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Thursday, February 24, 2011


I tried another Julia Child recipe this evening..Popovers. I needed to incorporate something new for breakfast with the boys. They would eat cereal and pancakes everyday if I let them. I just don't feel like they stay full and get the nutrients they need to focus in class on food like that. So here goes another recipe.

The first muffin tin of popovers, small but, OK. Second batch better! Still not anything like I had pictured in my mind. I also need to figure out high altitude baking with these recipes, it's playing a huge roll in my overall product.  My husband likes these, the boys not so much. I do need to warm them up and add melted butter and honey to the top and give it a real try one morning this week! Here's the recipe, give it a try! If you make them send me a comment.

1 Cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole or 2% milk at room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

melted butter, for greasing the popover cups

Preheat oven 425. Butter down muffin pan. Leaving space between each cup, to give ample room for the popovers to get air circulation.
Pour the ingredients into the container of a blender and whirl until smooth. Strain the batter if it is at all lumpy.
For the muffin cups, use 1/4 cup of batter for each cup, filling alternate cups in each tin so that every popover has puffing space. You will need to use two tins. Bake, without opening the oven door, for 25 minutes, until the popovers are puffed, nicely browned, and crisp on the exterior. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes to help dry out the interior, which no matter what you do, will always be a little doughy in the center. (some people love this part, others pull it out) Serve Immediately.
Freezable for up to a month. Better to serve warm right out of the oven. You can always warm them up at 350 for 10 minutes. Serve with melted butter and honey on top!

**If I were to make these again I would bake at 350 to begin with and then turn down to 200 for the last few minutes.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vanilla Pound Cake

My book club read Julie and Julia by Julie Powell a few weeks ago and we met last week to discuss the book. So being that it was all about food, I went on a search for the perfect Julia Child recipe that I could afford and be able to find the ingredients. I decided on Vanilla Pound Cake from Baking with Julia Child.
Also served was french toast coffee cake, meringue cookies, baked brie with mango chutney and sandwiches on a croissant. All very delicious and of course served with french red wine!

The pound cake, so called because of it's original proportions-a pound of flour, a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, and a pound of eggs-is a tight-grained, moist, good keeping cake that holds it's flavor.

                 sorry for such dark shots, it gets pretty dark in my kitchen...(husband project, under cabinet lights)
Vanilla Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted, room temp butter
2 cups sugar
3 large, room temp eggs, whisk to blend
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat 350. Butter and flour your tube pan, bundt pan whichever you prefer.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together onto a sheet of wax paper. Reserve for later.
Put the butter into mixer bowl with paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until smooth. With the machine running, add the sugar in a steady stream. Stop the machine and scrape down the paddles and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue to beat at medium speed until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
With mixer at medium speed, begin to add the eggs in small additions. If the mixture becomes watery, stop adding eggs and beat at an increased speed until smooth again.The mixture is properly combined when it appears white, fluffy and increased in volume.
Reduce mixer to low and add the flour mixture and the milk alternating-4 flour and 3 milk scraping the paddle and bowl frequently and mixing until the batter is smooth after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix just to blend.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with spatula. Bake 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to cooling rack, cool 10 minutes.
Cake can be kept covered at room temperature for 3 days or wrapped and frozen for 1 month. Keep in mind that stale pound cake is excellent lightly toasted and used as the base of ice cream sandwiches.

Print Recipe

Have you made this pound cake? Have you tried making anything else from Julia Child? Feel free to post a link in the comments.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Menu

Weekly Menu:
French Toast and Waffles
Sandwiches and yogurt
Chicken Fajitas/ Quesadilla's and fruit

Banana Bread
Fish Tacos/ kids randomness

Mac and Cheese
Lasagna with Garlic Bread

Thai Chicken

Sandwiches and yogurt
Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

Now we sometimes don't make all I plan due to things coming up or we just don't feel like eating that particular meal.
I also personally don't eat the breakfast or lunches listed. I do a healthier option of just a grilled chicken breast with vegetables and fruit.
I will be posting some of these recipes this week too!


St. Patrick's Day Subway Art

OHH how I love St. Patrick's Day! One of my top favorite holidays. Now that I am trying to make my own decor. Here is what I came up with.
                                                            Goodwill picture $3.99
                                                  Dollar store window stickers and done!
This didn't take long. I did have to shred the back of the picture, clean the glass and frame. Taped some printer paper to the inside of frame and put it back together.I then added the clings to the front of the frame. This will go on my front entry table with my other decor, a Apothecary Jar filled with green and gold candy with a nice Happy St. Patrick's Day ribbon, a pot of gold and shamrocks. I plan on trying one more project!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Indoor Rock climbing

