Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rhubarb Crumb Bars


I think my favorite Christmas gift was a subscription to Everyday Food Magazine. It's like a monthly celebration to run out and find a new issue in the mailbox! Here's a recipe for Rhubarb Crumb Bars that Caitlin and I made yesterday. We used rhubarb from our backyard! Of course, after I picked the rhubarb, the boys thought it was fair game to pick more.
These bars were super delicious...and are now completely gone! Hopefully I'll get another pan baked for MOPS on Friday! The rhubarb is ready!


Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Makes 16
FOR THE STREUSEL
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
FOR THE CAKE
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.
Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel.
Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 16 bars.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Birthday Girl

We've had a lot of fun at our house celebrating Cloe's 6th birthday! It's hard to believe that six years could possibly fly by so quickly! There are some parts of me that want to reverse time and spend just one more moment cuddling, rocking, or playing on the floor. Then there are parts of me that are just beaming with excitement about what this little lady and I can do together! We enjoyed some pretty grown-up activities on her birthday: painting pottery, shopping at the mall, eating a special lunch and a very fancy dinner, and catching a movie together. It was a very fun day!

The next day we had a party with all of her little friends. I felt like I was entertaining a beauty queen and all of her little princesses.
New Earrings and lots of pink, girly gifts!
The fancy tea party! These little girls have amazing manners!
The very happy birthday girl!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Blogging will return momentarily...birthday celebrations continue!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why is it that my children turn into the sweetest little love bugs just hours before I have to leave them for a few days?
The last few weeks have been challenging, to say the least, with my two little mischievous three year olds. I have been trying to stay consistent in discipline and patient with instruction. Let me tell you, it has not been easy. I think I have failed in every way! It's exhausting trying to keep up!
Then Saturday into Sunday, these little boys turned into sweet, nap-taking little best friend buddies with their big sister. Just in time for me to leave...

I miss you three little darlings!!!
XOXOXOXO
Can't wait to kiss all of your sweet cheeks in a couple of days!
Mommy loves you!

(Daddy does too, but this isn't his blog now, is it!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Garage Sale Funnies


This weekend, we had a super successful garage sale! It was bitter sweet to see all my babies' clothing fly out of the garage like hot cakes!
Our family always has a fun time hanging out in the garage during the sale. We make a big deal and get out everyone's lawn chairs, have little cans of Sprite, and Cody brings us donuts on Saturday morning! It's quickly turned into a fun, annual tradition!

It was also highly comical to listen to people coming in and out... Here are my favorite quotes:

Don't touch that, Michael Scott!
(I'm not kidding! A mom said this to her little 1 year old son! You probably can guess what I wanted to say so badly!)

Oh, this garage sale is so good to the earth. Thank you! (deep breath) Ahh, it's just so nice of you to do this for our earth.
(This lady was holding her arms out and breathing deeply in our garage. It sort of creeped me out!)

Girl #1: Do you need this bath seat?
Girl #2: No, I have one of those bimbo things that I'll just throw it in the tub. That's alright isn't it?
(Wow, please let me adopt this baby. I don't think it's safe to leave this mom alone with a baby. Bimbo? Did you mean bumbo? I think the "bimbo" part is what got her in this predicament. Ouch.)

You think this will fit me?
(no! no! no! She bought it anyway.)

How much is your tv? $5 You want $10 instead of $5? umm...sure?
(This guy must have really wanted to get rid of his cash...he did only give us $5 though.)

Hope you found those little quips funny.
We have really been enjoying the beautiful weather!
Spring is welcomed in this house!
We're loving the sunshine!
Have a great week!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Birthday Cake!

This week one of the guys in our Drake Bible Study celebrated his 26th birthday. He recently got a new super cool camera, so I decided he needed a special camera cake. Obviously, I am not a professional cake decorator, but a girl can dream, right?

I went to make the cake on Tuesday morning and, of course, didn't have a single cake mix on hand. Surprisingly, a cake from scratch is super easy and incredibly good. I may just not replace those silly cake mixes! I do, however, need to add to my collection of food coloring. This light grayish color just didn't quite cut it for a black camera. Oh well, it was fun, and Ryan got a kick out of it! Don't you wish you could be in our Drake Bible Study?!?

Yellow Cake
2 3/4 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk

Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch round cake pans. Combine flour and baking powder. Beat butter about 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each. Add ry ingredients and milk alternately to beaten mixture, beating after each addition. Pour into pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool 10 minutes on wire racks. Remove from pan.
*I just used a small round glass dish and an 8x8 square pan for the camera cake. It was frosted with real whipping cream...because I had no frosting or supplies for frosting in the house. I really need to go grocery shopping!


