Friday, December 31, 2010

Really? You have not made this yet? Really?

This  cake is amazing.  Yep this is the third one I have made.  It is now in the permanent rotation.  It is right up there with Special K loaf, Pecan balls, Haystacks and Pasta n Peas.  Today I chopped the walnuts on the top instead of halves I like the way it looks.  The orange zest is the kicker in this recipe.  Yummy!

Here is the Recipe from Ina Gartens new cook book Barefood Contessa How Easy Is That?

Old-Fashioned Banana Cake
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)
Walnut halves, for decorating

PREHEAT ovent to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.
MIX bananas, granulated sugar and brown sugar in bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Add oil, eggs, sour cream. vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth.
STIR together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, turn out onto cooling rack and cool completely.
SPREAD frosting thickly on top of cake and decorate with walnut halves. Slice and serve.
Makes 8 servings.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1/2 pound)
MIX cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don't whip. Add sugar and mix until smooth.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We went to Blue Springs today and saw this cute little manatee.  It already had a big scar on its back.  They were hungry today digging in the sand to get to some roots to eat.  Poor little things.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Excitement and .....

So our holiday did not start out the way we thought.  We thought we would wake up early, have Paige open up her Christmas stocking where we hid a key in the toe, have Paige drive us to church in her ("new to her") car and spend the day riding around looking at fun Christmas things maybe go to the State park and take a nice walk out in nature.  Nope, not today.  Paige woke up feeling gross and before we could start the day she was bowing to the porcelain god.

She was really sick, it took her until noon (after about an hour of coaxing) to start opening the gifts in her stocking and get to the one on the bottom that we have been waiting for her to open for two months.  It is not easy to keep a secret like that let alone hide a big blue car.  Needless to say she was excited and seemed very surprised!

After the additional surprise and another trip to the bathroom she managed to walk outside and take a look at her car.

Look how shiny...

Paige are you okay? "Yes, I am just full of excitement and diarrhea!" and with that said she started up the car, turned it off and went back to the bathroom then sat on the sofa for an hour or so and now is sleeping with Tulip the Christmas cat and slowly starting to feel better.

Not how we thought the day was going to go, but nothing makes me happier than being a Mom and a sick child on Christmas that needs me is a great gift even if I would rather her be healthy.

Friday, December 24, 2010


This child loves big furry hats.  A perfect gift.

Crusty is enjoying her gift of nip, Hopefully this will give Crusty some Holiday cheer.

Tulip Loves the nip as well.  She usually likes it until it is soggy.

To the left you will see some Florida State Christmas spirit.  We changed around the letters in Noel to NOLE.  GO Noles!  & Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Guilt



Tree now guarded...
"Please step away from the nip!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Light the Christmas tree...

Thanks to Mr. Hygiene we have lights on the Foxtail Palm.  We lit it up to try to keep it from freezing this year, last year we lost our original one and this is the replacement we planted this summer. We do not want to buy one every year so this is the plan not only to decorate it like we usually do but put so many lights on it that it will also stay warm.

Anyway, we had to wrap the trees trunk and I cover the bottom two rows of fronds as well.  It looks like a giant mushroom glowing in the dark. I will take and add a photo soon.  took the temp of the trunk after I got it all tucked in and turned on the lights.  At 11pm the temp was over 100 degrees so I took off one layer round the trunk and brought the temp down to 79.  I did not want to cook it to death that would defeat the purpose.

*Note we painted the front door black, thank you Mr. Hygiene and now we have some trim to paint as well.  I love black, white and tan.  Hmm what does Mr. Hygiene have on?  He matches the house.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Test kitchen officially open

Tis the season!  Nothing can kick off the holiday like a new cookbook.   I went to Costco to get cranberries and walked through the book section and saw the new Ina cookbook, in the cart it went.  While sitting on the couch I happened to show Stacy the photo for Easy Cranberry & Apple Cake.  "Yep, sounds good!" Not looks good or when are you going to make that.  Like I was showing him a menu and he picked out desert. Oh he makes me laugh.  So off to the store I went I needed to get an orange for the recipe then into the kitchen.  It was a quick prep and into the oven.  60 minutes later we have cake, let him eat cake fresh hot cake.  Mr. Hygiene said I could make the cake again.  His stamp of approval. Yum!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not so Scary Halloween

I received a lovely package from my friend Sheri Seibold last week.  She sent me some Halloween fabric that she designed and I have started putting it to good use.  I have been cutting, sewing, turning right side in, and sewing some more and this is what I came up with.  I have wanted to make a Halloween bunting for awhile  with her whimsical fabric and I was so excited to get some from her collection from last year as well as her new fabric from this years collection.  I know some college kids that need some decorations for the season.

