Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hot From the Oven: Blueberry Cake

This year, when I asked Magoo what he wanted for a special treat for his birthday, he said cake.  I asked him, "What kind of cake?" I'd just made a honey cake for Christmas and, quite frankly, didn't really want to make another one right away.  He said, "Blueberry cake."  Huh.  Okay.


So I went to the mighty, mighty internet and found a blueberry cake recipe that I could convert.  They used spelt flour, and I changed it to GF flour.  They already used agave, so that was good.  This is basically a breakfast cake and it was supposed to have a crumbly topping, but I decided to nix that.

The recipe said that the cake was really good served warm.

I made the batter around 4:30 and then set it aside because Magoo wanted fries for dinner.  So I made dinner and while we were eating I slid the blueberry cake in to bake.  Then, I figured, we could eat it warm out of the oven.

Magoo ate his dinner and unwrapped some gifts.  He played with his new Bakugan balls (Yes, he got more of those) and then the cake was ready.

I put the candles in and then went out to the living room to put a trivet down on the table.  When I came back the candles were drooping off to the side.  I figured I hadn't pushed them down enough and shoved them in a little further.  They held for a minute and drooped again.  Huh.

Then I pulled one out.

I think there's a reason that you don't normally serve a birthday cake warm.  For one thing, most people have to wait for it to cool so they can frost it.  Since that wasn't an issue for me, I forgot what the other reason was - so your candles don't melt in the cake!!!


See the bottom candle?  See the blue?  That's what they all looked like when I put them in the cake.  See the top candles?  That's what they looked like when I pulled them out.  The cake was too darn warm for the candles.  I was dying in laughter.  It hadn't even occurred to me that melted candles might be an issue!

So I gave the cake a few minutes to cool and then we tried again.  The cake was still a little too warm - but we hurried through the formalities and I stuck new candles into the already wax filled holes - so nothing new was damaged.

Here's the cake.  Michael, Magoo, and I all agree it was quite tasty, even without the topping.


Here's Magoo blowing out his candles.


You may wonder what he's wearing over his eyes.  We went to Target because he wanted to pick out a Bionicle for his birthday, but they were clean out of Bionicles, so he chose some night-vision spy glasses instead.

Super groovy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Camera and Magoo's 6th Birthday

I'm wussing out a bit in that I don't think I'm going to be showcasing my Xmas stash - at least not yet.  There's just no time to take the pics!  However, my gift to myself was a new camera.  A Canon Powershot SD 790.  It's smaller than my previous Powershot but has more options.  One of which is a macro setting.  A macro setting means I can take really close up shots of small things, like the shot above.  My old camera could have never got this shot.

But it's tricky too because you have to hold very, very still.  In the future, I will probably set it up with the timer function and a tripod.  But for now, I'm just hand holding it.

I took a pic of the little karate guy ornament I made this year, too.

Love that macro setting!

In other news, Magoo turns six years old today!  
This is me playing with no flash.  I generally prefer no flash, but this camera has a slower shutter speed for this function and - again - I have to be like a statue to not jiggle it.  Not easy.

In the early afternoon, my neighbors Jackie and Jon came over to give Magoo their gifts.  I have a bunch of pics of Jon and Magoo over the years, so I made them pose for me.

Jon got Magoo army guys.  Magoo is really into army guys right now.  Sometimes we built them forts and shoot them down with dart guns.  Magoo was super excited!

(How many of those am I going to step on???)

Tonight we will dine on hot dogs and french fries, as requested, and I am to bake a Blueberry cake.  We'll see how that goes.

If I don't blog tomorrow - I hope everyone has a Happy New Years Eve and all the best in 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Afternoon

At about 10am, when all our presents were opened, toys played with, clothes tried on - we were ready to load up the car and drive up to Boston to Magoo's Aunt Pat's place.


Here's Magoo, tissue Christmas paper crown on his head, whipping around Pat and Tom's living room.  There wasn't all that much of this, but I like this shot.  It captures his energy.

