edamomie

An Exploration of Parenting by the Vowel

Mother’s Day Mayhem May 18, 2013

Filed under: Eats,The Unknown — edamomie @ 9:23 am
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U: The Unknown (Mothers Day Outcome) and E: Eats (Strawberry Cupcakes)

Last Sunday marked my ninth Mother’s Day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it does not mean Day Off. Not that I don’t appreciate the Hallmark and florist-supported day, it’s just that expectations must be realistic. Unless you are at a remote getaway vacation slash spa trip with your girlfriends, you are probably going to have to do some of your normal tasks and chores. And children, despite their best angelic efforts, will slip back into their needy behaviors at times during your day. Here’s a recap of year nine.

 

Strawberry Cupcake Love

Strawberry Cupcake Love

Mother’s Day Eve Prep Work:

I’ve heard that some moms are pampered over the full weekend. Guessing that is not the norm. I work pretty diligently on Saturday – laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc – to make sure Sunday starts off on the highest note possible. This year I did four loads of laundry, shopped with my daughter, Ava, to pick up dessert recipe ingredients and made my fave spinach quiche ahead of time on Saturday = clean kitchen Sunday and an easy brunch.


Mother’s Day Morn
:

Did not sleep well the night prior – – up watching a romantic comedy til 1:00a.m. A few emotions and allergy triggers later, I awoke feeling low-energy and puffy. I hollered downstairs in usual form to my weekend morning tv-obsessed kids, “Church this morning! Come up in 10! I mean it!” Ava, my nine year-old, oft the most challenging to drag away, bounded upstairs and hopped into the shower. No sign of my seven year-old, Calvin. When he did surface, the little negotiator launched into the boringness of church and how he’d get much more out of religion if we could just stay home and read the bible for an hour. Just Ava and I went to mass.


Mother’s Day Late Morn
:

Home from church and the quiche is due out in five. At the table, everyone acknowledged the day and post-brunch I opened a framed photo of the family at my brother’s wedding, a red satin lipstick case and a babushka doll tea-strainer. Great. Thanks all. Now I can make my loose-leaf tea. And since we’re in the kitchen loading up the dishwater with brunch dishes, let’s just roll right into cupcake-making.
 
Ava loves strawberries and after a Saturday online recipe search for Strawberry Cupcakes and shopping for ingredients, she’s ready to dive in. There is a mixer, strawberry gelatin, strawberry jam and food coloring involved – what messy, colorful fun! Witness the strawberry cream cheese frosting dying process here:
 


 

This was a fairly time-consuming recipe to make and instead of the 12 cupcakes it said it would yield, we ended up with 26 cupcakes on our hands. The frosting also made way too much in my opinion, but then again, we just spread it on conservatively because we don’t have a fancy swirl-twister frosting-tipped dispenser or whatever its called.
 
Come to find out, the drive to make cupcakes came from her American Girl magazine, which cleverly showed the best way to eat a cupcake – – cut it horizontally across its mid-section and place the bottom portion on top of the frosting so essentially you have a frosting filled cupcake. Had I known this, we might have split the cupcakes first, then frosted their middles so the ends wouldn’t be as crumbly. Next time!


Mother’s Day Aft
:

The kids went outside to play, my husband ran some errands, and I fell blissfully asleep on the sofa in the sunshine, listening to the kids’ laughter from their outdoor escapades. For this, I was thankful.


Mother’s Day Eve
:

Calvin and I planted four plants I picked up from our school’s plant sale the day prior (one of which passed already on Tuesday in the 97 degree heat). I made a kid-friendly dinner (= microwave laziness!) around 5:30, then headed out at 7:30 to meet a co-worker, who’s also a mom, at a coffee shop. We agreed that it was a fairly good day and that getting a jumpstart on work for the week would allow us to sleep better that night.
 
I came home by 10:30, did the usual straightening and kitchen tidy-up, kissed the sleeping children on their cheeks, checked my inbox, unplugged and rolled into bed. A stellar day. One to be very thankful for.

