Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Video of the Boys

Ok, before I post this, please note that I have no idea why I filmed this sideways! I wasn't thinking. But I want to post it anyway - they look so darn cute. And I am so proud of Aiden and his walking - he runs like a champ around the house and like he has been doing it forever instead of just for the past few weeks!
Hope you like it!

video

The music in the background is Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" - a new fav of mine, and my ring tone for when Jason calls me. Awwww - how sweet.

Love Big, Bake Often

Tania

TWD - Grandma's Sugar Cookies

Ok, out of the December TWD list I chose the easiest! Sorry, but I am a sucker for new sugar cookie recipes. I can't believe I hadn't tried this one yet. So simple, and so super yummy. I did make one addition to the recipe. I omitted a tbsp or so of flour and added 3 tbsp of Starbucks Matcha Green Tea powder. No, they don't sell it, but I convinced a barista to sell me a package. She gave it to me for $4.00 - a deal if you ask me. I have made my own green tea frappachinos with it, lattes, etc. But hadn't baked with it yet. It is sweetened so it added a little more sweet to the cookies. I like the flavour it gives, and the colour too. I know my friend, J, is kinda cringing right now, not a matcha green tea fan. I promise I wont send these to you in CT. But I have another recipe in mind that I want to send you some . . . hint - creamy caramel.

Ok, back to the cookies. I like the texture, it's a great kinda chewy but not really. I find it hard to describe textures of food. Need to break out the thesaurus! I did dip them in sparkling sugar before baking them. I only had light pink in the house, but you really can't see the pink, just looks shiny and delicious. I know the colour of the cookies may be off putting to some, but I love it, so grassy and lovely.
Here are some pics.


Not the greatest shots - I mixed them up late afternoon and then baked them after dinner so my light was all gone. :(
Have a good night.
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Tuedays with Dorie.....

I am super sad that I haven't been able to participate in most of this month's recipes. Between moving, Korea, and Christmas I really felt like I just haven't had time to breathe. But I am hoping that will change. Today's recipe is Dorie's Tall and Creamy Cheesecake. Yum. And I would love to make it, but I just can't. It's just Jason and I here and there is no way that either one of us needs to eat half a cheesecake. I had made this decision several days ago. And now I am looking at other people's creations and they have halved and quartered their recipes and been very creative with their size variations. Why couldn't I think of that? Oh, I know, my brain is filled with worry about Jason's back.

So today I am going to backtrack and make one of the other December recipes that I missed out on. Will right more later and post my results and pics. But in the mean time check out the other awesome creations by the TWD bakers, and they are awesome!

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Homemade Granola Bars

It was SO good to get back into the kitchen and do some bakng. I ws excited about this recipe and hopeful that it would be someting that the boys would enjoy eating. They are napping right now, but I have a feeling they will be snacking on them the moment they wake up, Jakob thinks they look "Delicious, Mama!". Thank you to Abby Sweets for posting the recipe and also to Marie at Make and Takes for the recipe too! They were so easy to make, and so yummy smelling as they baked. I think I didn't bake them long enough as they are a little crumbly. I have to remember that the first time you make a recipe you should really bake it as is and then the next time make changes. I baked it in a 9x13 instead of the 8x8, and so I thought I could bake it for a little less time. Maybe that is what happened, I didn't bake them long enough. Thoughts?

In case you don't want to go elsewhere looking for the recipe, here it is....

Chewy Granola Bars Recipe:

2 1/2 c. Oats - quick rolled oats
1/2 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. coconut (I did not add this)
1/2 c. M&M minis (I used butterscotch and chocolate chips here)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan.

Pictures of the process!

I creamed the butter and sugar together and then added in the other dry ingredients...




Then I mixed it all together, then mixed in the "chips"




I had butterscotch and chocolate chips on hand so I mixed those together. YUM



Then I pressed it into the 9x13 pan. I pressed it down with the back of my scrapper.



The finished project, they look pretty good eh?



I am really looking forward to making these again and changing up the ingredients. But first I am going to make the recipe as it is before I play around with it. Smart thinking, eh?

Hope everyone is looking forward to the new year. I have a feeling it is full of potential.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Monday, December 29, 2008

previous post!

Ok, forgot to mention the baking part of that post!! I am also grumpy because I didn't get to bake today. I need to bake when I am stressed. Not necessarily eat what I bake, but just bake. It's a stress reliever for me. So I look forward to tomorrow morning (hopefully not at 4:30) when I can bake again. I want to make some homemade granola bars for Jakob and Jason. I found the recipe here on Abby Sweets, who found it here. They look yummy. And so simple and cost effective, need to run the numbers. And also I really like that I am in control of what is in them. Makes me feel better - less processed stuff.
So by this time tomorrow I should be in a better mood, and there should be some goodies in the kitchen that I can feel good about the family eating!

