Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trick to keeping your kids busy=gatorade lol

Quietly organizing the Gatorade  ;-)
I was cleaning the bedroom tonight and the kids were...hey where were the kids??? I know when it gets quiet my kids are up to something, definitely if they are both doing the same thing and are not making a sound...ugh running down the hall looking in the bedrooms trying to find them...I found them on the floor in the kitchen "organizing" the bottles of Gatorade they had found and unpacked. I just couldn't help but take some pictures, I love the little moments when my kids are quietly playing together, not hitting, fighting or crying...warms my heart! I love my boys! hope you enjoy these...

My baby wasn't sure what I was holding

Hey mom look at us!!! we are playing together!
I love the sun hitting the colors

lol my dirty floor...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daring Cooks challenged us to make our own pasta!

So wow this month is flying by! Trying to keep up with both the daring cooks and the daring bakers phew!!!
anywho the daring cooks were challenged to make their own pasta! Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess.  Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine.  She provided us with recipes for SpƤtzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!  Yes pasta...my favorite food ever!!! so excited when I read this and of course started planning all these elaborate and wonderfully challenging recipes to make...but time seemed to slip by me unnoticed *sigh*
I did however end up with homemade pasta and it was however surprisingly delicioso!
I took a detour from the obvious choice "Italian" and went with something more Asian. I'm not sure if my recipe is actually considered a dough for pasta? but I thought it was so I'll go with it.
I ended up making my own wonton wrappers and used them in wonton soup (a very Americanized version)
My camera (at the time) was in the shop so please forgive my lack of good photos or any photos for that matter (I do have some)But I am happy to announce my baby (camera) is back and fixed!!! hooray!
After chasing a toddler and a pre toddler around today I finally got about posting this little jem  ;-)
I had to wrestle a 2 year old and chase a Tom Cruise from risky business wanna-bee around the living room to be able to post this, but it was worth it ;-) I love my kiddos, life is oh so UN-boring with them two!

So here are my recipes for the awesome wonton soup! It was really amazing and filling! try it!

Here are some great web sites on how to fold wontons:

Wonton Wrappers:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Mix in the water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Create a well in the center of the mixture and slowly pour in the egg and water. Mix well. If the mixture is too dry, increase the amount of water one teaspoon at a time until a pliable dough has formed.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until elastic. Cut dough into two separate balls. Cover the balls with a damp cloth for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  4. Cut each ball into four equal pieces. Roll the pieces into 10 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch squares. Cut each into nine 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch squares. Use in any recipe that calls for wonton wrappers.  
Recipe from BIGDADDY1IL on all recipes

Wonton Soup:
 Printable Version

  • 1/2 pound boneless pork loin, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces peeled shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
  • 1Tbsp-1 tsp light soy sauce (1tsp is for the soup)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green onion
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger root (divided, keep the 1/4 tsp for the soup)
  • 24 (3.5 inch square) wonton wrappers
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves


  1. In a large bowl, combine raw pork, shrimp, sugar, wine, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon chopped green onion and ginger. Blend well, and let stand for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Place about one teaspoon of the filling at the center of each wonton skin. Moisten all 4 edges of wonton wrapper with water, then pull the top corner down to the bottom, folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle. Press edges firmly to make a seal. Bring left and right corners together above the filling. Overlap the tips of these corners, moisten with water and press together. Continue until all wrappers are used.
  3. FOR SOUP: Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil.Add the 1/4cup green onions and 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/4 tsp chopped ginger and 1 tsp soy sauce.Cook until carrots are nearly cooked through. Drop wontons and spinach in, and cook for 6 minutes (don't worry the filling will be cooked through!). Garnish with chopped green onion, and serve. 
Recipe adapted from MARBALET on all recipes

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Photography : It's A Beautiful Photograph, But Do You Know WHY It's Beautiful?

