Posts Tagged ‘family fun time’

Aaaand We’re Back!

May 3, 2010

Ugh. I hate the first Monday after a vacation. I’m usually very restless and daydreamy, still full of energy from my break. I find it difficult to concentrate on the work at hand, which seriously doesn’t make my work day any easier or shorter.

In any case, we’re back. We have successfully traveled with a young child, and everything was just fine. She spent most of the time in the car knocked out, and the 300+ mile drive didn’t even seem that long going up (and felt even shorter coming back!). The time with family was well spent, and a couple of things happened that have inspired me to write a couple of new posts in the next week or two, which is always a good thing.

I’d write more, but I’m surrounded by a pile of work that isn’t going to do itself any time soon. A more detailed family vacation update will be coming soon!

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Day Two!

April 30, 2010

Today is the second day of our vacation, and so far things have been going wonderfully. Eve was pretty patient with us for the six-hour drive on Wednesday (it helped that she was asleep for 80% of the ride), and upon arriving we were received warmly by my husband’s parents, grandparents, aunt, and sister. We’re staying with my sister-in-law, who is 7 months pregnant with her first child; she has a cough that doesn’t want to go away, reminding me of how I used to catch every single bug and ailment that came my way during my pregnancy with Eve. While I do miss pregnancy sometimes, I certainly don’t miss that.

Right now Marcus is downstairs with his grandparents, attempting to barter the baby for a little breakfast. I’m trying to decide whether I should comb out my afro (I washed out the twists yesterday) or attempt and likely fail – again – to cornrow my own hair. I know how to braid (or at the very least, I know the mechanics of it), but I think I’m mostly having trouble because my hair, while certainly of cornrow-able length, is still pretty short. Perhaps I’ll have better luck once I’ve got another inch.

All right, I’m going to bring this totally exciting update to a close. It’s time to check on my husband and see if he was able to successfully trade our firstborn for some bacon and grits. Whatever you’re up to this weekend, friends, I hope you enjoy it.

Recipe of the Week: Soft Pretzels

April 27, 2010

On Saturday we spent some time at my parents’ house with my ten-year-old niece and nephew (they’re step-siblings, not twins). About a month ago I started trying at least one new cooking recipe every weekend, and with the kids over we decided to choose a group recipe and make soft pretzels from scratch.  

I made the dough, but the kids got to shape their pretzels and pick whatever seasonings/dip they wanted (Noodle chose cinnamon and sugar for his, while D decided on salt and peanut butter for hers). My brother also came over to join in the fun and he learned a little bit more about baking (which, trust me, he sorely needs). The pics aren’t very good, but I’ll share anyway.  

D puts the finishing touches on her pretzel sticks

 

My brother shapes his dough

 

This poor pretzel stick didn't make it

 

Noodle decided to make one giant ugly meta pretzel. It fell apart when it was time for the baking soda bath so I had to reassemble it somewhat while still maintaining its former hideous glory.

 

The finished goods, while not the prettiest pretzels (although the twists that my husband made came out very well), were pretty yummy!

 

[A series of five images. The first is of a kitchen counter with several sticks of dough in the foreground and one pretzel shape in the background. A child’s hand fingers one of the sticks. The second image is of a pair of hands rolling a long bit of dough between them. The third image is of the kitchen floor, a piece of dough lying between a bare right foot (my niece) and a booted left foot (my brother). The fourth image shows dough formed into a large misshapen pretzel on the counter. The fifth image is of cooked golden brown pretzels of various shapes and sizes spread out on three cookie sheets.]  

It was my first time ever working with yeast, and my first successful baking job using dough (the buttermilk biscuits I attempted a couple of weeks ago were pretty much failures due to adding too much flour), so I feel pretty good about the job that we did.  

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Edited to add a link to the recipe for soft pretzels. Note that I didn’t use nearly as much flour as the original called for; I started with the wet ingredients and just added flour until the dough was ready. I also substituted the veggie oil with melted butter. And don’t skip the baking soda bath; that’s what gives the pretzels their deep brown color and gives them that “pretzel” flavor instead of just tasting like bread. This recipe was quick, easy, and yummy!