— Happy Belated Mother’s Day! (delayed post due to normal duties post-Sunday May 12).

 

Winter S’more Variation January 27, 2013

Filed under: Eats — edamomie @ 5:11 pm
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E: Eats

 

12 Ingredient Recipe

12 Ingredient Recipe

On a Minnesota January Sunday Snowday, I don’t mind resigning myself to the kitchen for the day. Such is the case today. To lure the kids away from the constant call of electronics, we pulled out our Williams Sonoma The Cookbook for Kids recipe book on Saturday, put our list together and shopped. One recipe in particular looked so alluring sweets-wise, we all agreed we would make the S’more Cupcakes.

 

Typically thought of as a campfire treat in the summer, I love the idea of making this winter s’more variation. I have always had issues with summer s’mores anyway. My kids think I’m fussy, but the three rectangles of Hersey’s chocolate, two large square graham crackers and one cylinder marshmallow proportions always seem messy and not quite right to me. I do have my own solution for this, but it’s complicated….

 

Blending at Higher than Medium Speed

Blending at Higher than Medium Speed

Mid-afternoon we dive into this recipe. My 7-year-old, Calvin, wanders into the kitchen lazily to help. He perks up at the spread of ingredients and all the mixing, egg-cracking and batter-licking it will require. My 9-year-old, Ava, is curious, but not enough to leave her favorite t.v. personalities… yet. Calvin and I get started by lining the cupcake papers in the muffin tin and completing Step 1 (see below). We’re already two messy bowls into the recipe. Moving onto Step 2 – the blending – I do the pouring in of ingredients and he lightly guides the mixing bowl as it whirls around. The most fun being the flour mixture as it produces poofy whiteness contrasted by the liquid cocoa/vanilla/buttery mix.

 

We spoon the mixture into the 12 cupcake holders and have quite a bit left over which goes into a separate dish. Calvin then sprinkles the Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips on top (the recipe calls for one-fourth cup/ 1.5 oz – we use about one-half of a 11.5 oz bag). In the oven they go. We wait impatiently – turning the oven light on and off. About 5 minutes out, we make the frosting which is seriously yummy. I’m not even a marshmallow fan and I like it. A lot. Probably because it’s more dense and creamy (versus fluffy) what with three-fourths cup of butter and a half cup of powdered sugar. We don’t even have to crush the graham crackers as the recipe directs (this would actually be fun for kids) because I just bought the graham cracker crumbs instead. The recipe calls for a slight amount and we triple that, but I do only go with half the frosting. The point is, we can be a little creative here, kids!

 

Cupcakes - Completed and Ready to Eat

Cupcakes – Completed and Ready to Eat

Prematurely, I frost them before they’re cool enough (again, impatience!) and it makes for a mess typical of a summer s’more. If you make them – be sure to wait it out. As we taste and review, we all agree that we enjoy this variation on a s’more by our indoor fireplace very much. Delish!

 

For the record, the first recorded version of the classic s’more was printed in the Girl Scout handbook in 1927.  Here’s the Williams Sonoma version (pg 102 of The Cookbook for Kids):

 

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder with 3/4 c very hot water. Stir until blended, then add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside.

 

Step 2: Blend the Ingredients
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 c butter on medium until shiny (about 20 sec). Add 1 c granulated sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 min). Add the two large eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition.  Beat the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in three batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture in two batches.

 

Step 3: Bake the Cupcakes
Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle the chocolate chips (1/4 to 1 c) evenly over the cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (17-20 min). Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely (We didn’t listen to this step!)

 

Step 4: Frost the Cupcakes
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on med speed, beat 1/2 c butter (room temp) until shiny and smooth (about 2 min). Add 1/2 c powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the marshmallow creme (one full 7oz jar, just as you buy in the store) until just blended. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the top (if you’re using whole crackers, place them in a ziploc bag and crush two whole crackers with a rolling pin).

