Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for salting water
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella (about 4 ounces)
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk the sauce until it comes to a simmer and is thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Whisk the salt, pepper, and nutmeg into the bechamel sauce.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the ricotta, spinach, 1 cup Parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend.
Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the noodles until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.Butter a 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle like a jelly roll. Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down, without touching, atop the bechamel sauce in the dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and ricotta mixture. Spoon 1 cup of marinara sauce over the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the lasagna rolls. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and the sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining marinara sauce in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until hot, and serve alongside.
Monday, August 23, 2010
New quote up!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I halved the recipe and still had 3 1/2 pans. I made a few small modifications, so I'll post it the way I did it. Here is a link to the original. I have pictures this time! (I took them with my phone, so they're not great.)
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
2 c milk
1/2 cup oil
1/2 c sugar
1 package (2 1/4 t) yeast
4 c (plus 1/2 c separated) flour
1/2 t (heaping) baking powder
1/2 t (scant) baking soda
1/2 T (heaping) salt
1/4 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
1/2 bag powdered sugar
1 t maple flavoring
1/4 - 1/2 c milk
2 T melted butter
Pinch of salt
Mix the milk, oil and sugar in a pan. “Scald” the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together.
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape.
Drizzle 1/4 c melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Grease cake or pie pans. Then begin cutting the rolls (I used floss) approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. (I used two cake pans and one 9x13.)
Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.
Monday, August 16, 2010
New quote up!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
1/4 c butter
3 T cocoa
1/2 c sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1/4 c chopped walnuts
In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and cocoa; beat in egg, sugar, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. Beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour into a greased 8x4x2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
I like to add chocolate chips instead of walnuts. Also, this may be doubled and baked in an 8-in. square pan for 20-25 min.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
3 c berries
1 c sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 c water
2 T fresh lemon juice
Pulse fruit, sugar, and salt 15 pulses in blender or food processor until just combined. Turn on and add liquid through the top. Blend until sugar is dissolved (about 1 min.). Strain into a container and chill in fridge for 1 hour. Put in ice cream maker and churn until soft serve consistency. Put in freezer container with plastic wrap under the lid and chill for 3 hours.
You can use any combination of berries but not straight blueberries; there is a different recipe for that which I don't have the recipe for. I've had it with straight raspberries and with equal parts strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I wish I could eat it every day!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Fast forward to mid-June. Morgan and I went on an adventure to Orem to go to the Disney Store (since that's the only one in Utah). Lucky for me, they had just started having a huge sale. Morgan took the girls out so I could shop, and shop I did. I bought pretty much all of their birthday presents and walked away with three huge bags. I bought a few Minnie things (among other things) for Kate, including a Minnie dress-up (it was short, so I bought it in Ada's size so she could wear it for a long time). I purchased a few Ariel things for Ada, including an Ariel dress-up. After seeing all the Minnie things in the store, Ada decided that she loved Minnie again and wanted a Minnie birthday party. After much debate in my mind, I let Ada have the Minnie party like I had originally wanted and let Kate have the Ariel party. Kate would still get the Minnie dress (the Ariel dress is way too long for her, since it mimics a mermaid tail) and Ada would just wear it at her party.
I got to work early making all the things I could from that cute blog post, but with pink instead of red. It's a good thing, because I was stressing about that party until the second it ended! I had already bought favor bags at Zurchers, but I made almost everything else. This is what the invitations looked like:
I decided to make red invitations for the boys (what boy wants a pink invitation with a bow on it?). I changed them a little bit, but I thought they turned out well.
Now for the big day! Ada had been awaiting her birthday for months. She was so excited that it was finally here. She had swim lessons in the morning and Tyler came home from work to go watch her. Then we got some books from the library and went to McDonald's where the girls could eat chicken nuggets and play at the play place. They had a blast. Then we came home and Ada opened a few presents.
I then got to work on all the party stuff. I was smarter this time and baked the cake the day before. I had to make four rounds, so I decided to try the white cake recipe that failed on Kate's birthday (the crumbs were delicious). With a little wax paper on the bottoms of the pans, the cakes came out well. I cut two smaller circles out of two of the rounds for the ears. I wrapped them up and froze them, which would make frosting them easier the next day. Luckily I learned from the cake disaster incident and didn't put all the batter in the pans. Then I had enough left for a dozen cupcakes, which saved me a lot of time from making a whole new cake recipe for those. All I had to do the day of the party was make the frosting. I learned my lesson and the consistency was much better this time. Phew! Here is Ada enjoying the black frosting (we tried chocolate frosting for the black this time since the black looked more purple last time. That did the trick.):
Here are some of the decorations (the boys got solid red hats with two white buttons on the front like Mickey's pants. Of course in all the mayhem I didn't get a picture):
I was running a bit behind, so I didn't quite have everything all set up by the time people came. That didn't help with the stress I'd been feeling for the last two months!
Here is how the cake and cupcakes turned out:
Very cute! And here's the birthday girl with her cute friend Brielle:
Morgan even curled her hair for the occasion. She looked so adorable!
We all ate hot dogs on pink and black plates and then we went inside for presents so Morgan and Jordan could hide clues outside for the treasure hunt.
Ada got so many great presents and she loves them all! It was funny to watch her, though; she didn't even crack a smile the whole time.
I didn't get any treasure hunt pictures (though I think Tyler got a video), but they got their first clue from Toodles and found subsequent clues throughout the backyard (which were all little poems I made up). The last clue told them that the treasure was in the front yard, but they had to do the Hot Dog Dance before they could claim it. It was cute to watch them all! The treasure was their favor bags. Then we went back to the back for the pinata.
It was actually pretty easy to make. Not bad for my first pinata attempt, eh? Luckily it was an easy shape to make! I also made white, four-fingered gloves out of felt, but of course I didn't get a picture.
