Monday, January 31, 2011

Free Flour Fun!

Saturday,Laci and I got to go to the King Arthur Flour free baking demo here in Montgomery. They made 3 stops in Alabama and Montgomery was their last one. I'm so glad a friend of mine showed me their ad in the paper. It was a fun activity for Laci and I. We came away with great baking tips, free recipes, coupons, samples and fun door prizes. I won 2 bags of K.A.F.(bread flour) and Laci won a box of their new cake flour and a box of Cranberry Orange Scone Mix. We can't wait to try that! And because they didn't want anyone to leave empty handed, everyone got a free dough scraper and a $10 gift card to use on a purchase of $20 or more for their store. Since they are located in Vermont, I guess we'll use ours online.But now I so want to go to VT to their store. We saw video of it while waiting for the demo to start and it looks awesome!

After this, I should be able to make the perfect flaky pie crust and have no problem with sweet yeast breads. We'll see! The demo guy, Frank, who works on their baker's hotline and works in their test kitchen did a great job. He was a wealth of baking info! It got me excited to come home and try out our new products. I have to say before this, I hadn't really used KAF much, but I think I will make the switch even if it is a little more expensive.

Laci and I made their
Lemon-Glazed Pound Cake yesterday and it is Ah-mazing! Now, my picture isn't so pretty because it stuck to my cake pan. It was stoneware and I guess I needed to grease it better, but don't let that fool you. The cake is light, fluffy and lemony! It's really good! Find out more about KAF free demos on their website!

Laci, with our friends Christina and Neal, that went to the demo with us. They're holding the door prizes they won. Laci has her cake flour, Christina has a Red Star oven mitt and instant read thermometer and Neal won the biggie! A King Arthur Flour cookie companion cook book! I have to say I was jealous of him! I wanted that cook book! Maybe he will let me borrow it.
Come back tomorrow and I will share some baking tips I learned!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hopefully the title of this post is not too confusing. I'm sharing a recipe today that was originally named "Caramel Corn."Not sure why it is named this cause it actually tastes like kettle corn,or at least to my family it does. So I cleverly,or maybe not so cleverly, re-named it "Tastes-More-Like-Kettle-Corn-Caramel-Corn." I have no idea where I got this recipe from, but I've had it for years in my file. We make it frequently for a family night treat or movie night and it's so, so yummy. We eat every last,little crumb, except the kernels of course.

I thought my kids would especially like it in these cute paper popcorn containers I found at Hobby Lobby a while back. I think there are 10 in each package and if you get them with a 40% off coupon, even better. I'm all about a deal. These striped containers would be great for a circus themed party or your next movie night. The verdict: My kids thought they were "so cute"in Laci's words, but would have gobbled up that popcorn just the same without them.

To make:

Pop two regular size bags of microwave popcorn(I used the 94% FF stuff) and pour about 1 1/2 bags out onto a sheet pan. You can use 2 whole bags if you have a bigger pan to use.
Bring 4 Tbsp. butter, 3 Tbsp. water, 3/4 c. sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon(I only use a 1 tsp.) to a rolling boil on medium high heat.Continue to stir while boiling about 2 minutes until mixture has thickened somewhat.Drizzle mixture over popcorn.(pic below) Delicately stir popcorn with two wooden spoons to coat with the butter/cinnamon mixture. Put into a 350 oven for about 5-8 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool. Be careful if you want to taste, the butter/gooey mixture is VERY hot! Enjoy your "Tastes-More-Like-Kettle-Corn-Caramel-Corn!"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I {HEART} Zumba!

Looks like this is going to be a picture less post today. I can't get any picture I try to work! But I still want to tell you about something I've grown to LOVE......Zumba!! Yep! Love. It. I've been doing it since July 2010 and am still going strong in January 2011! I started out the first 4 months going 3 nights a week, but now only do it two nights. Still gotta have time for kids, husband, church,etc.

