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.