So some of you know that my most recent hobby is cooking. This may come as a shock to anyone who has actually lived with me and experienced my cooking in the past. I promise, I've improved immensely! Buying a house with a big kitchen and lots of counter space, and not having to go to work anymore have both helped considerably. Anyway, my family gives me lots of encouragement in this department, mostly thanks to Chris, who makes it a point several times a week to say to the girls, "We're so lucky to have such a great cook for a mom." They've taken to saying it themselves, to other people, without any prompting. There's nothing like a little blatant praise, let me tell you!
Anyway, Vicki has been especially interested in cooking lately, wanting to make things by herself. Now, the kitchen is my domain, and it pains me greatly to allow other people (including Chris) to work in it. But for the sake of good mother-daughter relationships, and bonding and memory-building and all that, I've let the girls "bake" a few times. Lexi just likes to mix things together, usually marshmallows, pretzels, chocolate chips, and frosting, but Vicki tries to actually bake. She came up with an...interesting...cookie recipe a few months ago. We learned that 1 Tbsp. of salt is a bit much. Yesterday she begged me to let her bake something. She begged and bargained and finagled and blackmailed, and I kept saying, "Not today." I was being a terrible mom, but I just didn't want to deal with it. Then she played the trump card: "I want to make a surprise for Daddy!" Ugh. How can I say no to that without a good reason? (It will mess up my kitchen is not a good reason.) So I let her do it. She immediately ran downstairs and got out the essentials: peanut butter, baking chocolate, and chocolate chips. So we baked a cake, her own recipe. And it turned out surprisingly good. We've decided to cut back on the peanut butter a bit, because the oil in it seemed to make the cake really dense, and we probably don't need quite as much sugar or milk, but overall it was actually quite good. Once we tweak it to perfections, I will post the recipe, since it has the potential to become a family favorite.
Here she is, savoring the sweet cakey goodness: