December 31, 2012

Oh what fun it is to...

The end of a year. Thankful, check. Christmas, check. New needles (A whole set of lace interchangeable! Thanks dearest Alan), check. Fun in 2012, check.

Not much to report from here in SLC. We had a lovely dusting of glittery powder today. Tiny guy is doing well. Keeping us on our toes. Considering the new year is in about 30 minutes I wanted to work on my list of 33 by 33. I might not even finish this list before I turn 33 but I'm working on it!

  1. Hike to Delicate Arch (May 5, 2012)
  2. Run/walk a 10k
  3. Dancing lessons
  4. Make a croquembouche
  5. Travel internationally while little man is still 'babe in arms'
  6. Knit more. Knit a sweater. The first one I finish will be for Alan. :)
  7. Music or singing lessons
  8. Cook from 1 cookbook, all the recipes OR make 1 recipe from every cookbook. Document it and photograph it. Then post about it!
  9. Swim. I've never taken lessons and I dislike water. I just need to do it. Get it over with. Swim like a fish.
  10. Learn to knit two things at a time. Useful for gloves and socks... 
  11. Take a Fair Isle/Intarsia class
  12. Visit Bryce Canyon 
  13. Visit the Grand Canyon
  14. Visit Glacier
  15. Take tiny guy camping
  16. ?




December 2, 2012

Off the needles

I finished this a while ago but still don't have very good pictures. I took a class at Blazing Needles for this and it was really fun. The sweater turned out really great. I'm sad that little man won't be able to wear it long because he is growing so fast.

This picture was taken at Brighton. We wandered around and even got to see a baby porcupine wander around too. It was super cute. 

The sweater pattern is Baby Sophisticate. The yarn is superb and I'd knit everything with it if I could, Tosh Vintage by madelinetosh in the colorway Cove. This took a skein and another quarter of one and it is the large size.

We are here just trying to get over a rash of colds. And we are also packing. Little man is about to fly for the first time. Alan and I are excited and nervous. We are packing for warmer weather. Scotty watch out, here we come!

November 13, 2012

Playing around...

Ha, I just found a couple posts that I never finished. Looks like we were having a ball at Grandma Roma's. Frankie looks so different now!


Looks like we ran into the tots while we were at Grandma Roma's.
Sleepy Clara


November 10, 2012

Zucchini Brownies

Ok, I think of myself as a baker. Not just a home baker, I went to school for it. I love to bake. Sweet and savory. Anything. I'll try anything.

There is always a but... right? ;)

I don't make brownies. I sometimes eat them but generally only when given to me. I don't know why but brownies are not my thing. I don't like making them. Maybe it is that I think of them as having a split personality... I'm a cake... No, I'm a cookie... No, I'm both. Whatever.

This summer, Shirley, (my dearest SIL, we both got lucky and married into the Morris clan) brought over a pan of zucchini brownies that she made from our CSA's recipe sheet that they hand out to us every week. I was grateful to have a dessert provided for one of our informal meals. But I approached it with my normal brownie reaction... oh a brownie. Eh. Ok, I'll eat it.

Oh my word was I happy that I did. So good! So good. Seriously. SOOOO GOOOOD!

Not kidding.

Good.

Ok, so I think maybe it was a fluke or something. Shirley told me the adjustments she made and I figured with the overload of zucchini I had better try making the brownies. Yeah, this was during season so of course I post this recipe when it is no longer season and SUPER helpful.

Don't worry, you be overwhelmed with zucchini next year and then think 'Misty mentioned a brownie recipe that was PHENOMENAL and I have to try it.'

I only made one addition to Shirley's, she had it spot on. Here is the recipe:

ZUCCHINI BROWNIES

Serves: just me or it works out to 12 medium pieces ;)
Prep Time: less than 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup of butter
1½ cup of sugar
2 tablespoon of sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (my addition)
2½ cups shredded zucchini, I used a whole medium one
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Pre-heat an oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease a 13X9 pan.
2. Mix the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
3. Cream the butter and the 1½ cups of sugar in a mixer.
4.Add the eggs in (one at a time) and then add the vanilla.
5. Add in the flour mixture just until blended. Then add the shredded zucchini.
6. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and chocolate chips.
7. Bake 35-45 minutes or until set in the middle.
8. Eat these. Seriously now. Yum. Good.

November 1, 2012

Stuff that pumpkin!

