Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Scones

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It NEVER fails.  Every time I go to a coffee shop, I always order a scone with my drink.  I don’t know what compels me to do so.  Maybe I subconsciously think that my coffee will taste better.  Maybe I just really like scones.  Rarely do I order the same scone, but I always order the same drink.  I know, I’m weird like that.

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I have had scones that are dry, dense, and hard.  (Maybe that’s where the coffee/scone combo came into my head–the coffee helped me eat the scones!)  These scones are flaky and soft and anything but dry.  The cinnamon adds a nice touch and is not overpowering at all.  Eating it with a dab of the lemon cream makes it taste like heaven–light and refreshing.  Continue reading

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Farmers’ Market Quiche

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One of our favorite things to do on Saturdays (besides eating a big, homemade breakfast and letting the kids stay in their pjs–see this post) is to go downtown to the Farmers’ Market.  I love being able to get fresh produce for the week and the kids love being able to pick what they want for lunch, after looking at all the food vendors.

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After shopping, we grab our lunch and sit down to eat, listening to the music by local musicians.  Being a musician myself, it’s fun to point out the various instruments to the kids.

Matthew said he wants to take harmonica lessons, that is, after he learns to play cello and air “cutar.” (Guitar apparently is a hard word to say–either that or he really misunderstood how I pronounce it.)

Unfortunately, my kids are picky eaters, but as they grow, and are introduced to more varieties of foods, they are getting better.  This is one dinner they really like.  Matthew said, “Double thumbs up, Mom,” which I think is kid-code for a really good meal, and Grace said, “Save the recipe.  I am glad you made it this time without squash.” Haha, the mouth of kids!

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Cherry heirloom tomatoes and fresh corn work best in this recipe, but you can use frozen corn and roma or beefsteak tomatoes if you’re in a pinch.  The Ricotta and Parmesan cheese add a nice balance to the egg and vegetable mixture, as it doesn’t feel too heavy or too egg-y. Continue reading

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Chocolate Pudding Surprise

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When my grandmother passed away years ago, I was given her recipe box.  To say I was honored was an understatement.  She was the best cook and baker I knew, and instilled in me a love of baking.  I was rummaging through her recipe box and came upon a recipe that my aunt have given her in the mid-70s.  (Pudding and jello desserts were all the rage then, apparently.)  What caught my eye was that it appeared similar to a recipe that I received in my inbox a week prior.

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So, I decided I would combine the best of both and create something new.  This is now my favorite, easiest dessert ever.  It has a cookie dough base, then it’s layered with cream cheese, pudding, and cool whip, and topped with toasted nuts and chocolate curls.  And then you put it in the fridge to chill overnight. What could be easier than that?   Continue reading

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Raspberry Truffle Brownie Bars

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We went on a short camping trip this past weekend, albeit the weather was windy and a bit drizzly.  For me, camping is a time to relax, be with family, and eat a bunch of junk food we normally don’t eat.  In fact, I take the kids with me to the grocery store and choose candy from the bin and fill up a plastic bag.  It’s honestly the highlight of the kids’ summer.

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Four “note-worthy” things happened while camping:

1. Matthew learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.

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2.  Grace learned to sort-of throw a Frisbee.  It’s like a tomahawk throw, actually.  The kids are finally beginning to get the concept of Frisbee golf.

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3.  Eric finally beat my dad at corn-hole.  It’s a silly game if you ask me, but they love it, even though their shoulders are very sore the next day.

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4.  Matthew lost his front tooth.  It was the 5th tooth he’s lost, not a huge deal, but how he lost it was pretty funny.  He and Grace were playing tag and he accidentally rammed his tooth into the backside of Grace’s head.  He came back crying (not Grace, surprisingly) and 5 minutes later, out popped the tooth.  However, the tooth fairy couldn’t bring him anything that night, because she didn’t know that he was camping.  (Thankfully he fell for it! We made up for it when we came home the next day and he received an extra coin under his pillow.  “She remembered! She remembered!” he kept saying.)