I have always wanted to do some indoor rock wall climbing. So mark off another bucket list item! I should really do a bucket list post, so I can mark them off!  Anyway, I did a small indoor wall on Saturday at believe it or not Monkey Business (indoor kids play area) and it was so fun!
I didn't make it up all the way, I was way to scared. Dylan made it just as far as I did, he went like 3 or 4 times. I'm so glad Dylan has a little of my thrill in him! He's like my small partner in crime.
I was at the Rec Center gym this morning, and they have a large rock climbing wall, and I finally asked the lady how much it cost. Thinking it was going to be so expensive. It's FREE!! It's all included in our fees. If I would of known that I would of been doing this long ago. You do have to take a 20 minute class to learn the {ropes} and an optional 20 minute class on how to harness yourself for child. I plan on taking both! TODAY! I don't waste time :)
I will fill you all in soon on how tonight goes. Dylan I know is going to be a little upset he cannot do it though, you have to be 7.
I will take pictures of Tanner and I. I will also try and figure out how to get the ones of Dylan off my phone so I can share him as well.

I am also going to parent teacher conferences today. I really am hoping they go really well. I would love for both my kids to be caught up and doing well!
Make it a great day!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eversave Deal

Eversave - Share the Save

I am a huge fan of Groupon and others like it. Today I want to tell you about  eversave! The offer, spa, restaurant, clothing, and accessories deals. BUT today they are also offering $5 credit to you for signing up under me! So you get $5 credit to use on any purchase you make.
I saved up and got a free $10 credit to my account. Yesterday they had iPhone cases on sale $10 for $20 worth of iPhone accessories. So I used my $10 credit, I got $20 of iPhone stuff for FREE!
Don't miss out, they offer great deals and all different varieties to suit everyone!
Click my link http://eversave.com/share/h670 and we can both save! This offer ends today!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

White Sandwich Bread

You have no idea how much sandwich bread my kids consume in a week! I should take on some stock, that's how much. I thought that I could start making my own bread and save some money. I'm thinking the amount of work there is, the $1.29 loaf suits us just fine. But here is my bread making adventure anyway!

If you don't have a Classic Batter bowl from The Pampered Chef you should! It's awesome!

White Sandwich Bread:

4 Cups flour
1 1/2 cups barely warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry east
1 teaspoon salt

Put flour in your mixers bowl. Pour in the water. Sprinkle yeast over the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Mix the ingredients, add the salt, and mix some more.
Knead by hand or food processor...
Knead with a stand mixer (which is what I did) Fit the dough hook on mixer. Mix for 2 min. to moisten the flour. Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes. Knead the dough on med speed for about 7 minutes or until dough is smooth. Dough should slap against sides of bowl.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or moist towel. Leave the dough for about 2 hours at warm room temperature for the fastest rise, or first for 30 minutes at room temp then overnight in the fridge for the slowest.

Shaping: punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf.

Proofing: Cover with oiled plastic and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 3 hours, until doubled in volume.

Baking: Preheat oven to 425. Place sheet pan on the floor of the oven or on the bottom rack and pour in enough hot water to come about 1/3 inch up the side of the sheet pan. Slide loaf onto an oven rack over the pan of water immediately spray the oven walls with water; wait for 30 seconds, then spray again. Try not to open the oven all the way, you don't want to let the heat out.
Bake to an internal temp of 205. Let the bread cool on a cake rack.

My bread days are not over, I may try a different recipe and see if it's faster.

Recipe: Baking by James Peterson

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is not exactly how I had planned it to go. Started the day out volunteering at the school then came home with D to eat lunch. My car breaks have been making a bad grinding sound, so we took a ride down to Just Breaks. 5 hours we waited in the waiting room...5! I have to give it to my kids they were amazing, I have never seen them behave like that. The car cost more then I had expected :(  that's always a downer. Then I realized I hadn't been home all day so I didn't get my romantic dinner, table or dessert done!!! I also didn't post my sandwich bread post and I had a work conflict happen as soon as I walked in too! I was on the verge of a good cry, but when life give you lemons, make {vodka} lemonade!

This may not be the perfect Valentine's Day but I'm alive and healthy. I am going for a re-try later this week. Maybe when my husband least expects it. We have no kids on Friday, maybe I do it then?  Who says I have to have February 14th to tell my husband and kids I love them? So for now, we will have our family dinner and I'm off to bed to start better tomorrow. I'll leave you with a joke!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!
(or week)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Beautiful Weekend!

OMG, we are finally out of the below zero weather here in Colorado! Wooo Hooo! The forecast for the weekend is 60, which is just perfect here. For this beautiful weekend I would love to go on a hike but just have things planned scattered about that will keep me from that. My DH has to work tonight too, so it's just me and the boys (as usual).
We had a mellow Friday night (still cold) over at the neighbors they went to the new Dickies down the street. My husband has been asking to go for like a month! So this really made him happy. The food was delicious! We then..hold onto your seats....smelled Scentsy scents! LOL I know so thrilling but it was a good laugh. It's nice to just relax with good friends, no expectations.
So for the rest of the weekend I plan on getting a few outside things done:
Sweeping out my garage. I have a pound of dirt, ice melt and melted snow piling up.
Birthday Party
Picking up the house (for only the 12 millionth time this week)
Putting the clean laundry away
I plan on running a few times with my girlfriend. I just love running outside, the treadmill gets so boring.

