Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Different Pecan Pancakes with Butter Pecan Syrup

I really do love pecans. They are my FAVORITE baking nut, and really good in salads, too. So naturally I was very open to the idea of pecan pancakes, but unfortunately I ran out of time to make these before Ed and I started our new diet, which I will tell you about next week. So the picture is borrowed and I admit I haven't made these yet, but I plan to. I definitely plan to. They look and sound just divine.

Pecan Pancakes
from Southern Living, October 2006

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 T vegetable oil
1 large egg

Stir together first 8 ingredients (dry). In separate bowl whisk buttermilk, oil and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Pour by 1/4-cupful onto hot griddle, etc. You know what to do. Makes about 10 pancakes

Butter Pecan Syrup

2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 T (1/4 cup) butter

Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil about 5 to 10 minutes, watching carefully, until it reaches desired consistency. Stir in vanilla and butter until melted. Cool slightly before serving.

Sweet Potato and Pecan Flapjacks
from Cooking Light, January 2006

(I don't usually like sweet potatoes very much but I expect they lend a great flavor, color and texture to this recipe. If you try these, let me know what you think!)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 T yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potato
3 T brown sugar
1 T canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Combine first 6 ingredients (through cinnamon) in a large bowl; stir with whisk. In separate bowl combine milk, sweet potato, sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks, stirring until smooth; add to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Beat egg whites with mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold egg whites into batter. Let batter stand 10 minutes.

Heat skillet or griddle to med-high heat. Pour by 1/4-cupfuls and cook until browned; turn and cook until browned. Makes about 12 flapjacks.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Cranberry Citrus Sauce

I'm not always a fan of strong whole wheat flavor, but these pancakes are really half wheat, half white. They also earned 5 out of 5 stars from 29 reviewers on MyRecipes, including me, and caused Ed to exclaim unprovoked, "Wow, these are delicious!" Try them with Cranberry Citrus Sauce, buttermilk syrup, or any topping you like. These may just become your new standard flapjack.

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

from Cooking Light, April 2002

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups low fat buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; stir with whisk. Combine wet ingredients, stirring with whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Heat griddle and coat with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle - cook, flip, cook until perfect. Makes about 12 pancakes

Cranberry Citrus Sauce
from Cooking Light, December 2006

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 T fresh orange juice
2 tsp grated lime rind
2 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp butter

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over med-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; stir in cranberries, orange juice, rind, and lime juice. Cook 5 minutes or until mixture foams and cranberries pop. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Makes 1 1/4 cups

(Sorry no picture - we actually gobbled them up before I remembered!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gingerbread Pancakes with Bananas and Whipped Cream

Last December in Brooklyn we went out for breakfast one morning and, feeling festive, I ordered gingerbread pancakes. They were dry and a little disappointing, but this recipe from my friend Shanna has redeemed the concept. Serve with any toppings you like, but we had them with bananas and whipped cream.



Gingerbread Pancakes (or waffles)

2 cups flour (white, whole wheat or a combination)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup molasses
6 T oil
1 cup milk

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl and then gently stir into dry ingredients. Cook on hot greased griddle, top and eat. Makes about 20

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Multigrain Pancakes with Buttermilk Syrup

With several grains, a little brown sugar, and a big old dollop of plain yogurt in the batter, you have got a healthy but super palate-pleasing plateful in these pancakes. A massive slathering of my Aunt Pat's buttermilk syrup doesn't hurt, either. Mmm....enjoy!

Multigrain Pancakes
from Cooking Light, March 1997

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
2 T yellow cornmeal
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 T vegetable oil
1 large egg

Combine firs 7 ingredients (dry); stir well. Combine remaining ingredients; stir well. Add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Spoon by 1/4-cupful onto heated skillet/griddle; cook until just right. Makes about 12 pancakes.

Aunt Pat's Buttermilk Syrup

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla

Blend everything except the vanilla in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Double Coconut Pancakes with Vanilla Pear Sauce

Happy Official International Pancake Day!!!

I have always loved the flavor and moist texture buttermilk lends to pancakes, but I never would have guessed coconut milk could do the same. And with the unusual but delicious compliment of vanilla, pear and cardamom in the sauce, you've just got a real special treat on your plate. While I liked all the pancakes posted this week, I think this recipe was my favorite.

