Monday, December 17, 2012

I apologize in advance...

...if you're hungry right now. Or on a diet.

I've discovered a couple of new recipes that you really should try. People will want to be your friend if you make this stuff for them.

A-Little-Over-One-Hour Dinner Rolls

These claim to be a one-hour recipe, but honestly they do take a little bit longer. You've got 5 minutes of kneading (in your mixer, if you have one), 40 minutes total of rise time, and 13-15 minutes of cook time. I cook a lot, but I can't mix the dough AND form it in the remaining 0 to 2 minutes. But, whether one hour or 75 minutes, these are worth every second you put into them.

A note: I have been using regular yeast (instead of the fast-acting stuff) since that's what I have. I allow a little extra time for the yeast to proof and also increase the first rise time. Also, I tend to make these earlier in the day and let them rise for the second time (formed and in the pan) in the fridge. They take a few minutes longer to cook, but that way I'm not scrambling at dinner time. And I know, I modifications totally defeat the "one hour" purpose of this recipe. But, hey, it works for me.

Click on the photo for the recipe!

Once you've gorged yourself on dinner rolls, it's time for dessert, right? (Carb-lover here....)


So make a batch of these cookies full of oats, butter, caramel, chocolate, butter, brown sugar, and butter...and get ready to melt in a blissful, buttery carb coma.

The recipe-writer points out that she reduces the butter when she makes these, and they turn out well, though more crumbly. I didn't reduce the butter, and they were (of course) fantastic.) In the future, I may reduce the butter for the topping, but I'd want to keep the crust as-is since it holds its shape well that way. Actually...I'll probably just use all the butter and try to limit how often I make them!

Again, click on the photo for the recipe, and...enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'm going to save you .025 seconds. You're welcome.

I kinda hate word verification. And's on my blog because it eliminates most spam. (Blogger's spam filters work quite well, but those spam comments still all get emailed to me, individually. And they were out of control until I re-instituted word verification.)

But...drumroll, please...recently I discovered something. When using Blogger's word verification, which currently consists of a string of numbers and a string of letters, like so...

Photobucket don't have to put a space between the numbers and the letters. In the above example, you could type "11819folsire" and it works. You don't have to type "11819 folsire." Get rid of that needless space!

I just saved you .025 seconds, every time you use Blogger's word verification. Use this tip consistently, and by the end of 2013 you may save up enough extra time to take a nice, deep breath.

And don't we all need that during the holidays?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Homeschooling...a very simple tip for staying sane

We are enjoying homeschooling, but I'm definitely not an expert. Some days I feel like I'm just flying by the seat of my pants! But there's something we started from Day One that has really helped me.

We have a "Daily Schedule."

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

You'll notice that it's not an overly-scheduled schedule! I'm not the type of mom who wants to say, "From 8 to 8:05 I will pour cereal in the breakfast bowls" or "From 10 to 10:10 we will do a math worksheet." Even the "15 minutes" of journaling is flexible.

But having a general routine to help us get started every day has been so helpful! At breakfast, our "Devotions" are built around my kids' AWANA books. (AWANA is a Christian club that focuses a lot on Scripture memorization.)

Next we do the Pledge of Allegiance (as well as pledges to the Christian flag and our state flag), and it's time for Chickie to do her daily journal (which is a combination of writing and drawing.) The beauty of daily journal time is that it also gives me the chance to do any last-minute curriculum plans!

Chickie checks the weather, and uses a little chart we have to mark what the day's weather is. We use our calendar to talk about the day of the week and month, and then we go over our weekly character trait.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

By that time, it's natural to go right into school work. I love having this morning routine; I think it helps us both to get focused so that we can get down to the business of reading, writing, and 'rithmetic! And the day is usually ended by Chickie having about 20 minutes of independent reading time, a great time for her to pursue her own budding interests.

I'm far from being a homeschool expert, but it's nice to be able to share one thing that's working for us!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A sad phase indeed

Zoodle is growing up.

Silly boy.

(Don't worry. I still steal plenty of kisses. And he laughs when I do it.)