Friday, June 22, 2012

Better Standing Up

Helllllo!  I've been missing you guys.  Hope all has been well.

We have been busy here in the pond, still running here, there and everywhere. According to the doctors I should be tired all the time and sleeping a lot. Well, for some reason that doesn't seem to work too well for me. After spending the winter holed up in bed, unable to move much, I want to enjoy every minute I can, y'know?

Also what keeps me moving is the pain.  Sitting or laying down is so painful that the only relief I get is standing up. [Nice side effect, eh?]  Since I have to be very careful taking any kind of pain killer I try to limit what they give me, taking less than prescribed. Standing on my feet seems to relieve the pressure so I tend to be upright a lot.  But? It gets really boring just standing around. heehee  Since I can only clean so much I am, instead, attempting to FATTEN UP THE WORLD!  [In reality my family, our neighbors and Pooldad's workmates.] 

To start off - my very first [successful] pie crust. I have always sucked at making these and had just about given up hope until I decided I would take the basic idea of a pie crust [flour, salt, fat and water] and make up my own recipe.
TA-DA!  This one became a pumpkin pie.  We ate it before I could get a pic'.
Next up - New York Style Cheese Cake with Cherry topping.  I don't even like cheesecake, but I had never made one before and thought "What the heck".  I hear it is delicious. :)
MY favorites!  Those are the Kinklings you see in the background.  The are a southern type of doughnut that can be eaten plain or shaken in powdered sugar.  They bring back so many fond memories of my Grandma because she always made them just for me.  Yummy!

Another thing I had never been able to make is Cinnamon Rolls. I did the same thing I did with the pie crusts. I took the basic premise for the rolls and made them my way.  These are insanely tasty.  I am very, very popular at Pooldad's work these days. heehee
 Vanity shot:
And finally what started it all.  Basic White Bread.  I was appalled at how expensive store bought bread was becoming and knew I could make it myself.  Besides being much cheaper it is healthier and I can tweak it with different flours and herbs to make my own signature breads.  This is the most "dangerous" thing I make tho', because I love, love, love bread. And rolls. :)  [And I didn't even have to use my bread machine.]
I also made cornbread for dinner one night and used the leftovers for cornbread stuffing the next evening. For Father's Day I made a chocolate snack cake with pecan chocolate icing that we are still trying to finish and tonight I am making pita bread and an apple pie.  Yep.  If nothing else we are eating well.

Our little garden is going gangbusters and we had fresh tomatoes on our sandwiches last night. The difference is amazing. Like eating candy.  Soon we will have a bunch of yellow squash and green peppers to pick.  I hope we can have squash and eggs for Sunday brunch on fresh baguettes. Family favorite :)

I will tip my ice tea to y'all and wish you a day filled with smiles and a nice relaxing weekend doing whatever it is you love best.  We'll see you on the flipside.

[PS - if you happen to be in northern VA please stop by and help us eat some of this stuff. :D I'll put the coffee on.] Take care.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Slopfest 2012

Mud, whipped cream, syrup? It's all good! They had a blast:
 Their shirts are actually purple [Squirrel] and light grey [Wallene].
 They went into the house, through the garage, straight to the washing machine.  Then on to the showers!
 Can't wait until next year.

I have been feeling lazy lately. So lazy, in fact, that I didn't feel like taking off my red fingernail polish so I could change it over to match a pink shirt I was going to wear out. [That is REALLY lazy, let me just say.]

So. . .I cheated.  I painted the tips pink and put a thin silver line between the two colors. A modified "french manicure" I suppose.  It matched really well.
I need to take it off now tho' because my nails are growing out.  Next I think I will paint them blue, with red tips and a white line in between - y'know - for the Fourth of July! :D

We also picked our first veggies of the season.  We did it! We grew stuff we can eat. How exciting is that?  We also moved the watermelon plant and the yellow squash plant out of their containers into the backyard and amazingly enough they not only didn't die, they are thriving.  We have squash busting out and the hint of a watermelon plant coming along. Doubly exciting!  I think this weekend we will move our large tomato plant into the backyard too.  Does anyone know if the size of the container has an effect on the size of the tomatoes?  One of plants is supposed to produce small tomatoes in a container, but the other one should have much larger tomatoes.  We have a ton of tomatoes on that one, but they ripen before they get very big. I am not complaining, oh no!, just curious.

Hope you are having a wonderful week.  See ya' on the flipside.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let's Make Whoopie


Tonight's dessert a la' Skippy:

Whoopie Pies 
A New England favorite, Whoopie Pies are two light chocolate cakes filled with a fluffy vanilla icing which can be made with or without marshmallow fluff. I made my filing without fluff [Pooldad doesn't care for marshmallows] instead making 7 minute frosting.

