Dafney Harper

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bakin' Friends - December Edition

It's the last day of 2013 and while many of you are writing about your reflections of the year and writing out your New Year's resolutions, I'm over here thinking about the amazing cookies I received for the December edition of BAKIN' FRIENDS!  This month, the secret ingredient was Cardamom.  It's not a spice I often see used, but it's one that reminds of the Holiday's!

Seriously, I can't even begin to say enough things about how wonderful these cookies were.  Quite possibly one of my new favorite cookies and definitely one I'll be throwing into my cookie rotation ;)

This month's goodies came to me from Anne over at Bakin' Friends!  She's super sweet and SUPER talented!!  She sent me some Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies and my gosh, we're they tasty, not to mention, beautifully deocrated!  I think between my hubby, parents and me, we had half of these eaten the day I received them! 

Thank you so much, Anne for the delicious treats!!

Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies
by Laureen King from ArtandtheKitchen

1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, opened and seeds scraped out
2 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

Sift together flour, salt and cardamom.  Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy {about 5 minutes}.  Add vanilla bean and orange zest and mix well.  Add eggs and combine well.  Slowly add the flour a bit at a time.

Separate dough into 2 separate pieces.  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.*  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  On floured work surface, roll disk out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut out with cookie cutter shape of your choice and transfer to baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes (just until edges start to brown).  Cool completely and decorate with Royal Icing.  Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies (depending on cookie cutter shape).

*I always roll out my dough to 1/4 thickness between 2 sheets of wax paper then chill it on cookie sheets instead of how the recipe reads.  Once chilled, you can go ahead and cute out your shapes; there's no need to do in on a floured surface.  I had to add about 3/4 to 1 cup more flour to the recipe because the dough was way too loose to roll out.


Interested in joining?

Check out my "{Bakin' Friends}" tab at the top of my blog and/or email me, Leah at leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com for details!  

If you want to join for January, you need to email me leahmarie.mackenzie@gmail.com by JANUARY 4th with Bakin Friends in the subject line and containing the following info.:
First/Last name
Email address
Blog Name/URL {if applicable}

Hope everyone enjoys the LAST day in 2013!  Stay safe!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

It’s hard to believe the craziness of the Holiday’s are almost over.  Though I’m not much of a winter-kinda-gal, I do love the feel that the week of Christmas time brings!  This year was especially fun since Dafney was able to interact and sort of get what all comes with Christmas (& yes, I understand that Christmas is more than receiving gifts)!  We spent Christmas with my parents, sister & brother-in-law.  Since we’re still living with my parents, we didn’t have to go anywhere Christmas Day. 

Christmas Eve was fairly low key.  Hubby had to work – so Dafney, my Mom and I spent some time in the kitchen making & decorating cookies for Santa!  

This was the first year that Dafney was able to help us with cookie decorating…and let me tell you, she LOVED it!  Some of the cookies were, shall I say, a bit on the sugar-y side, but they tasted great none-the-less! 

Dafney’s definition of decorating might have been a bit different than mine, but she got the job done and she only used about 4 bottles of sprinkles to make 5 cookie sheets of cookies!

Thankfully Santa really enjoys a lot of sugar & sprinkles on His cookies...and so does a certain little girl ;)

Christmas Eve we had some steak sandwiches and played A Deer in the Headlights!  It's a really fun, no-brainer type game!  We also let Dafney open a few of her gifts from us since we knew she would be completely over-loaded on Christmas Day with gifts.  She's become a pro at opening presents!

On Christmas Day, we took Dafney downstairs to see what Santa brought her.  She kept saying "no Santa, no toys".  But, when she saw what Santa brought, I think she forgot how "scary" Santa was :)

After my sister & brother-in-law got to my parents house, we handed out gifts and opened them!  It was so much fun to watch Dafney open her gifts.  She had so many that she stopped about 3/4 of the way through...

...she did however, LOVE the train set she received from my parents!!  CHO CHO

And we even were able to get a family photo...

I was comparing this year's family photo with the past 2 years and I just can't believe how much Dafney has grown.  You can barely see her in our first Christmas photo!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and were able to spend it with loved ones & friends!  Here's to a wonderful 2014!


Friday, December 27, 2013

a Minnie birthday

I have been a bit of a slacker on posting about Dafney’s 2nd birthday.  Maybe it’s because I was quickly trying to throw together plan her party.  Or, perhaps it was because I was getting caught up in the Holiday frenzy.  Most likely, though, it was because I was in complete denial that my daughter was turning TWO.  How in the world did this happen?  It seems like just yesterday we brought all 5 pounds 8 ounces of her home.  It’s crazy how the time has gone by…in the blink of an eye she started running, singing her ABC’s and counting {in Spanish, none-the-less}.  Even though she’s hit that toddler stage, I still look at her as my little baby. 

