Thursday, September 20, 2007


I had an appointment with the midwife today. Everything is going well. Last week Jim and I told Joseph that there is going to be another baby, but he didn't seem too surprised. He did seem surprised, however, when I told him the baby is in my belly. Today I could see the baby moving and showed him. He got very giggly. He does seem to have mixed feelings, though. Yesterday I was buying a bunting to put over the baby's' car seat, and Joseph asked me what it was. I told him that it was for the baby's car seat. He got kind of tearful and asked very pitifully "but, can I have a car seat?" I assured him that he would keep his car seat and that the baby would have a different one. He dubiously asked where it was, so I said in the basement, and then we showed it to him in the evening. After that he seemed OK with it all again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Cake

This is a picture of my first cake for my cake decorating class. I had my first class one week ago, in which we learned how to make frosting, about frosting consistency, how to torte a cake (cut it in half in order to add a filling, etc. This week we practiced basic techniques of cake decorating, and we also decorated our first cake for the class. My cake is a raspberry buttermilk cake with raspberry jam filling, and almond flavoured butter cream frosting. I learned a lot with doing this first cake, like how to make stars, zigzags, curving lines, and transferring images. I drew the picture of the raspberries and vines on a piece of paper, and then used piping gel to transfer them to the cake. Mixing the colors was very fun for me. I didn't had enough of the red after doing the raspberries, so I had to mix more in order to be able to make the boarders. It was just like painting!

New Happenings

Last week we had some cold weather, so I took Joseph shopping for some new clothes. This is him in his new outfit. There is also a matching sweatshirt top. As you can see, Joseph loves to wear new clothes and model them too. I also finally got some maternity clothes, so now I have some decent things to wear again.

Recently I tried some new recipes. I made a really interesting un-yeasted bread in which the only ingredients are whole wheat flour, a little bit of salt, and water. After mixing this together, one must let it sit for 24 hours. Then after punching it down you let it proof for 4 hours at room temperature. It is very hearty! Another recipe I tried, that is completely different from this austere bread, is one for glazed donuts. This one was also very good, and very easy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My Inner June Cleaver

Something about being pregnant turns me into June Cleaver with a heavy dose of granola. When I was pregnant with Joseph I taught myself how to knit and toward the end of my pregnancy I did lots of stuff in the kitchen, particularly baking shortbread cookies and almond doubles (which are a sort of tart with raspberry and apricot jam, and dark chocolate on the bottom.) This time around it seems that baking is taking precedence. About a week before my birthday I decided that I wanted to make a cake with buttercream roses on it. I got rather involved in my research on how to do this and ended up making a cake with marshmallow fondant. The fondant turned out O.K, but then it was time to start making roses. I watched a few videos on you tube, and it really didn't look that hard.

Well, this is my cake in the end. I think that my frosting wasn't stiff enough to make roses because I couldn't get the frosting to stand up on the rose nail. So, I am now taking a cake decorating class at the local hobby store. I just had my first class last night, and I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Next week I will post a picture of my first class cake.

Cooking experiments

Since about a month or so ago I have been doing tons of cooking, and for me that means lots of experiments. Toward the beginning of august I was on a Mexican cuisine kick and got into making tamales and Pan Dulce. I had to order a gigantic steamer from a Mexican food supply website in order to make the tamales. I make about 60 savoury tamales (tofu with green salsa, tofu with mole, and black bean and vegetable.) Then I make about 90 sweet tamales (apple and raisin with Cinnamon, pear with Cinnamon, peach with Cinnamon, banana, and banana with chocolate.) They came out very good, and it was actually really easy to make them. I had actually helped to make them before one time with a Mexican friend when I was about twenty, but that was quite a while ago, so I used this really great website as a guide.

I decided to make the Pan Dulce (Mexican sweet bread) for a friend's birthday who is also from Southern California. We really had no idea what to get for him, and I figured that since he really likes Mexican cuisine this would be a unique and welcome gift. They came out really yummy, though I would like to work on my decorating.

For my birthday I got a ravioli maker and a pasta drying rack. I got the pasta machine last Christmas, and I have wanted the ravioli maker ever since then. The pasta drying rack is great, because usually when I make pasta I have to hang it on every clean free surface I can find, and it was quite a pain. Here I am making our first ravioli dinner. I made them with Spinach and Tofu cream cheese.

Fall Garden

My container garden is going very well. I planted about 3 weeks ago, and they are all doing quite well. Everything came up except for the cilantro. This first photo is how they looked a week after I planted. The weather here turned to fall weather about a week ago, and my plants actually seem to be doing better now, especially the kale and mustard. Before I would sometimes catch them wilting in the hot sun, and now they seem to be growing before my eyes, even when it is cloudy all day. Here is a photo of how they looked today. I hope that the weather doesn't turn too cold too fast before they are big enough to handle it. The average first frost date here is October 5th, and it feels like it is approaching fast. For the last week the air has been rather nippy in the evening and morning, though it is really perfect in the day.