Sunday, August 16, 2015

Two Things on a Sunday Afternoon

1.  Bran Muffins ~ Home Schooling starts back up for our son and me tomorrow.  And it's my very. last. year.  He is a Senior, the baby of the family, and this is my 23rd year of full time I have very mixed feelings.  Sad.  But glad I get to do this for one more year.  It's been a grand, wonderful, fulfilling journey.

It's always nice to have muffins ready to go for the new school year, and these are my very favorite.  Moist and easy, plus they make a ton.  You can even keep the unbaked batter in the refrigerator up to 6 weeks, and have warm muffins in a snap.

This recipe comes from my friend Debbie, and has been around for years.  You can also make some substitutions with the recipe, which is always nice.  Here are the ingredients I use:

1 cup boiling water
1 cup Bran flakes (or Raisin Bran Flakes)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (or make sour milk by adding 2 Tablespoons white vinegar to  2 scant cups regular milk)
2 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup whole wheat flour in this mixture)
3 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 more cups of Bran Flakes (or Raisin Bran Flakes)
chocolate chips and/or nuts to top dress muffins

I made the batter Saturday (use the directions in the original recipe) and refrigerated it.  This afternoon I baked it after top dressing each with some mini chocolate chips and pecans, making a dozen nice muffins and 8 mini loaves.  They rise up so nice and are sooooo moist and wonderful.

I froze the mini loaves for next week.  Husband and I love a little something sweet first thing in the morning with our coffee.

  .Warm right out of the oven
So good I ate two!  Shhhh....  :) 
2.  Making Lesson Plans ~ Sat down today and wrote up the work we will accomplish the first day.  Since it is still mid-August and hot, I lit a candle, drank some coffee with the fan blowing on me (haha!) and pretended it was Fall.  That's when school should start, in my book.  :)

Curriculum  for this year, along with several classes at the local high school.  How can this be the last time I will ever buy homeschool curriculum for my children?

Well, muffins and coffee will make my back-to-school morning pleasant and tasty.  Hope you give them a try soon, too!  


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Five Favorites

1.  Sauteed Okra ~ I'm a southern girl who grew up eating fried okra.  Delish!  But alot of trouble and probably too greasy for me today.  But after reading that you can grill okra and it's delicious and non-slimy, I decided to try sauteeing it.  I left it whole, used minimal oil, and in just a couple of minutes it was done and soooo good!  Looking forward to the next batch of okra I pick from my little garden!

2.  My evening walks include this little lake in the neighborhood.  Loved the sky this particular night.
3.  Boy Doll ~ Our only granddaughter, Eloise, is getting a baby brother this Fall!  She is such a good mommy to her dollies, and spends lots of time tucking them in for naps, I asked her Mama if I could look for her a baby boy doll for her for when brother arrives.  It took some doing, but I found this sweet, soft little boy doll...he's so huggable!

I made him a knit blanket and put him in the mail this week.  Her Mama will save him for when she goes to the hospital for the birth.  I hope this little doll will help her with the adjustment of a new baby in the family.  I know she will feed him, doctor him, and tuck him in for lots of naps while singing "You Are My Sunshine."  I think she will love that he has a paci.  :)
4.  New Paints ~ As I have taken some watercolor painting lessons, (and have tons of practicing to do to be able to not giggle at my attempts,) I decided to buy the paint set the teacher recommends.  

Winsor & Newton's student set of paints only set me back $15 with a coupon for the art store in town, and I'm already a big fan.  Making the color chart above with the paints, I can already tell that the pigment is much richer than the set I was using.  When these little paint cakes get used up, I can buy tubes of that color and refill the pans, which will dry into cakes.  
This little whimsical bird was my latest attempt, with my old paints.  Yes, you can giggle at him.  :)

It's a treat when I have a quiet afternoon and can pull out my paints and play.

5. Face Timing with Granddarlings ~ All of our little grands live about 6 hours away, so I'm very thankful for Face Time and Skype.  I  like to have some fun stuff set out to use during our video chats, as they love to see things at Mimi's house.  Face timing with Eloise yesterday was so fun as she loves my Charlie Brown.  I wrapped him in a blanket (like her dolls), had him snack on play food, and then we looked at my old Eloise Wilkens book about the little girl who gets a new doll and a new baby brother. Ellie made playdoh cakes and cookies to feed Charlie through the screen.  Sweet memories made over the distance.  

Thank you for stopping by today!  
Enjoy your last weeks of summer!


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