So I have decided to teach myself photography ;-) I throughout enjoy it and it has been a great way to express myself and learn a new talent :-)
I needed to post my pictures online and then send the link to the moderator of the class for grading...
So I thought why not share this with you so you can (hopefully) see my progress.
These pictures are supposed to reflect composition so they are kept as taken and I have not stressed on the exposure or aperture settings, next class will be on the relationship between the shutter speed and the aperture...a lot more studying since it's a lot like math and I am sooo not good at math! but I am determined to understand at least most of it lol
Well here goes nothing lol:

Class 1:Composition And Impact:

Click here for more info on this class

Assignment 1: Take at least one abstract photo based entirely on some of the compositional rules talked about. Subjects should not be recognizable. 

This is my son's train track from his set

This is the same exact picture just turned around, notice how the picture changed cool huh!

Assignment 2: Take pictures of a subject from various viewpoints (near, far, from above, below, behind). Creativity is encouraged. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rain Rain stay awhile...

Wow it has been raining a lot lately! But I've found that rain can be so beautiful if you take the time to sit and watch it. My dad is one who truly takes advantage of it.I remember my dad during outside on the porch listening to the rain falling on the tin roof, this would drive a lot of people absolutely up the wall..but not my dad, it soothes him, the harder it rains the more soothing it is to him. My dad grew up in the jungles of Ecuador, he would often reminisce about the afternoons spent in the hammock listening to the rain fall on the tin roof...

Today I find myself in the kitchen doing dishes, the windows are open and it's raining...I feel the soft cool breeze the rain brings with it and the soft pitter-pater of the rain on the roof. I love how everything turn a bright hue of green!

God has an amazing imagination and if we take the time, we can truly see and experience the beauty of His creation!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Birthday Girl Sugar Cookies

Today is our 4th anniversary!!! wow 4 years married to my best friend and two precious kids later...I can honestly say that I am still head over heals for my man and can't imagine spending my life with anyone else! he's truly amazing and has been an amazing husband and dad to our kids ;-)
Sadly we were not able to celebrate today since I'm down at my parents and he's working full time :-( but don't worry I have something up my sleeve for when I get back... :-)
right now I'm indulging in a big slice (the last piece) of my ice-cream cake as I type this...so please excuse the "sticky" spelling ;-)  mmmm so good
Well, I have come to the end of my wonderful stay with my parents. It's a bittersweet feeling, sweet because I get to see my man and bitter because I have to leave my parents. I have enjoyed their company and help with the kids. But I am ready to be home ;-)
We have a lot going on right now and need to do a lot of praying! but we are excited for what God has in store for us ;-)

As I said today's our 4th anniversary but it's also both my brother and sisters birthday (no they're not twins they are six years apart). So in honor of his and her birthday I felt I had to make something. Of course a cake would have been the obvious choice but she said she wouldn't be home on her birthday :-(  so a cake wouldn't be a good choice.
I saw these recipes...again on Annie's-eats blog (I love her blog and her cute cookies and cakes!) I saw these sugar cookies with royal icing and thought they were sooooo adorable. I've never really worked with royal icing and sugar cookies are (in my opinion) holiday cookies. so I've never been adventurous and creative in making sugar cookies so this was taking it to an all new level; 1. it's not a holiday, 2. I'm going to try to make these with the same techniques as Annie's and 3. I have never in my life made royal icing and I've heard it's a royal pain in the butt...
Well surprisingly I really had no problems with the royal icing and actually really enjoyed decorating the cookies so in other words...I'm HOOKED!!! both the recipes are keepers and I will definitely make them again! I only had one cookie cutter at the moment (minus of course all the holiday cookie cutters I have laying around). You can find an immense amount of different cookie cutters at Wilton's.com or at Michael's or Joannes all extremely adorable. I can't wait to practice, practice and again practice and hopefully become as good as Annie ;-)

The sugar cookies were a breeze to make and last quite a long time! they have a lovely almond flavor.
the Royal icing is very easy (my experience was really pleasant ;-)...hope yours will be too!)  and versatile, if it's too runny add more sugar, too thick add more water!

