When humor goes, there goes civilization. ~Erma Bombeck




December 28, 2009

Peppermint Meringue Cake With Chocolate Buttercream

Remember the chocolate peppermint cake I was working on a few weeks ago......... well here it is and it was worth it! I found the recipe in bon appetit magazine. I tweaked it a little because I decided to drink the alcohol it called for instead of putting it in the recipe. (c'mon now you know I don't drink!, hic up) To say it is rich is an understatement. This thing will put you into a chocolate coma. Plus it has enough cream in it to clog every artery you have. (sounds yummy right?) With that warning here we go.



Meringue Layers



1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup superfine sugar (yes, I did find it at the grocery store)

pinch of salt

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/2 teas. cream of tartar

1/2 teas. vanilla

1/4 teas. peppermint extract ( If you are like me and lick every bowl you make anything in, except a raw meat dish, this will taste really too pepperminty. Don't worry, after you bake it the taste is mild.)





Peppermint Syrup



1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 TBS. peppermint schnapps. I used 1/2 teas. peppermint extract.



Cake



1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teas. baking powder

pinch of salt

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teas. vanilla



Buttercream



1 and 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

3 TBS. light corn syrup

1 and 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao) chopped

1 teas. vanilla

pinch of salt



Meringue Layers:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 175 degrees. Using pencil, trace two 12 X 4 inch rectangles on sheet of parchment paper, turn parchment over (rectangles will show through) and place on large rimmed baking sheet. Trace one 12X4 inch rectangle on second sheet of parchment paper, turn parchment over and place on second rimmed baking sheet.



Sift powdered sugar, superfinesugar, and salt into medium bowl. combing egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl of heavy duty stand mixer fitted with wire whisk, beat on medium low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high, gradually add sugar mixtur and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extracts. divide meringue equally among prepared rectangels on parchment ( about 1 and 1/3 cup each) Spread meringue evenly within traced lines.



Bake meringues until dry and crisp but not browned, about 3 hours. Turn off oven and let meringues cool completely in oven.



when ready carefully remove meringue's from parchment.



I don't even know why I am printing out this stupid recipe no one is going to make it.

I already feel like I have been typing for 3 hrs.



Peppermint Syrup:



Oh my gosh!! I am so not in the mood for this. The cake is great blah, blah, blah....... I will edit this later and give you the rest of the recipe. If any of you want it really bad leave me a comment and I will finish it up for ya!





Thank all of you for your concern and love you have shown my family. Jack is still with us, but I am sure he will be gone soon. Papa and I sat with him today while his wife ran some errands. . He was talking on and off to those he could only see. There is a sweet peace in their home. He mentioned some of our loved ones who have passed that had been with him today. He goes in and out of sleep. He also talks to us and family members that aren't there. He was talking to his son and both of my son's this afternoon. He was talking to his grandchild, none of which were with us. I hope he can slip away peacefully.


It is a blessing to still be able to say I love you.


Tell your family you love them. Then go eat a big piece of cake!





December 27, 2009

A Bitter Sweet Christmas

I want to tell all of my bloggy friends Merry Christmas. However, I know I am a little late. You know a day or two late and a dollar or two short. (i know lame) This has been a bitter sweet holiday. Mostly sweet.

We have had the family parties and get togethers which have been loads of fun.
We have also had family get togethers that have been heartbreakingly sad, yet full of love. The kind of love we need to think about always.
The kind of love we were put on this earth to experience even though sometimes with that love comes grief and sorrow.

We are losing Jack. Some of you know my brother in law has cancer. A year ago he was given 3 to 6 months to live. He has done a tremendous job at bucking his odds. He has worked at his keep on keeping on talents. He has dealt with his illness head on with a brave face and courage. Has never wanted an ounce of sympathy and always still the life of the party. He even has been working until last week when he became very ill and was put in the I.C.U.

As a family we have been tight this past week, circling our wagons so to speak. We have had some truly spiritual experiences. That I feel blessed to have been a part of. There is a life beyond, there are family members waiting. It would be inappropriate to get detailed and frankly some of you would just think I am nuts. I know we are being watched over and there is Heavenly communication. That there are angels on this earth. I will leave it at that. Jack and his wife Sissy have made the choice to get Jack out of the hospital and Hospice involved. Hospice has been a huge relief to their family.

I admire Sissy's strength and fortitude. She has been asked to do some tough things this last week. I know she is having her melt downs, but she is carrying on the best she can. There children and grandchildren have been able to be with them. I know this has meant the world to Jack.

