Monday, March 31, 2008

Magical Music

Emma is having a magic theme party. I am pretty much set, but need some suggestions for music that is about magic or magical beings like fairies, magicians, trolls, elves, witches, genies or wizards. I ruled out witchy woman and magic man because I thought they were too adult and not that dancy anyway. Thanks.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My cupcake cake

Thank you Tara for your post the other month about your cake. I took on the challenge and was so pleased in the end result. I wasn't so sure starting this how it would work out. I loved it but more importantly, Madison loved it! It was so fun to decorate and it was so nice that I could just pull apart the cupcakes when I served it. If any of you haven't yet tried a cupcake cake, you should.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bout of Strep Changes Bad Rep

Ian and Aidan both have strep. Ian has it so much worse than Aidan that he hasn't been able to eat anything today because he says his throat stings. Collin and I were trying to spray some Clorets in Ian's throat and he was crying and trying to run away. Aidan said, "Ian, if you let them spray your mouth I will give you a prize. Do you want a toy prize or a candy prize?" Ian wanted a toy prize and promptly opened his mouth. Then Aidan went to his toy box and got out three toys he thought Ian would like and said, "Since you got three sprays, I will give you three toys." Ian said, "Wow, FANKS (not a spelling error, that is how he says it) Aidan!"

You know, I am sometimes so focused on the less positive aspects of having kids so close in age (constant bickering, tattle-tailing, physical violence) that I forget how sweet they can be to each other and occasionally helpful to their parents. This is our fourth or fifth bout of illness this winter but I am going to try and be more positive and praise the kids this week and not let this slew of winter blues and bugs get us down.

I especially want to focus on Aidan. It is true that he is usually responsible for mischief around our house. Yesterday he put on bright red lipstick, decided that it looked dumb on him [what, all the 8 year old boys around town aren't wearing Revlon's Ruby Sparkle?] and then smeared it on a white wall in the basement. But since he is the oldest we expect the most from him and discipline him the most. I think I should ease up on him because he is like the nursery rhyme about the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead. When he is good, he is very very good and I'll just overlook the last line of the rhyme.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

American Idol

I think this is the first season of American Idol that I am following carefully. Maybe because there are two contestants that we think are Mormon. Does anyone know whether that's true or not? Anyway, Justin really likes Brooke White.
She's one of my favorites, but there are a couple of good guys too. Any other fans out there?

Baby Elijah

This is the email I got from Jared (Alyssa's husband) this morning.

We're happy to announce the birth of our son, Elijah Jared Barlow, born Wednesday afternoon (March 26) at 4:01pm. Eli is doing well and checks in at 7lbs 15oz and 20.5 inches. He has a fair bit of brown hair (less than Sam, more than Mia). I think he looks quite a bit like Sam, but he does have is own look. After an eventful recovery yesterday afternoon (quite a bit of bleeding and LOTS of nausea), Alyssa is feeling very well this morning. Sam and Mia are excited to have a little bro to tease! We appreciate everyone's love and support! We'll send along pictures and such when we can get them downloaded.


Hooray! Congratulations Alyssa! Who knows when she'll ever have a chance to read this though. :) haha

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Congratulations Alyssa!

Well, Alyssa should have had her baby boy by now. I haven't heard from her yet, but it's never too soon to say congratulations and welcome new baby Barlow to the world! I'll post all the good info as soon as I hear what it is, unless of course she's feeling up to it herself. :)

Monday, March 24, 2008


How was everyone's Easter? What did everyone do? We had a short egg hunt and then yummy monkey bread for breakfast. Church was good other than Gage spilling a bag full of cheerios onto the floor. A delicious dinner at Grammy and Papa's and then baths and bed. It was a good day and Kendall enjoyed learning about the resurrection. We went to the cemetery and were talking about it and she was telling us that Corban would come back to life but he won't scratch her (Gage scratched her hand) and that he can't move now but he'll be able to move again. It was cute. She also says he's in outer space with Jesus. She says heaven is in outer space. I'm grateful to know that death isn't the end.