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Stress and Baking

I am a grump today. I was woken up extremely early by Aiden this morning (4:30 early!) and then the day began. So there I was up early with a cranky and hungry little man dying for some coffee but he wasn't having any of it, he wanted to cuddle on the couch and he eventually crashed on my shoulder for almost and hour. Jake was up at 7, looking for Daddy.
Daddy was at the Dr. getting checked out. Turns out they think he has either a bulging disk or a ruptured disk - is there a difference? He is on home arrest for 48 hours, then restricted duties for 2 weeks, then an MRI booked for the 16th, then who knows what. He is in alot of pain still, but that should end soon - they sent him home with a pharmacy of drugs. Prednisone, Oxycoton, valium, and a couple others. It's crazy. They told him not to drive while on the heavy stuff because if he got pulled over they could charge him with a DUI. How crazy is that? He is going to be a zombie. So I am kind of a single mom - all the "hard" labour is on me, he can't help with baths, or clothing changes, or bottles, or picking up when crying, or out of the crib, nothing. Thank goodness Jakob is pretty self sufficient!
So wish us luck. I hope that he doesn't need surgery. But I have a bad feeling about it. hmmmmm . . . . where did the optimist in me go? Probably to bed!! zzzzzz. . . . .

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

bulging disk

ARG!!! Jason just called from the Dr.'s. They think it might be another bulging disk!! Which would more than likely mean more surgery! Yuck and stuff. He is on his way to the hospital to schedule an MRI. So I guess I get to play Florence Nightingale for awhile. And now I am going to go and try not to stress about more surgery and all that can go wrong. :(

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Sunday, December 28, 2008

measurements

Baking Question...

When you bake, do you measure your ingredients by weight, or use measuring cups?

I have been finding more and more recipes that use weight for their ingredients, but have never used one of them.

Think it is time to get a scale..... like this one.

Any tips or advice would be great.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Backache!

Jason is in quite a bit of pain. He has put out his back. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but for him I think it is a big deal. You see, a few years ago he had back surgery for a disk issue. And he is now saying that the pain he is having is reminiscient of that old pain. He is heading to the Dr. in the morning. So wish him luck. For now the pain relievers that we picked up at Target are not quite taking the edge off, but hopefully tomorrow the Dr. can give him something stronger.

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in GA

Jakob was adorable. He thought that since there wasn't any snow that Santa wouldn't be coming for Christmas. It took some convincing that there are lots of places in the world that don't have snow for Christmas and that are alot hotter than the weather we were having. Though I have to admit, 72 degrees on Christmas was so weird for me. Being a Canadian girl, we usually always have a white holiday. And my friends (who I miss dearly) were having a white one in CT. Jakob was very happy to see that Santa had made his way to our house. It was another year for the boys, boy did they get spoiled. Even though I thought I was being more conscious this year to not have SO much for them, and to make the gifts more memorable to them, the room was soon filled with toys and clothes and things that beep and sing. It was crazy.
I also spent most of my day in the kitchen. Even though I was extremely tired and just at the end of my jet lag, I was determined to cook a fantastic dinner. I tried to do everything from scratch. The only thing that wasn't, by accident, was the stuffing. I bought a package of Peppridge Farms cornbread stuffing!!! It was terrible. But what can you do? I just plain forgot. But I did make my own yeast dough, and made my own monkey bread with it. Then made another batch of dough and made baguettes to go with the baked brie I was making for lunch!! It was great. A day in the kitchen, while being able to watch my family play together, in my new house. I just wish we weren't so far from friends - only downfall to the holiday.
I had brined the turkey the day before, for the first time, and boy did it ever make for a yummy turkey. So tasty, and moist. YUM!! The meal was a hit, and I took some time to relax while Jason and his Mom cleaned up in the kitchen. My favourite part of cooking, next to having people enjoy my cooking and baking.

It was a great day. Filled with giggles and joy, good food, even better company, and the boys and I under one roof. It was great. No complaints.

Hope you all had a happy holiday spent with loved ones! Looking forward to the new year. Stay tuned - the Christmas Baking List to follow....soon.

Love big, Bake often
Tania

A week in Korea

Korea.... another world away. It was a whirlwind week. But lets start at the beginning.
Ask anyone who I talked to before this trip and they will tell you that I dreaded the 15 1/2 hour flight with a toddler. I was concerned that he would lose it a few hours into the trip, feel trapped, want to run around, etc, etc. And it was the total opposite - he was a doll. Jakob did great. He was patient and understanding of the constraints. The only thing I would have changed was his eating, he really wasn't interested in food. He wanted to snack alot, but had no interest in the food offered to him. And that was ok. He played his game, he watched movies and shows, we took walks up and down the aisles for a bit, and he finally slept for a short while. He was a great traveller. He was able to pull his little roller suitcase through the airports, he stayed close and held hands when necessary, and he guided me to where we needed to go. He slept on the bus from Incheon Airport to the hotel, but was a live wire when we got off the bus. Tim was there to meet us with his fiance, Nicole. I finally met my future sister in law, just a mere 4 days before they were to be married. Strange, I know. But what are you going to do when they live on the other side of the planet? Nicole is great. She's kind, gentle, beautiful, quiet, and funny. Her English was better than I expected (from what Tim told me), and communicating with her was easy. So we hung out for a while, had some dinner, and then settled into the hotel for the night. Mom arrived later, we each had a room with two single beds, and a door connecting us. It was convenient for us to have rooms like this, that's for sure.
The next few days were spent getting adjusted to the time change, the korean ways, and definitely the food. I am sad to say that I think my skinny mini of a boy lost a pound or two. He was so not into food on this trip - he would snack like a fiend, but when it came time to sit down for a meal, he was uninterested. And I got some flack for it. But I did what I believed was best for my boy. He was happy (most of the time!), healthy (mostly), and enjoyed himself (again, most of the time). He is making up for it now, eating regular meals, snacking appropriately, and drinking water and milk - he didn't drink milk in Korea, it totally tastes different. So I think soon he will have put the weight back on that he lost in Korea and I can let out his pants a little since I had to cinch them in over there.
Lets get to the wedding. It was a very interesting day. The wedding was a traditional white dress ceremony. Nicole looked beautiful. I think the Koreans do it right - they rent their dresses. What a clever idea - save a fortune!
Here is a pic of the happy couple getting married. Shoot - can't find my memory stick. Will upload some as soon as I can find it.

