Showing posts from August, 2012

Bookcases from Pop

These bookcases were made by my grandfather over 30 years ago.  I cannot begin to tell you what an awesome man he was.  It has been 12 years today since he passed away.  This is why it was important for me to talk about these bookcases today.  It also happens to be my Dad's birthday today.  My Dad, a great man just like his father, is the one who gave the bookcases to us.

The bookcases were first given to my parents at the beginning of their marriage as part of a larger entertainment center.  I remember when my dad had his component set prominantly displayed on them.  I have many memories of Christmas music coming from the record player while we decorated the trees with stockings hanging from the shelves.  On rainy Saturdays, Dad would play some music for us and we would dance and sing.  As the decor in my parents house got updated, the bookcases ended up being used in my Dad's work room. 

When we moved into our house, we originally planned to build bookcases to fit in our l…

Little Red Corvette...Or Atomic Orange Corvette Cake

Remember the fondant I made?  Well, this is what I ended up making with it.

For some reason, the song "Little Red Corvette" was stuck in my head the whole time I worked on this cake.  This was my first attempt at a corvette.  Some of the details are a little off for my tastes.  One thing I learned is to be certain about placement of the elements of detail (such as wheels, windows, lights, etc.) before placing them on the cake.  Once you put these elements on the cake, you cannot pull them off the bottom layer of fondant without ripping the fondant off the cake.  This is because the colored paste used to "paint" on the color acts as a bonding agent also.

To do this, I first stacked four layers of 11 x 14, putting a layer of icing between each. 

I then created a template of the car on parchment paper, based on pictures.  The template was cut out and placed on the side of the cake, using toothpicks to secure it to the cake.

Using a serrated knife, I cut out the side …

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

I have been using this recipe by Peggy Weaver for marshmallow fondant for the past couple of years.  If you follow the link, she has detailed instructions for how to make the fondant which includes helpful tips.  Here, I have noted how I make the fondant.

I prefer to use marshmallow fondant because it tastes much better than the store bought stuff.  It's simple to make and easy to modify if it gets too dry or too sticky.  Simple adjustments can be made to fix those issues so you do not have to throw out the whole batch.

When I use fondant, I always make it at least a day ahead.  It seems to work best that way.  I also never refrigerate my fondant.  I keep it wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a zip lock bag on the counter.

32 ounces mini-marshmallows (2 16 ounce bags of Jet Puffed Marshmallows)
5 tablespoons of water
3 pounds confectioner's sugar
1 cup Crisco shortening

*Note:  Here, the ingredients have been doubled from the original recipe because I needed a do…

Nice Gestures For Your Spouse

Nice gestures are simple things you can do to be thoughtful.  Here, I have listed a few of them.  These things do not cost a lot of money, with a little extra effort these can be accomplished.

I try to treat my husband like I want to be treated.  And to be honest, not just to knock the men, it takes them a bit longer to catch on to this sometimes.  All of the gestures mentioned here work both ways.  Either you could do them for your someone special, or you could show them this post in hopes they do some of these things for you.

1.  Cook together
Sometimes, when I cook dinner by myself, it feels a little lonely.  Some days I am okay with cooking alone because I am just trying to get something on the table quickly.  Other days, the feeling of loneliness makes cooking seem like such a chore.  To change it up, try cooking with your spouse from time to time.  It can be fun.  It is also a great way to spend some time talking.  To spice it up a little, break out some wine as you prepare dinner…

Easiest Roast Recipe Ever

This method for cooking roast is awesome.  I'm sure you have figured out by now that I am a big fan of cooking in slow cookers.  There's nothing better than coming home from work to dinner already prepared.

I like using these slow cooker liners.  They make cleaning up so easy.   Usually you can find them on the same aisle as the oven bags.

I've mentioned here before the miracle ingredient, onion soup mix packets.  I use them to prepare potatoes in the oven.  I also use them to make my roasts in the slow cooker.

Roast (beef or pork)
1 packet onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
potatoes (optional since this dish is served over rice)

First, slice the mushrooms, carrots, and quarter the potatoes.  Throw them in the bag with the roast.  This recipe can be used for either beef or pork roasts.

Add the packet of onion soup mix.

Then, add the cream of mushroom soup.

Now, you can take a twist tie and close the bag and refrigerate until you are r…

Honey Face Mask

I have known that honey has several beneficial qualities.  Here, we have already used it as an ingredient for a deep conditioner for hair.  This time, I wanted to explore it's benefits of honey for the face.  See, I just used regular clover honey.

I had heard of people doing honey masks for the face.  Some mixed the honey with other ingredients, but others simply used honey.  I plan to try a honey and oats scrub and a honey and brown sugar scrub in the near future.  However, this time, I focused only on honey.

Simply splash your face with warm water.  Then apply the honey generously to your face.  Gently spread evenly.  Allow the honey to sit on your face for 10 minutes. 

Rinse off the honey.  Your face will feel refreshed and smooth.  The first time I used this mask, I was having problems with my face.  I had developed dry, red, flaky patches that itched when dry and burned if I put any kind of moisturizer on the patches.  Out of sheer desperation, I gave this honey mask a shot …

Roasted Broccoli

I firmly believe vegetables are better roasted.  I only discovered this technique a couple of years ago.  Ever since I learned this worked, I have tried it with every vegetable.  This recipe is quite similar to the roasted green beans.  Also, I did not invent this recipe, I am pretty sure similar versions can be found all over the internet.  This is the way I do it, so I thought I would share it with you.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Then cut up the broccoli into forets.

Lay them in a baking pan.  Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Cook for 20 minutes.  In less than thirty minutes, you have a delicious and healthy side.