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My birthday!

22 Jul photo-5

I had my birthday on Sunday, at home with my parents in Colorado Springs. I saw our family dog, a chocolate lab named Abby, and my brother has a chocolate lab/German short hared pointer mix. It’s very good to have family members that have dogs, because I don’t have to get one!

For my birthday, I cooked breakfast, dinner, and dessert. and my mom said “we’ve spent all day in the kitchen!” which is fine with me, because I love cooking! I got a Cuisinart, the Snitten Kitchen cookbook for my birthday, and dad printed one of my photos that I can hang in my apartment. It was good to be at home and just relax for my birthday, and not feel like there was anything I had to do.

My mom and I made blueberry oatmeal yogurt pancakes for my birthday (recipe here) and they were so delicious. Since we ate enough at breakfast, we didn’t need lunch, and we grilled pizza for dinner. I found a recipe for pizza online, and it called for pesto as a topping, and I knew we had homemade pesto because we grow our own basil plants in the backyard, and we just made up the other ingredients- chicken, red onion, and mini bell peppers, and we sprinkled some cheese on top. Since my dad is an “expert” at grilling, I always try to make him grill at home. The pizza turned out great, and there are leftovers that we’ll have for lunch!!

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We also made dessert for after dinner. I found this coconut cake recipe, and thought I’d give it a whirl. But it didn’t turn out (in any way) like the pictures said it would. It was a lot of hard work, though, so it’s a bummer that it didn’t come out the way I hoped. Oh well, it was still delicious.

My birthday went well; thanks for asking!! And I have a lot to be thankful for ever since my injury. Like I said in the last post, going through something like this makes you really appreciate what you do have. So while I don’t have a dog, there are a lot of things that are going in the right direction.

What’s going on

18 Jul http-_ref-lin.tumblr.com_post_83894349745

Things have been going pretty well for me. Last night, I went to a Red Rocks concert with Fahren and Tyler (my friends from Copper Mtn Ski Patrol), and we saw Gregory Alan Isakov- who I’ve never seen and was DYING to see. I’ve recently started work for my friend Andrew at his company. He started Boulder Startup Week, and it’s now owner/run by a larger company in Seattle. Working for him is great, and because he’s a close friend, I can say that I don’t have enough energy to go into work (like today). Having work to go to seems like a simple thing, but having a schedule keeps me on-track and I don’t get frustrated/annoyed as easily. And, this Sunday’s my birthday, so I’m happy to be at home in Colorado Springs, see the dog(s), and be relaxed and do what I want to do.

(My brother has a chocolate lab/German short haired pointer mix puppy, so it’s very good to have family members who have dogs, so I don’t have to get one!!)

With a TBI like I have, I’ve learned that it’s very good to thank and appreciate the people that have helped you. Last night at the concert, I have some balance issues, so having Fahren and Tyler help me was a step above what they had to do. I’m not exactly capable of what I used to e able to do, so rather than seeing that as a frustrating thing, I’ve just realized that I meed more assistance doing what I used to do (like walking, for instance) and I should gladly accept it from the people who offer it. Last night, at the concert, Fahren had found us new seats down the row, and the woman next to me noticed that I lost my balance and kind of fell into the guy siting on the other side of me. The woman said she’d help me walk down to where Fahren was sitting, and I didn’t even know her, but I gladly accepted. That was just one example I noticed where I need to accept help I need from people who offer it.

I’m already excited for the weekend- a chance to relax, celebrate doing what I want to do (it’s my birthday, after all!) and be with my parents and my dog. Hope you are as excited for the weekend as I am!

 

(Image from this site.)

 

High-Altitude Pumpkin Bread

4 Jul pumpkin-bread

I had pumpkin bread recently from the farmers market, and I thought it was so delicious, I’d try it myself.

I was kind of in the baking mood, so I also made these cookies for my friends BBQ this afternoon. Honey? And oats? What could go wrong? But I learned after I made them that the honey really makes the flavor different. It said to add your own extra ingredient, so I added some chocolate chips, which was a mistake, because the honey really alters the way they taste. I should have just left the chocolate chips out.

Here’s the pumpkin bread recipe. It was really good, but the next time I make it, I’ll have to kick up the pumpkin flavor. Does anyone have any ideas?

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup chopped raisins (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Beat oil, sugar, and eggs in large bowl until light and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and pumpkin, mix until well blended.
4. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed until blended.
5. Stir in nuts and raisins if desired. (I added nuts.)
6. Pour batter into 2 9×5 inch loaf pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.
7. Bake for 60 minutes at 350F or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
8. Remove bread from pans and let cool on rack.
This recipe makes two loaves, and I noticed at the top you can decrease the amount it bakes. Oh well! Now my parents will have some to try.
(Photo from here.)

Homemade granola

30 Jun photo 2-7

I figured out that it’s much cheaper-and much more delicious- if you make granola at home. I have made it at home for almost a year now but I always have followed recipes (like this one). But I realized that I bake everything else delicious, and there’s no reason for me to not make up my own granola recipe and post it.

This is my first try, and it will need some work. But it tastes delicious!The oats taste great and they’re crunchy, and I added some chopped pecans and some walnuts to give it that extra crunch. And I found out from this recipe that adding almond extract gives it that flavor that it needs- and it smells delicious when you bake it! I will just have to narrow down the ingredients it calls for when I make it the second time.

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup pecans, chopped

½ cup walnuts

½ cup coconut

¾ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup dried fruit (I used pomegranate)

¾ cup golden raisins

1.5-2 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup melted coconut oil

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

½ cup pure maple syrup (we use only Vermont maple syrup)

photo 2-7

1. In a large bowl, stir the oats, pecans, walnuts, coconut, slivered almonds, dried fruit, raisins, and cinnamon.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a pot on the stove. Add the almond extract, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.

3. Once the heated stuff was combined and cooled, add it to the dry ingredients; stir.

4. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45 mins. Stir at 15 min intervals.

5. Take out of the oven; let cool. Store, and if you’re like me, in Ball jars.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

26 Jun photo 3-6

I love baking because if you like a recipe, you check to see if you have all the ingredients, then you make it. That’s what I did with this recipe. My roommate, her friend and I will have it for dessert after dinner- so hopefully it tastes good enough for us to have!!

Here’s the recipe (and here’s the link).

Ingredients

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Original recipe makes 2 dozen
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Directions:

photo 1-7

  1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
  4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.

 

photo 3-6

 

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