I have a confession to make.
I’m not good with babies. I’m not good with children. I’m not one of those girls who goes crazy over every little baby in a stroller passing by and who automatically knows how to pick a kid up and soothe it into a peaceful stupor. I’m awkward and get all weird in front of little people. I don’t know what to say to them and I never know how to play with them. What are you supposed to do with their heads? How rough can I play with them? Why are they looking at me like they want something? Is that real crying or pretend crying? WHERE’S YOUR MOM??
Look at this little munchkin!
Maybe it’s because she’s related to me, but I can’t stop staring at her like she’s a pumpkin pie.
This is Taylor. She’s two months old and she was 8.75 pounds when she was born! Sounds traumatizing for mommy but she’s a big healthy girl.
Taylor in her new lamb bunting with mommy and auntie. I may not be good with babies, but this one is too much. Seeing her chubby precious face turned me into a cooing, aww-ing idiot.
It’s hot in here! Get me out!
This is Elijah. He’s Taylor’s big brother and in his terrible two’s.
He refuses to stay still or look at the camera for two seconds. He likes to play hard to get and his favorite toy is the refrigerator door. Mommy’s little helper. I hope he sits still for the camera one day. Look at that dimple!
Taylor sleeping with her daddy.
In other news, besides playing with the babies, my sister came over to make some winter comfort food with me this weekend. We made a broccoli pesto spagehetti, truffle potato leek soup, and a coffee cake.
I went with a classic Julia Child recipe for potage pomantier – or potato leek soup. Can’t go wrong there.
Getting back into baking. It’s going to take some more practice to get back into the swing of things. Good practice for holiday baking.
Happy December! If it’s cold where you are, make some soup. Cuddle up with a baby or run around trying to entertain a shy two-year-old. That’ll warm you up QUICK.
Potato Leek Soup
From Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large leeks (1 pound), thinly sliced
6 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt, to taste (I used black truffle salt)
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup minced chives
Heat canola oil in a large (6+ quart) stockpot or dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly, about 8-12 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Blend until smooth either using an immersion blender, or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches.
Add the cream, and season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with heavy cream and a healthy sprinkling of minced chives.
Cinnamon-Streusel Coffee Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart
For the streusel topping and center:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the cake:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
For the glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
Make the streusel topping: Mix together flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small to medium clumps form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the streusel center: Mix together remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake: Butter a 8-inch round pan. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl.
Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour. Continue to beat until well combined.
Spoon half the batter into pan. Sprinkle streusel center mixture evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter, and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Sprinkle streusel topping mixture evenly over batter.
Bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove cake from pan, and transfer to parchment.
Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners’ sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake, and let drip down sides. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.