Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watermelon cake anyone?

This came out very cute. It's for a horseshoe tournament party I'm going to in a couple of hours. Luckily it went together fairly quickly with only a few glitches. I should have started this cake 2 days ago. Last night I finally baked it and I made the buttercream and fondant this morning. The 'ice' is unflavored gelatin.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Something to ponder from a chance encounter.

Today my mom, SIL, niece, JP and I went to our local Renaissance Faire. One of the first things we did was to let my 4 year old niece go for a ride on a dragon swing. This is of course powered by a man with impressive physique. He was quite serious and didn't seem the type to talk. My mom must have asked him something and he started talking about doing this for the summer and his last job. His last job involved mortars being fired at him. We talked a bit about the war and he said he was so proud to have been able to serve the country for three years before a shoulder injury pulled him out. What made it even more impressionable on me was that he mentioned that he only felt it was right to give back when our country gave to him. Turns out he was/is an immigrant. He had no accent that I could detect and I asked where he was from originally. He came over from Ireland when he was a boy. He was so grateful to our country and to have been accepted into our country that he enlisted as soon as he was able to give something back. It really struck a cord in me. So many criticize this country and focus on the bad events...or whats sensationalized by the media. Here was a man who sees our country differently and was just so proud to have been able to give back. He was a fascinating man even if the talk was brief. I never did get his name.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cactus cake....Completed!

I just finished the cake and I'm pretty pleased with it. Those that knew me when I first did cakes know how rare it is for me to say that.. right Naomi? lol. I'm definitely looking for opinions as I want to enter a cupcake contest.. and I think I'm going to make a cactus cupcake grouping.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cactus cake- 75% completed

This is what my cactus cake looks like currently. This cake is very easy to make.. but it takes forever to put the spines on the cactus. I also need to make more as I barely had enough to make the large cactus. I also decided to add another flower. I originally tinted it for the peach colored catus, but am very out of practice on coloring icing. Seems like it should be easy to do, but I'm going too dark for some reason. Luckily the cake doesn't have a due date so Tuesday will be fine for delivery.. even wednesday. Now you will notice that there is a slight difference in the color of the cacti.. this was deliberate as I wanted the smaller cactus to be slightly lighter and brighter in color. Not bad for an edible cacti garden huh?

The Catus cake

I've finally decided to get back into cake decorating. On my list of blogs is the one for my business, Indescribably Delicious, although its just a rough blog at the moment.

My full time job is in an office building. For some time now only, 5 of 10 offices have been rented. This past week a new company moved into 3 suites downstairs. 40-50 employees there every day. From a wellness office point of view we want to welcome them into the office and let them know of our services. We were thinking on taking cookies down (we're on the upper level) and then I thought about making a cake. Which benefits me as well, lol. When trying to decide what they were (industry) we got the impression that they worked in vacuum sales. At first I was going to make a vacuum cake. Then I had a great idea to make a cake I've wanted to make for years. Its a cactus cake. I mentioned this to my boss and she wanted to know what a cactus had to do with vacuums. I reminded her that a plant was a traditional new office gift. I know what she's thinking:

she'll learn one day to not underestimate my imagination, lol.. which to be honest is rare. This is the base of my cake plan:

it will be a ball shaped green cactus on one side of an oval dish.. with smaller yellow and peach colored cacti made from cupcakes. A couple will be double height cupcakes. I just finished making the royal icing for the 'spines' and the flower. I'll get those done and started to dry and will then have to run out for the tray (originally meant to just do as above) and some ice cream - for me, lol.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bought an Espresso Capucchino maker!

for $3.00, lol

yep I hit another yard sale. I've wanted one for about a year, but didn't want to shell out big bucks. Couldn't resists this price and can you blame me? It had no manual - found that online, and the frother didnt work at first. Poor thing was clogged beyond belief from hard water deposits. 5 minutes and a lot of vinegar and its working like a champ. well worth the $3.00, lol

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weekly Meals

This topic is being moved over to my kitchen blog....

this weeks menu:

8/24 - 8/30

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Help with housework finally - meet my housekeeper!

only catch is this housekeeper refuses to clean anything over 2 feet high.. and takes frequent breaks, lol

Friday, August 15, 2008

I know i'm tired but...

