November 24, 2010

Santa Success

Santa was a success this year!!  Last year, this is what happened...


Although this made for the greatest Christmas card ever, we don't want Spencer to be scared of Santa and so saying that, me being apprehensive taking him this year was an understatement.  We talked about Santa Claus A LOT on the days leading up to the "event".  He told us he was going to sit on his lap and everything.  Whew!  That was easy...not so much!  We get there and his buddy Landon (about the same age Spencer was last year) went first and I'm pretty certain they got a picture quite similar to the one above.  Spencer immediately started saying, "No Santa Claus, no Santa Claus!"  Great!  So, I look over and see his other friend Cash in line that is 6 months older than him.  Perfect!  Cash didn't cry and I made sure Spencer saw that, so we got in line.  Well, long story short, he stood next to him and just smiled away.  He wouldn't dare sit in his lap, but it's progress and I know it's going to be a cute, cute, cute picture!

All in all is was a great time with Angie and Landon.  We shopped and shopped and shopped in the massive crowds with our strollers and everything.  Then we took the boys to "Lunch with Santa" where Chick Fil A catered and Mrs. Claus read a story to the kids.  I didn't take a lot of pictures, but these are the ones that I did...

Don't they look thrilled??


Chick Fil A and candy canes at Lunch With Santa

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We are off to Tyler until Sunday and I CANNOT wait!!!

November 23, 2010

Feast of Thanks

Rick and I look forward to Spencer's Thanksgiving lunch each year, which they call the Feast of Thanks (I love that!).  We are so fortunate that we are both able to break away from work to go (yay for wonderful bosses!).  Spencer was beaming when he saw us and we had the best time with him.  It's always so hard to leave because Spencer holds on for dear life and starts to cry.  He doesn't understand he can't come with us.  :(


November 18, 2010

Upside Down Apple Cake

This is delicious stuff here and super easy!  I found this recipe on one of my new favorite food blogs, Cooking With My Kid.  I've found so many great recipes here and I know you will too.  I didn't tweak this recipe as much as I usually do with some, but I did notice that it called for baking powder, but didn't say how much so I did the ole trusty 1 teaspoon and it was great!  Hope you like it and let me know if you try it!

Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 granny smith apples (peeled, cored + sliced in wedges)
juice of 1/2 lemon
brown sugar for sprinkling
2 tablespoons almond meal (didn't use this because I have no idea what it is)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted + cooled)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss apple slices in lemon juice. Place a tablespoon of butter in a 9 inch round pan and place in the oven for a minute or two until butter melts. Once melted, remove from oven and sprinkle brown sugar to lightly cover the entire bottom of pan. Arrange slices of apples in concentric circles on top of the sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together almond meal, salt, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar and eggs together until thick. Whisk in the melted butter a little bit at a time. Then add the yogurt and vanilla. Whisk until combined add flour mixture 1/2 at a time and whisk until just combined.

Spoon batter over the apples and use a spatula to gently smooth out evenly in the pan. Pick the pan up 1/2 inch off the counter and carefully drop it down to settle the batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cake cool for exactly 10 minutes and place a platter over the top of the pan and invert the cake onto the plate. Let the cake sit for exactly 1 minute before lifting up the pan. Let cool completely before slicing (about 2 hours). Voila! A gorgeous apple pie alternative is served.


Image from Cooking With My Kid


November 16, 2010

School Picture

Where has time gone?  This almost brought tears to my eyes when I opened his pictures and saw that our baby is growing up and is not a baby any more. :( 

28 months

November 11, 2010

Videos

We have finally started back videoing Spencer.  We were at a point that he wouldn't let you video because he wanted to see it and you could only get him for a couple of seconds and then he was running toward you to see what you just videoed.  Well, he's getting better. 

