Friday, November 27, 2015

Three Ingredient Homemade Dog Cookies

Well, my friends, the holiday season is here! Time to get started stocking up the freezer and cookie jars with goodies to celebrate this warm, snugly time of year.  This Christmas, don't forget your furry friend!  (Or your friends'/family's furry friends who are visiting!)  Here's a super easy recipe for cutout dog cookies that are easy to whip up, and great for little helpers to practice their cookie making skills (just think - cookies minus the egg, minus caring what it ends up looking like = Perfect for the kiddos!  And because lets be honest, Fido doesn't care if the candy cane is uneven and crooked).  They also make a great addition to hostess gifts (because you're invading their houses,too). You can use any kind of baby food, just be sure to check that its ingredients are safe for dogs to eat (a few good ones are sweet potato, carrot, pea, green beans, apple, banana).  You could even substitute peanut butter.  Here's how Mama makes it:  

Three Ingredient Homemade Dog Cookies

- 2 c. rolled oats
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 4 oz. sweet potato baby food

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Emelina's 18 month update

Happy Half Birthday, little Emma!  In the craziness of preparing for the holidays, I almost missed that fact that your half birthday was coming up.  I've been saying you're "a year and a half" for a couple months now because it just saves time, but you are officially halfway to being a two year old.  Cue the waterworks, dread, and cringing on my end.  Two was not an easy age for your sister, and with your current temper, I'm guessing it won't be easy for you either. 

Your newest favorite word is "NOW."  As in, "milk, NOW" or "mine, NOW" or "Dobby, NOW."  (By the way, Dobby is your pet name for Grandma Cindy.  We have no clue how/why you went from not saying anything, to somewhat attempting "Grandma" to "Dobby," but we've accepted that it's a thing, at least for now.) 

You are talking up a storm lately, saying just about anything that comes to your mind, or out of your sister's mouth (you two are thick as thieves and you've become quite the little sidekick these days). Most of what you say is pretty easy to understand, but some of it would be lost on someone other than our family.  "Thank you" and "Please" are always big crowd pleasers, especially when you drag out the Thaaaank yoooooou's. You call Anna "Sissy" which is super sweet.

Size - mostly 18 month and some of Annalyn's old 24 month clothes.  Size 5.5 shoes.

Teeth- between month 17-18 you decided to fill out almost your entire bottom set of teeth, plus your top molars!  Poor, poor girl.

- starting to learn colors (you know pink, blue, and yellow pretty well and sometimes purple and green, too), though you will also argue that something is "pink" when the rest of us would call it orange.  Maybe you just hate being wrong...
- walking down stairs (scares me to death, but especially outside where we only have a couple stairs, you insist on doing them yourself)
- tons of new words, too many to list. Small sentences, usually 3-4 words max. 
- climb up and go down slides on your own at the park

- books - Duck & Goose, You Are My Cupcake, I Love You Through and Through, You Are My Sunshine
- shows - Minnie Mouse, Wally Kazaam ("Waaaalleee"), Sofia the First ("Fia"), Charlie Brown ("Brown")
- foods- pizza, cake, cheese, pancakes, any fruit, most veggies, goldfish crackers, quesadillas
- activities - bath time, playing outside, watching baby videos on our phones, coloring/painting, trying on mama's shoes and sissy's dresses, spinning in circles (aka dancing), helping us cook, climbing in boxes/baskets/hampers/etc.
- clothes - Fia dress (which is any and all princess dresses), socks, anything with a cat on it, shoes, your apron, hats (which also includes your bike helmet in your book)

- being told no
- fighting with Anna (it really hurts your feelings when she gets mad at you)
- sharing
- crowds, strangers, most people in general
- your first ear infection - got your first antibiotic on your half birthday.  Poor girl!  You are at least really good about taking the medication.
- being away from us/Annalyn, especially if you're being left
- dogs, especially giant ones.  We're working on that...

best part of decorating?  The tree box!

Overall, this is my favorite of your stages yet!  Your unique blend of growly, sweet, sassy, crazy, shy, independent, and cuddly is adorable.  I can't even tell you how much it means to me that you and Annalyn love each other so much.  Sure makes me understand the big sis/little sis roles better!  Oh, and did I mention that you say "I love you" now?  Sometimes even "I love you, too."  Seriously, just try to get any cuter, Emma.  I don't think it's possible.

Love you so MUCH,


Friday, November 20, 2015

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

Here's a super simple way to make turkey and gravy if you only need to serve about 6-8 people or less.  Maybe you live away from family and are having a small Thanksgiving meal. Maybe you have to work on Thanksgiving so you don't have all day to tend to and baste a perfectly roasted bird. Maybe you have only a few people that like turkey and the rest want ham. This is a great way to free up the oven and make turkey and gravy all at once!  I made it this week with a small 3 lb. turkey breast as an easy weeknight meal.  Based on this recipe, here's how Mama makes it:

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

- 3 T butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 c. Flour
- 3 c. Chicken stock
- 2 sprigs Rosemary 
- 4-5 sage leaves
- 1 t. Thyme (dried or fresh)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3-8 lb turkey breast (bone in or boneless)
- 2 T. Cornstarch