Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Cut


How is it possible for one little girl to get even more cute? Give her a little haircut and show off those gorgeous eyes! I put her in the highchair, brushed the bangs forward, took a deep breath....brought the scissors up to her face...opened them and THEN THE PHONE RANG! Talk about a heart attack! But I think that for a home cut, it's pretty good.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A List of Items you would? wouldn't? eat.

I found this survey on Culinary Concotions by Peabodys blog. I don't seem to be able to cross stuff out sooo...I'm just going to bold what i have eaten and we'll consider the rest pretty much what I'm not going to be eating any time soon.
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison (cooked it)
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare (made it, can't say I cooked it :P)
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses (huh?)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (dad used to make strawberry wine, yummmmmmyyyyyy)
19. Steamed pork buns (forkchops, anyone?)
20. Pistachio ice cream (spumoni at The Old Spaghetti Factory)
21. Heirloom tomatoes(not yet anyway)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (I'll say no to that one for sure, just the idea of it and the sweetbreads somewhere below make me wanna barf...)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (let's add this one to the foie gras/sweetbreads gross me out with their texture category)
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam Chowder in Soudough Bowl (ok, I can't get past the idea of snot living in the sea when it comes to shellfish)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (by accident but most assuredly not on purpose)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (fine Canadian food)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (mmm, funnel cake)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (don't like the idea of lobster, but whenever hubby asks me what I would like to eat this is usually my answer, I don't know why)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (let's wait until I win some large cask, ok?)
100. Snake

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Dresser

A long time ago my sister bought this dresser. Of course it's from Ikea and you can leave it as a wood finish or you can stain/paint it. When she gave it to me I decided that I was going to paint it bright orange, yellow and green. It didn't turn out the way I had hoped and when she got it back she painted it black on top and had some sort of idea for it, but never got around to finishing it. I traded her a desk that I didn't need anymore for the dresser again. You all know the rules...one in one out! In order to get the dresser again I had to get rid of something and Ella could use the desk! A fair trade.

I had been planning on doing something with it for a long time now but had no idea what I wanted to do. I had a subscription to Craft Magazine and in the very back of one issue was an article about a dresser. This was an older dresser and was left outside for the taking. The new owner stripped it, taped it and painted it. I loved the idea so much I copied it. With several days of fair warning Scott helped me take it out back and I began a seven hour epic stripping, sanding, taping, spray painting, running to the store for more supplies and spray painting. Phew!

The original crafter, and I apologize that I don't have the magazine with me as I write this, taped a tree onto the surface of the bare wood, then covered the whole thing in white paint. When it was dry she removed the painters tape to reveal a beautiful tree in the front. Now, I am not very artsy in the artsy sense of the word so I pretty much copied her design as best I could.

And here is the finished project! I just love it and have even more plans for this dresser in the near future. I plan to get some pink paint and some corks to make little cherry blossom-like circles on it for some leaves. On the one end that faces the door to the room my sister has agreed to paint a branch with a rope swing on it and a little girl silhouette. As it is right now I think it looks great and can't wait to finish it off within the next few weeks!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Samantha

This is little Samantha. She is about 7 weeks old and is just adorable. Samantha belongs to Chris and Elisabeth, our friends.

video

Mmmmm, Chocolate Chip Biscotti


I made my first batch of biscotti the other day. Our friends, Chris, Elisabeth and Samantha came over and Chris asked where I bought the biscotti from because it was the best biscotti he had ever tasted. What a compliment! I got the recipe from here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Vintage Chocolate Cake Recipe

So my dad calls me about two weeks ago and starts to jibber jabber about some old recipe that my grandmother used to make. Apparently the Nielson's company used to make cocoa and they had chocolate cake, chocolate fudge and chocolate syrup recipes printed on the can. He had called Nielson's directly and spoke to a lady there about locating the recipe. She couldn't help him because they didn't have a record of it, maybe he could try eBay?
Before I became a Stay At Home Mom I worked for eBay in their Infringement Department. I had to do all the standard eBay website training and spent all my time looking at listings on the site. I learned the ins and out of telling the difference between good sellers and bad sellers, fake items and real items. So what does a dad do when he needs to find something on eBay and buy it from a good seller? Call his youngest, that's what.