It was my first time making them and also the first time I ever tasted the homemade version.  I can see what all the fuss is about. They are really delicious.  The cake is made with cocoa and isn't incredibly sweet while the filing is very sweet. They complement each other nicely tho' and make a fun dessert on a summer's day.  It is an easy recipe and definitely a keeper. :)

Tomorrow night is our town's annual "Slopfest".  It is to mark the end of the school year and kids from all the local schools get together where volunteers have created a giant mud pit. The Fire Department is also on hand to provide lots and lots of water and there are usually several dozen people who have cans of foam/whipped cream. It is a very, very sloppy mess and a heck of a lot of fun.  Hopefully I will be able to attend and get pictures of the mayhem.  It is hysterical to try and pick your own kid out after a while because they all start to look like the same brown, muddy mess.  Afterwards the kids all gather in the parking lot and are hosed down, otherwise we might go home with the wrong set of kids. heehee

Hope y'all spend your day doing what makes your heart sing.  Keep smiling and we'll see you on the flipside.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sweetly Tart - Sort of Like Me :)

I don't think anyone would know how sick I am by the amount of baking I do.  It surprises even me sometimes. I suppose it is a matter of my need to do something, anything while all the other stuff is happening.  It keeps my mind and my hands occupied which, I find, I really need right now. Baking is the easiest thing I can do currently - and - bonus! - it has the nicest rewards.  Yummy desserts and my family's undying love. ::wink::

Today I had an quick, easy peasy doctor's appointment. An easy peasy appointment is one where I don't have to get undressed, no one sticks needles in me and I get to come home without nausea and a date with the garbage can.  We like EP appointments. :D  Especially those that go fast!

Since we finished so quickly Pooldad and I decided to go pick up some fruit and yogurt from the store. [ Rudee don't faint but I found cherries for $2.99 a lb and grapes have dropped to $1.29 a lb. YAY!]  The lemons in the produce section looked so beautiful I thought "I need to make something with those."  The only thing I could think of was Lemon Meringue Pie.  This being a pie which I have never made.  Well. . . since something like that has never stopped me before I bought 3 enormous lemons [56 cents each] and went home to make the pie.

I think I shocked myself:

Damn Skippy that was a good pie.  

Notice I said "was"?  Yep.  After we were done with dessert and I doled it out for lunches tomorrow there is not one crumb left.

Well worth it tho'.  The slight sweetness of the meringue contrasting with the tartness of the lemon filling? Yum. Just yum.

Tomorrow?  Chocolate Cream Pie. :)

[Sorry if  you are getting bored with all the dessert pictures, but honestly it really is all I do between doctor's appointments.]

This week  is really flying by isn't it? I can't believe the weekend is almost here!  Only two more lunches for Wallene and school is out for the summer. [That is 179 brown bag lunches for those of you counting.] Very excited about her being home. Yippeeee!  We'll have to see what kind of trouble Wallene, Squirrel and I can get into this summer.  Suggestions and ideas welcome.

Hope y'all have a great rest of the week.  We'll see you on the flipside. Hugs!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

If We Can Do It Anyone Can!

Pooldad and I aren't gardeners. Heck - we can't keep houseplants alive why we thought we could grow vegetables on the back porch of our townhome is beyond me, but. . . we did.

And it is actually working out pretty darn well for two newbies.
We have two tomato plants. One is normal size and the other is specifically made for patio growing.  This one is the normal size and so far we have 12 tomatoes growing on it.  There are close to 20 on the patio plant.
 This is our yellow squash plant.  These flower appeared two days ago. Soon they will drop off and little squashes [squashii?] will replace them. Exciting!  ETA:  The wonderful Ellen corrected me. These are the boy flowers. They come first....well, read the comments - she explains it best. Thanks Ellen!
 This is our Anaheim pepper plant.  If you look closely you will see a 1" pepper that was NOT there yesterday.  How cool is that?
This is most of our garden. The tomato plants are in the back.  A green pepper plant, the squash plant and a watermelon plant [which is soon to be replanted in the yard because it is crazy big] are in the front.
There you go.  No excuses, because if we can do it then anyone can do it! No matter your skill level, black thumbness or yard space. A couple of buckets, some good soil and seedlings and you too can have a nice little garden. 

Hope y'all are having a great week.  Thanks for the great comments and emails. I think of y'all often and read when I can. Take care and we'll see ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Not Why They Call Me Skippy, But. . .

I think this should be my signature cupcake:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Filled Yellow Cupcakes

I made them for Wallene's Band Banquet 
 Completely from scratch

They are so yummy with Peanut Butter Buttercream frosting and Strawberry Jelly.  We are only taking a dozen because...well....we ate the rest. :D

And yes - they are made with Skippy peanut butter - all natural/lower sodium.

Have a great weekend.  See ya' on the flipside!