Friday, April 30, 2010

Toasted Coconut & Orange Icebox Cookies for Cookie Carnival


I’ve joined another baking group.  Cookie Carnival is a monthly cookie baking group.  A random cookie recipe is chosen and everyone in the group posts their makings of the cookie.  Once a month.  I can handle that.  I know, we just moved.  I’m tired.  We’re totally out of the house—It LOOKS fabulous.  Better than the day we moved in five years ago.  It was not fun.  Now we are living in a small duplex until we move to Utah in June.  THAT will be fun, camping out in these quarters. ;)


Let’s get on with this month’s cookie.  I made these cookies a good two weeks ago.  The cookies that were chosen are Toasted Coconut & Orange Icebox Cookies from Aida Mollencamp on Food Network.  You can get the recipe on the link.  The cookies are great, but the written recipe is not the greatest.  If you’d like an easier recipe to follow, check out Amanda’s post for these cookies on Amanda's Cookin'.  She wrote the recipe in better to understand terms.  Amanda and I had talked (emailed) a few weeks ago about the cookies and if you check out hers, we had no idea our cookies were photographed so similarly until I saw her post for the cookies.  Great minds, she and I. ;)

We also both veered from the recipe and added the orange zest by rubbing it in with the sugar.  I halved the recipe, so there was actually a lot of zest added to 1/4 cup sugar.  It was sure fragrant!  The full recipes uses 2 packed tablespoons of zest, so after zesting a medium size orange, I had a good tablespoon for my halved recipe.   


The dough has toasted coconut (duh, the title) and I was out of vanilla extract at the time, so I used some pure coconut flavoring instead.  Slice the dough in to 1/2 inch slices and coat them in granulated sugar then bake.  After they are baked and cooled, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate.  I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips. 

The cookies are definitely very orange flavored and had a great coconut chew to them.  The chocolate covered bites were better than the plain halves.  Overall a really good cookie!


You can join the monthly Cookie Carnival, too.  Check out the details on Tami’s blog, Tami's Kitchen Table Talk.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Giveaway Winner Announced for C&H Sugar Gift Card Giveaway

Check my Giveaway and Reviews blog to see who won the C&H Sugar Gift Card to have a bake sale for Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TWD—Chockablock Cookies and C&H Sugar Giveaway Reminder

Let’s see how this goes.  I’m writing this post Sunday night and trying for the first time to post it on Tuesday.  Hope it works!  (I know, baby steps for me in the blogging world, as I’m sure most have been doing this forever.) 

Movin’, movin’, movin’.  We are movin’.  Tuesday!  TWD day.  We’re not moving to Utah yet, just have to be out of our house (so glad we sold it!).  So we’re moving to a duplex. (The boys will be able to walk to and from school, that will be awesome!)  This will be a fun “camping” type adventure for us.  We’re only taking our mattresses, two couches, the dining room table and chairs and as few necessities as we can live with for two months—and yes, that means I’m keeping most of my kitchen things! ;)  The only cookbook I’ve left out of packing is Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours and my big three-ring binder full of Paige's recipes from all her classes I’ve taken.  Her recipes are fantastic so if you haven’t, check out her new blog sometime!

So I was emailing with Amanda from Amanda's Cookin' last week and she mentioned she’d made the TWD pick for this week already, the Chockablock Cookies, which were chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet.  (Mary will have the recipe on her blog.)  Amanda motivated me to make the cookies up real quick before we got too busy with the move for me to get it done.  So I made a half batch of these cookies and I’m so glad I did.


I love these.  They are full of oats and nuts and dried fruit and chocolate (I left out the coconut this time, but coconut is on the ingredient list, too.)  The day I made them, I baked four cookies and froze the rest into balls of dough ready to bake.  The half recipe I made, made 17 cookies.  In the cookie dough, I put some chopped dried apricots, some mixed dried cranberries, tart cherries and blueberries (with added antioxidants!), some pecans and some Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips.  I baked the four cookies for 13 minutes.  They were just a tad crunchier that I’d wanted.  But look at this---great warm from the oven.


So when I got the rest out to bake a few days later, I baked them for only about 12 minutes when they were frozen and I liked them a lot more.  They were perfectly chewy, slightly crisp and FULL of good things!  I will definitely make these cookies again.


I did not think the molasses flavor overpowered these at all and I love the texture it gave the cookies.  They were still great a couple days later, too.


