Woodland Birthday Party



We celebrated these two this weekend. I can not believe how fast another year has flown by and the kids are now one year older. Em is 7 and Nico is 4!

Here are the past birthdays I blogged about:




The big kidos birthday is 3 days apart, which is why we throw them a shared birthday party, when you have a shared party (especially with a boy and girl) it can be hard to come up with a theme. 

This year we chose the woodland theme, which was perfect.

Now get ready for a major photo dump

Enjoy :)













































Well that wraps it up. If you have any questions, please leave a comment. 

Thanks for visiting, 



Butternut Squash Triangles


I love squash. No going around it. Love it in pasta, ravioli, caramelized with brown sugar, but most of all I love it in these puffs. 

I do not really know what to call them, I kind off came up with the recipe with my mom's pumpkin filled puffs in mind. Her recipe involves a complicated and time consuming dough, which tastes amazing, but with three kids, homeschooling and general life duties, I just do not have the time to make.  I started using store bought puff pastry and love how they turn out. 

Ingredients:
1 small butternut squash
1 large onion
salt/pepper
1/4 cup of salted butter (cubed)
Garlic salt (optional)
1 egg

Directions:

Take out your frozen puff pastry dough and lay out on the counter to thaw out. 

Peel and gut the squash. 
Grate the squash and onion. (This can be time consuming if you do not have a food processor. I use my food processor and am done in a minute or two)

Place your grated squash/onion mixture into a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to your taste and mix well.

Divide the puff pastry sheets into 9 equal pieces, place about a tablespoon of the shredded squash on each piece. Add a cube of butter on top of the squash  (place any extra  butter aside).

Fold each square into a triangle and pinch sides. 

Place onto a lightly oiled sheet. 

Whisk 1 egg and brush the tops of each triangle. 

Optional: Sprinkle with garlic salt, sesame seeds or leave as is. 

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove form oven. Melt the remaining butter and brush the tops of the triangles.

Enjoy!


TIP: I always have squash left over, so I freeze the unused shredded squash in a small freezer ziplock bag for next time! Just thaw out at the same time as the puff pastry dough when you want to use it. 








Thanks for visiting, 




Growing Up to Fast


What happened to my babies? Who are these big kids?
I find it hard to believe that next week Em will turn 7 and Nico will turn 4. What?! How?! And to top it off, in less then 2 months William will be one! I still remember being pregnant with him, waddling around, bringing him home, sleepless nights of rocking him, it is still very fresh in my head, like it was yesterday. 


It really hit me today as I sat down to breakfast with these cutie pies. They were talking amongst each other and sounding so grown up. They bring a smile to my face every morning, off course fighting and arguing continued shortly after I asked them to smile for the picture. But still, I am SO THANKFUL to be able to spend this time with them,  time truly flies by. 


Thanks for visiting,


Tres Leche Cake





It has been a busy past few days, I think as soon as December hits it gets crazy for most people. On top of the holidays, we have two birthdays, my sister flying in and a trip planned. Ahh! The neat freak, organized part of me is starting to panic, but I know that will not do any good, so I will just take one day at a time. Deep breaths Rita, deep breaths. 

Since we keep the shabbat, it means I prep, bake and clean the house every Friday/Thursday. It is a lot of work but something I am used to. Both my husband and I have kept the shabbat, out parents, grandparents and so on. Anyways, I have been on a kick of trying out new cake recipes. Before this, I was never a fan of baking cakes. Not because I don't like cakes, oh I love cakes! Mostly because they are too time consuming and usually ended up being a flop. However, 10 years down the road I learned a few things here and there. 

This time I made a Layered Tres Leche Cake  from Natasha's Kitchen.  I love that all her recipes are so detailed and she has amazing detailed photos, and I love pictures :)

This cake is surprisingly easy to make and tastes amazing. Basically like licking some condensed milk. mmmm..... The Russian part of me can not live without condensed milk. A holy grail product in my pantry. 


Ingredients
Cake Layers

1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 eggs (separated)
1 cup of sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk (I used whole)

Syrup
2/3 of a 12 oz can of evaporated milk
2/3 of a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

Frosting
2 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar
Fresh strawberries 


Instructions
How to Make the Cake Layers: 

Preheat Oven to 350F. oil and flour two 9" round cake pans (I also cup out a circle of parchment paper and place inside the pan to avoid any sticking)
  1. Set up 3 mixing bowls: 1 medium and 2 large bowls. In the medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1½ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt. Set aside.
  2. Separate eggs into the other two large bowls. Egg yolks into one and egg whites into the other. Beat egg yolks with ¾ cup sugar on high speed until yolks are pale yellow (approx 2 min). Stir in ⅓ cup milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  3. Pour flour mixture over your egg yolk mixture and beat on low speed with the mixer until just combined.
  4. With a clean, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form (1 minute). With the mixer on, pour in remaining ¼ cup sugar and beat on high speed until egg whites are stiff but not dry (1 minute).
  5. Gently fold egg whites into the yolk/flour mixture until just combined. Divide evenly between two cake pans and bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn cake onto a wire rack and allow to cool to room temp.

Prep the 3-milk syrup:
  1. In a large measuring cup with a pouring lip, stir together ⅔ of the evaporated milk, ⅔ of the sweetened condensed milk and ¼ cup heavy whipping cream.

Assembling the Cake:
  1. Place one of the layers, flat side down, on a cake platter. Using a fork, poke the top all around, going all the way to the edges and poke through the depth of the cake. Use a spoon to pour on half of the 3-milk syrup. Let cake stand and absorb the syrup while you beat the frosting (see instructions below).
  2. Generously frost the top of your first layer, then arrange sliced strawberries over the top of your frosting.
  3. Your next cake layer will be placed with the flat side up; so before putting it over the strawberries, use a fork to poke the flat surface all around, going to the edges. Now place your poked cake top over the strawberries.
  4. Spoon the remaining half of the 3-milk syrup evenly over your top layer. Let cake stand 10-15 minutes for the syrup to soak in for easier frosting.
  5. Frost the top and sides of the cake and smooth out frosting with a cake spatula. I decorated the top with halved strawberries, placed at an angle around the top border of the cake. It was simple and just perfect.
How to Make the Frosting
  1. For best results with whipping cream, freeze your mixing bowl and egg beaters or whisk attachment for 15 minutes. Make sure your whipping cream is very cold.
  2. Beat 2½ cups heavy whipping cream and 2½ Tbsp sugar on high speed until thick and spreadable (about 1½ to 2 minutes). Don't overbeat or it will turn buttery. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Again, thank you Natasha for another amazing recipe!



Fall Craft Ideas

We greatly enjoyed the autumn season. The leaves changing colors, the air turning crisp and cold, the cranky sound of leaves under your feet, and all of the fall crafts we did in homeschool. 
 Here are a few fun things we did this fall:

Tip Tree Painting

Here is the link for the tree which we painted with Q tips:


Apple Stamping

Thanksgiving Day 2014


I hope you all had a warm and happy Thanksgiving.

Our family had a wonderful and blessed day. 
My sister moved here this year so we got to spend the day with her family.
I am so thankful that I now have a sister living near me and our children are friends.

We thank our Lord for all his blessings daily, but on thanksgiving the whole country is thanking him, and coming together with family and friends, It is extra special. 

Here is a peek into our thanksgiving day.