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Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Giveaway!

In Food, Truffles on March 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I have this friend. Her name is Lesli. Oh, how I love her. And not just because she’s Canadian…but it’s because she loves Dexter, too.

You should be Lesli’s friend, too….you can check her out by visiting her blog, here.

Why should you go there? You should go there because Lesli has written a post about ME!

Still not enough? Okay, well I’m giving away truffles…but you have to follow details on Lesli’s blog to enter. You can go HERE to enter the truffle giveaway!

Lesli asked if she could come over and watch me make a cake one day. I just happened to be decorating one that day, so I invited her on over. I loved how intrigued she was about all the details and different steps it takes to put one of these things together. I very much love baking them. I like it even more when I have someone to visit with while I do it. Come over again, Lesli!

I also encourage you to read the rest of her posts – she is hilarious!

Fresh Baked Cookies

In Cookies, Dessert, Recipes on March 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Sometimes when I open that jar of Jif, I feel like it’s a Folgers commercial in my house as all the noses perk up and my puppies and husband are all suddenly standing around the kitchen, eager to partake. My husband in particular has an obsession with the peanut butter-chocolate combination. I love to do a number of variations on that. He also loves to eat healthy and exercise quite a bit, so for me to make a traditional batch of peanut butter cookies when baking for ourselves just isn’t realistic. That is why this easy recipe is perfect for us. You’ll need just three ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Mix your ingredients, roll out onto a cookie sheet. Criss cross a sugar dipped fork on the top of each cookie, then bake approx 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees.

I love to add my own twist sometimes by tossing in some chocolate chips, preferably white. I once found some chips that were a white chocolate-peanut butter swirl, but I haven’t been able to locate those for a while- they were by far the best.

Recipe makes about a dozen good-sized cookies, or two dozen smaller ones. Perfect for movie night or just a treat for the kids when they get home from school.

Dear Daisy,

In Baby, Blanket, Clothing, Crochet, Crochet Flowers, Girls on March 7, 2010 at 5:24 am

I have been waiting about 3 weeks to write this post! Can you believe I made my first baby blanket and actually forgot to take pictures?????

There are approximately 1,200 miles from where I live now to my hometown…and guess where all of my sisters live? That’s right…so very close to my original home. What does this mean? It means that I don’t get to make little girly things for my nieces and the ones I have by marriage are all too old for the sparkly, frilly bows and dress ups….that is until now! We are incredibly pleased to welcome a new niece into our family. She was born here, so we have been able to enjoy her for the past 2 weeks and for 1 more very short week before she goes to her perfectly (and gorgeously prepared) new room in the city that I love, New York. She is one of the most beautiful baby girls I have ever seen – and she is named after my very favorite flower….Daisy.

I took advantage of having a baby girl close-by for a few weeks by making her some lovely “welcome to the family” gifts. I started by crocheting her a blanket.

Let me remind you, dear readers, that I have never made such a thing in my life. I actually made it 3 times, unraveling it and re-making it when the stitches didn’t turn out just right. In the end, however, I was quite pleased with the result.

My grandmother used to crochet so very long ago and taught me how to chain a single stitch when I was probably about 7-8 years old. She had a very wide living room and I remember working very hard to make the longest yellow yarn chain ever – one that would easily be strung from one end of the room to the other. I never learned how to turn it around and go the other way….

Luckily, I figured it out. This is what I came up with….

It's made with organic cotton yarn and satin ribbons

As you can see, I also figured out how to crochet flowers. I found these great buttons and it was all I could do to let them go. I only wish I could come up with something to make to keep them for myself!


Doesn’t this pink complement her beautifully? She opened her eyes just enough to check us out during her little visit to our house. We’ll be very sad to see her go home – we love her so!

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries and Veggies

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Kids, Recipes on March 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

As promised, here is how to make them yourself…a day late!

I love sweet potato fries, but they can be a little too fatty for those of us who are still losing baby weight….so here is a delicious alternative. Surprisingly, the idea stolen from my mom. Only, when she made them, they accompanied chicken tenderloins that had been rolled in mashed potato flakes and (extremely dry) whole wheat pancakes….this was for dinner…and recently….

Anyhow, in this post, we’re going to roast some vegetables. My son is just a little guy-we’re trying to put some weight on him without clogging his arteries. He loves french fries- especially from In N Out – so this easy side is perfect for adding a little extra carb without the extra grease.

Of course, start with your vegetables.

Peel them...

Cut them into your desired shape

Toss them onto your cookie sheet

Sprinkle or drizzle a little olive oil and a little salt over your veggies before you put them on the tray

Roast them at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Put them on a higher rack for a crispier outside.

Toss a little salt on your sweet potatoes and carrots. Less salt is of course healthier!

And viola! Lunch for the little guy. I also made him a pork chop, which he ignored and ate all his veggies instead.

You can, of course drizzle a little caramel over the sweet potato for a little Sammy’s-like flavor, or just eat them as a side to a little steak or other protein-filled main dish.

You can also use a variety of other vegetables, adding a little black pepper, too. Some yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes (really any kind of potato).

Next to some pasta, lasagna, or chicken parm, you can use a little Italian dressing instead of Olive Oil on and add some halved cherry tomatoes with asparagus (broiling them in the oven would be good, t00!). In this case, a dash of garlic powder couldn’t hurt, either.

