Tuesday, August 24, 2010

overheard at the Traverso's

This is a whispered conversation that just took place between Sam and James after they got in trouble for not doing one of their (few and very easy) jobs.

Samuel:  It like Mom's the boss of us.  She's telling us what to do.
James:  Yeah.
Samuel:  It's not fair!  I wish we could do whatever we wanted.
James:  That would be awesome!

Apparently, I am parenting like I am supposed to... or at least a close proximity.  I must have had the exact conversation with my brothers countless times.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

my new hero

Check out this blog!
This woman is my new hero.  Ala "Julie and Julia" but with dresses!  If only I dared to just cut and sew.  Maybe I will take this up after Matthew is a little bigger.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Oldie but a goodie?

There are some things that will never pass into obscurity.  The Star Wars movies, for example, will remain favorites with every generation both because of their appeal to a wide audience and the fact that George Lucas (genius that he is) keeps finding ways to make them new and interesting.  "Golden Oldies" music will also always be enjoyable because it is singable and dancable and fun in a way that much of the music today, well... isn't.  But some of the "oldies but goodies" out there are ready to be retired.  I find this mostly true where movies are concerned.  While it is true that some classics will stand the test of time, others simply fail to make the grade. 
I am referring specifically now to the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey."  John's partner, Jack, recommended the movie to us.  They recently upgraded to electronic medical records in their office and Jack, not very comfortable with computers, has named his computer Hal after the computer from "2001".  We have now had the movie on loan from Netflix for two weeks and have not seen more than the first 40 minutes- nor do we have any desire to see more.  In order to put it off we have been watching ANYTHING else we can find- this includes but is not limited to Disney Channel original movies and Lifetime specials.  "2001" reminds me of the films they used to have on MST3K.  In fact, having snide remarks interspersed with the few actual events in this debacle of a film would vastly improve it!  While I appreciate the limitations they had on their technology in the 50s this movie is so painfully boring (seriously the first 30 minutes is watching men in gorilla costumes fight over a water hole to the sound of classical music) that I can imagine it could be put to more productive uses (new torture method anyone?), rather than be inflicted upon the unsuspecting public.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

one already?!

Obi-Wan Tissue Box Stephen Anthony Hungry Mr Squirmy Pants Matthew Monster Traverso celebrated his first birthday on Saturday.  I can not believe how quickly this year has gone by.  The next thing I know he is going to be getting on a school bus then going on a mission, going to college and then getting married (hopefully in that order!).  He is an absolutely delightful little guy.  He smiles almost all the time and loves to play and crawl and climb stairs and make lots of noise.  His brothers, who used to be afraid to hug him because they didn't want to get drool on themselves, love to hold him and follow him around and play with him and tease him.  He is definitely a hit as far as Sam and James are concerned.
At his one year check up he weighed in at 21 lbs 8 oz and 30 inches long!  He is getting so big!
Here is the traditional montage of baby pics. 
Birth-1 year:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

adventures in baking - the rainbow cake

So last week I tried a baking experiment.  I found the instructions for this on the internet and have been dying to try it.  Introducing (fanfare please!) the rainbow cake!
This gorgeous six layer cake, in addition to being a beast to make, has one major failing:  it does not taste as good as it looks. 

It is a relatively easy process.  
1)  Mix up two white cake mixes and divide into six bowls.
2)  Using the special icing gel colors (from Michaels) color the cake batter the six colors of the rainbow. 
3)  Pour into six round cake pans (or in my case two square 3x- who owns 6 pans the same size??) and bake about 14 minutes.
4)  Cool cakes then put together with white icing starting with purple at the bottom.
5)  Cover entire cake in white icing.  (I skipped this part as I had already used two jars of icing and did not want to invest a third.)

Sounds simple, right?  Problem #1 started when I tried to get the first two baked cakes out of the pans.  White cake uses egg whites only and the cake is a different, much more crumbly texture than I am used to.  The top half of the cake came out but the bottom didn't.  I scraped them out and reassembled the cake as well as I could to let it finish cooling.
Problem #2 manifested itself as I tried assembling the cake with my six noneven layers.  When I make a two layer cake I typically cut the bottom layer to make it flat then add the icing and the second layer.  Since I couldn't do that with the already crumbling layers I ended up with a much taller and precariously layered cake than I had planned on.
Problem #3 once the cake was assembled the kids were dying to try it.  I cut us each a piece and although it looked absolutely stunning (perfect birthday cake if I had a girl!) it tasted like, well, not so good.  White cake is kind of blah tasting anyway but combined with the mass amounts of frosting it just wasn't great.  My boys LOVED it.  Sam told me it was the best cake EVER!  But John and I didn't finish our first pieces.

I am going to try it again.  I have some great ideas on how to make it better.  I think if I use a yellow or lemon cake mix for the three layers that use a yellow base (yellow, orange, and green) that would help with the texture and the taste.  I am also wondering if there is a yellow cake mix that is not so yellow in color so that I could use it for the other colored layers as well. 
It is an awesome looking cake.  If you make one, feel free to experiment as the original has obvious flaws.  Please tell me how it turns out.  Oh, and invest in at least three cake pans of the same size.  Trust me on this one.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Are we there yet???

 Is it time to go back to school yet?  I'm done.