JP and Peanut are driving me nuts for the last 2 days. Peanut sits on the back of one couch staring at traffic going by for most of a day. Unless JP is free roaming the house. Then she's like freaking velcro attached to my side. If JP gets in 'her' space she gets annoyed. This is the same dog that sleeps by his crib when he's sleeping.. is the first to his side when he cries... gets tough with Joe if Joe is horsing around with JP too much (in her opinion). I now have a gate separating them and you would think I'd put her in solitary confinement with only water and icky milk bones for food.

I haven't slept thru the night in 2 weeks. Week one JP was waking a lot for unknown reasons. This past week it's been the darn poison oak which only seems to itch at 1am in the morning. After I get it calmed down, then comes the nightly thunderstorm. Peanut hates thunder and tries to scare it away by barking. Edgy is a good term for me as of late. I came home early today (took a half day for no reason other than to use it) Joe left to go pick up his parents van for a trip we're taking tomorrow to Sesame Place. He left about 1:30. Its now 5:30 and he's not expected back until maybe 6pm because the seats to the van are in SIL's garage. No one has the keys which I find very odd. This of course means no nap or break for me. JP is currently obsessed with Peanuts water bowl and has been told NO 5 times.... until he got his fishy and put fishy in the water bowl.

I know I should stop him now. Then again it's better than destination #1 which was the toilet bowl until I stopped him, lol. Sigh.. and no JP...we don't play with Lysol wipes containers or turn off mommy's computer.

I still need to pack what we need for tomorrow but I'm just so tired.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Check out these big blue eyes...

this pic is on my monitor and for some reason all it shows is the eyes and up, lol.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Meet "The Itchinator"

looks sweet and innocent doesn't she? That sweet, innocent pooch has had contact with poison oak.. then had contact with me who did not realize I was letting her walk in poison oak. I now had a lovely rash all over the front of my throat.  

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ewwwww and my day was going so well

My day was going so smoothly. JP took a nap earlier and I started my cooking for the week. Now this wasn't everything, but most of the dishes. I made double batches of the Chicken Enchilada's, Boo's Apricot Chicken, Lasagna, plus 2 bags of rice for future use cooked and in the freezer and a small batch of homemade tomato soup. I was mid way thru the lasagna. Just about to make the trays after the meat cooked.

Sigh. JP hadn't napped long and was in his safe play area while  I cooked. I checked on him quick before assembling the lasagna. Noticed a speck of dirt on his face but couldn't think of where it came from. Looked at his hands. Ugh... Looked at the BACK of his diaper. Yep. You guessed it. All over his hands, the back of the diaper and just yuck. Luckily it was a solid poop and not a runny one. Not much better but you take what you can get and think positively.  Picked him up and bypassed the changing table totally and went for an immediate bath. lovely. while scrubbing him i had to dump the inflatable tub due to items floating from the fast bath decision. I had JP sitting in the general tub and he stood up... then slipped even though I tried to hold him and dump the tub.. Then I'm feeling bad for him falling and knocking his head. Poor kid. So now he's all squeaky clean, the play area has been checked and wiped down with lysol wipes. He is now safely secured in a onesie and a pair of shorts as opposed to just a t-shirt.  At least he won't be able to do much damage if the diaper gets full before I notice again.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weekly Meals 8/10-8/16 and 8/17 to 8/23

