now posting on barbarasmithwilke.com

hey! I’m back, I’m pregnant, and I got my own domain address… www.barbarasmithwilke.com ….. how grown up!
those eyes.I will be posting over there from now on, methinks. not sure if I will get around to transferring my posts, or if I’ll just leave this stuff here.

Thanks for reading!!

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inside and out : january

outside:
south shore shackinside:
white chocolate blueberry muffins
kitchen mitt.
outside:
street traininside:IMG_3104
{more photos from the south side; white chocolate blueberry pastries}
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lately…

It’s been cold, snowy and icy in Chicago (surprise??)… we have been staying in as much as possible, venturing out only for ballet class and trips to the 711 for movies and snacks.  The sidewalks are either really slushy or super icy. No good.
We did make a little car-trip though to the south side of Chicago last weekend, and that was really nice.  Such a beautiful part of the city, it feels so different than the North Side.  Elegant old mansions, wide tree lined streets, the gorgeous University of Chicago campus, the South Shore cultural center…. it feels like a different era that was frozen in time.  In reality, it was one of the few sections of Chicago that escaped the Great Chicago Fire, so parts of it are really old. And gorgeous.
fixer upper on the next street over from Obama's Kenwood home. I'll  buy it.
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Oh yeah…. Obama’s family home (mansion) is in the Kenwood neighborhood, just north of Hyde Park.  We might have stalked a little…. and Noah might have been nervous that the Secret Service was going to bust us. We stayed in our car though…. followed the rules. How boring!!!

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We visited the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago.   This is small but sweet (and free!) art museum.  They had an interesting exhibit on Buddha going on, and a great little treasure hunt activity for Maggie to do.  She was so proud of herself when she was able to find an old Oriental vase all by herself.

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sculpture garden exlporer

I definitely want to go back to the South Side when the weather gets nicer… there are some gorgeous parks and beaches in the area.  Until then… we’ll be inside keeping warm.
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drawing on windows

Maggie received some awesome window crayons for Christmas.  They have been put to good use quite a bit since then.
I’m going to pretend that this gives me an excuse to put off washing windows for another few months.
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Happy New Year!

Maggie has been using my old camera to express herself.  These are some of her self portraits she took towards the end of the year.  There were a lot more…. hilarious stuff.  She also loves taking pictures around the house. It’s so neat seeing things from her point of view.
2010 was such a big year… looking forward to what 2011 will bring.  Methinks it will be great.
May your troubles be less,
And your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door.
Posted in love, Maggie, photography | 2 Comments

celebration & no-bake chocolate ganache tarte

celebrations
Happy Birthday Daddy!
turtle ganache tart

celebrations are fun. we celebrated noah’s birthday last night with christmas leftovers turned into a salad (bacon, ham, bleu cheese & pecan) and a turtle tart–dark chocolate ganache on an almond-praline crust.  A nice quiet birthday in after all the running around for christmas was just what noah wanted… and some time to play grand theft auto on his new toy :)
this chocolate ganache no-bake tart was super easy to make. you need 3 bars of dark chocolate, half a quart of heavy whipping cream, one cup of praline pecans or spiced nuts (reserved some for topping), 1/2 a cup of sliced almonds, 3/4 stick of butter (melted) and caramel sauce for the topping.
  • in a double boiler (with about 2 inches of water at a low boil in the bottom part), pour in the heavy cream. chop up the chocolate and stir til its melted. you can add a bit more cream if it starts to get too thick.  when combined, remove from heat. this is your ganache. let it cool slightly.
  • next, in a food processor combine the nuts and melted butter until finely ground and slightly doughy.  press in to the bottom of a tart pan. a small spring form tart pan would be ideal, but I used a ceramic one and it worked as well.
  • time to pour the ganache on the tart crust, smooth it out and lick the pot clean. top with caramel sauce and some leftover pralines. chill in the fridge or freezer, it will set to the texture of a truffle. i mean, basically, we are making a giant flat truffle here.  what could be better? the birthday boy approved.
make a wish
Posted in chocolate, family, Food, gluten-free, love, Maggie, Noah, nuts, primal, recipe, sugar-free, vegetarian, winter | 4 Comments

winter nap

winter nap

christmas and all that was wonderful. family & food is a killer combo. will be back here with more photos and maybe even video soon. enjoy the rest of the holidays, everyone! (and happy birthday to my husband! xoxo)
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