She’s having a baby meringues

February 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Dessert, essay | 4 Comments
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My little sister is expecting her first baby! In preparing for the blessed event, I’ve been checking out the cute baby clothes at Gymboree and Janie and Jack. I’ve been looking at Pottery Barn Kids for their latest nursery lines. And I’ve been thinking about yummy baby shower food.

I think these meringues may be the quintessential baby shower food item. They are light and airy and are darling on a dessert table. If a girl, I like to add strawberry extract and a few drops of red/pink food coloring.

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Baby Shower Meringues

  • 3 egg whites at room temp
  • 1/3 t cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract (or strawberry)
  • 1-3 drops red food coloring (depending on how pink you want these)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Beat egg whites in a clean metal bowl on medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Increase speed to high and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar beating until stiff peaks form. Quickly mix in extract and food coloring.

Spoon meringue into a pastry bag and pipe onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 3 hours or until dry and crisp. Cool completely on baking sheets. Store in airtight container at room temperature. These can be made the day ahead.

From Semi-Homemade Desserts by Sandra Lee

I’m having so much fun in my manual setting that I had to include these photos as well! These meringue photos are straight-out-of-the-camera. Here’s the single:

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And the triple shot:

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Adventures in Suburbia: The Fuse Bead

January 25, 2008 at 11:12 am | Posted in essay, twins | 10 Comments
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It’s a typical Thursday at 3pm. I’ve chopped my bell peppers, onions, garlic and a jalapeno for tonight’s chili. My kids and a neighbor boy are sitting at the table playing with fuse (Perler) beads. When all of a sudden my son comes to me in somewhat of a panic and says,

“I put a bead in my nose and it’s stuck”.

Me: WHAT?!?

Son: I put a bead in my nose and I can’t get it out!

Me: (giggling) Blow like this. (Now you have to picture me blowing my nose with no tissue and “liquid” flying out)

Me: (holding one of his nostrils down) Blow.

Me: (still holding down the opposite nostril) Blow Again.

Me: Blow harder.

My son continues to blow his nose.

Me: (to the neighbor boy) Okay Liam, time to go home.

Son: (now crying) It’s not coming out!

Me: (giggling) Why did you put a bead in your nose?

Son: (crying) Hannah told me to.

Me: (thinking) You’ve got to be kidding me. You are five years old!

Me: (to dear daughter) Hannah, please get daddy’s flashlight for me.

A couple of minutes of nose blowing and still no bead. I can see it. But I’ve just cut a jalapeno and onion and my fingers are spicy and would likely burn if they the inside of his nose or eyes. I try with tweezers for a moment, but then stop because I am too scared that I will push the bead up further into his nose.

Me: (thinking) Crap, time to go to Urgent Care.

Me: Get your shoes, we have to go to the hospital.

Son: (still crying) NO!!!

A couple more minutes of determined nose blowing passes. We really don’t want to go to the hospital. He now has a tissue. I’ve turned off the stove with the pot of chili. Purse in hand. One more try…

Me: The bead! I think you got it!

A frantic search of the floor and no bead, it’s still up there. One more blow and…out comes the bead.

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Now I know that my son can blow out a bead faster than he can pass a quarter, but that’s another story.

sleeping beauty

January 22, 2008 at 1:09 am | Posted in Extras | 2 Comments

My dear daughter loves animals, dreams of living on a farm, and has a stuffed animal collection that she can get buried in, literally. This is how I found her last sleeping last night…

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and the close-up…

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sweet dreams!

one great read

January 19, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in essay | 1 Comment

Got a few minutes? Read this. Ree will make your day.

Want another?  Check this out and read the post for Friday, January 18, 2008.

Enjoy!

Karen

who me?

January 16, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Posted in essay | 2 Comments

Gretchen has introduced me to so many things…Celebration, rotel and Velveeta, Java City, missions in Mexico, blogging, but what on earth is a meme? When she “tagged” me, I wasn’t even sure what that meant!

Okay, okay, I’ve seen these come through my email, but never knew they had an official name. Now I know! Thanks Gretchen!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
1998- I was living in Santa Barbara, teaching kindergarten at a school that had a view of the Pacific Ocean, and was a newlywed.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Much of the same as today…taking the kids to preschool, hitting the gym and grocery store, laundry, cleaning, watching tv, reading books…wait a minute, that was today!

Five snacks you enjoy?
It’s all junk…cookies, crackers, bananas, sun chips, and lattes.

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to?
I think I remember all the words to “It is well with my soul”, “Cowboy Take me Away”, “This I promise You”, “If That’s What it Takes”, “Dancing Queen”.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire?
Just one million? I would pay off the house so we didn’t have a mortgage, save for retirement, save for college, travel, and get lasik.

Five bad habits?
I spend way too much time in front of the tv and computer, I rarely put the laundry away straight out of the dryer, I pick my nails, and I worry too much.

Five things you like doing?
I really enjoy baking, hanging with my girlfriends, spending time with dh, talking with my sis on the phone, and taking a bath at Burke Williams.

