Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011 Fun

Cousins enjoying their visit with each other...

Always enjoy being silly with Uncle Rod...

Loving his TWO remote control cars for Christmas from Nana & Papa Roth and Uncle Rod & Aunt Chelsea!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Royal Icing

Royal Icing

4 Tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup

1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.
2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine.
3. Add in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high and beat for 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. This icing is now ready for outlining or decorating cookies.

***To fill in your cookies with icing, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

We made gingerbread figures today (boys, girls, snowmen, reindeer, elves). I think my favorite were the reindeer ones....we made one for each of the 8 reindeer and 1 for Rudolph.

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup molasses
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
5 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Line baking sheets with parchment.
2. Stir together the water and baking soda until dissolved. Stir in the molasses; set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and combined.
4. Whisk together flour, salt and spices. Add to the butter mixture, and then add to the molasses mixture. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a floured cookie cutter and place on baking sheet. Freeze for 5 minutes before baking.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely before decorating with royal icing.

Gingerbread cookies with Andrew

I let Andrew do most of the work making our gingerbread cookies this year. He wanted boys, girls, elves, reindeer and snowmen. He wanted to make sure we had enough for Mamu on our visit with her and enough for Uncle Rod & Aunt Chelsea for our visit with them. :) I think he really enjoyed this project. I however was reminded of how much I dislike cookie decorating - I rather just drop the dough by spoonfuls, bake and eat! :) Oh well....maybe cooking with Andrew will help me enjoy it more.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fudge with walnuts

Today I attempted making homemade fudge with walnuts. Can't believe how super easy it was to make...why haven't I made this before? Oh right...because I'm not a huge fan of chocolate. But my husband and son are! :) Next year I'll have to try some tips on how to cut into normal shapes :)

Fudge with Walnuts

1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups mini marshmallows
12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Once boiling, stir constantly for 4 mins. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate morsels, nuts and vanilla until the chocolate and marshmallows have melted.
3. Pour into foil-lined 8-inch square pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Lift fudge from pan and remove foil. Bring fudge to room temperature for 30 mins, cut into pieces and serve or cover and refrigerate.

Source: adapted from my mom's mom

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Ships 2011

I've lived in Portland since I was 1 (minus my 5.5 years in Eugene) and I never knew that there was such a thing as "Christmas Ships". I guess every year for many, many years boat owner decorate their boats and float down the Columbia River. We enjoyed ohhhing and ahhhing over the many different styles. Andrew had a blast and I hope to see them again Christmas 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

These cookies were SO good!!!! Everyone enjoyed them! I will definetely be making these again and again!

Peppermint Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candies or candy canes
additional powdered sugar for rolling

1. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3. Add egg yolk and beat until blended.
4. Add egg whites and extract and mix well.
5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
6. Stir in peppermint candies.
7. Gather dough into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350. Position rack in middle of oven.
9. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar and place on baking sheets.
10. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on baking sheet, then transfer to rack to cool completely.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa Claus Visit - 2011

Andrew: "Merry Christmas Santa. I want a train, please."
Santa: "Wow...not many kids say're a good boy. I think a train is likely this year."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cranberry-Blackberry Sparklers

Cranberry-Blackberry Sparklers

3 parts Blackberries pureed (straining the puree is optional)
4 parts Cranberry Juice
4-6 parts Sparkling Water
Mint sprig, for garnish

Place blackberry puree and cranberry juice in glass. Add sparkling water to fill. Garnish with mint.

Serves 2 (depending on glass size used)

Alternative version....add a splash of white rum.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

Green Beans with Lemon Butter

We will definitely be making these again. Super yummy!!!!

Green Beans with Lemon Butter

1 Tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
1 pint green beans, stem ends trimmed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
Freshly ground pepper

1. Fill a medium saucepan three-quarters full of cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Add salt and beans. Cook until water returns to a boil and beans are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and drain.
2. Immediately return beans to saucepan. Add butter and zest. Toss; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl; serve warm.

