Wednesday, February 8, 2012


So, at the end of last year I offered up a couple dozen decorated cookies in an auction my office was conducting to raise money for the Empty Stocking Fund.  Great cause and we raised a ton of $$!

Anyway...the winners of my auction item came calling a few weeks ago.  They wanted me to create some decorated heart cookies for their daughter's first birthday celebration.  Pink and Orange were the colors. to working on their request I went.

First off, I had a bad experience this year at Christmastime with my old cookie press, so I took my happy self off to to buy another.  Boy am I happy with it.  No more threading and trying to get the thing in the perfect spot to start gunning away.  This puppy just takes off from the get go and makes some great looking cookies.  You can find the press I bought HERE.

Second, I was off to find another spritz cookie recipe.  I really love my old recipe, but it was time for a new one.  I searched until I found one that fit the bill.  Here is my new recipe, Lemon Butter Spritz Cookies from Taste of Home.  They are light, a little lemony, perfect crumble.  LOVE it.

So, then came the decorating part.  How did I want to do it?  I tried one batch using an abstract method of drizzling bright pink and orange over light pink cookies.  Didn't like it....ditch it.

Next I thought, I'll make up some royal icing* and outline the cookie in white.  Then I colored some thinned out royal icing bright pink and some of it orange.  I thinned a bit more white and off I went to fill them in.  I used a skewer to swirl the icing and VOILA, a masterpiece is born.

I think the recipients of these cookies are going to LOVE them.  I know I do and they're super tasty too.

*  For my royal icing, I used 2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbs of sifted confectioners sugar and 1 1/2 Tbs of meringue powder, 1 tsp of lemon extract and 5 Tbs of cool water.  I beat it with my hand mixer on medium low for about 5 min and then on high for another 5 min.  You want a nice peak on the icing.  I put some of that in a piping bag with a small round tip and piped the outline on the cookies.  For the rest of the icing that I used to flood the cookies, I added another 1 1/2 Tbs of water and beat it again until smooth.  I spooned about 5 Tbs into two separate bowls and tinted to the color I wanted.   I used an Ateco color for the pink and Wilton for the orange.  I then put that icing into two squeeze bottles which I think are easier to work with when flooding cookies.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe time!! Hawaiian Chicken Burgers

So....I've been on my diet for well over three weeks and I've lost a little over 10 pounds.  I'm now working some carbs back into my diet and branching out into some more recipes.  I have been fasting from Facebook and I think I may have replaced my infatuation with it with a new fascination with Pinterest.  The other day I came across a recipe for the most delish sounding burgers, Hawaiian Chicken Burgers.

Shooter had to work late tonight so I ran by the store, picked up groceries and then picked the Todder up from day care.  Ran in and started dinner.  These are the most juicy burgers.  I grilled up some pineapple to top them with and melted provolone cheese over the tops.  I spread a little bit of dijon mustard on the buns and I think it really added a nice tang. 

I also baked some sweet potato fries and it turned into a great alternative to the traditional burger and fries.  Give them a chance and try these amazing burgers tomorrow!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I think I might be a bit crazy bad things happen with I'm being a couch potato with my laptop on my lap and the TV on.  Bad, I order really cute stuff from Ideeli.  Bad I decide that my couch potato self needs a real kick in the butt and I order something call the P.I.N.K Method.  Yea...I was watching the doctors and they talked about how much weight you can lose and that you lose the bad weight....that stuff they call visceral belly fat.....and I caved and ordered it.

Today is day one of my P.I.N.K reset.  Basically that means that I eat nothing but veggies and a little protein and will become a farting machine in about 12 hours.  I'm supposed to lose something like 5-10 pounds in the first two weeks.  We'll see.

My church is also doing a Daniel Fast so the start of my diet works beautifully with this....they're very similar.  As part of the Daniel Fast, I've also decided I'm going to fast Facebook for 21 days.  It's day one and I'm thinking I might have been a bit crazy to do that.  I have, however, made a decision to pray for my friends, family, church family and community every time I think of filling time with Facebook nonsense.  So far it's working.

I look forward to seeing what the next 14-21 days brings my way!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


So...the word I always thought I always wanted to hear....


Nope....not anymore....especially not at 12:15am....especially not at 12:15am when  it's being screamed by a toddler from across the house...especially not at 12:15am by a screaming toddler who has a diaper full of poo and a husband who's so asleep a hurricane wouldn't wake him.

The Toddler, as I'm now going to refer to him - kinda like when you were a teenager and you were so disgusted with your Mom that you'd rile her on purpose by calling her Mooootherrrr *eye roll* - has decided that when anyone else comes to take care of him, he wants to chant "I need my Mommy, NOOOO, I need my MoooOOOOOooooommmMMMMMmmmmyyyYYYYyyy!"

