Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just Curious...What is on Your Summer Wish List

Good morning! How is your week? Mine has been great but I will be honest I am counting the hours to the weekend! I cannot wait for a three day weekend, I want to eat some bbq, swim in the ocean and hopefully see a little sun. That has me thinking about Summer and what is on my wish list for the season. 





I am curious, what is on your summer wish/bucket list? Or for those of you who are getting ready for Winter to set in what is on your winter wish list?

Here are a just a few things that I want to do:

Watch the 3rd of July fireworks in Milwaukee with my family. 

Go for a picnic with my niece

Go camping 

Get out on the water every sunny day on my paddle board

Go stargazing

Go on a road trip

Take a few long bike rides

Learn at least 5 new recipes

Make ice cream with my entices and nephews. 

Create memories. 


Of course there are many more things on my list for the summer but these are my top ten. What about you, summer is so sort and time is precious, so make a list of things to do with your family, friends or just yourself. Get out and enjoy life!

I hope you have a great week!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sugar Cookies





Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was busy. I guess there is a silver lining to cold rainy weekends, you get to catch up on all of the things you put off during the week, like laundry, reading and organizing. I baked a few things too, no surprise there. I made some bread, a cake and these cookies. Sugar cookies are one of my favorites cookies and these are scrumptious. 


Sugar Cookies 

Ingredients

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp/ almond extract
21/2 cups flour

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy. 

Then add he egg yolk and mix well, then add the whole egg. Mix in the vanilla and almond. Add the flour and beat on low until combined. Do not over beat, the dough will be sticky.

Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. I usually refrigerate it overnight. 

When ready to bake allow the dough to come to room temperature, then knead the dough back to a smooth temperature. 

Preheat the oven to 375, Sprinkle your work surface with flour, and flour your rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. 

Roll the dough and cut into whatever shapes you like. Place on cookies sheets covered with parchment paper , sprinkle with sugar(optional) and then place in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Frost with frosting if you like or just eat with the sprinkled sugar. 

Enjoy! 





I hope you have a fabulous week. 


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Friday Favorites from Cooking Classy, How Sweet it Is, Southern Living, Tobi Fairley, Henhurst and More

Good morning! I hope that you had a fabulous week. Have you any interesting plans for the weekend? I am planning on the farmers market and fingers cross some sun. I might need to start light therapy if we do not see some soon. 





I am always on the lookout for a new bar, or brownie recipe. This week I made four batches of these brownies  and they were scrumptious. You might want to put them on your list of things to make!



Image from Cooking Classy

You might not know this but although I love to bake and I am a good cook I really hate making dinner. Weird I know but that is the way it is so if I can find something fast and easy, not to mention delicious to whip together I love it. This week I discovered this Quick Chicken Tiki Masala from Cooking Classy and it fit the bill. If you are a fan of Indian food try it, I think you will like it. 


Mint Limeade from How Sweet It IS

Should I see a ray of sun this weekend I plan on sitting out to soak it up with a glass of this Mint Limeade from How Sweet It Is. Doesn't this look refreshing?


I might even read one of these interesting books suggested by Tobi Fairley one of my favorite designers. 



I love home tours, especially ones with fabulous interiors and gardens. This week Phyllis of Henhurst Interiors posted about the beautiful DuPont home Nemours

This is Glamorous posted about a beautifully restored house in England that you might like as well. 

I am pretty sure that the gardens of these two houses do not have any weeds, especially dandelions. Dandelions  are the bane of many garden lover but did you know that the Pilgrims brought them to America in 1600, learn about that bit of trivia and more in this article from Southern Living.


I hope that you have a great weekend. If you have a book, movie or recipe that you discovered this week let us know! 





Thursday, May 19, 2016

Just Curious...Who and What Influences You

Good morning! I hope that you are having a good week. I am, especially since I did not get any snow yesterday. I read that parts of Maine received up to 7 inches of snow, goodness we are having a crazy Spring.




My mother always taught me to never speak about politics or money and so I am not going to discuss either but what I am curious about is who or what influences your choices in fashion, politics, investing, etc.