Because we’re in between houses, we decided to throw her a small family birthday party at my parent’s house.  We sent the invites out a tiny bit late {my motto: better late than never} and only a few of our family members could make the party.  Not a big deal though…it was nice and low key and all about this little Minnie princess!

Her actual birthday was on Friday the 13th.  She had a great day at daycare!  Her teachers & friends made her a birthday crown, sang to her and made her the center of attention…a perfect way to spend your 2nd birthday!  

When we got home, we had her open her gifts.  She knew exactly what to do with those presents and tore right into them.  We gave her a bathtub baby, a carseat for her babies & socks.  She LOVED playing with her baby carseat…isn’t she just the cutest little “mommy”?! 

Afterwards, we had a special pasta dinner.  My daughter takes after me and loves, loves, loves pasta!  It was her request so we made it happen.  We finished off the meal with some cupcakes and singing!  She enjoyed the frosting.  A LOT.

Saturday was her birthday party and it was Minnie Mouse themed – her absolute favorite!  We gave her a special Minnie outfit to wear and decorated the “clubhouse” with special Minnie decorations – complete with Minnie Mouse plates, napkins & CAKE!  Though I made the cake, I cheated and used a Minnie Mouse mold; I did; however, decorate the cake myself.  Not half bad for my 1st attempt.

After having some pizza {her 2nd favorite food} and cake, we opened more gifts.  She loved opening all of her presents and had even more fun playing with them.  By that time, she was ready for a nap {and so was I}…

It was a perfect way to spend her birthday! 

She continues to amaze us every day and I am so excited to see what new/fun things she learns this year!  

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very {belated} Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 13, 2013


Happy Friday the 13th...or, more importantly to ME, happy birthday to my sweet, little girl Dafney!

Where does the time go?  I am having a really hard time believing that my little girl is already two years old.  Seriously...make it stop! I may have shed a few tears this morning over the fact that my baby is no longer a BABY.  I can remember the day she was born like it was yesterday!  It literally feels like we were just in the Hospital staring in awe at our beautiful little girl!

She has changed so much in the past 2 years and amazes us daily with new words, new tricks and all the funny things she does & says!  Dafney has been more than a blessing to me and I have enjoyed every single second with her.  YES, even those long, sleepless nights, those completely disgusting diaper changes and all of those temper-tantrums!  

2 Year Dr. Appointment Stats:

Height - 34 inches {68th percentile}
Weight - 21.6 pounds {not quite on the charts for weight...she's a peanut}
All in all, the Dr. was happy with her height/weight and as well as her verbal & physical skills.  We're beyond thankful AND blessed to have a healthy little girl!

Favorite Words & Phrases:
~I did it~Daffy funny~come here mama~good girl mama~where's mama/daddy/grandma/papa/auntie/hannah-bell~I don't like it~I don't want it~I'm cold~jump~I'm a teapot~I want juicy~more dancing~mama hold you~

Dafney loves to sing: ABC {and she knows the whole song}~Itsy Bitsy Spider~I'm a little teapot~Row Row~Twinkle Twinkle Little Star~Jingle Bells~

Current Wardrobe Stats:
Shirts - 18-24 month
Pants - 12 month {for the length she needs 18 month pants, but the waist is still at the 12 month size}
Shoes - about a 5.5; small feet like her mama!
Jacket - 18 month

We had a fabulous time celebrating her birthday and I promise to post all about her {Minnie Mouse} birthday party soon!

Until then...have a great day!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Oatmeal Ginger-Cardamom Cookies

Happy Thursday, Friends!  If it's been a week like mine, then this sweet treat should definitely brighten your day!  I made these delicious cookies last night and they made the house smell AMAZING!  They were chewy, delicious cookies!

 These would make the perfect Holiday treat for your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers...seriously, they are amazing!

They have the perfect balance of cinnamon, ginger & cardamom and the oats are a fun twist to the standard "ginger cookie"!

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups oats (not quick cooking)
2 tsp. baking soda
4 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup sugar for coating cookies

Heat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, mix: flour, oats, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.

In a large bowl, beat softened butter and sugar until well mixed. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined.

Place 3/4 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Using about 1/4 cup dough per cookie, roll each into a ball and completely cover in sugar.  Place onto a lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned and puffy!

Let cool and enjoy!

Happy Thursday!