Lego Challenge Tuesday: 02-16-16

Today’s Lego Challenge from gather love grow was to build an apple tree.  The best part about these Lego challenges is to see how your children each build a different item when given the same instructions.  Each child’s personality comes through, and they each build very different Lego figures.

As usual, our 11 year old built the smallest project.  It probably looks the most like an apple tree, but was built with the least amount of pieces.


Ever the artist our 8 year old built a tree that is very leafy and a bit abstract.  I think it looks more like a tree from an alien planet then an apple tree.


With most of these challenges our 6 year old usually takes the simple idea and expands on it the most.  He is very exuberant and likes to do things his own way. For this challenge, he built an entire world rather then just one tree.


This was one that our 4 year old was able to get involved with.  His tree is tall with a white stump.  He said that is because of snow.  He has seen snow two times in his life, and both of those were for short periods of time.



I encourage everybody to go and check out the gather love grow blog.  We enjoy the Lego Challenges from there every week.









Pieces of Dessert

Sometimes, you plan to make one thing, but then something else that you have to make kind of falls into your lap. That happened to me yesterday. The mascarpone cheese I made yesterday was supposed to be used in tiramisu. But, I changed my mind and am now spending 3 days making one dessert. Yes, it is crazy to spend that long making one dessert, that will probably disappear in 30 minutes. Josh offhandedly requested it though.


After being in the fridge overnight, my mascarpone was a lot happier. I gave the bowl some good stirs and the cheese smoothed out into something that looked more like the mascarpone I buy from the grocery store. I’m going to mix this with some heavy cream tomorrow to make mascarpone whipping cream.

Today, I was able to make lemon curd! I’ve been wanting to do this for ages. I think I say that a lot about the things I make, don’t I? Lemon curd is a lot easier to make than lemon cream, though both have their delicious qualities.


I juiced 4 lemons to give the curd its lemon flavor.


Then, it was time to cook, cook, cook 6 Tablespoons of butter, the lemon juice, 1 and 1/4 cups of sugar, 6 large egg yolks, and 1 large egg all together in a saucepan. This part I wasn’t too sure what I was looking for in texture. I’m hoping I didn’t undercook it. I did end up having to push the curd through a sieve because some of the egg “scrambled.”


The curd went into a glass container to cool to room temperature before going into the fridge. The plastic wrap is to keep the curd from forming a skin while cooling. Hopefully, the curd has thickened while it cools instead of being runny. I am not sure how I can save it if it is runny.

My next experiment is a last-minute idea: Candied Lemon Peel. I want to use it as a garnish for dessert tomorrow. The ingredients are simple: 4 lemons, 4 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

Making candied lemon peel is quite time-consuming. Fortunately, you can make a lot of it at once and use it for a few more desserts. I have to confess that I am still making the lemon peel right now and I have no idea what is going to be for dinner!

I sliced the peel lengthwise down the side for some of the candied peel.

I sliced one lemon into rounds. I am hoping they will look pretty as a decoration once they are covered in sugar.


I boiled the lemon peels in 3 changes of plain water to cook out the bitterness.

Right now, I am boiling the peels in the 4 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar, and the 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

According to the recipe I am using, the lemon peel won’t be ready to use until tomorrow and has to sit overnight on the counter in the pot.

I’ve pulled out the lemon rounds, but the sliced peels need to cook longer. I tasted a bit of the round and it was not bitter at all. It was sweet and just a little bit tart. Once the sliced peels are done in about half an hour, I will put the rounds back in and let the whole pot sit somewhere until tomorrow. Then, I am going to coat all the lemon peels in plain sugar and try not to eat them all before I use them!

So what is this mysterious dessert I am making? You will have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Because I’m not even sure if all these pieces will pull together the way I need them to. If everything works out, then I should have a nice picture up tomorrow of the dessert I am making! I will say that it is something I have never made before!


P.S. For an alternate way to make candied lemon peel, please visit Tori Avey. The pictures at this site helped me very much since the recipe I am using has no pictures to go along with it!

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