One of the awesome toys Magoo got was this Hot Wheels truck that you load up with cars and planes and BLAST!  Pat has good floors for it too.

And here Magoo is playing with his Auntie Pat.


We left Boston around 5pm and normally Magoo would be awake for a trip that early, but he zonked out early on.  I sort of envied him that.  I love it when I fall asleep 30 minutes into a ride and wake up at the destination!  It's the best way to travel.

Here's a shot the following morning.  Magoo loves Strongbad.  So I made him an iron-on for a sweatshirt.  Here's Magoo giving a good StrongBad pose.
  

Maybe - and I'm not making any promises - but maybe I'll showcase some of my wonderful gifts tomorrow.  (I don't want to make any promises.  I might get super lazy.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning

Magoo actually woke up at about 6:30, which is when I was getting up to make the cinnamon buns.  Normally, I get up earlier then everyone and they stay sound asleep.  Not this morning.  But he was a very good boy and stayed in bed until I went up to get him.

Here he is with one of his first gifts, a Ben 10 Omnitrex.

I should say that the cinnamon buns did not really work out. The dough was extremely gooey.  I was supposed to be able to spread it out like a rectangle, sprinkle cinnamon over it, and then wrap it up like a jelly roll.  I don't think so.  I rolled it, but it was loose and even 30 minutes in the freezer didn't firm it up.   In the end I just spread the whole thing in a 8" baking dish and baked it.  It tasted fine, but it was none too attractive.

Java got her fair share of Christmas happiness.  Tissue paper to sit in and a string to play with.  
Here's her fierce face while she attacks.  Look at those claws!!!
After about an hour - all was opened and this is what the living room liked like.  Niiiice.

Santa brought Magoo some Bakugan Battle Bots and accessories, which he very much wanted.  Here's a little video of him opening the box.


There will be more Christmas pics tomorrow.  These are just the morning shots.  But we had a lovely Christmas morning and much love and thanks to those who sent gifts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Crafts

Every year I try to make an ornament or two for the tree.  Last year it was a clay sock monkey.
This year we did a couple of things.  

Here are some Shrinky Dink ornaments that Magoo drew.  The deal was, I would suggest a theme, then he could do one of anything he wanted.  So what we have here are (L to R):
Santa Claus (I suggested), train track (his idea), snowman (I suggested) and ...


Colorful snowballs that kill that guy.  (His idea.)  :)


This year I wanted to try some embroidery.  So I went online and found some examples and I liked the simple lines of the bird - so that's what I did.  The position of the eye makes it look a little snooty, like it's too good for this tree.  It's the snobby Christmas bird!


I also found a robot online and tried to make that too - or a variation of it.  Mine came out looking kinda silly.  But he seems so pleasant and happy to be here.  So I like him.

Michael thinks he looks fabulous.

And the final craft of late has been to make Magoo some arm warmers.  When he's out playing in the snow there is a gap between his coat sleeves and his mittens and I didn't want that skin to get frost bite, so I cut off some arms of an old sweater and stitched up some arm warmers.
He thinks they are pretty cool.


See, he's vogue-ing in the!  Very styling!

Tonight is Christmas Eve!  We are all very excited about Santa coming.  We wish you all a very Happy Holiday! 

 Be safe.  Be happy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Magoo's Big Break


Magoo had an exciting day at Karate yesterday.  The teacher brought out a board and Magoo broke it with his awesome front kicks.  (I think it took about 5 tries.)  Oh, was he so proud!  He pumped those fists in the air!  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera on me.  His father would have loved to have been there for that.  But I took a pic as soon as we got home.  Magoo is totally psyched!


Here's a shot of the wood.  See, it's not even that thin! 

I'm a very proud karate Momma.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Solstice Party


Friday night it was snowing, snowing, snowing.  I had been in the house all day long - Magoo too - getting ready for the Solstice Party.  If friends had been coming from out of town, I would have cancelled.  But the guest list included folks that lived real close, so most of them hoofed it.  Getting all the coats, snowpants, mits, etc. off was quite the production.  :)

I took a few pics of the living room full of guests, but none of them turned out well, so I'll just move right along to the food.

