Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sweet Ellie Belle Cookies!

I'm on a cookie making roll!

I've started a Facebook page for my cookies.

Friday, December 20, 2013

New obsession!

I love cookies. I've loved cookies my whole life.  My parents will attest that cookie wad my first two syllable word. No joke!

I also love art. I draw everyday. I doodle when I talk on the phone, colour with Jakob very often, and always have a sketchbook in progress.

When I was making those snowflake cookies, I started wondering what else you could do to decorate cookies.

Holy moly! The internet has 846395827165 ideas!! I spent a couple hours, late into the night, researching royal icing, and cookie decorating.

Today, I bought a few supplies and cranked these out!!

I LOVE them!

Do you?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas

I've just finished my holiday baking. I intended to make a few more batches, but we really don't need them, and I made the perfect amount to thoroughly enjoy the entire process. 

This year, I relied completely on old recipes. I wanted to honour the recipes passed down from my grandmother,  and also found a couple old note cards of recipes I'd forgotten I had.

My mom joined me for a day of baking, and today I finished the rest.

We made:
- brown sugar shortbreads
- lemon cranberry bites
- amazing black currant window cookies (this year's favourite)
- Danish almond cookies
- dollar cookies
- the "best" sugar cookies.
Pretty, no?

I tracked my progress with the sugar cookies. They're a labour of love! Took me over three hours to frost 80 cookies.

The best sugar cookies recipe:  

2/3 cups butter , 3/4 c sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, one egg, 1tsp vanilla (or peppermint!), and 1tbsp milk. 2 cups flour.

Cream butter in mixer, add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add egg, vanilla, and milk. Mix til combined.

Beat in flour. If you have a stand mixer, I set mine to stir. It takes a little longer, but it all gets incorporated and I don't have to knead by hand.

Roll, cut out and bake at 375f for 7 min a batch until very lightly browned.

Add caption

Royal icing recipe:
-1 cup icing sugar
-1 egg white
-1/4 tbsp lemon juice
(For the blue I used one drop food colouring)
Beat in a mixer on low til combined, then beat on high til stiff peaks form.

Start by outlining, let dry for an hour or so.
(I have a really handy tool for outlining. It's a bottle that is folded like a spring. Hard to describe... I bought it at the kitchen store in town. It's fitted with a cap and adaptor for all the icing tips)
My frosting set-up. I rest my spoon on the spatula, and keep a toothpick handy on the handle of my bowl.

Drop a teaspoon worth of frosting on each cookie.

Use the toothpick to drag the frosting around the cookie, within the lines.

Once the background is dry, add detailing in another colour.
Ready for gifting. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December so far...

I’m so behind in writing, but miracles of miracles, I actually put together a REAL photo album of our first family trip with just the four of us!

We went to Disneyland for Jakob’s 5th birthday, and it was absolutely incredible. Jason and I had planned the trip a couple weeks ahead, and managed to keep it secret from Jakob until the morning of our departure. That was tough, I tell you! We were bursting at the seams to tell him, and as such, told Ellie repeatedly that we were going.

We sat him down on Saturday morning, and after we were finished our breakfast, we told him we had an early birthday gift for him to open. Placed in front of him was a small lunch bag, filled with Disney related things. He was so eager to look through everything! We asked him where he would take all these things, and at first he said something like School… We then gave him a card, that had a little Disneyland map in it, and a card that said “Enjoy your Adventure!”. He needed it spelled out, so we finally told him “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!! TODAY!!”. He couldn’t believe it, and when it finally sunk in, he said it was “awesome”, and worried if we’d packed the right things. It was hilarious, and I loved every second.

We had already packed everything, so all that was left was to head to the airport (Thanks, Grandma and Papa for the ride!)

The trip was amazing. We rented a GREAT stroller from City Stroller Rentals, and we were in the park from open to close four days straight. We went on almost every ride.

Post- Matterhorn! So brave!
Mickey's Swinging Fun Wheel
The only surprise of the trip was that Ellie is terrified of the characters. She wanted nothing to do with Tigger, Pooh, Minnie, Buzz, Jessie, or any of the Princesses. The only person she went up to voluntarily, and with an intense amount of enthusiasm, was Peter Pan. He is, I tell you, her true love!
On the fifth day, Jakob’s birthday, we went to the California Grand Adventure hotel, for a character buffet breakfast.
Jakob loved the Critters! Ellie was hiding under the table.
Five days flew like the wind, and it was time to come home, and back to reality (Thanks, Mom, for the ride home!)

We celebrated Jakob’s birthday that evening, and he declared he was soooooo happy. On the weekend, we had a little family gathering, where he got his requested "Blueberry cake, with gram cracker sand, and a Lego pirate Jack Sparrow". I was rushed, but it didn't turn out too badly!

December has been so busy. I can’t quite believe it’s already the 12th of December. Less than two weeks until Christmas! But, we’re ready.

Ellie had her winter check-up with respirology, and there is no change to anything. Keeping the status quo, which keeps us (and obviously our nurses) happy! One day, I’m sure it will be nice to have Ellie off that bipap machine, but for now it is our normal. She’s 32.5” tall, and 25lbs! SHE’S HUGE! But, of course, she’s not actually huge. She’s solidly at the 0.4-7%ile for height. Getting there, centimeter by centimeter J

We had our first snowfall of the season the other day. Ellie has never experienced the snow before, she’s either been too small,  or too sick, so this time we wanted very much for her to be able to feel the snow. Since she gets cold so quickly (darn temperature regulation issues!), I wasn’t keen on having her outside. I scooped up a bowl of snow from the yard, lay a towel by the fire, and let her play. She loved it!

Another first, Ellie got to play in sand! This past week, the temperatures went to below -15C with windchill. For Vancouver, that’s completely unheard of! On the coldest day, we were invited to an indoor beach party! The building was warm, and the kids stripped down to barefeet, shorts and tshirts. Ellie was hesistant at first, but with a little peer pressure from her friends, she was soon running and digging, and having a blast! She didn’t want to leave!
So happy!

Phew, I think that has us mostly caught up. I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season!