Halloween 2012 - Visiting Great Grandma Roma


STUFFED PUMPKIN

Serves 4-6
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 1 Hour


Ingredients:
1 whole sugar pie pumpkin, small-medium
1 whole apple, gingergold or granny smith
1 whole pear, D'anjou (or a peach)
½ cups brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoons allspice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cups raisins, optional
Directions:
1. Take a small to medium-sized sugar pie pumpkin, wash well and cut out the top.
2. Scoop out the seeds (save for roasting).
3. Stuff the pumpkin with a mixture of sliced apples/pears/peaches (any fruit available). Leave enough room to place the top back on.
4. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, lemon juice, and if you want, raisins.
5. Replace the top and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for at least one hour. The dessert is done when the pumpkin is fork tender and the fruit inside is soft.
6. To serve, scoop out the fruit mixture and sauce, making sure to get some of the pumpkin. Serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream. Top with roasted pumpkin seeds (optional).

October 2, 2012

365

Can you believe I have a one year old?! I cannot.

I have two sets of pictures here. The first is from the last year. I tried to put together a collection of Frankie showing every month and got pretty close to having every picture from the day he turned the month. And of course there is a picture from when he was first born and a couple days later, when we were still in the hospital.



Then we have pictures from his birthday party. He is so amazing. He laughs and smiles, waves, claps, now he even blows (he watched dad trying to light the fire). He has 5 1/2 teeth. He is wearing 12-18 month clothes. He will wear the soft sole shoes. He likes to put on Grandpa's and Scott's sunglasses. He walks really well now, it is crazy how good his balance is for his age. He will dance to music. He loves the slide in the yard and his little red car. He likes marshmallows and green beans, he likes beans in general. He can finish a whole squeeze pack of baby food now and then some. He had his one year check up and his is still a lightweight, tall, and a normal head size. He is a social little bug. We are just enjoying every minute of this!

Happy birthday Frankie Doodle!


 

September 26, 2012

A visitor


Untitled
Originally uploaded by sticksinthemud
My mom is coming to visit. She hasn't seen little guy in a couple of months. She hasn't seen him crawl and now he is walking! A pretty big change if you ask me.

Hopefully we will get to see some pretty fall colors. and get out and about with her.

September 22, 2012

Comfort Food


There is nothing more comforting than tater tot casserole. Need a warm belly? Make this.

TATER TOT CASSEROLE

Serves 6


Ingredients:
A bag of Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns/Tots
1 can of cream of something soup
1 pound of ground beef
Lawry's or some seasoning salt
1 soup can of liquid (sometimes I use water sometimes milk)
1 can of corn or 1/2 bag of frozen corn
2 cups shredded cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
1. Prepare the crispy crowns or tater tots by following the instructions on the bag. I usually sprinkle them with a bit of seasoning before I bake them. You could also use the Alexia Sweet Potato Puffs in this recipe if you are not a fan of Ore-Ida, I'd just use 2 bags because I think they are smaller. Once the crowns/tots/puffs are cooked, set them aside and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2. In a large skillet, over medium heat lightly brown the meat and corn, 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a 13"X9" pan, place 1/2 of the crispy crowns in the pan. Then add the meat and corn, spreading as even as possible. Then sprinkle with a cup of the shredded cheese. Then put the rest of the crispy crowns on top.
4. Mix the can of soup and liquid of your choice. Pour over the layers in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place it in the oven
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbles appear at the sides from the liquid and the cheese on top is browning. Serve.

This is good with ketchup but I like it plain too. I like this for left overs the next day. In this recipe I have used ground turkey, ground up morning star meal starters, and different frozen vegetable mixes. My childhood memory is with beef and corn but I suggest you experiment and see what you like!

September 20, 2012

The start of fall

We finally made it up a canyon, Millcreek. The leaves are changing color! YAY!


September 18, 2012

Happy eater



 He is definitely a Plum baby food fan!



September 14, 2012

Warm you up inside...

I have had the good fortune of being able to bake a lot lately (thanks Ken and Paula). Alan's Grandmother Roma is turning 90 on Sunday so I get to make cakes, lots of cakes! Pictures after the party. ;)

With the temperature taking a slight dip (slight), I thought I'd finally post a good soup recipe. The soup is a really easy one, tastes good too. I always think it warms up my insides and seems comforting. Crusty bread is a nice companion to this soup.


KALE AND SAUSAGE SOUP

Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a starter


Ingredients:
A couple bunches of kale, cleaned, torn into bits
10-12 small red potatoes, sliced thin
1 pound of Italian Sausage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
8 cups of liquid (usually 4 cups chicken broth and some milk, cream, and/or half-and-half to make up the rest)
Tablespoon (or two) fresh or dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
1. In your soup pot, boil the sliced potatoes until just fork tender. Drain and set aside.
2. In the same pot, cook the sausage. I haven't had much fat in my pan but if you do have fat, soak it up with a paper towel or drain it off.
3. Add the red pepper flakes, oregano and the liquid. Simmer all this for about 20 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
4. Add the sliced potatoes and kale. Simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, then serve.