Here's the buffet table:


It was a nibbly party, so there was no "main dish" - just a lot of things to munch on.  Starting at the top left hand corner and moving clockwise, we have Sara's turkey meatballs with dipping sauces,  oreo truffles, GF black bean brownies, bruschetta (reg and GF),  double baked mini potatoes and some lovely olives.

And here's an asparagus tart I made. (A Martha Stewart recipe.)  Isn't it good looking!?

Here's my good buddy and hostess supreme in her own right, Sara, helping to present the potatoes.
We adults has a Yankee Swap in the living room.  I did a little puppet "show" for the kids in the playroom.  I made an elf puppet and had the kids approach the puppet theater one by one.  I gave them a fishing pole and they had to say, "Little Elfie, look and see.  Do you have a gift for me?"  Then they'd lower the pole down and pull out a gift.

For the most part, this was successful, although wrangling all the kids was a bit of a challenge.  But they did wait patiently for all the gifts to be given before opening them.  The gifts were all glow-in-the-dark necklaces.  The kids basically went nuts in the play room and tore the room apart, but they played well together and they let their parents have some fun without needing too much attention.  

I call that a successful party!

Thanks to those who came.  I had a great time and was glad you could join us!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day - Not Yet


We're expecting a big snow storm today.  It's a little after 11:00 now and so far we have nothing.  But the schools are closed in anticipation of a big white mess.  So here's Magoo, having a snack, watching Scooby-Doo and being a good little boy while Mama works.

We're having a small get together tonight so I am busy with cleaning and food prep:
Oreo Truffles - done
Black bean Brownies - done
Black Bean Salsa - done
Veggies cut - next
Still to do:
Asparagus tart
Double Baked Mini Potatoes 
Bruschetta

We also have a David Glass Chocolate cake to share.  Hmmm, we might need another bottle of wine.  I'll have the hubby get that when he gets home.

It's a casual party, so I don't feel like the place has to be SUPER clean, but I do want it picked up.  There will be 6 kids and they'll trash it pretty quickly anyway.

I'm also waiting for the mechanic to call and say my car is ready to drive!  But that has happened yet either.

So, we wait...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lemon-Anise Biscotti (GF and Sugar free)

It was time to make Magoo yet another batch of treats and I came across a recipe for biscotti I thought looked interesting and, more importantly, adaptable.  So I gave it a go.

Here is the dough, fresh out of the oven.  Normally I would save this pic for later in the recipe, but isn't it nice to have a visual up front?


Lemon - Anise Biscotti

2 cups GF flour
1 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup honey
2 lg eggs
minced zest from 1 lemon
1/2 Tbs anise seed  
(If you can take vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, too.)

1. Put oven rack in the center and preheat 350.  Whisk flour, gum, baking powder, and salt together.  Set aside.

2. Whisk honey and eggs in a large bowl until well blended.  Stir in vanilla (optional), lemon zest and anise seeds.  (Note: If you're not familiar with anise seeds, they have a licorice kind of taste.  If you're not a fan of licorice, cut it down or swap it with poppy seeds.)  Sprinkle dry ingredients over egg mix and fold it in just until blended.  Don't go nuts.

3.  Halve the dough (and it's gooey so this isn't super easy) and spread it into a long log on half a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Do the same with the other half of dough.  It should look kinda like the photo above, only unbaked.  Bake until golden and the top slightly cracks, about 30-35 minutes.

4.  Cool loaves completely (about 10 minutes).  Lower oven temp to 325.  Cut each loaf, diagonally, into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay sides flat and return to oven.  Bake 7 minutes.  Flip 'em.  Bake another 7 minutes.  Allow to cool.

5.  Now here's where I veered off the written path a bit because i wanted a little glaze on mine.  We can't eat sugar so I couldn't make that lovely icing with the powdered sugar, so I mixed equally parts vegan butter and honey - about 3 Tbsp each - then I filled a plastic bag, cut a hole and made lovely little stripes.  I put the cookies out in the cold back porch and let the glaze solidify.  Then they were ready to eat.  Mmmmm.



