Last night Yoli and I had a little “date night.” My parents guarded the Renaud Empire hordes while Yoli and I headed up to church for their Stars of Grace volunteer appreciation event.
The last time we were able to go to one of these appreciation dinners was about five years ago. The births of our kids had kept us from going since then.
It was an entertaining night. There was a video in which one pastor has a nightmare that there are no volunteers and he has to do everything himself, from directing traffic to teaching children’s ministry to leading praise and worship. The kids’ part included brief cameos by Jadzia and Ludi who participated in a free-for-all filming session a couple of Wednesdays ago.
The main event was a session by comedian Ken Davis. He had a pretty good set that kept everyone laughing. For Yoli and I, the biggest surprise came after he had asked for single men in the audience to raise their hands. He picked out one named “John” and interacted with him over the course of the set. After it was all over, he gave John a stack of DVDs and stuff. Imagine our surprise to see that “John” was actually my good friend John Wike! We spent the rest of the night hanging out.
There was also a photo booth for taking pictures. The folks told us that we would hear three clicks and that each click meant a photo had been taken. Yoli and I got in there and pushed the big green button and waited for something to happen… and nothing ever seemed to! Then the folks were telling us “good job, you’re done!” Out popped the photos and we looked like deer caught in headlights.
So we took them again at the end of the night with much more traditional photo-booth-esque results.
All in all, it was a lot of fun.
Yoli wants everyone to know that her cakes don’t always come out right. Usually it’s because she forgets to add a key ingredient. Such was the case last night as she was baking a special cake for Valentine’s Day.
Yoli forgot to add sugar, but didn’t realize it until after she pulled the cake out of the oven and saw it had not risen very much. So she had to bake another one, this time with all the ingredients.
You can see a comparison of the good cake (left) and the messed-up one (right) in the photo above.
Fortunately, we have girls whose palates are not particularly discerning, especially when it comes to pastries.
Yoli offered them some of her “bread” and they have been happily chowing down on it ever since.
Here’s a little photo gallery of various — mostly baked — foodstuffs Yoli has made over the years. (Truth be told, this really only scratches the surface Yoli’s culinary adventures. Usually we forget to take photos!)
This cheddar bread has no fats/oils other than the cheese. But it does have ale. Yoli says the “Z” is for “Zorro,” which is a family joke. She also says her dad would say the “Z” was for “Zegarra,” his last name.
Some delicious tiny loaves of bread with cranberries, nuts, and other dried fruits
We bought pita bread from the store the other day and the girls enjoyed making sandwiches with it. Yoli wanted to see how hard it would be to make her own pitas.
Yoli had some mashed potatoes, asparagus and pork for the girls. But those stubborn creatures have recently decided they don’t like potatoes. She turned them into a face and put some leftover cranberry sauce on the pork and they ate it all.
Yoli made a sort-of asiago bread that used cheddar cheese. It was very tasty, turned out better than other “cheddar bread” recipes she has tried in the past.
Eaten in Sweden on Dec. 13 each year. Jadzia read about this in one of her “Kirsten” books.
Yoli saw one of these for sale at the farmer’s market and decided to make her own.
Yoli made this for our anniversary. Very tasty.
I handled the grilling, but Yoli did almost everything else.
Who needs the Pillsbury Dough Boy?
Was designed to fit with the party theme decorations.
It looks like a chick!
For Jadzia’s 5th birthday
Pecan shortbread crust, a moscarpone cream, and strawberries in a sauce
A cake made for Yoli’s class
For Josie’s birthday
It was a pre-baked kit that Yoli and the girls decorated.
Jadzia requested a monster cake for her fourth birthday.
Jadzia requested a monster cake for her fourth birthday.
Made for Ludi’s birthday in San Antonio
With peaches and blackberries
Entered in the 2009 Ferguson Farmer’s Market pie contest.
This cake looks like the “Weighted Companion Cube” from the video game Portal. Yoli made it for our friends Eric and Nancy.
Pretty tasty-looking loaves of bread
This is a airy bread with dried fruit that is popular to eat at Christmastime in South America. In the past we have bought them from Walgreen’s, Aldi’s, and even Volpi on the Hill. Finally Yoli decided to learn how to make her own. And her own have always turned out awesome.
Made for my mom’s birthday
This is from an English recipe. It’s more like a pudding than what we would think of as a “cake.”
Another cake Yoli made for her niece’s 15th birthday.
A cake Yoli made for her niece Leya’s 15th birthday.
