Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Day

It started with a 5:45 am automated phone call Friday morning from Wichita Public Schools, letting us know that classes were cancelled due to the winter storm - six inches of snow and permission to stay home and play. Yahoo!

After scooping the driveway, Gus determined it was much too cold to be outside and spent the next 72 hours perfecting his Wii skills. But Bea was an absolute snow bunny. She made approximately 25 snow angels in the front yard, built a fort, went sledding in the front yard and ate 13 cubic feet of frozen flakes.

And after changing wet gloves, hats & boots for the last three days, I am snow-day'd out.

When does Spring arrive? Not soon enough.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Double-Iced Mocha Espresso Cookies.

My mom has this cookie recipe that I love called Coconut Islands. Although, she's never made them with coconut. Neither have I. We're just not big fans of it, I guess. It's got a hint of coffee flavor, and they're perfect, bite-sized bursts of chocolate.

Well, today I did a twist on her recipe and added a double-icing of espresso cream cheese frosting with a swirl of mocha.

OMT! (Oh my tastebuds!) These little devils are scrumptious. Hope the birthday girl I made them for agrees.

Here's the recipe, minus the coconut. (Maybe somebody out there could add in 1/3 cup of coconut and tell me how they turn out.)

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
Melt together:
3 squares (6 tablespoons) baking chocolate
1/2 cup coffee

Add melted chocolate and coffee mixture to cookie dough mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

1/4 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
instant espresso/coffee powder

Mix butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. Dissolve espresso powder in the vanilla and add it to the frosting.

3 tbls cocoa powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbls butter
Stir in:
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix until smooth. Swirl on top of espresso cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Why is it, all food tastes better on a stick?

I attempted these little cuties last week and just love how they turned out. Used my new mini-cupcake pan to keep them all bite-sized and poked a stick in them after baking & icing.

Cinnamon Roll Lollipops. Yum.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Storage with a smile.

Fourteen years ago, Eric and I bought our house not knowing how little storage there really was or how many toys two children could possibly accumulate. Oh lordy, do we have toys!

So when I mentioned building some cabinets in our basement to contain all the Nerf guns, Transformers, Legos and Fisher Price toys, Eric replied with a giant "YAWN."

He hates building cabinets. Or something as boring as cabinets. Boxes with no personality, in his opinion. Where's the challenge?

Soooooo ...... I came back to him with an idea I'd seen a few years ago - storage cabinets made out of big alphabet letters. Admittedly, I almost have a fetish for alphabet letters. Maybe it was the inflatable alphabet people we had in Mrs. Selby's Kindergarten class, or maybe it's the designer in me, but there's just something about an enormous 'A' that gets my juices going.

Eric agreed to tackle my latest hair-brained idea. (And yes, I realize how spoiled I am that I've married a man who can not only BUILD whatever I dream up, but still love me after the sawdust settles.)

Our basement isn't big, but there was just enough room to spell out PLAY. And I was able to get almost all of Gus & Bea's toys tucked safely into their new home - everything except the Thomas the Tank Engine collection. That stuff almost needs it's own wing of the house.

I took a ton of photos during the build - it was just so fun to watch it come together. And once again, I'm in awe of Eric's patience, craftsmanship and best-dad-ever abilities.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Project Denneler: Ages 8 and under

So, what kinds of things do Gus and Bea work on while their parents are busy making cupcakes in the kitchen and rocketships in the backyard?

For Bea, it's perpetual potty training. Somedays I wonder if she's ever going to get the gist of this. As long as someone is constantly reminding her to "go," she goes. But leave the remembering up to her, and there's almost always an "uh-oh."

And for Gus, if he's not playing his NintendoDS, then he's probably challenging Eric to a game on the Wii, or vying for time on the computer. Hoping to get him away from all-things-electronic for a couple of hours a week, we did manage to sign him up for Taekwondo class this month. More on that later, I'm sure.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Mrs. Braet. We "heart" you.

Today is Gus' 2nd-grade teacher's birthday. So we surprised her with cupcakes to share with the class.

Gus asked me if I made a cupcake for Frosty, the classroom dove. No. Sorry. I did not make a cupcake for Frosty. I guess I could have put some birdseed sprinkles on top of one, but I didn't. Maybe I'll remember to do that for Frosty's birthday. Do birds have birthdays?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What will Bea be?

We all wonder what our kids will grow up to be someday.
Will she be an artist? A cowgirl? A professional sand volleyball player?
I can only hope & dream that Bea will do something that makes her happy.


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