Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Last week was J's birthday, so of course I have a new cake recipe to share...

Here are the Boston Cream Cupcakes that I made: Thanks to Martha for the recipe.

Of course, Embry helped me and she almost couldn't wait to eat them.

These were so cute, so yummy and not difficult at all. Just a basic yellow cupcake recipe, a vanilla pudding filling and chocolate ganache topping. They are assembled just like a regular size Boston Cream Pie, only smaller. They area little messy to eat so, J and I used forks, but Embry insisted on using her hands.

Hope you had a great birthday honey!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Update

Around the House: I have finished my first official week at work and all is well, so far. I'm not really any more tired than usual, but I have definitely been sleeping better at night. J is handling the kids fine in the evenings, and because I am missing them so much when I'm at work, I can't wait to see them the next morning. I do miss having the weekends to do whatever, and I am appreciating the time I do have off much more.

In the Kitchen: We've been cooking a lot lately since we've been given tons of garden veggies from my MIL. Some of our favorites are fried green tomatoes and okra, grilled zucchini, homemade salsa, and anything we can think of with fresh tomatoes. I also broke in my new cookbook, "Sticky Chewy Messy Gooey." (Thanks to Alicia for introducing me to this one.) The recipe we chose was Banana Bread Pudding. The recipe called for a chocolate sauce, but we made a bourbon sauce instead. It was soooo yummy.

New with Embry: Embry has been slightly obsessed with climbing lately. "Climbing what," you might ask? The car, the doorways, the swingset, anything that is taller than she is. She can almost touch the ceiling in Matthew's room, all on her own. That kid will do anything to keep from being bored.

New with Matthew: Matthew has really started to like anything to do with drawing. He draws on his MagnaDoodle all the time. Anytime he sees me using a pen or a pencil he runs over, grabs it out of hand, and draws all over whatever I was working on. Then, the other day, I let him try his hand at the chalkboard and he loved it. Then he started using the chalk to draw on the paper side of the easel (and the wall and the table). Luckily, chalk wipes off easily. Now he and Embry draw together all the time. So cute.

I'm Grateful For: Kids who are old enough to play together for 10 or 15 minutes at a time without fighting or injuring each other or breaking something.

The Weather Outside: I have nothing to report except beautiful weather all around. Low eighties, partly cloudy, no humidity. Just lovely!

I'm Obsessed With: Darn that stupid Internet and the vast amount of old tv shows that are available whenever you want. I recently started watching "My So-Called Life" on I almost forgot how amazingly great that show was. And all my feelings of anger about the show being cancelled after one season because it was too controversial, came rushing back to me. I mean, if this show were on tv these days, it would be quite tame in comparison to what else is on. Anyway, I'm almost finished with this show, then I'm starting "Growing Pains"...

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yes, I actually grew something. My family is full of people who are fantastic at growing things. Gardens, flowers, houseplants, you name it. But I can't keep a cactus alive. If there is a plant alive in my house it is because it was given to me within the last few months. If there are flowers in my yard, it is because they were planted by whoever lived here before us. If there are fresh vegetables in my kitchen they probably came from the farmer's market.

It's not that I don't want to do these things, I'm just not good at it. So, when my mother-in-law brought these upside-down tomato plants to our house I figured they'd be dead in a couple of weeks. But thanks to Embry for reminding me to water them, and thanks to our sunny backyard, they actually grew big and produced!

These were my first official fruit...aren't they pretty? Now what to do with them? Not enough of them to make marinara, too many for a salad. I've got some bacon in the fridge...hmmm.

Oh yes, one of my favorite things to do with a fresh tomato. BLT.

It was delicious!! I can't wait until we harvest some more!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pizza Recipe

Costco has this great pizza kit that comes with 3 ready-made crusts and 3 pouches of sauce. I thought it would be fun for Embry to get to make her own pizza, so I bought these tiny mini-pepperoni that are the size of a dime. She made her pizza one half cheese and one half pepperoni.

For the grown-up pizza I wanted to try something different. I also wanted to use up some of the huge bag of spinach that I had. So, I searched the web for a spinach pizza recipe and found this one.

Spinach, Ham and Egg Pizza

1 store-bought pizza crust
4 cups (about 4 ounces) baby spinach leaves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 ounces prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)
3 cloves thinly sliced garlic
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Scatter spinach all over crust. Drizzle with oil. Evenly distribute prosciutto, Parmesan and garlic on top of spinach. Crack eggs onto pizza, roughly positioning 1 yolk on each pizza quarter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until spinach is wilted and egg whites are just fully cooked. Cut into 4 large slices.

It seemed a little weird, but we like to try new stuff, so I went for it. Embry helped with this one too, of course. It turned out great! I decided that it tasted a lot like quiche. We ended up using bacon instead of ham, because we always have bacon in the house, but I think our version was better. I had a second piece after rationalizing that all of that spinach was good for me. Yum!


As of Monday, I will be going to work, part time in the evenings and on the weekends. It was something that we've been thinking about for a while now. I go back and forth as to what is really better for our family. I don't necessarily want to work, I would much rather be home to eat dinner with my husband and put my kids to bed every night. However, saving up some cash for a house, for Matthew to go to school with Embry, and for whatever might happen in our near future seems more important right now.

Every time I get sad thinking about what I'll be missing, I try to remind myself about how great I'll still have it. Not many people get to stay home all day with their son or pick up their daughter every day from school. I'll still have 3 days off every week, so it's not like I'll be gone all the time, but right now it sure feels like it. J and I agreed that if it gets too stressfull, I'll just quit, but we're going to give it a shot.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


"Henry" is Embry's imaginary dog. He is a big dog who once was a puppy, and we have traded him in at the mall for a new puppy a couple of times when Embry has gotten tired of having a full grown dog. I'm not sure if we are getting a new puppy each time, who is always named Henry... or if we are taking him to some sort of backwards aging store and just making the dog-Henry young again.

Anyway, Henry goes almost everywhere we go. He rides in the car and we have to make sure that he has his seatbelt on before we go. He rides in the cart at the grocery store, and he loves to go to the park and to museums. According to Embry, the City Museum is Henry's favorite because he like to go down all of the slides.

I have to say that an imaginary dog is the best kind. He keeps us safe and is loads of fun, but he never needs to be walked or bathed. And on the rare occasion that he makes a mess, Embry is always happy to clean up after him. Until the day when I lose my mind and get a real dog, he seems to be a good substitute.