Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
- Whip the cream with a tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form. You're done with this for a bit but keep it away from heat.
- In a larger bowl, beat together the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Switch the mixer to low and then scoop the mascarpone cheese in a little bit at a time until fully combined.
- Take 1/4 of the whipped cream and mix it into the cheese. Then fold in the remaining amount of cream, careful to not over beat it, along with the vanilla.
- Spread 1/2 cup of this mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together hot water and cocoa powder.
- Dip ladyfingers in this mixture but don't let them soak! Carefully place in the bottom of the dish in a single layer.
- Scoop half the cheese mixture over the top and gently spread over the cookies. Sprinkle half the grated chocolate evenly on top.
- Now, repeat the last two steps!
- Cover and pop into your fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
- The only ladyfingers I could find were in the bakery and were almost like an angel food cake. These would completely fall apart if soaked in the hot chocolate mixture. So don't be concerned if there's a lot of that chocolate leftover.
- Some recipes call for cream cheese. I prefer mascarpone. You can usually find it in the deli section of your local supermarket.
- I used dark chocolate because I like it and it has a stronger taste. Use whatever you'd prefer.
- This would look pretty in a trifle dish!
Monday, April 25, 2011
This old FHE post is a long-time favorite on my blog and a constant source of web search results. Enjoy!
I realized I haven't done a Family Home Evening post in quite some time! It's not that we haven't been having them; we have. They've mostly been repeats or fairly informal, nothing that would make for an interesting post if you aren't as obsessed with my kids as I am. So I've decided to share one of our favorite activities: Don't Eat Pete!
Before moving to Utah, I'd never heard of the game. Here, everyoneknows how to play. And really, it's pretty simple. First, you start with a game board:
Obviously, I made mine. A sheet of white paper and my daughter's markers. The big thing is that each face is different. If you'd like a little more detail or different expressions, by all means, do your own! I probably should laminate it one of these days, as little fingers tend to smudge and leave prints. I've had to remake the board a few times.
Next, you need a small treat. Typically, we use M&Ms or chocolate chips. You could use anything that your kids like (obviously, mine like chocolate...): Skittles, Smarties, grapes, another variety of M&Ms, Reese's, olives, kumquats...whatever. You don't want it too messy or your board gets ruined, so no chili beans.
Now, you pick who goes first. This is usually the hard part in our family. I try to make it a reward. "The Boy sat still all through FHE, so he can go first," "Da Boo made her bed without me asking her to so she goes first," "Daddy came home before dinner today, so he gets the first turn," or "Mommy went all afternoon without crying, so I go first!" Whoever goes first, leaves the room. When they're gone, the remaining family members pick which face will be "Pete."
Set up the game by placing a small treat on each face, remembering which one is Pete. Yell as loud as you can for the other person to come back in the room. Make sure you yell several times, just in case they didn't hear, even though they are already sitting back down.
Now, the game begins! The Chosen Person chooses a face. While reaching for the candy on that face, glance nervously around at the family, looking for any indication that you are indeed, going to eat Pete. If no one says anything, the Chosen Person gets to eat that candy and then repeat the process by selecting another face. If, in fact, the Chosen Person is reaching for the pre-determined Pete, then the rest of the family must scream "DON'T EAT PETE!" as loud as humanly possible, causing he/she to drop "Pete" and clutch at their ears in agony. All involved collapse into giggles until normal hearing resumes.
Another person is then Chosen and the game resets.
A couple tips:
- You don't eat Pete. Just like the name says and everything. Clever, eh?
- If the Chosen does select Pete first, we usually let them have that one so they don't feel cheated and start crying, run from the room and loudly declare that they hate Pete.
- You'll notice that my board has only nine potential Petes. The first board I made had 12. The Boy had the uncanny ability to work his way through the board without touching Pete until the very end. Makes for a long round, especially when you haven't had your turn yet and there's only one package of M&Ms.
