Crazy crazy last few days.....
After going back and forth (and back! and forth!) all summer long, my kids decided they wanted to try out the elementary school here.
(When we moved in March, rather than having them switch schools, we finished out the year homeschooling and we LOVED it).
Doing homeschool with my kids was a fantastic experience--we all learned so much. One of the things I didn't like about it, was every time I seemed to find someone else who homeschooled (I was hoping to find a group we meshed well with), the first thing they wanted to talk about was how terrible public schools are. bash bash bash. I don't believe this at ALL. Our last few years of public school have been wonderful years--we have loved our teachers so much. What it came down to when we were deciding what to do this school year, was that my kids missed having friends at school (how can you blame them?), and wanted to go back. I am so happy I got to work with my kids at home, and if the opportunity presents itself again, I will jump right on it.
So this weekend......great stuff.
Friday was spent doing some last minute school shopping and back to school haircuts. Saturday we took the kids to a movie and out to eat......a "last hurrah" of sorts. And Sunday we spent the day as a family and had our traditional back to school feast.
Monday I moped around the house because my baby birds were leaving the nest the next day.
My poor, sweet, adventurous Lu fell so hard on our tile that we ended up in the ER with a concussion.....no fun, at all. Scary stuff.
I had quickly gone from feeling sorry for myself that my babies were leaving me all day for school, to just wishing and praying that my sweet girl would feel good enough and be healthy and strong so she COULD go back to school.
The Dr. wanted her to wait just one extra day.....
last night's sunset via my iphone
So that, my friends, is perspective.
How quickly my wants changed--going to school all of the sudden didn't seem so terrible, did it?
We are hanging out today watching movies and "resting her brain", so she can start school tomorrow.....thank goodness.
Our back to school feast.
I'm so glad I decided to do it on Sunday before all the craziness of Monday happened.
We call it a "feast"......it's really just an easy dinner (last year we did grilled pizza), but we make it "fancy" by having a cake. Robby and I shared our memories from school (1st and 3rd grade memories are pretty funny), and we all laugh about it as we feast.
On the menu
- Robby blackened tilapia--he used THIS recipe and is was soooooo good
- homemade guac: avocado, lime, onion, cilantro, salt.
- homemade salsa: tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, adobo pepper, vinegar, salt.
- red cabbage with cilantro, salt and pepper, a splash of vinegar
- sour cream
- toasted corn tortillas
"Smashy" Black Beans (black beans cooked with lime juice and garlic and smashed while they cook)
Corn on the Cob
and of course, really chocolaty cake.
Chocolate Chocolate Cake
This is the same recipe as my chocolate coconut cake--but this time I didn't add coconut to the frosting.
The coconut milk makes the cake extra soft and gives the frosting THE best creamy texture, but if you're not a fan of coconut flavor you can't actually taste the coconut milk.....try it!
I added just a few drops of pure almond extract to the frosting this time.
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup boiling water
6 TBS butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
toasted coconut (for topping, optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of 9" pan with round of parchment paper, butter paper, and sides of pan.
Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot water and cocoa powder. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
In a bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs (adding one at a time) until thickened slightly and light colored (about 3 minutes). Slowly add coconut milk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined well. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
Pour batter into pan, and bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely before frosting.
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2c-3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp - 1tsp vanilla, coconut, or almond extract (real, NOT imitation)
Beat butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, and extract, and add coconut milk a little at a time until you reach a consistency you like.
Toast a handful of shredded coconut (I like unsweetened) at 450° for a few minutes and sprinkle on top with some berries if you like.
last year's back to school cake: angel food cake with chocolate whipped cream and raspberries
up next: back to school photos!