Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sundae Cupcakes

I'm really hoping that one thing I will gain from this Cupcake Challenge I put on myself is to learn to make the most perfect, most consistent cupcakes. So far.... It hasn't happened, but I am getting closer.... maybe...

I truly think that out of all of these cupcakes, this is one that most everyone was looking forward to. I know I was kind of dreaming about them. And they definitely top the cake over last months. maybe top the cupcake? Would that be icing... like the icing on the cake. Okay, I'll stop now!

This month I started almost running out of time to get them made. I got there, but I think everyone who knows about the challenge to myself started to wonder. I baked the cupcakes last Thursday. I already had the oven on, I was making cupcakes and cookies for my baby girl's birthday party (only 2 things she asked for... only 2, no toys, no food, just cupcakes/cake and cookies) Anyway I figured since I already had the oven on, I'd just dual purpose it and bake these while I was at it.

I have to say this is the most consistent my cupcakes have looked so far. Still not there, but by golly I'm sure trying. Maybe after 6 more I'll be a pro? That is 6 more cupcakes at 12 cupcakes per batch. Math I don't want to do in my head because I know I'll screw it up. Where's the paper and pencil so I can verify myself :). I don't need a calculator... just good old paper and pencil. And just think, I used to be able to do square roots, even imperfect square roots in my head. Oy! The things you lose when you don't practice all the time.

The icing was a bit sweet, but after you covered it in the chocolate, it toned it down just a bit. It really was sweet enough that my teeth were screaming at me when I tried it. Hubby's not a huge fan of sweet icing, I think it might have been a bit much for him too. Deb said that 1 cupcake was about her max. I wonder if you cut down on the sweetness of the icing if it would have been better? I don't know. I'm just trying to follow these directions to a T.

I say follow the directions to a T then I have to point out what I did. I intentionally left the nuts out because hubby doesn't do so well with them. I also intentionally left out the sugar cones because I didn't want to have to buy a huge box and have left overs for just the 2 the recipe called for. Then I got carried away with the batter, I tasted it and thought WOW this is excellent to the point I forgot to add the mashed banana into the batter.

My only other set of notes on this is once you add the Coconut Oil to the Chocolate to cover the icing, it lowers the melting point of the chocolate. You put the cupcakes in the refrigerator 30 minutes to overnight to let the chocolate harden. When I pulled them out, we had to drive to the lake which is like an hour and a half or something. By the time we got there (and it's June, but a milder June), the chocolate on the icing had started to melt. So we ate cupcakes for breakfast, otherwise they wouldn't have lasted.

Hubby's only complaint was he would have left the sprinkles off because he doesn't like Sprinkles. I have to say this was one of my favorite cupcake recipes so far, by far. Bring on the next 6 months!


Sundae Cupcake

(Food Network Magazine, January/February 2017, Vol 10 number 1, Page 63)

For the cupcakes:

For the frosting:

For the chocolate shell:


Directions

1. Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, then whisk in the granulated sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk until just combined. Add the milk and whisk until smooth, then stir in the banana and peanuts.

2. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters of the way. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, make the frosting: Beat the butter, confectioners¿ sugar and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the vanilla and milk; increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed sugar cones and beat 1 more minute. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Arrange the cupcakes on a baking sheet; pipe tall swirls of frosting onto the cupcakes. Refrigerate until the frosting is firm, about 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the chocolate shell: Combine the semisweet chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth. Let cool slightly, then pour into a short wide drinking glass for dunking the cupcakes. One at a time, turn each cupcake upside down and dunk the frosting in the melted chocolate; rotate to coat and let the excess drip off. Return to the baking sheet and decorate with sprinkles while the chocolate is still wet. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Yearly Answers


Answers at 3 year old.

