Monthly Archives: July 2009

My Dad’s Birthday

First I want to wish my dad, Cosmo, a very happy birthday today!

That being said, let me just tell you that today is already becoming a challenge and I am not even through my first cup of coffee! Besides the fact that it is another rainy day, the girls went to bed late and got up at the crack of dawn! Needless to say they are touchy. Actually, the word touchy doesn’t even accurately describe what nightmares they are this morning. Fighting, crying, whining…I feel like leaving through the back door if I hear one more MUUUUUUMMMMMY!”

Deep breath…sip of coffee…aaaahhhhh (if only it were still hot)

So, back to my dad’s birthday. My dad HATES celebrating his birthday. He is a quiet, simple, meat and potatoes, Miller Light, gun totin’ (yes I said gun) guy who loves Petite Fours. Hehehehehe…Did you catch that? PETITE FOURS! Beautiful little cakes frosted in pastel colored fondant icing and decorated with little flowers. We all get such a kick out of watching my dad sitting at the table in his Ruger T-shirt eating these delicate little cakes. They are his favorite and I make them for him every year on his birthday.

Petite Fours are a labor of love. First you have to make it through baking the three layers of light, almond paste laden cake. Each layer has to be spread with jam (apricot or raspberry) and squished together in the refrigerator overnight. The cake gets cut into little shapes and frosted in fondant icing. The frosting is the difficult part and takes lots of practice to frost them (unless you are Martha Stewart, who was probably born frosting Petite Fours). You have to pour the fondant over each individual cake making sure that it gets totally covered with a thin, shiny layer of frosting. The icing has to sit over a water bath and be kept at steady 105 degrees or else it will loose its shine.
The yummy almond paste and sugar waiting to be creamed together

Have I lost you yet?

I have been buying my fondant at Verna’s cake decorating shop for years and years and years! It comes in a powdered form and I add liquid until it is the correct pouring consistency. Well…Verna’s went and closed on me!!!! Verna’s was the only cake supply shop in a 50 mile radius of Cambridge. I have too many things going on to actually plan ahead and order the fondant over the Internet soooooooo I decided to make my own fondant. I actually planned this yesterday which is a good thing because it needs to “cure” in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours.

I boiled the sugar and water to 238 degrees and then poured it into the food processor. I cooled it down to 140 degrees. I spun it in the processor for 5 minutes until it turned white. I carefully poured it into a zip lock bag, released all of the air and set it in the fridge. I was so proud of myself this morning when I opened the fridge and stared at my beautiful fondant (patting myself on the back!) I opened the recipe up to read the next step and that’s when my world came crashing in. My heart stopped and I felt like throwing up! I noticed that I had LEFT OUT THE FR#*%@!KING CORN SYRUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what I thought was my perfect fondant icing…sigh

To be continued….

Macaroni, Berry Pie and My Babies

Last night my Mother and I made a macaroni dinner for friends. It is always fun for me to head over to my Mother’s house and cook with her. The store was always so busy, that even though we worked together 24/7 we never really got to talk, let alone be together to cook! My Mother’s house reminds me of the show Sanford and Son. In case you are too young, Sanford and Son was a sitcom in the 1970’s. I used to watch it with my Grandfather, who for some reason always reminded me of Red Fox, the lead actor. Red Fox played Fred Sanford, a 65 year old junk dealer in Watts (a neighborhood in Los Angeles) who ran the business with his son, Lamont, played by Demond Wilson. Anyway Fred’s living room was filled with junk and that is what my Mother’s kitchen looks like! My parents house is very old and the kitchen used to be a barn. The ceiling is all original barn board and beams. She has little, as she calls them, “gatzies” everywhere! I am always telling her to get rid of the junk. The funny thing is is that when someone new enters the kitchen they LOVE it! To cook you have to move a zillion things off the counters and out of the way, and you can never find anything, bowls, measure spoons, or pans, but somehow the meal always comes out great! My Mother’s kitchen brings people together in the best possible way. Last nights dinner was no exception. The macaroni turned out great and so did the berry pie I made for dessert.
The macaroni recipe I used is out of the Cremaldi Cookbook, Doubleday
2 1/2 cups flour and 4 eggs pulse in a food processor – if you do not have a food processor you can use the same recipe with the flour well method and a fork

We cut our macaroni Pappardelle

Iris helped! Rose just wanted to play hop scotch

The pie was deeeeeelicious!!!!!!!!
(more about the pie and recipe later!)

Food Photography It Ain’t For Sissies

If this is going to be a food blog then there are going to have to be pictures of food! I don’t know the first thing about photography and from what I have read, food is not a forgiving subject. So I grabbed Big Daddy’s camera and turned from “Auto” to “M.” I had read something about food photography on the Internet and had a few tips under my hat. The only problem is I had NO idea what Aperture was or which way to turn the Shutter speed. After practicing a few hundred times on the fern’s in our yard, a spider web, and a banana peel, I decided it was time to try French Toast! Ok, this isn’t the prettiest French Toast in the world, but it suited the purpose. French Toast made with Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread is one of the only ways I can get protein into my girls. I am all about protein! Fruit and vegetables no problem but when it comes to protein I really have to work. Unless I am really in a pinch I make all of their meals from scratch. I have asked millions (well maybe that’s an exaggeration) of mother’s what they give their kids for lunch or dinner. The number one answer is “chicken nuggets.” (#2 answer “buttered noodles”) Every now and then I will go to Whole Foods and pick up some “all natural,” “organic” chicken nuggets, but it just kills me to put them in front of the girls. I have to include a mound of ketchup on the plate which is the only way they might take a few bites. YUCK! So now I make my own chicken nuggets. They are actually more like french fries which is why the girls only know them as “Crusty Italian Fries.” If anybody goes to call them chicken I have to bang the pots and pans. Anyway… getting back to photography (more on Crusty Italian Fries later), I grabbed Rose’s French Toast and ran outside. I took pictures galore until I realized that Rose was sitting at the table waiting for her breakfast and Iris was running around for god knows how long without a diaper! Poor kids! But the picture is decent!

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Trying This Blog Thing Again

My name is Genevieve and I am addicted to blogs!
I remembered yesterday “wait I have a blog”. So, a little over a year later, I have decided to give my blog one more go round.
When I finally figured out how to log on to my blog I saw that I had actually made one post. It was fun reading the old post. I remember the morning like it was yesterday. It is unbelievable how much goes on in life in one year. Rose (4 in August) and Iris (1) my two little ones are getting so big. They actually kind of like each other now. Iris is starting to talk and best of all defend herself against her older sister. Go Iris! Rose will be starting her third year at Montessori school in the fall. Rose has so many little friends. As a result, I have many great new friends. The great thing about my life right now is that my girls are finally in a space where I think (and I repeat THINK)I can begin to say “hello” to Genevieve again!
I can’t guarantee that my blog will be as witty, or as interesting as some of the incredible blogs I am addicted to, but it will be real!
I am a forty year old(oh my god that is the first time since turning forty earlier this month that I have really said it!) mother of two little girls who needs to share! I realized this the other day when Rose said “mummy who are you talking to?” I did my best to explain that I was talking to myself. Rose replied as any 4 year old going on 80, “it’s OK mummy I talk to myself too.”
Enjoy my blog because now I will be talking to YOU!