Delicious Combo

Yum... I have to share this meal idea! Grandpa Gregg made the most delicious smoked & roasted pork and shared with us. So today, we had pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce and fresh garden lettuce mix with Blue Cheese Dressing with a few Kalamata Olives on the side.

Here's the Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe:
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese
3 T. mayo
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor until thick and fairly smooth. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Find this recipe and more great ones in Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman.

It's official

Yes, it's official, Emerson has decided to walk most places now. So she's crossing rooms, patios, spans of grass and streets... well maybe not fully. Looking at our poll, the majority of you guessed right! Kudos! She has also decided hockey is a sport she'd like to take part in. Pictures to come.


Best wishes neighbors!

So long good neighbors. We'll miss you! As you can see Griffin was VERY fond of Ian and Emerson of Cali. Thanks kids for being so great to our little ones. Have fun at your new home!


Rhubarb season!

For those of you who have a hill or two of rhubarb, I have some recipes for you! If you don't have your own hill, head to the farmers market. Don't forget the Mankato Farmer's Market is on Tuesdays & Thursdays 3:30-6 and Saturday mornings 8-noon. Here is the link for what is in season and when:

My favorite and most-used rhubarb dessert. Especially good with the first rhubarb of the season, so sweet!

6 c. diced rhubarb (a gallon ziplock bag full)
2 eggs
6 T. flour
2 c. sugar
Mix together and put in a shallow pan.
Crumb topping:
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 ½ c. flour
½ c. butter
Mix and sprinkle over rhubarb. Bake till brown at 350, about 45 minutes. Serve with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream.


This is so good, it’s amazing! It’s the cream…… And fairly easy and quick to throw together.

1 box yellow cake mix
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
3 eggs
Mix and spread in greased 9x13 pan.
Top with 4 c. rhubarb, sprinkle with 1 c. sugar, and pour over all a pint of cream. Bake 75 minutes at 350.


A really good springtime goodie!

3 c. diced rhubarb
16 oz. frozen strawberries
2 T. lemon juice
2 ¾ c. sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
3 ¾ c. flour
1 t. b.p.
1 t. soda
½ t. salt
1 ¼ c. butter
1 ½ c. milk
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
Combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice. Cover and cook over med. Heat for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cornstarch together. Gradually stir the sugar mixture into the fruit mixture. Heat to boiling, cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 3 c. flour, 1 c. sugar, b.p., and soda and salt. Cut 1 c. butter into chunks; add to the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, beat together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Stir this into the flour mixture. Spread half of the batter into the greased pan. Spread fruit mixture over top of batter, drop remaining batter over top of the fruit.
In small pan over low heat or in microwave, melt the remaining ¼ c. butter. Stir in the remaining ¾ c. flour and ¾ c. sugar until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of batter. Bake 40-45 minutes or till golden brown and bubbly. Cool to warm, then serve.


One of my very favorite pies in the spring!

1 ½ c. sugar
¼ c. flour
¾ t. nutmeg
3 slightly beaten eggs
4 c. diced rhubarb
9 inch double crust or lattice pie shell
2 T. butter
Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg, and add eggs, then rhubarb. Fill the pie shell, dot with butter, and cover with top crust. Bake at 400 for 50-60 minutes. Delicious warm


where the wildthings are- and we're not talking about the kids!

Keir found a painted turtle on his bike ride the other day. Both kids enjoyed looking and touching it. Then we let it go in the pond. It was beautiful! We have started illustrating some of our daily activities to help us along in the creativity side. The Creative Family book by Amanda Blake Soule (http://amandasoule.com/book/) suggested using inspiration when drawing and coloring... duh, why didn't I think of that! After the illustration is complete, I'll write our caption or story on the back with the date. Then we'll put our daily stories all together to make a book. Soule also recommends using bird, insect, animal books for reference when drawing. I better start on our collection!

In the background you'll hear what we hear at night. This is why we like to sleep with the window open in the summer!


Watch out Lance Armstrong, here comes Griffin!

The thrill of a new bike! This little boy LOVES to ride bike. We finally found one that fits him perfectly. He's quite good at riding his bike already. Only had a few spills going up the curb at an angle. I can see we'll be toting a long this bike on many trips to come.

Whooohooo Griffin!


Em Walking

Are all second children so determined? Our little Emerson walked before she turned 9 months! I love to see the thrilled look upon her face when she learns new tricks.


mama talk: Em's Giggles

mama talk: Em's Giggles

I needed to watch this again, so thought you may want to too!

garden grazing

The garden grazing has begun. I showed Griffin the spinach today and let him have a taste. Every time I turned around to see how his digging in the dirt was going, this is what I saw. Maybe we won't have enough for my spinach-using recipes? At least he'll be getting his veggies! Last summer I could hardly get him to stop eating the green tomatoes (he would spit them out after a taste)! Happy growing!



