Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Copper and Penny had a playdate with my friend Sierra's pup, Piper. Copper has a huuuuuge crush on Piper and never takes his eyes off of her. I think it's her little booties. (Head out of the gutter... I'm talking about her furry feet!) Penny is ok with her, as long as she gets some attention, too!
Daddio shows Copper some loving... he is in heaven when he can sit on a piece of furniture and get a belly rub! The best part is... Penny let him have his moment! Usually, she barges in and demands the attention with a sweet snuggle.
Before crossing the border, Kitty Bug had to be inspected by Copper Bud. I imagine him saying (in the goofed-up human voice we give him), "Kitty Bug Lalla-Ray, are you carrying any illegal substances into this great country of Big Kids Backyard, Kitty Bug?" He was easily won over with a sweet Kitty head butt.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Saturday I woke up a little early so that I could get a head start on Andrew's anniversary present. We went the homemade route this year, since we are currently penny-pinching. Andrew cooked us a delicious breakfast while I leisurely sipped some coffee (and secretly stressed over several recipes I've never attempted before!). After we ate, I kicked him out of the kitchen with strict orders to keep his eyes closed anytime he walked through the kitchen, and his nose closed anytime he was in the house. Luckily, he was busy lining the fence with logs to cover the holes that our talented escape artist, Copper, dug throughout the past week. ANYwhoo...
Here is our one-year old top tier thawing out that Saturday. I'm not a big cake fan, so Andrew picked the cake for our wedding... and he really really wanted chocolate chip cookie cake. Our wedding cake ended up being stacked cookie cakes covered in frosting and fondant. It looked like a normal cake on the outside, but the inside was all the comfort of a chocolate chip cookie! I was in super-wedding-tradition mode when we got home from the festivities last year, and would not let Andrew even think about slicing into that wedding cake until 10/4/09, lest all the gloom and doom of failed marriages fall upon us! I was dead serious. I even wrapped up a threatening note with the cake just in case he was tempted. I had a little post-wedding Bridezilla moment, I guess.
It hit me about a month after the wedding, and even worse about a month before our anniversary... how in the world would cake that had been frozen for a year possibly taste good? Why did I torture my new husband by taking his very favorite treat and sticking it in the freezer, next to his beer mugs, where he would see it almost every day for the next year and just... WANT it? How will I stand the look on his face when he finally gets to unwrap that delicious treat... and realizes it tastes like frosted doodoo? Especially when one year ago, if his wife wasn't such a post-wedding bridezilla, he could have happily been in a sugar-induced coma? Oh, the horror!
So, Operation Homemade Anniversary Gift (OHAG) commenced: remake the cake. I was inspired by my sis-in-law, Allie, who has been taking Wilton cake courses at JoAnn. I visited her and my brother in September, and watched her work her magic. I thought, "I can DO this! I can redeem my bridezilla act with one simple cake!" So I collected all the necessary recipes to complete OHAG: Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe altered to have a more cake-like texture, buttercream frosting, and marshmallow fondant. As soon as I kicked Andrew out of the kitchen that Saturday morning, my Kitchenaid was working overtime getting the dough ready to fill three cake pans.
Here are those three cookie cake layers stacked and frosted. The frosting recipe claimed it would cover an 8" 2-layer cake. I doubled it since I had a 9" 3-layer cake... and I still could have used more! I used every last bit... there wasn't even much to lick... er, CLEAN off the spatula!
Then came the REAL adventure. Fondant. Marshmallow fondant. Do you know what makes this? A WHOLE bag of mini-marshmallows... MELTED. And 2 POUNDS of powdered sugar. Oh, and a little bit of water. This is literally the sweetest super glue in the world while it is being made. The recipe stressed that I needed to coat my countertop and my hands in Crisco. It didn't lie. Andrew walked in while I was in the middle of attempting to knead this mountainous blob of sugar glue (and completely ignored the 'close your eyes' rule!), looked at me like I was mental (which I really was on the edge at that point), and walked out. That. Stuff. Was. Everywhere. I would've taken a picture, but I didn't want to be Mrs. Camerahands for the rest of my life. Anyway, once glue finally transitioned to fondant-consistency, I attempted to add some food coloring. Once I got to a lovely shade of Shrek green, I gave up trying to get it to sage green and slapped that sucker on the cake. (Well, after 2 tries.)
So here is our little setup... the old cake, the new cake, the cards, and Andrew's 'homemade' gift... flowers. He cheated, but at least in a non-expensive pretty way.
So, after a loooong day in the kitchen, I grabbed Andrew with my still-sticky hand and led him to the table. He immediately cut into the old cake... it was as if he couldn't put off the potential disappointment any longer. Especially since he had a whole extra cake to eat! Anyway, we both hesitantly scooped a forkful and ate it. It was... heavenly! It was as if it hadn't spent a whole year in the freezer! It was as if we just sliced into the first time and smashed it into each other's faces! It was the perfect blend of cookie-ness and doughyness all wrapped up with icing. And how could it possibly end up tasting even better than it did on our wedding day?! I have no idea, but thank goodness it did and goodbye Bridezilla guilt! Andrew ate at least four slices of cake that night- 2 of the old and 2 of the new!
It was a late dinner since I spent so long in the kitchen that day. After we ate the pizza, Andrew turned on the Auburn game and I crashed on the couch and took a 3 HOUR nap. I don't take naps. That was one epic nap. And I only woke up to move from the couch to the bed at midnight. EPIC, I tell you. WW3 could have taken place in my living room and I wouldn't have moved. I kept apologizing to Andrew for taking an epic nap on our anniversary, and he finally said "Chels (which is pronounced 'Cheltz' in his country voice), I was asleep just about as long as you were!" So he did get his sugar-induced coma after all. :)
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
We went out on the boat and Andrew (successfully!) did some waterskiing. Mara and Anna tubed for a bit, and then we found a quiet cove and floated around for a while. It was a wonderful, relaxing day... and it definitely made coming back from vacation much easier.
Andrew's had it pretty rough at work the past few months, so he spent the majority of his time snoozing and boozing. (Note the slack jaw and tilted beer... it was a close one!) The weather was perfect- a balmy 80ish degrees, so we were never uncomfortably hot. We were on a private beach surrounded by homes rather than condominiums, so there were no crowds. We walked straight down the steps to the water each morning and didn't budge until dinner.
It was a wonderful, relaxing, fun, relaxing, perfect (and did I mention relaxing?) week. No crowds, perfect weather, beautiful beach, delicious food, gelato (!!!)... we had a great time. Although we enjoyed it being just the two of us, we're hoping to vacation with family next year. My Ma and Pa's 30th wedding anniversary is next October... I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to be at the beach together! It's been probably 9 years since the Lalla's were together at the beach. I can remember the Astro van parked on the beach with the back open, Pa under his umbrella, Ma soaking up the sun... ah, family. :)