I really like the apricot/chocolate combo as well as all the other great flavors in these cookies.  And just because photos of this one are rare, I must post that Scott was recently chosen as one of only 29 students at his school to have some of his art work displayed at the Lawrence Art Museum.  Scott LOVES art and we are so proud of him and all the great things he does.  We got to go see his work displayed among all the other things from many other students in schools throughout Lawrence.  Knowing there weren’t many chosen from each school, we were surprised to see our neighbors there with their little girl who also was chosen.  How fun!



Great job, Scott.  The tree is painted with black paint and the colors are done with oil pastels.  So we may be down with internet use over the next few days.  Hopefully we’ll be back up and running soon!  Can’t wait to get settled into our new place so I can bake again!  Kevin is headed out to Utah with a couple friends in a 26 foot rental full of as many of our things as we can live without this weekend.  He’ll fly back on Monday.  Oh this will be quite the week!

Want to check out all the other Chockoblock Cookies out there, head over to the TWD site and see the list of bloggers and their cookie creations.


Just a reminder if you haven’t yet, head over to my giveaway blog and enter to win a gift card from C&H Sugar to have a bake sale and raise money to help fight childhood hunger in the US with Share Our Strength.  You can enter for the giveaway until Wednesday, April 28 at 8 p.m. CST.     

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cupcake Pebbles Rice Cereal Treats Recipe and a C&H Sugar Gift Card Giveaway!

Have you seen this cereal yet?


Well, when I see something new and fun like this, I start the little cranks a turnin’ in my head and think of fun things to do with it.  So this afternoon when I should have been packing boxes, I decided to whip up a sweet treat.


I made the usual rice cereal treats with marshmallows, a little butter and the Cupcake Pebbles.  They are fun in that they have little colored sprinkles in them.  So I thought it sounded yummy to put a layer of colorful buttercream frosting in the middle.  I made up my own frosting recipe.  I’ve always just thrown some butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk in a mixer and whipped it up.  I wrote down what I used this time just for you. 

Cute and fun, right?  I also decided to cut them in to small pieces and put them in some fitting paper liners, then pipe on a little more swirled frosting.  Maybe I was in a girly mood, after being around five guys constantly, sometimes I just want to see pink, you know!  What little girl would not want these treats at a party? Or they’d be great for a girly baby shower.


The treats are pretty sweet with the sugary cereal, marshmallows and frosting, so I thought the little portions were perfect.


I had a lot of fun arranging these on different plates.


Here’s how I did the frosting.  I made one batch of it and separated it in to three bowls and colored them with some neon food coloring I have.  I made green, pink and purple.  So festive!  I put half the cereal treats in a 9x9 pan, then put dollops of frosting all over and kind of swirled it around as I spread it.

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Then I layered the rest of the cereal mixture over that and pressed it down.  I was originally going to put more frosting over the top, but these are super sweet/sugary, so I decided to just go with the small squares with a little swirl of the frosting on the top.  These almost made me wish I had a little girl to share them with—but not really!  I took a plateful to our neighbors, they have a little girl who is about 7.


Cupcake Pebbles Rice Cereal Treats, by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

10 ounces mini marshmallows

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 cups Cupcake Pebbles Rice Cereal, by Post

For the Frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

Food colorings of choice

Make the frosting by putting the 1/2 cup butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat it until smooth.  Add the extracts, salt and powdered sugar.  While it is mixing, slowly add the milk a tablespoon at a time.  Scrape down sides of bowl a few times.  Beat for a few minutes until fluffy and smooth.  Divide the frosting into three bowls.  Add the three colors and mix together with a spoon until well mixed.  Set aside. 

To make the cereal treats, spray a 9x9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the marshmallows and butter and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Microwave again for another 30 seconds.  Stir well.  It only takes one minute in the microwave, but you can also do this in a large pot on the stove.  Add the six cups of cereal and stir together until well mixed.  Spread half the treats in the prepared pan and smash it down evenly (I use a potato masher sprayed with a little cooking spray—it works great!)  You can then put the frosting in the middle any way you’d like, spread it in three sections if you’d like or in dollops like I did and swirl it for a tie-dyed effect.  Then put the rest of the cereal mixture  over the frosting, spreading it evenly.

