Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mama's shoes are prettier!

I can remember since when Audrey started wearing my shoes at home. Very often, when I take out a different pair of shoes, she will get so fascinated with them that she can not wait to put them on.

One day, I stepped out the kitchen and caught her dressed like this while I was preparing dinner. My scarf and high-heel shoes, the purse is hers, though.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

We love the Monk's cinnamon raisin bread. This bread is baked by real monks, not too far from where we live. It is said that these monks don't talk much while they work, really concentrated on their work. And their bread is just wonderful.

I have been baking many types of bread, therefore, I would like to try the cinnamon raisin bread, too. I found only one recipe that the resultant bread looks like the Monk's bread. Based on the taste of the Monk's bread, I modified the original recipe in an attempt to replicate the authentic Monk's bread. Surprisingly, my version of bread tasted fantastic and is a lot healthier.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 2/3 cups water
1/8 cups milk
2 tablespoons hone
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups soaked and drained raisins

1. Soak the raisins in water about 30 mins ahead.
2. Proof the yeast in water for 5 mins.
3. Add the rest ingredients but raisins to the yeast and knead till the dough is just wet. Then add the raisins and mix well. I did this in the kitchen aid with the dough hook.
4. Cover and rise for 1 hr.
5. Degas the dough gently then turn it on a well floured surface.
6. Fold the dough in thirds, then repeat this again from the other edge.
7. Put the dough back to the bowl, cover and rise for another 1 hr.
8. Shape the dough into loaves and put into the loaf pans.
9. Spray the loaves with water and cover the pans. Let them rise for about 90 mins or till the dough rises to the upper edge of the pan.
10. Preheat the oven to 450F. Put the loaves on the lower 1/3 rack and back for 5 mins.
11. Reduce the temperature to 375F and bake 20 mins. Rotate the pans 180C and continue baking for another 15-20min or till the middle temperature goes up to 185F.
12. Cool on cooling racks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New day care for Audrey.

Another new place for Audrey during the day since Oct. 5.

The previous nannies she had are all Chinese speaking because we want her to learn Chinese besides English. Now this one is an American lady and some other kids at her house, too.

The first day, we both went to the new day care with her and were prepared for some refuse-to-stay battles. She got in the house, saw those toys & kids and then felt at home. Our bye-bye to her did not upset her at all. What a surprise!

It turned out that she really enjoys playing with the other kids and toys. She will look for some kids when they are not coming for the day. Apparently, they go out a lot, all sorts of play places, from farm market, MacDonald play place to even supermarkets. At home, she will talk to herself about Harper, her new favorite friend.

In the mean time, I have noticed that she speaks a lot more English than before. My biggest hope is she will continue speaking Chinese.

She and her new favorite friend, Harper:

Parenting Fun!

Time out, Mama, one, two, three, four...... Time out Baba, one, two, three, four, five...... Time out baby (doll), one, two, three, four, five......

That was little Audrey timing out us at the dinner table last weekend. Shall I laugh? or keep a stern face? I shall do the latter, however, my facial muscle did not listen to my order to keep cool. I laughed hard, my hubby laughed as well.

I never give her time out. She learned all this from Hubby timing out her. Every time Hubby gives her time out, he will try to count to 10, hoping she would behave before actually getting to 10. After all, she is only a 22 month old. Now she learned it! When she starts counting, she really puts on a slightly angry expression. So I think she got the game correct. Is this great?