September 2, 2012

11 months and counting

Tiny guy turned 11 months old a couple days ago. He is almost a year! Wow. He was a bit sick but the doctors are working with us on getting him better. We have another scan this week. We love our pediatrician, she has really been great through all of this. Recovery is slow but sure.

He is definitely a walker. He will hardly crawl any more. He is getting really good at walking around with two toys, usually a floss container and Wii remote (with the floss parts removed and no batteries in the remote).

He loves to play peek-a-boo and squish Ro cat. He even tried to catch her tongue when she was sticking it out (we got it on video). He had an orange balloon that lasted for weeks that he enjoyed walking around the house.

He has been swimming at the pirate pool in Bountiful and loves the water. He likes all kinds of food (except bananas) and even tried a corn dog! He now has 5 teeth. He loves cheese and his maple poofs. He even eats peas (thanks Shirley!).

He has been working on words and he now clearly says 'hi,' 'bye,' and 'yeah.' Sometimes he even adds in a wave to emphasize the hi and bye. He also loves music. He will dance when he hears something he likes. He still likes to tickle the ivories too when he is at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

We had the chance to hang with Scotty recently and the boys managed a couple games of badminton. Tiny loves the racquet! We try to take him to the zoo once a week to see the animals. He loves to ride the carousel and the train. We are sad to see the train go since we just got the membership!

Also, our little cuddler now has a cool tricycle courtesy of a nice woman at a garage sale. Score!









August 29, 2012

Better days...


Little man is down for a bit but we are working on it. Thanks for all your support and messages, we'll keep everyone updated.

August 9, 2012

A sprinkle of this and that

How is it August?! And it is Friday! Hanging out with family and baking. That is the plan this weekend.



August 4, 2012

Off the needles

I (finally) finished a knitting project a bit ago. It is a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas called Mohair Bias Loop. The yarn is Malabrigo Baby Merino Lace in the color Velvet Grapes.

I'm still working on this sweater for tiny guy. I better finish it by fall or else he won't fit in it! I also must admit that I have not finished my summer t-shirt that I took a class to learn to knit. The class was really good and motivating. I just need to decide on what edging I want and finish it! Then I can wear it. :)

Planning for Frankie's first birthday is in full swing. As he is only one, there isn't much he understands about parties, so it is for the adults to celebrate. I do have some ideas in mind for entertaining him too.




August 1, 2012

Happy 10 months Smiley!

Frankie turned 10 months old! I cannot believe it. He has been out longer than in now. He is a light weight, the doctor told us to lay on the butter, literally. He eats what we eat for the most part AND then has ice cream after every meal.

He loves grilled cheese sandwiches. He screams for whole milk yogurt (Liberte brand). He noms up Plum Organics baby food (blueberry, pear, and purple carrots is his favorite flavor). He screams for our water bottles and loves drinking out of a straw. He self feeds everything, including avocado. He squishes it in his hands, eyebrows, nose, and sometimes in his mouth!

He loves to eat his maple cinnamon poofs and I think they make him smell like french toast. He enjoys cheerios, just like his dad. He loves pasta noodles with butter. He recognizes a Tillamoo square of cheese. He brushes his teeth (thanks Aunt Chris). He sometimes waves, smiles a lot, points and gestures for things he wants. We are working on clapping. He says a lot of dadadada and other nonsense but no words yet. We are still working on signing with him.

His sleeping is not consistent but neither is mine! He sort of plays ball. He isn't patient enough to get through many books, he wants to skip pages to get to the end. He almost has 4 teeth! He will bounce while standing when music is playing. He loves when dad plays the piano. I'm working on teaching him body parts and animal sounds. He is working on what sounds Ro Cat makes when he pulls on or squishes various body parts.

And as of Friday night, he walks!

video


video

July 29, 2012

Helping out mom and dad

Ok, here it is the end of the weekend and I wonder, where did the time go? How does one get anything done with a young one? Oh, wait. You don't.

Bits and pieces, here and there, hectic... Some days are better than others. Some days 3 hours of sleep is just not enough.

Slowly I am trying to figure out how to do things around the house with little guy (when Alan is working/busy). The backpack works but only if you keep moving. I've tried baking with one hand and I got burned (literally).

Babies AND cats love yarn so knitting is not as frequent. But I'm more comfortable going to the store alone with him now so I can at least get groceries. Frankie enjoys lounging in the carts and fiddling with the seat buckles as I shop. He chats up everyone with his smiles and waves.

