Pure Random

I can’t quite figure out what I wanted to blog about today, so I will talk about different subjects, and give you a peek at what is going on in my mind…

Warning, it is quite diverse and a few different subjects at one time.

Food:

(Not my picture. XD)

I did it! I actually tried baking with the fresh strawberries, and let me say, it was delicious! Let’s just say the cake didn’t last long enough to take a picture. My family (aka: Me, my husband and my daughter) LOVED it and it was eaten pretty quickly.

My daughter’s 2nd birthday is coming up, so I may try something like this again for her cake (I am baking it for her this year to try to save money for the zoo!) so this is definitely an idea that will be shelved and saved for future reference.

Design:

Have you seen this picture going around?

You know what I’m going to point out, right? ….

I hope you answered THE RUG! *laughs* LOOK!

It’s an older style more traditional rug but it fits in this room VERY well! I would have never thought of placing this rug in this room, but look how beautiful it looks? Isn’t it fantastic? So I tried to see if I can find a rug similar to this on eSaleRugs.com

I think I found some close ones… what do you think?

esalerugs.com/22096199

esalerugs.com/22098990

Then I found a colorful version. ;P

esalerugs.com/22129645

Now, the colorful one isn’t exactly the same, but I thought it was interesting!

Kids/Family:

And I am really excited! My baby is turning 2!! It’s amazing how fast time goes by! And we know what we’re doing for her birthday. She isn’t going to get many presents, but she is going to visit…..

*trumpets*

THE ZOO!

We have been wanting to take her to the zoo since the first time she watched We Bought A Zoo! She loved that movie and it was her favorite for the longest time. And now, she gets to see a zoo! We figured that she is old enough now to actually enjoy it and have fun, so it’s the great “First Trip” (besides the cross country drive… but all she saw then was the backseat while wrapped in a blanket. *laughs*)

This is where we are going!

Riverbanks zoo and garden in Columbia, SC! I am truly excited. I will probably be taking a lot of pictures. My facebook friends are going to get a lot of new photos in a new album pop up on their feed soon after this. *wink*

I have been trying to plan this, but I think, in the end, winging it will just be the best thing. See what she wants to do and where she wants to go. Should be a blast.

And….

That is a look at what goes on in my brain at one time. It is quite… amusing how it jumps so quickly to all of it and bounces back between them.

What is going on in your mind today?

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Going to attempt…

Alright, I have always wanted to experiment with this, but I am always to scared I’ll mess it up, but people do it ALL THE TIME.

What if it ruins it?

What am I talking about?

Putting fruit in a cake mix and baking it. *laughs*

But this will be attempted tonight. I will cheat a little and use this mix:

Yes. Going to try. And the strawberries:

Except there are a LOT less. Must admit, me and my husband have been snacking and eating. But hey, there are still some to try!

I also have this:

Such a wonderful Combination.

And trust me, I’ll let you know how it turns out. ;P

Any recipes you tried? Did it work or did it fail? And for all those who cook with fruit IN the cake, any advise?

Delicious, Here I Come!

Can you tell? I’m HUNGRY! And so I started looking at possible recipes. And would you know that FoodNetwork.com is the WORST place to look! Want to know why? They  have lists and catagories and recommendations and GAH! I am drooling just thinking about all that I have seen. Not fair, by the way. I am STARVING now.

So we’re going to do the same to you. I am going to have a BUNCH of pictures here to show recipes I found, and I’ll post some. In fact, let me do a few entries for different themes. Maybe. But for sure, here are the photos. O.O (And if you want the recipe, CLICK ON THE PICTURE! Or just wait for my entry on the recipe. Yum…)

Main Chicken Entrees:


Seafood and Snacks:


Deserts:




And the topper to my hunger (Now I have HUGE cravings!)

Ingredients

  • 14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

In a food processor, process the graham crackers until finely ground. Add butter and water and process until the crumbs clump together. Press the crumb mixture into bottom of pie plate and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.

In the meantime, make the pudding. Put the gelatin in a small bowl, add the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

In a medium saucean mix the 2/3 cup of sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add half of the milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the milk. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla and reserved gelatin. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and let set for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Whip the cream and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Before serving, garnish the pie with the whipped cream.

In Celebration Of…

I am VERY excited about my new feature “Designer of the Week!”

