Monday, August 31, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes with Nutmeg Whipped Cream

I'm in that fall mood. Plus, I needed to use up the other half of the can of pumpkin I opened for the pumpkin muffins. ;) This recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes was so delicious!! I think it's a wonderful recipe to use when you have guests for breakfast/brunch and it's more filling than regular pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes
From: Rucifey @ All Recipes
Serves: 4

2 1/3 cups pancake mix (such as Bisquick)
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Nutmeg Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  1. Whisk together the pancake mix, white sugar, cinnamon, the 1/3 tsp nutmeg, and ginger; set aside. (You can have this mixed ahead of time and add the wet ingredients right before making.) Beat together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, and vegetable oil. Combine the two mixtures, stirring until all ingredients are moistened.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled (I used Pam) griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Bubbles will start to form in the pancakes. Cook until the edges of the pancakes start to look dry, and a bubble popped near the edge holds its shape. Flip the pancakes over, and continue cooking until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter, adding more oil to the griddle if necessary. For larger batches, keep pancakes warm in a single layer on a cooling rack posistioned over a baking sheet in a 300 degree oven.
  3. Place whipping cream in a small, deep, chilled bowl. Add the 2 tbsp sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg; beat using a mixer with chilled beaters on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

So delicious and so "fall." Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back-To-School, Back-To-School

(the title is to be sung like Adam Sandler in one of his movies...but I forget which one)

Next week Monday, is our first day of school. I tried some homeschooling last year, and I only got into the 8th lesson and realized it was a bit over the head of my 2 1/2 year-old and I learned that I wasn't very prepared. So this year, the "typical" year to start preschool, I will be starting my oldest in preschool at home. I'm using a few different resources that fit our home and time well.

Here are our resources for the year:
I'm using Letter of the Week as our main outline, but rearranged some of the weeks to fit better into our schedule. And I'm only using the worksheets that correlate with our lessons from My Giant Sticker Coloring Book and Preschool Everything for Learning. I won't do all of the lessons in the books as some of them are more advanced so I'll save them for later. And not all the lessons are in the books, so I'll create some "worksheets" of my own.

I also took a trip to the local bookstore to purchase some children's paperbacks to go with the Letter of the Week themes and letters. Some are really exciting because I read them when I was a girl: Miss Nelson is Missing, The Little Engine that Could, Bread and Jam for Frances. And I'm sure my boys will enjoy them as much as I did.

I'm also excited about my bloggy friend, Monica (at The Homespun Heart), starting a preschool quiet time series on The Fruits of the Spirit. I think that's a great way to start the year and will be our overlying theme for the year. Plus, a lot of the fruits are attributes my sons need to work on...and so do I. ;)

We will do our lessons in the morning after breakfast. Depending on the craft, we will spend a total of 30 minutes per day in "formal" learning. This is how our week will move:

Monday: Theme and Vocab
table time - poster and definition, worksheet, song/poem
activity/craft - gross motor activity correlating to the theme
reading time - theme book
BONUS Afternoon: Slow and Steady Activity

Tuesday: Shape/Color
table time - poster, make flashcard, worksheet
activity/craft - craft or snack, science activity from Everybody Has a Body
reading time - theme book
Afternoon BONUS - possible trip to library

Wednesday: Letter
table time - poster, color letter printout, worksheet
activity/craft - related to the letter, song
reading time - book related to the Letter of the Week

Thursday: Number
table time - poster, sticker book, worksheet
activity/craft - snack, activity related to number
reading time - letter book
Afternoon BONUS - possible outing related to theme

Friday: Memory Work and Review
table time - story and memory work (from My ABC Bible Verses), poster, review book
activity/craft - fine motor craft
reading time - theme and letter book

I also plan on reading chapter books (Chronicles of Narnia series, Little House on the Prairie series, Stewart Little, Mr. Popper's Pinguins and more) aloud in the afternoon while the boys play together. And I want to get more classical music into our home via the library. It will be fun venturing into new areas of the library as I teach at home. The library is such a great (free!!) resource!

Two notes:
  1. Here's Monica's Intro to her Fruits of the Spirit Series and here's Month One: Love. Thanks, Monica for the free resources. You're such a blessing!!
  2. I'm not planning on working on handwriting this year.
  3. Our worksheets are mainly coloring pages with a title (shape, theme, etc). Some are a little more advanced and require circling matches. We'll just play it by ear and see how he does. ;)
What are you home schoolers planning for the fall?

