Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recipes: Pancake Cupcakes

I have been trying to do more with breakfast than the traditional cold cereal and milk lately. My kids love pancakes and this recipe is a definite keeper. I found this recipe on

Cupcake Pancakes - adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook's pancake recipe

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare cupcake pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, and then the buttermilk.
Push the dry ingredients to the side of the bowl, leaving a hole in the middle. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the center and whisk slowly until buttermilk mixture is just mixed in. America's Test Kitchen's tip is to "mix the batter minimally" and to "stop stirring the batter when there are still streaks of flour visible."

Your batter is just put about 1/3 cup in each cup of your pan. Put the pan in the oven and bake about 10 minutes on 400 degrees. At 10 minutes mine came out perfectly. I was able to tell they were done by doing the toothpick test, just like cupcakes!

Maple Syrup Whipped Cream - adapted from America's Test Kitchen's whipped cream recipe

1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl with a mixer on low speed to dissolve the sugar. Increase speed to high. Whip until soft peaks form. Add the maple syrup and whip for about 10 seconds. It took me just a few minutes total to make the "frosting."

It's a bite out of heaven! Serves 6.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Baby Matthew is 3 months old!

My sweet baby boy is three months old now! He is such a great addition to our family. Matthew is very laid back and keeps things nice and relaxing even at three months! He loves all the kids and just beams when he sees them. He is getting much more interactive lately which is fun. He coos and smiles at everyone who pays attention to him. He is sleeping through the night which makes his mom very happy indeed! Matthew is such a blessing to our family. He does thoroughly enjoys the noises of a busy household and seems to be at ease around all the chaos. He is an angel baby to keep me sane!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Taylor's Kindergarten Graduation

Taylor is officially a kindergarten graduate! The teachers put on quite the little show with all these kindergartners. They sang, danced and had a good ol' time. My mom was able to make it which Taylor really appreciated. He felt quite proud of himself and he should; he has learned tons this past year, ABCs, 123s, rules and getting along with his classmates. Taylor has made several friends which he enjoys spending time with. There are several boys in our ward his age which he gets along with. Katelyn and Taylor have made many friends this past year and our house is always full of friends! It is fun to see how much they progress when you look back on things. Taylor has really grown as this year has gone on. He has really been a good example to his younger brothers. Ms. Tobler was a great kindergarten teacher and Taylor really liked her! I am glad that he enjoys school, we are going to play hard this summer before he starts 1st grade and we don't see him anymore.

Zack's 31st Birthday

We celebrated Zack's 31st Birthday in a very casual manner with just our "small" family. After all these birthdays in the past couple months we wanted to do something a little more simple for him. I served breakfast for dinner which is Zack's all time favorite thing. I got the recipe from a food and quilting blog that I absolutely love! I have included the recipe, it is a must do. I also made up my favorite garlic cheese biscuits to go with it.

Rocky Mountain Farmer's Scramble

1/2 stick butter, divided
6 red large red potatoes, diced, peels left on
1 lb. sausage
1 cup ham, diced
6 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Optional: Additional toppings: Diced green onions, sour cream, chopped fresh tomatoes, ketchup

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add half the butter, sausage, bacon and onion. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and bacon is crisp. Add both potatoes. Put on lid, turn down heat to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add the ham, and stir to get up any browned bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan - the best part! Scoop everything to one side, add the remaining butter to the skillet and when melted, pour in the eggs. Scramble the eggs and cook until desired doneness. When eggs are done, combine everything in the skillet. Top with cheddar cheese, put lid back on and remove from heat. Let sit for two minutes to allow for cheese to melt. Add additional toppings if desired. Serves 6.

We got Zack a book that he has really wanted to read "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin and some nice basketball shoes; he plays basketball every Tuesday night at the stake center with other guys from the ward. Zack's birthday was very nice and especially when we all got to spray silly string on him.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy Birthday William!

We celebrated William's 4th Birthday yesterday! He loved every minute of it, except having to talk on the phone. He was a stinker when people called to wish him a happy birthday. Hopefully he grows out of it soon! He spent most of the day playing and singing Happy Birthday! He is a funny kid and we all love him. William is always worried about everyone being included especially himself and yesterday was no exception. He let Katelyn and Taylor know that if they were going on a bike ride they had to take him cause he's the birthday boy!

I made him a dinosaur cake that I found at, it has great instructions that I tweaked to my liking. It had to be red at my little man's insistence, red means a lot of food coloring! The eyes and claws are skittles and the spikes are candy corn which worked out rather well. I used two jars of red food paste, next time I'll insist on another color! He love the cake and that is all that mattered anyway!

Happy Birthday little man!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

9 years of marriage
8 homes we've lived in
7 days a week
6 months of dating
5 kids to raise
4 schools conquered
3 beds to sleep in
2 people growing closer
1 love that endures

Well Mr. A & I have been married for 9 years today. We have endured and grown together. Our lives have definitely become one, our marriage has been quite the adventure and a joy! I love you Mr. A! Here's to 9 great years and a lifetime together!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Activity Days: Sculpting with clay

We will be having our recognition night for Activity Days in June and I thought it would be a great time to work on some art projects. Developing Talents #4 Make an item from wood, metal, fabric, or other material, or draw, paint, or sculpt a piece of art. Display your finished work for others to see. We will be working on our art pieces for the next couple of Activities so they will be ready to be displayed at our Recognition Night. The girls really struggled at first coming up with their ideas but once they decided what to make they were off! I found this great website: which had many different recipes for sculpting clay. I tried the Modeling Clay recipe which turned out great! Next activity we will be painting the sculptures.

