A Month In Pictures – August

Month in Pictures | September 8, 2016 | By

Another month – so many more pictures.  I had the camera out quite a bit this month.  Not for long shoots, but just to catch random day-to-day occurrences.  I know this sounds depressing, but I keep thinking that these kids won’t be small, cute, and funny for very long. (And thank goodness for that from a discipline/parenting point of view.  Whoever thought it would be easy to raise good kids?  It’s tough.)  Anyhow.  I try to get pictures when they’re being them.  Which means they’re not always the best ‘styled’ pictures.  But they’re my kids.  You know?

Jude - Cocoa Mustache

We had a super busy month.  It just kept getting busier, trying to stuff as much as we could (mostly as much as could) into getting the most out of the warm summer season.  I’m still trying to squeeze summer things in.

 Movie and Popcorn

We did ALL.  The.  Things.  

Wedding day

We hung out at church camp on and off for two weeks, had beach picnics, playground dates, made lots of food, decorated a few cakes, jumped on the trampoline forever and a day, went to a wedding.  It seemed like we were gone every evening.  Which was fantastic.  Part of me is happy it’s coming to a more scheduled end.  The rest of me is screaming, and bucking at the idea of having an organized anything.  

Fam Jam at the wedding

I think I’ve mentioned before, we are starting to homeschool Cael this fall, starting next week.  So the scheduling is starting to become real.  He’s super pumped, and I’m excited and nervous.  But I think it’ll be good.  They scary part is trying to school with two littles.  And the fact that his education is in my hands.  I’ll update on how that’s going…

Cael's Cheesy Smile

So, this is the final hurrah to August.  Not to summer.  We still have a few weeks left of that.  Get it straight, eh?  I’ll do a last hurrah to summer next month.  😉  And a welcome dance to leggings and long sleeved shirts.  And lattes.  (Though, who in their right mind really gives those up over summer?  NOT ME!)

**Jude decided he wanted hot cocoa in the middle of August.  I’m down with cocoa any time of the year.  He had the best hot cocoa mustache going on. 

**We had to take some chill time – movie and popcorn time!  

**My handsome (but grumpy-looking/he doesn’t like pictures) hubby and I at a beautiful wedding.

**The whole fam-jam at the wedding.  Briar and Jude were flower girl/ring bearer, respectively.

**Cael – how he’s starting school is beyond me.  My handsome oldest dude. 

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins

Can somebody please tell me that August is still here?  September, how are have you already arrived?  Do you know that saying that time goes faster as you get older?  Because you should definitely heed it.  It’s true.  To the nth degree. 

Zucchini Muffins - dollops of peanut butter

Sweet summer is passing us by.  The bright coloured flowers are being replaced with golden rod and baby’s breath.  Fall colours are starting to burst out here and there.  Don’t get me wrong, I love fall.  It’s a great time.  But as I’ve said time and again – I love me some summer more than the rest.  That sun beating down on my skin, making me roast, it’s such a great feeling.  Sun-kissed kids running around.  That’s what it’s all about.  I’m determined that pants will not be constraining these legs until Autumn is official.  Dresses and shorts – bare legs – cold or not, until fall comes.  (I may have a stubborn streak in there somewhere.)

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

Fall or not, this is zucchini season!  Everyone around here who has a garden (not yours truly… we slacked off on that this year) has a BUNCH of zucchinis.  We’ve been blessed with a few, so I’ve made zucchini bread, had curry with zucchini, I have zucchini lasagna on the menu this week, AND I made these muffins!  I think these may well blow your mind if you like peanut butter.  And breakfast.  Or muffins for supper.  Or zucchini.  If you like any of these things, you’ll like these muffins.  

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

We’re just going to go right ahead and assume that the zucchini in these muffins cancels out all the other things and makes them healthy.  Okay?  Deal. 

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because a healthy streusel-topped, peanut butter stuffed muffin just does NOT exist.  Let’s be real.  Some mornings we don’t want healthy.  We need sweet.  (Or am I alone on that?)  Pour me a big cup of coffee.  Let me have that peanut butter and streusel, please! Perfect Saturday morning.  Or any morning, for that matter!

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins
Yields 16
Moist zucchini muffins with a great peanut butter punch, and a streusel crunch.
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Muffins
  1. 1 cup shredded zucchini
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. pinch salt
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream
  6. 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  7. 1/4 cup milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 1 tsp vanilla
  10. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  11. 1/4 cup white sugar
Streusel
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  3. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  4. 3 Tbsp butter
Peanut Butter Filling
  1. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  2. 1/4 cup icing sugar
Extra
  1. 2 Tbsp peanut butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put muffin liners in muffin tins.
  2. For the muffins, mix together margarine, and sugars until combined. Add vanilla, and eggs. Followed by sour cream.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt, alternately with milk.
  4. Add in that zucchini, and stir until it's all combined.
  5. For the streusel, mix all ingredients together until you have a decent crumb.
  6. For the peanut butter filling, mix together. It'll be thick, but that's good!
  7. Add about a [slightly heaping] tablespoon of muffin batter to each muffin cup. Scoop a dollop of peanut butter mixture onto each base of batter. Top with another [slightly heaping] tablespoon of batter. It should look pretty full. That's okay.
  8. Top with streusel and throw them in the oven for between 20-25 minutes. They'll start to brown, and will be set in the middle.
  9. As soon as you take them out of the oven, drizzle with the melted peanut butter. Let set in their tins for 5 minutes or so, and place on a rack to cool.
  10. Enjoy!
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/
I really hope you enjoy these!  They were super moist and yummy, not to mention peanut butter-y! 