In other news, we still have no car.  The mechanic spoke to the husband yesterday and I guess they're putting in some new parts.  It should cost us a good chunk of change.  Merry Christmas!  But honestly, if the car works - I'm good.  I was a nervous wreck driving that thing around.  I only hope I can pick it up this afternoon b/c it's supposed to snow HARD tomorrow morning and I don't want to deal with it then and there's karate practice on Saturday am.

Also, my book Wink, The Ninja Who Wanted To Be Noticed got another shout out in the School Library Journal Blog.  Hooray!

I am currently baking brownies and cleaning the house.  My good friend, Sara, is gonna let me borrow her wheels so I can get some last minute shopping in this afternoon.  Thanks Sara!

Busy, Busy, Busy. 

Oh, and the microwave broke last night.  :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Car Issues

We've been having some issues with the car.  I don't know when it all started, maybe a month or so ago.  It was a small problem, really.  Sometimes, we'd be driving along and the car would "buck" a bit.  Bucking is kinda like stuttering for cars.  It'd just go ka-tung-ka-tung, we'd all bop along and then it would smooth out.  No biggie.  We thought it might have something to do with water in the gas tank since this usually happened when it rained.

Well, last week, when I took Magoo to the hospital for a routine visit, it got worse.  We were in the parking garage from HELL (Sriously, it's so narrow and impossible to find a place to park.)  Our visit was over and we were leaving.  I pulled the car out of the slot and it stalled.  Ok.  I started it up again.  I tried to apply the gas.  Stall.  My heart started pumping because I am completely blocking the path.  No one could possibly get around me.  I started it.  Stall.  On the fourth time I tried to gas it, I held down the clutch so I was really revving it and I was able to pull back into the parking slot.  (See illustration below.)

I had a minor freak out, wondering if I was going to have to call AAA to get me out of the parking garage - but I was happy that I wasn't blocking any traffic anymore.  Can you imagine how pissy someone waiting in a hospital parking garage could get?  Jinkies!

So the car was running.  I just let it run for a minute or two while I calmed myself down and wondered what to do.  I decided to try one more time.  This time, with my new super-rev technique, I was able to pull out of the slot and get it going forward.  After we made the turn, we were headed down and that helped a lot.  (I think starting with the nose pointing up is even more difficult for some reason.)

Okay.  So that was a super stressful ride home because stop-to-start required a lot of revving and sweat on my part and there are A LOT of lights and stop signs in that part of town.  But Magoo and I made it home.  Then I told the hubby about it and he got in the car and it drove just fine for him.  Then I started to wonder if I had somehow psyched myself out and if the problem was me and not the car.

Over the next few days, the car had it's good moments and bad moments, but nothing had been as stressful as the parking garage.  I bought some dry gas and put it in and that seemed to help.

But TODAY - no, no - today was a bad day.  I decided to get some grocery shopping done as soon as I dropped Magoo at school.  All was well to the first store.  I got there no problem.  I parked.  I shopped.  I got back in the car.  But when I went from the parking lot to the street - things got dicey. The power was up and down.  Instead of pulling into the left turn lane, like I had intended, I went right so I could be close to the side of the road if the engine puttered out completely.  Then I took the long way around to Whole Foods (the 2nd grocery store I had to go to, which was in the same area of town.)

So - OK - I make it there, but it was nerve racking.  The mechanic is ALSO in that same 4 block shopping area (Bishop's Corner) so I start thinking, maybe I should get the groceries done and take it right to the shop?  Well, when I finished my shopping at Whole Foods and got back in the car, it was like the hospital parking garage all over again.  I pulled out and stalled.
I was able to start the car up and rev it back into the space and then I just shut the thing off and walked over to the mechanic.  My hope was that a friendly mechanic with nothing to do would come back over with me and witness the car having its issues.  

No such luck.  He told me to get it over there, if I could.  Otherwise I could call AAA for a tow.  They were pretty busy so they didn't have anyone to spare for a ride along.  OK.  I walked back to the car.  I didn't have to get far - but I didn't want to go through the very busy intersection.

