I needed to bring food to a coffee last week, so I made this Almond Tart. I originally had it as a dessert in my first year of Cooking Club, but I think it's perfect in the morning.
Almond Tart from Colorado Collage by the Junior League of Denver
Pastry: 1 c flour 1 T sugar pinch salt ½ c butter 1 T vanilla 1½ t water
Filling: ¾ c sugar ¾ c whipping cream 1 T Grand Marnier ½ t almond extract pinch salt 1 c sliced almonds
Lightly grease 9" round tart pan with removeable bottom (I use a rectangular tart pan whose dimensions yield a similar area). In food processor combine flour, sugar, salt and butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. In small measuring cup combine vanilla and water. With processor running, gradually add vanilla mixture to the dough. Process until dough just comes together. Press into prepared tart pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until set and slightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°.
In small bowl combine sugar, cream, Grand Marnier, almond extract and salt. Beat with fork until slightly thickened. Stir in almonds and mix well. Turn into prepared crust. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until top forms a crust similar to pecan pie.
Disclaimer: This game was played at SMU's stadium, not at a high school stadium
I am probably the least athletic and most uncoordinated person I know. But I have always loved watching sports. I was a huge Atlanta Braves fan growing up, and my dad took us to lots of baseball games (the Braves were terrible in the 70's so tickets were easy to come by!). I loved keeping score and studying the player and team statistics. I still enjoy reading the sports section of the paper, and I could make a full time job of perusing local high school hockey stats, which are available in staggering detail on the Internet these days.
I especially love high school football. Unfortunately, Vivian abhors noisy crowds, which are an inherent part of the high school football experience, so most Friday nights in the fall find Robert, Vivian and me in my car driving around and around our high school stadium with our windows down and our radio tuned to the game broadcast.
Last night was the season opener for Hockey Boy's high school's team, and I decided I would really like to attend in person. It took Robert and me an hour, but we were able to coax Vivian into the car so we could attend the game together. My friend Karey had suggested bringing noise-reducing headphones for Vivian, and they, along with a Dora video on Robert's iPhone, worked like a charm. We pushed Vivian in in her stroller, and she only mildly protested as we entered the stadium but was easily distracted by some Skittles and her movie. She even put the headphones and video aside at halftime to watch the band and the drill team!
Our weather has been unseasonably lovely for the end of August in Texas. The pleasant temperatures combined with the start of school and the advent of high school football make it easy to believe that fall is imminent.
This darling group of girls came running over, shouting, "Hi, Vivian!" Several of them had been Vivian's peer tutors at school last year (please ignore the monkey nightgown that Vivian is wearing over her clothes; it was part of the concession we made to get her out from under her bed before we left for the game)
Dots attended the game with a friend. She is way too cool to sit with her parents these days, but at least she stopped to speak to us. Hockey Boy, on the other hand, has some sort of radar that warns him that his camera-toting mother is near, and he was thus nowhere to be seen
First, an apology for my neglect of blogging lately. I have been in charge of online registration for the girls' school and have been consumed with processing the data and getting it into reports to send to the appropriate people. Our district has a fabulous online registration system that allows parents to complete all of the usual first day forms (emergency contacts, health, migrant worker survey, volunteer opportunities, etc.) online as well as order yearbooks, school directories, t-shirts, etc. It saves so much time for families with multiple children enrolled in the district because a lot of the basic information is copied automatically onto the other children's forms, but there is a lot of work involved getting the forms proofed and uploaded to the system and then processing all the data afterward. I also had to serve several shifts on the district helpline answering calls from parents during the period of online registration. My responsibilities with that job are almost done, and I look forward to using my computer time to write posts and read other people's blogs again.
Secondly, a disclaimer about the awful quality of the pictures to follow. I don't know WHAT I did to my camera's settings, but the pictures are terribly out of focus. Unfortunately I had such unwilling subjects on the first day of school that had I no opportunity to fiddle with my camera settings.
My kids started back to school on Monday. Everyone except Vivian seemed pretty excited about the first day.
