Monday, February 28, 2011

Make it Monday

Today, I decided to make Walnut Cookies from Baking by Carole Clements. They are currently in the oven so we shall see if they turned out. I didn't even have to buy any ingredients this time so I was happy about that. Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup butter at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped (I didn't take the time to chop them so my cookies will probably be more chunky)

1-Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease 2 cookie sheets
2-With an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add 1/3 cup sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, vanilla, and walnuts.
3-Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter 1-2 inches apart on the sheets and flatten slightly with a fork. bake until deep golden, about 25 minutes.
4-Transfer to a rack set over a baking sheet and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

In 4 easy steps, you have some yummy walnut cookies. Let me know how they turn out if you try this recipe. Until next time...

Valentine's Day Party

I'm starting to become a party queen. This was the second time I hosted a niece/nephew party and this month we focused on Valentine's Day. It was on Feb 18th and it sure was fun. I didn't have enough time to take photos since I was holding Eli and trying to get my awesome drink made and distributed to everyone. I made my "hospital drink." It is OJ, Cranberry and apple juice mixed with Sprite. Yummy! And, don't forget the crushed ice.
There were three stations again...can you guess them? Crafts, treats, and games. The children decorated heart shaped cookies, made valentine's for Grandma and Grandpa Roberts, Grandma Grant and Jessie. They also colored and made flower clips. The games were pin the heart on Cupid, Tower of hearts and Steal my heart. Overall, it was fun. Until next time...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gotta love videos

Be sure to turn off the music found on the right hand side before watching this cute video. Eli was laughing at me dropping the pig. It was hilarious! He is so much fun to be around. I love him very much!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My baby boy is sitting all my himself

Isn't he adorable or what? I think so. He seriously was sitting all by himself (even if you see a hand helping him). He is getting better and better but I still won't leave him unattended. And yes we put his socks over his pants so he won't pull off his socks at night. :)

Make it Monday

Today, I made a chocolate brownie cake for "Make it Monday." I gave presentation a 4 out of 10 and an 8 out of 10 for taste. It definitely did not look like the picture in Carole Clements Baking book but it didn't taste too bad. It basically tasted like a brownie. Here is the recipe:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 1-ounce squares unsweetened baking chocolate
¾ cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Filling:
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup white chocolate chips, or white chocolate bars roughly chopped
1/3 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening

Tip: Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans; lightly grease the pans, line with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour and baking powder; whisk together to mix. Set aside.
3. In top of a double boiler over hot water, Melt chocolate and butter; stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Remove from heat.
Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
4. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl of an electric mixer, or use a hand mixer. Add sugar; beat on medium speed until mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture; beat until well blended, about 1 more minute.

5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes then remove cake from the pans and place the cake on the wire cooling rack to finish cooling.

Whipped Cream Filling:
6. In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream until soft mounds form; gradually add the sugar and vanilla, continue beating until thick and stiff. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
7. Place whipped cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the cake.

8. In top of a double boiler over hot water, combine white chocolate and cream; stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. As the mixture cools it will thicken and become spreadable. Tip: to cool and thicken faster, place the bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Stir as it cools until it reaches a good spreading consistency. It should be like a thick frosting. If not thick enough it will run off the top of the cake.
9. Place the semisweet chocolate and shortening in another small bowl, place on top of a double boiler over hot water, stir until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Place the melted chocolate in a small paper piping bag, seal the end, and snip off the tip to make a 1/8 inch diameter hole. Set aside.
Tip: Use a pastry bag with a decorating tip for piping. In place of a pastry bag, you can also use a plastic bag with a ziplock top; after the plastic bag is filled, cut a very small piece off one corner to pipe the chocolate out. To fill the pastry or plastic bag, place the bag, tip side down, in a glass, fold the top down over the edge of the glass. Spoon the chocolate into the bag, filling it no more than 2/3 full, unfold the top and secure with the ziplock top or with a twist tie. Keep the tip covered with a damp cloth when not using to prevent it from clogging.

11. Place one cake layer on a serving plate, and spread the whipped cream filling over the top. Place the second cake layer on top of the whipped cream filling.
12. Spread the cooled white chocolate topping over the top cake layer.
13. Pipe the semisweet chocolate on top of the white chocolate in circles, starting in the center of the cake and moving to the outside edge of the cake. Working quickly before the chocolate hardens, use a wooden toothpick or skewer and drag the tip of the toothpick from the center of the cake to the outside edge like a spoke. Alternate the direction of each spoke, first from the edge to the center of the cake, then from the center to the edge. Continue around the top of the cake, alternating the direction of each spoke to make a feather design.
14. Loosely cover to protect the feather design and refrigerate before serving (I didn't do this). Refrigerate leftovers.

Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Good luck and happy baking. Till next time...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I won!!!

Yesterday, I found out I won the Dr. Smith's "Spread the love" Valentine's Day promotion. Yippee! I love winning stuff. Today, I received my prize-a white teddy bear and two dozen red roses. I am so happy! Just in time because apparently I'm hosting a V-day party for my nieces and nephews this Friday and I'm probably doing a Teddy Bear birthday party for Eli's first birthday. Yes, I know his birthday isn't till July but I always like to be prepared. Check out the website HERE to see my beautiful name posted as the winner. The bear looks a little different but who cares. I won! Yippee!

