Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Birthday Pictorial

Great birthday all around...

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Post in Which I Catch You Up on the Last Month

I can cry busyness, or go, go, go...but I've probably been mostly lazy or ho-hum the last month. Some days/weeks/months are like that, even in Australia. (hope at least one of you knows this reference)

So, here's a pictorial catch up post:

I made these chai tea cupcakes with a fancy chocolate decoration.

Then I made these red velvet cupcakes for Barb's birthday.

Barb and I "scrapped the Super Bowl" for the 10th year!

I spent 2 1/2 hours on Skype teaching this kid how to cross stitch.

I made these vanilla cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream.

My baby got her driver's license and started driving herself to school and everywhere.
(biggest combination of FREEDOM and TERROR anywhere!)

 Jeff sent me these lovely gerbera daisies for Valentine's Day.
So, not much in my world other than baking, enjoying flowers and holding myself together while my 16 year old drives on Interstate 20...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just Call Me Frustrated

I haven't posted in awhile because Blogger forgot that I existed…or something like that. I've been trying for over a month to fix the problem (problem: I couldn't post anything new) and have not been able to figure out how to do it.

And Blogger doesn't have a 1-800 number you can call, one that's readily available that I could find anyway. They want you to go through 18 pages of various questions to "verify" that you are "you" (whom they don't remember) and not some hacker. Seriously. If I am "me" and I can't find "me," how in the world is a hacker going to get the job done?

Where is a good English speaking customer service rep when you need them? Am I right?

So, after lots of frustration, I finally brought in the big guns: THE TEENAGER.

Yes, all blog posts of wit and wisdom will now be available to you due to the skill and finesse of a sixteen year old. Why didn't I think of that earlier? Anyway, it's a temporary fix, but one that kept me from going completely insane and calling Bloggers Anonymous for counseling.

Google,  if it were at all possible, you would be dead to me. But since that is impossible, my teenager and I will be back to fight you another day.


Frustrated in FW

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Wisdom of Dove Chocolate

Are you familiar with individual Dove chocolates? Wrapped in foil and the inside has a message, much like a fortune cookie?

I'm not a big chocolate eater, but I do like the taste of Dove. It declares that each one is a "silky smooth promise."

I had to unwrap 24 of these little guys today because I wanted to put them as a decoration on top of a batch of cupcakes. I told myself I didn't have time to read every "promise" but of course I did. You can't help it. Some of them were outright strange, some a little nebulous and some really funny. So, I had to share a few of my favorites.  Each phrase inside is followed by the words, "Love, Dove." (hee, hee...okay...)

The only certainty in life is smooth chocolate.  No, no, I'm pretty sure it's certain that if I keep eating your chocolate the weight showing on my scale is going to way, way up.

Indulge your every whim.  Well, now, I'm not sure that's a good idea, otherwise I'm getting out of bed at 10 every morning and eating cheeseburgers for lunch. (See previous note about the scale.)

Love rules, without rules.  Um...yeah, ok...uh, sure...whatever...

Calories only exist if you count them.  So, go ahead and have another half a bag of Dove chocolates. *wink, wink*

You don't need an excuse. You just need a moment.  Oh, so that's how it's done...

Chocolate won't let you down. Oh, but Dove, you already have, taunting me with your "silky smooth promises."

But you make a really nice cupcake topper.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Arctic Blast of 2013

Winter arrived, and I do mean ARRIVED in freezing fashion. We woke up to this sight yesterday morning. It looks like snow, but is in fact nothing but ice. Temperatures hovered in the high 20's all day and we woke up this morning to 19 degrees. Several cars have tried to drive up our street and have had to back down because they can't get traction. As for us, we are staying nice and warm inside while decorating for Christmas.

View from Front Door

View out Back Door

Thick ice on the pool steps

I tried to poke my fingers thru the ice and couldn't even make a dent!
(Side note: My hands look just like my mother's.)

Frozen Ferns

We don't often get icicles.

