Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This is a photo of my grandniece, Avlyn, and her Uncle James that I just had to share.  Have you EVER seen a photo that encompasses PURE love and devotion??!!  Avlyn has such a crush on her uncle and it truly shows in this picture.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It's International Pancake Day!

There is NOTHING I enjoy more on a special Sunday morning than a sweet stack of feather light pancakes!  Of course, they aren't feather light by the time I add some REAL butter (and none of that fake stuff allowed if I'm splurging on a homemade pancake) and the really good quality maple syrup (although Log Cabin is pretty darn good and it's the stuff I was raised on).  But I'm sure adding some blueberries puts this sweet indulgence into the "fruit" category on the food pyramid!  And while some take the easy route and use a pancake mix, there really isn't that much involved in achieving restaurant quality - knock your grandma over - pancakes!

I really enjoy buttermilk pancakes, although buttermilk is not something you will find in my refrigerator at any given moment.  I'm sure my grandmother always had this staple handy, but it's just not something I use much of ... except for making fried chicken, pancakes, and an occasional cake recipe.  But there really is a remarkable difference in the taste and texture of a pancake using buttermilk versus milk.  And try adding a tablespoon of malted milk powder to your pancake mixture ... this also adds a subtle and tasty extra something to pancake batter.  

Here's a few of my favorite pancake recipes for you to try some weekend soon ... or hey, take a walk on the wild side and have pancakes for dinner!  I won't tell !!

This lovely and unusal pancake is OVEN baked and puffs up to create a crater where you can then add your favorite fillings.  It's called an apfelpfannkuchen - or translated - a German Apple Pancake!

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And I'm danish by heritage, but I grew up enjoying what is known as swedish pancakes ... almost crepe like in texture and thinness and so fun to just roll up and eat with a bit of cinnamon sure.

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And here's the basic recipe for MILE HIGH buttermilk pancakes:


2 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda



1. In a medium bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry mixture and stir just till combined (do not over beat).

2. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot, lightly greased griddle. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown, turning to second side when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup.

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So whatever jack you flap on, splurge sometime soon and share a plate of pancakes with a loved one.  You'll be glad you did!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's 5:00 Somewhere!

Today is National Margarita Day!


Celebrate National Margarita Day 2011 today with this easy recipe. This is the day for all margarita lovers to celebrate, whether you’re going out to your favorite restaurant, or making yours at home. There are even margarita machines for people who just can’t make them fast enough. All true Margarita lovers have their favorite recipe for the perfect Margarita. This recipe comes from Patrón.

Patrón Margarita Recipe


1 1/2 ounces Patrón Silver

1/2 ounce Patrón Citrónge

3/4 oz Lime Juice

margarita salt and ice

lime wedge to garnish

Method:  Run lime wedge around glass to moisten the rim. Dip in a bowl with margarita salt to salt the rim of the glass. Add ice to shaker. Add Patrón Silver, Patrón Citrónge and lime juice to shaker. Shake well and strain into a glass. Garnish with lime wedge.

Now if drinking isn't your thing, here's a SWEET version of a Margarita Cake you might enjoy:

Margarita Cake


1 1/2 cups coarsely crushed pretzels

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted


1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix

3/4 cup bottled nonalcoholic margarita mix

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon grated lime peel

3 egg whites


1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Additional grated lime peel, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease bottom only and lightly flour 13x9-inch pan, or spray bottom with baking spray with flour. In medium bowl, mix crust ingredients. Sprinkle evenly on bottom of pan; press gently.

In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter over crust.

Bake 34 to 39 minutes or until light golden brown and top springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Frost with whipped topping; sprinkle with additional lime peel. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday to my FAVORITE son-in-law!!

Okay, so Jeremy is my ONLY son-in-law, but I would still feel the same if I had a dozen of 'em!  He is just a wonderful human being ... caring, intelligent, compassionate, a GREAT husband to my daughter, and even GREATER father to my two grandchildren.

We are TRULY blessed to have him as part of our family. 

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!

Happy Mardi Gras!

"Mardi Gras" means "Fat Tuesday." Traditionally, it is the last day for Catholics to indulge—and often overindulge—before Ash Wednesday starts the sober weeks of fasting that come with Lent.  The first treat that comes to mind when I hear Mardi Gras is of course the King Cake.  The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby, and a party. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside, the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party.

And if you are making the trip to New Orleans (or hosting an event where you live), it would't be complete without inhaling one (or 2 or 3 or 4) of these sweet delights ... beignets!

New Orleans Beignets Recipe

Here's a fabulous recipe for these amazing light and airy desserts:

And last but not least would of course be an indulgence into a really good jambalaya!!
Jambalaya Recipe

So go and indulge ... and catch a few beads!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

Today is my mother's birthday ... and if you ask her how old she is she will say she doesn't know.  The story goes that when she was born, they didn't expect her to live ... and months later when she was well, they somehow never issued her a birth certificate.  Of course, this was back when they delivered babies at home and had midwives, so it could easily happen that getting a birth certificate could somehow have gotten lost in the shuffle.  Here's a pic of my mom with my older brother, John ... at least I'm assuming it's him and not me with the giveaway being the football.

