Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cream Puff Recipe (pictured in the previous post)

Someone asked for the recipe for the cream puffs in the last post, so here it is. They are pretty easy to make. This is a pampered chef recipe. Profiteroles are miniature cream puffs. I use heavy whipping cream and make my own filling. The instructions for that are below the recipe.

Profiterole Puffs

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Filling and topping:
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbls chopped pistachios or almonds
1/4 cup prepared chocolate frosting, melted

1) Preheat oven to 375. 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 bowl. Add eggs and whisk until smooth and very thick.
2) Lightly spray 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 to release excess steam. Remove puffs from pan and allow to cool completely.
3) For filling, combine whipped topping, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix gently until well blended. Attach bizmark tip to Easy Accent Decorator, fill with filling and pipe into center of each puff. For topping, chop nuts and microwave frosting on high 5-10 seconds or until melted. Drizzle frosting over puffs and sprinkle with pistachios.

Yield: 24 puffs

I use real cream instead of cool whip, so here are the instructions for that.
Combine 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with whisk till stiff peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Proceed as recipe directs.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Safety Town and Cream Puffs

Alona graduated from Safety Town on Friday. We celebrated by making cream puffs! Safety Town is a two week program that teaches new Kindergartners safety relating to just about everything from animals to buses, as well as introducing them to police officers and firefighters! It is fun for the kids and a great learning experience, as well.

Alona eating a cream puff in her Safety Town shirt.

The Cream Puffs

Monday, July 21, 2008

I can check this off the list!

Thanks to Jessica for spending an afternoon helping me clean and move furniture, I now have a clean, organized room in which to sew or have a guest sleep! I know it is not the ideal guest room, but it works! I couldn't even find the desk before! I am SEW excited! (I had to do it!)
√ 1. finish putting sewing room together
2. sew curtains
3. finish slipcover
4. paint all the trim everywhere in the house (ugh)
5. clean Natalie's room (hahahahaha)
6. find somewhere to store all the ominous bins of girls clothes they will grow into some day, but can't wear yet so I have to find somewhere to put them........
7. RELAX (if I can find the time)

The white cabinets used to be in the living room. I moved them so the living room could be more clean and simple! The cabinets behind the door hold my patterns in baskets as well as some other sewing supplies.

I have fabric in the space saver bags under the couch. The shelves above store craft supplies and fabric as well. The dog on the couch is getting a hole patched this week. There is also a curtain on the couch for the window but I have to buy a curtain rod for it this week!

This is my sewing desk. We got the peg board and painted to match when I was setting up shop in the dining room. It doesn't look terrible with the pink but I might paint it a different color some day. I have fabric stored in the cabinets above it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Projects (Past, Present, and Future)

This is a dress I made for Ashley several years ago. I also made one for Alona. Now Alona is wearing the one I made for Ashley!

Back view.

I also made this dress for Ashley and one for Alona to match. Alona is wearing the one I made for Ashley and Natalie wears Alona's.

Back view.

I got these chairs at Goodwill! They are Norwalk brand. They are slipcovered and the cushions are down! What a find for $70. I am going to make new slipcovers so they will go with my living room decor! The little chair next to them will get a slipcover and go in the girl's room.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Spelt Bread!

I made my first batch of spelt bread ever! I ordered some dough enhancers from King Arthur Flour. So I made a batch using Mom's bread recipe. I used less water and oil, as spelt flour needs less liquid than wheat flour. I used vital wheat gluten, lecithin, ascorbic acid and diastic malt powder. I'm not sure I added them at the proper time, but the results aren't bad. As you can see from the picture, the bread isn't too dense. I used 1/2 white spelt and 1/2 wheat spelt. It rises more rapidly than wheat dough, especially when using a quick rise yeast. It only took 15 minutes for the first rise and 10 for the second! Yay! That makes for some quick bread! Ashley tried a piece and got excited. It passed! She has always eaten just about any bread I give her. I guess to her, bread is bread! We will see what Alona and Jeff think when they try it.
Here is the recipe:

This recipe is for a white (wheat) bread. I have listed the recipe how my mom wrote it and added the changes for spelt in parenthesis. It makes great white bread.