It's just the little things right? Make it a great weekend people!!
Anyone else doing anything fun?
I don't blog on Sunday's so come back Monday morning for my adventure in making homemade bread!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vanilla Cupcakes

When my chocolate cupcakes didn't turn out I went to a basic vanilla cupcake. I feel if I cannot make this I'm done! Good news they turned out good!
                                             I lined my 12 cup muffin pan with my paper liners
Doesn't that just look so good?

Vanilla Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp ( I turned my heater on and put the bowl next to it, with my eggs)
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk ( I used 1.5%)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line your muffin pan!

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt. In your electric mixer bowl on med-high speed, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add the egg and egg white one at a time, beating well on low speed after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating the milk in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not over beat.

Divide batter into lined muffin pan only 3/4 full. Bake until lightly golden brown. Toothpick to come out clean. Should take about 18-10 minutes. Let cupcakes cook in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Then just the cupcakes on wire rack until completely cooled.

Frost your vanilla cupcakes with a cream cheese or buttercream frosting. You can do any flavored buttercream you choose as well.
I used a cream cheese frosting with food coloring.

I thought I had already taken pictures of the cupcakes before eaten...I guess not :( I'll be making these again real soon so stay tuned!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes...

Take one...again! As stated before I am in love with cupcakes, so I attempted to make my own. I am not doing so well with the homemade stuff this last week. I mostly blame it on the horribly cold weather we are having. I cannot even keep my house warm!
My husband actually likes the way the chocolate cupcakes turned out, I think they taste like brownies. I wanted to make a football field with the cupcakes for my Superbowl dessert..had to resort to plain Jane cupcakes.

I set the timer for a few minutes less then what it calls for (being at high altitude) so I opened the oven door and one by one each cupcake deflated....bummer!

Chocolate Cupcakes:
2/3 cup all -purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( I only had milk chocolate)
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, at room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350f. Line standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan. If you have a double boiler like I used, it works great. Stir frequently until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan; let mixture cool to room temp.

Using wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, and then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not over mix.

Divide the batter into muffin cups. Bake 22-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to the wire rack and cool completely.

Hope you have a better experience then I did!! My husband plans on taking the insides warming them up and eating with vanilla ice cream. Like I said it taste like brownies and he loves his brownies!
Until my next adventure in the kitchen..Keep warm!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb Goals update

My goals for Feb are as follows:

*Make my own Fondant

*Decorate cupcakes with Fondant

*Make my own bread

*Work towards being Debt free

*Join a bible study

*Register for a pastry class

*Snowshoe in the mountains

I'm off to a good start! My bread post to come this week! I also made homemade cupcakes this weekend so watch for that post too!

I also started a new Bible Study, Beth Moore's Breaking Free. It's a video study but the homework is what is going to be the biggest challenge. I'm looking forward to meeting new and amazing Christian friends.

Keep Warm everyone!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Radical By David Platt

Radical is a book about giving up the "American Dream" and taking back your faith. David Platt uses this book to challenge you to look with an open heart to become Jesus' disciple. Then David urges you to do the Radical Experiment.
First let's just say that the beginning of the book I could of done without, barely kept my attention. David has a tendency to ramble then I would have to say he goes way to far into preaching. Preaching to sell and give up everything to help the poor. Something he isn't willing to do. He has become famous from having a Mega Church in Alabama, living in his house and driving his cars. That's his sacrifice?  But in his book I am to sell everything I have to help the poor. What happened to, "Practice what you preach?" I would rather David teach me instead of preach to me, this is a book, not a sermon.
I do find that he is correct about Christianity having a blind spot in materialism. I find where I live that is a major problem. I live close to a Mega Church, with Mega money! The congregation drives those SUV's, and BMW's and such while carrying Louis Vuitton purses. Is that really necessary? I found that I just didn't fit into that kind of materialism. I felt looked down upon because I don't have either in my possession. I do think some Christians need to reevaluate the things in life that are really important. But I'm not here to judge at all. I don't know how much they tithe or help the poor. I just hope that they do if they are driving around in there nice cars. We live pay check to pay check and some months barely make ends meet. We still find some money to tithe, give to causes we believe in and I give much of my time to volunteer. Yet, I don't feel like I need to sell all my belongings.

