December 30, 2011

Camera Walk

Haley and I took a walk around the neighborhood with our cameras.  Here are a few of my shots:

December 26, 2011

December 17, 2011

Michael's Gingerbread House

Michael is very proud of the gingerbread house he made in school, all by himself. 
After taking some photos the kids devoured it in a matter of minutes!

December 15, 2011

Meyer Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

Meyer Lemon-Poppyseed Muffins

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)
For the glaze (optional):
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir briefly to combine.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are still warm, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make the glaze. Drizzle a small amount of the glaze over each muffin. Let the glaze set before serving.

Yield: about 12 muffins

November 27, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Haley's morning hot chocolate.

November 24, 2011

Another Roadrunner

Roadrunner in Palm Desert 

The Hawk that Killed a Duck

In the morning we sit out on our patio and enjoy coffee and the view.  Ducks waddle by and visit us, hoping for a crumb of food.  This morning a hawk flew out of nowhere, grabbed a plump duck, and took it to a nearby tree.  About an hour later the hawk was 'kneading' the duck and feathers were flying from the tree.

November 22, 2011

Palm Desert Pictures

Dustin mountain biking in the desert.

A roadrunner on out patio, spotted and identified by Simone!

November 21, 2011

Palm Desert View

We are on vacation in Palm Desert.  This is the amazing view from my bedroom patio this morning:

November 17, 2011

Today's Drive

Afternoon sun and clouds, as seen on Camino Diablo near Marsh Creek Road in Contra Costa County.

November 15, 2011

Dessert Tonight: Fuyu Persimmon Bundt Cake

....or as Michael calls it, 'The Cake of Deliciousness'. 
We finally got to try the cake we made yesterday and it was delicious!

Click here for the recipe.

November 14, 2011

Baking With My Little Kids

Today the little kids helped me make a persimmon cake. 
I am convinced they would have never liked this cake if they didn't help make it!

My cute little helpers!

November 13, 2011

Photo Challenge: Purple Mountain Majesty

Time for another challenge at Project 64: Out of the Box. Each week a random crayon is chosen from a 64 count box of Crayola Crayons. That color is used as inspiration for the week, the challenge is to find and photograph the weekly color in the world around us.

This week the color is Purple Mountain Majesty.
My photo submission was taken with my cell phone on a stormy day.  This is Mt. Diablo, as seen from the Bypass Road in Brentwood.