A Bean Grows in Denver

A Bean Grows in Denver

As part of her science unit at school, Katya has been carefully tending some bean seeds in a plastic cup.  She has loved watching them appear and has faithfully photographed their growth from when the sprout appeared to when we put it outside.

I was amazed at how quickly they grew–the first few photos were taken with only about 12 hours between each picture!

Creation is amazing!

Spring Break (Catching Up)

Spring Break (Catching Up)

How did I miss posting about our spring break road trip?!!  We traveled to St. Louis (as we have done before) and took with us special guests Uncle Nate and Aunt Kerry (which we haven’t done before).  I suppose it is a bit late to write a long play-by-play of our visit, but it is worth noting that we went and were SO glad we did.  We visited some old favorite places and some new spots, but were especially happy about having rich times with so many different parts of our family.

A Modern Day Knight (Catching-Up)

A Modern Day Knight (Catching-Up)

I have a young man finishing sixth grade!  So many changes are on the horizon, and I am both nervous and excited about that.

One of the changes are are feeling right now is the shift from “elementary” to “junior high.”  It will happen this fall for school, but this spring it takes place at church.  This was Nathan’s final year to attend our Wednesday night clubs program, and he ended with the long-anticipated crest ceremony.  Each year the 6th grade boys select images and colors and create a wooden crest that represents things that are important to them.  They present their crest at the final night of clubs, talk about what they chose, and then hear words of blessing and a prayer from their parents.  It is really cool and really important!

Here is Nathan with his crest..

It is amazing to think that the boy who was a baby when this curriculum was designed is now graduating from the program.  I am so grateful for the men who worked with Than to put this together, and for all the godly leaders who have feed truth into my son during his years under their leadership.

Here is Nathan talking about his crest:

Recital (Catching-Up)

Recital (Catching-Up)

Baylor Music Studio Spring Recital–cookies, kids, parents, music–always somewhat the same, but always new too!

Nathan and Katya played a duet together for the first time, and Nathan’s clarinet teacher came for one of the performances to play a clarinet duet with him as well.  We sure heard some good music from so many students!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the cookie selections included…

Meringues

Coconut Macaroons

Sugar Cookie Sandwiches with Strawberry Icing

Pecan Brownies

Raspberry Oatmeal Squares

Toffee Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Orange Ricotta Cookies

Almond Cream Cheese Bars

Classic Chocolate Chippers with Walnuts

Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies

Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies

This recipe was originally from Yummy Addiction via Pinterest.  I’ve made it a few times, and have been known to shift around flavors and mix-ins based on what I have available!

Print Recipe
Orange Poppy Seed Ricotta Cookies
This is an easy recipe to halve, if you have part of a container of ricotta cheese that needs to be used up. The texture of these cookies is very different from an ordinary cookie--a nice chewy change of pace.
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
For the cookies:
For the glaze:
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
For the cookies:
For the glaze:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper, or a Silpat liner. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and poppy seeds. Stir with a whisk to blend. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add butter to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the orange juice, vanilla and ricotta cheese. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and beat for another minute to make sure everything is incorporated.
  4. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. The dough will be moist and a bit sticky because of the ricotta cheese.
  5. Spoon/scoop about two tablespoons of dough for each cookie on a baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from oven and and let rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. While the cookies cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest. Whisk until smooth. Spread about a teaspoon of glaze on the top of each cookie. Let glaze harden before serving. Enjoy!
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Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies

Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies

Baking Bites via Pinterest provided this yummy recipe.  The cookies are great on their own, and even better when stuck together as a peanut butter sandwich!

Print Recipe
Toffee Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
Makes about 40 cookies, or 20 sandwich cookies
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth, followed by 1/2 cup peanut butter.
  4. With the mixer on low speed or working by hand, gradually blend in the flour mixture, then stir in the toffee bits.
  5. Drop scant 1-inch balls onto prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are golden.
  7. Cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. When cookies are cooled, sandwich each pair with 2-3 tsp smooth peanut butter.
Recipe Notes

Original recipe (with more explanation and photos!) is from Baking Bites

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my go-to classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.  It took me years to find just the right one, and this is it!  Hooray for Pinterest…

The original (with much better photos and explanations) is from Over the Big Moon–read it there!

Print Recipe
Caroline's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cream butter, Crisco, and sugars in mixer.
  2. Then add eggs, vanilla, baking soda and salt.
  3. Mix again and then add 2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips and walnuts if desired.
  4. Then add 3 1/2 c. flour.
  5. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto a foiled or greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are turning golden brown.
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Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Print Recipe
Coconut Macaroons
This is a gluten free version of classic coconut macaroons. It is from my classic America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It is a little on the sticky side, so I prefer my other recipe that has a bit of flour in it, but these will do when needed!
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pulse the coconut in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds, and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Process the egg whites, sugar, salt, and almond extract together in the food processor until light and foamy, about 15 seconds.
  3. Stir the egg mixture into the coconut mixture until combined. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and coat lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or wet hands, scoop 1 Tbsp. of mixture into a ball and place on prepared sheets, 1 inch apart.
  6. Bake until macaroons are light golden brown, 13-15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking. Let macaroons cool completely on sheet, about 30 minutes, before serving.
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Easter (Catching-Up)

Easter (Catching-Up)

Wow, I haven’t downloaded pictures from my phone or posted on the blog in 3 months.  What happened?!!

I suppose there are plenty of explanations–life happened, work and church and school and family and whatever else.  The kids are bigger, they aren’t here doing cute stuff every 5 minutes all day long, and there are so many good things to spend time on.

However, for my faithful followers there are still some fun photos and seasonal events to share.  I’ll try to get caught up and break the silence so it isn’t so daunting to post over the summer!

Here is Catching-Up #1–Easter pics.  I’m not sure they need much explanation, they are what they are!

 

A Girl in Love

A Girl in Love

Get ready to fall in love…

Katya had the chance to go with her Sunday school teacher to see a litter of the sweetest, fluffiest Golden Retrievers ever!!  She was so thrilled, and had a wonderful time soaking in the puppy wonderfulness.

As if that wasn’t enough to fill her nearly-9-year-old girl heart, the dog breeder also let her visit the horse and hold the Ragdoll cat.


Thanks to her teacher for arranging this special outing, and to the dog breeder for filling this little girl’s love bucket!  (Can you tell that these photos just make my heart happy?!)