Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oatmeal Cake and a Comic Strip

I can not believe October is almost over! On the 21st, Kent and I celebrated 6 years of marriage.  We celebrated by going to Seafest at The Summit Club, eating way too much and then playing Gin in the bar late into the night. Kent was beating me, then he totally "remembered" we had been playing wrong (of course, to benefit him). So, being the mature one, I quit, claiming if we would have been playing that way all along, I would have already won... I know, we like to live on the edge.  It was great though, to have a kid free evening, thanks to the grandparents!

Stapleton is 1 1/2 and Larken is almost 3 1/2 months old. Our house has pretty much turned into a funny farm, things are never boring.  I do find my self praying and thanking God for nap time (more than once a day) as well as bed time.  

Here are some of my unsuccessful tries at getting a picture of both kids...

This attempt turned into a comic strip...

I sat her back up and sadly, he figured out he could just push her and she would fall over.  
 My mom said if you watch it backwards he looks like he is helping her.

Oatmeal Cake

One of my all time favorite Fall/Winter recipes is Oatmeal Cake.  My Great Grandma Moore used to make this all of the time.  I believe she got it out of a church cookbook.  It is very easy and it makes you think happy thoughts. 

Oatmeal Cake Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 1/3 Cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cup boiling water

Topping Ingredients:

1 cup chopped nuts - optional (Knight Creek Farm nuts are the best!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 c cream
6 Tbsp.  butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut - optional (I never make it with coconut, I'm not the biggest fan)

Put Oatmeal and sugars in large bowl and stir.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices together. Then add to sugar and Oatmeal mixture.  Add eggs and butter.  Then carefully pour the boiling water into the mixer (on lowest speed), make sure you scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate everything.  The batter will be very thin. Pour into a 13 x 9 1/2" pan.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes or until center is cooked all the way through.  Do not over cook it, or it will be dry.  

While the cake is baking, make the caramel topping. 

Melt butter in saucepan, then add sugars until dissolved. Add cream, vanilla, pecans and coconut.  Pour on cake right when it comes out of the oven.  I like to turn the oven onto broil and stick the cake back in and let the topping caramelize on top, for about a minute (careful not to let it burn)! 

This cake tastes better with age, it stays moist for 3 or 4 days.  I love heating it up in the microwave and eating it with a cup of coffee for breakfast.  It does have oatmeal in it, that means it's healthy right?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Camping, hobos and Love

It was about 7 years ago, this month, when my family decided to go camping at the lake. When I say camping, I don't really mean "roughing it", their version of camping is with trailers which have satellite tv, fireplaces, bathrooms, showers as well as heating and air (my kind of camping). That year, my mom  invited her cousin and his wife to join the camping festivus.

My mom's cousin, Jeremy, also brought his (single) best friend Kent who happened to have just bought a brand new wake boarding boat.

Here's a little back story... I had seen Kent a couple of times before, once at Jeremy and Amanda's wedding, I was 12 and he was 20 (living it up in college). The next time was at a family Christmas (I had a boyfriend, and he was old) and another time camping at Fin and Feather. We hung out some at Fin and Feather, but I had just bought the first couple of seasons of the OC and was completely reclusive and enthralled. I was 19, and he was 26... It never crossed my mind dating him, I still thought he was too old.

So when he showed up at Skiatook Lake the next fall, with his new boat, who knew it would be the start to the rest of my life? It started when they asked if I had ever wakeboarded...and of course, I had not. So the next couple of weeks, I learned how to wakeboard and started falling in love.

I was working at the golf course at that time, and kept getting extra hours I did not want... it  basically came down to working or wakeboarding at the lake... so I quit my job at the golf course so I would not miss out on a second of fun at the lake with Kent.
I remember staying up late one night at the lake, as cliche as it sounds, watching the meteor shower and betting the other would not get in the freezing cold lake water...but we both ended up in the water.

The last time we wakeboarded (that season) was the first week of November, yes the water was absolutely freezing! I was worried what we would do after wakeboarding, but we saw each other more and more. He's a fireman so every two days we would spend together, then he would go to work. On the days he would work, I would do my schoolwork (I was taking all online classes that semester).   This lasted for about 6 months then he proposed, 6 months later we were married.  7 years, a dog and 2 kids later, here we are!

Fall is definitely my favorite season, not just because of the weather, the leaves changing, or pumpkin spice lattes, but because I fell in love and every year, it takes me back.

My family is currently camping at the lake and we recently went out there and took our kids.  A cold front came through a couple of nights ago, so Larken stayed in the camper the whole time, but Stapleton loved it!!! He loves wandering aimlessly, throwing rocks, picking up sticks, playing in the fire and all of the other boy stuff!

One of the meals we always make is hobos.  It is the whole experience that makes hobos so good.


Here's what you will need:

fire retardant gloves or tongs
aluminum foil
Ground chuck (uncooked), usually 1/2 a pound per person (you can also mix ground uncooked sausage with the beef)

chopped ingredients can include, but not limited to
bell peppers
smoked sausage
cheese (put on after you take off the fire or it will burn)

The first thing you should do is start your camp fire, you want to get it going, so you have plenty of red coals.

Season the ground chuck with salt, pepper, garlic, seasoning salt, slap yo mama... whatever you want really.

Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and start building your hobo.  Put the ground meat on bottom, we used about a cup.  Then add whatever you want on top.  I like a few onions, potatoes and carrots. Everyone usually makes their own. Wrap them up in the foil.  Sometimes we get another piece and double up the foil. We write our names on them and set them on the fire, flip them after about 10 minutes.  Open one to see if its done.  When they are cooked all the way, take them off the fire and add cheese.  Be careful, they are very hot and steamy.

The Hobos cooking on the fire. 

The End Result. I like to put ketchup on mine.
Playing in the fire.  

Picking up rocks.

Camping a couple weeks ago...keeping him contained. 

Sitting in his chair. 

We also cut brussels sprouts, added bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and cooked over the fire.  They got a little done, but they were delicious!