The reason I am curious is because recently it was reported that the presidential candidates are "pulling out all the stops" with their friends in the entertainment industry in hopes of influencing peoples votes.

 I am not and have never been influenced whatsoever by an actor, musician, or singer in the way I vote, or what issues are important to me. Why do I care if a leading actor or musician is endorsing a candidate? And frankly why should I care? I can admire their acting ability but what do I know about their education, allegiance, and affiliations? And why does the fact that you make 20 million dollars a movie make you an expert on a candidate or issue(not that they are implying it does)?

I have also never felt compelled to purchase food, fashion, perfume, cars or consumer products because a singer or actor that I respect and admire star in their commercials. Have you? Are you swayed into a major or minor purchase like a car or a candy bar because Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt are seen in the ads? 




I certainly respect, (even if I do not agree), other peoples opinions. I will often listen to their speeches, and talks but I sometimes find that many of these so called "influencer's" are hypocrites. They speak from both ends of their mouths or have another agenda, i.e. their own. No matter, most people do but honestly I just find it hard to believe that because a person watches a TV show, or loves a movie or band that they buy water, eat pizza, or a burger, or cast a vote for something so important as president  based on the influence of these people. Am I missing something?

Do you find yourself trying a product because a writer from a blog recommends it? I think maybe 5 years ago I would be more apt to purchase a product on the recommendation of a blog. These days not so much because so many blog have turned into one big ad space.





I find more often than not that I am influenced by my upbringing, my education and people in my circle, my parents and friends. That said, I know what I like and do not like and it doesn't matter who you are or what you say you are never going to convince me to eat seafood, to sell off my stocks and put my money in a mattress or to purchase the entire line of Kayne West's latest clothing( nude body stockings don't suit my body type).

I would love to know what you think about celebrity endorsements of products,, candidates, etc. Do you find yourself influenced by them? If so, why? If not, why? Are you influenced by social media and people that you follow on blogs, Instagram and Facebook?

What does influences you?

Thanks for sharing, I hope that you have a nice day.





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Amaretto Cream Cheese Coffee Cake with Crumble Topping


Good morning! How was your weekend? I hope it was wonderful and relaxing, whether the weather was freezing or toasty warm. Mine was great, freezing and toasty warm but relaxing. Let me apologize for not posting my Friday Favorites, I was traveling this week and rather than rush a post I thought I would just skip it and pick up next week. I am sorry for those that wrote to say they missed it, I will post this week. 






You know that I love to bake and this weekend was no exception, I made this scrumptious Amaretto Cream Cheese Coffee Cake and I think it may be one of my new favorites. Everything about this cake is delicious the moist cake, the cream cheese filling and the crumbly topping. 




Amaretto Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Recipe from Call me PMcC


Cake

21/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup amaretto
2/3 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Filling

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature

Streusel

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, melted
21/2 cups all purpose flour

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325. Then prepare a 9x13 inch pan or a 10" spring form pan with cooling spray and line with parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and mix. The batter with be think and crumbly. Add the eggs, buttermilk and the amaretto, then mix the batter until smooth and fluffy for 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour half of the batter into the bottom of the pan.

For the filling:

In another large mixing bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, sugar, and egg. Beat the mix until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the filling mixture over the top of the cake batter. 

Spread remaining cake batter over the top of the cream cheese filling. Smooth evenly and set aside to make the streusel

Streusel topping:

Mix the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, and salt together. Add the butter and mix to combine. Add the flour and mix, use you hands r a pastry blender to fully combine the mixture. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the cake. 

Bake at 325 for 40-55 minutes. The center will be set and NOT jiggly when it is finished and fully cooked. Cool on a wire rack completely before serving. 






What do you think? Do you think you would like a piece of this at your breakfast table or on your coffee break? I made a few of these and gave them to friends and neighbors and even froze a couple to send to my in-laws; that is how tasty this cake was. I cannot make it again for my future house guests. 






Have great day!




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