Click here for a very good tutorial on how to work with royal icing on cookies

Ella’s White Sugar Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour


Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields ~40 cookies (small) 20 cookies (large).

Royal Icing


4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set.
Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.

Recipes by Annie's-eats

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Berry sweet ice-cream cake

yipeee my camera is fixed and I can't wait to start using it again! this was sadly taken with my phone :-( but it's not too bad!
Like I posted on my facebook... I really did make an incredibly delectable dessert for our countries birthday (really I did!!! lol just posting a little late, my apologies :-(...)
I saw this ice-cream cake on Annie's eats and fell in love with it and just had to try it! and it did not disappoint! There were some changes I made to the recipe but all in all this was a keeper. My cake did not look anything like her perfect beautiful cake did! but no one can say I didn't try ;-)
I am lazy...there I said it! and when I read that she had made her own vanilla cake (she must be related to super woman or drinks a ton of those 5hr energy drinks!!!) I gasped and choked at the thought of spending an extra 2 hours (that's how long it takes me to make a cake from scratch...mostly me mumbling under my breath seething with impatience...yes I am both lazy and impatient...lol)
anyways I do like a challenge and one day I will try this the original way, one day when I don't have to take breaks for screaming fighting siblings.
I used a french vanilla cake mix, I did find that the strawberry sauce froze too quickly  and felt like a watery popsicle when I bit into it. so next time I might try cooking the strawberries the same way as the blueberries who somehow managed to stay thick and sweet.
Also I would not advise freezing this cake overnight, again due to the problem above, but again it might have been something I did.
I Made the cake (for the completely from scratch or the super woman version as I like to call it click here)the evening before, while the cakes were baking I made the two sauces. I let the cakes cool and assembled the full cake and covered it and returned it to the freezer...I left it there overnight (I again do not advise this) I made the whipped cream frosting and frosted the cake as quickly as I could...remember it's ice-cream and will melt fast especially if you are in Florida! lol
The whipped cream really does work great, I frosted the base coating (or on regular cakes the crumb layer) and then returned the cake to the freezer for 5min (return the frosting to the fridge). I continued to apply layers until I got the desired thickness. the whipped cream worked really well with the pastry bag it's just me who lacks the skill with it...hence the disfigured "flowers" ;-) I know practice, practice and again practice...but if I have to eat all those practice cakes I would weigh a ton!
at last I put the fresh berries on top of the cake and voila!
I did not let the cake stand for 20min at room temperature, if I had i would've had one big sloppy mess (Florida remember!?)

Here's my attempt to this lovely dessert, hope you like it!:

Berry Sweet Ice Cream Cake

For the cake:
1 pkg french vanilla cake mix

For the blueberry sauce:
1 cup blueberries
3 tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the strawberry sauce:
4 oz. strawberries, hulled, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2½ cups vanilla bean ice cream, slightly softened (homemade or store-bought)

For the whipped cream frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Fresh strawberries and blueberries, for garnish

Directions:To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line the bottom of two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of the pan, shaking out the excess.
follow directions on cake mix box, divide the batter into two 8" cake pans.

bake in preheated oven rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.  Let cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then gently run a knife around the edge of the cake and turn the layers out onto a wire rack.  Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool completely.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill the cake layers until you are ready to assemble the cake.

To make the blueberry sauce, combine the blueberries and sugar in a nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release their juices.  In a small bowl combine the cornstarch with the water and lemon juice and whisk until smooth.  Stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberry mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from the heat.  Cover and chill.

To make the strawberry sauce, combine the strawberries and sugar in a bowl.  Toss well to combine.  Mash the berries slightly with the tines of a fork.  Stir in the lemon juice, cover and chill.  Let the berries macerate at least one hour and if needed, mash once more to achieve your desired texture.

