Tuesday, September 30, 2008

{TWD} Creme Brulee

Thank you to Mari from Mevrouw Cupcake for choosing Creme Brulee! You have no idea how excited I was for this week.
I do not remember the very first time I had Creme Brulee, but I do remember that I loved it. It was an instantaneous love affair with a dessert that seemed so complicated. Bobbys mom and I shared a chocolate espresso one at a hotel in Los Angeles once. And my favorite restaurant in Glendora (Chelsea) had it.

A few years ago I happened to be wandering around Williams Sonoma and saw a kitchen torch. I wanted it but didn't have the cash for it at the time. A friend was over and we were talking about Creme Brulee. A few days later a kitchen torch showed up on my front porch. Apparently my friends church was doing a series on giving above and beyond to others. She thought it would make me happy and it made her happy to give it. Well, I was so excited about it but I was really nervous about using it. So, there it sat lonely and unused in my cabinet. I have now had the excuse to use it and that baby is not going back in the cupboard. So, I loved the gift back then and I am so excited about it now!

I should have known from the start that a recipe that was so simple would be one I could mess up...well the results were good but I made a mess. First of all, I got a small bottle of whole milk and stuck it in the back of the fridge...where it froze. After running it under warm water I got it thawed enough I could get the appropriate amount of milk out of the bottle.

After getting the milk and heavy cream on the stove I turned my back for 1 second to put something away. That would be the moment it decided to boil over...all over the inside of the stove top.

I was flustered but got over it quickly enough to through in some bittersweet chocolate to make my creme brulee be chocolate.
One of the Playing Around ideas was raspberry creme brulee. I thought that would go well with the chocolate so I threw a few raspberries in each dish before pouring the creme over the top. I made 5 small dishes with mine since a lot of it went all over the stove. The recipe said to put it in the oven for 50-60 minutes at 200 degrees. Well, after an hour it wasn't even close to firm so I cranked it up to 275 and let it stay for another 15 minutes. That did the trick and they were set nicely. Oh yeah, I don't have a strainer so mine were bubbly on the top.
Since I was making such a delicious dessert I couldn't have anything simple for dinner. I made a marinade for steaks, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Bobby grilled the steaks to perfection. Our kids loved dinner and were excited they were going to get such a fun dessert.

We took the kiddos in and Bobby held them up so they could see me torch the sugar on top of the creme brulee. The thought it was so cool to see the sugar melt the way it did. Obviously I didn't do a real good job of burning it evenly. There was a little extra around the sides.

I savored every bite of mine and thought I did a pretty good job myself. Bobby ate all of the parts that had crunchy stuff and said he would eat it again. Little Man wanted nothing to do with it. Munchkin ate every bit of hers. All and all, even with the mess, the frozen milk, and the uneven sugar it was a resounding success at our house this week! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Precocious Moments with Munchkin

Last night Bobby, in a joking manner, said "why are we going to Lifegroup when the debate is on?"

Munchkin responded with "Because God has given us friends and we should spend time with them because they are more important that some TV show!"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

{TWD} Dimply Plum Cake

This weeks TWD was chosen by Michelle of Bake-En. I love that name! It made me laugh the first time I saw it! Thanks Michelle for choosing such a delicious recipe!

Over at TWD this recipe really got mixed reviews. I can see how it would be a love it or hate it recipe though. It was actually supposed to be baked in an 8 inch square dish but mine was in the dishwasher. So, like the non-rule follower I am, I baked it in a round Pampered Chef dish. It called for Cardamom and I used PC Cinnamon Plus. I would have followed the rules on the spice except there was none at the store I was at AND the tag said it was ten bucks! No thanks.

I personally love plums so I really liked the way this turned out. Munchkin liked the bread but doesn't like cooked fruit. Little Man also ate the bread and picked out the plums. Bobby was out of town the day I made it and wouldn't even try it when he got back. I guess it didn't appeal to him. Oh well. Maybe I can make it for a potluck sometime....

Monday, September 22, 2008


Little man either got bit by a brown recluse or a tick. It looks like he has STARI like Munchkin had last summer. Here we start 2 weeks of antibiotics. Woohoo......

Annoyed-All the way around

My day started off pretty good. Actually, it is still pretty good but I am having a hard time getting my mind off of a few things. So, maybe if I write them down and get them out there I will be less annoyed by them.

