Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!

We had a fun time preparing for Christmas by looking at Christmas lights, baking cookies and decorating the tree. Aubrey loved coming out to the livingroom every morning to see the lit tree. More pics to come...

Past Photos

Here are some sweet photos of Aubrey in her Pumpkin Suit asleep from a couple weeks back:
Our Little Pumpkin...

Another cute duo. Fresh from a bath in her favorite towel and daddy:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just thought I'd give an update from the previous post.

Yes, I tried to bake again after all that! I was able to make two dozen amazing smelling white rolls and a loaf of bread for dinner! Ryan made Bob's Bars that night and they turned out delicious. :) They are a no bake cookie that Ryan's dad always took to work at Christmas. He would say "It's an old family recipe...I got from an old family." They take time, but they are worth it. Here's a picture:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

May Your Christmas Prep be merry!

Wow, what a morning. So I woke up bright and early full of Christmas prep cheer! I thought about getting some baking done today so I’d be ready for our trip this weekend to see family in San Luis Obispo. Here we go…..warning: it’s long.

Decide to make some dough for rolls in breadmaker, make some butter cookies and then try peppermint meringues’ with the egg whites that were left over from the egg yolks that were needed for the cookies. Realize I’m so smart to use ingredients that others would probably waste!

Set up Aubrey in her high chair with some snacks at 9am. All ingredients out.

Into the breadmaker goes the ingredients and with a push of a button it’s ready to go. Love this recipe for wheat roll dough and use up the rest of my brown sugar. Glad the brown sugar container had enough! Think how this was all meant to be today!

The butter for the cookie recipe is out and almost room temperature. The dry ingredients were mixed two days ago to save on time. Smiling at my own genius.

Ready to start mixing, the recipe says use a food processor, but will use a handheld mixer instead. Separate the eggs and fish out pesky shell. Aubrey starts crying so put separated eggs in fridge while I change a diaper. Wash hands, Aubrey back in high chair. Butter still not room temp, but decide to start mixing as it is pretty soft. Cookie dough now lumps of butter and flour, flour is everywhere because mixer’s low setting not working. Will set aside and start meringues to let butter get softer.

Egg whites out of fridge (pretty cold?) and added with Sugar in metal bowl over simmering water pot. Whisking to mix, phone rings, talk to mom about her Dr appt. Aubrey doesn’t like electric whisk sound and starts shrieking. Aubrey in left arm, phone at ear and other hand whisking. Can’t wait for this to turn out! Imagine family member’s delight that I could make the meringues! Remove bowl from simmering pot and continue whisking. Put Aubrey back in high chair. Say goodbye to mom.

Bread Machine beeps, check dough. Not risen enough, push “bake only”according to manual to give it ten more minutes of rising. Where am I going to shape the rolls to let them rise?! Counter space flooded with pans, mixing instruments and recipes.

Forgot to preheat oven for meringues! Is there a 175 degree on my oven? There is! Get out cookie sheet pan and set it on pot of cooling hot water for a minute. Prep pastry bag with star tip. Hand Aubrey a toy to play as hers are all on floor now.

Meringues not making stiff peaks after 5 minutes of whisking?? Consult Betty Crocker. Try adding a little sugar. Little more sugar. Even more sugar. Add mint extract, smells like toothpaste? Mental note - Should have gotten peppermint extract.

Give up and start scooping white goop into pastry bag. Start piping into cookie tray, which has been left too long on hot water pot and is now really hot. Meringues melt into a puddle. Took three meringues before I realized that the pan was melting the meringues.

Try meringues on another cooler tray. Goop doesn’t form pretty meringues like Martha’s pictures. Glad she is not here to see my mess! Aubrey shrieks. Put in exersaucer.

Bread machine beeps. Dough has not risen - It has cooked!!!!! Outside cooked and crusty!! Not risen! Burn fingers trying to remove bread pan from maker. Yank pan out of maker. No place to overturn it! Make space. Overturn pan, both fall on floor because bad grip. Bread dough falls out of pan on floor. Whole thing collapses into doughy crusty mess. Thrown into trash, with a nicely placed footprint in the middle. Angry at bread manual!!

Turn to toothpaste meringues and try to pipe one more. Goop stuck in pastry bag. Won’t come out. Use more force. Goop explodes out of top of bag onto hands. Whole thing in sink. Scrape out gritty (from added sugar) meringue into sink and watch it disappear with all future meringue attempts with it. Aubrey shrieking.

Turn to cookie dough. Last saving grace. Get yolks out of fridge. They are now very cold and not beating very well. Don’t care, Aubrey shrieking more. Want to finish so I can burn down kitchen and never return.

Add eggs to lumpy dry ingredient butter dough. Cold egg yolk balls scatter all over powdered mess. Not mixing. Ruined also. Shaking head in disbelief. Throw powder into trash can, “kick” trash can to settle the contents better…Aubrey still shrieking. Tell her to play with her toys.

Look at war-torn kitchen. Decide that fast food is a likely candidate for future meals for family – forever. Leave kitchen, get Aubrey, and return to bedroom.

Still in PJs from this morning…it is now 12:00. Calculate the cost of all the ingredients now in sink and trash can.

Dry tears in bedroom, smile as Aubrey laughs and snuggles with me. Apologize for losing temper with her…. Realize that Martha has a staff of 25 to help her. Feel better.
Write a blog entry. Go to save it, lose entire post. (Okay, so the last sentence was a joke) ;)

Merry Christmas!!!!

P.S. If you want to see an amazing gal that actually finished her meringues...check out

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Getting that Christmas Spirit

No we haven't given up on the blog. But we are having problems gettings pics off our camera. Here's a small concession for your patience:

Aubrey has become quite the dancer these past few days...


Saturday, November 22, 2008

A visit with a Kitty Cat

Aubrey had a nice visit with the cat the other day. She loves to giggle whenever "the kitty" walks by. She's even grabbed the poor cat's tail a couple of times. Overall I think this visit went great. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

I made an ahhmazing Chicken Pot Pie. The crust even has cream cheese in it. So very filling and delicious! The recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs...

Click Here for recipe!!

We had a fun night "Trunk or Treating!"

We had fun Halloween night at the Fair Oaks Trunk or Treat. The children are given candy from our car trunks instead of from houses. There was also face painting and bobbing for donuts on a string. It was groovy! (Yes, we tie-dyed our shirts ourselves. It's amazingly easy and fun!)

New Orleans Trip

Ryan was chosen from the Interns at work to participate in this year's Federal Gov Conference in New Orleans. Aubrey and I went to visit my family for the week. We all had a great time!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple Hill time!

We had a great Monday celebrating Columbus day at Apple Hill. We went with some great friends and had a blast. The apple doughnuts are so good! Since they are made with apples, they are part of a balanced breakfast, lunch...dinner...right?! :)

We always enjoy Double Chocolate Nut Fudge from the Fudge Factory too.

There are huge fish that swim in the pond. They were jumping while we were there. It was amazing to watch them leap.

Maybe next year Aubrey will get to ride a pony...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

San Francisco

Here are some fun pics of our trip to SF. We stayed 3 days the first week and then a whole week a couple days later. Ryan spent his days in training and meetings while I got to walk around with Aubrey and hang out in the hotels. Then we went to Pier 39, Chinatown and walked around together. Lots of fun!