September 21, 2010

Babydoll’s cake won first prize at the county fair {her cake is directly to the left of the “Do Not Enter” sign}

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September 20, 2010

Babydoll baked a coconut cake to enter into the county fair

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September 18, 2010

Princess in her new dress  :o)

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Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Passport

Time flies when you’re having fun!  This week flew by; it just blows my mind!  We really cracked down on our work this week, and started including our regular core subjects.

One of the highlights of Babydoll’s week was our trip to Jones Valley Urban Farm.  While it wasn’t quite what she expected {she thought she’d get to do a bit more of the cooking}, she enjoyed the trip.

We also knocked out a few spelling units, vocabulary, analogies, and talked about space and plane figures.  I’m not going to lie, this stuff was fairly dry.  Babydoll did enjoy studying about space figures because she got to play around with wood figures {and write on them to count sides, edges, and corners – oh so naughty}.

Literature involved reading The Glory of Greece and learning all about philosophers, the Parthenon, columns, friezes, and other totally awesome ancient Greek things.  It was a killer unit and she rocked it!

Although this may not be of any consequence to anyone other than the person writing this, I have to mention it so that if nothing else, I remember it.  Ava’s been working on Handwriting Without Tears cursive writing, but she hasn’t finished the workbook yet, which means she hasn’t learned how to make all of her cursive letters yet.  She so wants to write completely in cursive, though, so she’s been doing all of her work in cursive this week.  I’ve got to remember to save some of this stuff; it’s super.

In History we’ve been learning about feudalism and castle life.  Babydoll made a catapult {it launched grains of rice across the room} and a diorama of a great hall.  She really seemed to enjoy this; then again, she loves history period.

On Friday we ditched school in favor of going to The Cheesecake Factory with Daddy {uber fun} and running errands/grocery shopping {not so fun}.  We came home to find Babydoll’s suitcase from Little Passports had been delivered.  I hadn’t told her about it, so she was super excited to open it and look through everything.  We’ll incorporate the country study into our schedule each month.

We had three rounds of soccer practice this week, had our new meal plan come in handy, and have been working on re-organizing {if it’s not functional what good does it do you?} and cleaning the house.  We’re looking forward to a break over the weekend before it starts all over again next week!

How was your week?  Check out other weekly wrap-ups at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler!

Foodie Friday: Pancakes with Strawberries and Vanilla Whipped Cream

Pancakes have to be one of the most delicious things around {at least in my opinion}.  We don’t have them as often as I’d like, and since I recently instituted a breakfast for dinner night, I thought we’d make them this week.  They are one of Babydoll’s favorite things to eat.

This recipe looks long and complicated, but it really isn’t.  The end result is so good {no, really, it’s unbelievable} and fluffy and tasty.  As an added bonus, you can make up batches of the mix and have it on hand for whenever you’d like some good pancake love.
The recipe is an Alton Brown one, and basically has you making your own version of Bisquick.  I’m telling you, once you try this, you’ll never go back!

Instant Pancake Mix
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda (check expiration date first)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine all ingredients in a lidded container or a Ziploc bag and shake to combine.  Use the mix within three months and shake it before every use.

Instant” Pancakes
2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups Instant Pancake Mix
Butter for greasing the pan
Strawberries, sliced
Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, recipe below

Heat an electric griddle or frying pan to 350 degrees F. Heat oven to 200 degrees F.

Whisk together the egg whites and the buttermilk in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the melted butter.

Combine the buttermilk mixture with the egg yolk mixture in a large mixing bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients on top of the pancake mix. Using a whisk, mix the batter just enough to bring it together. Don’t try to work all the lumps out.

Check to see that the griddle is hot by placing a few drops of water onto to the griddle. The griddle is ready if the water dances across the surface.

Lightly butter the griddle. Wipe off thoroughly with a paper towel. (No butter should be visible.)

Gently ladle the pancake batter onto the griddle. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the griddle-side of the cake is golden, gently flip the pancakes. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve immediately or remove to a towel-lined baking sheet and cover with a towel. Hold in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Madagascar vanilla bean paste

Place chilled whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Whip on high speed with the whisk attachment until soft peaks begin to form.