Tuesday, June 29, 2010

crispix mix

This is the best for taking to a party or on a trip. It's my aunt Heidi's recipe, and I love it. It makes a TON too. Just watch out, because it is so addicting! My sister Erika said she likes it with shredded coconut and sliced almonds stirred into it. Sounds good, huh?

Crispix Mix

2 small boxes Crispix cereal (Chex works too, it's just more crumbly)
1 pound butter (4 sticks...yikes! That explains why it's so good.)
3 cups sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
dash of salt
shredded coconut (optional)
sliced almonds (optional)

Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the sugar and Karo syrup. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook to soft ball stage (about 230-240 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 2 minutes). Take off heat. Add vanilla and dash of salt. Pour cereal (and coconut and almonds if using) into a large bowl and drizzle with the hot mixture. Stir and spread out on a baking sheet until cool.

carnival day

Saturday was our town's annual celebration, so we started out the day with the parade and enough candy from it to last all summer (even though it didn't last the day). The kids spent most of the day riding their bikes, but I managed to get some good housework out of them too, since it was cleaning day. Aren't I mean? Then I ran to the store and spent some time making treats for the fireworks we'd be watching later.

In the evening, my sister Erika and her husband JJ and their kids came out for the carnival, and my mom and dad too. We stuck Olivia on this train ride with Nina and as they zipped around Clayton said, "It doesn't get any more white trash than that!" Haha! Hilarious. The carnival is always a good time because we see practically everyone we know around here.

On the swing ride I'm pretty sure that the ride attendant was fresh from prison, "GET OFF MY FENCE!" he kept spitting out. Poor Bria, my 2-year-old niece twirled around on the swings with a big frown and tears. Even Ben didn't want to ride it more than once because "that guy freaks me out."

We spread blankets out on the front lawn when we got home, mixed up some root beer floats and pulled out a bunch of treats. It's so fun that we can see the big fireworks from our house! Olivia ate about 6 Twizzlers in one mouthful, Ben spotted the big dipper, and Nina rode her bike up and down the sidewalk in the dark with Hannah. Our friends across the street had their fire pit going for s'mores, so we had a cozy camp smell, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect.

Why can't it always be summer?

"the beach"

"Nina, I'll give you all my candy if you leave me alone and let me play with my friends by myself."

Last Friday night Ben was invited to a Harry Potter birthday party, so while he was gone, and Clayton was gone to business meetings, I took the girls to what we call "the beach." It's a reservoir just a mile or two from our house with lots of sand and open for swimming. Hannah found some friends from school there, and Nina desperately wanted to tag along. Apparently Hannah told Nina that if she left her alone that she'd give her all her candy at home! Awww, what a sweet sister, huh? I guess Nina was okay with that though, she'll do anything for candy. So Nina and Olivia entertained themselves by squishing handfuls of sand together and tossing them into the water. I wished that we had some sand toys...time to go to the dollar spot at Target! Hopefully there are still some left!

Monday, June 28, 2010

rocking on the "butt"

She still loves those "butts."

Sunday, June 27, 2010

olivia's otter pop experience

Oops...it slipped right out!

Try and put the pieces back into the tube.

Sheesh, this is COLD.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

lime in the coconut

Okay, so we didn't have a lime to go with it, but the kids have always wanted to try cracking into a coconut. I got it on sale for a buck, and then found some Polynesian website that told how to break into the thing. Basically you rest the coconut on a towel (so it doesn't roll away), and hammer a nail through the little spots on the top. Then you let the coconut milk drain out into a bowl. Then you cover it up with the towel and hit it hard. Hannah had the idea to drop a brick on it...brilliant! It cracked right open. Everyone thought it was nasty to eat, but hey, it was fun opening it anyway.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

chalk art festival {part two}

Last Saturday Clayton cleaned out the garage, and lo and behold, he unearthed a box of art supplies from my college days. Oooh, so exciting! There was a nice box of pastels in there, so I let the kids have at it. They were obviously full of inspiration from the festival the night before, and the chalk art mania rubbed off on about 20 neighbor kids too. They even drew a giant bridge in the street that you have to walk on if you want to get across to the other side. What a fun day...and what a ring around the bathtub that night!

chalk art festival {part one}

Last weekend we drove the kids downtown to the Gateway to see the Chalk Art Festival. Some of the art was pretty impressive. Clayton was wishing he had a spot...he would've kicked everyone's can, I tell you! He's amazing. So watch for him next year, he's planning on being a part of it.

panzanella {italian bread salad}

I love this so much! Especially in the summer using goodies from the farmer's market.

2-3 small tomatoes , chopped into large pieces

1/2 cucumber, sliced horizontally, then sliced into half-moons

1/2 yellow, red, or orange pepper, diced

handful of kalamata (greek) olives, sliced in half

fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (optional)

olive oil

red wine vinegar

fresh or dried basil

sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

2-4 slices of rustic Italian bread, torn into 1 or 2-inch pieces

(La Brea bread from Costco is really good—slice it up and keep in the freezer for when you want this salad. Just toast before using.)

This recipe serves two, but you can make it as big as you like for more people. Toss all the veggies together, and the mozzarella if you are using it. Drizzle the salad with a little oil and vinegar, and sprinkle to taste with basil, salt and pepper. Last, stir in the bread pieces and eat right away.