Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Finally Finished!

I started this quilt for Elanor's bed way back in July or possibly earlier. It took me awhile to cut everything out, sew, iron and then sew all together. I finished it all in September and then trying to work out our different schedules I got it to my friend, Megan, in October so she could quilt it.  However, since this is my first ever quilt, my backing and batting were not quite big enough, so I bought more fabric, sewed some more and gave it back to Megan. She finished quilting it super fast and I got it back last week. The very last thing I had to do was put the binding on the quilt and I finished last night! I have learned so much about quilts and sewing from this project and I know what to do/not do the next time around. I love how it turned out, but don't look to too closely.
 Yes, the lighting it pretty much terrible, but I am impatient. I wanted to take pictures and then get the quilt washed and put on Elanor's bed as soon as possible.
Again, sorry about the brightness.

The backing is a green and white striped flannel, for extra coziness.
Megan did this swirly, loopy quilting, which I love!
I am so glad this is done and I am quite pleased with how it turned out! Next time I make a quilt, it will not be quite so large though...

Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We are so excited for it! We are having it at our house with several friends and it should be a lot of fun and such a delicious meal (I have been making pies, and prepping for tomorrow already!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Weekly Photo

I love this photo. I am so glad she decided to smile so nicely!
However, last week was a bit more like this photo:

We have both been missing Tyler a lot. He has a crazy schedule (full-time school for his surgical tech license, every week day 8-12, though he often stays until 11pm or later working in the lab, doing homework, etc.--and it is a 30 min. drive. He also works three nights a week doing 12 hour shifts at Myriad Genetics). The poor guy is getting hardly any sleep, works and does homework so much and is just worn out. It is starting to take a toll on Elanor as well. She misses him a lot and has been a bit more whiney lately (last week was a hard week). We are so looking forward to Christmas, because Tyler has a break from school for almost a month!!! He is done December 12th!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the Kitchen

Remember when I used to do recipes every week? I hardly do. Something about summer and well, there is no real excuse actually. I have even taken pictures of food, made up some recipes and baked a lot, but they have just not made it on here. Sorry 'bout that.

I did however, recently make some really, really good cookies. I have this friend who is pretty much a pro cookie maker/decorator (check her out here) and decided to make one of her recipes. She has a recipe for Chocolate-Cinnamon Roll-out cookies and they sounded pretty good and I had some newish cookies cutters I wanted to use, so I made them. 

I was a tiny bit unsure if they were going to be good or not, you just never know with an untried recipe. These cookies are good on their own, but better with frosting. I made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting and the flavors went so well together, which caused my mouth to have a happy explosion. I had to keep giving them away because it was physically very difficult to stop myself from eating them. 
Little goof. We love making cookies together!
This recipe makes quite a few cookies, though is all depends on the size of your cookie cutters (I filled up four cookie sheets). So, maybe this is a good one to add to your Christmas baking list? My frosting recipe is also quite large as it was able to frost all of the cookies and there was still a little left over.

I made up my own recipe for the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. The only problem is that when I make stuff up I just add things until it tastes right. So, I am just guessing on measurements. So, don't make this if you like things to be just so with exactness and all that stuff, because that is just not how I roll. 

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1-cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese, slightly softened
2 tsp. cinnamon--this is about the right amount, start with 1 tsp. and go from there. You might even need more than 2 tsp.
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Roughly 3/4-1 cup brown sugar--perhaps there was more or less (just to taste)
Roughly 3 cups of powdered sugar, more or less depending on sweetness and texture

Place butter and cream cheese in your mixing bowl and beat until fluffy, about 3-4 min. Next, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and nutmeg. Beat until light and fluffy (5 minutes or so), oh, you know, just to the perfect frosting consistency. Taste and test consistency and add more of anything if it needs it. If it is not fluffy enough, add more powdered sugar, the cinnamon flavor is not quite a much as you would like, add more cinnamon, etc. You can do it. This is how I cook and often bake all the time. Next time I make this, I will try to measure out everything and if you are lucky I will update this post.

A few tips:
--Don't frost all the cookies at once (unless you are giving them all away), keep your frosting in the fridge and frost before you eat. In my opinion, the cream cheese frosting is better fresh, rather than sitting there and getting crusty.
--When rolling out these cookies, and any roll-out cookie, do not roll too thin. The cookies should be quite thick, so roll out the dough to about 1/2 -3/4in.
--Most roll-out cookies are better the next day and keep for quite awhile. I found that to be the case with these cookies.
--Try baking two trays and freezing the rest of the dough for later use (you might find yourself getting it out only a week later).
--After you cut out your cookies, place them on your cookie tray (with parchment paper if possible) and put them in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will prevent your cookies from spreading. 
For example:

You should really try these cookies with the frosting. They are just tantalizingly delicious. 

Oh, and a fun fact about me: When I was a kid (8-11ish), I thought I made up the word "tantalizing". I guess I didn't.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Weekly Photo

Mid-November harvest.

It was small, but still fun to pull out those carrots and beets!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Weekly Photo

Snow day on Tuesday--and strangely enough it has been very warm since.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Snow is My Favorite and My Best"

---as Lola would say. Elanor is really into the British t.v. show, "Charlie and Lola" and today at the library we picked up pretty much every "Charlie and Lola" book they had. One of them was about snow, which was perfect seeing as we woke up to 3 or 4 inches of snow on Tuesday morning. I still get giddy with excitement when it snows and Elanor loves it just as much as I do. We were so excited and planned on eating breakfast first, but our friends were out playing, so we bundled up and went out!

It was fun while the snow lasted and we can't wait until the next snowfall!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

All Hallows Eve (and a little morning)

Elanor and I started off the day with these pumpkin pancakes 
and the Pandora Halloween station. We had fun dancing to "Thriller", "Monster Mash", "Ghostbusters", etc. 

We were still feeling a little lazy and sluggish from being sick earlier, so we did not do much during the day. When, Tyler got home from class, we carved our pumpkins.
We did not have a ton of time, so they were not super cool like previous years pumpkins. Elanor did not want to carve her pumpkin this year for some reason. She seemed to think it would hurt the pumpkin. So she painted hers and throughly enjoyed it.

After pumpkin carving, we ate dinner and then headed over to my aunt's house so Elanor could trick-or-treat there and show everyone her costume. We then headed back to our neighborhood and got back a little late to find that our trick-or-treating group had already started. However, some other friends also came over and trick-or-treated with us.
The Christiansen's (Peter was a dwarf from "The Hobbit" and their little boy was Han Solo)
Elanor loved trick-or-treating! She had fun running from house to house and saying "trick-or-treat". Running, not walking mind you. 

We did finally catch up with the rest of our friends:
Eli and Elanor. Elanor loves him so much.

Jude, Elanor and Eli. 
Jude. Isn't he adorable?
We had a fun Halloween and Elanor is already talking about what she is going to be next year.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Weekly Photo

(the only picture we have where it is not completely dark out)
More Halloween pictures will be up tomorrow!