Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Mother's Day Recipes and Free Printables

Me with my mom.

It's May... 
and I can hardly wait to celebrate 
everything this month has to offer...
Mother's Day...

In honor of all the moms out there...

Happy Mother's Day, 11 days early...
You're welcome!

Why so early??

Here's why I'm getting ready extra early...

Between now and then
in those 11 days:

 Our daughter will attend prom... (eek) and go to 
all the appointments... the hair and the nails....
The Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo--which are
 mostly food celebrations for our family, 
but I'd hate to miss them...
squeeze in a TV appearance, 
a baking class, two academic award ceremonies,
and 6 baseball games... yes, only six... 
but could have been 7!

The silver lining.

So... if your schedule is anything like mine..
I have a few recipes and a few free printables 
to make your Mother's Day less stressed
 and hopefully a little easier.  Pretty too...
I think the printables are so cute...
And with the crazy schedules
a little extra free and pretty
goes a long way in my book.

I have to mention,
about all our to-do's on our ever growing
to-do list...
I am so grateful for every bit of the busy.
--all the fantastic
adventures we are going on... 
in the next 11 days.

these days are full of the good stuff... 
this is the time to make
those sentimental memories...

Friday, April 5, 2019

Bulls-Eye Caramel Pie & Caramel-Filled Cupcakes

As a kid, growing up in the Midwest,
I lived in what I thought was the best town ever.

It had everything… at least everything a girl like me,
living her best life in the early 1980’s could ever need…or want.

We had little stores on a tree-lined main street, 
the best bakery ever (still is the best-ever bakery), a city pool, 
loads of friendly neighbors…
We knew everyone on our street 
and everyone knew us too.

It was a wonderful place to call home.

I walked to school every day with friends, 
past quaint manicured homes with dewy little front yards…
Our older neighbors would wave good morning 
as they weeded their flower beds.

We rode bicycles all summer long, to the pool and back,
still soggy from our last dip in the pool with damp towels
 draped around our necks for the ride home. 
We played outside with our friends until the street lights 
came on or until our dad whistled a familiar
tune from the front porch to let us know 
we had better hurry home.

Such a sweet town, during what seemed like a much 
simpler and slower paced time.

When I was old enough, 
I was sometimes given the very responsible job 
of walking to the corner store to buy bread or milk 
for my mother… this was kind of a big deal to 8 year-old me.
It was a big deal,
because nothing makes you feel more independent
 and capable than having a very
important task to do…all alone…in the “big” city… 

I was given a single dollar bill and tasked
 with running to the corner store to
 get whatever dinnertime staple we were low on… 
My mom always, always, always, reminded me 
not to talk to strangers and to be careful 
crossing the street. 
 – money in hand, and off I would go…  

… Maybe the best part…
I was allowed to use the change… and it was only a dime or two
to buy penny candy for my walk home.

I found that it was better if 
I went on these errands alone, but sometimes 
I had to take my little brother.  
The reason it was better to go alone??  
It was a selfish reason… it was all about the 17 cents.

I would get back a small amount of change… 

...really small... minuscule, but just enough.

  The change I had to spend on candy
 was always less if my brother 
was tagging along. 

When my brother came along it meant sharing--
Sharing my meager, yet 
fortuitous windfall of candy-money.

My trips to the store
were always was made longer
by perusing the candy counter and the endless bins
of confectionery goodness…

I had a few favorites…one of which were
 Bulls-Eyes…those delicious
caramels with the white cream center.
Remember those??

Oh, my goodness... those were so delicious.
--turns out, they are every bit as delicious toady too...

Fast forward to today…
Can you imagine my excitement when a representative
From Goetze’s Candy Company… asked if I ...

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hummingbird Cake

Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.  

This recipe…is a recipe I would choose…
and I would share it with all of
 my best girlfriends… and this…ahem
(Spoiler Alert) delicious cake…it’s a good one.

--And isn’t friendship a beautiful thing?
…and to have a collection of people, 
people we chose, to surround ourselves with in life??
  These friends…they make the good times greater…
magnifying the happiness.   
Friends also make the hard times feel manageable, 
by sharing our hurt and cheering us on…

That’s the way I feel about a lot of my 
close friends as I grow older… 
and I am so happy that 
I have all these wonderful (old) friends 
that I do…each one different and 
complex, fun and fabulous in their 
own unique way… 
but also familiar and a little bit 
like family, actually, a lot like family.

This “new “cake recipe I’m rolling out
 is a cake that magnifies my happiness… 
over and over again… 
Old fashioned, and scrumptious…
not too very different from 
many of my dearest friends.

Today, I must introduce you to a close
 relative of one of our favorite cakes...

Thursday, March 7, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Celebration Food

My very favorite dip for veggies, chips...whatever...
It's great with everything.

The recipe is below...  if you'd like a step by step tutorial:
visit: Spinach Dip Tutorial
I illustrate every step of this super easy (low carb) dip!!

P.S. --the garlic in this awesome dip is potent, and what makes it so delicious... just make sure everyone else is eating the dip too...or invest in some mints.

Spinach Dip

Fresh baby spinach (enough to fill your food processor)  2-3 Cups,
1/2 cup real mayo
1 clove of garlic peeled
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
In a food processor, add spinach, garlic clove.  Chop well.  Add mayo.  Blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.

* Substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayo for a more healthful option. 
*Can be made ahead, the flavors get stronger...and it is still excellent.

And dessert...
If we plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and little green dessert is in order!

Mint Oreo Cheesecake Bites
Karri Perry; Blue Ribbon Kitchen

2 bricks cream cheese (16 ounces)-softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon mint extract
¼ cup sour cream
1-2 tiny drops green food coloring-optional
18 mint Oreo cookies

½ cup heavy cream-heated
½ cup chocolate chips
Mix together until smooth

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip together on medium until thickened

Line a muffin tin with foil cupcake liners.  Add one Oreo to the bottom of each liner.
Mix the softened cream cheese, sugar and sour cream.  Mix until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, add extract and food coloring. Mix until uniform in consistency and color..
Scoop cheesecake batter into each muffin cup, filling ¾ full.

Bake at 350 degrees on the middle oven rack for 25 minutes, or until set. Do not over-bake or brown the tops. Let cool 20 minutes, top with ganache and refrigerate. After 2 hours, top with prepared whipped cream.  Garnish with Andes Mints, Oreo crumbles or sprinkles.