Thursday, September 30, 2010

{FFWD} Gougeres

In 2000 my hubby and I went to Paris with his parents (they took us) and his youngest brother. It was an amazing trip. We saw the sights, ate a restaurants off the beaten path and stayed a a hotel that I swear was used in one of the Bourne movies. :) We also tried to order in French and not be the stupid Americans in a foreign country.

Some of the highlights of the trip were seeing the Eiffel Tower covered in lights, Marie Antionette's Hameau at the Palace of Versailles, Littlest brother eating a cyclops pizza and seeing Mona Lisa at the Lourve, shopping on the Champs-Elysees, and standing on top of the Arch de Triumph . Of course the food was amazing as well. Had I know about all of the fabulous chocolate shops back then I would have tried to go to those as well. That reminds me, I need to update my passport!

All of this to say, Dorie Greenspan has a new cookbook out called Around my French Table. There is a new club starting that is much like Tuesdays with Dorie only it is French Fridays with Dorie. There are no participation requirements and last I checked there were around 700 people signed up around the world to cook French food on Fridays. Dorie even selected the first months recipes. When I got my book I sat down with it and went through it. I am pretty excited about the book. There are a few things I may not try just because I am a wimp but I think for the most part we will like everything that I will cook. :)

This week's is the first week and the first recipe is for Gougeres. More easily said, these are cheese puffs. I can see filling these with cream and making cream puffs.
These came together really easily. I put the dough in my easy accent decorator and piped it onto my round stones. My hubster loved these and to did my kiddos. I used Gruyere cheese from the Publix deli. The gougeres kept really well and my kiddos took the leftovers in their school lunches for several days.

I will definitely be making these again. Make sure to check out FFwD Leave your Link to see how other home cooks did with this recipe. I am excited to see how the first week went for everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

{TWD} Tarte Fine

This week's recipe was brought to you by Leslie of Lethally Delicious! Her tarte looks gorgeous and she has fantastic tips should you wish to try it. She is a lovely baker and I am glad to know her through this fun blogging world!

I have not had a chance to get my photos of my camera today but I will tonight. For the time being let's just say my tarte was an epic fail of the non puffed, molten sugar and butter lava variety. I may try again after taking another look at Leslie's tips. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Top Referrers

This is just a quick shout out and some linky love to the top referring sites to my blog. Make sure to visit them and give them some love as well. :)

1) Piggys Cooking Journal
    One of my very favorite food photographers. 
2) Little Band of Brothers 
     A friend from college who loves vintage and all of her boys. 
3) The Robertson Family: Step Inside
     A friend from Tennessee who moved away to Texas.
4) The Way the Cooke Crumbles
    A friend from Tuesdays with Dorie who has excellent food photography tips and gorgeous photos.
5) Cookies on Friday
    Another lovely Tuesdays with Dorie baker from the pacific northwest.
6) Feeding Many 
    A family of six dealing with celiacs and menu planning
7) Confectiona's Realm
     Another very creative Tuesday with Dorie baker.
8) Org Junkie
9) The Food Librarian
     One of my very favorite librarians who also bakes.
10) A Whisk and A Spoon
     One more of my very favorite Tuesdays with Dorie bakers. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

100 mile challenge

Over at fatsecret.com you can join different challenges. The one I joined was to walk 100 miles in 8 weeks. I am coming to the end of week 2. Week 1 I walked 6 miles. After tomorrow I will have walked 14.5 for week 2. If I keep up this pace I will walk 107 by the end of the challenge! I don't think you can still sign up for the challenge officially but you too could walk 100 miles in 8 weeks. Good luck! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

{TWD} Coffee Break Muffins and a Catch up Post

It is Tuesday again and that means Tuesdays with Dorie. If you can't get enough of these recipes you will want to pick up a copy of Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. While you are at it pick up a copy of Dorie's new cookbook "Around My French Table" and join French Fridays with Dorie. There are no participation requirements but it is going to be a fun group. Dorie herself selected the first months recipes and she will be on a book tour starting soon.

Thank you to Rhiani from Chocoholic Anonymous for choosing this week's recipe. Coffee Break Muffins were the recipe of the week. They called for espresso powder and coffee but I didn't have either so I improvised a bit. I used hot chocolate instead of coffee, tossed a couple of marshmallows on top and used some mini toppers that I won in Pam's giveaway. They turned out perfectly. We ate them for breakfast this morning and everyone left the house with happy tummies.


Now, the catch up part. I also made cranberry upside downer today. This was chosen for last week by Sabrina of Superfluous. This was easy to make and quite delicious. Even my cooked fruit hating husband liked it. I did sub frozen cherries for the cranberries because I couldn't find cranberries. It was tasty anyway. :)

One more catch up recipe was Peanut Butter Criss Crosses chosen by Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine. She is French Canadian so it is fun to read her blog as she posts in French and in English. :) I do not have pictures of these because I baked them and before they were cool packed them up and took them to my students. I used Chocolate Dreams Chocolate peanut butter and tossed in some caramel pieces. They were delicious and I need to make these again soon. :)

I am trying to get back in some kind of routine so I am baking and cooking regularly. Hopefully that will be in the near future. Next week: Tarte Fine

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday and Salient

My husbands band Salient has been working on a song over the last couple of months to be featured on a commercial. The trailer is up today and you can see it on youtube.



In other news, it is Menu Plan Monday.