Jakob looked adorable. He was the ring bearer. He did a great job - and made me proud.
Here is a pic of him (I downloaded this directly to my computer - not on the stick!)

Cute eh?
Then there was a brief stop at the buffet, and then off to the traditional tea ceremony. I was unaware that I was expected to participate, and was a little nervous that I was put on the spot to speak at the ceremony. But I managed to say a little something, and hope that I didn't sound too lame. I wanted to say something profound to Nicole and Tim, in welcoming her into our family. Here is a pic of the couple in their traditional garb - again, saved on the computer, not the memory stick. Arg.


The rest of our days were spent checking out some of the old places I loved when I was living there, we went shopping in Itaewon- the area for shopping for foreigners, we visited Tims new apartment, toodled around Insa-Dong - the area for artists and their wares (J, you would have spent hours and hours there), went to a Palace, and just hung out together.
It was great to be there with family, my Mother, Aunt and Uncle, and my cousin and his wife were able to make it over too. The trip to the Palace was really cool. Jakob loved it. It was like he was a celebrity - the Korean kids loved him. I guess it was field trip day because the place was packed! They swarmed him like bees to honey. They chased him around and practised their very limited English on him. At first it was a little overwhelming for him, and ME! Bu then he got into it and was upset when we had to leave, saying he didn't want to leave his "girls". What a flirt!

Ok, enough Korea for now. I am sure there will be future posts of bits and pieces that I remember as the days pass. But let me end this by telling you about the flight home. It was great, another easy flight with Jake. It was 13 1/2 hours long and he slept 7 of them! And the others he amused himself with his game, movies, etc. He was a little out of it getting off the flight, and then there was the little girl that insisted on hitting him over and over again waiting in line at customs (her mother was useless at preventing it, or disciplining her), and then the three security checks we had to go through in Atlanta, before getting to the gate to see Daddy! But he was a trooper.
I have to say that I am really really happy that I was able to make this trip with Jakob. It is something I hope we both remember for the rest of our lives. A Mama can hope, right?
Congratulations Tim and Nicole! May your life together be filled with love, comfort and understanding. Thanks for the memory.
Love big, Bake often
Tania

I'm Baaaack!!!

Whew. It's good to be back. Now hold on tight for several catch up blogs to get us up to date and then get ready to start a new year of life with two (well, three) reall amazing boys and my mixer and oven! Bring it on.

Love big, Bake often.
Tania

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Random Picture


I was looking at some old (this summer) pictures and came across this one. LOVE IT....


Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Unable to Bake

Hi there,

I have been noticing that I have had some visitors from some site that are probably looking for my baked goods since I am suppose to be participating in several different baking groups. Unfortunately I haven't been able to do any baking for a couple of weeks now, AND IT IS KILLING ME!!!! I miss the smell of sugar being creamed into butter, I miss the feel of dough in my hands, I miss the sound of greasing baking pans, the feels of the rolling pin in my hands, the smell of things baking, and most importantly the sound of Jakob saying "whatcha baking, Mama?" I cannot wait to get back into the kitchen. It looks like we will be able to get in tomorrow and our household goods should be there tomorrow too (they called with a cancellation and we got bumped up!!!)!!! So you know I will be baking on Thursday... oh what to bake??? Should probably bake some goodies for Jason, Aiden and his Nana for while we are gone to Korea.
Gotta go, shopping list to prepare!
Pictures of house and baked goods to follow.

Hope those groups I belong to will forgive me!!! Promise to get all caught up in January!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Calmed Down.... a bit

Ok, so I have gotten over the whole rude woman at the restaurant drama. Lets just leave it as she has no clue what one year olds are like!

On to the good news. I have joined a Mom's group here that looks very active and very friendly. I am looking forward to participating in playgroups and coffee meetups, etc. I really need to make some good friends here, and these ladies seem quite nice. And they are very active. There are at least a couple of get togethers each week. Wish me luck!!!

We are still stuck in a hotel. Our landlords have not vacated yet, they had some delay with the husband's clearing papers. But we should make it in there tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
Which then gives me 36 hours to do laundry, pack our bags and head to Atlanta to catch the airplane to Korea for a week. Geez my brother really couldn't have picked a worse time to decide to get married. I am really bummed about missing Aiden's first birthday. Have to get over that - nothing I can do about it. So glad that my friends in CT threw him a birthday party before we left -Thanks again Beth for organizing that! Love ya!

