My Little Entrepreneur 06-26-2006
Today, Kai opened a car dealership called Kai's Bubbas. I suggested Kai's Kars. He laughed at me and said "Mommy, you're funny! You thought of a name!"
He uses a dump truck to transport the smaller cars to the Trunk parking lot. Half way through set up, the competition, Coby's Crushers, stole his transport vehicle.
Not seeing it as a loss, but an an opportunity, Kai upgraded to a bigger better multifunctional rig. It can be used as a scooter or a skate, and it's strong enough to support Kai.
And when his old transport broke down, due to rough usage by the new owner, he graciously carried it and it's pieces to the mechanic for repairs. What a great Kai Guy!
The Big 3-0!! 07-05-2006
It was a great day! I started out with an invigorating walk, then some play time at the playground for the boys. Kai built a rocket ship called Bubba. It's been his favorite name ever since I told him that it's the name of our car. In the afternoon, we went to the library. Summer is prime reading time for me (no TV shows to keep up with).
Jake took me to Harvest, a restaurant at Thanksgiving Point. The food is fabulous. I had veggie beef soup, that was nice and chunky. Best ever! For my main dish, I had a rack of lamb in a port wine reduction, and buttermilk red mashed potatoes. Yum!! But the piece de resistance was the dessert, the Trilogy (and it was free). It has 3 types of chocolate mousse which is encased in a shell of chocolate and has these beautiful chocolate decorations. It's the chocolate lover's dream!!
After dinner, we went to see Superman Returns. It was awesome. The flying was graceful. I loved the x-ray vision effects. I left the theater feeling --satisfied. I'm not sure if I can describe it better than that. It fulfilled my expectations.
I've always enjoyed things Superman. I was a huge Dean Cain-Superman fan, simply because he was/is hot!! But this portrayal of Superman, brings me back to Superman the character, the man, the myth, the legend, rather than the actor who played him. I'm pleased to be just a Superman fan again.
I love to swim! But with the boys, it has become my least favorite pasttime! :( It's difficult to enjoy yourself when you're in the death grip of a little boy. The 15 minutes we spend at the pool are agonizing, so we're lucky if we go twice in a summer.
Recently, we had a Primary Activity: Noah's Ark Pool Party. I was being held at the clubhouse next door which has a toddler pool, so I was willing to let him go. If he didn't want to swim in the big pool, he had the little pool to enjoy.
At the activity, Kai learned how to swim!! He started out playing in the kiddie pool, then LeeElle (the Primary President), who was a life guard and taught swimming lessons, took Kai and some other kids into the big pool and taught them how to swim (amidst all the teachers being thrown in the pool). Kai was so pleased with himself when he swam to me. I'm estatic that he finally feels comfortable in the water. He was happy to putt around the pool for an hour. Woo hoo!
Now, Coby loves the water! In the bath tub, he is more than willing to float, blow bubbles and stick his head under the water. But he needed convincing that the pool is a fun place. He usually stands at the edge, cries in his boat, or clings to me.
Today, our playgroup went to the Lehi Legacy Pool. This was just the thing to convince Coby. I had heard that it was very kid friendly, but I was utterly amazed at how kid friendly it was: a shallow pool, warm water, squirt guns, tunnels, slides, various valves controlling spewing water, waterfalls, a rope pull spigot and more. It was very interactive. The boys had a blast! We were there for 2 hours, when I finally dragged the boys out of the pool. What an awesome place! I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I plan on going back. Check out the pictures. http://www.lehicity.com/legacycenter/aquaticscenter.php. This is my new favorite place.
Business is Booming! 08-15-2006
In April, I signed up to become a Pampered Chef Consultant. I love it. I started selling in May, and things were going very slow. But in June, I held my 4th show which qualified me as a consultant, earned my super starter month 1 bonus products, and made me the top seller in my cluster, because it was a $1000 show.
