Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yesterday we did our first day of the "No Media on Monday" challenge.  It was harder than I thought it would be, to be without internet, but we did it.  I know it will get easier and our lives will get more simple as time goes forward. 

We have accomplished some pretty daunting tasks the past few days, but lot of fun stuff too.  As we continue to simplify almost everything is dauting.  :-)

Sarah helped with juicing some apples and carrots this weekend that needed to be ate.  I threw in some kale as well.  We never had used kale before.  Our champion juicer wasn't a big fan of it and I think I used too much because none of us were fans of juice with a lot of kale.  She washed and counted apples and carrots and then carefully helped me cut them finally she put them through the juicer and I am almost certain she could do it herself now.  *grin*

We also planted some seeds, in the hopes of getting seedlings.  I am trying to be realistic, where as in times past I have planted a lot only to fail somewhat.  I kept it pretty simple this year I may do more tomatoes, I planted ten.  If they all do well that would be wonderful.  Have you been thinking about your garden? 

I am planing a tea party for us friday afternoon.  We will be using this time to work on table manners and serving others.  We have a special tea set just for this and will make some speical treats. 

This week we are also working on collages that and that has been fun as well, nothing like cutting out shapes from catalogs and going to town with glue and paper.  It's only tuesday!  :-) 
I wanted to add directions to a yummy desert we made here for Valentines Day:

Softhearted Chocolate Cakes


1 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1/2 pound)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or 1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate pieces
4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2  cup sugar
1/2  cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream (optional)
Raspberry Sauce  and/or fresh raspberries

1. Lightly butter eight 8-ounce ramekins or 1-cup souffle dishes (I had neither of these dishes, what I did have was a texas muffin tin so I used it instead  and I think it worked very well); line bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Place the prepared ramekins on a shallow baking pan or on a large cookie sheet. Set aside.

2. In a heavy-bottomed, medium saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool slightly. (Or, in a mixing bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Place mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from the simmering water pot; set aside to cool slightly.)

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Mix a large dollop of the beaten eggs into the butter-chocolate mixture. Gently fold until combined. Add butter-chocolate mixture to remaining beaten egg mixture and fold. After a few folds, sprinkle in sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt. Continue to fold until the mixture is combined.

4. Quickly divide the batter evenly among prepared ramekins. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 9 to 10 minutes or until cakes feel firm to the touch on top edges, but still soft in the center when pressed with a fingertip. Remove from oven; set ramekins on a wire rack. Let cakes cool completely in ramekins.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. When cakes are cool, use a small metal spatula to loosen edge of cakes from side of ramekin and unmold onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. The centers of the cakes are supposed to be soft. (If not using immediately, wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.)

6. When ready to serve, place cakes on a microwaveable serving plate. Heat in a microwave oven on 100 percent power for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until warm. (Center of cake will slightly pop up.) Serve with whipped cream and garnish with a splash of Raspberry Sauce and/or fresh raspberries, if you like. Makes 8 servings.

Raspberry Sauce

Yield: 2/3 cup

10 ounce package frozen and thawed red raspberries in syrup (I used frozen raspberries from a garden, they were not in a syrup)

In a blender container or food processor bowl, cover and blend or process one 10-ounce package frozen and thawed red raspberries in syrup until pureed. Use a fine sieve to sieve berry mixture. Cover and refrigerate the sauce till ready to use. Makes 2/3 cup.

I want to find a way to make a really good syrup for the next time I do this. But it was very rich, while time consuming it was very easy, just several steps.  I will make it again.  Thank you Pinterest!  :-)

Since we made so much juice from the apples we had, I decided they would make good frozen treats for Bear.  I froze the juice in little dixie cups and then when Sarah wishes for a treat, I can pull one out for her and it can be a slushy (I had no sticks, if I had sticks on hand I would have made popsicles). 

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