While the girls were busy creating I decided to make edible play dough as a treat for them to enjoy. It was very easy and the girls loved it!

Yummy Edible Play Dough
16 oz can of prepared white frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
Food Coloring
Mix first two ingredients until thoroughly combined. Gradually knead in sugar until stiff. Knead in Food Color and then add addition sugar if sticky. Makes 3 cups. This recipe comes from Rondi. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

BUSY...Birthday Party, Baptism and Blessing all in one weekend!!!

Taylor's School Day Taylor's kindergarten teacher, Ms. Tobler has a very fun set up for birthdays in her class. The birthday child brings in their favorite book which a parent or grandparent can read to the class and of course bring a treat in. Since both Eric and Kathy arrived on Thursday afternoon I thought it would be fun for them to read to Taylor's class on Friday. They walked the kids over to Taylor's class and all seemed to enjoy themselves. Taylor chose Smarties and Doughnut holes as his treat for the class.

We had quite the full house this weekend with family. All Zack and my siblings came with their families except Shen came alone, it is a little expensive to travel with kids! Our guests included: Zack's Grandpa (Chuck) Alvey, Aunt Paige & Emily, his parents - Eric & Kathy, sister -Shenille, sister & her family - Krystal, Ryan, Aliyah, Rylee & Elizabeth, brother & family - Charles & Erica, and brother - Jedediah, Alisha's Grandpa & Grandma Belt, her parents - Rick & Beckie, brother & family - Brandon, Goldie, Denton & Julia, sister & family - Jennifer, Cameron, Braxton, Awsten & Hailey, brother & family - Brian, Kelsey & Oakley, sister & family - Stephanie, Tim & Jaerick, and brother TJ

Taylor's 6th Birthday Party
Taylor's birthday party was a blast for him. He had been bragging about how many people would attend his birthday for the past couple weeks. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and was spoiled relentlessly! I made a Star Wars cake and had found this great design on Peter and Stacy's blog. At first I had made an ice cream cake which was so easy I found this at but couldn't really decorate it so I made a regular cake to decorate and served both, the ice cream cake was so worth making! I doubled the recipe and made it into two layers one strawberry and the other vanilla with chocolate syrup in the middle with the cookie crumbs for a little extra flavor! Warning: Extremely addictive!

Ice Cream Cake Recipe
1 package Oreo cookies
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 gallon of your favorite flavor of ice cream
whipped cream

You will also need a springform pan, which can be purchased at any cooking store. Prepare by putting the ice cream in the refrigerator to let it soften. Set aside about 12 cookies for decorating the cake, and place the rest in a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Make the Cookie Crust by pouring the crumbs into a bowl and mix them with the melted butter. Now press this mixture into the bottom of the pan, and place it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to let it harden. When the ice cream is soft, remove it from the refrigerator and scoop it into a large bowl. Give it a good stir so it is all a uniform consistency. Combine the Ice Cream and Cookie CrustPlace the ice cream in the pan over the cookie crust. Then, cover it with aluminum foil and return it to the freezer. Leave it in the freezer for about four hours or so to let it harden. Take the cake out of the freezer, and remove the aluminum foil. Run a knife along the edge of the pan so that the ice cream does not stick when you take it out. Release the latch on the springform pan and remove the sides. Place the cake on a cutting board or a large plate so that it will be easy to move after it is covered with whipped cream. Coat the top and the sides of the cake with whipped cream. Return the cake to the freezer for another three or four hours until it hardens. You will want to soften the cake in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before serving so that it will be easier to cut. Enjoy.

Since we don't have a huge amount of room in our house we had everyone meet over at Chuck-A-Rama for a luncheon before Katelyn's baptism. We took up a whole section at the restraunt and all had a good time catchimg up!

Katelyn's Baptism
We are thrilled with Katelyn's decision to be baptized. She was baptized on Saturday, May 2nd at the Pine View Stake Center. It was a wonderful experience especially for her and her parents. Zack baptized Katelyn and then confirmed her shortly afterwards. She had all the men in her family able to be part of her circle except her uncle Weston, who couldn't make it: great-grandpas - Grandpa Chuck & Grandpa Belt, grandpas - Grandpa Alvey & Grandpa Bonewell, dad, and uncles - Brandon, Cameron, Brian, Tim, Ryan, Charles, and Jedediah. It was great!

Matthew's Baby Blessing
Matthew's baby blessing was on Sunday, May 3rd. He slept through the whole thing! He is a wonderful addition to our family. We are so glad that Heavenly Father has blessed us with these wonderful children. After we all went over to my parents' home for dinner and then most of our guests left to their homes. We are so thankful to those who were able to share in these special events that took place this past weekend. We received a lot of support and I know it means a great deal to our family!