Archive | March, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day

17 Mar

The only way to celebrate is with green food, right? We made shamrock shakes (a million times better than McDonald’s!) for St. Patrick’s Day. I think Maya’s favourite part was definitely the sprinkles!

Clinique lotion

14 Mar

I recently saw an ad for Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and thought I’d try it out. I was a bit surprised to see the price of it, though, when I went to purchase it. All I have to say is it better be worth it!!

Apple turnovers

14 Mar

I’ve had this apple turnover recipe printed out for a while, and the other day I finally got around to making them. Of course, the recipe came from Annie’s Eats. Now, I cheated and used pre-made puff pastry, only because I already had it on hand and didn’t know what else I was going to do with it. They turned out really well and tasted delicious! What a treat!

Flaky Apple Turnovers

Ingredients:
For the puff pastry:
3 cups (15 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1½ cups (24 tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. ice water
2 tsp. lemon juice

For the filling:
4 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 lbs.)
1½ cups sugar
3 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
To make the puff pastry, combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse to combine.  Add in about a quarter of the butter cubes and process until the butter is in dime-sized pieces, about four 1-second pulses.  Add the remaining butter and process to coat the cubes with flour, about two 1-second pulses.  Transfer the mixture to a medium size mixing bowl.

Combine the ice water and lemon juice in a small bowl.  Add half of the liquid to the flour and butter mixture, and toss just until combined.  Keep adding the liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough will clump together with your hand.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface.  The dough will be dry and shaggy at this point.  To fraisage the dough, brace the heel of one hand against the work surface and dragging small portions of the dough forward in short, brisk strokes.  Gather the dough together into a rough mound, using a bench scraper if necessary. Repeat the fraisage a second time.  Press the dough into an 8- by 4-inch rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.  Place the dough onto a lightly floured large piece of parchment paper and roll into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle.  Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds.  Starting from the narrow end, loosely roll up the dough into a coil.  Press it to form a 6- by 5-inch rectangle.  Repeat the rolling and folding process once more.  Roll the dough out into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle.  (If at any point in the rolling and folding process the dough becomes too sticky or difficult to work with, transfer it to a baking sheet or cutting board, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until it becomes workable.)  Fold lengthwise into thirds.  Starting from the narrow end, loosely roll up the dough into a coil.  Press it to form a 6- by 5-inch rectangle.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

 

Roll the dough into a 20- by 15-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, trim and cut the dough into twelve 5-inch squares, and place 6 on each sheet.  (If they aren’t all perfect squares, it is okay – you can cover it up once you fold them over.)  Refrigerate the dough squares while you make the filling.

 

To make the filling, peel the apples and grate them on the holes of a large box grater (I used my food processor with the shredding disc.)  Combine the grated apples, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl.  Remove one sheet of the dough squares from the refrigerator.  Working with one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of the apple filling (squeezed of excess liquid) in the center of the dough.

 

Moisten two adjoining edges of the dough square with a finger dipped in the apple liquid, then fold the top portion of dough over the bottom, making sure to overlap the bottom portion by 1/8-inch.  Crimp the edges of the turnover with a fork.  Repeat with the remaining dough squares.  Return the sheet of turnovers to the fridge and repeat with the second sheet of dough squares.  Refrigerate the filled turnovers 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

 

While the turnovers are chilling, preheat the oven to 375° F.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir together until mixed well.

While the turnovers are chilling, preheat the oven to 375° F.  Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir together until mixed well.  Brush or mist the turnovers lightly with water and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes, rotating the sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time.  Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the turnovers to a wire rack to cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Fresh flowers

14 Mar

I must say I really love fresh flowers in the house. I haven’t been able to keep them much because they get attacked when I’m not looking. The other day I saw some pretty bunches of tulips for really cheap and thought I would really like to get some to put on our kitchen table. They certainly are cheery!

Neat pictures

8 Mar

You may think I’m going to post some artsy, interesting photos, but the daycare that Maya goes to once a week had a little birthday celebration for her back in January and the lady gave me these photos last week. I was struck by how different she looked in them.

 

 

 

Baby #3

8 Mar

Well, looks like it’s that time again. I had my ultrasound a few weeks ago. We are not finding out the gender of this baby because we’re pretty well set for whichever one comes out. Here are the pics, though!

New plans for future dinners

7 Mar

I won’t lie. I don’t especially like to cook. I FAR prefer to bake, probably due to the finished product. And because it generally contains sugar. Anyhow, I’m finding it difficult to prepare dinner these days, but then feel kind of bad giving my kids sandwiches or even breakfast for dinner. (Although I could eat breakfast all day, every day). I especially find it difficult at that “particular” time of the day when everyone’s starting to get grumpy and clingy. I can usually distract Maya with a movie or something for long enough to thrown something together, but Rylan is not so easy. He ALWAYS comes over to me and stands right between my legs and the stove, wanting to watch and be picked up. Kind of hard to cook one-handed (and distracted). I get frustrated because I’m slow at cooking but I like my meals to be pretty well-rounded. I know it’s something I have to work on, but it’s coming along.

The other day someone mentioned to me about this website that you subscribe to some meal-planning. Basically, they plan out your month (four weeks of five meals per week) of meals plus sides, have your shopping list broken down into grocery store sections, and prep/cooking directions. Their claim to fame is to spend one hour per week prepping these five meals, have them ready to go in your fridge for the week, then it’s very simple on the day you cook it. Just grab it out of the fridge, cook it up and add the finishing touches. It sounded like exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Two things that don’t fit perfectly for me:

1. We would never go through 5 actual meals in one week! We don’t eat a lot at each meal and there’s only so long I will tolerate leftovers. It’s nice because then I’ve really got meals for at least a month and a half to two months.

2. Why is it that people who meal plan (I’ve come across other meal-planning things before too) feel it necessary to eat meat at every single meal? (I will say that at least the meat is varied: beef, chicken, pork, fish, or seafood). I prefer to have at least one vegetarian-type meal per week, plus an alternative meal using beans/legumes and such. I have to admit I’m not clever enough to adapt recipes too easily for fear of changing them too much.

After looking over this website, she says she tests the recipes out on her family and puts them on the menu if they like them. They seem to be pretty easy, tasty sounding meals that aren’t too out there. My family probably would eat them too! And it’s really nice to not have to think about planning, prepping, or coming up with meal ideas. The only thing would be to get to the grocery store…