samantha liz

Archive of ‘in the oven’ category

16/52/2013 (aka Thomas’ 8th birthday, aka Minecraft Madness!!)

Thomas’ 8th birthday was “the best day ever” completely decked out in homemade minecraft goodness.
Cake Prep

mix

Minecraft Party Food

When it was time to blow out the candles, Thomas was cool and relaxed (this week’s “life photo” theme), thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve got this.”
16/52/Life - I've got this.

He even posed for some silly cake mining shots:
Cutting Time!

Yummy Block Food
After chowing down on food that was strictly the shape of blocks (thanks, grandma for making the requested meatcubes!), it was time for presents.

That is where the unexpected (this week’s “portrait photo” theme) came along…
16/52/Portrait - You got me this??
He lost it completely, I’ve never seen his face light up at a gift like that before. “You got me this??”

Happy Birthday, my big man. Not so tiny anymore. <3

12/52/2013 {aka Molly’s Awesome Unicorn Rainbow Birthday Party}

12/52/Life - Happy 6th Birthday, Molly.

We celebrated Molly’s 6th birthday yesterday rainbow style.
All Rainbow'ed up!

We had rainbow snacks…
Rainbow Snacks

and unicorn rose cake…
Rose Unicorn Rainbow Cake

that happened to be {all naturally dyed} rainbow on the inside.
All Natural Rainbow Cake

A special friend of mine made her a doll in her favorite color of the rainbow… PURPLE!
Her face tells the whole story.

…and you know that doll I’ve been working on?
Mommy made waldorf inspired doll.

She and Molly both wore rainbow knitted dresses {that I’ve also been working on}…
Opening her doll.

Now they match Sheepie quite well.
12/52/Portrait - A perfect match.

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty awesome {and colorful} day. I think Molly would agree.
A pretty awesome day.

*These photos include this week’s 52. If you want to see specifically which ones 😉 click over to my flickr set to see.*

Marcus’ Third Birthday [aka 10/52/2013}

Truck Cake!

Happy Birthday To Marcus!

Well, it’s finally happened. My baby boy is THREE! Eeks. At least this week’s theme is “Change” because the idea of Marcus being 3 will take a bit of getting used to.
10/52/Life - Blowing out the candles.

One thing that certainly hasn’t changed is this boy’s love of trucks.
It's always time for trucks.

Or this boy’s love of cake.
10/52/Portrait - Get in my belly!
I took some artistic liberty with the theme of “entrance” for my portrait photo this week. That food certainly cannot enter his belly fast enough.

Happy Birthday, Marcus. I wish you happy truck dreams tonight, and every night.
Woah! 30th Anniversary Grave Digger!

Yum {and awesome}

20130114-211432.jpgMade some from scratch cookies in Molly’s easy bake oven.

20130114-211537.jpgThey came out awesome.

20130114-211553.jpgRecieved some homemade trail mix from a friend. Equally as awesome.

20130114-211603.jpgThe kids prepared a special dinner for Thom and I. Ultimately the most awesome.

{and shh. Thom made some awesome pasta vodka as well. http://thomkingston.com/2013/01/14/wheres-smell-o-vision-when-you-need-it/ }

If I had one word to sum up today, it would have to be yum. {and coincidentally? Awesome.}

Always time for pie.

Today was a crazy busy day. We came to discover at around 8:15 am that the doorbell chime no longer worked. The poor guy that had come over to finish up the drywall texturing for Molly’s new wall tried to ring the bell, and then decided to wait in his car while calling my husband to see why no one was letting him in. Silly me watched for a good 10 minutes trying to figure out why he’d unload his stuff on the front porch, only to await in his car.

Apparently, it imploded. As I took the cover off to see if I could fix anything these parts just sprung out, literally. 20130104-024103.jpg

By day’s end we had it all worked out, though.

A working doorbell for us, thanks to a trip to Lowes with my dad and Marcus, and a newly textured wall for Molly.

20130104-025158.jpg
Oh, and a homemade apple pie for our bellies.

20130104-023454.jpg What? A girl’s gotta bake to deal with all that.

Yum.

Making fossils. {take one}

As you know it’s dinosaur week, and you can’t talk about dinosaurs without bringing up fossils. Today was our first soiree into the world of making our own, so we discussed how they form and about several different kinds of fossils. How did we do this you ask? Well that’s easy; by making fossil cookies of course!

Full disclaimer: I had originally taken photos with the intention of doing a little tutorial of sorts. You see, I had gotten the idea of making fossil cookies from Martha Stewart, however I did not follow the recipe. I had the wonderful idea of using my mother’s amazing time tested peanut butter cookie recipe; because 1. I knew they were tasty, 2. We hadn’t had them in awhile and I was craving some peanut butter, and 3. I didn’t have a whole ton of walnuts on hand.

I modified it ever so slightly to include some flax to make the cookies a little more rocky {shh… that’s what I told the kids when I added it, I didn’t tell them about the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, protein, and good fibers}. I arranged out my ingredients on the counter and meticulously photographed them like any good Pioneer Woman wannabe would.
The cast of characters.

I then followed with a quick witted statement about how there are unusual attendants to todays baking…
The dinosaur guests.Giggles and merriment ensued.

Of course, I photographed the kids measuring each ingredient and looking adorable while doing it.
Obligatory cute kid photos making.

And finished it all up by including some mixing action.
Additionally obligatory mixing photos.