Some may think it odd when I say this has been a truly sweet Christmas but it has. It has been a Christmas thinking more about our Savior's love and our love of family. The New Year may be difficult but, we will keep our wagon's circled and we will prevail.


December 21, 2009

I Left My Heart In San Francisco ( well, a little of it anyway)

I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have been carting my kids to San Francisco. Papa and I helped with the big move. It was an adventure. We didn't want to go over Donner's Pass because the weather forecast was horrible. I didn't want to relive history, get stuck in the snow and have to eat my grandchildren to survive so we went south.

We passed Vegas, the kids were in awe of that place. We drove to Bakersfield CA. in one day. It was so fun. (whatever) We stayed in a very nice Holiday Inn. The kids were in awe of that place too. They don't get out much. The next morning we were off bright and early for Fremont CA.

We spent the next few days unpacking and putting things away. Cleaning etc. We did get out to Fisherman's Wharf one afternoon, some pics are below.





This is right before we left for the airport to come home. We were having a giant hug. Taylor grabbed my camera and took this shot. I'm glad she did.
Here is Papa with the boys at the Wharf.

I had Taylor get in this one. Pete was at a fancy work party for employee's only. RUDE!

Sitting in the sunshine. I have to say I did not mind the weather!

December 12, 2009

Christmas Candy

Once again I have finished my Christmas Candy. Whew, what a relief to get that over with. I think every one in the city was at See's. Today I have been making a Chocolate Meringue Mint Cake that has literally taken all day. I will let you know the results.!

Happy Saturday!





December 9, 2009

Fun With Mom

Taking my mom shopping can be quite the adventure! Today I took her to Costco. We were only there 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours. As we were driving up to the store she decided she wanted to go to Deseret Book to buy my dad some Christmas gifts. Now this is a long time trick of mom's, we start for one place and she has you cart her to several other places. I dropped her off at Deseret Book ( it is right next door to Costco) and I went on my way to Costco.


I found most of my items then decided to look for mom, she was looking at pajama bottoms for dad. I then went and found the rest of what I needed and returned to help mom retrieve whatever it was she was in need of.

We traveled through the store looking at everything they have to offer, yes everything, yes every thing. That was no big deal. Finally mom says "o.k. I just need to get your dad some vitamins and we can get out of here." We travel to that section of the store when she says"where is the acid reflux medicine?" I say " right here I just got Papa some." She then says "No, your dad won't use that brand, he wants PERCOCET." I'm thinking who doesn't. I say "mom you can't buy Percocet at Costco that is a powerful pain medication." She says "oh ." I say " how about Prilosec?" She says "No, I better call him." Which she does I hear her asking what kind of medicine it is he needs. I hear his muffled reply and she says "HE wants Percocet!!" I think great I am going to have a stand off with my mom in Costco over Percocet. She is still on the phone and then she says " oh I mean Prevacid." Whew!!!!! We get that settled and head to the check out.

Mom gets finished checking out before me and notices when the cashier runs my See's Candy gift certificates through the register. Then I hear " Oh I have to go back and get me some of those." I tell her that is fine I will guard her cart while she goes to get her crap. While waiting I buy myself a Lemonade and salad, eat, chat with other patrons of the store, get my shoes shined,
eat some ice cream, have a rousing game of Bingo with the employee's, then finally I see her coming. I tell everyone good bye, thanks for the good times and we are off.

We get to the door.......The gal there checks my receipt. Then mom's. This is when mom has to open her big mouth and say " I have these See's gift certificates here too but, I have lost the receipt." (the lady would not have even noticed, she was about to set us free. We were half way out the door.... for the love......We hadn't even walked 2 yards from where she got the stupid receipt!!!!!!!!!)

The lady says "Ummmmm I can't let you out of here without a receipt." (we were so close, I could even see the van) The lady says "you need to go to the front of the building and get a receipt." Mom says "$#*%!!!!!" I was thinking far worse. I said "I will be with my homeys playing Bingo."...............


Luckily mom found her receipt crumpled up on the floor. I couldn't believe my good fortune.


You may be thinking I am giving my mom too hard of a time. I say I don't care!!

This morning she called to ask if I had sound on my T.V. She told me she had no sound. I told her indeed I had sound on my T.V. I told her to go check her other T.V.'s and see how they were working. I then hung up the phone.

I sat and thought for a moment. Hmmm this is my mom, I bet she has the T.V. turned down.

I call her back. I say" is your sound working?" She replies yes it is working and explains she had forgotten she had turned it down as to not bother my dad last evening. (am I good or what?)

I know most people would try turning up the T.V. or check the mute button before calling 911. I am her personal 911 and I have to say that is o.k.



