Friday, July 29, 2011

Just a few of the kazillion photos I took of my gorgeous nieces on the beach

Deven, my sister Megan's oldest daughter
Raquel, my older brother John's oldest daughter

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

will you love me or hate me?

Since we are {unapologetically} watching an inordinate amount of television this summer, we have become quite fond of the
Cupcake Wars. 

The natural sequence of events would obviously include a few baking sprees (mostly of cupcakes).  I ran across this recipe on a blog yesterday.   It had to be reckoned with.

Lindt Truffle Chocolate Cupcakes
(originally posted by The Sisters Cafe)

1 box Devils Food cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding (small box)
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1 cup sour cream
24 Milk chocolate Lindor truffles by Lindt (the red ones)

Unwrap milk chocolate Lindt truffles and place in a bowl for later use.
[If you don't eat them all first].
In a separate bowl, add all ingredients and mix well.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for FIVE minutes.  After five minutes, lightly press a Lindt truffle into each partially baked cupcake. 
NOW, I would not have pushed the truffles in so hard next time.
They ended up at the bottom of the cupcake kinda smushed.
Let the cupcakes bake an additional 13 minutes (for a total of 18-19 minutes). 
Cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting.
I wanted to use chocolate ganache frosting, but as you can see some of the cupcakes fell a little, and the ganache wouldn't have worked so well.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 c. softened butter
1 brick Philly cream cheese
1 t. vanilla (I like the Madagascar vanilla from Williams Sonoma)
1 box powdered sugar (abt 3 cups)
1-2 T. milk


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

favorite summer game

If you buy just one game for your kids
to whittle away the remaining summer days,
look into this one.
It'll help your brain matter solidify again
from the summer mush
that it's been since June.
Charlotte has mastered the Beginner level.
Caroline is in the kitchen wrestling with an Expert card right now.
I had to call Jackson in to help me with my traffic jam last night.
He figured it out.
McWillDenyIt has been known to tinker with it after dinner himself.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

beautiful apocalypse

Good thing my folks drove in from CA when they did.

They beat this gorgeous mess by about an hour.

It's technically called a "haboob" which in Arabic means an intense sandstorm [ours was dirt] commonly seen in the Sahara Desert.

Mom and I decided to go watch the kids swim outside.

It was hot.

We went outside anyways.

We both love the golden glow of twilight.

I started to scrub the bird poop off our chaise lounges.

Caroline pushed Marc into the pool.

Mom kept insisting that there was smoke on the horizon.

"Look at that smoke!" she said.

I didn't look.

Finally I sat down and looked. 

I grabbed my mom's hand and we looked at eachother.

I mentally tabulated the amount of time I might need for some rapido deathbed repentance.
[mom needed none].

The tidal wave of dust instantly permeated every pore.

We yelled at the kids to get in the house.

My dad yelled at my mom to find the car keys so he could roll the windows up.

This freak weather anomaly was breathtaking and frightening.

But not so fun to clean up.

Which is why I made Jackson sweep the patio and porch and clean the pool.

We are still getting the grit out of our teeth.

Monday, July 4, 2011

god shed his grace on thee