Sunday, May 23, 2010

From scratch, with love

Tonight with a big television event occurring (all you Lost fans out there know what I am talking about....!) I decided to whip up a special dinner and dessert. My son has been begging me to make lasagna so I agreed to make lasagna but then also decided to make an apricot pie, my very favorite.

As I was rolling out the pie dough in my kitchen my mind wandered to all the pies I have seen my mother and grandmother make in my lifetime. My mom's mom has been gone now for eleven years but I cannot make a pie without thinking of her. Whenever I would go visit my grandmother she would have special treats waiting for me that she made from scratch. In an age where we all buy premade or dump a box of mix into a bowl, I really appreciate the love and time my grandmother put into her food.

My grandmother, the original pie master. One of my favorite treats she would make me was 'cozy pie.' It was basically left over pie dough that she rolled out, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and then cut into strips. I would sit in her kitchen eating cozy pie and talk with her while she cooked additional pies or dinner. My mom now carries on the tradition of making cozy pie for my kids and today I made sure to make some too.

Now, I am a bit anal retentive in my kitchen. Ask any of my family or hubby who cook with me. I hate messes and can never go to bed with a dirty kitchen. I get this from my father. However, when you make pie you just have to get messy. Flour is everywhere and pieces of pie dough manage to get all over the counter and floor. Oddly this doesn't bother me at all, it is all too familiar of a scene from my mother and grandmother's kitchen and it is just the way to make pie.

The pie dough ready to be rolled out....

In the pie plate....

Full of yummy apricot filling and ready for the oven after some more pie dough on top.

The cozy pie after baking...

The pie cooling, almost ready to be enjoyed.

I love that my grandma taught my mom to cook, who taught me to cook and at the age of 4 my son is already learning the ropes of the kitchen and my daughter isn't far behind. It has become rare people make anything from scratch and I am going to do my part to not let this die out, at least in my family. As my grandmother used to say, "if you can read, you can cook," so no excuse - go bake something!

My kids (the future bakers) enjoying their cozy pie.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Babies and Birthdays

We had a busy spring weekend these past few days full of babies and birthdays! It started off with a fun visit from Channone and Baby Noah. My kids are dying for a baby brother after playing with Noah for the afternoon (sorry kids, you are outta luck!) They were so loving towards him though and had so much fun reading to him, playing with him and rolling around the floor. At times they almost smothered him with their love!

After a fun day with Baby Noah we drove up to Sacramento to celebrate Livy's 2nd birthday with her!!!! We were glad to have Livy and Kim come visit us a few weeks ago for Amelia's birthday so we were happy to return the favor. Kim and I worked hard on getting cookies and decorations ready while the kids played and ran around on sugar highs all day Saturday. The results of our hard work were amazing, Kim pulled off such a great party for her baby girl!

Mine and Kim's cookie creations!

Amelia playing with one of Livy's new babies, rocking her to sleep!

Kim, my cousin Paul and I. Such a great reunion!

The birthday girl! Such a sweetie!

The birthday girl with her birthday cupcake!

My sweet boy enjoying his red velvet cupcake.

The beautiful goody table and party favors. Great job Kim, it was such a beautiful party!!

Paul was a great sport all weekend helping us out with the party and keeping an eye on the kids. I have such a great hubby. :)

I always love watching the girls play together and I see them being future best friends, or twin souls as I call my twinie.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Pinkalicous Party

Amelia loves the book 'Pinkalicious' so I decided it would be a perfect theme for her 2nd birthday party. This theme is becoming quite popular and I was lucky to find so many wonderful ideas out on the web.

For those of you not familiar with the book it is about a little girl who eats too many pink cupcakes that her mother made and becomes pink herself. She loves the color pink so she is quite happy but eventually to go back to her regular self she must eat lots of green food, which she hates. It is such a cute little story and Amelia absolutely loves this book, and cupcakes so perfect fit for her!

The first thing I wanted was a pink table with lots of pink goodies. I had pink cupcakes, pink gum, pink cookies, oreos dipped in pink chocolate, lollipops and even pink marshmallows. The kids each could pick up a goody bag and fill it with yummy treats to take home (the parents didn't love this so much!)

For set up I had Paul build a huge backdrop that I hung pink fabric from (this is what is behind the goody table up above). For the guest's tables I had pink flowers in vases stuffed with pink tissue paper. Of course all plates, napkins and utensils were pink too.

We had lots of fun pink food as well. I made peanut butter and jelly sammies for the kids cut out in the shape of dresses, deviled eggs died pink and pink lemonade.

Keeping in tune with the book I had a table with green food. Nothing yucky though! Spinach dip, chips with guacamole, green lollipops, caesar salad and green jello salad made this table quite a hit.

The kids all seemed to have a blast. We had a big pink castle bounce house that the kids bounced in for hours! Amelia, Alex and Livy really got a ton of use out of it since we had it for well over 24 hours. All the kids slept well that night!

I managed to talk Paul into wearing a pink shirt but Alex wanted nothing to do with 'Pinkalicious' and wearing a pink shirt. I did talk him into at least wearing some green though!

Amelia had so much with Livy visiting and they were so cute during the party sharing their treats with each other. I love seeing them play and enjoying each other so much.

This was the first time I have not had an actual birthday cake for one of the kid's birthdays but Amelia seemed happy with her cupcakes and enjoyed them as did all the other kids.

This party was sooooo much work but I'm so glad I did it and that everyone enjoyed it, especially my darling girl.

The party came together very well and I am so thankful for everyone who helped out and made all my ideas come to life for Amelia and her friends to enjoy!