Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pondering Mother's Day

Good morning! I cannot believe how fast this year seems to be going, I feel as if it is passing me by some days. Mother's Day is just around the corner and although I will not be spending the day with my mom I am thinking of things to make her day special.




Beautiful flowers are always a good idea, perhaps you could make her an arrangement using a vase or vessel that is special to her.



Brunch, lunch or a tea would be a wonderful idea too. You could get together with your siblings and plan a menu based on your mom's favorite foods. In my moms case the table would be filled with lots of sweet treats. Hey, what can I say, the apple did not fall far from the tree.
Cards. Cards are always important. I personally love to send a sentimental card, my mother in law however loves funny cards!




An adventure with mom could also be an option. I have one planned with mom my when she comes to visit soon after Mothers day. A few of our favorite things to do are to visit the botanical gardens, a museum or two, to walk along the ocean and of course to shop for treasures at the local antique stores. Or perhaps something further afield, like a mother daughter trip to Paris or Tuscany. Both of which my mom and I enjoyed tremendously.

Or you could make your mom something special.  One year I gave my mom a decoupaged box. The outside was decorated with words and photos that represented her personality and life. The inside had four eggs, each decorated with pictures and words that represented each one of her four children.

I will be putting more thought to each of these ideas and in the next few days sharing some of the things I have found on Pinterest and around the web to celebrate our moms.

Will you be spending the day with your mom? What are your plans? I would love some ideas for gifts, flowers or even fun adventures. Let me know what your ideas are.

I hope that you have a great day!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chocolate Banoffee Pie

Good morning and a happy Monday to you! How was your weekend? Mine was perfect, I took lots of naps and walks with my pups, watched movies, read and relaxed. The weather was so beautiful, a cool breeze through out the day and at night so you could leave the windows open, and yet sunny and warm.




I also planted some containers which took about 10 times the normal amount of time because every time I turned around my pup Paris had dug up what I planted and was dragging it around the porch. Frankly she is so cute I couldn't even get mad.




The last thing that I did was make this scrumptious Chocolate Banoffee Pie, if you do not know what banoffee is you have been missing out! Basically banoffee is a can of sweetened condensed milk that has been cooked until it forms a sticky, buttery, caramel. It is scrumptious not only in this pie but many other desserts.




Chocolate Banoffee Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust, make your own or store bought

For Ganache:

4 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream heated

Filling:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk

5 bananas, sliced
2 cups heavy cream, whipped and sweetened
chocolate syrup for garnish


Directions:

1. Heat cream in small pan until small bubbles form around the edges. Place chopped chocolate into a small bowl and pour warm cream over the top. Wait a minute or two and then whisk until smooth. Pour into graham cracker crust and place into refrigerator until firm.

In a small saucepan melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and melt over low heat. Add the condensed milk and bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes until it turns a nice brown caramel color. Remove from heat and cool a bit. Once cooled pour over the pie crust. 

Add the sliced bananas and then spread with the sweetened heavy cream. Refrigerate for at least one hour to firm then garnish with chocolate and serve. 





Have you ever made Bonoffee Pie? Are you a fan? I think it may be my favorite pie of all time. I try not to make it too often because I will eat it all.





I hope that you have a wonderful day! 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday Favorites from Spirituality & Health, Waiting on Martha, Coty Farquhar and More


Good morning! I hope that your week has been great. Mine has been busy, busy, busy. I am ready to do nothing except relax and take long naps with my new and old pups.




 Life with a 13 year old dog and a 6 month old is crazy to put it mildly. They both have to be carried up and down the stairs all of the time but neither wants to go second. They both like to take long naps but just not at the same time. The 13 year old sleeps through the night, the puppy wakes us up every morning at between 3-4 am and then gets in bed with us until 6:00. This old girl is not, I repeat not and early bird and 6:00 am is killing me!

This week my Friday Favorites are all about relaxing, searching for happiness and good food!


If you would like to challenge yourself to see the good things in life and to be happy for 100 days, visit #100 Happy Days and sign up to participate for 100 days by posting a photo on Instagram of something that makes you happy. I think this is a cool project because it helps to make you mindful each day that it is the "little things in life."

