Monday, December 27, 2010

Egg Timer

Today, for the first time in months (maybe even years) I boiled eggs to perfect doneness.  The difference between that very seldom occasion and this one was that it was on purpose!  In the past if my eggs were cooked perfectly it was on accident.  I've tried to follow several different recipes for boiling a medium-hard boiled egg, but with only mediocre results.  Not even "The Cookbook" has a recipe that gets consistent results.  But today, after receiving this little gem for Christmas I boiled eggs to PERFECT doneness!

I've had this on my amazon wish list for some time and if I would have known how awesome of a job it was going to do I would have bought it for myself a long time ago.

Did you get anything for Christmas that you can't wait to tell your friends about?  If so, tell me about it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baby Feeder Revisited

Two and a half years ago I reviewed this baby feeder and gave it one star mainly because my son would not even put this in his mouth.  Good thing my mother-in-law never read that post because for Christmas she bought our youngest son this feeder and he loves it:

This is a similar but simpler design than the other feeders.  The first style that I reviewed had a total of three pieces, where as these new ones are just made of one piece.  I like the simplicity of this design better mainly because there aren't any parts to lose.  The best part?  They are dishwasher safe and that makes clean up a cinch!

So far Asher has only enjoyed chewing on a hunk of banana, but I'm sure more foods will make their way into these great feeders.  I guess this just goes to show (again) that just because one baby likes or doesn't like something it doesn't mean the same will be true for any subsequent babies.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby Wearing: the Snugli

At the beginning of this post let me just say that blogger's picture handling capabilities leave much to be desired.

Me wearing Ethan at less than a month old.  He is positioned sideways in the carrier with both feet coming out of one hole.  *Warning* This position is not endorsed by the manufacturer, but on that evening he needed to be held.
First up on my list of baby wearing apparatuses is the Snugli Front and Back carrier.  I'm reviewing this carrier first because I think it is one of the more popular styles of carriers.  Here's a quick run down of things I look for in a carrier and how this one measures up:

Positions baby can be worn in: 3 (Face-in, Face-out and BackPack)
Range in pounds or age baby can be worn: Infants 7 to 26 lbs
Easy to put on: 4/5 (more discussion below)
Stability of baby in carrier: 100%  I would do jumping jacks or maybe even kart-wheels with this carrier on!
Can you help a toddler go to the bathroom while wearing this carrier: Absolutely!
When do I choose this carrier?: Anytime I feel like I will be moving around a lot and I need the full use of my arms.
Average time this carrier remains comfortable: no more than 2-3 hours
Overall Score: 4/5

Berry picking with Asher in the "face-in" position.  You can really do anything with this carrier on!
Asher in the "face-out" position.
Another shot of Asher in the "face-out" position.

I really do love this carrier and before writing this post I questioned myself as to why I don't wear it that often.  The answer is simple.  Even though this is a versatile carrier that is easy to put on and securely holds the baby, it is connected to your body with four main straps.  These straps are connected with buckles that similar to other backpack buckles.  My one complaint with these buckles is that if you aren't careful they can pinch the heck out of you!  And I mean the heck!  The time before last when I was buckling the Snugli on me I literally said the F word when one of the buckles pinched my finger.  If you hang around me very often you know that I don't say the F word.....ever!  Well, at least not very often...  If you have someone to help you put it on they can help you make sure you aren't going to pinch yourself, but honestly how often do you have someone else around to help you put on your carrier?

Philip wearing Ethan in the "backpack" position.

The great thing about this carrier is the ability to wear the baby on your back.  Similar carriers like the Baby Bjorn often do not have this option.  This position really allowed my husband to wear a baby and not feel girly!  He even carried Ethan in it on a hike to house mountain.  After that hiking trip we bought a better hiking carrier, but more on that later.

Overall this is a great versitile carrier!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Baby Wearing

With my first baby and especially now with my second one I just love wearing them.  Around the house, out in public, or anywhere we go I would much rather stick a baby in a sling than lug a big car seat carrier around.  The best part is that for the most part the baby is much happier too!  Maybe the only exception I have is when we go to a restaurant.  There we usually bring him in still in the carrier because I hope I will have the chance to actually eat my lunch or dinner.  This hasn't really worked on many occasions, but I can still hope!

Over the next week I hope to review 4 or 5 of the carriers we have used.  What is your favorite baby carrying device?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Molasses Crinkles

Another family favorite cookie around the holidays these are great to make with kids.  I have fond memories of making these with my family.  My favorite part was dipping the cookies in the colored sugar or nonpareils.  Maybe my mom can even dig up and old picture for me.

Until then here is the recipe:

3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cup flour
2 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine Crisco, brown sugar, egg and molasses.  Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl and then slowly incorporate into wet mixture.

Use small scoop to spoon out cookies.  Dip one side of cookie in decorations if desired before placing on a baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 min.  Enjoy!

Forgotten Cookies

My mom use to make these for us around Christmas time every year.  I can't wait to make these with my kids this Christmas.  Like other meringues, it is best to make these on a dry day.

2 egg whites
2/3c sugar
1/2c nuts (optional) - I just add extra chocolate chips
1c chocolate chips
1t. vanilla
1 pinch salt

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Beat eggs till frothy.  Add sugar gradually and beat until stiff.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Divide batter and color with food coloring if you wish.  We use to color them red (slightly pink) and green for Christmas.

Spoon out cookies onto foil lined baking sheets (or foil wrapped oven racks) and place into the preheated oven.  Immediately turn off oven and leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  It is important not to open the oven after putting the cookies in.

When cooking these cookies in an electric oven (one without a pilot light to keep the oven slightly warm and dry) you may leave the oven on at a lower temp (200 or so) for an hour before turning the oven completely off.



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