 

Candy Salsa January 20, 2013

E: Eats

Candy Salsa Ingredients

Candy Salsa Ingredients

Usually the school subjects my seven year-old son, Calvin, tends to be jazzed about are recess and lunch. Every day I get reports about how little time he actually gets to eat his lunch and play outside. One day last week, he came home thrilled about extra time devoted to one of his favorite subjects: food.  The school had someone come in from Midwest Food Connection to make a recipe right there in their classroom for two days last week.

 

I’m pretty sure Calvin was in the front row, taking in all the techniques and mixology that went into the recipes. Upon picking him up at school last Tuesday, he waved the recipe card in my face: Mom, we have to make this stuff. It’s SO good!

 

It was a recipe for salsa. Not rocket science and quite basic. His enthusiasm ensured the ingredients made it to my grocery list for Wednesday. With portions of a whole as the quantity in the original recipe, I increased everything accordingly so I could use the full ingredient. What do you do with half of an avocado, three-fourths of a bell pepper and 18 sprigs of cilantro?

 

For the Love of the Roma

For the Love of the Roma

As he hopped out of the car at school drop-off on Thursday morning, he eyed me: We are going to make that salsa today, right? Me: Sure. True to form, after school, he reminded me once more. He stuck his head in the fridge, seeking our ingredients. After everything was assembled and awaiting chop, dice or squeeze techniques, we re-read the recipe and figured out what each of us would do. I am still not comfortable with him using a sharp knife – especially to dice items into small pieces, so I did all of the knife work. I also had him watch as I dismantled the seedy pepper, chopped the tomatoes and popped the pit out of the avocado. He washed veggies, de-leafed the cilantro, scooped out the avocado, squeezed the lime juice, added the salt and mixed everything together.  Oh, and sampled to taste: Needs more salt.

 

Cheater's Lime Juice

Cheater’s Lime Juice

I heated up the corn tortillas on a pan on the stove and we spooned the salsa onto the tortillas. We sat at the table for a little lesson in wrapping. Typically, this would be a side dish to a main course, but at 3:00 in the afternoon, it was a perfect snack. I’ve made salsa many times in the past with similar ingredients including garlic, but never with bell pepper. I could have eaten this salsa like candy. Calvin agreed and we attribute the sweetness to the pepper, thus renaming it Candy Salsa.

 

Remarkably, Calvin was totally onboard with the tomato, which for whatever reason (his Dad’s not favoring them?) he had vehemently disliked since summer. It must have had something to do with the chef’s preparation, other classmates agreeing the salsa was delicious, or just plain acceptance of the common tomato. Whatever. I love his passion in the kitchen.  He brought home another recipe from school for potatoes which we’ll be making next week. For starters, we’ll share the salsa one with you:

 

Candy Salsa on Corn Tortilla

Candy Salsa on Corn Tortilla

Candy Salsa (our name)/ Salsa Recipe (official name)

one-fourth red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced

2-3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

5 sprigs of cilantro leaves

one-half avocado, diced

1 fresh lime wedge, squeezed juice only

salt to taste

Mix together in bowl and serve on warm corn tortillas or with corn tortilla chips.

 

Recipe from The Gift of Grain Lesson and presented by Midwest Food Connection at Hale school in Minneapolis the week of January 14 2013.

 

Candy Plan November 5, 2012

Filed under: Eats,Independence — edamomie @ 5:39 pm
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E: Eats + I: Independence

Carving and Removal of Guts

Carving and Removal of Guts

Halloween ranks second only to Christmas as the holiday when most retail consumer dollars are spent. People buy costumes not only for kids, but grown-ups too; more decorations for parties and bucket loads of candy. Halloween costume stores pop up  in various locations and we stock up and shop early. For this family, I think our Halloween storage outweighs our Christmas storage. As follows is a Halloween recap on carving, costumes and candy handling.

