Friday, June 26, 2009

virtual cupcakes - the birthday edition!

My mom bought me Cupcakes for my birthday...woohoo! This is the best Red Velvet I've made in a long time! Mmmmmm...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

weekend pictures

The McGuyver/Alton Brown smoker:

The birthday boy and girl (and all of their cakes!):

the birthday breakfast:

strawberry bread...mmmmmmmm...:

making birthday and father's day and just because day cards:

the aftermath:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

like buttah

This is an activity that I really thought that Ava would be interested in - making our own butter. The method is super simple - pour a small amount of heavy cream into a small jar, screw on the lid, and shake the jar quickly for about 5 minutes. Ava was done after about 30 seconds (and 10 "is it butter yet, Mama?"s). Joel and I passed it back and forth and watched the butter form. I strained the buttermilk out (sooo different from the stuff you buy at the store!) for Ava to drink and spread some freshly churned butter onto some toast.


Homemade bread, homemade jam, homemade butter...does it get any better? I think not.

an update

thanks to all who have called/emailed/facebooked to inquire how we are doing.

the answer: we're managing. i'm doing a lot of baking. a LOT.

we don't have any answers. the autopsy and testing on max came back normal. i had a complete genetic work up done in october, which also came back normal.

i dream that i am laying down with max a few times a week. sometimes he is in my dreams alone, sometimes his sister joins him. there is always a light in the room, which i think is my mind speaking to our first loss. sometimes i wake up comforted and sometimes i wake up feeling so sad that i don't know if i will make it through the day.

and now i must be off...strawberry bread is coming out of the oven...

another with more randomness!

David comes up with yet another scrumptious sounding ice cream flavor...

I pitted too many cherries this week the hard way...time to buy myself a little present...

I'm pretty sure Joel wouldn't say no to this for his Father's Day meal...

I really loved this post on crafting with kids...

I see these being embroidered onto Ava's next skirt...

Just when I was wondering what else I could possibly do with all of these strawberries...

If you haven't made anything from Joy's site yet and want to know where to start, here's a great list...

I've bookmarked a ton of sewing projects, and apparently, so did Wendy. Thankfully, she's helped me out with some great reviews...

This is a project I want to do with the girls the next time we have a rainy day...

Monday, June 15, 2009

cherry berry pie

yum. yum. yum.

Cherry Berry Pie

3 cups pitted cherries
2 cups mixed berries (I used blackberries and raspberries)

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine cherries and berries, pour into 9 inch pie pan.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Stir in egg until mixture is crumbly. Pour over fruit. Pour melted butter over flour mixture. Bake 35 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with fresh cream.

taking a break

I need a pedicure...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


it must be summer

The sun is here, and the strawberries are ripe for the picking. The girls and I had fun this morning at Lee Farms in Tualatin. An hour and 6 pounds of berries later (not including the pound that Emily gobbled up), we came home, hosed off, and talked about what we'd do with all of these yummy berries.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


thanks, sarah :)

random thursday randomness...again!

I suppose an upside to being awake all night is that I have lots and lots of time to read...

My friend Kiersten posted this fabulous list of things to do with kids in the Portland area...

I am loving this post on parenting when you are not at your best.

For the love of all that is holy...I'm not ashamed to admit that I seriously considered baking a cheesecake in the middle of the night.

I have a frame in the garage that I want to Anthropologize for the girls' room...

Strawberry Coffee Cake...need I say more?

Another fabulous idea from Make and Takes.

We've checked this book out of the library before...time to go back for a repeat!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

from the mouths of babes...and grover

Proof once again that the world's mysteries can always be explained by fuzzy blue monsters:

Monday, June 1, 2009

rainy days and mondays

After scorching weather over the weekend, we had warm but damp weather today...perfect for staying home and getting some much needed housework done.

The girls helped me bake a few loaves of bread...our normal whole wheat and also a loaf of cinnamon raisin for tonight's dinner. I kind of made the recipe up as I went along...but it tastes great so I thought I would share. I'll also share the chicken salad I made to go with our toasted cinnamon raisin bread for dinner. That, plus some fresh strawberry lemonade and a spinach salad...summer dining at its best.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
makes 2 loaves

1/4 cup sugar
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 T active dry yeast
1/4 black strap molasses
1/2 t salt
6 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 cups raisins

Place sugar, water, and yeast in bowl of heavy duty stand mixer. Let stand until foamy. Using dough hook attachment, mix in molasses, salt, flour, and gluten. Mix 10 minutes, or until dough is in one ball, cleaning the sides of the bowl. Cover dough with a damp tea towel, let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).

Transfer dough to lightly floured surface, knead for a few moments. Divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and raisins together, sprinkle half of mixture on each rectangle. Roll dough jelly roll style, place in loaf pans. Let rise until doubled (about 40 minutes).

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Fruity Chicken Salad
serves 4

3 cups cooked chicken, diced (I used an entire rotisserie chicken that someone brought me)
1 cup diced celery
1/3 cup copped green onion
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 can mandarin orange segments
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 T mayonnaise
2 T fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Chill for several hours before serving.

I've been listening to the latest Indigo Girls CD and writing out a TON of thank you notes. Here's my favorite song lately...I just love Emily's voice (and I like to pretend that I named my Emily after her).