Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a summer sunday morning

The tree outside our window.

This blog post by Ann Voskamp spoke to me, especially these lines:
"The most enchanting days never cost a thing, only that you pay attention.
I slow down and open the eyes wide and dig deep into the pocket of me.

I'm thinking now is worth all I have."

Ian is wearing a romper/faux suit that Mimi gave him at the shower and Emma is wearing a romper that Grammie bought while she was here. They looked so cute!

Emma wanted her picture taken, but wasn't quite so sure about smiling.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

oh, this was funny!

maybe I can reconcile myself to driving a minivan?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

father's day dessert

Because John had to work on Father's Day, I wanted to make an extra special dessert for him.
I found a recipe for "Heaven and Hell" cake (so called because it has both Angel Food and Devil's Food cake layers in it) on Saveur.com, and Julia pitched in and helped me make it (actually, she did most of the work - thank you Julia!!!).

The recipe says this cake is rich, but I'd have to say it goes beyond that. It is very, extremely rich. Oh. My.
And so so good.
The only thing I'd change is the peanut butter mousse filling. There's so much of it that you actually could cut it in half and still have a great dessert.
I think I'd really like to try it again, but with a fruit filling perhaps. Maybe raspberry? Strawberry? Cherry?

For the Ganache:
2 lbs. milk chocolate, such as Valrhona, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

For the Angel Food Cake:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract

For the Devil's Food Cake:
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups cake flour, plus more for pan
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coffee
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

For the Peanut Butter Mousse:
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1. Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour cream over the chocolate and let sit to melt for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, combine the chocolate and cream. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let rest for 4 hours.
2. Make the angel food cake: Heat oven to 325°. Line bottom of a 10" round cake pan with ungreased parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together confectioners' sugar and flour; set flour mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with a handheld mixer on low speed until frothy. Increase mixer speed to medium, sprinkle in sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle half of the confectioners' sugar–flour mixture over egg whites; using a rubber spatula, fold until just combined. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake until top of cake springs back when touched, 45–50 minutes. Transfer cake to a rack and let cool.
3. Make the devil's food cake: Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 10" round cake pan with shortening and dust with flour to coat; shake out excess flour and set pan aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder; set flour mixture aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder until smooth; set coffee mixture aside. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, vanilla, and eggs with a handheld mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Alternately add the flour mixture and the coffee mixture to the bowl in 3 stages, beating to combine after each addition. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, 30–35 minutes (we found that it was more like 40 in our oven); transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
4. Make the peanut butter mousse: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners' sugar with a handheld mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Put cream into a large bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture; set mousse aside in the refrigerator.

5. Assemble the cake: Using a serrated-blade knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place 1 layer of the devil's food cake on a cake stand and spread 1/3 of the peanut butter mousse over the top with a butter knife. Top mousse with a layer of the angel food cake and spread with half of the remaining mousse. Repeat with the remaining devil's food cake, mousse, and angel food cake. Wrap cake in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. Stir ganache until smooth and spread evenly over the top and sides of the cake with a butter knife. Refrigerate the cake for 2 hours before slicing.
SERVES 10 – 12
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #121

Monday, June 21, 2010

this moment

A few pictures from this afternoon when Emma was napping:

Also, there's a woman that writes a blog that I follow who wrote a good - and really long - post the other day about parenting. Here's a snippet:

"Fear based parenting ... is when parents motivate their children to do what is "right" out of fear. Just plain fear. ...
Fear is sin. I do not want to parent my children based on my fears.
I do not want to raise fearful children either. I believe if we parent this way we can hinder our children from understanding who God is.
There are a few different types of fear based parenting possibly?
-parenting according to what we FEAR others will think of us.
-parenting where we actually plant FEAR in the hearts of our children [ultimately not trusting the Lord].
-over protecting out of FEAR.
-motivating our children to behave the way we want them to out of FEAR of us, or fear of hell, or fear of punishment.
I think fear based parenting is something that can easily sneak into our relating to our children without even realizing it."

There's a lot more too, just her recent thoughts on being a godly mother.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Emma was very interested in the birthday pound cake. :)

It has been a good year.
John had his first Father's Day.
Emma and I went to visit my family in California.
Brian and Leah got married.
We moved.
Found out that God had given us Baby #2.
John's sister Sarah flew with Emma and me to California to visit my Gramma just before she died.
Emma had her first Thanksgiving and Christmas.
John and Emma and I went to see the CA Jacobsens.
Emma learned to walk, turned one and cut some molars.
We celebrated our second anniversary by dropping Em off with some friends and going out for a rare but wonderful date.
Emma went on her first Easter egg hunt.
Ian was born!

Monday, June 07, 2010

just the three of us

Mother's Day 2010

It will only be the three of us for a little longer.
Mimi (John's mom, Teri) plans to come and pick up Emma when we give her a call, and then wait to hear.
It may be soon.
It may be in a few days.
Either way, we are treasuring the last few days being just us three.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

just hangin' out

Today is Baby #2's due date. And we're just hangin' out, waiting.

Yesterday, to keep myself occupied (and my mind off of the fact that I wasn't in labor), I pulled out some of the fabric that I bought back in March, and finally turned the green and pink pieces into a summery dress/tunic top for Emma. She is wearing it today and loving it!

Today, as long as the sewing machine is out, I might finish up a few more of the sewing projects I've been meaning to get to. Emma might get some new clothes out of it, and it will help the time to pass! :)
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