Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Actually, DH got a super deal on my Black Friday mixer and we were both surprised to find out that my bad boy did not include the dough hook and whisk attachments, which I had to order for myself from the Amazon.
They aren't here yet.
BUT! As soon as they arrive, don't you worry your pretty little heads! I'll be whipping up pizza dough post-haste, and I think, just maybe I will attempt my first Swiss/Italian/or whatever other nationality meringue buttercream!! Whoop Whoop!!
Let's get baking! Made anything interesting lately?? Hmmmm???
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
The two loves of my life...hanging out, going to see if the lake has alligators. What happens if it does have alligators? I don't know, maybe they'll catch one. We can keep it in the back yard.
So says the little one.
Just a bunch of circus clowns! A couple of them even get paid for the gig!!
Mother's Day at the Tallahassee Museum. One of our favorite places!!
Brothers from different mothers.
Chase and his bestie, Caden, from one of my besties, Cindy.
Yes, we share a name, an anniversary year and 6 months overlap in gestation.
We lurves each other.
And they lurves Krispy Kremes.
The Fab 4!!! My weight loss/healthy living/step-away-from-the-butter gurus! I would have given up on the 10's a LONG time ago if not for these beauties! (See the Cindy puppet in the background? They found a way to include me on their D.C. adventures :)
The sad part about the Fab 4 is that I am FABULOUSLY far away from all of them!!
No matter - we have a bond.
Seminoles Spring Game 2010
We bleed the Garnet and the Gold!
See? I told you.
This is me and the Mr., celebrating the occasion of our 6th year of marriage. At a tailgate. We went to the game too. And out afterwards for fried food and beer.
Life is good my friends, life is very, very good.
Yes. That's yours truly on the Slip N' Slide.
Yes. Yours truly was harmed during the making of this film.
I can honestly say, this is one of the most fun years I have ever had. I hope it's not the best one, cause it was good and all, but as my high school teachers always loved to write in my report cards; there's always room for improvement!!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus and any other reason you have for being with friends and loved ones and celebrating your life - this time of the year or any!
I hope that your 2011 brings bigger, brighter more fantastic things!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Unfortunately, despite my many good qualities, one of the bad qualities that really sticks out to me is the fact that I don't really invest myself in many things. My family? YES. My friends? Totally. My job? Eh. I like it and it's a good place to be and I'm beyond thankful for it, but it's not my life's work or anything. Hobbies? Projects? New ideas??? I'm all full-steam ahead and then poof! What blog? I started a blog? Oh, yeah. I did. Oops.
My husband says that I have ADD, and while I've never been diagnosed, I can see where he gets the impression. I'm a master at multi-tasking, but only for a minute, and then there's something else shinier and prettier that catches my attention and I'm off to the races again.
I want to be focused and successful. I want to have this blog read by lots of people and entertain the masses and all that jazz. I want to do a million fabulous things, all before I'm 40. Cause when you're 40, you're too old to start anything new.
Haha. Just kidding! It doesn't happen until you're 50 :)
Now that I've alienated every woman over the age of 40 (not that any of them are reading my blog), let's continue, shall we?
I guess I wanted to get this off my chest and down in black and white, because I haven't been feeling that I had anything "important" to write about. What's wrong with that statement is that my life, the tiny details, the funny thing that monkey says on the way home, is blog-worthy. It's MY blog. No one is critiquing (at least not yet - Thanks, Anne!) what I'm writing, or the "importance" of it all, and it's likely that no one ever will - blogs are tiny glimpses into people, their thoughts, recipes, disasters, triumphs and heartbreaks.
If it was meaningful or funny or poignant or just plain goofy, it's worth writing about, and it's worth reading about. Some days I read blogs about cooking and get inspired. Not that Susie Q's macaroni and cheese is earth-shattering, but I saw it, read the recipe and wanted to get up off the couch and make it. Susie probably lives is Saskatchewan and will never have any idea who I am or that I made her mac and cheese, but hey, that's what comments are for!
Time next time, dear reader(s)!
Trying to keep the ADD under control,
Promise to blog again before 2011,
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Yes, ladies and gentleman (for someday when a man actually does read my blog) I have been baking!!
These are all the AWESOME prizes that I won, courtesy of the amazing cupcake community. Here are some links to the sponsors:
It was a fun but exhausting experience to bake, decorate and transport 72 cupcakes, in a 24-hour period, but I did it and I was super proud of myself. For a girl who dreams of cupcakes/cakes/baked goods as a way to earn a living someday, this little adventure was a tiny peek into the life of a baker. It's a good life!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I stole this statement from a good friend, but it basically sums up my feelings on food these days. Whatever I can get my hands on would probably more accurately sum it up, but this sounds much better than that.
I know I'm not the only food-lover that struggles with their weight. I know that people on TV aren't always the healthiest or as skinny as they look (dubious belief...ahem GiadadeLaurentiis ahem). I know that my pants size or the number on the scale shouldn't dictate how I feel about myself, but some days, it does. Today, luckily has been a cute and sassy day. Did my hair, extra time on the makeup, good outfit on, etc.
Some days, though...
