Sunday, 27 February 2011

Saturday, 26 February 2011

An Afternoon of Ballet

There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. ~Vicki Baum

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~Japanese Proverb

Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is not mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself. ~Havelock Ellis

There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good. ~Edwin Denby

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron

I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Interesting Horse Things

So this first clip is from the PBS production of Guns, Germs and Steel. I read the book, it was fascinating, but I didn't finish watching this production. But I did watch this part. And I thought the riding was impressive. Plus, I want to get a hat like that for Sebastian.

Now this is a show I saw advertised years ago when it was playing in Scottsdale, and then I saw it advertised again in Chicago. If I went to any Cirque de Soleil type show, this would be it. It looks cool.

However, I stumbled upon this trailer (because Steven Spielberg is producing the movie due out this year) and really I think this just skyrocketed to my top pick for Broadway show to go to. The puppetry is astounding! Really, I don't even want to see the movie now because I just want to see the play first. (Yeah, I know that might not happen for 20 yrs, but whatever.) So hope you enjoyed these from my time horsing around on the internet. (How's that for a corny pun?)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Ana's Family

This is Ana's artwork from church. Maybe I shouldn't admit that. Hee. Hee. Anyway, I thought it was cute. I thought this was funny because she drew Leo in a Jazz shirt, when he doesn't own one and could care less about the Jazz. Oh well.
This was of me in an exact replication of what I wore today. My red hat is awesome. And Ana's picture of it is awesome too.
Ana looking cute.
Elena in her ballet outfit.
Isabel also as a ballerina.
And Sebastian dressed for church.

In other news, Ana made it to the semifinals with her partner in swing and cha cha at her ballroom dance competition this Saturday. Her team also placed second overall. Sweet.

Other than my kids have been sick all week, and I'm sick of them being sick. Sebastian is normally clingy; Sebastian sick acts like his life will end if he's separated from me at all.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Fun Stuff

Last night I spent many, many hours figuring out what all of these little things do. Like this little thingy--what the heck is it? Well it's a binding edger. They all came with my lovely 1976 Kenmore sewing machine that my awesome sister gave me for Christmas a couple years back. And well, I figured it out finally. Some of them were actually in the manual, but some weren't. The rest I found on an online sewing machine shop in Texas. Then I figured out that I can't use most of them because they're for a different shank then mine. Ruff. Oh well, at least I can use the blind hem attachment.
And this is Ana reading. Good times.


Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chocolate Truffle Cake

Bake 30 mins at 350º

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Mix dry ingredients then add wet ingredients, divide batter and bake in two round cake pans. Cool for 10 mins and then using a long serrated knife cut each cake in half horizontally (I skipped that part). Layer with Strawberry Truffle filling, then cover with Chocolate Ganache and then drizzle with chocolate melt. (I didn't do the filling, per Leo's request, nor did I use the chocolate melt, it does look pretty in the picture though.)

Strawberry Truffle Filling

3/4 c softened butter
1/3 c strawberry jam
Beat together till smooth, then gradually add
2 cups powdered sugar, beating well
Then add 1/3 c milk, and 2 tsp vanilla.
Then gradually beat in 6 more cups of powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk if necessary for spreading consistency.

Chocolate ganache

Bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to boil, remove from heat and stir in 12 ozs semisweet chocolate. Let stand 5 mins then stir until smooth. Let cool for 15 mins before putting on cake. (I didn't, that's why I had pools of chocolate ganache on my counter, it was too runny.)

Chocolate Melt

Melt 2 ozs semisweet chocolate with 1 oz white chocolate and 1 tsp shortening, stir and then drizzle over cake .

This was from the Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Desserts Magazine.
It was good. Somebody ought to try the strawberry part and tell me if they liked it.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Life so far this February

First off, my first finished project from finishing school (my sewing class). Yes, it is a very, very BASIC apron. But I did take the beginning class, and it definitely is a beginner project. And I could use another apron. Today in class, I finished this, replaced a zipper in one of my favorite red dresses, and learned to make a buttonhole!!! I'm super excited about that as now I can finish my skirt that I made 2 yrs ago at Kayli's house in Indiana, which is missing a button and buttonhole. I've been wearing it to church done up with a safety pin.
This is my crazy Isabel licking the chocolate ganache icing off the counter. (I spilled it everywhere.)Silly girls. But I don't blame them--it was delicious! Leo's choice for our Family Home Evening treat--double layer dark chocolate cake (very rich and dense) with dark chocolate ganache icing. It was supposed to have a strawberry filling, but Leo nixed that idea. I think I would have liked it, it might have broken up the richness of the cake.Sebastian just being cute.
Oh, I love that boy!!! He's taking two and three steps at a time now. He also just learned, "No."
This is my grapefruit thief. Nobody usually eats the grapefruit except for me--and I liked it that way--but now Elena says her favorite fruit is grapefruit and wants to eat it all the time. Ruff.
I also bought a big bag a pistachios at Sam's club and Isabel and Elena eat them like crazy. They push the chair over to the cupboard to sneak into them. Isabel took a handful of them in her purse to storytime at the library today. Funny girl.
This is Ana's crazy face. She said for everyone to make a face, but the other girls weren't listening.
I curled their hair on Saturday night and for the first time ever Elena didn't pull hers all out. And her hair looked soooo cute!! Rather 60's-ish. Ana left hers in ringlets which was adorable as well.
It looked way better with the headband and big huge flower, but you get the idea.
Poor child who inherited my hair. But cute that day!

In other news, Ana received a "Superior" rating at the National Federation Junior Music Festival. Her piano pieces were fabulous! And that's it for this week.