Sugar and Ginger and Frosting, oh my!

Life has been sweet around here 😀

My friend Jen got me this adorable plate:

And then we proceeded to make a complete mockery of all the Christmas cookies on Pinterest. I shouldn’t have had such high expectations.

I discovered that the minimalist approach was best for me:

Steve, of course, rocked his detail work.

Jen and I needed to run some errands, so I ended up resorting to the good-old “frost and sprinkle dump” method:

What can I say, it serves me well.

My little one wanted to make gingerbread man cookies, so off we were on the next adventure. He, too, has embraced the minimalist approach, because he made this one and left, leaving his brother and I with tubs of frosting, sprinkles, and assorted goodies:

My oldest took the opposite view with a Ginger Zombie Apocalypse theme:

I chose to create a homage to my beloved Niners and their current quarterback:

And we all ate too much frosting.

The end.

Cookie monsters

Last Friday my dear friend J and her kids came over for an evening of sugar-filled cookie decorating. My husband, my boys and I had such a great time that we decided this should be a monthly event ;D

J brought her delicious sugar cookie dough and royal icing – nom nom nom!

and we turned it into these:

by “we” I mean she, while I took pictures.

I had a gingerbread cookie kit so I made those:

Tough to believe from this picture, but my youngest has a “more is more” approach to decorating:

He was still being somewhat restrained here:

But then all limitations went out the window 😀

See what I mean?

Yes, there IS a cookie under there . . . somewhere!

I did love his heart-filled Christmas tree:

My husband and oldest boy went the more “precise” route ;D

There was also impressive modern artwork from one of our small friends:

And much merriment as tray after tray of yummy cookies came out of the oven. It was a wonderful, fun-filled, sugar-laden evening, and so much fun watching my boys having such a good time. Thanks for coming over, J and the E-team!!!

Superhero birthday party – Cakes

My mother-in-law has always baked birthday cakes for the boys — as I mentioned last week, it’s only been in recent years that my husband started to decorate them. This year he chose a simple design for our superhero-obsessed boy: Captain America’s shield.

This cake was huge — how huge was it? The platform it’s sitting on is a table topper, which my mother-in-law wrapped in starry paper to match the cake’s theme.

It was also delicious. My boy loves vanilla, so she obliged with a yummy, moist vanilla cake, vanilla pudding filling, and vanilla buttercream frosting. So good! Here is the moment it was brought out:

Time to blow out the candles!

The surprise was, there was a second cake — you can see it on the left there. It is an arc-reactor cake that, thanks to our friend S, could light up.

Aidan tries to blow out the arc reactor 😀

Since the larger cake fed everyone at the party, I decided to bring the arc-reactor cake to Aidan’s school on Monday. His classmates loved that it lit up and had many nice things to say about the yummy cake. I saved the last piece for my boy to have after dinner. Thank you for the yummy cakes, Gran!

Our 2011 Thanksgiving

Our thanksgiving lunch went beautifully; Steve and I planned, made lists, set up a schedule, and with some help from our family, we had a great time.  I printed the menu and set it up in the dining room:

My father-in-law showed up early — he was in charge of the turkey — and also helped out with the rest of the cooking. He and my oldest had a blast peeling potatoes:

Soon my boy was a potato peeling expert!

I had told my husband that I’d seen (can’t remember where!) an idea to use a wreath as a centerpiece and he came up with this:

Isn’t that cool?

Soon the rest of the family showed up and we started doing the oven-revolving-door dance. Dishes would go in, in twos and threes, and something yummy would come out. Soon our dining room table looked like this:

This was about half of the food we made. The wine took up one of the hutches ;D and the desserts people brought took up another.

Here is some of my wonderful family.

The little cups hold the butternut squash bisque, which was DELICIOUS – Steve made it from scratch and I am so happy there is some left over, because I’m having some of it for lunch!

One of my favorite moments was when we all shared what we were grateful for and my oldest said he was grateful for “the colors of autumn”, I thought that was so unusual and sweet.

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, and if you don’t celebrate it, then I hope today is a great Friday and I wish a wonderful weekend for everyone! I’m going to leave you with the menu we had for our Thanksgiving Lunch.

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Obsessed with pancakes

When I was little, growing up in Lima, a favorite destination for a weekend treat was Palachinke, a pancake place that served huge, thin pancakes. I always asked for banana pancakes and was never able to finish.

Flash forward to last week, when Mom was staying with me and we headed up to IKEA – we had breakfast there and I enjoyed their thin pancakes:
I learned from a quick Google search that “palacinke” (as well as various derivations of the word) is the Eastern European name for these crepes.

As you can imagine, I am determined to make these at home because going to IKEA for breakfast every day is just not feasible. Tempting, but not feasible. I did get a jar of lingonberry jam because it was so delicious!