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I decided to make these brownies to take camping with us.   Continue reading

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Raspberry Crumb Bars

RCB1Every year, our neighborhood has a 4th of July parade and party for the young children.  It starts with a community bike ride at the end of the cul-de-sac, and ends at the local park with games and food.  The kids bikes were packed (as we were going camping a few days later), so we instead we walked in the parade over to the park with the entourage of kiddos.

The weather this day was pretty cold.  Last year it was in the mid 90s, which is extremely rare early July in the Pacific Northwest, but this year it was in the mid-60s.  However, you wouldn’t know that based on what Grace is wearing!  Kids…

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Matthew and Grace participated in a three-legged race (which was a very hard concept for a 3-year-old to understand) and a gunny-sack race.

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Grace fell on early in the race (sadness!) and refused to get up and continue, but Matthew was all about trying to win.  (Wonder where he got that from…)  Just look at that face! Continue reading

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

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I am not an early morning person.  My alarm is set to the exact time that I HAVE to get up in order to be out the door by 6:45 AM, with absolutely no wiggle room.  So, on the off-chance something goes wrong in this morning routine, (i.e. I’m having a bad hair day), I have not accounted for that extra time, and usually run around the house exclaiming, “I’m late! I’m late!” (But of course, not in that weird white-rabbit-Alice-in-Wonderland voice.)  All that to say that I don’t build time in my daily routine to eat breakfast.  I usually grab something quick, like a yogurt or granola bar, and eat it once I get to work–and that’s if I remember.  I get distracted in the emails to check and any last minute prep work to finish before the students walk in the classroom.  Hmmm, I think I see a pattern here.

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Anyway, Saturday mornings are my favorite for two main reasons.  One, my kids are now getting old enough that I get to sleep in–until 8 AM!  (Prior to having kids, that felt like my super-early-weekdays-wake-up call, but now, it’s heaven.)  And two, we get to have a leisurely start to our day.  I try and protect this precious time, as it allows us to bond as a family and just slow down from the busyness of everyday life.  The kids get to stay in their pjs, which for some odd reason they just love, and I make a homemade breakfast of their choice.

Pancakes are my kids’ favorite food and they request it almost every day.  They usually ask for lots of whip cream and syrup to go with it.  I blame grandparents for that one–they know how to spoil children. Continue reading

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Lemon Icebox Pie Ice Cream

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We just got back from a week’s vacation visiting family in California.  Like all good adventures, this one was filled with laughter, fun, and craziness.  And when I say craziness, it pertains to just one thing–children.  Ha! I had the brilliant idea of driving, which by map, should have taken about 10 hours, but in actuality, it took a little over 13.  In my head, I thought of it idealistically, that driving would be good family fun and bonding, and let me just say, we certainly bonded!  I already knew that little ones just cannot sit still for that long, but a long car ride just proved that point even further.  (Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I make it out to be.  The kids were pretty good in spite of it all; it was me who had to remember they’re only 3 and 5.)  The portable DVD player is what saved us.

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One day we went into San Francisco. I love that city!

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Eric and I had been there numerous times before, but it was fun walking through the city with the kids. They saw things I had never observed before!  As we concluded the day, we went and had ice cream at Ghirardelli.  Grace and I shared a double scoop cone, and Eric and Matthew shared one. Seems reasonable, right? Apparently, I had NO IDEA just how big a double scoop is. We could have shared one between the four of us!

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We had such a wonderful time (despite the car ride) and were so grateful to extended family for hosting us.  They cooked us yummy food and kept the kids entertained (which is no easy feat).  So, thanks fam!

LIC1As a parting gift, my aunt sent me home with a bunch of Meyer lemons and limes from her yard.  (My other aunt grows grapefruit, and I came home with about 20+ of those. Trying to think of good desserts to make with that fruit…) Continue reading

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