We visited my folks this weekend and where my Dad works they have these awesomely big machines. Griffin loves to see backhoes, payloaders, scrapers, excavators, ect. So Papa knowing of his excitement suggested they go see Huff. Here's pictures of their trip.
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The joy of watering... for free!

How much fun for a kid to help water the garden! Here are a couple pictures of Griffin hard at work, giving the broccoli, peppers, and lettuce get a drink. Yes, it's a bit early for peppers, but I couldn't resist (now I'm keeping my fingers crossed the frost will stay away!)

My hubby and I had been wanting to buy rain barrels for awhile now and he finally pulled the trigger. We couldn't be happpier with them. We have two that hook up to the downspouts. One we put on the deck after I suggested it may give us a bit more water pressure. However, it's not enough to "sprinkle" the lawn. Oh well, my potted plants in and out will thank us as well as the garden. We even used the free water when giving the kids' outside toys a wash the other day. A little less wasted water at our house... yeah! Here's the site with our rain barrels (in case you want to use your free water too!): http://www.rain-barrel.com/collection_systems.html

Happy Mother's Day

My mom's buns are the best... that's why I'll share the recipe with you!


Make the dough in a bread maker:
1 c. water
1 egg
3 ½ c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 ½ t. yeast
1/3 stick margarine or butter

After the dough cycle is finished, form into buns or cinnamon rolls. Makes 18 buns or 12-15 rolls.

To form buns: First to get your ball of dough, squeeze off a clementine sized piece of dough by squeezing between your pointer finger and thumb (like milking a cow). Then form bun by tucking the dough around the bottom until all the bubbles are gone. Then set on pan and press down with palm of hand to flatten the top. For pull apart buns, put them close enough to touch. For regular buns, they do not need to touch, when they raise, they can end up touching.

Let raise for 1.5 hours to 4, until they are doubled in size.

Bake @ 350 for 25 minutes.

Carmel for rolls:
½ c. butter or margarine
½ c. ice cream
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar

Heat in saucepan till incorporated, then spread in 9x13 pan, cool and place rolls on, raise and bake for 20 min, at 350 degrees. This topping never gets sugary or hard; always perfect!

Happy Mother's Day all you mamas out there!

playin' in the rain

You seldom think good thoughts when you hear a forecast for rain, but this morning's rain was a wonderful little warm shower. Griffin and I were lucky enough to get to play in it while Emerson was napping. Griffin had been waiting to use his umbrella, so we took advantage of our time together and mama got to take some pics while he enjoyed the moment.
It's fun to hear what's in that little head of his & how he's figuring things out... "It's a nice day out." "Under the roof we stay dry.""Emmy is too little to play hockey/ride a bike." "Look at mama's flowers!" and he often says, "What mama/daddy doing?"
The best Mother's Day gift! He walked up behind me sitting on the front step and gave me a hug from behind and said, "I yub you mama!"


#2 on potty

Yes, number two child goes #2 on potty (before my number 1 child). You say, "That's amazing she's only 8 months old!" My thoughts exactly as I watched in awe last Tuesday. Since then she's went about 5 times. It all started when I grabbed a random potty training book at B&N while Griffin played with trains. I skimmed the Table of Contents and ended up starting at the beginning. They went through the normal gibberish of how children in disposable diapers train much later than those in cloth. Hum, I thought, maybe this cloth diapering will work to our advantage for this way as well! As I read more, they recommended to start potty training when the baby started eating solid foods. They said, start a routine of of putting them on the potty chair at the same time every day or do it when they normally go. Lucky for me, Em always goes poo a the same time! Now everyday when I hear she's up, I run her to the bathroom and she usually goes in the potty chair! HOWEVER, this may not be the BIGGEST NEWS... Emerson took her first step! Lock your doors... or the cupboards!

Yummy Granola

Aunt Meggie gave us some granola for Christmas and we loved eating it on our yogurt (btw, we love Stonyfield Farm Organic Vanilla). Vanilla yogurt is good, but it's so yummy with a handful of this granola mixed in. Griffin loves it too!

I'm pretty sure this if the recipe she used:


summer recreation

Ahh, we had a wonderful Saturday! It was a beautiful day in Mankato and all was well with the household, so off I went, leaving the kids behind with Dad. Mama out to do some garage sale perusing. I hit 5 places and found steals at 3, so it was a success! I also was able to get the grocery shopping done in peace... what a pleasure! After naps we headed out to Rasmussen Woods for a hike. Griffin loved to run up the wood chipped trail, look off a cliff, tromp across the bridge and climb up and down the steep hill side.