Spencer and Zach playing in the backyard. Spencer continually says, "Again, again" when Zach is done running around with him.

video

 

He's had this stick horse for awhile now, but just recently really likes to ride it.  He acts like it bucks him off and that's why he's "thrown" to the floor at the end! Ha!

video


November 10, 2010

Ham & Cheese Soup

I've been making this soup for about 5 years now and we cannot get enough of it.  Now that the weather is getting cooler, it was the perfect time to cook it up.  I'm posting the original recipe, but I double it and it's perfect.  I've made it so many times that I've added here and there that I can do it in my sleep. One note, do not buy the ham already cubed because it's too salty.  I go to the deli and tell them to make one cut as thick as their blade will go.  I get two large pieces and then cube myself at home.  Hope you like it and let me know if you try it!

1 T. of olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery (I add a lot more)
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (I add a lot more)
1 T. pressed garlic
1 cup diced ham (I add a lot more)
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Saute onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic in oil until tender.  Add ham and cook 5 minutes.  Add stock or water and bullion, bay leaf and basil.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Add cream and bring back to a boil.  Slowly add cheese - stirring constantly.  Serve immediatly.

November 8, 2010

Ruidoso

We got away this weekend to Ruidoso for a day.  Right now we only go for a day because there's really not a lot for 2 1/2 year olds to do other than go wild in the hotel room (which Spencer did plenty of).  We had a great time and was plenty pooped when we got back Sunday.  Fun, short get-aways are always a blast!

On the way to Ruidoso!

We ate somewhere new for us for lunch on Saturday called Elena's.  It was delicious and it wasn't Tex-Mex Mexican food...we're talking the real deal here.  Spencer wanted a hot dog so bad and kept telling the waitress every time she walked back that he wanted one.  I don't think they were cooking fast enough for Spencer!  Spencer LOVED the bear outside of Elena's and when we were leaving on Sunday, we stopped for some Starbucks on the way out (next door to Elena's) and Spencer immediately noticed it and wanted to stop and see it! Ha!




Nothing better than these two, I tell ya...

Diggin' the fake smile from the little guy...haha!

Trying Pop Rocks for the first time and it didn't even phase him they were exploding in his mouth!


Cupcake on the ride home
We are happy to be home and even happier we made more sweet memories as a family!

November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Donut Muffins


Yep, you read that right...Pumpkin Donut Muffins and they are HEAVEN in your mouth!  My BFF Angie made these this weekend and sent us home with 2 of them when we trick-or-treated at their house Sunday and they are some of the best muffins I've ever had.  I'm making a batch tomorrow to bring to school. 

1 cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1¾ cups canned unsweetened pumpkin
¼ cup buttermilk
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Topping
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

1) Heat the oven to 350 F.

2) Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in the pumpkin and buttermilk.

3) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg into the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth. The batter will be stiff.

4) Spray two 12-cup muffin pans with butter-flavored spray. Divide the batter among the 24 cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Cool the muffins for a few minutes on a wire rack.

5) For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, generously brush the tops with butter and roll in the cinnamon and sugar. Cool on the wire rack and serve.


November 1, 2010

Trick-or-Treat smell my feet...

Spencer had  a great time last night trick-or-treating.  We went to see Landon, Addison and to Gram and PaPaw's house.  He was not interested in having his picture taken because he was obsessed with his pumpkin that he was collecting his candy in.  No one could even touch it and he would be very unhappy (sorry Landon). 

Spencer & Addie

Spencer hit the mother load at Gram and PaPaw's house!  Spencer doesn't eat candy much, if at all, but give him M&Ms and he's a happy camper.  Give him endless amounts of M&Ms and he sings Elmo's World at the top of his lungs the entire way home to Lubbock and even in the restaurant that we got to eat supper!  What was even better was Spencer emptying out Gram & PaPaw's ENTIRE candy dish into his pumpkin bucket.  He was going home with everything!


After leaving Gram and PaPaw's, we met Zach at Rockfish for supper.  Boy Spencer was happy to find out that Zach was coming to meet us!  Spencer was a busy body the entire time and the sugar just wouldn't wear off...but, after a bath he was zonked out!



And Spencer's three Halloweens...


 
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