Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adieu, Fickle January

Good bye, January. You were warm, you were cold, you were dry and you were rainy. We enjoyed your many moods with jackets on, or bare feet, or bundled with hot tea, or running through breezes from open windows.

Today, we say so-long with sunshine streaming through the windows, a brisk breeze, and a forecast for 80's to come in the first week of February.

Those rainy days were amazing, though, and if you could put in a good word to February, we'd welcome many more of 'em in the days that follow you.

Thanks for the great start to the year, though. Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


A portrait of my kids every week for 52 weeks

Audrey 'helping' Mama put sheets on the bed on a Friday afternoon
Henry at his best, after eating 3 full pieces of pizza and most of a handful of raisins

Monday, January 28, 2013

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...reaching for another tissue... these warm waves of southern air are the bringers of ugh.
...trying to put my 'ugh' in perspective... if not for these warm fronts, my kiddos wouldn't have spent all afternoon yesterday with bare feet.
...wondering if we're lined up for some storms this week.
...starting another book, given to me by my Mama (or loaned?)- Laurel's Kitchen- and finding myself a bit inspired... also wondering what The New Laurel's Kitchen might have to say...
...laughing at Audrey, who got a hold of pink chalk and used it to 'put makeup on,' then marched around with a drum putting on a show and declaring herself beautiful. She was right.
...rolling my eyes at what always seems to happen to my kitchen floors the moment after I finish mopping. Every. Time.
...loving the sunsets in my back yard on evenings mild and calm, with loved ones gathered around, the landscape deep in winter slumber, and the birds calling out their 'good nights' from the skeletal trees.

Have a happy Monday.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Apple Pie Bread Pudding

When Daddy has a late night at work, we lean toward the unconventional for our threesome dinners...

...and a favorite for us is breakfast for dinner (something Daddy doesn't always jump at). Our latest out-of-the-box dinner together found us making fried sweet potatoes with lemon thyme (also not topping Daddy's favorites list... I know!), and an apple pie bread pudding.

My help in the kitchen this particular night was even a bit out of the ordinary, but it was much appreciated. It's amazing how much this little guy understands. He was a great helper.

After patiently waiting for everything to first become bubbly and hot, then cool enough to eat, our apple pie bread pudding was finally almost inhaled by my sweet helper and his Big Sister, leaving scant leftovers for Daddy... though what does remain will make an awesome breakfast for, well, breakfast, too.

Apple Pie Bread Pudding
Makes enough for 6 adults, or Audrey, Henry, and some for Mama and Daddy

For the custard:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar (we've been using organic coconut palm sugar lately)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups whole milk, scalded

1/2 (ish) loaf of stale French bread

2 small Granny Smith apples*
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1-2 squeezes good honey (about 2 TBS)

Heat milk just to steaming (do not boil) either in small pot on stove top or in microwave in heat-safe container (it took ours 1.5 mins). In separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Very slowly add scalded milk to egg mixture while constantly beating. Tear stale bread and push into custard mixture, and after all pieces have been submerged, allow to sit until very soggy. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a 9" square baking dish with non-stick spray. 

In large bowl, toss cored, chopped apples (peel or don't, up to you) with lemon juice, cinnamon, allspice, and honey (in the pics we used Gala apples because that's what we had, but they were too soft and too sweet, Granny Smith is the only way to go, in my opinion). 

Pour about a cup of apples and cinnamon-y juice on the bottom of baking dish. Pour bread and custard mixture on top, then pour the rest of the apples and juices on top of that. Gently fold apples into bread mixture here and there so that some are mixed in and some remain on top with their syrup.

Bake, uncovered, on a rack in the bottom half of the oven until golden brown, bubbly, and puffy, about 35-40 mins. Allow to rest for about 5 mins before serving. Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup, some fresh whipped cream, or even a scoop of ice cream!

We always miss Daddy when he's late, but this made it seem a little bit better this time. Honestly, I think it could make almost anything seem a little bit better. 


*Post edit: I would highly recommend thinly slicing, or even dicing the apples, because larger chunks as in the pictures above tend to bake al dente, if not downright firm, which may not be what some look for in something touting "apple pie..." This may actually be a great candidate for any extra filling leftover from a sauteed apple pie that might have ended up in the freezer after putting up all those autumn apples!

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Three Weeks Behind 52

I have decided to participate in The 52 Project (see button in the sidebar), and though I'm joining in the third week, better late than never, yes?

There's just something so beautiful to me about the way photos can silently say so much without a single stroke of pen or keyboard. Just like with the captionless 'This Moment' project over at SouleMama, using this space to document and share the preciousness of these Good Old Days seems like the best way to truly represent them as they are, here and now.

With these photographs, I hope that I can capture- and share- the subtleties, the light, the moods and the emotions of our every day, even as the memory of them softens and dims.

In joining in with a few of these communities of families who recognize the power and the fragility of these early days, and in documenting and sharing some of our own, I hope to impress into the pages of our family story a true representation of what I know to be precious both now and as I look back in remembrance when they've all but faded away.

If you're inspired to do the same, click the link in the sidebar, put the button on your own blog, link your photos in this space, or simply post and save them for posterity. After all, as Ziggy Marley once said, "I don't have to wait to realize the Good Old Days."

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...chugging coffee like it's going out of style with the hopes it'll influence this headache I still have from yesterday... ugh.
...crossing my fingers that the short fuses, crabby dispositions, and general bad moods from the weekend won't linger into the beginning of our week.
...feeling proud of my sparkling-clean car, washed by most loved hands, both big and small.
...making a list of chores to complete by 9:30am, when we'll have a bit of company and perhaps something interesting to talk about thereafter...
...planning to make my first sticky toffee pudding, because honestly, how could I not?
...laughing out loud at Henny, waiting in his crib for Mama to come get him, holding his inherited vintage Cabbage Patch Kid (from Uncle Nate) gently and patting it on it's back, whispering "shhhhhhh." Where did that come from, I wonder? Adorable.
...loving the sunrise over the hill in my front yard this morning.

I've decided that despite the bumpy patches of the weekend, we will have a good day today. Wishing all the same. Happy Monday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

This Moment

Playing along with Amanda today... in her words: 

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Audrey's Camera, Part II

I realized today that it's been too long since we've cataloged the world through Audrey's lens, and it was especially driven home by the little photographer herself asking for me to 'fix' her camera, as it was too full to hold any more photos. So without further adieu, I present What Audrey's Seen (selected from 350 photos this time around, completely unedited).

I try not to brag, and maybe I don't have to, because these seem to speak from themselves... but I'm one proud Photographer's Mama. Swoon.