Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Follow Me Out to the Patio -- I Have Dessert...

Maybe everyone already has a crisp recipe they like -- I didn't.  I love this one -- not too crumbly, not too skimpy on the topping -- it's juuuust right.  It's fast, we always have the ingredients on hand, and it's fruit.  (That's good, right?)

Em's Fruit Crisp
Fruit of your choice - we used peaches, lots of them!
2 tsp lemon juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Pour peeled, sliced fruit into 8 x 8 baking dish & sprinkle with lemon juice.  Combine all other ingredients & drop onto fruit.  Bake 30 minutes.  Serve with ice cream (my kids' choice), with whipped cream (my choice, and because you have some from making homemade butter and whipped cream...), or on it's own.  Have it your way : )

(In the winter, we had this delicious treat with (available!) frozen blueberries.  That's a good way to get some super fruit in January...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Making Tin Can Lanterns

We didn't mark the cans with constellations for our lanterns, as some do - we just made a starry night.  A lovely, peaceful, cool breeze across the patio, crickets chirping starry night.  Bon nuit.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Look what I stumbled into -- a round-up of some pioneer crafts on one handy page!


You'll find these gems, or shall I say "nuggets" (ha!) here: homemade bread & butter, homemade taffy, whittling, carved soap, braided rug, cornhusk dolls, quill pens & berry ink, rag doll, stick horse, covered wagons, weaving, tin can lanterns, woven paper baskets, quilting, and dipped candles.

These are great for us -- as follow-up to our Gold Rush Day and gearing up to go back to our American Girls Group (Kirsten, 1854) -- but if you find yourself less inspired to do them, you really should make homemade butter and do this science experiment.  It's SUPER easy -- and you get to eat your results!  What could be better?  Remember to sing a silly butter-shaking song, too!  We love Sara Sponda.

Sara sponda sara sponda sara sponda ret set set
Sara sponda sara sponda sara sponda ret set set
Ador-ay-o. Ador-ay boom-day-o.
Ador-ay boom-day ret set set
ah-say pah-say oh.

(And for good measure, here's a little background to the Sara Sponda song and "Eureka!")

Friday, September 16, 2011

got zucchini?

Zucchini Pancakes
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
2 Tbsp grated onion
pinch salt

Delicious additions: grated swiss & gruyere, parsley, garlic, potatoes.

Heat half olive oil, half butter on griddle.  Mix ingredients together.  Form pancakes on griddle & cook on each side.  We enjoy ours with applesauce.

Zucchini Chocolate Muffins
(from Mad About Muffins - Dot Vartan)
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Sprinkle salt over zucchini & set aside. In large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and cocoa.  In medium bowl, mix together oil, vanilla, eggs, sugar and buttermilk.  Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and mix well.  Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips.  Pour into muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Makes 18 muffins.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cool It

These are not "gourmet" -- but they are soooo good.  And they're just the thing for a September heatwave.

Fudge Popsicles
1 box instant chocolate pudding
2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
1/2 cup half-and-half

Whisk, pour into molds, freeze.


Gold Rush Days

We're having some heat here.  And that's only unusual because it's really the first we've had of it all summer.  We decided to brave it and check out Gold Rush Days in Old Sacramento last weekend (made it more authentic, I'm sure!).  So glad we did -- it was worth it.  We'll try to make it a regular Labor Day weekend activity!

There were good friends and a
ride in a covered wagon (Linus's favorite part).

There were cornhusk dolls, old fashioned games, costumes, a schoolhouse, sunbonnets for sale, and... there was ice cream. 

What a nice way to get us to the library for more books on the
subject.  I wonder what else we'll cook up at home on the topic?

Friday, September 9, 2011


Sela tried something new today.  Her heart and her smile inspire me.