Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snowboarding I

I took my first snowboarding lesson tonight.  Chris G’s girlfriend, Andie, has been snowboarding over 15 years and said she would teach me.  I borrowed a snowboard from my friend, Sarah, who is 8 months pregnant with twins and doesn’t need it at the moment.  Andie’s Dad works at Alpine Valley, so he was able to get both of us free lift tickets.  Yea!

When we were about 5 minutes away from the hill Andie took out a 5 hour energy shot from her purse.  I have always wanted to try one and she happened to have an extra one.  She only takes 1/2 so I did too.  It tasted weird but not horrible.

Andie started me off on the bunny hill :)  She showed how to stand when you are facing down the hill (heals down) and up the hill (toes down).  She helped me learn to leaf (go back and forth) and also make turns which is hard because once you start heading straight down you pick up a lot of speed.  I bailed a lot!  The other hard part was standing up on the board.  I just don’t have the ab muscles to get up from my butt.  So I had to learn to get up on my knees and then try to turn to face down the hill.

After what felt like 2 hours (actually only about 45 minutes) she took me on the ski lift.  Yeah, I fell down when getting off.  Embarrassing, but didn’t hurt too bad.  What should be a 2-3 min run took me about 15 minutes to get down.  A lot of falling and trying to get back up.  When we got to the bottom I had to take a break and give my legs a rest.  Then Andie had me go on the lift again and I fell down again when getting off.  Still embarrassing, but still didn’t hurt too much.  The second time down the longer hill was much better and I was able to do a couple turns without bailing. 

I was done after that and it had only been 2 hours.  I can already feel my legs burning and my abs aren’t doing much better.  This is definitely a workout and I used quite a few muscles I’m not used to using.  I did have fun and I will give it another try soon.  I think my balance from doing yoga helps me out on the board.  What I really need to learn is to let go of the fear, but I think that is why you need to learn this when you are a kid and are fearless, not when you are 32 and know how much this might hurt.

Oh, and I’m not sure if the 5 hour energy did much for me.  I think the adrenaline helped keep me awake tonight.  I guess I’ll find out when I turn out the light and try to fall asleep tonight.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Correction!  I read through the directions I printed off and I made a mistake.  It should be 1/3 cup sugar (not 1/3 tbsp).  This actually brings the point value up to 4 points/muffin.  Sorry about that!

As most of you already know, I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago.  I’ve been sticking to the plan and so far I’ve lost 5.5 lbs!  Mom mentioned some blueberry muffins she made and they sounded good.  I looked in my Cooking Light cookbook, which I’ve had forever but never use, and I found a Blueberry Yogurt Muffin recipe.  I switched 1/2 of the flour and used whole wheat flour instead.  This recipe when used as I have written is only 3 points, which is good because I hoard my points and hate to waste them. 
Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
I didn’t have any orange juice but I did have an orange, so I squeezed out the juice and used that.  I think that may have helped with the point value. 
For our wedding we received these silicone cupcake cups that I love! 
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I received this convection oven for Christmas. I wasn’t sure how often I would use it but it’s been great and perfect for baking muffins!
I think I over cooked them in the convection oven, but I didn’t adjust the baking time above since I think in a regular oven they will turn out a nice golden brown.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Free Valentine Subway Art

One of the blogs I follow, Craftily Ever After, has some really great craft art for the holidays.  She’s done some for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.  Today she is giving away a free printable of her Valentine’s Subway art.  I don’t remember how I found her blog, but it has some fun craft ideas.  Check out the link on the right under my blog list.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Race Car Track Cake

For Jake’s birthday I decided to make a race car track cake.  I found a couple pictures online and went from there.  Here is a step-by-step of the process I went through.

First up was baking the cake.  Since I knew I was going to spend quite a bit of time on the decorating I decided to go with a box cake mix (devil’s food).  I made two boxes (4) 9” rounds on Saturday night and let them cool overnight.  They were not quite equal in height, so I cut the tops off to make them level. 


Then I put one cake on top of another and cut out a curve so they would fit together without any gaps.  After that I added a layer of frosting between the two layers.


Next up was a crumb coat.  This is a thin layer of frosting that coats all the crumbs and helps when frosting it later.


I needed to freeze it for a while and the freezer was full, so I utilized the outside temperature of 15F. 


Now it was time for the frosting.  I frosted the sides first with green frosting and went up to the top about a half inch.  Then I added a layer of black on top and smoothed it out. 


Then a layer of grass in the middle of each circle and along the bottom.  I bought a new tip from Wilton for the grass and I think it worked really well.  I also used a darker and lighter green in the same pastry bag to make the grass look more dimensional. 


I added a white border and white lines to make the road.


To finish it off I found these cars at the dollar store.


Black and white flags and a number 2 candle made it complete!


I think Jake liked it!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday Jacob!  You are two years old today!  You are loads of fun, love to laugh, love trucks, cars and anything else that has wheels.  You are talking up a storm, can be very demanding, but not asking any questions yet.  You love to be read to, tickled, watch movies and eat frozen green beans.  I didn't tell you yet, but you have a doctor's appointment today, hopefully there will be no shots!  If there are I will kiss it and make it all better.  We love you!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas is almost over

So the tree is down and the decorations are packed up, but I found the pictures of the Christmas cookies I baked.

I invited Mom, Chris, Sara & Julia over for our first (and hopefully not last) Banach cookie baking.  I got ambitious and baked five different kinds ahead of time. 

First up were the Snickerdoodles.  They are a basic sugar cookie rolled in cinnamon and sugar (green & red sugars for the holidays).


Next up were the labor intensive Candy Cane cookies.  These are a pain to dye (the red always turns pink) and difficult to twist.  They are sprinkled with sugar and crushed peppermints.  In the end they are so festive I just have to make them every year. 


I made Dad’s favorite, Pecan Fingers, and the easy peasy chocolate pretzels with red and green m&ms. 


Sugar cookies are always needed for Christmas.  I think I finally figured out how to bake them correctly.  The deal here is to roll them out thick (when you think you need to roll them one more time, stop) and freeze them for 15 minutes before baking.  They keep the same shape as the cookie cutter this way.

008010These are the cookies after baking, don’t they look just like the cutter?

When the girls came over I had them help make Peanut Butter Kiss  and Spritz cookies.  They turned out great!


Last up was decorating the sugar cookies.  I made royal frosting which Julia helped me dye different colors.  We all enjoyed decorating them, but I think Julia got tired of trying to stay in the lines at the end. 


Mom brought fudge to share and everyone got to take home one dozen of each kind of cookie.  It had been a while since I made these many cookies for Christmas.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year

Well, it’s almost the end of the first day of the new year.  I usually don’t make resolutions because I hate to be a failure, but this year I decided to make a couple.

Resolution 1:  Blog more often.  I haven’t blogged very often these past few months, so I will try to do better.  I hope to blog at least once a week so we will see how that goes.

Resolution 2:  Take more pictures of my baking.  I baked a lot last year and I hope to continue, however, I noticed that I didn’t take many pictures or if I did I can’t seem to find them.  This will probably help out with resolution 1 above so that I have something to blog about, I just need to find the time to bake and blog.

Resolution 3:  Print off my digital prints.  I’ve been doing a pretty good job at downloading my digital pictures, but I rarely print them out.  So, today I printed about 350 pictures at  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the prints :)

That’s all I’m going to write for this year.  The traditional ones like lose weight, save money, relax and enjoy life are always in the background so they aren’t new.