Thursday, March 15, 2007

I believe I am being mocked

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The 80 degree weather caused me to turn off my heater, and by 11:00 this morning, my house was ice cold. It is rainy, and dreary, and oh so teeth chattering cold. Sure, a few weeks ago, when it was 30, I would have been running around outside trying to find a swimming pool at fifty degrees, but after a few days of REAL Spring, it feels like an ice box. To counteract the freezing house I turned on the oven...and the coffee maker. We curled up on the couch with a pile of books and several blankets. Cozy. I made some scones that were out of this world delicious. Pecans and Cranberries. YUMMY. Want the recipe? Then ask me for it. And while you are at it, tell me how beautiful I am, and how much you love reading my blog, and how adorbaly sweet my munchkins are.

Oh, and I am serious. You can't have the recipe until I have been coddled and brown-nosed to my hearts content. (and those scones were really yummy)

I'll give you my secret coffee recipe for free. Oh, and it's not so secret anyhow, but it makes for a cheap Starbucks substitute. Take one cup of coffee (STRONG) and add a packet of your favorite Hot Chocolate mix. Stir. Add some milk or cream. It's gourmet cofee for the white trash crowd- and to make it more authentically white trash, do as I do...use individual coffee bags (like tea bags) instead of brewing your own.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Something fun

Here are my kids singing Amazing Grace

This is a fun site that lets you record songs. What a sweet gift to send to a grandparent or other loved ones far away.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Guess what?

It's Spring!!!!!!!!!!!!! (or at least the St Louis area is pretending that it is Spring!!!!! And as long as it doesn't decide to pretend it's winter again, I don't care.)
Dirty Knees
Dirty Tools
Dirty Hands
Dirty Kid
Another Dirty Kid
Not So Dirty Kid enjoying a slushee from QT- the first of the season

Oh, and also, I am a plant murderer. I am actually a SERIAL plant murderer. This is my third batch of lily bulbs I have transplanted in the Spring instead of the customary Fall moving of bulbs. They always die when I do this. And I never care. I don't actually like Day Lilies. They look like cornstalks until they bloom, and then they only bloom for a day or three.
So..I am a plant killer.

BTW, all the work is being done in order to make a couple of flower beds into a functioning and practical veggie garden. (Maybe I harbor some ill will towards flowers that I didn't know about.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Is it possible to push Spring along a little bit?

We're doing our best here. I need to find out if there is a Spring a rain dance, only, I don't want rain. I want Spring!

I was in an odd mood today and decided to make a cake. I wasn't feeling odd enough to actually READ the directions thoroughly before starting. And so, in my normal, hodge podge manner, I began to follow a recipe for "Light-N-Lucious Lemon Pave". What the heck is a Pave anyhow? And who decided it needed 9 eggs, all separated? Also, why did I choose a recipe that called for both a double boiler and a jelly roll pan that was lined in wax paper, greased, AND floured. A bit overkill if you ask me. But the thin little cake didn't stick, which was a glorious thing, because if I had spent 4 hours mixing a cake that stuck to a pan, it would have surely ruined my day.

This cake has a rich luscious (just like the name says) lemon filling, and a wonderously sweet and creamy lemon buttercream icing. It has 621 calories per serving. But that is okay, because half way through the recipe, I realized it callled for heavy whipping cream, of which I had none. I also had no gas in the van. So I piled the kids in their coats and we walked to the store. Surely I burned enough extra calories to be able to deserve a piece of cake.

I declare this to be the last time I ever make this recipe. marcus and weston, however, have already devoured the picture slice and say that I must make it "every time" they licked their lips and said they would never eat dinner again. "only yummy lemon and strawberry cake."

I think I need to teach them how to cook.

4 Eggs -- Separated
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 Cup Cake Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

**Lemon Filling**

5 Egg Yolks
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Lemon Juice
4 Tablespoons Butter Or Margarine
1 Teaspoon Grated Fresh Lemon Peel
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Place egg whites in bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip. Turn to speed 8 and whip until stiff but not dry.
Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place egg yolks and sugar in bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip. Turn to speed 6 and whip 1 minute or until thick and lemon colored. Stop and scrape bowl.
Add oil and vanilla. Turn to speed 4 and whip 30 seconds.
Gently fold egg whites into egg yolk mixture.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Fold half of flour mixture into egg mixture. Repeat with remaining flour.
Pour batter into a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan which has been lined with waxed paper, greased and floured.
Bake at 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes.
Immediately loosen cake from pan and invert onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar; cool completely.
Cut cake crosswise to form three 5x10x1-inch layers.
Spread Lemon filling between layers.
Cover cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at leat 4 hours.
Frost and decorate with Lemon butter cream frosting.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice in double broiler over boiling water.
Cook, stirring constantly until mixture is very thick, about 5 minutes; do not boil.
Remove from heat.
Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until thoroughly incorporated.
Stir in lemon peel.
Cover mixture and refrigerate 1 hour.
Place cream in bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip. Turn to speed 10 and whip until stiff.
Fold whipped cream into egg mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 1/4 cups butter (softened)
2 tsp grated lemon peel
3 TBS lemon juice
3 Cups powdered sugar

Place butter, lemon peel, and lemon juice in mixer bowl.
Beat on speed 6 for 30 seconds
Stop and scrape bowl
Sift powdered sugar into the bowl
Turn to speed six and beat until fuffy (about 2 minutes)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sometimes, great treasure can be found in the trash

On our way to church Sunday night, I noticed one of our local stores had made a recent move and was cleaning shop- so to speak. They had piles of stuff out in the parking lot. Some book racks caught my eye, but I left with dibs on three shelves. I have two exactly this size, and I like how they look at the side of my mantle. This weekend, I hope to paint that brick wall white, and the shelves will be painted a nice spring green. The other bookcase is longer and has padding running alongside it! Woohooo, a window seat with built in book shelves. That went straight to my room to await a paint job and some new fabric. By the way- I paid nilch, for these. They were completely free!
I did however pay for this lovely thing. 100.00! Okay, maybe some of you have children too young or too old for the train craze, and you will not understand what a deal this was. To put it in persepctive, ONE, just one, of the larger track pieces costs over 50.00. I am hoping to sell this on craigslist for 300.00, which leaves me enough to buy buy myself an inexpensive serger!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Just a few pictures of my favorite things

Books To the Ceiling
By: Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling
Books to the sky
My piles of books are a mile high
How I love them
How I need them
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them

I have a severe book addiction, and these are only a few of my favorite piles. Three are kid piles, and the rest are mine- all mine. As I write, Dustan is off gathering a few new shelves I gleamed from the side of the road. I always need new shelves for more books.
One time, when I went insane, I decided I had too many books. I decided that the books took up too much room, and that I needed to purge. I still get sick to my stomach thinking about all the books I gave away. I gave them away because I didn't like them, or they were books I didn't want to re-read. Ugh. How could I have forgotten that just the sight of a pile of books gives my heart a little trill. A little thump. I need to know that I am surrounded by books, it makes me feel happy and safe. I once told someone that I felt safe being surrounded by books, and they laughed at me. Told me that an alarm system would be better. I threw a book at him. He was just glad I had chosen a Calvin and Hobbes treasury instead of a dictionary.