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A day in the life of Ryan at Grandma’s house aka: Shameless Grandma Post

It's been a couple of months since Ryan has been coming to spend the day with me while his parents are at school. It's hard to believe that he's already seven months old. I've been meaning to post some pictures of our day to day activities for quite a while now. This week one of my blog readers asked to see some pictures of him, so that spurred me on to work on this post. These are just some of the cute pictures I have snapped over the course of the last few months.

Typical scenes at our house these days:

There are several diaper changes:

picture of Ryan Diaper 9-11

There's lots of play time in the exersaucer--a favorite!

picture of Ryan Saucer

There's generally some rocking--sometimes Grandpa gets to enjoy this.

picture of Ryan Rob Sleeping

He loves to play on the floor and is just on the verge of crawling.

picture of Ryan Floor 2

Sometimes he plays on the bed although this is a limited activity now that he's nearly crawling.

picture of Ryan On Bed

Eating is a favorite activity, especially when it involves carrots or squash.

picture of Ryan Carrots

Can you tell we are having lots of fun together?


Sprouting and Fermenting

If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I enjoy trying new things in the kitchen. Some time ago Tammy of Tammy's Recipes posted about her mom making Beef Chop Suey and growing her own mung bean sprouts for it. I gathered up all the different ingredients for the recipe and put the meat in the freezer and the other ingredients in the pantry and then set about sprouting the mung beans. I found a small package of mung beans at one of our local oriental grocery stores and have since seen large packages of them at Walmart with the Bob's Red Mill items. A small package was plenty for us since three tablespoons of the beans filled a quart jar after the beans sprouted. The process was easy and I will definitely sprout more in the future when I need them for a recipe. I did find that the jar was pretty well full of sprouts after only four days. Maybe in our warmer, more humid climate they sprout more quickly.

Here are the sprouts after a day or two:

picture of Small Sprouts

Here they are after they are completely sprouted:

picture of Full Sprouts

Here's the finished Chop Suey:

picture of Beef Chop Suey

A second recent experiment has been making sauerkraut. I had heard about making sauerkraut by the jar and decided to try it out.

picture of Pounding Kraut

My jar is still in the fermenting stage, so I'm not sure how it will turn out. We did try it after about a week and it was starting to taste like sauerkraut. You are supposed to let it ferment for two to three weeks and then either refrigerate it or can it, so I'll let you know in a future post if it turns out.

Have any of you ever grown sprouts or made sauerkraut?


A new cookie recipe

A few weeks ago I had the discouraging experience of finding weevils in a brand new bag of flour in the pantry. This necessitated a thorough checking of everything in the pantry. I ended up disposing of some things and putting some things in the freezer and as much as possible in glass jars or tupperware-like containers. In the process I found some odds and ends that needed to be used up. One of these items was a half bag of dried blueberries. I found this cookie recipe and tried it recently. These cookies are really good--now I may need to go out and buy some more dried blueberries!

picture of Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl cream butter with sugars and vanilla. Add eggs then baking soda and salt. Stir in oats, flour, blueberries, and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 mins. or until lightly browned. Cool briefly on cookie sheets before removing. Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.

You can substitute raisins or craisins for the blueberries. The white chips would be good with cranberries but you might want to use chocolate chips with the raisins or you could substitute chocolate covered raisins for a taste thrill.

On a totally unrelated note another wild creature was in our house this evening:

picture of Ryan Lion 2

picture of Ryan Lion 1


A contest winner and a winning recipe

I had my unbiased assistant draw a name from the hat and the winner of the fall give away is Robin S.! Since I know where you live, Robin, I will see that your prizes are delivered to you. It was fun to see who has been lurking around my blog. 🙂 Thanks to all who entered the contest and thanks for reading and commenting.

I'm always happy when I find a new recipe that utilizes things that we have on hand. A couple of weeks ago friends from church gave us a large bag of green peppers from their garden. That same week Christy Jordan, the author of the Southern Plate blog and cookbook, posted a recipe utilizing green peppers. I tried it right away and both Rob and I really thought it was good.

Whenever I try a new recipe, Rob always asks how I changed the recipe. I do often change things to utilize what we have on hand or to make it more to our liking. The only thing I changed from the original recipe this time was to use bread crumbs instead of crushed saltines since I didn't have any saltines on hand. 🙂 So, if you need a new, tasty crockpot recipe I would encourage you to try this one.

picture of Uptown Beef Patties


A fall favorite

There's still time to enter the fall give-away. I know some of you prefer not to make comments directly on the blog. You could still enter by emailing me if that would work better for you.

I realized recently that I had never posted the recipe for Cabbage Rolls. I've been making these for over 40 years and they are one of our fall favorites.

picture of Finished Cabbage rolls

Cabbage Rolls

12 large cabbage leaves
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 egg
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Prepare cabbage leaves by parboiling or steaming in the microwave. Cut out the hard center "vein" of each leaf to facilitate handling. Combine the egg, rice, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and hamburger. Place a portion of this mixture in each cabbage leaf and then fold the sides in and roll up. Fasten each leaf with one or two toothpicks. Place in a large kettle, skillet, or crockpot. Combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Pour over the cabbage rolls and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for one hour. If using crockpot cook for 6-8 hours on low. You may want to remove the lid for the last few minutes to thicken the sauce.

There are several ways that you can soften the cabbage leaves; by boiling, freezing, or steaming in the microwave. I like to put them in a glass pie plate covered with waxed paper and microwave for about two minutes.

picture of Steaming Cabbage

If you cut out the tough center "vein" the rolls will be easier to roll up without cracking or splitting. You will need to be careful to place the filling so it will be pretty well covered by part of the leaf.

picture of Removing Vein

picture of Filling Cabbage

Fasten securely with a toothpick or two.

picture of Fastening Cabbage

Do you have a favorite cabbage recipe?