Saturday, October 31, 2009

I am on a roll!

I think Mr. Cart is going to cause me to put a "wide load" sign on my butt.  Ever since he arrived, I cannot stop baking things.  Well, more things than normal.

The girls and I decided we needed pretzels yesterday.

Hannah rolling out her pretzels.

One of the great things about Mr. Cart is that we can all fit around it and make things together.  That is so cool.

We were just waiting for Kali to finish her last pretzel and then they were going in the oven.

All done and cooling off.

I was totally unprepared for dinner last night for some odd reason.  So I took our bread from last night (the wonderful garlic herb bread) and made french bread pizzas out of it.  Alex had the leftover pasta.  It was yummy.  I have enough left for lunch today, too!  Yay!

Time to carve the pumpkin!

Hannah was taking all the seeds out of the pumpkin guts. 

I told them if they didn't smile, I wouldn't take them out tonight.  :)  Bribery will get me everywhere.

Mr. Pumpkin, all done and lit up.

Yes, Mr. Pumpkin has quite the odd face.  We each pick a face part and draw it out, so you never know what you're going to get!  Kali did the mouth, Hannah did the nose, Alex did the football eye, and I did the pizza eye. 

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday baking.

I woke up this morning and realized I had some bananas that were about to go south on me, so I figured I better make some banana bread.

So I got all of my ingredients ready to go. Yes, that is white sugar on my cart. Yes, I am not happy about it. For those of you that really know me, you know that I haven't had white crack sugar in my pantry in years. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, and right now I'm cookin' with the white crack. ;) Someday I shall be crack free again. I don't know why the veggie oil is there, it wasn't in the recipe. Hmmm.....I am odd.

I learned something a few weeks ago when I went to Williams-Sonoma for a baking class. If you are making sweet breads, don't grease and flour your pan, grease and sugar it. Yes. Lube it up and sugar it up.

Here is my greased and sugared loaf pan with my banana bread batter resting in it for a few minutes.

All done and cooling off. See the sugar around the edges?

MMmm.....can you smell it? You know you want some. I had grand delusions and wanted to run and eat the entire thing by myself. Slathered in butter. With a huge mug of coffee. Then I realized my butt would no longer fit through the door if I did that. Damn. So I just had one piece, no butter, and no coffee. It was still delicious and my pants aren't screaming at me.


Then I thought we needed some garlic herb bread with our dinner tonight.

Resting dough after it had risen and been punched down. Yeah dough, I beat you down, so there. I would have taken pictures of the finished product, but there was other cooking involved and I totally forgot. Use your imagination. ;)

Kali is finally starting to feel better. My poor baby has been sick for 5 1/2 days now. Today she was up playing for most of the day and is now watching TV with Hannah and daddy. I'd bet the dollar that's in my wallet that she had H1N1; Hannah, too, for that matter when she was sick 2 weeks ago. Hopefully she'll be back to her normal self by Saturday so she can go Trick-or-Treating!

Monday, October 26, 2009

THE cart.

No, this isn't just a cart.  It's not the cart, either.  It's THE cart.  You shall call it Mr. Cart, or Sir.  ;) 

You see, about a month or so ago I happened to ask my dad if, by some chance, he might be able to make a butcher block cart.  You know, just a thought.  I think it was halfway done in about a week.  Seriously.  Maybe what happens is when he hears the word wood, he goes into overdrive.  He might need a 12-step program for wood.  Wood-aholocs Anonymous.  Wood-Anon.  ;)  Oh forget it, I don't want him anywhere near that so he doesn't stop creating things that end up at our house! 

So Mr. FedEx brought 1/2 of the cart on Saturday.  I lovingly oiled the top a few times and let it rest in our bedroom.  Then this morning, Mr. FedEx (and I told him I call him that) brought the other half of the cart.

Go ahead.....drool over it like I am.....

Yes, it is spectacular.

Check out the size of the drawer!!  I'm still debating on what to put in there, but I do have a few things in there now. 

Check out my towel bar.  Now I need to embroider a few new towels for it.  After I'm done with the holiday factory I have going on in my office now.

So I figured I had to break in the cart today.  Kali asked me to make pizza.  She's been sick for the past two days and hasn't left the couch.  How could mama say no to that?!  I was just hoping she would eat; she's turned down every food I've tried to give her since yesterday morning. 

Pizza dough rising on the cart.  The bowl was my grandma's bowl.  My dough only rises in her bowls; I won't put it in anything else.

Before the rise.  :)

Yes, the cart was moved so I could watch TV and roll out pizza at the same time.  Hey, Oprah was on!  Check out my dough - it grew like crazy!  It's all in the bowl, you know.  ;)

Dough balls resting on the counter.

