I forgot about these fun pics from Christmas and didn't want to leave them off the blog. One of the things I'm most grateful to have received from my Mom and my Grandma, is a love for cooking. All three of us have inherited the gene and we are thankful! It amazes me how many women I know who don't cook, or bake, or grill (??), or whatever :) I have more than a few friends who specialize in take out! No judgement intended if that describes you, I am no stranger to take-out when I'm tired or just over it either :) I guess because I grew up with home-made cooking all the time, I have a real love for it and many memories associated with certain dishes or meals. Hoping to instill those kinds of memories in my kids too! I also really enjoy putting a meal together from beginning to end. I like figuring out what spices compliment certain foods and what dishes work well together, I also like trying new things. That's the creative side of me coming out I think :) For better and for worse, Travis has been a very good sport over the years and has broadened his pallet along with me! However, having kids has intensified my love for cooking by requiring more production on a weekly basis, but it's also forced me to simplify and take some shortcuts when necessary. My hope is to put all kinds of flavors and foods in front of my kids so that we don't raise extremely picky eaters who are only partial to one or two things. However, the longer I parent, the more grace I extend to parents!! I think variety is good, but I also think sometimes you just get stuck with a kid who is flat out stubborn :) And because there are only so many battles one can choose to fight in a day, sometimes meal time is one battle that we choose not to engage in. But I digress...
We Ferguson women like to cook! Last Christmas we instituted our first annual pie night, where we had my Mom teach us how to make perfect pie crust and her signature rhubarb pie. It was totally fun and a win-win for everyone! The girls had fun in the kitchen and the guys reaped the rewards of fresh pies :) And I'm happy to report that all of us have made a few pies from scratch at home, over the last year too. So, we decided to do it again this year, with a cookie baking night and another pie night. And we all came ready in our cute aprons!
I think my sister Jennie looked like she was straight out of 1950 with her cute, lacy apron and her hair up in a bun :) You can call us old-fashioned or domesticated or whatever you want, but I think the 1950's sound more and more appealing these days!
This is my next-generation cook who was patiently waiting to join the fun in the kitchen too!
Grammy happily welcomed another little helper in her kitchen and even surprised Ava and Carter with their own aprons too!
And this little thing knew how to work it when I asked her to show me her bow! Sassy!
My Mom got this cute little gingerbread girl at a local craft show. So cute, much better than this picture reflects, and handmade. We loved it!
Taking my Titus 2 mandate seriously :) :)
Training my girl early to love her husband and children and to be busy at home!
And of course, we do not discriminate when it comes to kitchen helpers! Carter got his own apron, with trains and trucks and cars galore and he was VERY happy to "help." I aim to make his future wife grateful someday for a man who can cook :) :)
Loving the look on my face, ha ha! Let's just say Carter wasted no time diving in to stir what he thought needed to be stirred.
My crew. They both like to help me at night when I'm making dinner, Ava especially. She always asks me if she can help me cook?? Then follows it up with, "I"m a good cooker Mama, I like to help you!"
She is a good cooker :) Just like her Grammy!
We made sugar cookies with the kids, which means they helped with the mixing part and cutting some cookies out, then left us to do the tedious work for the rest of the night!
The hired help! We were paid back with freedom to go shopping and some money to spend, ha ha!
My three go-to phone calls when I need a family recipe or have a question about how to make something!
We were working my Moms ovens out this year!
And after the kids went to bed and my Dad took my Aunt and Uncle home, we even roped him into helping us decorate with icing! Ha! He did one candy cane I believe, just because we all bet he wouldn't do it or maybe couldn't do it!! That was all the taunting he needed to prove us wrong :) He did a great candy cane!
Some of the cookies we made, in progress. My sister added some cute details after these dried, but I don't think I've uploaded those photos yet. For those of you who always ask me, I swear by the sugar cookie recipe and the glace icing recipe, both from Our Best Bites website. Try it, it's my favorite!
I did not make the pies this year, I was too tired after getting the kids in bed, but Stacie and Jennie cranked some out and they were well received! They also made some chex mix that I couldn't keep my hands out of...And I'm paying for that choice today! Oh the holidays, when will I not eat my way through them??
Finally, I mentioned in one of my Christmas posts that my parents got each of us a kitchen aid mixer this year!! Big surprise!! And one we were all thrilled about :) My Mom has been scouting deals on these for the last year and found one on black Friday I think, so I couldn't wait to get mine home and start using it! Yesterday I told you I made a million things last week, one of them being some Protein Breakfast cookies. My blog friend Toni asked for the recipe, so I'm posting it below.
I found this one on Pinterest and my first impression is, they're ok. I think this is a recipe you need to try several times before you find the ride combination for you. The flavor I really liked, but mine were a little too "wet" for my taste. I think less banana would have been good. Travis really liked them, so I'll make them again. Here's the original recipe from the website:
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth & creamy
- 1/3 cup peanut butter ~ creamy or chunky
- 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder ** (can be made without, cookie will just be lower in protein)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp butter flavor extract ** (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups quick oatmeal ~ uncooked (or use old fashioned oats for more oatmeal texture)
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (peanut, walnut, or your favorite)
- 1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips (**optional)
I (stephanie) made these with banana, pb, applesauce, protein powder, vanilla, oatmeal and chocolate chips. They had good flavor, but I used 3 small bananas and next time would only use 2 regular ones, as the recipe states. I also would add a little more oatmeal, to make them more dry. Also, they can be stored left out but I put mine in a tupperware container and they got too "moist" I think. I'll make them again, I think when I find the right balance, they'll be a good breakfast on the go option or a good afternoon treat :) If you make them, let me know what you think! Enjoy!