Let the treats firm up for an hour or so at room temperature or chill them in the fridge.  They are easier to cut chilled, but are better to eat at room temperature.  Cut in to desired sized pieces or one inch squares and set them in to mini paper muffin liners.  Put the remaining frosting into a piping bag in three sections, squeeze together and pipe onto treats.  When you first start piping, just one color comes through, but soon all three colors combine and swirl nicely.


Speaking of sweet things, head on over to my giveaway blog and check out the great giveaway from C&H Sugar and join in helping Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale fight childhood hunger by having a bake sale of your own! Head on over and enter to win!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Ingredient Banana “Ice Cream” Recipe and One Ingredient Strawberry “Ice Cream” Recipe

First of all, here’s Sam’s latest---


He’s there almost at the end of our street, just to the left of the S.  What is he doing?  Well, he’s chasing Sam who is on his Big Wheel as fast as he can go.  He’s done it 3-4 times now.  Just gets on his “bike” and takes off chucking it down the street.  Kevin really had to run to catch him.  We live, for only another week! :( at the circle end of a cul de sac, it’s nice and safe.  At the other end is a round-about where there is a lot more traffic and often cars not paying complete attention as they zoom around it.  Yep, Sam keeps going clear down there.  The mailboxes are down there (gone are the days of mail carriers delivering to a box at every house???).  Anyway, Sam feels very familiar with the area, but it’s a little dangerous down there and he knows he’s not to go down there by himself.


He is marched right back home and doesn’t get to play outside anymore. It’s pretty traumatic for him and I hope he gets the message without too many more chases!  The little stinker!  We’re moving.  Soon.  Very soon.  I’m feeling kind of bummed about it when I look out at our street and it’s so pretty and I’m loving all the green and spring in the air.  And it just won’t be the same living in a small rented duplex for two months.  Sigh!

I just need to keep focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have bought a big, beautiful home in Utah and I know once we get settled in there that it will feel like home, but it’s okay to feel a little sad, right?  Well, we felt the same five years ago when we left Arizona, so I know it will be okay.


Parker had his 2nd grade music program last night.  It was a fun one, Seussical Jr. The Musical.  They sang a lot of fun songs.  “Hey, Parker, smile for a nice picture.”


Nice, Parker.  Okay, be serious.


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish…..each class of kids were dressed all in different colors.  They looked really nice.  Darn, we took lots of video of all the singing.  Parker is quite expressive in the performance, but it would take me forever to figure out how to put some of it on here.  It will be fun to see Parker through the years as he no doubt is the one in our family who will be in drama, singing, dancing, doing his thing.



One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream.  Believe me? Put about four chopped, frozen bananas in the food processor.  (Let them sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so so they aren’t quite so hard.  Pulse until they are well chopped up.  Then let the food processor run for 2-3 minutes, you can scrape it down a few times, but it will soon become a wonderfully smooth texture.  It will look like a perfect soft-serve ice cream.  The boys love this stuff.  I couldn’t get a decent picture before they were all gobbling theirs down.  Of course they had to put some chocolate syrup on top.  This stuff is so smooth and creamy that you can’t even tell it’s banana—well, except for the flavor. ;)  We made this for snack tonight because we have a deep-freeze freezer and I’ve been trying to use up the things in it before we move.  While “cleaning it out”, I found a big bag of bananas (you’ll want to freeze bananas before they get to that black, really overripe stage for this ice cream).  Bananas just starting to get “freckles” are the best.  If you like bananas, you’ve got to give this a try!  A perfectly healthy treat that would even be fun for breakfast!

When I found the bananas, I also found two bags of strawberries I’d frozen last summer.  They were just slightly icy, but not bad.  We decided to whirr those up in the food processor and have a double treat.  The boys decided they didn’t want to mix the banana and the strawberry, but I’ll bet it would work and be good!

First we made just the strawberries plain.  It was kind of like a strawberry freeze or ice and tasted great!


100% Strawberries, nothing added.  Then we thought it would be fun to try adding just a little bit of fat free vanilla ice cream that we had.  It was almost gone, so we only put in about 1 cup, if even that, and mixed that up in he food processor with the strawberries.  Again, didn’t get a very good picture before it was all being gobbled up.  But  the boys loved that, too.   Ice cream for breakfast, you’ve got to try it!


T-Minus, next Tuesday and we’ll be moved out of this house.  Sigh.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TWD—Sweet Cream Biscuits (My Way)—Sing it!