Makes 3 good size loaves

4 cups warm water (I used 3 1/2 with spelt flour)
2 pkgs or 2 Tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil (I used 1 1/2 T olive oil with spelt)

Put above ingredients in a large bowl (or 5-6 quart stand mixer bowl). Let sit for a minute or two. The yeast will start to dissolve.
Add 6 cups flour (I added 3 cups each white and whole spelt) and stir. (At this point I added some lecithin, vital wheat gluten, diastic malt, and ascorbic acid. not sure if that is when they should be added, but turned out fine) Slowly add more flour until you have to knead - it will take 4-6 cups more. (I used between 3 and 4 cups, half whole spelt, half white spelt). Knead for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Let rise till doubles in size-up to 45 minutes. (mine only took 15 minutes, wheat flour takes longer) Gently pull dough out of bowl (no need to punch dough- it should deflate just taking it out onto the counter), divide into 3 sections and shape into 3 loaves. Put in greased bread pans and let rise up to 30 minutes(it may not take that long). preheat oven to 350˚F. Bake loaves 30-40 minutes. Remove from pans and brush tops with butter.

Relaxing At The Lake

We went to Dorena Lake this past weekend with the Bostocks. They brought Kyla with them. The girls loved being in the water. Ashley and Alona just swam around (in their floaties) and Natalie turned blue! Natalie does that in the bathtub too! It was a great way to relax in the heat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

June Performance (Ballet)

I forgot to post about the girls' dance performance. Every June the dance school does a huge program with the dancers. Ashley and Alona were both in it. They danced beautifully! They looked so cute in their costumes! I was backstage with Alona's group so I didn't get to see Ashley's dance, but they gave a DVD of the performance to all the volunteers. Here are some pictures. They are taking a break from dance this summer and will start again in the fall.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

For the 4th of July we went to the coast. We went to Heceta Head Lighthouse and hiked up the path to the lighthouse. Then we went to Florence and went to the beach. Here are our pictures. (by the way, I am going for the record for number of pictures in a post)
This is Natalie's sandy face at the beach.

Alona at Heceta Head

Josh and Kyla playing. (not sure if I spelled her name correctly)

Natalie playing with the football.

Josh and Kyla


Me and Natalie at the beach.

Alona wrote her name in the sand!

Jeff, Natalie, and Alona. Isn't the reflection cool. It was just really wet sand!

Ashley wrote her name in the sand, too!

The girls in front of the lighthouse.

Josh and Jeff climbing the lighthouse! Josh used to be a gymnist.

Our family!

Natalie dug a hole in the sand.

Jeff and the kids built sand castles.

The overlook at the lighthouse.

Ashley- it sure was windy!

The hike up to the lighthouse.

A bus stop in Florence. The bench was made out of a huge piece of driftwood!

Later that night we came home, showered, and went to see fireworks. Alona slept through them. Natalie didn't want to look at them. Ashley loved them!
We are grateful to all the many men and women who have lost their lives, families, homes, and possessions for our freedom! It is because of their sacrifices that we have all that we do in this country!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Strawberry Jam!

I made strawberry freezer jam today! I can't wait till tomorrow when we can try some! It will be so yummy!
Now I'm off to do the laundry. If you don't hear from me for awhile come looking for me under the mountain of clothes and towels!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Our Fun Summer (haha)

On Monday I decided we should pick some strawberries at Thistledown. The girls were all excited. We got there and picked for about 5 minutes. Ashley ate 1 or 2 strawberries, Alona ate about 5, and Natalie had 8. Then they were done. Another little girl had come to pick strawberries with her mother, but instead they all just wanted to play. So I picked strawberries by myself. Then we headed back to the barn(store) to find some more goodies. They had cherries that were so juicy. The girls tried one each (even Ashley). Needless to say, we bought some. Jeff, Alona, and Natalie sat outside and ate about 2/3 of them after he got home from work. We also got 4 peaches! They have the BEST peaches there. Alona ate one today. It was so juicy and smelled so sweet! We got a watermelon as well. I spent the afternoon making pie crusts.
Last night I tied Ashley's quilt. I needed to get it done as it takes up the entire dining room and blocked off the laundry room. Now I get to do lots of laundry! I will probably set up Alona's quilt on the frame Wednesday evening.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are 2 free movies at Regal Cinema. We usually go to at least one. Today we watched the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (Veggie Tales). It was cute. Then we headed to the store to buy corn starch to make the pies. Today I made 2 strawberry pies and plan to make a small batch of jam as well.

This was my first time making a pie crust as well as this strawberry pie. It is so yummy!

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