Saturday, June 21, 2008

Banketstaaf, or How a Mexican Fiesta Led to Dutch Pastry


this post is for My Friend Judith from High School.  or, more correctly, My Friend Judith from High School's Mom.  you see, judith's family came from the netherlands, and her mom for christmas one year made these amazing dutch pastries called banketstaaf.  believe me when i tell you that they were amazing.  cause they were.  and i always remembered them, even though i'd never heard of them before or since.

well, fast forward to this year when i was making horchata (this cinnamony rice beverage) for Cinco de Mayo.  don't worry, this will all make sense eventually.  anyway, to make horchata, at least with the recipe i found, you need a ton of blanched almonds which were pulverized and strained through liquid to make a milky milk-like substance, which you then transformed into the horchata.  i know, i didn't get the almond-in-the-rice-beverage either.  (as an aside, i found out after the fact that you can purchase horchata in the store, and it's really pretty cheap.  so, needless to say, i don't know if the whole pulverize-almonds-and-strain-them-by-hand thing is gonna happen again.)

but, even so, i had all this almond meal left over, and it seemed very lame to just throw it away.  and if you knew my mom, you would know the evil that befalls anyone who throws away "perfectly good food."  lets don't get started on the broccoli stalks.

anyway, so i threw it in the freezer, thinking i would use it sometime.  and then, i remembered the banketstaaf.  and i looked around and found this recipe to make it.  however, it didn't call for almond meal, but almond paste.  which apparently, costs your firstborn child if you purchase the quantity called for in the recipe (1 lb).  but, fortunately for me i had 3 cups of almond meal in the freezer, so i used this recipe to transform it into almond paste, and voila!  banketstaaf.

where the mexican fiesta comes in again, making a full circle of multicultural delight, is that the almond meal, having been used to make the aforementioned almond-rice-beverage, was flavored with cinnamon and lime when i used it the first time around.  so instead of your run of the mill almond flavor, it was bursting with fiesta goodness.

all this to say, it really was quite tasty.  and, thanks, judith's mom.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Beautiful Sunny Day

so, my husband and the boys were out hiking and playing in the gorgeous june weather today, while i stayed inside at my computer desk at work.  talk about a lame way to spend a beautiful saturday!  and, in order for you to understand just how lame it was, i am posting the video he made of it:


video

Monday, June 02, 2008

Toothless Wonder


well, i have to hurry up and post this, because the first lost tooth is soon to be joined by the second!  yep, that's right, nicholas officially has a less-toothy-grin, as of last weekend.  the excitement began in kindergarten, when the tooth was lost during group time (hardly seems fair to miss the first one like that!), and continued on into the night, as mama, who thought she had more "wiggling" time to get organized, quickly sewed up a little tooth fairy pouch.  chris likes to make fun of me for it, so i will post it here for your enjoyment.  you can't really tell by the picture, but there are cool sparkly gems all around the fairy--every self-respecting fairy needs some fairy dust!

in case you are wondering, the going rate in this house for
 fairies, tooth or otherwise, is 4 quarters, a marble, and a shiny rock.  i know, i know, i think i got maybe one quarter for mine, but hey, with the price of gas these days, what is the poor kid going to do with a quarter?  the marble and rock are special introductory offers only, i'm thinking.