1. (Disclaimer: My home school friends, I love you. Don't take this personally but any feedback would be great. I think homeschooling is great for those that are doing it.) I am reading a book called "The Spiritual Power of a Mother" by Michael Farris. He is or was head of the Home School Defense League and the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College. The book is supposed to be a book of encouragement for those moms already homeschooling their kids. It is not a book to get one to homeschool. And, I think it misses the mark in certain respects. As a mom who has a daughter that is thriving in public school reading it makes me annoyed. I guess part of it in the first chapter he talks about Samuel's mother and Moses mother. Hannah prayed for a son and finally had Samuel and then gave him back to the Lord. So, wasn't he taught by the finest teachers...not his mom? Then Moses was sent down the river in a basket. His mother was able to be with him as his wet nurse but once again wasn't he taught by the finest teachers in Egypt? It was just interesting to me that the examples he gave were those of people taught by others.

Then another chapter talks about the blood line of Jesus and the 4 women that show up. He puts it as 2 prostitutes, a foreigner, and an adulteress were redeemed and used why can't you with your past. The part that annoyed me was that after saying the blame with David and Bathsheba is to be laid at the feet of David he comes back around says Bathsheba was a willing participant in the adultery. Now, forgive me if I am mistaken but weren't women property and if the king called you went? His words were Bathsheba was not molested. She appears to have willingly committed adultery with the king. Accordingly, we have to say that she also sinned. I think he is stretching here to make his point.

I know, I know...it is a book of encouragement for those homeschooling their children. It is just annoying me today.

2. Feedback on our house. Today we got feedback from our showing yesterday. Apparently the outside and inside of the house is POOR, it smells bad and the bathroom "What is THAT?" Seriously? That is your feedback? how about something constructive like "The bathroom is not my taste and I hate the smell of fresh baked cookies out of the oven!"

3. Trying to get ahold of someone that knows something about a position at a school. Erg. No one actually knows anything about a part time position listed on the schools website.

4. Gas shortage. Seriously people stop filling up 5 gas cans so those people that actually need gas to get kids back and forth to school and back and forth to work can actually do that. I did get gas this morning at the one station near our house that has some. There were only a few cars ahead of me so I didn't have to wait long. Of course it is the station that the shop guy a few weeks ago said not to go to because there is so much water in the gas.

5. I am annoyed with myself for being so annoyed. Ha! I just laughed in my head because I just hear the Pink song lyric "It's bad when you annoy yourself!" :)

Ok, I think I am done. I am off to the Dr. to take Little Man again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fill er up!

As you may or may not be aware, there is a gas shortage in Tennessee. I have not been terribly worried about it until today. I am almost out of gas in my economical, 30 MPG sedan. There are few gas stations that have gas and if they do they look like this:
The rest have signs like this:

These would be the two stations near our house. No gas.... At least it is the weekend. Maybe we will get more before Monday. Otherwise Munchkin, Little Man and I may be using our Lambrefeeties to get to school. That is a really long walk for my little ones though. Our gas hog SUV has a full tank so Bobby may be running Munchkin to school on Monday.
It is amazing how much we really do rely on fuel. You really don't realize it, and take it for granted until there is none.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another World

If you have expected to hear from me in the last few days, I'm sorry! I have been lost in another world. One full of vampires and werewolves. I have seen the books with the black and white covers with a splash of red every time we have stepped foot in Barnes and Noble. I know Paula has mentioned them. I ignored them. I was engrossed in Stori Telling and Eat This Not That for Kids while the littles played at the train table. But now I am hooked.

Munchkin has dance class on Mondays. Lucky for me it is close by a walmart that has a somewhat decent book section. Monday Little Man and I walked to Wallyworld to pick up an eraser and a box of crayons and to check out the book section. He kept busy with the kids books while I started the book Twilight. All of a sudden he needed to "go baf-woom wiwwee baaadd" so we ran through a checkout and ran to the potty. Since the book was conveniently priced I bought it and took it back to the dance school to read. One of the other moms asked what I was reading and we had a little discussion about it. Apparently moms are raving due to there not being any s-e-x in the books. It is all romance.

Monday night was spent engrossed in book number one. I had almost finished it Tuesday and had to run back to Walmart to get New Moon (book 2). I finished that one last night and got about 85 pages into Eclipse (book 3) while sitting at Barnes and Noble. Little Man and I were once again waiting for Munchkin. He played with the trains while I read.

