Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homecoming 2010

Last night was Camas' Homecoming dance. We had the usual drama before the dance: Last minute group changes, hair appointment emergencies, worries about Omid intimidating her date, etc. Thankfully, everything went off without a hitch and the night was a success! Nas & Remy.

Naseem went with her friend Caleb.

Here is Caleb's sister Miranda, trying to pin the boutinniere.
*Notice Remy in the background. I made him a peanut butter popsicle to distract him from our guests & to keep his 'talking' down to a minimum. It worked!

It finally 'took a man's touch' to get the boutinniere to behave.
Though I did have to repin it at the HS - only to have it fall off again!. The next dance, we will watch a YouTube tutorial beforehand: "How to Securely Pin a Boutinniere."

Caleb & Naseem

Naseem & her best friend Leah.

Here's how their formal Homecoming photos will look: CUTE!

Best friends!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Make This!!

My biggest fan hoping for a bite.

I saw this recipe for pumpkin doughnut muffins & decided I had to make them this morning. These are extremely good. The muffin is very moist and not overly sweet. The sweet is definitely in the sugar topping.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
3 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/3 c buttermilk
1 1/4 c pumpkin puree
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 350*. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder & soda, salt, nutmeg & allspice. In a small bowl, whisk pumpkin & buttermilk. In a large bowl, cream butter & brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low speed, alternate adding flour & pumpkin mixtures. Bake in greased muffin tin for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool ten minutes. In a medium bowl, mix sugar & cinnamon. Remove muffins from tin one at a time. Brush all over with butter, then toss in sugar mixture. Let cool on wire rack. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Make This!!

Beer Bread! This bread is the perfect accompaniment to soups or stews.
Beer Bread
3 cups self rising flour*
1/3 c sugar
1 12 oz bottle of beer
2 Tbs melted butter

Preheat oven to 375*. Mix flour, sugar & beer. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes. Brush with melted butter. Bake for 5 minutes more. Enjoy!
**NOTE: If you don't have self rising flour, make your own. For every cup of flour, add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/8 tsp of salt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dare to Change

I saw this short clip on my sister-in-law's Facebook page this morning. I must have watched it ten times in a row. It's so empowering! No one needs to know if we feel scared inside! Thanks Arezoujoon for the clip. :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

P Patch & P Town

Omid, Matty & I headed over to the Sauvie Island pumpkin patch yesterday (so did the rest of SW WA & PDX). Nas chose to spend her time with friends at the mall. You missed out, chickie! Pumpkins!
It took us over an hour to get from the St. John's Bridge to the p-patch (2 miles away).
We did see some Highland cows during our long wait. Cute.

Since so much time was wasted getting to Sauvie Island, we didn't have the time to stand in the long lines & wait for a tractor ride out to the actual p patch. We opted to get the pre-picked pumpkins instead.
After finding our pumpkins, I insisted we head into the animal barn (always a fave!).

This sweet boy was named Hercules. He reminded me so much of Remy.
I wanted to take him home with us.

Lucy the llama. Omid fed her his apple core. She was very suspicious (of both Omid & his core).

This is Victor. He loved Omid & Matty. Victor tried every trick in the book to get them to pay attention to him. He finally got Matty to feed him an apple core.

After visiting the chilly p-patch, Omid took us to Toji's on Hawthorne for dinner. We love us a good Korean BBQ (+we got to warm our hands on the grill).
Seaweed salad.

Crispy tofu with sesame oil.


Yum Yum!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy & Sad

Nas & I have been going through old photographs of her to put in the Senior section of the CHS yearbook. It's been so much fun looking at the pictures & reliving old memories. It's also heartbreaking and makes me cry. I cannot believe how fast my kids have grown up. My time with the kids went WAY TOO FAST. Here are some of my favorites! Matty 2nd grade

As you can see, Matty started skateboarding in preschool.
I think this one should definitely go in the yearbook when Matty is a senior!

Nas - 10 months.
I had Harry Potter glasses before Harry was even popular.

4th birthday

Looked at Nas' Facebook lately? She still makes that same face!

Matty was always karate-chopping something or someone. Just ask his Uncle Mike.

These next two I am thinking of blowing up in a larger size & framing.
My absolute favorites in the bunch.

You will hear it a million times & it's so true. Kids grow up so fast! I wish I could rewind & relive those days. Such wonderful memories!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Matty had a XC meet at Vancouver Lake this afternoon. He has really excelled at this sport. He has consistently done better at each meet. Yay!Running sprints before the meet.

Had to get a shot of this. The Vancouver Lake Crew Team.
That is the coach in the boat behind the rowers. Too funny!

Happy birthday today to my baby sister!

