That explains a few things…

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I've been experimenting lately with trying to motivate the kids into helping me keep the house cleaner. I was slightly tired of having things stick to my feet as I walked through the house and having to move multiple bionicles in order to find a seat on the couch. I think I have finally stumbled upon a quasi-solution. Zones! Each child has been assigned their own zone. Liam has the living room. Aidan has the dining room. Ty has the dishwasher (*this has changed as of today, but more on this as the story progresses...) Leif has the shoes. Rowan has the "sit out of the way in the chair with a book while we clean" zone.   Today, Ty offered to clean the mudroom. He carefully moved the shoes away from the wall, swept and arranged the shoes back neatly. He brushed off the dogs' bean bags, put them neatly against another wall and swept the rest of the floor. He swiffered (this is why I keep the bloody thing!) the floor and then called me to check it out. I was effusive enough in my praise that his brothers came running to see why Momma was making such a fuss. They were impressed with Ty's work, but were clearly calculating whether it was good or bad for them that their 6 year old brother had just one-upped them in the cleaning category. They all settled for lukewarm congratulations and walked away. Except for Leif.   Leif put his hands on his hips, paced the entire mudroom, turned around and fixed me with a very hostile look. He said, "Dis is not good for my … {Read on...}

To all the cheesecakes I’ve loved before…

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

A Caramel Apple Cheesecake with a layer of dulce de leche hidden in the Grand Marnier Cheesecake.               This one's a white chocolate caramel latte cheesecake with white chocolate mousse.     I am, for all intents and purposes, mourning the loss of my cheesecake portfolio.  All the pictures I used to sell my cheesecakes to potential customers were lost when my &%*($ hard drive crashed.  I only have three pictures left until I can figure out a way to pay the highway robbers hard drive recovery people.  They're not even the best pictures I had.  Whine.    So... does anyone want a caramel apple cheesecake, white chocolate caramel latte cheesecake or Aunt Molly cheesecake (a.k.a. Triple Citrus Harmony Cake?) … {Read on...}

Ze-bra-vo cake!

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  I was feeling mighty sorry for myself yesterday after a much anticipated trip to my old home turf, Michigan, fell victim to the astronomical gas prices.  After moping around I decided to do something constructive and distract myself.  Did I do what a self-respecting hausfrau should?  Did I clean the cupboards, scrub the floors, or even *gasp* fold the laundry that has been in baskets for more time than is decent?  Oh, heck no!  I decided to make a beautiful cake.   I had seen a zebra cake on RealEpicurean.com earlier in the day and it seemed the perfect candidate to take my mind off my top-of-the-mitt, Mackinac bridge, pine tree and sand loving troubles.  It was a gorgeous, stripey cake that, if Scott was being truthful, was as easy to make as it was stunning.    My disappointment over the almost-trip was acute so I decided to up the ante a little and make it more complicated.  I had some leftover vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis from my bannock dessert (post and ingredients found here!) late last week.  What to do?  What to do?  I confabbed over the phone with my stepmom, Valerie.  I told her I was going to stuff the cake with ice cream and drizzle the coulis over it.  She said, "I'd do that and take it one step further.  Hot fudge sauce!"  She's a genius, that Val!   Thankfully, I had Val's killer hot fudge sauce recipe handy and even more thankfully, I had all the necessary ingredients on hand.  (It's not easy to make last minute store runs … {Read on...}

They did it. I have proof. I will use this to bribe them later.

  They ate the crickets. I have video evidence and I will show this to their future wives. Sometimes revenge is a dish best served cold.   I'd like to apologize for the grainy quality of the video, but it was the best I could rustle up on short order.  I used my digital camera for the process.    Also, I'd like to point out the fact that in the background you can hear my husband saying, "Hey!  You just swallowed it.  You gotta chew it up!"  But what you didn't hear- because it happened way off camera- was him categorically refusing to eat any bug under any circumstances shy of famine and starvation ever, ever, ever.      … {Read on...}

Proof that my children are wild.

  ...The thing is that snails in aioli really are great.  A few million Frenchmen can't be wrong! … {Read on...}