Now, I did find that towards the end of the book I liked it a lot. David gets into talking about the Radical Experiment.
This experiment is to take one year and do the following:

1. Pray for the entire world
2. Read through the entire word
3. Sacrifice your money for a specific purpose
4. Spend your time in another context
5. Commit your life to a multiplying community

I have been struggling with what to do in life recently and one of them was to go on a mission trip. I found that this book has grown my passion even stronger. Did God put this book in my path to make my decision?
I do plan on taking this Radical Experiment for the next year and see how it betters me and my family.
I don't find this Radical Experiment to be so Radical. Isn't this pretty standard for the Christian faith anyway?

Watch Radical Video here

I do recommend the book especially if you are in need of a faith boost. If you are up for a faith challenge!
Have you read the book? What do you think of it?

I also have a review on this book here.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Friday, February 4, 2011

Just Sayin'

I have had a long day today but couldn't resist the blog world. I'm sitting here with no one home, I should be enjoying the relaxing piece and quiet, right? I'm not really, I have a splitting headache for the second day in a row and I feel like crap. I just found this bit of truth blog and I just love what she posts. So I had to share.
I am determined to achieve many things these days and today I found myself on the treadmill running next to a man and another women. They were both running faster then me and I kept thinking I need to beat them. Why? To prove I'm a better runner? A couple minutes later I just couldn't keep up and I thought to myself I have my own goals I don't need to beat there's too. I went at my own pace and ended up running longer and more miles then they did. So this one speaks to me often.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Teacher's Valentine's Gifts

I wanted to do a Valentine's gift for my kids' teachers this year and I wanted to attempt Royal Icing again (Try #3). So I decided on Heart Shaped sugar cookies.

I bought some Wilton snack bags with ties and added 3 cookies each. The boys will hand these to there teachers at the V-Day parties.
I'm happy with the way they turned out!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls.....Take 1

On my quest to do more baking, I asked my kids what they would like most. Of course they always give the same answers, Doughnuts! I didn't feel like making doughnuts today so they said, Cinnamon Rolls!
So I thought for a moment and decided that yes, I would master making homemade cinnamon rolls just for my boys, and just like my mom did every Christmas morning.
I started my baking mid morning and it went like this

Looks good right?

Wrong...After all my hard work on these, I forgot to let them rise one more time before putting them in the oven.
I'm so embarrassed by the way they turned out I refuse to post a picture. The filling ran out of the dough and hardened underneath. The dough was hard as a rock too. The boys and I tried to eat one but no luck.
Homemade Cinnamon rolls are hard! I'll try again in a few days.
My quest to become a Pastry Chef is looking pretty bad, maybe I need to stick with the cupcakes!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Goals so far

I said before I don't make New Years resolutions but I do make myself lots of goals. I feel if I put my goals on my blog you can all hold me accountable. So here is what I have so far. (I wrote this a few weeks ago and hit save instead of post).

January: No drinking alcohol, no buying any either

February: Complete a Pastry Class, start up bible study again, Start saving for a honeymoon, and be debt free,
Also see February goals here

March: Run St. Patrick's Day 5k, End being a Pampered Chef Consultant
April: Take rock climbing lesson
May: Run Cherry Creek Sneak
June: Visit my Parents in AZ, Complete my 2nd 14er

Homemade Heart Decor

To try and bring more hearts into my Valentine's Day decor, I made a Felt shaped heart for my front table.
 I found this foam heart on clearance at Micheal's for like 30 cents or something, it was perfect!
 I used my Pampered Chef biscuit cutter to form circles on my felt. Then I cut out like a million circles.
Tada, after pinning and re pinning, I really like how it turned out! I already have my next felt project in the works, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Julie and Julia By Julie Powell

I want to start off by saying I just love this book cover! This isn't the book cover I got from the library, I got the large print book and the cover is ugly.
Julie and Julia is about Julie a 29 year old turning 30 who lives in a small apartment just outside New York City. Julie is in a dead end job that she hates, so she decides to Master the Art of French Cooking Vol. 1 by Julia Child as a way to reinvent herself.  Julie starts a blog to write about making 524 recipes in 365 days in 1 small apartment kitchen.
I liked Julie and Julia, what a great book. Being that I am a foodie and I blog,  I felt like this book was written just for me. It kind of gave me a kick in the pants. I won't be making half the things they made, I will never DE bone a duck or make aspics but I do want to try and make tarts and lady fingers. The amount of butter and oil used in the dishes made me a little sick to my stomach. I couldn't imagine not gaining weight after the things she made.
I did watch the movie when it came out first, but that didn't ruin anything for me. I actually may feel different about the book and movie then most. I think the book was better then the movie! I don't know if it's because of the annoying voice they gave Julia Child in the movie or Meryl Streep bugs me and I cannot stand Stanley Tuchi. But the book really made me feel like I was there in the small kitchen with Julie as she cooked, the details were amazing.
I do recommend the book especially for a foodie! I think I have my next blog post...Tart, Ladyfingers anyone?
Did you read the book? What did you think of it?