1. Why do you like being a kid? I like being a little girl

2. What is your happiest memory? Kissing a dolphin (She talks about this ALL the time)


3. What do you like to do for fun? Kiss a dolphin (She's only done this once... she also likes to ride horses....)

4. What was the nicest thing you ever did for someone else? When I was at home, Tbug was at her mom's house (I don't know nor do I understand.. haha)

5. What do you think you'll be doing 10 years from now? Be a big girl

6. What do you think your mom & dad do for jobs? Mommy: gets me a monkey daddy: Play with me

7. What is the grossest thing you can imagine? Poop is yucky (haha... yup)

8. What is your favorite thing to do with your family? talk to you guys

9. What is your favorite color? Pink

10. What is your favorite toy? Doc McStuffins (She got this ambulance for her birthday that is Doc McStuffins, plus a doctor kit. Prior to her birthday she always played doctor and cooking at least once a day....)

11. What is your favorite fruit? Watermelon

12. What is your favorite tv show? Sophia the First (Also likes Doc McStuffins, Princess Elena of Avalor, Paw Patrol, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and NO, she doesn't watch TV all the time)

13. What is your favorite food? Macaroni and Cheese

14. What is your favorite outfit? A dress

15. What is your favorite game? Something on my toy I have in the truck (She has a leapster laptop thingy she's referring to)

16. What is your favorite snack? Cake (and applesauce and SmartPop Popcorn (has to be the black bag, not the white bag that is the Walmart version), Peanut Butter and Bread)

17. What is your favorite animal? Elephant no Lion (haha, okay....?)

18. What is your favorite song? Miss Me When I'm Gone.

19. What is your favorite book? Tiger, (I Love You, Dad)

20. Who is your best friend? Tbug

21. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Chores

22. What is your favorite drink? Tea Tea (Sweet Tea)

23. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

24. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Minnie and Monkey (and sometimes purple Minnie)

25. What do you want to be when you grow up? Stand up High and higher and higher and higher so Tbug can reach me so I can get bigger and bigger. (sure, why not)


Sunday, June 25, 2017

School Daze

We may have been dangling school in front of Abug to try and get her potty trained. She's talked about wanting to go to school for as long as I can remember it seems. Then one of the local schools around offered summer classes for students of all ages. They had a 2 1/2-3 1/2 year old class that is one day per week for an hour for $10. It was first come 1st serve. We actually got her signed up. She's been back and forth on being happy and being scared. Luckily parents stay with their kids that whole time so it's a great way to break her in to a classroom type setting.

About a week before we went she had a breakdown one night at bedtime saying she DIDN'T WANT to go to school EVER. I'm talking this was almost an hour breakdown about going to school. It was sad but funny at the same time. I guess I've always been kind of a nerd and kind of liked school (quietly). I was excited to be able to give her this experience.

Last Thursday was her first session. That morning I couldn't get her to get out of bed. She threw a fit and cried and everything else. I was able to get her out of bed by brushing my teeth. She immediately jumped out of bed and said, "I have to brush my teefps (teeth)." The kid loves to brush her teeth... no joke. Otherwise, that blanket, that's where she was hiding.

I'm probably the only parent who did the 1st day of school picture but I don't care. Not one bit. I wasn't about to forget to take one!

So the day started out by entering the library and reading a book of our choice. We red about something that wanted a dog. I can't remember what wanted the dog though. In the end they wanted a hippo. Then we moved down to a group half circle and counted to 10, reviewed shapes, and sang. Next we moved to the art room where there were four stations.
  • One allowed you to drive cars on a road that was in the shape of numbers while parents read how to navigate the road.
  • One was a counting station. There were multi colored vehicles (buses, trucks, cars, airplanes, etc) and dishes that you placed each in. There were also pompom balls of all shapes and sizes. This allowed you to not only count but group by color, shape, size, etc.
  • One was a shape of a number and you used play dough to make the shape of the number.
  • Finally there was the craft station as seen below. There were stencils in the shapes of letters and numbers, stencils in shapes (triangle, etc), and letters (although the teacher accidentally thought they were numbers), and  the kids were able to make their own art work.