It was fun to watch all the kids hit the pinata. They loved getting all the candy at the end.
Then it was time for cake and ice cream.
Overall, I think everything turned out well. At the end, though, I was glad it was over and I slept better that night than I had in months! I'm mad at myself for not getting a picture of all her friends. Brielle, Millie, Keaton, and Ashton came, along with her cousins Ella, Sophie, Reese, and Shelby. Three of her friends couldn't make it. I think everyone had fun though. Ada loved it, so that's all that matters.
Ada loves being four. She is actually starting to behave better, which is such a relief. She still has tantrums, but she gets over them much more quickly than she used to. I think the really hard times with her are finally starting to fade (until she hits puberty, that is). I'm excited for this year. She is learning so much. She loves to learn! She loves to color and draw pictures of herself and her friends or family. She loves to watch movies and play on the computer. Most of the time she loves to play with Kate. She loves to sing songs. She is so cute and fun!
Today she had her four year check-up at the doctor's office. She is doing very well. Her weight is in the 21st percentile and her height in the 50th. (I failed to post Kate's last time: 6th for weight and 30th for height.) The doctor told us that Ada would have to get one shot, which we weren't expecting. I told Ada this while he went to get the nurse. She got a blank look on her face (which worried me), but then she said, "It's not gonna hurt at all!" I was so pleasantly surprised. The nurse came in and Ada watched as she poked the needle into Ada's leg. She didn't even flinch. I was so proud of her! I love my Ada and I'm so lucky to be her mom.
Monday, August 2, 2010
We got Wendy's for lunch so Kate could enjoy her favorite food--chicken nuggets. After Kate went down for a nap was when the disasters began.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to bake, but I'm very particular about what I make and what I use to make it. No cake or brownie mixes, no shortening, and no margarine (among other things). I want a dessert that tastes GOOD. Morgan bought an Ariel cake pan for Kate's Ariel-themed party. The instructions said to make a cake from a mix, but I got a white cake recipe from my sister that she really likes. My first sign of disaster was that the cake overflowed in the oven. Last time that happened to me, my pineapple upside-down cake was more like pineapple cobbler. When the cake was finally finished baking, I attempted to invert it. It wouldn't come out. When I tried flipping it back over to loosen the edges again, I dropped it. On the floor. Resulting in this:
A completely ruined cake and not enough time to make another before Morgan came to begin the tedious decorating process. I was at a loss. I just stood there staring in disbelief. Tyler (who was downstairs trying to nap) heard the commotion and came to my rescue. He suggested we borrow a cake mix from a neighbor and whip it up as quickly as possible. So against my beliefs, we did just that and the cake came out perfectly.
Meanwhile, I had whipped up cupcakes from my favorite chocolate cake recipe. I'd never tried cupcakes with that recipe before, and the result was equally as disastrous as that of the cake: overflowed tops stuck to the muffin tins. This is what they ended up looking like:
It was back to square one with the cupcakes. I whipped up an easy white cake recipe (since the cake was now chocolate) and they turned out better, though not perfect.
In the meantime, Morgan got to work on frosting the cake. I didn't know how much frosting to make, so I just threw the ingredients together without measuring. I mentioned that I don't use shortening, right? Shortening gives frosting a better consistency for decorating, but it (in my opinion) is gross. I always make my frosting with butter. Well, this time I added too much butter and ran out of powdered sugar. I borrowed some from a different neighbor, but the frosting was still runny. You'd think I'd never made frosting or cake before. Well, Morgan being the amazing woman she is, made it work and got the Ariel cake decorated in time, with fish cupcakes to go along with it. Here she is at work:
And here are the results:
Not bad for having to work with runny frosting, eh?
The party, luckily, turned out well. We invited our family members over for a barbecue and we had a pool for the kids. I tried for a red and baby blue color scheme, but I didn't take many pictures and I didn't really have any decorations. I did buy an Ariel plate to hold the Swedish Fish and Goldfish
and I made fun-shaped ice (though you can't really tell).
Everyone sat around in the heat, eating and talking, while the kids had a blast swimming and playing on the playground.
I realized that the camera was on a funky setting for a while, so some of the pictures didn't turn out. Boo.
We put our little slide into the pool and Kate had a blast! She did NOT want to stop playing. Her little head was almost submerged when she went down the slide, but that didn't stop her from going down over and over and over again. We had to force her away to open presents and she was NOT happy!
She got lots of great presents which she loves! Ada seemed to think that everything was hers and she pretty much took possession of everything until her birthday came around. Luckily it was only 12 days later.
Then it was time for cake and she knew just what to do after we sang. It was so cute watching her blow out the candles!
I think Kate had a good day and she still talks about her 'Ariel party'. I'm sad that she is already two though! As soon as her birthday came, the terribleness was in full force. Luckily it only lasted about a week. She still, of course, has moments of fits and tantrums, but she can be calmed down much faster than Ada did (does). She is so sweet and cuddly and loves to give kisses. If you ask for a kiss and she refuses, all you have to do is make a sad face and she'll come running to you with open arms. Since her birthday, her favorite things to say are, "My do it myself!", "This is mine.", and, "I don't want it anymore." Other cute things she has said lately: "Mama, I wanna marry a prince." and, as she came to me with a coloring book in tow, "Mommy, please help me color Daisy's bummy." She makes me laugh. She is so much fun. She usually doesn't call me 'Mommy' anymore; rather, 'Mama', 'Mom', or 'Mommio'. She loves to sing, though she can't really sing a full song yet. When singing the ABCs, she always skips from 'F' to 'W' (her favorite letter). She sings parts of 'I Am a Child of God' and my favorite line of hers is, "With carrots kind and dear." We love our little Kate so much!