Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The final countdown

My girls are getting quite excited about the fact that there are only a few more days until Christmas.  Tonight as they were doing their Advent calendars, Gillian told me that there were only two more days until Christmas.  When I pointed out that there were actually three more days, she simply replied, "Yes, but there are only Thursday and Wednesday left until Christmas Eve!"  Can't really argue with that. =)  

Gillian is at a great age for Christmas this year.  It reminds me of the year that Brianna was almost four (at least I think that's right).  Any time that someone asked her what Santa was going to bring or what she wanted for Christmas, her answer was the same, "Cinderella chapstick."  Gillian has only consistently mentioned one thing on her list--"the last monkey Pillow Pet."  Why the last one?  We've only seen one in the store, and for some reason G is convinced that it's the only one left and that it has to be hers.  Who can really understand the 4yo mind? =)  Last week we were in the car after I picked her up from daycare and I was trying to find out some more details about what she wanted for Christmas.  Of course she brought up the pillow pet, but I asked her if there was anything else that she wanted Santa to bring her.  She sat there for a minute, obviously giving a lot of thought to her answer.  Then she replied, very matter-of-factly, "Well....I think I will ask Santa Claus to bring me a big sister who isn't mean to me."  For the record, I did manage to contain my laughter enough that I didn't run the car off the road...

We finally got around to sending letters to Santa on Sunday morning.  The year that Brianna was obsessing about the Cinderella chapstick was also the first year I asked her if she wanted to write a letter to Santa.  Her answer? "No, Mommy. We need to send him an email!" I did some looking online, and found northpole.com.  We still go there every year to send letters.  The other thing we did on Sunday morning was make the latest Tuesdays with Dorie recipe for breakfast.  Jill of Jill's blog picked Cardamom Crumb Cake for us to bake this week.  Crumb cake is always a hit around here, and B & G love to help me make stuff.

I made a few changes, but mostly stuck with the recipe.  I didn't want to mess with making coffee, so I used some brewed tea instead.  I simply left out the espresso powder.  I was going to leave out the nuts in the crumb topping as well, but Gillian suggested that I use cashews since she likes those.  I used the zest from a satsuma (kind of like a tangerine) since that's what we have on hand for packed lunches.  The girls enjoyed helping me make this recipe--Gillian did a fine job rubbing the zest and sugar together.  Then she stirred dry ingredients together.  Brianna got to get her hands dirty, too, making the crumb mixture, and she got to crack the eggs.  They both helped put the crumb mixture on top of the cake batter.  

The verdict?  This one went over reasonably well with everyone here.  I'll probably skip the nuts entirely next time, since even though Gillian suggested the cashews, she said she didn't like them on the cake after all.  I think that's more because Brianna didn't like them than anything else.  So what else is new...  I thought they went well with the flavors in the cake.  The orange and cardamom were good together, too.  My cake seemed kind of sweet, a result of leaving out the espresso powder, I'm guessing.  I might try the cake again, with the coffee.  I'd like to try making it with different spices, too.  

If you'd like to try this recipe for yourself, you can find it on Jill's blog.  To see what everyone else thought this week, check out the Links.    


  1. Aren't kids great with some of their thoughts?? Sometimes they even make sense. That's when it gets scary.

    Fun to make these together. Maybe the granddaughter will help me one day.

    These were good, weren't they.

  2. I love reading about your girls in the run-up to Christmas; it so much reminds me of my girls at those ages. Four is priceless!

    I'm glad B & G had so much fun helping you with the crumb cake. Mine wasn't sweet at all - maybe the coffee/espresso and also my orange zest seemed pretty bitter. But we loved how all the flavors went together and would bake it the same way again.

  3. Your girls are too funny Di. Christmas sounds like it's a lot of fun when there are little kids around :)

    Your cake looks terrific, your helpers must have done a great job! I'm thinking I may try this one for the rewind next week...we'll see.

  4. I got a laugh out of emailing Santa. It makes sense, but I had never thought about it before. I'm glad that you had fun making this with your girls - thanks to all of you for baking with me this week!

    Happy holidays!

  5. Too funny - I'm pretty sure I asked for a nicer older sister a couple times growing up :) And what fun, having the two of them help you make the cake!

  6. Ha! I love the big sister who isn't mean to me comment! We haven't brought up letters to Santa yet, but probably next year. We did have one slight misunderstanding, when I told A that Daddy and I were going out Christmas shopping, he said, "But only SANTA brings presents on Christmas!" So we had to explain that actually, a lot of people will be giving them presents. That crumb cake sounds really tasty!!

  7. Thanks for sharing about the girls, that was such fun to read. Never once did my boys request chapstick of any kind...lol. It's fun to see how girl families work! Your cake looks delicious. I did not make it, and feel really bad as it was Jill's pick and she is such a great blogging friend. Oh, well, we are just dessert-ed out here at the moment, when it returns, I will make this one.

  8. How sweet and funny your girls are! I never would have thought of using cashews in the crumb topping, but they sound delicious.

    My wrist is healing, but soooo slowly that it's very frustrating. I have to stay of the computer as much as possible, which is very tough, especially at work.