I remember, many moons ago, when The Toddler was a wee lil cute, so innocent, so sweet smelling.  I would gaze into his beautiful blue eyes and dream of the day he'd call me Mommy.

Yea, boy...if I knew then what I know now.   I'd have followed through on that promise of freezing him at his adorable, chubby, 9 month old stage.

But we are....The Toddler is three full months into the 2s and it's allllllllllll about his Mommy.  I have to say, I love it....sometimes....other times, I'm like, seriously, kid....can't your Daddy give you a bath?  Can't your Daddy change your diaper? 

I absolutely love that Toddler with all my heart, though. 
He's strong willed and he's a natural comedian.. 
He's a slave to his schedule and he loves to hop like a bunny.
He loves to snuugle and he loves to run wild.
He loves unconditionally and is a climbing daredevil.
He's all that is good and wonderful wrapped up into a mischievious, nudie time loving Toddler.

Mommy - yea, it's a pretty great word to hear screamed from your Toddler's mouth - as long as it's not in the middle of the night or following a huge thump and cry. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe time!! Pasta with Kale and Italian Sausage

I've been through 4 weeks now of Phase I of the South Beach diet.  Now, I'm starting to introduce some whole wheat back into my diet and came across this amazing sounding recipe at Kalyn's Kitchen.  I had some beautiful organic red kale come in my CSA last week that was begging to be cooked. was time to try my hand at something other than Kale Chips.

Pasta with Kale and Italian Sausage

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale, stems removed, washed and dried
1 pound whole wheat pasta
1 cup chicken broth
1 small can diced tomatoes, drained

In a large pot, bring well salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until desired doneness.  Drain and return to the pot.

While pasta is cooking, warm a skillet over medium heat with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Once hot, add sausage and cook until no longer pink. 

While sausage is cooking, take washed and dried kale and slice it into small slivers.

Add chicken broth to the sausage and then add the kale on top.  Cover and allow kale to steam for 5 minutes.  Stir kale into the sausage until it is well wilted.  Pour sausage and kale mixture over pasta and stir to combine.  Heat for a few more minutes while pasta absorbs the chicken broth.  Add in a 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese and tomatoes and stir well.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Today's edition of things that annoy me, I've been dealing with the "crud" that's going around.  I was sick two weeks ago before I got my flu shot and then got the shot and then got sick all over again.  Then Parker started getting all snotty.  Then I noticed that a lot of folks at his daycare were snotty.  Well, after a full week of nearly mind blowing headaches, I'm finally back to normal, except for this hacky cough. 

Well, guess who's gotten sick now....Shooter.  Who, last night before bed, starts in on how bad he feels and oh how he's sooooo sick.

**sidebar - just yesterday, during the day, Shooter's parents and I were having a conversation about how Parker seems to get his flair for the dramatic from him....**

Please, I have been sick for going on three weeks....and worked....and took care of the house, kinda....and cared for our kid....and cooked meals, kinda....

I don't wanna hear it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Is it too early to start teaching my child the benefits/consequences to choices?

He turned 2 in mid July.

Well...tonight we tried a lesson in didn't go well....

I gave Parker a choice - he could keep playing with his toys in his playroom or watch Cars.  He said he wanted to keep playing.  I explained that his choice meant that he couldn't watch Cars and he said, "Keeep payin with mah toyeeez". Okay, but explained again, that meant no Cars and milk in his room and then bed.

So of course, comes time to clean up and the fit starts.  He won't help clean up and fights me tooth and nail the entire time.  He then hysterically wants Cars. 

I stick with it though, no Cars, baby, time to have our milk in your room then on to bed.  Oh, it was one fit to behold...a masterful one...he's getting good at this terrible 2 thing.

I got him settled...we drank some a couple of stories....then when Mommy says that it's time to brush teeth and go to bed, the waterworks start again.

He cries through the tooth brushing.

He cries through the prayers.

He even asks for Cars as we're putting him in the crib....the kid is nothing but persistent.

In the end I really felt badly for him...his routine was out of whack, but that was really due to a choice he'd play in his playroom rather than watch his movie. 

Sometimes choices are hard - sometimes the consequences are harder.

I guess I did the right thing....what kind of child would I be raising if I don't give him the opportunity to choose and then have to live with that choice.  I want my child to understand that he has to make his own decisions, that he's empowered to make his own decisions, but that he has to bear responsibility for those decisions. 

This parenting gig isn't an easy one...