After our time in the art room, we went back to the library and sang a song about monkey's jumping on the bed, and the teacher read a cute book about pigs. Then our time was over.

The verdict: She LOVED it. She's ready to go back.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Breakfast consisted of Pancakes. My aunt got me this really cool new cookbook, Back in the Day Bakery. If you can't tell... the pancake recipe is from that cookbook :).

Tomatoes out of my garden, that I fried up like Fried Green Tomatoes. OMG, they were dreamy!

Lunch consisted of grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, and fried tomatoes.

Dessert was this Deep Chocolate Cake. This is my all time favorite cake, I swear! And the Fudgy icing on top is just the icing on the cake. haha.

The hubby got to spend time with his girls and be "doctored." Abug's new favorite thing to play is doctor.

Father's Day was very low key. This is about what it consisted of. Hopefully my dad and husband had a great Father's Day. What more can I say about it? It came and it went.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Currently


Hi, have we met? I've been in a funk here lately and I really hate it. In fact, yesterday a couple friends said hi to me and I barely acknowledged them. I promise, I'm not a snob. Life has been throwing me curve ball after curve ball and I'm just in a funk. I think that early life crisis is hitting in again... or maybe close to midlife although if that's the case, I'll make it to my 60's. That's a morbid thought. See... funk! I'm not kidding. So, just because, let's do a currently post. This should be fun, right?

Reading: I started reading Lauren Graham's Book, Talking as Fast as I Can, but I've misplaced it. Otherwise, the other night I was reading Frozen to the bug. Exciting right? We also read Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and some book she gets monthly in the mail.

Listening to: both fans run. Otherwise it's quiet in here right now. Oh and I guess I hear the tick tick of the keyboard.

Planning: The trip to my aunt's house in a couple weeks and Abug's birthday party this weekend. Can you believe she's going to be 3? Where in the world has time gone.... seriously!


Wishing: That someone would take away my bad luck so maybe I could get just a bit of good luck... seriously. Oh and wishing that I could move my silly blog from Blogger to Wordpress. I think Blogger doesn't want me to leave and Wordpress doesn't want my ramblings. I have no other explanation. I'm going on 2 weeks of hardcore trying to move it and still coming up short. ACK!

Watching: Yesterday I was watching Gilmore Girls, again. My husband owns all the seasons and made me watch them once after we finished watching Friends for his 1stish time (all the way through) and my like 256,532,123.5 times or something like that. I have to say, I really like the Gilmore Girl series! I want to be Loreli Gilmore, sort of anyway.

Hoping: That I don't have a breakdown. haha... just kidding. I really am just hoping for something better. I don't know what at this point...

Learning: I try to learn something new every day. Right now, I'm learning that I can wake up at 6am and be a functioning human being. I'm not now nor have I ever been a morning person. Today Abug starts a summer class. It's 1 day a week for an hour. I needed to get up and do chores and get this, I actually fixed my hair. I didn't just pull it up in a messy bun and say screw it. This is a first... not really but you know. I wonder if I should show up in boots, cut off shorts, a t-shirt, and long coat like Loreli did on Rori's first day at Chilton. Oh heck no.... I'll save that for a day that Abug is being ridiculous and needs a less or something... you know when she's a teenager and not a threenager.

Browsing: Oh heck, I can't do that these days. I guess this morning I browsed through Facebook and some blogs that I follow. Then I wondered if anyone who I follow and I know used to follow me still does or if I lost most people. I know there are a handful of you out there who for sure read, and for hat I want to say thank you! I swear, someday I'll get my mojo back. These days I just feel lost.

