Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Montana Mid-Week

It's been another one of those goofy days around here (we seem to be full of them this week) where we're not all in the same place at the same time when I think we should be.  I'm in need of some quality family time with all four of us, darnit!  Just kidding (mostly) though I do miss having that time after Grant gets home where all four of us are in the same place, at the same time and actually get to enjoy each other.  I'm hoping that tomorrow will be like that.  I'm hoping even more that my secret ingredient for my really cool Montana project makes it by then so we can use it.

In the meantime, we'll make do...

Which we did this morning.  After getting Noah off to school the Bean got out the princess for a bit while I tackled some odds and ends.  Had to make a couple different kinds of cookies for my MOPS meeting tomorrow (Morgan, they're so ready for you!) and I wanted to get Sunday night's dinner prepped and frozen since I'm going to be gone Saturday and not sure when I'll be back on Sunday.  I made Corinsh Pasties and you'll just have to come back on Sunday (or google it ;-) ) to see them.  I love freeze ahead recipes!  We had a few hours before we could head out, so it was the perfect way to spend the morning.

*Grant, if you're reading this, skip the next paragraph* (hehehehe)

Once we got that finished the Bean and I headed to Royal Oak to the Creative Art Studio to work on Grant's Father's Day project.  We've done this every year since we've moved and I'm bummed I couldn't figure out how to get Noah there with us this year.  (Silly school going until the 13th.)  But I did clear it with him, and he assured me he was going to make something on his loom for Grant, so no worries.  I'm not going to spill too many of the Bean's beans, but let's just say her project came out truly all Mikayla.

I'm theming tonight's dinner "Recipes that I have no idea what they have to do with Montana except they are named after it"  Because honestly, that's about all I can come up with.  But I knew (other than the bean salad and Noah...) that a dinner of Montana Cowboy Burgers, Montana Marinated Bean Salad and strawberries (OK, not EVERYTHING was Montana...) would be an easy sell around here.  Which I wanted it to be so everyone could dive in and enjoy the Montana Mom's Dynamite Cheesecake I had made for dessert.  I actually made this yesterday so it had plenty of time to set (as per the recipe) and crossed my fingers as I unmolded it from my springform pan tonight.  No worries (ha, I'm such a pro!) and I love the layered look it came out with.  It earned a huge thumbs up and I can't wait to share the leftovers at MOPS tomorrow.  Though maybe someone there can explain the strange consistency to me...  When I poured it into the pan to bake yesterday it was definitely smooth, but the texture of the main layer is almost more like cottage cheese (OK, not that chunky, but kinda?  I don't know how else to explain it...)  It tasted great, maybe something to do with the lemon juice in the filling when it baked?  Come on you bakers out there, clue me in!  I also made a Montana Tonic to drink tonight (though I will admit to taking a couple liberties with the recipe...) which ended up being the hit of the meal when all was said and done.

We got the "We've Been There" state done tonight, though (sadly?) it is sans stickers as no Gatchel's have been to The Treasure State.  While it is beautiful I can't see us rushing that direction any time soon.  But maybe someday we'll be able to add a sticker!  When Grant got home they broke out some games (Mikayla and Grant teamed up against Noah in an epic Battleship run-in.  The kid is sneaky!) while I got dinner around.  I then got to be in charge of baths and I got the bonus of having Noah assist me with making the Montana Poppy Seed Bread I had planned to have with tomorrow night's dinner.  He was bummed that it wouldn't be ready before he went to bed so he could taste test, so he's already requested it for breakfast in the morning.  It was fun to spend some time in the kitchen with my OTHER favorite chef. It's been a rainy day and though I had hoped we'd get outside for some play time no such luck today.  Oh well, enjoyed our evening anyway!

MOPS tomorrow and seriously hoping that my project materials come!  I ordered it a week ago, get your act in gear amazon!  (OK, to be fair they guaranteed delivery by Friday, so I can't be too annoyed yet)  Dinner is a spin on a campfire (and Gatchel) favorite.  So until then...

Montana Fun Fact of the Day:  At the Rocky Mountain Front Eagle Migration Area west of Great Falls more golden eagles have been seen in a single day than anywhere else in the country.

Skinny Chunky Monkey cookies for Morgan

They earned a thumbs up from my taste tester

Ready to paint

A true Mikayla creation, can't wait to see it fired


Hard at work

They did a stellar job

The princess lining up all her princesses

Montana Tonic

Montana Marinated Bean Salad

Montana Cowboy Cheeseburgers ready for their buns (Noah scarfed this down)

A "Montana" meal

See what I mean about the cheesecake???

My other favorite chef helper

He's a pro

He did not do as well with the egg as his sister, though... (All fixed, no worries!)

Yep, all grown up!

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