Purple Sweet Potato Cake

Pink Birthday CakeOne would think that if you roast purple sweet potatoes until soft and tender, blend them into a silky smooth puree and bake them in a cake, that said cake would emerge from the oven a delightful violet color, or maybe a purply pink.  But one would be wrong.

In fact, while the cake batter went into the oven purple, the baked cakes emerged a bizarre green color.  I'm no scientist, but I'm guessing there was some sort of oxidation effect during the baking process that was to blame... 

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars, paleo, gluten freeGranola bars and cereal bars were a pantry staple when I was a kid, but unfortunately, most store-bought granola bars are so full of added sugar and chemicals that they are nowhere near to being a healthy breakfast or snack.

These chewy granola bars are not only good for you, but so easy to make.  I plan to keep these on hand from now on, and when our baby is big enough, these will make a wonderful healthy snack for him, too.

Mix it up with some dried fruit or natural, unsweetened coconut, cashews or almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc., and the variations are endless...

We Go Together Like Milk and Cookies Cake

We Go Together Like Milk and Cookies Cake for Valentine's DayHappy Valentine's Day!

When I was in high school, I remember that my mom would leave a little note and present for my sister, brother and I to find when we woke up on Valentine's Day.  She would tell us how much she loved us, and the present was something simple and inexpensive, but something we would like.  I remember getting a cute little pin to wear to school one year.

Valentine's Day isn't just for sweethearts, but for everyone we love, and not that we need a day to remind us to tell the people closest to us how special they are, but it is a holiday I enjoy celebrating.  I especially like making everything into hearts.  Heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast today, anyone?

Valentine Baby

Valentine's Day Baby Boy PhotographyOur baby is sick this week with his first cold, likely caught from someone at last weekend's Super Bowl party, on top of which, he had his four-month vaccinations and we suspect he may be teething, all of which seems to be upsetting his stomach.  He's thrown up all over me three times in two days, so we've had a bit of a rough week.  It breaks my heart to see him sniffling and coughing and not be able to do anything to make him more comfortable other than cuddle and kiss him.  I so want for him to quickly get back to his happy little self.

After the series of Christmas photos I took of our baby boy, I thought I might try to set up a fun little photo shoot of him for all of his first holidays this year...

Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

Rhubarb Crumble and CustardIt's no secret that I love Harry Potter; after all, I did name my baby Phoenix.  I didn't read the books when I was young, and it wasn't until I met my husband when I was 30 that I watched and fell in love with the movies, after which, I read through the whole series in a few months.

I never get tired of the movies, and even though we have them on DVD, any time I'm flipping channels and one happens to be playing, I have to tune in to that channel, even if it's just to listen to in the background.  I think that the Sorcerer's Stone and the Half-Blood Prince are my favorites (although their escape from and subsequent rescue of the captive dragon from Gringotts in The Deathly Hallows tops my list of favorite scenes), and even after seeing them dozens of times, I still tear up every time Harry gazes out the window of his bedroom his first night in the castle and feels happy and at home for the first time in his life.

It always seems to be Christmas, too, in Harry Potter world, which makes me adore the stories even more.  And because my husband knows me so well, for Christmas he gave me this, The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook.  There are so many tempting, from-scratch English recipes for foods that were featured throughout the books, and they're accompanied by fun little quotes or excerpts from that particular chapter, which remind me again of just how much more detail the books contain that the movies don't.

One recipe that stood out to me right away, and was the first one we tried, was for Rhubarb Crumble with Custard...