Ok - time to run around finding our way around again.

More later,
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thoughts on the South

Well... my predisposed thoughts on Southern Hospitality were completely shattered last night. I had been told by many, and seen in movies, that the people in the south were nice, polite and more accommodating. How wrong that seemed last night at dinner. Now let me lay it out for you. My boys have not been on their best behaviour lately. After several days in cars, being taken away from all that they have known, and many fast food meals, they (and I) are at our wits end. So there have been temper tantrums, whine fests, and as I have told some of you Aiden has found his lungs and likes to let out the occasional scream. So last night we were out for dinner, Jason and I were super excited out this restaurant because we haven't been to one since CO. Carrabas is a fantastic restaurant. It's kind of like Olive Garden but more adventurous and much more delicious. So we had gotten our table fairly quickly, the kids weren't in hunger melt down yet, and I was feeding Aiden some baby food and trying to eat my salad at the same time. Jake was doing great - he was munching on some delicious bread. So Aiden had let out maybe two short screeches at this point. I apologized to a table of young girls next to us as it seemed that they were the only ones who noticed. But then this table of two women my age started to get up and pick up their plates and drinks. I was shocked, I said something like "really?" to Jason. Just then one of the women came over to tell us that they were changing tables because of, and I quote, "that rude little thing", gesturing at Aiden. I was floored, and a little speechless. I, of course, said EXCUSE ME?, and she continued to say how we should learn how to discipline our children. Jason and I both yelled at her that he was only one, and what would she like us to do? Unfortunately she continued to walk away from us. And now as I sit and type this I can think of so many things I would love to have said to this woman, whose dinner companion, by the way, had nothing to say and looked a little shocked. I spent most of last night dreaming of conversations that I wish I had had with her, fights that I wish I had gotten into with her. And now I can only hope that our paths cross again so that I can give her what for. I was fuckin' fuming. And I don't like to swear here (in person I swear like a sailor some times), but online I usually like to keep it clean. Well this woman pushed me to the edge folks. We tried to continue to have a nice meal. The food was fantastic, I wish I could make a Veal Piccata like that. And the calorie laden fettuccine alfredo that came with it was super yummy. But as I was eating I couldn't help but envision myself walking up to her and smacking her upside her ignorant head. You have to know that this woman certainly couldn't have children or if she did you know that she probably beats the crap out of them and they are just plain afraid of her. Not my style of parenting.
But right now my battery is dying. More on this and about our first few days here and the drama of moving to follow.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbyes

Yuck. So I had to say goodbye to two of my best friends. And you know who you are. It was so difficult. I cried all the way home tonight. Just having to say goodbye and leave is so freakin' hard. I was able to hold it together for the most part. But saying goodbye to those four little people just broke my heart. I know that when I am up here again in March they are going to have grown so much and be such new people, so much more grown up. And my two will have changed so much too.
So tonight I type with sadness. And want these wonderful friends to know that I love them dearly and will miss them everyday. But be prepared, there will be many emails, blogs, and phone calls. You can't get rid of me that easy. These are friendships I hope to nurture for decades to come.
Love you all!
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Getting Ready for the Move.

Well, this week has been a whirlwind of getting ready, packing, movers, tears, takeout, empty house, hotels, uhauls, shopping, Thanksgiving, friends. Oh where to start. Let's not go back to the beginning. Let's just talk about today. I am sitting in a hotel, with the boys napping in the other room, trying to figure out when to fit in a goodbye coffee with my friend, J. She and I have been playing phone tag, and it is my turn to call her, but I don't want to til I hear from Jason so that I can actually tell her when I will be free. We are also trying to get together with some other friends to say goodbye. Jakob and Natalie really need to see each other to say goodbye. It's so hard. I want to be able to find the time to fit in everything, but I am running out of time. We didn't plan this exit very well, and the plans we did make didn't really go according to plan. There have been sicknesses with friends, weather hiccups, timing hiccups, etc etc.
Saying goodbye to these awesome friends has been very hard. I did a bunch last week, I did some last night and I have two very important goodbyes to do today. And they are going to be so hard. How do you say goodbye to people who in three short years have become your best friends. Who have shared your joys and your sadness, your parenting triumphs and pitfalls. Not going to be an easy task. This afternoon is going to suck. Plain and simple.
Wish me luck, and hope there are Kleenex.
Love big, Bake often
Tania

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stepping Stones

There is a children's museum here in CT called Stepping Stones. We have only been three times, and hadn't been there in probably 8 months, but we went just over a week ago. Jakob had so much fun. I left Aiden at home with Jason, so that I could focus all my attention on Jake, and Aiden wouldn't be stuck in his stroller for hours. We met up with Janine, Natalie and Nathan. It was a great time. Janine and the kids left shortly after lunch, Nathan was melting down. But Jake and I stayed - he hadn't had a chance to play in the water area yet. So we hung out and I got some super fantastic pics of my big boy. Don't mind the "wife-beater" tanktop, I knew he was going to get soaked, so I took off his shirt so he would have someting dry to wear after his fun.




So happy. Gosh, I love this kid!

