Showing posts from July, 2014

Packing Cookies for The Bus and My Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

My baby boy turned 17 yesterday. Sigh. Just saying that out loud feels like an out of body experience. Seventeen? That's practically grown up! His sisters are already lamenting the inevitability that one day he will leave them and go off to college. They find themselves in the unending conundrum of wanting their big brother to stay at home forever and wanting to place dibs on his room. The way I see it, they are likely to lose both those battles. Fortunately, my boy still has a little more time at home.  Today he left, not for a lifetime, but for a  week-long missions trip. To Florida. Now, if the suffering is not in the destination, it might be in the transportation. A 27-hour bus ride to be exact. It just so happens that Florida is a lot further away from Minnesota than it is from Atlanta. I know. I'm good at geography like that. Since his birthday was yesterday, I decided it might be nice to send a little birthday treat for the 48 people making the trek - someth

Celebrity Home Sightings

We've just returned from a family trip to the East Coast. Our mission? To get my husband to his 50th state: Maine. Ok, and maybe eat a little  a lot of lobster. One of our food stops was The Maine Diner in Wells, Maine. Five years ago we saw it featured on Diners, Drivers and Dives. They had Lobster Pie. We had to go there. (More food pics to come!) It was this stop for Lobster Pie, however, that got us focused on another missions:  Celebrity Home sightings. Are you confused yet? I thought so. It just so happens that the exit for Wells, Maine was also the exit for Kennebunkport. Maybe we could find the Bush Compound! After talking to a few locals, we got a general idea of where it might be and confirmed that it could be seen from the road. We were off. As we approached our destination, the congregation of other onlookers confirmed our suspicion. This beautiful peninsula entertains two former presidents. We were surprised that they did not invite us in considering our

Red, White and Blueberry Flag (Flop) Cake!

Every year we make a special Fourth of July dessert and this year was no exception.  The girls were paging through my copy of Food Network magazine when they came across  THIS  Flag Ice Cream Cake.  It looked easy enough. Red and white layers of ice cream topped with a blue layer of cake.  When you cut into the cake, each slice looks like a flag.  Very cool indeed. So I packed one springform pan for our trip up to the cabin and planned to get the ingredients once we arrived.  Guess what?  The further you get away from civilization, the less likely they are to have raspberry sorbet.  Plan B. Forget the ice cream. What if I just made a layered flag cake? I smiled to myself as I considered this brilliant idea. I stopped at the local Target and guess what I found?  A white cake mix, a red velvet cake mix and, yes, a blue blueberry cake mix! Once at the cabin, I baked the cake mixes, one at a time, in my one pan. Note the golden oak side table and the sliding glass doors.

How to Make Starburst "Fondant"

A big pan of brownies is always a favorite at gatherings, but sometimes a girl just want to elevate it a bit. Enter "fondant" stars. Made from Starbursts, these decorative stars are colorful, tasteful, and a whole lot easier than buying packages of fondant, coloring, rolling and cutting. Here's the process.  Unwrap two Starbursts. Microwave them for 8-10 seconds until they are just barely soft but not too soft.  Smash them together with your fingers and then take a rolling pin and roll them flat. You should get about a 2" circle. Take your cookie cutter and press down firmly.   You may have to jiggle the cutter a bit to get a good, clean edge. If you are looking for the blue Starbursts, you'll need to buy the Fruity Slushies pack.   I just thought you'd like to know. Repeat the process until you have enough stars to cover all your brownies, or cupcakes, or cookies, or whatever it is you have that needs ornamentation. Use the scr

My Blog-cation Recap

When one doesn't blog for an entire month, her readers might just assume that A) Perhaps the blogger has passed away, or B) that said blogger hasn't done anything blog-worthy.  Well, I'm here to set the record straight.  Blog-cations are usually a result of life hitting so rapid a pace, that the recording of great (or not so great) ideas simply gets lost in the momentum.  So here's a brief recap of what I've been doing lately: I baked my mom's awesome carrot cake recipe.   I really liked the candied carrots on top! I celebrated Mother's Day. And I discovered that the key to looking good in a selfie is to have your kids hold the camera so you can hide in back. I took a walk around the lake and rekindled my love with chartreuse. I watched a sunset and felt the awe. We flew to Atlanta and I wondered, once again, how the law of gravity and the law of aerodynamics can coexist. In Atlanta, we did some seriou