Archive | December, 2010

Rylan’s First Birthday

31 Dec

Rylan’s first birthday came quite quickly it seems! It’s hard to believe he’s 1 already. Maya’s first year went by  SO slowly but Rylan’s really flew by! Seems like not long ago I was holding him as a newborn at the hospital and now he’s beginning to learn how to walk.

I decided to make Rylan some cupcakes for his actual birthday since I wanted to save a cake for the party, and I settled on making chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. They are a chocolate chip cupcake with a cookie dough filling, buttercream icing with mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top and a mini chocolate chip cookie for a garnish! They were quite delicious if I do say so myself.

I really want to make Maya some red velvet cupcakes for her birthday. (Seriously, take a look) Overkill maybe??



28 Dec

One day over Christmas holidays we had planned to go down across the border and do a bit of shopping. Turns out, everyone on the lower mainland had the same idea. Border lineups were crazy and I wasn’t about to wait hours for no particular reason, so we decided to (finally!) replace our current kitchen sink and tap. We’ve been wanting to do it for over a year and finally got a chance to get it done. We went to Home Depot and talked to some people there, came back, measured the under-the-counter space and figured it would fit. We (well, actually, I) ended up going back to Home Depot about 4 times to get all the stuff we needed! While we were waiting for someone to help us one of those visits, I wandered down to the hood fans and we picked one out to change our current one with. We wanted a new one because the other one didn’t suck up all the smells from cooking (not that I make stinky stuff, just, you know, cooking smells in general).

Actually it wasn’t especially difficult to switch out, just some modifications like cutting out a fair amount more of the counter to fit in the larger sink. (Can you say scary? And I wasn’t even the one doing the cutting!) We figured, really if we screwed it up too badly we would just replace the counters. No pressure, right? We started working on it after the kids were in bed, so we were up pretty late at the end of it all. All I can say is thank goodness they didn’t wake up with all the jigsaw cutting!!

I’m really happy with all of it. The hood fan sucks beautifully and is QUIET! Now at least I can hear my kids whining while I’m trying to make dinner. The faucet is up and out of the way and has some water pressure to it so I don’t have to make my own suds while washing the dishes (pet peeve: not enough bubbles in the dish water). The sink is called SILGRANIT made by Blanco and it’s made of 80% natural granite and it’s stain-resistant (which is SO nice because our other stainless steel one was so gross and stained and scummy looking) and pretty heat resistant. So yay!

Christmas baking

28 Dec

This year I didn’t want to do much in the way of Christmas baking. (Incidentally, I also didn’t mail out ANY Christmas cards, so sorry if you didn’t receive one from us because no one got one!) I did, however, really want to do some decorated sugar cookies because they’re kind of fun! They’re a bit of a process though, so don’t plan on doing them all in the same day unless you don’t have kids getting under your feet (or attached to your leg or climbing up on the table where you’re trying to decorate them nicely).

I’m always so frustrated at the consistency of my royal icing, but I think on the whole these ones turned out ok. I still wasn’t super happy with the consistency of the outline icing, but I kind of had to go with it since I had already put it in the piping bag to use. Honestly I was too lazy to take it out and try to thin it a bit more. It worked anyway.

The other thing I made were vanilla bean fleur de sel caramels. I’m usually not into candy making (I don’t really like fudge), but these sounded and looked so good that I had to try them. Also I have some vanilla beans that are probably past needing to get used, so it seemed opportune. I got the recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride and it turned out really well. In fact, I still have some left, they may just get thrown out. We had too many goodies over Christmas anyway!

Photo courtesy of Annie’s Eats