Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I just don't like it!

It is the beginning of the school year. So far everything has gone great. We love our school. We love our teachers. We love our friends. But with the beginning of the school year comes the fund raisers.
Our school only has one official fund raiser. They bring the kids together and get them excited about different cheapy prizes they can earn by going door to door. I was not excited. In fact I hate it. I tried to talk the kids out of selling (except to me and grandparents)-how's that for school spirit?. Of course the kiddos wanted to participate anyway. Of course they wanted to go door to door. Actually they did a good job...but I hated it!

We decided to go to my parents' neighborhood. Mom walked around with us. I am grateful that she had a better attitude-she didn't complain. She didn't get shortness of breath and almost pass out between each house. Thanks to mom, Emily was able to earn the "lunch limo ride", Ryan and Andrew were able to win a mini-soccer ball each (they all hit their personal goals). I have already announced that next year we are NOT going door to door. We can go to Culver's night and other fun Fund Raiser Events and I will volunteer at school...but the wrapping paper is not happening.

Sorry for the bad attitude...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day

The day is here. School has started. The fun thing about this case somehow you all have missed the news...ALL my kiddos are going to school this year. Let's start with my new kindergartner.
Today, Andrew and I got to go to kindergarten orientation. Basically, I got to take him to school and we got to see the room one more time. He got to color a picture while the teacher explained stuff to the parents. We also got one more look around the school.
His teacher is named Mrs. Ammons. She seems really nice and energized. Andrew has decided it is great to be in her class. Kindergarteners are so cute and small. I love that they seriously are learning what it means to go to school in general. It starts for real for him tomorrow.
Next, there's Emily. She is in Mr. Gribble's class. She was nervous about this teacher, but she came home today excited to be in his class. She has friends in her class and a great calm teacher. I think she is going to have a great year.
Ryan is starting fifth grade this year. I seriously feel like last year was his kindergarten orientation...sigh. He is in Mrs. Dunning's class. She seems amazing. When we met her at the school open house, she knew who Ry was and enthusiastically talked to him about summer and stuff he likes to do. Ryan described her as "like Spongebob-except really smart." I am really happy he is in this class.
We made it to the bus stop early...I gave Ry a ride to school so he is not in these pictures. This bus stop has grown from just Ryan to this fun group of kids.
I love how excited the kids are to be going to school. They all have on their new shoes and outfits ready to learn. I love the energy of the first few days of school.

Friday, September 4, 2009

State Fair Cookie Competition

Way back when Erik and I were in Duluth, Emily and Grandma Ginger decided it would be fun to enter the Karo Kids Cookie State Fair Competition. (Grandma and Louise enter things each year, this is Emily's first year entering the fair) They found a great recipe and registered for the contest. We were all very excited about the prospect of entering a State Fair competition and maybe getting a ribbon and a cash prize. Her cookies are called Chocolate and Lace cookies.
They are kind-of a carmelly nutty mixture. Somewhat candy-like.
Emily is great at making them...that's the important thing.
The key to making these yummy cookies is to roll them around a wooden spoon before they cool too quickly. If you take too long..they crack.Unfortunately, Grandma Ginger was not able to be here today at the fair during the competition (she had to go out of town). We went over to her house earlier in the week to practice making the cookies.Last night was the real thing. Luckily, I think it was her best batch too. She was up late making the cookies...and I was up late photographing her making the cookies.
We had to get up early in the morning and get to the State Fair Grounds. This part (the actual getting to and parking part) stressed me out the most. We got there so easily..thank goodness. We only had one scare. When we got to the building where we turn in the cookies and recipe, we could not find the Karo label that had to accompany the entry. We almost didn't get to enter the competition!After a few heart attacks, we found the label about 20 feet away from the stand. Can we say miracle?
We got registered and waited excitedly. She WON third prize. Before you ask, Ben, there were way more than 3 kids that entered :). The ribbon is beautiful. She also wins $25.00 and a cute Karo Syrup apron. The cookies and the ribbon are on display down at the fair. The ribbon and prize money will be sent to her after the fair is over.
We are already planning for next year's competition!
Here is this year's award winning recipe!

Chocolate and Lace Cookies


¼ C. light Karo syrup

4 Tbs. butter (½ stick)

6 Tbs. packed light brown sugar

3 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. heavy cream

½ tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. salt

½ c. sliced almonds, chopped very fine in a blender or food processor

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure the vanilla, four, cream and salt. Have them ready to add later.

Bring butter, sugar, Karo syrup just to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, flour, cream, and salt until smooth. Stir in the nuts.

Drop teaspoons of batter onto the parchment-covered baking sheet, spaced about 4” apart. (I can bake only four at a time.)

Bake one sheet at a time, until the cookies spread thin, are no longer bubbling, and are golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet ½ through baking.

Let the cookies cool and firm up slightly, about 30 seconds. Flip the warm cookies upside down on a clean counter and roll each one around the handle of a wooden spoon. Hold in place until set, about 10 seconds. Then let cool completely on a wire rack.

Chocolate topping

1 Tbs. Light Karo syrup

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 Tbs. Butter

Melt the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl (about 45 seconds). Stir until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate topping over the rolled cookies.