Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mix it up Monday: Happy Birthday Edition

Today is my birthday. According to my drivers licence I am 34 today, I don't see how that could be right though since I just graduated from college last week and high school the week before that. The way I figure it, I am about 24. Although, as my loving husband pointed out while discussing the possibility of renewing my drivers licence for 10 years, having a drivers licence picture of yourself when you were 30 will only emphasis how much you have aged when you are 45. So maybe I shouldn't lie about my age. Oh, and John is for sale, by the way.
Anyway, I baked my own cake today after spending last week trying to decide what I wanted. I wanted something new, not cookies and not something I would not have to frost. I decided on this Peanut Butter Pound Cake. You may recall my previous pound cake attempt, of which most ended up in the trash. This cake however was pound cake perfection. I am not sure if I should thank Bake or Break or the handy new KitchenAid my mom got me for Christmas. Either way, it turned out just like a pound cake should, soft in the middle with a crispy crust. I did make a few additions and substitutions. The recipe calls for 5 eggs and what do you know, I only had 4. I debated the risk of only using 4 eggs and then remembered that I had a recipe for a vegan flax seed egg substitute. Super easy way to cut back on eggs in your baked goods, 1 tbls. ground flax seed and 2-3 tbls. of water heat about 1 minute in the microwave or simmer 5 minutes stove top until you have the consistency of an egg, yields the equivalent of 1 egg. So I mixed that up and subbed it in for 1 egg. Instead of buying peanut butter/chocolate swirl morsels, which I have never even seen, I used what I had, about 1/2 bag each of chocolate and peanut butter chips. After I poured the batter into the pan I decided a little Nutella would be a nice addition so I mixed in what I had in the pantry. It wasn't much since I had been snacking on it all last week, about 1/4 cup. I baked it for 1 hour and 20 minutes and served it ice cream after my birthday dinner...and I may have snuck another piece while John was walking the dog, but hey, it's my birthday!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Fail Whale

I hope you all had a perfectly lovely Valentine's Day. I hope that unlike me, you did not completely foul up your child's first memorable Valentine's. Here's the deal, I am failing preschool...Hollis is doing great, me not so much. At Christmas Hollis told me that "all" mommies came to the Christmas party, except me. I was at pilates, I have my priorities. His teacher cleared this little piece of guilt up for me, "some" parents came early to pick up there children for the Holidays. With this in mind, I thought I would come pick him up at the Valentine's party on Friday. The problem is, I still have pilates - priorities people - which gets out at 11:30. Plenty of time to get over to school before noon, right? Wrong. When I got there and got inside I walked into the middle of a pool of barely controlled parent/child/teacher/sibling carline chaos. Somehow, in the midst of all that, his teacher saw me and brought him over...so I totally missed going to his classroom. He seemed fine with that, so we headed to the car. Once we got buckled in, he started to tell me about his day: heart bingo, stories, songs, heart shaped cookies. Then the highlight of the day, a new race car! I thought certainly this was a gift from the teachers. When we got home and dumped out the bag of valentines I was surprised to see that every (and yes, I mean literally EVERY) child gave a little "something extra" with their valentines. Candy, playdough, more candy and one child who gave hotwheels cars. Hollis's little folded paper NASCAR valentine's paled in comparison. I would have been able to let this go with the thought all the parent's appreciated me for not contributing the their child's sugar high, sadly, it's a repeat performance on my part. On Wednesday we had a big Valentine's playgroup party. I brought the heart shaped jelly sandwiches and valentine's day cups, but guess what I forget. The valentines. Fortunately, I can think fast and Hollis was preoccupied with toys that belonged to someone else. I had bought a bag of individually wrapped Princess and Cars chocolates which conveniently had To/From spaces on the back, so everyone got one of those. Had I combined the items from Wednesday and Friday, I would have had the perfect valentines for everyone. Better luck next year I guess!

**Thanks for the picture Sara, I didn't take any of those either!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mix it - Lightened Up

It is feeling a little spring like here this week, so I thought something chilled would be in order. I decided on a sorbet. I don't own an ice cream freezer, but it is easy to make sorbet without one. I let Hollis decide which flavor: mango, strawberry or lemon. He choose lemon, one more than one occasion. So lemon sorbet it is. There are a lot of sorbet recipes out there, all of which are basically the same: simple syrup, lemon zest and lemon juice. Some add an egg white or cream, but those are typically higher in calories. This is the specific one I used, although, after reading the comments, I did simmer the zest in the syrup before adding the lemon juice. The zest was pretty fine, so I didn't strain it. It made a pretty tart sorbet, but that is exactly the way Hollis likes it. The good thing about this recipe is that you could use the same basic technique with a number of different fruits. You can even make a watermelon sorbet. This will make a perfect summer treat and even though I don't have the calorie count for this specific recipe, sorbet generally has less than 100 calories per serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

This Blog Can Haz Muse

First born son is named after him too!