A Little MeMe

In CategoryNavel Gazing

First, and most importantly –

Do not forget to Just Finish Something Already! this weekend and be ready to brag about it for the blog hop on Monday!

Secondly, I got tagged in a meme by Debra at Footprints in the Butter! This has never happened to me before!

Here are the questions and answers. Try to stay awake, I am very boring.

  • What type of gifts do you prefer to give or receive? 
  • I like to both give and receive gifts are thoughtful and personal. Whenever I get an idea for a gift, I write it down in one of my compulsively organized Excel spreadsheets. Nothing makes a person feel crappier than getting the kind of gift that looks like it was bought in a 7-11. For years, my mother-in-law gave me scented candles.

    I have never burned scented candles.

    On the other hand, maybe it was a hint.

    My grandmother used to get free gifts for filling out all the sweepstakes offers that came in the mail, and she would save them and give them at Christmas and birthdays. Jewelry that made your skin turn green, large-print Harlequin romances, special microwave-safe egg cooker thingamajigs, etc. It was hilarious.

  • Do you like chick-flicks or not?
  • NO. I prefer action movies. One of my better traits, according to my husband.

  • What is something about you most people would be surprised to know?  
  • We listen to Old Time Radio on mp3s at night to fall asleep. My sister introduced us to shows from the golden age of radio about 12 years ago, and we have been listening ever since. I can’t fall asleep without it – we even take them with us on overnight trips. Dragnet, Gunsmoke, The Jack Benny Show….it’s great stuff. I can’t wait until our kids are old enough to listen with us.

  • If you had no children and homeschooling wasn’t necessary, what would your dream job be?  
  • Interior Designer. I am a frustrated HGTV host. My best friend and her husband are building a house and every time she turns around I am chucking tile samples at her or sending her links to lighting websites. Poor thing. I have an elaborate plan that involves her giving me a blank check so I can go shopping and buy all new furniture for her, but she doesn’t know about it yet. 

  • How would you like to be remembered by your children?  
  • Hopefully as fun and loving. It is my worst fear that my children will grow up to lay in their beds at night, talking about me with their spouses the way Jim and I lay in bed and talk about our parents.  

    Okay, so I guess I am now supposed to tag some of my favorite people.

    I can’t decide! I love everyone, I can’t leave anyone out! If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

    Try to be more exciting than me. Probably it won’t be that big of a stretch.

    Big Meanie-Head

    In CategoryCooking, Home Schooling, Navel Gazing

    When I first started baking my own bread, I discovered a woman who gives bread making lessons. She lives about an hour away, and once a month she hosts classes in her home. I have attended several of them. It’s usually a very enjoyable evening – I get some time to myself AND we get to eat what she makes in the class.

    A month ago, she sent out an email listing all her upcoming classes. I was interested in attending a class on Christmas baking, and yesterday sent her an email to verify the date of the class. She wrote back saying that it was a class for homeschoolers only.

    That sounded terrific! My boy LOVES to bake and even though I hadn’t thought about taking him with me, it would be fun to hang out with a bunch of other homeschooling, bread-baking weirdos. I emailed her and told her that we ARE homeschoolers, that my son is almost 6, and asked what age range would be there.

    She emailed me back that it was for mothers and daughters ONLY.

    And that is why other people suck.

    People! Look!

    In CategoryNavel Gazing

    I have a button for the Just Finish Something Already! blog hop!

    Isn’t it pretty? I just want to pet it.

    Sheila at Blog Designs by Sheila made it for me. After spending hours on the computer trying to figure out how to do it myself, I stumbled upon her website and immediately emailed her. She had the button made in LESS THAN 24 HOURS! I love it. It looks great.

    In other news, my husband and I have a little football pool amongst ourselves. I am beating him by 5 games.



    The thing that really chaps him is the fact that I hate football and make a lot of my picks based on whether or not I like their outfits.

    In Which I am a Rock Star

    In CategoryCooking

    On Sunday, I baked like crazy.

    I made a double batch of Pizza Dough for the freezer, a focaccia-y thing out of one ball of pizza dough for a little football-watching snack, Oatmeal Cookies, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. AND I had to clean the kitchen and run the dishwasher TWICE before I could even start.

    I know. My awesomeness is nearly blinding isn’t it?

    If it seems like I am fishing, it’s because I am. After 6 hours in the kitchen, the only comment I received was that the focaccia was too salty.

    Which was, in fact, not the level of appreciation I was looking for.

    In any event, after I made the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, I had a half a can of pumpkin left and as I was putting it away, I had the idea to mix it into a batch of granola bars. These are loosely based on Jolanthe’s Granola Bars, whose recipe I have mangled beyond all recognition.

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

    In a large bowl, mix together:

    • 6 cups rolled oats
    • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
    • 1/2 cup flax meal
    • 1/2 bag mini chocolate chips

    In a separate bowl, wisk together thoroughly:

    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 3/4 cup brown sugar
    • 3/4 cup honey
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
    • 3 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 eggs

    Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Line a sheet pan with parchment, press in mixture, and bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 24 1.5×3″ granola bars.

    The pumpkin flavor was actually very subtle in these. Next time I might add another 1/2 cup and drop the oil down to 1/2 cup. I probably would have added more flax, but 1/2 cup is all I had. In previous versions, I’ve used 1 cup of oat flour and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. I don’t know that it matters….oat flour doesn’t have any gluten if that is a factor for your family. I just like the oaty-ness of it. For pressing the granola into the pan, I find it helpful to put parchment over the granola and use another sheet pan that is the same size to get it all evenly pressed into place.

    After they are done, let them cool in the pan for a few minutes, then use the parchment to slide them out onto a cutting board. I have found it works well to cut them when they are still somewhat warm. If they are too cool, they will get crumbly. I usually will store about 1/3 of a batch in a airtight container (with parchment in between each layer), and the rest go into two freezer bags for later. They freeze great.

    The kids think they are getting a “candy bar” and I feel good because I know that most of the ingredients are relatively healthy.

    This recipe linked to Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.