I am not sure why I like these books so much. They are not scary, they are really a love story about star-crossed lovers. Obviously they are geared for teens, hence the really fast read. But still, I like them. Now to get my hands on my own copy of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn would be good. Of course we are out of money so I guess I will have to wait until payday to find out what happens next.

If you don't hear from me, you'll know. I have been kidnapped by vampires and werewolves but I will be back soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

{TWD} Chocolate Chunkers

This weeks Tuesday With Dorie recipe was chosen by Claudia of Fools for Food. All I can say is CHOCOLATE!!!!! If you like chocolate you will love these. They were supposed to have raisins and some kind of nuts in them but I opted instead for dried blueberries and craisins. No one in my family eats raisins in their cookies...well except Little Man. And, I don't know why people find it necessary to mess up cookies by putting nuts in. :)
I shared a bag of these with Munchkins dance school last night and shared another bag with some neighbors today. It seemed like everyone liked them a lot. They were a little expensive to make but worth it for such a delicious chocolate hit! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am in LOVE!!!!!

With whom you ask? Well, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and Sir James Galway of course!!! It has been far too long since I have been to the symphony. To actually hear dynamics and amazing acoustics blew me away.

For my birthday (since we septemberites try to stretch it all month long) I really wanted to go see James Galway at the Schermerhorn. Bobby let me pick the tickets and they were awesome! We were in row JJ in the middle. I have listened to James Galway since I was a baby. So imagine how cool it was that I could see James Galway's cuff links. I could see the spit drip out of the end of his flute (gross I know but kinda cool at the same time). I could see him breathe! There is a reason this man is the most recorded flute player in the world. His playing is lyrical and emotional and technically perfect! Bobby and I wondered what other symphony players think of him. I guess we are comparing how indie rockers get all offended when their favorite artists "sell out" or actually get played on the air. Is it different with the symphony?

Typically I do not get starstruck. Hubs is a rock star ya know so I have met a few "famous" people. Tonight I was totally starstruck! I am not one to stand in autograph lines but tonight was different. I ran in the gift shop and bought a CD while Bobby held my place in line. When we finally reached the front Sir James asked if I played flute to which I replied (with a silly grin on my face) "oh yes! I have been playing for 15 years! That's a long time..but not as long as you!" What a dork! Bobby took our picture and the darn flash wouldn't work. I think he got a little frustrated with us. The lady behind us understood though. She had a piece of flute music for him to sign. By the time we were done my hands were shaking and I was grinning like a fool!
I actually had to sit down at a table in the courtyard to compose myself before walking back to the car.

Back to the Schermerhorn. Being able to hear all of the different instruments playing together was inspiring. I really miss playing with a group like that. Being there tonight made me really want to practice and somehow get involved with some kind of performing group again. Those of you in the Nashville area have probably seen the silly ads with the new conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. They make him seem really fun and make the symphony seem accessible. Tonight his personalty really was evident in his conducting. There were several moments when he launched himself in the air and his rapport with James Galway was amazing. They laughed together, made eye contact and really were in harmony!

If you get a chance go to the Schermerhorn! You will not regret it! Oh yeah and you should also start your night off as a redneck eating at the Wild Horse Saloon and then move down the street to your refined symphony experience. Make sure to finish the night off at Mikes Ice Cream on Broadway. You will have a spectacular night!

A Few New Links

It has been awhile since I have updated my list of people and links. So, here are a few of my newest links for you to check out!

Crayons in my Coffee

Little Band of Brothers

The Hyde Family

Step Inside

Flute Prayer

Tuesdays with Dorie

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

{TWD} Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops

My book FINALLY arrived! I have been so impatient waiting for it to get here. This week recipes was for Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops. Brought to you by Rachel from Tangerine Tart. Yum! Munchkin was all about helping me clean up by licking the beaters. Little Man again took a couple of little licks and handed his back. I don't think he likes the texture of dough...but I guess that makes him just like his daddy.

