April 30, 2013

Little Swimmer

Today Allison picked out two swimsuits for the summer - one with the little mermaid, one with sea horses on it.

All the way home she kept saying "we're going to the beach house". Trying to explain that we won't head down there until 4th of July did not go over well. Our pool isn't open yet but she HAD to try out her new swimsuit so bath tub it is.

April 25, 2013

Zoo animals

Saturday we spent the afternoon at the zoo, a favorite activity with nice weather. Allison loved posing on the statues around the amphibian house - she cried when she had to let someone else have a turn. She loves taking photos and often tells me "mommy take a picture with your pink phone"

Halfway through the zoo she kicked off her boots and went the rest of the trip in just socks.

April 21, 2013


After church we had lunch at Double Dave's and I couldn't resist getting a few pictures of Allison with her pizza. We usually cut it up for her but she grabbed a slice and had so much fun.

This morning the first thing Allison said was "Mommy, I left my pizza at Chuys!" (Chuys is our favorite Mexican restaurant if you haven't noticed). She was very concerned about this so it worked out that we had already planned a pizza lunch outing.

April 13, 2013

Spice Cabinet

Over the last few months I've had a nagging thought every time I grab the garlic salt or other savory seasoning from my spice cabinet "Are my cupcake liners going to smell like garlic or steak seasoning next time I use them?"  I finally decided to do something about it.
Before - not pretty, semi-organzied

Before re-organizing I did have all my baking jars on the left (vanilla, cinnamon, etc) and savory seasonings on the right.  Within each side jars were more or less alphabetical, with the front row being ones I use most often.  My stand with all the spices sat pushed over to the left, all the other stuff squeezed on the right (nearer the savory spices), although most of it was cupcake papers and other baking supplies.

After - so much better
First I emptied everything out, wiped down the cabinet and hand washed the platform stand the spices stack on.  Now with a clean start I could reload everything.  I kept my left side baking, right side savory because its what I'm used to and know that's where I reach for things.  I centered the stand this time, leaving room on both sides.  First I put in all the seasoning jars for each side, alphabetical left-right and front row to back row on the tower.  The front row is the stuff I reach for most often, for me that's burger seasoning, steak seasoning, red pepper flakes and an Italian seasoning grinder.  Large jars are on the right (seasoning salt, garlic salt) and some random things like toothpicks.

Savory seasonings - After
 Baking supplies went back in alphabetical, my front row being vanilla and almond extracts, and some individual coffee packets.  I have small jars and sprinkles containers in the very front because they are easy to see over.  On the left I have large jars of sprinkles, a big jar of cocoa powder (behind the cupcake liners) and a quart jar for cupcake liners.
Baking supplies are now with the baking spices

Cupcake liners in a quart jar

April 12, 2013

Corn Dogs

Last week Allison had pneumonia and I had truly terrible allergies. My husband was wonderful over the weekend, letting me rest and have some quiet time so I can face this week with my energetic toddler. As a treat for all of us I made corn dogs for lunch on Sunday. Kevin gets to take credit for this since he was looking over my shoulder at Pinterest Saturday night and said "you should make that".

Recipe (adapted from www.chef-in-training.com):
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (or to taste)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp honey
1 package hot dogs
2 cups vegetable oil for frying (this is approx, depends on size of your pan, need about 2 inches depth for oil)

1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat until 350, or until a drop of batter will sizzle and brown.  This will take several minutes.
2 While oil heats combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl - cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar, and baking powder
3. Add in milk, egg and honey, whisking to combine
4. Cut hot dogs into halves or thirds (your preference)
5. Dip each hot dog piece into the batter, making sure to cover completely, and place into hot oil 1 at a time.  
6. Cook in batches (I had 4-5 pieces cooking per batch) until golden brown and delicious.
7. Use tongs to pull out of oil and set onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool 1 minutes.
8. Serve with ketchup, mustard or your favorite sauce.  

By cutting the hot dogs into smaller pieces (I cut mine in half), I was able to use a smaller pot and therefore less oil than if I needed room for full length hot dogs or including a stick.  

April 11, 2013

Chef Allison

Finished snack mix
Last night Allison asked to cook. It took me a minute to come up with an appropriate dish and decided to make trail mix. Allison had so much fun, she wanted to make another batch right away.

I pulled out a big mixing bowl, wooden spoon and lots of treats. To avoid potential messes I poured each ingredient into a small plastic bowl for Allison to dump into the mixing bowl. We used roughly 1 cup each of: marshmallows, M&Ms, mini pretzels, goldfish, Cheerios, and Chex.

So excited to cook

April 10, 2013

Rainy Day Dress Up

The dreary weather is keeping us inside today but we are having a ball. Allison helped me make blueberry muffins this morning, My friend Kathy stopped by for coffee and now it's dress up time. Allison loves her Minnie Mouse dress. I just hope I can come up with enough activities to entertain us the rest of the day.

April 5, 2013

Haley's nap

Looks like Allison isn't the only one who love to cuddle Bunny. While Allison took a bath this morning Haley took advantage and snuggled up with Bunny for a nap. I'm waiting to see how long until Allison notices.

April 4, 2013

Easter morning

Due to weather concerns we planned an early Easter morning as all ended up leaving at 9am due to a storm coming through Tyler. Allison loved her little basket - especially a lip balm and fairy wand. The girls did an egg hunt for the eggs they dyed and we had a pancake breakfast.