Saturday, January 29, 2011

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

IMG_3883 I’ve pondered putting this recipe on my blog at least 3 other times, and here it is! Seriously, I sometimes invite people over to my house just for an excuse to bake these (some of my friends know exactly those times, hehe). I recently made them for a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) park play date. (For you locals, we hosted it at Kalithea Park in EDH – beautiful, well laid out park if you want to check it out) They were a hit, so I figured I’d post the recipe on my blog so I could refer people interested in the recipe here. =) Simple and delicious!

White Chocolate Cranberry Scones

2 c. flour

1 TBS baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ c. sugar

¾ c. “add-ins” Chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

1 ¼ c. heavy cream


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour all but heavy cream in large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. (I add both 3/4c. white chocolate chips and 3/4c. dried cranberries) IMG_3870 Stir in heavy cream until sticky dough is formed – do not over mix!

Lightly flour bread board and knead dough 8-9 times.

Pat into 10” circle. IMG_3872 Brush with 3 TBS melted butter and sprinkle with 2 TBS sugar. IMG_3874 IMG_3875




Cut circle into 12 wedges and place 1” apart on baking sheet. IMG_3876 IMG_3878 Bake about 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned.IMG_3879 Don’t forget to utilize your little helper! My son is learning all kinds of tricks in the kitchen by being my right hand man. I used to freak out having him sit on the counter, now, he knows the drill. I’m still very careful, but he loves being up close and personal.IMG_3871 Here we are enjoying the success of our “hard” work! =) I love that Percy made it in the picture with us even. IMG_3889

5-minute hummus

Yes, I had a craving this afternoon. Following a family walk and park visit, I was craving hummus. And it’s SO simple to make! My husband mocks me for keeping garbanzo beans on hand (for such an occasion as this), yet he too enjoyed the hummus craving! =)

5-Minute Hummus

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

1 clove garlic

¼ c. olive oil

2 T fresh lemon juice

2 T tahini (sesame seed paste; optional)

1 tsp ground cumin


¼ tsp paprika


In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, and ¾ tsp salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1-2 T water as necessary to achieve desired consistency.IMG_3847 Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika before serving.IMG_3848We like to eat them with pita chips. Yum! Except you may want to steer clear of us for a day or so, talk about garlic overload. =PIMG_3849

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tricks of the Trade i What are they?

As moms, we learn little tricks that become second nature to us. I figured I’d share a few with you. Many seem like silly, common sense tricks, but are helpful nonetheless and if you haven’t heard of them, can feel priceless! Here are a few to get this topic going…I’ll try and add more entries as I think of my “Aha moments”! =) (Find Tip #1 here.)
Trick #2: Stick a straw through the tin foil lid so your kid can “drink” his/her applesauce.
One night we were eating out at BJ’s and our server brought Cooper a cup of applesauce, but no spoon. So, we just stuck a straw through the tin lid! Talk about less mess! Now, we often do it just to help stay clean, whether a spoon is brought or not! =)
Trick #3: "Beat the lights”
Kids like to lollygag…it’s in their nature. My child particularly likes to do it while getting into his car seat. So, I’ll hop in the front seat, close the door and say, “Can you beat the lights?!” He’ll sometimes promptly hop into his seat trying to “beat the lights”. Not always, but at least half the time.
Trick #4: Fade the music to the back…
Another car trick. We purchased an audio narrative of the Polar Express around Christmas time which Cooper fell in love with! Almost every time we got into the car, Cooper would ask, “Listen to the Polar Express?” Which is great! He even had parts memorized. However, while I even find Liam Neeson’s voice quite dreamy, I can only handle so much. Hence, fade the music to the back of the car. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?! A teensy bit more peace and quiet for me in the front seat. *sigh of relief*
Trick #5: Yogurt in cereal
Kids are messy when they are learning how to use silverware. I will often put Cooper’s cheerios in yogurt instead of milk. He still gets to use his spoon like a big boy, but there’s slightly less mess, and he actually gets food in his mouth. Yay!
Trick #6: Bring towels to the park
Come chilly and/or foggy mornings, slides and park equipment can be coated in dew, soaking wet. A friend taught me to keep a stash of old towels in the back of the car for these occasions. No more wet tushies!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Allison’s Nursery

It all began with….no, not a sperm and an egg, don’t be gross! ;) It all began with the inspiration of the Penelope bedding from Pottery Barn. IMG_3799 When I found out I was having a girl, I knew it would have to involve pink, but was a teensy bit shy about it, too. Well, this bedding cured that! It’s the perfect combination of pink, green and adorable little birdies.

