Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: February 2010

Creamy Decadent Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is so versatile. It is paired perfectly with carrot cake, cookies, quick breads and layer cakes. I found this recipe quite by accident. My mom gave Adelin a Leapster for Christmas. She gave Mason one when he turned four and so as […]

White 2-layer Birthday Cake Recipe

The Target bakery in the Super Target the next town over has the most delicious and moist white cake I have ever eaten. The bakery is our go to for special occasions when we are in need of cupcakes. I am always up for a […]

How to Make A Layered Cake

My record of making perfectly symmetrical cakes is not very good. Either the bottom sticks to the pan or the layers are lopsided. Fortunately all my children see is a mirage of birthday sugary confection.

The trick of the trade is lots of practice and a few good tips from the pros. The following videos will demonstrate how to slice the layers, put them together and frost the sides and tops.

One note that is not mentioned that I find helpful is to freeze the cake before slicing. It creates less crumb and makes it easier to slice.

Cutting the Cake:

Stacking the Layers:

Frosting Cake Sides:

Frosting Top of Cake:

Frost and Transfer 2-Layer Tier Cake:

German Chocolate Cookies

This recipe for German Chocolate Cookies was made with a lot of love especially for my mom. It is chocked full of all her favorites, pecans, chocolate and coconut. And…it is as healthy as a cookie can get and still tastes phenomenal. Each cookie is […]

Corn Dog Muffins

My first job after graduating high school was working in the Sears shoe department at the mall. It was not the most glamorous of professions, standing around for 9 hours but it paid. Occasionally for breakfast I would stop by Cinnabon for a mini roll […]

February the “Month of Love”

Valentine's Day Heart by Claudia Bear

Source: “Valentine’s Day Heart” by Claudia Bear

Franklin Convey once said it takes 26 days to make a habit. Child Development therapists tell us when disciplining our children to modify one behavior at a time. I decided to take their approach to my New Year’s resolutions. Rather than become overloaded by all I want to accomplish my quest this year is to pour my heart into one goal each month. In the flavor of “Love” this month my goal is to plant seeds of kindness and grow some love.

Many, many, many years ago I had a roommate I could not stand. In addition to a very long list of irritating habits, she had a deviated septum that made it difficult for her to breathe through her nose quietly. What I remember is that I really started to despise the girl. You have to understand I am a peacemaker. Born in July makes me a Cancer and so I tend to try my best to avoid confrontation. So I set out to seek advice from a wise old man on how to remedy my problem. I was told to love her. Yep, love her. How do you treat someone who grates on your nerves with kindness? Well I will tell you this, it was not easy. At first I made her bed every morning. Then I would grudgingly give her compliments. By the end of 6 weeks she and I became great friends.

It seems in relationships the first line of defense is to ignore the problem or enact revenge in the form of hurtful words or actions. Or in the case above with my friend I would have allowed negative feelings for someone I hardly knew ruin a potential long lasting friendship. I know sometimes we just want to wallow a little in our sorrows. It is ok to feel hurt, even anger and jealousy, but it is not ok to act out on those feelings. Move on. I know, easier said than done. The way I explain it to my five year old is like this; when we harbor negative feelings they begin to grow until they take over our bodies like the Dark Side did to Aniken Skywalker. We have to forgive ourselves, the person we wronged or the person who wronged us and move on so we do not turn to the Dark Side.

I really had to think about what I wanted to achieve by my Love Dare. There is always room to improve when it comes to expressing love but I did not want my goal to be too vague or corny. I had to narrow it down enough that I would remain interested and most of all see the results. The answer came to me the day I was filling out a “Get to Know You” questionnaire for our kindergartner. The last question asked “Name one thing my parents think is especially great about me.” Mason could not grasp what the question meant. More importantly I wondered how often we express to him the things we admire most about him. His answer was “I play with the baby to distract him.” How sad is that? I decided that not only is it important to tell our children daily how much we love them, we also need to help them see how great they really are. The same thought can be applied to all of our relationships, most especially our spouses.

Ways To Give More Love:

  • Forgive and Forget: Accidents happen. Our mantra states “That’s ok!” All messes can be cleaned up. Some just take a little more work than others.
  • Be positive: No one likes a sour-puss. Nothing is worse than being told you cannot accomplish something. Be supportive of others and their dreams even if you do not share their enthusiasm. If we dream hard enough we can touch the stars or at least feel confident it was a successful failure.
  • No Nagging: Nagging is contention and contention creates nothing but negativity. Negativity can lead to animosity and the destruction of a soul. This can be a difficult feat to accomplish with kids. A kind warning and a strict consequence is easier on the ears than harsh criticisms for not following through.
  • Compliments Galore: The way to a man’s heart is not food but compliments. It is like their energy source. Fill them up with superhero power and they will dazzle us. Our friends and family could use a good dose as a pick me up too.

Chateaubriand, The Language of Romance

Chateaubriand is a French dish created by chef, Montmireil for Vicomte Francois Chateaubriand. Francois was a 19th century author and statesman to Napoleon and was considered to be the father of Romanticism in French Literature. It is said that Montmireil chose the thickest, less flavorful […]

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Several years ago, a group of moms started a monthly Bunko night. There were 12 of us with alternates in case one of us could not make it. Each member had to play hostess to a game night. She would provide the house, the meal, […]

Chinese New Year Dragon Puppets

new_chinese_dragon-by Brittany Mei Hill

Artwork by: Brittany Mei Hill

In our home we enjoy learning about other cultures and their traditions. Last year for Chinese New Year we made lanterns and masks and fortune cookies. This year for our New Year’s craft we are making dragons.

Chinese New Year Dragons

In China, the dragon is a sacred animal. The legend has it that the dragon hibernates in the ocean in the autumn until spring when it ascends to the sky, bringing with it much needed rains. The dragon dance is a major highlight of the New Year celebration. It is believed to bring good fortune and power.

To make a dragon puppet for a Chinese New Year parade you will need the following:

Paper bags
Streamers in various colors or ribbon
Sequins
Glitter
Jewels
Flowers
Glue
Markers

Begin by using the markers to draw a face or designs on the bag. Then glue on strips of the crepe paper or ribbons and any decorations you choose. Let the dragons dry completely.

Beef Tip Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a classic 18th century Russian dish usually made with strips of beef, mustard and a cream sauce. Credit was given to the Count Alexander Grigorievitch Stroganov, a 19th century diplomat, although; similar accounts for a dish containing beefs strips in a cream sauce […]