If you haven't heard of it or done it, Zumba is a latin inspired dance-fitness program that started in 2001 and has grown majorly in popularity. One of their slogan's is"ditch the work out and join the party." That's exactly what I did. I was working out before, but got so bored with it.Seriously. I did not look forward to it at all. No worries. My friend started up her Zumba classes shortly there after and it has been great! She is a very good instructor, too. She has great routines and gets us pumped up and moving!! Now, I can't say that I've lost major pounds, but I have lost inches. (Oh yeah!)Weird how that works, but I guess fat has turned into muscle. I can also tell that my body is more toned and firm.(My jeans look a lot better on me. Hahaha!) Another perk is that I have more energy. It's awesome! I think the best part is that I haven't gotten bored with it. I like to dance, and boy do I work my booty off in those classes,so this was a great fit for me! Give it a try if you get the chance.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cupcakes In A Jar

I have been seeing cute "cupcakes in a jar" in blog land for a while now. Have you? They are stinkin' cute! I thought my grandmother's birthday, which was Saturday, would be the perfect occasion to try them out. It was part of the lemon themed gift we gave her.

For this lemon version, I made cupcakes using a boxed mix. After the cupcakes were cooled completely, I pushed one cupcake into the bottom of an 8 oz. jelly jar,piped vanilla icing on top and layered another cupcake, ending with the icing. For more cuteness and flavor, I also used some Lemon Sprinkle from The Pampered Chef I had on hand to top off the icing. It's pretty good stuff, too. It tasted great on the cupcakes and would probably be good on ice cream, but I haven't tried that yet. It's finished up with ribbon and a yellow fork. I'm still not sure about the fork. Next time, I might leave it out. It just looks so huge to me.

I can't wait to make these for other occasions using different flavors! This would make a tasty Valentine treat!!....... Okay, think I'll have to do that! Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pineapple Cream Cheese Ball

Another recipe for ya today. This Pineapple Cream Cheese Ball is probably one of my most favorite appetizer/finger foods to eat. Every time I take it to a function it gets great reviews and it gets eaten up. If not, I know my family will eat the leftovers because they love it , too.

This is another one of my church Christmas party foods. That's why it has the cute, chubby santa clause spreader stuck in it. It's so cute! And yes, I did serve this with crackers, but when I took the pic the crackers hadn't made it on the platter, yet. It goes well with Ritz or a wheat cracker. Enjoy!
Pineapple Cream Cheese Ball
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper(optional)
2 Tbsp. chopped onion(optional)
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1c. chopped pecans

Combine all ingredients except 3/4 c. of the pecans. Mix well. Shape into a ball. Cover ball with plastic wrap and chill until firm. When firm, roll in the remaining 3/4 c. of pecans.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

German Chocolate Cake Balls

Yes. I know Christmas is over. No. I don't care! I'm showing you these German Chocolate Cake Balls anyway! I made these this year for our ladies Christmas activity at church. Just a few days before my husband went into the hospital. Needless to say, this was one of the only desserts I made during the holiday season. It pales in comparison to my usual holiday baking.

These would be good for any party you're having! If you don't like German chocolate, change it up with any flavor cake mix and frosting. I've had cake balls a couple times and loved them. A couple years ago, a friend dropped some red velvet ones by our house for Christmas and I literally ate every.single. one. I know. Shame on me. The rest of the family got none! And I probably gained 10 pounds!

You can serve them in little mini muffin cups or try the cake pops by inserting a lollipop stick! So yum!

German Chocolate Cake Balls
1 box German Chocolate cake mix
ingredients to make cake
1 jar coconut-pecan frosting
white or chocolate almond bark

Bake cake according to package directions.Cool cake. Crumble up cooled cake in a large bowl. Mix in the jar of frosting and mix well. You shouldn't be able to see the frosting. Form mixture into walnut size balls and put on cookie sheet. (If you're doing cake pops, insert your lollipop sticks now) Put balls in freezer for about an hour. Melt almond bark according to package directions. Dip balls into almond bark. Coating completely. Cool on wax paper covered cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Morning 2010

Here are a few, okay, more than a few, pics of our Christmas morning. Mainly for my family that reads my blog.
It was a fun morning of opening gifts and getting stockings from Santa. The kids even slept to 6:30 a.m.!! After gifts, we enjoyed a yummy breakfast of cinnamon rolls, the "real" bacon as Trent calls it(not turkey bacon) and fruit.