July, I had absolutley no shows, except my openhouse, which was a success. This month business is booming. I have 4 cooking shows and 1 catalog show. In September, I already have 2 cooking shows, and 1 catalog show, with the potential of several more cooking shows.
I'm really excited about September because the host and guest specials are for Stoneware. A host gets a New Tradation piece for 60% off, while the guest receives 20% off each New Tradition purchase. A great month to build your stoneware collection.
All I've done to boost my business is make a few extra phone calls each day. What a difference it has made! Check out my website: www.pamperedchef.biz/GourmetGoddess
A couple of weeks ago, I bought the boys a few new books from the dollar store. They're cool! Each has a toy tool (screwdriver, hammer and wrench) attached, and it explains how to use the tool, what you can build with it, and how it is helpful around the house.
Kai decided that this information armed him with enough know how to fix the face plate in his room (the plate doesn't cover the hole). All he was able to to do was crack it, but it was still intact until yesterday.
I sent Coby to his room for a time out, and he walked out with the face plate. I was making dinner so I didn't do anything about it immediately. When I sent Kai in for a time out, I had completely forgotten about it, but I quickly remembered when I heard a high pitched pained scream then crying. My poor Kai got zapped! When I rushed in, he told me "Mommy, I want you to put the cover back on. It hurts!" Laughter, cut through the fear. I couldn't deny his request so, I took one from our room and covered it. His middle and ring finger are tender, otherwise he is fine and has a greater appreciation for the dangers of electricity. Maybe we can use this experience to encourage him to leave the thermostat alone.
Not sure 08-24-2006
To keep Coby quiet during Grandma Child's funeral service, we had him play with his magnetic puzzle game. It has little wooden flaps that open to reveal a magnetic piece inside. We removed all the pieces, then handed Coby a piece at a time and asked him "Where does this go?" He put each piece back where they belong: dog=doghouse, food= fridge, car=garage, cow=barn, etc. . .
He breezed right through them until he got to one piece that he shifted from hand to hand while he studied the board. After several moments of solemn contemplation, this itty bitty voice said in a thoughtful yet matter of fact tone "Not sure". Jake and I just looked at each other. He was just so serious and grown up about it.
And the other day, he was talking about robots on the ceiling, and eating air cupcakes and cookies. Everyday is an adventure!
The Phone 08-28-2006
Today, was the day of phone calls. I hung up on the home line to have the cell phone ring. I received 6 calls on my home line and 3 on my cell. I get that many every four days, not in one.
Of those calls, 3 were from California. An out of state call is rarer still. Then there were the calls I made (friends & business), I lost count on those. Anyway . . . I am not a big fan of using the phone. I much prefer e-mail, a way of distancing myself from others while still being a part. This has been the biggest hinderance to the prosperity of my business. The Pampered Chef Welcome Packet instructs that for a successful business, you need to contact everyone you know to ask them if they are willing to help by hosting a show (one does not like to impose on one's friends), you coach your hosts, you follow up with your guests/leads (Perfect strangers), and make customer care calls (Is the product everything you hoped it would be?). That is just not my cup of tea, so I wasn't getting anywhere as far as booking shows.
I know phone calls are more personal, than e-mails. There is interaction, an opportunity to resolve any concerns, delve deeper into the reasoning behind a response, or answer questions more thoroughly. There's no reason for me not to do it. Now, that I've given it some thought, it's much faster than trying to word my e-mail just so. Hmmm. . . Well, I decided to do this for a year. I've made a commitment, and I'm not one to do things half-heartedly, so I'll just have to overcome this failing.
For any business endeavor to be successful, you have to set goals. Here they are:
1) 3 phone contacts a day, to overcome my communications weakness. Since then business has been booming.
2) Book 4 kitchen/cooking shows per month. Catalog shows are just a bonus.
3) Have $1250 in sales each month. So I can earn the consultant promotions.
4) Devote at least 1 hour per day working the biz.
