Saturday, October 13, 2007

Good Times

B's birthday was a success. The vodka sauce turned out great, but it took me almost 3 hours to make it and it was only supposed to take a little over 1. I was being really careful not to burn that heavy cream when I reduced it. Turns out, I could have left it alone a little more. J just loved watching the candles burn on the ice cream cupcakes. There were only two candles because I had a heck of a time getting them through the frozen whipped cream. Check out this shot of the two of them. They aren't related or anything, are they?

I also had a hankering for fall the other day and made some pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies with cream cheese frosting. Actually the recipe is in a Christmas cookie book, but they looked too good to wait until then to make. This recipe was interesting. It said it would make 6 dozen cookies, which is usually your standard chip cookie product. I ended up with over 9 dozen. And I lost about 2 dozen due to accidental burnage on the first trays (still getting used to the double oven). I was also using evaporated cane sugar. Anyone baked with that before? It seems to burn a little more than refined sugar. I had little spoltches of cooked sugar (not quite burned) on the bottom of many of the cookies. Anyway, they tasted like little bits of pumpkin heaven. I would recommend halving the recipe. Oh and make your own cream cheese frosting instead of the icky store bought stuff. I'll try to post this sometime later.

A funny thing happened with these cookies. I was trying to frost them while they were still warm. I remember turning off the oven for the last tray. I thought I frosted everything and began to clean up, got distracted by finished laundry, and went to bed. I went to use the top oven two days later and what did I find? A cooked batch of cookies that I left behind. Oops. The neat thing was that they hardened into a really good biscuit-like cookie. The originals are better, but it was neat that although I forgot about them, they were still pretty tasty.

We took a scenic drive yesterday to Marble Falls to visit Sweetberry Farms. They were having a fall festival with plenty of pumpkins, hay and pony rides, pumpkin ice cream and goats. Poor J wanted to get in the pen with the goats since that's what he's allowed to do when he visits Nummi's farm in California. He also called every goat he saw Suzi, after Nummi's goat who is no longer with us. Unfortunately J doesn't know that, so every goat is Suzi. I think we need a Suzy 2 at the farm in CA. J had a great time banging on pumpkins, riding on the kiddie sized tractor, checking out the old fashioned trucks filled with pumpkins, running around with other little ones, and tasting some of that pumpkin ice cream. In fact, there was so much excitement that not only did he sleep in the car, but he also slept for another two hours when we got home.

After naptime we headed over to the Hairy Man Festival at one of the parks in the neighborhood. The legend of the Hairy Man is pretty lame, something about a baby left in the woods, grows up all hairy and tries to keep the western settlers from taking the land by the creek. Today the festival collects canned food for local food banks and raises funds for the children's homes in the area. There was live music, ponies, jumping castles, crafts, a train, and plenty of food. And yes, there is a hairiest man contest. If I'd known about that, I would have made B enter, but there's always next year. We were actually pleasantly surprised by how nice the festival was, as we'd been told it wasn't so great. J loved riding the train. I think we did that about 5 times. He tried going in a jumping castle, but slid right out. I think he was just so tired from everything else he did.

Today we just spent most of the day outside. There was a wonderful breeze and it was so comfortable outside. We did some yardwork, played at the park, went for a wagon ride and took a long nap. Not a bad way to end the weekend!


Sarah said...

Sounds like a great weekend! The pictures you sent were great. I can't believe J is so big and fun and chatty and I still haven't met him!

Pam said...

I'm new at this, but wanted to let you know I enjoy reading about all your activities etc. I didn't get the pictures first time around but found them by accident.