Friday, November 26, 2010

wotcher, harry?

As some of you may have noticed, (I certainly have) my blogging as of late has been patchy and quite lame.

A month ago I started reading the Harry Potter books. I just finished the 6th, and right now Danny and I are watching the movie.

As soon as I am finished with this adventure, I am sure I will be back to my blogging self.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sometimes i fail

I hate pie crust. I have always hated it. Today was the first (and quite possibly the last) time I made "real" pie crust. The kind you roll out, and crimp the edges, and bake.

When my mom and I "invented" vegan cheesecake back in the day- I opted for a shortbread crust instead of the usual graham cracker one. Which is very tasty, and it really helped set my recipe apart. Plus, you just pat it in the pan- no rolling out.

When I discovered the Juniors Cheesecake Cookbook a few years ago- and saw that it had a spongecake crust- I couldn't wait to try it out. Now, I always use a spongecake crust for cheesecake.

This year, I made the pumpkin pie(s) for Thanksgiving. (my mom usually does it.) So I thought I'd actually follow a recipe. I used the one in the Joy of Cooking. For the crust I used the Pate Brisee (double butter crust) with the regular old pumpkin pie.

I rolled it out, placed it in the pan, made it look all pretty. Carefully set the foil inside, filled it up with rice, baked it, and well... It did not hold it's pretty edges. So I tried the next one.But I got lazy, and opted out of the foil/rice combo. "It didn't really do anything, anyway. I thought." Yeah...

When I took it out of the oven, the sides had given up and slid down into the bottom of the pan. It gave up on itself. FAIL. So I gave up on it.

So I filled the first somewhat successful crust with the filling and stuck it in the oven. Meanwhile, I gave Danny permission to dig in and try the failed crust. Tastes great, (phew!)...just looks awful. I tasted it too- and it is goooood! After the timer went off, I checked on the pie. Middle still too wiggly, crust burned. Nice. I pulled it out and gave up again.

Proof that sometimes I fail at dessert. Miserably, I might add.

I stopped following directions, and decided to follow my instincts. I rolled out some more crust, patted it into my springform pan, & stuck it in the oven. Baked it for a bit, then poured in the filling.

And waited.

It's past midnight- and it's beautiful. *Photos to come, with other Thanksgiving Day stuff.

I love springform pans. They give you a perfectly round shape- and with the ability to take your creation completely out of the pan, you can display your dessert on a pretty cake plate. Plus, no burned crust to worry about.

Yes, I know that practice makes perfect- I have learned that with many, many hideous looking, (but great tasting desserts) over the years. But pie crust is not something I want to perfect. Not when I can take a shortcut and only use springform pans to bake my pies in.

My favorite springform pan of all time is the La Forme. I got mine at Williams-Sonoma when I worked there over 8 years ago, and my pan is still going strong. Now I just need another one for the holidays (hint, hint) when I always have to make 2 of everything.

I really wanted to try this recipe for pumpkin pie- but I didn't have a sugar pumpkin to roast, and I was not going out in the snow today to see if any stores still had them. That's another thing I hate- cooking your own pumpkin. But the blogger says it's well worth the trouble- maybe next year!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

blacklight bowling

Danny has been working a lot lately- having to stay at work until after midnight! (which means I miss him, and when he finally comes home I end up jumping up and down.)

After the baby shower last week, as soon as he got home from work- we went bowling with his friend Ashcon. It was so nice to get out and spend some time together in the real world.



The left handed roll.

Danny and Ashcon actually took bowling classes at the U- recently. I totally whooped their asses- both games. Dumb luck, and perhaps the bumpers did some good for me too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

enjoying fall

Tilda loves outside. She cries at the door, wanting to go out and roll around on the pavement, and eat grass.

Feeding her treats. I tried to get the cute side of her, not the creepy.

A little lens flare.

Ready to go in, mom!

The next day it snowed. Not much, just a few inches. But Matilda was mad. She'd look out the window, then gallop from front door to side door, meowing and crying. Yeah- I don't like it either, kitten.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

super secret project- done!

The pressure* of hosting a party at my home, sending out over 20 invitations, made me finally finish the anniversary present for my husband.

So, here you go. I love it all over again!

*self induced pressure

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

van's baby shower

Remember how I had to put Nan's shower on hold because she had baby Van early?

