Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas Everyone, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Anna the Angel was procured at our new Goodwill down the street. She was an easy kit, but it still took me about a week to put together. Good thing for deadlines.

We are heading off to Colorado Friday, weather willing. We'll be out of cell phone and internet range, so see you when we get back!
Merry Christmas!

~ A

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Birth Day

7/12ths, originally uploaded by apkoski.

6:33 am Wake up to cooing baby. Ache all over. Trouble breathing. Birthday cold.

7:30 Take a nap while baby naps.

8:00 Read final pages of book club book + tea & oatmeal.

8:45 Opened birthday presents. Thank you!

9:00 Have Coconut Dream Bar.

9:05 Have Coconut Dream Bar.

9:15 Take Shower.

12:00 Change from brown lounge pants into blue lounge pants.

12:15 Have grilled ham & cheese on Baby Pumpernickel + Orange.

12:20 Watch Paul Shovel walk.

12:30 Exhaust list of baby activities. Decide to talk like pirates. Look up pirate names and talk like pirates. My name is something-crotch; Adelaide's pirate name is flowy & pretty.

12:45 Discover leftover window markers from H2C and draw pictures on oven. Consider writing "Help!" on kitchen window but reconsider after cleaning duties are weighed.

1:10 Feed baby and let her fall asleep on me for the first time in many many months.

1:12 Take half dose of Dayquil & Coconut Dream Bar

1:30 Much better.

2:10 Nap.

3:10 Shovel out driveway gate. Consider shoveling alley but change my mind and go inside for a hot chocolate.

3:40 Can only find Mocha hot coco mix but try to gag down anyway, unsuccessfully. Have Coconut dream bar instead.

6:30 Bath time + bed time for baby. Happy 7/12ths, Love!

7:00 Kick back hard cider & birthday dinner.

7:30 Kick back Tylenol Sinus half dose + Tylenol.

8:30 Enjoy Chocolate Mud Pudding with whipped topping.

9:00 Pump + dump

9:30 Made it to 33. Bedtime.

~ Inspired by Lola & Marci

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are We There Yet?

Window, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Today is Day 8 of the 08 Snow Event, or Arctic Blast, or whatever phrase your local news station has dubbed. Without watching more "continuous special coverage," I'd say that yesterday we got about 8 inches of blowing snow, with a bit of freezing rain on top (enough so that you can almost walk on it if you are a kid). I suppose some reflecting is warranted, given the magnitude of the event, and since it'll be over in a couple days...
Or not. What did I want to write about? My head is fuzzy with congestion and ache. This cold.
One thing I keep reading on Blogs is about how much they got done over the past few days. First I get all jealous and snotty because 'I never get anything done anymore!'. But then upon reflecting (damn, I am), I realized that we've accomplished quite a bit. We made 4 holiday confections (candied citrus peel, cranberry bliss bars, peppermint bark, and coconut dream bars), processed & sent off Christmas cards (for a couple of you, remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery), vacuumed, finished Christmas shopping, mailed packages, and finished making some tiny pants and a tiny hat, to be modeled soon.

Miss Adelaide is holding up just barely. We saw tooth number 2 poking up this morning accompanied by a tirade of screams. We are doing our best to keep her entertained without opening the presents early!

Is one more snow day enough for me to read the last 200 pages of my book club book?


Friday, December 19, 2008

A Recipe you Don't want to Try

bunny it's cold outside, originally uploaded by apkoski.


4/6 Days Snow, packed tightly into small house
1 Pan Cranberry Bliss Bars
1 Ziplock Baggie Peppermint Bark
1 Ziplock Baggie Candied Orange & Grapefruit peel
1 Teething Baby
Substitute: eating sweets for exercise

Mix all ingredients and let fester. Sprinkle in beginnings of a cold, flu, or whatever this crap is.
Makes: pants tight, head ache, family cranky.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Done and DONE

Wrap & package presents. DONE
Make Peppermint Bark. DONE

Today is a snow day. Yahoo! We can no longer see the grass, several accidents are reported, the Western Cullinary Institute Food Safety class is canceled, chains are required on all highways...! Of course, we need to get to the store for more children's Tylenol (baby has one tooth and another is about to break through!). Whiskey instead?

Peppermint bark was a partial success. After experimenting with various ways to make candy cane bits, Paul suggested grinding them in the nut grinder. Hand cranked nut grinders make a 'perfect' size peppermint piece, unlike the coffee grinder, mortar & pestle, and mallet & ziplock techniques. Unfortuately the tines are no match for a Splenda Candy Cane; three broke off into the pile of bits.
Also, if you look over the left shoulder of the candy cane bits you'll see that the dark chocolate (semi-sweet morsels) did not melt. Instead they turned into a big pile of poo, as Paul put it. Anyone know why?

Alas, below lies the finished product: beautiful yummy white chocolate peppermint bark, noteably not stuck to the wax paper lining. Thanks for the recipe Mimi!
Ok, on to Candied Citrus Peels.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Verdict

bang-bang, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Thank you for your feedback on baking and topping peppermint bark! I'll save those naked pictures for another day...

Tonight is peppermint bark-making night. Yesterday at the grocery store I got confused on the peppermint bark topper, starlight mints. I was looking for the wrong stuff - Brachs (mint) stars, which I'm pretty sure don't exist anyway. I think I'm going to start with a layer of semisweet chocolate (melted Nestle chips), and then add the white chocolate layer ('melted Callebaut), and then the mints, pressed into the chocolate. Candy canes will be used for bits. I know, exciting.


-- And by the way, I only mentioned the naked pictures because it seemed like Paul was the only one reading this self- & offspring-gratuitous site. And I knew he'd appreciate them! ;)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Learning Independent Play.... sort of

Check out Adelaide's new exersaucer! We almost bought one new and then found the exact one we wanted on Craigslist. Score!!

Anyway, we've needed to work on independent play for a little while now but couldn't because we had nowhere suitable to put her without a crash/tipping over incident. We're at the "I'm just around the corner" stage now. Yay. Anyway, here's day 1 of the experience. Notice she's not really playing but watching me.

Now, one real important question: What type of peppermint should I use to embellish my Martha Stewart Peppermint Bark (because a sprinkling of pounded up starlight mints just isn't enough)? Candy Canes, Brachs discs, other? And isn't anyone else out there baking for Christmas?? Comment, People, or I'm gonna start posting naked pictures!! (that's a threat)

- A

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Recipe Swap

My holiday baking season started this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! We're already done with pumpkin and on to chocolate. White chocolate, to be more specific. I've decided that white chocolate is much more elegant and seasonally appropriate than its deliciously evil siblings, milk and dark chocolate. It's pure, the good guy, the virgin chocolate, yet still an oxymoron: "white" chocolate? Lemme just go feed my white chocolate Labrador while I sip on some white chocolate cocoa. Oh, I guess that stuff does exist.
I digress. Anyway, in the coming weeks I will be using white chocolate to make pistachio-cranberry bark, and cranberry bliss bars. Aside from Ghiradelli peppermint bark, cranberry bliss bars are my favorite treat right now. They were recently made popular by Starbucks, who now sells a cranberry bliss bar "value pack" for $13.95 at the register (rather than getting one for $2.35). Whatever. Just know that they are To. Die. For. Here is the unofficial recipe, and pictures will follow, if I remember before they're all gone.
I would love to know what you're baking for the harlidays! Please leave your list in the comments, and recipe links if you got 'em.