Thursday, September 10, 2009

2009-2010 Daily Schedule

As I think I've mentioned before, I work best on a general schedule. Without a schedule, I tend to be lost...time management goes out the window and I come to the end of the day feeling like I haven't gotten anything done.

My kids tend to have the same problem. Without some guidance, they would entrench themselves in one or two activities (primarily Legos and imaginary play) and disregard all other responsibilities (such as brushing one's teeth and changing out of their pajamas).

For both the kids and myself, I have come up with a guiding schedule to help us glide through the day. We have time to complete our responsibilities and still have time for some fun. The schedule is not set in stone, allowing for some flexibility.

How do you keep your family rolling along? Do you have a strict schedule, a guiding schedule, or do you just fly by the seat of your pants? I love hearing and learning about how other families structure (or don't structure) their let me know.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Butterscotch Pudding

Tonight I made homemade pudding for the first time. Butterscotch is my favorite pudding, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. WOW! is all I have to say about that. Yummy! Justin and I had some (still warm) tonight and it was wonderful. Making pudding from scratch takes a few extra minutes, but was well worth it. Here is the recipe I used-

3 cups (720 ml) whole (full fat) milk - (I used organic half 'n half)
3/4 cup (160 grams) dark brown sugar - (I used organic light brown sugar)
1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch (corn flour) - (non GMO, of course)
1/8 teaspoon salt - (I used sea salt)
4 large egg yolks - (I like free range)
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract - (organic and fair trade)
2 tablespoon (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces - (organic)

Garnish: Lightly sweetened whipped cream

In a large stainless steel (heatproof) bowl whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks. Whisk in 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the milk until you have a thick paste. Set aside while you heat the milk. Have ready a fine medium-sized strainer and bowl as you will need to strain the pudding after it is cooked.

First, rinse a medium-sized heavy saucepan with cold water and then shake out the excess water. Doing this step prevents the milk from scorching. Then pour the remaining 2 1/2 cups (600 ml) of milk into the saucepan and bring just to a boil. Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Transfer the pudding mixture to a clean large, heavy bottomed saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of mayonnaise (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour through the strainer to remove any lumps that may have formed during cooking.

Pour into 4 bowls or wine glasses. The pudding can be served warm or if chilling, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the warm puddings to prevent a skin from forming. If you like the skin, simply leave the pudding uncovered until cooled, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The puddings can be made a day or two ahead of serving. Garnish each pudding with a large dollop of softly whipped cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Let me know if you have a favorite homemade pudding recipe. I'd like to try some others.