Hopefully, by sharing these I'll be more inclined to follow through.
Spiders and Noah's Ark 08-29-2006
For playgroup today, we went to the Children's Garden at Thanksgiving Point.
As usual the boys had a blast going through the maze, climbing in tunnels, watching the fish and playing on the caterpillar. My favorite part this trip was the craft room. We made these awesome spider hats. Then after that the boys enjoyed the refreshing waters of the Noah's Ark sculpture. The water was cold, but that didn't stop Coby from stripping down:
1st day of Joy School 09-06-2006
Today was Kai's first day of Joy School. He was so excited! He insisted that he take his backpack with him. I cleared it out since he doesn't need to take anything with him. He put on his backpack and his hat, then posed for some pictures. Coby decided to join in.Kai told me "I'll walk to the bus, Mommy. Then ride it to school" Sorry to disappoint, but we'll be walking over to the neighbor's house. When we got there, he ding donged the door bell, and we the door opened, he didn't even look back. I forgot his picture and his Show n Tell item, but he had his backpack so he was good.
He had a wonderful time, and was very good for his teacher. He made some butterflies made out of shredded crayons that the teacher, Alicia, heated up with an iron. It's pretty cool.
Apparently, he did bring something for Show n Tell. Some blocks managed to stow away in his backpack before we left the house. Sneaky little boy!!
The first 15 minutes that Kai was gone, Coby cried. But once he realized he had run of the house he was fine. It was a pleasant 2 1/2 hours. I look forward to tomorrow.
Day of Domestic Divinity 09-07-2006
Today, I am a Domestic Goddess!!
I exercised, showered and beautified myself for the day.
I served by assisting a friend in her calling.
I sent my child to school with loves and hugs, then played with and taught the remaining child.
I maintained a spotless kitchen while baking 2 types of cookies,
The remainder of the home was kept tidy as well.
I completed some sewing projects.
I helped another, while socializing and sharing delicious baked goods with the ladies of the neighborhood.
Dinner was on the table promptly as my sweet husband arrived home from a hard day of work.
One task eased into another, with no rushing. Just an enjoyable experience of tapping into the potential of The Angelic. What a wonderous day!
In the July 24, 2006 edition of Forbes, an article was written on Neumont University, or as the article dubbed it Software U.It's a really good article. http://www.neumont.edu/downloads/Forbes_07.24.06.pdf. Things are going so well for the school that another campus will be opening in the D.C. area, possibly next spring. It may be Bye-Bye Utah, Hello East Coast for Us.
This blog has been offline for quite some time while we've done some maintenance and installed new software. Hopefully it's improved now. Enjoy!
Week of July 29, 2007
Sunday -We met with the bishop this morning as a family, so he can get to know us, and to renew our recommends. He called Jake to be the assistant ward mission leader. I met the elders at the library my first week here, and they were at the ward BBQ. It's nice to have a set of elders assigned to our ward rather than our stake or town. This last month there was a high turn over though. One elder has had 3 companions since we've been here.
During Sunday School there was an awesome rainstorm right on top of us with spectacular lightning that struck the building and zapped me. One really should not lean against any metallic objects during an electrical storm.
In the opening prayer of our joint meeting, the brother gave heartfelt thanks for the "rain that we so desperately need". Jake and I were surprised by this since it has rained at least once a week since we've been here. Is there a drought that I'm unaware of? Everything is just so lush and green that it's hard to believe that we are not getting enough rain.
Tuesday - We've endured the auditions of America's Got Talent, but we are finally enjoying the performance rounds. Our top four are Cas Haley, Terry Fator, Robert Hatcher, and the Calypso Tumblers. Here's a link to the contestants, if your not familiar with AGT: http://www.nbc.com/Americas_Got_Talent/contestants/bio_terry_fator.shtml
I definitely like looking at Sideswipe, but they jumped the shark this week, as Jake calls it. Piers always tells groups to dump the kids, not a smart move to add them. We'll see how they fare.
