Happy New Year!

15626405_10211714007711644_3990848109467189695_o

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Our’s was crazy-busy (there’s a reason I’ve disappeared for almost a full month!). Just before Christmas we had had the triplets fifth birthday, then Christmas, then New Years, and then we all got a lovely stomach bug that has been making it’s rounds. The last man standing was Matthew and he finally succumbed last weekend.

15626405_10211714007711644_3990848109467189695_o
There’s so much I want to be sharing with you, but I know I can’t just rush and throw it all out there. There’s the triplets Growing Up post, Peter’s 19 month post (yea, I know those are more for me than anyone else). We started finishing some major home renovation projects that I’m really excited about. Our iPhone 5C exploded and caught fire (no one was hurt). One child, he who shall not be named, decided to try and close my laptop with Legos in it (the Legos won). Needless to say my computer time has become severely limited.

I have been reading so many good books that I can’t wait to share with you in the next few weeks, as well as some of my really fun Christmas gifts. One of my friends has a fantastic new book that just came out, that I have yet to read and am so looking forward to. I started a Moms Group at our church, which is a whole other ride. It’s been crazy!

How have you been? How were your holidays? How are your families?

I hope everyone is well and I’m really looking forward, and hoping, to getting back to my space in the ether!

Cranberry Walnut Bread {a Recipe}

img_3154-wm

img_3154-wm

Around Thanksgiving I shared over on Instagram about my Cranberry Walnut Bread, but there’s more to the story. When I was pregnant with the triplets Panera had Cranberry Walnut bagels which were DELICIOUS! Of course, after Christmas they disappeared, because we can’t tolerate such things out of season.img_1537

For years I’ve been trying to find a recipe for a Cranberry Walnut bread, but most of them were a baking soda/powder recipe, which was NOT what I wanted. I wanted a yeast bread. I wanted it to be more of a brown bread. So I started trying recipe after recipe to find the right one.

img_1653

One day I was making one of my  favorite breads, molasses brown bread, when it hit me…it’s the perfect bread for cranberries and walnuts! Here is my recipe, per request. The recipe does freeze well, but there’s nothing quite like a hot slice of bread with melted butter.

 

Cranberry Walnut Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 4-3/4 to 5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine first four ingredients. Cool to 110°-115°. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with sugar. Add oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses and 3 cups flour; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half; shape into loaves. Place in two greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Brush with butter. Yield: 2 loaves.

 

Paying it forward

dsc_0228

I’m not sure how it’s been 5 years, but it has. On Thursday Henry, James, and Elanor will be turning 5 years old. I may have to spend the day in bed with the blankets over my head, because I am completely in denial that they’re 5. There are no words as to how grateful I am that we have Peter, because it’s been a whir!

Five years ago, on December 22, 2011 we found ourselves at Albany Medical Center, very anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little ones. A few hours later Henry, James, and Elanor were born and hurried off to the NICU. I was discharged on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, going home to our two-year-old, leaving our babies in the hospital. It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.

Christmas morning, we drove the two hours back to AMC to spend our first Christmas with our newest family members. It was the first time we could hold all of them. The nurses in the NICU were wonderful and had told us that someone had knit little hats for the babies in the NICU on Christmas and would we be willing to accept one for each of our peanuts.

dsc_0228

Every Christmas we look at those tiny hats and marvel at how they were BIG on our now huge five year olds. The gift of those hats meant so much to us on an incredibly hard Christmas. It has been my goal that for our babies’ fifth birthday I would make three Christmas baby quilts for three little ones spending their first Christmas in the NICU. These are those quilts.

img_2495

img_2484 dsc_0411

 

 

Peter 18 Months

img_3109

Mr Pickles is 18 MONTHS OLD!

  • He’s weighing in at 27.5lbs and measuring 33.5″ long
  • Loves jumping, and does a surprisingly good job at it for an 18 month old
  • Really played in the snow for the first time…he wasn’t too keen on being all bundled and kept falling over.
  • Teeth 13 and 14th have started working their way in
  • He’s starting to articulate much more with his speech
  • Signing a lot more too
  • Wanting to play more and more with his big brothers and sisters, much to their chagrin
  • Still sleeping well at night and for naps
  • Loves to rub his dinner plate on his head and throw his cup in the pots {during dinner}
  • Becoming more “assertive” in what he wantsimg_3109

My Favorite Things – A Collection of White House Christmas Bests

Over the past 9 years of blogging I’ve written quite a bit about my favorite time of the year, Christmas. From books we love to things we do, recipes and ways to enjoy the season more fully. For a while now I’ve been meaning to collect all of these posts together in one place…and now I am.

For the Book Lover!


some-new-favorite-christmas-books-for-children

http://jessicam white.com/new-favorite-christmas-books-children

~*~
For the Foodie!

~*~
For the Stressed-Out!

a Simple Christmas @JessicaMWhite.com
Taking the Stress out Christmas Shopping @JessicaMWhite.com