Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers - For the Love of Chocolate

"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, 
because love covers a multitude of sins." 
1 Peter 4:8

Today, shortly after taking an apple pie out of the oven, I remembered that it was the day for posting my Daring Bakers project - which I hadn't yet done.  It was about 5 o'clock.  We have the grandchildren for the weekend, and I wasn't sure I had the energy.  But at about 7 o'clock Riley encouraged me to get it made, so up I got and went to the kitchen. Emily had fallen asleep, which greatly aided my progress.

I used to have a very similar recipe, but I've looked for it for years without success. So I am glad to have found something at least similar. I could only locate an 8 ounce bar so chocolate, so I decided that I would do 3/5ths of the recipe. My baking pans are in a room of the basement that has a broken light, so with flash light in hand the best I could come up with was a 7" loose bottom pan. I put the chopped chocolate into a glass dish, topped it with the butter, and put it into the microwave for 60 seconds. It worked perfectly.

The picture on the left is before going into the oven, and the one on the right is after baking in the oven for 20 minutes.

Then, after watching an episode of The Lawrenceville Stories with Riley and Christian, while Emily still slept, though now on my lap, I set the "boys" off to the store for some good vanilla ice cream. While they were gone, Emily (who finally woke up) and I went into the kitchen to get the cake onto a cake plate.

The guys soon returned with Hagen Daz vanilla, and we served up the cake, and at this point I vaguely remembered that I was supposed to have berries or something with the cake. Peaches was all I could come up with, but then I really like peaches with chocolate cake, and I don't really like strawberries as much with it.

We all enjoyed the cake. It had a very light feel to it, as if you hadn't ingested that many calories, and that's a good thing. I might like to add some vanilla or brandy next time.

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten 
everything he learned in school." 
Albert Einstein

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday with Dorie and a Birthday with Corey -Devil's Food White-Out Cake

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. 
Resist the devil, 
and he will flee from you." 
James 4:7

I had a lot of trouble getting logged on and staying logged on, so this post is a little late. But for once I was ahead of the game, as I made the dessert for the day for daughter #3's birthday in September. Mine's a four layer cake, as I didn't have the heart to crumble up a whole cake layer - and also, I wanted the cake to look as grand as possible.

She had two or three parties that day. In the afternoon she had tea in the garden with her sisters and a friend. It was a lovely afternoon for a tea.

I'm not sure where all the food for the tea came from, but one item was l'opera from Sarah's birthday two day earlier.

There were lots of presents, and many goodies to eat.

Before tea was done, I was on to making the cake. And soon after the the girls cleared off the tea, they were decorating for the party.

It was to be a Hawaiian themed party, and all of Corey's co-workers were invited to the evening party.

It was a great scurry for me to get the cake made in time for everyone to have some, but I made it.

We had the cake on the upper deck, as there was more room.

Corey blew out the candles and I cut the cake.

Everyone really enjoyed the cake.

Peter especially enjoyed his piece, to Corey's delight. (Corey really likes Peter)

"The devil's most devilish when respectable." 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Weekend with Riley

Man's steps are ordained by the LORD,

How then can man understand his way?
Proverbs 20:24

I babysit the kids most days, and usually when I get a day off I only find out about it the night before. But this time it was arranged for me well in advance. It was assumed by many that Riley and I would go away for this three day weekend. It was a three day weekend because of Presidents Day, which Riley had off because he works for the city.

Well we thought and thought about where we might go. The first idea was to take the train somewhere. Well it turns out that living in Oregon makes it quite difficult to go somewhere on the train. It's a long ways to anywhere, or the train simply doesn't go there any way. And then when you get there you have to pay for a hotel, which is most likely rather hard to get to anyway.

So next we thought about going to Sunriver, a most pleasant place if you're in a good place to stay. Well it turns out that any place we liked was rather expensive - as in about $225-250 per night, and deals only for four nights. The only reasonable options were little condos or darkish little houses. Why travel 170 miles to stay in an unpleasant place?

So in the end we decided that we'd really just like to be in our own house, acting like we're on vacation. The bed is the best, and all our things are here, and best of all, at the end of the last day there's no driving for 3 1/2 hours to get home. Now the long drive is okay in the summer, when the sun stays up late and shines all day. But in the winter you drive home in the dark, and possibly the rain or snow. So home it was.

Now unfortunately the start of this weekend was Friday the 13th, and it was true to its reputation. I won't go into it, but we had a fairly major family crisis and it was good that we were going to be staying around. This did give me lots of angst, but I know that God is in charge, and He loves us and has our best interest at the center of what happens to us. So with some prayer and deep breathing, we got on with things. Everyone in the family stepped in to aid in the crisis.

I did have trouble sleeping on Friday night, but by mid morning I was finally relaxing very nicely. I sat up in bed and red all kinds of interesting things that are next to my side of the bed, like CÔTÉ PARIS. Then Riley brought me a beautiful bouquet of pink and white tulips. We decided we would go out for breakfast, and took our time thinking of where we would go.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Well I'm Back!

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on Him
because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

I don't know why I haven't post of late. I've even done my Tuesday With Dorie, and then not posted it. Maybe the Christmas Season was a bit much, and I just wanted to idle. One thing that has occupied me was my oldest daughter Heidi challenging me to the Geo Challenge on Facebook. I'd beat her, then she'd beat me. And I know her computer is faster than mine. But finally she had the definitive win, though in fact, it was her boyfriend Stephane who played on her site and beat me so that I hadn't a chance.

Then Heidi came along and challenged me to Who Has The Biggest Brain. Now here again I am a bit struggling. But there's something in me doesn't want to be beat. But I can only go so fast. I'm very good at some of the tests - like counting the blocks or putting the numbers in order or math or memorizing objects, but I'm not so good at the puzzle one or the flipping cards. I'm on average pretty good at most of it, but I excel in analyzing. That does make sense, as I was a programmer/analyst for many years, and I was quite good at it. I do like to analyze and get things in order. I even organize books at Powells when I find them out of order.

But now I need to get on with life, get things done, pay attention to other things. Ha! Watch, I'll be right back at trying to beat Heidi. Right now in Portland I think I'm 19th best for the week and Heidi is 17th best. Now that could change at any time, as others play. We're both Cyborgs. But really, on average, I'm just a Space Ace.
Okay - so I just don't want to be a stupid old lady.

Today the children have gone to Klamath Falls with their dad to visit their grandmother known as Lola. That's Filipino for Nana. I'm Nana, ..... Just in .... Tom is keeping them in Kalamath for another day. I sure hope I can manage to stop worrying about them. Tom wants Emily to have more time with her grandmother, who she hasn't seen very often. Of course "Who's fault is this!" He could have behaved himself, stayed married to the wife he did love, and have a normal life ,,, but oh no!

"We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm." 
Winston Churchill