**This post is linked to What’s Cooking Wednesday at Buns in my Oven, Link Party Palooza on Lil’ Luna, and on Christian Blogger Community Linkup

Streusel Topped Peanut Butter Stuffed Zucchini Muffins - Whisks and Wooden Spoons

A Month in Pictures

Month in Pictures | July 25, 2016 | By

I was thinking that maybe I should do a series called, “A Year In Pictures”, instead of just a month, seeing as I’ve had such a bad rap as far as posting regularly in the past 3 or so years.  But, we can strive to improve, right?  Even when we’re in the midst of three kids driving us absolutely bonkers at times.  Right?  

Right? 

Somebody please tell me I’m not the only one going crazy. 

Breakfast Smiles

Really though, as much as they might drive me insane, they are pretty darn cute.  And I really want to document their cute, ever-growing faces here.  So a MONTH in pictures it shall be.  Maybe someday we’ll be able to get down to a week in pics.  That’d be something, eh?

We’ve been loving the warm weather.  I really feel like it’s been a great summer here!  So much warm weather.  Only one straight week of rain since May.  That’s got to be a record.  At least for the last few years.  It’s been hot.  I.  LOVE.  Hot.  

We were given a second-hand trampoline from my lovely aunt and uncle, and the kids have been jumping their little hearts out.  Briar has actually become quite an accomplished jumper, for a one-year old!  It’s so funny to watch them all on it.  (Except when it’s not.  Like when they’re driving me bonkers.  But it’s worth it – most of the time.)

Breakfast Smiles - Briar edition

We’ve been at the beach quite a bit, which is lovely.  The summer outside times remind me why I don’t work full-time.  Being able to hang outside with the kids is awesome.  

Cael - Chopping Help

This month of pictures comes to you from JUNE, because I refuse to believe that July is almost over.  There must be a scientific explanation for why summer flies by like a bat out of heck, where winter only flies at a breakneck speed.  Anyone know why?  It’s craziness.  I suppose it’s because we try to cramp alllll the fun outside things in a couple of months.  But hey, what can you do?  Let’s enjoy it.  It’s pretty amazing.  

Jude - Horseback

***Believe it or not, it’s super hard to catch a picture of Jude smiling!  He doesn’t like the camera.  Breakfast is the best time.  

***Briar loves her breakfast too.  Can you tell? 

***Cael’s learning how to help Mommy chop stuff.  Rhubarb here – freezing a bunch for winter.

***That photo-scared Jude is not-too-scared-to-ride-a-horse-though Jude.  Funny, eh?  

That wraps up photos for June.  I’ll get to July in a few weeks! 

 

Chickpea Salad (aka: Best Kind Of Salad. Ever.)

Salad | July 16, 2016 | By

So, still trying to get this site up and running a bit better (especially on a smartphone…).  But while we’re waiting for that, why don’t we chow down on a nice summery salad?  This is a favourite in my books.  Briar is a HUGE fan.  She loves ALL the chickpeas.  The veg, dijon,lemon juice, and vinegar, with spices make for a really great summer-tasting combination.  Do you guys find it hard to come up with sides in the summer?  Something that doesn’t have to be put in the oven, or on the stove?  (Because, hello!  It’s wayy too hot for that most days!)  Something that isn’t a green, leafy salad?  (Because that’s a go-to, and my family does NOT want another one until next week.)  Ta-Da!  This is your answer.  And mine.  

Chickpea Salad

I found this recipe a few years ago, and I don’t think I’ve made it the same way twice.  Did I mention in my ‘About Me’ page that I can’t seem to follow a recipe? I’m super guilty of that.  This is based loosely off of the Kitchen Confidante’s recipe, with many changes.  It’s super versatile though.  Whatever you have in the fridge!   Or whatever your taste-buds desire.  Switch it up!

Chickpea Salad

If you happen to make this recipe, tag me!  #whisksandwoodenspoons  I’d love to see what you’re doing.  Also, I’d love comments as to what you’d like to see in posts, if you have any problems navigating the site, etc.

Chickpea Salad

Enjoy this summertime salad!  (I’m singing Summertime Sadness in my head typing that last line…  Oh, my brain.)

