Friday, October 28, 2011

Maple Pecan Scones

One of our favorite fall treats from Starbucks is their Maple Pecan Scones. Luke got me hooked many years ago, and they are still one of my favorites. Last Saturday, I decided to try and make some at home. The result? Maple Pecan scones even better then Starbucks. Seriously. Try them for yourself and you will love them. I am thinking that these would be perfect for breakfast on Thanksgiving day.

Maple Pecan Scones (I found the recipe here)
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups flour
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
2 T maple syrup
2 1/2 T cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1 large egg
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
1/2-3/4 tsp maple extract
2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract (I think I used slightly more)
5 tsps hot water

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a food processor or blender to finely grind oats. Using a mixer, mix flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add maple syrup and butter; mix well. In a small bowl, beat the egg, cream, and maple extract. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix well. Add pecans and mix.
*Place dough on a floured surface (note: dough is very sticky at this point). Knead dough 8-10 times and pat into a circle. Use a pizza cutter to cut 8 wedges.
*Put scones on a a greased baking sheet, slightly separated. Cook 13-15 minutes, until slightly brown. (Note: I checked my scones at 12 minutes and they were brown and done). Remove scones from pan and put on a wire rack to cool. Cool for 3-5 minutes.
*Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Add more or less water depending on the desired consistency of the glaze. I kept the glaze fairly thick, because it thins out on the warm scones. Spread glaze on scones and wait about 15 minutes to serve (to allow the glaze to dry).

The end result is yummy, better then Starbucks, scones. I added sprinkles to a few of the scones, because everything is better with sprinkles in the mind of child. Silas loved the scones- and ate an entire one. Both Luke and I loved these scones- this recipe is a keeper!

Three Things on Thursday- Kids Edition

1. Silas... I cannot believe this boy will be 5 in January! He says funny things every day that crack us up. Lately, when we tell him something, he will say, "You've got to be kidding me!" Always makes us smile. He is loving preschool- and the new friends he is making there. Today at school they had a Pumpkin Party. He dressed up as a firefighter. They paraded through the offices and had special activities. After school today, he told me, "Mom, this is a really fun day!"

2. Eliana... She is 2.5 going on 16. Seriously, this girl was born with a little attitude. But she completely melts us too. She is very sweet and lately has been completely enamored with Levi. When he wakes up from a nap, she runs to him and says, "Hey little guy! How are you doing?" She loves her dolls and continues to be a pack rat with about everything. I am hoping to start potty training soon. She has zero interest at this point, but I would love to be buying diapers for only one child. Silas was very motivated by candy and a reward chart when potty training. Eliana could care less. See? Kids from the same parents can be completely different!

3. Levi... This little guy is growing bigger by the day! He is 7 months old now, which is hard to believe. He is the first child I have exclusively nursed, and this week we have tried giving him bottles. It. Has. Not. Worked. Our other babies have always taken bottles, so this is new for us. We will continue trying and hopefully he will take a bottle some day soon! Levi is sitting up on his own. He isn't super excited about baby food. He has no teeth yet. And he is the happiest baby ever. His smiles light up a room!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Road trip to Minnesota

Last Saturday the kids and I embarked on a quick, last minute trip to Minnesota. My parents were going to hold some meetings for the new ministry they are involved in. And me and the kids? We were going to have fun. Play with cousins, visit family, soak up some fall weather, collect fall leaves, and of course, eat!

The drive to Minnesota takes about 15 hours without stops. We were set to leave on Saturday morning at 9AM. My parents had our van and were planning to pack up and come pick up me and the kids. Well Saturday morning we awoke to SNOW! Yep, on October 8th. And it was snowy pretty hard. So my parents eventually arrived at our house. And our van? The "Check Engine" light lit up on their drive over. So we unloaded and reloaded into their van, which was not a quick process. (Read: 3 car seats). We got on the highway, and found out the highway was closed due to an accident. At that point, we completely rerouted our trip and drove through Kansas and north to Iowa. We arrived on Sunday night, ready to not be in the car for a few days. The kids did great on the drive, which I was happy about.

So Luke wasn't scheduled to arrive until late Wednesday night, so I was a single parent for a few days. And during that time, I learned that I never want to be a single parent. It's tough work- props to those of you who do it day in and day out.

Two lessons learned while on our trip:

~Don't pack attempt to pack light. That means that you will end up doing laundry on vacation- maybe more then once. I don't have a ton of clothes that fit right now thanks to my hyperthyroidism. On our car ride to MN, Levi's dirty diaper leaked onto my jeans. I washed them. The very next time I wore the jeans, he had another dirty diaper and you guessed it. It leaked onto my jeans again. Two leaky diapers all week- and both times on the same pair of jeans- that happen to be the only pair of jeans that actually fit right now.

~Don't bother trying to keep your kids out of classes or the nursery before a trip. You might think by doing this you will be more likely to have healthy kids for your trip. Wrong. I kept the kids out of numerous things last week because I did not want them to get sick while we were on vacation. Guess what? All 3 kids got sick with a nasty cold that included a fever. Guess who is sick now? Luke and I. Seriously, I heart winter. But I do not heart all of the sickness that comes with it.

There were more lessons I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember them anymore.

I saw some friends while in MN, but the best thing about being in MN was just spending time with my family. I happen to have one of the greatest families in the world. And it completely stinks that we are spread out over all over the country. I cherish the time I spend with my siblings- and for my kids, their cousins. We had a great week with Kelly and Corey, and my nieces and nephews.

On Friday, we went to the Children's Museum in Minnesota. It's a fun museum, probably the best that we have been to. While we were driving to meet my sister and her clan for dinner at Cafe Latte (which was my 3rd visit there in 5 days. And for the record, I would have happy to go every day!) Anyways, on the drive, I asked Silas if he liked Minnesota or Colorado better. He said, "Minnesota!". I asked again... but threw in California. And I honestly didn't know what his answer would be. And he said, without hesitation, "Minnesota!" That is my child! But his reason for liking Minnesota the best is because of the Children's Museum.

One of the benefits of driving to Minnesota was we could bring lots of stuff home. We went shopping at Trader Joe's, Byerly's and Cub and brought home lots of our favorite things we can't buy here. We also visited two apple orchards. I think we brought home 50 pounds of apples between my parents and us!

We drove through the night on Friday, home to Colorado. Poor Luke spent only 48 hours in Minnesota, and then 20 driving. It was my crazy idea to drive through the night. And it was hard for Luke and I. But it was definitely easier for the kids. We did pull over in Iowa, and we slept in a parking lot for a few hours. And the sun arose, and we started driving again. We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast because we are die hard Monopoly fans. We WILL win some year! It was the busiest McDonald's I have ever seen for breakfast. There were only a few tables open. Lots of senior citizens! We were quite the sight, as the kids walked inside in their pajamas, with messed up hair and crusty noses (the kids, not us).  We were thrilled to be home last night. Silas isn't sure he ever wants to drive to MN again because "It's SO FAR!"

The kids said lots of funny things on our car ride. The best was yesterday though. Eliana collects everything. I am constantly telling her to not pick up things on the ground (like cigarette butts). Yesterday in the car, she was throwing a fit because Silas had her empty fruit snack wrapper. Silas looked at her and said, "Eliana, don't be a hoarder! Throw garbage away!" Amen!

All in all, a fun but very busy week! I have feel like I have fallen off the blog bandwagon. I want to go back and blog about the last 2 months, but have realized that is never going to happen. I will do a few brief recaps and move on!