Monday, December 19, 2016

#HolidayBakingFail


"Get your s*** together!" ~my husband.

Oh. I had grand plans of holiday baking this year. I skipped last year, but I was going to Do. It. this year. 

On the baking menu:
  • Harvest Pumpkin Apple Bread (really should be called cake because it has three cups of sugar in it)
  • Peppermint Brownie Bites (my favorite, but a real pain to make)
  • Pumpkin Cookies (because you can't have too much pumpkin...unless it's pie...not a fan)
  • Frosted sugar cookies
This is down from what I did in 20092010, 2011

I started with the bread. Peeled and chopped apples. The fifth ingredient was sugar. Ran out of sugar. Scott was at Target, so he was able to pick up some.

[6 minutes later]
Ran out of flour. Called Scott again. He had just checked out, but being the best husband ever, he went back and got the flour.

Since I have no flour or sugar, I move on to the brownie bites.

The recipe calls for making the brownies from scratch. Ain't nobody got time for that so I use a mix. And every year, they come out looking deformed because they stick to the bottom of the mini muffin pan. But they taste good, so that's all the matters, right?

The last batch of brownies were not cooking right. What the heck? Oh. I had turned the oven off. Turn the oven back on. *sigh*


My flour and sugar arrive. I make mini loaves of bread and had put the batter in about half of them when I realized I forgot to add the apples to the mix. 

Sprinkle a spoonful of apples into all non-apple batter in the mini loaf pans. Put remaining apples in the big bowl of batter. The bread (cake) turned out just fine.

On to the sugar cookies and the "mandatory fun time" begins. The boys are eager to help bake. 


I couldn't find my usual sugar cookie recipe so I used a new one. The boys helped measure ingredients...and some needed help reading a recipe (note: teach 14yo how to read a recipe). We have a dough tornado when using the beaters. The kitchen is a mess. Finish dough and chill for one hour.

Oldest is stumped on how to set the timer for one hour when the timer can only be set in minutes? [This is from a student with an "A" in advance math]. Wait for it...after prompting, he figures it out.

Then I realize I don't have red or green food coloring OR powdered sugar for the pumpkin cookie glaze. Facebook message my neighbors...one is at the store and says she will get them for me. Score!

Scott hears of all this: "What is your deal today? Get your s*** together!"

On to making pumpkin cookies. 



One hour later...
Roll out dough on kitchen table. It's sticky and cracks a lot. The boys use cookie cutters and argue over which bell to use ("We already used the big one, we haven't done a small one yet!"). The dough is hard to move from the table to the cookie sheet and we have a few "do-overs." 


Someone attempt this:


And then uses their fist to pound it down. Probably doesn't help the dough problem.

People are now responding to me like this: "Yes, Dungeon Master." 

It's fun to bake cookies together.

There is still some dough to roll out. The Dungeon Master lets the boys go "do their thing" while she finishes and bakes all the cookies.

The cookies are thick and crisp...and I like thick and chewy. On to frosting. Our cookies are not that pretty. And they don't even taste good. And the food coloring frosting is a mess. Now I remember why this is a pain in the neck.

Fun meters are pegged. I finish putting the glaze on the pumpkin cookies and the peppermint frosting on the brownies while Scott is trying to make dinner. There's no counter space and stuff is everywhere. The kitchen is a mess

Goodies are finally finished. Oldest says "we don't have much of a spread this year."


No...no we don't. And we probably won't next year either.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

First snow of the season


It's snowing! But it's so cold we can't really enjoy it. And we've already reached the high for today...16 degrees and feels like -2.

Adam's outdoor soccer game in Kansas City was canceled due to the weather. A whole day with nothing planned!

8:00 a.m.: I get out of bed. Take Ali out. Zach is still asleep. Adam is awake (I think).
8:30 a.m.: Head to the gym. The temperature is 18...the high for the day. Feels like -1.
11:30 a.m.: Take Ali for a walk with Zach. Can hardly stand the cold. Run part of the way around the block. It's 15 and feels like -4.


1:00 p.m.: Grocery store checkout...spend $228. Zach goes with us because he is going to make "mac-n-cheese in a bread bowl" and needs sourdough bread.
1:10 p.m.: I ask exactly what a "Hot Toddy" is...Scott looks it up. We decide to try it later.
1:12 p.m.: Scott decided to take Adam driving to experience it "in this kind of weather."

2:00 p.m.: I decide to make apple cinnamon bread. Zach helps.
2:30 p.m.: Scott and Adam back home. Zach is flipping markers or water bottles in his room.

3:00 p.m.: Hot Toddies are made. Meh...wine is better.
3:15 p.m.: Apple cinnamon bread tastes like cake.

4-5 p.m.: Prepare to make dinner. Zach hollows out the sourdough bread into a bread bowl. I make bacon to put on top of the mac-n-cheese, and prepare brussel sprouts (yes-brussel sprouts). Scott prepares pork chops. Adam is in his room working on some code to make a digital countdown on a Christmas tree decoration.

5-6:30 p.m. Pork chops baked. Brussel sprouts sautéed. Wine poured. Table set. Mac-n-cheese bread bowls made.



6:35 p.m.: Scott spills gravy and pork chop juice on the Christmas table runner. He asks if we can't just wash it. The runner is hand wash only. Probably a dumb purchase on my part.

6:55 p.m.: Clean up. Scott checks fantasy football. Zach is flipping. Adam is purchasing some electronic things on Amazon.

It's cold...look at the "feels like" temperature.

Fireplace on.



Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

The biggest news of Thanksgiving this year is that our dog Ali made a friend.

His name is Petie, and his owner is Pam's friend Ted's dog.



We left for Kansas City right after school on Tuesday afternoon. Lisa had already arrived in Kansas City. We were excited to see her!

Some of our Thanksgiving antics (in random order):

[Disclaimer: I forgot to bring makeup, so I'm wearing none.]

Played cards and Sorry.



Colored.


Took pictures. This is the best I could get Zach to take a picture with me.



A plank contest. Lisa won! Adam and Scott were the first ones out.


Played with fire.




More cards. With Aunt Hazel and her friend Williard.


Walked outside.


More pictures. #BraceFace x 2.




Took naps.


Saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (written by J.K. Rowling - a wizarding story that takes place before Harry Potter.) Someone suggested we go early because it would be crowded. Packed.


More hanging around.


We did eat. I just didn't take any photos of that. I did learn that the 13 year old didn't know how to fill ice trays.

Me: Zach, can you fill the ice trays?
Zach: *blank stare*
Me: Fill the trays? You know, we need more ice?
Zach: Fill the trays? *blank stare*
Me: You've never filled ice cube trays...
Zach: Trays...what?

And a lesson in the "back in the 1980s, we didn't have ice dispensers on our refrigerators so you had to fill trays and put them in the freezer to make ice." It's along the same lines as "back when I was a kid we didn't have 'On Demand' movies and we had to wait five days for our photos to develop unless we paid a lot of money for the one hour developing..."

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cross Country

Both boys ran cross country this year. Seventh graders run 1 mile and eighth graders run 1.5 miles. Meets were at Lake Afton, Valley Center, McPherson, Wellington, Andover and Mulvane.

Photo credit (except the first and last photos): Lisa Jaberg


Zach.


Adam.


Seventh graders - Zach is #20.


Adam.


Zach.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Random Fall Soccer

Random pictures from Fall soccer.

These three are soccer players. Two are soccer referees. And one is a coach. There is plenty of soccer at our house.


Between games.


About time for new cleats.