Wednesday Weigh-In 8/19

Look what I got this week:

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

That's right!! I've earned my 10lb button!! But not only that, I've lost a total of 12.2lbs!! Yay!!

starting weight: 157.4
current weight: 154.2
loss: 3.2 lb
original starting weight: 166.4
cumulative weight loss: 12.2 lbs!!

(I had to check my math twice and then get out the calculator because it just doesn't seem possible!)

I haven't really been working out too much (aside from playing outside with the boys and going for walks) but I have been watching what I eat. I'm not snacking like I used to and try to drink a glass of water when I'm first feeling hungry to see if I'm really just thirsty. And, I've been so busy that I haven't had time to think about snacks. ;) I do need to work on having breakfast everyday. That's still a challenge.

Keep up the good work, Sistas!!

**This is my 3-month anniversary with the Sisterhood. Let's compare stats:

May 20
weight 166.4 - TODAY: 154.2
waist 37 1/2 - TODAY: 37 (this has always been my problem area)
hips 42 1/4 - TODAY: 41
thigh 25 3/4 - TODAY: 24 3/4
chest 35 - TODAY: 33 3/4
bust 41 3/4 - TODAY: 40 1/4

That's a loss of 12.2 lbs and 5 1/2 inches. Yay!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Who Says Iowa Isn't Beautiful?!

My husband took these pictures the last time we visited my family on the farm. It was a beautiful morning (too bad I was still sleeping). ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

By the Way...

I weighed in on Wednesday and these are my newest stats:

starting weight: 157.6
current weight: 157.4
loss: .2 lb
original starting weight: 166.4
cumulative weight loss: 9 lbs

Hopefully next week I'll earn my 10lb button.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've Been Waiting for This...

I got a season ticket flyer in the mail last week announcing the Broadway series that will be coming to our area this winter. We don't purchase season tickets and rarely make it to the theater but I wanted to browse through the flyer anyway (would love to get season tickets someday). And there it was! In bright yellow!!

picture courtesy of Broadway Musical Nut

My husband and I were supposed to go in March, 2006. I was pregnant when we purchased the tickets but thought that 6 weeks before my due date would be fine. And I was wrong. And I was bummed. I went into the hospital 9 weeks before my due date with pre-eclampsia and on the date we were supposed to see The Lion King, I was induced and had my firstborn the next day. Some friends of ours bought our tickets and really enjoyed the show (they tried not to sound too excited when they said it was "awesome!").

Now it's my turn. I am going to The Lion King (even though I can't purchase the tickets yet). I've always wanted to see this show live and now 3 years and 10 months later, I will!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Taco-Topped Baked Potato

This isn't really a recipe per se, but it is delicious! And if you use baking potatoes (the larger ones) you can get by with 1/3 to 1/2 of a potato per person.

Taco-Topped Baked Potato
serves 4

4 baked potatoes (or 2 large baking potatoes)
1 lb taco meat
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
green onion, thinly sliced
tortilla chips, crushed
sour cream

Like I said, it's not really a recipe but another way to dress your baked potato to make it a meal on it's own. I served fresh sweet corn with our Taco-Topped Baked Potatoes. Yum!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In 8/5

I didn't post about my weight-loss last week, so I'll update you on my stats:

starting weight: 158.8
current weight: 157.6
loss: 1.2 lb
original starting weight: 166.4
cumulative weight loss: 8.8 lbs

My new goal is to get my 10lb button next week! That would be awesome!! The other goals are still the same:

1. I will not give up.

2. I will go to bed on time.
More important than ever before since I started babysitting this week. I need to get to bed on time because I have to wake up on time. ;) Which is a good thing, just hard to get into a routine.

3. I will exercise daily (walking, shredding, swimming) and post on my blog - just for some accountability.
Still have been struggling with this. I've been getting up on time and getting my housework done so when the afternoon tiredness hits I can rest. Still working up to the daily workout, although I am feeling better. ;) Still 3 more weeks before I have my blood tested again.

4. I will only weigh on Wednesday.

5. I will do this for me!

Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a recipe I've been wanting to try for a long time now. It's a recipe from my husband's aunt. It's delicious and I hope you give it a try!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
1 1/2 cups oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

In large bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes 36 muffins.

**Tip: if you want to cut the oil in the recipe:
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

The batter is fairly thick, so don't be surprised. I used a zip-top bag to fill the muffin cups to make it an easier clean-up. Just make sure you cut the hole big enough for the chocolate chips to come through. To serve as cupcakes, frost with cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!!