these are my new favorites! The vanilla cake is soaked in a mix of coffee and Kahlua, has a cream cheese icing, and is topped with a dusting of cinnamon and chocolate.

Vegan Cupcakes is one of my most used cookbooks, and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't already have a copy of it. However, this particular recipe can also be found here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School

 We had the eagerly awaited first day of school at our house today. I always forget to take pictures, but this year (I say this every year), I will try to be more organized and document more of what we do. Today went well, in spite of the little man feeling pretty lousy with a cold. We spent some time familiarizing ourselves with the new books, started a Spanish course, and spent the afternoon solving a Swedish history mystery online. It rained most of the day, and with Rasi sick, we mostly stayed in. I just sent the girls out with their jump-ropes between the showers. Tomorrow we need to take a trip to the library to get books for upcoming research on brown bears and crocodilians. All in all it was a good first day. As I was getting dinner ready, Gaya came by and said: "Hola! I can't wait for school tomorrow. Adios!" Let's hope this enthusiasm lasts!


Well, I am just trying out my new camera here. ;) I haven't even read the short version of the manual yet, so I really don't know what I am doing with it, but I like it!