In other news... my kids are moving away. I thought I would be extremely happy about this but, alas I am very sad. It's bitter sweet actually. I am glad they have a good job, found a cute house, San Francisco will be a great place to visit. Still I would prefer it if they were staying in my state.
They leave Monday. I know Papa won't dance with me during "So You Think You Can Dance." He is not ticklish either. He certainly won't let me chase him around with the Corn Cobbers. (private joke) This house will seem awfully quiet. I didn't think I would ever get used to them living with me. Now I know it will take a while to get used to them not being here. My mom feels the same way. Henry thinks her house is some kind of Shangri La. He can watch cartoons and eat chocolate until the cows come home over there.
Oh well, as they say... life goes on.

December 4, 2009

Guess What.....

Sorry I have not been a very good bloggy friend lately. I might not be for a couple of days. The creeping crud is making it's way through the house. I am it's latest casualty. BLAH!

December 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home

What am I supposed to do with this?

Wait...... I know,

KIDS FOR SALE

SICK KIDS FOR SALE !!!!!! You would think two bawling brats would cost at least $39.99 , but you can get them at the stunning price of FREE. Hurry and get yours before they are gone. ( i won't tell you where they will be going)

November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving = Mmm Mmm Good!

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie.


Pecan Pie.


Pumpkin Pie With Gingersnap struesel.




Turkey. (He looked so familiar.)



Last minute frenzy.






Frenzy continued.






Aaaaah Family.






She needed a love from Nana.


Family around the table, nothing better!








Snuggling with Papa. (and you thought we ate him)











November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Today will be full of baking pies and cleaning house. Hope you all have a great day filled with love and family.

November 24, 2009

Peanut Butter-Banana Sandwich, Bread Pudding With Dark Caramel Sauce

I found this recipe in the November 2009 Southern Living Magazine. If you want to find some really, really tasty recipes this magazine is the place to go. Pioneer Woman is featured in this particular month also, so if you are a fan of hers check it out.

I am not thrilled with my picture here, it doesn't do the dessert justice, sorry.

When I served this Sunday evening all I heard was ....Mmmmmmmmmm, a couple of OH MY! I got a Honey This Is Delicious from Papa, so needless to say it is a keeper.

Here goes:

8 buttermilk bread slices, crusts removed. ( I did not remove the crusts)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 bananas, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS. brown sugar
1 3/4 cups shipping cream ( I used heavy whipping cream, I am now trying to see how fat I can get)
Peanut Butter Streusel Topping (Oh Yeah)
Dark Caramel Sauce

1. Spread bread slices with peanut butter. top 4 bread slices with bananas and remaining bread slices, peanut butter sides down, pressing firmly. Cut sandwiches into 1 inch pieces; place in 8 lightly 8oz. Ramekins or mixture may be prepared in an 11x7 inch baking dish.

2.Whisk together eggs and sugars, whisk in whipping cream. Gradually pour mixture over sandwich pieces ; Sprinkle with Peanut Butter Streusel Topping. Place ramekins or baking dish in a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hrs.

3. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Let puddings or pudding (depending on what you are baking it in) stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, set, and puffed. Serve warm with Dark Caramel Sauce.

Peanut Butter Streusel topping:

Stir together 1/4 cup all purpose flour and 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar in a bowl. Cut in 2 TBS. butter ( cold butter, I wish the recipe would have specified this, it makes the streusel more crumbly) and 2 TBS creamy peanut butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. stir in 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts.

Dark Caramel Sauce:

Cook 1 cup sugar in a 3 qt. heavy saucepan over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes or until sugar caramelizes, tilting and swirling pan to incorporate mixture.

Now this is a procedure that was new to me. I have never caramelized sugar before. It took longer then 8 minutes. I was freaked out because I thought I was burning it, therefore I didn't do it quite right.

When doing this don't be worried when sugar starts to brown, it is supposed to. Just don't let it burn. The sugar will start melting as you cook it, just keep tilting and swirling as the recipe says. Don't leave it on the burner unattended or you will screw it up.

Stir in 1 cup whipping cream. The mixture will bubble and harden, like a rock. Don't be alarmed.
Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture melts and begins to boil (about 5 - 7 minutes). Quickly pour sauce into a bowl; stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool.

To make ahead, cover and chill up to 3 weeks. ( 3 weeks seems a little long to me) To reheat, cook, uncovered, in a microwave-safe glass bowl.

This is so good it is worth the time it takes to prepare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you are a bread pudding fan you will love, love, love this.

Enjoy!



