Friday, February 28, 2014

First World Problem - french toast

I want french toast, but I don't like restaurant french toast.  And my Mom isn't even around to make it for me; she's all the way down in Florida at her second home! 

Life is so unfair!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The new "Cooking" tab


So, food is a big part of life, right?  And it's been a big part of this blog.  I was inspired by some other blogs that I read to create a separate tab here to keep all of the cooking posts together.

So if you click on that little tab up there, the one that says Cooking, you'll get a list of all the recipes that I've shared and that I've reviewed.

I actually refer back to recipes through my blog quite often when I'm cooking - it's easier for me than to go back to the original place where I found the recipe.  It's also where I've put notes to myself (like, use less noodles, or add seasoning) plus I can see your comments/suggestions too.  I like to have that when I'm making a recipe again.

And while we are on the subject of cooking, if there is a recipe you would like me to review or add, or a Pin that you've been wondering about, suggest it. 


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Color Swirled Birthday Cake!

I saw this pin on Pinterest (where else do I see things?) and thought that would be fun for Rhyanne's birthday cake/cupcakes!  (Yes, I'm delinquent in writing this blog post...)

So, what you do is make white cake mix, fill your cupcakes or cake tin, and use a toothpick to swirl:

finished product

I learned that when you bake them, the color all goes to the middle, and down.  So you end up with a lot of color in the center only.  Also, I need to put more batter in the cupcake papers, and make sure they bake fully...  Rhyanne *always* fills the cupcake papers nearly full and it makes for really nice big rounded-tops on her cupcakes.  She only gets about a dozen from a box mix, but they're yummy!

How do you dress up your white cake mix?

Monday, February 17, 2014


I was running some work errands and took this photo across the street from my engraver's studio:

When I uploaded it to my Google account, Google decided it needed a little something more, and added this:

Hey, thanks Google...  I guess there just wasn't enough snow in the picture yet...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

a surfing squirrel...

I was watching a recorded episode of Buying and Selling.  They went and rented art to stage the house they were trying to sell.  I thought this painting looked like a happy fat squirrel catching a wave...

surfing squirrel likes to surf.

You see it too, right?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's treats & a Pinterest Review: Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Hi!  Did you have a good Valentine's Day / middle of February / Friday?  I hope you did.

Jeff & I went to the VFW for dinner; they were having a special dinner, including shrimp, lobster, & steak.  If you know me well enough, you know that I eat none of those things.  I had chicken strips.  :-)

Jeff's two-lobster tail dinner, complete with a (plastic) glass of champagne! 
I was very spoiled; Jeff brought gummy bears home for me!


Sunday was our turn to bring treats for Fellowship after church.  I decided I wanted to really bring it, so I went all out.  I made mini-cupcakes (Tina got me the tin for Christmas - thank you!), chocolate covered pretzels, a few chocolate dipped marshmallows, and brought carrots and chocolate covered cherries.  This was our table last Saturday during the madness:

I used the Wilton cake decorating kit that we have and filled two plastic piping bags with icing:  first white, then light pink, then a darker color (one had darker pink and the other had a purple).  The results:

icing colors co-mingle as you go along...

There's a pretty 3-tier silver server at church that I have never seen used in the last 4+ years.  So I had Jeff pull it down, I cleaned it up, and stocked the trays.

I had pinned this Chocolate Covered Pretzel idea to my "Other Holidays" Pinterest board a while ago.  I was excited to use this pinspiration while making treats...

uh, flash, really, the pretzels were not actually that color...
I placed them on parchment paper while they dried, and the next morning, put them in a nice, white, casserole dish that Barb had given me for Christmas a year ago (I love to use those Christmas presents!).

much better photo!
I used flat pretzels, but man, are they hard to find at the store!  I spent 5 minutes looking!  I did learn that if you want your colored sugar to really pop, you should use white chocolate.  But they were tasty, and people kept coming back for more.  I love when people go through the line again to get seconds of my treats.  Amazingly enough, we had carrots left over.  Go figure...

I hope you were able to spend Valentine's Day with someone you love!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pinterest Review: Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes

When Anna was staying with us, I make these Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes, but without the chicken as she is vegetarian.

Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes


1 cup of diced chicken (cooked)
1  can (10 oz) Pillsbury biscuits
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup minced onions
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ( I used mexican 4 cheese )


  • Preheat  oven to 400F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cream of chicken soup, frozen veggies, cheese, parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper (skip the salt if you’re not using a low-sodium cream of chicken).
  • Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin and place the biscuit dough into each cup, pressing into the bottom and up the sides.
  • Evenly spoon the pot pie mixture into each biscuit cup.
  • Slide into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Check at the 12 minute mark.
  • It might be tough to resist, but try to let them rest for about 3 minutes and bon appetit!

I really wanted this to be better than it was.  If I were to make it again, I would make sure that the veggies were more well cooked.  I did use fresh onion and celery, but those really should have been cooked until translucent.  Also, there wasn't really enough seasoning.  It really needed something because it was just so bland.  Looking back, rereading this recipe, I can tell that it would be bland.  There are no seasonings called for!  Hmm, I think this one may need to go on the Pinterest FAIL board...  Back to the recipes to find a better easy pot pie option...