I truly forget how simple it is to just enjoy these kinds of moments. But it is so nice to be reminded.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

So Random

Strange, small world we live in. For grins I decided to google my boys names, and lo and behold, there is another stay at home mom with two boys named Jakob and Aiden. Spelled the same way too. She has a blog named All you need is LOVE. I haven't checked out all of her posts, but from what I have read, it is kinda similar to mine. Lots of stories about her boys, their adventures, and her love of her husband. It's a little surreal. I think I might follow her blog for a little while and see what she is like, are there any parallels in our lives. Her boys are cute, not as cute as mine of course. Check her out if you get a chance.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Ok, Fixation Saturday...

Sorry I have been a little lax with getting my posts on the right day. Blame it on the killer cold I am fighting!

So, today I want to talk about the wonderful combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Whoever came up with this amazing pairing is genius. I love it. I love that it can come in several forms. Reese's has banked on it by making it into so many different kind of bars/cups. But then I think my favourite combination of these two is ice cream. I love chocolate ice cream laced with peanut butter. YUM.
But I digress... so last night after going out for mexican with some amazing friends, we went to one of our homes to watch a movie. The original plan was to go to the movies, but things had changed. But I had come prepared. I rarely buy chocolate at the movies and am usually known to carry some in my purse with me. Last night was no exception - I had raided Jakob's deserted Halloween candy, and my stash included mini reese peanut butter cups. We were watching the movie and I pulled out my bag of goodies and offered some to my friend. She was excited about the idea of a peanut butter cup. But when she didn't see that familiar orange package she got upset with me But it all ended well when I showed her that I had the mini ones in the gold wrapper. Peanut buttery goodness.

Ok - that last paragraph makes no sense - my brain is scattered. Forgive me.

More later.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I feel Icky, so Icky, oh so Icky!

This cold is kicking my butt. My throat is all itchy and sore. I can't seem to stop coughing, and every couple of hours my nose gets all stuffed up. And what is the worst part of this cold is that when I wake up in the morning I can barely swallow or talk. So Jakob has been getting away with more than I usually allow since I can't raise my voice and my energy level is in the pot. But the Dr. said that it didn't look like strep or tonsilitis (thank goodness). So I now just have to ride it out. So don't expect any earth shattering insightful posts from me til I can get out of this fog.

Hope all is well out there.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TWD - Aborio Rice Pudding - Vanilla!

I know that it isn't a favourite of everyone, but I love rice pudding. It is comforting, warm, yummy and reminds me of being little in the winter. So now that it is getting cold here in CT and I am feeling so crummy, rice pudding is a great recipe for me this week. I took the time to check out the q&a on the TWD site and decided to use a little less milk and cook the rice in the milk a little longer. The other thing I did differently was I used my homemade vanilla sugar in it. I really liked seeing all the little black specks of vanilla in the milk as I brought it to a boil. And the smell was fantastic, being able to smell it even though I was stuffed up was quite wonderful.
I decided to not go the chocolate rice pudding route - I love just plain old vanilla rice pudding, don't mess with what you like.

Here are some pictures:
The Vanilla Sugar...
The specks in the milk - cool, eh?
The finished product, not a good shot, late in the day
I haven't tried it yet, not going to be finished its six hours before I go to bed (early). But I am really, really looking forward to it for breakfast.
The only thing I have to say about this recipe is that I wish it made more. I was surprised that I was able to put it in a cereal bowl. Not what I would call four servings.
Will let you know how it tastes tomorrow.
Love Big, Bake Often
T

Ick!

Sorry for the lapse in posts. I am not feeling so great. It started as a cold in my sinuses and now is in my throat and I have a bit of a cough. Yuck. Really shitty timing for me as the movers are coming to pack us up next Monday and we are pulling together a yard sale for Saturday. Not good. But what can you do, you pull it together, suck it up (sorry mom), and drive on.
Lots of thanks to catch up on,
Jakob - Natalie (his girlfriend), panda bears (Kung Fu Panda with the babysitter), Kristy (the babysitter).
Jason - Sunshine, and I am not sure what else, he isn't here to ask right now.
Me - Cupcakes (tour of cupcakes in NYC), Jamie (took the tour with me), drugs (for my cold).

That's all I have the energy to get into right now. Need to type up my TWD post.

Thanks for the understanding!

Love Big, Bake Often
T

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanks...

This is going to be short and sweet. It's late, I'm tired.

Jakob didn't get a chance to tell me what he is thankful for tonight, he went to bed before I got a chance to ask. We were out tonight and came home just before 8 and Jakob was extremely tired. So I am going to speak for Jake and say that he is thankful for his bed tonight. He looked like he really needed to get to bed and get some sleep.

Jason says he is thankful for his family. Simple and sweet. Really think he is to tired to think about it tonight.

Me, I am thankful for sarcasm. I love sarcastic humour. I love being sarcastic. And I love that I can be sarcastic with most of my friends and have a good laugh. And that most of my friends can take my humour.

That's all for tonight, busy day and more busy days to come.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday... thanks....

