Monday, 24 January 2011

Never seen the show before.....

My friend posted a video clip of the show Community on Facebook, and I had to watch it because she always posts awesome videos on Facebook. Like this one. I think we became friends because of Star Wars or Star Trek or something. Hee. Hee. Anyway, I spent a fair amount of time watching and laughing to different clips for the next hour or two or three. Who knows? But here's a few of my favorite.

Almost all of these are about thirty seconds long, so you have no excuse for not watching them all and laughing as much as I did.

Sunday, 23 January 2011


This is Isabel and her new doll. She earned for going on the potty. It was supposed to be a Easter basket present, but Elena is quick. She opened the door when the mailman came and had the package open before I even released the mail had come. Crazy girl.
Potty training is going fairly well. I checked out the Once Upon a Potty DVD from the library which the kids watched over and over and over. Then Elena asked me, "Do they have a movie about throwing up? I want that one next time."
Ana half bought, have earned a new CTR ring. Sorry, I couldn't get my camera to focus.
This is called one o'clock church at our house.
I think it turned out cute, I followed the step by step instructions on a blog though. So that always helps.

Elena started ballet. Here she's showing off her new ballet shoes. Thanks DI.
It's so cute to watch her do her steps. She loves it. And that's the end of this update.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fun in the tub and otra cosas.

Just as an update--I'm 5 days in to doing the 30 day shred. Level 1. And here's what I think: I have weak shoulders. I seriously cannot do the shoulder exercises. The abs were easy, I think because I do my Kathy Smith 10 min abs fairly regularly (once or twice a month is regular right? Just kidding, I usually do that it more than that.) The cardio was killer the first couple days, now it's not so bad. Besides the shoulders in the strength training, I've managed to up the weights, 5 lbs chest flies, 8 lb bicep curls, etc. (I'm barely managing to get through with the 3 lb weights on the shoulder exerercises.) Yes, you all now know how really truly wimpy I am. I am doing all the pushups now though, although, just wimpy girly ones. Ah well. But in 5 days I've already noticed a difference in my weight/shape etc. I'm so hungry though!!! How can one possibly diet when you are starving to death from working out so much? (Yes, 20 mins is much!) I'm not so good about watching what I eat, I may or may not have eaten a whole bag of Raisenets one day, and a box of chocolate dipped granola bars another day. I'm not saying. Well, maybe I'll be better about that next week.
Ana's first piano recital--all the kids played duets and it was actually quite fun. She did a good job.

Sebastian the troublemaker. He's always into EVERYTHING, and he can't even walk yet!

Elena and her menagerie.

In Response to Kayli

My sister recently posted on the prettiest Disney Princess. Well, I don't know. I really have no opinion. But Sally is my favorite. Okay, she may not be the "prettiest," but she's smart and daring. And yes, Kayli, she is a redhead too.She can also see the future.
And sew herself up. Now that's handy. What's not to like?

On the flip side, I definitely think the hottest Disney Prince is Fa Li. Seriously.
How could this song not win you over???

But trust me on this one, you really don't want to google Disney Princes.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Linzer Cookies or Ischl Tarts

And I saved the best for last.

Yes, I bought a Linzer cookie cutter too. Yes, making cookies was supposed to be the less expensive option compared to chocolates. Well, hmph. These were sooooo worth it. I saved the best for last. These are heavenly. Delicious. The smell alone is worth any amount of work. These will be a Christmas tradition from now on. Leo and I fell in love with them from the first bite.

So, I initially planned on making these Ischl Tarts from my Better Homes and Garden Ultimate Cookies and Bars magazine. However, after a horrible Ginger Lemon Meringue incident (they tasted like cough drops) I decided to go with the Joy of Baking Linzer Cookie recipe. So what's the difference between Linzer Cookies and Ischl Tarts? Nothing that I could discover from googling. They both use about the same ingredients and are named after towns in Austria, where these cookies come from.

Anyway, I also noticed that one reviewer of a online recipe said these cookies are not worth putting almonds into. (Some recipes have almonds, some don't.) Well, I don't know where that person's taste buds went to, but obviously, he was lacking them. I think the almonds (I toasted mine before grinding them) MADE the cookie. Seriously so delicious. Also, I used red currant jam which some recipes say just seedless raspberry jam. Really, go for the currant jam. I love currant anything though. So yummy. Oh, and as a side note for all this cookie baking, I followed the Joy of Baking advice and bought real Vanilla extract and used real butter in all my cookies. I think it made a difference for the better. Anyway, without further ado, here's the link to this recipe.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Doesn't everyone?

Don't people spend their evenings dressing their kids in turbans?
Okay, doesn't Sebastian look so cute with his eyes closed?
I mean really, look how cute he is with a turban.
Fun. Fun.
It started with this actually. Elena loves to wear my scarves and hats and pretend she has long hair like Rapunzel. Which she brushes and brushes while sitting in her tower.
Of course then, Isabel had to have long hair too.