- I've seen/heard of the game played with turkeys, elves, hearts, etc., to fit the season.
- WARNING: Your kids - especially the younger ones - will love this game. They will ask to play it frequently, not just on Monday nights. In fact, you might want to hide the game board rather well and pretend it doesn't exist or you'll get requests to play at the strangest times: during breakfast, when they are supposed to be napping, while they (or you) are on the potty.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
- A. Age: 29.95 plus shipping and handling. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
- B. Bed size: Queen. Although we could probably get away with having a Twin since the Man insists on sleeping on my side of the bed.
- C. Chore you hate: It's a tie between mopping the floor and cleaning the shower. Both are semi-painful due to my Bionic-ness.
- D. Dogs: Wish I had one! The Man says we have to wait until Baby is potty-trained...something about only one thing pooping on the floor at a time. But I've always loved dogs, especially really big ones.
- E. Essential start to your day: Hugs. I have a much better mind-set when I've given everyone a hug and told them how much I love them. Keeps my priorities straight.
- F. Favorite color: A nice deep blue. Not navy and not electric.
- G. Gold or silver: Silver. Definitely.
- H. Height: 5 feet 3 inches. Yeah, I'm short. Dynamite comes in small packages.
- I. Instruments you play: Does the radio count? One of these days, I really ought to take piano lessons with my kids.
- J. Job title: Domestic Goddess. Seriously, you try doing this job without the aid of supernatural powers.
- K. Kids: Three. Boo, Boy and Baby. And we're done.
- L. Live: In Utah. Never thought I'd be here longer than it took to finish college. I graduated 11 years ago. Must be my addiction to fry sauce that keeps me here.
- M. Mom’s name: Mom? Not really sure what I'm supposed to put here...Seems like my name is less frequently "Mom" and more like "Mooooooooooooooom!"
- N. Nicknames: Jessica G., Jess, Jessie (but you're not allowed to call me that unless we are blood relatives), and Jessica-messica. That last one is from my mom. It's not entirely unfounded.
- O. Overnight hospital stays: For the past 12 years, the only time I've been in a hospital overnight was when I had a baby. Now, before that, it gets a little more interesting, being Bionic and all.
- P. Pet peeve: When people say they could care less. When I try to correct them, they say it's perfectly acceptable both ways. No. No, it's not. Then there would be no reason to say it at all! Find yourself a new catch phrase, my misguided friend.
- Q. Quote from a movie: "Mmmmm...chicken, good!" - Leelu, The Fifth Element. I say this anytime I am dealing with chicken. My kids think I'm nuts.
- R. Right or left handed: Right.
- S. Siblings: Four brothers and two sisters.
- T. Time you wake up: I get up in time to make sure Boo isn't going to school in the same outfit she wore yesterday and that she gets out the door in time to make the school bus. I've been known to go back to bed if Baby isn't awake yet. I am so not a morning person.
- U. Underwear: Umm, yes?
- V. Vegetables you dislike: All of them! Well, that's not true...I really like that purple cabbage and carrots and corn, although someone told me once that corn isn't actually a vegetable. Never cared enough to check their facts, though.
- W. What makes you run late: My laptop. It sucks me in and traps me there until I've checked my email, looked at Facebook, and maybe read a news article or two. It's that and my horrible sense of timing.
- X. X-Rays you’ve had: Lots on my shoulder. Wanna see 'em? Come on over! Bring the popcorn.
- Y. Yummy food you make: Believe it or not, but I can't really cook. At least, not beyond the basics. Now, ask me if I can bake and I will totally school you.
- Z. Zoo- favorite animal: Beluga whales. Not your typical zoo animal. I love those gorgeous, graceful, odd-looking creatures!
