Sunday, March 7, 2010

This Weekends Cooking Adventures and Other Ramblings

It is hard to believe it is Sunday evening already. So catching up from earlier this week, I did get this page done to commemorate Nicholas's achievement this week. We have had one more success, so I am holding out hope it won't be much longer and we can say goodbye to diapers for one boy in this house. Mike asked me if I was going to take a picture of the toilet to scrapbook, but I didn't have to I had these from a few months ago. LOL!

 Studio Calico January Kit and Add On's (October Afternoon, Basic Grey Studio Calico PP, Bazzill CS, October Afternoon Rub On's letter stickers; American Crafts Thickers; Jenni Bowlin Die Cut; Maya Road Chipboard Scallop Oval; and vintage "N"), plus Fiskars and EK Success punches, Keller Creations chipboard star, Maya Road Cherry & Blue Raspberry Mists American Crafts Slick Writer and Making Memories Paint.

Thursday Mike met his parents at the park.  Nicholas had a ball playing and running all over, Jackson on the other hand is not as adventurous, Mike had to hold him or push him in the stroller the whole time. As adventurous as little J is at home, he is quite intimidated by new situations when he is out of the comforts of home.  Mike e-mailed me this picture of Nicholas from the park, and although he didn't even think of it at the time it will be a perfect photo to use to document one of Nicholas's favorite book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (coming soon).

Saturday morning Nicholas and I went out to pick up a few birthday presents for Mike and to Michael's to get some kids craft stuff. Nicholas's report from pre-school this week was that he needed to work on cutting with scissors. We didn't have any kids scissors, so I figured we should get some. We spent a couple of hours Saturday afternoon doing crafts.  We practiced cutting shapes with his scissors and decorated an egg with glitter glue and stickers.  I found this paint with water book (I loved these when I was little).  He kept asking to paint yesterday and made 3 of these. 

The biggest part of our weekend has been Adventures with Food.  Earlier this year we bought a TV for the kitchen and Mike has been DVR'ing some cooking shows. One of the bonuses I ended up with after Mike became a stay at home dad was that he started doing a lot of the cooking. Now he loves to cook and experiment with new recipes.  I happily support this hobby and that was part of the shopping Nicholas and I did Saturday was buying Mike a few cooking tools for an early birthday gift.

He really has liked Tyler Florence and his show Tyler's Ultimate.  Last week one of the shows was called Ultimate Sunday Dinner and this week it became our Saturday night dinner.

I took on the Flourless Chocolate Cake and Mike was in charge of the rest.  The Pot Roast took about 3 hours to cook, so he got that started first:

Lots of yummy vegetables and herbs in this and the house smelled wonderful while it was cooking.

After he got the Pot Roast going I got started on the Flourless Chocolate Cake.  It was actually quite simple to make, and absolutely full of rich (aka fattening) ingredients.  

First you melt a pound of dark chocolate with a stick of butter in a double boiler.

While the chocolate is melting, separate 9 eggs.

The egg yolks are whisked with sugar, and the egg whites are beaten until they make a meringue.

Chocolate is melted (doesn't that look yummy)

The chocolate is first mixed with the egg yolk mixture and then folded into the meringue mixture.

Pour into a spring-form pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped topping.  The recipe called for making your own whipped cream from heavy cream.  But we aren't whipped cream fans much, so I just got fat free cool whip. The only thing stopping me from devouring the whole thing was knowing how much fat and how many calories this had in it. 

While my cake was baking and the pot roast was simmering, Mike was back to work on the side dishes.  He got to play with one of his new birthday presents, a Cuisinart 11-Cup Food Processor. Mike loves to cook, but chopping and anything that requires using knives, he's not so much of a fan, so this is going to be quite a good tool for him. He was all set after watching the how-to DVD that came with it.  Slicing parsnips was quick work as was the fresh herb mixture that went on them.

Parsnips on the stove in his new chef's pan in his herbed butter mixture.

Next was the Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey Butter. I am not sure where the butter came in, I saw him using honey and olive oil and topping them with cinnamon and salt and pepper.  

And shortly afterwards we had this beautiful dinner that tasted so very good. 

Although I decided I was not a fan of parsnips, I did like the herbed butter they were cooked in.  The roast was tender and flavorful. The sweet potatoes were pleasantly sweet and the flourless chocolate cake was decadent. And now we have leftovers for the week.

It was a fun evening, just cooking and hanging out. With 2 little ones we have only recently been able to start doing this again. This is definitely one of the things I missed from our pre-kids life, although now it is even better, because I don't have to do all the cooking.

You would think Mike had enough after that meal he made last night. We all slept in (with Nicholas in our bed) and Mike got up and made us Melt In Your Mouth Pancakes, it's basically a recipe from the Bisquick box that adds baking powder, lemon juice and sugar to the recipe and it really gives an added fluffiness to the pancakes.

While he was making pancakes I wandered out to the yard and picked some oranges from the abundance we had on the orange tree.

Sliced in half, ran through the juicer...

and a few minutes later we had fresh squeezed OJ to go with our pancakes.  It took 11 very juicy oranges to make that little bit of juice.

After breakfast I hung out with the boys while it rained outside. We played and I was even able to get a few good pictures of them.

While I was playing with the boys Mike was still the busy chef making this Pico De Gallo to go with Beer Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak for tacos tonight. Both recipes were from from Food Network's Mexican Made Easy show.

And just to leave you with a little scrappiness, I framed this cool paper from Graphic 45.  I cut out the middle and popped it up, but otherwise used the paper as is.  I made one for us and another for my MIL for her birthday. I am probably going to antique the frame a bit with some cream paint and crackle medium.  I love when a paper is so perfect you can frame it.

When I got the mail today I had two fun packages, a box of books from Amazon and my March Mosh Posh kit with lots of new American Crafts Dear Lizzy and Cosmo Cricket Material Girl. So I am off to play this evening.  I know I won't get any scrappy time next weekend, since we will have Mike's brother and his family here. Instead we will have a full weekend of Spring Training baseball, the zoo, and Mike's birthday to keep us all busy.

Have a great week.


Rebecca said...

Hi Michelle! Thanks for coming by my blog, good to "see" you! Love your potty dance LO hee hee. I can not WAIT until my DS gets out of diapers, that is the one thing I wish would come a little faster :) Wow, you guys really cook and bake some amazing things! Looks like weekend meals are A+ in your house. Wish I could say the same. Lately the best I can get is grilled chicken out of DH for a big salad lol!

日月神教-向左使 said...
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