Well, those days are "wish-I-could-live-in-my-PJ's-and-not-leave-the-house-and-not-let-anyone-see-me" days. I feel huge and frumpy and dumpy and basically unattractive. But still I eat. And cook. And bake. And I dream up new cupcake combinations to try when I have the opportunity. I read cooking blogs and recipe websites and even when I'm feeling like I shouldn't ever have another bite of cake, EVER, my brain says "hmmm...I wonder if that Snickers filling would do okay in the middle of a cupcake...maybe I should try it on ice cream first..."
I love the food.
That is all - just putting it out there.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Earlier in the week, I baked off four 9x13 marble layer cakes and froze them, but only ended up using 3. I used Duncan Hines Supreme mixes, and spiffied them up a bit with pudding mix, milk instead of water and an extra egg - moist and delicious! (Thanks for the tip, Anne!) Baking the cakes early and freezing them was a must - being partially frozen made them easier to stack and carve, and easier to frost. I didn't notice any difference in the taste or texture.
I started with 2 layers - leveled them off then began building up the ship. The bottom layer is one whole 9x13 and an additional 3 inches from the second layer cake. Before assembling, we whipped up a big old batch of chocolate buttercream and a smaller vanilla batch for piping work.
I used the remaining bits of the second and third layers to build up the bow and stern portions. I always stack cakes with the cut-side down to make frosting them a bit easier. Less crumbs that way.
An additional cut piece on the stern end to give some height and another layer of deck - more "pirate-ship-like" in my opinion. I'm sure there is a technical term for it, but my research only carried me so far.
Once the layers were stacked and fairly even, I used two dowels in the stern end to keep the ship from falling over. The front was fairly sturdy, so I skipped them. I carved the front end into the bow shape with a smaller serrated knife. Semi-frozen cake very helpful here.
This is the crumb-coat or, as my good friend* Buddy Valastro says, it's "dirty iced". I used a small offset spatula to make the grooves in what would be the decks - I wanted it to look different than the sides.
I used a basketweave tip to pipe on the ship's planking for a wood look, varying the length of the piping to mimic the wood. Covered the entire outside of the ship this way.
This is the finished version at the party. I added sails made from plain old paper and chopsticks. The pirate flag was a serendipitous Joann's Fabrics clearance bin find for 10 whole cents the week before the party. If not for the little wooden flag, I would have just printed out a jolly roger from the good ol' internet. Add a few pirate figurines, a "4" candle and some icy blue buttercream waves and Voila! or Ahoy! or Whatever! = Pirate Ship Birthday Cake!!!
*I do not personally know Buddy Valastro. I do love his show, though. That makes us "friends" right?
Dear Chase -
At the glorious age of four, you have developed some distinct likes and dislikes:
-Milk and cheese and yogurt.
-Your best friends, Caden and Dylan.
-Fire trucks, ambulances, police cars and taxis, and you want to be a firefighter when you grown up. (Hopefully the taxi fascination wears off.)
-Your dog, Rocco, proportionately with not loving him if he is taking up room on mom or dad's lap.
-Looking at your scrapbooks and commenting on how cute you were as a baby.
-Baseball, namely the Rays. You love to say "Boo Yankees" and then "Go Yankees", just to tease your Daddy. You're a funny little guy.
-Sweets. Chocolate, candy, fruit snacks, cookies, etc. You are a sugar fiend.
-Thankfully, you love both Daddy and I and you tell us every day, with no prompting.
You DO NOT love:
-Vegetables. I can't get you to eat a single one. I'm pretty sure that the tomatoes in pizza sauce don't count.
-Trying any new food. It's like pulling teeth to get you to just taste it. You are stubborn.
-Bugs. You're still wary of bugs, which makes mommy very happy.
-Being told "no", but I don't think anyone really likes that one.
We are so lucky to have you, my little monkey man. You changed our lives, as everyone said you would, and undeniably, it was for the better. Even when we have our rough days, we somehow manage to end them on a happy note, with hugs and kisses and back scratches and a few rounds of telling us "just one more thing". You are the center of our universe and not a moment has gone by that I would change. Every day you grow stronger and bigger and you get smarter and more joyful. My heart practically bursts every time you holler "Mama!" and when I ask you "what?", your answer is "I Love You".
I wish nothing more for you in life than the love and happiness that I have experienced in being your mother.
All of my love, always -
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Of course, that makes me sound like an old, stodgy person, so I'll stop with that little diatribe right there. What I really want to talk about is my baby, playing in the good old (HOT Florida) outdoors. Specifically, in our backyard, with a slip and slide.
At first, he didn't quite get what it was all about. Mommy had to break out her bathing suit and show him. (Mommy is forever grateful to Daddy for not snapping unflattering pictures of her behind on the tiny, fragile Slip and Slide.) Once he saw the old SNS in action, though, the boy was hooked!
The sizing up:
Going for it!
Monkey Boy just giggled and giggled and begged to do it again, over and over. And of course, we let him - until the thunder started, then we high-tailed it back in the house. He was covered in dirt and grass that his daddy had mowed earlier that afternoon, and happy as a clam.