The kids did help quite a bit mixing everything in as well. I cut all of my whoppers in half instead of chopping them smaller. They spread a bit during baking. On the comments section several people had said these were too chocolaty. Seriously? How can anything be too chocolaty? The were very rich but also delicious. Bobby liked them but said he liked last weeks better.
By the end I only had enough dough for about 3 more cookies. So why bake 3 when you can bake 1? It was a Whopper!! haha! :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Bad Dream

I hate those dreams that make me wake up feeling sick to my stomach. Or the ones that make me angry at Bobby for something he didn't do. Or the ones that make me weep. Last night was one of those dreams that made me feel helpless and like a horrible mother. I dreamt we were traveling with Bobbys family. In total there were 8 kids and in all of the hustle everyone thought Munchkin was riding with someone else. She got left at the hotel we were all staying at. We had been taking pictures out front so I knew she had been with us and what she was wearing. We had driven at least an hour when we stopped at a rest area and she wasn't with us. I freaked out and called the hotel. They hung up on me because I was hysterical. When I called back they said she as there waiting for us. This is where I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep and couldn't stop thinking about it. Of course then I could make the end good.
When we finally got back (at least I hope this is what happened) she said she couldn't find us and didn't see a policeman. So, like we had talked about she found a mom with kids and managed to get back to the hotel.

I went and took the dog for a walk after going in and staring at her for a little while. It made me feel a little bit better to get out and walk this morning and clear my head. Ugh, waking up like that tends to affect me entire day.

Am I crazy or am I the only one that has insane dreams like this?

Friday, September 05, 2008

34-Just like 24...only older...

Yesterday was was my 34th birthday. 34!! I am still early 30's right? Mid 30's are from 35-38 and then you hit late 30's...at least in my mind that is how it works! :)

At 34 I am in the midst of mothering my two beautiful children.
I am an advocate for each of them in different ways.

At 24 I had no idea I would be the mom of a special needs child...to look at him you wouldn't even know. But, if he doesn't respond to you when you say hi, please don't be offended.

At 34 I get to read for pleasure. At 24 I pretty much read the books for my Masters.

At 34 I love to go away on scrapbook weekends, hang out with the girls, watch movies and just be silly!

At 24 I don't think I would have thought of doing that...not being a newlywed anyway.

At 34 I am feeling more self confident everyday. At 24 I was was too much of a people pleaser. I have been that was for way too long.

At 34 I am currently digging Colbie Callait, Jason Mraz, The Wreckers, Kelly Clarkson, Jack Johnson, Sara Barriles, Joss Stone...or whatever Target has on its end caps. (Yes I know my music snob friends out there will laugh or shake their heads at that).

At 34 I am learning to be a better baker...I suppose I should focus on cooking too.

At 24 I was not a great cook at all. We ate a lot of hamburger helper, rice and pork chops cubed and cooked in sherry, garlic and olive oil.

At 34 I am addicted to Facebook like everyone else my age is.
At 24 that didn't even exist yet.

At 34 I am looking at how young I still am (no comments from the peanut gallery!) and how much of life there is to live. I think about my kids and all of the different stages they will go through in the coming years. I look forward to all of the future birthdays and anniversaries I have ahead of us!

At 24 I am pretty sure I thought 34 was really old.

I think at 34 I am finally coming into my own.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

{TWD} Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters

Today's selection from Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Stephany at Proceed with Caution. A delicious choice I might add!

I didn't follow the recipe exactly as it called for cinnamon and nutmeg. I had both but I also have Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus on my spice rack. I also unintentionally left out 2 cups of oats. So much for being detail oriented and a perfectionist. In my defense I was cleaning house at the same time for a showing tonight.
I wasn't planning on letting the dough sit in the fridge either before baking but the dough was really soft so I was a good girl and followed directions.

I used my Pampered Chef Medium Scoop to make these lovely, perfectly round cookies.
My littlest taste tester helped me out with the beaters. He usually won't take them at all but after a small like he was hooked....for another 4 licks and he was done. He much prefers the done cookies over the batter. Where did that kid come from? My older taster, had she been home from school would have been all over licking the beater!

The first batch came out nicely after 15 minutes. My oven cooks a little slow and I was baking on a Pampered Chef stone which always takes an extra minute or two. The cookies came out light and chewy. I may have to share some with the neighbors though as we are still eating Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte!

Now, here is a picture the second day of the torte. Looks much better, yes?
My sister has decided to join TWD also which rocks! Now she and I can bake "together" each week. :)

Monday, September 01, 2008