March 29, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Champagne Cupcakes

Hi Gang!  It's raining in the Northeast again.  Grr....I just got my basement dry from the last flood (and I do mean flood).  Are any of you experiencing nasty weather too?

I've noticed a few new people joining in and linking up these past few weeks.  HURRAY!!  Welcome!  I love seeing new people and reading new blogs.  :-)  I hope you all are taking the opportunity to visit that fabulous cooks that contribute recipes.  You all make such amazing things!!

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Champagne Cupcakes

2 3/4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teasoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better!)
6 egg whites

3 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

To make the cupcakes - In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites. Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 about minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

To make the frosting - With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes. Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute. *Note: If you like to go heavy on the frosting, you might want to double the recipe.*

What's cooking in your kitchen?

March 22, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Oatmeal Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Welcome to Spring!  HURRAY!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  This week, TATT is going to the dogs.  Like all dogs, my pups enjoy a good treat.  However, the boxes don't display the fat & calories the way I'd like them to.  One of my Cocker Spaniels - Peach Blossom passed away a few years ago after living with Cushing's Disease.  I learned from her the value of watching my herd's waistline.

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ (sometimes I use flax seed)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup organic peanut butter (my pups like chunky)
1 1/4 cups hot water

Combine the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add the peanut butter, honey and water.  You may need to add more hot water if the dough is really sticky.  Knead the dough well.  Roll out onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.  Use cookie cutters (I use pawprints) to cut the dough into shapes.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of cookie cutter used).  Turn off oven and let the treats dry out overnight.  Pack into airtight container.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

March 18, 2010

Christina's Surprise Baby Shower

Last week I had the priviledge of throwing my work BFF, Christina, a surprise baby shower.  I tell her just about keeping this a secret was a big accomplishment for me.  :-)  Believe it or not, it's only the second surprise party she's ever had!  I appreciate that she didn't throttle me when she walked into her fake "meeting" and discovered a party instead!

Wow, in this picture...she barely looks pregnant!

My boss sprung for pizza for the group, and I got the cake.  I'm a geek, but I'm proud of the inscription.  Even if I did use a piece of baby bottle shaped confetti as a comma between "Christina" and "for"! (For the record, it wasn't until I read the cake that I realize that I truly am that anal about punctuation.)

Yes, I know it's a little ghetto...but we did punch in a bucket.  Can I tell you all that I went to 4 stores looking for punch bowls?!?!  This was my compromise.

It doesn't look like a lot, but I bundled things tight in that laundry basket!  Onesies in sizes from newborn on up to 1 year, carriage toys, towels, wipes, binkies, swaddling blankets.  I went NUTS!

I saw this onesie with a monkey on the butt, and had to buy it!

I think that both Christina's mom and her hubby's mom are both going to be fond of this onesie.  :-)

Lastly is my little homemade touch.  I made a baby blanket for the little one.  I wish I had taken a better picture!

Throwing this party was a ball!  The look on her face made up for the fact that most people didn't contribute to the "group" gift.  Losers!!  Even if they didn't didn't stop me from spending tons of money. 

So, no one else get pregnant (you know, other than the 11 of my friends who are already pregnant- three of you with TWINS!) until my bank account recovers...mmmkay?!?!

March 15, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - Easy Cheese Dip

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you're all adjusting to Daylight Savings Time.  :-)  I'd love the extra daylight if it would just stop raining here!

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

This is one my favorite recipes - mostly because everyone likes cheese.  But it's so easy that you can make it anytime too.

Easy Cheese Dip

16 oz cheese (combination of anything you like: fontina, parmegan, gouda, cheddar, pepper jack)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup white wine

Let cheese and butter soften a bit until they are about room temperature.  Either shred cheese or cut into small cubes.  Throw all ingredients into the food processor and blend until the consistency of whipped cream cheese.  Serve!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

March 13, 2010

Have You Ever...

Have you ever?

I stole borrowed this from Sara because I think it's such an interesting diverse list.  Let me know you participate.  I want to read your answers!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Been sky diving
66. Visited a Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job (only if being laid off counts?)
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

March 09, 2010

Blogoversary Winners & Some Randomness

Thanks to everyone that entered my blogoversary giveaway!  You're awesome, and you made me feel special.  :-)  These days, that means more than ever.