Monday, April 18, 2011
- 1 cup pecan halves (not pieces)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (but keep the bottle handy)
- 3 eggs whites
- 1 cup sugar
- Plastic baggie
- Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
- Mixing bowl
- Tape (I use masking tape because it's easiest to remove)
- Place the nuts in the plastic baggie, making sure to seal it tight. Either read or have the kids read John 19:1-3. Using the rolling pin or meat tenderizer, have them hit the nuts to break them into pieces to illustrate how Jesus was beaten by the soldiers. Set the nuts aside.
- Let the kids smell the vinegar in the bottle. Does that smell like it would taste good? As you pour one teaspoon into a large mixing bowl, have someone read John 19:28-29. When Jesus was thirsty, the soldiers gave him vinegar instead of water to drink.
- Eggs represent life. Add the egg whites as someone reads John 10:10-11. Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. Crucifixion might need to be explained in terms your kids can understand
- Give each person a sprinkle of salt in their hand and let them taste it. Shake a little into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. This salt represents the salty tears of Jesus' friends and followers and also the tears we cry over our own sins. Explain that a lament is a great sadness and crying.
- Take a look at the ingredients in the bowl (vinegar, eggs, salt). It's not a very tasty combination, is it? Now let everyone have a taste of the sugar. Read John 3:16 and Psalm 34:8. Pour the cup of sugar into the bowl. There's a lot more sugar/love in there than any bitterness. Explain that this very sad thing happened because of love for us, from Heavenly Father and Christ.
- Using the mixer, start beating on high speed. Point out that the mixture is white, the color of purity. Read Isaiah 1:18. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are able to be cleansed of our sins. (This is the part where things can get derailed...it takes about 15 minutes to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and your kids are going to get bored. Talk about Jesus but once their attention is gone, send them to go get ready for bed or have a coloring page for them while you work.)
- Once you've got the stiff peaks, fold in the nuts. Scoop up some and drop it on the prepared pan. Read Matthew 27:57-60. These mounds represent the rocky tomb where Christ's body was laid to rest.
- Place the cookies in the oven. Turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66. Let every have a piece of tape to help seal the tomb. Christ's tomb was sealed and guards were set outside it.
- But where are the cookies? You might get some sad faces; after all, there was talk of treats. Read John 16:20, 22. Christ's followers despaired when he died on the cross but he had told them there would be reason to be joyful soon enough. You might need to have a back-up treat handy...I usually just let my kids lick the beaters. Be sure to close with a prayer if this is your FHE.
- This is the end for tonight! The cookies remain in the sealed oven overnight.
- The next morning, gather everyone at the "sealed tomb." Show them that the tape is still in place. Remove it and them pull out the cookie sheet. Have the cookies changed? Give one to each child and then read Matthew 28:1-9 as they eat the cookies. Just like the rocky tomb, the cookies are hollow and empty. His disciples were just as amazed to find that the tomb was empty. Jesus was no longer there because he had been resurrected.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
- Ivory Body Wash Simply Lavender - It's a hard-to-find scent so she gets hers online. Wow, and she let me have a bottle!
- Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn - I was totally addicted to this stuff in college! I kept telling myself it was "healthy" and therefore perfectly acceptable to eat the entire bag while
watching tvdiligently studying.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - This is a great book! I have to be honest here and admit that I might just prefer this series to the Twilight Saga. Please don't throw ribbons, chess pieces, or apples at me...
- Mamma Mia - Would you think less of me if I told you that I've watched this movie so many times that the Boy can sing it along with me?
- NaturalIce lip balm - this is the second time I've gotten this product in a "Favorite Things" swap. Are you people trying to tell me something?
- iTunes gift card - Woot! Needed this. I just burned through my last one downloading food-themed songs. Because I'm a dork and that's what we dorks do.
- Cadbury Creme Eggs - I have loved these little boogers since they were first released! Have you tried the new Caramel and Orange Creme ones? Yummy yummy!
- Almond Snickers - Baby instinctively knew this package was the one she sought and proceeded to rip off the tissue piece by tiny piece as I uncovered all the other goodies. Hey, a girl has to be patient when she knows the pay-off is worth it.
Friday, April 1, 2011
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