Monday, June 23, 2008

"I Want Candy..." ~ Bow Wow Wow pt. 2

I was inspired by my Whopper cupcakes. These are a double chocolate cake filled with caramel, iced with a sticky fudgey ganache, and topped with a Milk Dud. DELISH!

Hmmm, what candy should I try next? Smarties, Starburst, Jolly Rancher's?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"I Want Candy..." ~ Bow Wow Wow

My newest creation Whopper Cupcakes. Oh my gosh! These are so good! I found the recipe over at The Hungry Housewife. There is a lot of cake batter. I ended up with 32 cupcakes. I fill my tins with 1/4 cup of batter. The cakes are a white cake made with malted milk powder. I didn't use the icing recipe the recipe suggested. I McGyvered my own. I think the next time I make these I will leave out the cinnamon and nutmeg so the malt flavor comes out stronger. The icing is a mix between semi, bitter, and unsweetened chocolate buttercream.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

A couple of weeks ago I bought some massively huge apples at the farmer's market. We had a few left over that were starting to get soft so I decided I had to bake something with them. I didn't have enough time to make a pie so I decided on French Apple Cobbler.

What is French Apple Cobbler? It is apple cobbler with the addition of vanilla. Oooooh, fancy!! It turned out really well. Agnes and Sean almost ate the whole thing.



Apple Filling:
5 cups tart apples, peeled, sliced
3/4 cup sugar + I throw in a couple tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten

In a medium bowl, combine apples, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, vanilla and water. Turn into a lightly buttered 9-inch square pan. Dot apples with 1 tablespoon butter.
Combine all topping ingredients. Beat with wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Drop batter in 9 portions, over the apples, spacing evenly. Batter will spread during baking. Bake 35 to 40 minutes at 375° or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Okay, okay, I know I have been posting nice fattening recipes. I have been trying to keep up with my exercise but after the back surgery it has been really hard for me to get motivated again. I am so scared I am going to hurt myself again. I know Bikram would make my back feel so much better but I have a few pain killers left to help! :)

Anyway, an apple a day...right?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." - Bill Cosby

Having lost my father when I was 3 Father's day was always a miserable day. Sure, I had my Grandpa and Uncle but it just wasn't what all the other kids had. After having Agnes I love Father's Day. I love watching her make a card for him and picking out the books for his present. The book tradition started with Sean's first Father's Day. I picked out a few books about children and their dads. Books like Hop on Pop and Daddy's Girl. For the past couple of years Agnes has been able to pick them out herself. It is such a fun time book shopping with her. Agnes has the best dad ever. Sean is an amazing father who loves his little girl more than anything in the entire world.

For a daddy that great he deserves a great food today. So, I got up a 6 a.m. made some of my blueberry muffins (which are the best muffins ever) and a big pot of Guatemalan coffee. For dinner I am making him orange-ginger marinated beef tenderloin and veggie kebabs with saffron rice and a spring mix salad w/a homemade raspberry vinaigrette.

Here is the muffin recipe. It is so amazing. My mom gave me this recipe. She got it from my dad's mom.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 2 egg
1/2 cup milk + a splash or two if batter seems way too thick
Splash or two of vanilla
1-1/2 - 2 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature but not super soft.
2-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Be sure to grease the top of the pan between the muffin cups or the muffins will stick. Do this even if you use muffin liners.
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg, splash of vanilla and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Super easy. Super tasty! Enjoy!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads who read this. I hope you were pampered and were able to take a long nap today. You deserve it!b

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"And, now for something completely different" ~ Monty Python

I was going to boycott watching the Olympics this year because of the Chinese government's treatment of the people of Tibet. However, I don't think I can miss the official Chinese cheer. This is too great!

Here is more info:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

"Tutti fruiti" ~ Little Richard

Why do I love the Pacific Northwest? The farmer's markets here rock. We went to the Vancouver market today. I am really happy right now.

Can you say yum?

There strawberrys are amazing. The smell SO good.

The. Best. Cherries. Ever.

Apples the size of Aggie's head.

Monday, June 2, 2008

“The only cure for grief is action.” ~ G. H. Lewes

In 2002 I was pregnant with our first child. We were so excited and so naive. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew exactly how I wanted the nursery to look. It was going to be an explosion of Dr. Seuss. I bought every Dr. Seuss thing I could find. Stuffed Dr. Seuss characters, fabric, books, an extremely rare hand painted ceiling light fixture (this is hanging in Agnes' room. It is too cool and means too much to me), and 19 different figurines and snow globes. Well, those of you who know me know how this story ends*.

For the past 6 1/2 years I have kept these things locked in a closet. I didn't know what to do with them. When Agnes was born I couldn't bring myself to use them for her nursery. These weren't for her! These were for Saffy (the name we gave our baby boy). It just didn't seem right to decorate with them. It seemed disrespectful. Like if I used them it meant Saffy was just a thing that happened and not our child. I don't really know how to explain it. It's like if I keep them long enough it will turn back time and things will be made right.

When we moved to Portland I packed the figurines and snow globes in a clear, plastic tub. When we got to Portland they went in the basement. I didn't see them for months. Then they came with us when we moved to Vancouver. The tub ended up on a top shelf in our garage. Every time I pulled out or into the garage I would see them and think of Baby Saffy. Yesterday I had had enough. I asked Sean to bring in the clear, plastic tub filled with memories that need to go away.

I just listed all 19 figurines and snow globes on Ebay. As I was taking pictures of them I started to cry. Sean gave me a big hug and told me this is a really good thing. It is another step in the right direction of letting go. Sean is completely right that we don't need a museum to remember Saffy. We will never forget him.


**If you are new to my blog and you want to know the whole story I am more than happy to share with you. Just let me know