Archive for the ‘In The Kitchen’ Category

Enjoying the Fruits of our Labor on Labor Day

Posted Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 by Mollie

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Are you wondering what ever happened to our tidy little garden?  Right now it looks like a tangled jungle of zucchini and tomato plants– wow, those things can really grow.  The zucchini has been steadily producing 2-3 fruits a week for us all summer long, which has been wonderful, as it is a family favorite!  When California got it’s heat wave a few weeks ago, the grape tomatoes finally turned red.  I love putting lots of  them in salads, and Natalie is happy to just pop them in her mouth.  (Andy still maintains that he does not like the taste of plain tomatoes in a salad.  How sad for him!)


This week we picked a large bag full of Roma tomatoes.  It seemed like they all ripened at once, and we had to figure out what on earth to do with all of them this Labor Day weekend!


Andy made salsa… it tasted amazing!  I made tomato sauce and used it to make three dishes of lasagna.  Not bad!  The extra effort of growing our own vegetables has actually been so much fun.  I think we’d like to be farmers “when we grow up”. 🙂


Late but Great Father’s Day

Posted Saturday, June 27th, 2009 by Mollie

I had the best intentions of dedicating a post to Andy on Father’s Day, but life has been crazy busy lately and I haven’t had time to sit at the computer long enough to blog!

We did have a very nice Father’s Day though.  Before church, Andy got to open his gift from the kids.  “They” got him this awesome Maglite flashlight.  It will be a handy weapon light for when Andy walks to the Spooner’s house at night– in case he bumps into one of the weird dogs that sometimes roam our neighborhood!


After church we hosted a barbecue at our house, with both of our dads and their families in attendance.  I made a special dessert– Mocha Rum Cake!  I saw the recipe a while back and saved it because I knew I’d have to make it for Andy some day. It has all our favorite ingredients:  coffee and rum (Andy), Ghiradelli chocolate and three sticks of butter (me).  Good thing we were sharing, right??


It turned out soooo well and tasted amazing.  I thought the rum flavor might be too strong for our non-drinkers, but everyone really liked it.  In case there was any doubt as to how rich and dense this cake was, here is a close-up.


This was Andy’s 3rd Father’s Day, but each year he shows us new ways that he is an awesome dad!  In 2009 we have learned that

1.  He can fix hair in pigtails really well!

2. He’s way better than me at getting both kids to bed by himself.

3.  He can deliver a baby with just 15 minutes notice.  Sorry honey!  Just trying to keep you on your toes.


A couple favorite pictures of Andy with the kids:



The Most Amazing Rolls

Posted Saturday, June 6th, 2009 by Mollie

I’ve had a couple requests to post some of my best recipes.  This is not my healthiest bread recipe, but it’s a great one for a special occasion or when you have  company coming over.  I’ve been challenging myself to make good use of my bread machine and never buy bread at the store, so the other night I made my favorite recipe for rolls.   It’s based on a recipe from my bread cookbook, but I changed a few things so I call it my own, hehe.


1 egg at room temperature + enough 80 degree water to equal 1 cup

1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

2 cups AP flour

1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

I just throw it all in my bread machine in no particular order and use the “dough” setting, but obviously you could mix it in your mixer and then be sure to let it rise.


3 tablespoons meted butter

grated orange peel or a spoonful of orange juice concentrate

spoonful of sugar

1. After it rises the first time or the dough cycle is done, divide bread into pieces and shape into rolls.

2. Mix topping ingredients, dip pieces in mixture.

3. Place in greased baking dish, cover, and let rise in a warm place 1 hour or till they are doubled in size (I like to put them in the oven (NOT turned on!!) with a bowl of boiled water).

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until done.  If you have any topping remaining, brush it on top while they bake.  Serve them warm if possible!


Do you like how I turned the dish to make it less noticeable that I devoured THREE rolls before even stopping to take a picture?  That’s how yummy they are.

Rainy Day Birthday and Cupcakes

Posted Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009 by Mollie

On Saturday we headed down to my aunt’s house to celebrate the birthdays of my brother Mike (13) and cousin Ryan (6).


There was some serious “June Gloom” going on outside, the fog was so thick it felt like it was raining.  But we grilled fish tacos anyway!


Natalie had such a fun time with her cousin Kate!  I love it because Kate is just enough older (she’s almost 4) that she can supervise Natalie, making sure she doesn’t go anywhere she’s not supposed to.  And Natalie admires Kate so much that she does whatever Kate says without throwing a fit.  They were so sweet playing together!  I thought this was a cute picture of Kate guarding the door.


My contribution to the party was these rainbow cupcakes!


I had fun making them, I’m always up for making dessert.  I just try to reserve my baking for special occasions when there is someone other than myself to eat the finished product.  They have cream cheese frosting, with Skittles and rainbow sprinkles on top.


Little Ryan is the most grateful kid you’ll ever meet, he must have thanked me 25 times for making him cupcakes!  Gotta love appreciation!