Wednesday - Our ward has a weekly playgroup that on nice days meets at the library in front of the park. Previously, the boys met one of the other mothers that frequents the park. They took a shine to her and her boy. So today, I thought it would be nice to get to know her and her son. Her son is 4 and can name the states on the map. Amazing! Beth prints off worksheets from enchantedlearning.com. I've checked the website before. It's really good but I wasn't sure how to implement it. Anyway, Beth and I are going to set up a play date for the boys.
Thursday - Coby ate a marble. He still enjoys putting everything in his mouth, but this is the first time he has swallowed an object he's not supposed to.
Friday - Kai got his first paper cut, from a book. Coby climbed up the bookshelf to get to the TV on the fireplace. He fell down and scraped up his belly on the bookshelf. Poor guy!
Saturday - We found someone to trade babysitting with. This week was our turn to watch. Their boys are10, 8, and 8 months old twins. The 10 year old thought he'd play a joke on us by pretending that his friend gave him a bloody nose hitting him with a skateboard, then he rushed to the bathroom "embarrassed". He used ketchup for the blood. We didn't think to mention it to his parents, but the dad came up to us in church the next day to let us know that the boys fussed up to it.
I've typed up most of the travel log from our road trip. I've just been waiting for my camera to get here and set up my computer, so you'd have something to look at. I hope to have it ready by the end of the month, but at the rate I've been going. I wouldn't count on it.
Week of August 5, 2007
In last week's blog I mixed my Saturdays. Last Saturday (8/4) was our turn to go out. We saw Live Free or Die Hard, then went to the Cheesecake Factory. Happy Anniversary! The Saturday before (7/28) we had the "bloody nose" incident. I also forgot to mention that we also went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum annex over by the airport. It was pretty cool. Check out Jake's blog. He went more in depth and has pictures: jake.walkenhorst.us The link for the museum - http://www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/
Sunday - We apparently overindulged last night. Jake drank too much caffeine, didn't get any sleep therefore looked and felt wasted. I ate too much and as a result had a stomach ache. It was our turn to supply the treats in Nursery. Fortunately, Jake's co-worker Aaron was kind enough to leave church to retrieve the treat box for us. What a nice guy.
Monday - Coby has decided that tossing toys from the porch is a fun activity. Twice now Jake has had to rummage through the bushes when he gets home.
Tuesday - The boys were little devils today. They are scuffed up and covered with bruises from jumping off tables, dressers, changing tables, couches, and such. Oh and the ear pulling, wrestling, throwing toys, and spitting. Coby's current favorite past-time is name calling and beating up his older brother.
We watched America's Got Talent. Terry Fator, the impersonating ventriloquist, is amazing. We would see him if he headlined in Vegas, which is his dream. The Glamazon's really need to work on their singing, but I like their promotion of self acceptance and showing the world that skinny minnies do not have the monopoly on being sexy and beautiful. Although, I think their skirts could be a longer.
I was surprised that Sideswipe made it through, I thought the Calypso Tumblers were better by far. Sideswipe's performance was impressive tonight. Definitely a step up from last week.
Wednesday - Kai discovered the circuit panel in his room, while in time out and turn off all the power. So he lost TV time for a week. He gets quite upset (you know kicking, stomping, and screaming like a banshee) when I send him to his room during Coby's TV time. This is one of the best punishments I've come up with. I shouldn't revel in his disappointment, but for once the message is finally getting through.
Friday - This has been headache week. It seems like I've had a perpetual headache. It's been so bad I haven't made it out of the house this week, except to help Jake bring up the groceries. I've been able to watch some TV shows that I enjoy but never have time to watch, while resting in my shrouded lair (I finally have curtains over the windows)
Saturday - A new language is on the horizon. It's called Kaicobese.
Here's an example: Snifflish - being tickled while someone is sniffing you.
