Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I mostly built the snow man while they played with the Tonka diggers in the snow. They rescued the trucks from the snowed-under sand box. They were so excited when they learned that the trucks work in the snow too. Louise sat patiently in a sled while they played and I rolled big balls of snow around, looking desperately for areas in the yard that hadn't been trampled by boys or the dog. Carl made the snow man head and didn't have much patience for it, thus the size. Instead of a scarf and hat, we decided it needed an apron... a painting and art project apron.
For all the work I put into it, they kicked it down in about 14 seconds. Did they not want a snowman? Or are they just boys? The carrot lay in the yard afterwards, a sign of the snow life that briefly was. A sign of the fun afternoon on a crisp February day.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
• 1 Egg. • 2/3 cup Vegetable oil. • 1 cup Buttermilk. • 2 cups Flour. • 1 3/4 cups Sugar. • 1/2 cup Good quality cocoa. • 1 tsp. Salt. • 1 tbsp. Baking soda. • 1 cup Hot coffee
• 1/2 cup Milk. • 1 cup Sugar. • 6 tbsp. Butter • 2 cups Good-quality semisweet chocolate chips. • 3/4 cup Caramel. • 1 1/2 cups Toasted pecans.
Prepare the ingredients. The recipe calls for a good-quality cocoa, but I only had Nestle. It still tasted great. (Notice the vintage canisters... they belonged to my grandparents. My mom remembers them from her childhood!)
Gradually add wet ingredients to dry until well mixed.
Gradually add hot coffee. Pour yourself a cup too. Mmmmm. (I recently found an amazing new coffee at Costco-- Rwandan coffee. Comes in bean form in a big 3 pound bag. Cheap, strong and DE-LISH!)
Scrape batter into prepared pans.
To make frosting: Mix sugar and milk in saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips to pan. Using wire whisk, mix until smooth. If frosting is too thick or grainy, add 1 or 2 teaspoons hot coffee.
Spread 1/3 of the frosting on the first layer, top side of the cake down.
Here is the first layer with the frosting, 1/2 cup caramel and 1/4 cup chopped pecans. I like to leave a few of the pecans whole or large pieces.
Add next layer, again top-side down. Repeat frosting and sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans and drizzle with 1/4 cup caramel. And final layer top-side up, frost carefully and finish with remaining pecans and caramel. The top looks best when you arrange the pecans in a pattern, leaving most or all of them whole.
We had no problem eating it. Hope you enjoy it too.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Hearts for a few of our Valentines.
My oldest Valentine. Just weeks away from turning 5... how can that be?
My little Gus (Gustaf) plus the older neighbor Gus (August.)
A heart lunch for the boys.
And my smallest Valentine... following my footsteps in the kitchen.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Train Yard, Grand Central Depot.
Collection of the New-York Historical Society
We watched the program on PBS tonight entitled "Grand Central: American Experience." Wow. What a show. Carl's eyes were fixated on the TV like I've never seen. We hurried home from dinner at a friend's house to catch it. It felt quite strange to hurry home for TV, as we aren't TV watchers, at all. Our TV lives in the basement and has TERRIBLE reception. Recently we acquired a small model from my grandpa who buys them at thrift stores and cleans them up. It lives in my closet now, except for moments such as tonight.
The show detailed the long and amazing history of Grand Central Station and how it affected traffic and the lives of New Yorkers. Having only been to NYC a hand full of times, I can't truly understand the relationship New Yorkers have with GCS, but it was a sight to behold when I arrived on an Amtrack train 10 years ago.
Carl (and Gus too) is fascinated by trains. He loves all the Thomas stuff, but also really digs real trains. Last week we visited the Jackson Street Round House (also called Minnesota Transportation Museum) and climbed in and out of the train cars, checked out the turn table, rode a caboose down the line and picknicked in a rail car. Such fun.
There's a place on the PBS site to watch it. I missed 15 minutes or so while putting Louise to bed-- I'll have to catch it later.