And as I was preparing the entry, I realized, it’s not fair to my Designers if I do it at the END of the week, so why not wait until Monday to start it with a BANG!

But I still want to celebrate it’s coming, so … here is a recipe!

And as you scroll down and come back up here, you may look at me with curiosity. Why celebrate with WHITE cake? Why? Because all good cakes start with the basics! You can easily decorate this and do anything with it! Add chocolate swirls, add sprinkles to make it confetti cake, you name it! It becomes it!

Plus, White Cake is my favorite. *wink*

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

 

Simple, Delicious, and striaght to the point!

Now I am ready for Some Designers of the Week!

The Fashion Trend That I Like?

I admit it: I am not fashionable.

I don’t have a fashionable bone in my body when it comes to clothes. I tend to not like most of what is going on with clothes, and do not wear what is considered in. But somehow I still got on Bazaar’s Magazine list and still get their THICK magazine haunting and filling my mail box.

But I got to curious about what is to come. And I was pleasantly surprised at what I found: Pale Pastel Colors are BACK!

This is the sight I saw on Style.Com and I was extremely happy:

Spring 2012 trend reports

PALE FIRE

After months of blaring neons and eye-searing prints, the pretty pastels we saw from Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein Collection and the new dut at Valentino were a welcome palette cleanser. Giambattista Valli and Louis Vuitton’s Marc Jacobs embraced the light, too, serving up color-blocked looks in sweet ice cream shades. Two scoops, please.”

Make that not just them loving it!

I got to thinking, why not incorporate that into decor? And to make sure I don’t complicate it too much, I looked into some more solid tones, just to get a room started. That way, you can have other matching or complimentary items that will easily fit around the rug!

Yes, I said it. RUG. It’s been a while since I have shown to my favorite flooring, and so here are some pastel colored rugs to get you started for the season!

(Like always, if you want to see more pictures of these rugs, go ahead and click on them. They will link up their page.)

Good start right? Nice light colors to work with. Love it. And I may even partake in wearing some light colors this Spring Season. *wink*

But looking at those light colors somehow reminded me of sweets. So, here’s a recipe as well.

I’m a mom, I can’t help it. (Gotta love Good Housekeeping!)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon(s) salt

1/3 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar, see step 1

3 tablespoon(s) confectioners’ sugar, see step 5

10 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

3 tablespoon(s) ice water

6 ounce(s) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened

1/2 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream

3 tablespoon(s) chopped crystallized ginger

1 1/2 pound(s) strawberries, stems and leaves discarded and each berry cut lengthwise in half


Directions

  1. In food processor with knife blade attached, combine flour, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar; pulse until blended. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vanilla, then ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour. (If chilled overnight, let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.)
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. On large sheet of parchment paper, with floured rolling pin, roll dough into 12-inch round. Using 11-inch dinner plate as guide, and with sharp knife, cut 11-inch round from dough; discard trimmings.
  3. Transfer round, still on parchment, to large cookie sheet. Press one index finger against outside edge of dough round; with index finger and thumb of other hand, push dough around fingertip toward center to form a flute. Repeat around edge to make a decorative border. Refrigerate or freeze, on cookie sheet, about 10 minutes to firm dough slightly.
  4. Bake dough 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Cool crust completely on cookie sheet on wire rack, about 20 minutes.
  5. When crust is cool, in medium bowl, with spoon, mix cream cheese, sour cream, crystallized ginger, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until blended. Spread cream cheese mixture on crust. Arrange strawberries, wide ends down, in concentric circles in cream cheese mixture to cover.

Read more: Fresh Strawberry-Cream Cheese Tart – Cream Cheese Recipes – Good Housekeeping

The Post of Many Colors

I was looking at some designs online, trying to find some inspiration for my own home when I stumbled across this photo:

What caught me on this is that it has bright and lively colors, with out blinding me. It does it with a fair amount of neutral colors or complimentary colors that I just fell in love with! This is something I actually would not mind in my own home. I will probably try this in my daughter’s room.

Lovely isn’t it?

And with that note, there was one thing that caught my eye: The flowers and the vase in the center of the coffee table. Do you know how much a nice piece like that can add so much to your room? With that in mind, I know there are a lot of things out there that seems expensive to look fancy, etc.

I have found this lovely tutorial to make your own “Centerpiece/Decorative Flower Vase” that is perfect for your home, or even as a wedding centerpiece!

