Friday, May 28, 2010

Treasure Chest Cake!

I made this cake for Bird's first birthday. I made it with the Homemade Yellow Cake Mix. I found a wonderful video of how to make this cake!


I did wait to frost until after I had "glued" the wedge to the lid. I felt like that was easier then trying to move a frosted cake :)

This is what Bird's looked like:

I also did a large cupcake with the yellow cake mix. You can do a large one, or do a tin of regular sized cupcakes.

I just frosted the cupcake with white, and made his bandana with a fruit roll up and icing his eye and mouth. The scruff is chocolate sprinkles :)

If you feel like making an elaborate cake is too much for you, or you have a bunch of mouths to feed buy a plain sheet cake and decorate it your self! This is cheaper, and very easy! Plus sometimes your child's theme isn't a theme that the local grocery store has at the time. I used brown sugar to make the sand, chocolate sprinkles to make the line to follow, and icing to mark the spot! With a couple of cheap toys from the dollar store the cake looks almost professional!!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake

For this recipe I used the Yellow Cake Mix.
Prepare and bake two round cakes.

While cooling prepare the glaze!!

What you need:

One 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
One 1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of vanilla
1 pound of powered sugar

Combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together. Slowly stir in powered sugar. Use immediately after, do not let sit in a cool area. Place one cooled cake on the platter you plan to use. Spoon on a layer of glaze, spreading it evenly. Layer sliced strawberries. Add second layer of cake. Spoon more glaze on to the cake, decorate as you want!!

If you have left over glaze and strawberries did the berries into the glaze set on a plate and in the fridge. Let them harden and enjoy your gourmet treat!

Play Dough!

Easy to make entertainment!

What you will need:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of salt
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of vegitable oil
1 table spoon cream of tartar

In a sauce pan heat the water and vegitable oil. Add the rest of the ingrediants, stir continuously until playdough begins to form a ball in the center of the pan. Remove the play dough from the heat, and place it on a sheet of wax paper. Let cool for about five to ten minutes, until cool enough to kneed. From here you color as needed! You can make more than one batch and color each sepratly or seperat one batch into many balls of dough then color! Pictured above is one batch colored all together.

Pumpkin Pie!

I really wanted to try a beautiful pie from Chickens in the Road, but I could not for the life of me find a Cushaw Squash :( So I used Suzanne's Spiced Cushaw Pie recipe to make a Pumpkin Pie instead!

Sorry for the blurry picture, but this is what my pie came out to!! It was so yummy!
You can make this pie with any winter squash, making your house smell beautiful and your table look even more beautiful!!!
Preparing your squash:
Cut it apart and remove seeds and strings.
Place pieces face-down on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350-degrees for an hour and a half (or until tender when pierced with a fork). Cool then scoop the squash out of skin. Puree with a masher or food processor to the consistency of mashed potatoes. Use cup for cup in recipes as you would canned solid-pack pumpkin. Refrigerate up to a week before using or store in the freezer for several months.
This is her recipe:

2 cups prepared squash puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces evaporated milk
Pastry for a single pie crust

Combine squash puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla then beat lightly with a whisk. Stir in evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into a pastry-lined pie plate. Bake on the lowest oven rack at 375-degrees for 50-60 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Chill before serving.
I would love to hear about your experiences with this! Did you try a different type of sqaush? Send me pictures!!

A Pie Perfect for Ice Cream!

Can you tell I love Chickens in the Road yet?
This pie is from Suzanne's cookbook, you can find the original Here!
She has pictures of the whole process up too!!

This is how mine turned out!

Here is the recipe:

9 cups (3 pounds) sliced apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Peel, core, and slice apples.

Place in a large bowl. After the first several cups of sliced apples are in the bowl, add the tablespoon of lemon juice and stir it up. This will keep the apples from browning while you’re slicing the rest. Once all the apples are in the bowl, add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Stir well to blend. Line a deep dish pie plate with the pastry. Fill it up with the filling! Put the top crust on, crimping edges. Cut slits to vent. Brush the top with a little bit of egg white if you like and sprinkle with sugar.Suzzane suggests sprinkling turbinado sugar on top, so of course I did. :)

Bake on the lowest oven rack–20 minutes at 425-degrees, then another 20-25 minutes at 375-degrees.

Let me know if you try this recipe! I would love to see your picture!!!

Another McMinn Creation :)

Suzanne McMinn's Foolproof Pie Crust!
If you would like pictures while you make this visit Suzanne's site by clicking Here!

Pictured here is an apple pie and pumpkin pie I made using this crust!!

"4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups shortening or lard
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1/2 cup very cold water

Add flour, shortening or lard, sugar, and salt to a large bowl.

Mix flour and shortening or lard with a pastry cutter until it looks nice and crumbly(I do not have a pastery cutter so instead I washed my hands, and mixed away!!)). In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, egg, and water. Add to the flour mixture, stirring in till well-moistened. Knead lightly to mix in all the flour then shape it into a great, big, wonderful ball of pastry dough. (Don’t overhandle.)
Then divide the dough into four equal portions.
Shape each portion into a ball; wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before using. Or, if you want to use it faster, stick it in the freezer for 5 minutes. (You can keep this pie crust dough in the refrigerator for a week before using, or in the freezer for a couple of months. It freezes well–place dough balls in sealed freezer bags for storage.)

To use, sprinkle some flour on waxed paper. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the pastry dough then roll out, adding more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking to your rolling pin. Place in a greased pie pan. I like to just up-end the rolled crust right off the waxed paper on top of the pie pan. Peel off the paper then crimp the edges.

For double-crust pie, repeat the same procedure, venting the top."
Visit Suzanne's Page for more ideas on how to use the crust!!!