 

Overly zealous in past years, we’ve had to restock on candy and be faced with carved pumpkins whose insides have turned to mush by Halloween if they haven’t already had their decoration chewed off by squirrels. This year, I bought pumpkins and candy ($14.98 value pack) five days before Halloween. The hidden bag is uncovered and ripped into the next morning at about 3:00a.m. by my 7-year-old son, Calvin, who had been obsessing about it. The carving takes place four days prior to Halloween and the Jack-o-Lanterns serve as a centerpiece days before moving outdoors on Halloween, in fine condition.

 

Witch and Gangsta

Witch and Gangsta

Weeks prior we had pulled out our Halloween bins of costumes past and tried to sell the kids on resurrecting all or portions of them for this Halloween. Tough sell. My son wanted to be a gangster and needed a whole new pin-stripped suit because the pink-stripped gangster outfit my 9-year-old daughter wore the year before would not suffice, of course. Even the cheap plastic gangster weapon – found in pieces – needed replacement. My daughter, Ava, was thinking witch. We found two respectable witch hats, six black cloaks and a black wig in the arsenal. We knew our options before heading to the Halloween store. Upon arrival, it was all too tempting to not stick with a costume re-run. Calvin got the gangster and Ava, due to indecision, ended up empty-handed on a new costume and committed to the witchy mix of options at home.

 

Halloween Grub

Halloween Grub

With Halloween on a Wednesday this year, the usual annual parties in the neighborhood occur on the Saturday prior. With minimal effort, I dress in black and add a witch hat to head to the first party with the kids. This annual party with a 2:00p.m. start time comes complete with a fog machine and elaborate Halloween fare from gummy worms in crushed Oreo crumbs to eyeballs conveyed via mini-powdered donuts topped with an M&M as the pupil, red gel lines for the veins. We last about two hours.

 

We regroup at home and try to have a substantial meal before the next party. There is little interest. Now I’m ready for costume two of the day – Elastagirl (recycled from five years prior). My husband, who has costumes set in May for the next Halloween, is suffering a set back. Apparently fabric spray for clothing is not all it’s cracked up to be. Cutting it close at 5:30, his Plan B emerges. We all take over one bathroom and finish applying hairspray, face painting and powdering. The witch turns into a mime of sorts simply because she wants her face white not green. We head to party #2 around 6:45p.m.

 

Haunted House on the Block

Haunted House on the Block

This annual party has another great spread of food – little tacos, artichoke dip and of course mummy dogs (formerly known as pigs in a blanket). Grown-ups gather around the outdoor fire pit and the kids run wild between the bouncy house, playhouse and basement. The kids are sneaking soda and snacks at all times so it’s pretty tough to monitor what they actually consume. We last til 8:15p.m., then it’s time to head out. After all, the adults need Halloween fun too!

 

With sister-in-law set to watch kids, we’re out the door by 9:00p.m. to an old-fashioned Halloween house party where we’re greeted by host Gene Simmons. We meet many bizarre characters that make the evening very entertaining. We’ve had our fill and are ready for a break from Halloween, at least until Wednesday the 31st.

 

As is tradition, I make some sort of casserole or hotdish. This year it’s Aunt Rose’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna. It’s ready to go in advance so we can be ready for the 6:00p.m. trick-or-treaters. They still catch us off-guard. We debate every year if we should go out in shifts so someone can be home to hand out candy. This year, we choose to all go out from 6:30-7:15p.m. Our neighborhood really goes all out so we don’t have to go far. We never miss the house on the block complete with staged outdoor lighting and Thriller on a loop. Ava takes her time and Calvin sprints between homes. It’s challenging to keep up with them and chat with neighbors too.

 

Candy Plan

Candy Plan

At home, we heat up the lasagna and have a fire in the fireplace. My husband also sets a major fire to one jack-o-lantern to creating a flaming pumpkin, which to me looks hazardous and threatening to potential visitors. Trick-or-treaters still come. We hand out candy til 8:30p.m., when we finally turn out the lights. The kids sort and organize their candy, eating as they go, especially the items like KitKats which are pretty popular this year. We try to bribe a few of their 60+ pieces of candy from them.

