Friday, January 27, 2012

You've Got Your Hands Full!

This interesting exchange among moms happened on my Facebook today:

So clearly I'm not the only one who thinks these ill-timed comments from the peanut gallery are beyond frustrating. It's true. I do have my hands full most of the time. But when I'm literally dancing a jig in the checkout line to entertain a cart full of children who have had it with grocery shopping... that's not the time for a total stranger to point it out. I know they probably don't intend it to be mean or negative, but that's almost always how it comes across to the mother (or father). 

What about you? Have you ever had someone say something like this to do while you were wrangling your child(ren)? Did you have a witty response or did you just smile and nod and then gripe about them later on your Facebook?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Bites

Do you love no-bake cookies, but hate how much sugar is in them? Are you always looking for a quick, delicious, dessert-bite that isn't going to break the calorie bank?

I recently came across a recipe for no-bake energy bites that I just had to try. Peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate? It's like they were invented just for my taste buds! There are eight delicious ingredients in this recipe... rolled oats, flaxseed meal, flaked coconut, honey, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder.

The original recipe doesn't call for cocoa powder and they are delicious without them, but I was looking for something more... In my opinion the original recipe was so much like the super sweet chocolate no-bakes that I needed to take it up the last notch. So cocoa powder it is! When I make this recipe it seems like my bites are not as moist as the original recipe. I'm not sure if it's the kind of oats I'm using or what, but I actually love the texture a little firmer. So here we go:

Chocolate Oatmeal Protein Bites
(makes 18 bites)

1 cup rolled oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter or sun butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Press into a tablespoon measuring spoon to shape and place on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Store in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.

1. Roger thinks I should omit the chocolate chips. I'm willing to try it, but I do like them very well just the way they are!
2. The first time I made them I didn't have coconut and they turned out delicious without it.
3. It says you can keep them in the fridge for up to one week, but we haven't been able to keep them around that long.
4. These make awesome breakfast bites for little boys who don't like to eat breakfast (and also may need the extra fiber in their diets.)
5. You can use any kind of oatmeal, but I really love the chewy, nutty flavor of rolled oats. It's the only kind of oatmeal we eat around these parts!
6. Each ball is approximately 80 calories with all the ingredients, so if you leave something out like the coconut or chocolate chips, you can eat more of these delicious morsels!

Let me know if you try them! I hope you like them as much as we do!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Aaron's finger update

This is what Aaron's finger looks like after he saw the plastic surgeon yesterday! The surgeon removed all the remaining stitches and "cleaned it up."

Lookin' good! (better than expected!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

German Chocolate Cake with Homemade Pecan Coconut Frosting

I hope you never buy German Chocolate Cake frosting from a can ever again! If you like German Chocolate Cake, you're going to love this frosting!

I'll admit, I didn't make the cake from scratch. I'm just not very good at making cake from scratch for some reason, so I don't. The box stuff works just fine for me and I'm ok with that. But when it comes to frosting...I think all store bought frostings are way too sweet. My sensitive teeth can't handle them! 

I was pleasantly surprised by this toasted pecan coconut frosting recipe (with a slight variation on what kind of milk I used). Despite having sweetened coconut and a cup of sugar, it is well balanced with the eggs and milk. It's really good! 

Toasted Pecan Coconut Frosting
(for German Chocolate Cake)
*adapted from Joy of Baking

1 1/4 cups pecans
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven, let cool, coarsely chop.
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cream, milk, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture begins to boil and thicken, remove from heat. 
Stir in chopped pecans, coconut, and vanilla. Let cool until thickened more and spreadable.
To assemble cake: 
Place one layer of cake on your serving plate and cover with 1/3 of the frosting. Place second layer onto first layer and spread another 1/3 of the forsting. Add thrid layer and top the cake with the remaining frosting leaving sides of cake bare. The finished cake can be stored at room temperature for a few days or it can be refrigerated.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cute Baby

What, you guys don't dance around in your undies while wearing snow hats??

Aaron's finger...3 weeks post injury

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Once Upon A Cupcake on Cakespy!

Could you please take a moment to help a friend of mine out?

