Saturday, December 29, 2012

Krumkake or Pizzelle?

Several years ago Tom's mom and I found a used and somewhat rusty Krumkake iron in a thrift store. I bought it and Tom took it to work to get it all cleaned up for baking use. It ended up getting lost or taken from his desk. Sad! This year, his mom found another nicer one and brought it over for me to use. It was a little intimidating and ended up sitting in the kitchen for a few weeks before I decided to make it my cookie exchange selection. 

I didn't think I would care for the Krumkake recipe that I had (sour cream and lemon extract), so I searched and searched for something that was a little more appealing. Krumkake is a Norwegian cookie of sorts. I discovered that a Pizzelle, an Italian cookie, is similar. After searching for a while longer, I found a Pizzelle recipe that looked like something I would enjoy eating. In the end I modified the recipe and instructions a little. I made vanilla, chocolate, and raspberry cookies because I like the "Neapolitan" look. Mine were just flat and pretty, but you can buy a wooden spindle sort of tool that lets you make them into rolls or cones. (I tried my French rolling pin, but it  was too big.) Here is what I came up with. If you try it, let me know what you think! 

(Makes 12-18 cookies) 
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 TBSP salted butter + more for oiling the iron
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 TSP baking powder

Beat eggs and sugar in an electric mixer for 3 minutes. You want them to be fluffy,
Melt and cool butter. (Hint: don't stick it back in the fridge and forget about it! Mine hardened back up again!)
Mix flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Mix in melted butter and extract.
Remove bowl from mixer, gently stir in flour mixture with a spatula. 

Heat your well oiled Krumkake iron over the stove on medium heat, both sides. Before each scoop of batter, place a sliver of salted butter in the iron. Close the iron for a few seconds, then add batter. 

Scoop 2 TBSP of batter into the middle of your iron. Close, and allow to rest for 25-30 seconds, flip and rest for a couple less seconds than the first side. 

Open and pull the cookie our with tongs (small bamboo tongs from Pampered Chef worked well for me.) If you move quickly you can lay the cookie on a cooling rack and make sure it is flat before it crisps up.

Chocolate Variation:
Substitute 3 TBSP cocoa powder and 3 TBSP sugar for the vanilla extract. 

Raspberry Variation: 
Substitute 4 TSP raspberry extract for the vanilla extract. Add a few drops of red food coloring if desired. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ten on Ten: Christmastiming

I hope you enjoy this month's pictures! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Photo Challenge :: The View from Here

Day 6 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge :: The View from Here

From the Backseat

Sleeping on the way home from Great-Grandma's

Happy/Sad views

One happy reindeer sitting on my desk at work.
One sad motorcycle napping at the mall.

Photo Challenge :: Burst of Red

Day 6 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Burst of Red

Back-lit Poinsettia Bract

I have amazing childhood memories of touring the largest poinsettia farm in the Northwest.  As a decoration, they represent the holiday season to me perhaps more than wreaths and trees.

Making a Card Wreath

Making a clothspin-and-plywood Christmas card wreath.  Below is the final result!

Photo Challenge :: Someone I Love

Day 4 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Someone I Love

At the Window

The love of my life checking her phone after a fun community group gathering.

By the time I took the picture, Halcyone was in bed so she did not make it into the photo, but the cat did...
I deviated from the Canon again  today and used my Galaxy S phone for a more candid shot.  Lighting and focus are a little the worse for the tiny lens, but it does capture the moment.

Photo Challenge :: Shadow Play

Day 4 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Shadow Play

Tom: Motorcycle by Mercury Vapor

I took this as I was leaving work.  6:30PM in December in the Pacific Northwest, even under streetlamps, is dark enough to render the camera almost useless.  I desaturated the image and adjusted the threashold levels until you could make out the shadow, path, and leaves scattered around.

Stacy: Little Tree

This is our daughter's Christmas tree.  She picked the blinking pink lights and can mess with the ornaments to her little heart's content.  The lights on the far side side make a shadow that is lit by the lights on the adjacent side

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Photo Challenge :: What You're Reading

Day 3 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: What I Am Reading

Stacy, by Choice and Request

A Homemade Life - Molly Wizenberg, Flip-Flap Body Book - Usborne, That's Not My Dolly - Usborne, Growing Up Sew Liberated - Meg McElwee, [Kindle: Don't Make Me Count to Three - Ginger Plowman, The Two Towers - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Complete Sherlock Holmes - A. C. Doyle]

My Current Reading List

This was taken with my cell phone and the captions were added in Inkscape.

The Kindle still has the last 4 books I read (all in the Wheel of Time series), as well as a number of classics, steampunk, and fantasy books too.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Photo Challenge :: Elf

Day 2 of the #iheartfaces photo challenge:: Elf

We have one of the Elf on the Shelf dolls that has been doing fun things around the house overnight, and then waiting for Halcyone to find her in the morning.

The first submission is from Stacy, who went the tricky route.  The picture is of the elf in front of the Christmas tree with a custom star bokeh filter.  With the effective aperture reduced so much by the filter, we had to use a flashlight (Fenix E11) to make the elf visible.  Gimp was used to change the input levels, increasing the brightness of the picture.