 

They kids are so worn out, they actually head to bed on their own. Ava doesn’t even take off the white face paint. Calvin puts the tooth he lost that day under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy who actually forgets to come that night. I reason with him on November 1 that too many kids lost their teeth yesterday, bobbing for apples and whatnot. The Tooth Fairy will come tonight.

 

It’s four days after Halloween now and we’ve just taken all of the decorations down. The candy still lingers. This year, rather than limit it to one or two pieces after dinner each night, I’m being much less restrictive. They can have access to it through Tuesday, then it’s gone. Otherwise, they drive me crazy obsessing about it all day and it lasts for 2-3 weeks, making the after-dinner candy treat a tough habit to break. So we have two more days to consume, then I’m getting rid of it. Their uncle offers to buy it for $5, but Ava pushes back, it’s worth much more than that. I’ll sell it to you for $20. I’m glad she negotiated. I’ll just put that money directly to their dental bill or next year’s costume purchase.

 

Happy Birthday, Babycakes! June 6, 2012

Filed under: Activities,Eats — edamomie @ 8:03 am
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A: Activities

Masks at the Maskerade

The kids’ birthday’s have always been a big to-do in this household. We even extended it to my daughter’s American Girl doll – see Happy Birthday, Doll!  This year was no exception. We put a tiny baby in the cake.

 

We began the planning months in advance. We recapped previous parties – the Poodle in Paris Party for BD number 6 as well as Disco Party for number 8 – still remain tops. Why don’t we outsource the fun to Chucky Cheese or the Club Just Jump? I would say it is part fear (keeping an eye on 12 girls in a public place is frightening), part control and part obsession with a theme. Plus it’s practically the only party I throw every year.

 

 For number 9, we decided to go the Masquerade/ Mardi Gras Party route. True to form, our original concept was based on one item. This year it was the mask. I found them at Litin Paper for $3 each in green (for Ava only), blue and pink. A theme was born. From there it expanded to New Orleans cuisine, jello shots, parade floats, glittery make-up and beads.

 

The party took place on a Friday night from 6-8p.m. Once, when I was young, I hosted a 3-hr-long birthday party and learned my lesson. Let’s keep the guests, the birthday girl and Mom happy by ending it on a 2-hr upswing. For these parties, the girls are always extremely prompt, which is another benefit to having it in the neighborhood. You hate to make parents suffer by traveling to a far-off party destination during Friday rush hour.

 

Mardi Gras Mealtime

Mardi Gras Mealtime

Thankfully my Mother-In-Law agreed to come into town the night before and be my sous chef and party prep for the day. There is always so much work to be done. I shopped on Wednesday for hours. The Thursday prior, right after Ava’s track meet, we worked from 8-11p.m. cleaning, setting the table, cooking the Martha Red Rice Recipe, shucking the corn, chilling the jello (purple and lime), baking the King Cake, making name tags and cutting/gluing stuff for party crafts.

 

 I phoned in instructions during the day. I wasn’t going to be home until 5:15, which was a bit unnerving. I remained super focused on 8:15 and tried to relax, remembering from years past that friends just have fun hanging out together. Although, you really do NOT want to throw what any girl terms a boring party.

 

 6:00p.m. Guests arrive. They immediately dig into the Mardi Gras parade float activity that’s comprised of a shoe box and some tin foil or wrapping paper for starters. The best part is that I spent an hour on Monday going though miscellaneous mismatched pieces of games and stuff to add to the doodads bin. Many of these discarded items of ours became the next finder’s treasure. Recycling! They happily hot gun glued them to their float that they would take with them at the party’s end. But for now, it was time to take a break.

 

Mardi Gras Make-up

Mardi Gras Make-up

6:20p.m. Dinner. Sous Chef Sue, joined by Sister-In-Law, Katie, and I teamed up to serve the Red Rice, Sweet Corn and Baby Reds. The rice dish was the more adventurous-than-pizza attempt, but all of them graciously tried it while most finished it – even with garlic, onions, celery and tomatoes in the mix. It was also had sautéed chicken sausage to give it a kick. It was a small taste of New Orleans at any rate.