Blender Wheat Pancakes Addendum

So I made the blender wheat pancakes for the kids and they had trouble eating just one. It could have been that they just weren't hungry or the fake syrup (Collin likes fake, I like real), but it took 1 hour to eat one. Then I had a flash of early American inspiration and decided to turn them into stacked pancakes from Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Farmer Boy,

"Ten pancakes cooked on the smoking griddle, and as fast as they were done Mother added another cake to each stack and buttered it lavishly and covered it with maple sugar. Butter and sugar melted together and dripped all down their crisp edges. That was stacked pancakes. Almanzo liked them better than any other kind of pancakes."

Instead of cooking the pancakes in butter on a hot skillet, I just left the skillet dry. Instead of 10 pancakes stacked up, I did three. If you have extra pancakes left over, make stacked pancakes the next day in the microwave by layering pancake, butter, brown sugar three times and zapping in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds. Ian, Aidan and I love them. Collin hates butter or else he would love them too. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Teen Crafts

I might get to work in or be in charge of the craft shack up at Girl's Camp. I have fun ideas for people my age or older or for children, but realized that I don't know what to do for preteens and teenagers. Does anyone know of anything or any sites? My favorite crafts to do involve mostly knitting and scrapbooking, but I don't know if the teens will be interested in those things. Knitting is something you CAN learn to do in a week, but takes a lot of practice and the weather will be hot so maybe they won't want to do that. I would love some input on this. Thanks!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Party ideas

Kendall wants a rainbow birthday party and I'm looking for ideas. I'm going to make cupcakes with rainbow colored m&ms on them and that's about as far as I've gotten.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Now I know I am being a bit wheatfull, but we actually eat the stuff I have posted. This banana bread is really good, just ask Katy, Justin and Ollie. The top of it comes out almost candy-like. I think you could probably cut the butter in half, but it might not come out as crunchy on top.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

1 c banana
1/2 c sour cream or plain yogurt
1 t vanilla

Mash together in a bowl or blend to make smooth.

1 1/2 c sifted wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

Mix together in a separate bowl.

Cream together:
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter
2 eggs

Now put all three mixtures together and fold until just moistened. Bake in a loaf pan at 325 F for 40-50 minutes.

Toffee Grahams

I was in the mood for something sweet yesterday but didn't want to go to any big trouble to make anything. And I didn't have any popcorn to make Robyn's peanut butter popcorn which is what I wanted. So, I made the easiest treat I could think of.
Toffee Grahams:
Spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350. Break two packs of graham crackers in half and line pan with the squares. Boil together one cup brown sugar with one cup butter for two minutes. Pour over graham crackers and bake for 10 minutes. Once the start to cool separate each square and remove from pan to finish cooling. So stinkin good.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yummy Scones

I've been craving scones for some reason, so I tried this recipe. They were really good. I substituted mini chocolate chips for the raisins. This is a really basic recipe so you could experiment with different mix-ins. Next time I think I'll put a little lemon zest in with the dry ingredients and add blueberries instead of raisins.

1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup raisins (optional)

In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom

Monday, March 17, 2008

Food Storage Help

There have been a few posts about food storage lately and it has been making me think that maybe I need to switch things up a bit. How do you stock up on yours? What do you get? And where do you get it? Does the Church have any guidelines other than a year supply?

I will be at Costco and see those 5 gallon bins of freeze-dried (or I don't even know) meals. They seem like they would be nasty to me so I figure I will save my hundred dollars and buy some real food.

So since we have been married I have been doing this...Every 3-6 months I go to Costco and get items that have at least a year shelf life and that we eat on a regular basis--canned chicken, tuna, soups, mac and cheese, canned veggies and fruits etc. I get enough and have enough on the shelf at home that at any given time we have roughly a years worth of a variety of things. I also get a box of water bottles every time I go.

But I don't have wheat or some of the other things that people talk about--I don't know what I would do with a ton of wheat. I am not much of a cook. I rarely make breads and that sort from scratch--so I don't have any other the other necessities that seem to go along with wheat. So it seems like a waste for me to buy it. It will go bad with out me using it.