During a time out in the fireplace corner, Coby pulled up the carpet. When Kai finished his timeout, he lent his hand to the destruction of the carpet.
As you can see this has been a delightful week. Most of their behavior is attention seeking, since I've been holed up in my room, and not spending time with them. I hope next week will be better.
Week of August 12, 2007
We finished the Harry Potter series within two days of the release of the last book, and since then I've been looking for a new series. I've always had a fascination with the supernatural: vampires, werewolves, witches, faeries and the like. Except ghosts they creep me out a bit. The others pure fantasy, but spirits that another matter altogether. But that's neither here nor there. My real point of this is that at times it is difficult to find books of this genre that aren't too dark or sexualized. Today, I found a review about new series written by a BYU grad. Here's the review: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695199836,00.html I look forward to starting the series with the first book called Twlight.
Crab Rangoon Dip & Crispy Wontons 08-24-2007
The sisters in my ward loved this recipe when I took it to Craft Day.
Crab Rangoon Dip
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup sweet and sour sauce
1/2 package (8 ounces) imitation crabmeat
1 green onion with top (about 1/4 cup thinly sliced)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Crispy Wonton Chips (optional)
1. In Small Batter Bowl, combine cream cheese and garlic pressed with Garlic Press using Small Mix 'N Scraper(R). Add Swiss cheese; mix until well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture over bottom of Mini-Baker.
2. Spoon sweet and sour sauce over cream cheese mixture. Coarsely chop crabmeat using Food Chopper; sprinkle evenly over sauce. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 4-6 minutes or until outside edges of dip are bubbly and dip is heated through.
3. Meanwhile, thinly slice green onion using Santoku Knife. Sprinkle dip with green onion and almonds. Serve dip warm using Small Bamboo Spoon with Crispy Wonton Chips, if desired.
Yield: 16 servings (about 3 1/2 cups)
Nutrients per serving: Calories 110, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 4.5 g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Carbohydrate 6 g, Protein 5 g, Sodium 200 mg, Fiber 0 g
Cook's Tip: If your microwave oven does not have a turntable, rotate baker halfway through microwave time.
To toast almonds, place almonds in Small Micro-Cooker (or small saute pan); microwave 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring after each 30-second interval. Cool completely. Crispy Wonton Chips
32 square wonton wrappers
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut wonton wrappers in half diagonally; arrange half of the wontons in a single layer on Large Round Stone. Spray with oil using Kitchen Spritzer.
2. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove chips from baking stone; cool completely. Repeat with remaining wontons. Serve with Bamboo Tongs.
Yield: 64 chips (16 servings)
Nutrients per serving: Light (4 chips): Calories 45, Total Fat 0 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrate 9 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 90 mg, Fiber 0 g
Week of August 19, 2007
Kai and Coby got into my vial of consecrated oil, and "anointed" themselves with it. Their hair was a mess. Time for a scrub down.
I had my thyroid ultrasound today. It turns out that I have a nodule on the left side of my thyroid. They'll have to do a biospy. Yay!
August 2007 Spotlights - Sterling Park Ward Primary 08-26-2007
Class: CTR 5
Favorite Color: blue
Favorite church song: I am a child of God
Favorite day of the week: Sundays and Mondays
Favorite restaurant: McDonald's
Favorite movie book: Clickity clack
Favorite animal: Kitty Cat
Favorite place to go: Lagoon Amusement Park
Favorite ride: Dinosaur Drop
Favorite time of year holiday: Christmas
Favorite game: Video games-Star Wars (where is he playing this?)
Favorite sport: baseball (he gets to hit the ball)
Pet name(s) if you have any Favorite stuffed bunny: Cotton (From the Easter Bunny this year)
Nickname: Kai is short for Kaikolani
What are you going to be when you grow up? Police
New look 09-07-2007
Previously, my blog looked quite boring. But now I have this nifty new theme, and isn't it awesome. Things have been so busy, that you all get a break from my long weekly updates. Check out Jake's blog to see all the great sites we crammed into 2 days, Kai's first day of kindergarten, and my sleepy Coby.
