Tuesday, July 7, 2009

While the cat's away...

...this mouse will blog!
Cody is at the Drake Bible Study tonight, and I'm home with the kids. It was all nice and quiet until 2/3 of the brood had bad dreams! Thank goodness for pbs kids continuous programming!
Life has been full of extra summer fun lately!Last week, we tried Fried Green Tomatoes. These are the "healthy" version: slice green tomatoes, coat with cornmeal, and cook in a little olive oil. Yum!

This is our first zucchini from the garden this year. I sliced it, brushed it with olive oil, sprinkled it with lemon pepper, and grilled it until tender. The kids chose this over a hot dog!

This was my favorite picture from the Fourth of July Parade in Creston. Carson gets so excited every time he sees a John Deere Tractor. It was so sweet to see the old farmers wave back at his little hand.

Time for the picnic! Such excitement from these city kids! Every year, the Travis family opens up their entire farm to anyone who wants to come. Cody grew up out in the country just about 3 miles from this farm. The Travis family has always been wonderful friends with the Criggers. It's fun to see our kids befriend each other now, too.

McClain grinned from ear to ear the whole horse ride. Grandpa told him they had to be really nice to the horse (meaning: don't kick it), so sweet Mac leaned over and said, "You're very pretty, horse." Ahhh...
Caitlin had a little bit of an ornery horse...I love having this girl with our family! She's always up for an adventure!

We made these cookies on Sunday to celebrate Cory's birthday. They were so good! We served them with a little dollop of Dairy Queen ice cream! Yum! This recipe is for sure a keeper!

Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies

  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Monday, we used our free bowling coupons at the bowling alley in Waukee. It is such a nice clean place! Almost made bowling feel classy...almost!

Carson was ready to get the ball rolling...just had to find the right lane.
Cloe did a great job knocking down pins. I think it was her complete excitement every turn she got that made it such a fun activity for all of us! She came in second only to Cody...she's got pipes!
Click on this picture and enlarge it so you can get the full effect...slippery waxed lane, new bowling shoes, a heavy ball...KA-BOOM! Poor McClain! His shoe flew up and the ball landed on him, but he got up with the same silly 'ol grin!On of my friends made this yummy barbecue sauce and gave it away for Father's Day. It sounded so good, we had to try it! Our house smells awesome from it, too!

Classic Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/3 cup safflower oil
  • 3 small onions, diced (3 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons regular chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 4 cups crushed tomatoes (from two 28-ounce cans)
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups water, plus more if needed
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute until translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the chili powder, coriander, cumin, molasses, and sugar. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cider vinegar, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and dark, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Reduce heat to low if sauce is simmering too quickly.
  2. Puree sauce in a blender. Add remaining 4 teaspoons salt, remaining teaspoon pepper, the white vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce, and puree. With blender running, carefully add water in a slow, steady stream. Blend until mixture is smooth and emulsified, adding more water if needed. Let cool, and refrigerate.
Here's where the "helpers" reimurged from their slumber...so I put them to work! Carson helped me measure out the ingredients to this new granola recipe. It is so super easy and smells amazing, too! We're not going to add the dried fruit until our fresh blueberries are gone. Can't wait to enjoy this with yogurt in the morning!


Healthy Start Granola
Makes 4 cups
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss oats, coconut, and almonds. In a small bowl, stir together oil and honey. Pour over oat mixture and toss. Bake, tossing occasionally, until lightly toasted, 16 to 20 minutes.
  2. Place mixture in a large bowl and stir in blueberries. (To store, keep in an airtight container, up to 1 month.)
*I doubled this and used pecans instead of almonds, measured the coconut very generously, added a dash of cinnamon and will add the dried fruit later...

My other sleepy sweetheart...

And now, my handsome prince is pulling in the garage...good night!


peter marie said...

I'm loving all these recipes you're posting and can't wait to try them!! I'm in a major cooking/baking mood lately. We should start a supper club. :)