Our lucky winners are:
Mrs. Jones - Uncommon Goods glass globe
Dory and her momma Beth - Folded notes & address stamper from
Practically Perfect - Barnes & Noble gift certificate and bookmark

Ladies, peruse the websites and let me know what your choices are!


Thanks to all of you that have emailed or tweeted me asking about my mom.  I love you for that!

Mom is keeping her positive attitude.  Chemo started yesterday and quite frankly - she's exhausted and nauseous.  But, we know that given some rest and good anti-nausea meds that she'll feel better in a few days.

I'm sure that the next four months will hold some ups and downs.  Mom is already starting to talk about doing the Avon Breast Cancer walk next year though.  She's something else!  Our next landmark will be the loss of her hair.  I'm told that there's a chance it won't fall out, but it's highly likely. To prepare for this, mom has spoken to our hairdresser and Ed is ready and willing to shave her head for her.  I'll be there to cheer her on (and take pictures)!


Is this week dragging for anyone else?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Oh, speaking of... did anyone else tear up during the John Hughes montage during the Oscars?


And... finally; Carmella says "hi".  I don't think I talk about her enough.  She's such a sweetie!

March 08, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - White Chocolate Macademia Cookies

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and start to your week.

As promised, it's favorite cookie week.  I have a few that are really high on the "yum" list, and one of my all time favorites is white chocolate macademia.

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

White Chocolate Macademia Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tp. vanilla extract
1/2 tp. almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 bag (10 oz) coarsely chopped white chocolate

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture.  Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.  Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350, or until golden brown.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Don't Blame Me...The Bookstore Made Me Do It!

It's no secret that I love to read. As an insomniac, it's one of my favorite ways to spend a night! I found a kindred spirit in my bloggy friend Sara from Unwrap Life.  She always has a few good books on her "to read" list!

Our friends and family are always asking us for book recommendations - 'What good books have you read lately?'

Now you'll never have to ask again. Why?



That's right! You asked and we answered - with a brand new book review blog called 'The Bookstore Made Me Do It'! We'll review the good, the bad and the ones we couldn't even finish.

To kick off our new blog, we're having a giveaway. You know, 'cuz we're just nice like that!

Sara is giving away a book by one of her all time favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. After some thought, I realized I don't have a favorite author yet.  There are just so many fantastic ones out there.  Instead, I'm giving away the book I did my first review on. Want to know my thoughts on it? Click on over to the new blog and find out.

Here's how to enter:

1. Follow us on the new blog! (1 entry)

2. Let us know what you think of our new setup by commenting on each of our first book reviews. (Up to 2 entries) We're looking for constructive feedback here. Did you like what we covered? Did we miss something you would have liked to know? Do you want us to keep it shorter and sweeter? Or give you more detail?

3. Share your favorite book or author with us. (1 entry) What book could you read over and over again? What author are we totally missing out on?

Contest runs from today through Friday, March 12 at Midnight (EST). Winners will be announced next week on The Bookstore Made Me Do It.

And don't forget to check out Sara's book giveaway at Unwrap Life, too. It's double the giveaway fun!

March 04, 2010

A Big Ole Basket Of CRAZY!!

I wasn't going to share this story...but it's too good to hold back, and I think I can make it vanilla enough that you can enjoy without me giving you all the details. *Names have been changed to protect the innocent*

Now, sit back and mull over this doozy. For your reading pleasure, I've broken this up into chapters. It's a bit (OK, a LOT) on the long side. Sorry!

Chapter 1
This story, like many others, starts with a boy. We'll call him Naive Boy or NB. Well NB makes a career change that requires he travel halfway across the country to start training. During this flight he meets a girl that we're going to call Crazy Lady or CL.

Well, NB and CL talk a bit while sitting next to each other on the flight and are kinda interested in each other. Not enough to exhange phone numbers - but enough to exchange addresses.

Chapter 2
Fast forward three weeks (of no contact) and a letter shows up in NB's mailbox. CL wrote a letter that was six pages - DOUBLE SIDED pledging her undying devotion to NB. I'm told that she waxed poetic of how they are fated to be together. All very Shakespearean. Luckily NB sees the utter lunacy in this letter and throws it away. To his utter disbelief (and mine amongst others) - a similar letter shows up two weeks later that is also thrown away.