Going: To school... yet it isn't for me this time! Whew! Nope, Abug starts a summer class today (mentioned above I know). One minute she's excited and the next she's scared to death. The other night at bedtime we had a breakdown about how she didn't want to go to school and she refused to go to sleep because that meant she had to go to school and she was no longer a big girl, instead she was a baby so she didn't have to go to school, and you get the picture.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Technology Hates Me

These last few days have been extremely stressful. I'm ready to crawl in a hole and not come back for a while. Ugh! So my iCloud account was shut down because apparently it had been hacked. I had to change my password. Once I did, I run a Mac and had to update everything on my laptop as well.... BUT... there's always a but... it's not working totally right. Oh... and I can't remember what I changed my password to.

So then let's move on to this blog. I've been trying to move it over to WordPress. Yes I jumped on the WordPress bandwagon, or at least I have tried. {beats head on wall} It's a nice thought... but the stupid program won't import my previous blog. I've been trying for 2 weeks. I keep getting error messages.

I went on line trying to find help. All it sent me to was forums that didn't help. So I tried to contact them. Well even though I have a WordPress account, I can't figure out how to log in to anything but my wordpress site and so I can't contact WordPress people because they don't believe I have an account. Either A) they want me to start one, which I already have or B) use the forums which don't help.

So I googled contact Wordpress and wound up on some 24/7 WordPress help site. They got my password and login information for both Blogger and WordPress and logged in. Then said they could help me. I said great and that's when they said, but it'll cost you. Wait what? If you knew it was going to cost me, why the hell did you get my login information. sigh! And it shows that they are located in California but the people helping me were from India.

I hate technology. I can just hand move 2200 posts over if I wanted... but then A) that takes a lot of time. B) I lose all comments from everyone. Etc. I'm so frustrated.

Then add trying to find a job. Technology hates me right now. Kind of like the stoplights. I swear, if I go through a stoplight I'll hit it on red no matter what. Anyway, I want to cry now... but it won't do any good so I guess I'll get back to something... I'm not really sure what. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 16, 2017

11 Quotes to Remember About Life

The other night as I was lying awake at 2:30am I was thinking about a lot of things... mainly life. I got tired of thinking about life so I jumped on Facebook. Isn't it funny how sometimes when you least likely expect it you see just what you need?

Life is an interesting thing. I wake up some mornings and feel like I should be 20 because I feel like in life I'm where a 20 year old is, yet in a little over a month I'll be 34 (does someone want to please verify my math....). What does that sentence mean? Well obviously, I don't know my age but I know my birthday. Okay okay, seriously, that sentence means, I have an almost three year old. A lot of my friends had that in their early 20's. In my early 20's I wasn't responsible enough. I knew that then. There was no question in my mind of that.

When I got out of college I had a pretty new degree that said I was qualified to teach high school students 9-12. I was 22 years old. If I were to teach a senior in high school, I was looking at 17 and 18 year olds. That made me 4-5 years older than they were. Would they have listened to me? Probably not. I didn't get a job right out of college as an agriculture teacher. I spent that first year out of college as a substitute teacher and a part time server. Wow did I learn a lot that year, including how to do proofs (you know those things in Geometry that I failed in high school... No, I didn't fail Geometry, just the proofs unit....).

That next year I got a job at a Fortune 500 company and worked there for 7 years. I met a lot of different people ranging in all ages and backgrounds from all over the country and the world. One girl I became friends with became more of a frenemy to me in the end. I had to watch my back because she back stabbed me a lot. She realized I knew when I started keeping her at arms length. Those back stabs hurt less that way.

She was a couple years younger than I was and had a 3 or 4 year old son at the time. She was either married or engaged at the time of this conversation. She and the guy she was either engaged to or married to had a house. Then there was me. I was either 25 or 26 years old. I'd been dating the same guy for a while but we both lived with our respective parents. I had an '04 Mustang and that was about the extent of what I "had." She told me that day she was jealous of me. I was in shock that day.