1.) Here I am at Whole Foods.  This is where it stalled.  The green route is the quick, efficient route, but it goes through the intersection.  Stalling out in the intersection = VERY BAD.  So I decide to go through all the parking lots in the stores.  
2.) A stop sign.  I slow, but I roll through it.
3.) A stop light.  I get lucky - it's green.
4.)  Another stop light and even worse - a stop light on an incline.  Fortunately I had no cars behind me because this was a tough start.  I had to really rev it before I could work up enough power to get it to move forward and it started rolling backward in the mean time.  But I got it going and then I lucked out because I was able to make a left into the mechanic's lot without having to wait for traffic. (5.)

So that's where our one and only car is now and I feel so much better.  My neighbor came and picked me up and Magoo's school is close enough to walk, although he won't like that much.  Too bad!  I don't think we're getting that car back none too soon and it's suppose to snow tomorrow anyway.  I'd better dig out the child's snow pants!

I'll update you when they figure out what's wrong with the thing.  Oy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Little Felt Teddy Bear

I got the instructions for this little friend, via How About Orange, here.  I didn't make it right away though.  I just stored the idea away in the ol' noggin.

Then I read this post from my friend Jessica's blog.  She expressed frustration re: crap toys from China or those contaminated with lead, etc.  And BOOM the motivation hit me and I had to make a little teddy for her daughter Frannie right. that. minute.  That's how motivation often hits me.  (It also helped to know that her sister was sending her a care package in a couple days so I could sneak it in.)

And that's what I did.  It's a cute little bear.  It only took an hour to make and I did most of it on the couch watching TV.  I think it would make a nice gift topper on the present for a baby shower of something.  I'll be keeping it in mind.

By the way - those of you who know my friend Staci - on December 13th, she had a lovely baby boy, Phineas Noah (to be called Finn).  I don't have the stats on me right now, but I believe she said he was 7lbs, 8 oz and that kid came 2 weeks early.  He wanted to be home for Christmas.  Mother and Baby are doing just fine.  Congrats Staci!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here Comes The Rain Again

It rained on Wednesday.  It rained on Thursday.  And OH BOY did it rain last night!  

I slept in Magoo's room because he has a nasty cough and the previous night I was back and forth between our rooms, like, six times - giving him sips of water and refilling his humidifier.  Last night I thought I'd make it easy on myself.  I slept on his bed while he camped out on the floor (which he loves to do - I'm not a bad mom!!!  :)

I heard my husband get up in the morning. I checked my little clock.  4:30 am.  Then I wondered why on earth he was up this early?  Normally he wakes at 6:45.  Then I wondered if the batteries went dead on my little clock - so I got up to check the clocks in the main bedroom.  4:30.  Then it hit me - he was checking to see if there was water in the basement.

If there's one thing my husband is super sensitive about - it's water in the basement.  

I didn't hear any cussing from down there so I went back to bed.  I figured all was well enough.

About ten minutes later he came into Magoo's room and told me that the water was coming into the well faster that the sump pump could remove it.  It was bail out time.

So I threw on a sweater and some boots and grabbed a couple buckets from the garage and Mike and I got to work cleaning out the well.  (It's not really a well.  It's that hole in your basement where the sump pump lives - but I don't know what that is called - so I'm going to stick with well.)  We made about fifteen trips up - throwing the water out the front door - then then rain let up and things settled down.  There were a few places where the water seeped up through the concrete - but nothing major.  We just mopped that up.

At 6am - things were safe again.  I went back to bed for an hour.     

So that was my morning.  I just dropped Magoo off at school and I have some mjor cleaning around the house to do.  Then I think I'll have some Butternut Squash soup and watch some reruns of LOST.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Busy Bee

Man - o - Man - it's been a busy week! There have been doctor's appointments, minor car issues, a lot of rain, two days at school for me (one was as library helper and another doing my Gingerbread Man puppet show) and I'm trying to really clean the house - like, actually put things in their proper place - kind of cleaning.

