Monday, February 28, 2011

Mardi Gras: King's Cupcake

This is the cheater's version to King's Cake, but it was still kind of fun to have bit size cupcakes. 
King's Cake is basically a really great version of cinnamon rolls....sort of.  It's way better, but when I made these, I was in a 'cut corners' kind of mood, so....to be festive with a little less work, these will work for this year. 
I grabbed a can of pizza dough, spread about 1/2 c of melted butter on top, and sprinkled the top with cinnamon, brown sugar, a little nutmeg. 
I rolled 'em up, cut them into ten pieces (because I wanted it to be cupcake size).
I actually laid these guys just like this in the cupcake liners becuse I wanted it to look more like a cupcake, and less like a cinnamon roll. 
I baked these guys at 350 for about 15 minutes. 
Next time I'll spread the dough out a little further. 
I mixed 4 cups of powdered sugar with 4 T of milk, and 1 t. of vanilla.  I poured it on top, and decorated with babies, and sprinkles.  One tip, the caramel crust when cool, so pop these in the microwave for 30 seconds when you are ready to eat.  The cupcake liner was just for looks, they tend to stick if you attempt to eat these at room temperature!
Linking To:  Fireflies and Jellybeans

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Week of Mardi Gras

*Info on this photo below, but first...
I became a little bit obsessed with everything Mardi Gras after I visited New Orleans in October, granted, I've always loved New Orleans.  I ended up with a week's worth of post (+2) to throw up before I made myself quit heading down the cajun road....for now.  So...here goes. 
The posts and links to the how tos are the following...
King's Cupcakes

Mini Beignets

Fried Pickles

Jambalaya

Mask Cookies

Hush Puppies

Weight Watchers Paella

Crepes

Lent Pretzels

As a side note, on the work trip to New Orleans, I became obsessed with photographing all the wrought iron all over the city during the afternoons we had in the city (I've been snapping letters I 'see' in small objects for awhile to build an alphabet)....and above is my best version of a wrought iron New Orleans collage I pulled together with the photos, which came together thanks to the fact that all the pals with me started finding letters in the iron for me. I was there for work, so there wasn't a ton of time, but it's my starting point, I've always wanted to try this out.
Linking To:  French Party  The Girl Creative Keeping it Simple Dittle Dattle Craft O Maniac CRAFT Between Naps on the Porch Tip Junkie Today's Creative Blog Krafty Kat All Things Related Night Owl Crafting Tea Rose House Free Pretty Things Trendy Treehouse SYS Crafty Soiree Gluesticks Sassy Sites Be Different Act Normal Sunday Showcase Sundae Scoop Remodelaholic

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February at the Arboretum

Saturday I went to the Dallas Arboretum.  I went for a breast cancer fundraiser for women who are not able to afford treatment, reconstruction etc. 
Before the tea I walked along, and I got to see the Arboretum in February.  I've visited many times in the fall with my friend Nicole (Nicole, come back!).  I've visited often for Dallas Blooms in the spring.  (You haven't lived until you've seen tulips as far as the eye can see in every color, and every shape and size).  ...and this last summer I even enjoyed some of the summer concert series.  BUT...
I've never seen the daffodils, and her group of February friends. 
I super, puffy heart this magnolia. 
 Here she is from below.  I love her just as much. 
These are friends of the daffodils, but they aren't exactly a daffodils.  I have no idea what they are even though there was a plaque present.  So, like, don't use me as a phone a friend on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire if the question is flower related. 
And...as the girl who is chronically early to everything, look who else popped up for the party a little early? 
I love all the outside seating.....can't wait to see these tulips in a week....
 ...and the paths....there are quite a few, all with a different view.  Look, no flowers....that's a harder shot to find than you'd think! 
Oh how I love the arboretum, it is so far from the desert abyss that is my 'flower garden.' 

Apron Winner....


#30, Peggy, you are the 'winner' of the Anthro inspired apron.  The decision was made with a panel of witnesses....and when I say witnesses, three  out of them are of the four legged variety, but I assure you it was a random drawing.  Random...one of my favorite words.  See the judging process from previous giveaway here.  I run a tight ship.
I have another giveaway coming soon...just as soon I as I relocate the item....ooops. 

