Sunday, March 08, 2009
This winter I learned... it doesn't matter how much you want to help your kids, if they don't want it... you just have to sit back and watch the train wrecks happen. Ugh.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Grandma Iny’s Prune Cake
1 cup prunes
1 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes.
Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs.
Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk, and stir gently until just combined.
Throw in the mashed pruned and stir gently to combine.
DO NOT OVERMIX.
Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR INY WILL PADDLE YOUR BOTTOM.
While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
1 cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
¼ cup butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.
Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.
Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.
NOTE: There is absolutely zero “prune effect” associated with this cake. The end.
I didn't manage to take any pictures on Christmas Eve, when all the family gathered here. Instead, I simply soaked up the happiness that is all of us together. I love how my family is growing as my kids get older. Becca's SO is family as surely as my own kids. He fits in so perfectly, friends with my older boys, a wonderful mentor and role model to my younger son, polite, funny, treats Becca beautifully. Lots of laughing, visiting, talking, eating ... and playing of Rockband 2.
Yesterday half of us went on a shopping spree to spend gift cards...I was surprised the stores were not as crazy as I expected. Happily so. I bought a PUR water filter, part of my oath to stop drinking soda. I figure that alone and I will lose 10 pounds and cut my caffeine headaches out. Our water is so disgusting. Several times a year we wind up with a boil water ordinance... the rest of the time it tastes like swamp water. I was amazed at how wonderful the water tasted with the filter. We opted for the stage 3 version, given that whole swamp water taste and all. Brilliant. I actually drank 3 glasses of water last night.
A few pictures of holiday baking ...
the nameless cookies... that aren't cookies at all... but ritz crackers sandwiched with pb and dipped in chocolate.
Split seconds... we make ours with raspberry and apricot preserves... family favorite
Sunday, December 21, 2008
So I grabbed the camera..and ran to the back window to shoot a picture of our sure-to-disappear picnic table....
And a few hours later..I did it again.....
And then it was too dark...but I did snap one out the front window. See how HUGE the bank in the median is?
So what am I loving in the midst of all this snow?
Hot Cocoa... made from this recipe... a favorite for years now after finding it on a Christmas email list...
Warm and Toasty Hot Chocolate Mix
about 20 cups mix (forty 1/2-cup servings)
* 1 25.6-ounce package non-fat dry milk powder
* 1 16-ounce jar powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1 15- or 16-ounce container presweetened cocoa powder
* 1 13-ounce jar instant malted milk powder
* 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1. In extra-large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store tightly covered.
2. To use, combine equal parts mix and boiling water. Makes about 20 cups mix (forty 1/2-cup servings).
Listology. What can I say... I have a thing for lists. (Thing sounds so much better than saying I have an obsessive compulsion, doesn't it?) And because of that obsession... I love this too...
This paper snowflake. I think that is the project Adrianna and I will do tomorrow... not that we are snow deprived mind you. See above.
This guilty pleasure... kind of like... paper dolls for grown ups. (Or so I like to tell myself!)
And finally... the new blog that I stumbled upon... that had many of these goodies amongst their links. And so, so, many more.
Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, is celebrating the release of her upcoming YA novel, FAR FROM YOU, and hosting a contest with LOTS of great prizes!
For three days leading up to the book’s release date of December 23rd, you can watch VLOGs and hear some excerpts read from the book. The VLOG schedule is as follows:
Sunday, December 21st – Liv’s Book Reviews - http://livsbookreviews.blogspot.com/
Monday, December 22nd – What Vanessa Reads - http://whatvanessareads.wordpress.com/
Help spread the word, and you might win a fabulous prize!
Copy and paste THIS entire blog entry into your blog between now and December 21st, then come back to Lisa’s blog at either Livejournal OR Myspace and leave a comment with the link to your blog and you will get TWO entries to win a number of prizes.
Wondering what you might win? Here is the list (there will be multiple winners):
~ An Advanced Review Copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, by Carrie Ryan
~ An Advanced Review Copy of SOMETHING, MAYBE, by Elizabeth Scott
~ Young adult novel GIRL, HERO by Carrie Jones
~ Young adult novel, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas
~ Young adult novel, UGLIES by Scott Westerfield
~ Pair of YA fairy tale retellings by Cameron Dokey (BELLE and BEFORE MIDNIGHT)
~ TWILIGHT movie soundtrack
~ $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card along with some Harry & David’s chocolate moose munch
~ And of course, a signed copy of FAR FROM YOU
For more chances to win, watch one or all of the VLOGs and leave a comment on that vlogger’s page, and you get another entry. That means if you post the schedule on your blog AND comment on all three VLOGs, you can have FIVE entries for the contest!
A live drawing with winners announced will be done by Lisa Thursday morning, December 24th, in a special holiday VLOG.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Some wee felt folk in the making for a friends daughter. Miss A and I are working on them together. An Epiphany gift I am thinking.