Well today was a good day - for the most part. I had a lousy night's sleep, I am feeling quite congested and have a bit of sinus pain. I took the boys for a playdate at a friend's house for a birthday celebration for two of Aiden's little buddies. They had a good time. Though I totally lost my cool with Jakob at the end - I didn't mean to, just was feeling crappy and had had enough. But then when we got home Aiden refused to nap again. He has been restless sleeping the past couple of days. I was hoping it was just his molars coming in, but wanted to be sure so we took both the boys in to the Dr. Turned out Aiden is fine - just teething so far. But Jakob, who complained of ear ache yesterday, has some fluid in his right ear - though the tube is in place and fine. So Jakob is on drops for his ear, Aiden is taking some tylenol and orajel for his teeth. But we can always find things to be thankful for. So here is today's rundown:
Jakob is thankful for Bees today. He likes that they fly, that the buzz, and especially that they make honey - because Jakob loves honey.
Daddy is thankful for playtime. Tonight while I was vegging out in front of the TV, trying to forget that my head felt like an elephant was sitting on it - or a rhino like Jake said, Jason was in the boys room (currently known as the Machine Room) playing with the boys. Totally ignoring bedtime, the boys played cars until 8:30. There were lots of giggles and fun car sounds coming from the room.
Now my turn, today I am thankful for .... ready now - try not to laugh too hard. BACON. I am thankful for bacon. I love that everything tastes better with bacon. I made some bacon tonight to go with some leftover frittata that I had made a couple of nights ago, and the bacon made it just like new. It is such a wonderful bit of salty goodness. There you have it, bacon.

Strange thankfuls today, well at least Jake and mine are pretty strange.

Hope everyone has a good night's sleep tonight, especially Aiden and I. I need it. And would like to not wake myself with my own snoring! Ahhh... sinus congestion - wonderful.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

michael j fox's marriage advice

"If a man says something in a forest and his wife isn't there to hear it, he's still wrong!"

Love it. Love him.

Donate to Parkinson's Reseach - Team Fox

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's with Dorie

ARG!!! I wasn't able to participate this week. I didn't read the recipe right, was missing ingredients, and totally didn't have the time to even attempt it. And when I thought about starting I realized that I would be fast asleep before I could do all it said before putting it in the fridge for the night. I feel like such a loser - I should have read it days ago, and been better prepared. No waiting on next weeks - I am going to do it on Thursday when Jake is in school! But you will have to wait for my post next Tuesday.
Sorry Dorie!

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Today's Thanks...

Jakob is really having fun with his giving thanks. The tree is made, the leaves are cut out and placed in an envelope waiting to be filled out and pasted on, and the past few days thanks are on there. I made different coloured leaves for each of us. Unfortunately Aiden is too small to participate, but I like to think that he will be able to next year. So Jakob is yellow, Daddy is orange and I am red. All the different colours of fall - our favourite time of year. I wonder what fall will be like next year in Georgia?
Thanks - Jakob told us he is thankful for Daddy - I think he likes having him around during the day. It's a treat. Daddy said he is thankful for tubby time. He gave Aiden his bath tonight and from the sounds that emanated from the bathroom they had fun. Both our boys love the water and really like taking tubbys. Ok, my turn. Today I am thankful for bedtime. You know those days when you are counting the minutes to the end of the day when everyone is tucked in their beds - me included. So tonight I am counting the minutes until I can lay my head on my pillow.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Restaurant Neighbours

Do you ever find yourself sitting near parents at a restaurant, and you can't help but hear them parenting their child, and you just want to reach into the next booth and shake them? Tonight there was this family with a little boy about 2 years old - cute as a button. And he was in his highchair doing pretty well. He was eating, drinking and playing. But Dad was just picking on every little thing the little guy was trying to do. Apparently he wasn't eating right, and eating too slow, and then he was eating too fast. And I think if you don't want your child to play with cars while he eats, don't bring them or take them away once the food arrives.
We have our own struggles with Jakob when we go out to eat. But I like to think we roll with the punches a little better. We don't raise our voices in restaurants, we don't lay down all kinds of threats, and we don't (usually) give in to ice cream if dinner isn't eaten.
I love going out to eat as a family, we do it way too much - both for our wallet and my waistline. We need to really cut back, but it is just so nice to have someone else cook for me. Need to get Jason to cook more often. Maybe with him on vacation he can spend some time in the kitchen cooking for us.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday's Thanks

Again, Jakob is thankful for cupcakes. He ate two today, well... one full one, and the icing off another. So tonight I think he still had cupcakes on the brain.
I am thankful for my mother's generosity. Today she offered to pay for Jakob's trip to Korea. Which is pretty much saving Jason and I over 1200.00. So, for this and many other reasons, I am thankful for my mother.
Jason is thankful for being on vacation. He started his vacation and will now be off until he reports to Ft. Stewart in Dec. Wish me luck. Wish us luck that we don't kill each other. But for now, he is thankful for being off and I am thankful for him being off too.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

National Vanilla Cupcake Day!

Happy Cupcake Day Folks,


So for the beloved cupcake holiday I made some cupcakes for a playdate. And I think they turned out YUMMY! They got good reviews from friends, and hubby, and yums and oohs from the kiddos. I tried a new cake recipe that I found on foodnetwork.com, you can find it
here. It was a very rich, buttery cake, and yet still light and airy. And the vanilla flavour came through wonderfully - though I always use more than a recipe calls for.
The buttercream is Magnolia Bakery's Vanilla Buttercream - as found
here.
I took a couple of pics a little late in the day, but here they are....



