Saturday, January 22, 2011

What I've been "Cookin' Up"...

For the past 38 1/2 weeks, I've been "cookin' up" a little sweetie who finally arrived as planned on New Year's Eve!  Welcome to the world little Lucia (Lucy).  We're so happy to have her in our family.  She's a cutie!

 The girls first look at their new baby sister

 Little Lucy with her Grammy and my parents.

 Mommy & Lucy

The girls with their new cameras from their Aunt.

 My sister and my Mom

Our little family

Daddy and his girls

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Merry Little Christmas

A glimpse of our Christmas this year:

When you walked through our doors this year, you may have thought you were entering a new house as we sided our house and painted our doors red.

Upon entering you smelled the wonderful aromas of baked goods being prepared and being enjoyed by all.  First, the gingerbread house.  This was made entirely by my husband, Jeremy with help from our girls, Angelina & Aubrey.  They did a great job!

I made some sugar cookies using my friend's wonderful recipe.  They turned out great!  Here's her blog site with the recipe: Kathy's Kitchen Korner

I made the dough and Jeremy helped the girls cut them out as I moved on to more cookies that day.  As you can see, they had great fun!  We were going to decorate these with homemade frosting the next day with my sister and her husband, but they were so good, we all just ate them without decor!

One night I needed some french bread, so I made my own.  It was from the Betty Crocker recipes.

For a cookie exchange that I attended, I made Potato Candy.  However, there is so little potato in it, it can hardly be called that!  It was very good.  Apparently you're supposed to spread this out on a sheet, refrigerate and cut into squares, but it was too hard to spread and I was all into easy stuff this year as I was expecting our 3rd baby at the end of the month.

Here is the recipe: 
Potato Candy
3/4 c. mashed potato
1/2 tsp. salt
2 (1 lb.) pkgs. confectioner's sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 lb. flaked coconut
2 tsp. vanilla

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Fill a 2 quart pot with water and add salt. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain and place in bowl. Mash potatoes with 1 stick melted butter, add confectioner's sugar, coconut, and vanilla. Mix well.

Spread the mixture out on waxed paper or a buttered cookie sheet. Place in fridge to cool. When hard, cut into small squared and dip into the chocolate, place on waxed paper to cool. Alternatively you can roll the potato mixture into balls, cool, then dip in chocolate.

Dip in melted chocolate wafer candies and voila! 

Makes 4-6 dozen depending on size.

Store in the refrigerator.

My little sweeties were in their first ballet performance of the Nutcracker this year.  They were the Chinese Tea Dancers.  They did such a great job and worked very hard.  Here they are all dressed up in their beautiful costumes and during one of their dress rehearsals.

Being the proud Momma that I am, I couldn't let this occasion go by without a celebration.  So, I made them Ballet Slipper Cakes made from Hershey's Chocolate Cake. 
I used a suggestion of my friends and substituted strong decaf coffee for the water in the recipe to make a Mocha-Chocolate Cake.  Then I made Raspberry Buttercream Frosting (recipe below) and layered the cake with homemadeChocolate Ganache.  Yeah, it was amazing!

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar (depending of your sweetness level & desired consistency)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
Place butter and jam in a mixing bowl or an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until you reach desired consistency & sweetness.

The roses were from Jeremy for each of the girls' performances.  It was a really fun time!

For Christmas this year, I made the girls doggy sleeping bags.  I bought the bags from Target for $10, then bought the fabric to make the dog pillow heads, paws, and tails and just attached them to the bag. 

As it is our tradition every year, we all sleep "under" the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. The sleeping bags came in handy this year for our slumber party in the living room!

 Most kids await Santa to bring their gifts, but my girls were waiting for their Aunt Rebekah & Uncle James to come from California.  They arrived at midnight on Christmas Eve.  The girls got to wake up and see them!  What a treat!
Christmas Day with Aunt Rebekah!

A Wonderful Christmas 2010!