Saturday, April 28, 2012

Muffin Saturday Mornings

Since the beginning of time, well... maybe not that long, but for a really, really long time, the Halls family has partaken of the goodness that is Muffin Saturday Mornings.  We have muffins every Saturday morning.  I'm serious: Every. Saturday. Morning.  I'm pretty sure there would be a catastrophic break in the time/space continuum if we didn't.  Why risk it I say?

I'm a big believer that routines/traditions give our kiddos a feeling of security and peace.  For us, there's something comforting in knowing that no matter how crazy our world gets, or how bad the day before might have been, on Saturday mornings that wonderful sweet smell of muffins will permeate the house, and we'll feel content.

One of our favorites?  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins... Mmmmmmmm :)  Want the recipe?  It's in the Ward Cookbook.  You're not in my ward?  I weep for you, I truly do.  It's the best neighborhood in the world... and the cookbook is only one of the million reasons why.  Fine, I'll post it... just promise to give credit to Kristine Birrell (stuff in parenthesis is from me).  Oh, and make them on a Saturday...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup margarine (Or real butter!! Hello!!)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 & 2/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips (Or two!!  Definitely two...)

Preheat oven to 400.  Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Add pumpkin.  Combine flour, spice, soda and salt in separate bowl.  Add slowly to creamed mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full  (Spray muffin tins with cooking spray... paper muffin liners=yucky dry muffins...blech).  Bake regular size muffins for 20 minutes.  Bake mini muffins for 10 minutes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bonkers for Bentos

My sis Deb took me to a crazy cute little store called Asian City the other day. I immediately fell in love with their quirky selection of random items. The Hello Kitty aisle in particular was so fabulous I almost started hyperventilating. Someday I will blog about Hello Kitty. I am sooooooooo in earnest about her. Deb showed me her favorite aisle... she said it was stuff to make Bentos. I was like, "Cool! What the heck is a Bento?!" She kinda described it as a creative way to make lunches. I didn't really get it. Still, it was a fun shopping trip... I bought Hello Kitty stationary, a Hello Kitty lunch tin for Mel, a Hello Kitty... yeah, I think you get the basic idea :)

We got Village Baker take-out on the way to Deb's house. Someday I will blog about Village Baker... have you had their pizza?! Holy pizza Batman. It's holy. It's heaven in a cardboard box... I'm pretty sure I dream about it every night. Where was I? Oh yeah... so later that day I googled "Bento", and I gotta tell you...lunch will never ever be the same at our house again :) I went back to Asian City a week later & picked up a "few" Bento items:

What Deb said was true: Bentos are essentially a creative way to make & serve lunch! I prefer to say they're a cute way to make lunch... I'm a sucker for anything cute. I'm making them for Mel & Andrew everyday. They LOVE their Bento lunches... LOVE. Andrew doesn't call it lunch anymore, he says "Mom, is my Bento ready yet?" It really doesn't take that much effort to make a Bento. The extra 5 minutes is worth it when your kiddos are in raptures over LUNCH. My Bentos are simple, and I use normal everyday Halls food... no sushi & sticky rice yet... that's pushing things :) Here are some pictures of my first few Bento attempts. Andrew's are just in Gladware containers. Mel's are in Bento boxes from Asian City. They're cute. I didn't think Andrew would appreciate cute. Still, I may go back to Asian City & buy him some blue Bento boxes that are cute in a manly way.

So there you have it... Bentos: cute lunch :) If you like what you see & wanna try it fer yerself, I've made a pinboard with some of the cool stuff I've found... feel free to follow it.

Also fun is this supermom's Bento website... absolutely amazing:

Happy Bento-ing :)