Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Daring Kitchen: Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Take 1

Originally I had the recipe placed here, but it is not good. So I'm not going to share it. It tasted bad, shrunk horribly, and was hard to work with. You'll notice how thick the walls are, which while makes it sturdy makes it hard to fit things together.

I made my own template, if you want to use it it is below. Just click on the image for full sized version. Each page is 8.5 * 11 inches. Oh, and the bay window does not work... it is too small.

Take 2

For the second go around I used a completely different recipe. Chocolate Sugar Cookies were my foundation for the house. I know I know, it's not even gingerbread.... so sue me. Let me tell you, these taste wonderful and the finished house makes your house smell like chocolate. I'm assuming everyone here loves chocolate. Anyhow it is mostly decorated with royal icing and fondant. Captain had a blast mixing the colors and Harvey helped by eating the first two snowmen produced. I made my own template based on this house, but I did it by hand so I don't have a template for you to print off.

Work in Progress

Harvey exiled from the kitchen after the snowman fiasco.

Finished House, I'm much happier with the way this one turned out.

Roof has fondant shingles
Chimney is rice crispy treat covered with fondant.
Royal icing was piped on to hide mistakes :P
Simple syrup holds the walls together and is in the windows.

Other angles.

Notes for making your own gingerbread house (or other type of cookie).
  • Put it together with melted sugar. It sets almost instantly
  • Roll the dough as thin as possible
  • Over bake
  • Keep snowmen out of reach of toddlers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not me Monday: Footprints

This week I did NOT let Harvey's diaper rash get so bad he needed an 'air-out.' And even if this may have happened there is no way He would have preferred being naked to being fully clothed midwinter. Nope, Not Harvey, he always like being clothed. And there is no way I would loose track of time while his neked bum was running around the house, and look up to find these.

And no, that is definitely not what you think it is.

Go see what others haven't done this week at mcMama's

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All Tuckered Out

Harvey, after a recent shopping, trip fell asleep on the way home. Please note the orange-stash. 3 people tried cleaning that thing off his face, none succeeded. Harvey was pleased.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I ♥ Faces Photo Challenge "Pets only"

This is my first time submitting a Photo to I Faces . I've been browsing their site for some time now, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to submit when I saw that this week's challenge was "Pets only." Hopefully I will be able to participate regularly from now on.

This picture was taken many years ago on an old fashioned camera that used film. It has been scanned and re-scanned, but I just love how guilty "Flash" looks when we discovered his new hiding place.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sticky Strikes Again

I left his with his dad for 1 hour... during church... and this is what I found when I came back.

*please note the dog was on loan.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Decorating

We decorated our house this weekend! Harvey LOVES the Christmas tree. First he played with the giant sticker that came off the tree stand. Then he made a game of trying to pull ornaments off without being poked in the face by the needles.

On Saturday I went to a Super Saturday and made the stacking blocks. It says
Shepards Saw
Angles Sang
Wisemen came
I know, it doesn't rhyme but still.... It officially doubled our Christmas decorations.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

September Photo Shoot

Back in September, Harvey and I had our pics taken by J. Baer, a friend starting our with a photography business. I'm a little behind in my blogging, so sorry these are a bit out of season.

Harvey needed some encouragement before he was willing to have his picture taken.

He still wasn't sure about it at this point.

The giant leaves changed his mind though!

See this leaf mom? It's pretty.

This was my favorite picture from the group.

This was Captain's favorite shot.

Anyways, Aren't they adorable?! J. gave us a print of Harvey for his birthday, now we just need to find a frame.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blue Velvet

For Harvey's birthday I made blue velvet cupcakes.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces blue food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup melted marshmallows
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners' sugar



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round pans.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture.

Pour batter into pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.

For the record, this recipe doesn't work well for cupcakes It took 35 minutes for the cupcakes to bake, and they came out flat. OH and I added a box of chocolate pudding.

Now I know you are all wondering if with batter that vibrant if i still licked the bowl...

Well of course!
And did Harvey like them?

I think so.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birthday Party!

For those of you who were wondering how we celebrated Harvey's birthday, here are the details. We are sorry it took so long to post about. We had a small party with our friends on a Saturday afternoon. We started outside while we waited for everyone to show up. Remember Harvey's aversion to grass? Well he doesn't care much for leaves either. Everyone else did though!