Alan was using ear covers for something and tiny found them fun. He wore them for a while.

A funny view

Another treasure found at a garage/estate sale... a vintage ViewMaster with reels!

This is one of the scenes on the reel!


July 24, 2012

Sweet Swirls

Decided to try the Meringue Swirls from the May 2012 Martha Stewart magazine. They looked pretty but didn't taste so good. I tried the recipe TWICE and wasted all that vanilla bean.

:(

I will try again but with a different recipe.

The little man is keeping us on our toes. Not sleeping through the night anymore so now we look like the exhausted parents of a (almost) 10 month old. He is crawling all over, standing up and sitting down and standing again, and he did take one and a half steps. Not really 'walking' but dang close! He enjoys brushing his one tooth and at his last appointment the doctor told us to 'lay on the butter.' He gets ice cream after every meal now. YAY!



July 23, 2012

Macs

The following recipe was given out at the Sur La Table class that I took and I think she mentioned that it is tested for the altitude that we are currently at here in Salt Lake City. I do recommend the book by Chef Gordon. As she points out, there are many ways to make macarons and her method is only one way. Try it, it might work for you! I also hope folks will find a copy of her book so that you can try the fillings out that she puts together in her book. They are very tasty. I think my favorite one so far is the passion fruit white chocolate ganache!  

Macarons (recipe by Chef Kathryn Gordon)

Yield: Makes approximately 40 sandwiches, 1-inch (80 halves)
Ingredients:
1 packed cups (165 grams) almond flour
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 packed cup (165 grams) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (115 grams) aged egg whites (from 4 eggs): divide into 2 equal parts
1/3 cup (38 grams) water
5/8 cup (125 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (5 grams) powdered egg white
4 drops (gel) or 6 drops (liquid) food coloring (optional)
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Pulse almond flour, salt and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a food processor 4 times for 4 seconds each time. Sift with powdered egg white.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup (57 grams) of aged egg whites to form a paste.
4. Put the remaining 1/4 cup (58 grams) egg whites in mixer with whisk. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
5. Heat the granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar reaches beginning of soft ball stage (test by removing a drop on a heat-proof spatula).
6. Put the remaining 1/4 cup (58 grams) egg whites in mixer with whisk. Whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.
7. Pour the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl at medium speed. Continue whisking until the meringue forms medium peaks, about 5 minutes.
8. Fold the meringue into the dry ingredient paste in thirds, to gradually lighten it and make a smooth batter (and add food coloring, if using it, when the dry ingredients appear to be just incorporated).

It is important to fold the different components just enough, but not too much or the macarons will crack. To make sure that you have reached the right point, once the ingredients appear combined, lift some of the mixture about 1 inch above the bowl with the spatula. If it retains a three-dimensional shape, fold it again. When folded just enough, the mixture should fall right back into the bowl, with no stiffness, in a continuous drip.
9.Pipe the macarons 1 1/2 inches apart on a silicon baking sheet lined sheetpan. Slam the baking sheet down to remove excess air (slam up to 6 times, from 6" above the table).
10.Let dry at room temperature at least 1/2 hour, until a skin/crust forms.
11.Bake on a sheetpan for 12-13 minutes, until the macarons just come off the baking sheet when you lift them (the centers will have risen, and will not have any dark indentations). If the macarons darken too quickly, put a wooden spoon in the door of the oven to prop it slightly open. Cool completely before removing and filling.

YAY!




 



July 21, 2012

Back to school

We'll, back to a class, not so much school. In an effort to meet people I decided to sign up for a macaron making class at Sur La Table. I've experience making them already, just wanted something easy and fun to do. I am glad I went. The ideas for fillings alone was worth it. Getting there was another story, traffic was a nightmare and I got confused in the parking lot so I went the wrong way to the store and was even later in my arrival.

:)

Anyway, here are some pictures from the class. I highly recommend the book, Les Petits Macarons, the recipes for the fillings are great! If you get a chance to take a class from Kathryn Gordon you should. It is worth it to see the process first hand. I'll post a recipe soon.

Mint soaking in the milk for mint ganache

Crusting

After baking

After baking

Our take home treats!
The green were almond flour with a mint ganache, the beige were pecan flour with cinnamon ganache, the orange were coconut flour with passion fruit ganache, the pink were almond flour and early grey tea ganache, and the purple were almond flour with blackberry ganache.


July 20, 2012

Bucket baby and cousin

Somehow they wore matching shirts that day.




July 19, 2012

What do you mean...

Hee, hee.
Sugar.
Wait. What?
There are no more Girl Scout Cookies?!