So how should I switch things? Do you get your items from the--what is it called the--church cannery place? Can you even get things from there, or do you have to be eligible to buy things from there. I know they hand out cannery opportunities during relief society, but I have never been. From what it sounds like you go to can for others, not yourself.

I probably sound really stupid, but I need some new ideas and help. Maybe I just need to hone my domestic skills in the kitchen. Let me know.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Celebrity Baby Names

Here's the answers. What were these parents thinking?

1. Toni Braxton - e) Denim Cole
2. Nicholas Cage - h) Kal-el
3. Richard Gere - g) Homer James Jigme
4. Helen Hunt - l) Makena'lei Gordon
5. Penn Jillette - b) Moxie Crimefighter
6. John Mellencamp - c) Spec Wildhorse
7. Jamie Oliver - a) Daisy Boo
8) Nicole Richie - j) Harlow Winter Kate
9) Sylvester Stallone - d) Sage Moonblood
10) Johnny Depp - k) Lily-Rose
11) Frank Zappa - f) Dweezil
12) John Travolta - i) Jett

Besides my mom (who stays current with her People magazine) did anyone know these?

Food Storage Pinto Bean Challenge

Is anyone interested in making a dessert using pinto beans? I have two food storage recipes that I want someone braver than I to try. I challenge you to make either pinto bean fudge or pinto bean pie. Ready, set, cook!

Pinto Bean Fudge

1 c cooked, mashed pinto beans
1/4 c milk
1 T vanilla
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 T butter
2 lb. powdered sugar
nuts (optional)

In a large bowl, stir beans and milk together, adding enough mil to resemble mashed potatoes. Stir in vanilla. Melt chocolate and butter and stir into bean mixture. Gradually stir in powdered sugar. Knead with hands to blend well. Spread in lightly buttered 9" baking dish. Chill for 1-2 hours.

Pinto Bean Pie

1 c mashed pinto beans
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1/2 c butter, softened
1 unbaked 9" pie shell
pecan halves

Mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into unbaked pie shell and top with pecan halves. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 min. Reduce heat slightly and continue to bake another 25 min. or until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Eat More Wheat

Per Mical's request, I am posting wheat recipes. Last night I made a regular brownie recipe and replaced half of the flour with wheat flour and I didn't notice a huge difference in taste or texture. 

Blender Wheat Pancakes

1 c wheat
1 1/4 c milk (use your powdered milk reconstituted)
(blend about 2 min.)
2 eggs
2 t baking powder
2 T sugar or honey
1/3 c oil 
1/2 t baking soda

Blend until mixed. Stir between pouring to keep mixed. Pour onto hot lightly greased griddle. Flip over when bubbles burst. Makes approximately 24 3" pancakes.

Wheat Waffles

2 c flour (1 white, 1 wheat)
4 t baking powder
6 T oil
2 eggs
1/2 t salt
1 3/4 c milk (use your powdered milk, reconstituted)
2 T sugar or honey

Mix all together and cook in oiled waffle maker.

Maren's Rolls
(can also be made into whole wheat cinnamon rolls)

2 packages of yeast
1/2 c warm water
1/4 c sugar
6 1/2-8 c whole wheat or 1/2 white, 1/2 wheat flour
1/2 c powdered milk
1 T salt
2 c warm water
2 beaten eggs
1/2 c oil

Combine yeast, 1/2 c water, and sugar. Allow to stand until yeast is dissolved. Sift flour, powdered milk, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour in water, yeast mix, eggs and oil. Stir well and add more flour if needed to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise 1 hour. To speed rising process turn oven on to 300 degrees for 3 minutes, then turn off and place dough with warm moist cloth over it in closed oven). When doubled in size, turn out onto well floured board. Knead a few times to make dough easy to handle.Form into desired shapes*. 

For rolls, take small handfuls and roll into balls. Place the balls close together in a greased 9 x 13" pan. Allow to double in size. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes until golden brown.

*For cinnamon rolls roll out dough to 1/2 inch and spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Roll up and slice 1 inch pieces and place together in baking dish. Allow to double in size. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes until golden brown. 

