Thursday, February 28, 2013

Birthday Happenings

 Ken's birthday was on Monday. I took the day off (wrongly thinking he had too) and prepared a treat for him.

He's not a big fan of cake but does like pie so I thought I'd see what I could make that was quick and easy and within my baking skill set. And of course since lately I bake everything in cupcake pans, that's what I chose.

This was my first foray into puff pastry but I think it turned out pretty well considering. I thawed the puff pastry and then cut it in to 9 squares per sheet. I placed the puff pastry into each cup, it kind of wraps and forms a bowl/crust. For the mini cupcake pan I just cut my squares in half so the size would be more appropriate.

Next I filled them with pre-made pie filling (here's where I could have probably put more effort in). I chose cherry and lemon. I think the canned filling is almost too sweet though and a homemade filling probably would have been a little more tasty.

I placed them in the oven and baked for 15 minutes at 400. They were quite tasty.
What I'll try next time: My own filling, pre-baking the pastry for a few minutes to get it a little crispier.

Overall everyone enjoyed them.

We also went out to dinner at Ixtapa after soccer practice. Bailey slipped out to the restroom and told the waiter it was his dad's birthday on his way back.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Texture Tuesday - Dream Like

The theme of this week's Texture Tuesday over on the Kim Klassen blog was "Dreamy". We could use any image or filters we wanted as long as it included at least one of her filters.

You might remember this photo from last spring when i did the dress-up photo shoot with my kids. It's still one of my favorite photos.

I chose to use the Pourvous filter.

Layer 1: Photo
Layer 2: Pourvous, set to Screen at 100% opacity
Layer 3: Pourvous, set to Screen at 80% opacity
Layer 4: Text set to Difference at 65% opacity

And that's it, a nice dreamy photo to slip into.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Costa Maya

Costa Maya was our final stop on the cruise. Costa Maya is the home of the Mayan ruins, so it was a nice coincidence that we were there on December 21 (a.k.a. the end of the world). Since the world wasn't ending we took a walk looking for town. Then having come to a T in the road after a couple of miles and not knowing which way to turn, we walked back.  
We arranged to rent a golf cart type vehicle to drive into town. It turns out we were only about a mile outside town. The golf card was very noisy and just after we turned off the main road and started coming up on the town, it b egan to smoke and make even louder noices.
We were so fortunate that the owner of the bar/restaurant (Tequila Beach) was helpful. It was refreshing because he did some translating for us with the local drivers and made us feel welcome. He brought out Kayaks for the kids (and Ken) to play in the water with, served us fresh chips, guacamole and drinks. The beach was quiet and the kids enjoyed splashing about in the water.
He opened the gate so I could take some beach shots from the private pier. Honestly, it was fabulous. A true day at the beach. He charged us less than $20 for hanging out on his private beach and the food/drinks, etc. I doubled it and still feel like he deserved more.
If you ever find yourself in Costa Maya, stop by the Tequila Beach for a relaxing day and fantastic service and conversation.
The crab below was Ken's new friend. He was digging his feet around in the sand while we talked and felt something. He looked down and it was sitting on his foot. Wow did her scream and jump us so fast! It was honestly hilarious.
Here's some of the scenery we saw in Costa Maya as well as some of the characters on our final night. The last picture is us with out waitstaff. Best guys ever!
These pictures make me want to go back the beach for another trip!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pirate Party & Ship Time

Working my way through a few more vacation photos. Yes, it's been almost 2 months but on a cold February day it's nice to reminisce on sunny days.

After Cartagena we had a whole day on the ship while we cruised through the Caribbean. We celebrated with a pirate party, pirate night at dinner and of course more time hanging out on deck. Anique and I spent time in the lab working on crafts and, of course, making flubber. Bailey and I took some time before dinner one night so he could get pictures with his favorite characters. Anique caught up with us in time to see Jack Sparrow. Pirate night is one of their favorite nights. They both still enjoy dressing up in all their pirate gear. The fireworks show at the end of the night was fun too.