Spring Treats!

11.jpgHappy Spring!!! We are SO happy that winter is finally over; this winter was miserable for us. We had lots of cold, however we only had 2 snow days, and the snow only stayed around the first snow day. Only cold and rain, for quite a few months. We’ve had enough, and couldn’t be happier to say good bye to the cold! To celebrate, we pulled out an old recipe that we haven’t made in a long time. Pastel colors scream a few things to us: spring, Easter, and adooooooorable! These delicious peppermints are made of only 3 ingredients and couldn’t be easier. Let’s get started!

12The three main ingredients we used are 1 cup of softened butter, about 6 cups of confectioners sugar, and Young Living peppermint essential oil (if you don’t have oils, that’s okay! Just use 1 tsp of peppermint extract). We also used some food coloring  pens and gels by Wilton since we didn’t have all the colors we needed in gel. Here we go!

3.jpgFirst, start by placing your softened butter in an electric mixer and use a paddle attachment to beat the butter for one minute. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time. We sadly forgot to take pictures at this part 😥  Be sure the powdered sugar is fully mixed before you add the next cup, and that you mix slowly at first or the powder will fly everywhere! Add 4-7 drops of peppermint essential oil and mix, tasting between each drop. Once it tastes minty enough for your liking, you are ready to color your peppermints!

4.jpg6Next, let your mix stand in the fridge for about half an hour, to let it harden up just a bit. It can be hard to work with if the mix is too melty! Separate the mix into the same amount of piles as colors you plan to use (we made 5 piles for 5 colors). Spread your last 2 cups of powdered sugar on your counter top and kneed the mixture so it is no longer sticky. If you are using food color gel, dip the tip of a butter knife into the pot and dab it in the peppermint mix. If you are using food color pens, twirl the tip of the pen in the peppermint mix for a bit. Remember, not as much dye comes out of the pens so be sure to swirl a lot!

5Kneed the food dye in until the mix no longer has streaks of color. Add more coloring until you reach the desired shade. Repeat for all of your different colors, allowing the finished batches to rest in the fridge.

789Once you have completed coloring all of the peppermint mix, it’s time to shape them! This part is very fun, and perfect for letting little ones help. Simply take a pinch of the mix, roll it between your palms into a ball and gently flatten it a bit. Use a fork to press the top and peel the fork away, leaving a striped design on the mint. Repeat with all batches of color until you have none left, let them chill in the fridge for an hour, and you are done!

101112Don’t they look lovely?? They taste so yummy, and everyone loves them! The only issue is that since they are mostly made of butter, they soften if left out too long, so they need to be refrigerated while covered when you aren’t eating them. They keep for about a month covered in the fridge, however they never last more than a few days in our house!

What do you think of our mints? We hope you try out the recipe and let us know how they come out! Have you ever made peppermints before? Let us know in the comments!

😀 ❤ Happy Spring! ❤ 😀

 

Jp’s Birthday | Waffle Recipe

10Time flies so fast; somehow, our little baby brother Jp has turned 13 years old today. How is he 13 already??? Although we were very young, we can clearly remember the day he was born, and it couldn’t possibly have been a whole 13 years ago! On birthdays in our house, we take the day off school to relax, the birthday-person gets to select whatever they want to eat for dinner, and us kids make them a special breakfast. This year, we were honored to be the only two people to make the meal, just for him 😛 We decided that buttermilk waffles topped with homemade whipped cream and strawberries, with bacon on the side of course, sounded like a very yummy 13th-birthday-breakfast. Check out how we made this meal!

For the pancakes you will need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbs granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp vanilla extract

Lets get started! First, turn on your waffle press and grease it if you need to. Ours needs to be greased or the waffles get stuck, so we use coconut oil to grease it between rounds XD  1 Lets get started! First, turn on your waffle press and grease it if you need to. Ours needs to be greased or the waffles get stuck, so we use coconut oil to grease it between rounds XD

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk well. Use a spoon (or your fingers) to make a well in the middle of the powder. Pour in buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla and mix well until everything is combined without over-mixing. Allow the batter to rest for a minute or two.2 In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk well. Use a spoon (or your fingers) to make a well in the middle of the powder. Pour in buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla and mix well until everything is combined without over-mixing. Allow the batter to rest for a minute or two.

34For our waffle-maker, we used about 1 1/2 scoops of batter for each waffle, but every waffle press is different so you may need to use more or less depending on the size of your press.

