Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Memories 2011

It's funny how, as a child, Easter is a HUGE deal...and then you get older and it becomes a little less fun.  A chance to spend the day with your family, yes, but the magic of the day disappears as you grow older and realize that the Easter bunny is really your parents, and searching for little plastic eggs with candy in them just isn't as exciting.  Then you have your own family, and your own children, and I think the day becomes even more fun and magickal than it was when I was young.  I LOVE to surprise Lily...I think that it's more exciting for me than it is for her.  The night before Easter I was practically giddy with the excitement of what the morning would hold...getting to give Lily her Easter basket, having her egg hunt, and then doing it all over again at my parents house later on in the day.  Holidays were always a big deal for me, as a child, and I really enjoy passing that on to my daughter, and next year, to my son as well!  No, I agree that giving gifts isn't the most important thing, and that we don't want to make it all about that because we don't want our kids to grow up to be "spoiled brats."  But come on! What parent doesn't love to spoil their kids every now and then ;)

For all of my excitement, the day definitely did NOT disappoint. Lily woke up at 6:45 and immediately started telling Matt and I that she heard the Easter Bunny hopping around the night before and that he was leaving her easter eggs for her to find. She wanted to "GET UP!" and find the eggs.  Now, my Lily, is SUPER shy and as soon as she saw that Daddy had the video camera on her, she went into shut down mode a little bit.  She creeped out of her bedroom at the pace of a snail to find her easter basket and kept her head down for the first few minutes....maybe some parents would turn off the camera, but these are memories I want my grandchildren to be able to watch someday - so no such luck for Lily!  She warmed up pretty quickly though as she ripped through her Easter basket and had to play with each toy, look through each book and taste some of the candy ;)

Then the egg hunt commenced and it took her about 4 minutes to find the 28 eggs that were hidden in our kitchen and living room...another four or five minutes to open all of them.  Then she announced that she wanted to find MORE easter eggs and was not afraid to show her disappointment that she had to wait a couple of hours until we got to Nana's house.

It really was a fantastic (if not QUICK!) morning, which was followed by a cinnamon-roll ring breakfast then rushing around to get ready to head out to my parents house... amongst all of the chaos I found myself being even more excited for Baby Charlie's arrival.  I find it a little sad to see Lily going through the motions of the holidays on her own.  I always had my sister.  It'll be so wonderful for her to have a built in playmate at home with her all of the time.  Becoming a family of four - I think - will make us feel like an "official" family - LOL! Just a few more short weeks and he'll be here.  I just can't believe it!
The afternoon at my Mom and Dad's house went well, until Lily got a little too exhausted from the days events and had a meltdown...announcing that she wanted to "GO HOME!!" So we did just that and spent the rest of the day being lazy at home, just the three of us.

I hope that whatever you did on Sunday, whether you celebrated the holiday, or not - that it was a fantastic day for you and your family! Have a blessed week!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nutmeg Coffee Cake

So this morning, while Lily was watching her morning cartoons, I decided to take a minute to peek through my new Farm Chicks cookbook.  I opened it right to the middle and the very first page that I opened was a recipe for “Nancy’s nutmeg Coffee Cake.” It looked so amazing I just had to try it right away!  And let me tell you, it’s worth the time it takes to put together because it is absolutely fabulous!!  It smells like heaven while it cooks and the spicy aroma will fill your entire home!  This one is definitely worth trying :)

Nancy’s Nutmeg Coffee Cake
2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. packed light-brown sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, beaten
1 c. sour cream
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Prepare the crust: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter until the mixture looks like sand. (You could also throw it in your food processor!) Spoon half the mixture into a square 9″ pan, evenly pressing over the bottom.

cutting in the butter for the crust
Prepare the Batter: Add the egg, sour cream, nutmeg, and baking soda to the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until well combined. Spoon the batter over the crust, spreading evenly. Mix the walnuts and cinnamon in a small bowl and evenly sprinkle over the batter in the pan. (I used chopped pecans instead because I had them in the pantry – and it came out delicious!  Use a pastry blender to chop them up quickly!)
                                                                                        Mixing up the batter
Bake the cake: Bake until the center is set – about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut the warm cake into nine 3″ squares. Serve warm (the crust will be soft) or allow to cool (The crust will be crunchy). Store covered, in the pan up to 2 days.

Hot and delicious with a cup of hot tea or coffee – YUM!

Hope I don’t drive you too crazy, I’ll be writing again in a few to share the chocolate covered bananas that I made this morning for Lily’s afternoon snack!  I have to wait a bit for them to freeze, so I thought I’d go ahead and share this recipe with you!  I’d love to know if you try it out too – it’s delicious!  Have a fantastic day!!
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