Then we all went inside and played with the balloons Jennie A. brought over for us. Did you know kids LOVE balloons? Yea that's right, they had more fun with these than the pinata.

Eventually we sang to Harvey. He didn't know what to think of the candle at first. I tried to get him to blow on it but that wasn't about to happen, nope not our little boy. He wanted to touch that flame and touch it he did. He put his sticky little fingers right on that flickering candle and gasped when not only did it disappear, but his finger was bit in the process.

That star on Captain's head was the pinata. I made it out of the box Harvey's car seat came in. We used pull strings to open it rather than beating it with a stick. Note: If you do this type be prepared for grabbing fists wanting to pull all the strings at once! Did I mention that Harvey's brithday is 6 days after Halloween and that candy is super cheap? Well it is. I foresee many pinata's in Harvey's future.

Lastly we opened presents. And when i say 'we' I mean EVERYONE. No one wanted to wait patiently for Harvey to crinkle his way through the paper.

So that was it! Maybe next year you can be here instead of just reading about it :P

Awesome cupcake recipe to come later.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Harvey says "B-day pics will be up soon"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Snap Shot

From Harvey's B-day Party. More to come when I f eel like it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Harvey!

Guess who is one today!

Yup! It's Harvey.
Happy Birthday Bubee

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Isn't my family lovely? <3

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snow Kitty and the Seven Dwarves

Welcome to the One man one cat show of snow kitty and the seven dwarves. Cloe will play the role of snow kitty, and Harvey will play the following:







And Introducing: Sticky

Friday, October 30, 2009


Sunday we had fondue for dinner durring our game night. It was HIT! You don't need fancy gadgets to eat fondue, just a crock pot, a regular pot over the stove, or a bowl in the microwave.
We used these recipes.

Cheese Fondue
1 lb cheese, whatever you have on hand, I used Sharp cheddar, Mozzarella, & Colby jack.
2 tbs Flour
1 1/2 c Apple cider or juice. (I know this one sounds weird, but it was yummy)

Heat until cheese is melted.

Chocolate Fondue
1 c. Chocolate
1 c. Heavy wipping cream (or yogurt if you happen to be out of cream)

Heat until chocolate is melted.

Pizza Fondue
4 ounces bulk sausage
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
30 ounces spaghetti sauce
1 cup sliced (or finely chopped) fresh mushrooms
2/3 cup pepperoni
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 cup chopped red peppers

In a large pot, brown sausage, onion and garlic. Drain grease. Add spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni or Canadian-style bacon, and basil. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours to develop the flavors.

Serve these with bread sticks, a loaf sourdough, steamed broccoli, chicken, brownie balls, mushrooms, and fruit chunks.

We found that 3 fondues was way too much for 4 adults and 2 kids. But these amounts would probably be enough for 6-8 people.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers :Macarons

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

My macarons were tasty, but a failure as macarons. They were moist, chewy, lumpy, flat and had no feet.

I am going to do these again with a few changes
  • Grind the almond flour finer (mine was a meal consistency, straight from the store)
  • Double sift the almond/sugar mixture
  • Beat the eggs slower so less bubbles form
  • Fold the beginning of the 'macaronage' stage harder to get rid of extra bubbles
  • Let the cookies dry longer before baking.
These things should solve the issues my cookies went through.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smiles and Drool

Hey Mom watch this!

I can make it go fast.

Harvey LOVES his zebra.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random Pics

Just wanted to show off some recent pictures of Harvey.

Harvey getting ready for bed.

Harvey playing with a puzzle from Aunt Rachel.
(mostly he chews on the pieces)

Harvey and Cloe longing for freedom.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Moroccan Beef Stew

Made this for dinner a few nights ago. It was based on the stew from Solstice Cafe in Bingen WA.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes (I used hamburger)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Put olive oil in pot and saute garlic, carrots, & onions till the onions are clear. Add beef, cook till browned . Add remainder of ingredients, and let simmer till done.

Serve over mashed potatoes.

For the record, I very much enjoyed eating this stew, although next time I'm going to try it with stew meat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Harvey the Helper

Now that Harvey is older, he likes to help around the house. Currently his favorite helping activities are holding the dryer door open with his head and pre-washing the silverware.
Here are some other ways he has tried to help out recently.

"Hey dad, let me help you hold that stick!"

"Need help studying?"

"You need some buttons pushed dad?"

"Hey Mama, crotchet-ing is fun!"