Saturday, December 19, 2009

Second Annual Christmas Letter!

Time for the Annual Paper and Postage Saving Environmentally Friendly Kerr Christmas Letter!
So you might be asking yourself, "What did the Kerrs do this year?" You know what? I don't know. It's all a blur. Thankfully, I have iPhoto to jog the ol' memory.
Ah yes...on March 15th, we welcomed the newest model Kerr, Andrew James, weighing in at a whonkin' 10lbs, 2 oz.

I think birthing a baby is a pretty big accomplishment so I'll just end my letter here.

Just kidding

Andrew is exceedingly cute and a fine fit for this family. At this point I want to again extend a thank you to all those who brought us dinner after Gummi was born. It was all so tasty, I might be tempted to have another baby.

Did you hear that? I think my mother just fainted.

Anyway, on with the rest of our year.

In February, we bought our own land yacht. We love having all the space and if you ever have need to transport 12 people at once, give us a call. While not exactly the most fuel efficient vehicle, we could probably work something out as long as you don't have plans to drive to Copenhagen.

In May, my fabulous friends threw me a surprise birthday party for my 40th 29th birthday. It was a great day with family and friends. So much so, I think I'll have another birthday next year.

Also in May, Bo Hunkmeister and his Dad went on a one week motorcycle tour of the Great Smoky Mountains. From all accounts (and pictures) it was a great trip. They have plans to do one again next spring in the Ozarks.

In July, my brother Dan and his family visited from North Carolina. I'd have pictures to show you, but between whining that the USS Constitution was closed and searching for cannoli, we didn't think to take pictures. Rest assured though, a fun time was had by all (and there's no photographic evidence to prove otherwise!)

Let's see, what else...

Bo: Is still working for Newfangled Graphics when not kid wrangling.

Me: I continue to bake, read and have my science projects go horribly wrong.

Princess Buttercup: This is her in front of her keychain collection displayed at our local library. She continues to read voraciously. Her current faves are Lloyd Alexander and Eoin Colfer. Any other good author suggestions would be welcomed.

Princess Git Er Done: Continues to play the violin when not taking control of Gummi care. She also works as a mommy's helper for a neighbor. I see many babies in her future.

W. Bear: Is currently obsessed with Pokemon and Webkindz.

Tater: Has learned to read this year!

Baby: need I say more?

So that's our year in a nut shell. We hope all is well in your neck of the woods and wish you a happy and healthy 2010!

Spend All You Have For Loveliness....

I love Rice Krispie Treats. Really, I could live on them. You know that Woody Allen movie "Sleeper" where he finds out 200 years in the future that coffee and cigarettes are actually good for you? This is my fantasy for Rice Krispie Treats.

It so happens that I am not the only one to have this "love that nutritionally dare not speak its name". I was flipping through an old copy of Gourmet magazine and found this recipe*. It combines Rice Krispie Treats, chocolate and coffee - some of my favorite things! And because I'm that peace and love to the world type of girl, I'm going to share it with all of you. Shall we get on the road to loveliness?

Chocolate Marshmallow Squares with Espresso Ganache
(from Gourmet magazine 12/2006)

for ganache
5 oz fine quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), chopped
3 oz fine quality bittersweet chocolate (70%0 cacao), chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Tia Maria, Kahlua or other coffee flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules

for marshmallow squares
1/4 lb marshmallows (15 large marshmallows or 2 cups small)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Drost in the red box)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups Rice Krispies

to make ganache
Melt chocolates with cream, liqueur, and espresso powder in a metal bowl set over simmering water, whisking occasionally until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand at room temperature until thickened, about 2 hours.

to make marshmallow squares:
1. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray.
2. Melt marshmallows and butter with sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2 1/2 to 3 quart heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and gently stir in the cereal. Transfer to cookie sheet pressing evenly with dampened fingers. Cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Cut sheet in half.
4. Spread some ganache on one of the half sheets. Top with other half. Cut the sheet into bite sized squares. Reheat ganache gently to loosen and drizzle on top of the squares.
5. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

1. for the chocolate ganache, 8 oz of Hershey's Dark chocolate works fine.
2. I've found you need to double the marshmallow square recipe to deal with all the ganache.
3. Do not use old marshmallows. Believe it or not, these sugar bombs need to be fresh to avoid the krispies being brick hard

There you have it! Love in a pan!

*that I was looking through old cooking magazines is a blog for another day - I have many, many issues

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Nativity Scenes

Seeing how it is the Christmas season and all, the kids, taking a break from making miles upon miles of green and red paper chains, decided to make a Nativity scene.

This was Princes Buttercup's rendition of that sweet night, long, long ago:

A close up for detail:

Note the nuance of emotion that Madame Blueberry brings to the role of Mary.

Raising the bar even higher, Princess Git Er Done, enlisting the aid of Tater, creates a "living creche"

Look at that adoration in her eyes!
I'm not sure who the vacuum cleaner is supposed to represent, but I'm pretty sure that Gummi now qualifies for his SAG card.

Monday, December 07, 2009

You're Killing Me....

There's a blog I like to frequent. It's called Pioneer Woman. I like it because it's not your usual Mommy-Blog; as in 'here's a funny thing my kids did, here's a goofy picture of the husband' or worse - 'let me give you a detailed list of what went wrong with my day!' Pioneer Woman writes about her life as a rancher's wife in Oklahoma. I'm a bit jealous because not only is she is running a household of 6, but she has time to keep up five sections on her blog, homeschool the four kids and take fabulous pictures while she's at it. If I can school the kids and take a shower in the same day, I consider myself phenomenally successful. I also really appreciate how she speaks of her husband. In this day and age where most men are spoken of as knuckledraggers or goofballs, she speaks highly of her man. Something tells me there are more babies in her future....

Anyway, my one complaint is her recipes. Take a look at this steak sandwich:

Or this onion and blue cheese sauce for a grilled rib eye steak:

Would it be pathetic to admit that I sniffed my computer screen?

This apple dumpling dessert my kids affectionately refer to as crack because it's that addictive:

Try it. You'll be calling me from rehab.

When I made this lasagna for my neighbor, she squealed. Squealed.

But the killer is this pie I made last night. Chocolate, butter, sugar and eggs. That combination is not evidence that there is a God, but that he loves us.

You're killing me, Pioneer Woman.

But my husband thanks you.