Tuesday, March 16, 2010

sugar cookie icing heaven

Our afternoon:

cutting out


spreading icing



Our new favorite sugar cookie icing recipe:

1 1/2 c. Powdered Sugar
1 T. Light Corn Syrup
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 T. Water
Food Coloring, if desired

Combine all ingredients

Add food coloring if you feel like it

Smear it on cooled sugar cookies

Scarf immediately or let dry 30 minutes before storing.

This icing is not too sweet, sets up beautifully and is just the right amount of lemony.

Soooo good! Enjoy!

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Monday, March 15, 2010

killer comes to tea

There was a tiny black Chihuahua looking at me. He had been hanging around the yard all morning, never venturing far. Once the Bean went down for her nap, he settled in on the front porch, peering in at me through the front door, melting my heart and tempting me to break two house rules:

1) No stray animals in the house.

2) If you have to break rule number 1, then definitely no naming said animal.

You see, we have this back room with it's own entrance and a great dutch door (top and bottom swing separately) between it and the dining room, so I could keep an eye on him while I called animal control without him either running into the street or terrorizing the whole house. And I just couldn't let him run into the street - he looked like a family dog. So rule #1 went out the window.

In he came. I took my usual spot at the dining room table for nap time tea and he helped himself to my husband's desk chair in the back room so he could see me over the dutch door. After ten minutes of quiet companionship, it felt rude to just sit there ignoring him, so of course I had to talk to him. And of course he listened politely and attentively. And you just can't chat with someone over tea without knowing his name, so of course rule #2 went out the window. Killer joined me for tea.

An hour into our time together, I needed to check on the meatballs in the oven, so I excused myself to the kitchen and got caught up in some project or another. It wasn't long before my mommy intuition told me it was too quiet. I ran to the dutch door, certain I would find the room torn to shreds.


But no. My polite guest had just found the warmest, snuggliest spot to grab a quick afternoon nap. What a darling. When animal control arrived shortly thereafter, I was thrilled to hear that someone had already called looking for a small, black Chihuahua. Killer went along with the officer without a fuss, hopefully on his way back home, and I got the company of a fine gentleman for tea. An excellent afternoon, indeed.

Now how to explain the doggy hair on the computer to Brad without giving away the broken rules....

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

sunday bliss

sunday bliss

Brad's homemade iced coffee
naked toes
baby afghan nearing completion
kid art
tiny chubby 2yo hands "making"
tv off
Van Morrison on
fresh air
good light
my little family all in one room

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

hello belly


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Sunday, March 7, 2010

chocolate cream pie filling flop

Sweet friends, my capacity for failure is off the charts this weekend.

Brad's feet were barely dry from his run to Walmart in the rain when the pre-made pie crust came out of the oven beautifully. In a flurry of refreshed domestic confidence, I pulled the chocolate cream pie filling out of the fridge to make sure it would be ready when the crust had cooled to find this:


Nope. Not set.

My did-that-really-just-happen? laugh was manic enough to bring Brad out of his study to make sure everything was OK. Which of course it was, because this household is never without instant pudding mix!

The heroes of the day:


And big thank you to Brad for buoying my humor during my current run of baking disasters and to whipped cream for being easy enough that even on a day like today, it just works.


Do I still want to meet my goal of making a great dessert for my family from scratch once a week in an effort to save money and make the experience of sweets in our house more about quality (time, ingredients and flavor) than quantity? Yes, definitely. But what this pie lacks in handmade-osity, it more than makes up for in lessons to my achievement-obsessed personality. May I present my own personal Humble Pie:


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pie crust flop

pie crust flop

But the recipe made it sound so easy.

"If you use your food processor to make homemade pie crust, nothing can go wrong!" the recipe whispered in my ear.

Unless your food processor is too small to handle the dough without leaving a giant unincorporated pat of butter to crush the hopes of your taste buds, a-flitter with the dream of homemade chocolate cream pie.

Thank you, God, for Pillsbury pre-made pie crust, a Walmart within spitting distance and a willing husband. Thank you, self, for not tying up self worth with a gloriously flaky homemade pie crust. Not completely, anyway.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

happy dirty garden hands

It happened so innocently. I had wandered outside to enjoy our break in record low temperatures and absentmindedly pulled a weed. And then another one. And then every stinking weed in the whole stinking bed behind the house.

I may not be able to move tomorrow, but man oh man did it feel good to have my fingers in the dirt. Bring on Spring.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Aprons, Sprinkles and Childhood

Meg's apron pattern was so easy to follow and came out so well! I couldn't resist adding pockets and I did a traditional neck strap to avoid elastic wrangling, but the velcro waist strap is just as darn clever as I had hoped and the Bean (at 2.5) could take it on and off herself. Thanks for the tutorial, Meg!

I finished fabulous K's apron just in time for her party. I added some sprinkles and cookie cutters to the gift bag along with the Fairy Cooking Book and I was pleased with the little package. The party was as fabulous as the birthday girl and our family had a great time.

Then this past week I heard from fabulous K's mommy that the sprinkles were the biggest hit of the entire gift. Not the fabulously pink, clever and crafty handmade apron, mind you, but the $2 last minute add-on. And you know what? That seems so right. So perfectly child-like. So completely throw-the-loud-flashy-thousand-pieced-Christmas-present-aside-and-play-with-the-box perfect. Yay for childhood and wonder and focusing on what is really most important. Which is, of course, sprinkles.

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