It’s the Weekend!

Whew, another week in the books!  I don’t know why, but this week has dragged on for me.  It doesn’t help that it’s a bazillion degrees outside (it hasn’t been that bad, but we’ve had humidity…like 40 percent, which means it’s no longer a “dry heat”) and we’re stuck in the house all the live long day.  Cabin fever has definitely set in and it’s only July…puke.  I had planned to have a fun furniture re-do post for today, but a certain someone decided to stay up way past his bedtime and I have zero energy to do that at the moment.  Anywho, onto a review of my week.  (Sorry for the crummy photos.  My cell phone is not up to par.)

Dill Pickle Wheat Thins

1.  The hubby did the Walmart (we don’t have a Target here…*sniff sniff*) run for us the other night and brought these home.  He said they were alright, but I apparently fell hard for them because I ate over half the box that night.  But they’re 100% whole grain, so it’s ok…right?

Air Hockey

2.  These guys love playing air hockey after swim lessons every day.  Pretty sure my little man was meant to play this game.  He’s got great hand-eye coordination and pretty much rocks at this game.

Noah at Pool

2.5.  Here’s my littlest stud hangin’ pool side.  He seriously gets cuter every day.

Allison Swim Lessons

3.  Here’s my little lady in the middle of her swim lessons.  This is her first year taking them and she’s doing SO WELL!  In fact, last night was testing night and she PASSED and is moving up to the next level!  I’m so stinkin’ proud of her.  I think I’m more excited than she is.  She can now hold her breath for 5 seconds under water, float on back and front unassisted, go off the low dive all by herself and much more…she rocks!  She starts the next level next week and I CAN’T WAIT to see her in action again.

Kitchen Window Problems

4.  The baby is down to one nap a day, which is about 1.5-2 hrs in length, which means I can get a little bit more done during that time.  I decided to paint the ugly green wall in the kitchen and came to find that the paint/drywall is all crumbling away.  Lovely.  Needless to say, I left it alone for now and painted around it.  It’s hidden behind the blinds, so I’ll deal with that another day.  I have other plans for this area anyway, so I don’t want to invest a lot of time into something so temporary.

Weather

5.  Some nights he’s in bed by 8:30pm and others, it’s not until almost midnight.  This is my view when he’s up late.  He’s obsessed with the weather.  Whenever it comes on, he’s right there to watch.  Maybe he just really digs the hot weather lady?

How was your week?

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth’s H5FF :)

They Grow Up Too Quickly

Crazy Lady

This is my one and only little lady.  She’s 5 and she will be starting Kindergarten in less than a month.  I’ve been dreading this day for the last year.  It’s finally set in that she will not be blessing me with her presence every day of the week.  She’s so ready to begin school and she can’t stop talking about it.  It really makes me thankful that she’s excited for the new venture.  I’ve been told that it is much easier when a child wants to go and loves to learn than if they would rather stay at home because they don’t like school.  Makes sense. I know she will miss me and her brothers during the day and we will miss her like crazy (I think her older, younger brother will be lost without her…they’re best buds…most of the time), but I also know that she’s going to make so many friends and learn so much.  She really loves to learn and I love that about her.  She kind of takes after me in that respect ;)  I loved school.  In fact, if I could afford to go to school forever, I probably would.  Anyway, I think I’m getting over being sad about her going to school.  I will still miss her dearly, but I am excited that she gets this opportunity and I want to be her biggest cheerleader.  I love the fact that she is a free-spirit and dances to the beat of her own drum.  I hope she never loses that and will always be head-strong.  She is super smart and is always up for a good challenge.  She is not afraid and totally fearless when it comes to trying new things.  Love her.  She really is my favorite girl in the whole world.  I mean, just look at this outfit she put on and wore around the house on Saturday morning. How could you not want to eat her up?  Future designer maybe?!  ;)

Pumpkin Paradise

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful 4th :-)  We celebrated by shooting off some fireworks with friends.  We were supposed to go to our city’s annual fireworks show on the 3rd, but it was cancelled due to strong winds…boo.   So, instead, we got some milkshakes from Sonic and indulged in some late-night family time.  Does anyone else get the “Milkshake” song stuck in their head every time they hear that word? Every.Single.Time.

