Weekend pictures

Henry and Kerrin at her birthday party
The birthday girl, Kerrin
The twins, Molly and Katie
watching "Cars" at home
hanging out at grandma and pops house


Typical Science Fiction fan

Jason wanted to find some hard core science fiction action at the bookstore. He took one look at the author's photo on the back cover and knew this was some hard core stuff. Total geek. SciFi nerd straight from Central Casting. That's when you know you're in for a good ride.

Evening Out

This evening Jason Henry and myself meet Stephen and Linsey at a restaurant downtown Newburyport called Rockfish. They offer different specials of the week and mondays are mini sandwiches for $2 each. It was fun choosing the best two from a selection of about 15 sandwiches. I usually go for the same, either ruben, or french dip. I went for a ham and cheddar cheese and a bacon cheese burger. The bread was amazing, it was perfectly soft with a slight buttery crust. Jason got a ruben and turkey and cheese. They had pretty darn good fries too. I think we might make it a tradition for the Jason Tait family. I totally forgot to take a picture of those tasty sandwiches. Maybe Stephen and Linsey will post some. if not, I'll make sure to get some pics next time.
Jason and Henry at The Rockfish
Family pic
Henry and Linsey


Martha Stewart's Dessert of the month

Martha Stewart has a "Dessert of the Month" in her magazine. January's was Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding. My goal is to make her "Dessert of the Month" from each edition. I wasn't that thrilled with the idea of bread and custard mixed together so I substituted the bread with pound cake. It had some interesting ingredients; dried hot chili peppers, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and bourbon. It came out awesome. I've never tasted anything like it. Hope someone tries this recipe. I have the next issue of her magazine, and February's featured dessert is Milk Chocolate Mouse Cake with Cashew Brittle. I'll be making that in a couple weeks! Jason will be happy. By the way, see below. I posted the recipe below with a photo of Martha's bread pudding. I think hers looks better.
My photo of the Bread Pudding.
The concoction.

Pictures from today

Cheers, mate.
Enjoying Beef Stew on this frigid day.
Stout and Beef Stew served over Egg Noodles
Henry and Jason watching the Patriots game.
Can they get any closer to the tube????

Sunday Sweet " Spiced Chocolate Bread Pudding"

Martha's photo of the Bread Pudding

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart Magazine. January's Dessert of the Month.

3 cups of heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
2 dried hot red chiles, crumbled
½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 large egg yolks
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 loaf challah or brioche about 1 pound. Cut into ¾ inch cubes ( I used pound cake)
3 tablespoons course raw sugar, such as turbinado
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
ground cinnamon, for garnish
chocolate curls

1. Butter insides of eight 1-cup ovenproof cups. Bring 2 cups cream, the milk, cinnamon sticks, chiles, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Place milk chocolate and bittersweet in a heatproof bowl. Return cream mixture to a simmer, then strain over chocolate, discarding solids. Gently stir until smooth.
3. Whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl until pale and thick. Whisking constantly, add chocolate mixture in a slow steady stream. Whisk in bourbon.
4. Place bread in a large bowl, pour in chocolate custard, and gently fold until combined. Let stand for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven 350. Divide bread and custard among prepared cups. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar.
6. Place cups in a roasting pan, and add enough boiling water to reach halfway upsides of cups. Transfer to oven. Bake until pudding is set, about 30 minutes. Transfer cups to wire rack and let cool for about 15 minutes.
7. Just before serving, beat remaining 1 cup cream with the sour cream and confect sugar until soft peaks form. Top each cup of bread pudding with cream, garnish with ground cinnamon and chocolate curls.

Savory Saturday (day late) Stout and Beef Stew served over Noodles

I know I just posted a Beef Stew recipe, but I made this one today. Anyone that loves beef stew will LOVE this recipe.
I'll post some pics later.
I got this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Stout and Beef Stew

* 6 strips thick-cut bacon (about 8 ounces), cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
* 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 3 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock, plus more if needed
* 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
* 4 large garlic cloves, minced
* 1 pound cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps wiped clean with a damp paper towel and cut in half
* 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 2 cups dark stout, such as Guinness
* 7 stems fresh thyme
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 pound fingerling or new potatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
* 12 ounces cipollini or pearl onions, blanched and peeled
* 1 pound wide egg noodles
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
* 1/2 cup coarsely grated fresh horseradish
* 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
* 2 medium carrots, julienned, for garnish


1. Cook bacon with 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat until crisp and browned. Drain on paper towels. Pour fat into a bowl, and reserve.
2. Wipe out pot with paper towels. Add 2 tablespoons reserved fat to pot, and heat over medium-high heat until hot.
3. Season beef with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, cook beef until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a bowl. Add more reserved fat between batches if needed.
4. Pour fat from pot into the bowl, and reserve. Add 1 cup stock to pot, and cook, stirring and scraping bottom, for 1 minute. Pour over meat.
5. Heat reserved fat in pot. Add yellow onion and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. If bottom of pan begins to burn or onions begin to stick, stir in about 1/4 cup of the remaining stock. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, add mustard, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
6. Return beef to pot. Add remaining stock, the stout, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour 20 minutes.
7. Add potatoes and cipollini or pearl onions, and partially cover. Simmer until potatoes and onions are tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes. Stir in bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain. Add butter and dill to warm noodles, and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
9. Combine horseradish and vinegar. Ladle stew over noodles, and garnish with carrots, dill, and horseradish.