Waiting for cheese.


Look who got up to eat!  I knew the pizza would bring her to the table.  I was just happy that she finally ate something.  Lets hope she's feeling much better tomorrow.  She played for a bit after dinner and now she's back on the couch watching the Dr. Seuss cake challenge on Food Network.

Mr. Cart has now been cleaned off, oiled, buffed, and rolled back into place.  Thank you, again, dad.  It is just perfect. 

By the way, someone from Day's Inn called looking for you.  Hmmm........wonder what that was about?! 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My day with Hannah.

Every once in a while, I steal one of the girls for most of the day.  Well, I don't exactly kidnap them, I think I'd be arrested for that. 

Today I took Hannah to Busch Gardens.  I took Hannah and Kali there last week because Kali finally decided water rides were fun.  It was hoooooooot, we got on the water ride (Congo River Rapids) once, and Kali decided water rides were no longer fun.  Uh oh.  Hannah was really disappointed, so I promised I'd take her back.

Thankfully, it was about 86 today; perfect for being drenched.  And drenched we were.  We went on the Flume ride once, then the Tidal Wave twice, and then Congo River Rapids twice.  By the time we were finished, there was no dry part on either of us!  That was fun.  We did a few other rides, but thankfully those didn't involve water.

It was nice having a day with her.  She had no sister to argue with and she got to go on the rides she wanted to.  Well, mama wasn't going on SheiKra, so she was out of luck there. 

It can be hard to take both of them to Busch Gardens at the same time.  Hannah wants to go on all the big rides and Kali doesn't want to go on anything that Hannah does.  It's funny how extremely different the two of them are. 

Next time I'll have to steal Kali away for the day.  It will have to be soon if she wants to go to Busch Gardens; our passes are up at the end of December.  I am sad.  :(  If anyone knows of the theme park pass fairy, will you ask him or her to bestow some Disney passes on us?  I know I could get them all on the same rides there!!!! 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall is baking season.

FINALLY, I woke up this morning to a lovely 62 cool degrees.  It's still cool, overcast, and lovely outside.  I enjoyed (well, not sure if I really enjoyed it) a 2.5 mile run, showered, and sat outside with a cup of coffee.  I am in heaven.

Seeing that it finally feels like fall around here, I got the baking bug yesterday.  Here's what we accomplished:

Pumpkin muffins. 

They are really good.  :)  My mom sent the stand down in our annual Halloween box.  Thank you!  The girls go nuts over the Halloween box.  I think it might be their favorite thing about Halloween!

No, I did not make these!  Amazon had a HUGE sale on Yummy Earth stuff (thanks for the heads-up, Pat!!).  I was just about to order some for Kali before I found out about the sale.  Thank goodness I waited.  Yummy Earth makes all natural, dye free lollipops and they're not exactly cheap.  However, I managed to score 700 lollipops, delivered, for just over $19.00  What a deal!  Kali is thrilled to be stocked up on lollipops for the next million years, too.  Well, we all are - those things are fantastic!

Okay, back to the baking.....

Publix has a sale on these right now.  Somehow, 4 bags of them ended up in my cart yesterday.  ;)  Then I read the back of one of the bags.  Oh my.  A recipe for chocolate caramel popcorn.  How could I not do that?!  Alex and the girls got in on the action and we all made it together.

Hannah was melting the caramels.

Still had her sucker, too.  ;) 

What a silly kid.

She loves cooking with me.  I love that she cooks with me.  :)

Just after the chocolate started melting on it.  My butt is feeling larger already.

You know you want some.

Cooling off on the table.  I need to stay far away from this stuff.  There's not enough miles in the world that can take off what that would put on; but I will have a little bit.

Today we are off to the pumpkin farm.  I cannot wait to be outside and not sweat like a little piggy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A jam session.

It's that time of year again.  Time to make some jam.  I kept putting it off for, well, way too long.  I just got lazy on the jam making and decided it was time to fix the situation. 

First I made a batch of Dutch Apple Pie jam.  OMG.  Can I just drink this stuff, please?

Seriously, this stuff rocks!  I have some that was leftover from the canning batch and it's sitting in my fridge.  Tomorrow morning it will be lovingly poured on top of some pancakes.  Oh yeah, baby!

Then yesterday I decided to make a batch of peach jam.

I used larger jars for these, so I ended up with only 3 of them.

And here they were this morning all wiped off and labeled.  Awwwwwwwwwww.

Mmmmmm........I wish we had smell-o-vision.

I think I'm going to do another batch of each one and then I might do some strawberry jam.  I did find a recipe (with really good reviews) for banana nut butter.  I'm still deciding if I want to try that one.