Wednesday, August 31, 2011

mornings at home

i love my mornings here. i've been trying to wake up early, but it seems my baby wants to sleep in. (above: view from our balcony in the morning. below: sunset from our balcony)

it's been so cool here, we haven't used our air conditioning in weeks. i love sitting on our balcony some mornings, enjoying the morning breeze, the trees, the fresh air. we bought some cute plastic furniture, which actually turned out to be very comfortable. Brian says it's like having another room in our apartment. he's so right.

looks like it rained last night, giving my herb and tomato garden a nice watering. my parents planted these for us before we moved here, knowing we were going to have a balcony. we use the herbs quite often in cooking, but no red tomatoes yet. i did fry up a green tomato a couple weeks ago, like my dad does. i'm so tempted to just eat the green!

i started making granola again! i used to make it all the time before i met Brian, while in NYC. so i made some on Monday, but tweaked the recipe a bit.

i actually started with a recipe from Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa (because i love her), then modified it a bit with what i had in my pantry.

4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup chopped almonds (i chopped them myself, but sliced almonds are also great)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oats, and almonds together in a large bowl. Whisk together the oil, honey, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts are coated. Pour onto a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan (i just used two regular baking sheets). Bake, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, about 45 minutes. (now this time completely depends on your oven. i was checking mine very often, like every 7-10 minutes, and stirring, and it still got a little over-cooked. so make sure you keep your eye on it)

Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Add the cranberries and raisins. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container.

of course you can use any fruit and nuts you have and like. this is just what i happened to have at the time. i especially love this recipe because i used my dad's homemade maple syrup and vanilla extract, and fresh honey from the farmer's market here in Grand Rapids. delicious.

now to start the day. today's projects include organizing the study and possibly baking some whole wheat bread.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

moving and pregnancy

a lot has happened in the lives of the Robinsons since the last post!  i plan on starting to make this a regular thing, a window into our little lives.

we are all moved and settling into our beautiful place in the Grand Rapids area of Michigan (i plan on posting photos of our apartment once we have everything organized and decorated nicely).  it has been such a blessing to be out here, so close to family and friends.

i have been enjoying the time off immensely, and look forward to the time when our study/studio is all set up.  i'm beginning to think about my next knitting project, finishing my weaving so that i can start on a baby blanket and possibly sewing as well!

i had my 18 week checkup with our new OB (i'm going to refer to her as Dr. F) yesterday, and all is looking well with the baby!  Dr. F is very warm and friendly, coming highly recommended by my cousin.  and i know that she will work with me during labor and delivery regarding interventions.  more on that later.  we had a sonogram and Dr. F said that the baby looks very happy inside my belly!

this last photo is my favorite, you can see the cutest ribs!

when the sonogram first started, s/he was just sitting there, hanging out, relaxing.  then s/he started moving her hands and it really did look like s/he was waving!   most wonderful moment.  i hope to feel him/her move soon.