Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Life with Littles: Vacuuming

     Jonah has recently decided to "assist" me with vacuuming.  For a time, he would turn the vacuum off and on while I was using it.  This could make the task of vacuuming take MUCH longer than it should.  When he tired of that, he decided to make it his duty to unplug the vacuum for me...even if I was still using it. 

     I was beginning to think that I was going to have to schedule my daily vacuuming routine around him, when I came up with a plan.  I decided to make him my helper.  When I was ready to vacuum the living room the other day, I asked him to help me.  I showed him where to hold the vacuum, then slowly went back and forth over the floor.  I kept telling him what a good job he was doing and thanked him when we were done.

     Daddy-o got a chance to see us in action for the first time this evening.  He was so surprised to see Jonah helping me vacuum, but even more surprised to see what he did when we were all done....When we finished, I asked Jonah to turn off the vacuum and he did.  Then he ran to the wall and unplugged it.  Now, before anyone worries about our little guy shocking himself, you should know that the outlet we used has self-locking covers that would protect him.  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sun Bread, Miso Soup and the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

     As the health-conscious momma I am, (or maybe because I have a bit more baby weight to lose!) I am trying to make more of our foods from scratch rather than buying pre-packaged foods.  Last night I soaked several batches of beans and started two double-batches of bread starter.  While I should have been cooking said beans and baking said bread, I decided to make Josh a small pot of miso soup, bake some chocolate chip cookies with the kids and help Laiken make the sun bread he's been asking about.

     The chocolate chip cookies are our absolute favorites and can be found all over the internet with a simple search for "Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies".  The recipe we found makes about 112.  I don't think we actually came away with that many, but we had plenty to share with friends!

     The secret ingredients in these awesome cookies:

Shredded dark chocolate.  Mmmmm!!  The recipe calls for 8oz., but we use quite a bit less than that.

Ground oatmeal.  We found that the easiest way to blend the oatmeal is one cup at a time. 

Our solution to a fussy baby while we're busy in the kitchen--wear them!  Jonah was happy to spend some time in the back carrier while we finished our baking.  It didn't take long for him to fall asleep!

     I discovered the recipe for sun bread on someone's blog, but the recipe actually came from a book called Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven.  The bread has a rich, buttery taste that reminds me of Ritz Crackers.  If you plan to make this for more than a few people, I would definitely recommend making more than one batch, as the recipe doesn't make much.  We got about 16 smallish pieces out of it.

 Looks like I have myself a great helper with bread-making from now on!  


Making the sun was Laiken's favorite part.  He loved rolling the dough out into "hot dogs". 

Our sun bread was a bit over cooked, but with some peanut butter or butter on top, it was delicious!  We had ours for dinner with scrambled eggs, sausage and orange juice.

Miso Soup (serves 2-3)

3 c vegetable broth
1 c water
1 c cauliflower
1/2 c broccoli
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 Tbsp miso

Place all ingredients in a 1-quart slower cooker and cook for 8-10 hours or saute vegetables until tender, place all ingredients in small pot and cook 20 minutes.  Miso soup is very versatile.  You can make it with any vegetables you have on hand: celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, potatoes.