Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some Seriously Good Eating

Wow- folks.. have we been eating well on the Peterson Front. Those of you on a diet maybe should just keep on blog hopping. (Oh yeah- I'm on a diet. Well, it's on hold, I guess!)

Yesterday was Eric's birthday. He loves cheesecake, so I purposed to make him a cheesecake from scratch. It was delicious! Here is a picture of the pie...

And here is what it looked like on our plates, after adding some home made blueberry jam on the top...

Phew was it incredible. Here's the recipe:

Owen's Cheesecake

4 egg whites - whipped
1 c. sugar, added slowly.

Whip these two into a merangue.

Soften 24 oz. cream cheese to room temperature.
1t. vanilla

While wearing a rubber glove (Owen is a graduate of the New York Culinary Institute... he does things like this), mash with hands. Or use a mixer. (I used the mixer.)

Add to the merangue and mix for 30 seconds.

Bake in 300* oven for at least 30 minutes. Make sure the middle doesn't jiggle. If the middle cracks, it's done.

Top with:
1 lb. sour cream
1/4 c. sugar

Mix these and spread on top of the cheesecake. Put back in oven for 5 minutes to melt the topping.


I also have been reading a lot about a new book out called "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day". It seemed interesting, and I just love good fancy bread, if I don't have to take too much time to do it. This was so easy, and received rave reviews, so I just had to post about it.

In a mixer put:

6 c. warm water (Hint: make the water just warmer than you would have a baby's bath...)
3 T. Yeast
3 T. Salt
13 c. flour. (I used white flour this time, although I will try it with my fresh ground wheat next.)

Mix this just until wet.
Divide into several containers... I used three ice cream containers... you can figure out what you need.

Let rise for 2 hours.

Put in fridge until you want to use it. Best if overnight or so. The dough is easier to work with when it is cold. You can use it any time within 2 weeks.

When you want to make the bread, put cornmeal on a pizza peel. Pull off about a pound (cantaloupe size) ball of dough. Roll the edges under, and sprinkle with flour. Let sit for 40 minutes.

20 minutes into the sitting period, put a baking sheet (I use a stone) in the oven, and an empty broiler pan. Turn oven on to 450*.

After it is hot, cut slices on the top of the bread (it won't have risen... that's OK). Slide onto hot pan in oven, and add a couple cups of water to the boiler pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

It is wonderful. This would make great rolls too. Try it! It's easy!

If you don't have an industrial size mixer, you can half all the ingredients and make a smaller batch. My big batch made 7 loaves. Oh it's so yummy. Try it!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Finally... a Mercy Update

We finally got the results of the MRI, and a plan settled for this next stage of Mercy's treatments. First - the good news! The anomalies within her brain (some vascular issues, and the hemangioma) have not changed at all in the last six months. This is GOOD!

However, the outside hemangiomas have grown again. Dr. Adams has reconsidered the situation and decided that she wants to do the propanalol instead of chemotherapy. This is for several reasons... most to do with the risk of infection in a central line. Mercy has been on prednisone for two years now, and therefore has a suppressed immune system. With all the children in the family, Dr. Adams was concerned with the extra illnesses which might be brought into the family. She is also concerned with the amount of time it would take us to get to a larger hospital (2 hours or more) if she starts to run a fever.

So with looking at those things, she feels it is better to do the propanalol. She has developed a protocol to use in a study of this, and even though Mercy will be in before the study starts, she wants to use it with her. So we will be entering the hospital on Feb. 23 for three days. They will start with another echocardiogram to be sure that her heart is still fine for this. Then they will start her on the propanalol, increasing it 1 mg/ kg a day for three days... monitoring and watching her all the time. This will make sure that her heart continues to do well. There is also a risk of asymptomatic blood sugar problems, resulting in comas, so we are going to be tracking the blood sugar too as we are increasing the dosage. If all goes well we will be home on the 25th, and using the propanalol.

The photos I see of babies using propanalol for hemangiomas are incredible. The hemangioma reduces in size immediately! It is unknown if it will continue to stay small after we wean off the propanalol, or if it will grow back again, but it is worth a try.

So that is where we stand... sorry for making everyone wait to get the results. I wanted to make sure we knew what we were doing before posting it.

Have a happy day and a great weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Place for Everyone....

[Carri's note: I have fixed the link now... sorry for the confusion!]

"I have never been able to handle the noise very well. (Ironic that God gave me nine children and sensitive ears, isn’t it?!) They also stay up later, so I have people around me from the minute I wake up in the morning until the minute I go to sleep at night. We were needing some serious re-visiting of where everyone is in the house when we homeschool. For the sake of my sanity, you know. Those in-patient treatment facilities are way out of the budget..."

Head over to Happy to Be at Home to see this week's installment on large family living!

The Going's On Around Here...

This week Eric did a project for me... he made growing shelves so I can start my plants inside. We put two shelves above my washer and dryer. We are hanging fluorescent lights from the bottom of the top shelf (for the bottom row of plants), and from the ceiling for the top row. I'd show a photo except my batteries are charging. I am sure you'll be hearing a lot about it in future posts.

The weather has been nice, so the boys have been working on filling my new garden boxes (we are putting three boxes next to the house) with hay / manure / compost. The boxes are 4 feet wide by 32 feet long. I plan on using the square foot methods in them.

We have lots of hay which the horses spread on the ground and don't eat. Once a week (or more) we put this hay into the hen's yard. The hens peck through it and eat out the seeds so we are not planting weeds into the garden. They also add manure into it! ;) Then we take it over to the garden. I am unsure how this will work this year (it probably will not have time to fully decompose), but I KNOW by next year it will be wonderful soil. We will still have our large garden near the field if these don't work this year.

So that's what we did this week. I am ready for warm weather to come so we can all be out and planting things again!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mercy's Feb. Update

Just wanted to post that we are still waiting to hear from the doctor's office about the results of the MRI, and the actions we are going to take next to try to stop the hemangioma's growth... I'll def. write when we know this. I just didn't want to keep those of you who are waiting to hear about her appointments today.