After working at the Fortunate 500 company, I went back to college for my Master's degree. I entered college similarly to entering college for my Bachelor's Degree. I was 18 at the time of my Bachelor's and graduated at 21 (I turned 22 2 months later). Entering for my Master's I entered at 29 and graduated at 32 (I turned 33 2 months later). Now I have an almost three year old. And I still feel some days lost as to my place in this world. So have I painted the picture as to why I feel like I should be a 20 year old, not a 30 year old. A lot of my friends have kids who are 10. Heck I have a 14 year old. I wasn't married until I was 27 instead of my early 20's. I could go on and on but I'll spare you.

So the other night while I was laying in bed at 2:30 am contemplating the world I stumbled across this thing from Daily Health

11 Quotes to Remember When You Feel Lost in Your Life.

  1. Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.
  2. Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.
  3. If you don't like where you are, move. You are not a tree.
  4. You can't start the next chapter if you keep rereading the last.
  5. If it doesn't open, it's not your door.
  6. Sometimes you need to step outside, get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and where you want to be.
  7. Sometimes you need to talk to a three-year-old just so you can understand life again.
  8. Listen and silent are spelled with the same letters. Think about it.
  9. Sometimes, you have to stop thinking so much and just go where your heart takes you.
  10. You don't have to have it all figured out to move forward.
  11. Never stop believing because miracles happen every day.
Boy I don't like odd numbers. haha! One of my weird little quirks. But today's post brought by "YOU ARE ENOUGH." Never forget that!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Putting it all Together...



I have spent a lot of time trying to get this put together... in fact like 4 or 5 months. haha. No seriously, on Monday I tried so hard to get to this point and couldn't get there. Yesterday I had time so I came to grandma's house and made sure I got this put together. It took a bit because it required those 167 squares... most of which I didn't actually do. I just put strips in there and called it good because I got tired of cutting/sewing squares. If I would have had some help, maybe I would have taken more time to do all the 167 squares.

Okay... so after seeing this piece and that piece put with this piece and that piece, are you ready to see the finished product? What do you think? I'm not totally sure I know..... Now comes coming up with the backing and the batting and actually getting it quilted. I'm not sure if Grandma will quilt it or if I'll machine quilt it or exactly how it will be finished. I guess there might be another post on that :). Are you waiting on the edge of your seat?


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Quilt Block 25 & Putting the Quilt Together

To tell you the truth, I've been chomping at the bit to get this quilt put together. I have loved every minute of it, but I'm truthfully not a put it off for 6 months kind of girl. Now okay, I'll admit, I didn't start this challenge the first week it was out there... in fact I don't think I got started until February some time but dang... it's been going on for a while. Last week I thought I had all the quilt blocks done until I realized there were 25 not 24. I ran out of time last week to get number 25 done so here...

Here is Number 25. I absolutely LOVE it!

Monday I started trying to put it together. It required 167 2.5" squares. HOLY CRAP! That's a lot of squares. It took quite a while. Normally you sew strips together and then cut the strips and it goes faster.... but not in my case. 1) I couldn't decide on just 2 colors for the blocks. 2) When I did decide on the colors to use, there was no making strips. So putting this thing together was going slow!

In fact, this is all I got put together on Monday. I was running out of time and had to call it quits. I got a few more squares put on other pieces but wasn't able to get anything sewn together but these 2. I was starting to get flustered.

So the Saga continues!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Prayers


My husband's grandma is in the hospital. I don't know what to ask for in the way of prayers. Unfortunately I'm not sure she'll leave the hospital, although they talked like she might today sometime. She went in on Friday. After we got out of the hayfield we went to see her. She didn't have a clue who we were or really even that we were there. I heard that they have her on morphine and that hospice (who has been at her house) had her on 3x the amount of a person in pain... I guess they're trying to keep her comfortable?

We were there Saturday evening to check on her and they verified that she had a blood clot in her leg. She was more lucid while we were there and was hitting on the male nurse even. Then when my father-in-law came in and we were telling him she was hitting on the nurse, she blamed me. I took one for the team. Then at one point she said my husband was sitting on a picture. There was a picture on the wall and he was apparently sitting on it. We accused him of being the elf on the shelf. And finally she kept asking us why we didn't bring our niece (not our daughter....). So she was more lucid, but still not totally with it. I guess she thought we were my sister in law and brother in law?

