Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Woot woot, dinner party

So I was pinning stuff (if you haven't heard of pinterest, search for it...and don't blame me), and I came across a fall menu for a dinner party. I was immediately intrigued and FB-messaged these girls I know and was all "hey, we haven't gotten together lately...whatcha doin this weekend?" sly, right?

And of course one of them is on pinterest so she was enjoying my dinner party pins, which included this little gem here. I was perusing the menu as well, which included:

Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle


Caramel-Apple Cheesecake

Coffee, tea

Oh God...it was like a fallgasm. And only after I pinned and read and re-read the recipe for the chicken and pesto farfalle did I realize...I made it already. In 2008.


Hmm. Well at least I know it's good! So I volunteered to do the pasta and dessert, and the ladies volunteered to fill in the rest. Mags baked bread (we had the leftover bread tonight, it made our hamburger helper blush), and Lars came packing heat with some fan-freaking-tastic cheese with roasted vegetables in the cheese - yeah, I know, I thought cheese was only for hiding pills you want the dog to take too - and scallops with an apple-cider reduction. I think. She basically just waved her hands in the kitchen and things danced and sang like in Beauty and the Beast. I heart my friends.

Anyway, I digress - to the cheesecake:

Caramel-Apple Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 8 cookie sheets)
1 tablespoon egg white
1 tablespoon water
Cooking spray
{I did not measure the egg white, and added too much, and ended up coating a spoon with butter and pressing my crust down that way because it stuck to my fingers}

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 3/4 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
Dash of nutmeg
{and I totally forgot the half-and-half too...so I substituted my coffee creamer}

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare crust, combine the first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press mixture lightly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 6 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack. Wrap outside of pan with a double layer of foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
3. To prepare cheesecake, place 1 3/4 cups sugar and next 7 ingredients (through fat-free cream cheese) in food processor; process until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time; process until blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch.
4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove from oven; let stand in water bath 10 minutes. Run a knife around outside edge of cheesecake. Remove pan from water bath; cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
5. To prepare topping, combine 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and lemon juice in a small, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Cook 4 minutes or until golden (do not stir). Remove from heat. Add butter to pan; gently stir until butter melts. Stir in half-and-half. Cool slightly.
6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add apple to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in sugar mixture and nutmeg. Serve topping with cheesecake.

I used my mom's trick instead of the water bath - bake as usual, after one hour, turn the oven off, put a stick in the oven door, and let sit for one hour. And of course, there was a crack down the middle...but I covered it with not-quite-caramelized apples so it was all good.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin cookies!

yay for baking again!

now, let's see...for what did I make this glorious recipe...??? I think it may have been just for fun.
oh wait - bake sale!

I bought a Taste of Home fall baking catalog/book/wasteofmoney last month at the store and bookmarked recipes that looked good. I failed to realize that the pumpkin cookies I marked were full of *gasp* raisins. And as you all know, they are just humiliated grapes.

So, I looked for a new one. And I found...these babies! They did the trick. Next time, however, I may look for something that features the pumpkin flavor more prominently. And I totally did not make them as cute as the spirally frosting picture.

but they still get...

Baby's First Fever

Two weeks ago, we thought the burrito had a cold. When the mucus in the corner of his eye got worse, we took him into the pedi - pinkeye. UGH. And eyedrops, double ugh. We put them in when he was sleeping or otherwise distracted, 3x/day. He had a 7-day round, so it wasn't too horrible. But add that to the cough?

She had given us a script for additional meds in case the cough got worse...and after bringing him back to bed with us and hearing him cough two nights, we filled it. So it was meds 2x/day in addition to the drops for a while!

His cough let up some, and I recall saying something at work about this being the second time he was really ill (barring the baby cold earlier this year) since he was born - which I was thankful for, since I know some kids who have constant ear infections, sinus problems, breathing problems, etc.

And then? The universe heard. And sent me this weekend! Hubs worked, and I had a dinner party planned with friends, so I was doing errands and such. When we got home on Saturday, he was still warm, so I took his temperature, and around noon on Saturday he was at 100.3. Niiiice. First fever! Administered acetaminophin, made dinner, he ate like a pig, and his temp went down a little.

Sunday? temp went up to 103 in the afternoon, just in time for my friends to get there. Hubs called the on-call pedi, and they said in babies sometimes the degree of fever is less important than the symptoms. He was eating, drinking, and filling diapers normally, so we continued with the tylenol and fed and watered him normally.

Of course, this morning, he was at 100.2, and I called daycare and heard something about 101 or higher, so I thought he was good to go. We got all packed up and walked in, only to be told that I misheard the policy and they won't take them until they have 24 hours fever-free. Crap. And I can tell he was upset walking back out, because he gets so excited going in. Having the daycare lady say that you can see it in his eyes, and the he looks awful didn't help either.

I wanted to keep him home this morning, but I didn't want to be influenced by my mommy-instinct to stay home, curl up and cuddle the kid. I know they're always worse in the AM too. And, I'm out of sick days at work. I just felt awful when she said that. So, the kid is currently passed out on the floor. He's been sleeping for over 2 hours now, and his head feels normal and not hot at all, so I'm hoping the sleeping is doing its job and the fever has broken.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First Haircut!

We took the burrito for his first haircut today! I had been putting if off, because 1) there's no way he's that old and 2) his curls were so cuuuuuuuute. But necessity won over the curls - we had been pushing his hair out of his eyes for weeks, and the back of his hair was touching his collar (gasp! not that! says my boot-camp-loving husband)...so I caved.

We took him to a place about four blocks from our house (so lucky to live in an area that has a "main street" with businesses like this!) that specializes in kid's cuts. It's called...wait for it...Kids Cuts. They have a couple chairs that are of varying height and design - burrito's had a wheel on the front. I was surprised, he was kept amused by that until almost the end of the haircut! We just had it trimmed, as I'm not a fan of buzzing little ones, and I love his hair. Towards the end when it was time to bring out the clippers he was getting a bit fussy, so his daddy held him for the clipper portion of the cut. He did great overall. And he looks like such a little boy now. *sniff*

such a head of hair.

Look, everyone!

all done! with new little-boy hair!