Hope you are staying toasty warm wherever you may be. Now, I must go finish decorating the tree.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I guess...Jeff and Abigail decided the day before Halloween to throw some costumes together. I told them I wouldn't help because I had asked them 2 weeks prior did they want help with a costume. And, not only did I help, I dressed up too.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bacon with Chocolate with Bacon

Sorry about these last few dessert posts, but what else do I have to write about? I'm pretty sure you don't want to see photos of my piles of laundry on the couch, the piles of dirty laundry in my bedroom floor, and dirty dishes in the sink, right?

Remember I mentioned in the previous post that Dr. Adams asked Paula to find me another recipe? Well, here it is: Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes. I know. I cringed at first, too. But, they were surprisingly good. Not only was there bacon sprinkled on top, but there were bacon pieces in the batter as well. What's a little more fat, huh? Oink, oink...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some Malted Milk Love

Another new recipe...this one found in a magazine at the chiropractor's office. These are Chocolate Malted Milk Brownies. Aren't they cute?

First thing Jeff said was, "They're round." Of course I replied, "Thank you, Captain Obvious." : )

The very roundness of them is what makes them enticing if you ask me. Well, that and the chocolate swirl on top and the malted milk ball...feel the malted milk chocolate love.

I took a dozen of these on my visit to the chiropractor on Monday. It's only fair since I found the recipe in his office, right? And his receptionist LOVES chocolate. She started grinning the minute I walked in and said, "I was hoping you were going to try those!"

As Dr. Adams walks you out of his office, he says the same thing every time..."Paula, make her next appointment."  As we walked out Monday, he said, "Paula, show her the magazines and help her find another recipe." Gotta love it!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Some Favorite Things

This may be one of my most convoluted posts ever. I was thinking the other day that some things just make life so enjoyable. Usually it's a small thing, but often the brightest spot in a day can come from a little taste of something, from part of a song you hear on the radio, or from a simple item you see sitting on a store shelf. Many times those things for me are edible. Don't judge me. I love food.

Here are a few of my favorite things, for now anyway...

Soundtrack from "Pride and Prejudice"

Colorful striped paper straws...they're just so happy!

Turquoise blue mason jars...I've had my eye on them for weeks and finally couldn't stand it any longer and put them in my cart at Target last week.

Bread and butter pickles -- somebody stop me, I want the whole jar!

 Discovered this last week...gourmet white popcorn. Delicious!

Pickled baby corn...again, someone take the jar away!

Buy a baby pumpkin. Tie some ribbon around it. Put it out where you can see it daily. I promise your life will be better for it.

Chocolate and toffee - go buy one now. Do it. Now.

What are your favorite "little" things?

Feel the Cupcake Love

As I might have mentioned previously on this blog, I find baking to be very therapeutic. When you throw creativity into the mix, I'm even happier! Several cupcakes have been made in the last week or so. 

First up, cupcakes for my sweet sixteen birthday girl, Abigail. Her request was strawberry cupcakes with Granny Cannon icing. (my grandma's secret recipe known only to a few and no, you cannot have it because I promised)

She did not want a theme birthday and picked these basic black and white striped cupcake liners, which I thought went very well with the pink cake. I tinted the buttercream a light pink, sprinkled edible glitter flakes on top and added a royal icing rose. Pretty!

And what's not to love about a pretty pink cupcake under glass? 

Pink plaid -- another good use of the color pink. Butter pecan is quickly becoming one of my standard choices when I need cupcakes in a hurry.

Rebecca found this recipe for Apple Cider Cupcakes on Pinterest. They are everything that is good about fall, and since I needed gifts for teacher goody bags, and it's fall, and so on...
I love the uniformity of this picture. I use an ice cream scoop to put batter into my cupcake liners because I am extremely picky and like my cupcakes to be all the same size.

Topped with Maple Spice Buttercream...delish!

I have a few more fall-ish cupcake recipes lined up to try. The possibilities are endless.