Maybe I am Martha Stewart

December 1, 2010 at 9:23 pm

So it’s December 1st and I feel so much less stressed than I did a couple of days ago. Christmas now seems a manageable distance away. Three and a half weeks…that’s like forever, right? It’s amazing what a couple of productive days can do.

First, I ordered our Christmas cards yesterday. Thank you Cari for e-mailing me the pictures. You did a great job! I’ll post some sneak-peeks soon.

Second, Cal’s gifted project is pretty much done. That is a huge relief. It’s due Friday. Mack’s is about 50% done, but it’s not due until Monday so we have the weekend to finish it up. They have both put in alot of work and I’m proud of them. Their gifted teacher sent me this picture of Mack from Monday:

Their theme this year is “Inventions and Inventors” and they are having “take-apart” day this week. Mack got to take apart a dust buster. They followed the scientific method and documented everything. He loved it and talked about it all afternoon. Cal will be taking apart a telephone answering machine on Friday.

Third, I had a very productive day today which actually began last night when I put two pounds of dry kidney beans in a big bowl to soak overnight. Then this morning they went into a crock pot. I usually put beans on my salad at lunch, and I use beans in many recipes. I recently realized that almost all canned beans have added sugar and salt. I don’t mind the salt so much, but why add sugar? So I decided to just make my own from dried beans. Let me tell you, two pounds of dried beans makes ALOT of beans.

Once they cooked in the crock pot for about six hours and were tender, I drained them and let them cool and then divied them up into ziplocks and put them in the freezer. We have beans forever now! I basically used the method recommended here.

So, while the beans were crock potting, I continued my very productive day by walking the boys to school. Then I went to the gym and did 40 minutes on the elliptical and took a Bodypump class. Then I came home and got busy.

Besides dealing with the beans, I also made kale chips.

A big bunch of kale was the last thing left from our last CSA share (new share Saturday!). A friend of mine recently started a local vegan cooking business called The Yummy Kind. While looking at her website I came across this recipe for kale chips. Perfect!

After scouring the health food store for nutritional yeast (?!) and making my own cashew powder (?!) I finally made the recipe. And they are really good. Even the boys liked them.

Warning: if you make these (and I’m sure you all are running out the door right now to find nutritional yeast), unless you really like spicy stuff, cut down a bit on the pepper flakes or omit them all together. I used one teaspoon instead of one tablespoon and they are still pretty spicy. But gooood.

Next up was Buckeyes! This is a recipe from my mother-in-law Karen who makes all kinds of yummy sweet stuff. This recipe is in the Ball Family cookbook, which is Chad’s grandmother’s family. Basically, they are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate.

While I was at it I dipped a couple of pretzels to use up extra chocolate. If you would like the recipe, shoot me an e-mail. Chad informed me that I didn’t make them right because they are supposed to only be like 80% dipped and have a peanut butter “eye” on top (with a toothpick hole showing). I say more chocolate is better 🙂 He did say they tasted good, though. The boys said I had invented homemade reese cups! They are definitely fans of the buckeyes.

So…beans, exercise, kale chips, buckeyes AND I drove carpool. But I was not done yet! I had all those things completed by the time homework (and project work) was completed, so we all went outside to play with Joey Z., our neighbor and bestest friend. While the kids played, I put up ALL the outside Christmas lights. Without male help. I did get a little female help from Val (Joey’s mom and my BFF). She handed me up the light strands as I worked my way around the house. Here’s my handywork:

Isn’t it just a light extravaganza? We should sell tickets for drive-by’s, right? Okay, maybe Martha Stewart’s house doesn’t look like this, but I’m pretty proud of it.

In other news, I am still running and posting about it! I’m psyched to run tomorrow since the cold front has definitely moved in. It was really chilly on our family walk tonight. Also, I have been a slacker on the gratitude blog (just not really thankful? Nah, just feeling overwhelmed recently). However, since today starts a new month, I am trying to start anew, so check that out. Finally, Santa Clause is Coming to Town (ooooh, that Burgermeister Meisterburger!) is on TV tomorrow night. Yippee Skippee!

Smells Like Christmas

November 27, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I baked my first holiday goody this morning!

Okay, that looks like a big turd, but it’s actually pumpkin-nutella bread and it is so yummy. I got the recipe from Krissieb on her food blog called “Growl in My Tummy”. You can check out the recipe (and her better photos) here.

Last night we went to the annual Christmas tree lighting in downtown St. Petersburg. I remember going to the tree lighting with babies wrapped in fuzzy footed onesies. Some years it is freezing, but this year it was balmy. We met up with my neighbor and BFF Valarie and her son Joey. First stop, as has been the tradition the last few years, was the Radio Disney kiosk where they play Disney hits and do little contests. The first thing they heard was the Taio Cruz song “Dynamite”. Cal has a parody of that song on Flipnotes on his DSi that he sings constantly, so the boys all started dancing and singing the parody.

Then it was the hoola hoop contest. They did two rounds and Mack was in the first round. Both of the older boys were in the second round. Mack was pretty impressive. Apparently he’s been practicing in secret (but we don’t own a hoola hoop).

Nobody won a contest, but they gave it a good try. After the hoola-hooping it was just about time for the tree lighting, so we weaved through the crowd to stand pretty close.

And pretty soon, Voila! It’s Christmastime!

After they lit the tree we wandered around a bit to see the other light installations in North Straub Park.

When we got home it was bedtime for the boys, but after brushing and flossing I yanked out Mack’s first loose baby tooth!

So the tooth fairy has been to our house twice in the last week or so and the boys have money burning a hole in their wallets again. I’m trying to convince them to just save it until after Christmas, but I doubt they’ll be able to stand it. Greedy kids!

Well, it’s definitely Christmastime now. We just put up our tree (artificial) and I am being begged to start decorating it. I am happy to report that I had one tiny sliver of pumpkin-nutella bread with my breakfast this morning and it is definitely fit for gifting (some of you lucky locals are getting one!). Also, this morning I burned 400 calories on the elliptical, took a yoga class and went for a run. Check out my new “Still Running” page 🙂 So I’m still being Healthy for the Holidays.