Friday, December 21, 2007
We only had about 3 inches of accumulation, and unfortunately it's all gone now, but we sure enjoyed it while it lasted. The boys spent several hours outside playing in it, building snow forts and snow slides.
One neighborhood over, my friend Lisa's very creative daughter, Michelle was making this adorable snowman. Notice that his arms are made out of bobby pins....that should give you an idea of how tiny he is. So cute!
I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite ornaments. To me the ornaments are the best part of the Christmas Tree. I don't particularly like putting up the Christmas tree every year. It's a lot of work, it clutters my house and drops pine needles all over the floor. However, there's certainly something special about taking the ornaments out one by one, and seeing the kids' faces light up as they find their favorite, and reminisce about when they received it.
My mom started a tradition when I was just a little girl, each year she would buy a new ornament for my sisters and me. When we married, we received the boxed ornament collection as a shower gift. It's hard to believe that some of the ornaments on my tree are almost as old as I am.
This one came in a set of three, all hand painted, from my Aunt Mary.
This turtle came from the "shower gift" collection and is 30+ years old.
This is a clay ornament that I made in 2nd grade
This teapot puzzle ornament is one of my favorites. It was locally hand crafted and given to me by a friend who knows how much I love tea.
And of course the boys would never let a Christmas go by without wanting me to take out their favorite Christmas decoration, this cute little Christmas village that was a hand-made gift (given many years ago) from my Aunt Linda. The boys love this village that, although you can't see, is very personalized with buildings such as "Kim's Soy Farm," and "Kim and Keith's Tree Lot."
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Some day I'll have time to make one for myself but in the mean time, I'm hoping the people receiving these will enjoy using them as much as I did making them.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
For these I wanted to use a chocolate cake and a peppermint icing. I was hesitant to make the cupcake itself chocolate-mint for fear that it might be too overpowering. So I went with a chocolate cupcake iced with a subtle peppermint butter cream. I decorated with white sanding sugar and candy snowflakes, stuck in a peppermint stick and a fondant snowman for the top. I must say the fondant snowmen were a little time consuming, but overall I'm happy with the end result. We'll see if my customer agrees.
Check back tomorrow for Cupcake #2 - Gingerbread
Friday, November 23, 2007
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of sharing Thanksgiving with our good friends, Geoff and Amy, their son, as well as Amy's parents, and a couple new friends too. Our families made our best effort to have a "mostly" local Thanksgiving dinner.
Gluten-free chocolate cake
Thanksgiving hike at Griffy Lake
Monday, November 19, 2007
This is a video clip of the Veteran's Day program at school. During the program, each grade performs a song. The first song, You're a Grand Old Flag, is performed by the second-graders. If you look closely you can see Ethan standing behind the boy in the yellow shirt. The second song, Fifty Nifty United States, is performed by the fifth-graders. Mac is easy to spot since he's standing in the front row.
The Lyrics to Fifty Nifty United States By Ray Charles
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies;
Fifty nifty stars in the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze.
Each individual state contributes a quality that is great.
Each individual state deserves a bow, let’s salute them now.
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies, Shout'em, scout'em. Tell all about 'em, One by one till we've given a day to every state in the USA.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut(Clap 3 times);Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,Go Hoosiers (If you live in Indiana);Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan;Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada;New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, O-hi-o;Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas; Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wy-o ming.
North, south, east, west, oooh… In our calm, objective, opinion, (name of home state) is the best--of the
Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies,Fifty nifty stars in the flag that billows so beautifully in the breeze.Each individual state contributes a quality that is great. Each individual state deserves a bow, let’s salute them now.Fifty nifty United States from thirteen original colonies,in the good old U-S-A!
Edited by Mac
Mac and Gabe playing, Zwei Tanze Bouree by Johann Adolph Hass
The past week has been a week full of performances for our family. We started off the week with the boys' piano recital. They have been learning the Suzuki method for a little over a year. Ethan is at the end of Suzuki Book 1 and is preparing for his book 1 recital. Mac also takes Suzuki violin and because he is familiar with most of the songs, and because he can read notes, he has advanced a little further than Ethan and is in Suzuki Book 2 for piano.
Ethan played two songs (right-hand only) for the recital, Allegro by Suzuki and Christmas-Day Secrets by T. Dutton.
Mac played Ecossaise by J.N. Hummel.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
During the summer's peak harvest months, our basket is most plentiful and overflowing. One week in July, we received 18 ears of corn! Some of the other vegetables that we received this summer are, beets, eggplant, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, endive, cucumber, green beans, kale, leeks, salad mix, fall greens, peas, radish, onions, spinach, summer squash, summer melons, winter squash, chard, peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic, fresh cut flowers and herbs, apples and cider. This week we picked up our 5th week of produce from the winter share and I've been very impressed by the things we've received in our baskets so far. We've gotten persimmon pulp, sorghum molasses, butternut squash (my favorite), sweet potatoes, cider, apples, pumpkins, lettuces and eggs.
When we arrive at Musgrave, we make our way down to the back of the store to what they call their cellar. Once inside the cellar we are usually always greeted by Amy or Andy, the owners of Musgrave Orchard. They have all the produce spread out on big tables with signs indicating how much of each vegetable we should take. Amy always has a handout telling us which vegetable came from which farm, and on the bottom she's included a couple of recipes for some of the produce. Here is this weeks basket. Inside are sweet potatoes, apples, baking potatoes, lettuces, butternut squash, persimmon pulp, sage, local honey, cider and not pictured - eggs.
This should all make for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Which by the way, we will be sharing with Amy and Geoff. Our goal is to have a "mostly" local Thanksgiving dinner. Even our turkey is coming from a local farm, Schacht Farm (written about in an earlier post). Stay tuned for a future post about our "local" Thanksgiving dinner.
1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of butter, melted
Mix these together and press 1 TB in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup milk
1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of butter
Melt the chocolate chips and the butter, remove from heat and add cream, mix until smooth.
Marshmallow Butter cream
1 cup of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
7 ounces of marshmallow fluff
Beat butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy, add fluff and mix until smooth.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Spicy tomato sauce that is added to the masa.
Next we added 8 cups chili sauce. Notice the deep red color. After adding the chili sauce, we also added 3 pounds of melted vegetable shortening.(And you thought these were heathly!) You can also use lard, in fact Micaela thinks that using lard gives it more flavor.Micaela is mixing the chili sauce and tomato sauce into the masa.
Micaela mixed and kneaded the dough over and over. She got quite the workout! The way to tell if the dough is ready is by making a ball and flattening it on the back of your hand. If you can see a shiny spot on your hand where the dough was, then it's ready.
These are the finished masa patties.
Next, the patties are placed inside the corn husks and flattened in this cool tortilla press. This one is homemade and was given to Micaela from her mom. Once the masa is flattened, a tablespoon of chicken (which has been mixed with the remaining chili sauce) is place in the center of the masa. The ends are folded over each other, and husk is closed and folded as well. Below is the finished product.
We wrapped the tamales by the dozen in foil so they are ready to freeze. We ended up with 26 dozen tamales. However, we ran out of chicken and had about 150 dough patties left over. Micaela took them home and made another 13 dozen tamales. So the grand total was 39 dozen tamales! Phew! That was a lot of work!
Before eating the tamales, you must first steam them for about 45 minutes until they solidify. They are absolutely delicious and definitely worth all the time and effort! Thanks Mica!