Double Coconut Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
2 T flaked sweet coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 T butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk, butter and egg; stir well. Add wet mixture to dry, stirring until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet. Cook 3 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn and cook 2 minutes more or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Makes 4 servings of 3 pancakes each
Per serving: Calories 300, Fat 9.7g, Chol 60mg, Protein 7.6g, Fiber 1.4g

Vanilla Pear Sauce

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tsp butter
2 cups sliced peeled pear (10 ounces)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Dash freshly ground black pepper

Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Transfer syrup to a small bowl; set aside.

Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add pear to pan; cook 3 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently. Return syrup to pan; stir in fresh lemon juice, vanilla, cardamom, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Makes 2 cups (serving size 1/4 cup) Per serving: Calories 131, Fat 1g, Cholesterol 3mg, Protein 0.2g, Fiber 1.3g

Both recipes from Cooking Light, December 2006

Monday, February 23, 2009

Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup

Of course yummy any time of year, these would be especially delicious in the fall with fresh apples you picked yourself. But no one is saying you have to wait that long!

With fresh chopped apples inside, these flapjacks are thicker than others so they require a longer time to cook through than normal pancakes.
Apple Pancakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1 T butter, melted
2 medium apples, peeled and finely chopped

Sift dry ingredients. Combine egg, milk and butter. Add liquid ingredients gradually to dry ingredients. Stir only until batter is smooth. Fold in apples. Batter will be thick. Drop by 1/4 or 1/3 cupfuls onto very hot greased griddle. Serve with cinnamon syrup. Makes 10-11 pancakes of 1/3 cup batter each.

Cinnamon Syrup

1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Mix syrup, water, sugar and cinnamon in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes and stir in milk. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

Recipe from Shanna Stratton

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Batter Up: It's Pancake Week!

Earlier this month I read in a magazine that National Pancake Day is February 24th and on that day you can go to IHOP and get a free short stack. Intrigued by this holiday, rather than the prospect of waiting in line for free sawdust cakes at IHOP, I Googled it and discovered that Pancake Day is always on Mardi Gras, which as all good Mormons know, is the last day to live it up before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter. Historically, this day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, was the last day to use up fat and eggs from the pantry before Lent, and pancakes are a great way to do that.

A few slightly sketchy sources also promised that this is actually National Pancake Week, from February 22-28. And hey, that's good enough for me. Pancake Week is a concept I can really get behind, and I know you can see where this is going. Every day this week on DMTotW you will find a new awesome, yummy, easy recipe for everyone's favorite breakfast. All of which I've tried. All of which are really, REALLY good.

I've become so accustomed to just using Trader Joe's mix that I'd forgotten how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch. Not only that, but trying this week's recipes really opened my eyes to some fabulous and delicious variations that are just as easy. Just to let you know, we'll be sticking to the traditional, rather than broad, sense of the word pancake here. The weekend breakfast sense of the word: batter cooked on hot greased griddle, topped with something sweet. Can't you just smell them now?

So without further ado, let's start the week off with a delicious buttermilk-banana bang:

Buttermilk-Banana Pancakes
with Pomegranate Syrup

from Cooking Light, November 2005

1 cup all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 (1-ounce) package uncooked instant farina (like Cream of Wheat)
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 T canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup mashed banana (about 1 large)

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 T pomegranate juice
2 tsp cornstarch

Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through farina) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Fold in banana.

Spoon 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto hot greased or nonstick griddle. Turn when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

To prepare syrup, combine 1/2 cup juice and syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over med-high heat. Combine 2 T juice and cornstarch in a bowl; add to pan. Cook 1 minute or until thickened; remove from heat. Serve with pancakes.

Makes 6 servings (3 pancakes and 2 T syrup each)
Cal 315, Fat 4g, Chol 37mg, Prot 5.7g, Fiber 1.4g

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A few days ago in the afternoon, in the car going to Grandma's house.

Hazel: "Mom I wish I could be a Mom today."

Me: Why do you want to be a mom?

H: Because being a mom is fun.

Me: What's fun about being a mom?

H: Well you get to drive a car, and work on the computer and all kinds of fun things.

Me: That's true, those things are fun.

Pause. I think maybe the topic is over.

H: And I really really really really love my kids.

Me: Who are your kids?

H: Well I don't know, we'll have to see.

Pause. Maybe over now?

H: But their names are Molly, Dolly, Cholly, Zolly and Prolly!

That's my girl. Naming the kids is the most important part.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Yesterday, 12:33pm, driving home in the car. I start to sing along with the kids' cd playing.

"Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty-"

Hazel, tactfully: "Mom, Mom, Mom. You can just play the piano. Like this." She wiggles her fingers in the air.

Translation: Shut up, Mom. You're ruining the song.

Got it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Same Kind of Different as Me

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them TogetherDenver Moore grew up an uneducated, orphaned and illiterate practically-slave sharecropper in Louisiana who one day hopped a train to Texas and lived homeless on the streets for 30 years. Ron Hall grew up in lower middle-class Texas, went on to become a banker and eventually a high-rolling international art dealer. Deborah was the beautiful, intelligent, deeply spiritual woman he could never get; then he lucked out when she agreed to marry him. From there the paths of these three people slowly inch closer, eventually merging and then bonding as their tale is told in Same Kind of Different as Me.

The chapters flip back and forth, telling Denver's true story, then Ron and Deborah's, moving forward in time until they overlap, and then telling the same story from their different perspectives. It's an inspiring tale of friendship, which moved me to tears for most of the last half. But more than anything it's a story of faith - Deborah's unwavering, Ron's struggling, and Denver's transforming. I walk away from this book reminded of the true power of faith to work miracles in the world and in the heart, and inspired and encouraged to be a more vocal, valiant and unapologetic Christian.

Not bad for $14.99 and 235 pages.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Presidents' Day

Ed had Monday off so we decided to brave the chilly weather, the goose droppings and the free-admission-Presidents'-Day crowds to go visit Mount Vernon (which would normally cost our family $30.) We pumped up the double stroller tires, packed a bag with snacks and mittens, and set off. We did sit in a little traffic to get in, but snagged one of the last parking spots before they put up the LOTS FULL signs. As we walked in Ed said the last time he came here was on a high school choir trip to DC in ninth grade. For me it was in 2000 when my college roommate Jen came out for Dave & Michelle's wedding. Jen was an enthusiastic 6th grade teacher so after the wedding she insisted on visiting historical stuff like Mount Vernon and Williamsburg. I mostly remember the heat, the crowds and the ice cream.
But this time it was a great family outing. Crowded, yes, but we kept things moving. We saw General Washington himself several times but the girls were too shy to go meet him or have a picture taken. We skipped the mansion with it's winding long line to get in, and instead peeked in the storehouse and other outbuildings. We explored the gardens, the animal pens, and paid respects at George Washington's tomb. When the sun came out it was a beautiful day, but when the clouds rolled by it was downright nippy. Ginger lost steam about the same time I did, but Hazel and Ed were tireless explorers, and the fresh air and charming scenery did us all good.

In fact, not only were admission and parking free, we actually came out ahead. By the gardens, this troop of marching Masons stopped to give each of the girls a gold George Washington $1 coin, and on our way out through the gift shop we were handed two complimentary Dove dark chocolate bars - big ones - with fancy Mount Vernon wrappers. Not bad, not bad at all.

Here are some shots taken by our budding photographer Hazel:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

(just a day or two delayed...)

Core: Asparagus & Pasta Stir-Fry

This is a new one I tried the other night. Very simple preparation and flavors but also very good. I love using fresh ginger in anything. The "sauce" is brown like the whole wheat noodles so I just told my girls it was plain spaghetti and they fell for it and ate it. It was torture getting Hazel to eat two pieces of asparagus but then she asked for more. You could also easily add a lean protein in the stir-fry: chicken, shrimp, lean steak, pork. We served it with strawberry-blueberry-banana fruit salad.

Asparagus & Pasta Stir-Fry

1 lb. asparagus
6 oz dry angel hair or thin spaghetti (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
2 tsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp minced fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup diagonally sliced green onions
2 T soy sauce
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
Cilantro for garnish

1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus; then cut stalks diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions.

2. Heat oil in wide frying pan or wok over high heat. Add asparagus, garlic, ginger, and onions. Cook, stirring often, until asparagus is tender-crisp to bite (about 3 minutes). Add soy sauce and red pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.

3. Drain pasta; pour into pan with asparagus and mix gently. Garnish with cilantro. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wrapping Paper

Last weekend Hazel attended her first drop-off birthday party. It was for a girl from preschool, and it was a "spa party." They had oatmeal facials, and gave each other manicures and pedicures, which just proves that cuteness knows no bounds. She also came home with gold-glitter-streaked hair that I never did get the straight story on, but getting a vague recount is a small price to pay.