This was back in the day when mothers wore dresses ... every single day ... and I even remember my mom vacuuming and ironing in high heels ... can you imagine??!!

And here's my mom with my Grandma Elly ... bathing beauties!!!

And when I was growing up there were many things my mother told me . . . lots of words of wisdom and sound advice. Most times I paid attention. However, that there were other times that I rolled my eyes and thought to myself ... what does she know?  This mental faux pas is what is known as the teenage years. One day many years later I heard myself spouting off these same pearls of wisdom to my own children, and I realized my mother was wise beyond compare!  Here's a few phrases that might sound familiar ...

Don’t ever leave the house without clean underwear.

Touching frogs causes warts.
Eating carrots will give you good eyesight.

Fish is brainfood.  [I like fish and I'm smart . . . point proven!] 
If you keep crossing your eyes, they're going to stay that way.
Don't talk with your mouth full.

Don't sit so close to the television, you'll go blind. 

Eat everything on your plate ... there are starving children in Europe. To this day I'm not sure how cleaning my plate off made a difference.

How do you know you don't like it if you don't taste it?  [I don't think my mother ever tasted sushi !!]

Don't get your Sunday school clothes dirty. [she should have told my brother!]

These years are the best years of your life.

What goes around comes around. 

Always carry kleenex in your pocket!  (which she would use to "spit" wash our faces if we got dirty in public)
You just wait til your father gets home. (no explanation needed) ... usually followed with my dad saying "I'm getting my belt ..."

If you don't go to sleep, Santa won't come.  This was one I never took a chance on.

Go play outside, you need the fresh air. (Not to mention mom needs some peace and quiet.)

Don't slam the door!   [oops . . . sorry . . .]

Because I told you so!!

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A bit of Cardmaking Today

I've been in my craft room this morning making a few cards I need to get out this next week.  Here's a valentine's day card for my grandson!

And a welcome baby card for our dear neighbors.

And a really simple but cute get well card (can you see the tissue?)

Art Journaling

Tracy over at Helmar USA pulled me into yet another form of creative expression (and she had to apply a bit of pressure for me to take this plunge into uncharted territory!).  Art journals.  This is a PERSONAL book where I can doodle, sketch, paint and just feel free to be creative.  If I like what I create then I can transfer the idea to either cards or canvas. Here's the cover I created for this new adventure into art journaling.

There are some amazing ideas and inspiration out there for art expression.  If you are a follower of my pinterest pages, then you can find more on the "she art" creativity there.  Here's my first she art page.

And birds on a wire is something I just had a bit of fun with. 

My next pages are already in pencil and waiting for me to find some time to bring them to life.  And be sure to catch Tracy on Monday nights on her Upstream feed where you are sure to be inspired!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pie on a Stick

Everyone is making cake pops!  I've been following Bakerella for several years now and can attest that her recipe for these delightful pops is a true WINNER.  However, they are VERY time consuming to make.

ENTER ... Babycakes Pie Pop Maker!!

So today I stumble across a new gadget called a Pie Pop Maker.  What is this?  Sweet little fruit pies that you can make quick and easy?

I try NOT to acquire gadgets and appliances that have only one function. But in the case of this Babycakes bite-size pie maker, I am going to make the exception.

I am looking at this as an investment and a way for my grandson (and granddaughter when she is old enough) to spend time with me in the kitchen ... coming up with creative fillings for these sweet (or savory) treats on a stick. 

Let's face it ... EVERYTHING tastes better on a stick!!

The Babycakes Pie Pop Maker is:

Easy: Just add a favorite filling and a stick between two crust circles and bake.

Fast: Makes six pie pops in four minutes or less.

Safe: No hot oven racks or pans for kids to deal with.

Low Maintenance: Nonstick coating wipes clean with a damp cloth.

Small: Just 6¼”W x 11¼”L x 3½”H when closed.

Versatile: Leave off the sticks and you’ve got bite-size pies for adults.

Inexpensive: Just $19.95 with free shipping (on sale from $29.95), which includes treat sticks, a pie pop stand, stainless steel crust cutter, and instruction manual with recipes and cooking tips.  And in bright red, it also can be a Valentine gift (don't tell hubby).  I just ordered one from

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snowy Saturday

We awoke this morning to this vista in our front yard ...

I think there's about 5 inches or so, and before it is all said and done they say we could get up to 11 inches - egaads!

But can't complain as my son (in Denver) got 14 inches and it is still snowing ...

I do love snowed in days though ... we seem to get a lot done.  Hubby is working on putting in some new wood flooring this morning.

Looks nice, doesn't it??!!

I'm off to throw some laundry into the dryer, make some deviled eggs for the super bowl tomorrow, along with a batch of peanut butter cookies (and I'll throw in some M&M's for the grandson's enjoyment).  Then it's into my craft room for an afternoon of creativity and watching the snow fall.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Ground Hog's Day!

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club made their decree Thursday morning in central Pennsylvania: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and there'll be six more weeks of winter.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The One You Feed

I just read this story and wanted to share it ...

A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth. This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.” The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The Cherokee elder replied… “The one you feed.”