Morning Routine

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yellow Layer Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I made this cake yesterday and my whole family loved it. I had a piece (or two) today and it was still moist and delicious. Here's the recipe from a website I got it off of. Please note that I didn't follow it to a tee. I forgot to sift my flour (oops) and I sprayed my cake pans with Pam and that's parchment paper or anything else. Also, because I'm still waiting on Santa to bring me a Kitchenaid mixer (funny joke if you know me), I followed the "hand-mixer" instructions - they're in parentheses at the bottom of step 2.

To quickly bring the eggs and milk to room temperature (65°F), submerge them in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes after mixing them together. Adding the butter pieces to the mixing bowl one at a time prevents the dry ingredients from flying up and out of the bowl.

Makes two 9-inch cakes
4 large eggs , room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk , room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened (see illustration 1), each stick cut into 8 pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease two 9-by-1 1/2-inch cake pans with vegetable shortening and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper or wax paper. Grease parchment rounds, dust cake pans with flour, and tap out excess.

2. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla with fork in small bowl; measure out 1 cup of this mixture and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on lowest speed to blend, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running at lowest speed, add butter one piece at a time; mix until butter and flour begin to clump together and look sandy and pebbly, with pieces about the size of peas, 30 to 40 seconds after all butter is added. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture and mix at lowest speed until incorporated, 5 to 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high (setting 6 on KitchenAid) and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add remaining egg mixture (about 1/2 cup) in slow steady stream, about 30 seconds. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat on medium-high until thoroughly combined and batter looks slightly curdled, about 15 seconds longer.

(To mix using hand mixer, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Add butter pieces and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add reserved 1 cup of egg mixture; beat with hand mixer at lowest speed until incorporated, 20 to 30 seconds. Increase speed to high, add remaining egg mixture, and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Stop mixer and thoroughly scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat at high speed 15 seconds longer.)

3. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides of pan and smooth with rubber spatula. Bake until cake tops are light golden and skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. (Cakes may mound slightly but will level when cooled.) Cool on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cake onto large plate, peel off parchment, and re-invert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.

Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate , melted
4 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 pinches table salt

Mix all the glaze ingredients together until smooth. Pour small amount of glaze on first layer of cake, then top with the 2nd cake layer. Pour the glaze over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Let set before serving, about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A deep & meaningful talk...

with my 3 year old son was not exactly what I thought it was going to be.
Out of the blue, it began:

Jeremiah- God made everything, Mom.

Mom- Yes, He did. And what did He say about it?

J- That it was good.

M- And do you know why it was good. Because God doesn't make junk. He makes beautiful things. Like you! You are very special.

J- Yes I am.

M- Yes, God made you special.

J- Ok. That's enough talking for now.

I guess when I think about it, it's a normal response for a boy; even for a man (but men just never want to end a conversation that way because it typically begins an argument! lol)

That's my boy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A park day I won't forget...

Wednesday was a scheduled park day for my MOPS group. We met at a fun spray park that had lots of toys too. The kids and I had a fun time, in spite of the cool weather and intermittent sprinkles (odd for June but whatever).

So the kids and I sit down to have a packed lunch and when Jeremiah finished he asks to go play with the kids. So off he went. I mean, that's what we were there for, right?!?

Beka stayed with me as I sat with mommy friends and talked.

Raquel's son comes up to me and tells me Jeremiah is hurt. I scan the park for him and sure enough, here he comes walking towards me; one of his shoulders looks a little saggy and he's crying. I meet him, leaving Beka with my dear friends, Raquel and Tara (thank you girls for all you did and offered) and carry him back to the picnic tables. As I look over his body I notice a red mark on his shoulder. I keep scanning his body and there it is:

his collar bone looks a little out of place. Immediately I want to cry for him but I hold it together, scoop him up and take the kids to urgent care; which is just down the road - seriously like a 5 minute drive.

Jeremiah did such a good job waiting in the lobby. He would cry every so often and wanted me to hold him. Beka did a good job waiting too! I put her in her stroller and she waited as patiently as a one year old can.

They took us to the back and did a couple of x-rays on his collar bone. And sure enough, a fractured clavicle. It's a greenstick break (imagine stripping a healthy, small branch off a tree, then trying to snap it in doesn't snap but rather twists and bends - well that's similar to what happened to his collar bone). So the dr. gave us a prescription to get a figure 8 brace to help it heal correctly.

I take the kids home and we wake up dad (who is getting in his beauty sleep since he's on the graveyard shift at work). Jeremiah springs the news: "Dad, I went to the park and fell off a ladder and broke my bone." The drowsy, I'm-so-sleep-deprived-because-you-only-let-me-sleep-3-hours look on his face is classic once he hears the unbelievable news.

Needless to say, he couldn't go back to sleep after that. But the kids took a nap. That was my cue to go get that prescription filled.

After 4 stores, I finally find one that had the brace AND took my insurance, which completely covered the cost of the brace. But I need to have Jeremiah there to be fitted. So I go home, get the family and off we go.

Afterwards, we let Jeremiah pick dinner. He wanted breakfast, pancakes and eggs to be specific (a boy after my own heart - breakfast for dinner!). So off we went to Denny's.

Here's more pics of Jeremiah and his first broken bone, which costs us a total of $15 (who needs Aflac!?! he he)

See, he's feeling great, with a little help from Tylenol.

In this picture I told him to look like it hurts. I think he gave me "pathetic" instead. But hey, I'll take what I can get.

You can see the red mark where he landed on his shoulder and the bump where his clavicle broke.