Saturday, October 31, 2009

a super birthday celebration

We had a fun time celebrating Dax's 3rd birthday. Dax picked his theme and we ran with it:)He also chose the menu of cheeseburgers, pineapple and strawberries and Cheetos. Mommy threw a few extra items of her own in there too:) Steve's whole family from Cincinnati came to celebrate with us.

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Dax wanted chocolate cake so I made and decorated a zucchini chocolate cake. I used this recipe . I believe this was the recipe that my mom used to make years ago and it is one of my all time favorites. It makes such a moist cake.

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We all had a wonderful time!

On Sunday, his actual birthday we went to the pumpkin patch after Mass.
The boys were really wanting their pictures taken here....not!

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The boys had a great time playing and running around.
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After the pumpkin patch we had more presents more cake! Dax had a wonderful birthday and received so many nice things. Thanks all of you who helped make it special!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

bird feeder fun

The boys made bird feeders at Grandpa and Grandma Noe's house. Grandma sent them home with bird feed and they were excited to get them out in the yard.

They filled carefully filled them up
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being careful not to spill.
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Once full, boy were they heavy:)

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They decided where to put them.
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And then admired their work:)

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We think the squirrels like it more than the birds. What a fun project!

Monday, October 19, 2009

spooky cookies

The boys and I were very excited to try out my new cookie stamps and make some Halloween cookies. I had picked up these stamps at a little boutique in St. Armands Circle when we went to Florida last September. I had high hopes of making some cute cookies last year, but we were busy moving and it just never happened. So I have been waiting a whole year to try these babies out. The set came with 4 cookie stamps; a pumpkin, spiderweb, a cat and bats.

We made 2 batches of dough. This is the "anilla" (as Dax calls it) that we made into the pumpkins and the spiderwebs.

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We did the cats and bats out of the chocolate.

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It was really fun for my helpers. Just roll the dough into a ball and then press it flat with the stamp.

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The chocolate tasted better, but the designs showed up better on the lighter dough.

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The official cookie tester thought both were delicious:)

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

there's a new superhero in town...

The other day Dax asked me for the third time to put on Xavier's Spiderman costume (yes, that costume has been going strong for a year now!) I told Dax that I was not going to put it on a him third time in the span of an hour, but I would put his mask on for him. He came to me to put the mask on and I just had to laugh. This is what I saw.

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Instead of the super Dax cape/mask combo (which is the usual substitution for the full costume) we had full on "Cowboy Spiderman!" I then proceeded to take these just for laughs.

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After Spiderman was sufficiently "fetty" (sweaty) he whipped the costume off and I had my sweet boy back again.

Mind if I take some more pictures??? Oh you do? Come on... just a few.

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Just another day here at "Superhero Headquarters!"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

mom's carrot cake

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I really have no idea where my mom got this carrot cake recipe but it is really my favorite one. It is easy, very moist and simply delicious. NO pineapple, raisins or other craziness...just straight up carrot cake the way it was meant to be...with plenty of cream cheese icing of course!

Carrot Cake
2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. oil
2 c. pureed carrots
4 eggs
2 c. grated carrots
2 c. flour
2 t. soda
2 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Using your mixer, combine sugar, oil, pureed carrots. Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each egg. Add grated carrots and mix until combined. Add flour, soda and cinnamon. Mix until the flour mixture is incorporated. Add nuts. Grease and flour 2 nine inch cake rounds. Bake at 350 for about 40 mins or until the center is set and sides start to pull away from the pan. Do not over bake as no one likes a dry carrot cake:) Cool for 10 mins in cake pans and then turn out on wire rack to cool completely. Frost with your favorite cream cheese icing.

* I think the original recipe called for jarred baby food carrots which I still find thoroughly disgusting even after having 2 kids. A much better and cost effective solution is to steam the carrots and then use your food processor or blender to make the puree. Even if I make a little too much puree, I just add it and cut back on the grated carrots:)

**I also add 1/2 t. salt and 1 t. vanilla for flavor.

*** I don't really chop my nuts as I like to have large chunks in the cake....just my personal preference.

Cream Cheese Icing
12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar

Using electric mixer, beat 12 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter and vanilla extract in large bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.

I made this particular cake for dinner guests and although it looks lovely, I did slightly over bake this one. It still tasted good but was not the utterly moist cake that it usually is. So I apologize to the dinner guests (who may be reading this and laughing) and encourage you to try this one as it will live up to the moistness that I have been raving about. But you may want to omit the nuts as a certain someone (who was very gracious and did not complain) is not a fan of them:)

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On a different note... those carrots are very cute aren't they???

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Enjoy and invent a reason to celebrate and make cake!