Between being in the hayfield yesterday we ran in again to check on her. She was totally out of it while we were there. Tbug's mom took her over yesterday evening. She didn't want to go and asked me if I thought that was a bad thing. Truthfully, while she may have regretted it, I don't think it's totally a bad thing either. Her mom and I think even her step-dad are nurses so they're around things like this (although he works for an eye care place now... again I think). Her mom is an ER nurse. She is exposed to tragedies that come through there quite often.

I told Tbug it was kind of six of one half a dozen the other. I know exactly where she was coming from. She's 14 years old and this is real life stuff. Yes, it is okay to expose her to this and if she didn't go she may have always regretted it, but at the same time... I just hope this isn't the last memory she has and that's all she focuses on instead of all the good times. Ya know. By the way, if you can't figure it out, she went. I'm not sure if she chose to or if she was told to... I wasn't there. I just know she didn't want to via text. I did get one from her later that said she was glad she went. I just reminded her not to remember grandma this way but remember her for all the good times.

As of Saturday night they were going to put her on some medicine to break up the blood clot in her knee, then late Saturday evening or first thing Sunday morning part of it broke away (whether on its own or with medicine I don't know) and wound up in her lung. Not a good thing.

So prayers are needed. They're needed for grandma. They're needed for the family. I guess the form is peace. Grandma has had a good life. They told me she was born in 1927. Imagine the world she has seen.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Quilt Block 21, 22, 23, & 24

 Monday's happen to be one of my favorite days of the week these last few months, and that's because my squirrely girly and I have gone down to sew with my grandma. A few weeks ago though, grandma had knee replacement surgery and wasn't able to sew for a couple weeks. Sad day, but at least her knee is feeling better. Last week, Thursday became my new favorite day... I should mention at this point I'm not crazy about Thursdays. Most people think I'm nuts, but they are just a reminder that it isn't Friday. I know... pessimistic side in deed.

Being as though we haven't sewn in a few weeks, we had a lot of catching up to do. Now, grandma couldn't stay up in the sewing room the whole time because her knee was hurting at one point, it was lunch time, and she ahd to do physical therapy... but that didn't stop us! Nope, in fact, I cut out and sewed together 4 quilt blocks. I'm missing 1 block and then we can slap this baby together... oh... and 167 2.5" squares. Boy that seems daunting!

Quilt Block 21. This is made with some material we got from Cozumel recently. The flower portion is the material from Cozumel, the rest was stuff grandma already had. I feel like there isn't enough contrast in the two greens, but it's okay.

I then went and placed it on the bed. Boy... Grandma's bed just isn't big enough. I have them overlapping and falling off the bed. I read when this bad boy is finished it'll be 86" or if you put a border on it 96". I'm not sure if I'll do the border or not... I think that'll come after I have it sewn together.

Quilt Block 22. Abug had picked out some Frozen material and I had to find a way to incorporate it for her. We finally got it accomplished.  Now, she has also picked out some Paw Patrol and I'm not sure that'll make its way in... we'll just have to wait and see....

Quilt block 23. All this material is from Cozumel. The white and purple were in the same fabric and the orange was different. I actually think this is quite pretty if I do say so myself.

Finally Quilt Block 24. This also has incorporated material from Cozumel. Again, it is the flower material. I didn't quite get it to line up correctly which makes me sad. Hopefully it looks better in the quilt.

I can't wait to see this thing all put together. I brought it home with me so that I could see it put together in one piece. Don't mind the toys off to the side... I do have a toddler... But I absolutely love it, I think. I'm still not 100% sure about the big block in the middle. And I'm missing block 25 yet. But here is what it looks like so far. I'm ready to go start sewing now so I can get this puppy finished up. I'm so excited! I just can't hide it!


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