Yoli made this for Jadzia’s third birthday, in Bolivia. It’s a 3-dimensional teddy bear cake.
Took this for the Renaud Family Picnic one year, but people seemed to not want to mar its beauty by cutting it up and eating it.
The flowers and wreaths were especially pretty.
This is a pixel-for-pixel representation of Donkey Kong. Yoli made this to serve at the “Kong Night” movie event where we invited friends to watch the “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters” documentary.
This is a Bolivian delicacy eaten for breakfast. It’s sort of like funnel cake, but with anise.
Yoli made this for me to take to work in the Post-Dispatch sports department after the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006.
For a kid’s birthday
Made for Yoli’s cake class
Chocolate buttercream icing woven basket-style
Made with fondant
Yoli made this for Jadzia’s second birthday.
Some of you may not know that Yoli and I sort of have two anniversaries.
Being from two different countries, it was necessary for us to obtain a visa so that Yoli could join me here in the U.S. After we got engaged the question we faced was which visa? Marriage visa or fianceé visa?
Continue reading “Three-day, seven-year anniversary celebration”
My day at the Ferguson farmer’s Market started early this week.
I got up at 7:40 in order to get there right when the market opened. Yoli needed fresh strawberries for her entry in the strawberry contest that would be held 2 hours later.
Continue reading “Strawberry pizza”
Just to re-assure everyone that Joseph is alive and well. The dearth of photos here is purely a result of our being very busy and sleep-deprived.
Joseph is a very pleasant baby overall, though he is beginning to enter his more fussy stage. Also this week he seems to have had some sort of virus which ultimately led to two trips to the doctor’s office. (One of those visits lasted all morning as I took him around DePaul getting blood tests, x-rays, etc)
He is just fine, no cause for alarm. But whenever babies have fevers (even slight ones), doctors get very concerned and want to make sure it’s not something serious.
Anyway, here are some photos from different things that have been going on our life in April and May.
Continue reading “You wanted him, you got him”
Here’s a little more background on the birth of our first boy, Joseph Martin Renaud.
Monday night I was working a sports design shift at the Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals home opener and breaking news about Stan Kroenke’s intention to buy the Rams kept me busy all night.
I got home around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. I found Yoli in the kitchen making crepes to eat at breakfast. She had intended them to be for the whole family. But at 12:38, she had her first real contraction followed by a couple more over the next hour. “The baby is going to be born sometime today,” she told me.
Continue reading “Birth stories and more photos”
There are no teenagers in our house. Still, I just got back from the Ferguson License Office with a newly-permitted driver.
Today she finally took her written test and passed with a 96. (Somehow I imagine we are the only family of 5 (and a half) to go all together to the Highway Patrol offices so mom can take her test)
Now that she has her learner’s permit, we’ll be hitting the parking lots and getting Yoli comfortable in the minivan. You might want to stay away from Jamestown Mall for a while; I hear it’s a good place to practice.
We’ve been tired lately, Yoli especially. Mostly it’s Josie who wakes up early and such.
But Ludi has also been waking up in the night. Sometimes it’s just that she doesn’t want to go to sleep, so we have issues with her getting out of her bed.
A couple nights ago, I came home and found Ludi sleeping on the couch. She had snuck out of her room while Yoli was washing dishes, and fell asleep there. Last night, Yoli heard her crying in the night. She was on the potty!
We are very thankful for that latter development!
In any event, these girls wear us out.
So the Post-Dispatch recently published a story about Springerle cookies.
I pointed it out to Yoli because I knew she would be interested. How right I was!
The first thing that caught my attention was the recipe’s use of “hartshorn,” which is actually baking ammonia. This is an ingredient that is not cheap or available in every store.
We happen to have some that we bought in Bolivia, because Yoli has some recipes that call for it. Let me tell you, when you bake with ammonia, it will stink up the house. But once the smell dissipates, the cookies or whatever taste great.
Yoli was excited to try the Springerle recipe, but the problem is molds. There is a local artist who hand-carves them. His carvings are amazing, but at $20-30 bucks a pop, it’s a more expensive way to get started than we would like. We are hoping to find used ones at a thrift store or maybe some resin copies … something more affordable.
We did actually come across two Springerle “boards” at 309 Antiques here in Ferguson, but they are $50 each. Apparently, many folks collect these hand-carved molds. Yoli just wants to bake with them.
Anyhow, anyone out there have any local Springerle resources?