November 20, 2009

My Little Helpers?

After Tonio's championship football game on Saturday some of my kids came over for homemade chicken noodle soup.

It was snowing like crazy Saturday. During the game Papa yelled to my two sons "Hey your mom made chicken noodle soup last night, should I call her and ask her to warm it up?" He said the whole crowd yelled back "YES," as they all sat and shivered.

Izzy and I stayed home, she didn't want to nap........

However, this is where we found her.

Later that evening Zeke came over. Mom and dad went out for the evening.
Zeke has learned to turn on the water and is quite impressed with himself. (He wouldn't let Papa take his onesie off of his head.)






We had to lock him out of the bathroom.



Little Will looks so sweet when he wakes up I just had to throw this one in.
Last night Tonio had his football awards dinner. Any of you who have been to one of those things know they last about 5 hrs. which is 4 1/2 hrs. too long.
Izzy came to spend the evening with us. I told the kids they could help me decorate my family room tree. I always put it up before Thanksgiving because I don't have the energy to do two trees after Thanksgiving any more.




The three Musketeers.





A little of their handy work.






Time for a break. I don't know what they are cooking up.


Some more of their handy work.
Tonio returned from his awards dinner victorious with all of his trophies. His team did not lose one game this season.


He is getting too big.


Also, wanted to share this flashback photo of Dad with Donny Osmond.

That's right, I'm droppin' names. Donny. Osmond.

The 70's star Donny Osmond of yesteryear....


Apparently Dad was working on a construction site for the Osmond Center (I think) in 1979. Donny would come to the site most days to check it out. Dad called Donny, "Don." Donny would correct him and say, "Actually, I go by Donny." This gave dad ALL the more reason to call him Don. So Don called him "Philly."

This photo is also bittersweet for anyone who knows much about Dad's condition called Ataxia that causes his body to deteriorate. It's good to remember him standing and healthy, but it's sad to know the freedom that has been robbed from him. But if you ask him how he's doing, he'll say, "Never better!" every single time.
Gotta Love my dad!!!

Happy Friday.



November 16, 2009

Pooba Speaks Banana Bread

First I must say this is not my picture. I feel such an urgency to post this recipe that I decided to swipe a picture in order to do so. (I don't have enough banana's to make my bread at this time.)

You see Pooba and I are face book bud's and well she has been harassing me for a Banana Bread recipe, yes she can be a bully! I'm scared, she knows where I live. So here goes:

This makes a really good bread if I do say so myself.
I got this recipe from my daughter Taylor, who got it I believe from her MIL.

5 large very ripe banana's I know. You are thinking, but Nana when will I have 5 very ripe banana's all at the same time? Don't fret, you can freeze banana's. "What's that?" you say. Yes freeze your very ripe banana's. Mash them and put them in a baggie, Tupperware, or my favorite LOCK and LOCK first. Toss in freezer for banana bread later. Easy as pie. Now let's move on.

4 eggs, beaten
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup shortening
4 Cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 - 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Mash banana's well and add sugar. Mix in eggs and shortening with electric mixer. Slowly add dry ingredients, mix well. Spray 2 large loaf pans or 5 small loaf pans w/ nonstick cooking spray. (Pam) Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.

Enjoy!!! I hope Pooba will stop threatening my grandchildren now. Please Pooba. I have done all I can.
(like she really bakes anyway)

November 11, 2009

Cousins

I wanted to teach Henry and Izzy how to climb a tree. (they were less than thrilled, don't let their phony smiles fool you) I would have shown them but, this poor little tree would not have survived my girth.


Jumping in the leaves is always fun. Too bad the pile isn't bigger.




Look at Izzy's hair. The drop is not as high as it looks. Really.




A leaf fight is always fun.




Henry loves it when the cousins come over. He gets so excited. Today when Chloe came by he was just as excited as when Izzy comes to visit. As you can see playing with Izzy is a totally different experience than playing with Chloe. I thought it so sweet that they can find so much joy no matter what the circumstance. Chloe radiates love, she therefore attracts it. I wish everyone I knew could see and feel that. I am especially thankful that her little cousins all feel it. They love her, want to include her and protect her.
My older grandchildren, nieces and nephews have realized just this past Summer that Chloe is not a baby, she is different. I have heard my children, my brothers and sister in law explain to them just how different she is. What a blessed experience for these little ones to learn love, patience, empathy, and charity for someone so fragile



Chloe came by today and well........ could that be any cuter?
They had a little wrestling match.













I don't know how I ended up in the mix, but I want you to note my hair is not fixed.






I wouldn't want to be any place else!!!!!!!