12.26.2011

12.25.2011

Happy Birthday Kayu!

We attempted to go sledding but this is what we got...
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Sometimes I think she can't possibly be mine since she hates anything adventurous.

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So we went to Starbucks to warm up and feed the grumpy belly. But that only lasted for so long.

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The crab legs were a big hit.
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Helping Daddy open presents.

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The best present of them all.

12.18.2011

Scones kick

We have been on a scones kick lately. This morning was whole wheat raspberry ricotta scones. I brought my little helper back since she did such a good job last time. I thought we were going to have to use the kitchen aid mixer but it turns out we didn't. She remembered helping with the butter last time so she starting putting the cubes into the metal mixer bowl. And of course she had her fill of raspberries before we even started.

Raspberry scones

Raspberry scones

Raspberry scones

The whole wheat flour was overbearing. The next time we make them I plan on only using 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Ricotta Scones

The trickiest thing about these is the dampness of the dough. Yet that same trickiness is they bake into something that seems impossibly moist for a scone, and especially a whole wheat one. Keep your counter and your hands well floured and you won’t have any trouble getting them from bowl to counter to oven to belly, which, after all, is the whole point.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together.

With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first) and use the blender to both cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in raspberries and use the blender again to break them into halves and quarter berry sized chunks.

Without a pastry blender: Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries on a cutting board and stir them into the butter-flour mixture.

Both methods: Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula.Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. This is a pretty thing.

With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating them, so they can set a bit more. I know, way to be a big meanie, right?

Do ahead: Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the froze, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.

12.12.2011

Chefs

Mini-me (or should I say mini-Kayu) and I took to the kitchen and made some cheddar apple scones. I am hoping that Kayu will build one of these so I don't have to worry about Charlotte falling off the counter. Charlotte mostly ate all of the food, but on occasion she helped pour in some of the ingredients. I was so wrapped up in everything that I forgot the cream, but luckily they turned out just fine. And I decided to add my own little twist with jalapeno peppers.
scones

Apple and Cheddar Scones

Makes 6 generous scones

2 firm tart apples
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional for egg wash
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes plus additional for baking sheet if not lining it with parchment
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (white is recommended, I assume for aesthetics)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs

Position a rack at the center of oven and preheat oven to 375 °F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and core apples, then cut them into one-sixteenths. (I assumed this meant chunks, not slivers.) Placed them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them until they take on a little color and feel dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. They will be about half-baked. Let them cool completely. (You can speed this up in the fridge, as I did.) Leave oven on.

Sift or whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside. Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, along with cooled apple chunks, cheese, cream and one egg. Sprinkle flour mixture over the top and mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.

[Don't have a stand or hand mixer? I'd rub the cold butter into the flour mixture with my fingertips or with a pastry blender, hand-chop the apples coarsely and mix the rest together with a wooden spoon until combined. It might feel awkward, but it should all come together. Again, don't overmix it though it will be harder to do this by hand.]

Generously flour your counter top and place the scone dough on top of it. Sprinkle with flour. Use a rolling pin to gently roll (or use your hands to pat) the dough into a 1 1/4-inch thick, 6-inch circle. Cut circle into 6 wedges. Transfer them to a baking sheet that has either been buttered or lined with a fresh sheet of parchment paper. Leave at least 2 inches between each scone.

Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the scones with egg wash and sprinkle them with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. With a spatula, lift them to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.

Crafty

I found these cute little guys on Pinterest (my new favorite site). Charlotte surprisingly enjoyed getting paint on her fingers and we ended up with these. It is fun trying some new crafts now that she is a little older.

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12.11.2011

Cuties

These little guys have been a big hit in our household lately. Charlotte can pound out 3 in one sitting.

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12.06.2011

Love this kid

pigtailbuns

12.05.2011

Colder Bolder

There is something so euphoric about going to a running event and being surrounded by the awesome energy in the room. Reminds me of my old cross country days. On Saturday Kayu and I ran in a 5K in Boulder. We met up with our friends that used to live in Cheyenne but moved down to Colorado Springs. Susannah was sweet enough to watch Charlotte for us while we ran the race. With a chilly 15 degrees and the snow blowing, the Colder Bolder lived up to its name. We had a great time running in the race and for the record, I beat Kayu =) He has challenged me to another 5K due to his competitive side. The last time we ran a race together was in 2005 in the Reindeer run in Troy, MI when he beat me.

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Stretching before the race.
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Post race.
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The girls at lunch. They are both growing their bangs out.