Ta-da!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our Easter Weekend

The Easter Extravaganza!
Colorful plastic eggs filled with candy?
This was too good to be true!


What do you mean we have to eat pizza and a cookie?
We have a basket here completely filled with candy!

Chelsea got baptized!!!
(dunking #2 for Cody...maybe #3 will be their dad!)

Cheezer A
Sweet little blue eyed boy!

Cheezer B
This pose was totally on purpose.
It also drives home the point that the boy needs a little trim.

The traditional Lemon Crumb Cake...this year with strawberries in the middle!

Oooo...a psychedelic ring!
Nothing beats the grins on these little faces when they receive exciting gifts from Grandma!

Hunting for more eggs...now they're professionals.
Go for the eggs, get more candy!

The grown up candy hunt. It got a little dangerous with five grown ups racing around for candy hidden in high places!

The Grand Finale!
There's still one piece left in the refrigerator...it's calling my name!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter!


These are my two favorite pictures from the whole exciting Easter weekend!

I think this Easter was the best one I have ever experienced! I love that our children are getting to age where they are beginning to grasp that the "holidays" we celebrate are about more than candy, gifts, and new clothes. Our children's programs at church did an amazing job of bringing everything to life...Christ died for our sins but conquered sin and death by raising again! They were just as excited about Jesus being alive as they were about the jelly beans. That makes me smile!
Every church service, family activity and even the weather--all were absolutely perfect! And on the way lighter side...the food all turned out perfect too!
This was my favorite treat of the day! Abby's Coconut Cake is totally the best cake I've ever had!

Angel Coconut Creme Cake

1 box white cake mix
1 8 1/2 oz can creme of coconut


Frosting:
2 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 sugar
coconut for topping

Make cake according to directions on box, but just using egg whites. I also always use milk (2% or whole) instead of water. Pour cake into 2 9" pans. Bake for 18 min at 350, or until done. When done, poke holes in cake layers with toothpicks or fork tines and pour cream of coconut over cake layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove cooled layers from pan. Frost with sweetened cream in between layers, on tops and sides. Sprinkle with coconut.

For the frosting: Whip 2 cups heavy whipping cream and sugar in chilled bowl and chilled beaters until thick. Do not over whip.

More fun Easter memories tomorrow!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sorry...I have no idea what's up with the formatting of the post below.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gettin' my MOJO on...

A couple of months ago, Cody had a Cuban Sandwich at the Cheesecake Factory that was really good. I've been wanting to try to make one at home since the concept of the sandwich seemed relatively easy. I googled for a recipe, and found a cool site with an interview from three Cuban guys who run a restaurant in Tampa. Their recipe seemed a little more detailed (not hard, just several steps) than what I was expecting, but the results were totally worth it!


Mojo Marinade for Lechon Asado (Roast Pork)
10 cloves garlic
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
Mash the garlic and salt together.
Add dried oregano, onion, and the lemon juice to the mash and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil in small sauce pan, add the mash to the oil and whisk. Pierce pork as many times as you can with a sharp knife or fork.
Pour garlic mixture (save a little for roasting) over pork, cover and let sit in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Place the pork fattest side up in an open roasting pan. Place pan in oven preheated to 325 degrees. Spoon extra marinade over the roast occasionally as it cooks. Using a meat thermometer, roast should be removed from the oven when the temperature reaches 155 degrees F. (I baked my roast for 3 hours.)
Immediately cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat. A perfectly cooked pork roast will be pale white in the middle and the juices will run clear.

Not really a picture perfect roast, but the flavor is awesome!


For the sandwich:


Foccacia Bread
1 pound lechón asado (roasted Cuban pork) pulled into small pieces or slices
4 slices provolone cheese
Sliced dill pickles
Yellow mustard (optional)
Mayonnaise (NEVER!!)

Slice round bread loaf and layer pickles, pork and cheese. Top sandwich. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees until cheese is thoroughly melted--approximately 15-20 minutes.


Yum!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Life Lessons

#1: Underwear may seem like a good option as a hat, but, inevitably, they'll snap you in the eye.

#2: Just because the picture on the box has big luscious raspberries mixed with the cereal does not mean that they are included in the box. Bummer.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yippee!

A+ speller today!
One more test to go!
Please pray that Cloe will be able to remember and correctly spell the 10 "hard" words on her first BIG classroom spelling test this Friday! We'd really, really appreciate your prayers!
Thanks!