Oh I made the biscuits, never you mind that.  Great lil’ biscuits this week chosen by Melissa of Love at First Bite


With half the dough I made 8 or so of these lil’ guys with my 1 1/2 inch cutter.  They were perfect for making everyone taste them with dinner.  We had breakfast for dinner (Monday), eggs, sausage and biscuits with some fresh strawberries and grapes.  I warmed the biscuits a bit, put butter on them and let the boys pick between apricot preserves and some cherry preserves I had.  They were light and flaky and way too easy to just keep eating.  Half the boys liked them and half didn’t care to eat them.  Kevin is not big on having bread with a meal and especially doesn’t care for butter and jam.  (His loss.  I know that’s almost as bad as his dislike for cake and frosting!  Poor me.  Or should I say fatter-because-of-it me?)


Perfect biscuits, I’d have to say and I do love that the dough doesn’t have butter or shortening.


The end.


NOT!  You may be wondering what I did with the other half of the dough???  Of course I played around!  After going straight-laced with the Swedish Visiting Cake last week, I really felt like changing things up a bit around here.  While making the biscuit dough, I noticed it is very similar to my favorite scones recipe, which of course, I’ve gotten the recipe for from none other than Chef Paige at one of her fabulous cooking classes I’ve taken.  Paige’s scones have more sugar (1/4 cup), so just to go halfsies, I put in two tablespoons of sugar in these biscuits instead of two teaspoons called for in the biscuit recipe.  Dorie suggested using cake flour for some of the flour and that is what I did, since I always have cake flour on hand for my favorite chocolate chip cookies.  Since ya’ll know I couldn’t dare go two weeks without adding chocolate to a TWD recipe, I took that half of dough (each half was 10 oz. of dough) and I added a good tablespoon of mini chocolate chips, as well as about 1/8 cup toasted chopped pecans and 1/8 cup toffee bits.  I carefully folded these things in to the dough and tried not to handle it too much.  I rolled it out and cut out 8 nice lil’ scones, brushed them with cream and sprinkled some turbinado sugar on top.  Baked them for 12 minutes.   Oh, I thought about going fruity, but I just couldn’t do it.  Have you ever tried toffee in your scones?  Ya gotta, I’m just saying.  See--



Doesn’t quite do it for you?  How about this?

We’re moving.  That means, I need to clean out our fridge, by like, next week.  I found a little container, only about 1/4 cup, of some homemade caramel.  I have no idea what recipe it was from or even really how long it’s been there.  But I warmed it up just a bit in the microwave and took just a little tiny taste to see if it was still good.  (It looked fine, I would not have tasted it if there was green fuzz on it or anything! ;)

The caramel is really good.  So I thought I’d try a little on a scone (or two). I did not eat all this-at once.


“Enough Katrina, enough, yer killin’ me”.  I know, I hear ya.  But it doesn’t stop here.  These ARE sweet cream biscuits, right?  Had to try them with a little “sweet cream”.


Okay, it’s fat free vanilla ice cream, but still…

Heavenly!  And it’s a good thing I went jogging this morning!  Sigh!

Thank you, Melissa, for picking a fun one for me this week.  You can find the recipe for Dorie’s Sweet Cream Biscuits on Melissa’s blog.  You can get the recipe for Paige’s scones here.  (You can add any mix-ins to the scones you would like.  I’m hankering to try some citrus zest, dried cranberries or apricots and some kind of nuts.  Mmmm.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Almond Joy Coconut Brownies Recipe (Gluten Free)--Revisited

Friday night our wonderful neighbors had a going-away shindig for us.  We live on a cul-de-sac so everyone on our street met out in the circle with yummy things to share a great picnic dinner.  Sad to say, some of the neighbors we met for the first time.  We have talked for five years about having a neighborhood BBQ or something and it just never happened.  Still, THANKS Ruth, Caren, Mary, Regina and everyone else who helped plan and came.  It was really fun.  I’m even more sad now to leave here.  Sigh!

I made my Gluten Free Almond Joy Coconut Brownies to share.  These turned out even better than before.


