Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving... somewhere.

Well we are moving. Where you ask? Don't know.

We have two possibilities but will not know for a couple of weeks. My husband has a solid job offer in one location and just interviewed at another. They are both 2-3 hours away from where we live now. So we are packing up and going to my parent's house for a couple of weeks so that my husband can fix up our condo a bit and then we will rent it out.

This is why I have been really bad this month about posting. I usually do cooking experiments and crafts during nap time but now I am working on packing instead. Bubba is not very helpful when it comes to packing.

The tape, the scissors, the magazines and newspaper, and the bubble wrap are all contraband items that he would love to get his hot little hands on. I do let him play with the already packed boxes, in fact boxes of packed books make a great addition to the barricade and may keep him confined to the living room for just long enough.

That little monkey has started doing pull ups on the porta crib (one end of the barricade) and can climb onto the coffee table (the other end of the barricade). Last week I was out and received this text from my husband who was at home with Bubba:
"The barrier has failed. I say again the barrier has failed. All units ordered to high alert!"

I hope to be back with new posts in mid June when I plan to finish the stuffed giraffe made out of an old pair of jeans, finally make my ginger beer and work on a couple other fun recipe experiments I have planned! For now here is a picture of my little helper.

Back to the knick knacks!

"I will help you rip this magazine for packing material!"   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bubba Burgers!

My husband saw these at the store and couldn't resist.

Bubba really enjoyed his burgers ;)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ginger Taffy- Part 1

I'll warn you right off the top that this is one of those recipe experiments that didn't go quite as planned.

There are these ginger soft candies that I love. While looking for a candied ginger recipe I stumbled upon a ginger taffy recipe. I was so excited to be able to make my own ginger candy at home, because I eat this stuff like, well, candy :)

It took me a long time to actually try to make it because I was searching for one ingredient, glycerin.  I looked everywhere before I finally found it last week at Michael's  (a craft store) in their cake decorating section.  Finally I could make my taffy!

From what the recipe described, taffy pulling is a "fun family activity" so Bubba and I gathered our ingredients and headed to my Mom's where we convinced her and my brother Tim to help.

2 tablespoons of pealed, chopped ginger
1 1/4 cup of water
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons glycerin
2 tablespoons of butter
candy thermometer

First put the ginger and 1/4 cup of water in a small sauce pan and simmer til the water evaporates, then put aside.

In another pan put the sugar, corn syrup, glycerin, and salt and 1 cup of water.

Cook on medium low heat and stir til the sugar dissolves.

Put the candy thermometer into the pan and continue to cook without stirring til the temperature reaches 260.

It will start to bubble and foam quite a bit.

Remove from the heat and  add 2 tablespoons of butter and the cooked ginger.

Mix together til butter is melted and the ginger is incorporated.

Pour out into a cookie sheet to let cool.

Spread out with a rubber spatula.

Once cool enough to handle, form into balls. As many balls as you have taffy pullers.

Now here is where everything started to go wrong and why this post is entitled 
Ginger Taffy Part 1.

The recipe had instructed us to grease our hands with oil or butter (we used oil) form the taffy into a ball, then a long rope, then fold the rope in half and in half again. Then you keep doing this until the taffy is shiny and hard to pull. Then you make one last, long rope with all the pieces and cut it into 1 inch sections and wrap those pieces in wax paper.

Sounds easy enough right?

Our taffy never really could form a rope. It kept oozing like slime! Then the oil would wear off your hands and it would be sticky slime. Also we were one man down since the cooking took longer then expected and Tim left to pick up my dad from the train station. So it was just Bubba, my mom and I. My mom and I pulled and pulled. The taffy got whiter or cloudier, but I think the shinier part was from all of the oil.

Meanwhile, Bubba was no longer amused watching us from the playpen. So I washed my hands and put him in the sling. Then we called my aunt on skype. 

"RASPBERRY MISTAKE IN PROGRESS!" We told her. She cracked up when she saw the state of the kitchen and us covered with goo with Bubba strapped to  my back. She figured the candy had not gotten all the way up to temperature, or maybe wasn't there long enough. And that meant it would never firm up. We decided to put the taffy on the pan and refrigerate it to see if it would get more stable.

It stayed a little firmer, as long as it stayed cool. At least we were able to cut it and wrap it in the wax paper.

It tastes pretty good, not exactly what I was hoping for (the ginger flavor is not strong enough for me.) And as long as it stays in the fridge til you are ready to eat a piece it remains solid, but don't take too long! It returns to its oozy form before long.

We will have to experiment a bit and attempt Ginger Taffy Part 2.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bubba Vision

*Bubba vision is temporarily out of order--
The web script was being hosted through a webpage from our old comcast account in Illinois and we haven't moved it over to our new internet provider yet.*

Bubba has an uncanny ability to hone in on a contraband item that is left within his reach. Within moments, like a terminator-esque super robot, he targets the contraband and is on a mission to get it in his hot little hands. We call this ability to search for and identify forbidden items "Bubba Vision", and I imagine it looks something like this:

I had originally planned to draw a picture to illustrate "Bubba Vision", and even started drawing one at naptime, but my husband came up with a much fancier idea. He whipped up this awesome web program for me. Thanks honey :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Food Snob?

For the past couple of weeks Bubba has started to show preferences in what he likes to eat. Initially he would eat anything we fed him, but lately he seems to becoming a bit of a food critic. Don't get me wrong he still eats almost anything and can by no means be called a picky eater. We have just started to have our first refusals of food as of late.

I noticed the last time or two he was no longer as thrilled with chicken cakes as he used to be. He still ate a little bit of them, but mostly they got pushed around on the tray.

Next it was a cheese omelette. He pushed all of it off the tray and just ate his toast and fruit.

Since I happen to like an omelette every so often, I still made them and gave him his "cut" but usually he would take a bite then push the rest around.

Today I discovered what the problem is! Bubba only likes "fancy eggs".

By fancy eggs I mean an omelette with sauteed red bell peppers and mushrooms mixed in. I had decided I felt a little creative this morning and chopped up some veggies for our omelette. (I have made ones like this several times before, but Bubba isn't always so patient waiting for breakfast so sometimes there isn't the time for such luxuries and we just eat a plain omelette).  Any way I gave Bubba a couple of pieces like usual but unexpectedly he gobbled them up! Then I gave him some more and he did the same thing. It seems all of this time he has been waiting for his "fancy omelette".

We have created a foodie!

Now I just have to figure out what he wants added to his chicken cakes to make them "fancy".