Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The weekend in yummy photos

Weigh in was supposed to be Saturday morning but considering we went out of town earlier than scheduled (Friday night) we just decided to forego the weigh in and come back to it this upcoming Saturday.  

As I had mentioned before my parents both had reason to celebrate this weekend as Fathers Day and my mothers birthday coincided this year.   This meant lots of celebratory "goodies" and of course more risky road trip foods.  

Thursday morning I ended up working on my fathers special cookies as I wanted to taylor a recipe specifically for him.  He's not too keen on super sweet things so the standard sugar cookies from the bakery I work for were definitely out of the question.   Instead, I snagged this recipe from Smitten Kitten and substitued regular flour for whole wheat flour since it was all I had on hand.   The cookies were good though not sweet at ALL.  I almost thought for a second they were too bland but considering my initial plan was to add some chocolate details, it came out perfect in the end.  To play it safe I only made a portion of the recipe -- just enough to get two taste test cookies and 5 cookies for my father.  

In case you havent noticed I'm a sucker for personalizing gifts.   Forgive the wonky lining of my chocolate piping skills but considering I'm used to using a stiffer icing for such projects, I felt this wasn't too shabby at all.

As for my mother, well as much as I wanted to make her an actual "cake" I felt a little awkward doing so because for the past few decades her sister (my aunt) was always the one to make everyones birthday cakes. Sadly we lost my aunt to cancer last July and my mother is of course still feeling the tremendous loss.   The last thing I wanted to do was to give her a reminder of my aunts passing.   Not that its not already something she still thinks about on a daily basis, but you understand.  

So after giving it much thought I went with this fantastic recipe for Strawberry Lemon Bars from Marc at NoRecipes.com.  My mother adores strawberries and it seems like everyone in our family loves the tart little flavor of lemon so it was absolutely perfect.   It's not a "cake" but still an incredibly special treat.  

Pay no mind to the cracks that are scattered throughout the surface.  I couldn't find anything in my mothers kitchen to plate it on and upon trying to place it in a shallow oval dish, the small dip of the center caused the entire thing to shift inwards and crack.  

As for the strawberry "roses" at each end, they probably took me about 5 practice tries before I finally ended up with something I was happy with.   If anyone is interested in how to make them, I found a pretty good video here.  I then just chopped a few kiwi slices to look like "petals" and tucked them underneath.  

All in all, our short trip back home was pretty awesome and I'm glad I got to spend some time with my parents on their special day.  

And before anyone asks, that is indeed a photo frame the lemon bars are sitting on top of.   If nothing else I get major creative and quick thinking points for last minute decisions when I couldn't find anything to sit the entire thing on.  ;0)

Also, in case youre wondering whats inside the gifts, my father got the movie Shotgun Stories and my mother got two cds of Jim Nabors lovely singing voice.  I never knew "Gomer Pyle" was a great singer but apparently my mother was very well aware and has always wanted his Christmas CD.    She mentioned it to me two weeks ago in a passing conversation and I knew it was the perfect gift.  

Hope you all had a great Fathers Day weekend.  Theres more to update on but it shall have to wait as today is just another day and I'm back to the grindstone...