1. Blueberry Breakfast Grilled Cheese
What do you get if you combine stuffed French toast with a grilled cheese sandwich? Deliciousness. We made this amazing recipe for brunch after Mass on Sunday, and mmmmmmmm... Definitely saving this one! I used Alaskan blueberries, and we agreed that it really needed their sharp tang to counter the sweetness of the cream cheese. If you're using the sweeter domesticated blueberries, maybe consider using unsweetened cream cheese or even ricotta instead?
2. Tegu Wheels
Tegu blocks in general are fun: wooden blocks with magnets inside them, so kids can build wildly improbable structures without them necessarily falling down... while unwittingly learning about balance, magnetism and polarity, and other good sciency stuff. Matt loves building with them with Little Bear. But I've just discovered something that makes them even better: they sell extra wheels! You don't have to buy a car set; you can just get wheels in sets of four, so that you can build your own cars however you want. Little Bear's basic set came with four wheels, and he would be so excited to have four more so that he and Daddy can both build cars and race them. Making a note for his birthday!
Clearly, I have birthdays on my mind. That makes sense, since Sunday was my birthday. I made my cake following this recipe, but replacing the milk with buttermilk; we used strawberry-rhubarb jam as the filling between the two layers, and frosted it with a chocolate buttercream. All of the flavors went well together, but I thought the buttercream was a little too rich and dense for the spongy cake and fruit; next time, I'll make sure I have whipping cream in the house so I can have a light, fluffy whipped frosting.
Little Bear decorated my cake, using the skills he clearly learned from my youngest siblings. No birthday cake at my parents' house is complete without plastic figures of some kind on top!
Yes, a herd of wooly mammoths.
I used this same recipe for the cupcakes today, because I still had some buttermilk in the fridge; they're remarkably flat, no crown to them at all, but they're still delicious and as my sister commented, "That's what frosting is for!" Eventually I'll pry myself off the couch and go top them with the chocolate-peanut butter frosting I made earlier this afternoon (I still have no whipping cream, and I think the rich frosting won't be as overpowering in a small amount on top of a cupcake.) To go with the chocolate-peanut butter theme, I also hid a mini Reese's peanut butter cup in the middle of each cupcake.
These are too much fun. This might just be crazy pregnancy hormones, but ever since stumbling across these rings a week or two ago within 12 hours of having to take off my engagement and wedding rings because otherwise they were going to be stuck there until a month or two postpartum, a) my hand has felt uncomfortably naked, and b) nothing has been able to convince me that these rings aren't the solution. Matt's probably right that it's a silly idea, but I couldn't quite make myself close the tab... And then they went on sale for May 4, because "May the 4th" be with you... Terrible, but perfect. Matt let me be silly, and an envelope from UPS arrived this evening, and I am so ridiculously happy with this:
5. Whiskey Barrels
Empty, halved, plastic pseudo-whiskey barrels. Sorry; I know that's much less exciting. We brought home two this week, and are hoping to pick up herb and vegetable starts this weekend at a greenhouse or the farmers market. I am so happy that we have a south-facing deck this year and will be able to pick fresh herbs, lettuce, etc! We won't be planting them for another week or two yet—everyone here knows that if you plant outside before Memorial Day weekend and lose all your plants to a frost, you have no one to blame but yourself—but I can start putting the tray of 6-packs outside every morning and bringing them in at night to help the plants adjust before we actually plant them.
6. Math with Puppies
Really truly honestly, Little Bear did this without help this morning. Clearly, the puppies were a valid addition to the "math manipulatives" box!
Which isn't happening until I go frost those cupcakes, is it? How did it get so late? Oh, right; by the time I finished number five, I'd realized that it's practically Friday and I might as well turn this into my 7QT and get it posted early for a change. And then I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to think of a last topic, and I think I'm just going to give up and go frost cupcakes so I can go to bed. As always, you can find many more posts linked up over at This Ain't The Lyceum!