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The Oven Union

It seems like during the month of November and December my oven is in constant use. I'm glad there isn't an oven union out there because mine would probably be complaining of abuse! If it had legs, I'm sure it would be marching right out of our house to the nearest picket line, in search of fair treatment. How can my oven complain though? Over the past month, it has been the tool behind so many wonderful creations. My favorite cinnamon rolls, loaves of delicious bread, cookies galore, and now these... delicious little cheesecake bites. Unfortunately, these creations are going out to a friend of mine, however I was able to sneak just one and let me tell you... yummy, impressive, and so easy! You can find the recipe titled Easy Cheesecake Cupcakes over at www.crazy-for-cheesecake.com. On a note other than oven abuse, I put together the centerpiece for our Dinner Party today. It was very simple to do and I like the way it turned out. I took a random assortment of Christmas ornaments and filled my favorite trifle bowl full of them. It's colorful, inexpensive, and simple. I'm also going to use the star shaped ornaments to create place setting card holders for each guest. I'll be working on that this evening.My oven will be glad to hear that I'm not baking tonight. It's desperate plea for a break has been heard. One week ago today I dished about My secret love affair with the UPS man … [Continue reading]

The Bad Day Cure – Chocolate!!

I had a bad dad today. I won't even get into it here... if you are that curious, check out the other section of my blog (Dine and Dish Family Style) and you'll get the complete scoop. What does a gal like me turn to on days like this? OK...let me rephrase this. What does a gal like me turn to on days like this besides a margarita? One word... CHOCOLATE! Kate over at Kate in the Kitchen posted a chocolate cookie recipe sure to cure any chocolate craving you might have.  Kiss a bad day, pms, foul mood, or just plain chocolate craving goodbye when you try these tasty little morsels. They are so soft, chocolatey without being overbearing, and a nice little treat for the chocolate lover in you. With Kate's permission, I'm posting the recipe here. Enjoy!   Chewy Chocolate Bites 4 squares Bakers unsweetened baking chocolate 1 1/2 sticks butter (no subs or all of the above mentioned will fail, trust me) 2 c. sugar 3 eggs, beaten 1 t. vanilla 2 c. flour Preheat oven to 350. Melt chocolate and butter over low heat (or use double boiler) until only small pieces remain. Remove from heat and stir gently to melt completely. Stir in sugar, blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle. Shape into 1″ balls and place on greased cookie sheets about 2″ apart. Bake 8 minutes or until just set. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking sheet about a minute then transfer to wire racks. *My only adaptation … [Continue reading]

Somebody please smack me!

I'm looking for some help from all of you. The next time you hear me talking about maybe having another child, please sit me down, smack me a few times, and remind me of this day. Today has been one of those days... you know... one of those day's where you hope that no one asks to see your qualifications for motherhood. One of those days where the hustle and bustle of the corporate world actually seems appealing. One of those days where you say "Can someone please commit me to the mental ward, NOW?" The girls both had their doctor's appointments today. Ella for her 6 month checkup and Kelly for her 3 year checkup. These visits are never fun. First of all, our doctor's office is 30 minutes away, which in my world is about as far as Canada. Secondly, both girls were going to be getting shots. Thirdly (is thirdly even a word?), is it ever fun to take 3 children under the age of 5 anywhere in public with just one adult?  I'm driving along, cruising down the interstate when I hear Jacob from the back seat say "Mommy, Kelly's unbuckled." Sure enough, I look back and my little 3 year old MacGyver is completely unbuckled. She didn't only unbuckle her 3 point harness, but she also unbuckled the buckle that keeps her car seat in place. How in the world she had done that while sitting in her seat is beyond me. I couldn't believe it. So, I pull over on the side of the road with cars zooming by at 75 mph. I climb in back, give her a big lecture about how dangerous that is, how to … [Continue reading]

A Food and Wine Challenge

Food and Wine magazine always seems to come at the perfect time of the month for me. We were all loading into the car to make the 6 hour trek to the in-laws house in Iowa when I decided to run and get the mail first. When I opened up the mailbox and saw the copy of one of my favorite magazines, I knew my itty bitty booklight and I would be busy on the dark drive. Thank God we had the portable DVD player to entertain the children. I would finally have some precious reading time, and a great magazine to share that time with. For the past few weeks, I've been considering what I want some of my 2007 goals to be. I've committed to the TBR challenge, I've set a goal to have one dinner party a month in the year 2007, and I'm in the process of revising my 43 Things to include some goals to complete in the coming year. As I was reading January 2007 issue of Food and Wine, I was intrigued by the main article of the magazine entitled “100 Tastes to Try in 2007”. As I was browsing through the suggestions, a thought crossed my mind. “I should take the editors of Food and Wine up on their challenge and really taste the 100 things they suggest to try in 2007.” So, that’s what I’m going to do. There are some things I won’t be able to do. I won’t be able to go to some of the restaurants they recommend because they aren’t in places I plan on visiting this year. If possible, I might try to find some people in different regions to report back on the things that I will not be able to … [Continue reading]

Subrban Mom Cool Tool of the Week

Just a quick product recommendation this morning, and then I'll write a longer post about a new Food and Wine challenge I'm undertaking. If you have a suburban mom on your gift list... one that is constantly volunteering to bring her yummy cupcakes to the church bake sale, the classroom parties, post soccer game celebrations, etc. you'll want to make sure she gets one of these handy Cupcake Courier's for Christmas. I love baking cupcakes, but transporting them has always been an issue. By the time you get them where they need to be, the yummy frosting is smooshed and sticking to the cursed saran wrap, the decorating that you worked so hard on is foiled, the wrappers are smudged with icing, and frankly, they are an absolute mess. Imagine, carting your cupcakes around in a tiered cupcake courier!  Even better, imagine arriving at an event with all of your cupcakes in tact... not a drop of frosting smooshed. All of your cupcake making friends will be so jealous and will be begging you to tell them where you got this handy new gadget. It is a cupcake making, saran wrap swearing, mom's dream. Thank you to Hilary, over at Nosh with Me, for another great post that lead me to a great product! … [Continue reading]