Well. I have had ample time- 16 weeks to be exact, to plan and plot the most fabulous Pirate Paaarty ever.
I found Cottage Industrialist's free Pirate Party printables- and used the invitations as well as the cupcake sails and flags.

I found a plain wooden treasure chest that I painted and put handles on. I also found a small plain wooden Pirate ship birdhouse that I painted. I got a pile of chocolate gold coins, as well as some pretty plastic diamonds.

I got some "Hello my name is" tags that I filled out with pirate-ish names for people to wear.

I'm not much of a game person, and since this was my first attempt at hosting a baby shower (which by the way, my house has never been cleaner) I found BeanBoozled Jelly Beans as a dare game, and I set up a primitive photo booth- complete with props. Both were highly entertaining.

I made a bunting out of red and black striped fabric from Ikea decorated with felt skulls, anchors and ship wheels.

The day was chilly, but no snow- and the sun made an appearance as well. It was a perfect November Saturday.

This is a totally crappy photo- but the only one I have of the set up before it was eaten!

Loo-loo enjoying some lunch.

Kristy, Tyra and Van.

Oh wait, I meant Gunpowder Gertie, Ma Fratelli and the Dread Pirate Robins.

Vanilla Bean Pirate Ship Cupcakes


Brownie Swirl Cheesecake. Mmmmmm.

Van is now the perfect size and age for Loo-loo to hold him- and she couldn't be more happy!
Almost every week since he's been born, she asks "We go hold baby?" And I have to say "Nope, he's not big enough."

Kristy and Nan were total sports about daring each other to eat those nasty flavored beans! Kristy got Baby Wipes & Moldy Cheese- Nan got Toothpaste, Juicy Pear, Canned Dog Food & Barf! So sick! Kristy almost barfed after the Moldy Cheese one, and Nan almost hurled after the Canned Dog Food- I could even smell it after she bit into it! Yuck!

Tiff and Van- sporting one of the ties she gave him!

We desperately tried to dress him up- it was mere seconds before he tried to wiggle out of that eye patch.

And now for the photo booth shots...

Cap'n Loo-loo.

My mom and Van- her first time holding him!

Tyra and Kristy- real pirates?

I think Nan is trying to karate chop me...


Pirate Kim, with pirate baby.

Is this thing loaded?

We had soooo much fun!

The night before the party was like Christmas Eve for me-I was so excited for the party the next day that I couldn't sleep, or wait to get up!

The decorations are all packed up and ready for the next adventure...

Monday, November 15, 2010

van the skeleton baby

Just so you know- I am obsessed with this baby. So you will just have to deal with the mass amount of photos I will be posting of him for the rest of his life. You have been warned.

When I found out that Nan was due in August- which meant that baby Van would fit perfectly into the skeleton costume for I made for Halloween (last year) I was thrilled to finally have a model.

A little smile... he liked the crunchy leaves as he kicked and kicked.

I love the way he looks at his mama.

Pretty good sport about the hat and all those crunchy leaves!

Are those sharks with laser beams attached to their heads?

Then he started flailing his arms around- and consequently covering his face in leaves. Still happy...


Checking out the new digs.

The eyebrow thing? Yeah, I got it from my dad.

Then he noticed all the leaves overhead...

There's that eyebrow again.

Oh my goodness. I could stare at him all day!

buddhist temple holiday boutique

I am very excited to tell you all that I will have a booth at this years Buddhist Temple Holiday Boutique!

It's this weekend...

Saturday November 20 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday November 21 11 a.m - 3 p.m.

211 w. 100 s.
Salt Lake City, UT

I have tons of stuff- including some new holiday items!

There will be others like me- it's a great opportunity to get some holiday shopping done while supporting local artists! (in a very non-mall environment!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


After the adventure at Disneyland, we decided to make Halloween low key this year. Just our family, a little soup and some pumpkin carving.

We "talked" my dad into carving one this year- yea for proof!

My mom.

Zombie Hello Kitty. I carved this one for Loo-loo. As I was rinsing it out after I was through carving, I accidentally dropped it into the sink. It split almost completely in half. My mom whooshed in and helped me put it back together with pins before Loo-loo saw it- she would have been devastated! I can't believe we fixed it!


My owl.

My dad's.

My mom's Eeyore.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

reception for b

My friend Beth asked me to make dessert for her wedding reception here at home (remember the Oregon Beach Wedding?) here are the results!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Cheesecake

was by far the most popular!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

A happy Danny.

I love the mirror cupcake stand that she made- it's so pretty!