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Archive for May, 2009

Windy day

Deborah Reddick handed me a paper last Sunday and asked me to fill it out and bring it with me to church tomorrow. I have no idea what it is for, but at the risk of being cheesy I thought I’d share my thoughts with you anyway.

(First name) Heather
(4 character traits) Grateful, creative, thrifty, & laughing
(Relative of…) Wife to Steve
Lover of… family, nature, & food
Who feels… awe, love, & curiosity

weird eyes
Who needs… time, fresh air, & dessert
Who fears… crowded places, sunburns, & car wrecks
Who gives… immunizations, birthday cakes, & my 2 cents about everything

Where did my mouth go?
Who would like to see… the tunnels below Salt Lake City, the Heather in Scotland, & the scars in Christ’s feet
Resident of… the only state named for a president
(Last name) Flynn.

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Last random Heather fact for today: I am physically incapable of making a straight face when I know someone is taking my picture.

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Photo Books

I’m using MyPublisher to create a book, but it doesn’t have the text with photo formats I would like to use. Do any of you have suggestions on other photo book sites that have more layout options?

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Meringue Cake

When my Grandpa talks to other people about the amazing qualities of his beautiful wife, he will invariably mention her sour cream lemon meringue pie. He’s smitten.

This cake I made for Liz’s birthday wasn’t attempting to become a cake version of my Grandma’s specialty pie when it started out. It wasn’t until it was frosted and my Grandparents came over that I realized I could call it this.

Liz asked for a simple white cake with lemon filling for her Graduation Party.  I used the Barefoot Contessa’s sponge cake recipe the the Pioneer Woman introduced me to. It was delicious.

Then I made a meringue, put some orange jimmies in it, and slathered it all over the cake, and browned it.

I’m so happy that I did. Meringue is even better on a cake than it is on pies, I think.

But unless you have an occasion coming up that requires cake over pie, I really think you should be making Grandma’s specialty tonight instead.

Enjoy her amazing recipe!

Grandma Smith’s Sour Cream Lemon Meringue Pie

1 C sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 heaping T cornstarch

1 1/2 C water

2 eggs, separated (reserve the whites for the meringue)

1/3 C lemon juice

1-2 T lemon extract

2 heaping T sour cream

Baked Pie crust

Meringue (recipe below)

Sugar

Blend together sugar, salt, flour, and cornstarch.  Stir in 1/2 C cold water.  Heat rest of water before adding.  Cook mixture slowly, over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened and clear.  Add well beaten yolks; cook 1 minute longer.  These steps can be done on the stove or in the microwave in short intervals, stirring often.

Cool slightly and stir in lemon juice, lemon extract, and sour cream.  Pour into baked crust and cover with meringue. Sprinkle the meringue with sugar. Brown at 325º for 15-20 minutes.

Meringue: Beat the 2 egg whites with 1/2 t cream of tartar, and 2 T sugar until stiff peaks form.

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CarrotsCarrots.

Which are in sincere need of thinning.

CilantroCilantro.

Dill, Oregano, and BasilMy herbs: Dill, Oregano, and Sweet Basil.

My poor mint died.

It didn’t take kindly to being outdoors.

Anaheim5 Anaheim pepper plants.

JalepenosDozens of Jalapeno plants.

I’ve been a little worried about what we would do with so many Jalapenos, when suddenly it occurred to me: Homemade Jalapeno Poppers.

My life may never be the same.

Cucumber seedling

This little cucumber seedling seems much happier than his older, larger friend.

Cucumber plantThe cucumber seems to be the least happy of our plants about living upside down. It hasn’t died, and it is growing… it just doesn’t seem too happy about it.

ZucchiniZucchini.

Tomato blossomsTomatoes. (These are tomato blossoms, to be exact)

StrawberryStrawberries.

Potato, Rhubarb, and OnionsAnd finally, green onions, potatoes, and rhubarb.

