Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brownie recipe

10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1 cup regular sugar and 1/4 cup vanilla infused sugar. To make this, save a vanilla bean pod where you scraped the seeds out of for another recipe and put it in a jar full of sugar. You'll have to wait maybe a couple of weeks before the sugar tastes like vanilla)
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cold eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325*F. Ensure rack is positioned just below the middle of the oven.
Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang

1. Combine butter, salt, cocoa powder and sugar in a heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water
2. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and mixture is hot and smooth
3. Remove bowl and let mixture return to a 'warm' temperature. Mixture will look gritty
4. Stir in vanilla
5. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to incorporate each well
6. Add flour and stir until incorporated. Mix vigorously
7. Pour mixture into baking pan
8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the centre comes out clean
9. Let cool on a wire rack
10. Remove brownies by lifting parchment paper out of baking dish
11. Cut into desired square sizes (some people do bite size...I go for humungous).

Mommy & Son Brownies

Me and the boy are on our own for the weekend as daddy is taking a much deserved break and spending some time away "with the boys". I think that means they are playing poker and eating meat while consuming a lot of alcohol...?
One of the activities that was on Gage's list of 'to-do's was baking. I've had this recipe bookmarked for awhile now so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a go.
Cocoa Powder Brownies:
(adapted from smitten kitchen - I'll post the link when I'm on my 'real' computer and not the iPod)

This was Gage crying after he tried to crack an egg into the brownie mix and it missed - catching the sleeved of his 'lucky shirt' before splattering on the floor.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our Family Day Weekend

This year marked the second annual "Men's Cook-off". If you remember from last year, this event requires all the men in our family to prepare/cook a dish to contribute to a family meal which they are later judged on (by the women) and awarded prizes. The women are supposed to just sit around and eat...and eat we did!
This year, first prize went to Will and his amazing double baked stuffed potatoes. Second went to Chris and his appetizer flat breads (they were essentially homemade pizza on flatbread, but just don't tell him that), and third prize was a tie between the Bruces' dishes, a chicken spaghetti dish and some grilled vegetables. 
The naive homesteader spin on this years competition was that the men had to calculate the food miles for every ingredient in their dish. I have to admit - more than half didn't even bother (a little disappointing) but others were up to the challenge and enjoyed learning just how far conventional food travels to Canada. 

Baby also got some love this weekend. Lots of belly kisses and clothing. Here's a pair of shoes given to us by one of my sisters. They are pink. They are sparkly. They are ridiculously adorable...even though they are pink. And sparkly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's oh, so quiet. Shhhh, shhh...

On Wednesdays I get to live my parental dream and drop off/pick up Gage directly to/from school. I don't know why I've always wanted to do this but I really do enjoy it.
Today when I picked him up, I could tell he was just beat. I got the "I don't know" answer to most of my questions about his day and he wasn't giving up any information.
So, on these kind of days, I drop my after-school activity ideas and just let him be. No expectations. No plans. Just let him decide what he'd like to do.
Surprise, was watching tv all snuggled up on the pullout couch. Here's how I found him about 30 minutes after he got settled.
Oh to sleep like a 4 year old again...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

All about the room

I think I've nailed down the colour palate for the baby's room. I'm going with a grey on the walls - the new neutral. The colours are much deeper than they appear, or warmer? I don't know what the term is...but that top blue colour is almost a navy.
I have dreams of painting the crib in a high gloss white. Anyone ever used a paint sprayer before?
I know I said I'm afraid of pink - and I am, but I'm going to embrace it, just a little and include some pink in the fabric choices. I'm hoping to scour some second-hand stores in the next few weeks and see what I can come up with.
This is all kind of exciting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our day

Today has been full of anticipation, excitement and I'm not gonna lie, a little worrisome, because of this....

I had my 20 week ultrasound today and found out the sex. It's a girl!
The baby looks great - which is a huge relief. 
Now if I can just wrap my head around having a girl...
I'm a little scared. And excited. And not looking forward to all the pink. 
Any advice?

Just a random Wednesday

With really BIG news!!!!

I'll fill you in later today. It's kinda exciting.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More garden planning

I just finished going through the Urban Harvest seed catalogue and writing out everything that I wanted to order. The total? $78.50. Considering most packages of seeds are $3, that's a lot of seeds...
Here's what I want to order:
Bush Beans x 3
Beets x 1
Carrots x 2
Corn x 2
Cucumber x 1
Lettuce x 3
Melon x 1
Onions x 2
Peas x 1
Peppers x 2
Pumpkin x 1
Tomatoes x 3
Herbs x 3
Plus 1 lb of potatoes
I'm going to have to be pretty creative and smart about my use of space this year. My only concern is the space required to grow the pumpkins and the melon. I came across an idea of growing melons vertically. You have them climb up a fence or something like that and when the fruit start to grow, you support them with pantyhose.
I'm thinking the lettuce I'll try and grow in containers. And the herbs. The potatoes I'll do in the garbage can again. Hopefully that will leave me enough space to grow the rest. And now the eternal wait for spring.
Oh mild winter - how you tease us!