Monday, April 14, 2008

Fun with camera

Today I got the new polarizing filter and wide angle lens Brian bought me for my birthday. I wanted to take some pics of the wisteria blooming in our area right now, so we headed out after work today to a patch right outside of our development.

Wisteria is a weed here, and actually quite a problem as it chokes out the trees that it grows on. But its so pretty!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I am 33. Oh goody. One of my coworkers pointed out that if I were a hobbit, this would be my 'coming of age'. Surprisingly, my nerdy, LOTR obsessed husband did not remember that. Hm. Clearly he is off his game.

About a month or so ago, Brian and I were watching 'Good Eats' (in HD!) and Alton Brown was making a coconut cake. I love coconut cake. My friend Patrick (from Pinkerton) went through an obsessive baking period, and he made a great coconut cake and brought it my lab for us to eat. Yum. Brian, if you remember, never even really cooked before I got pregnant. Okay, he says that he cooked but that he COULDN'T COOK VEGETARIAN STUFF. Whatev. Anyhow, he handles most of the cooking now because he gets home from work first. He really has never baked anything, but something about watching this episode of 'Good Eats' piqued his interest, and he asked me if I would like him to bake me a coconut cake for my birthday. Of course I would. I intended to journal the whole process, for you at home to enjoy.

Last week Brian came home with three coconuts. I should have taken pictures of these, but I forgot, and they were gone before I got around to it. On Friday Brian came home early from work and harvested the coconuts. He drilled holes in two of the eyes, poured the water out (into 50ml Falcon tubes) and baked them in the oven until the shell cracked. Then he cracked them open, peeled them and shredded the coconut meat in the food processor.

I am so sorry I missed this.

By the time I got home, we had:
1 bowl of shredded coconut
several 50ml Falcons of Coconut water (labeled helpfully, "C. Water")
Two cups with shredded coconut and milk in them, to make a) coconut milk and b) coconut cream

Although AB also advocates making your own coconut extract, Brian didn't get to this in time (the coconut extract had to sit for like, a week). I found out that my friend Patrick had made the same recipe and HAD made the coconut extract. I tried to get Brian to get in touch with him because I thought he might have extra (he did. Four bottles extra!), but he ended up going with McCormick imitation coconut extract instead.

On Saturday, the cake got made.

Getting ready:

Lining pans with parchment:

Mixing the dry ingredients:

Brian kept referring back to the episode of 'Good Eats' which we had saved in the DVR:

Once the cakes were baked, they had to be evened off and cut in half. Brian rigged this contraption up to do that evenly (a la AB):

Brushing the cakes with C. Water:

Making the '7 minute frosting':

Frosting and coconuting the first layer:

Final layer of frosting:

Completed product!

Cutting the cake:

More than half eaten:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Wiggle addict now dances

Last night when we were driving home from work/daycare, I was playing the Wiggles CD for Owen. One of the songs that we usually dance to (we being Brian and I) is "Do the Flap", where you basically just hold your hands up by your head and flap them up and down. When I looked in the mirror behind me, Owen was sitting there doing the Flap. HA! And then this morning he was doing the Emu.

He is picking things up like crazy lately!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wiggle addict

We have a Wiggles addict on our hands. Me.

No, really, its Owen. He comes to us with the remote, holds it up and goes "uuuuhhhh!" Translated, that means "Make the Wiggles come on!" When he is satisfied that you have gotten the message, he goes over to his chair and sits down, ready for the Wiggly delights to come.

What is sad about this is that Brian and I are getting into it too. We each have our own favorite songs (Mine are: Mop Mop, Move like an Emu, Do the Owl, and the Monkey Dance. His are: Nicky Nacky Nocky Noo, the Captain's Magic Buttons, and Do the Flap). We enjoy trying to pick out the various Wiggly Dancers in the various skits or Wiggly Concert clips. We know all the words to all the songs, and many of the dances. Owen looks at us like we are freaking nuts.

Clearly the Wiggles knew that Mommy would be watching, so they made sure that Anthony, the Blue Wiggle, was a treat to look at. There's also a Wiggly dancer for everyone! Brian insists that he does not notice whether any of the Wiggly Dancers are hot, I totally disbelieve this, knowing my mindset while watching the Wiggles (i.e. where is the guy who does the acrobatics??). Then again, I don't think I ever fully got past the boy crazy period of my youth.

When Owen gets a little older and can actually talk to us (as opposed to babbling and saying Uuuuhhhh!), and he asks to go to a Wiggles concert, neither Brian and I will be opposed.

Yes, this is what our lives have come to!