"Erstwhile Apple Pie"

Here's the recipe:

To get started, you need:

2 cups water
1/4 c. golden raisins/cherries
2 T unsalted butter
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup old-fashioned (5 minute) oats
1 sweet and crunchy apple

Bring water to a boil. Add raisin/cherry mixture, butter and PPS. Boil until raisins/cherries are plumped up. Dump in the oats and boil for 5 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn't stick. After 5 minutes, remove from heat.

While oats are resting, slice the apple extremely thinly. Like so thin you could read through the slices. In a bowl, layer the apples and oatmeal (three layers of oatmeal should do it) and then arrange slices of apple on top.

Eat while still warm.

I haven't figured out how many WW points this is, but it's a nice alternative to pastry and it's actually GOOD for you. I suppose you could forego the butter if you really had to, but it makes it nice. I think that this recipe would actually serve two people, but I was HUNGRY. I hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours, so you can imagine.

The Best Thing About Homeschooling

You want to know what the best thing about homeschooling is?

The fact that when Mama doesn't feel up to numerous iterations of workbooks and educational videos, she can just give the kids some paper dressed up as a "book" and let them have at it and it COUNTS! It's educational, I promise. I gave them a "project": Write a story and illustrate it. I think we're covering art, grammar, spelling, punctuation and creative writing as well as the all important "leave Mama alone so she can blog about you deal with her overreactive gallbladder" subject.

Here are the books BEFORE the Princesses Ella got hold of them:

The Younger Princess Ella is the one in the pink Sleeping Beauty Nightgown

You should only know how long it took me to FIND this picture once I uploaded it from my camera to my hard drive. Why it got sent to my VIDEO folder, I've no idea. Anyhow...

What I did to make the books:
  • Find card stock in pile on desk.
  • Let girls choose their own color from about 20 choices (the Elder choose purple, the Younger chose the pink)
  • Grab handful of printer paper (there's a reason I buy this stuff at the warehouse store)
  • Stack all paper together and cut roughly in half on the long side of the paper (exactly half would have been 5.5" but who's counting?)
  • Find 3-hole punch and arrange puncher thingies so that it punches 3 holes down the "long" side of the paper
  • String 3/8" wide grosgrain ribbon to make book
  • Field exactly 3,874,089,152 questions about what the books are and are not
  • Take picture and hide in office to blog about it while the girls knock themselves out creatively

Life is good. Except for my mother-frelling gallbladder which makes me irritable and tired and nauseated. It's days are numbered. Poor my kids. Little do they know that once Mama is done recuperating, their days of watching PBS all day in their PJs and eating Scooby Snakcs for breakfast are O-V-E-R. But I'm not telling them that. Let them have their little fun.

Sew Retro

OK, folks here's the button

to get you to SewRetro's blog.
Now go read! It's well worth it! Go on now, shoo!

Vintage Sewing Contest Entry

Pattern Review is having a contest and I entered it. Woohoo! It runs from August 1st to September 30th and is for vintage stuff. That's such a technical term. I love it. Anyhow, here are pictures of the fabric and pattern:

When I'm done with this project, I'll post an update with the final product.



This is the blog-space for The Vintage Family website. From time to time I'll update the goings on and what I'm up to as far as vintage living and so on.

For the time being, check out Sew Retro's blog: http://sewretro.blogspot.com. It's totally awesome and if you are a vintage sewing junkie like I am, you'll love it.


The Royal Refurb

Every once in a while I get a wild hair to CHANGE something. Usually it's something as innocuous as my hair color or the length of my acrylic falsies (nails that is). THIS time it was to finish what I'd started in the Royal Bedchamber. You DO remember what it looked like, correct? If not, I'll refresh your memory forthwith:

The Royal Bedchamber had previously been situated in the "middle" bedroom but we chose to abdicate that position in favor of the front bedroom (fka The Den) in favour of our 3 children having the back two rooms for their own use. Quite unselfish of us, I know. Howsoever we decided to move, here we are in the Front Bedroom now.

Not so long ago, I Feng Shui'd the Royal Bedchamber so that we could get some decent sleep (Yes Virginia, it DOES work). I realized a few days ago that even though I'd applied the principles of Feng Shui to the room, it was largely the same as when it held a big sofa and bigger tv. In other words, even though our bedroom FURNITURE resided there, it didn't feel like the restful place it was supposed to be. So I hied me down to the local SuperTarzhet and acquired a few little things to make it nicer. Most notably, the red and white sheers ($9 for two panels!!!). That's four packs of sheers if anyone is keeping track. See below to witness the transformation:

The only thing that has not been finished is repainting the delightul little yellow picture frames. They will be black in their next life.

I made it and it was good

Meatcake that is.

Now before anyone thinks "Oh she's such an original" (and I am but not in this case), I must say, I owe my inspiration to a forum friend of mine (The Original Pez Dispenser) because she pointed me here.

The Prince Consort is turning 34 on Wednesday, and so we're celebrating tomorrow. Yes, Father's Day. We do it every year. So in honor of the Day of the Dad, I made meatcake. Here it is in all it's resplendent potato-y glory:

I've made some glorious cakes in my time since I started my first Wilton class, but I do believe that this one is my all time favorite. For one thing, you don't get a major sugar rush from licking icing off your fingers with a Meatcake. And it's GOOD for you. It's got all the 4 food groups: Milk, Meat, Starch, Veggies. And I'm not just talking about the peas on the outside. It's filled with peas and corn between the layers.