German Apple Pancakes

This is a great way to use food storage dried apples. This recipe is from Martha Stewart's Kid magazine. It is also in the cookbooks Ian's preschool sold last year so April, Katy, Kirsten and Stephanie all have it. These work best using a silicone muffin tin, they come out picture perfect. You can also make one huge pancake in a casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes.  We like the muffin cup ones better because you have more crispy outside surface area. We eat ours with whipped cream, but the recipe also suggests maple syrup, strawberry jam, lemon juice and more powdered sugar.

German Apple Pancakes

2/3 c flour
2 c dried apples reconstituted with hot water or 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled & cut into pieces
3 eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
5 T granulated sugar, plus more for tin
1/2 t cinnamon
2 T unsalted butter
1 T lemon juice
3/4 c whole milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush melted butter inside each muffin cup; coat with granulated sugar. Toss apples with brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Melt 2 T butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add apples and sauté, turning occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, until caramelized. Remove from stove; let cool 5 min. Divide apples among muffin cups.  Place flour, salt, granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs and milk in blender, blend on high 3 minutes. Pour batter over apples. Place in oven and lower heat to 400 degrees. Bake 15 minutes. Pancakes should puff up during last 5 minutes. Remove from oven  and turn it over on flat surface to remove pancakes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately. 

Chicken Enchilada Bake

This recipe is from the Friends and Memories cookbook from the Cardoza Foundation in Modesto, so April, Katy, Kirsten, Stephanie and possibly Robyn have it already. It it easy to make and freezes really well, Mical. I usually double the recipe and freeze one for another day.

Chicken Enchilada Bake

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup 
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, diced
1 soup can of milk 
1 T Worcestershire 
3 c chicken, shredded or diced
4 c Monterey Jack or medium sharp cheddar, grated
1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into 1" squares

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix soups, chilies, and Worcestershire sauce together in a large bowl. Add chicken, tortillas and about 1 cup of cheese. Mix well, making sure chicken and tortillas are coated with soup mixture. Let stand about 30 minutes, then pour into a greased 9 x 13" baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes or until lightly bubbly and golden. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with green salad and crusty bread and you are set.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ada's Tutu

It turned out pretty cute!

Peanut Butter Popcorn

This is my favorite treat that my husband makes for me all the time (because he's wonderful like that). If you're a peanut butter fan, you'll love this. If you don't like peanut butter, you'll probably still love this. It's quick and easy.

8 cups popcorn
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Melt together the sugar, Karo syrup, and peanut butter in a sauce pan on low heat. For the smoothest sauce, combine the sugar and Karo syrup first until it's not gritty, then add the peanut better until it's mixed in, but not cooked. Remove the unpopped kernels from the popcorn, pour the sauce all over the popcorn, and stir it until it's well-covered.

My favorite addition to this recipe is to sprinkle in milk chocolate chips while I'm coating the popcorn with the sauce. Mmm! It's so good!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Food Storage

Yesterday I went to a ladies house in my ward to drop off my check for some items from the cannery. I have never participated yet, and if you can't go to the cannery in my ward and they have enough help, they will just go and fill your order for you. So, I thought okay, I will get a couple things that I know I will use (ie: apple slices, rice) and then see what I think and do more next month. Well I don't know this woman really well...she is in the nursery and so she knows my daughter Callie and we have her two girls babysit on a pretty regular basis. Anyway so as I was talking with her she was telling me how wonderful food storage is and how she hadn't really done any until a couple years ago. She said that she was called as second counselor in the RS pres. and she was responsible for food storage. So she started to dabble in it then and just about a year ago was called as the food storage specialist in our ward. She said she grinds her own wheat(which I have always wanted to try) and makes her own bread. Well last November her husband lost his job and here it is March and he still hasn't found another job. She kind of bore her testimony to me and told me that her family since that time has been living off their food storage and how she was so grateful for that. She even had stocked up on such items as...shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste, etc.
I think that it is so great to know that our Heavenly Father is always 2 steps ahead of us. He knew that this would happen to her family and so prepared her years before to get her ready for this. I have always known that food storage is important, especially in recent years as you can't go through a conference without a mention of it. I want to be the family who has plenty to help my family as well as other...not the family that is in need of the help because they didn't listen to the counsel given.
As I was thinking about her and her family yesterday I realized that I need to stop making excuses and get going on my food storage. So, I was wondering what you girls thoughts were on this topic and for those of you that have already begun you have any tips for the beginners?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tutu cute