(Thank you TheBridesDiary-DIY.blogspot.com for this! To see their entry, click on the link. Actually, go and go to it to comment and give them thanks for this wonderful idea!)

What you’ll need…
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Scrapbook Paper or gift wrap with interesting designs
    Decorative ribbon
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Containers to cover like an empty can, old unused vases and soda cans
  • Floral foam
  • Flowers
DIY Tin Can Vases centerpieces
Instructions…
Step 1: Choose the container you would like to cover and measure a strip of the scrapbook paper to fit around the container.
Step 2: Cut the scrapbook paper into a strip that fits around the container.
Step 3: Spray a thin layer of the spray adhesive onto your scrapbook paper strip on the side you want adhered to your container.
Step 4: Wait one minute for the spray adhesive to get really sticky.
Step 5: Then, carefully adhere the scrapbook paper strip to the container.
Step 6: To add more interest to your covered container, spray measured pieces of ribbon with the spray adhesive and adhere to the container.
Step 7: Then, fill your container about halfway full with water. Cut flower stems at an angle to ensure they get the most water pumping through their stems. For a more hand-picked feel, simply cut the stems and place in the container. For more of a controlled, full look, you can use floral foam. Simply cut the floral foam into a piece that fits snuggly into your container and insert stems into foam.
Step 8: This method of covering different containers can work for a variety of containers and creates a fun, custom look for each vase covered. Great for bridal showers, centerpieces, place cards, and votives. For larger containers, you can use a fabric covering using the same methods of adhering the fabric. Be bold and be creative!
And, my blog wouldn’t be complete without a recipe inspired by this, right?
((Yes, it’s JUST the glaze. Something different and useful! Thank you http://www.mccormick.com))

Ingredients:

Directions:

1. Mix confectioners’ sugar, milk and extract in small bowl until smooth. Stir in corn syrup until glaze is smooth and glossy. (If glaze is too thick, stir in small amount of additional corn syrup.) Stir in 3 to 4 drops food color until evenly distributed and glaze is smooth. Add additional drops of food color until glaze is of desired color.

2. To glaze cookies, place cooling rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Holding a cookie by its edge, dip the top of cookie into glaze. (Or spoon the glaze onto cookies using a teaspoon. Cookies can also be glazed using a new small paintbrush.) Place glazed cookies on cooling rack to dry. (The foil-covered baking sheet will catch any drips.)

3. Use contrasting glaze colors to decorate glazed cookies, if desired. Spoon small amount of contrasting glaze into small resealable plastic bag. Snip off tiny piece of the corner of the plastic bag. Create design by squeezing contrasting glaze onto cookies. Allow glazed cookies to dry thoroughly before stacking.

 

May The Odds Ever Be In Your Favor

I did it.

I finally saw the movie I have been wanting to see since there was even TALK of them making it! I was a fan of the books, and let me tell you, I was NERVOUS. About what you may ask? Since I loved the books, I had to wonder if they’d keep true to it in the movie or somehow mess it up.

And let me tell you, the Hunger Games Movie was QUITE fantastic. I was quite happy with the results.

Yes, I am speaking about the Hunger Games! And to celebrate that it was a fantastic movie, I decided to do two things:

Celebrate with a rug picture and a reciepe. Which comes to my theme for this week: Nature.

How in the world did I get Nature? you may ask. Well, because of the background of the Hunger Games has a lot of nature in it, it really sparked that thought in me. And so, when I was just looking around for things that reminded me of the Hugner Games, things with nature is what stood out to me. Which I have no complaints about.

First, the lovely decor and rugs that I love so much.

This rug I chose because of the green and brown. It does have a slight earth/nature feel to it while still being modern. In my mind, this rug fit the nature feel.

And now, the recipe: (Thank you to IHeartCuppyCakes.com for this recipe!)

INGREDIENTS

favorite vanilla cupcake recipe:
(For cupcakes
2-1/2 cups AP flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cup sugar
12 tbsp (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 large egg + 2 egg white, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk)
favorite vanilla frosting recipe, tinted green
favorite chocolate frosting recipe
18 lollipops
tiny red heart sprinkles
Oreo cookies crumbs

INSTRUCTIONS
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Now, if you want to see how she made the tress, she shows step by step on her site, so click on the link above the picture to reach it!

And that, my friends, is how I celebrate Hunger Games. ;D