The brownies were darker, fudgier and the coconut—BETTER, thicker and gooier.  I’ll repost the recipe with my changes.  And I’ll tell you these coconut filling changes weren’t without using the amazing knowledge of a fabulous blogger that makes me laugh and drool at least weekly.  It’s Liz at Cake or Death?.  LOVE. HER.  When I first made these brownies back in January, I used coconut oil in place of the butter and coconut flour instead of all purpose flour.  Then I just threw some coconut and almonds in the middle.  They were great!  Then a few weeks ago, while on a month-long coconut kick, Liz posted some Mounds Brownies and I just couldn’t resist trying her coconut filling in my brownies.  Liz (who is a real-life pastry chef and always dolls her goodies up so nicely) added sweetened condensed milk to the coconut which made for a perfect gooey, chewy center.  I’ll never go back to my “old” way. These are darker because all I had was Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa.  You could use any cocoa, but I really liked the darker flavor in these.  I forgot to use coconut oil, but I think the butter is what made them fudgier.

Almond Joy Coconut Brownies (Gluten Free), by Katrina Smith

1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coconut flour (could use 1/4 cup all purpose flour if you’re not going for gluten free)

2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

pinch salt

2/3 cup toasted, chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 8x8 inch square baking pan with foil, spray lightly with cooking spray.

Melt butter and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat.  Whisk together well.  Let sit 3 minutes.  Whisk in eggs one at a time.  Add sugar and vanilla.  Fold in salt and flour until combined.  Spread half the batter evenly in pan.  Combine coconut, salt and condensed milk in a bowl. Spread dollops of coconut mixture over the brownie batter.  Sprinkle on chopped, toasted almonds.  Put remaining brownie batter in zip top plastic bag.  Snip off corner of bag.  Drizzle remaining batter over the coconut/almond layer. (This ensure more even spreading of the remaining batter.)  Smooth carefully with a knife once the batter is drizzled.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few crumbs.  Let cool on cooling rack to room temperature.  Then chill for a few hours.  Cut into desired size bars.


I’m glad I made these because even our neighbors who eat gluten-free got to have a treat!  These are great—gluten-free or not!  Ruth took lots of pictures of the evening and I can’t wait to see them.  Thanks, again, Ruth!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rhubarb Cake and Tart Cherry Crisp

A couple of goodies here for ya.  Last week when me and my “Reality Sisters” were together to watch Survivor, Julie (whose house we always watch it at) pulled a delicious smelling cake out of the oven when I arrived.  It was this Rhubarb Cake that her daughter found on Allrecipes and wanted her to make.  The cake was super moist and just the right sweetness and tartness from the rhubarb.  Julie used frozen rhubarb.  And it had a great cinnamon/sugar topping to finish it off.  I thought it tasted great and will surely make it when I can get my hands on some rhubarb.  Julie said her daughter (who doesn’t live in Kansas) also made it with some healthier substitutions like whole wheat flour and applesauce in place of some of the butter and that it turned out really well.  Thanks for the yummy cake, Julie!


Then today I found a bag of frozen tart cherries in the freezer and decided since we’re trying to use up the things in the freezer, that a cherry crisp needed to be made.  I took a couple recipes and did a little tweaking and these actually turned out really well.  I used six ramekins for the crisps.  I’m still going to play around with the recipe a bit, so I’m not ready to share it as I thought there was just a bit too much sugar in the filling.  This was just a little reminder to me that I can’t wait for cherry season and summer fruits! 

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This also reminded me of the delicious Thanksgiving Cherry-Berry Pie I got the recipe for from Anna at Cookie Madness and made last November.  This was the first time I’d NOT used canned cherry pie filling for cherry pie or anything requiring cherries.  For this pie, I used canned tart cherries and thought it was WAY better than that canned filling.  I have a feeling I’ll never make a cherry pie with it again (although the boys LOVE that stuff).  Frozen tart cherries—good.  Anna told me back in November that she can’t wait to really convert me to the real thing when cherries are back in season and I can’t wait to use the real thing as well.

And finally, Taylor wants me to put this cute thing on the blog.


I know, that IS cute!  I found this little frog duck at the grocery store for $1.50 as they have all the Easter things on clearance.  Taylor collects frogs and this IS really darling.  He loves it and thought it was pretty cool that he put his shoes on it.  LOV-IN’ spring at our house!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

TWD—Swedish Visiting Cake

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“Oh, Hi, Mom, could you take my picture, I colored all over my nice pants and both shoes and some paper with this really cool bright yellow pastel type crayon I found.  And don’t worry, I didn’t get any on your bed!  Thanks, Mom.  I sorry.”  (SIGH!)