I also would like to recommend those McCormick grinders – they have a sea salt and peppercorn grinders -the flavor is so much more vibrant than usual!

P.S. I made curry last night and it was delicious! I had leftovers for lunch….

Good Eatin’ in Provo – Sammy’s Cafe

In Dessert, Dinner/Meals, Food, Restaurants on March 4, 2010 at 5:27 am

I stumbled upon this little joint last year when I went to have lunch with my friend in downtown Provo. Ever since then, I frequently crave the perfectly crispety-crunch outside and soft potatoey center of their seasoned fries. What really gets me, though, is their fry sauce…..

For those of you who are not from Utah or have never been near Utah, I’d like to explain this ketchup/mayonnaise (gag here) phenomenon. I have never liked “traditional” fry sauce. I probably never will like fry sauce. Occasionally, however, I will stumble upon some people who know how to dip right (like Sammy’s!) who will skip the ketchup and opt for some bbq sauce instead. I still can’t say that I love fry sauce in general, but if that’s what they’re serving in Utah, I will get mine at Sammy’s.

The second part of my favorite starchy side dish is their sweet potato fries. Delish! And to top it off, instead of anything else to dip it in – go with the house suggestion and dip them in some caramel. It’s like dessert.

I very much adore the simplicity of Sammy’s. The cafe is small, but it has the feel of a classic soda bar from back in the day, modernized by blue walls painted with a silver tree and covered in old school polaroid shots of regular customers and faces that don’t want to be forgotten.

I like that much of the food construction is right in front of me, so I can make sure my burger is done right (and since I’m a germ-a-phobe, I can make sure they’re wearing clean gloves!). Speaking of their burgers – delicious! I try to pick something new on the menu each time so I can see how they all turn out, although I very much like my past orders and am tempted to get them again.

Last night, I shared one of “Robi’s South of the Border” along with two orders of fries….did I mention their prices are pretty good, too?

OOOOoooohhh I love guacamole on my burger!

Other great news, Sammy’s now delivers! To Provo and S Orem with a $15 (and greater) order. While I’m excited they now deliver, in their bright yellow van…it will take a lot of food to hit that minimum dollar. All this, plus two cokes – still only cost under $12.

Did I also mention that they make PIE shakes? They take a whole piece of pie, put it in a cup and make it into a shake…for real….I love those guys.

You can find more information (including their menu!) about Sammy’s here on their blog: http://sammyscafe.blogspot.com/

And for tomorrow…stay tuned for my own healthier, easier version of sweet potato fries!

“I Hope They Call Me On a Mission!”

In cake, Dessert, Food on March 3, 2010 at 6:11 am

I am proud to say that I am a Latter-Day Saint and that my own little brother is currently serving a mission in Oakland, California. In our culture, a decision to serve the Lord and His people is an occasion to celebrate. So why not do that with a fabulous themed cake?

This cake was a lemon white chocolate cake with a white chocolate pudding for the filling. Coated in 1/4 inch thick almond buttercream, then covered in fondant to look like a clean white button-down shirt, complete with tag, tie and belt.

While Missionaries are often known for their bike helmets and dark suits, they also have a trademark tag and tie….This particular Missionary is heading off to Omaha, Nebraska (hence the cake shape and star to pinpoint his soon-to-be location) and this cake was made to celebrate his departure. Best wishes Elder Orellana!

Williamina Ballerina

In Clothing, Girls, Kids on March 3, 2010 at 5:53 am

Last week, our family was blessed with a new niece! She is absolutely precious and with her arrival, I finally have an opportunity to make some of those girly things that have been stirring up in my head. I figured I would need some practice to get me in the right mode for making girl stuff, so I started with a tutu. I found this zebra print ribbon on sale and really wanted to make something with it.

Yes…my son is standing in as my little model…my husband doesn’t quite approve, but the boy sure thinks it’s pretty silly.

I can also make these longer and in a number of other colors and combinations. Stay tuned for more tutus here and in my new Etsy shop…details will follow in a few days as I get things better setup!

Who Doesn’t Like Minnie Mouse?

In cake, Dessert, Food, Kids on March 3, 2010 at 5:40 am

As it turns out, Minnie Mouse is a popular favorite for birthday cakes. I do love Minnie, myself. I hope to make a red one of these someday….although I love pink, too!

AND – As usual, I am taking pictures as my cakes are being sent out the door! I really should learn better time management….please please please ignore my decorating debris.

Crochet – Slouchy Hat

In Clothing, Hats, Kids on March 2, 2010 at 6:25 am

I made this cute little slouchy cap for my little boy. He might be small, but he’s got to have style! He’s my kid, afterall.

I Eat VERY Well When I Go Home…

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Thai Food on March 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

Here are a few delightful dishes from my recent trip back home to visit my family. My dad and my sister did most of the cooking…naturally – it was my vacation! Besides, who do you think I learned it all from????

We had Cao Man Gai, one of my favorites – which comes along with tofu cucumber soup, of course. We also had turkey and “Mista Chai Noodle” – one of my dad’s specialities…also more commonly referred to as “soy sauce noodles” with Gailon, a chinese broccoli. This pictures are making me hungry!