To assemble the cake, level the cake layers if necessary.  Place one of the chilled cake rounds in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan.  Place a piece of parchment or wax paper around the circumference of the cake to act as a tight collar for the ice cream layer.  Be sure the ice cream is soft enough to spread smoothly and easily before proceeding.  Spread the vanilla ice cream in an even layer over the bottom cake layer.
Spoon the blueberry and strawberry fillings on top of the ice cream in whatever pattern you prefer.  (You may have a bit of each type of filling left over.  I dare you to not eat it with a spoon!)  Place the remaining cake layer on top of the ice cream and fruit filling.  Ensure that the parchment collar is pulled tight around the cake and ice cream to keep the layers evenly in place.  Close the sides of the springform around the assembled cake and transfer to the freezer to set.  (Covering the cake at this point is not really necessary but if you plan to wait a long time before finishing the cake, I recommend covering it.)
When you are ready to frost the cake, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding the confectioners’ sugar, until stiff peaks form.  (Be careful not to overbeat!)  Blend in the vanilla.  Remove the sides of the springform pan carefully and peel away the parchment collar.  Frost the top and side of the cake with an offset or straight spatula.  Place the remaining whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and add additional accents as desired. (I used an unlabeled large fine star tip, similar to an Ateco #864 tip.)  Garnish with fresh strawberries and blueberries.  (The cake can be served at this point if desired.)
Store the cake covered in the freezer until ready to serve.  Set the cake out and let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before slicing.  Run a long, thin knife until hot water to warm the blade.  Wipe the blade completely dry and slice the cake, wiping the blade clean between slices and rewarming as needed.

*The parchment collar is not a necessity but I prefer it for cleaner edges of the ice cream layer.  It also helps in the situation that your cake rounds are not exactly the same size as your springform pan, and if your entire cake is taller than your springform (it likely will be).

adapted from annies eats blueberry sauce adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, vanilla bean cake adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Wishing you a Happy and safe 4th of July!!!

    Wow the 4th is already upon us! And of course I have been saying I would prepare all these amazing dishes and desserts...yeah...right...like that happened! where did all that available time go? lol
    Oh well I'll just have to start early for next year ;-)

    But besides desserts and red white and blue themed decorations the 4th of July (in my mind) is a day honoring our beautiful country, and to have a great country you need great men and women behind it, fighting for and protecting it. but I'm not just talking of our soldiers (who are definitely and by all means worthy to be honored in many ways for we are grateful to them!!!) but also of all our forefathers who raised their children to be proud of who they are, men and women who brought up their children to fear the Lord and serve their country. Even though my grandfather passed away in the fall (November 11 to be exact!) I still think of him on the 4th of July, it's been that way for years. I always viewed my grandfather as a patriarch in our family, a strong man with a great love for his saviour!
    So this 4th of July being the first without him I want to thank him for allowing God to work through him in many ways to teach us more about God and about the reverence we should have for our Lord!
    This picture describes how I feel...an empty chair...but the second one a picture of my son,( his great grand son) and my nephew shows the legacy he left behind and hopefully one day I pray my son will follow in his footsteps and grow close to his lord and saviour!

    (I still have two amazing grandparents who are still with us, they too have been an immense blessing to me and my family!!! I have one of the most closest families I know of,both sides have great legacies and testimonies...I am truly blessed!)

    On a more lighter note; I'm down in FL again with my family for this next week. It's been nice to catch up and spend this holiday with them.
    I try to make it down to FL every 2-3 months so my kids can see their grandparents (so far I have made 2 trips within those 2-3 months lol, my poor hubby!)
    here are some sweet pictures of my kiddos with their grandma and cousin...

    Hope you all have an amazing and safe 4th of July remember to thank the men in uniform and your father's fathers for all they did to make this country what it is...a good time to pray for the leaders of our country now too, I want it to continue to be a great country !!!

    Where is this water coming from???

    He just coulldn't figure it out ;-)

    grandma and all the cousins minus one wearing their homemade hats lol

    splish splash

    blowing bubbles

    my oldest scooting around

    grandma and youngest grandson

    root beer pops mmmmm!

    cousins all ready for a stroll
    peek a boo I see you!

    Mom...I don't know about this...