11.25.2007

Thanksgiving Photos

Kara Jason & Henry
Henry and his cousin Martina
Mom Kara Martina & Lisa
Henry and his Grandma

11.23.2007

Cranberry Almond and Cinnamon Tart

This is the tart that I made for Thanksgiving. It came out awesome!

Cranberry Almond and Cinnamon Tart
1 1/2 cups (5 1/4 ounces) fresh cranberries
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon water
All-purpose flour, for dusting

Pate sucree
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
8 ounces cranberry jam or preserves
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) whole almonds, finely ground in a food processor
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions

Put fresh cranberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and the water into a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring to dissolve sugar, until cranberries have just softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch circle, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to an 8-by-2-inch springform pan, pressing crust into bottom and up sides. Trim excess flush with rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick tart crust all over with a fork. Cut a 12-inch round of parchment, and place on top of chilled crust. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and parchment, and brush crust lightly with egg white. Return to oven, and bake until pale golden, about 25 minutes. Refrigerate remaining egg white. Let crust cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread jam over bottom of tart crust.
Beat butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to medium. Slowly add ground almonds, cinnamon, and salt, and beat until just combined. Spread mixture over jam-covered crust.
Bake tart until filling is set and has darkened slightly, 45 to 50 minutes. (If top darkens too quickly, cover loosely with foil.) Remove tart from oven, brush top with egg white, and sprinkle with sugar. Return to oven, and bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and top with candied cranberries. Serve warm.

11.18.2007

Santa Parade in Haverhill

An estimated 30,000 people go to the annual Santa Parade in Haverhill each year. Jason had to go to write about it for his newspaper, so Henry and I went with him. We got to take these pictures on his work camera.




11.16.2007

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

My friend Sonya made these adorable cupcakes for her son's party at school. Just wanted to show them to everyone.

Conan has more than one stalker.....

This was taken last year. The priest accused of stalking Conan was at the same event in Lawrence, Mass.

11.14.2007

100th post

So, I just realized that I have posted my 100th post the other day! Hope everyone is enjoying our family blog.

11.13.2007

Picture stock


I'll try to post pictures that we have saved. Hopefully we will be able to get a camera soon.

11.11.2007

Jason and Kara's Movie Week and Review


This is a list of movies that we watched during the week.
For the week of 11/4-11/11

* hated it
** did not like it
*** Like it
**** Really like it
***** Hated it

"Entourage" -- It's like tv crack. Kara and I rented this HBO tv series and we're addicted. It will hook you right away. We burned through the first season in two days, then started watching the second season right way. You'll love following these young men as the navigate LA's Hollywood scene. *****

"A Mighty Heart" -- Excuse me, but it should be called "A Mighty Fart." Boring. I expected more because of the Jolie hype over this film. But everyone knows the ending of this film, and the director filmed it like the ending was a surprise or something ... Daniel Pearl dies. **

"I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry" -- I laughed hard about 12 times, so it's worth it. But not as good as other Adam Sandler movies. It felt like a lesson on gay rights, which became annoying at times ... Kara thought it was boring for an Adam Sandler movie, she actually fell asleep at the end. ***

"Swimming Pool" -- Kara watched this movie. She says, "I liked it. The ending surprised me. I don't want to give it away, you know. It's a good movie." ***

"Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" -- Kara: "I watched this on my death bed (she's sick). It was pretty good movie for teenagers. It was just entertainment." ***

Sad News

This will be the last picture we will be posting for a while. Our camera broke and it could be months and months until we can get a new one. So sad......

Sunday Sweet "Chocolate Tart"


Ingredients

Makes one 11-inch pie.

* 3 1/2 tablespoons ground almonds
* 10 tablespoons sugar
* 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
* 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into large pieces, cold
* 14 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 10 1/2 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
* 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 3 large eggs, separated
* 1 1/2 tablespoons brewed coffee, room temperature
* Chocolate Leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, add almonds, 7 tablespoons sugar, flour, salt, and orange zest. Pulse until well combined. Add butter and pulse until dough comes together and there are no lumps.
3. Press dough into an 11-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom to create a crust about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer pie crust to oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. Place 10 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate in a large bowl; set aside. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups heavy cream to a boil over medium heat. Strain hot cream through a fine mesh sieve over chocolate. Stir ganache until melted and smooth. Add vanilla and stir until well combined.
5. Strain chocolate mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the center of the cooled pie shell. Evenly spread chocolate with a spatula. Transfer to a refrigerator until chocolate has set.
6. In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, melt remaining 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 7 ounces semisweet chocolate. In a small saucepan set over low heat, beat egg yolk mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons of water together until thickened. Transfer melted chocolate to a large bowl, fold in egg yolks and coffee until well combined; set aside.
7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture.
8. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining tablespoon sugar and beat until stiff. Gently fold into chocolate mixture.
9. Spoon mixture on top of chilled ganache and spread evenly with a spatula. Transfer to refrigerator and chill overnight. Remove from tart pan and transfer to serving platter. Garnish platter with leaves if desired. Serve pie at room temperature.

11.08.2007

More Random Pictures

Going to the post office
Strong boy
Wearing a sombrero that Jason got henry in Mexcio last year
Coloring at the gym's nersury

11.07.2007

Hanging out

Henry on his bike

Wearing Jason's pants

11.06.2007

Hanging out on the Boardwalk

video

Monday Night

Henry and Jason dancing while listening to music last night

11.04.2007

Sunday Sweet " Old fashion Sugar Cookies"



These cookies come out crisp, so if you want a chewy recipe this one is not for you. They are perfect with a cold cup of milk or a hot cup of cocoa. I made these yesterday for dessert after eating a big bowl of onion soup.

Old Fashion Sugar Cookies

1/2 cup lard or vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar plus additional for coating the cookies
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt


Preparation
In a large bowl stir together the lard or shortening, the butter, 1 cup of the sugar, the egg, and the vanilla. Into the bowl sift together the flour, the baking soda, and the salt and stir the mixture until it forms a dough. Chill the dough, covered, for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls, roll the balls in the additional sugar, coating them completely, and arrange them 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Flatten the balls with the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar (the edges will crack slightly) and bake the cookies in batches in the middle of the oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until they are pale golden. Transfer the cookies to racks and let them cool. The cookies keep in an airtight container for 1 week.

Savory Saturday "French Onion Soup"



Saturday was a stormy cold day in Newburyport. I made a nice big pot of onion soup. Perfect for a lazy day!

French Onion Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 quarts beef broth
1 baguette, sliced
1/2 pound grated Gruyere

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.

Alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

11.02.2007

Maisy Tait Herman

Introducing our beautiful niece, Maisy Tait Herman. Born Nov, 1, 2007 8lbs 2 oz