So I've been a little swamped.  Sorry this isn't a more exciting post.  I'll try to get all my issues sorted out this week and back to the fun for Monday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Bad Fairy

I can't remember exactly how it started, but Magoo said something to me, maybe "Once upon a time..." and I asked him if he wanted to write a story.  He said yes - so I made him a simple little stapled book.

He dictated the story to me and I wrote the words - as said - and he drew the pictures.  (My chore was to NOT dictate or direct the story in any way, shape, or form - which was a challenge for me.)

Here's the story:

THE BAD FAIRY

Once upon a time, a fairy exploded.
(Boom)  She was a bad fairy.
A castle came.
A King came.

The end.

Here are a couple of the illustrations:  (I didn't include the fairy because she was drawn in a very light colored pencil and is barely visible.


And although the book starts out with the destruction of the title character - at least we can rest easy, because that particularly fairy was bad and, clearly, got what was coming to her.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Yesterday I took Magoo to see a little performance of The Three Little Pigs done at our library by the Connecticut Children's Opera - or some such organization.  Best opera I've ever seen!  (That's a joke for Sara who sometimes gets opera tickets and takes me along to culture me up some.  But the operas haven't been very good.)  The pic above is not from the show we saw.  I didn't bring my camera.  But it was kinda like this - just so you get an idea.

So we went into the back room of the library and I sat in the front row of chairs while Magoo found a place n the front row of the floor.  The play started well enough.  Magoo sat and watched.  He seemed interested.  The two sillier pigs were discussing how they were going to build their houses from straw and sticks.  One teeny piece of straw fell on the floor.  Magoo crawled across the stage and picked it up and handed it to the pig.  "Here you go, Man," Magoo said.

He crawled back.  He got a mild group laugh from that one.  I wondered if the harsh librarian was going to kick us out.

Magoo sat and watched the show again.  Then, at one point, the smart pig pondered what she should build her house out of.  This was a talking part of the play(as opposed to a song) so it was quiet when Magoo shot a finger in the air and said, "Maybe you could build your house out of bricks?"  Big laugh.

Oh man.  You should have seen my face.  Yes, it was funny.  But I was so worried that this group reaction - which thrilled him - would feed the little comedian inside and he'd be making wise cracks throughout the whole show.  There were three rows of kids between Magoo and myself - so I couldn't really grab him or anything.  But he kept looking back at me after then, to see if he was doing a good job.  So we communicated with thumbs up and the shush and watch hand signals from then on.

But he didn't jump on the stage and start dancing or anything - so it all went well enough.  He even asked a good question at the end of the show that proved he was paying attention.

All in all - I think we both had a good time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Black Bean Brownies

I know what you're thinking - black beans in brownies?  Ew!  But you'd be wrong.  I was intrigued when I found this recipe online.  And the person who made them RAVED about them - so I thought I'd give it a go.  

Now I should mention that I made some carob brownies a little while ago and while they were fine - they didn't rock my world.  THESE, my friends, rocked my world!

This is a just a shot of the process.  It's messy.  It's not rip-a-box-open-and-add-eggs easy.  It's a little complex.  But these days my life is complex - so it fits right in.

Let's get to it:

BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

12 Tbsp carob powder
1 tsp baking soda
5 Tbsp oil (I used sunflower oil)
1 cup unsalted "butter"
2 cups canned black beans (rinsed)
1/4 cup GF instant coffee ( I loved this flavor, but hubby thought it was a little strong so if you're not a huge coffee lover, you might want to cut it back a tad.)
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups light agave syrup
(optional 1 Tbsp GF flour)

Preheat oven to 325.  Line a 11 X 18" baking dish with parchment paper or lightly oil it.

Melt "butter" in a glass bowl in microwave for 1 -2 minutes on high.

Place beans, carob powder, baking soda and oil into bowl of a food processor. (Add flour too, if using.) Blend about 2 minutes or until smooth.  The batter should be thick and the beans smooth.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine coffee and salt.  

