Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekend R&R (Review & Resources) ~ 32

LIGHTENING UP:

Hard to believe that we have completed 32 weeks of our 8th year of home education.

This is the first year I have ever given myself a break on scheduling every single second of the required 35 weeks of school attendance set by our state.  We are "attending" school for every one of those 35 weeks, but I figure if public schools can show Magic School Bus shows for the last 2 weeks, I can relax a little on the work load.

We have completed several of our books/courses and I am completely at liberty to NOT fill in that part of the schedule with busy work for the rest of the year.  We got through the book.  We are done.  That space on the schedule is now blank for the rest of the term!

My kids are ecstatic.  Their weekly schedule printout is getting more and more sparse each week.  We have so little work remaining to complete, I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to go to a 4-Day school week.  We now have Mondays off.  Whoo-Hoo!


WEEK 32 REVIEW:

  • Photo shoot with my lovely  daughter.  She is starting a photography business, and doing splendidly, I must say, but she can't take pictures of herself!  So, I stepped in to provide shots for her dance pictures for this year.  They came out really good...mostly due to her fabulous editing skills.


Check out her blog HERE

  • Swimming down by the bay with the boys.



  • Another Cub Scout crosses over into Boy Scouts (2 down, 1 to go)





  • TV Weekday Fast~ week two, done.  Things we did instead?  Read, draw, play basketball, ride bikes, cook, sew, play music, talk


WEEK 32 RESOURCES:
  • Weight Watcher-friendly Birthday Cake~  This cake is soooo goooood.  (The one on the right)  It comes out dense, but NOT dry.  Kind of like a brownie/cake hybrid.  I've made it twice and it has kid, husband, and grandpa seal of approval.
Dual B.Day Party~2 boys born during same week, 5 years apart

Ingredients:
for cake~
1 chocolate box cake mix (I prefer devil's food for this recipe)
1 cup fat free, plain, Greek yogurt
1 cup water (or cold coffee for a mocha version, YUM)

 for frosting~
3 TBS butter
1 TBS shortening
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla (or more, if you really like vanilla. It's good with a little almond extract, too.)
2-3 TBS milk

Instructions:
for cake~
Mix together all 3 ingredients for cake, beat well for 1-2 minutes until combined thoroughly.  Grease and flour pans as usual.  Follow box directions for baking time & temp depending on what size pan you use.  For a b.day cake, I like to use two 8-inch round pans so I can layer, but it works with cupcakes, 9x13, or even a bundt.  Watch the cooking times, because it may not take quite as long.  Look for the cake sides to be pulling away from the pan.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan, on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes. Then remove cake from pan and let cook on a rack completely before frosting.

for frosting~
Beat softened butter together with shortening in mixer.  Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add milk, 1 TBS at a time, while mixer is on, until icing is correct consistency.  Beat on high for 30 seconds or so to get the icing nice and fluffy.  

Wait until cake is completely cool before frosting.  This makes enough to put a thin layer in the middle and lots on top.  If you put less frosting on top, you should have enough to frost the sides.  Or, put it in a pastry bag and pipe a cute design on top.  I like to use a potato peeler to shave some baking chocolate on top of the frosted cake.

Makes: 12 servings
ww points+ per slice= 8
(average points for store-bought cake with icing = 14 !!!!)





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