He gave me a description of the cocoa tin and the span of years the cocoa was produced in and within two minutes I had found a seller who had the very tin of Nielson's Cocoa he was looking for. By the time I called him back and sent him the link he was ecstatic to say the least! By the time he yells into the phone "Buy it! Buy it!" I've already clicked the Buy It Now and am committing to the purchase. Did I mention that I used to work for PayPal too? Click, click, click, dad's credit card is in my PayPal account and now all we have to do is wait. That reminds me I need to leave feedback!
About a week later there is a knock on the door. I haul myself out of bed. With the dog barking, his collar in one hand, trying to stay out of view of the postman with my p.j's and bed head a package is shoved at me and then the sound of footsteps going back down the stairs. I look down at the dog who seems pleased with himself. 'if only I could have just one bite of the postman?' I toss the package on the kitchen counter and head back to bed.
When a decent hour of the day arrives, noonish I'd say, I call my dad. "We'll be over right after lunch!" I let him open the box and have the first look at his new prize. It's the right one and I get right down to copying all the recipes off the tin. Can you believe it still has the cocoa in it?
Anyhoo...this is getting to be a long story. I say that I'll make the cake as my b-day cake coming up. I made it and it was really, really tasty! I'd say even better the next day. I made a simple cocoa buttercream to frost it with. Just butter, cocoa, vanilla and icing sugar. I cut each cake in half and frosted the inside with it and then spread some strawberry jam in the middle. This is the way that Grandma Dolly made it and that's the way that I made it this time too!



It's not a groundbreaking recipe to say the least, but it seems to be a tasty one so I'm sharing the recipe with anyone who wants it! Here it is:

CHOCOLATE CAKE

½ cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten well
2 cups flour, sifted
pinch salt
1 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Cream butter, add sugar gradually, cream thoroughly. Add eggs and beat all together. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture alternately with the milk, beating well. Add vanilla. Use a lined 8” x 10” cake tin or two 10” layer cake tins. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

(I used two 8x8 square baking pans and they were about a third full before baking and added the vanilla after the eggs and not at the end)

And here's my dad giving V some cake.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Special Day

What were your plans today,
someone might ask. Well,
I'll tell you what my plans
are. I'm going to get up,
drive hubby to the train,
come home, make French Onion
soup and a Chocolate Cake.
My parents are coming for
dinner. We are going to take
a short trip to Chapters with
the gift certificate Mom gave me!



Seems like someone had a
different day in mind.
Seems like someone had been
planning a different day
for a while now...
"Ok, change of plans, get
up and get dressed, I'm
not going into work and
we're going 'Out'". "To where?" I ask and no answer was given. Only "Out"




He wouldn't tell
me what we were doing and
that we would be making a
stop at MommaKates house.
Yay! A Picnic!
My fantastic hubby took
us out on a picnic at the
beach.




Violett had a lot of fun
running around in the grass.
I think we should do it again
and soon!








I'm a little sunburnt and
a little tired, but we came
home happy and full of good
picnic fare provided by Kate.
Thanks, Momma!






Barry and Edie came over, too.
They bought me a cool garden
version of Monopoly called
Gardenopoly.
Thanks, Barry and Edie! I
can't wait to play it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's True...


That's right, people. It's
hard to believe. I couldn't
believe I convinced him...







He tried to hide, but we
found him.







It's true, my husband was...

OUTSIDE!

Puttin' on the Shoes

video

Monday, August 4, 2008

And then I made pies...

I got the pie bug the other day and I made Apple Pie yesterday. Yummy.



And then I invited my parents over for dinner and I made Blueberry Pie because my dad loves blueberries...



And she went straight to the bath when she was done.



This is the reason she ALWAYS eats with no clothes on.