Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Need Your Help

I’m working on a new picture book for grandson, Robert. It’s a book about his great-grandpa and his namesake – my dad, Bob Clark. I have an exciting and rather ambitious vision in my head of the art work, and hope I’m able to bring it to life.

Many of you knew my dad. I am soliciting your help with suggestions of things he did or things he was. Remember to keep your ideas simple, concrete, appealing to a toddler, and action-oriented, for instance: he was a sailor in the Navy; he was a baker; he was a fisherman; he was a hunter (and killed a brown bear!); he was an airplane pilot; he liked to camp in his RV; he was a golfer; he took art classes; he was a photographer; and, of course, he read his Bible daily. I could use about three to five additional ideas, so let’s hear them. I’m counting on you, friends and family!

Daring Bakers' January Challenge: Biscuit Joconde Imprime and an Entremets Dessert

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert. (Recipe HERE.)

A joconde imprime is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. The batter bakes into a moist, flexible cake which may be tinted or marbleized for a decorative effect. Once baked and cooled, the sponge is cut into strips to line a ring mold, thus becoming a "wrapper" for the layered dessert, inside, known as the entremets.

Since Tim's birthday is in January, I decided to take on the challenge of turning my Biscuit Joconde Imprime into his birthday cake. In the interest of time (which was short) I simply filled the Jaconde with strawberry ice cream and whipped cream. It would be fun to do it again and fill it with chocolate mousse or a pastry cream of some kind.

Here is a picture of the cake after coming out of the oven. As you can see, I chose to flavor and tint the D├ęcor Paste with cocoa powder. The cake itself is made using almond flour, and turned out very tasty.

I trimmed the cake into strips, and lined a spring-form pan with the cake, making sure the design was on the outside . . .

. . . and then filled the ring with softened strawberry ice cream.

I topped the ice cream with whipped cream and then froze the entire dessert until just before serving. I was a little fearful that it would not unmold well, but there was no problem at all. The dessert came out of the pan nicely . . .

. . . and sliced up beautifully.

You can see a picture of Tim blowing out his birthday candles on this dessert in the PREVIOUS POST.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Birthday Celebration

Tim’s birthday was last Friday, January 7. Since I was sick, we had to put off the birthday celebration until this weekend. Our friend, Mike, from Juneau, is visiting for a few days, so he joined us for a nice dinner out, at Olive Garden, and for dessert at home afterward.

Not only was this a celebration of Tim's 35th birthday, but also of his 1st anniversary at HP. I have a feeling that the coming year will hold exciting changes for him, as he's seriously looking to buy his first house. In fact, Tim has invited Dan and me to see, this afternoon, a couple of properties that he is considering.

Happy birthday, Tim. I’m proud and happy to be your Mom!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Julie and Julia - Good Medicine!

On Sunday my throat began hurting, and by that evening I knew I was getting sick. I finally gave up and went to bed around 5:30 p.m. after texting my boss, Betsy, to let her know there was a good chance I wouldn’t be in on Monday morning. Monday should have been my first day back following Christmas break, which started December 22.

When morning came, I couldn’t even pull myself out of bed. The sore throat had just been the precursor to a full-fledged cold or, more likely, flu (known, generically, as "the crud"). I couldn't even make it into the family room to lie on the couch. I was no better on Tuesday, but did force myself out of bed and to the couch for awhile.

There, on the couch, I turned on the TV and began watching the movie Julie and Julia. Wrapped in my fuzzy “blanky”, with my head wrapped in an even fuzzier cold-medicine fog, I watched and laughed and cried with the two main characters. I totally recommend this movie as a terrific cold/flu remedy, since for the couple hours it ran, I almost forgot my own miserable condition.

I returned to work yesterday. My head is still congested and I’m still coughing, but there’s no more sore throat or fever. I feel much better, and I don’t think I’m contagious anymore. Just to be safe, though, I'm practically bathing in hand-sanitizer every five minutes and keeping my head in my own little corner of the office. I'd hate to pass it along to anyone else.

There's a good side to everything. Had I not been grounded by "the crud", Julie and Julia would probably still be just a title - one among many - on my "To See" list. If you haven't seen it, don't wait until you're sick.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in Review for the Judds

January - It's hard to say good-bye to dear friends. Keith moved away in January.

February - Tim began his new job at HP. It's been a great year for his career.

May - We try to make it to Texas to see Clara's spring dance recital each year, as we did this year, in May.

June - Tim took me to see Cirque du Soleil, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

June and July - Wear your sun screen! I had two skin cancers removed in June and July.

July - We traveled to Muleshoe, TX, for Dan's 45th high school reunion.

August - Mom hopped on a little commuter plane and came to Albuquerque for a visit.

August - While Mom was here, a huge piece of tire tread, from a semi-truck, flew into the front of our car and did major damage; repairs all paid for by insurance (Accident #1)

September - It was scary when Dan had to go to the emergency room because of a blood clot in his leg. He's feeling much better now, although the recent ultrasound scan showed that the clot is still there. Until it's gone he'll have to stay on blood-thinner meds.

October - We traded in our Escape (all fixed and pretty) for a new VW Tiguan. Strange sounding name, but a fun car to drive.

November - Back to Texas we went, to celebrate Thanksgiving and Robert's birthday with the Texas Judds.

November - We were the victims of a drunk driver, when, at 12:30 at night, she jumped the curb, slammed into Tim's car (which was parked in our driveway), spun it 90 degrees, pushed it up the hill of our drive and into our garage door. Between Tim's car and our garage door, we sustained about $9000 damage. (Accident #2)

December - On our way to our Saturday breakfast, we were rear-ended in Dan's car. $700 damages, paid by other driver's insurance. (Accident #3)

December - Wonderful Christmas with the entire family.

December - While at Mom's (for Christmas) Dan tripped on a large, wooden planter box that Mom had just outside her front door, and took a spill on the concrete. He sustained some scrapes and bruises, and broke . . . his Nook e-reader. Better than breaking a bone! (Accident #4)

There were many wonderful memories made this year, but we're hoping that 2011 is the start of an accident-free year for our family!