Whatcha think?

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanks..

Jakob is SO my kid. Today Jakob told me that he is thankful for Cupcakes. Love it. We had talked earlier about the fact that tomorrow is National Vanilla Cupcake Day, so maybe that had something to do with it. Either way, I love it.
Me, I am thankful that I can make my sons laugh. There is nothing like hearing the giggles from their bellies. My boys both have such a wonderful belly laugh, such pure laughter.
Jason, just coming off a boys weekend, is thankful for the wonderful friends he has made here. He is very sad that we have to leave them, but will have memories and long lasting relationships that I think he will maintain for a very long time. As I plan to do with the friends that I have made here.

Thankful. That is what we are these days. And it feels good.

Tania
Love Big, Bake Often

Crazy Cupcake Tshirts

So, I was browsing around Cafe Press and came across this shirt, it made me giggle. I knew a girl in Toronto named Michelle, and Michelle had a roommate named Jeanie. For some reason the girls would say "Are you naked? Or are you naked for Jesus?" It use to make me laugh so hard - for some silly reason. So when I saw this shirt it brought me back to those days. And it's just darn funny!



You can find this shirt here. $24.00 - not bad.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Thanks

Today Jakob decided he was thankful for robots. I thought for sure after spending hours at a friends house that he would have said that he was thankful for friends, or for that friend in particular. But no. Today he is thankful for robots.

Me? I am thankful for my friend Shannon. She is so much fun. She is smart, beautiful, funky, and an awesome Mom. Since our husbands are out of town tonight (boys weekend at the casino), she and I decided to get together with our kids for dinner and play. Jakob and Aiden had a blast playing with their friends, and they played beautifully, just the normal about of fighting over toys and such.

So that is what Jakob and I are thankful for today. Not sure what Jason is thankful for today. And Aiden is probably thankful for diaper cream today as he has a very angry bum.

That's all for now.
Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fixation Friday

So for this Friday's fixation I didn't bake, I didn't eat either.... I drank. While at the bookstore I headed over to Starbucks - I can't not go there when at BN. And I was really hoping to try one of their new hot chocolates, the salted caramel one, but they didn't have it. So I tried the Godiva hot chocolate that they were advertising. And as a bonus they were giving away free Godiva cookies with purchasing one of the drinks. The cookie was yummy, but not nearly as nice as the drink. I love hot chocolate. This one was rich, creamy and almost thick. It left a film of rich chocolate residue on my tongue - in the nicest way possible.

So my wish to you all is to head out and get yourself a cup, or to do one better and make yourself a REAL cup of hot chocolate at home with real cocoa - not the instant stuff. Or even better melt the chocolate - the best you can find, and mix it with some milk with a bit of heavy cream. Yum.

Love Big, Bake Often,
Tania

What are you thankful for?

While at the bookstore tonight we picked up a book for Jakob on Thanksgiving. I want him to start thinking about thanksgiving and what we are thankful for. The book touches on being thankful for our family, teachers, hot chocolate on rainy days, dogs and cats, friends, and of course turkey and pumpkin pie! Jakob talked about all the things he was thankful for and it got me thinking. I am going to start a project with him tomorrow. I am going to make a tree, and a bunch of different leaves and each day asking him what he is thankful for and then glue it on the tree. A simple project but I think it will get him thinking. Tonight he told me that he was thankful for apples. How simple.
And I have decided that each day I will blog about something that I am thankful for too.

So today... I am thankful for hot chocolate. Love a nice rich real cup of hot chocolate.

Love Big, Bake Often,
Tania

Looking for guidance

Ok, so I am feeling at an inpass. I know that you are thinking, what are you talking about you have this new adventure coming up in less than a month? But I am feeling restless. I need something to focus on other than this move and leaving friends. I need something to dive into and gobble up. I need to find something that is going to move me. I am feeling very disconnected from myself and need to re-center. Spiritually, too. So, I am looking for guidance, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have already started participated in several online baking events and challenges, which are so much fun, though not for my waistline. But it isn't enough right now.
And I really want to dig deeper in this, but Aiden is screaming waking up from his nap so off I go. Later, my friends

T

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm a Rachael Ray Fan!

There, I admit it. I like watching her show, and watching her cook. And every so often there is a guest that makes me think. And today was one of those days. Gabrielle Reece was on talking about her "honeyline", her network of friends that have helped her through things and have always been there for her. She describes her network as a honeyline getting to the queen bee - working through her problem - what ever that may be. And it made me think, yet again, about the fact that I am leaving my "honeyline". This wonderful group of friends that I have are my honeyline. I know that the line will still be there when I go. We can always communicate through email and letters, and of course I know that there are several of the ladies that love to chat on the phone. But there is just something to be said for packing up the kids and heading over to a friends house at a moments notice for a quick fix. Making a new group of friends to have a local line (because no one will be able to replace this group of ladies - they are irreplaceable) shouldn't be too hard, and will definitely be necessary. I think I will just take some time to grieve leaving my friends behind for a little while before jumping to make new ones.

