Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The past 16 weeks

The past 16 weeks I've been really busy. I finished my first year at my full-time ministry placement in campus ministry, and Jon and I did some fun traveling over the summer-Chicago, Colorado, Reno, and Texas! We moved to a new house, so I don't commute anymore *yippie!*.

Oh, yeah, I guess the last 16 weeks have also been busy with the small detail of growing another human being. NBD.

Ok, maybe a bit of a big deal! We are ECSTATIC to be expecting Baby Bailey, due January 25th!

Here's some shots to catch you up on our growing family over the last few months!

9 weeks
Our first belly shot-not really a belly but we thought it would be fun to remember where we were when...for our 5th anniversary Jon surprised me with a long weekend trip near Denver, CO-which included my first visit to Red Rocks park-BEAUTIFUL!

10 weeks
A little more belly...could also be in part from the huge amounts of fake sushi I ate for dinner before this picture was taken :) Also, don't mind the whatever is happening on my chin...there was a spot on the lens of our camera :)

12 weeks
Oops, missed week 11. Don't worry, you didn't miss much. This was a fun week-got to officiate at the wedding of some great friends in Reno!

13 weeks
Hello belly! Probably mostly due to the insane amounts of great food we ate with our friends in Texas (I think this picture was taken on rib night, even...that would explain a lot!)

14-15 weeks
Yes, I look like crap in this picture...it was taken after a long day. And, I can't remember when this picture was taken...but I can tell you it was sometime in weeks 14-15 :)

16 weeks
Bam! 16 weeks. Definite belly.

So far, things have gone very smoothly! I don't want to say I had an easy first trimester, because nothing about pregnancy is easy-but let's just say I know it could have been much worse. We will find out what we're having in September, so stay tuned for that, and more updates to come!
I have started to feel some movement (I am 18 weeks tomorrow) and am looking forward to the days when the movements are more pronounced, and definitely when Jon can start to feel them from the outside! We have yet to agree on an in-utero name-Jon calls him/her Sunshine (cause he used to sing me the "You Are My Sunshine" song, and plans on singing it to our child as well!) and I've taken to calling him/her Pipsqueak or Pip. I think we're both just bull-headed enough not to give up on the name we came up with, and compromise on the other-so we'll see how that develops!

Until the next update...much love to you all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tiramisu Cupcakes

I am hoping to post more of my favorite recipes on this blog, another goal to add to the "why I should blog more" pile...but really, recipes are so easy to share and I love hearing what other people enjoy and then trying it out for myself! I think it's only appropriate that the first recipe I share is for my one true love (in the food world, at least!)-cupcakes.


So, here is my recipe for Tiramisu cupcakes, created by the musical director of "Annie Get Your Gun" which was performed last spring in the community theater in Beatrice-I played in the pit orchestra and got paid in yummy wares. I use a different vanilla cake recipe than she did, but you could use whatever white cake or vanilla cake recipe you prefer.

I have discovered that the recipe for vanilla cupcakes from the famous Magnolia Bakery in NYC is one of the tastiest around-however, they can be a little dry, which makes them perfect for this recipe. Check out the link for their vanilla buttercream recipe, as well.

1 ½ cups self-rising flour; 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Liquid Coffee Mixture:
1/3 c + 1Tablespoon Strong brewed coffee
1 oz Kahlua
¼ c sugar (*note-this all mixes together better if the coffee is still warm)

Marscapone Frosting
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz marscapone cheese
½ c powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two (capacity 12) muffin tins with liners. In a small bowl, combine flours; set aside. With electric mixer (yeah KitchenAid!) cream butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Spoon batter into liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean (tops will be golden yellow). Let cool 10-15 minutes.

While the cupcakes are still in the pans, use a fork to poke holes in each cupcake.


Spoon or brush coffee mixture liberally onto each cupcake (I have found that using a pastry brush first works well, and then pouring the remaining mixture on really soaks into the cupcake better than just brushing alone).


Beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In separate bowl, blend together mascarpone, powdered sugar, and Kahlua. Fold this into the whipped cream. Pipe on to cupcakes and top with sprinkling of cocoa, chocolate shavings, a chocolate covered coffee bean-whatever you like!


Did I mention these are really fun to make with friends?


And, just for fun, the other version of cupcakes we made that weekend...chocolate cake with mocha buttercream...they were DELICIOUSLY amazing.


Happy baking, my friends!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yay! Friends and babies!

This post is dedicated to two wonderful boys who came to visit me and dragged their mamas along (so what if the visit was 4 months ago...).
Evan and eric
Evan and Eric, best friends!

The second day they were in town happened to be the day our new camera arrived in the mail, so we had fun taking lots of pictures of these two happy (most of the time) subjects. And, the moms and Mara (now mom to be...more on that later!) had great times catching up, baking, and playing baby swap.

I won't say much more, because I think these adorable pictures say enough!!

carla, evan, and fishies
Carla and Evan check out the fishes

Don't worry-Liz has a great handle on him :)

There were happy times...

There were not so happy times...

Carla and Evan, having fun

Liz and Eric, having fun!

And now, for my favorite series of photos. We start with a harmless attempt at posing..."come on boys, hold hands! that would be so cute!"


"See? We love each other!"

"I am so done with this."

And finally, one last photo of cuteness for your viewing pleasure (as if these two adorable boys weren't enough...!), Jon's newest hobby: teaching babies how to do pushups.


That's all folks! And big thanks to Liz and Carla for taking some time to bring their babies down to Beatrice so that Aunt Mara could dote...