Scandinavian Potato Cakes

Last summer I went to Door County, Wisconsin, and I enjoyed the world of Scandinavian goodness.  I bought a little recipe book at a Goat Topped Restaurant (yes, real goats grazing on the roof while you ate, read all about it here).  Fast forward, and I overheard my aunt reminding my Mom of some potato cakes their Mom used to make that were really good, and I just so happened to have seen, and passed over a recipe that sounded suspiciously similiar from that little cook book.  I made one little adaptation, but these are really good, and completely unhealthy, so.....right in line with everything else in my recipe book. 
Potato Cake Recipe
Ingredients:  1/4 lb bacon, 4 large potatoes, 1 T. milk, 1 egg, 1/2 t. garlic salt (it actually called for allspice instead of this, but I adapted it to my taste), salt and pepper to taste, 1 small onion, minced. 
Instructions:
1.  Boil, peel, and mash potatoes.  Add milk, egg, and seasonings to mix.  Blend well.
2.  Cook the bacon, drain and crumble into the mashed potato mix (reserve the grease). 
3.  Form potatoes into patties, and place in heated bacon grease. 
Cook until browned on both sides. 
Next time, I'll make my patties a little smaller b/c the browned part was my favorite.  These were sort of hashbrownish, and all good.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Everything

And now...for a little bit of personal dust.  I have another 'week of' starting Sunday, but I have to get this out of my system first. 
This past week my cousin's family came into town...maybe I mentioned it a time or 16?  They live in Pasadena, CA, and I miss them.  They have the most precious little girl, and not only is it hard to be away from her, it's harder to see her grow so fast, so far away.  On the other hand, what a great world we live in with skype, and facebook, and emails, and cell phones.  I know her so much better than I know I would have once upon a before the internet. 
They came in Saturday night, and we met up quickly for dinner.  Blythe is a little hesitant around strangers, and feels most comfortable in her skin when her Mom and Dad are present. 
I discovered she loves stickers.  I made her a travel kit for her last birthday that included a package of stickers, and it looks like Grover caught a case of stickers on the plane ride here. 
Blythe loves Sesame Street almost as much as she loves grapes, Mommy, and Daddy...
fish,
and slides. 
Not necessarily in that order.  She love dogs, and dancing, and singing.  The cutest video ever is linked here. 
 
I can't even imagine how much fun she brings to the lives of those around her on a daily basis because she kept us laughing in the mere week we got to be with her, and I only had a small slice of that week.  After a trip to the zoo, my family came over Sunday night for dinner.  I served a bunch of random dishes from every holiday I could think of, a sort of  'Happy Everything' because we've missed a year of holidays together, and it looks like we may miss a few more before I see them again. 
My Mom kept her on Wednesday while my cousin-in-law and cousin, Holly, and I went out to our annual nails and gals (we don't really call it that, but we should b/c it's what we do...except we aren't really the type of gals that name their nights). 
The only reason I got to take this pizza face picture is b/c my Mom is holding Peanut.  Dogs are the bait we had to use, and it worked nicely.  Blythe is independent, but she's interested in dogs.  Peanut, however, is not such a fan of having an almost two year old try to squish that pointy nose back into his face.  On the other hand, he appreciated the half a slice of pizza she decided she could only feed him, not the other two horses that I call dogs that live in this house. 
And last....there was one last family meal together on Friday, and one more slide....
...one more goodnight kiss. 
One more family game night (which was interrupted while we watched some Elmo videos....after Blythe was asleep (Elmo's biggest fans) just because they are funny at every age). 
One more goodbye hug.
...and then it's take off, and touch down in a land far away.  Too far.  Woe...is...me. 


Grape Salad

My friend Jolene told me about this recipe she had at a friends house, and it sounded weird, but weird is right up my alley, so I decided to give it a whirl.  Oh...my....I wish I hadn't b/c it's one I'm going to want to make over and over again, and I keep trying to tell myself to fall in love with raw carrots, and tofu, but I keep getting distracted by sugar and cream coated grapes, and it's just a deep, dark, downward spiral I enjoy waaaaay too much. 
Here's the recipe for Grape Salad
Ingredients: 
2 lbs of green grapes, 1 lbs of red grapes, 6-8 oz cream cheese, 6-8 oz of sour cream, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 t. vanilla, 1/4 c. chopped pecans, 2 T. brown sugar
Instructions:
1.  Wash and pat grapes dry (don't cut into halves, I wondered about this, but after some research, I guess this helps the dressing not become to wet). 
2.  Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla (it calls for 8 oz of the cream cheese, and sour cream, but I think thats a little too much).  Stir in grapes. 
3.  Top with pecans and brown sugar.  You can eat right away, but if you store it overnight, the brown sugar becomes a little caramel-ish.  That's always a good thing in my book!
Linking To:
Paisley Passions Sugar Bananas

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blythe's Zoo Book

Blythe knows her alphabet, she can count to 20, and I'm pretty sure she can recite the theory of relativity....she just doesn't feel like it yet, so I think it's time she conquers reading.
I decided to put together a little book for her to read about her trip to the zoo.  As I was taking pictures, I decided to try to get her looking at the animals, and then get a shot of the animal.  I put the pictures together as a powerpoint with a little script and some simple site words.  I printed them off on heavy paper, and laminated them, and bound them for a whole 1.85.   

Oops, I changed to the word 'a' instead of 'the,' but seeing as she's totally gifted and stuff, it should be fine.  And the Sunni antelope....her very favorite thing, so I couldn't leave it out.