I love the bees in my honeyline - they are my "lifeline"

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Check this out!



Cupcakes done by: Zilly Rosen

Aren't they awesome?!?!?! All 1,240 of them!

Love it.

T

First Words

Why couldn't one, just one, of my boy's first words be Mama? Jakob started with Dada, and it wasn't until he was more than one year old that he said Mama. And now Aiden has started to talk, making sounds, etc. And his first word is GO. At least it's not Dada! :) So Aiden now crawls and cruises around the house saying "go, go, go". Very cute. And I try to get him to say Mama, I prompt him and smile, and he breaks into giggles and smiles - thinks it's hilarious.
Some day he will look at me and smile and say Mama - and that day my heart will melt again.
But for now we will "go, go, go"!

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cranky Traveller

Oh boy, am I ever glad to be home! What a long day. What I thought was going to be a fairly easy and fun trip turned into a 12 hour drive and day. You see, Jason had to go to Albany to "clear" at battalion, his mother works/lives close by so we wanted to meet with her for lunch, and it was her birthday so it was a good day for us to see her. So we all piled into the car this morning (missing a playgroup with friends - boo!), and away we went. Aiden and Jakob did great for the first little while and then we had to stop and then Aiden didn't want anything to do with getting back in the car. But we had to do it. So off we drove with him screaming in the back seat for about 20 minutes until he crashed. We got up to Albany around lunch time and since the guys that Jason needed to see would be at lunch we called J's mother and met her for lunch. The boys we so happy to be out of the car and it was impossible to get Jakob to sit still through lunch - which was just fine, he danced around the table to Coldplay and Bob Marley!! Aiden was happy to sit and eat, alot! And then it was off to headquarters. What should have taken Jason 30 - 40 minutes to do, ended up taking 1 1/2 hours! So the boys and I spent a little time at Barnes and Noble and then sat in the car waiting for Jason. Unfortunately our DVD player in the car is having some problems with hiccups. It skips and pauses and jumps around. And each time it does this Jakob asks, "what happened?" - and after 25 times or so I start to go crazy! So I think tomorrow will be shop for a new DVD player day. Thank goodness the boys are asleep and we will be joining them shortly.

Love Big, Bake Often
Tania

Political Post

So, this post on one of my favourite websites, quirky cupcake, made me laugh today. Check it out if you are happy with the election results.

Funny Stuff!

Tania

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

A while ago I was perusing the blogs that I like to keep an eye on and stumbled on this recipe for these delicious cookies. Bakerella posted this recipe and it totally appealed to me, I couldn’t wait to try them. So with a playgroup tomorrow morning, I decided that these would be perfect. A yummy treat for the moms and a cookie that actually had some vegetable in it for the kiddos. A perfect combination.
Here are some pics that I took:
First batch into the oven…

And after I re-consulted Bakerella instructions, I remembered to add in a couple of chocolate chips on top to make them look prettier when they bake. And we are all about pretty cookies…

I took some pictures of the finished project, but the light was gone and they didn’t turn out very well. I’ll take some more tomorrow when the light is better.

For now, here is the recipe:
2 1/4 cup self-rising flour
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Whisk together flour and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.
Add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.
Add vanilla.
Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
Add flour/spice mixture to sugar mixture in three additions. Alternate with pumpkin in two additions, ending with flour mixture.
Stir in chopped pecans and chocolate chunks.
Drop on cookie tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes about four dozen cookies.
Let cool
.

Tuesdays with Dorie - Rugelach



So I attempted the second recipe for my new adventures in TWD. It wasn’t the easiest recipe for me. I had never made rugelach before, and it was tough. The dough was sticky, and rolling it out into a perfect circle was almost impossible. I managed to get it into close to a circle and divided it up into more than what Dorie called for. There was no way I could divide the circle into 16 parts!! I only had the time today to do half of the recipe – so there is still a disk in my fridge that I will have to make in the next couple of days. Today’s rugelach I did what Dorie suggested – apricot preserves, pecans, sugar and cinnamon, and semi sweet chocolate chips. But… I am really looking forward to trying a variation on the second disk – wait for it…. Lime and chocolate! I am going to try some lime curd and chocolate chips. YUM! I love lime and chocolate together. I also want to try Dorie’s lime tart with her chocolate tart crust.
Here are some pictures of my endeavours:
The dough before I cut it up and rolled it.

Rolled up and baked – nice and golden brown with the insides sticking out. YUM.

So glad I got the camera to work this week.

Ok... here we go again

So... I posted notes on my old blogs to direct people here. Very exciting. Now I just need to contact everyone who has me on their blog rolls so they can find me here. Fun right? Shouldn't be too hard, or take too long. So if you are looking for me.... you can find me here. Wish me luck as we embark on a new adventure here on Love Big Bake Often!

Take care!
T

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Location

So I am moving in. I have been writing two seperate blogs for the past many months and am realizing that writing the two has been more work than it needs to be. I don't see any reason why I can't combine my "mother" blog with my baking blog. So here we go... as it says above, a blog about raising two boys, a husband and developing my obsession with baking.

See you soon,
Tania
Love Big, Bake Often