I decided to take stock of what I have on hand. I know I've been buying meats regularly on sale over the summer. Good side is I get them on sale.. bad news is that my grocery bills are always higher then they should be. For the family size that we are, our grocery bills are terrible. Partly because Joe goes shopping because he can't make anything.. or so he claims. (This is not a Joe rant.. just the way some men .. or women are) Joe likes foods that are easy to prepare (microwave or cold cuts) and because he's picky I let him do his shopping. This past week that resulted in total spending of somewhere around $200.00 with other incidentals tossed in (diapers, flexible cutting mats I want for working with meats, and a few other things) My goal this week is to have the smallest shopping bill I can. I want it to be under $50.00. I do NOT need meat even if it's on sale, lol. I have 7 meal size pckgs of boneless chicken breasts, one pkg of bone in chicken breast, 1 london broil and ...NINE packages of ground beef, lol. I am NOT buying any meats unless its $1.50lb or less. Plus I have several boxes of rice mix in the pantry, so they can be used with the meats.

Sunday - lasagna based off of this recipe, but not exactly like it-making 2 small lasagnas - tossed salad - and maybe the homemade italian bread experiment I'm determined to win, lol
Monday - chicken enchiladas - this was a really good recipe and I'm going to double or triple it to make meals ahead. - red beans and rice. steamed squash
Tuesday - moo shu beef - not multiplying this - spring rolls? maybe this time?
Wednesday -Frogmore stew - I have to try this , lol
Thursday - spaghetti and meatballs - again making multiple batches of meatballs for future use - tossed salad
Friday - malaysian fried chicken - can you tell this is a favorite in this house? - spanish rice and misc veggie
Saturday - No clue as we're at Sesame Place all day - will most likely be takeout of some kind if we're home for dinner.

seems i went over my budget goal for the weekly meals. However I forgot that I needed to get some ingredients for doubling some meals and I also picked up some lunch foods for Joe and JP.

I decided to go ahead and plan the following weeks meals so that I know I don't need to pick up more than a couple of things. For 8/17 - 8/23:

Sunday - My 'Gourmet' Beef Stroganoff , lol over buttered noodles w/ misc veggies
Monday - Boo's Apricot chicken
Tuesday - Shake and Bake chicken breasts (nuggets?) 1 italian flavor, 1 hot and spicy
Wednesday - Joe's choice - frozen enchilada's or lasagna
Thursday - Homemade pizza
Friday - sandwiches from favorite deli
Saturday - freezer restaurant specials (AKA leftovers)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh the indignity, lol

Ahhh the wonderful benefits of being a parent.. and having the ability to take pictures of your child that they will want to never see as they grow older, lol.....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Silly thing JP did yesterday

Yesterday JP was at the babysitter we use when we can't use our daycare. Kasie loves him.. whole family does in fact. Bill (Kasie's father) came into our office late morning and was telling me the cutest story. Apparently they were having pancakes for breakfast. They gave JP a piece and he decided he wanted more. So he went and started pulling a child size chair over to the table! He then proceded to sit politely and share their pancake breakfast, lol.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Weekly Meals 8/3 - 8/9

Sunday - MB's Chicken Stuffed Shells (see recipe below) with green beans and brussel sprouts (Joe hates brussel sprouts and I hate green beans)
Monday - Southern Fried Chicken and tossed salad
Tuesday - Steak tips in marinade with fresh corn salad
Wednesday - Meatloaf with steamed carrots
Thursday - Chicken enchiladas with beans and rice
Friday - malayasian fried chicken over salad
Saturday - misc sandwiches - Joe is now working a 16 hour shift on saturdays. he'll grab something at work and I just want something easy

MB's chicken stuffed shells:
Cook stuffing shells, use leftover baked chicken or broil, bake or boil some chicken - or even use the canned stuff (but I think the canned stuff makes it way too salty), mix it with Stove Top stuffing (instant stuffing/dressing), stuff balls of it into the shells and pour cream of mushroom soup over it all and bake.

Time for a minor soapbox vent. I look for a lot of recipes online, specifically No particular reason except that I tend to end up there all the time. Some people that write reviews are just not making sense. They will review a dish as terrible... or say they didn't care for it.. then go on to explain how they altered the recipe! You can NOT critique a recipe properly unless you have made it as directed. It's ridiculous to say something is terrible because it wasn't made as written.