Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Well it's Wednesday and time for Ginny's yarn along.  (I don't know if it's still on because she is due but I hope there others out in blogland continuing this week.)
Again nothing on the knitting needles just new knitting needles.  I broke down and after thinking about it for a year these came in the mail.  I won't be trying anything soon till my knitting class in June.  I finally broke down and signed up it was time after all the frustrations lately.
For my reading Sarah's Key is absolutely incredible!  It is quite intense very quickly till halfway in the book then it seemed not as intense but definitely interesting. I'm definitely in the mood for something less intense now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Finds

Last week went ot a book sale at our local library and we ended up with all kinds of finds.

 I love love book sales especially when I can find a variety books for a kids ages 3-10.  We got our humor, animals, toddler books, children's books, 1 textbook, cookbooks.  I finally finished catalogging all of them tonight in Library Thing  and glad I did because these are my favorites for the kids library.
Rhymes and Reasons (it's a textbook)

 Now these are for mom's library :D  so happy that a friend helped find almost all of these.  Here's my list of books. 

This next set of magazines are thrift store finds that I wanted share.  I have been meaning to look into getting a subscription to one of these but before I do we can enjoy these Ladybug for the younger girls and  Cricket for the older kids
Happy reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oreo Recital Cake

 I meant to have a post ready about the last book sale but it's not ready instead I have a cake.  Over the weekend we had a ballet recital and the kids had requested a celebration.  Since I was not planning on dinner out I got a chocolate cake ready but wanted a twist to it.  I was really inspired by this cake because of all the possible variations and after a chat with a friend we came up with an allergy friendly recital cake.
 First take a row of oreos. 
 Then crush them to bits.  Melt 2 tablespoons of dairy free margarine and mix it will be pastey.  Then spread evely in a 9x12 pan that's freezer safe for about 15 minutes.  Instead of margarine you can probably use soy milk to moisten the cookie. 
 In the meantime soften 1 quart of vanilla soy ice cream then scoop into a bowl.  In another bowl take 1 row of mint oreo cookies and crush them to bits. 
 Then take the crushed mint oreos and mix them really well with the soy ice cream.
 Take the tray out of the freezer and scoop the ice cream in different spots, then spread gently to cover the layer of the already crushed frozen oreos in the tray.
Cover and put in the freezer to harden overnight.  A few minutes before serving take out of freezer so it will be easier to cut.
When ready cut a piece of chocolate cake and then put a piece of ice cream cake and then drizzle with chocolate syrup.  We used the Hershey hardening chocolate and it was great.
Ok I know this looks nothing like the one over at i am baker but I was really inspired and yes it's sweet but it was so fun to make and eat. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Energy soup needed

I was looking at my post list and found that I had a draft still in there.  I found this post for soup that I thought I posted last week..  So here's my belated post for soup on a rainy day. 
It's been one of those weeks that doesn't feel quite like spring but more like fall cool and rainy. With a headache and rain and very low energy I was definitely in the mood for some soup like this one but I didn't have all the ingredient so I tried a different variation.

I apologize for the unappetizing pictures but I swear it tastes good and warm. Good for picking up your mood too.

Collard Greens Soup
2 cups collard greens chopped and cooked
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 oz can of white kidney beans rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1.  In a sacuce pan bring 2 cups of water to a boil then put in chopped collard greens.  Bring to a boil then simmer for  for 20-25 minutes till tender.
2.  After the collard greens are done drain and squeeze out any excess water. Set aside.
3.  In the same sauce pan heat olive oil on medium heat then add in garlic and crushed red pepper.  Cook for 1 minute not too long so it won't burn.
4.  Add tomatoes, broth, rinsed kidney beans and bring to a boil.  Simmer on medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
5.  Then add collard greens, salt and pepper.  Simmer on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors. Scoop into bowls and enjoy.

-Instead of chicken broth use vegetable broth.
-You can omit the broth altogether and double up on the diced tomatoes.
-Goes well with rice.
 Well I'm back on today for Ginny's yarn along.  I have nothing new for for knitting and crochetting but plenty of book fun has been going on since it's rainng all week.  Monday we went to the library with friends and gathered alot of books to bring home.  I have had an itch to quilt but never done but very inspired.  
Here are some of the books the kids brought home.

These last two are for me for a little inspiration.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cherry Sunday Part 2

 A couple of years ago I saw this yummy recipe for pre-breakfast muffins on soulemama's blog and thought they might be good with cherries.  I thought Sunday great why not give them a try but I didn't have any maple syrup and had to make a few changes.  So here I go again finagled another recipe.

Morning Cherry Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Baking powder mixture: Mix 1 1/2 Tbs. water, 1 1/2 Tbs. canola oil and 1 tsp baking powder.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dairy free margarine
Mix 1/2 cup soy milk and 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen cherries (chopped)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease muffin tins.
2.In a bowl mix driy ingredients flours, salt and baking soda and set aside.
3.In another bowl mix togeter baking powder mixture, sugar, dairy free margarine, soymilk mixture and vanilla.  Mix well then add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix well the batter maybe thick and sticky.  Fold in the chopped cherries.
4. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.
Enjoy for breakfast with a smoothie.  In a blender mix soymilk, cantelope, cherry and ice till smooth.  Went really well together and not too sweet for breakfast.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Cherry Sunday Part 1

 Woke up Sunday thinking I might actually do some baking and try to use up the last of the frozen cherries from last summer.  I was thinking of muffins or may be something with oats. 
So I went to one of my recipe binders and finagled another recipe.  I pulled 2 bowls and the ingredients and  began mixing wet ingredients, dry ingredients and stirred in the oats. 
 Rewrote the recipe as I mixed. 
 Put two thirds of the batter in a baking dish.
 Spread the chopped frozen cherries and added more topping and baked.
 Later on enjoyed with a cup of coffee.  It tastes better than it looks and reminds of apple crisp but with more topping and less fruit.  The family agreed to call this Fruity Oat Bars or Lulu Bars. Either way here is the finagled recipe for Fruity Oat Bars.

