Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy as a Rhode Island Clam

Brrrr!  I knew it was bound to happen (though not for too long if the forecast is to be believed) but some true Fall weather settled in this morning and I'm pretty sure we never made it out of the 50's here today.  No worries though as that made it the perfect morning to hang at home and get my (limited skilled!) baking on with my wonderful friend, Amber.  And with a whole bagful of apples from Sunday's adventure, her suggestion to try our hand at these Apple Hand Pies sounded good to me!  Amber has more skills in her pinky when it comes to baking than I do in my whole being I believe, and I was happy that she and A came to hang out and play in the kitchen this morning.  We tried the pies a few different ways (not all 'successful' according to pretty standards) but we had a good time doing it.  I don't think I'd run out and make this specific recipe again as we both agreed that the dough was a little weird.  Lots and lots of butter which almost made it like working with sugar cookie dough.  The filling was simple (kind of hard to mess up apple pie filling, though) and we did have enough to put together an extra full size pie which we have plans to share with the MOPS girls at a playdate next week.  What a great way to spend the morning!

The fun didn't stop there as shortly after Amber left Tess and A arrived.  The girls had lunch, Tess and I got to catch up (after girl time with both Amber and Tess today I think my sanity is closer to normal than it has been in awhile :-p) and then A stayed to play with the Bean while Tess had some things to do.  I had two girls dressing up and playing "Pixie Hollow" contentedly for the rest of the afternoon.  They so make my heart smile.  A has been referring to Kayla as her sister and it makes me melt every time.  How blessed we are to have such great friends!

I picked up Noah from the bus where he was full of news about his first field trip of the year to the Plymouth Apple Orchard.  Poor kiddo accidentally grabbed the wrong lunch out of the fridge this morning (bad Mom for not double checking until noon when I opened the fridge and made the discovery) but fortunately it all got worked out.  (He did have lunch - just not the brown sack one I had specifically put together for his trip.  He grabbed the pre-made box that was supposed to be for tomorrow.  Oops!)  Anyway, despite the cold he had a good trip.

Over the week you'll be seeing this week's Rhode Island project since it's going to take us a few days to get it done, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, my favorite (and what turned out to be everyone else's favorite besides Mikayla who is all about Westminster Arcade) thing about Rhode Island is the Big Blue Bug.  So that's what we're making!  I'm basing it (loosely) on this idea and letting the kids go to town.  We started work on painting some blue bug bodies today, so be looking for our progress!

The kiddos also got some un-state project related mail today.  My sister Shell's Mom-in-Law, Stephanie, so kindly sent them very cool Halloween gloves which I now cannot get them to take off.  You are wonderful, Stephanie (and Bella as well!) thanks so much for spoiling the Dynamic Duo!

For dinner tonight I made Rhode Island Clam Chowder.  I have to admit, I'd heard of New England Clam (white) chowder and Manhattan (Red) Clam Chowder, but never this clear Rhode Island variety before.  But you know the Bean and her love of seafood, so I decided to give it a go.  My advice is if you're not a real seafood lover, stick with one of the other varieties that tend to mask those flavors a little bit as this is definitely clam heavy.  To go with it I made some Corn Fritters which are a common side dish for clam bakes in Rhode Island.  I will admit to tweaking the recipe a little bit by adding a touch more sugar and using frozen corn, but these got a thumbs up otherwise.  I had made some homemade applesauce (gotta get through those apples!) earlier in the day that rounded the whole meal out quite nicely.  And with those lovely pies we made earlier for dessert - everyone around here was 'as happy as a clam' (Nope, just couldn't resist.)

School for both kiddos tomorrow, I'm getting a massage(!!), I have a feeling the "We've Been There" state should take about 2 seconds and it's a cake from Johnny on tomorrow night's menu along with a cabinet you can drink for dessert.  Should be interesting!  So until then...

Rhode Island Fun Fact of the Day:  Newport became famous as the summer capital of high society in the mid-19th century.

The Bean and A helped in the kitchen this morning!

They may not have looked beautiful but it didn't matter a bit as to how they tasted :)


Fairy on the loose in my house! With some SUPER scary hair

Mail call!

Noah reading the note

Cool Halloween gloves!  Thanks Miss Stephanie!

Working on some blue bug pieces

Fritters frying away

Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Dinner is served

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