Friday, October 28, 2011

We might as well be a fan site.

Do any of you remember that post I did about Maddie and Billy Joe Armstrong?  Well, after examining my Google Stats, it turns out that, because of that post, the search terms "billy joe", "billy joe armstrong", and "billy joe armstrong hair" have led people to my blog more than any of the other search terms combined.  Awesome.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chicken Run

Well, actually, it was a Bird Run, even though Bella has a hard time remembering if she's a chicken, a chick, or a "canawy."  The cross-country team has a "Spook Scoot" as an awesome fundraiser, and you know I love me a good race.  However, my foot was really hurting in our training for a 5k at the end of the month, and I couldn't be sure how it would feel, so I just sent the big girls out with the wolves to run by themselves.

Their costumes were a big hit.  You can see the swan, the peacock (whose tail was not yet attached--to hard to run with a tail), the canary, and the grumpy, screechy owl.  

Olivia was nervous and intense at the starting line.
Naomi wasn't sure she could make it.
"One mile!  That's a really long way."
My parents and brothers were in town, so we stationed a cheer squad at the corner of each block, to make sure the little birds would keep going.  Olivia did awesome, stretching her long bird legs out and really running.
Naomi alternated between fits of slow-walking despair and manic fist-pumping "power bursts" (as she calls them).  They both did awesome, finishing in the top ten and winning a fancy medal.
I'm so proud of my little runner birds.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

We're in the paper.  Or, rather, my girls have their picture in the paper, and I was quoted.  Or, rather, I was paraphrased.  But still!  We're the news!  Read all about it here! Just click on the picture and arrow your way through to find the fascinating picture of four little Wells birds. (And, if you wish, you may borrow some of my extraneous exclamation points!  Because it looks like I'm just giving them away today!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Picture courtesy of Pinterest, of course.  I didn't use the Pinterest recipe, however.

Lately, I've been making pumpkin bread and applesauce bread in mini loaf pans* for freezing.  It's immensely gratifying to have a freezer full of little loaves of goodness to cut up for breakfast (paired with peach smoothies--yum!) or to tuck into lunchboxes (as a treat!), and I've gotten it down to a science.  I can make a full batch of both pumpkin bread and applesauce bread and have them in the oven in less than 20 minutes.  So, because I love you all so much, I'm passing my recipes along.

Applesauce Bread
Modified from a recipe by Cassie Boyle, one of the best cooks I know, to use less oil and less sugar and whole wheat flour.  I honestly don't miss any of the old ingredients, but I like my fruit breads to be moist but not greasy.  Of course, I then spread butter on the bread when I'm really feeling like a treat, so I can't actually fool myself that this is healthier.  
1/3 cup oil
2 cups applesauce (unsweetened)
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
Mix wet ingredients together then add dry ingredients.  Pour into mini loaf pans until the pan is half full and bake at 375 for however long it takes for the center to bounce back when you touch it.  (This will depend on your loaf pans.  Mine take about 20-25 minutes.)

Maple Pumpkin Bread
Modified from a muffin recipe by my Aunt Steph--another one of the best cooks I know. I've made a lot of the same substitutions as in the applesauce bread recipe, and I've also taken out the pecans and put in chocolate chips instead.  Feel free to do the reverse.
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned--but not the pumpkin pie mix, be careful)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup (the real stuff is best, but I've use the fake as well)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, of course, but absolutely delicious)
Preheat oven to 375.  Mix dry ingredients together first then add wet ingredients.  Pour into mini loaf pans until half full.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until centers bounce back when touched.

*I use the foil mini loaf pans you buy at Wal-Mart, five for $1.25, because they are the perfect size, just large enough to slice but small enough that two loaves will fit in one quart-size ziptop freezer bag.  I'd love to find something the same size but more sturdy, since I'm always afraid this will be the last time my pans will survive.