Thyroid Biopsy 09-13-2007
So I need to whine a little.
Today, I went to Bethesda, Maryland for my thyroid biopsy. I don't recall my last biopsy, a few years ago, being this painful. Of course, they only took one sample. This time they took 4. That necessitated the ultrasound wand being shoved against my throat to guide the needle in four times. Each entry was accompanied by scraping and sucking, just like you see on liposuction surgeries. I can't imagine how painful it would have been without the localized anesthetic.
At least, my bruise doesn't look like a hickey, but it does look like I have track marks on my neck. I get the results some time next week.
My little Hero 09-14-2007
Monday, on our way to dropping off our Hyundai in Manassas to be transported across America, Kai told me an interesting story: Ms. Peterson (his kindergarten teacher) was putting on a song that I like to listen to and she fell. Ms. Duke (the teacher's assistant) wasn't in the room. I ran to the neighbor's to get help. The ambulance came.
At first I wasn't sure he just made it up, but he repeated it verbatim to Jake, and since then he has had a substitute teacher, Mr. Hinkle.
What a quick thinker. He went and got help. My Spider-man!
Going home - Day 1 09-15-2007
We didn't finish packing last night, fortunately the movers had other apartments to start with first, so we were able to get most of it done before they got to our place. So we worked like crazy to get the last of our stuff packed up. We got the whole place packed up in 4 1/2 days.
Poor boys! Nothing to do, getting into things, and parents shouting at them. They were bored, bored, bored! A self powered flashlight, baster, and a dust pan can only provide so much entertainment.
Man! The movers were efficient and impressive. I wish I had gotten a picture of them with the boxes strapped to their backs. (I was too busy cramming the kitchen into boxes to get one). They were in and done within two hours, and it didn't even seem like going up and down 4 floors affected them. It helped that there were 6-7 guys instead of only 3. (Oh, that's another story: the move-in from h
While hauling the snack crate out to the car, Jake misjudged the last few steps and sprained his right ankle. D'oh. It's all swollen and blue, so he was unable to drive.
We didn't leave til about 4:00. With such a late start, we weren't able to make it to Kirtland, so we spent the night in New Stanton, PA.
As we left Sterling, I realize how much I'm going to miss it (I got teary-eyed, something that rarely happens). I'm disappointed about all the experiences and opportunities we're missing out on. Even though our time here has been short, it has been wonderful. And I am excited about returning home. That's right! I'm claiming Utah as home. Who'da thunk?
Remainder of the trip home 10-01-2007
Check out Jake's synopsis of events: http://walkenhorst.us/jake/?p=75
Things I will not miss about Virginia 10-14-2007
1. The humidity. It can be quite oppressive. Give me dry heat any day. No more mushy crackers or mildewy washcloths.
2. Living on the fourth floor. Although, I think I can live on the third floor now.
3. Hauling groceries up all those stairs.
4. Getting the suburban into our covered parking spot. It's a tight squeeze.
5. The complaints about the traffic and how bad it get during rush hour. Sorry, but after our first day back in Utah (during the lunch hour) I would drive through traffic in Sterling in a heartbeat.
6. The water was disgusting even with a Pur filter. Not even being cold could redeem the taste. It left an extremely bad aftertaste.
