Friday, September 23, 2011

Dessert Friday! {blueberry boy bait}

Every Wednesday evening during the school year, my hubby and I attend a small group. Given my love of baking treats that I've never baked before (which, up until a couple of years ago, consisted of anything but chocolate chip cookies), many of these nights I will bring a snack for the group. Meaning that on those Wednesdays my kids get to watch me put a decent amount of effort into preparing a dessert that they can see and smell, but are not allowed to eat. As I was putting some apple pie into the oven for this past Wednesday's group, it occurred to me that here I was, once again, making a dessert for my friends all the while telling my very favorite people that they couldn't have any. Hence I decided to begin implementing Dessert Fridays. Every Friday (with some flexibility allowed for holidays and birthdays and such) I am going to bake something for my family. This week I chose what I was going to make, but from here on out I'm going to let the big kids take turns picking something. Enter *Blueberry Boy Bait. I came across this recipe while searching through the archives of one of my favorite cooking websites, Cooking for Seven. To find the recipe and some great pictures, check out Smitten Kitchen.

As with most baking recipes, this one begins with mixing the dry ingredients; in this case flour, salt, and baking powder.
Next, heft your 30 pound mixer over to the counter by the sink as it is right below the only window in your kitchen. Then throw in some butter (unsalted....venturing into new territory for me), brown sugar, and white sugar.
Then turn on you mixer to medium-high and sit back and watch the batter become fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time mixing until they're just incorporated into the batter after each one.
Then add in some flour...
...and some milk.
Once the batter is combined, fold in the blueberries. I used frozen and they worked just fine.
Mix up some cinnamon and sugar...
...and use your cute little spoon to sprinkle the mixture on top of the cake.
Or if you're impatient like me, after a couple of spoonfuls just sprinkle it right from the bowl. You lose a point in the cuteness factor, but gain one in efficiency.
Pop the cake into the oven and go get your sick boy who woke up too soon from his nap. He'll be very cranky and won't really know what he wants until he sees applesauce. He'll be way too tired to use the appropriate eating utensil, so he'll just attempt to drink his applesauce straight from the cup.
When he throws a tantrum because you wiped his face and gets applesauce everywhere, he'll need to be put in a time out. He'll look pitiful, but it's for his own good.
As enticing smells begin to fill the house, you may begin to notice a bit of drool dibbling down the chins of everyone in the house. Including your own.

If you timed it right, the cake will be ready for your kids to eat just as they get off the bus. A perfect snack for a crisp fall day.

*We didn't actually call this Blueberry Boy Bait in our house. We called it Blueberry Cake. We aren't interested in attracting any more boys to our house for two reasons. 1) Our girls will not be allowed to date until they are 30. 2) Boys eat. A LOT. We already have 3 boys (plus one husband) living in our house. We don't need anymore bottomless pits roaming free in the kitchen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Me! Monday

It's time for Not Me! Monday over at MckMama's Blog! This week, one lucky participant will win a spot in her first ever online photography workshop. Giddy up! Not Me! Monday's is all about sharing your less-than-perfect moments of the past week, all while stating that these are things that you "did not" do.

This week, I did not start getting sweaty palms and heart palpitations just thinking about the fact that I had to go in to the dentist to get some cavities filled.

Finding myself unable to procure child care for Wyatt, I did not just strap him into his stroller and bring him with me to the 90 minute appointment. At no time during said appointment did he practice his Houdini skills by getting himself out of his straps and climbing out of the stroller.

I did not keep my eyes closed tight and squeeze my hands together for the entire appointment. My fears were not founded as they certainly did not have to give me novocaine three times during the procedure.

There is no way that I was so traumatized by the appointment that upon arriving back at home I fed my boys some lunch and promptly climbed into my bed to take a nap.

I am not stressing already about the appointment I have scheduled for next week to fill more cavities.

Not me!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

pictures {school}

Look! No blob! I guess it pays to know people who have Photoshop skills that are far superior to to mine (which are admittedly sorely lacking). Thanks Dan and Carly!!

This year I made the harrowing decision not to purchase any of the pictures of my kids taken at school. It was a choice made at the last minute as I was filling out their school forms (side rant: it is so incredibly ridiculous to me that in the age of technology I still have to fill out the exact same registration papers for each of my kids. every. stinkin'. year. Someone please explain to my why this is not a process that can be done online where parents are required only to view the information every year and enter in any changes). As I was trying to decide which pose/background color/overpriced package I wanted to purchase to wind up with mediocre pictures of my kids that would be left forgotten in some random box in our house, I was struck with sudden inspiration. I decided that starting this year, we would have a new school picture tradition. One that would be significantly more inexpensive and result in much better photos of my kids. I decided that this year, I would be my kids' school photographer. So far, I have only taken pictures of my girls, but photos of the boys are soon to come.
Every year, I let the kids choose one "accessory" for school. Maya's choice this year was a feather for her hair. Her favorite color this year is orange. Hence the orange feather. It actually suits her eclectic style quite well.
Brenna wanted a blue streak in her hair. The dye I picked up is supposed to last 6-8 weeks. Perhaps their test subjects never washed their hair? It actually washes out in about a week.

My dear sweet friend Erin asked me if I would take some pictures of her family as well. I'm always up for a new challenge so I agreed.
Emma is one of Brenna's very best friends. They have literally known each other since birth and are only three months apart in age. She wasn't entirely thrilled to be photographed, but I still got some good shots of her. Of course, she's such a beauty that it would be hard to take a bad picture of her.
This sweet boy did not make my job easy. He was much more interested in playing than posing, but I did get a few good shots of him. And then he was off to fly down our driveway on a skateboard.

Halle is the poser of the family, but it still took a bit of coercing to get her to cooperate. Once she got started though she was a perfect subject.
I picked up this cool chair at a thrift store for $8. Score!
Family pictures are definitely out of my comfort zone. I was thankful to have good friends to practice on.
A little behind-the-scenes shot...
...and a little, well, behind shot.
Erin also wanted a few shots of her and her husband together as they haven't had them done since their wedding. Twelve years ago. Now if I just knew how to get rid of that green spot on Mike's shirt, we'd be good to go. It's not as noticeable in the black and white version, but I really like the colors in this one. I won't tell you what we were talking about to actually get a smile on Mike's face.

I couldn't resist getting a picture of my chubby little guy on the new chair. Don't worry, he does have a diaper on.