The Potatoes are HUGE! They grow SO fast. I’ve been investigating things and I think I know what may have caused this phenomena:

Gnome

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Graduation Caps

Finished Product

I don’t know if any of you look at my Twitter comments on the sidebar there, but if you happened to check out Friday’s link you may have guessed that this is what I would be making: Graduation Caps!

Anyone there?

I’m really happy with the way these turned out.  Check out Bakerella’s tutorial for the professional how-to, but I wanted to post my pictures, so you’ll get the amateur version here, as well.

First things first, I just plain didn’t have the budget to use Ghiradelli chocolate squares for the top of each cap. I went to my local Cake Decorator Shoppe (actual name of store- it doesn’t have a website so I can’t give Nancy the link she deserves), but they didn’t have any square candy molds, so I had to improvise.

I melted some chocolate and poured it onto a jelly roll pan lined with waxed paper and set it in the freezer.

2 minutes was too long for that and I had to put the sheet in the oven to re-melt it.

Next try: the fridge. 2 minutes was perfect.

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I used my small square cookie cutter to mark all the lines I needed, then I used a knife to cut them apart and smooth the edges.

Chocolate SquareThis gave me a nice little pile of cap tops.

I suppose I should have mentioned that before I did all this I froze my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and then unwrapped them and let them sit on the table so they would be room temperature at this point.

Freezing them before unwrapping helped the chocolate to stay where it belonged and not stick to the wrapper.

Applying melted chocolate

Using leftover (re-melted) chocolate, I applied some to the bottom of each “cup” and used it like glue to apply the tops to the caps.

Tower

Then I piled them into a tower because it looked cool.

I then used a brush to apply more chocolate to the top of the cap and applied a piece of sour candy for the tassel and a round candy sprinkle on top of that to finish them off. I think Bakerella put the sticks in her caps earlier than this, but I wanted to be able to apply a little more pressure to adhere the pieces together and didn’t want to push them off the stick.

Make a hole

I used a toothpick to prick a hole in the bottom center of the caps…

Insert stick

Then I dipped the stick into some melted chocolate and then pushed it into the hole I had made in my caps.

I wanted a pretty display to put these on for Liz’ graduation party, so I wrapped a piece of Styrofoam with some orange tissue paper.

Display

I placed the sticks in the Styrofoam as decoratively as I could and, voila! 

It was simply marvelous!

Now, the steps in this process were all fairly easy, and I enjoyed it- but it took a lot longer than I expected, so don’t expect to whip these out in an hour or two- they take a little while to make.

Thanks for giving me an excuse to throw a party Liz!

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Dog-Eared

The thing about having parents who don’t look the same is that they give certain traits to their children.

I got my Dad’s thick hair, for example, and not  Mom’s fine wispy hair.

Well, when your mom is an Australian Shepherd, and your dad is a Lab, what way do your ears go, do they flop over, or stick straight up?

Remus wants to know…

why not both?

Remus' Ears

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Steve

He is just the happiest person I know, that’s all there is to it.

Anyhow, my adoration aside… Steve and I had a GREAT day yesterday!

I took some time off this week because the Drs. Teerink have gone on vacation and I go a little nuts when I’m at work and the Drs aren’t.  We decided to drive up to Ellensburg with our free time and make a day of it.

Steve made an appointment with the Russian teacher, Professor Georgeoliani. She seems great, and she suggested to Steve that he take both Russian years 2 & 3 concurrently. Whoa! This could drastically speed up the school process, I’m hyped!  We also met with the Financial Aid department, and spoke with an Academic Adviser.  I think we really needed that to encourage our enthusiasm. Did I already use the word hyped?

We also took the opportunity to look at some places to live and to put in some job applications. Guess what??

Steve got offered 2 jobs!

Also…

We think we found the place we want to live… and it costs about $150 less than we were thinking we would have to spend!!!

Did I mention it was a good day?

Did I already use the word hyped?

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