Nana's Pudding

2 cup sugar
2 cup sweet milk
2 teaspoon vanilla flavor
2 cup water
1 cup flour
2 eggs
2 boxes vanilla wafers

Boil milk and sugar
Beat eggs, add water, flour, stir good.
Then put it in the boiling milk and sugar. 
Pour a little in a casserole or pie tin, put vanilla wafers on it, then put bananas on top of the vanilla wafers, then pour some more of the pudding on top of the bananas then put some more wafers and bananas, continue layering until you are satisfied! 

Also you can buy boxed pudding if you want to make it partially homemade :)

Livy's Pink Hat

This is Livy's new pink hat! As soon as its completly finished I will get the pattern up for you!!!

Bird's Green Blanket

I started my own project blanket all on my own, no tutorial :) Here is the beginning of my new baby! When I finish it I will post the pattern that way I don't have to fix it if something doesn't work ;)

This is the beginning chain!

This is the snake like effect I am making into Carson's blanket!
Look out for a video tutorial soon of how to crochet :)

Easter Bunny Cake

This looks like a hard cake, but it is really simple!!

This Easter bunny cake was made from 2 round cakes, using Suzanne McMinn's yellow cake.

After cooling cut one of the cakes as shown:

After arange the cakes like my picture and use your imagination to decorate! You can also bake a 1/2 sheet and lay the two rounds on it for more cake. To get a fuzzy look you can layer coconut on the bunny as well!!! If any one makes this I would love to see it!!!

Yummy Yellow Cake Mix

This cake mix has done a lot for me. If it had not been for me searching for this cake mix on the internet I would have never found Suzanne McMinn's blog Chickens in the Road. This is all her reciepe. You can check it out straight from her by clicking Here! She includes wonderful pictures as she goes!!

Here are the instructions:

"How to make Homemade Yellow Cake Mix:3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and non-fat dry milk. Store in an airtight container or baggie. Keeps well in the pantry for months!

To replace in recipes calling for a yellow cake mix:
Use in any recipe calling for a yellow cake mix as a base (add 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla to the recipe along with the cake mix as the recipe will assume vanilla was included in the store-bought mix).

Or to make a basic yellow cake, use the following instructions.

Cake mix directions:1 recipe Homemade Yellow Cake Mix
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs

Place Homemade Yellow Cake Mix in a bowl. Add water, vanilla, butter, and eggs. Combine with an electric mixer then beat two more minutes. Pour into a greased and floured cake pan. Bake at 350-degrees, using these baking times (watch carefully as your oven may vary–test for doneness using a toothpick):

8″ or 9″ cake rounds — 25-30 minutes
13 x 9 pan — 40-45 minutes
cupcakes — 15-20 minutes
tube/bundt pan — 45-50 minutes

Don’t overbake! You’ll dry out your cake."

The Red Blanket.

So I first learned to crochet on this blanket. I have been working on it more than a year now, because I just didn't have time and its REALLY big. Here are so update photos so far :)

This is Autumn's cat Lily. I was kitty-sitting her, and she decided to play with my yarn while I crocheted :)
This is what happens when you have a six month old puppy and you leave your work on the coffee table. This took two days to fix!
This is what it looks like right now :) I have about two to three more feet to go!!

Once again… Shoes….. and a few other boy things

We are having tons of fun with shoes! If Bird is not wearing shoes he gets either mine or Brad's and puts them on. When we are checking out at the counter and he talks to the guy behind about his shoes. We play outside and he tries to play with the neighbor's feet because she has shoes on. He also points to Elmos feet and talks about shoes with a question on his face, because Elmo doesn't wear shoes. Can't even go to Nonie's house with out Bird putting on Stuart's slippers :)  I have a new plan for a slide show soon of all the shoe pictures, watch for it :)

Today Bird decided to throw a caterpiller on me. Of course I freaked out, since all I saw was a worm like thing squirming around and flying at me. After i had calmed down and he quit laughing he came running to me. I thought he was going in for the butter-me-up-because-I-did-something-wrong-kiss, instead he chomped down on my big toe! All this before noon! It was a crazy day!

At KidZone Bird took a bite out of a biscut, some pizza, and some lettuce. Would have been a pretty good meal, if they hadn't been the plastic food from the toy kitchen set. This boy is the key to constant entertainment!

This is an older picture of Bird and Carter playing in fake snow at Buffalo Wild Wings :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Imaginary Kitties, and Lots of Sweets!

Bird had to be a man for a few minutes before the Mother's Day events:

Then went to church and played with Cousin Carter and Isabelle!! Soon after we headed to Aunt Mandy's for lunch! Bird was spoiled rotten with sweets!!! He loved playing with Cousin Carter's toys!

Later in the day Mommy met up with a friend for coffee, and Carson talked about keys and imaginary kitties! He kept telling us about the kitty in the corner and pointing to it, but there was nothing there! Poor kid misses his "kiki"

We are headed to the water park tomorrow :) more pictures then!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Quiet Day….

Bird had a rough night, so he slept a ton today. No stories to tell for today, but I do have two new pictures :)

He walked around like this for a long time today! :) It was even funnier when he was carrying my balloon around too!

Does he look like Daddy or what?

Friday, May 7, 2010


- Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

Back Online!

Busy Busy Busy!!!

Brad was in the hospital, so I didn't have much time to post, he is doing good now, and I finally have time!
He fed Daddy even though he wasn't supposed to be eating... Shh! Don't tell! :)

Its getting hotter here in Arizona! We even hit 100 here at home this week, but we have the perfect remedy for that!


Yesterday Bird had a blast at a local water attraction!