Friday, July 25, 2014

Free for All Friday

First and foremost - Happy Birthday to the Best Daddy a girl could ever ask for!  Here's to LJ - love you more than the sun and the moon and the stars (as we say around here).  Not only am I one lucky girl but you know you have two grandkids that absolutely adore you (Noah ate Frosted Flakes in your honor for breakfast this morning, by the way).  Hope you had a wonderful day!

I've been feeling a little out of the zone this week since it's taken us to Friday to have a night where all four of us get to sit down and eat dinner together, catch up on our days and then spend the evening hanging out.  Between meetings and activities it's seemed like we've all been scattered to the wind.  So I was glad to take today to kind of take a step back, regroup and recharge.

This morning the kiddos and I headed to Birmingham to get in some play time at Booth Park with some friends, the Kennedy's.  It has been FOREVER since we've seen them and I know Thing 1 especially was looking forward to catching up with J!  They of course spent most of their time 'sledding' down the turf hill (many thanks to the little boy and girl who so kindly shared their cardboard!) and running around for a couple of hours.

They were both pretty worn out and since they've been pretty good this week I treated them to a picnic lunch and the Lego Movie when we got home.  Honestly, I think this may be their first 'screen' time since last Saturday night and they have definitely earned it.  I took advantage of them being occupied by finishing up the end of the laundry and giving the house a good scrubbing.  It will be nice going into the weekend not having any odd chores looming.  I'm trying to get things organized and researched for our vacation and can definitely use the extra time!  One week!

I decided that we would have a fun breakfast for dinner tonight (my crew loves them some breakfast!) so I made Maple Pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs and these yummy sauteed apples from the New Hampshire Made website.  (Kristi's note, I did swap out the apple wine for apple juice).  New Hampshire isn't quite as well known as Vermont for its syrup but it is one of the nation's leading producers, nonetheless.  I will confess that I didn't think the original recipe called for enough maple syrup (I mean, if you're going to bill it as a Maple Pancake I shouldn't have to add more maple syrup on top...) so I did double it when I made them.  Thumbs up all around here after that.  For dessert I put together this awesome Crunchy Pumpkin Caramel Pie.  As I mentioned the other day, the pumpkin is the official state fruit of New Hampshire, and you can't really 'do' pumpkin without a pie!  This one also had some maple syrup in it and the combo of the sweet, salty, gooey, crunchy just begged for me to give it a go.  True confession on this one - caramel and I are not great friends.  I don't always have the best luck when I try to make it.  So I will completely admit to 'cheating' on this recipe today.  I was going to give it a go, opened the fridge to pull out the butter and noticed a 3/4 full jar of caramel sauce nestled in the door.  I took it as a sign.  So while we did really like this one, I can't claim I made it like I was supposed to.  Hey, we all do what we can some days!

Hoping that the rain stays away this weekend as we're hoping to head back to Birmingham tomorrow to check out the street fest going on there.  And rumor has it if the Dynamic Duo behave a trip to Castaway Play (which they have been begging for for MONTHS now) may be in the cards.  So until then...

New Hampshire Fun Fact of the Day:  New Hampshire is the only state that ever played host at the formal conclusion of a foreign war. In 1905, Portsmouth was the scene of the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War.

Sledding down the turf hill

Wipe out!

Four super cool kids

Been meaning to take more pictures of how our beautiful Queen Anne's Lace turned out - here's Noah's blue

And Green

And Kayla's pink

The Master Builder :)

Maple Pancakes for dinner

The sauteed apples were calling out for a little ice cream who was I to say no?


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