Things I will miss about Virginia 10-14-2007
1. The library's shaded playground
2. Yummy fresh produce
3. Free museums, historical and cultural sites
4. Trash removal from our 4th floor doorstep
5. Vaulted ceilings,watching planes fly over head through our really high window
6. Location, we're so close to all my essential shopping. I could walk to the mall. yeah, right!
7. Wegman's - the best grocery store ever! Especially if you are a foodie like us.
8. Covered shopping cart corrals
9. Ethnic Diversity
10. The humidity. I haven't need to moisturize in ages.
11. The trees and foliage
12. The antiques shops, which I never went to but would have loved to browse through
13. The awesome members of the Sterling Park Ward. They are the best fellowshippers ever.
Chocolate Mint Silk Torte & Cream Puffs 10-22-2007
Nonstick cooking spray with flour (see Cook's Tip)
1 package (18-21 ounces) traditional or chewy brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 packages (4.67 ounces each) crème de menthe chocolate candies, unwrapped, divided (56 pieces total)
1 container (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray Torte Pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place 8-inch circles of Parchment Paper over centers of pans; set aside. In Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl, combine brownie mix, oil, water, eggs and peppermint extract; mix well. Immediately divide batter between pans, spreading to edges. Bake 10-12 minutes or until centers feel firm to the touch.
2. Meanwhile, for ganache, combine 12 of the candies and 3/4 cup of the whipped topping in Small Batter Bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after each 30-second interval; set aside. Remove pans from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool in pans 5 minutes. Invert onto cooling rack and cool completely, about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, for filling, in Easy Read Measuring Cup, combine 36 of the remaining candies and 1 cup of the whipped topping; microwave on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring after each 30-second interval. In Classic Batter Bowl, whisk cream cheese until well blended; whisk in chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold remaining whipped topping into filling in two additions.
4. Attach open star tip to Easy Accent(R) Decorator; fill with 3/4 cup of the filling and set aside. To assemble torte, transfer one brownie to Simple Additions(R) Round Platter. Using Classic Scraper, spread remaining filling into brownie well. Place top brownie layer well-side up over filling. Spread reserved ganache over brownie 1/2 inch from edge of well. Pipe a decorative border around ganache inside edge of well. For garnish, cut remaining eight candies in half crosswise and arrange around border.
Yield: 16 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories 400, Total Fat 25 g, Saturated Fat 12 g, Cholesterol 55 mg, Carbohydrate 39 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 170 mg, Fiber 0 g
Cook's Tip: It's best to use a nonstick cooking spray containing flour when baking these brownies. In a pinch, brush Torte Pans with melted butter, then sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder using the Flour/Sugar Shaker. Tap out excess cocoa powder.
For best results, choose a brownie mix marked "traditional" or "chewy" on the package. Do not use brownie mixes containing chocolate morsels or chunks, as these will cause sticking.
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Filling and Topping
1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon Double-Strength Vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or almonds
1/4 cup prepared chocolate frosting, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. For puffs, in (1.5-qt.) Saucepan, combine water, butter and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Add flour all at once. Using Classic Scraper, stir mixture vigorously about 1 minute or until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms into a ball. Remove from heat; place dough into Classic Batter Bowl. Add eggs and whisk until smooth and very thick using Stainless Whisk.
2. Lightly spray Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Using slightly mounded Small Scoop, scoop batter into cups. Bake 22-25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven and make a small cut into side of each puff using Quikut Paring Knife to release excess steam. Remove puffs from pan to Stackable Cooling Rack; cool completely.
3. For filling, combine whipped topping, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix gently until well blended using Small Mix 'N Scraper(R). Attach bismark tip to Easy Accent(R) Decorator; fill with filling and pipe into center of each puff. For topping, chop pistachios using Food Chopper. Place frosting in Prep Bowl; microwave on HIGH 5-10 seconds or until melted. Drizzle frosting over puffs and sprinkle with pistachios.
Yield: 24 puffs
Nutrients per serving: (1 puff): Calories 90, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 30 mg, Carbohydrate 9 g, Protein 1 g, Sodium 55 mg, Fiber 0 g
Cook's Tip: To prepare filling using heavy whipping cream, combine 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon Double-Strength Vanilla in Stainless (2-qt.) Mixing Bowl. Set over Stainless (4-qt.) Mixing Bowl that is filled with ice. Beat cream until stiff peaks form using Stainless Double Balloon Whisk, about 5-7 minutes. Proceed as recipe directs.
