Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I was so excited when the challenge was announced. We were having a bit of a snow day, and I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand for the cookies! I whipped up a batch that very morning. The photo above is my son enjoying the "fruits" of our labor! The cookies came out pretty well, and I even practiced making them into a bowl to potentially make the panna cotta into or unmold it into a cookie bowl. Florentine cookies are not the type of cookie that my family particularly enjoys, but they are ok. I put Nutella in them because I thought we were out of chocolate. And because Nutella is yummy.

I didn't make the panna cotta until the evening of the 19th. We were going to take it to the in-laws for after church lunch the next day to say thank you for helping with Miles' birthday party. As a last minute thing we had to leave the house for a good bit of the afternoon when I was planning to make the dessert. Needless to say I was more rushed than I'd planned. Making the actual panna cotta wasn't too hard. I was nervous about layering, but I really wanted it layered. I ended up making the panna cotta, putting most of it in the freezer, then making the gelee right away. I covered the left over panna cotta with a cloth to keep it from getting a skin. When the panna cotta was set, I covered with the gelee. Set that and finish with the last of the panna cotta. I started with some chopped strawberries. Apparently they float though. In the end you couldn't see the strawberries at all. I thought they would look really nice. If I were to try again, I'd put only a little panna cotta over the strawberries, cool, more panna cotta, cool, then the gelee and the last of the panna cotta.

The dessert was really good. I'd recommend covering in plastic wrap before cooling, and probably each time just to be sure. It had nice presentation, even without the strawberries showing. The taste was good. I don't love gelatin desserts, but it was good. I made the Florentine cookies to take too. This time they didn't hold their shape at all, and were really greasy. I did run out of quick oats and use a little less than half a cup of rolled oats. I'm not sure if this is what caused the problem. All in all it was a good dessert, but not of the style I prefer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Airplane Party Round Up

I finally have photos of the invitation and thank you notes from the Airplane party, and I thought I'd put the pics up in one post.

Here is the invitation. We made it look like a plane ticket and the envelopes are made from maps. I brought them from vljasper on etsy.

These are the room markers for the parties. They were cute, but didn't prevent people from coming past the other party room to ours who were for the other one.

Food and dessert tables. We had way more stuff than we needed!

These are the give-aways that we made for all the kids at the party. It was fun, but Jared said that he will never again be roped into cutting out 15 anything. Yeah, we cut those out. Bigger job thank I'd have expected. Oops. The museum gave each of the kids a little airplane too. I got the pattern from PepitosRoom on etsy.

Here are the thank you cards that were sent too all his friends. We requested that no one bring gifts, so we sent thank you cards to everyone who came. This time I made my own envelopes. They were pretty easy.

I did get my dad's photos from the party. There are some pretty cute ones! I won't bore you with another party post, but I'm really glad he brought his camera. I just didn't take anything worth while, and Jared didn't take any at all! Enjoy and hope you got some good ideas!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What are you reading?

What are you reading?

Right now I'm reading The Girl Who Played with Fire.

girl fire

I'm a little less that 100 pages from the end, and I left it at my mother-in-law's this afternoon. I'm glad I'm going back tomorrow. I really am enjoying the books and want to finish. I do plan to read the third one too. I want to see how the series ends. Now that I'm thinking about it, I may go ahead and start the third one tonight and finish the second one tomorrow night after I get it back. Apparently the first one has a title in Swedish that translates to "Men Who Hate Women," and it's an apt title.

Some other things I've been reading this year are here. I posted this a couple of days before Bonnie put up this idea.

Monday, February 14, 2011


What photos do you have of your child's milestones?
Miles' 4th birthday was last Thursday. We gave him his gift in the morning. We had a slow one and it just seemed right. I told Jared we had to clean the game room before we could give it to him...Here I am picking it up.
Here is Miles just after opening it. It is a Playmobile castle. He really liked it.
Here he is playing. We'd had snow for several days before his birthday. We had his well child check up scheduled, but they changed the date because of snow. It ended up scheduled on his birthday. How did that go?
Here he is the next morning. Poor kiddo. We don't do more than 2 shots at a time. This is the next morning, and he hadn't taken a step all day. If he couldn't convince someone to carry him, he crawled where he needed to go. The day after his birthday also happened to be his party.

