Tuesday, March 30, 2010

if my boys would twirl...

So often when I sew something I never get to see how the outfit looks on a real body. Mainly because I am sewing for girls and because my boys do NOT want to wear these creations...even if I beg and bribe. The other day I just finished up this.


I really wanted to see how the little shirt with all of those ruffles looked when a little body twirled in it and I wanted to check it for size. I had Dax try it on.

Me: Dax, could you twirl for me?
Dax: Tweerl??
Me: Yes...could you twirl please?
Dax: No.
Me: Really??? You won't spin around for me?
Dax: No.
Me: Come on... turn around in circles.
(Dax lamely and slowly turns around for me...looking pitiful.)  
Me: OK let's get this off....before you pee on it. (An entirely different subject.)

Here are a 3 sibling dresses and a matching tie for the brother.



I have been working on a few more things but want the recipients to get them before they see them on the blog:)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

chicken with forty cloves of garlic

Many of you know my love for reading cookbooks and even occasionally trying a recipe from them:) My MIL got me Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, for Christmas which I have been reading and we recently had some delicious food at friend's house from a new recipe book of hers that is french. Now I am more than intrigued. My friend has let me borrow a couple of her cookbooks. The first recipe I tried out is chicken with forty cloves of garlic.


Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic

2 celery stalks, including leaves
2 springs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of flat leaf parsley
1 3 1/2 lb. whole chicken
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion
1 cup white wine
1 baguette, cut into slices

Preheat the oven to 400. Put a chopped celery stalk and 2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme and parsley into the chicken cavity. Add 6 cloves of garlic. Tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under.

Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper well. Scatter 10 more garlic cloves over the base of a large covered casserole or roasting pan. (Use a dish into which the chicken and vegetables fit quite snugly so that the flavors mingle well.) Put the remaining sprigs of herbs, chopped celery, carrot and onion into the baking dish.Put the chicken into the dish. Scatter the remaining garlic cloves around the chicken and add any remaining olive oil and the wine.

Cover and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender an the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

To serve, carefully lift the chicken out of the dish. Strain off the juices into a small saucepan. Use tongs to pick out the garlic cloves from the strained mixture. Spoon off fat from the juices and boil for 2-3 minutes to reduce and thicken a little.

Cut the chicken into serving portions on a platter, pour over a little of the juices and scatter the garlic cloves. Toast the baguette slices and serve the bread to be spread with the soft flesh squeezed from the garlic.

Here is my chicken before I put it in the oven. I could not find my cotton string anywhere so I just left the legs flop. Tying the legs keeps them close to the body of the chicken and they won't cook as fast. Be sure to use cotton string and not nylon, as nylon will melt in the oven.


And after it was finished baking.


My family really liked this and since I can't eat chicken, you will have to take their word:) My friend told me to use my enameled cast iron dish like a Le Crueset and it was perfect for this. She also suggested using a farm fresh or chicken from a butcher to make it even better. I also omitted the celery as Steve really does not like the flavor of it. If you don't do wine in your cooking, I am sure you could substitute some apple juice or stock. It took about 3 1/2 heads of garlic. I made a little separate roasted garlic for me in a tinfoil packet. Cut off the top of the head of garlic and drizzle a little olive oil, a dash a wine and some salt and pepper. I sealed it up and baked in the oven while the chicken was baking. I thought the roasted garlic on the bread was just delish!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

apple pie muffins

Xavier was asking for apple pie the other day and while I wasn't up for making a pie, I found this recipe for apple pie muffins.


They were easy as pie...ha ha. Seriously, they were easy. The boys favorite part was adding the crumb topping to the muffins.


Apple Pie Muffins
•½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
•1 cup All-purpose Flour
•¼ cups Melted Unsalted Butter
•1 teaspoon Cinnamon

•For Muffins
•1-½ cup Packed Brown Sugar
•⅔ cups Vegetable Oil
•1 whole Egg
•1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
•1 cup Buttermilk
•2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
•1 teaspoon Baking Soda
•¼ teaspoons Salt
•2 cups Diced Peeled Apples

In a small bowl, toss together crumb topping ingredients until crumbly. You may need more flour to get a good crumble. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and wet ingredients (brown sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, buttermilk) until smooth.In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt. (I don’t have a sifter, so i just fluff/mix it up with a fork.)
Stir oil mixture and flour mixture together.Fold in apples, mixing just until combined. Batter will be a bit runny, but that’s okay.Spoon into greased muffin cups or use liners, filling 3/4 full. (The easiest way is to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup.)Sprinkle topping over evenly. (It’s easiest to use your fingers.)

Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and the tops spring

I subbed out half of the white flour for whole wheat and made my own buttermilk using vinegar and used yogurt for half the oil. Next time I will cut the sugar just a bit. I meant to do it this time but I had helpers and got distracted:) Someday I will tackle a good crust, but until then I have these muffins:)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

and he is off.

On a whim I took the training wheels off of Xavier's bike. I have no idea why I did it. It wasn't as if he was actually showing signs of being able to ride his fact, he has been on his bike maybe once in the last 3 months. Even so, I decided that yesterday, in the 60+ degree weather we were having, that it was as good of day as any to start to learn. Xavier was skeptical to say the least. So we went out and learned to ride.


And then we waited for Daddy to get home to surprise him with what we had learned.

**This is not video but photos made into animation*** I have not attempted to mess with the video from the video camera....yet.

Xavier was so proud of himself....and he should be:)

Of course we had a few of these too!


Being 5 sure is fun!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

happy b-day

to my "older" (wink**wink**) husband!!

The boys wanted to make a special dessert for Daddy and we talked about making him a giant chocolate ship cookie because he loves cookies so much. But we couldn't tell him because we wanted to keep it a surprise. After we decided on it, X asked Steve at dinner a few days before, what his favorite dessert was.

Steve: Well, I like eclair cake...
X: What else?
Steve: I really like berry cobbler...
X: Is there anything else?
Steve: Well.... I like chocolate chip cookies!
X: (smiling huge)Well, I am not not going to nod my head...
Steve: So I guess it will have to be a big surprise then!

So as a big surprise we made Steve this


Xavier helped me make the cookie dough. After that, he helped to clean up by doing this

and this


He also helped to choose the right blue.


It was a nice day. By chance Steve had the day off. He and Dax went to get haircuts.


We fed the kids early and then had a "date" and made homemade crab cakes and scallops for dinner and had his special cookie for dessert.


I asked Steve if he wanted a candle and at first he refused. I asked him if he was sure about that. After all, you only get to have a birthday wish once a year...he reconsidered and blew out the candle. At what point do the candles stop being better than the cake??? Not yet... although the cookie was delicious!!


***We just used the regular Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe and added pecans. I then spread about 2/3 of the dough on a pizza pan and baked it at 325 until it looked done. I used a cookie scoop on the rest of the dough, put them on parchmant and stuck them in the freezer to harden. After I remembered that they were in the freezer, I took them off the parchamet and stuck them into a ziplock freezer bag to bake later. I have made a giant cookie before using all the the dough and it was BIG disaster, with dough oozing over the pan and all over the oven. Lesson learned there!! My MIL also has made this with the chocolate chip cookie bar recipe with good results.