After 7 years - picture day success. Finally a school pix (of me) I'm happy with.

This is a video of the CHS JV XC team right before their run.
They do this chant/dance at every meet. Love it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Make This!!

Cappuccino Doughnut Bars

Noble Pig posted this on Facebook. I had to make it even though I didn't have any kahlua or chocolate covered espresso beans. It turned out great! NOTE: Do not overbake! I increased the time by 10 minutes as I wasnt' sure my cheesecake topping had set. It was, but the doughnut layer was a little over-done (read:dry). They still taste great, though next time I will take them out at exactly 25 minutes).

Cappuccino Doughnut Bars
(From Cuisine at Home)

For the Doughnut Layer:
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake Layer:
2 pkgs. cream cheese, softened (8 oz. each)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua)
1 cup chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans

Preheat oven to 350o F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg for the doughnut layer in a large bowl; set aside.

Combine buttermilk and butter in a measuring cup; stir into flour mixture until combined. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. This layer is very thick. To spread it in the pan, wet your hands to pat it down and spread it out.

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar for the cheesecake layer in a bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs and liqueur, beating until smooth, 5 minutes; pour over doughnut layer.

Bake cheesecake until set, about 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle chocolate-covered coffee beans over cheesecake. Refrigerate until cool, cut into squares and serve. Store any remaining bars in the refrigerator.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Make This!

Hi Hat Cupcakes!! Oh boy these were a lot of work, but oh-so-worth-it! The frosting tastes just like a toasted marshmallow after the skin has been removed. The photo below is how they are supposed to turn out. I had visions all afternoon that my hi-hats would look exactly like this. I was so hopeful. First lesson learned: It is ESSENTIAL to have the proper equipment if you want your cupcakes to turn out like this. Don't substitute a 1/4" cake decorating tip if the directions call for a 1/2" tip. Your cupcakes will not look like the beautiful picture below.Bakerella's beautiful cupcakes - Photo by Bakerella

Mini hi hat.
I think the minis turned out better than the regular sized ones.

Cross section of the mini
Setting up in the freezer.

Notes: I used a regular chocolate cake mix, not from scratch. This saved me time. These cupcakes take a HUGE amount of time to prepare. Don't have anything planned for two hours or more if you make these. Also, Bakerella's frosting took 12 minutes, mine took 20 minutes. My frosting never got to 160* on the candy thermometer. I figured after 2o minutes (when the stiff peaks finally appeared, it was done). The chocolate coating part was the easiest. I was worried each time I dipped the cupcakes that the frosting would come off. It didn't. I will definitely make these again. I plan to head to Michael's today to purchase the correct cake tip so mine can 'hopefully' turn out like Bakerella's.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Make This!

Tiropita! I enjoyed this tasty cheese pie so much at this past weekend's Greek festival, that I had to find a recipe and make it on my own. Every recipe I found couldnt' emphasize enough that when working with fillo dough - you must respect it - even be afraid of it. I was not going to let that keep me from my tiropita. I made a decision that I would not be afraid of the fillo dough!

Fillo sheets


Feta, eggs, pepper & parsley.
Shaping the tiropita. I cut a sheet of 8.5x11 paper in half length-wise & practiced making triangles before I tackled the fillo dough. It worked and I was able to form the fillo triangles.

Finished product.
These were soooooo goooood! Almost as good as the ones I had on Saturday. Now that I have half a package of fillo left, I will try bougatsa next. That is a custard filled pastry. I won't tackle baklava as I love Pop-a-Bak's! They are the BEST I have EVER had! They are sold at the Vancouver Farmer's Market. If you haven't tried Elayne's baklava - you are missing out! Elayne is from Camas and you can order directly from her as well.
The tiropita recipe I found here.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Get Your Greek On!

Today we went to the Greek Festival sponsored by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church in Portland. It was delicious & fun! We have wanted to go in the past but always missed it. So glad we went this year! Talents!
We bought 40 talents (tokens) & decided to eat our way through the festival.


Lots of people!
Our first stop - Gyros!
Lamb station.
I liked the tiropita while Omid preferred the spanokopita.
Bougatsa - phyllo pastry with custard filling. We also ate kourabiethes. Those were so gooood. After dessert, we decided to go back for more savory food. Matty hit they gyro station again while Omid went to another booth.
Souvlaki - pork kebab
We also got to tour the inside of the church. It was really beautiful. I loved the Greek icons. The church gift shop was a fun stop. Icons, evil eye necklaces, key chains, etc. There was also a Hellenic museum upstairs. Lovely costumes, copper pots, textiles & information about Greek food. It was super organized, clean and loads of fun! We will definitely be back next year!