The week before the party I got the Kids Craft Weekly "hearts" issue in my email and I got inspired. For me, crafts have to be easy and preferably made from stuff I already have. That's usually Amber's philosophy, too, so I like her stuff. One of the heart crafts was cutting a sponge into heart shape, dipping in paint, and stamping on brown craft paper to make wrapping paper.

I didn't have a plain sponge around but I told Hazel we were making wrapping paper for Ella's present, and she could paint it with a brush or paint her hands and make hand stamps. She chose the brush. Which is just fine because Ed got - and assembled - a new art easel for the girls for Christmas. So one afternoon while Ginger was sleeping, we clipped up some paper, poured some paint, and let the creativity flow. (Smock by Petite Violette.)

A day to let it dry, a little double-faced satin ribbon,
a hand-written label, and it's Happy Birthday Ella!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Core: Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad

I love recipes that make me stop and think. Unusual combinations with uncomplicated preparations are my favorite. This one was in the Washington Post Food section just after New Year's - a spread on healthy recipes. It's originally sourced from The EatingWell Diet.

So when I had some leftover chicken and blueberries were on sale one week, I made it. Below is the original recipe but as usual I used a little less oil - about 1 or 1 1/2 Tablespoons, I used meat leftover from a roasted chicken (though normally I would grill, roast or saute it, not poach!), and I used about half the amount of feta cheese. Cheese isn't core (and trust me, fat-free feta is lame) so if you use it you have to count the Points. The flavors were great, it was easy and filling and the kids ate it. It's the PERFECT recipe!

Chicken & Blueberry Pasta Salad

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of fat
8 oz. whole wheat fusilli or corkscrew pasta
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, cut crosswise into thin slices
1/3 cup low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup crumbled feta
3 T freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 1/2 limes)
1 T chopped thyme leaves
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over

1. Cook chicken: place in a large skillet and add enough water to cover; boil over med-hi heat, then cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Transfer to a cutting board to cool. Shred into bite-size strips.

2. Bring water to boil for pasta. Cook according to package directions until just tender. Drain and place in large bowl.

3. Make the dressing: combine oil and shallot in a small skillet over med-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 5 minutes, until the shallot has softened and is beginning to brown. Add the broth, feta cheese and lime juice; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, until the feta begins to melt.

4. Add the chicken to the bowl with the pasta, then add the thyme, lime zest and salt. Toss to combine. If serving right away, add the dressing and blueberries. If making in advance, cover and refrigerate the elements separately: the seasoned pasta with chicken, the blueberries, the dressing. Makes 6 servings

Nutrition (if prepared as above but I use less oil and feta): per 1 1/2 cup serving
324 cal, 24g protein, 33 g carb, 11g fat, 2 g sat fat, 51mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 4g fiber

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Congratulations "Cluster G!"

Good old Genevieve of the black cluster earrings and of the phone call last night to ask how my haircut turned out has won the blue & orange earrings and will receive them next time I see her. Don't give up, folks. I am often making new earrings, and with 6 to 9 people entering each giveaway your chances are really pretty good.

Tiff - you are married to Isaac's brother, yes? Glad to have you here - thanks for the note!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

DM Enters the 21st Century

Ed and I are usually about 5 to 7 years behind the rest of the world on the acquisition of technological advancements. We say it's because we like to let the price come down and the bugs get worked out. But really we just don't keep up, and only realize we want or need things after hearing or seeing everyone we know have them. It's not a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing. It's a dragging-way-behind-the-Joneses thing.

This year for my birthday I received two such items, both of which I've wanted for about 5 to 7 years but never justified getting myself: an electric toothbrush (thanks Ed) and a set of Exopat silicone baking mats (thanks Maren!)

The toothbrush has taken some getting used to. I don't know why I was surprised that it vibrates my entire skull, reminiscent of a dentist drill or at least the polishing tool. I keep thinking it's going to hurt but it doesn't. What it does do is make a little stutter every 30 seconds, signaling me to move to the next quadrant for a perfectly timed and even cleaning. It also makes my teeth tongue-loving smooth. I just need to remember to put it in my mouth BEFORE turning it on to avoid splattering the mirror, my face and the entire bathroom with toothpaste. Still working on that.

The Exopats have been a much smoother adjustment. I used them the other day, and honestly I don't know what I was thinking waiting so long. No burning, no sticking, no parchment cutting. I am probably the last person on earth to realize this, but they are AMAZING!!! Why did no one push these on me before? Who let me go through 3 years of baking therapy in New York and the entire Virtual Goody Plate without them? Luckily it will never happen again.

