Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cheers to Dad! Root Beer Float Fun & FREE Printables; Peanut Butter Pie

Celebrating Dad!

Father's Day weekend is upon us and just in 
time I have some pretty cute Dad's Day Root Beer Float
fun to share with you.
Simply print out the ties, color and cut out...attach with
tape or a dot of glue...and you're ready for a fun root beer party!!
Cheers to dad!!  (Printable ties below)

Another FUN way to have a little celebration is with S'mores!!
We couldn't LOVE dad S'more??... Right? --and even easier...s'mores
in the oven...that's right, skip the mosquitoes...and
make a crowd sized batch of s'mores
right in your kitchen!!  Details below...

This Father's Day, my husband asked for mulch... 
not glamorous...but totally practical... 
and I think by asking for mulch, 
he's also looking for extra helping hands to
put all that mulch out... so we know what we'll
be doing this Sunday afternoon.  By 4 PM we will
only too happy to sip a root beer float
after a hard day's work.  

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, and granddads this
June 16th...including my very own mulch-loving
husband and my dad (the kid's grandpa)...being a dad or
a granddad, it's an important job...and they do it well.

What are your Father's Day plans??  
It's probably better than putting out mulch!!

Need a peanut butter pie recipe??

I have one for you... this version (pictured) has
a chocolate graham crust... if you scroll down, I made a
brownie bottom crust for Fox19 last year...both are
delicious and both pies would put a smile on dad's face!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

When Refrigerator Eyes Are Smiling

Of all the questions relating to
food and baking that I get asked... 
the most frequent question 
I hear might surprise you...

 The question I hear from the 
open refrigerator in our very own kitchen.

"Mom...we are out of butter?"...
"Because I don't see it...!!"


"Mom... Do we have ketchup?? 
I don't think we have any!..."


My 14 year-old son has a "condition" 
we lovingly refer to as: "refrigerator eyes" 
He's had a case of "refrigerator eyes" 
ever since he started playing 
with LEGO toys,
I'm guessing he was 3 or 4 years old.

Will can stand in the kitchen, 
with refrigerator door wide open,
he will be positioned directly
 in front of the milk...
and he won't see it.

...Same for the ketchup and butter... 
Will almost always tells me he is S U R E,
 100% sure, we are 
out of very important food staples
--quite regularly, in fact... and... magic,
I point out the missing item.... and he smiles and 
grins...and says a sheepish "Thanks mom"

I have recently started to reply to his
many food-related mysteries with...
"If I come and find it...
you'll owe me one complaining."
--to which he replies..."I will look again..."
...and the second look usually gives
 Will what he was searching for.  Oh boy...

Which brings us to this past weekend, 
Will and I were antique hunting... 
he looks for coins usually,
I search for odds and ends...
Sometimes I have a list, or a
 particular item in mind
...other times...I just like to see what's there...

It's great fun to have a shared
 hobby that the two of us enjoy.

I showed Will a picture of what 
I was searching for this trip...

It was a particular vintage
 tin I had on my
radar for quite some time now...
We looked high and low... 
and my sweet boy,
the one with the 
beautiful blue refrigerator eyes... 
he spied the tin I had been searching for!

You'll see the tin in these photos... 
I put together a collection
 of patriotic-colored
 vintage tins for the 
upcoming July 4th holiday...
and Flag Day is next week too... 
Honestly, from Memorial Day through 
Labor Day... it's pretty patriotic at my house...

Will spotted the Campfire Marshmallow tin... 
and I am so thankful he did,  -- it
was just what I was looking for...
and special because I will always remember 
how thrilled, how absolutely
 excited he was to find it for me!

His smile was a mile wide...
and I can tell you for
sure, I missed the tin completely...
tucked away on 
a bottom shelf, 
nestled behind taller tins...

Truly, a needle in a haystack.

Will told me I owed him a hug 
for finding the tin... and I was
happy to oblige... I'm not sure how 
long teen-aged boys 
accept hugs in public from their moms... 
so I jumped at the chance...I always will.

Next time Will can't find the milk...
maybe he'll owe me a hug 
instead of a chore.  ;)

I think the elusive Campfire
 Marshmallow tin is
a lot like the things we end 
up searching for in life...
it's on our list... and it doesn't
 have to be a "BIG" something...

Sometimes we have a list a mile long, 
a list we eagerly check off...
 We know what we want, 
we know exactly how to proceed.

...and other times, we know
 there is that 
that 'thing'  that's out there, and while
we might not know exactly what
that something is, 
we know for certain,
we will know it when we see it.

Whether you find your something or not...
sometimes the journey of searching, 
especially with someone you love
is just as special.  Maybe finding our
"somethings" is more about
 the adventure of searching.

Speaking of a special something...
I have some recipes for you!!

No chores...just hugs in the form 
of delicious summertime recipes!!

And if you were searching for a 
delicious bakery style yellow cake...??
Your search is over...
and the secret ingredient: pineapple juice!!

Vanilla-y and balanced...Check
a perfect crumb...Check...

Check out the Strawberry 
Shortcake Cake recipe below for all the details...

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 ...