This is the food we had for the party. The party was at the airplane museum at a local airport. I thing everyone had fun. Several people didn't come even though they sent RSVPs.
This is Miles, his aunt and some kid that was obsessed with this ride. I can't complain, some other mom has the same pictures with her girl and Miles climbing on.
This is the only picture I have of Miles with a party guest. This is my boss' daughter. She is a sweetie!
This is the next day. The neighbor's girl playing with the gift they gave Miles. He loves it and she does too. They are cute together, and this was too funny.

Those are all the pictures I took over the 3 day period represented. My dad has some, but I didn't take any more. Tell me you do a better job documenting your child's milestones.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mid Feb

It is February 13. The day before Valentine's Day. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? We never have. I usually give Jared a card, and this year I got one for Miles too. He's going to a Valentine's Day party at Mother's Day Out tomorrow. I'm sure he'll love that!

Mostly I've been reading and prepping for Miles' birthday party. The party was Friday evening. It was lots of fun, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately my dad has pretty much all the pictures that we took. I'll post some later.

I need to get to work on my Daring Baker challenge. It is due on the 27th. I still haven't printed off the whole recipe to even look at all the ingredients at once! I did make part of the recipe already. Actually I made it on the first, the day the challenge was announced. We had a snow day here, and I happened to have all the ingredients at home. It worked pretty well. I'll tell you more on the 27th!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not Much

Wow, I just downloaded pictures. Apparently I haven't done that since the end of November.
Want to see? Nothing too exciting.

Here is our Advent candle calendar. White for Sunday and Christmas. BTW we forgot to light the Christmas one until several days later.
We made treats for the birds (pine cones covered in peanut butter and bird seed).
They were eaten by the squirrels.I guess we played games in our raincoats...but I don't remember really.
We made Christmas presents.

Then there was this...
Miles was in a play! It was so cute, he missed his queue, and came out with Jesus. Then he tried to sleep on the railing.

I walked in on this...too sweet. Miles' great-grandmother reading to him.
This is Christmas morning after gifts before leaving for my Aunt & Uncle's house.
We saw the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band practice for...uhh, whatever bowl game they were in.
More pearler beads...this time with tweezers to really challenge the fine motor skills!
And apparently I fell asleep on the floor of Miles' room while/after playing with him...Yeah, I'm a good mom. And thanks Jared for the pic...not at all embarrassing.
I promise that we decorated for Christmas. I guess I just didn't take any pictures. I actually did something really different (from my norm) that I loved, and I'm sad I didn't get a pic. We had a lovely Christmas, but those pictures are on another camera.
We also had a New Year's party at our guessed it, no pictures. I have got to do better.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Wrap-Up

It's February first! This is the official beginning of "busy season" in my work. I shift my work schedule from 2 days a week to 3, and Miles goes to a Mother's Day Out 2 of those days. Well, today the weather didn't cooperate. It sleeted from about 2am to 6am, and it's snowing now. Everything is closed today!
January was a busy month here. I completed 2 books which I posted about earlier this week. A dear friend also had her first baby. The baby's name is Riley, and she was born 6 weeks early! She spent the month in the NICU. The mother is dong extremely well. The stress is wearing on her, but she's holding up. Her baby shower was mid month. We really value reading around here, and she's come to me asking about reading, and telling me that the nurses are really encouraging her to read to Riley. I knew we wanted our gift to center around reading. I went to a used book shop, and bought something between 10-15 board books for her. Some were ones that we enjoyed, others were by favorite authors, and others just looked really good. I also made her some burp cloths, and a baby blanket all out of fabric I've had laying about the house for far longer than I care to remember! I really enjoyed sewing again, and I'm looking forward to another project.
Miles' birthday is February 10th, so we've been busy planning a party for him. I have lots of neat ideas, and I'll start posting about them as soon as they start coming together. The party is on the 11th, so I don't have too long to make that happen!
I've all but stopped taking pictures this month. I have to get back on top of that.
The Daring Baker's Challenge was posted this morning, and I'm so excited! I think it won't be too hard for me, which makes me glad. I was worried that the I'd be so in over my head, I wouldn't be able to be creative with it at all. This one I know I can do, and I've already started thinking of creative execution ideas!