Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wacky Cake

002In the cookbook, All Cakes Considered, there is a cake called Mary Carole Battle’s Mother’s Wacky Cake.  This type of cake is also known as crazy cakes, Joe cakes and WWII cakes.  This is due to the absence of dairy, a desperate homemaker’s answer to wartime shortages

This cake has no butter, milk or eggs, yet it is still a moist and delicious chocolate cake.  The recipe recommended the seven-minute frosting.  In all it took very little time to make, bake and frost. 

003I usually take my cakes into work mainly because I don’t want them sitting around the house.  However, this one isn’t very big, so it’s just for us.  Jamie cut it into 9 pieces and before we ate it he insisted we play tic-tac-toe on the frosting.  It ended as a stalemate.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

My sister-in-law, Sara, made some cupcakes baked in ice cream cones.  I’ve seen this done before, but never attempted it myself.  So, for my birthday I thought I would make them and bring them into work.

First you need ice cream cones and cupcake batter.  I used a box mix for this attempt.


Pour in the batter up to the ridge.  I made 24, but you could get away with filling less and make closer to 30.


When they baked they started dripping a little over the sides.  I made sure to eat any batter that fell off. 


I have a new cupcake carrier and even though they fit on the mini muffin side, they were so tall they touched the top of the carrier and during transport they all fell over, so I that just meant I would have to frost them at work.

Now, I packaged them into the carrier the night before since I didn’t want Charlie to have himself a snack during the night.  However, this made the ice cream cones soft because they weren’t completely cooled and they started to fall to one side.  I almost didn’t bring them into work, but I knew they really wouldn’t complain too much.

I used canned frosting and a pastry bag with a decorator tip.  I didn’t have quite enough frosting to frost them as well as I wanted, so if you make more than 24 be sure to use 2 cans of frosting.  I finished them off with some chocolate sprinkles. 


In the end I think they turned out great!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


All photos as of 7-24-11 080I planted rudbeckia (black-eyed-susans) last summer.  I like the color and the hardiness of them.  Shortly after planting them I was told they will spread and take over.  I didn’t think that would matter too much since I only planted 4 plants all together.


All photos as of 7-24-11 085Well, let’s just say that within 1 year I now have lots of plants.  Oops!  Well, most are just coming up so I can always dig them out.  But honestly I still like them and don’t mind that they are spreading so much.


All photos as of 7-24-11 076

They add so much color to my gardens and since there are so many flowers on each plant I love that I can pick a few stems off and make a nice table arrangement.  If anyone would like some for their garden just let me know and I’ll dig some up for you!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Son of a……

We’ve been transitioning Jake out of his crib, so right now one side is off and we have a mesh railing in it’s place so he doesn’t fall out.  He can climb in and out and lets just say it’s been a challenge.

The other night Jake climbed out and decided to draw on his wall with a crayon.  Crap!  I knew this day would come…


So I looked up online how to get crayon off painted walls.  There are many options and first I tried white vinegar.  This did not work.  However, the vinegar did a great job cleaning out the coffee pot (run 4 cups full-strength vinegar through a cycle, then 10 cups water through a cycle).

Next I tried baking soda with water. I made it the consistency of glue and used a toothbrush and good old elbow grease.  This did the job nicely.


Unfortunately, when I finished cleaning the wall I came downstairs to Jake standing on a kitchen chair over the countertop with a black sharpie in his hand.  Argh!!! 


Luckily, the baking soda mixture cleaned it up!  I think it helped that we got to it ASAP. 


Friday, July 15, 2011


Jamie & I have lived in our house for a little over 8 years, but we really don’t know any of our neighbors.  We know the people right next to us and a few other names, but that’s about it.

Last Summer I met a couple a few houses away and they have a son a few months older than Jake.  The couple were very nice and I bumped into them a couple times over the year, except Jamie has never been around when these meeting occur.  Jamie says they are my invisible friends.

Today, while taking Jake for a walk, I bumped into them outside their home.  Jamie was back at the house and so he missed them again!  This time we exchanged phone numbers. 

When I got back to the house I showed Jamie their numbers and he just laughed and said that I made them up so it looks more legit.  I will just have to invite them over for dinner some night so they can meet each other. 

In the meantime I should really make an effort to meet more of the neighbors.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BRAT diet

This 4th of July weekend was supposed to be fun in the sun at Jamie’s Aunt & Uncle’s house on the lake.  While we did make it up there, we were back home about 24 hours later after what I think was food poisoning. 

Talking with my old boss, who used to be in the food protection area of the USDA, I think it was a campylobacter infection.  It can fester for a few days before showing up. 

I spent most of the weekend laying on the couch or in the bathroom.  Mom told me to try the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce & toast/tea.  I followed this all day Monday and that night I was feeling better and I slept straight through the night. 

This morning I was feeling more like myself, but a little lighter, so before my shower I got on the scale.  I made it to my goal weight!  I was about 4-5 pounds away since April and just couldn’t get motivated enough to lose it.  While I wouldn’t say this was the best way to lose it, it was still nice to see that number on the scale. 

Of course now that my appetite is back I have a feeling the scale will not be my friend by the end of the week.  But maybe now that I’m down to my goal weight I will be motivated to keep it there.

I did manage to get outside on the 4th with Jake and his pool.  It was much hotter than I expected, but just having my feet in the pool really cooled me off.

July 4 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

S’mores on a Stick

I found a new blog the other day, backcountrybelle, who blogged about making s’mores on a stick.  They looked so fun and easy and perfect for the 4th of July.  As she states on her blog, this isn’t a new concept, but here’s how mine turned out.

Ingredients: Package of marshmallows, package of chocolate chips & box of graham crackers.

Step 1: Melt some chocolate…


Step 2: Dip a lollipop stick (or skewer) in the chocolate and then stick it into the marshmallow about 1/2 way.


Step 3: Put in fridge for about 10-15 minutes.


Step 4: Melt more chocolate…


Step 5: Dip the marshmallow into the chocolate, then immediately roll in crushed graham crackers.


Step 6: Put in fridge for 20-30 minutes to harden the chocolate.


Here are some helpful hints:

  • For one bag of marshmallows, melt 24oz chocolate chips and crush 1/2 a box of graham crackers.  This is a bit more than you need, but you don’t want to run out.
  • The lollipop sticks worked a lot better than the skewers.  You can find them at Michael’s or Wal-Mart.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler so you don’t burn it.  If you don’t have one then boil a pan of water and set a glass bowl above it.
  • After dipping the marshmallow in chocolate rub it against the inside of the pan and scrape the bottom off.  I found I was using way too much chocolate for the first ones I did (Wait!  Did I just say I used too much chocolate???) and it was dripping off into the graham cracker crumbs.  (If you follow the rub/scrape technique you won’t need 24oz chocolate)

I made these for Nic & Sara’s 4th of July/Birthday/Anniversary party so I made 2 batches.  I fitted a bowl I found in the dollar section of Target with stryofoam.  I wrapped them all up in clear bags (Michael’s or Walmart) and stuck them in the bowl.  Enjoy!

011012013smore pops in bowl