In ANOTHER bowl, beat eggs until light and creamy.  (I don't know if mine ever got "creamy" but I whipped them up good.)  Add agave and beat well.

Combine bean mix with coffee mix.  Blend well.  Put 1/2 cup of egg mix aside (for marbeling) add the rest to the bean mix.  Mix it up!

Pour batter into the baking dish.  Give the 1/2 cup of the remaining egg mix and extra go with the electric mixer to make it good and fluffy.  Drizzle it over the brownie mix and pull a tooth pick through to marbelize.

See, that's the marbelizing.

Back for approx 45 minutes.  (Set your timer for 40 though and test it.)  Let cool completely before cutting.  Then it's best to keep them in the fridge.  The coolness helps them solidify.

Now I will say, they are gooey and they don't hold together that well.  But in this house, they only had to hold together well enough to make it into my mouth which meant only about 5 seconds.  I think I will add a touch of GF flour to the next batch to see if that holds them together a bit - but if you keep them cool and you're careful about cutting and serving them, they held together well enough and they were OH SO YUMMY!

Magoo and I couldn't get enough of them and he's been asking for them ever since!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Sunday we got a little snow.  And OH how excited was Magoo!  We had to put on our coats and go outside and try to catch snowflakes (well, sleet) on our tongues.  Actually, I didn't.  I just had a camera in his face the whole time.  If he goes on to be a movie star heart throb, he's going to be well trained in the art of handling paparazzi.

Then hubby - who's equally excited about snow - got into a snowball fight with Magoo.  Of course, more than a couple snowballs were hurled in my direction.  While I was defenseless - I might add!

Then we went inside and decorated the tree.  I know - it's up early.  We pull that puppy out right after Thanksgiving.  Magoo's birthday is December 30th - so it's important - to me - to have a great Christmas and then - separately - have a great birthday.  I don't want them to mix.  So we get the tree up and then take it down on the 27th or 28th.  

And yes, it's a fake tree.  And I love it!

Magoo had a grand time putting the decorations on.  Each year he's more and more helpful and it's more and more fun.

One final pose for the Momma.

Hope you all are getting into the holiday spirit as well.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bubble Glass Magnets

At last, I'm getting back to some crafts!  It's been a while.

Good Housekeeping had a piece about jazzing up your home office and they featured these magnets.  So I HAD to make them ASAP!  (If you follow their link, they have a place to order all the supplies.)  I found this craft through How About Orange, which is a great blog for fun craft idea, BTW. 

Here's what you need.  Flat, clear bubble rocks. ( I think these are about 1 1/4" diameter - but they are irregularly shaped.) Glue (I used Diamond Glaze) Magnets (not pictured, but they were 1 1/4" rounds) and photographs.  It you just wanted some fun magnets and not necessarily photos of loved ones, you could use magazine pics.

But I did want pics of loved ones - mainly Magoo - so I printed up a sheet of them, all about 1 1/3" X 1 1/3 ".  Then I put the stones right up against the paper and cut around so each photo matched a particular stone.

Then I put the glue in a recycled lid and brushed it on the flat side of the stone.  I pressed the photo into the glue - and you have to really press it and smooth all the air bubbles out.

The Diamond Glaze dried pretty fast - so by the time I was finished glueing the photos on the rocks - I could start at the front of the line and glue the magnets to the backs of the photos.  Then I let them dry overnight.  In the morning ....

... I had cutie magnets!

This was a lot of fun and really pretty easy.  A great idea for a small hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What Magoo Is Thankful For

Magoo brought home this picture from school last week.  Clearly, the kid was psyched to eat turkey for thanksgiving dinner.  (He really was.  He spoke about it often.)
But the art didn't really match the text so I had to ask him what this was.  "It's Mommy and Daddy," he said.  "Which one is Daddy?" I asked.  He pointed to the one that's shaped kinda like a bean.  "And this is Mommy?" I asked, pointing to the other one.  He nodded.  "And what are these?" I asked pointing to the two circles around by my waist.  "Those are your boobs," he said with a big smile.

:)