Since you asked I did try a new cookie recipe for the maiden voyage. I'm already working on VGP '09 and I've got some winners. This time I made peanut butter banana cookies from I added a few mini chocolate chips and took the liberty to rename them Elvis Cookies...because, you know, I do what I want.

Elvis Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped peanuts, optional (I used honey roasted - yum!)
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with Exopat mats!

2. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add in peanut butter, eggs, milk, and vanilla; beat until well combined.

3. Add in bananas, 1 cup flour, baking soda and salt. Mix slightly and add the rest of the flour, a cup or so at a time until just combined. Stir in chopped peanuts and chocolate chips.

4. Drop by Tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Leave as drops or if you want, flatten slightly with a for or potato masher dipped in flour or warm water so it doesn't stick. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Hickman Family Songs

I made one up at dinner once, and the other in the car. The girls LOVE to sing them. And secretly so do I.

#1 - sung to the tune of Do-re-mi from The Sound of Music:

Ginger, Ginger, Ginger Sue,
Hazel, Hazel Xanadu,
Mommy, too,
And Daddy-roo,
Wait! Is that Daddy's naaaaaame?
Eddie, that's Daddy's name,
Kari, that's Mommy's name,
Hazel, Ginger Suzy Q,
That's the Hickman Fam-i-ly!

#2 - sung to The Adams Family tune, complete with snapping before and after:

There's Hazel and there's Ginger,
There's Mommy and there's Daddy,
And we all love each other,
The Hickman Family!

Monday, February 09, 2009


Tonight, 7:11 pm. Eating one of the most awesome dinners I've made in a long time - supreme nachos (NOT Core)!

Hazel, pushing food around her plate: "I don't like this."

"How can you not like this? It's got chips and cheese! It's delicious!"

"It tastes awful."


"Hazel, don't say that. It hurts my feelings."

"Well it hurts my feelings when you make awful food. So you need to say sorry, Mommy."

I- I- uuuhhh...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Earring Giveaway

The other day a couple of friends and I - and our NINE kids - descended upon the bead rows at Michael's and then went to one house for a jewelry-making extravaganza. Pliers were flying, as were teeny tiny choke-able sized beads (sorry, Shanna.) It's actually a great activity to do with other people because to each her own. S wanted earrings and a bracelet. J wanted an excuse to break out the big Costco beading kit she bought her daughter, and figure out what was in there. G wanted to make black cluster earrings just like the white ones she was wearing, and they turned out amazing. Me? I just wanted to do something easy with my hands.

Like make a new pair of earrings for a giveaway.
Comment here with a compliment - it can be about anything really, doesn't have to be about the earrings - and you are in the running for this oh-so-stunning pair. Giveaway closes Wednesday, February 11 at 6pm EST.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

DM Takes on the Baking Cupboard

I rarely deep clean or organize anything. I'm a horrible housekeeper and obviously not bothered enough by it to change more than once a quarter or so. But on occasion I can take on a small project: a pile, a corner, a surface that can be fixed up quick and make me feel all satisfied and accomplished.

The other night while dinner was cooking and random items had fallen out of the baking cupboard onto me for the third time while I put the salt away, I decided to organize it. As you can imagine, it is my most-used cupboard and therefore, becomes a mess the most easily. But it's also only three shelves; doable.

Pulled out the bags of nuts, the jars of sprinkles, the extracts. Baking soda, powder, salt, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, baking bars, dried fruit, coconut, shortening, paper muffin liners, corn meal, oatmeal. Ran upstairs to the stash of organize-y small baskets under my computer desk from my last big organizational project, and grabbed a few. Checked on dinner, combined the three half-full bags of chopped pecans. Stacked nuts in one basket, extracts along one side. Bars here, chocolate chips there.

Voila! The Baking Cupboard, organized:
So while my laundry room,
and the rest of my house, and life, look like this:I can now make chocolate chip cookies blindfolded.

And isn't that what really matters?

New Mormon Ads

I seem to be on a bit of a YouTube kick. It's easy to get sucked in. Here's two new cute ads put out by the Church.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Youtube Bonus Tracks Tribute

Thanks, Dave, for the Lounge Party bonus tracks. The rendition of "Take on Me" reminded me of this awesome video I saw up at Maren & Quinn's.