She got her "thing that goes round and round" as she says.

I think this scarf that Trent gave Laci was her favorite gift!

Trent with his Narnia book which has all the books in it!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tiny Dancer

The night of December 11 our "tiny dancer," Laci, along with the rest of her dance class from Leap of Faith performed at the Montgomery Zoo's light festival. That's her with her dance teacher, Mrs. Jill. She is like the sweetest person ever! Really! She's so super sweet! Love her!

Mrs. Jill's classes performed at the zoo's overlook cafe which was all lighted up and decked out for Christmas. It was fun to watch her and see the dances she's learned, but I also felt like it was a bit of chaos. Okay. A lot of chaos. Not on Mrs. Jill's part, but their were sooooo many people there to watch their little kiddos dance. I know it's special, don't get me wrong, but do ya have to act like this is THE last picture you will ever take of your child.I'm sure I blurted out "down in front" a few times! I'm just sayin'! I wanted pics too, but didn't want to be one of the ones obstructing everyone else trying to watch. Now, back to the dancing. Laci's class danced to "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" and "Hot Chocolate" from the movie Polar Express. She did a super job! She really had her "grinder" move down. It was very cute! I can't wait to see her perform again. (note that my pics are not edited so their is red eye and two ladies and their white hair are in most of my pics)

Laci is second from left.

Laci on the end.

This is the stage where they danced with the tree in the middle. It was very cute, but this is not a good picture.

Monday, January 3, 2011


As you can see my little blog has been sorely neglected for about the past month. So let’s do a little rewind! We were super busy with school, activities and church. Then my husband was admitted to the hospital with an a-typical pneumonia in both lungs. A-typical?? An uncommon and really bad strain of it! He was there for 9 days and came home on the 21st of December. Thank you!!! I became all too familiar with that hospital . Much more than I wanted to be.

Before our mini “vacation” to the hospital, Laci’s dance class performed at the Montgomery Zoo’s Light Festival. Hopefully I will get those pics posted soon. She did a great job and had fun! She is a cute little dancer. Trent also earned more merit badges and earned his tenderfoot rank in scouting.Not sure what else happened in December. It’s all a blur really!

Through all of this, I’m so thankful that I had help from my friends from church and my family. If not for them, I couldn’t have been at the hospital with Will. I appreciate everyone’s prayers and the time they took out of their schedules to stay with my kids, feed them, take them to school, etc. That really kept me sane! I am so blessed to have selfless friends and family.Also, I think I learned or already knew but was reminded of a few things from this experience!(in no particular order)

1. I SO SO love my husband and it is very lonely with him in the hospital! If he’s gone for work it’s one thing, but to know he’s in the hospital is just different.

2. Life doesn’t stop for your problems and trials.

3. My kids do know when mommy needs help and they really helped me!

4. My Heavenly Father knows me ,loves me and knows the things I need and my family needs at certain times.

5. My husband likes lime sherbet! Who knew?!

6. My bed feels like a dream and here I thought it was time to get a new mattress.

7. You can eat too much Chick-fil-A! (did discover Chick-fil-A sauce and it’s delish)

8. The middle elevator on the first floor of Jackson Hospital is weird or possessed or something. Avoid it!

9. There are very good, caring and knowledgeable nurses(and some…. not so much).

10. Four (or more) unexpected things will happen in the midst of your trial. Didn’t leave car seat with babysitter for Ivy(too long of a story), oil light comes on in van because HELLO you need more oil, gas peddle in van gets stuck and you don’t know what to do, daughter loses tooth and the “tooth fairy” has no cash(borrow from babysitter, she’s a better tooth fairy any ways) And one more just because.

11.William and I need a real vacation. Not one to the hospital. It is long overdue! Even if it’s just for the weekend, maybe we can get away soon!

We ARE looking forward to 2011, but hope that it doesn’t bring any major injuries or hospital stays! If it does, we know our Heavenly Father loves us and is there! Hope all of you have a great new year!

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