My mom and I were walking past a little kids' boutique booth at the mall and they were selling little girl and baby tutus. We looked at them closely and both thought- "I could do that!" And for cheaper than the 25 dollars they were charging too. So after a couple internet searches and trips to Joann's here is a tutu I made for one of Kendall's friends. I'm going to make one for Kendall that is pink and brown for her to wear on Easter.

You just get a piece of elastic in the length you want and sew the ends together. Cut the tulle, you need 4-6 yards-this one is with 4, into 2 inch wide stripes that are twice as long as you want the skirt to be. In layers of two or three, depending on how poofy you want it- mine is layers of three, you tie them on. Here are a couple pictures. Too easy and too cute!

Here's a site that explains it better than me.

Monkey Bread

SO good. I put this in the oven while we were opening presents Christmas morning and it was ready and delicious when we finished. If you're a nut person you can add them to the butter/brown sugar layer, but I'm not. And because I'm a sauce freak, I serve with a small pitcher of icing to drizzle over. Not for dieting for sure.

4 cans refrigerator biscuits (10 per can)
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon

Grease Bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. Mix sugar and
cinnamon in a Ziploc bag. Place quartered
biscuits in plastic bag and shake to coat each piece well.

1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 sticks butter, melted

Melt butter and add cinnamon and sugar. Layer 1/2 biscuit
pieces in Bundt pan. Cover with 1/2 topping mixture. Layer
remaining biscuits and cover with topping. Bake at 350
degrees for 35-40 minutes. Invert onto plate while still
warm. Eat by pulling apart pieces with hands; hence the
name, Monkey Bread.

Monday, March 10, 2008

April's Breakfast Casserole

Our mom has been making this for years and now it is one of my family's favorites. On Christmas morning I made this casserole and some Monkey Bread (Kirsten, maybe you could post that recipe...Yummy!) and everyone loved it. If anyone is making Easter brunch, this would be great!

Breakfast Casserole

1 stick butter
10 eggs
1 lb. Cheese (Jack or Cheddar)
1 pt. Cottage cheese
1 small can diced green chilies
2 c. diced ham
1 t. baking powder
1/4 c. flour
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients with beaters. Pour into 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

You can also mix everything up and put it in the dish the night before and bake it in the morning.

Happy birthday TARA!!!

We wanted to make sure you knew that even though we're across the country, we're thinking of you today and hoping your day is wonderful. We're grateful that you're a part of our family. We love you, happy birthday.

Make sure if someone else doesn't spoil you today, you do it for yourself!!

Kirsten, April, Katy, and Stephanie.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Intro: Robyn

My name is Robyn and I've known the McKinneys from the time they moved next door in Modesto, when we were little girls and would spend summer nights playing games like horse, memory on the trampoline, radio theater, british bulldog, sardines, little orphan Annie, and try-to-hit-the-street-lamp-with-a-rubber-ball. Actually, come to think of it, we weren't all that little. And did we ever actually hit the street lamp, Kirsten? I seem to recall that we had to hit the lamp off a bounce, and the circumstances where we did manage to hit it weren't in accordance with the rules of the game. Ah, technicalities. We would also have acrobatic stand-offs with the drug-dealing Filipino neighbors across the street. Katy always dazzled them with her gymnastic skills and they would request (i.e. shouted from their lawn) for Katy to "do da flip!" which meant a roundoff back handspring (or several in a row, talented as she was). Good times.

I live now with my husband and our three daughters. I am a cellist and teach about ten students from my home. My husband is also a musician. We love going to the beach. I love to sew, read, bake bread, sing, watch movies, swim, and anything else that will give me an excuse to not do the dishes. It was nice of Katy to invite me to this blog and I've already enjoyed reading the posts from all you incredible supermommies.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Diaper Cake

I didn't think I could attach a picture to a comment, but I just wanted to leave a picture to give Stephanie an idea of what I was talking about. This is one my friend made for me. She made the top two layers of burp rags and receiving blankets. Then decorated it with binkis, socks, toys and stuff. Then the base was all diapers. So cute! Everyone LOVED it.