Chapter 3
About six months have gone by and not a peep from CL. All believe that NB is in the clear. No such luck my fine friends! NB gets a FaceBook account one day and CL immediately finds him. Literally the first day he had the FaceBook account; no joke. And he even more naively included his phone number, email, etc. on his FaceBook page. Dumbass!

Chapter 4
Over the next 7 months or so, NB settles into a routine of ignoring CL's intermittent FaceBook messages and e-flirting. He certainly doesn't encourage her... but a girl like her is taking silence as agreement. Then she announces that she's flying into Boston and demands to see NB! I watched with humor as he emailed, texted and ultimately tried to talk her out of coming to Boston. CL showed up in our fine city. NB faked sick as the only acceptable excuse he could find to get out of seeing her.

Chapter 5
A span of 5-6 more months pass with virtually no contact from CL. Halle-freaking-lujah!

Chapter 6
NB gets sent on an extended work assignment. This puts CL in a tizzy when she reads this on FB and she again professes her undying devotion. During this time frequent messages of support/encouragement/pride are posted on NB's FaceBook wall by friends and family & a number of us respond to his status updates as soon as they pop up.

Our attentiveness garners a (female) friend and I nasty-grams from CL. She wants to know who we are, what we want, an explanation of our relationship with NB and essentially tells us to back off. It was the FaceBook equivolent of marking her territory. After a giggle over the ridiculousness of CL, both my friend and I wrote return nasty-grams. Childish? Perhaps. Do I regret it? Not for a single second. Come to find out - she wrote similar nasty-grams to other female friends of NB. It seems that we all independently pointed out that if she was important in NB's life - she'd know who we were.

Chapter 7
NB returns from his work assignment and catchs wind of all the havoc CL has created. He calls her to tell her to stop. Somehow, she hears - TRY HARDER and starts writing suggestive comments on his FaceBook wall. He deletes said comments.  This angers her. She announces she has a boyfriend and leaves NB alone for almost 2 months.

Chapter 8
CL dumps her boyfriend and starts FaceBook stalking NB again about two weeks ago. NB ignores her, which makes her even more determined.

Chapter 9
This brings us to last night. I find out the CL has tracked down NB's mom on FaceBook and written her an extremely lengthy email. It implores NB's mom to convince NB to talk to her, incites how stubborn NB is for not responding to her and states that CL just can't imagine living without NB. "They deserve forever."

I feel like I should point out that CL and NB's mom have never physically met, never spoken to each other and most of all that NB's mom would like to go the rest of her life without meeting this crazy bitch.

What do you think? Can I pitch this real life story to Days of Our Lives? I wish I could make this kind of stuff up. There are so many more details that I want to tell all of you!!

March 02, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Meadow

I heard the snows are a-coming, Momma.  And I is READY!  Let me at those soggy, icy, pretty flakes.
(I showed this picture to a friend and she told me that Meadow looks like a tiny, pink, canine Rastafarian.  Thoughts?!?!)

March 01, 2010

Tuesdays At The Table - BBQ Chicken Bites

Happy Tuesday!  For those of you that only visit on Tuesdays - I'm celebrating my blogoversary with a giveaway.  Click here to join in.  :-)

Lovely Yellow Ribbons

A few of you mentioned that it would be more convenient to have pre-scheduled theme weeks.  I'm happy to oblige, am certainly open to any ideas that you have and thank the fabulous Amy for all her ideas!!  For now, I'm just laying out the second Tuesday of each month - March through June. 

March - Favorite cookie
April - Fastest meal
May - Best comfort food
June - Yummiest salad

This week I'm sharing BBQ chicken bites.  These are not amazingly nutritious (well, except the chicken!) but are fast, easy and really tasty!

BBQ Chicken Bites

2 tablespoons of milk
1 egg
1/2 pound chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 cups of BBQ chips, crushed

Place chip crumbs in a shallow bowl.  In another shallow bowl, whisk the egg and milk.  Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat in chips.  Place in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes (until chicken isn't pink).

I like to serve this with ranch dressing.

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Blog Design by Creative Girl Media