Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sopher: The Big Sis

Sophia eagerly shares her Elmo with her little sister.

Life is tough when you spend all night watching your Mama not sleep.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Madeline Kathryn Schwartz
Born: 25 March 2009 at 4:45 am
8 lbs 11 oz
19.5 inches long

We are home, resting and enjoying our Babymoon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dear Baby Schwartz

Your big sister is scrubbed in and ready for your birth.
You can come out now.

The Mommer and The Dadder

Oh. My. Heavens!

These were delicious. Absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I made a few modifications to the original recipe (they're listed below to photo of Mama's big belly bump) and mixed up the dough while Geo and Soph napped this afternoon.

I didn't make them into traditional donut shaped pastries because I couldn't find anything to cut them out with. I considered one of the mason jar lids but couldn't find something small enough to take the centers out with. So, mini donut holes it was. It will help keep us from overindulging...yeah, that's it.

And for your amusement, here is a photo of my big belly. If you look quickly it just appears that they wind is blowing my apron away from my body....but noooooo....there is a baby still baking under there.

My version of the recipe
  • 1 cup raw cream and 1/3 cup organic soymilk (body temperature)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/3 cup organic, raw agave nectar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups stone ground, unbleached, organic, white all-purpose flour
  • A pinch or two of cinnamon (I didn't have any nutmeg)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract (from the holiday gifting extravaganza)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups organic pure cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
I've learned a lot about baking and yeast from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. One of the things that the authors discuss is that modern day yeast doesn't need to be proofed anymore (you don't have to let it sit in the warm liquid and make sure that it bubbles). So, I mixed the first four ingredients in the bowl and added it to the flour, egg, cinnamon and salt. Let it mix in the Kitchen Aide with a dough hook on 2 for about 3 minutes. Added a little bit more soy milk to get the texture that I was looking for.

I also baked the holes at 350 for 10 minutes instead of 375. The smaller pastry required a cooler oven. I pulled the out, dipped only the top half in butter and the topping mixture and then called in the troops.

They kept asking for more. more. more.

This would be a super easy bake sale favorite. I think I'm going to wrap some all pretty and gift them to my midwives. If I see them before they get stale that is. Ugh.

Time to Make the Donuts

No. This is not a reference to the baby that is STILL brewing inside of Mama's belly!

Read on.

I'm really feeling the crazy, crafting spirit lately (as personally witnessed by Katie, during my week of sock madness......that is extending into a more than a week). So, I met a knitting goal tonight (I have to set them...it's an obsessive thing...not too different from the list making thing) and then promised myself that I'd go to bed.

I did.
At 11pm.
Nearly 4 hours before my "normal" bedtime.

So, in return the universe woke me up at 3am as a joke.

So, what is an overly-pregnant Mama to do? Get up and read crafty blogs until the rest of the family is awake, of course.

I was reading Two Straight Lines posts and was delighted to find new bloggy goodness. The Artful Parent, The Intersection of Art and Parenting. Perfect! I have been poking around her site for the better part of an hour now and have considered requesting her hand in crafting marriage. (Alright....it's 4:25am...sorry).

Yum. So many ideas. So little time.

One of my very favorites (which very well be fueled by some raging pregnancy hormones) is the link she has for baked donuts. Donut lovers, don't throw things at me...not at least until you hear that I'll be substituting a natural sweetener, soymilk and other healthier ingredients.

Here is the recipe. Read it and see if you can resist.

Baked Doughnuts Recipe

Don't over bake these, if anything, under bake them a bit - they will continue baking outside the oven for a few minutes. You want an interior that is moist and tender - not dry. Also, be sure to cut big enough holes in the center of your doughnuts - too small and they will bake entirely shut. Remember they rise, and they rise even more when they are baking. These really need to be made-to-order, but you can make and shape the dough the night before if you want to serve them for brunch. Instructions: after shaping, place doughnuts on baking sheet, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Pull them out an hour before baking, and let rise in a warm place before baking.

1 1/3 cups warm milk, 95 to 105 degrees (divided)
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
5 cups all-purpose flour (alternately, white whole wheat might work - haven't tried it yet)
A pinch or two of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Place 1/3 cup of the warm milk in the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the yeast and set aside for five minutes or so. Be sure your milk isn't too hot or it will kill the yeast. Stir the butter and sugar into the remaining cup of warm milk and add it to the yeast mixture. With a fork, stir in the eggs, flour, nutmeg, and salt - just until the flour is incorporated. With the dough hook attachment of your mixer beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed. This is where you are going to need to make adjustments - if your dough is overly sticky, add flour a few tablespoons at a time. Too dry? Add more milk a bit at a time. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl and eventually become supple and smooth. Turn it out onto a floured counter-top, knead a few times (the dough should be barely sticky), and shape into a ball.

Transfer the dough to a buttered (or oiled) bowl, cover, put in a warm place (I turn on the oven at this point and set the bowl on top), and let rise for an hour or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on your floured countertop. Most people (like myself) don't have a doughnut cutter, instead I use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and stamp out the smaller inner circles using a smaller cutter. If you cut the inner holes out any earlier, they become distorted when you attempt to move them. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until the bottoms are just golden, 8 to 10 minutes - start checking around 8. While the doughnuts are baking, place the butter in a medium bowl. Place the sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and let cool for just a minute or two. Dip each one in the melted butter and a quick toss in the sugar bowl. Eat immediately if not sooner.

Makes 1 1/2 - 2 dozen medium doughnuts.

Monday, March 16, 2009


by Carly Simon

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it is to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me.
Bit I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how right tonight might be.

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet, I don't know natures way
So I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Patiently Waiting

Hello! We wanted to let those of you who are frantically refreshing your browsers for any news, that we're still patiently awaiting the arrival of The Bean.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Time Is A Tickin'

I'm a list maker.
I write lists.
I rewrite lists.
I check off lists.
I highlight things on lists.
I make lists about lists(....alright...maybe not since grad school...but you get the picture).

I think it is my way to bringing some sort of appearance of order to otherwise impossible tasks. Order out of the chaos that is my life and brain at times.


* Return to Phoenixville
* Room prepared
* Camera battery charged
* Birth Plan written
* Hose for birth tub purchased
* A stack of wool diaper soakers knit
* Cabinet stocked with plenty of fresh loose leaf tea to drink (including catnip for a new mama's nerves)
* Herbs dried. Sitz bath made. Salve has set.

To Do:

* Grocery shopping
* Meal planning
* Deputy Doula (Kate) to arrive in town

So, I left detailed instructions (in list form) for Geo to come up with 7 dinners that he'd like in the next two weeks (he complied with the demand). I'll match them up with 7 of my own dinners and we'll make a calender. Anyone wanting to help with life can feel free to stop by our fridge and check out what is on the menu for that day. Cook away.

The lists have been written. I'm going to check off the grocery shopping and meal planning today.....So once Kate is in town we'll be completely prepared for Baby Schwartz.......well I'll be completely prepared anyway. I'm not sure anything will fully prepare my wonderful husband or our darling daughter for what is prepared for the madness that may (read: probably) ensue.

We just might have to write a few more lists.