Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis the Season to eat FOOD...

Myspace Backgrounds - Christmas Lights

Well, as part of the Stewart tradition... we stuffed our faces for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful affair, and we didn't even lift a carving knife! That is right! The Stewart's took the day off in the kitchen by going to the GRAND AMERICA Buffet in SLC. It was great, but I have to admit.. I missed fresh dinner rolls as part of our fabulous dinner tradition. But... NEVER FEAR, we still made dinner rolls anyway.

This picture seemed appropriate after the last statement.

As to the dinner roll dilemma. After 30 years of making "Rita" rolls at all Family affairs, there was actually a NEW roll recipe introduced this holiday. I was mortified that a tradition of 30 (or more) years could be cast aside so carelessly. But, I have to admit, the new recipe was pretty phenomenal. I will post both, and I will still probably use both, because I have been using the "Rita" roll recipe to make home made scones on Sunday nights as part of another family tradition for the last 7 years, so, I can't change that!!! The Rita roll recipe seems to make these scones OHHHHHHHHHHH SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD... however, I am sure that any old roll recipe would probably be ok.

JUDITH ROLLS were amazing, and I will probably be making these rolls for years to come because this recipe was light, and fluffy, and, thanks for sharing Judith!

I am also attaching a link to Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Bars....which we also tested this holiday season.... yummy...

What else did we make? Well, if you know me, or my family, we will use any excuse for CAKE. My little sister Hillary has become quite the baker and I am sure if we had a bake off, it would be a very difficult and close competition. She does have amazing recipes though, and the one she used this time was from Magnolia Bakery (Magnolia Bakery Cook Book) in NYC. The cake was incredible, and I had fond thoughts of it all the way home in the car. Thanks for making that cake Hilby. Check out the posts below. Happy Holidays!

Magnolia Bakery Cake with Butter Cream Frosting

Just don't think about the butter... believe me... it is worth it.

Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake

1 Cup Softened Butter
2 Cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
1 1/2 Cups Self Rising Flour
1 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9 x 2 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with waxed paper.

In a mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Combine the flours and add in four parts the flour, milk and vanilla alternating with each addition. Beat well after each addition. Divide the batter among the cake pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave in pans for at least 10 minutes, and then remove to cool completely.

If you are making cupcakes, line two 12 cup muffin tins with papers. Spoon the batter into the cups about 3/4 of the way full. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched..about 20- 22 minutes. Remove cup cakes from pan and cool completely before frosting.

Traditional Vanilla Buttercream

1 Cup Butter (Very Soft)
8 Cups Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

Place butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistancy. (You might not need all of the sugar) If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled. Store in airtight container for 3 days.

Aunt Judith Rolls

1 Cup Water
1 Cup Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Cold Water
4 Beaten Eggs
2 Pkgs. Yeast
7 1/2 Cups Flour

Bring 1 Cup water to a boil. Add Butter, Sugar, and Salt. Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Add 1 Cup of cold water. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 Cup warm water. When first mixture is luke warm add yeast mixture and beatten eggs. Stir together and add flour. Cover and refridgerate overnight. Divide into thirds. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Let rise for 4 hours and bake at 400 for 12 minutes.

Freezer tip:

Freeze after rolling out on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, place rolls in a freezer safe bag. To bake, remove from freezer, and let rise for 6 hours, or over night.

Aunt Rita Rolls

2 Pkgs. Yeast
1/4 Cup Warm Water
1 tsp. Sugar

Stir together until yeast dissolves (Let it rest for 5 minutes to foam)

1 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Shortening (melted)

Stir together until sugar and shortening dissolve. Let cool.

Add 3 beaten eggs to shortening mixture. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold in yeast mixure and stir in 4 1/2 cups of flour. Mix until smooth. Coat bowl and dough with shortening and let rise 30 minutes then punch down. Cover and refrigerate for eight hours (overnight). Roll out and let rise for 3 to 4 hours. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bubba Dub.

What do we say about Jaxon...???.... He is a great kid, and a fun addition to our family. Many of you know, and some of you don't know, that within the last year, Jaxon has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which in short is an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified. (Don't you LOVE acronyms?) ANYWAY, what does that mean? It means that endless hours of research, analysis, testing, retesting, and schooling has been added to his 4 year old life, and my daily schedule.

