September 28, 2014

Proud Mama Post

One of the trumpeters in this band is pretty special to us (you can see him on his knees @ 1:15 in the video) & the percussionist in the pit handling the placards is also our favorite...

The Social Network - Football Friday Night Halftime 09/26/14 from North Pointe Prep on Vimeo.

September 18, 2014

tres leches con miel

The two ingredients for September’s Improv Cooking Challenge were milk & honey. Since I’ve been “itching” to try my hand at a gluten-free tres leches cake; I decided to combine efforts with this month’s challenge.ejmilk3honey
Sweetened Condensed Milk is a major component of this cake. I made my own with honey. I followed Tiffany’s recipe here. ejmilknhoneygroup
ejmilkhoneyrecipe2After whisking this with whole milk & yogurt mixture, my “milk syrup” is now ready for after the cake cools!ejmilknhoney (14)
Sponge cake has never been my forte -- so I was taking my chances “de-glutening” it… Therefor, instead of whipping up my own gluten-free flour science experiment concoction, I decided to try Pamela’s® Artisan Flour Blend which I’d seen some friends use in their dishes with great success.ejmilknhoney (12)I wanted the recipe for the cake to be “authentic,” so I used this one from Pati’s Mexican Table. Here it is with my modifications:ejmilkhoneyrecipe1
The egg whites whipped up so nicely. ejmilknhoney (16)I desperately wished to use honey instead of sugar, but all my research indicated that the whites would not loft correctly.ejmilknhoneyI don’t remember ever beating yolks for this length of time, so I was amazed at the color they became.ejmilknhoney (17)
Every time I bake with egg whites, I cringe at the “snap - crackle - pop” sound with every stroke I use to fold the remaining ingredients. I guess I need more practice! ejmilknhoneyyolkThe finished cake appeared to be quite dense and almost resisted the milk syrup being poured over it. (Don’t know if it would have helped if I added a gum to the flour?)ejmilknhoney (21)After (somewhat) soaking in the milk syrup overnight, it was time to trim the cake to fit my platter and frost with the honey-whipped cream. I found that most of the syrup had gathered on the top, sides & bottom of the cake. (Perhaps I should’ve used a spoon handle to poke holes?) ejmilknhoney (24)Well, the way I figure, a good whipped cream covers a multitude of mistakes!ejmilknhoney (27)The flavor, however, did not disappoint! ejmilknhoney (29)
It was a moist, delicious cake. But the true test will be after my fellers have it for dessert tonight…

ejmilknhoney (332)If you’d like to catch what the other Improv peeps created with milk & honey, check out these links:

Pee-Pee Tipis

So… I found a design at Embroidery Garden that I sure wish I’d had when my boys were babies…ejtipi (2)

All four fit nicely into the little carry pouch.ejtipi (7)

They even come with a cute little poem.ejtipi (8)

September 8, 2014

peanut dipped caramel apple popcorn

Labor Day Weekend tradition the past few years has been camping with our #framily for a few days. I love planning meals I can cook in the cast iron over the campfire -- but sometimes you need a treat after dinner (& s’mores aren’t gluten free… Sad smile)
SoooooooElisabethJeanout came my new the popcorn-maker-I-wanted-so-my-mom-bought-it-for-my-husband’s-birthday
ElisabethJeanI tossed a cup of peanuts into my biggest lasagna pan
ElisabethJeanadded a cup of freeze-dried sliced apples (that I chopped into smaller pieces)
ElisabethJeanthen I piled the popcorn on top (making sure not to invite include any of the “old maids”) Preheat oven to 250°.
Time for my caramel sauce:ElisabethJeanInto a saucepan goes 1/2 c. salted butter, with 1/2 c. yogurt (full fat is best!) 1/2 c. light corn syrup, 2 c. brown sugar and 1 t. salt (or to taste -- depending how salty the peanuts are…)ElisabethJeanHeat until the mixture boils for 5 minutes.ElisabethJeanRemove from the heat and carefully stir in 1 t. vanilla and 1 t. baking soda.
Pour over waiting corn/peanut/apple mixture and stir gently. Bake for 15 minutes then gently stir. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes and stir again. Place pan back in over to bake 15 more minutes. Stir gently for the last time and return pan to oven for the last 15 minutes.
When it’s time is up, turn that incredible corn out onto waiting parchment (actually, this time I used freezer-) paper and allow to coolElisabethJean

normal day