Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
We met up with Piper and Baret yesterday for dinner at McAlister's and play time at the park.
Can you tell by the smile that she was a happy girl?
Olivia wanted to take a picture of me. I looked like a crazy monkey...and not the cool kind.
Time to climb.
You can do it!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Olivia discovered Lady Gaga this summer and her obsession just continues to grow each day. She hasn't seen or heard every song or video because, as catchy as I think they are, I don't want my three and a half year old walking around the grocery store singing, "Don't be a drag, just be a queen."
This is what happened the first time she heard/saw Lady Gaga...
We spent a lot of time Folly Beach this past summer (in Charleston, SC) since we are moving there and Olivia LOVES the beach so much. Here are some pictures from our July 2011. I realize that was a few months ago, but it's ok.
The month started off with mommy having her gall bladder removed. I will spare you from seeing pictures of the incisions.
Running on the beach
Hugging and loving on Monito
Hanging out with Uncle Ian by some cannon balls.
Sweating our arses off. She didn't seem to care.
Kisses for daddy
She kept insisting that the statue was mommy...
Beach bum... (get it? bum...cause it's her...you get it.)
The Little(r) Mermaid (compliments of Uncle Ian)
It was hot. H O T !!!
You can't tell, but Olivia is fast asleep. She is napping "rock star" style.
Here, she is getting smushed with love from Daddy.
Sliding at the park. She learned about static electricity and what it feels like to get shocked. She informed me, very matter-of-factly, that she does not like shocks.
And I went red again. You can't really tell by the picture, but I did. Take my word on it.
As I said last week, I've been baking a lot recently. This week I made Nanaimo Bars (which actually require no baking). I found the recipe while hunting down the recipe for Fresh Market's Dream Bar - which was, oh, so dreamy. I'm almost positive that they are the same thing. Let me tell you, they are OUTSTANDING!
Here is the recipe that I used, but you can click on the link above and get a slightly different one:
Chocolate Coconut Layer
•1/2 cup butter, softened
•1/2 cup white sugar
•5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 egg, beaten
•1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
•1 cup flaked coconut
•1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
•1 teaspoon vanilla
Custard Buttercream Layer
•1/3 cup butter, softened
•1/4 cup heavy cream
•3 tablespoons custard powder (I found this at World Market)
•3 cups confectioners’ sugar
•8 oz semisweet chocolate
•2 tablespoons butter
•2 tablespoons heavy cream
1.Coconut Layer: Beat the egg in a small bowl and put aside. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Temper the egg by slowly adding a 1/4 cup of the warm chocolate mixture to the egg, whisking constantly. Add the egg back into the remaining chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Stir mixture until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8×8 inch pan. I lined my baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal.
2.Custard Layer: Cream together 1/3 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.
3.Chocolate Layer: While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate, heavy cream and 2 tablespoons butter together in a double boiler. Let cool until no longer hot to the touch. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set in refrigerator before cutting into squares. Some people score theirs while the chocolate is still setting. I just cut mine with a hot knife and wiped it clean between the cuts.
**For all you CF'ers out there, each 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch bar is about 400 calories and 19 grams of fat.**
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I've been doing a lot of baking lately and decided to make brownies from scratch. I wasn't sure if it would be worth the extra time of not just using a box mix...IT WAS!!!
I got the recipe from Nigella Lawson and it is awesome!! Click the link to go to the Food Network site to get a pretty and printable recipe. Otherwise, read below...
Triple Chocolate Brownies
- 3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate
- 6 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup white chocolate buttons, chips, or morsels
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate buttons, chips or morsels
- Approximately 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar, for garnish
- Special equipment: Baking tin (approximately 11 1/4 inches by 9 inches by 2 inches), sides and base lined with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a large heavy based pan over a low heat.
In a bowl or large measuring jug, beat the eggs together with the superfine sugar and vanilla extract.
Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little, then add the egg and sugar mixture and beat well. Fold in the flour and salt. Then stir in the white chocolate buttons or chips, and the semisweet chocolate buttons or chips. Beat to combine then scrape and pour the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.
Bake for about 25 minutes. You can see when the brownies are ready because the top dries to a slightly paler brown speckle, while the middle remains dark, dense and gooey. Even with such a big batch you do need to keep checking on it: the difference between gooey brownies and dry ones is only a few minutes. Remember, too, that they will continue to cook as they cool.
To serve, cut into squares while still warm and pile up on a large plate, sprinkling with confectioners' sugar pushed with a teaspoon through a small sieve.
Friday, September 9, 2011
We watched Rio tonight (the cartoon about the two blue macaws). Olivia liked it and really got into the music and the bird vibe. See for yourself.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We spent this wonderful Labor Day (rained the entire weekend) taking care of Olivia. She came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth...again.
Here was the first sign that she wasn't feeling well.
She got some cuddle time in with mommy.
More cuddle time with mommy.
By the Power of Grey Skull, I have the sandwich. Yesterday, she finally started feeling better.
And we finished the evening with baking some homemade banana bread.
Friday, September 2, 2011
I've heard parents say it time and time again - "It goes so fast! She'll be grown in the blink of an eye". I'm not a fool, I believed them, but until you become a parent you don't truly understand. Then you do, and boy, do you! The proof is in the
September 2008 (6 months old)
September 2009 (1 and half years old)
Prepare yourself for a HUGE jump!! The change here was so astounding that I'm showing multiple pictures.
September 2010 (2 and a half years old)
September (well, most are August) 2011 (3 and a half years old)
(Folly Beach, SC)
(Folly Beach, SC)
("Helping" wash cars)
Can I call a time out for a little bit?