Five things you would never wear again?
Never again will I wear neon, blue eye-liner, my n’sync t-shirt, a mis-fitting bra, or a size 4.

Five favorite toys?
My computer, camera, Cuisinart food processor, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and cell phone.

Tag, You’re It:

Meagan arimcg Kath

Excuse me…

December 20, 2007 at 8:26 pm | Posted in essay, Extras | Leave a comment

So I’m at the gym sweating, running, hair falling out of clip, red cheeks, when suddenly-

Pretty Girl: “Excuse me, but is your name Karen?”

Me (thinking): oh shoot, someone from high-school

Me: “Yes”

Pretty Girl: “I’m Reagan, I went to high-school with you.”

Me (thinking): holy crap, she looks great

Me: “I remember you, you had the black convertible BMW”

This is the perfect example of why I need to do better, because I live in the town I grew up in and I never know who I may run into. And it’s never when I’m shopping, lunching, coffee-ing. No, it’s moments like these, when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.

And not only is my hair not done, but the grays are all sticking out. And I need to go in for my threading. And I haven’t had a manicure since summer. And I’m wearing gym clothes. And I’m sweating, a lot.

…at least she recognized me, high-school was 17 years ago.

Christmas Candy Trains

December 18, 2007 at 12:08 am | Posted in Dessert, essay | 2 Comments

My mom and I were talking about how many long we’ve been making candy trains…27 years. I made my first train when I was 8 years old. And it has been so exciting being able to pass this tradition on to my own kids and their friends.

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Today after school we invited a couple of friends over for lunch and to make Candy Trains. Lunch was fun and simple. I made two kinds of sandwiches, peanut butter with marshmallow spread and jelly with cream cheese…dipped in sprinkles of course! A bowl full of cherries and another with green apples.

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After lunch it was candy train making time. I armed the moms with pastry bags full of frosting while the kids unwrapped candy, laid tracks and let their candy imagination run wild. And just as I did as a child, my kids will give their trains to their teachers (with a Starbucks gift certificate) wishing them a very Merry Christmas.

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Bah Humbug!

December 7, 2007 at 1:27 am | Posted in essay | 3 Comments
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Someone jumped to Santa’s naughty list today. As our Christmas lights came on this evening, we noticed our beloved Frosty and his two little penguin friends were missing. Everything, including the extension cords and adapter, were taken.

Noticeable Features:

  • Rosy cheeks
  • blue mittens
  • red and green scarf
  • stands about 7 feet tall
  • motors on his penguin friends are broken so they do not move up and down

…perhaps he melted and will return to life one day…

Family Traditions for Dinner Club

December 6, 2007 at 3:14 am | Posted in essay | 1 Comment
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I had the honor of hosting my Dinner Club’s December gathering last night. The theme: Family Traditions. There are ten fabulous women in our Dinner Club. Most are married, we all have kids, many love to cook, and we all enjoy getting out of the house and fellowshipping over a good meal.I made the turkey (because that was my family’s Family Tradition) and others brought along sides that were always part of their family’s Christmas Dinner. We had a better-than-traditional green bean casserole, savory cornbread dressing, and “sweet” sweet potatoes. Of course we had the mixed green salad, cranberry sauce and gravy. But the highlight of the night was dessert featuring a chocolate bourbon pie and cherry cheesecake. Add a few cosmopolitan martinis and some coffee with eggnog…well, it was just all so good.

But it’s not the food that keeps us together, it’s the friendship. We’ve been meeting for Dinner Club every other month for over two years. We take turns hosting. We bring something home made. We share recipes. We laugh, a lot. We commit to being there…Dinner Club and beyond.

no-fight-tonight calzones

November 14, 2007 at 12:50 am | Posted in essay, Family Meals | 1 Comment

I know I should do better. Fellow bloggers/nutritionists/parenting experts are bemoaning The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious. “It’s wrong to deceive our children.” “Kids should learn to love veggies in their natural form.” “There is little nutritional value left in these veggies after they are cooked, pureed, and then spread over four servings.”

I am doing my best. I have been upfront with my family about what they have been eating. I’ve been serving lots of different veggies with dinner. I’ve been using my purees as a way to reduce the amount of eggs/oil/butter I usually would use in my baking and cooking.

But not tonight. We are having Calzones. I would have loved to have stuffed my kids calzones with chunks of turkey, fresh red onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms. But I don’t want the fight tonight. I don’t want to explain and come clean. I just want a nice relaxing dinner with my family. So, I pureed. Yep, I took the turkey and fresh veggies, threw them in my food processor, and pureed. I admit it. I pureed. I snuck good lean protein and fresh veggies in my kids’ food. Say what you may, it’s working for me tonight.To make these calzones, just get some of your favorite pizza dough. Roll to a circle. Spread with pizza sauce up to one inch around edge. On half of the dough, sprinkle mozzarella cheese. Over the cheese sprinkle pureed fresh veggies and cooked turkey then another sprinkling of cheese. Fold the dough over, pinch closed. Brush on a light layer of olive oil on top of calzone. Bake at 400 degress for 10-15 minutes.

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