Saturday, February 20, 2010

What's a Tea Party Without Some Scones?

The best part about having girls? Getting to do the "girly" things - like tea parties!

And of course, to have a proper tea party, one must bake scones. =)

Off to the kitchen we headed (me shuffling slowly, Anna with a hop to her step). We assembled our ingredients...

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar (I use a cane sugar - it has a nicer taste)
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup goodies (craisins and white chocolate chips are my fav, though this time we used semi-sweet chips)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 t vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and use your fingers to rub into the flour mixture until it is in pea-sized lumps. Add in the goodies. Mix together the milk, sour cream, and vanilla, then mix into the dry ingredients until just blended. (Do NOT overmix) Stick the bowl into your freezer for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, grease a cookie sheet and whip up the egg and milk.

Now, here's where you can be creative. Usually I pat the dough into one large circle and cut it into 6 wedges, separating them slightly. This time I made a bunch of little circles and set them on the sheet barely touching. I must say, I like the wedges better. It's easier and creates the more traditional scone shape.
Brush on the egg (or, if you're like me and don't keep fancy little brushes around - or use them for BBQ - use a spoon or a fork. It's not rocket science.) and then sprinkle with a course sugar (I used the same stuff I put in). Let them rest for about 10 minutes, then pop them in the oven and bake. Check them in 10 minutes, but mine have taken as long as 20 minutes. Just cook them until they're done, a nice golden brown.

Pour yourself a cup 'o tea (and mind you always heat the pot) and enjoy!

PS. Tea tastes much better when served in fine china, just an FYI. ;-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snowy Days and Twisted Muscles

President's Day dawned bright and cold, and with a fresh layer of snow. Bill Meck was calling for snow showers and it seemed the perfect day to go play!

How I wish I would have been lazy and STAYED INSIDE!!!!

As I was shoveling a path to my mailbox (I belatedly realized President's Day would have no mail...) I twisted wrong and felt a twinge. Uh-oh. But I carried on and pushed the piled up snow away from the driveway and across the street.

By the time I got the kids inside, dried off and warmed up my back was achey, but nothing too terrible.

By Tuesday night I couldn't move. Just.Couldn't.Move. Today I can move - barely - not enough to brave the elements and venture to school. I could picture myself slipping on ice and then getting stuck in the parking lot like a beached whale. No, thank you. So I'm resting up and praying for a full recovery soon! I'm so sick of snow and ice!!

In the meantime, since I am stuck at home with no fresh reading material, I'll blog.

Anna, I will brag, has been in a very helpful mood lately. When she saw me shoveling snow she begged to help out. So I handed her a shovel and broom and let her attack the porch.

Isn't she cute?

Libby also had a fun time playing in the snow. Even with a runny nose and crazy hair, I thought her rosy cheeks were still irresitably adorable.

On another note, my parents were visiting over the weekend. Earl and I got to get out to Lexington and enjoy some kid-free time, along with the movies AVATAR (highly recommend) and The Lightning Thief (don't waste your time if you've read the book). We also found our stocky child a pair of jeans that she'll actually wear!

I also got a photo of my parents with both girls. The dog was not cooperating and was subsequently cropped out. =)

Have I mentioned I'm ready for spring???!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Fun!

Anna's request for today? A tea party! I aim to please, so we fired up the Easy Bake Oven and attempted to make some delicious tea cakes.

Here's the happy baker before we began.

We assembled our ingredients...

Flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, butter, and sprinkles!

Anna's favorite part was decorating the cookies, of course!

Libby wasn't too pleased about being excluded from the process...

The final product!

We opted for hot cocoa instead of tea since we feasted after playing in the cold snow. (FYI - the fearless Libby wasn't so fearless flying down the hill on a sled...)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm Having Harry Potter Deja Vu

As a teacher of half grown students, I try to connect with them on whatever level I can. If that means reading a book that they're all talking about, I'll do it. So, the talk of the middle school is Percy Jackson. If you are like me, you have never heard of Percy Jackson....or the Olympians.

As I was reading the book I was hit by the thought that the plot was very similar to Harry Potter.

Got an adolescent boy with underlying super powers? Check!

Does he get sent to special school for kids like him? Check!

Meet two friends? One of them a "know-it-all"? Check! Check!

Does he need to get sent on a special mission that only he can fulfill? Check!

Not to say it isn't an otherwise good book, but it has a "been there, done that" feel.

On the subject of books, other books I've read so far this year....

Change of Heart by Jodi Piccoult
The Twilight Series (for about the 45th time) by Stephenie Meyer
The Host also by Stephenie Meyer (since I've reread this one I keep having dreams about aliens! hah!)

I think there was one more, but I can't remember.... Anyway, 7 books so far and we're not quite 6 weeks into the year. I'm going to keep track of all the books I read (and reread) this year. I bet I'll reach one hundred!! (Grad school could put a kink in that thought....)

Happy Snow Day, everyone!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Go figure....You ARE in good hands with Allstate.

You might remember way back at the end of November I wrecked our cars. Not my most shining moment, but if you've ever been in that situation, you know how a spilt second can go very wrong.

Anyway, our cars went off to the shop to be put back together. Allstate graciously (yeah, I know, we do pay for it...) provided us with a rental throughout December and into January. It took a looooong time to fix the Camry. And it took alot of money to fix the Camry. I am so very thankful we have insurance.

And what a great company Allstate is! I can't NOT recommend them, they've impressed me that much. As aggravating as it is being in an accident, it's very reassuring to know that you will be taken care of by those people you send money to every month. The final cost for both vehicles was over twelve thousand dollars. OUCH!

So - Go Allstate! =)

I wish I could post "after" pictures of the vehicles, but alas, it has been snowy or rainy or just plain yucky since we've got them back. I guess you'll just have to wait.

In other news....while the Northeast was getting smothered under mounds of snow, we here in Kentucky got a lot of rain and a heavy dusting. Fortunately, it was a nice, wet packing snow. Earl and Anna bundled up while Libby napped and I worked on taxes. (Turbo Tax rocks!)

Who needs a great big snowman when you can have a village of tiny snowpeople?

See Anna's hat? That one is from several winters ago. (As is her coat...and her pants...I really need to go shopping for new clothes for this kid. Anyone have a Children's Place coupon??) I am not altogether sure why she crammed her head into it, as it has now been handed down to the Terror Tot and Anna has a new one that fits. But oh well...

To be honest, my two snowbirds did roll up the majority of snow in the yard to create a large snow....thing. But to capture it in photographical form would have required me to find boots....and a coat....and a scarf...and...well...I'm feeling lazy today. ;-)