 

6:40p.m. Activities. this is when a variety of activity options come in handy. Everyone flocked to the hair and make-up station just opened by Katie for all their eyeshadow glitter and hair weaving needs. Ava immediately and diplomatically formed a list for the line-up so the girls could play or continue to work on their floats until their name was called. I remained on hot glue gun duty, but slinked away to change the vibe from the mood-setting “Buckwheat Storms New Orleans” to actual danceable tunes.

 

7:00p.m. dance party/ floatation devices. This is party mid-point so I let them free-fall awhile so we can clear dinner dishes. Half of the girls create a conga line, half remain fixed on their floats, and a few are in line, mesmerized by make-up.

 

Semi Circle King Cake with Tiny Baby

Semi Circle King Cake with Tiny Baby

7:20 p.m. We reconvene at the table with some slice of an unknown treat in front of us. This is not the 3 layer cake I painstakingly bake and decorate each year. It’s a King Cake. According to Mardi Gras tradition you throw a little plastic 1 inch baby toy in the cake and bake it. Whomever receives it has to throw the next Mardi Gras Party the following year. I edited a bit.

 

When everyone was seated at the table, I threw a bit of a researched history into the mix about Mardi Gras colors and what they signify: purple (justice), gold (power) and green (faith). There were jello shots and gummi bears. And only when I had their full attention, I declared in hushed tones that whomever bit into this cake’s particular baby would have good luck for a year. One dear child said, even if I do get the baby, that’ll never happen. I know how she feels. Turns out Malaya finds that baby. She’s overjoyed and optimistic. I do hope luck is on her side this year.

 

Mardi Gras Judging Madness

Mardi Gras Judging Madness

7:45p.m. The float parade and judging.  This aspect of the craft just sort of evolved. I had no idea if the girls would even take to it, but we had enough fun paper, ribbons and random doodads to keep them intrigued I guess. I just thought they would take or leave them, but the concept of parading them to a juror was agreed upon.

 

Ava, who had started a float before the party but never finished, along with three other girls who really weren’t interested in doing their own, were the judges. Based on how I directed the construction of the craft earlier, they all had a theme for their float. Ava and her fellow judges gave fascinating positive critiques. In the end, of the 8 completed, they awarded 1-4 prizes.

 

8:00p.m. Parents promptly arrive. We choose to do a gifts-acceptable party this year, which for whatever reason seems to be the case every other year. I should have allowed another 15 minutes for this portion. It was really rushed, which was not the intention. Sure hope we can get all of the thank you cards straight! They took home their masks and floats.

 

8:07p.m. It’s over. Goodbyes have been said, hugs exchanged, doodads moved out on floats for good. Ava seems pleased and content. As am I. Until next year anyway. I’ll need to plan the party of the decade.

 

Eggstatic About a New Way to Dye April 3, 2012

Filed under: Eats — edamomie @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , , , ,

A: Activities

Eggsortment

Eggsortment

Last year around Easter we experimented with some new techniques: Easter Egg Blowout, This Time They’re Deviled and The Incredible Inedible Egg. We’re back at it this year, only not quite as revolutionary.  It’s just a new way to dye.

 

We received a package from Nana about a month ago about this fabulous new application for dying your eggs. They claimed to marblize them. I was curious. Around the same time my Martha Living April mag arrived – true to form about five weeks prior to the issue’s month. Martha had set her sights high for Easter 2012. She had marbled eggs too. And one cool seemingly doable application I wanted to try, but most likely will not find the time to execute prior to the hard-boileds spoiling or Easter passing us by.

 

Marble Manufacturing

Marble Manufacturing

My Martha issue is flagged, but after eyeing this kit for weeks we decided to see what the fuss was about. Half-heartedly I opened the fridge door and found three random cartons of mis-matched white and brown eggs of all different sizes post Palm Sunday brunch staring back at me.  Okay, we’ll do it, I told my 8-year-old daughter who had been looking to get crafty all day.