With more attitude. (By the way, she's used the potty all day today--no accidents!!! Hurray for potty training charts and candy. Elena has a potty training chart too, only it's for not screaming--it's worked wonders as well. Especially since she really wants her prize: a new ballerina doll.)
Like I said, it started with Elena and kind of went from there.
If you haven't done this with your kids, I highly recommend it.
Good times for everyone.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

More cookies!!!

Brown Sugar Shortbreads-
From Better Homes and Garden Ultimate Cookies and Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp apple pie spice (I just added a little bit of spices that I use in my apple pie recipe, which I'm too lazy to go look up right now.)
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/4 c flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Beat b
utter for thirty secs. add brown sugar, spices and salt. Beat in flour. Shape into 1 inch balls and press with cookie stamp dipped in sugar. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

The Verdict: I liked the cookie stamps. In fact I found these hugely ornate cookies stamps that sell for $30 for one. I didn't buy those. Here's an example. They're called Springerle cookie molds. Okay, so I guess those are molds and not stamps. But it makes my fingers itch to buy some because they're just so pretty. Anyway, back to the cookie. They were good. We still have a bunch. Does that tell you anything?Now these were gone in 30 mins--no joking. I've never made Meringues before, but I definitely will again. They were Isabel's and Elena's favorites. And Myles. He was trying to get me to make some more right after he ate them all down. And of course the recipe was from the Joy of Baking website. Here's the link. I quite liked them myself too. Different, but good.
And this, well, this is just a pan of melted chocolate. Normally at Christmas time I would be making chocolates, but with my Mom around to make more and better chocolates then I ever could, I decided to try my hand at cookies instead. No one makes Christmas cookies in my family. But I did make peanut clusters for Leo, and fudge and chocolate truffles for me. My mom doesn't make truffles. But she does make Chocolate Mint Centers and she uses dark chocolate for dipping just for me. Aren't I spoiled???!?!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Kids and stuff.

My crazy kids (Ana was at school.) See all the ironing? Yeah, I watched Berkeley Square while doing it--I highly recommend it.
If you want a 1902 nanny soap opera. Had a fabulous "I love you scene." One of the best I've seen. But it was a series that was cancelled, (not due to popularity, but a change of management at BBC was to blame--ruff!) so it does leave a few loose ends, if that bothers you, you might not want to watch.
Sebastian likes to stick his tongue out lately. Silly kid.
However, Isabel beats them all in craziness. She runs and runs and runs till she collapses. She fell asleep standing up next to me the other day.
I love this picture.
I love my girls!
Here Kayli, a picture of my curly hair for you. Elena took it; she did pretty good, eh?

Dogpile on Dad!
Tumbling down--Sebastian was the only one crying. Oops.
And I was released from my calling (job at church) as the Young Women's 1st counselor. Sad, but happy too. I wouldn't have minded staying in longer if we had had another counselor and someone who could translate between me and the president, since we don't speak the same language. The new president was a bit shocked to find out that it was just me and Guadalupe, with no other counselors, secretary, advisers, etc. Anyway, good luck to them.

Lacy Florentines

Hmmm....what to say about these cookies???? Well, first of all, they didn't turn out all that cookie-like for me, as you can see. However, I cracked them into pieces and they still worked fine. They tasted like a mixture of sushi ginger (it was that strong) and English Toffee. At first, I was repulsed. After a few bites, well, let's just say that they were the first thing gone, and the one cookie I kept getting into. These are courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Desserts magazine.
So you can see in this picture how I did make them into a circular cookie shape but then they ran together while baking.
Oh, and this is an important part of the cookie. This is crystallized ginger. It costs $37 for 2 oz when I looked online. I made about 1 1/2 cups for $4. Super easy. I used this recipe.

But on to the cookie.

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1/3 c whipping cream
2 tbls honey
1 c rolled oats
1 c finely chopped blanched almonds (I toasted mine and they weren't blanched-whatever.)
1/2 c finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 tbls flour
1/4 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
4 oz bittersweet chocolate melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with tin foil. In heavy saucepan combine sugar, honey, butter, and cream. Cook over low heat till butter is melted and sugar dissolved.
2. Increase heat and bring to boiling. Brush down sides of pan with damp pastry brush to prevent sugar from crystallizing. Cook till soft ball (238 degrees). Remove from heat and quickly stir in oats, almonds, ginger, flour and lemon peel.
3. Drop dough by tbls 3 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Dip fork in cold water and press top of each cookie to flatten. Bake on seperate racks for 8-10 mins or until golden brown, switching cookie sheets halfway through baking. Cool completely on cookie sheet.
4. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Makes about 36.

These I definitely will make again.