Monday, 17 February 2014

Snapshots of Happy Times

Scarlett.  She fills every bag she can find with random stuff.  Its compulsive.  She can't help it.  If she sees an empty bag, it must be filled.  I've been dealing with this stage -- the missing cooking utensils, the puzzle with the one missing piece, Nevin's "favourite" matchbox car AWOL, a hammerless toy toolbox -- and chiding her for at least six months, but secretly I find it endearing.


Nevin.  He got his first Lego set today.  He loves it.  He watched Shawn put it together the first time.  About an hour later, he asked me for the constructions* and took it a part himself.  He has spent at least two hours today carefully taking it apart and putting it back together.  He loves puzzles and anything that requires order and quiet concentration.  I think there might be a lot of Lego in our future.


* Constructions are instructions.  I correct him, subtly, all the time but he's not getting it.  Last summer, I tried to explain it in detail, but that went like this:
Nevin: Are those the constructions?
Sasha: No, these are the instructions.
Nevin: The constructions?
Sasha: No.  INstructions, not CONstructions.  In, like when you go IN something.  Like the opposite of out.
Nevin: Oh, okay.
Two minutes pass, while I read the instructions.  Nevin sits quietly beside me.
Nevin: So, what do the INconstructions say?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Walnut Mocha Torte

Walnut cake

This recipe is amazing.  It was passed along to me from a male co-worker who packed a piece for his lunch.  After he opened his container, someone asked "what's that?"  A complement and a request were hiding in the question.  He looked up, surveyed the six women staring at him, and told them to grab a fork.

He is a smart man who is loved by all.

Walnut Mocha Torte
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens, November 1987 issue)
For the cake:
1 cup walnuts or pecans
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup

For the icing:
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Grease and lightly flour two 8-in round baking pans.  Preheat oven to 350*F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine walnuts (or pecans), flour and baking powder.
3.  In a food processor (or blender) combine eggs and sugar until smooth.  Add the nut mixture, and blend until smooth. 
4. Divide the batter between the two baking pans and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake springs back slightly when touched.  The middle may sink a bit during cooking - that is okay.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
5. Slice each cake length wise in half, so that you have 4 thin round cake layers.  Layer the cake and icing, and cover the outside in icing.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Scarlett's 3rd Birthday


She wanted a pink puppy.  It looked like Easter.  She loved it.
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