Kid journals

I've kept a journal since sixth grade. I got a pink Hello Kitty diary for my 12th birthday from some girl I can't remember and it stuck. I love how therapeutic it is and how interesting it is to go back and read about my life. I'm not good at scrap booking and I'm not great at filling in baby books but I do have practice with keeping a journal. So for this last Christmas I got Kendall and Gage each a journal. They do and say such cute things and while I don't want to forget them, I know that if I don't record things, they'll FOR SURE not remember anything. So when I can I write what's going on or if something special has happened I'll write about it and maybe add a picture. It will be my gift to them when they're grown so they can read their own stories. From my sentimental perspective of course. Just wanted to share the idea in case it's something that would work for someone else.

The pink one's Ken's and the blue one is Gage's.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Baby Shower Ideas

I'm throwing my really good friend a baby shower and my colors are blue and brown.  Other then the obvious balloons and utensils, how can I make it more baby appropriate, yet chic.  I probably won't do balloons though, I just don't think there're that nice.  With the help of her sisters, we already have food and games planned.  I just need some decorating ideas since it IS at my house. I have a couple things already planned but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask you all for some more ideas and advice.  I'm sure you all have been to your fair share of baby showers:-)

In my dreams

I often make mental notes of things that I want in my dream home. For example, I want a craft room with tons of storage and working space, and a TV. I most often think of what my kitchen would look like. It for sure needs tons of counter space and an island with a second sink for food prep. It would also have two ovens and a commercial-style range. What are some of the things that you love (big or small) about your home now, or would love to have in a home some day?

What would it be like to have a place for all the fabric, ribbon, yarn, paper, stamps, pictures, and other craft stuff that keeps piling up?

This is a faucet mounted on the backsplash so you can fill pots up right on the stove. Pretty cool.

This is like a little counter garage. A door closes to hide the appliances, leaving counter space in front for other uses.

Cute Cards

Aren't these cute? They were super simple to make. My neighbor invited me to a stampin' Up! party and the rep let us make two of each card for free. I wish the stuff wasn't so expensive because I would love to buy all the cute paper and ink pads and stamps. My favorite of these is the the cake one. It still fits in a standard invitation envelope, but has a really different look. The last card is a great way to use up those itty bitty scraps you usually toss.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

I have made my own birthday cake a couple times and it stunk! This year Collin made these for me and they were gooey chocolatey perfection. Emma asked him to make them for her birthday as well. I had mine with dulce de leche Häagen Dazs, but I think it would be great with raspberry sauce as well or vanilla bean ice cream with black specs. The recipe comes from Martha Stewart´s Everyday Food cookbook.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

4 T unsalted butter, at room temp., plus more for muffin tins
1/3 c granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 c flour
1/4 t salt
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter 4 cups of a standard muffin tin. Dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess. Set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate (do not overmix). Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. 

Place muffin tin on baking sheet, bake until tops of cakes no longer jiggle when the pan is lightly shaken, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes.

To serve, turn out the cakes, and place on serving plates, top sides up. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I love Target!

A while ago Chelsea posted that Target has a bunch of $1 items that would be great for Easter baskets. I went yesterday and they do have a ton of cute stuff. Lily picked out this hat for dress-ups and they also had some cute gloves that would be fun. I got Ollie a green St. Patrick's Day hat and some stickers. All from the dollar section!

Of course I left with some cute shirts (the one she is wearing) and shorts for Lily for $3.99 each. Target rocks!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Good books

I've always loved to read but don't always have the time for it. Or I choose not to read much because I have a tendency of ignoring other responsibilities so I can finish a good book. I got a Springville library card recently and have been reading a lot again. Gage just woke up so I can't do a long post, I just want to see what everyone is reading now, or lately, and if anyone has any super great recommendations of books they have loved. I'm rereading the Work and the Glory series and am loving them all over again. The stories and history inspire and move me.