April 12, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

I will forever have a special place in my heart for Cherry Blossoms. The ring of them around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC is beautiful. What an incredible gift from Japan in 1912. If you can ever time a visit to DC in the spring, check out the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is educational and fun (like DC in general). I'm thrilled we have our very own Cherry Blossom tree in our backyard. It's really wonderful when it starts "snowing" petals.  Such a fleeting and fabulous show of nature.

April 10, 2009

Seder Plate - My Version

I wanted to talk with the kids about Passover and what it meant since we have read about it in our Bibles. (They are really shocked about the blood over the doors part.) We are busy celebrating Easter and thought maybe we could incorporate Passover into our celebrations. A good friend of mine who was Jewish and is now a Christian, retains her Jewish traditions. I thought about it and decided what better way to make history and Jesus' life come alive, then celebrate like He did?

Knowing that I have not seen a Passover plate, this is what I came up with. We researched each part of the traditional foods.  That's when I learned it's just for tasting - not really eating. Well, that wasn't going to work in my house. If I'm cooking it, we're eating it! I made a wonderful braised lamb shanks for Z'roa, which represents the sacrificial lamb who's blood went over the doors. We had parsley for Maror, because I knew none of my family would eat anything bitter, but it was important to taste the "bitter tears" that were shed while in slavery. The hardboiled egg (yes, contributed by one of our chickens) is Beitzah, symbolizing the never ending cycle of life. My favorite was Haroset, which I had never heard of or tasted, but we all loved. It's an amped up applesauce and it's delicious. It represents the mortar of the many bricks the Jewish slaves had to lay in Egypt (can we say pyramids). The kids thought eating mortar was great fun. I also, included smashed new potatoes, since we needed more to make it a meal. Eating the meal, made history and culture come alive for all of us.


4 large apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 c finely chopped pecans
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c red wine
Mix all together and let sit in fridge until dinnertime or could be served heated, which is what I did, since I was serving it to the kids and didn't really want them to have the alcohol.

April 9, 2009

They are Growing Up - The Chicks that Is

The chicks are getting bigger and replacing their down with feathers. This means they attempting to fly, really "fly-hopping" up to the rim of their plastic home (and practicing their balance, which is hilarious to watch). That also means chick poop is sometimes landing on my laundry room floor! We don't have to keep it as hot in there as we did when we first got them, so the laundry room is not sweltering anymore. Each week you can decrease the heat by five degrees. Thankfully it's not July!

April 6, 2009

Lamb Tracing Cake

This was my first time tracing a pattern onto a cake to create the design. It's really not hard.  You just cut the shape about, lay it on the cake and trace around it with a toothpick. Then if you are really artistically challenged like me, you poke the holes in the inside lines to give you guides for drawing the interior (in this case, the lamb's legs and facial features.

I made this cake for Easter. My daughter found me the lamb out of her Strawberry Shortcake coloring book. You could really make any coloring book page or clipart into a cake design very easily. I think looking back I wouldn't have blown the image up, becuase it was really too big for the cake, so be careful of your sizing.

April 5, 2009

Beautiful Easter Eggs

Aren't these lovely? They are my imitation of a Martha Stewart layout. I just used one color to dye them and left some natural. The hues came from using different amounts of green in two cups and the streaking/ blotching came from not stirring the dye to mix it well - a happy accident.

April 3, 2009

Baseball, Soccer and Roses - Oh My!

I made cupcakes for Super Bear's class and he really wanted soccer and baseballs.  I figured there might be some girls who would like something else. Since I actually took the Wilton cake decorating class recently (I figured I should actually learn how to officially use those metal tip thingys that I was playing with), I thought I'd put my "Wilton rose" to the test. They turned out pretty cute.


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