Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Return to Blogging, More Snow & Memories, And a King Cake Surprise

My goodness - I am rather embarrassed by the length of the break I took. It was, by no means, deliberate. I've been trying to handle a bit more this year and, though I've had quite a few posts that began in my head, they never quite made it to fruition on here. Please forgive me.

So, it was a year ago that we had our most recent snow day. A year ago on Valentine's that Syd and I baked a homemade heart shaped cake (one square and one round pan) and whipped up homemade buttercream frosting, dyed pink, for Daddy when he got home. A year ago that my then 4 year old discovered the joy that comes with playing in the clean snow, building forts, climbing piles and drifts, and throwing snowballs at Mommy as she shoveled.

And now, it is Fat Tuesday after Valentine weekend and we're home again, two days in a row (after shoveling, I am thinking it will be 3 - our roads still haven't been touched), thankful for Daddy and hoping he makes it home safely. He wasn't able to get the jeep this time, so I again went out to shovel as much of the driveway and street as possible so he could get in this evening. The biggest difference is that Syd has been ill with some weird virus - so, though I'm in better shape than I was last year, I'm a bit more worn out.

Regardless, a load of bed sheets and towels are now clean. And dishes are done. And shoveling is halfway finished. If we have another day off tomorrow, it will be completed then. It took me 2 days last year, too. And hopefully, one more day home will fully remedy Syd before we have to worry about school again.

So, what do you bake when the weather is/was nasty? Cookies? Brownies? We wanted something different, and since we've been home with a sick child and didn't make it to the grocery store this weekend, it needed to be something I could make with what I had. Enter, King Cake! It is, after all, Fat Tuesday! I found this recipe, which seemed easy enough. Aside from what the title says, though, it was not 'quick.'

Here, Syd is helping Mommy mix the dough. He's adding the eggs.

One of my favorite memories as a child was helping my mother knead the dough to her homemade wheat bread. Oh - so soft and warm. And I would always sneak a tiny piece. She let me have a tiny ball all to myself to knead, eat, bake - do with as I saw fit. I want Syd to have those feelings as he grows. and I want him to know some basics to cooking. Here, he's experiencing kneading for the first time. He loved getting flour everywhere and dusting off his hands like a master chef!
 My first attempt at a braid - I undid this, stretched the pieces out longer and tried to make a tighter braid. See below...
Leftover from Syd's Star Wars birthday (TRULY ashamed I didn't post any of those! I may do so retroactively...) I used blue edible glitter to help spruce up the King Cake - I don't know that I have enough powdered sugar to make the frosting, so I thought this would help. Here, the dough is rising for a second time.
Aaaand - baked. Now cooling on a rack. I can't wait to hide a little Lego guy inside and frost it, adding more sprinkles. I hope Steve is pleasantly surprised, and I hope he understands the true sentiments behind our little endeavor.
I put a movie on before heading out to shovel. I came in about an hour later and found this. Poor little guy. But, several hours later, he seems to be feeling much better, so let's hope that was the trick!
What have you gotten up to on your days off, if you were happily surprised by this storm (which was quite far reaching!)? How did you fill your days, or relax, or surprise family? Share below!

I hope you all stay safe and happy and warm as our Polar Vortex of 2015 continues. Happy Shoveling and Baking!

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