Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Jello Stash

Sometimes when I read a new recipe, I will jot down all of the ingredients and proceed to pick them up the next time I am at the grocery store.  And I must admit that sometimes I don't ever get around to making the recipe; in fact I will forget all about the recipe, and wonder just exactly what did I have in mind when I purchased certain items.  A good case in point is when I have bought various flavors of Jello, and the boxes end up more as a decoration on my pantry shelf.  A couple of months ago, I gathered up all of the stray boxes of Jello, and found a nice little home for them in a little square plastic box.  At that time, I told myself that I really needed to make it a priority to use them up, instead of letting them just go to waste.  So in recent weeks I have been very diligent to keep a fairly steady supply of little 1/2 cup containers filled with this colorful sweetness.  My girls and I have all enjoyed just grabbing a little container to toss in a lunch bag, or better yet, enjoy a serving for dessert after dinner.  They are such a nice guilt-free dessert, and for me, satisfy my sweet tooth just fine.  But now that the little storage box is beginning to look a bit empty, I think it is time to restock.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Inspiration

As I write this, I am sitting in the lobby of our local community center waiting for my daughter to finish up with one of her many activities.  Keeping me company today is the current issue of "Where Women Cook".  I am currently on page 118, not having skipped a page, and taking special notice of each beautifully created photograph.  There aren't many pages remaining, and I then plan on starting over once again to make certain I haven't missed one single thing.

I first heard about the magazine from my blog friend, Koralee, from Bluebird Notes.  She is actually featured in the magazine on pages 86-91.  When she blogged about the magazine a couple of weeks ago, she was offering a copy in a giveaway.  Of course I left a comment to be entered in the giveaway; but knowing that the odds were against me actually winning, I began to look for the magazine locally.  I first caught a glimpse of it in a Michael's store, and immediately reached for a copy; however, as soon as I saw the price, I retracted my hand in disappointment.  It is a bit expensive, and my mind wandered back to the giveaway wondering just what exactly my chances might be of winning a copy.  Thinking about it realistically for a moment, I wondered if I might be able to find a copy at Costco, which was to be my next stop.  After arriving at Costco, I half heartedly looked not expecting to see it; but lo and behold, there it was at a discounted price.  I immediately placed it in my cart, and decided that would be a treat to myself for the day.  And what a treat it has been.  The articles and photography are delightful.  Unlike some magazines that after perusing, I set down never to return to, I have even already attempted making my friend, Koralee's, cupcake liner flowers that she gives instructions for on page 90.  Mine still need a bit of tweaking to be as cute as hers; but I thought they looked just fine on a couple of very special birthday presents I recently wrapped.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Today is the day that I celebrate my Irish heritage.  My father, bless his Irish soul, always made sure that we celebrated St. Patrick's Day.  As I have posted in the past, his father was 100% Irish, and we grew up never missing out on celebrating this day.

There has been some debate in the family about where our ancestors came from in Ireland.  My dad was very adamant about saying that we came from County Cork.  I know that I have relatives that have actually traveled to Ireland to locate some family history, and have reason to believe that we are from County Clare.  But to my knowledge, so far nothing has turned up.  Regardless of the specific Irish location that my family heralds from, today we are Irish and very proud of it.

"I met a little leprechaun down where the shamrocks grow.
I asked him why he stayed so small, and why he didn't grow.
He frowned his brow, and with his eye, he looked me through and through.
"Well, I'm as big to me he said as you are big to you."
(Author Unknown)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sweet Signs of Spring

The official day of spring is just around the corner; however, I've been noticing several signs of the upcoming and long anticipated for new season.  The birds are singing so cheerfully, patches of snow are getting smaller and smaller, the neighborhood sledding hill is now bare, I actually spotted my first fat robin, and the crocus have begun to bloom. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Amazing Cupcakes

This morning I have been busy making two different batches of breakfast cookies.  I have been trying to perfect the recipe by trying many different variations in order to find that perfect combination for us.  So far our favorite fruit to add has been a combination of dried apricots, dried blueberry infused craisins, and craisins.  I have kept track of everything I have tried on the paper that I printed the recipe on.  It is getting quite marked up.  But I think it is about time to copy the recipe onto a more permanent recipe card before I lose it. 

Next up, I think I will perhaps try the dark chocolate cupcakes with salted vanilla caramel icing from the King Arthur Baking Banter blog.  When I saw the recipe I immediately printed it out and have moved it to the front of many other recipes to try that I have printed out from this particular blog.  In fact I have now added their blog over on my sidebar so that you can also easily access and enjoy all of the amazing things that they bake up every day.

Here is their picture of the cupcakes that they made.    Now you just have to admit that they look amazing.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunshine and Singing Birds

This morning big snowflakes were falling for a while.  Following that little bit of inclement weather, the sun came out and has been shining ever since.  I poked my head outside in order to shake my red kitchen rugs; and although the temperature is a bit chilly, the birds were singing so joyfully.  It did my heart good to hear them and to just stand in the sunshine for a moment.  God is very good.  I am quite certain a long walk in the sunshine is in store for me today.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Like a Lion

As the saying goes, "March comes in like a lion"....., and it certainly has done just that.  I kind of don't mind though because it is "March", and a wonderful month it is.  Besides being a month which holds a number of birthdays of people near and dear to my heart, it is also known to "go out like a lamb".  That means in just a few short weeks, the sun will perhaps grace its warm presence upon us.  And what will I be doing once the warm sun hits?   I will be setting up my new greenhouse!  My neighbor built this for me .... just because.  It was so kind of him to do this, and I was extremely surprised when it was given to me.  I still can't believe that my tomatoes and peppers will actually have a warm spot to grow this summer.  I can just taste the fresh salsa now .....