Monday, December 23, 2013

Dodo's Christmas Date Cake

Day 10: My sister found a recipe from our aunt and sent photos to me. I made the following changes:

1. Instead of 2 tsp of butter, I added 2 tblsp of butter
2. After boiling the dates, I let them cool and then added the dates after adding all of the spices and alternating with flour, 1 cup at a time. 
3. Put in a bundt or angel food cake pan.
4. Baking time was over an hour for me at 325 degrees (at my folks house).

Dodo's Christmas Date Cake

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Back in Savannah

We had a marvelous stay in Savannah again this past Spring. This trip, we met some old friends who now live in Virginia - they drove 9 hours to meet up with us and we stayed together for about a week. Our clans got along swimmingly. Here's a preview of what we did.
Happy Hour at the condo

Climbed the Lighthouse tower

Played in the water

Picked up slimy creatures

Got our nails done

Crabbed and frolicked
Dined on 5-courses chez Olivier

Found religion

Made new friends

Said goodbye, family style

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

12 Days of Baking

On the first day of Christmas break in Montana, I baked enough for an army. I wasn't in the mood before our trip because I had too much work to do. Now that I can breathe freely, I'm working on 12 days of baking.

Day 1: Fudge. I love Betty Crocker's recipe, by the way. One tip: swap out two ounces of sweetened chocolate and add unsweetened. With so much sugary condensed milk, I bet you can offset some of that sweetness and make it rich in chocolate flavor. Also, the higher quality the chocolate... well, you know. The yummier.

Day 2: Blondies. I alter every recipe I find. I didn't like the Food Network's recipe. Too complicated. So I stuck to Martha's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, adding nuts, coconut and oats, and threw it in a glass pan.

Day 3: Mexican Wedding Cakes. Not only did I enjoy the Food Network recipe, my 3-year old watched the video about three times.

Day 4: Sugar cookies. Dare I publish Liz's family recipe? Here's a picture... :)

Day 5: Benny Grimms. These are chocolate balls, with maraschino cherries in the middle, and rolled in coconut. They are probably called something like coconut cherry balls, but an old family friend (before my time), used to eat all of these chocolate balls, so it's named after him. Oh wait, I just googled it and this is the closest I could find online to the recipe -- at Cooks.

Day 6: Peanut Brittle. Well, mom did this one, not me. Too sticky! But scrumptious, nonetheless. Not sure of her source, but I'll share once I find it.

Day 7: Lemon bars. Another mom treat. Her recipe is an old one and they are the best, bar none. And well, it's sort of a family secret... unless I've already shared it? Hmm...

Day 8: Okay, I have five more days and need to get busy. So I'm open to suggestions for the next five days. Help!
Dad just chimed in with a request for oatmeal raisin cookies. :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sunshine and Sunflower Seeds

Seems I'm always in baking mode when the weather cools down. Sadly I didn't take a photo of the apple pie we made, but it was pretty good. However, it didn't trump the homemade ice cream Paul whipped up (with a machine). That's always the best.

I took a class on making gelato a while back and we now use the recipe over and over when the sun starts to peek around a cloud or two. You know, Seattle summers.

Sadly I've misplaced that damn recipe hand out, but I promise to share a few when I find it!

Meanwhile, during clean up time, our monkey decided to spread out a bowl of her very own sunshine - can you see the sunflower seeds on every step?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

St. Valentines Day is a day of giving. Or so I'm reminded every time I enter a retailer. I succumb to marketing like the next yummie mummie (my new brand), so I have been making goodies for the gals to bring to school.

Today I'll be dropping off some Whole Wheat Banana Muffins (altered recipe from Cooks Illustrated).

1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt (I omit)
6 large very ripe bananas (about 2¼ pounds), peeled (I only had 3)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed (5¼ ounces) light brown sugar (I did half white and have brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and fill mini muffin tins with cupcake holders. I use an icecream scoop to fill the mini muffins.

First mix wet ingredients and then add dry.

Mix just until blended. I also completely omitted the part where you cook the bananas (stew them for more flavor). See recipe above if you want to try it out!

And Voila - I decorated with Chocolate Chips. This is for a class of 1-2 year olds so I omitted nuts.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Funny Expressions

"Mom, I made a wish that everyone would love me tonight", says E. "Really? And what does that mean, exactly?", I ask. "You know. That my family is nice to me and loves me with all their heart".

E asks L to look at her wrinkly hand after bath time. L tries to lick her hand. E giggles and giggles that L doesn't understand the difference between "look" and "lick".

Sadly on November 19, 2012, L stopped saying "MO" for no. She now says (or yells) no.

L still spits when you ask her to spin in a circle. Although she also spins.

Every night L asks "Yaya go? Papa go?" (referring to my parents).

And... L still screams to have Yaya when she's p'd off at me!

In other words, they are two major monkeys.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paris at home

Since we couldn't live in Paris and drink café au lait daily at some quaint Parisienne boulangerie whilst munching on flaky pastry... (and gaining about 20 lbs), we have brought a taste of Paris to Seattle.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

It's 2013

It's 2013 and I'm still thinking about sending out Christmas cards. Maybe if I start now, I'll get them done by next December!

This was a low-key holiday for us. Family was scattered, with at least four who were sick with a flu of sorts. I still got the decorations out and filled the house with Christmas, took my eldest to the Nutcracker and baked up a storm with both kids.

Here's the year summed up with three of my favorite things.

1. Baking (or receiving baked bread).
2. Family chaos.
3. Travel (especially where there's sunshine).

I hope you had a fantastic end to 2012 and an even better start to the new year!

Lee's Fruit Bread, (figs, dates and nuts) wrapped in cheese cloth and soaked in rum before fermenting for 2 weeks at room temp.

E on a boat in Chelan

Me and the Goof Goof

L in her new hat

Peanut butter balls. Yes!

Band-aid nosed L with daddy

More baking!