I had to get my Dutch Dance costume out today and wash it because we have to be inspected tomorrow. The costume inspectors nit pick are very strict about making sure your costume is ironed. I don't iron, so I just washed and dried it. I have danced a boy for a few years now but was a girl in high school so when the opportunity came up to switch to a girl and wear my old costume I took it. Some of you are thinking I am crazy talking about being a "boy" or "girl" right now. Let me explain with pictures:
Me in my "boy" Urk costume with my SIL and her kids
Yikes! Preggo me in my "girl" Zuid Beveland costume last year.
Ok, and you thought those pictures were funny... now for the crazy part. I looked up images online about the traditional Zuid Beveland costume (with the infamous "flying nun hat") and, well, we'll let them speak for themselves. Let's just say I no longer doubt that I have a beauty in my genes that has been passed down through my Dutch ancestors. he he.
Even kids wore these clothes!
So now my plan is to (1) pass inspection and (2) make Abigail a costume. I'll try and keep you posted!
Sometimes I want to yell "Stop! stop stop stop growing and changing so fast. I'm not ready yet!" But I know you're healthy and growing and it's all good. I mean I haven't even taken you in for your NINE month photos yet. Yikes! You're closer to TEN month old now, but nobody will tell... I've loved each season of life I was in and I've loved each stage you've grown through so I guess you can continue on. Oh and Family Life Today was talking about interviewing your daughter's date and setting curfews today. Okay, "STOPSTOPSTOP growing so fast!!"
I found a recipe that just screams St. Patricks Day: Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. I really like Car Bombs. Never mind that Derek thinks it's a waste of a good glass of Guinness. It's the only way I'd ever drink a glass of Guinness! What could be better than combining chocolate, ganache, and buttercream with Guinness, Jameson whiskey, and Baileys?
For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes (Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes)
1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 to 2 teaspoons Irish whiskey (optional)
3 to 4 cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperatue
3 to 4 tablespoons Baileys (or milk, or heavy cream, or a combination thereof)
Special equipment: 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer and a piping bag (though a plastic bag with the corner snipped off will also work)
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, rotating them once front to back if your oven bakes unevenly, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.
Make the filling: Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. 20 seconds in the microwave, watching carefully, will also work.) Add the butter and whiskey (if you’re using it) and stir until combined.
Fill the cupcakes: Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (the fridge will speed this along but you must stir it every 10 minutes). Meanwhile, using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon or grapefruit knife will help you get the center out. Those are your “tasters”. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Make the frosting: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. You want to get it very light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys (or milk) and whip it until combined. If this has made the frosting too thin (it shouldn’t, but just in case) beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar. Ice and decorate the cupcakes.
My friends are having an online auction this week to help with the financial side of their Ethiopian adoption. What a super fun idea -- takes the stress out of it... no one yelling out numbers while everyone burns a hole in you waiting to raise the bid, he he. Go HERE and check it out. Really cute stuff (my birthday is May 5) that you should bid on! It ends next Friday so don't wait too long (Mothers Day is coming up in May too).
We have been reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love with our small group. Each chapter hits a little harder. It's making us ask some tough questions and change some things. Good stuff. I also saw THIS challenge floating around on the blogosphere and thought I'd commit to it. I'll go through the house and get rid of 40 bags of "stuff" during the 40 days of Lent. I don't think I'll actually take pictures of it all and post it just because that's not the point to it. Plus, I'll get caught up in that administrative part of it and end up frustrated, behind, or quitting. Maybe I'll show you some end results. We do have our neighborhood garage sale at the end of April so the items that don't end up in the trash will be put out at the sale those days.
...sleeps 12 hours at night. 8/8:30pm-8/8:30am. She wakes up at 6am to say goodbye to Daddy and nurse. Her morning nap has been a little later lately, over lunch time, and is sometimes longer than her afternoon nap. We can't be transitioning to one nap a day yet... that's not for like another year, right?
...eats and loves it. She's on baby cereal and purees but we also let her feed herself with soft little pieces. Her new foods this month were: barley cereal, hard-boiled egg yolks, peaches (in her mesh feeder), pureed mango, applesauce, baby Yogurt Bites, Cheerios, and Fruit Loops. She nurses 3- 4 times a day (breakfast, early afternoon, sometimes supper, and bedtime) and she eats solid food 3 times a day. She cut one more tooth (her right "lateral incisor") so she has 6 total. She's taken a bottle for Daddy and both grandma's now. Yay!
...plays and smiles all the time! Loves mirrors and Peek-a-Boo and looking at books. She will help you turn the pages which is fun. Board books only because she still chews on everything!
...is starting to move. She completely turns around on her belly and moves backward. She can stand up by things (not cruising along stuff, just stand there and hold on). She prefers to sleep sideways in her crib now, facing the doorway, and it's impossible to sneak in on her now. She always pokes her head up and smiles like, "I caught you!" Any time a drawer, cupboard, refrigerator or freezer are open she is instantly there (in her walker) to take anything she can reach and throw it on the floor. Her giraffe always ends up on the backseat because she throws it out of her car seat. We can't take it into stores anymore because she'll just throw it when I'm not looking I think. Silly girl!