Jan 29, 2008

Chugging Chocolate

In response to KBB's challenge to post a picture a day . . . you're on!!

I found Josh wandering around the family room when he was 1 1/2 with this bottle of chocolate syrup. He was not a bit happy when I took the bottle away. That's our Joshie!

Jan 17, 2008

Giant Ginger Cookies Recipe

This is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook that every newlywed couple should have. :) If you want to print a "pretty version", go here.

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
4 t. ground ginger
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses
1/4 c. sugar

In medium bowl, stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups sugar. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.

Shape dough into 2-inch balls using a 1/2-cup measure or scoop. Roll balls in the 1/4 cup sugar. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed (do not overbake).

Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

I don't make my dough balls as big as this recipe, and I don't let them cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before putting them on a cooling rack. If you make smaller cookies, adjust cooking times accordingly.

Good luck - I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

My FAVORITE Chocolate Cake!

This came from http://www.allrecipes.com/ and you can print a "pretty version" (complete with conversions if needed) here. Yes, this does call for vinegar and mayonaise . . . but it is sooo good! Top with chocolate frosting (home-made of course) and you are in heaven!

"Aunt Joyce's Chocolate Cake"
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.
Pour the melted chocolate into a large mixing bowl. Blend in the mayonnaise, vinegar and vanilla. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt and gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Slowly stir in the warm water. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Note: The cake batter looks like soup . . . . don't worry . . . . it will turn out very well!

Jan 16, 2008

SNOW 2008!

Catching the first snowflakes!

Jan 15, 2008

The car ride to church

Um, yeah . . . this is what I hear some Sundays on our way to church. I took this video and think I did a pretty good job aiming the camera; considering I was also driving.

The first video is just a video of SILLY BOYS - how Liv knew I had the camera I don't know, but you can see her trying to get in the picture, too!

The second is . . . just funny - crude, boy humor, but funny. Josh's laugh is so contagious.


Silly Boys

Laughter . . .


So, we went bowling recently (expensive sport for a family!) and I laughed each time the boys bowled - they were so funny hauling those heavy balls down to the lane. :) I am posting two videos.

#1: Josh wanted to use "the silver thing" that bowlers put their ball on and roll it down (instead of bowling by hand). We told him "one more time without the silver thing" . . . and he got a spare (thank heavens for bumper guards!)

#2: Calvin didn't get a spare, and became more and more frustrated - you can see him looking "down and out". Poor kid. ;) I think he had fun, though.

BTW, I won the game - two strikes (again, thank heavens for bumper guards!)!

Our own "Monets"

Can YOU tell which one is Monet? LOL.

After visiting the museum, I got the "bug" to bring culture and experience to our little family. I bought some acrylic paints (oils might be easier to work with), some canvas/paper and paint brushes. Greg gave us all a little painting lesson last night for Family Night and we tried to copy the painting in the middle. I finished mine late last night and have to say that I am impressed with myself . . . the fist time ever painting like this. It was really fun. In between taking care of Liv, that is. The boys started theirs but didn't get to finish before it was bed time. BTW, mine is the one on the bottom . . . if you know Bob Ross, you will understand me when I say that I decided to add "happy little mountains" to go with my "happy little clouds". lol. Oh, and - copying a painting like that is HARD! Greg's version (on the top) is good (of course), and his house is really cute.

Thanks for looking at our mini museum. :)

Jan 9, 2008

The Sophoclean

We visited the High Museum today to see the Impressionist Collection and also the pieces on loan from the Louvre. I fell in love with one or two pieces and am kicking myself for not writing down the name of the pieces!! I miraculously remembered the name of a little statuette I saw. The Sophoclean, 330-300 BC.

I wish thie photo was of a different angle, but here it is nonetheless. It is so pretty. You can't tell, but the woman's face has a drape around it and the delicate work it must have taken to make her face so pretty would be amazing to see. If I find another angle, I will post it - now I know why people steal from museums. :)

I know this second picture is small, but it shows more of the statuette.