If desired, 1 teaspoon vanilla can be substituted for the Double-Strength Vanilla.
Easter 2008 03-23-2008
Mishap on the Playground 03-27-2008
At school, Kai fell on the playground. He whacked his chin on a bar which loosened 3 of his bottom teeth and moved them out of alignment. Two of the them are quite loose. The permanent teeth are growing in therefore the root is short which makes them more wiggly. These primary teeth are going to fall out within the next 6 months. The left tooth which moved the most has a while to come out, 2 years. Kai will be on a soft food diet for the next few days until the gums firm up around the teeth. Also, with his teeth all wiggly, he's got a little lisp. No fun!
Liam at 1 month 04-01-2008
* raspberry burps
* rolls onto his side
* back bald spot
* sleeping 4 hours at night
My Iron Chef 04-06-2008
While playing with his picnic set, Kai covered some slices of pizza then, whipped the covers off shouting "Iron Kazine". Just like the Chairman on Iron Chef, except he shouts "Allez Cuisine".
A tooth update: a permanent tooth is poking through behind the teeth that got whacked. The tooth Fairy will be visiting soon. She'll bring "a prize or money or a present"
Reading 05-06-2008While nursing Liam, I read. Since April, I've read a number of great books. Quick and easy reads.
A series by Lynn Gardner
* Emeralds and Espionage
* Pearls and Peril
* Diamonds and Danger
* Turquoise and Terrorists
* Sapphires and Smugglers
* Amethysts and Arson
* Jade and Jeopardy
* Opals and Outrage
* Rubies and Rebels - the library didn't have it so I couldn't read it.
* Topaz and Treachery
* The Frog Princess
* Dragon's Breath
* Once upon a Curse
A few months ago, Jake and I saw the movie The Seeker, which is based on the second book in the The Dark is Rising series/sequence. With film adaptations the book is generally better and definitely more detailed than the film, so I read the book to compare and contrast. During our weekly visit to the library, I just happened to see the book, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising. I grabbed it and found out it was part of a series. I got the other books in the series and discovered that I had read the series two years ago. Weird, the movie didn't strike me as being familiar. Well, phfft, of course not. It was the only book in the series that I didn't read.
The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper.
* Over Sea, Under Stone
* The Dark is Rising
* The Grey King
* Silver on the Tree
Recipe Wednesday 05-07-2008
15 oz refrigerated pie crusts (two 11 inch rounds)
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbs salsa
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 C. finely chopped cooked chicken
1 egg beaten
Remove pie crust pouches from box; let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes
Heat cream cheese in small heavy saucepan over low heat; cook and stir until melted. Add cilantro, salsa, cumin, salt and garlic powder; stir until smooth. Stir in chicken; remove from heat
Unfold pie crusts; remove plastic film. Roll out slightly on lightly floured surface. Cut crusts into 3 inch rounds using biscuit cutter. Reroll pie crust scraps and cut enough to equal 20 rounds.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil. Place about 2 teaspoons of the chicken mixture in the the center of each round. Brush edges lightly with water. Pill one side of the dough over the filling to forn a half circle; pinch edged to seal.
Place 10-12 empanadas on the prepared baking sheet; brush lightly with egg.. Bake 16-20 minutes or lightly browned. Serve with salsa.
Note: Empanadas can be prepared ahead of time. Wrap unbaked empanadas in plastic wrap and freeze. Bake 18-22 minutes.
Blogger's Block 05-15-2008
My biggest block or obstacle to blogging is that I feel the need to catch up on all the fun things that have already happened.
I really can just start now and move forward.
The second obstacle is including photos. Not necessary, but definitely fun to have. I'm always very slow about getting them off the camera and into the computer. So I put off blogging.
Really, there is no excuse to write a little something at least once a week, so I'm going to recommit to blogging.