Cooking


The very favorite day of our week is Friday, because that is Beloved’s day off. I plan our school week and all my other work around Friday so that we can just revel in uninterrupted time with Daddy. It starts with the kids piling into bed with us as soon as they wake up, until someone starts crying from an elbow in the nose. We almost always do a big breakfast together and then do the minimum for schoolwork.

Making waffles

And then we play. We go to the zoo or go bowling. We hit baseballs and tromp through the park. We eat Taco Bell for lunch and Daddy doesn’t answer his phone. We cook together and take naps. We spend the entire day reveling in each other’s company and laughing.

We love Fridays. Daddy’s home!

Advertisements

Today was a staff ladies lunch at my house and then we went to get pedicures together! Princepesa even got to go too, which she thought was just fabulous. She didn’t get a pedicure, but she did get her nails painted.

I served mini roast beef sandwiches and baked potato soup with iced tea and chocolate chip pumpkin bread for dessert. We all laughed and ate and in general had a good time.

Friendships are good.

I made Oreo truffles for the party that wasn’t, so they just got put in the fridge. I don’t really¬† have much of a sweet tooth, but their siren song is killing me. I’ve been sewing in the basement and they keep calling my name and dragging me up the stairs to have just one more. Sigh.

If you are looking for an easy treat with a bit of wow factor, this is a great recipe. Three ingredients and a few minutes. No oven. I love recipes like that!

Tonight was the night for our church staff Christmas party – pastors, office employees, and spouses – about twenty people. We were going to do a fondue party and I spent a good chunk of the day prepping everything. (Have you noticed all the past tense?) We had to cancel it because of weather, but almost everything went in the freezer and will still be good for whenever we reschedule.

Fondue pots

So, I cancelled the babysitter and we stayed home. I had previously recorded The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and we all piled on the couch under a blankie and watched it together. The kids thought it was hilarious. I think a new tradition has been born.

The Grinch

Captain No Beard celebrated his fourth birthday today with a pirate themed party. (Because of course what I needed in the middle of two big church Christmas parties at my house was a birthday party!)

The Birthday Boy

This is Captain No Beard and his crew, all doing their best pirate “Argh!” You can only imagine how much noise a group of seven boys from four to six years old can make!

Captain No Beard and his crew

I always make special cakes for the childrens’ birthdays, and for this one I made a treasure chest cake for Viking. I took some pictures along the way so you can see how I made it.

Step One

I baked two 9×12 chocolate cakes. And yes, I used boxed mixes. Puh-leeze – do you think I’m Martha? No. Notice that I even used disposable pans.

Step One

Step Two

I cut each in half and layered three halves together to make the chest, then put the fourth half on a piece of cardboard (covered with foil) for the lid.  After I iced them I dragged a fork through it to give it a wood grain appearance.

Step Two

Step Three

I piled all the “gold” on the front half of the chest and that is what held the lid open at an angle. I added more gold and jewels once the lid was on and sprinkled crushed Nilla wafers around the treasure chest for sand. The straps are made with yellow fondant.

The Finished Treasure Chest Cake

And like many parents, I had fun at the party and in the back of my mind kept wondering how my little baby turned four. I’m so thankful for my children, and am honored to be their mother.

Tonight is the big party. Would you like to see what a home kitchen likes when you make dinner for 40? Here’s my kitchen in all it’s glory as it looks right now.

A busy kitchen - steaming up the windows in the whole house
Hopefully this will be a serving line in a few hours

The metal folding chair is where Viking has been standing all morning and helping. Hasn’t slowed me down too much. (smile)

I’ve been dithering about whether I have enough potatoes mashed, so I put five more pounds on to cook and just put the ham in. I need to go give the bathroom a swipe and pick up the dog toys everywhere. I need to finish putting the greenery around the centerpieces on the tables. I need to put out all the silverware and salt and pepper shakers. I need to finish all the iced tea. I need to put out the luminaries. I need to take a shower and put some makeup on.

The dinner starts in about three and a half hours.

I inherited a church tradition: a joint board Christmas dinner at the pastor’s house. It’s one I’m happy to continue – I really enjoy entertaining – but this is entertaining on a grand scale. A Deacon board plus an Elder board including spouses, plus all the pastoral staff including spouses. Grand total? About 40 people. It’s not the food that’s a problem, it’s the seating! Fortunately we currently have no furniture in our living room, so I put twenty people in there, and we took down our little dining room table and put in a big folding table in there seating ten more.

Living Room & Dining Room

One more table for ten in the family room and I can now seat 40 people.

The Family Room

No one can move once they have been seated, but they can at least all sit to eat. I have no idea what we’ll do next year when we (hopefully) have furniture in the living room.

Next Page »