Fruity Oat Bars
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dairy free margarine softened
Baking powder mixture: In a cup mix 1 1/2 Tbsp water, 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil and 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of oats (divided 1 3/4 cup and set aside 1/4 cup)
1 1/4 cup  frozen cherries chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 inch square pan.
2.  In a bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In another bowl stir together brown sugar, dairy free margarine, baking powder mixture and vanilla.  Stir together till creamy and smooth.  Then add flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Mix till well combined.  Then stir in 1 3/4 cup oats.
4.  Spread 2/3 of batter evenly into prepared baking dish.  (Leave 1/3 of the batter in the bowl.) Then spread a layer of cherries evenly. 
5.  In the bowl add 1/4 cup of oats to the batter and mix. Then crumble over the cherries.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Cool then cut into squares.
Note:  The baking powder mixture replaces 1 egg.

Enjoy for breakfast or with your afternoon coffee/tea :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A day at the beach

Yesterday was our first day at the shore with friends.  There was building, digging holes, jumping, cartwheels (not me)  and more.  There was also the gathering of beach treasure rocks (any size even if too big), shells and mom's favorite looking for sea glass.  It was my first time collecting sea glass and pottery and I think I'm addictted.  There is something calming about searching for all these treasures in different colors and sizes.  Later on at home we spread out and looked at each and every one and then into a glass bowl they went . 
If you are interested in seas glas definitely check out this book Sea Glass Chronicles

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sunday's cheese and salsa dip

I had one more recipe from Sunday's party that I wanted to share it's a cheese and salsa dip that's usually a  hit and the recipe get passed around a lot.  I only have the before picture while I was prepping. I didn't think of  taking a picture later on and when I did it was almost gone.

Cheese & Salsa Dip
8 oz. cream cheese softened
6 oz. jar salsa
4 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz. shredded extra sharp chedder cheese

1.  Place cream cheese in a glass dish and microwave for 1-2 minute till soft.  It should be soft enough to spread along the  bottom of the plate.
2. Pour salsa and spread evenly.
3.  Evenly drop a layer of Monnterey Jack cheese and then a layer of extra sharp chedder.
4.  Preheat oven 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes till cheese melts.  Or instead microwave for 3-5 minutes till cheese is melted.  First microwave for 3 minutes check then see if it needs another minute or two.  If it looks too cheesy slice with a knife like a pie.  Either way it's cooked it will yummy with tortilla chips.
Note:  This can be prepared a day ahead just do steps 1-3 and do the last step a little while before serving. 
A definite party favorite in our family.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

After the weekend

Back after a busy weekend.  Spent Friday and Saturday preparing for Stefania's First Communion.  Yes that's right we're Catholic.  I never mentioned it before because it just doen't flow into my blog with my recipes, crochetting, homeschooling and kids stuff.  I am one of those Catholics that picks and chooses what she likes, I don't read the Bible to often but we do talk about it.  I don't go to mass every week but I do enjoy it on the holidays and  the Christinenings and Communions.  Yes a faithful holiday church goer.  I guess you could say we are a more spiritual bunch than religious.  That's all I have to say about our religous beliefs and I probably won't mention it again.  We will probably have more occasions and  I will alway show you what I make.
First up we have chocolate cupcakes.

 I added a twist to these chocolate cupcakes a handful of chocolate chips and a splash of peppermint extract.  To decorate I started with a white frosting and then lightly sprayed it with Wilton's Color Mist.  Along with the flower I added Wiltons pearl sprinkles to creat a design.  I apologize for the picture the purple looks blotchy.  It looked better the next day.

Now the cake.  I saw this cake tutorial a while ago and absolutely loved it.  So I gave it a try and hoped for the best.
 I frosted the cake as usual.  It's ok that there are crumbs because soon they will be covered in flowers.
 With a 1M cake tip you start in center of the flower and start going around and around.  I tried my best to end in the same spot each time.  I do recommend cooling the frosting first for the flowers.  Put in the fridge for a little bit or in basement if it's cool.  These first two flowers the frosting was a room temperature and they looked soft without shape.
 Just go over the whole cake with flowers and sides of the cake if you like.
 For a little color gently spray the Wilton color mist.  I'm not sure if  I love this mist idea yet it's better for  my kids I think.  If you spray to much the color the frosting will be bright and watch out when mixing to color it could get brown or a create a rustic color. 

 Since I wasn't to sure about the color and I couldn't put flowers on the sides I took some Wilton's pearl sprinkles and placed them in the center of each flower, on the sides of the cake and in any spaces.
 The supplies along with canned frosting because I jut didn't have patience to make my own.  This was the easiest cake decorating using the 1M tip and just going around making flowers.  I'll definitely be trying this again.
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