Serves 4
Source: Martha Stewart

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pear-Cranberry Pie

Pear-Cranberry Pie

Pie Crust for top and bottom
3 ripe Bartlett pears
3 cups cranberries
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 vanilla bean
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup apricot preserves

1. Place one of your pie dough rounds into a 9-inch pie plate.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3. Peel, halve, and core pears. Very thinly slice 2 pears lengthwise, and cut remaining pear into wedges.
4. Toss together pears, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds over pear mixture, and toss until seeds have been evenly incorporated. Pour filling into piecrust. Dot filling with butter.
5. Cover pie with second round of pie dough (either cut slits or make a lattice). Lightly brush top of piecrust with heavy cream.
6. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on lower oven rack to catch any juices. Place pie on middle rack, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling gently, about 90 minutes. Let pie cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, heat preserves in a saucepan over medium heat until warm. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Brush warm pie with the warm apricot glaze. Let cool completely on rack.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Andrew's 3rd Birthday

Andrew's 3rd Birthday Cake

For the cake, I just used regular white cake mix (2 boxes). I divided the batter as evenly between 4 bowls, coloring the darkest layer first and working from that color as a guide. I used Americolor gels in royal blue. Add the batter to prepared cake pans (greased and floured). I baked the batches 2 at a time. Bake and fully cool the cakes.

For the frosting, I just used regular white frosting from a can (3 cans).

Layer the cakes, darkest on the bottom, frost with a very thin layer of frosting between each layer. Frost the outside of the cake with a thin layer of frosting. Smooth as well as you can with an offset spatula, but it doesn't need to be perfect because this is just the crumb layer. Place the entire cake in the freezer about 10 minutes for the icing to set, this makes it much easier to decorate.

Prepare a piping bag with a #21 Wilton tip (a moderate sized open star) and fill with frosting. Remove cake from freezer and start along the bottom of the cake, creating rows of swirls. For each swirl, start in the center of the "rose" shape and pipe in a spiral around the center. Continue along the bottom and top of the cake, creating rose-like swirls.

This was my first adventure in "decorating" a cake. No bad for a first try...can only improve from here right?!?

Inspiration from: Glorious Treats
Check her site for her cake...she even did different shades of color for the frosting...I was not that adventuresome for my first attempt :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day from my little Turkey

Can't believe that 3 years ago this little turkey was being born. Thanksgiving 2008 will always be a great memory for me and my little turkey!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pomegranate-Cranberry Gelatin

Pomegranate-Cranberry Gelatin

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups light cranberry juice

1. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup cold water and let soften for 5 minutes. Place over low heat and cook until gelatin has dissolved about 4 minutes. Add sugar, stirring gently until dissolved, about 3 minutes; remove from heat.
2. Transfer gelatin mixture to a medium bowl and stir in juices. Pour into a 6-cup Bundt pan. If any skim forms, scrape from surface.
3. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
4. To unmold, dip bottom of pan briefly into hot water. Invert onto serving dish and shake to release.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Parker House Rolls

Parker House Rolls

1/2 stick melted unsalted butter, plus more melted butter for brushing bowl and brushing rolls
3/4 cups warm milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1. Brush a large bowl with some melted butter; set aside. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/8 cup milk. Let stand until soft, about 5 minutes. In another large bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, remaining 5/8 cups milk, and egg. Whisk to combine. Whisk in yeast mixture.
2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 minutes. Place in prepared bowl, turning to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
3. Punch down dough. Cut into 2 pieces and let rest for 10 minutes. Working with one piece at a time, on a lightly floured surface, roll into a 12-inch square, about 1/3-inch thick. Cut into six 2-by-12-inch strips. Cut each strip into three 4-by-2-inch rectangles.
4. Brush rectangles with butter. Crease rectangles slightly off center. Fold at crease. Arrange in rows on buttered baking sheet, with shorter side facing down. Cover and let stand until doubled in bulk, 25 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush rolls with melted butter. Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 17 minutes. Remove from oven and brush once more with melted butter.

makes 18 rolls

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Andrew's first day of work

Brent had to go in to work today...yep on a Sunday! Andrew got to go with him. Dadda wears a badge every day for work, so I thought Andrew should have one too. He was super excited to get dressed in "work" clothes and wear a badge just like Dadda!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roth Thanksgiving in Albany

We had quite a busy day today....headed south for a football game and then celebrated Thanksgiving with some of Brent's family. It was super yummy! But isn't most meals great when you're not the one cooking :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Andrew was so happy to be Mr. Potato Head for Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Race for the Cure 5k

Brent's Radiation Oncology Department walked this 5k together.
Our shirts say:
Rad Walked for Knockers"
Andrew's shirt says:
"that's what she said."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chinook Hops for Brent's Brewing

Out of the 5 Hop Plants we planted in the garden, 1 of the plants were successful...The Chinook! Brent used these hops in the 2nd Version of his Tailspin IPA.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our trip to Wisconsin (9/7-9/11)

Andrew gets his own seat on the airplane...boy is he excited...
Our visit to Madison's FREE ZOO!!!!! Super cool!!!!!

Brent's love with drinking out of a boot! :)