Here is my helper for the day Crusty.  She is protecting the fabric from the squirrels outside by giving them the stink eye.  Oh and I better not forget she is adding some of her fur to the project.  I will post a photo of the finished banner as soon as I get them sent off to the girls.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Squirrel hunting begins

These little guys started to build a nest in our car so it is time for them to go.  Our neighbor has been hunting squirrels for the pas few weeks and cough over 34 of them in his yard alone.  He put a traps in his neighbors yard and caught 7.  Today I put one of his traps in our yard and started the squirrel removal process myself.  It was full before 9 this morning and the little critter was relocated by 10.  The trap is reset and ready to go.  You can hear the varmint chatter in the video, wish it was not such a pest I think they are so cute but they have to go. ( you can push pause on the music bar to the left so you can hear the noise coming form the cage.)

This was caught while I was recording it.  I got lucky.  This was less than two hours after I caught the first one this morning.  I hope it enjoyed the organic peanut butter and Mountain Medially before it's long trip...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

To tired to play

These are Pearls favorites today.  Her nylabone, monkey and her tennis bone and she wants to nap with all of them at once.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So glad she is home!

I love having Paige home. The kitchen has gotten a small workout from it's vacation while Paige was at FSU. (Not fun cooking for two) Last night Paige and I had a "while you are cooking snack" and it is great to have a fellow food lover back in the house.

I made her favorite Pasta with carrots and peas, I know I have blogged about it many times before but it is so simple and she just loves it. We went to our favorite Cheese store in Winter Park to get fresh Parmesan. Bought some fresh bread and some delicious spicy olives as well. Yum. Glad your home Paige.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Cat Nap

Caught Crusty waking up from her catnap today.  Sleeping on top of the Dryer in her basket.  A few weeks back Stacy saw her in the basket and said you should make that crusty's basket and leave it there for her all the time.  It has been her basket for months now, glad he finally noticed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This year Paige turned 18.  How did that happen?  We had a small birthday party with a few of her close friends.  I usually do not do themes but this year it was Raspberry Lemonade.  The cake started it all so we will blame the cake.
Pink and yellow are fun to put together,  I tried to get her favorite candy for decoration so she could take it back with her to college after the weekend was over.
Nothing high end here for the party just a few hand made flowers and a string of garland worked just fine.  I made these while we sat on the beach earlier in the day before the party.  Fold, fold, fold, tie, cut, fluff shake out sand and repeat.
It was so nice having Paige home for her birthday and to have her friends around as well.  I can not believe how time flies, how fast they grow and how much we enjoy Paige.  She is such a wonderful person with such a big heart.  We are proud to call her our daughter.  Happy birthday Miss Paige we love you very much!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

All tied up.

This seems to be the craft of the month.

Monday, July 5, 2010

This post brought to you by the letter "P"

While Paige was home I decided to embroider a pillowcase for her and since my skills are somewhat sketch I decided to stick to what I know, French knots. I wish I knew how many went into this but I will tell you my fingers still have not gotten all their feeling back yet.

I wanted to add a Crown or some additional design around the "P" but time did not allow. Crusty and I thought it was cute enough for Paige to take back to FSU with her as is.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First day of School ~ Florida State University

Well it really was not the first day of school but it was her first day at school, in the dorm and the day we left our baby at College. I only cried for about 20 minutes, not bad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Perfect basket!

I got this basket a few months back with the intentions of using it for the beach. Well I started using it around the house for different things and using it in the truck to carry things in and out. But today I used it for breakfast for Stacy's office and it worked perfectly!

I layered the food with the hot items on the bottom and the cooler items on top. The top layer was Big Sur Power Bars. I found really nice little light weight trays that just happened to fit perfectly inside the basket. I could not have planned this well fitted set up if I tried.

The second and third layer was Breakfast tarts with eggs, swiss cheese and chives. and the bottom two layers were hash brown casserole. They stayed nice and piping hot tucked in the bottom of the basket. I can not believe how well it all fit together in one container like this.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today was the last day I can say my daughter is a Sen10r. Where does the time go? I am not old enough to have a daughter in college, only 14 days until that happens. We had a great day and God shown mercy on us and made the weather perfect. Not too hot or too humid.

The only thing that was not perfect about today was the shutter on my camera decided to get stuck open when Paige got her diploma and gave me a big sparkle pretty wave. The photo I have waited 17 years to take. I guess in the scope of things it was minor.

It was a great day. We are so proud of our daughter. Her academic achievements far exceeded our expectations but we are even more proud to say Paige is a nice, kind, giving person with a big heart. We are honored to call her our daughter and can not wait to see what the future has in store for her.