Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We're So Vain

Greetings from a sunny beautiful Farmington Hills this fine Wednesday evening.  I thought the weather was supposed to turn on us today but we were fortunate enough to get one more day of sunshine before the temperatures fall off and the rain comes in for a few days.  The kids and Grant took advantage of it this afternoon while I made dinner, just as they had done yesterday.  I am so glad that we are FINALLY able to get outside - even if just in short spurts.  Bring on spring!

The Bean and I ran some very successful errands this morning (found the movie I was looking for, can't wait 'til Friday night!) and then we came home where she helped me make Mary Todd Lincoln's White Cake.  I will admit to taking a few liberties with the recipe - I halved it to begin with and baked it in one 9 inch round pan.  Also, since the side note on the recipe states that it is most likely that Mrs. Lincoln did not serve this with the frosting, I decided to leave it off.  But the moist fluffy cake it turned out was perfect!  I don't know that I've ever had a white cake with almonds (or any nuts) baked into it, so this was fun.  Gatchel's say "we'd do this one again"  Or perhaps Kayla said it best at dinner when she looked at me and said "Mama, Mrs. Lincoln makes good cake!"

After our errands and time in the kitchen she helped me get a few things around for tonight's project (more below), had some lunch and of course we had to then watch the Tigers.  She is hysterical during the games - Papa you'd be proud!  She's decided her favorite Tiger is Austin Jackson but she cheers every time they announce anyone's name.  She has been wearing her hat everywhere (including to naps) and insists that I do the same.  Oh how I love my Bean.

We got Noah off the bus, worked on some artwork and then, like I said, they headed outside with Grant while I set out to make some Horseshoe Sandwiches.  If, like me, you'd never heard of a Horseshoe before, be patient while I digress to spill the info on this Springfield, Illinois creation.  The Horseshoe  originated at the Leland Hotel in Springfield in 1928, though it is debated if the chef or one of the dishwashers actually came up with the sandwich.  It is an open face sandwich consisting of thick-sliced toasted bread, topped with ham steak, covered with french fries and then the whole dish is smothered in cheese sauce.  Um, pretty much a heart attack on a plate if you ask me.  But we decided we'd give it a go.  I honestly wasn't sure how well this would go over, but I should have known anything with french fries covered in cheese would be OK with my gang.  I am not kidding when I say that Noah's disappeared instantly - he RAVED the whole time he was eating it.  He had his entire dinner gone in twelve minutes tonight.  No joke.  He says he wants to live in Idaho and mine for gems and gold but only eat food from Illinois.  He cracks me up!  Grant told him just wait for pizza on Friday night :)

So yesterday I hinted that we would be doing an Illinois project related to "you're so vain."  I probably could have told you this when I lived there, but my Illinois research turned up the fact that there are more vanity plates on cars in Illinois than anywhere else in the nation.  (I'm pretty sure all former governors now being held in Illinois prisons create them all. Ouch!)  In fact, as I'm sitting here thinking through everyone that I know that lives there, the majority of them actually have vanity plates themselves!  If you're not sure what I'm talking about, a vanity plate is a license plate you customize instead of just going with whatever the Secretary of State's office hands you.  In Illinois you are make make a vanity plate (yes, it costs extra) that contains up to 7 numbers and letters and all of one type of character must be next to each other.  (in other words KMG4583 is okay but 45KMG83 is not)

So I mentioned this to Thing 1 and Thing 2 last night and told them to get their brains going - if they could create their own vanity plate what would it say?  I told them in could be their name, their initials, a nickname, something special about them they like, or something complete off the wall. We gave them some examples (thanks RULAW2 and TAHDAH!)  and they had so much fun coming up with what they wanted their plate to say.  Grant was a HUGE help on this one, coming up with a template for the actual plate so it looks just like the ones from Illinois.  I'm not going to ruin it - you'll have to see the pictures of what each of the Gatchel's would choose if they created their own vanity plates like an Illinoisan.

MOPS tomorrow, a PTA Board meeting, some Italian Beef straight from Chicago and a debate about the origins of the ice cream sundae.  Sounds like it'll be a great day here :)  So until then...

Illinois Fun Fact of the Day:  The abbreviation "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare airport comes from the original name Orchard Field. O'Hare Airport was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edward H. "Butch" O'Hare.

Score on Friday night's movie!

My super cute new hot!

Ready for some kitchen time

Mixing it all up

Tossing the almonds in flour (Kristi's kitchen tip - this cause items not to sink in the batter and all be on the bottom when baked.  Try if if you're making blueberry muffins with the blueberries for example before you add them in!)

She wanted to put an M on it to show she'd made it

Horseshoe Sandwich

Our M didn't hold up but Mrs. Lincoln's cake was ready for a taste test

My super talent hubby came up with these awesome templates for our project

The face of determination

Laying it all out

Hmmmm, wonder who this could belong to....

Oh how I adore my geeky engineer!  This is so Grant and makes me smile EVERY time

My kitchen is being taken over by state projects and I love it!

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