Friday, February 22, 2013

You Know You Have A Large Family When...

There's an appointment on the calendar for the kiddos bi-yearly teeth cleaning and you're not sure which child the initial represents!

Yes, this has actually happened to me!  I remember following a large family blog a few years, and a few less children, ago and she mentioned this very thing happening to her.  I thought, "Really?  Does that really happen?"  Of course I can totally understand when most of your children have the same first initial, but if only a couple do, then how could you forget?  Tee Hee!  I guess I learned my lesson!
So, our philosophy on teeth is: Take care of them and they will take care of you!
I know the AAP suggests having your children see a dentist sometime around age 1, but we simply wait until they can sit in a chair long enough to have them cleaned...sometime around their 3rd birthday.
We do introduce teeth brushing and flossing much earlier than that, so we are maintaining those pearly whites from the beginning.  Only one of my children has seen the dentist before age 3, and that was due to an extra tooth that grew in right in the front and we needed to have it checked!
We organize our appointments by scheduling 3 kiddos at a time so that we are able to take less trips out!
One of the things I really love about our dentist office is how friendly everyone is!  I would say this is huge on my priority list when choosing a dentist!  We are there often enough to want to feel comfortable, and I love how our office really gets to know our family! 
I happen to know that this friendly lady was praying for our Zion while we were staying at Children's Hospital!  {And she's always an encouragement to me in my job as a mama!}
In my book - You Can't Beat That!!!
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, February 15, 2013

To Market, To Market To Buy A Fat... {Recipe}


 One of my fondest memories growing up was a common adventure my cousin and I used make down to the Pike Place Market!

No, not to buy beautiful market bouquets, or even to watch the infamous fish throwing! No, these visits were purely hunger related!  Hunger for Humbows that is!!!  We would load up in my little Chevy Chevette and drive down to the market.  I would drop my cousin off at our favorite Humbow stand, and drive around the block while she purchased the sweet morsels of BBQ Pork goodness.  Then, she would hop back in the car and we'd make the 25 minutes trek home...giggling with our stomachs and yearn for adventure satisfied!

Back then, you could purchase a Humbow for less than $1...nowadays, they sell for around $2.50...too rich for my blood!  {Not to mention the price of gas these days!}

So out of pure desperation for a need to fulfill my Humbow Hunger, I discovered a recipe to make my own!  The recipe listed below is the original one I found years ago.  The great thing about Humbows is that you can stuff them with anything you like, and they are a quick grab and go lunch!

We call them Humbows, but they are also known as Chinese Buns and Hawaiians call them Manapua!  (Wanna know the difference?  (Vietnamese) Humbows have the twist on the top, and Manapua have the twist on bottom!)

Here is the original recipe...

Bun Dough
2 1/4 teas. dry yeast
2 Cups warm water
1 1/2 Tbs. oil
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teas. salt
6 cups flour
sesame oil
1 cup water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 teas. salt
1lb . BBQ Pork - or other filling (Char Siu recipe below)
For Buns:
Mix yeast, water, oil, sugar and salt in mixing bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add flour and knead until long strands form on the outside of your smooth dough ball.
Add sesame oil to separate bowl, and then place your dough in the bowl, turning once to coat outside of dough with oil.  Let rise until doubled (approx. 1 hour).  {To enhance flavor, you can deflate the dough and let it rise a second time.  I use a Bosch mixer, so the need for the second rising is eliminated.}
For Filling:
In a pot, stir cornstarch, sugar and salt in water until dissolved.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.  Add pork.
Preparing Buns:
Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.  Roll out each piece to a 6" circle.  Place circle of dough in the palm of your hand.  Spoon 2 Tbs. of filling onto dough. Fold sides of dough together and pinch to seal. Now fold the two ends together and twist to make a twirl of dough.  Allow to plump up into a taut globe.
To steam, place on squares of greased wax paper in steamer about 1-2 inches apart!  Cover and steam vigorously for 15 minutes.  Remove and let sit 5 minutes.
To bake, place on greased cookie sheet and brush tops with oil.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes!
Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.  Roll out to a circle about 6" in diameter.
Here is the original recipe for the pork filling - called Char Siu:
Cook 4lb Pork Butt in the following "marinade"
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. Honey
1 Tbs. Whiskey (I usually omit this as we never have it on hand!)
1/2 teas. Chinese 5 Spice Powder
{Red Food Coloring if you want it to be really authentic!}
Here are some pictures of the process:
Roll out dough...

Add your filling...
A Little Twist!

Brush and Bake!

Thanks for Stopping By!  Be Refreshed!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine {Craft} Love!

February is one of my favorite months!  Love and a hint of Spring are in the air.
  Here in the Pacific NW we often get a few days of warmer weather and sunshine.  It's usually around just long enough to open the windows for some fresh air, let a breeze of inspiration blow through and have some brief wintertime renewal!
This week my oldest was scheduled to visit with my sweet grand babies in tow.  Wanting to give all the Littles something to occupy their time while also creating a little Valentine love, these lovely bird feeders came to mind.
First, make sure you have someone to "direct" the whole event!
Here is the recipe we used:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbs. Corn Syrup
  • 4 cups bird seed
Mix all ingredients together and press out onto a greased cookie sheet.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and transfer them to another greased cookie sheet.
Add holes to the top ~ we used a chopstick! Let dry for 4-6 hours, flipping frequently so both sides dry. {To save time, we baked them at 200 degrees, but I think it caused them to be a bit crumbly.}
Add a ribbon, twine or raffia. {We used cotton yarn so the birds can use it in their nests once the treats are gone.}  Hang outside and enjoy!
We had one that we forgot to put a hole in, so we set it in a little wire bird feeder.
Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!