And hey, since we're doing literal videos, here's another one. Not as funny as "Take on Me" but good for a chuckle.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Birthday Pics

February 2
Family dinner:
(Turkey lasagna, antipasto, fruit, Corner Bakery bread)
(Plus new awesome birthday tablecloth I made for myself)




Happy 34th to me:

Happy 32nd to Ed:

February 3
Ed's Birthday breakfast:


Happy Birthday dance for Daddy:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Disco Goes Bossa Nova

Good heavens, Dave rocks. He outdoes himself over and over and never caves to the pressure. Amazing.

This year for my birthday he compiled a mix I know he's been working on for years - the Lounge Party, full of dim-the-lights lounge/bossa nova style covers of songs you've heard but might not recognize in this form unless you listen closely. It is hilarious and PERFECT so thanks a million, Dave! Go here to get it, maybe for a limited time.

So put on your ruffled shirt and sit back with a drink, real or pretend. And just for fun, take 3 minutes to let Flight of the Conchords put you in the mood:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me (all month)

I'm 34. Ed had to tell me; I thought I was 35. But Happy 3-5 to my friend Corey and the big #2 to Lottie Crowley.

The day looks to be about like most Mondays - gym, preschool drop-off, grocery shopping, preschool pick-up, lunch, naps. Afternoon cleaning/cooking/working on little pet projects. Make birthday cake and dinner. Mom, Dad, Aunt Janet come over for dinner, dessert and presents for Mom/Ed/me.

Saturday a few friends took me to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (fish tacos, Godiva cheeesecake), and then under the totally convincing excuse of having accidentally left my present at her house, we "swung by" Genevieve's place before "going to a movie." I walked in to find my parents standing in her kitchen - whoa, confusing mixing of worlds - and many other friends and munchkins running around: SURPRISE party for me! Wow, big huge kudos to all who were in on it - I was completely duped and that is not easily accomplished. February is the best month EVER, and it all starts now.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fast Sunday Banana Pops

The girls have both had the stomach flu this weekend, so we didn't take them to church. Ed went to help with nursery and I stayed home. Dinner's going in the slow cooker and filling the house with tummy-grumbling aromas. So what's a Mom to do on fast Sunday afternoon with two sick girls? Make food, of course!

I got this idea from my visiting teacher Heather (of the Black & Brown Chocolate Chip Cookies.) She and I share a love of cooking and always have lots to talk about, usually followed up by emailing recipes. Heather has kids in elementary school and she said they've had PBJ in their lunch boxes all year so she was trying to branch out and get creative with their lunches. One idea was frozen bananas, dipped and rolled in a variety of things. We brainstormed until my mouth was watering and I have been wanting to make some ever since.

What we did today -

4 bananas, peeled & cut in half
8 wooden craft sticks (lollipop sticks from the candy-making aisle at Michael's; could also use the straight end of plastic spoons)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 to 3 T vanilla yogurt
Handfuls of puff cereal, graham crackers, oats, flax seed, and some stale danish butter cookies leftover from Christmas, finely crushed in food processor
Jimmy sprinkles and mini M&M's, also leftover from Christmas

Cut bananas in half. Spread a banana half with peanut butter/yogurt mixture, then roll in crumbs and sprinkles. I had sprinkles on one plate and crumb/M&M mixture on another. I had to mix the M&M's with the crumbs because if any part of the banana were to have only M&M's on it I know the girls would just eat them off and abandon the rest of the popsicle. This way we have a fighting chance.

Lay on cookie sheet and carefully insert a pop stick in the bottom of banana half. Freeze for 3 hours or until solid.
(Hazel insisted on one plain one)

Other things to try -

Dip/spread any of the following or combinations of them:
Peanut butter
Melted chocolate
Cream cheese
Fruit puree

Roll in:
Crushed cookie/cracker/pretzel crumbs
Wheat germ or flax seed
Mini chocolate chips /M&M's/candy
Coarsely crushed Rice Krispies/corn flakes/cereal
Chopped nuts

One of my favorite treats to get on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO was a chocolate-dipped frozen banana at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Frozen bananas are creamy like ice cream, mmm. And what's great about making them at home is they can be a healthy snack or a sweet treat, depending on what you use. Either way, they're mostly banana, a whole food that most kids like.

I haven't asked Heather if she's sent these in lunches yet. I worry they would thaw in the lunch box and then be kind of messy, but maybe if you packed them in foil with an ice pack? I don't know; I welcome thoughts. And I also welcome the next 2 hours passing quickly so I can gobble up one of these bad boys. After ending my fast, of course.
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