Last week, my littlest man started pulling himself up to standing position while holding onto various pieces of furniture.  I don’t think he’ll be walking as soon as his big brother did (9 1/2 months), but we’ll see.

Baby

There has been a lot of this going on lately too.  He will not leave the cat’s food/water alone.  He’s obsessed and the cat is not amused.  Look at his chubby little arms.  I could eat him up.  Oh, AND he hasn’t been teething for the past 2 nights, so YEY!  It’s always nice to have a little break from that ;-)

Baby and Cat Food

I’ve been craving pumpkin lately.  Not sure exactly why, but maybe my body is low on something that pumpkin contains?   No idea.  Growing up, one of my grandmas used to make Plachinda.  It’s basically dough wrapped around a pumpkin filling.  It’s kind of like a portable, little pumpkin pie.  So easy to take and eat on the go.  I didn’t have her recipe, so I decided to use one I found online.  It doesn’t disappoint!  I’ve made these puppies several times already because I’m a pig the kids keep devouring them and beg for more.

Plachinda 1

Pretty little pockets of pumpkin-y goodness :)

Plachinda 3 Plachinda 5 Plachinda 6

I had some leftover pumpkin that I couldn’t let go to waste and the kids were begging to make cookies, so I decided that Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies sounded good.  I found this recipe a couple of months ago and never did get around to trying it, but I shared it with my mom and she tried it right away.  She said the cookies were pretty dang good, so I decided to give them a whirl.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yup, she was right…tasty.  They are so light and fluffy, it’s hard to eat just 3.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 3

Plachinda (recipe here)

First, make your dough.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening or cold butter (both work equally well) - I used butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (if using shortening or unsalted butter)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar


Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt (if used), in a large bowl. Cut in the butter/shortening until it looks mealy and is well incorporated (like when making pie dough). Add the egg, water, vanilla, and lemon juice/vinegar and stir to form a dough. It’s going to be all crumbly and messy at this point, that’s OK! Using your hands, pack the dough together into a ball, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

Now, make your filling.

  • 2 cups pumpkin (either from a pumpkin you’ve roasted, or canned – just make sure you get plain pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice (or, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of all the spices)


Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a bubble slowly over low to medium heat. If you cook it too fast, the egg will curdle – same thing will happen if you forget the egg and add it in later to the already hot pumpkin, and then you have to pick out little pieces of cooked egg white.  Let it bubble a couple minutes, stirring constantly, then take off the heat and let cool until it’s not steaming anymore.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper (or lightly grease them). - I tried it both ways and preferred the parchment paper over greasing them.

Sprinkle your table or countertop with flour and roll out your dough. You want to get it about the same thickness you’d use for pie crust, but try to roll it into a square-ish shape instead of a circle. Cut the dough as if you were making a tic-tac-toe board to get nine squares of dough. Drop a spoonful of filling into the center of each square (a little more on the bigger squares, a little less on the smaller ones), then fold the dough over the filling and pinch all the edges shut. If the dough sticks to the counter, slide under it with a metal turner/spatula thingie to loosen it up. Don’t fret if your plachinda don’t look perfect.

Transfer the plachinda to the cookie sheets and cut a little slit in the top of each one to let out steam. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (if you want to be extra sure they’re done, and especially that the eggy filling is cooked through, stick an instant-read meat thermometer in the steam vent – they’re done at 160 degrees F). Transfer to a cooling rack or spread-out newspapers to cool.

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here)

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (6 ounce) package chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup nuts or 1/2 cup raisins, if desired

1.  Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
2.  Grease baking sheets with margarine or spray with Pam.
3.  In a large mixing bowl cream 1/2 cup butter with sugar until fluffy. Stir in pumpkin, egg          and vanilla.
4.  Sift dry ingredients together (flour – salt) in a bowl.
5.  Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, stirring well to combine.
6.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts or raisins (if desired).
7.  Drop batter by spoonfuls on to baking sheets.
8.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned.
9.  Cool on rack.

I hope you enjoy the recipes!  Now, how was your weekend?