Archive for the 'baking' Category

December and January

Boy, the last month has sped by and I’ve been busy trying to catch my breath and get back into a normal routine.  Which of course had been completely forgotten in the two weeks of vacation and Christmas craziness.  So, we’ve been retraining.  And I’ve been making cakes.  Because all of the nephews and niece have birthdays in a three week span.  So, I leave you pictures of the three cakes I made and promise new posts in the next week: a craft and a sensory bin. Enjoy!

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Thomas Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for Miles’ fifth birthday

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Spiderman Chocolate Chip Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting for Drew’s fifth birthday

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Princess Crown Yellow cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and Sugar Cookie embellishments for Chloe’s third birthday

Rainbow Cookies

My daughter, who wants to be a rainbow when she grows up, declared yesterday after quiet time that we NEEDED to make rainbow cookies.  Who can resist such a request?  So, we did.  I used my Pampered Chef cookie press and my favorite spritz cookie recipe.  We used gel food coloring to color the dough the primary colors, then rolled a log of each color dough and loaded them all into the press vertically.  They were so pretty and super yummy (past tense because they are already long gone).
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Rainbow Birthday Party!!

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My big girl is turning four!  It seems impossible that I have such a grown up little girl now.  She has definitely become quite the little person, telling jokes, getting into mischief, and having fun.  After she proclaimed that she wanted to “be a rainbow in the sky” when she grows up, we decided to have a rainbow birthday party.  Here is a pictorial account of the event.

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Rainbow balloon garland~ Each guest got to take a balloon home with them
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Rainbow fruit platter with peanut butter chocolate dipping sauce~ we also had rainbow pasta with various sauces for dinner
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Fruit loop necklaces in rainbow colors
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Rainbow Mobiles made with glue sticks, tissue paper strips, and paper plates cut in half
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Nancy, loving the extra ribbons from all the balloons
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Rainbow cake and rainbow sherbert
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The birthday girl eating her cake~ so good she had to twirl her hair!

Cinnamon Ornaments

I wanted to share this before Christmas, but it just didn’t happen.  What with Christmas week and all.  Because this year, we celebrated for a week.  Anywhoo, as part of our celebration we made these awesome smelling cinnamon ornanments from this blog.    They were super easy, just applesauce, cinnamon, and a little bit of glue.  Clara wasn’t really into them.  She made like two and then took off.  I suspect it was because I told her she couldn’t eat the dough even though she wanted to and they smelled so good.
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Drew was super into  them, though mostly because of his love of the angel and Pooh Bear cookie cutters.

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Nancy also got in on the action and I made a little handprint ornament with her and after it was dry labled the back so that I’ll remember whose little handprint it is.  I put a hole in the top of each of them with a straw and after drying them in the oven we added some ribbon and they got a special place on our tree.  Even after we were gone for a week, I could still smell the cinnamon when I walked in the door.  Super!

Bat Cookies!

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I am the playdough parent for Clara’s preschool classroom this year, and this past couple of weeks, black playdough for Halloween has been requested.  I am not a huge fan of the black playdough, myself.  It’s hard to make, I always think its burning, and it’s just… ewww!  But, I have a whole bottle of black food coloring at home now.  Who knew such a thing existed, anyway?!  So, I had to come up with something to use it on!  Hence, bat cookies!

Clara and I made up a batch of sugar cookie dough using this recipe from Epicurious.  We rolled out the dough (with my new rolling-pin that I got for Adam and I’s tenth wedding anniversary!), cut out bats with our cookie cutter, baked, and let them cool until Clara’s friend Oliver could make it over to decorate.
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I was surprised that neither kid ate the frosting off the spoon nor ate the M&Ms out of the bowl.  They both treated this like an art project until they were all done.  Then they got to eat them!  Love the black mouths!  They were really yummy cookies despite the black frosting and were really cute and easy to decorate!  Happy Halloween!
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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

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Clara and I, after an afternoon with no nap, needed an activity.  So, we made pumpkin bread.  With chocolate.  I’m not sure there are many things better.  But then we added sprinkles to the top.  Yummy!!  An hour later, we were both feeling much better.  We made one loaf of bread and a dozen muffins from this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Also good with raisins for the kiddos instead of chocolate chips.  Can be made into mini loaves and/or mini muffins or regular muffins, too.  Just adjust the baking time.
Ingredients
1 1/2  cups  sugar
2  cups  canned pumpkin
1/2  cup  canola oil
1/2  cup  fat-free vanilla yogurt
4  large egg whites
2  cups  all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
1 1/4  teaspoons  salt
1  teaspoon  baking soda
1  cup  semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  We actually made this in the standing mixer because its a lot easier to add ingredients and juggle a toddler if you aren’t hand mixing.  Or you can help the toddler eat pumpkin out of the can.

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Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

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What did we do while quarantined for H1N1?

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1)  Orange apple print pumpkins

2)  Painted contact paper leaf collage

3)  Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

4)  Butterfly wings for Halloween