Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Half Moon Cookies!!

As promised, here are the recipes for Elk's Black and White Cookies.  So many have requested the recipes, and the publisher has run out of cookbooks due to a surge in popularity.  I'm trying to coax the author to initiate another printing so everyone who wants a book can have one.  It's a very cool book of not only recipes but also history of Elk's Bakery from its inception.

If you click on each recipe, it will enlarge to full screen so you can read the print a little more easily.  The addition of baking powder to the cookie recipe was made by the author; the notation about the cookies needing more flour because they turned out too flat (hey, it was humid!!) is mine.  I used the basic buttercream recipe, but if I ever make them again (and oh, I will!), I might try the fluffy buttercream just to see which I like better.  Happy baking!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A little much-needed Z&R

Some folks take a little R&R when they've been working hard.  In our house we do it a bit differently.  Last week we had a little Z&R.  Zoey and Ruby.  Jenni and Dave took a fun road trip up to Nashville and Lexington, Kentucky for the wedding of some Kanakuk friends, so Tony and I had the girls for the better part of 5 days.  We love having our grandkids any time, and there was the added bonus of a few days off from work for me.  Don't get me wrong; having the girls 24/7 was work, but the most enjoyable kind.  Jenni and Dave have them on a wonderful schedule.  They are both good eaters and sleepers.  It's a little harder for Tony and me now than when we were raising our girls in our 20s and 30s, but we still feel the same happy satisfaction when we fall into bed at night.
Zoey and Papa had lots of fun with architecture.  Zoey is active but at 3 1/2, she is much more cerebral than her 1 1/2-year-old sister, who is a study in perpetual motion.
We call Ruby "The Climber".  If it's off the floor, she's on it.  We have to keep our eyes on her every minute.  Case in point, we took the girls to the park near our house, and Ruby put us through our paces as we tried to keep up with her.  This little girl has no fear!
Zoey was a huge help.  She would monitor Ruby from the top while Grammy and Papa played spotter below.  She is such a wonderful big sister.  I call her "3 1/2 going on 30".  She is so mature and helpful.  She clearly loves her sister, and she is instinctively protective of her.  She's also an amazing interpreter!  Zoey also had a good time at the park; it wasn't all work and no play.
Zoey doesn't really nap anymore, but she rests every afternoon with a few books and toys in her bed.  One afternoon I let her stay up and we made whole wheat bread together.  She's very good in the kitchen and enjoys helping.  With my supervision and instruction, Zoey very capably performed every task necessary to construct some tasty bread!
At the end of the day, the girls happily chilled until time for bed. 
Another cute Ruby trick is her invitation to read her a book.  She'll take a book and turn around so her back is to you, then back up until she's at your legs so you can pick her up, put her on your lap, and read to her.  Papa and I have started making the truck backup beep when she backs up.  Both girls really love to read, which makes Grammy VERY happy!
They really did so well being away from their parents.  Toward the end of the 5 days, I could tell they were ready to get back to their own home and normal routine, but they never once appeared homesick.  Papa and I are very proud of them, and we can't wait to have them again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A very swELMO birthday!!

Sweet little Leo turned 2 on Aug. 27.  The very next day, Saturday, the family gathered for his Elmo birthday celebration.  Erika and Josh grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings, topped off by a yummy Elmo cake, lovingly made by Erika. Josh is awesome.  (Uh-oh, some gremlin--I wonder who--just overtook my laptop and did some unauthorized editing, apparently forgetting to double space after the period.  Hmph!!)  In attendance to help Leo celebrate were his Mommy and Daddy, Auntie Jenni, Uncle Dave, cousins Zoey and Ruby, Grammy and Papa, Grandpa Joe, Grandma Kit, and Auntie Julie.
After presents were opened, Zoey lovingly tackled her cousin Leo to get a chance at his new Elmo doll.
Mommy Erika, Auntie Jenni, and Auntie Julie flaunted their Elmo birthday bling as Ruby played at their feet.
Since it was an Elmo party, red was the preferred color of the day.  But only Josh and Dave got the memo from the doctor.
The Cribbies, all in red, posed for a family picture.....
......as did the Wiese trio.
At the end of the day, I think the birthday boy had a wonderful time.  This is the face you get when you ask for a smile.  Happy birthday, darling Leo!!  We all love you to pieces!!!