Thursday, December 24, 2009
1. This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys, nothing but Peter, Kate, Buzz, Megan, Linnie and Jeff. And my aunt and my cousins. And if he has time, my Uncle Frank. Okay?
2. No, no. I mean "Jingle Bells". You know, deck them halls and all that stuff. No, no, no. You don't get it at all. I mean "Jingle Bells". You know, Santa Claus, and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe... and presents for pretty girls...
3. We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.
4. Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
5. It's just like Santa's workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms... and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me...
6. Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out 'football'.
7. It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags.
8. Happy birthday! Hey, I said my first words. But... But snowmen can't talk. Ha ha ha, come on now, what's the joke? Could I really be alive?
9. If I live to be 100, I'll never forget that big snow storm a couple of years ago. The weather closed in and, well you might not believe it, but the world almost missed Christmas. Oh, excuse me, call me Sam. What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?
10. Charlie, stay away from those things. They're reindeer, you don't know where they've been. They all look like they've got key lime disease.
11. It's Christmas Eve. It's-it's the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we-we-we smile a little easier, we-w-w-we-we-we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year we are the people that we always hoped we would be.
12. Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to. Don't you see? It's not just Kris that's on trial, it's everything he stands for. It's kindness and joy and love and all the other intangibles.
1. Home Alone; 2. A Charlie Brown Christmas; 3. Christmas Vacation; 4. It's A Wonderful Life; 5. Elf; 6. A Christmas Story; 7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas; 8. Frosty the Snowman; 9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer; 10. The Santa Clause; 11. Scrooged; 12. Miracle on 34th Street.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
1) Cooking Magazines
I know, I know. In this day and age, it is so easy to find recipes on the internet especially when you follow blogs like The Kitchn, Tartlette and Joy the Baker. However, there is just something about getting a new magazine in the mail and then going through your daily schedule in your mind to figure out when you can browse through the shiny pages. My tried and true favorites? Martha, Rachael Ray, and The Food Network Magazine.
Now is it a sin that I list Martha with the likes of Rachael? To some people yes but I have never been able to get Jack to eat Martha's Jamican Chicken Curry over Rachael's Chicken Parm Meatball Spaghetti. Also, my mom got me a subscription to The Food Network Magazine and I have been pleasantly surprised by how cool this magazine is! The latest issue has a hot cocoa recipe that LJ gleefully announced "tastes like I am sippin' pudding!"
Even though I already get my three magazines above, I always check the current issues of Cook's Illustrated Entertaining and Fine Cooking. I LOVE these two magazines and would love to find a subscription waiting for me Christmas morning!
3) Kitchen Timer
Yes a blowtorch. Do I really have to explain how cool this is?
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
A hay lift, bales of hay, fencing, garden tools and feed sacks? Yes please! Plan Toys Farmhouse, $80
Don't forget the animals! Plan Toy Farm Animals, $25
Big Ol' Tractor! Plan Toys Tractor and Trailer Set, $54
Not into animals...how about this awesome parking garage set?
Plan City Parking Garage, $70
See all these toys and more at Amazon.com!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Plus, when everyone else in his class is struggling to think of a word that starts with "Y", our kid will coolly raise his hand and reply, "Yeti."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Happy Belated Halloween!
Jack was a dalmatian and Inchie (our dog) was supposed to be a fireman. Jack's buddy Otis was a frog. I realized after I got home that I didn't take a pic of Jack in his costume so you will all have to make do with these action shots.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Without futher ado, I present to you the french macaron. I added the innards (is that correct terminology??) of a vanilla bean to the cookie part and whipped up a blackberry buttercream filling from the jam that my mom sends me. My friend Amy said it tastes like ice cream. Cool.
Macarons!, originally uploaded by jmojo2009.
Macarons, from Claudia Flemming' The Last Course: The Desserts Of Gramercy Tavern.
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)
Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery. (Adding the powdered sugar to the nuts allows you to grind the almonds up without making almond butter. The almond flour is easy to make with blanched almonds and the powdered sugar. There were other recipes that recommended drying the flour after you grind it but I skipped all that.)
Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks. (Don't over beat your eggs or the cookies will not rise...I think I was really walking the line on mine.)
Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. (This is where I added my vanilla bean insides...or essence? Black gunky speckly stuff? What is the official name for this?)
Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter. (Right...fill it quick because the batter is going to come running back out the tip!)
Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored. (This final heat is where the feet form so don't worry until after you pull them out of the oven. Really not much you can do at that point though...)
Cool on a rack before filling.
Blackberry Buttercream Filling
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
5 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup seedless blackberry preserves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the butter and cream cheese in a mixer bowl and whip together until creamy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. When combined, add the blackberry preserves and the vanilla and mix well. Can be held in the refrigerator overnight and re-whipped prior to frosting the cupcakes.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So I am going to make this official and take a vacation from blogging for a bit. It will actually be more of a vacation for you because I will still be logging posts and getting together some really good stuff for the winter months...you just won't see it until hmmm..let's say the middle of October. That gives me plenty of time to deal with Halloween..fabulous!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
No go on sheep and pig. Didn't want anything to do with them.
Loved, loved, loved the cows.
What do you think is going through his little mind right now?
I think he is on his way to becoming a vet.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Zucchini Whoopie Pies
Borrowed from Gourmet.com
For cakes2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (10 ounces)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup walnuts (4 ounces), chopped
For filling1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Scant
1/4 teaspoon salt
Make cakes:Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Butter 2 large baking sheets.
Squeeze handfuls of zucchini wrapped in a kitchen towel to remove moisture.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt until combined. Whisk together buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.
Beat together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until combined well.
At low speed, mix in flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until smooth. Mix in zucchini and walnuts until just incorporated.
Spoon 1/4-cup mounds of batter 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are puffed and golden and spring back when touched, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer with a spatula to a rack to cool completely.
Make filling:Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt with cleaned beaters at medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Spread a rounded 2 Tbsp filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes. cooks’ note: Whoopie pies keep, chilled in an airtight container, 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
followed by two wet little chicks stumbling around.
Now they are all puffed and cute as can be!
Monday, August 10, 2009
We are lucky because we get out beef from the family ranch out in Sumpter so these recalls never pertain to us. Want to be carefree and full of yummy disease free beef as well? Check out this site for the closest grass-fed/organic ranch near you. There are also listings for eggs, honey, chicken, turkey and a whole bunch more!
Anybody that has ever used a Kitchen Aid mixer knows that the dimple at the bottom of the bowl needs to be scraped with a spatula. Blah and I always forget to. Consequently, my whipped cream is not so whippy and sometimes my egg whites are a little less than stiff. However, help is on the way...or so it seems to be with this new beater blade. (You can read reviews here)
Has anyone tried this/have one? I REALLY want to order one right now but we are lacking the funds so I would like to live vicariously through all of you!
Friday, August 7, 2009
[waking up after sharing the same bed on the motel]
Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where's your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows...
Neal: Those aren't pillows!
Gary is chanting incoherently. Wyatt seemed very confused by his best friend's odd behaviour. They are both wearing bras on their heads]
Wyatt: Gary?... By the way, why are we wearing bras on our heads?
Garry: [hesitates] Ceremonial.
Chet: Taking the last bite of Paul Bunyans's Old 96er
Roman: I think that just about does it.
Grill Chef: He's not done yet!
Roman: It might take him a moment for that last bite to go down, but it will go down!
Grill Chef: That ain't the last bite!
Roman: Well sure it is, there is nothing on that plate but gristle and fat!
Grill Chef: Raising his eyebrows
Roman: No Problem. If i can get a dessert down him, think you can throw in a couple of Paul Bunyan hat's for the kids?
[Long Duk Dong is dancing with Lumberjack, his head is on her ample chest]
Lumberjack: What's your last name?
Long Duk Dong: Dong.
Lumberjack: What's your first name?
Long Duk Dong: Long.
Lumberjack: What's your middle name?
Long Duk Dong: Duk.
Doris (TV Repairwoman): Are you crazy? You don't feed a baby chili!
Brian Johnson: Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you're crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...
Andrew Clark: ...and an athlete...
Allison Reynolds: ...and a basket case...
Claire Standish: ...a princess...
John Bender: ...and a criminal...
Brian Johnson: Does that answer your question?... Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora Griswold: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.
[Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Our laptop crashed this weekend. Not just crashed but locked it's little hard drive behind a password that no one will ever know. Gone are all the pics of current projects in the works and more importantly, some of Jack's baby pictures.
In honor of this event, I am taking the week off to organize what I do have left. Blah!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Why, you ask? It is such the HOT thing to do!
Right....I reply...and obviously this was the HOT thing to do at one point...
Oh wait...you can't tell just how beautiful this old wallpaper is? Let me get you a closer look.
Yes, that is foil. It really only gets better...
Ohhh there we go. Because the angled lines of foil were too "busy"...thank god they put in some vertical lines to calm the pattern down.
Seeing this got me thinking...why not show you all the glimpses of old wallpaper in our house! Ready for this?!
The Good...Trains and Trolleys really aren't that bad in an kid's room...
The Bad...the master bedroom...thank god I never saw it with this striped/flower color scheme...that would hurt.
Yep, the ugly. I hope the shininess comes through on your monitors so you can bask in the glow!
Monday, July 27, 2009
On to the cookie which makes WAY more than listed 24 cookies. I ended up doubling the marshmallow puff part but everything else worked fine as listed. I was a little short of the chocolate covering but Wade and LJ didn't mind eating all the extras for me. Yum.
Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies
• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows
1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil
1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water. (I found that these will only set once refrigerated)