Styling Magazine by Coty Farquhar

The new Styling Magazine by Coty Farguhar is out this month, I cannot wait to read it Saturday over a cup of cocoa.

Waiting on Martha

Doesn't this Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese by Waiting on Martha look like the perfect dinner for a lazy weekend? 


Garlic Knots with Beer Cheese Sauce from the Candid Appetite

And last but not least, these Garlic Cheese Knots with Beer Cheese Sauce from The Candid Appetite. I may have to make a double batch of these and have them Friday and Saturday!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. Relax, enjoy your family and friends, life is short and work can wait!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Anita of Castles, Crowns and Cottages

Good morning! I wanted to take a minute today to wish my sweet friend Anita from the beautiful blog, Castles, Crowns and Cottages a very Happy Birthday!


Image and Recipe HERE


Anita for those of you who do not know is an extraordinary woman who taught herself French and became a French immersion teacher, she also taught herself to play the harp and is now an accomplished player. She is a poet, a writer, and an incredibly talented artist as well. Anita is proof that "where there is a will there is a way".





Aside from all of her accomplishments, Anita is the kindest, most compassionate woman.  Her beautiful prose uplift many and her comments each morning make my day. We have become close friends through blogging and  I am blessed to have her in my life.

I wish you dear friend a very happy day. Happy Birthday! I wish I was there to celebrate with you. I would make you the most delicious chocolate cake and toast you with a glass champagne.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

White Butter Cupcakes with Sprinkles Buttercream Frosting


Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful Easter with your family and friends and that the Easter bunny was good to you!




Mine was perfect, a quiet weekend with my husband and pups, making, baking and eating lots of delicious food and treats. Of the many things we made these cupcakes were one of my favorites. They are made with the same Butter Cake recipe I featured last week with the strawberries and are topped with Sprinkles Butter Cream frosting and a few holiday sprinkles. 





Butter Cake Recipe
Found Here

Sprinkles Butter Cream Frosting 
Adapted from: Here

1 cup softened butter
31/2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 Teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 Teaspoon almond extract





Directions:

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and confectioners sugar. Beat until combined. Add heavy cream and extracts and beat for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add more cream if you would like your frosting a different consistency.

Frost cooled cupcakes, then add a few sprinkles.




These cupcakes are scrumptious! I think they are excellent with the berries and cream or the butter cream! Tell me, what tasty treats did you make for the Easter holiday? Or did you not have any room for them after eating the chocolate rabbits in your basket?

I hope that you have a fabulous week!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!



I hope that you have a wonderful day filled with the love of family and friends!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter Friday Favorites!

Good morning. This Sunday is Easter and although for most of us it is a religious holiday I think we can all agree that a little Easter basket, a nice dinner with family and friends and a few eggs thrown in make it all the more special. 

I have rounded up a few of my favorite Easter things from around the internet.

Marbled Eggs from P.S Heart


If you still need to decorate your hardboilded eggs before the big hunt, check our these beautiful marbled eggs posted by P.S. Heart.



Image from Gwen Moss


If you are looking for 7 Easy Ideas for the Easter Table hop over to visit Leslie at Gwen Moss. I personally will be trying a few of these as I have not even thought of something to do for the dinner table.


Twigg Studio Hot Cross Cupcakes

Hot Cross Buns are a traditional treat to eat on Good Friday, but have you ever made Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes? I haven't either but I will be making these scrumptious looking Hot Cross Bun Cupcakes by Twigg Studios.


Italian Easter Bread from Sprinkles Bakes


I cannot wait to make this Italian Easter Bread from Sprinkles Bakes. My husband is Italian and I think he will enjoy it.


Easter Dinner Ideas Martha Stewart


If you are still making menu plans, as I am, check out these great ideas from Martha Stewart


Leftover Easter Egg Ice Cream

Last but not least, if you have any leftover chocolate you could make this scrumptious ice cream from the The Chocolate Log Blog.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and a beautiful Easter.



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sweet Easter Brunch Ideas





Good morning! I love holidays and I love holidays that included eating. Easter is Sunday morning and what a wonderful way to spend the morning with your family than with brunch?


Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Although I love a good breakfast for me brunch is all about the sweets, the donuts, the coffee cakes, the monkey bread and more. These are a few of my favorite and most popular posts which I think would be great severed for brunch.


Blackberry Coffee Cake

Blackberry Ricotta Loaf

Blueberry Struesel Cake

Chocolate Muffins

Cinnabon Rolls

French Toast


Monkey Bread


Do you have a favorite brunch menu item? Do you make Easter brunch or do you have an Easter dinner? Please share your favorite recipe here, I need a few to add to my repertoire.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Strawberries and Cream Filled Butter Cake

Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Mine was fabulous. The weather was beautiful with sunny skies, light breezes and many opportunities for long walks with my pup(s) and husband. 




Of course a weekend would not be complete without a little baking. As we are getting ready for Easter this coming Sunday I thought a light, fresh Strawberry and Cream Filled Butter Cake would be perfect to celebrate and I was right.






Butter Cake
Recipe from: Midwest Living

Ingredients:

Cake:

3 cups sifted cake flour, or 21/2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
11/3 cups of half-and-half
8 egg whites
1 cup sugar

Whipped Cream Filling

2 cups of heavy whipping cream
2-4 tablespoons confectioners sugar





Fruit:

1 quart Strawberries, cleaned and sliced. Leave some whole for garnish

Directions:

1. Grease and lightly flour your pans. This recipe makes 3 8x1-1/2 round pans. 

2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Ass 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla, beat until fluffy. Add the flour mixture alternately with the half-and-half to the creamed mixture, beating on low to medium speed after each addition, until just combined.

4. Clean the beaters. In another large bowl beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form(tips curl). Gradually add 1 cup of sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into creamed mixture, 1/4 at a time. Do not mix, fold.

5. Divide mixture into pans. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Remove layers from pan and cool completely.

6. Whip the heavy cream until thick and then add the confectioners sugar to taste.

7. Clean and slice berries, set aside.

Assemble cake: Place one layer of cake on serving dish, layer with cream and berries, place second layer of cake and repeat, then place the third layer on top and garnish. I recommend placing in refrigerator until about 15 minutes before serving. 

NOTES: I used 1/2 the batter for cupcakes and then the other half I made into think 9 x 13" cake which I sliced into three and assembled into this cake.





This cake is scrumptious! It is light, fluffy and delicious. It is also the perfect accompaniment to any sort of berries and cream or just a delicious butter cream frosting! 





I hope you try this recipe and if you do, let me know. I would love to know what you think! 

Have a great week!

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Style

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Creative Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs

Image from Better Homes and Gardens


Good morning! Today instead of my regular Friday Favorites I decided to compile a few of my favorite ways to decorate Easter Eggs, after all I am a bit behind on getting ready for the holiday and I need all of the ideas I can get. 

I scoured Pinterest  and these are just a few of the unique and creative ideas that I found. What we ever did without Pinterest I have no idea. Each and every holiday I am inspired to try something that I see on Pinterest, and Easter is no exception.


Better Homes and Gardens


Gone are the days of simply going to the store for your box of Paas Easter egg dye. Now you can stay at home and use what you have, everything from onion skins to blueberries can naturally dye your eggs.


Image Better Homes and Gardens


Or you can whip out that leftover can of chalk paint, or glitter from a previous project and have something completely new and original!

Chalkboard Eggs from Oleander and Palm



Image from Better Homes and Gardens


There are also stickers, tape, Sharpie markers and many more ideas to try this year with your kids, your grand kids or frankly even yourself!

Image Better Homes and Gardens


After all who doesn't like to act like a kid once in awhile?


Sharpie Eggs from Obviously Sweet

Do you decorate eggs with your family? Do you use a dye kit or are you open to something new each year? 





Glitter Easter Eggs Martha Stewart


I do not think you could go wrong with any of these ideas or the many, many more on Pinterest. Although I do not have any kids at home I may try a few of these techniques myself, just to see how they turn out because every Easter table should have a few beautifully decorated eggs.



Calligraphy Eggs by Oh Happy Day Blog

Ombre Easter Eggs from Country Living

I hope that you share your techniques for decorating Easter eggs! And I hope that you have a fabulous day!


Silk Dyed Easter Eggs from Country Living


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