Monday: spaghetti and garlic bread and steamed vegetables
Tuesday: sausage and rice
Wednesday: Shake and Bake Chicken, veggies and homemade rolls
Thursday: Mac and Cheese
Friday: Leftovers or Pizza

Make sure to check out the site and create your own menu for the week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Miss Patti's 1880 Settlement

When we moved to the south many years ago (9 years ago can you believe it?) we had some friends that told us about Miss Patti's. They raved about the 2 inch pork chops and the flower pot bread. The first time we went Munchkin had just started walking. We found a cute tiny turtle, fed the ducks and my hubby was spit at by a llama. It was also a time of transition for us so that particular trip holds certain memories for me.

The second time we went we were with my parents and some friends that have known me practically since I was born. Their son (who is my age) gouged my face with his finger nails and I punched him in the nose over Easter eggs we each wanted (we were 3). Little Man was a teeny tiny baby, it was busy but once again the food was top rate, the service good and we had a lovely time.

The band has been traveling more than they have in awhile so we needed a family day. We packed the kids in the car and headed for The Land Between the Lakes and Miss Patti's 1880 Settlement. It was not crowded today, a little humid but not too hot, the kids played on the playground and had static hair, we all enjoyed our food and our desserts and then came back home. It was nice to get away but only be far enough that we could come home. The llama did not spit at hubs but Munchkin was freaked out by the creepy emu..apparently she thought it was going to peck her.

If you get a chance go to Patti's for delicious food and take a walk around the grounds. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Soccer

I will just go ahead and admit it...I am not a sports fan. It probably stems from that horrible incident in 5th grade when I was playing kickball and fell in front of my entire class....or maybe it was playing basketball with ROTC and feeling like a complete idiot....or maybe not being coordinated enough to get picked as a cheerleader...Does that make me unAmerican? Does it make me less of a woman? I admit it, I watch the Superbowl for the commercials, I yell at the top of my lungs for the Predators if we are at a game and I cheer on the Sounds but that does not make me a sports fan and I don't care. I am not a sports fan. I said it so deal with it! :)

However, when my kids are on the field that all changes. I am so proud of them when they are trying their hardest out there. My Little Man made had first career soccer goal today. I know, I know the recruiters will be calling soon. ;) And my Munchkin played her heart out even after tripping over the ball and bruising the side of her face with her glasses (she will probably be playing without them from here on out). I change into a sports fan when I have little people I love playing. And I think they like it that I am their fan. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Life Happens

I must say I have not been a terribly prolific blogger as of late. Have you missed me? The last time I blogged was on my birthday and it was a short and copout kind of post.

This is what has happened to keep me from blogging:
A couple of months ago we had a lightening strike near our home. Apparently our home was not well grounded so the strike took out the motherboard on our computer along with my cell phone charger. I was thanking God that I had backed all of my photos up on an external hard drive a few weeks earlier. (Get an external drive right now...I'll wait...Ok? Good.) We do have a laptop but it is pretty slow and the battery runs out in about 10 minutes. So, my first excuse for not being a prolific blogger is no access. With the purchase of a new motherboard and a new laptop battery we are back in business.

No access caused another issue. Photoshop was on the desktop that lost the motherboard so for a couple of months I was without a way to edit photos which means I took very few photos. (Yes, I could use free software on the laptop with the short battery life battery but I had no motivation). Which means I am behind on my photo of the day blog as well.

On top of all of this I was just flat out depressed and feeling sorry for myself. I am not sure what the problem has been but I have been lonely and having a nice wallowy pity party for myself. (Selfish much?) I didn't want to do ANYTHING but sit in my house and sleep. To kick me out of my self pity mode hubs and I noticed a lump on Little Mans chest.

The lump on his chest worried me so I took him to the doctor who said to keep an eye on it and bring him back in in a month. Now, I should have just insisted that we do bloodwork then but I am hanging on until October 8th to see if the lump goes away. You may remember from earlier blogs that Little Man has ACC (Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum). He was diagnosed at 1. We took him to Physical Therapy once a week and Occupational Therapy once a month until he was 3. He was then not delayed enough to get services until he started Kindergarten. He was in kindergarten last year and had speech for most of the year (he wasn't delayed enough earlier but I kick my self thinking I should have been angrier and forced the issue so he got that service). This year he is taking Kindergarten again, has speech twice a week and Occupation Therapy once a week. He is pulled out of his class for each of those.

After I went to the doctor the other day I started researching the lump Little Man has. Apparently kids with ACC can have an issue with the pituitary gland causing early or late puberty. He is 6. After the appointment hubs said something along the lines of "doesn't our little guy have enough to deal with?" We both just shook our heads. God must have amazing plans for our little guy that we just can't see yet.

Outside of all of these depressing thoughts, the kids both started soccer and love it. Outside of crazy hormone issues they are healthy and happy, love school and for the most part each other. I have my husband, my kids, my family and friends. I am blessed beyond measure and I just have to trust God to pull me out of this funk I have been in.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Me at 36

Things I like:
Hanging out with my kiddos and hubby     
Baking
Photography
Scrapbooking (if I can get to my stuff)
Volunteering at school
Teaching college students
Watching movies
Singing with my kiddos in the car
Reading to my babies

Things I do not like:
Dishes
Laundry
Housework
These things do not seem to change...

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

{TWD} Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Donna of Life's too short not to eat dessert first. Even with a measuring tape and a pizza roller I cannot cut a straight line! 
I did not have espresso powder but I found Starbucks instant coffee and that seemed to work well for this recipe. 
These cookies came out tender and caffeine filled. Even though I liked them my family didn't so I sent them to school as a treat for the teachers.