 

We hard-boiled a dozen eggs. My daughter donned the gloves that came with the kit. None for me. There were five colors so we tried to do at least one white and one brown for each color – making for quite a mix. Some were organic, cage-free and some were not. They varied in size too. Would Martha approve of these inconsistencies?

 

My daughter’s gloved hands stayed dye-free. In between dye color changes, I helped her wash her gloves. My hands took on all the dye. I was toxic. The process for each egg was quick – apply 3-4 drops of color and swirl in your hands. Very fun for Ava. She got carried away only once and dropped one. Strange it did not crack.

 

Marble-vlous Display

Marble-vlous Display

The process was faster than the dye in the mug treatment, but did not yield the marbling promised on the packaging. Perhaps we did not have the eggs warm enough as the packing suggested, but I was not keen on putting them in the microwave. They dried quickly and we were on to other things, me with a red hand up to a good three hours later.

 

We assembled a little egg display, complete with some of last year’s blown out eggs. Martha’s treatment I mentioned earlier would include wrapping some colored string around the egg in various patterns. Could be noteable and even fun with a hot glue gun, but for this Easter we’re calling it good.

 

What’s your favorite way to dye?

 

Happy Birthday, Doll February 28, 2012

Filed under: Eats — edamomie @ 9:30 pm
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E: Eats

All About the Frosting

All About the Frosting

It was time to throw a party. Mia, my 8-year old daughter Ava’s American Girl Doll, was turning 4. Ava had been obsessing about this party since Christmas – even more so than her own birthday party, although that wasn’t until June. On ventures to the Mall of America, she’d beg, just one more visit to the the American Girl store?  Mia really needs some new shoes. I pressed her, Really?

 

I decided that there should be no harm in letting her spend her hard-earned money (received by way of birthday and holiday cards, actually) on gifts for a doll. Super practical!  In looking for the larger meaning here, I agreed, Yes, Mia did need some new shoes. She also needs someone to stress about hosting the perfect birthday party – inviting the guests, making the food and drink, decorating and finding activities to keep the guests entertained. Don’t forget the party favors!

 

Perfectly Poised Party Guests

Perfectly Poised Party Guests

She will certainly appreciate my eight-years worth of effort in planning her birthday parties, all hosted at our house, when she’s through with Mia’s party. I got out a box of mish-mashed decor from the years and she set out on the task. She invited one special cousin, Ravelle, and two of her American Girls to join Mia and Ava’s other American Girl doll, Piper. That’s a tally of six. For this party, Ava chose to invite her cousin AND make her help with the cake prep and serving work. …hmmmm, I could take a lesson from this.

 

The two of them made a simple cake Ava picked out from a Hersey’s dessert book she had checked out from the library. Thanks to SaraLee’s pound cake, the cake part was a wrap. It was more about the filling between the 4 layers and the whipped chocolate topping.

 

Patience Pets, You'll Get Yours

Patience Pets, You'll Get Yours

 The girls added ingredients and I supervised the mixing. Then it was time to frost – patience, wrist movement and correct depth of frosting were attempted and averagely executed. Ravelle mentioned her previous sessions with her Grandma, an excellent cake baker and decorator. We all agreed, frosting was a skill to keep trying to perfect.

 

After the frosting, seemingly the glue for the cake layers, was to their liking, their eyes lit up at the prospect of what to do with the mixer beaters and spatulas with all that unused frosting.  Later, with that task licked, they were ready to serve cake to the party guests and guest of honor.  The AG dolls behaved themselves as they silently joined us in the H B D song.  The AG cats and dogs, although panting over the layer cake, also acted appropriately.

 

Mia glowed on her birthday, in her new birthday dress with those shoes her “mom” just had to have for her. I was surprised at how this simple gesture for a doll brought Ava so much pleasure. Reminded me of why I, and all of us parents, go to the trouble. Happy Birthday, Mia!

 

 
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