Sorry for the lack of posts these last few weeks, between school, holiday shopping and throwing our annual holiday party I had very little time on my hands.  We had an amazing care free holiday,  just what the doctor ordered.  And like every year we made a video of our trip.  Hope you all enjoy our family video.

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Halloween was a hit.  Oliver loved it, once he realized what was going on.  He followed his friends Lucy and Leo run from house to house with so much excitement, once I gave him a chocolate bar while trick or treating, he was more interested in sitting down and eating the rest of his candy.  But eventually he moved on.  He tired out pretty fast.  But interesting enough he didn’t ask for any candy the next day maybe its because we put his bucket up high, or maybe because I ate most of it on the ride home.  Damn these holidays….they are deadly.  But he did love the dress up aspect of it all.  We went to a Halloween party before going trick or treating that our friends put together, which was an awesome idea.  The kids all looked great in their costumes.  I look forward to next year when he can tell me what he wants to be.  I had an idea this year that he wanted to be Elsa, or Anna from Frozen, but next year he will be able to communicate to us what he wants.

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I’ve been testing out new recipes for the holidays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I bought this book a while back and one thing I love about this book is that she categorizes her recipes by season.  I love the healthiness about this book and the food is clean and simple.  It should be a must in every household.  Especially the salads, they are heavenly and like nothing I’ve ever seen. Get this book!!!

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Ingredients for dough:

1 cup rye flour

1 cup flour

pinch of salt

1 1/4 sticks butter

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

1 egg yolk

Ingredients for filling:

2 sweet crisp apples

juice of 1/2 lemon

finely grated zest of one orange

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 cup berries

2/3 cup hazelnuts

Ingredients for glaze:

1 egg lightly beaten

1/4 cup sugar

 

Directions:

For the dough first sift together the flours, next add butter into cubed size, and salt.  Rub the butter and flour together until the butter is pea size.  Next add rub in sugar.  Next add the yolk and 2 teaspoons cold water.  It will be flaky.  Wrap together in disk and place in frig for an hour.

Will the dough is chilling you can start prepping your fruit.  Slice apples with out skin.  And berries to apples along with zest and lemon juice.  Next pulse your nuts, and then add brown sugar and pulse again.  Once the dough has chilled take it out.  Roll out your dough on floured surface.  I found this dough very hard to work with and she says you may have to piece it back together, I had to do this.  SO be patient with the dough:) Once it is rolled out place the dough on a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the nut mixture on the dough but leave about two inches from the edge.  Next add the fruit.  Fold over edges, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.  At this point you should pre heat your oven to 340.  Once the galette has chilled for 10 minutes take it out.  Mix one egg and 2 Tablespoons sugar.  Brush this on the tart

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When I’m not raising my son, doing school work, or doing hobbies such as this, I still do a few hair clients.  I don’t really look at this as work because these are clients I have had for 10 to 15 years, so it’s more like hanging out with an old friend.  I really like doing clients on Saturdays because I have time to listen to programs on KCRW.  One of my favorite shows to listen to is Evan Kleiman.  She has a way of talking about food that you want to hang her with basically all the time, the topics she chooses to talk about are cool and sometimes unheard of, or she will interview someone and it will stick with you all weekend, haunting you in a way.  I was lucky enough to hear her interview Claire Ptak, from a little bakery in London called Violet Bakery.   Claire talked about using different flours for baking.  And how she goes about doing that is bringing out the flavor of the flour and not masking the flavor of the flour.  She talked about these chocolate brownies that she made with rye flour.  Well I will tell you as soon a I heard that I was more than excited and could not wait to get in the kitchen to make these.  So much so that the second I got home I order her book.  It is lovely and must buy for anyone who loves to bake.  And these brownies are to die for.  They just as soft and chewy as any other brownie I have made.  MAKE THESE ASAP!!!!!!!

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Oliver was a big fan of licking the spoon..”yum, yum, yum…mmmmmmm”

 

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…Winnie The Pooh.

I started school in September, so between taking care of Oliver full time and taking classes, I have very little time for anything.  I haven’t talked with friends lately, or my husband which is sad, because they are my lifeline.  We did however go to Albuquerque last week to visit my in-laws, brother and sister-law.  It was quite a trip.  We were there for the balloon fest.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  You hang out in an open field with hot air balloons lifting off right next to you.  It was amazing in every sense.  I think 300+ balloons went up that day.  My sister-in law is from France and used to do PR for the French team from Lorraine France.  We went to say hi to her friends and the next thing I know, Jonathan is boarding their balloon.  And he did it just like that, he was invited to join their ride and up he went.  I on the other hand turned it down the second I was invited to go.  Oliver had what I would consider to be one of his most memorable melt downs.  He watched his daddy walk away and go up into a balloon and float away.  Not happy, not happy at all.  Tears for a long time. I’m happy Jonathan got to experience the balloon, it looked amazing from the video he shot from above.  And Oliver was especially happy when he saw his daddy again.  It was a lovely day and they even invited us back to have a picnic with them.  A truly memorable day.  It was a great trip and even though I was glued to my computer most of the time, it was still nice to get away for a bit.

