Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pink. Really, really pink.

Well, she did ask for a "pink castle cake" now didn't she?

Four high tower turrets, two guard towers with turrets (that's 14 ice cream cones and a lot of white and pink chocolate), two Ding Dongs, two 9x13 funfetti cakes, strawberry filling, one 9x9 chocolate coconut cake, one Windmill cookie, two Dove chocolates, Tink talking with a dragon, a horse and three knights in armor (with flags!), one catapult, a lot of sprinkles, strawberry Whoppers and M&Ms. And a lot of very pink butter cream frosting (I forgot how little food color paste you need to tint frosting).

Oh, and three smiley-star candles!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our very fickle, clever, lovable and surly little "threenager" (yes, I made that word up, but I swear three is like the prequel to adolescence)! We love you more than your cake was pink. And boy, was it pink. Really, really pink!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mad's Birthday Madeleines

Birthday prep has begun... and, as Lora says, it's great that at our house you can quite often eat fresh-baked cookies at 1:00 am (or some other vaguely inappropriate hour when most folks are asleep)!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At Long Last!

Ever since Madeline was born I've thought "I should get some Madeleine tins and learn to bake Madeleines." And today, I finally did. Luckily I waited long enough to discover Tartelette's blog filled with glorious desserts and many amazing French ones (she being French and all). Anyway, she has several great Madeleine recipes, and I chose to start with the Lemon recipe that was an adaptation of her grandmothers. I adapted it further by using two lemons worth of zest and more juice in the icing (not all Madeleines are iced, but these are). They are amazing. Lemony and delicious, moist and light. Yum. Luckily, I bought smaller-than-typical Madeleine pans because I ate four. Three cookies is a serving in our house, but Joel had four too (he may be eating more as I write this...) Erik inhaled two, and would've eaten more if I hadn't intervened. Mad ate one (she was engrossed in Mulan).

I'll have to try out the chocolate recipe next, and the cinnamon one too... we'll (of course) be serving Madeleines at Madeline's birthday party as well.

Lemon Madeleines (Adapted slightly from Tartelette's recipe):

Makes 16 (or 24 if you've got the smaller-sized tins)

2 eggs
80 gr all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
80 gr granulated sugar
80 gr unsalted butter, melted and cooled
pinch of salt
3 Tb lemon juice
zest of one lemon (I did two lemons worth of zest)
1/2 lemon (for squirting after they are baked)

2 cups powdered sugar
3Tb lemon juice (I added 4 Tbs.)
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat your oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, pinch of salt. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, and whisk in the yolk to the flour mixture. The mixture will appear quite thick, do not feel like you have to whisk in all in thoroughly. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy, and add a small amount first them to the egg yolk/flour mixture and whisk vigourously with a whisk to break the flour/yolk lumpy mass. Fold in the rest of the whites with a spatula. Add the lemon juice, zest, and butter. Whisk the batter until everything is incorporated and smooth. Drop one tablespoon or so into the madeleine molds, depending on their size. Do not fill them to the rim though.

Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as they come out of the oven, squirt the half lemon over the madeleines and let cool completely before proceeding with the glaze.
For the glaze: mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest together until you get semi thick consistency. Add more lemon juice if needed. Dip each madeleine in the glaze and set them on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pizza! Pizza!

The only sort of pizza that Madeline likes... I suspect that someday she'll be a real pizza fan though.

Cardboard Pizza

3 empty cereal boxes worth of cardboard, opened flat
1 salad plate for tracing circles
1 Sharpie for tracing with
1 pair of scissors to cut out circles
5 or more crayons and/or markers for toppings or peeled crayon wrappers for "pepperonis" as Mad decided would make the best pizza

Should amuse most toddlers for anywhere from 15-45 minutes, or until it gets really sunny outside and they need to go play in the wading pool and make mud cakes!
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Edible Scoopables...

Handy that I planned to make my own wedding cake years ago, so I have large pans for scooping fun... Flax seeds are so great for scooping, pouring and sifting. They feel neat, the kids love them, and if they happen to eat them... they're actually good for them too!


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