Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thin Mint copy cat with honey...

Luke brought home thin mints from work.  I like thin mints.  I can't eat them because I'm not eating "refined" sugar.  Blah...  SO I made these and I'm telling you...they may be better than the ones the girl scouts are delivering.  So good.  The pictures could be better, but since I don't advertise or anything like that on this blog, it isn't a side job... so lame phone pictures will have to do. ;) ;) ha

chocolate recipe:

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup coconut oil (not fractionated/solid at room temp: 70 degrees)

put all of that in a sauce pan and warm up until the coconut oil melts and everything combines well.  Don't walk away for long as the chocolate and honey can scorch if temp is too high and it's not stirred now and then.  It doesn't take long to warm up and melt.  Once blended add about 20 drops of undiluted peppermint oil or more if you like it stronger.  You can taste the chocolate off the spoon until it's right...a good excuse to eat it I say. ;)  Then you just coat butter crackers with the chocolate and wha-la!  you have a thin mint! :D

Only...it wasn't quite so simple. This is what happens if you try to dip the crackers and put them on wax paper.  Hmmmm that's how I made these before with melted chocolate chips and it worked fine...so trouble shooting was in order for the easy to melt coconut oil based chocolate.  The solution is a muffin liner. 

 I ended up stacking two crackers instead of one (bigger cookie-yay!).  Since the crackers are kind of airy, they separated and had a nice even chocolate center without me doing anything but dumping the chocolate over the crackers. They float up and distribute without help.

 This time of year, I let them set by putting them out on the porch for about 10 minutes, but if it's not freezing out, they need to set in the freezer.
 Look kind of like a peanut butter cup-but I'm telling you, they taste just like thin mints. :)
 They are bigger than thin mints too...so there's that advantage ;)
 nom-nom-nom is the only caption I can think of for this image. :D
 I store them in the freezer like so:  
Hope you enjoy if you try them! :)
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Saturday, February 21, 2015

A party is a party...

but a Masquerade party...well...(and all you Emma fans know I misquoted that :)

The dress: TJ Maxx...possibly needed taken in, but I didn't have time to alter it. :)  It was heavy lace that fell, so I got a way with it (I hope).
 At Party City sending Luke pictures with dumb messages about what he should wear
 he was trying to put Gi down for bed and finally just quit responding... I can't blame him.. ;)

 but in the end... my date wore...
 The half mask. ;)  I couldn't smile very well in my mask...my cheek muscles hit it and it felt like I'd had Botox injections or something.   I decorated my mask though...so I was still real proud of it. :D
 See...? haha my smile...ha
 one of the program directors in some amazing red polyester
 I spent the night drinking hot tea instead of the free wine...which probably made me look quite ancient but hey...they had a really good Tazo tea collection I couldn't  resist. :D

 ah yes...the candle light selfie in a glittery mask...everyone must have one...for like a dating profile or something (ha)...
 and then...not wanting the night to end so fast and Gi being so old and grown up these days- we stayed over at a little bed and breakfast along white river.  It was really quaint and a nice experience having breakfast with the hosts.  We talked for like 3 hours over our omelets before finally heading home to our amazing baby sitter. :D
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Can you make a tea ring without sugar...?

When I get cold...I want to bake.  But I'm still doing the no refined sugar challenge and wasn't sure what that would look like.  The boys and I watched the British cooking show on PBS and they wanted to do a sweet bread.  So the challenge was presented:  cook a tea ring without sugar.  Could it be done?
 Used this recipe with honey instead of sugar
 I always wonder if the bread machine will actually make dough at this stage...
But it did indeed make dough...
 The thought was to put butter and whipped honey with cinnamon instead of brown sugar and cinnamon...no recipe used for this switch...just winging it here.
 rolled up...
 Pulled into a ring...


 raising in the warm oven
 hmmmmm....first problem sighted... honey melts when it gets warm.  Good thing I used parchment paper, this would have been awful to get off the pan.

 In then end...it was like eating dinner rolls in a tea ring shape. :)  Still good, but I wouldn't say it was a tea ring.  I wonder if thick fruit spread would have worked better.  That may have run all over too.
 There was a little bit of honey flavor inside...
 This was the biggest problem.  Burnt honey on the bottom of the tea ring.  It actually didn't taste super burt all the way around, only in places the honey ran out.  And burnt honey doesn't taste like yummy burt sugar on top of custard...it was kind of bitter.
 So...it would seem it's better to just put honey on bread once it's baked.
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Friday, February 13, 2015

{not so perfect day} Perfect North

Well to start with...Gi was feeling better but just coming out of being quite sick the day before.  Confident that Caleb and Laura could love her while we were gone we seized the day and I finally joined the crew at Perfect North.  They've gone maybe 4 or 5 times this year already but I always stay home with the two youngest so we aren't stuck in the lodge all day.
 Adrian was with Luke's parents at a farm show...so it was like...we only had three kids.  Weird. ;)
 And there it is!  A pile of ice balls in the middle of fields with no snow at all :D  Hooray!
 excitement in the parking lot pre-boarding...before we all froze
 On the ski lift... 20 mile an hour winds and only 20 something degrees... a good test for my new coat.  It was indeed warm enough which is crazy.  My hands were cold after several hours though.
What do you caption this...?...our family minus 3 plus 2 random people behind us ;)

I think this is how most people feel after their first day of boarding.  Why get up...?...I'll just fall on my bum again.  The snow had melted on a warm day last week and then refroze making the snow basically little ice pellets...not a soft forgiving landing for a beginner I'm afraid.
 Finished the night with food from Piada which is really yummy street food Italian style.  Yum :)
You're awesome Laura-thanks for holding Gi for me so I could fall a lot with my boys ;)

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Life in pictures...art...

 we have four hens laying eggs now, an Easter egg blue color, a green that looks just like our dinning room paint color, a funky grey/green color and the brown. :)
 Jude and his ice swan :)
 Gisella saw a picture of pizza in a mail flier...she walked around saying "pizza...pizza" over and over again.  I was distracted on the computer and the next thing I knew, Adrian was asking me what temp he should cook his pizza for Gi.  He made the dough for this with flour and water :D ...which was a big mess, but I had to be impressed. :) It tasted okay too. :)
We are doing an art unit at CC so we went to the IMA for the on loan Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit 
 in the entry way...poses to me imitated are sketched in the corner of the white block
 our "Docent" that led our group :)
 I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the pieces of art on loan...
But this one the IMA owns and displays all the time...
 This is one they had on loan...
The one below is a piece displayed for the preschool age group art contest.  The painter is one of the students in our CC group, so we got bragging rights on that. ;)
There's the little artist now in polka dots very focused on pipe cleaners :)
 no one from the museum wanted to frame this picture I made of scissors in the Star Lab...not sure why not... ;) haha


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