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We just celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary.   And because we are so busy we aren’t actually going to celebrate til next week.  I did however have some time to make a cake.  Nothing fancy, I wanted simple, so that’s what I made.  A chocolate cake with a seven minute frosting.  I ask you who wouldn’t love this cake.  No one I know.  Oliver especially loved the frosting.  He kept saying “more on spoon”.  AHHH I love this kid.  Jonathan loved it too.  A nice surprise for him when he came home from work.

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Chocolate cake ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup butter milk

3/4 cup hot coffee

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions for cake:

Pre heat oven to 325.  Butter and flour 3 8″ cake pans.  Mix your butter til ribbon like, next add sugar, and one egg at a time.  Once that is incorporated add your vanilla.  Next you want to get your wet and dry ingredients together in separate bowls.  You wet will be buttermilk, coffee and cocoa powder, and your dry will be the rest.  Start by adding your dry and ending with your dry.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Start checking your cakes around 30 minutes.

 

Ingredients for frosting:

2 cups sugar

8 egg whites

1 cup corn syrup

Directions for frosting:

Add all of your ingredients to a heat proof bowl.  You will be cooking this over boiling water, double broiler method.  You will need to use a candy thermometer.  Once the mixture has reached 130, take off boiling water add attach to your mixer using the whisk attachment.  Mix on medium to high speed, until it is white and fluffy cloud like.

 

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Last week Jonathan and I had the pleasure of watching our really good friends kids for the day.  We wanted to do something fun.  So we decided on a webisode.  I knew the kids would love it since they loved the one from before  It was a crazy day, and if I’m being honest I really loved the chaos of it all.  It was a ton of fun having three kids run, play, and laugh together all day.

Pop Tart Movie from Bethany on Vimeo.

Ingredients:

1 box puff pastry

1 egg

and kind of filling: jam, nutella, cinnamon sugar

2 cups powdered sugar

sprinkles for the topping

1-2 Tablespoons milk

 

Directions:

Lay out your puff pastry for about an hour, or til it’s soft.  Roll onto a floured surface.  Cut into even squares. Place squares on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Brush the pastry with an egg wash (whipped egg and water).  Fill pastry with filling of your choice.  Place another piece of pastry on top of filling.  Seal shut forking the edges.  Put in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  Now pre-heat your oven to 375.  Egg wash pastry all over before putting into oven.  Bake 20-25 minutes.  Let them cool for about 30 minutes.  To decorate take your powdered sugar and add some milk to make it creamy and spreadable.  Sprinkle…eat…enjoy!!!

 

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We’ve been attending wine tastings at this park for about 8 year summers now.  Before Oliver and before we were married and now we still go because I think everyone in LA takes their child here because it’s acceptable to go wine tasting with your child in tow and no ones judging!!  The cool thing about this park, is it’s an art park, called Barnsdall Art Park . Up on the hill that over looks the city is home to a beautiful museum, that houses art to many up and coming artist, a house that was designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright, and it also offers art classes for the young and old.  It’s one of those hidden gems in the city that a lot of people didn’t know about until they started doing wine tasting up on the hill.  Jonathan and I used to live down the street so we would just walk there.  It used to be $15 when it started, but now eight years later it’s $30.  We don’t mind paying it because most of the money is a donation to the foundation.

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I love picnicking.  Who doesn’t especially when wine is involved.  One thing I really do love to make is fried chicken, you can from my past posts. It’s an easy thing to make and doesn’t seem to get messy, and everyone loves it.  This time I decided to make waffles along with the fried chicken, little bites.  Even less messy.

 

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We were celebrating two birthdays, and the end of summer.  Such a great way to spend a Friday night.  I have a great group of lady friends, and we all had babies around the same time.  So we often spend our birthdays together, or other things we want to celebrate.  It’s great to have the support system we have with each other.  To celebrate the birthdays I made PB&J cupcakes.  I stuffed the cupcakes with a really tasty concord grape jam, used fresh PB for the icing, and topped them with concord grapes.  It was a great evening and an amazing way to kick off the holiday weekend.

 

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Picnic photos courtesy of Nikki Garcia

 

Fried Chicken Ingredients:

6-8  organic chicken thighs skin on and bone in

1 quart buttermilk

3 eggs

6 cups flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

 

Directions for fried chicken:

Soak your chicken in buttermilk for at least 12 hours, or over night.  Once your done soaking it pour out the buttermilk and add 3 eggs and whisk.  Next add all your dry ingredients together.  I like to use a cast iron pan to fry my chicken.  Add the oil of your liking, I use canola oil.  Heat it up once it’s hot enough, or 350.  At this point I heat my oven to 375.  Dip your chicken in the buttermilk mixture and then the flour mixture.  Place in hot oil.  It’s important to not over crowd the chicken.  Once they are golden on each side place on lined parchment lined baking sheet.  Once all the chicken is fried, put in the oven an cook for about 25 minutes.   You can check the internal temp of the chicken if you feel should, it should be 165.  Once it’s done let it cool for a bit

For waffles use a Belgium waffle cooker.  I only filled the it up half way, because I wanted small squares.  Once they’re done and cooled pull apart.  Cut up your chicken and place a piece on top to the waffle.  Use a tooth pic to hold them together.  Top with honey or maple syrup.