But first…let me show you what the room looked like prior to the nursery makeover:Guest Guest 2 Guest room/where are we to put the treadmill room. =) The treadmill is now in our master, romantic, huh? Oh well. Priorities change.

So, first things first…paint. Shh, I’m renting, and I painted! I finally broke down and did it. We’ve been in this house for 2 1/2 years, and will realistically be in it for another 2. So, I think it’s okay to paint at this point. So, green and a little pink! Thanks Papa!IMG_3771 Next challenge, how to keep the guest bed, AND incorporate it into the nursery. So, I kept the same trundle bed pictured in the guest bed above, but we cut off the headboard entirely, so it’s more like a day bed. Thank you Pottery Barn Kids for your twin size duvet that matches my Penelope bedding perfectly! 3 big white pillows from Home Goods, two homemade pillows with plaid fabric matching the color scheme, and 2 Trofast storage chests from Ikea on either side of the bed make the look almost built in (and provides hidden storage that I’m using for older sized clothing for Allie, and outgrown clothes as she gets older)! Challenge? Tackled and accomplished!IMG_3807    Up next? Curtains! I totally and utterly lucked out in this department. I purchased extra plaid fabric to create a valance, which I love, but on our trip to Pottery Barn found blackout pink and white polka dot 63” curtains for only $12.99!! Seriously? You couldn’t even buy the fabric for that! They only had one left, but leave it to good ‘ol Pottery Barn, they looked up in the computer to see if there were any at other stores, 2 left wouldn’t you know, and they shipped me one from San Diego! Same price. Awesome! This picture shows what it looks like prior to receiving the second panel, and I’m planning on sewing some drawbacks with the plaid. Soon…when my uber nesting instincts kick in.IMG_3808 What’s a nursery without a crib? Baby #2 (sorry Allie)…we went for a cheaper crib this time around after Baby #1 chewed up the first crib. Still adorable, and convertible, but nearly a $300 price difference. Who’s gonna know? Well…all of you now, but…. Anyhow, Pottery Barn bedding, my mega splurge. Bought the curtain rod to hang the quilt from Bed, Bath & Beyond (with a coupon of course), the adorable nest and bird also came from Pottery Barn. The “A” picture was a gift from my mom, which we doctored up with some cute ribbon to hang. Then, a basket storage unit from Lowe’s with coordinating colored baskets. The pink bird on top is a lamp that also came with the bedding set. I purchased it on ebay because the line has been discontinued. Boo! But, yay for me that it all came together. IMG_3796 Look at the cute little bird detail on the inside of the bumper, adorable!IMG_3801 Oh, I also found this adorable little chair at Home Goods that I’m planning on sewing a cushion for.IMG_3806 More creativity…personalized wall decor! My mom and I created these images using Publisher. We added some verses that fit with the theme of the nursery. We lucked out again and got the picture mats on sale at Pottery Barn, and the picture frames on sale with super coupon at Joann’s. Here’s the artwork:IMG_3804 IMG_3803 IMG_3805 And the layout on the wall…IMG_3793 A final touch…a custom built shelf. I found these hooks at Pottery Barn on clearance also and loved them. Initially I was going to use them to draw back the curtains, but didn’t like them there, so I “designed” this shelf (which my dad implemented). We bought the shelf and the supports at Lowe’s, and the hooks are affixed to a second shelf, which we then screwed into the wall. Then, we used leftover molding to frame out the lower “shelf’. I love how it turned out! And what’s hanging is also very special. The onesie is a gift from my mother-in-law, and the shoes are from my mom. =)

Allison, we’re all ready for you!IMG_3811There are a few more details I’d like to add, but for now, they’ll have to wait. Perhaps I’ll do a nursery update. =) Oh, and the changing table is in the closet. Yes, I think I’ll have to have more to come…