I am still amused thinking of what the elf isn't found doing, but did catch her being mischievous.
Apparently, we accidentally ordered Elf on the Top Shelf: After decorating the tree, she borrowed doll furniture to toss back some holiday cheer.


During the photo shoot, there were some pretty funny unscripted outtakes.  I did not pose these.  At all.

Cat Photobomb:

Peppermint Lightweight, or Elf under the Shelf:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photo Challenge :: Yourself

Welcome to our first day of the #iheartfaces photo challenge! Day 1: Yourself!

On December 1 Tom put lights on the tree, providing a fun way to frame head shots.  After thinking about the need to accentuate the face rather than the other things going on in the picture, we decided to use a posterize filter to bring out facial features and highlight the depth of field.



December Photo Challenge

It's December, and at the prompting of a friend, we are doing a 31 day photo challenge.  Every day this month there is a theme, and we will each be taking a picture to go with it.  Some of the days it will be collaborative, and some days we'll each do our own thing.

Check out the link to the challenge:

I don't know of anyone other than Matt doing it, but you can find his submissions here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Evidences of God's Blessing :: ??

I'm so sorry we haven't posted any more of the Evidences posts! Instagram photo emailing has not been working for over a week now! We'll try again next year. We do have some other fun posts coming up!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Concert at The Painted Door

Editor's Note: Somehow this got lost in the blog drafts and never published.  Approximately 6 months later, here it is!

Saturday night, we had the great opportunity to go to a concert at The Painted Door. We learned of it because the band Plum was playing, but the show was headlined by Kareem Manuel.  Admission and donations went towards the International Justice Mission.

A small venue and a fun crowd, the show was amazing.

@Decipha warming up the crowd.


@plumb_artist and @stacyluce in the 'press area' afterwards.

Small Stewardship

Shopping recently, my daughter wanted to grab all the condiments that were at eye level.  After explaining that an enthusiastic attempt to loot the store was not ok, we selected some Grey Poupon (on the shopping list).  Stacy had the rest of the groceries in the "Truck-Cart" (as requested by the kiddo) at the u-check, but Halcyone and I went through the 15 items or less line with just enough money to buy the mustard.

At two, she understands to some degree the concept of paying for things, and the fact that I work to provide for the family, but the process of teaching her stewardship will take years.  For now, I am glad she accepts a "No" graciously when she asks if mommy can give her money for the the coin-op "Horse-wies" at the mall.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Have you read a book about adoption?

A quick question begging a longer response:

Have you read a book about adoption?

If you have, I would love to hear which one, ideally with some of the following information:
  • Was it helpful and/or would you recommend it? Why?
  • Does the book point to the Gospel of Jesus regarding adoption?
  • Does the book talk about stewardship (implicitly or explicitly)?
  • What type(s) of adoption process(es) does the book touch on? (Foster/Orphan/Domestic/Infant/International/Embryo/etc)
  • Who is the book intended for? Anyone learning about adoption? People wanting to know how to adopt? How to be an adoptive parent?
  • Other aspects of the book: was it funny/deep/scholarly/analytical?  A good reference?

Does it sound like I am looking for a book review? YES!  Will your response matter? Absolutely!

I am hoping to start reading some of the better books available.  Because of our desire, excitement, and call to raise a family, many of the 'should we' and 'how do we' questions were already answered at the beginning.  To be sure, the parenting aspect of the adoption process is still unfolding: the challenge of raising a child well, but by God's grace that will come. In the meantime,  I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

We have read some, but not many of the available textual resources. The plan is to read a number of them and then post formal reviews as a resource for others.

If you have an answer, shoot me an email to or post a comment.  I would love to hear back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Evidences of God's Blessing :: 13

(Left: Kelly, Right: Stacy) 
Recipe Note:
Molasses Spice Cake from November 2012 Better Homes and Gardens
Blueberry Jam Compote from November 2012 Better Homes and Gardens

I made this cake today, partly because the picture just looked so good, and partly because I had 3 jars of molasses to be used! Now I'm down to just 2. It's a pretty rich, flavor-intense cake, but it is soooooo good! The only change I made to the recipe was to use 2-10" cake pans rather than 3-8" pans.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ten on Ten: Silliness and All

It has been a few months since I participated in the Ten on Ten project. There is no good reason that I skipped so many. I kept forgetting on the tenth and wouldn't remember for a few days, or I'd remember too late in the day to get all my photos in. Today, I remembered just before we ran out of the house. The pictures are from all over the place. We started the day off in Bothell, did several impromptu errands in Woodinville, and then headed to Seattle. Along the way Tom replaced the Jeep's heater motor. Yay! We walked around Greenlake and then headed to Pioneer Square for a friend's birthday dinner. Hmmm, that's where my phone told me we needed to be. After getting mixed up on the viaduct due to a non-existent exit sign for Western Avenue and getting stuck in Husky game traffic, we finally made it to an overpriced parking garage and set off on foot. Once at the address, the restaurant we were supposed to be at was not there. So we walked back, were refused a refund, and headed to the real address somewhere in what I can only imagine is Rainier Valley. All three of us can now say that Sudanese/Ethiopian food is not our favorite, but it was great to see friends and celebrate the birthday. That's the story about the silliness. Here are our pictures and we're off to bed for a less adventurous day tomorrow.