Really, I shouldn't complain. In all, Jaxon has a great prognosis. He doesn't disable our lives like many children with ASD do to their families. We have minor issues that we deal with that many people don't really even notice.(Unless they have never met him before- (i.e. the UPS man that he invites in to play or eat a meal eventhough he is only there to deliver a box...) As a matter of fact, we really have it easy compared to most. However, that does not dimish the hours of research and testing that it takes to make sure he is getting the right educational, and social training. After 12 months of working on it, I feel like we finally have it under control. What does that mean?

That means that Jaxon leaves for school at 8:00 in the morning, and attends a special program for Autistic Children that allows them to be integrated into a pre-school with "normally" developing children for 2 1/2 hours, and then they have an intervention program for 1 1/2 hours after preschool, and then he gets to come home around 2:00 after a 30 minute bus ride home. On Mondays and Tuesdays he is home for about 1 1/2 hours until we head to the University for the ABA Therapy Preschool- yes this is preschool #2 for the day- (A specific type of Autism Therapy) which is a preschool run by the Special Education Department on campus and allows the students there to have a hands on learning experience in their field. We are there for 1 1/2 hours both nights. On Wednesdays, Abby has dance, but on Thursdays Jaxon is back to Speech Therapy where we have found a "Play Therapy" group that will work on his social skills, and playing with other children.

It is a big week, EVERY week for Jaxon, but overall, we feel blessed and watched over as we try our best to give Jaxon a shot at being integrated into the Public School System. For children with Autism, this is possible with some additional "training" on how to interact in social situations and function with peers. It takes chilren with autism more work to interact socially, follow instructions and focus on tasks. These things just don't come naturally.

At times, I feel guilty that my other two children live their lives around Jaxon's school schedule, and over the past month, I have spent 10 hours in Dr.'s offices while we wait for Jaxon to be analyized, watched, tested, and assessed. However, I feel great success in his placement, and I know that we are doing what is best for him, and he will probably be able to live a normal life. (That is the hope anyway)

I find the most joy in his successes, and fabulous personality. His teachers in the AIM (morning) preschool love him, and push him in all areas of development. We LOVE them, and feel so blessed to have them in his life. What is evern better is that they LOVE Jaxon... (really, what is not to love) and they want to see his success and make sure he reaches his fullest potential.

The best is when we see Jaxon make great strides in understanding, and development. Tonight, while we were reading the Book of Mormon Illustrated stories Peter pointed to a picture of someone being baptized and asked Jaxon...'What are they doing Jaxon?' to which he responded.... washing... (He gets asked these type of questions a million times a day by teachers trying to drill him in comprehension...i.e. He is wearing gloves..why? Because it is cold.) Anyway, Peter informs him that they are being BAPTIZED, and a look of understanding crosses his face as he says, yeah.... BATH-TIZED. - It does seem like some kind of super- hero action bath.. doesn't it? I grinned at him, and winked... and he quickly shot me a perfect wink back... That makes it all worth it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yay for me!

So, after a whole year, I finally finished my Thanksgiving project. Last year I saw this sign in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, and I thought... "That is cute... I don't need to buy it, I can make it!" I roped some girlfriends from the neighborhood in to helping me, and making their own and after 1 year, it is finally done, and hanging in its proper spot. I love looking at it, and thinking, "Hey, that is cute, and I made it!" Anyway, Here is a picture of my little project that should have been done last year!

The turkey is courtesy of Abby from last years kindergarten class.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cutie Tooter Wader Rooder

Wade is now almost 8 months old! (Well, he will be in 10 days) But the little tyke is crazy busy and is in a full crawl now. Actually, it makes me happy because now he entertains himself better... tearing leaves off plants, tipping over kitty water bowls, tipping over bathroom garbages, crawling under the table and getting stuck, and tearing up magazines... Oh, the fun of an 8 month old. Why now when he happy with his freedom does he have to start cutting teeth????

I took a few pix I had to share. His hair is getting more red, and full. I think he actually is more red than Abby was at this age! However, if the expression on his face starts to look repetitive, it is because he has figured out how the camera works... there is a little orange light that goes on, and then a big bright ugly flash! Hence, the stunned face. As soon as he sees the orange light on the camera, his smile goes away because he knows the big flash is coming!!!!!

Oh well, he is still pretty darn cute. :) Enjoy!


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