Monday, November 23, 2009


Brownies with Chocolate Mint "Frosting"

2 boxes prepared Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownies
(or as I like to call them "Why Would You Make Homemade When You Can Make These?")
2 small pkgs Andes mints OR 1 pkg Andes mint chocolate chips

When the brownies come out of the oven, immediately top them with the mints or chips. Let them melt enough to spread them. Let them cool and serve 'em up.

Seriously, the brownie mix is the best just by themselves. And it has to be the Double Chocolate ones, the other kinds just aren't as good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goin' to the Chapel ♪ ♫

Saturday was all about the wedding cake (after a rousing game of kickball first thing in the morning). This cake would take a professional about an hour (or less) to put together after baking the layers. I'm going to pretend I am a professional and it only took me that long. And I'll use professional lingo and refer to my friend and her son (the groom) as "clients". ☺

The clients (I'm cracking myself up) chose an unusual topper with the bride and groom in a sitting position and just kind of hanging out. It was very cute and I thought of a few ways to make it funny, like have them chilling in a beach chair or something, but in the end they were perched on the edge of the top layer, looking like they're ready to slide (or take the plunge, ha ha). There were no other requests, just a mention that they like strawberry cake.
Strawberry cake meets white fondant and the rest is history.

I know this isn't a recipe, but sometimes we professionals have other things to do over the weekend. ☺

(Cell phone pics, that's all I've got.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Got a picky eater?

Try this trick I learned from my good friend, Jennifer, a long time ago when we didn't live on opposite sides of the country. :( It's a great way to get tons of vitamins in your little one in one sitting.

The trick is to simply add a generous handful
of this to your smoothie ingredients.

This particular smoothie is just orange juice, frozen strawberries, banana and spinach. We go through phases of favorites but one we ALWAYS love is orange juice, pineapple, mango, kiwi and of course, spinach. Sometimes I add a little bit of Splenda if it needs a little sweetening, but usually the juice is sweet enough.
Another favorite lately is apple juice, blueberries and a few strawberries.

Blend it all up and they'll never know.
The taste doesn't change, just the color
(not a pretty color).

I usually just eyeball it but the ratio is probably about 12 ounces of juice to 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit. A good tip is to use all frozen fruits then you usually don't have to add ice, so it's truly a SMOOTHie. I buy almost all of my fruit frozen, but I peel and cut kiwis and bananas and freeze them.

Not exactly a winter drink for most people, but here in Florida we drink them all year round. And you don't have to feel guilty for feeding your kid pretzels and a "smoody" for dinner. ☺

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Wedding

I'm making a wedding cake this Saturday. I don't think they know about my Scout Eagle Court of Honor cake disaster or they wouldn't have asked me to make it.
Anyway, they like strawberry cake so I was testing out this recipe I found yesterday. The cake was quite good and the frosting even better. I'm not sure I can use the frosting because it's kind of thin and runny for decorating, but I think the cake will taste good with regular old white decorator's frosting if I decide do that.
Here's the recipe for the cake and the frosting. I will make this again, it was that good.

Strawberry Dream Cake

1 white cake mix
1 1/2 cups frozen sweetened strawberries, pureed
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 (1 oz) squares Bakers white chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (8oz) container cool whip, thawed
1/2 pint fresh sliced strawberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.
Make cake per directions except substitute the 1 1/2 cups of strawberries for the water and add 1 extra egg. (My cake mix required egg whites, which I used and then added a whole egg), and 8 ounces of the cream cheese. Beat well and pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cake cool fully before frosting.
To make frosting, heat the heavy cream until just beginning to boil. Pour it over the white chocolate (chopped) and the remaining 4 ounces of cream cheese. Mix well and let cool. Once cool, fold in the cool whip. Frost cake and garnish with fresh strawberries.
I wonder if it would be better to chill the frosting before frosting the cake because when the put the frosted cake in the fridge, the frosting firmed up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I ♥ My Bathroom

Our master bathroom vanity redo has been technically finished for a few weeks. I've just been working on the details but decided to post since it will probably take a little while until it's completely done, down to the tiniest thing. I'm not an impulsive shopper or decorator. I like to take my time.


Goodbye old bathroom.

Goodbye formerly dark-brown laminate cabinets
with the white paint peeling off.

Goodbye stained and chipped countertop.
Bye-bye ginormous, plain old boring, cracked mirror.

Adios sassy brassy leaky faucet.

Bye-bye overly textured, partially painted walls.

See ya later soap and toothbrush holder that I'm sure had to be
included in the original blueprints for the walls of the bathroom.

Hello beautiful, clean, bright white bathroom I have been dreaming about!

Check out that mirror!
Jill reluctantly gave that beauty up just for me.
Thanks Jilly! ☺

A few little things still left to be done.
Deciding on a ribbon for the drawers is one. I love this idea. I saw it in a magazine and on this blog. I'm just having a hard time finding the perfect one.

I really like the blue.

I like the white too.
But probably the blue more.
Just not sure if I like that particular blue....

Definitely not the yellow.

Painting the little mirror on the floor.
It's for little people who can't see in the big one since
the vanity is quite a bit higher than it used to be.

I'm searching for a glass knob for the closet door.

The light fixture is temporary. It's the old one, painted white,
which is fine but one of the sockets doesn't work.

The picture frame on the wall needs something in it and
we'll probably put in a small towel bar on the opposite wall.

The little houses in the birdcage need a new shade of blue paint.
They're a shade that's too far off everything else in there.

And I've been eyeing a couple of wire baskets
to put underneath the sink for towels.

Details of the project:
Rip out old sink, countertop and vanity.
Install floor to ceiling beadboard.
Tile the area of the old vanity.
Install baseboards and crown moulding.
Paint everything.
Paint buffet to be used as vanity.
Cut a hole and fit the sink.
Reconfigure plumbing for one sink.
Fun Fun Fun!