Monthly Archives: June 2011

Why?

We’re home safely from our trip to Dallas and then Branson.  We had a great time and the kids were wonderful.  Even if Mia is in the “why” stage of life….and let me tell you, 20+ hours in a car with a child asking lots of why questions can get interesting. If I had even just a penny for each time she asked I would have enough for a venti latte.  And boy did I want one at certain points.  But, both of them have proved again that they are great little travelers, even if they are a potty trained toddler and a 7 month old baby.

I have lots of stories to tell and lots of pictures to share.  For now, we’re waiting for Mark to get home so we can spend some time together.  1 day with him in the past almost week just isn’t enough for any of us.  Especially when our 7th anniversary was squeezed in there.  Never fear, we celebrated (thanks, grandparents for watching the kids!) and I’ll tell you all about it.

30 at 30: Photo Booth

30 at 30 #21: Take pictures in a photo booth.

The kids and I are leaving town in the morning to go to a wedding.  Lauren was one of my student workers and Mia’s babysitter so we’re excited to go and celebrate with her.

In honor of our fun road trip, I need to show my photo booth pictures since I got them because of the bride.  Last year, Judy (my coworker) and I decided to take Lauren to a bridal show.  As an events staff, we had talked about going to one and having a bride to share it with was perfect.  Well, there’s a ton of vendors at these things and one was a photographer who had a photo booth on site that we could use for FREE.  I had just made my 30 at 30 list the week before and there I was, with an opportunity to do it.  They had tons of props but seeing as she’s getting married on a ranch, we decided the cowboy hats were the way to go.  It only seemed right.

Yay for a great photo booth experience.  Thanks for the memories, Lauren. All those fun events we did together and now it’s the time for your big one! Can’t wait to see you as a beautiful bride!!

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30 at 30: Ice Cream Bombe

30 at 30 #11: Make an ice cream bombe.

I saw somebody make an ice cream bombe on some TV cooking show a long time ago and have always wanted to try it – perfect addition to my 30 at 30 list.

This was a really fun item to check off. Don’t get me wrong, it took quite a bit of planning and a good amount of hours and patience and dirty dishes – this is not a quick fix dessert…it takes commitment – but it wasn’t hard and looked totally impressive. I’m all about doing things that look way harder than they are. It’s good in my line of business.

Also, it was a worthy dessert for our celebration: Mark’s new job!  His first day was today and I wanted him to come home to something fun.  If you want to hear more about his job, feel free to ask…he’s very excited and had an awesome first day.  It’s been quite the journey and we’ve learned a lot but are so happy we could break out the ice cream.

The sheer amount of pictures that are about to follow will show how many steps this thing took. Just skip to the end if you want.

Here’s what you need: ice cream, chocolate, whipping cream, and a set of nesting bowls. And grit as you embark on a long journey that will be totally worth it.

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(And no, Target is not subsidizing this post, although you would think it by the amount of their products in that picture).

Chill the largest bowl in the freezer while you soften your first flavor of ice cream.

When your ice cream is soft, but not melted, it’s time to put it in your bowl and line the walls. Warning: this whole soft but not melted business is easier said than done if you have kids in the house.  I might have almost melted mine a few times…

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Take your next size bowl down and wrap it in plastic wrap and put it inside your bowl with ice cream, pressing down to get all the air bubbles out.

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Back into the freezer it goes for at least 30 min.  If you were smart you would keep an eye on the clock and get your next flavor of ice cream out to start softening.  Or, you could be like me and take a nap and totally mess up your timeline but feel so much better about the rest of the world in general.

Once your ice cream is soft you’re ready to go again.

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Take the plastic-wrapped smaller bowl out.  Momentarily panic when the bowl doesn’t budge.  Calm down, get a knife, and pop it out. Yeah, that totally happened.

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Repeat your steps for your second ice cream flavor: ice cream, plastic wrap around smaller bowl, press bubbles out.

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Back into the freezer.  Start working on softening your final flavor.

Token two year old helper shot.

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Last flavor.  Scoop it out and fill it up level with the other flavors.

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Guess what? BACK INTO THE FREEZER.  Trust me, won’t be the last time either.  Leave it in there for at least 3 hours so that it can get nice and hard.

Put a wire rack over a baking pan. I put foil in mine because I’m all about any help in mess clean ups I can get.

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Dip your bowl into warm water to loosen it from the bowl and flip it out onto the wire rack. You may need to run a knife along the edges to help.

Now we’re getting somewhere….

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Immediately get it back in the freezer.

While it’s cooling back down after that little warm bath, start working on your chocolate covering.

Open all the chocolate squares. Mia is really good at this and will gladly come help you out.

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Don’t laugh when you see me (and Mark) reflected in her as she lines them up.

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And then reorganizes them.

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And then admires her work.

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Chop the squares up and melt them in a bowl sitting in simmering water.

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Meanwhile, heat whipping cream to just almost simmering and slowly add it to your chocolate.  No pictures here because I was too busy panicking over my cream going into my chocolate and making it seize up.  It finally got smooth but not before I was racking my brain to figure out what I could do….none of which were necessary.  Apparently patience was all it needed.

Let two of your favorite people lick the whisk.  Poor Finn…sleeping again.

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Let your chocolate cool down to room temperature before you pour it over your ice cream so it doesn’t melt it.

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Back in the freezer ONE LAST TIME!! (Congratulations you’re so close. Just 5 minutes more.)

Be cheesy and write something to your pun-loving husband (proving that you too can be witty) and give yourself a pat on the back.

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This was the first slice so it wasn’t super pretty for the picture, but we were too anxious to dig in to be worry about trying to get the perfect shot on a clean plate.

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Mia was eating it and said “hmm…nobody come here to sit with us and eat this…hmmm”  Guess she thought it was special enough that it deserved to be shared with people.  So, if you live in town and you want a slice, come on over.  There’s more in…yep…the freezer.

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