Tuesday’s with Dorie this week was a perfectly simple cake chosen by the fabulous Nancy from The Dogs Eat the Crumbs.  Nancy is great to help a lot of us bakers out by posting on the P&Q her quartered (or halved or third-ed or even smaller!) recipes and many helpful ideas about the recipes each week.  (I hate math and especially fractions, so thanks Nancy!)  She chose Swedish Visiting Cake (pages 196-197 in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours) for us and like many, I’m sure, when I first saw the cake, I wasn’t that excited to make it.  But I was intrigued by the fact that the cake is so simple you can make it in no time and have a great dessert ready.  So Sunday night as I was making dinner, I got out all the ingredients for the cake and whipped it up while preparing the last few things for dinner (multi-tasking here, you can’t do that with a lot of recipes!)  You can get the recipe for the cake on Nancy’s blog.  It really is a great one to have when you have last minute company. 

I was excited to use the cast iron skillet I got for Christmas and have only used one other time so far—for the Tarte Tatin we made back in January for TWD.  Get this—I followed the recipe!  I know, I know, what is wrong with me?  Okay, one MINOR change.  I ran out of vanilla.  So I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (instead of 1 teaspoon) and used 1 teaspoon almond extract (instead of a half).  They were both optional to the recipe, so really I could do whatever I wanted to there, right? 

Cake going in the oven.  Oh, wait, first I had the extreme pleasure of doing this--


The rubbing of the zest into the sugar!  It doesn’t even involve chocolate and it’s one of my favorite things to do in baking.  (Simple pleasures, right.)  Mix a few things here and there and then the cake was ready for the oven.


It baked for 30 minutes.  After it had only been out of the oven for about 15 minutes (at the most), Kevin wanted a slice.  (Shocker—Kevin wanted cake.  The key here is that there was no frosting, it’s really frosting that he hates so much.  I know, let’s not talk about the craziness of that!)


He put a dollop of some Cool Whipped Cream on top.  (We had some that needed to be used or else I would have whipped some real cream, although, I still prefer the fake, bad-for-you stuff.  I am a skim milk drinker only and I think whipped cream reminds me too much of drinking full fat, whole milk (I can barely even stand 2%).  Anyway, back to the cake.  Almost never in the history of me participating in Tuesday’s With Dorie has Kevin ever really tasted a cake, savored it and given me some good, honest feedback.  But this simple little cake was it.  He REALLY liked it!


I mean, he was even saying things like, “I like how moist it is inside but I really like the crunchy top from the sugar and almonds.”  We’re talking real opinion here.  I was almost in shock.  I usually have to really prod him about some of these recipes to get an “It was alright.” out of him about things.  He often just eats to fill his tummy as fast as he can and doesn’t really taste his food.  He liked the almond flavoring (although I decided it was a little too strong, and actually next time I make this cake, I want to try it with no vanilla or almond and maybe add a little lemon flavoring.  I wanted to taste the lemon more than we did with this one.

That said, I really liked the cake.


So did the boys.  They each had a piece.  (Taylor had to pick off all the nuts from his, but still ended up eating the whole thing.)  I really thought they’d all think this was too boring and not like the almond flavoring.

Scott ended up eating two pieces and finishing a good half of Parker’s.  (Parker is just not a really big sweets eater.  Sheesh, how would THAT be?)

Kevin had gone to a meeting at church after downing his piece.  When he got home a few hours later, there was about two pieces left.  He asked if he could finish the cake.  Kevin finished a cake.  You just might not realize the significance of that.  He. doesn’t. like. cake.  I’m not sure I can convince myself to make such a simple, kind of boring cake for his birthday, but I wouldn’t doubt if this is what he requests then.


And that was the end of that only hours after pulling the cake out of the oven.  I call that success!


And I call this little stinker dadgum cute!


This one, too, but he’d be SO mad at me if he knew I put this on the blog.  I did not take these pictures and I don’t know if Kevin was letting Sam use the camera or what, but this is a good interpretation of the usual kind of pictures of Scott we get—he’s a blur and trying to duck out of the pictures.

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He will go out of his way to NOT STOP for a photo op.  This is the best we got.  Hi, Scottie!


Beautiful night (Monday).  Lovin’ springtime!  Riding scooters and bikes and blowing bubbles all evening.  Didn’t capture any pictures of Taylor and Parker.  Parker was hurt by a basketball to the head.  Our neighbor wanted to make him feel better, so he took him for a ride in his Porche.  Parker thought that was pretty darn cool.  Thanks, Ron!