Henry wearing Jason's hat

Henry and Jason sledding


Sunday Sweet "Hi-Hat Cupcakes"

I got this recipe and picture from Martha Stewart.

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups chopped (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: In a large heatproof bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 12 minutes; frosting should register 160 degrees.on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for 2 minutes more until frosting thickens.
Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain pastry tip. Leaving a 1/8-inch border on each cupcake, pipe a spiral of frosting into a 2-inch-high cone shape, using about 1/2 cup of frosting per cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet, and refrigerate while preparing the chocolate coating.
Prepare the chocolate coating: Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heat-proof bowl set over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool about 15 minutes.
Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip cupcake in the chocolate to coat frosting, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack. Spoon more coating around edge of cupcake and any exposed frosting; none of the frosting should show. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Carefully remove paper liners from cupcakes, and discard. Place cupcakes on a serving platter, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let coating set. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours more. Serve cold. Cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Happy Sweet Sixteenth Birthday Christina

Happy Birthday Christina. Sweet 16 and never been kissed! We love you.


Happy Birthday Michael!!!!

Happy 33rd Birthday to my brother Michael. Hope you enjoy your day. We Love you!



Henry hates getting out of the bath
Hiding under the table, he loves to be naked.
loves to wrestle with Jason
just chillin'

Happy Birthday Kimberlee!!!!!

Happy Birthday to our beautiful sister-in-law Kim! Hope all your wildest dreams come true. We love you!


I'm a stationaryaholic

One of my New Year's resolution is to get organized. As you can see, I have lots of stationary, so I decided to go through it all and put it in order. Hopefully I can get my list of things checked off that I need to organize. Next are my closets....


Visit with the Grein Family

Henry and his Grandma hanging out on her bed
Henry and his Mommy
Henry with his Godmother Laurene

Sunday Sweet "Almost Oreo cookies"

Almost Oreo's Recipe
For everyone who loves those famous Oreo cookies, here's a recipe that is quite similar :)

1 (18 1/4 ounce) box dark chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Crisco shortening
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (NOT butter or margarine, use only plain shortening)
3 tablespoons hot water

1. set oven to 325 degrees.
2. Blend all cookie wafer ingredients; knead with your hands until it is pliable like dough.
3. Form dough into 3-inch balls, Place on a greased cooke sheet 1/2-inch apart.
4. Press down the cookies with the bottom of a glass.
5. Bake 4-6 minutes, or until cookies are crunchy.
6. Note: another way to do this, is shape dough into long rolls; refrigerate 2-3 hours, remove from fridge, and slice the dough 1/8-inch thick, then bake.
7. Let cookies cool on sheets.
8. FOR FILLING: Combine all filling ingredients; mix well.
9. Form into balls about 1/2- 3/4-inch in diameter.
10. Again, using your hands, sandwich one filling in the center of two cookies, and carefully press down until the filling spreads almost to the edge.


Savory Saturday recipe is back!! "The Ultimate Beef Stew"

The Ultimate Beef Stew
From: Tyler Florence

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bottle good quality dry red wine (recommended: Burgundy)
8 fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 cups beef stock
9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups frozen pearl onions, a large handful
1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
1/2 pound garden peas frozen or fresh
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
Horseradish Sour Cream, recipe follows, for garnish
Toasted Peasant Bread, recipe follows, for serving

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.

While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.

Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.

After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, pearl onions and mushrooms, along with a pinch of sugar to balance out the acid from the red wine. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.

To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of Toasted Peasant Bread, half way submerged in the stew.

Horseradish Sour Cream:
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chives, finely chopped, as garnish

Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the mixture on top of the stew and garnish with chopped chives.

Toasted Peasant Bread:
1 loaf peasant bread, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, halved
Chopped parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Put a sheet pan in the oven so that it gets good and hot.

Place the bread slices on the hot sheet pan. Drizzle the bread with the extra-virgin olive oil bake for 5 minutes, until the bread is nicely toasted. Rub the bread slices with the garlic cloves, and discard garlic. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Cool Gifts

Some cool Christmas gifts. A cupcake timer, cupcake baking book, and a scale. I love to bake, especially cupcakes! Thanks Uncle Michael and Aunty Susan!!!

Henry in a basket

Random pics

Henry giving his glow worm a binky
Henry loves when Jason hangs him upside down
Ornament Cassandra made Henry. Isn't that a cute face???


First pictures at midnight 2008!!!!

celebrating 2008
Still in LOVE after all these years
Henry sleeping at midnight