Keeping busy (baking... ๐Ÿง)

Welcome back to another episode of A'lil Hoohaa's monthly photo blog challenge. 

PJ, our host, figured it was going to be a hard - or at the very least unusually challenging -  month for us, so our prompt for May is Keeping Busy, which for some people would mean some of the following:
  • Plant some spring flowers
  • Grow your own veggies
  • Install a BBQ lounge in your back yard
  • Train for a 5k run
  • Walk every day to get your 10,000 steps in
  • Renovate your house
  • Paint the walls
  • At the very least declutter your drawers and cabinets
Me, though? 

I was taking the opportunity of not having to drive Colin to practice 3- 4 times a week to spend more time in the kitchen. 

Before we get into the edible art, here's something we did that wasn't directly food related - even though we got the ingredients for my Mother's Day meal... But let's rewind first. This has been Colin's 2020 hockey ๐Ÿ’ journey:

January: at the age of almost 12 years, he unexpectedly presented with symptoms suggesting chicken pox, which made him house-bound for two weeks. After recovering he trained and played for a good two or three weeks until...

February: during the last minutes of a game that they were about to lose anyway - so there was no reason for the opponent to charge him - he got a check to his head, resulting in a concussion.๐Ÿค• Boom. Out for another two weeks. You may recall our ER visit. If I remember correctly. he went back to practice for a two weeks maximum when...

March: the grown-up team's franchise was finishing up their regular season and was just about to start the playoffs, when the first ๐Ÿ˜ท Corona-related precautions were taken: No events with more than 1000 people attending, meaning ghost games. No audience! Junior games were announced to happen without visitors at first, but ultimately got canceled altogether. 

April: this is when they have their regular time off, spring break, after-season, whatever it's called. Usually a good time to relax and enjoy the play-offs, but nope, they got canceled.

May: The IIHF ice hockey world championship was supposed to be happening in my country! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ It got canceled.

Also Colin's summer training was supposed to kick-off, but while on the 11th Swiss kids were called back to school with very basic restrictions (keep six feet off your teacher, don't shake hands)  sports teams are only allowed to train in small groups of five people, so that wasn't going to happen. 
Instead they kept sending out weekly plans with off ice activities the kids were supposed to do at home: HIIT, endurance, skills, mobilization, strength,... They got video instructions and scheduled some Zoom meetings just to chat and see each other. 

To make things more fun, they also got social media challenges like "wear your hockey gear to do everyday stuff", and this is what he did. Watch it here:

So for my Mother's Day Colin made spaghetti ๐Ÿ with tomato sauce (he tried to arrange it in heart ❤️ shape) and grated ๐Ÿง€ cheese. I had prepared my dessert the day before, and we took some slices to my Mom's house on Sunday. 

Classic New York style cheesecake with raspberry / strawberry coulis, the strawberries ๐Ÿ“being from the fabulous strawberry vending machine.

During this year's A - Z Blogging Challenge I realised that I had totally missed celebrating my 900th post! Well, it's never too late though, right? While we're accumulating Corona pounds, I might as well make cinnamon rolls! The dough was an experiment, I was using a secret ingredient...

On Colin's back to school Monday, I developed my own recipe for Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes ๐Ÿง, a must for everybody who loves the combination of caramel and coffee ☕️.

On the very same day we posted for our monthly collaboration Blog with Friends. The May theme was Eat what you want Day, and after brainstorming it with my son, I made mine international cuisine themed. 

In the process we also agreed on a Mac and Cheese challenge for another day: Kraft vs homemade. It is not very photogenic, so consider this a bonus picture ;-)

One of my favorite foreign cuisines is ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexican ๐ŸŒถ, and I came across a recipe for ๐ŸŒฎ Taco casserole on Pinterest, which I upgraded into a Cornbread Casserole with Taco Toppings:

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy is our neighbor country, so I don't even consider it "foreign" when I make pasta or pizza ๐Ÿ•. I am aware that my skills can be improved, and I did so by making pizza from scratch one day. Yes, homemade dough and all! I baked it on my brand-new pizza stone. It was delicious!

What else happened this month? Half of my molar tooth ๐Ÿฆท fell out. I was lucky to get a dentist's appointment, and she fixed it. Unfortunately the part she fixed fell right off only a few days later, and now I'm waiting for my new appointment where I will get a pricey crown.

Also the dishwasher that was "fixed" last month, broke down for good a couple of days ago. We're doing the dishes ๐Ÿฝ by hand until we figure out a replacement. So in the meantime, baking projects are put on hold!

Which is OK because as of June 8 Colin's practice will resume, and the schedule is giving me anxiety: four days a week!!! 

On a more positive note I did  - and blogged about - the Ten Album Covers Challenge so I played a lot of great music!

I hope you had fun with my pictures. Will you please visit my fellow bloggers' posts.


  1. wow, you've been very busy, love all the things you baked and cooked… stay safe :)

  2. Yummy to every one of those shots.

  3. Oh my! I think I gained ten more pounds just looking at all your delicious food!! Congrats on your 900th post! That is quite an accomplishment. It sounds like you and Colin have had a very challenging year so far. I hope the second half of the year is better and he has recovered from his sickness and injuries. Take care.

  4. Wow! Congratulations on post #900. That's quite a track record. Appreciate the recap of Colin's trials and tribulations this year and wish you a better second half. As for the recipes, I love how it you keep trying new variations until you're satisfied with the outcome. Not sure my family would be open to the idea of adding shredded potatoes to the cinnamon bun recipe I've been baking for the past 20+ years, but maybe I'll try sneaking some in one day to see if they notice! ;)


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