She's a finalist in a baking contest with her recipe for Banana Caramel Coconut Cream pie with Dark Rum!

Go check it out! 

While you're over there, why not follow her blog? She's an awesome baker!

'Burgher Thoughts

  • I need to make a new 'Burgher Thoughts graphic...I just realized that.
  • The 'Burgher Tots are obsessed with the garbage truck. Every Tuesday morning, they hear it coming down the hill and race to claim spots at the window so they can watch and wave to the trash collectors. It's really quite comical. It's even better that the garbage guys (they are men) anticipate this and look for them...and notice when there aren't any 'Burgher Tots looking out the window. (They asked me why the kids weren't waving once when I was running the garbage can down the hill while the kids were still in bed.) Do your kids obsess about the garbage truck?
  • I have been seriously lazy about blogging lately and I apologize. I'm coming back. I promise. Feel free to comment with any blog post ideas you might like me to write about. Or email them to me. Really, there are only a few things I won't talk about... you know... 'cause my parents read this blog!
  • We are nearing the end of Roger's three week business trip to China. It has been a very interesting experience to say the least. I might write a whole post about "single" parenting for the married mom. This is the longest Roger has ever been away. Usually it is just a few days or a (business) week at most. Those times it has always been so hard to manage the house and kids while he was gone. This time, though, it seems like it was a lot easier after we got past the first few days. Things have settled down. The house isn't spotless, but it isn't a wreck either. (I would not be completely embarrassed by drop-by visitors right now, unlike how I feel most of the other times he's away.) The laundry is mostly washed (and folded thanks to my mom), but not put away (in true V5 style.) The children miss their daddy, but they aren't acting like total lunatics.

Ok, partly why I haven't been blogging... I just got interrupted. Then I ran out of time for leisure!

'Burgher Thoughts ... To be continued.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Aaron's Finger

Not a good way to start 2012 and part of the reason I haven't posted yet this year. It's easy to fall off the blogging wagon.

I was really debating with myself whether to post about what happened to Aaron's finger on New Year's Day, but ultimately, I decided that we've chronicled almost all of the other big things that have happened to our family  on the blog, so I should post about Aaron's finger too.

On New Year's Day, Roger was starting up the shower for the boys. He was going to go back for towels, but the shower was already running so he wanted to close the shower door. (It's a stall shower with an aluminum door on hinges.) He didn't realize as he closed the door that Aaron put his finger in the hinged side and Aaron's finger got smashed.

It was a pretty ugly scene. Aaron's pinky finger was dangling, bleeding, etc. There was lots of crying (by multiple parties) and 3/5 of the family was wet and needed dressed. Luckily, Lauren and I had already gotten ready for the day so we didn't need to delay at all with getting out the door... to the hospital.

There are some times when your child gets hurt that you debate with yourself whether it is an ER-worthy injury. Not this time. It was clear from the second Aaron stepped out of the shower that this was going to require stitches, if nothing else.

So off we went to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. (Can I mention again how blessed we are to live 20 no traffic, on a good day...from such a fabulous hospital that is specifically for children? We are so blessed.) It's amazing how quickly a family of five, of which three members are aged four and under, can get out of the house in an emergency. We did forget one important thing, a pair of shoes for Aaron, but he wasn't walking anywhere anyway. I don't think I have ever driven so fast down the parkway. We made good time, let's just leave it at that.

With the threat of needing to go to the operating room to have it repaired if he didn't cooperate, laid back Aaron stepped up to the plate and let the plastic surgeon fix his hand. (She was very pretty, dressed up, probably coming from a New Years gathering, but I resisted the urge to ask her. She came directly into his room with her fancy red pea coat, black high heeled boots, etc.)

He had to have Versed (drug) to "chill out" before she did the repair and a digital-block to numb his whole pinky finger. After that, she cleaned and sewed up the wound, using five (or four, or six, I'm not entirely sure) and wrapped it in a big gauze bandage.

Poor little guy.

It is healing well.

Coming soon? A blog post about parental it feels when you accidentally hurt your child. And how  much it hurts when your child is unable to express himself correctly and tells you over and over again how mad he is that you hurt his finger.