We have another boy living with us this school year. *Friend of Hockey Boy* is playing for a AAA hockey team in Dallas, a level that in unavailable in his hometown. He attended Hockey Boy's high school last year, and they became friends. He is a very polite and appreciative boy, and so far I have hardly known he was here.
I would appreciate prayers and good thoughts for Vivian right now. I have had a terrible time getting her on the bus these first three days. She has a new driver, a new pickup time and a new seat assignment, none of which are making an already stressful task any easier. I am trying to jump through bureaucratic hoops and get Vivian back with her old driver (who is still driving a route in our area and dropping off kids at Vivian's school). If we can't work that out, the district has offered to have Mr. Kemp (Vivian's wonderful aide at school) stop by and help get Vivian on the bus in the morning for a few weeks. Hopefully one way or another that situation will improve soon.
Hockey Boy and Friend of Hockey Boy (I cannot even believe that I am posting such terrible pictures)
The response I got when I called out, "But boys, I don't think my camera was in focus!"
I got an equally helpful response when I told Vivian her bus was here!
Fortunately Robert stayed home to make sure Vivian got on the bus ok. It took both of us to wrestle her on board! Her new driver was not very patient, which didn't help matters
My sweet Dots who was excited about the first day of school. Unfortunately I'd spent so much time dealing with Vivian that I didn't have a chance to fix my camera before leaving to take her to school
These bears are usually on my mom and dad's front porch welcoming guests, but they're hanging out on the driveway during construction. Notice Vivian is holding both *Sarah's* and the bear's hands. She wanted to check on these bears often, was very concerned that there was a Daddy Bear and a Mama Bear but no Baby Bear. We were perpetually on the lookout for *Baby Bear*
Hockey Boy had to go home a couple of days early (for Varsity Hockey and Senior Registration Day at school, not because he was afraid of getting dragged on another hike!). Robert took this shot on their way to the airport. This and all of his pictures from the hike were taken on his iPhone; can you believe it?
That afternoon my mom hosted a picnic lunch for the men who are working on her house (clearly containers are allowed on the table when it's a picnic)
Robert grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs, and I helped serve the food
While my mom did all the behind the scenes work
Pretty nice site for a picnic!
In this picture you can see the stone work that these men are doing on the front of my parents' house as well as their beautiful view
The next day my mom took Robert, Dots, Vivian and me into Grand Teton National Park
We stopped at the newly constructed Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve
This beautiful visitors center contains educational, geographical and historical information about the area in addition to several sensory exhibits highlighting the natural features of the Preserve's hiking trails and lakes
The Center as viewed from the other side
Robert showed us on this topographical rendering where he and my dad and Hockey Boy hiked
It's hard to tell from this picture, but this room had four screens showing beautiful photographs of the Preserve in all four seasons while peaceful music played in the background
Vivian loved this picture of two baby bears climbing a tree. We had to wait for the slideshow to cycle through several times so she could see them again and again!
We took a brief walk on the Preserve's beautiful trails. We could only get so far with the stroller (Vivian was happy in it and we didn't want to rock the boat by making her get out)
Dots loved the trails, especially the waterfalls
After leaving the Preserve, we stopped in Teton Village, where the Jackson Hole ski area is located
We had a lovely lunch on the patio at the Four Seasons
One of us didn't think lunch at the Four Seasons was such a swell idea. Luckily there was an empty sofa next to our table which made a fine spot for lying down and watching "Dora the Explorer" on the iPod (which Vivian refers to as her *phone*)
For dessert we shared this fabulous chocolate fondue
All in all a great vacation for our family. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Married for 27 years to Robert, three kids: Will (23), Vivian (20) and Dots (17) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born, currently tutoring math ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, traveling, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, keeping up with old friends ~~~ happy to correspond with other parents about raising a child with special needs
I unintentionally contaminated all of the pictures on my blog when I changed my privacy settings on Flickr. I am working backwards to correct them all, but it is quite a tedious procedure! If you encounter a post with error messages from Flickr where the pictures should be, then I haven't gotten to that post yet. Please let me know and I will update it immediately. Thanks for your patience!