Apr 30, 2010

Cakes I've Baked Lately

I've been baking lately, but haven't had the chance to sit down and post the pictures.  So I'll do them all at once.

I made these cupcakes for Oldest's teacher, because it was her birthday a few weeks ago.  The one without the frosting?  Yeah, that's for Oldest.  Somehow, a child related to me doesn't like frosting.  I'm still trying to figure that one out...

After that, a bunch of us moms got together for a Mom's Night Out.  We had a pot luck at someone's house, and I brought cake (of course).  The boys helped me roll out the fondant to make the flowers, but then disappeared to go play with legos when it was time to clean up.  :)

I also made a couple cakes for the kids' school.  Once a year, the school puts together a Teacher Appreciation Dinner, where the parents prepare/provide dinner for all the teachers in the school.  I made these cakes for them.

My original design was more intricate, but the brushes I used to paint the sides and top weren't precise enough, so I had to change it.  I need to find better brushes...

Apr 13, 2010

First Taste of Salsa

We're big food people in our family.  We are total Food Network junkies, even the kids, and all of us like to cook, bake, grill, you name it.  Whenever I start cooking in the kitchen, the kids will stop playing and come to check it out.  Then they'll ask if they can help, and I always let them do something.

Occasionally, I will get out some cookbooks and hand them to the kids, asking them to pick a recipe they want to make.  They love doing this, especially because it means they can help cook.  So, the other day, Oldest picked up a Mexican cookbook and started flipping through it.  He stopped when he came to a picture of regular tomato salsa.
Oldest: What's this?
Me: That's salsa. You can eat that with tortilla chips.
Oldest: (grinning big) Really? Can we make some? (tortilla chips are his absolute favorite snack)
Me: (laughing) Sure. 

I chopped up some tomatoes, and then I got out the green onions (I prefer the way they taste to regular onions) and started slicing them into tiny circles.  The boys were watching the whole time, of course.  Then Oldest pointed to the white part of a green onion and ask a surprising question.
Oldest: Do you have to cook that first or can you eat it like that?
Me: Well, you can eat it that way, but it's got a really strong flavor.
Oldest: Is it spicy?
Me: Yeah, kinda.  But really it's just a very strong flavor.  You may not like it.
Oldest: Can I try it anyway?
Me: Sure, if you want.  But just a small piece.

I pulled the tiny rings apart and gave him the smallest one.  He put it in his mouth and bit down once.  Then his eyes got as round a saucers and he sprinted to the fridge.  He pulled out his glass of milk and sucked the whole thing down, then he turned back to me, panting.
Oldest: Wow, that was too strong!
Me: (trying not to laugh) Yes, it's very strong.  But I think it's great you tried it.

For the record, he still tried the salsa and liked it, though he didn't like the cilantro I added to it.  So he asked me to leave that out next time.  :)

Apr 6, 2010

Getting Rid of Training Wheels

I'm a pretty even-keel, content kind of person.  I can take almost anything and come up with a smile, and there's very few things that I dislike with intensity.  Actually, there's only two things I can think of that I really, honestly, and truly hate.  We're talking hate, as in those two things are vile and disgusting.  What are they?  Raw oysters, and running.  *shudder*

The last time I tried a raw oyster, I was in a really fancy restaurant, and it took every ounce of will power to not spit that thing back out on the plate.  And running?  I ran all the time when I was a kid, and I guess I used up my lifetime supply because now I can't stand it.  I run for the train.  Maybe.

There is a point to this, which I will be getting to shortly...

Anyway, I took Oldest to the park on sunday with his bicycle.  We took the training wheels off, which meant that I had to hold on to the bike to keep him from falling over.  We started out slow as he tried to remember to put his feet down when he stopped, and also how to get the bike going without falling over.  Then he got more confident and started going faster.  Which meant I had to go faster.  Which meant I had to start running.  Bleh!!!

It started out as a jog, which is not fun but still okay.  I guess.  But he did great!  I let go of the bike a few times (still jogging next to him so he wouldn't know I'd let go), and he didn't fall.  Then he started weaving around all over the place and stopped.

Oldest: "The bike is really wobbly.  I feel like I'm going to fall down."
Me: "I've got you.  I won't let you fall."
Oldest: "But why is it so wobbly now?"
Me: "You slowed down.  If you go faster, then the bike will be steadier."
Oldest: "Faster?"
Me: "Yeah.  You have to go fast enough to make me run."
Oldest: "Oh.  Okay."
Me: (!) Did I really just say that out loud????

He did go faster, and we went around in circles for an hour.  Yes, an hour.  I ran for a freakin' hour!  I'm still shocked by this.  But he kept getting better, and by the time we decided to pack it in (really, it was when I could no longer stand up), he had ridden on his own a total of eleven times.  And he didn't fall down once.  I'm so proud of him!!!