I must say that potato flakes are much easier to work with than buttercreme. At least for me. Once we partake of the gloriousness that is Meatcake, I shall update with pictures of the innards of it. It's truly a glorious thing.


With apologies to The Vegan Lunchbox...

I had to try the Vegan Twinkies, not because I'm particularly veggie-inclined, but rather because they sounded interesting. I love a good recipe and I could care less what the philosophy behind it is. I'm a foodie. I admit it. So I downloaded the original recipe and went on a search for the ingredients I'd never seen before. Barley Malt Powder, anyone? I never could find the barley malt powder - not even at Whole Foods Market (which really ought to be called Whole Fools Market). I bought the Twinkie Pan at Bed Bath & Beyond and then promptly forgot to make the twinkies.

Me being the girl that I am, when I finally got around to actually making the twinkies, I had to experiment with the recipe before even trying the original. What can I say, it's a failing of mine to be insatiably curious about what things would taste like if...

So I used organic whole wheat flour in place of regular flour and replaced 30% of the total amount of flour with soy flour. I wanted them to be reaaaaaaaaaaaly healthy. And since I never was able to find barley malt POWDER, I used Malted Barley syrup. I think it came out ok. Here they are in all their radiant sinsoyful goodness:

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They are a nice golden brown and so tasty. The filling came out great but I didn't fill them near as much as a regular twinkie would have been. Couldn't bring myself to do it.

The verdict on taste? Five out of five mouths agree that these things rock. From 13 months to 34 years old, everyone in the house (except the cat who didn't get any) loves them. They taste like food. Not like a vapid sweet thing that has no nutritional value. My husband - The Prince Consort - thinks they taste like an Indonesian cake desert thingy. So it's all good!

Dim Sum For Dummies

I love Dim Sum. So do the kids. Another thing I love is Smuckers Uncrustables. I've had a theory rolling around in my head for a while that given the right conditions and equipment, I could reproduce a reasonable facsimile of the aforementioned Uncrustables.

Well, my theory has been proven sound. I present for your viewing pleasure:
PB&J Potstickers

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These were insanely easy to make and pretty tasty to boot. How to do this at home? Read on!


  • Sandwich bread of your choosing. Just make sure it's SOFT.
  • Creamy Peanut (or other nut) Butter.
  • Spreadable Fruit (I like Cascadian Farms Strawberry)

  • Rolling pin
  • Spreader
  • Dumpling Press
  • Round template/biscuit/cookie cutter

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How to:

Cut out round shape from slice of bread:

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Roll very thin with rolling pin:

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Place on dumpling press & spread 1 tsp each of PB&J in exact center of bread:

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Fold over dumpling press and press down to make a seal:

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End Result:

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Place in zip top bag in fridge or freezer until needed.

pediped shoes

Their claim is that they are the next best thing to bare feet. And they can make that claim shamelessly! Not only are they shoes excellent in quality and workmanship, there are enough styles for the fashionista in all our little ones.

Now let me say that BP (before pediped shoes), I was anti-soft-sole shoes. Not because I didn't believe the studies about them, but because they are the fugliest things I've ever seen. And I will not apologise for feeling that way about Robeez, Jack and Lily and their ilk. They look like leather socks. And I have a thing about socks. Can't stand 'em. So when an online acquaitance turned me on to pediped™
, I was hooked. My only complaint is that I did not know about them when the girls were tiny because I could have spent a mint on them as many shoes as they've had.

Lorenzo has these three pairs:

I love these shoes. I will sing their praises from the rooftops. And I will buy more. Oh yes I will. Because you can never have too many pairs of shoes.

Let me also say these shoes are incredibly durable. The leather bottoms can take a beating and still look like new. The shoes are so well constructed that you can abuse them and they will last. Lorenzo wears a 0-6 months size at 13 months old. He's been wearing the brown and black ones since he was 6 months old and they look great. The leather is buttery soft despite being thrown in the bathtub! Don't ask. Lorenzo has a habit of throwing things into the bathtub while his sisters are bathing. Gel inserts for my shoes, books, his own shoes, you name it. So even with being completely submerged in bathwater, the shoes still look and wear great.


Mini-Metrosexual, that is.

I'll be honest. I LIKE the MS look. I like a guy who can comb his hair, knows how to dress to go out in public and has decent hygiene. Everyone* knows that THOSE are they guys that get all the girls. So, what's a mom to do? Groom their son from infancy to BE the guy that all the girls want. And I'm all over that like putih on nasi (aka white on rice). Now, I know it's what's on the INSIDE that really counts, but it can't hurt to have a nice exterior to go with.

Lorenzo already has the flirting part down. Twinkling eyes? Check! Lashes that go one for miles? Check! Charming smile? Check! So it's just a matter of grooming. He has some cute curl in his hair and so I'm experimenting with pin curls on the top. I'll post pictures of the result, but for now, here's the before:

As for clothing, I'm the mom who takes her 13 month old out in dress slacks, dress shoes and sweater vest to go to the cosmetics counter. See?

He wears a blazer and tie to Church. He uses as many hair care products as I do. And there's nothing wrong with that. When he's old enough for dance lessons, he'll be there, too. So don't be surprised when all the little girls in nursery school are swooning.