Monday, March 26, 2012

Yesterday was Haley's Birthday

I tried to get a picture of her with the cake, and I got a lot of them, but Haley has some crazy ability to blink every single time you snap a picture, so her eyes are not open in any of them:

Kind of blink
Whatever. Here is the cake from the inside! It was zebra! Sara told me about it and I used the technique on this website. It was a surprise, so Haley didn't know that she color coordinated her dress with the cake. Too bad I didn't get a picture with her eyes open!

Or did I???

Happy birthday Haley!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Bonus! Bath Time for Babies

McBaby just learned to splash in the bath this week:

Hee hee!
Downton Abbey

Handsome Bryce and I got hooked on Downton Abbey on Netflix. The trouble with Netflix shows is that you get used to having them handy whenever you want, and now that we have caught up with the show we have to wait and wait for new episodes to come out. To assuage my withdrawal I present Downton Abbey Comics. For those of you who do not watch the show there are three sisters:

Here is today's comic:

Monday, March 05, 2012

Laughing Baby

McBaby started laughing a month ago. The trouble is, he is incredibly distrustful of cameras. He will be playing with Handsome Bryce, laughing and laughing, but as soon as I pop in with the video camera:

He will clam up mid-giggle! Then he will just stare at the camera and not make a peep until I put it away. But it turns out that McBaby has not yet learned that people can take videos with their cell phones. That is how Haley sneaked this footage:

Gotcha baby!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Bakery Bread

I posted a recipe for french bread a few months ago and called it the "best bread", but I now need to recant that a little bit. I have found a new recipe and new method for making bread that blows any earlier attempts out of the water.

It is called "No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread". It is very little work, but it needs to sit overnight, also not surprisingly, you need a dutch oven or heavy-duty pot to make it. I used the recipe on this site. It is a simple recipe:

1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two.
1 1/2 tsp salt
Cornmeal, flour, or wheat bran for dusting

I was skeptical that this could work, but it worked so well!
First you combine the water and yeast. You will probably feel skeptical about what a paltry bit of yeast 1/4 tsp is, but just go with it. Then you mix in the flour and salt. Your dough will look hideous and shaggy, you might decide this is probably not going to work.

Also, if you are like me, you might sneeze at this point and scare your poor baby to pieces. Sorry McBaby. Luckily you will have already covered the bowl of dough with plastic wrap so you can just forget about it until tomorrow and take care of your little angel baby.

The dough will be dotted with bubbles when it has sat for long enough (18 hours for me).

Plop it on some flour and fold it together.

Now put it seam-side down on a towel with flour or bran or cornmeal.

Now leave it alone for an hour or two while your two tiny pugs guard it.

Preheat the oven and your dish for 20 minutes at 450 f. Put your dough in the dish seam-side up, put on the lid and let it cook for 25-30 minutes. Then uncover it and let it cook without the lid for 5 minutes.

I can't believe it really worked.

Neither can the pugs.

A small part of me is kind of miffed that this worked. It was too easy. You are supposed to sacrifice for excellent bread. It should take a long time, money, a fancy oven, bruises on your hands from kneading, that kind of thing.

The other part of me feels like that small part should can it and enjoy the best bread I have ever made.

Thursday, March 01, 2012


There are many people who are very proud of their ability to do several things at once. I am not one of these people.
I used to fancy myself as a multitasker because it seemed cool and convenient, but empirical evidence has convinced me that I was just fooling myself.

I can actually only do a good job of concentrating on one thing at a time. In fact, I have discovered that my inability to multitask is the root of my two biggest problems in life: extreme jumpiness and bad driving.

Let's say I am sitting alone on my couch. I am in the world of the couch and nothing else exists in this world besides me, the couch, and my thoughts. Then quite suddenly the phone rings! The world of the phone suddenly collides with the couch world. It is incredibly disturbing when worlds collide, and it causes me to jump.

But in the car there are so many worlds! The steering wheel, the pedals, the gears, pedestrians, lights, signs, horns, and the radio (it's best if I pretend there is no radio, but McBaby likes it).

There are so many things to think about that I feel like I can't do a very good job of thinking about all of them at once. Then I freak out about the things I was not paying attention to while I was thinking about how I can't pay attention to everything. It is a horrid cycle.

And now that I have a side-kick to go everywhere with me...well, you should probably avoid me if you see me on the road.

Let's just try to be safe.