However, that’s all you’ll see of the actual cookie making, and I won’t be including my recipe, because, well, it didn’t exactly work out as planned…

We did have fun measuring and mixing, and we did make some shapes that we thought best resembled rocks. I even told the kids about different kinds of fossils. For example trace fossils; where we looked at the feet of the dinosaurs and determined that they actually looked different.
Talking about identifying dinosaurs by tracks alone.

We then came to the conclusion that we could “trace” their tracks back to identify which dinosaur had made them.
Making trace fossils.

**There may have also been talk about other trace fossils such as eggs and dinosaur poo, but we agreed that it was best to keep any sort of fossilized poo off our cookies.

Then, we talked about mold fossils. We took the smaller dinosaurs and replicated what it would be like to have cavity shaped fossil.
Making mold fossils

I have to say that it was all very fun and educational, and smiles were all around…
And they looked like this when we were done.

That is… until we put them in the oven…

And I remembered why there was a 2. on my list before…

I had blocked out the memory.

Turns out, Mom’s tried and true peanut butter cookie recipe was for lovely Jiff peanut butter, with it’s ever so lovely partially hydrogenated oils, keeping it’s lovely self together…

Unfortunately, this is not so true of the stir and refrigerate peanut butter that we use now. After googling, I found out that they are NOT interchangeable and the natural counterparts tend to spread and flatten…
And baked.
Yeah, I probably didn’t need to google to know that.

But we are not discouraged! Molly even said, “Well they are yummy, even if they aren’t fossils!” As she and Thomas both ate two straight from the oven. Also, as I typed this, I went back downstairs to check on the kids and found that bowl up there? Gone.

Tomorrow, we are on to discussing body fossils. {I’ve heard that there might be potting soil and pasta involved, but it may just be a dirty rumor.} Stay tuned.

Best Cookies, For Real.

I felt terribly last week when the best cookies ever didn’t turn out to be, well, the best. What’s a girl to do?

Well loved recipe.
I had no choice but to pull out my tried and true chocolate chip cookies. I have modified this recipe so many times, first for altitude {we are in Colorado after all} and more recently vegan. So, I pretty much follow this except for switching out the butter for earth balance and eggs are egg replacers {I use ever-g brand}.

Cream the butter and sugar.
I cream the earth balance and sugar together first and then add the rest of the ingredients {minus the flour and chocolate chips} one at a time until incorporated well.

Add Flour
I then add the flour slowly, just 1/2 cup at a time, being careful not to over mix.

All Done Yumminess!
Finally, the chocolate chips. I know the recipe says a bag, but I only add 1 cup, as I find that’s enough to satisfy everyone’s chocolate needs.

Chocolate Chip Goodness
Tonight, I actually made a cookie. Most days? It never gets past the dough stage.

BEST COOKIES EVER!!!

While I pondering recipe ideas for today’s in the oven, I decided to ask the kids what they wanted to make. Thomas jumped at the opportunity…

“We should make the BEST COOKIES EVER!!”

Okay, I’m game… “What’s in these cookies?”

“Oh, flour, butter… CHEESE!”…

“Cheese? In a cookie?”…

“Oh yes!!”

So, off to google I went and found just that…

CHEESE COOKIES!! Three Ingredients!
Cheddar Cheese Cookies! It surprisingly called for those exact three ingredients… Off we went on our quest to make the BEST COOKIES EVER!

Tons of cutters!
The kids also decided that instead of making balls as the recipe calls for, we’d cut out shapes.

Mix all three ingredients together
We then melted the butter and mixed the three ingredients together.

Cut the shapes.
I rolled it out and the kids picked out which shapes they wanted to make.

Put in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Then we put it in the fridge for about an hour, while Molly and I…

Go to Old Navy to buy some new jeans.
Headed to Old Navy to buy some new jeans…

Color.
And color. You have to color at Old Navy! It’s essential!!

Finally, we headed home and baked the BEST COOKIES EVER…
All done!!

And then…
Sooo Excited!!
EAT

Hmmm...
THE BEST

Uhh...
COOKIES

Yeah, not what he expected...
EVER?

Hmm… I don’t think they lived up to the hype.

I didn’t see that one coming, did you? I didn’t think they were all that bad… kinda like a warm Cheez-it… and flour… yeah, maybe they weren’t all that good either…

Meatballs {un-vegan}

Today I’m mixing it up a bit and instead of trying out a new recipe, I’m showing you all my tried and true one. Meatballs… so totally NOT vegan, but soo good. {You gotta throw in some meat sometimes, right?} I am loosely calling this a recipe as there is much more an art to making meatballs than science.

Meatball Ingredients
I start out with some good ground beef, in the 80-85% lean variety. I add an egg and a small handful of romano/parmesan cheese {dairy free? I have been known to use nutritional yeast instead with great success}, toast a piece of bread and then crumble it up and pour a bit of milk {you can use actual milk, we don’t have it in my house}, and finally some garlic pepper, oregano and just a tiny pinch of salt.

Cookin' Time
I roll them into balls and broil them on high for about 10 mins on one side, then flip and cook for about 5 minutes more.

Oh and here’s where the magic happens…

Saucing it up!
Thom’s fancy {vegan} vodka sauce.

Making the Sauce
His secret ingredient? Well, maybe I’ll share next time…

Do the kids like it, you ask?

Eating it up!

You tell me.

Thomas Approved