78
Completely unrelated, but this is our cat Van. Our dad found him behind a dumpster and brought him home to surprise us (trust us, we were surprised XD ) He has blue eyes, no tail, and is a total sweetheart. We bought a new rug to go in front of the sink so you can be comfy while washing dishes, but he has decided that this is his new sleeping spot! He will not leave the spot, because it is cushy and soft. You can be standing with your legs pressing on his face and he will not move! He has mastered new levels of kitty-yoga on this mat.
9
Look at that little face!!! ❤ 🐱

Anyways, back to the recipe! Move cooked waffles to a wire rack (such as a cookie cooling rack or even your oven!) to cool and repeat until you have no batter left. Cooling the waffles on a wire rack is important, otherwise your waffles will sog and they lose that delicious crisp crunch! 😥

65Whip some whipped cream, fry up some bacon, and top with any syrup and fruit you want, and you’re done! Super easy, fun, and thanks to the vanilla, they taste delicious even without syrup. We used the syrup we bought at the Maple Syrup Festival to top these and it was amazing! (See our post about the Maple Syrup Fest here!)

10111314How yummy does this look??? This recipe made enough waffles for some of us to have two, so depending on the size of your waffle press, this recipe makes about 12-16 waffles. They taste so sweet and crisp, while not being to sweet or too crunchy. They were just right for the occasion, and it was the perfect way to start Jp’s birthday. On a side note; how scary is it that we now have five teenagers in the house? Five????? o_O  XD

What do you eat for breakfast on your birthday? Do you have any special traditions? Any tips to make these pancakes even more amazing? Let us know in the comments!

Maple Syrup Festival!

untitled.pngEvery year in March, Indiana has a festival all about… you guessed it; maple syrup! It takes place in the morning and goes on until the late afternoon, and people come from all around to celebrate! There are two unofficial traditions at the maple syrup festival; to go while you are super bundled up (because it is usually freezing cold out), and to wear muck boots. Almost every single person you see at the festival is wearing muck boots! In Kentucky and Indiana, it rains all the time from February to almost May (its our rainy season), so the ground is always soft and muddy at the festival. Everyone comes to buy maple syrup (some of the best syrup we’ve ever tasted!) but they all stay for the fun and games!

untitled2.pngParking is a bit of a walk away from the fest, so they have men giving hay rides all day to and from your car! Mateo loves the hay rides 😀

untitled3.pngAt the festival, there are dozens of vendors selling homemade goods, candies, and toys! Everyone has tons of fun looking around at everything for sale and talking with the vendors. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find a super cool souvenir to take home!

untitled6.png7The toys always become a magnet for the little ones. Its so fun to watch them get excited about everything there is to buy! Sometimes they will bring their own hard-earned money with them to buy a toy all on their own.

untitled7.png22.pngOne vendor had an entire table of handcrafted home goods made almost entirely out of dyed wood. They were so beautiful! They had ice cream scoopers, salt shakers, pepper grinders, thread rippers, and even a few gorgeous kabuki brushes for applying makeup! Erica wanted to get one, but we never returned to the booth 😦

untitled8.pngOh dear, the dreaded honey sticks! Every event we go to has these flavored honey sticks, and everyone loves them. Momma always lets each person pick a flavor and she buys the sticks for us. Mateo especially loves them 😀

untitled9.pnguntitled10.pnguntitled11.pngNow, what is a festival without awesome games to play?? Every year, we have a game called the Tomohawk Throw, where you get 3 tries to throw a tomohawk and get it to stick into a piece of a log a distance away. The boys always NEED to try it. They all tried, but sadly no tomohawks stuck to the log 😦 Better luck next year!

19202123Of course, the festival always has its fair share of games just for little ones! They set up a whole area with fun, easy games just for the younger kids. Mateo and Olivia have so much fun playing the games! They especially liked this game, which is similar to skii ball. They sunk quite a few holes too!

1314This game is by far Olivias favorite; she has to ride it every year! It is a man-powered merry-go-round! There is a large pole dug into the ground, with an X shape sitting around it (those are the seats) suspended by ropes. Everyone gets in the four seats and the men start pushing and running, twisting the seats around and around the pole. Then, once it cant be wound anymore, the let go and it unwinds the other way, spinning and causing everyone riding to laugh and yell. This was Mateos first year being able to ride it, and you can tell from his smile that he had a blast with his sister! (Sorry the rope is in the way in the last picture! 😦 )

1516Later on in the day, it gets much warmer out and all the kids like to play in the creek! Since everyone comes in rubber boots, people even go for a nice walk in the creek water, like Jp did! He said the water felt freezing through his boots, but it felt cool too. There are lots of stones and slate on the floor around the creek, so the little ones always try to see who can skip stones the farthest. Chris always beats everyone; he can skip a stone up to four jumps! Plus, we don’t know how he does it, but he can take a stone twice as big as his head and still make it skip. He is insane!

17Poor Mateo couldn’t get his stones to skip like Chris 😦 He instead just threw rocks and sticks into the water for fun 😀

18Lastly, they set up a long log on stands, and two people take a two-person saw and try to saw off a piece of the log! Once you (finally) get your slice cut, you can take it to have a maple leave wood burned onto the top. Looks so beautiful, doesn’t it?

We cannot wait until next years maple syrup festival! Our jug of syrup usually lasts us until the next years fest, so lets hope this one does too!

Does your town have any festivals or seasonal traditions? We would love to hear about it! Let s know in the comments! 😉