Roasted Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Sage


I love roasted squash, I usually make butternut squash, but this time I decided to try acorn squash, and loved how it turned out. It looks so pretty with the skin on.  It is sweet, salty with a kick of sage. 
This would be perfect for thanksgiving or yummy side any other day of the week. 

Ingredient:
2 acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Fresh sage leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

Split the squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the slices up and lay out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

In a bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Spread all over the squash, place 2 sage leaves on each piece of squash. 

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. 
I broiled the squash for 10 minutes to caramel the sugar. 



Thanks for visiting, 


Pavlova Cake





Pavlova cake is a meringue cake that has a light and delicate crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center. This lovely dessert is typically served with softly whipped cream and fresh fruit.

We all love this cake, especially my daughter, now even more since I told her that this dessert was made after Anna Pavlova the Russian ballerina.  The best part is that is is super easy to make, yet it looks and tastes amazing. 

Ingredients:

3 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
1 cup of white sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup of confectioners sugar
Fresh berries: raspberries, strawberries, black berries or blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment. 

In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar gradually, while continuing to whip. Make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch; lightly fold into meringue with lemon juice.

Spread a layer of meringue to fit circle on parchment, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 1 hour. Turn off oven, but leave meringue in oven for an additional 30 minutes. When cool, the meringue should be hard on the outside, and slightly moist on the inside.

In a large bowl, combine the cream and half a cup of confectioners sugar, and whip until thickened.
Spread cream over the meringue cake and decorate with fruit of your choice.



Enjoy!



Alfajores (Dulce de Leche) Cookies


We love these cookies! Ever since my friend brought some to my cookie exchange party a few years ago, they have made it to the top of the list of our favorites. 
Alfajores, also known as dulce de leche sandwich cookies, are traditional shortbread cookies with a dulce de leche filling, popular in Spain and throughout Latin America.

The cornstarch mixed with flour make the cookies soft and light. Alone, the cookies are not too sweet, or not as sweet as a cookie should be, but once sandwiched with dulce de leche they are amazing. 

If you have never tried them, I highly recommend you try them. 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • a few tsp lemon juice
  • 1 can Dulce de Leche (I make my own)
  • sprinkles, shredded coconut for decorating

Directions
  • In a mixing bowl, combine together cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. 
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, blend together butter and sugar until creamy, about 30 seconds, mix in lemon zest, and add in egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until well blended. 
  • Mix in vanilla and coconut extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined and dough starts to come together, adding a few tsp lemon juice.
  • Shape dough into a ball, cover ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes to 1 hour until dough is easy enough to work with. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll chilled dough out on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Using a round cookie cutter, cut the cookies out. I use a spatula to carefully pick them up and place them on the cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 11 minutes. Allow cookies about 5 minutes to cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then spread a layer of Dulce de Leche over the bottom side of one cookie, then sandwich to the bottom side of another cookie. Spread a thin layer of Dulce de Leche around the round edge of the cookie, then roll in desired topping. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.
The cookies taste so much better the next day once they get a chance to moisten a bit. 

Enjoy!


9 Month Update



How do I already have a 9 month old?! He is growing so fast, like I say so every month. But really- 3 more months and I will have a one year old! What??!!

I have been doing some reminiscing. This picture was taken last November, when I was 7 months pregnant with baby William, we already loved him, even though we have not yet met him:


And our fall family picture this year, baby William is already 9 months old!



So yes, time does fly. We can all agree to that, the good thing is that we are the pilot of our life. So we can fly wherever and with whomever we want. 


Weight/Length: He is 27 lbs! 

New Milestones: William is an excellent crawler, he will follow his brother and sister anywhere!

He crawls up the stairs, he has even crawled on top of a kids chair and then proceeded to crawl on top of the kids play table! I am telling you, there is no stopping this guy. He thinks he can do wherever his big brother and sister do. 

He will walk around holding on to things, like a wall, sofa, chair. He has even started to stand on his own for a few seconds. 


Sleep: This is an area we are struggling in right now. He naps twice, sometimes three times a day for about 45 minutes. During night time, he has started tossing and turning a lot, not sure why- he used to sleep so well during the night. 
Eating: He is eating everything we eat during meal times, cut up into bite sized pieces. I am nursing him, and he now takes formula if I am gone- which is such a relief. That means I can be gone for more then 2 hours at a time. 

Clothing: He is already wearing 12-18 months clothing. 
Mood: He is a very happy baby when he is rested and fed when you are playing with him or carrying him around. As soon as he sees you, he breaks out a huge smile. I call him my little flirt.



loves:
  • Chewing anything he can get his hand on.
  • Bathtime! As soon as he hears the water in the tub, he comes crawling at lightning speed.
  • Being Outside, stroller rides are a life saver some days. 
  • He loves food, not purees, but real food he can pick up with his own hands. 
Doesn’t Love:
  • He doesn't like diaper changes or clothing changes. As soon as I get him down on the pad or bed, he tries to get away. So I need to distract him with something or change his diaper on the bed or floor. 
  • Socks. As soon as I get socks on his he will work on pulling them off. So I have socks scattered all over my house. 

  • What I Want to Remember:
  • How excited he gets when he sees me.
  • His cute little teeth.
  • How he loves his brother and sister, and will follow them around anywhere they go- they call him their little puppy. 
  • How cute he is sitting all on his own and playing with his toys- well mostly chewing all his toys. 
Thank you so much for visiting. 



Girl's Tea Party



Every girl loves a tea party, right? My daughter has wanted to have a tea party for her friends. 
She and her friends have the Our Generation dolls (from target) which they love playing with.
I figured why not have everyone bring their dolls and have a tea party/play date? I ordered some cupcakes from a bakery, made a few tea sandwiches, chocolate dipped strawberries and we set the table- easy as pie. 

(I am sad that it gets dark so soon now, and my pictures are terrible because of no natural light :( boo)



Fall 2014





 Fall is so beautiful in the NW, and every year I try to get some pictures of the family. However, it has been raining for what seems like weeks, and if it is not raining- hubby was at work or is home after it gets dark. So when it finally stopped raining and we were all actually home, I got everyone ready in half and hour, grabbed  the tripod and headed to the nearest park. 

We managed to get a few pictures before it got dark. They are perfect to me, and I am thankful that they will be going into our photo albums to share the memories for many more years. 


Our family has grown by two little feet (the perfect little addition to our family)



The picture bellow is our family picture from last year (just to compare) I can not believe that William was in my belly there- and he is here now.