Also, the next post will include kid pics!  I promise!  😉

**Recipe linked up on Christian Blogger Community.

Chickpea Salad
Best kind of summer side. Lemony, cold, refreshing. And yummy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 19-oz can of chickpeas
  2. 1 diced English cucumber
  3. 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned (if using canned drain the juice off a bit)
  4. 1/2 red or green pepper, chopped
  5. 1/2 cup finely diced onion (red, green, yellow - whatever you have on hand)
  6. 2 tablespoons parsley
  7. 2 tablespoons minced basil
  8. 2 tablespoons minced mint (optional)
  9. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I normally use bottled juice, but fresh would be lovely)
  12. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  13. 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  14. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  15. 1/2-1 teaspoon chili flakes
  16. black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add to a medium bowl, along with all other ingredients. Stir together well.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Mix it up before serving, to get those flavours well distributed.
Notes
  1. Notes: I don't always add tomatoes, because we aren't all huge fans, and it's great without them. So whatever you fancy! In the original recipe, she uses a jalapeno instead of chili flakes, but I never have them on hand. Either would be great, I'm sure. Enjoy!
Adapted from Kitchen Confidante
Whisks and Wooden Spoons http://whisksandwoodenspoons.com/

Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

So hey.  I know I said last time that I would be posting soon.   I’m ashamed to say that I lied… again.  Life is just crazy.  And my priorities elsewhere [apparently].

Summer is coming to a close.  I know this because I’m currently sitting wrapped in a blanket with a sweater on.  You’d never in the afternoons though.  It’s nice and warm, sun beating down.  But as soon as evening hits, so does the brisk autumn air.  And it gets CHILLY.  But it’s cool.  Only thing I mind is needing to change about 3 times a day to accommodate the temperature changes.

But.  It’s still summer.  1 more week.  I’ve seen leaves fall, coloured red.  It’s scary, and beautiful all in one.  Scary as I don’t know where the summer went.  Beautiful, because it’s a gorgeous time of year.  Colourful and crisp, wonderful.

Can I just say that my little boy is growing up too fast?  (This is part of the scary leaves falling thought…)  He’s getting so big, and is running around everywhere.  Weaning himself from 2 naps to 1, and being the cutest, silliest, smartest little guy I’ve ever known.  He has this funny growl/laugh thing he does deep in his throat that makes him sound like a maniacal scientist.  It’s pretty great.

{We have these sweet kid-sized grocery carts at the store.  Still a bit big for him, but he thought it was great!}

Since it’s still summer, I decided to use up some of my berries to make muffins!  I’ve come up with the brilliant idea of freezing my muffins.  Because you see, hubby doesn’t normally eat muffins.  So that leaves eating them (a dozen plus) up to me.  And by the time 12 mornings have gone by, the muffins are normally green, and so am I.  I like to change my breakfasts up every couple of days.  It gets boring having the same thing over and over again.  SO – freezing them is what I have come to do.   And it works!  Muffins freeze great.  And if you set one out the evening before, it’s all ready for you to eat the next morning.  Yum.  Fresh muffins whenever I want.

Back to my berry muffins.

These are going to be Whole Wheat Berry Muffins.  (Well, half whole wheat anyway.)

Here goes!

Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 cups fresh/frozen berries (I used fresh blackberries and frozen blueberries)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin cups.  (If you fill them really full, you’ll get 12 nice sized muffins.)

Cream together margarine and sugar.  Add eggs and salt, and beat until combined.

Alternately add dry ingredients and milk.

Fold in berries.  Spoon into muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are a golden brown around the edges.

Enjoy with a slab of butter, and a cup-o-tea.  A great (and almost convincingly healthy with the whole wheat flour) way to start an autumn morning.  Hope you like them!

And back to the 30 Day Challenge (that is taking me about 30 months).

30 Day Challenge

Day 7 – Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

Okay, first off, I don’t do the whole zodiac thing.  So I actually had to Google what my sign was, and what it meant.  Some people might think this to be sad… Me?  I think it’s fine.  Stars know nothing.  Stars say nothing.

According to my [thorough… hemhem] research, I’m a Taurus (one of those bull-type things).

And according to some random website, this is what a Taurus is:

Patient and reliable
Warmhearted and loving
Persistent and determined
Placid and security loving

Jealous and possessive
Resentful and inflexible
Self-indulgent and greedy

Some of these… may be true.  Others, not so much.

Take patience for example.  I don’t think I’m overly patient (or even a little, for that matter).  Especially when I’m pregnant and my hormones are rollercoaster-ing around in my system.  As for persistent and determined.  Yes.  You might even say I’m stubborn.  But hey, I’m told I get it honestly.  Jealous and possessive, perhaps.  Greedy, I hope not… I don’t think so anyways.

Anywho.  That’s enough of the stars for me.  Forever.  Hopefully I’ll hear from you guys and get another post rolling soon!  Later days.