Make it Monday

Sorry! I'm a little behind on "Make it Monday." Yesterday, I decided to make a heart shaped cake for V-Day. Well, the cake didn't turn out too well so I'm not going to share the recipe. I didn't even use the frosting recipe that the book had. It smelled funny. Anyway, here is a photo of my cake. Sure, it looks good but believe me, it wasn't. Oh well! I did learn that you can put wax paper in the pan and the cake comes out easier. That is why I'm doing "Make it Monday," to get better at baking. Hopefully, I will make a better treat next week. Stay tuned...

Happy Valentines Day!

Isn't he cute? Well, I couldn't resist buying him a $1 onesie that said, "Mommy needs a date night!" I also bought Adrian some chocolate and the new Alice in Wonderland DVD ($3.88). I gave them their gifts on Saturday because I was tired of waiting. Anyway, hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I love my sweet potatoes

Here is a cute video of Eli eating his sweet potatoes. Can you tell if he wants more? If you can't hear it, turn down my music on the righthand side. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Awesome deal!

It all started when I received an RC Willey $25 gift card in the mail. I got the gift card by sending in a recipe (different story). Anyway, so I knew that if I found something that was at least $25, it would be free. I knew that they had the new version of Alice in Wonderland at RC Willey. I also knew that it would make a great Valentine's Gift for Adrian so Eli and I went to the store. I tried to bypass all of the salesmen but got stopped three times (it has always been a challenge to see how many times you get bombarded by a salesmen at RC Willey). The movie was $37.99 which to me is a rip off. I would never pay that much! But, if I use the $25 gift card it would only be $13.88 (tax included). Plus I noticed that you can get $10 by mail if you send in the rebate so I thought that it would be worth the time to get the new Alice in Wonderland DVD, Blueray, Blueray + 3D and a digital copy all for $3.88. Perfect!
I got home and noticed the small print-if you own the original Alice in Wonderland, you can get $10 cash back. Okay so new plan...
I had a free $20 Target gift card from swagbucks (website that gives you points for searching the web-pretty easy). So, I ended up using the $20 on the original Alice in Wonderland DVD ($19.99). The total cost with tax and shipping was $4.15.
The awesome deal...$3.88 for the new Alice in Wonderland DVD/Blueray/Blueray +3D/Digital copy and $4.15 for the originial Disney Alice in Wonderland. Not too bad. I thought I was pretty clever. Oh, did I mention that I got 200 Disney reward points for the new Alice in Wonderland DVD? I'm sure there are more Disney reward points for the original Alice in Wonderland so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
It sure pays off to be clever with these deals! I love my deals!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My blue eyed boy

I put Eli in a plastic container and he just sat like this

I think he liked his new toy

Such a cute little blue eyed boy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Make it Monday

So, my sisters Cassie and Tiffany are known to have creative days like "Travel Tuesday" during the summer time. Cassie has continued to have creative days like "Flashback Friday" on her blog and I'm sure Tiffany has days like "Movie Monday" or something like that. I thought I would walk in their footsteps and be creative as well. So, I decided to have "Make it Mondays." Since I haven't been too great at initiating FHE, I thought it would be fun to bake on Mondays. That way I could win Adrian's vote (and mine) and also brush up on my baking skills. Once upon a time I baked cakes and enjoyed it. So, today is the day to start "Make it Monday."

This recipe is one of Adrian's favorite cookies. That way, I will win him over with his own yummy dessert. Here it is...Good luck!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mix in a bow the following:
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar + 2 Tbs sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

Then add:
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

If you do try the recipe, let me know how you like it. Gotta go, the bell has rung and I need to take out my cookies. Till next time...

Disney Movie Rewards

I've been a Disney Movie Rewards member for quite some time. I have already earned two free movies (free shipping=completely FREE), a DVD for my birthday and a DVD for my anniversary. Now I want to earn points toward a $250 Delta Vacations E-certificate. So, does ANYONE have any Disney DVD's with a magic code? For example: HL44NEOSZ41

Here is where I stand:

Emilee's Account
Earned Points: 1235
Delta Ticket Points: 8350
Needed Points: 7115

Adrian's Account
Earned Points: 175
Delta Ticket Points: 8350
Needed Points: 8175

So, if you have any Disney DVD's with a magic code please let me know. I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

7 Months Old

Eli is now 7 months old. His qualifications are:
-Feed himself a bottle
-Jumps A LOT in his Jumperoo
-Loves his mommy and daddy
-Grabs anything and everything he sees (including the remote control)
-Getting closer to sitting on his own
-Flips over as soon as he is on his belly
-Starting to wave
-Still loves looking at himself in the mirror
-Has more hair so mommy can spike it
-Smiles a lot especially when daddy comes home
-Loves sucking on his two fingers
-Has two bottom front teeth
-Takes both socks off within minutes of mommy or daddy putting them on

I can feed myself now

Yes, it is true! Eli can feed himself a bottle now. He always wants more too. It is so cute and sad at the same time. He is growing up too fast and becoming independent. Sometimes the cough that he makes (watch video) means that he wants more. Pretty cute!

Mommy and me

What big eyes you have! I love spending time with my little guy. I am super lucky to be a stay at home mommy. I love it!