Sunday, October 26, 2008

Simple, scrumptious and satisfying Sunday breakfast.

I had contemplated muffins and scones, maybe even sausage gravy and buttermilk biscuits this morning, but pancakes won out. I picked this Krusteaz Honey Wheat pancake mix up yesterday at Super Target. Good groceries are slim pickens around here, but if I travel just a few miles the shopping gets better... MUCH better. I discovered some really good grocery shopping yesterday, finally. I spotted this and in the cart it went. It looked good enough to forgo scratch, and Krusteaz is really a good choice if you do buy boxed. So.......we start with this.

Mix 2 cups of mix and 1 1/2 cups of water. Let it sit while you....
chop up a few handful of these. (yes I know they are chopped, I just did them up a bit more)

Put the walnuts on the griddle for about 5 minutes to toast them. Stir them about a few times. Once toasted, throw them in the batter.

While the walnuts are toasting, put about 3/4 ~ 1 cup of these

in a cup and cover them well with water. Pop them in the microwave and plump them. To do this just cook them on high for about two minutes. Drain and stir in batter.

Bake them on your griddle @ 350°.

Real butter, real Vermont maple syrup.......... and there you have it, a simple and very satisfying Sunday breakfast. I served Millstone Hazelnut coffee. Scrumptious!

Next time I reach for this wonderful mix I think pumpkin puree, pecans and currants will be involved. :-)

The mix is primarily whole wheat flour, there is some soy flour, and wheat bran. Add the omega goodness of the walnuts, and the concentrated flavonoid and bacteria blocking properties along with the antioxidant capacities of the cranberry.... well you have a really tasty, crunchy and chewy fiber filled, nutritious reason to have some butter and syrup.

Oh, the real maple syrup has significant amounts of manganese and is a good source of zinc. It is also packed with a concentration of minerals.

So, scrumptious and sweet that you can feel good about.

I'd love to hear what you think if you whip these up.

Sorry about the imported photo's and no finished result photo. I have to find a way to blog properly with my schedule. I'll get it all sorted.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Scottish Terrier cake!

I don't suppose you would be particularly interested in making this cake unless you have a Scottie, or someone dear to you has one or loves the breed, and you wanted to do something special for them. But for those of you that may have occasion to whip up a Scottish Terrier cake, this post is for you. This cake is so easy to make and the results far surpass the effort and, it makes for just some plain old fashioned fun. Alright then, lets get at it.

You will need a serving device at least 18 inches wide and 14 inches in height. I used an old cutting board my dad made. I covered it with foil and then parchment paper. I would steer clear of regular cardboard or the pre~cut cardboard cake servers as this cake is wide and heavy.

Now you will need to choose a cake you want to use. I made this one a white cake. Jon and I like white cake. Whether you make yours from scratch or a box, the average cake recipe or one boxed mix is what you need. Prepare your batter and bake it in two separate 8 X 8 inch cake tins. Let them cool and turn them out one at a time. You can use any frosting you like as long as it has the consistency to spread thick and hold it's shape.

And here is where we take cake into the shape of a Scottie. These are your first cuts. The cut that is vertical in this picture is 2 inches. The cut that is horizontal is 4 inches. The little obtuse triangle is to be set to the side. That is your Scottie's tail. The 4 inch by 2 inch is well..... fodder for the baker. Go ahead and taste test before you serve. :-)

Frost your larger piece making sure to get ample coverage, and get the sides done well as you won't want to mess the surface of your serving device up later.

Lift and transport to whatever you will be serving the cake on.

Now let's cut the second cake. Again make a vertical cut right at the 4 inch mark that is 2 inches in length. Then make a 4 inch horizontal cut leaving a 2" by 4" piece. Share that piece with whomever you wish, it is not going to be used either. Now, one more cut. Slice off a triangle right there in the center. Your Scottie will need ears, this piece will be just that, the ears.

Time to frost again making sure you cover the sides well. This will be the front wither, chest and legs.

Transport just as you did the the other piece. Line two pieces up as exactly as you can where the back comes together.

Here are your head, ears and tail. Frost the large piece which is the head. Again, get good coverage on the sides.

Notice the large licorice drop in the background on the right. Also notice the kettle is plugged in keeping a good supply of hot water going.

Transport your head piece just as you have the others. See the 4 cup measuring cup? That is where my hot water is. I use it to dip my frosting spatula in to slick the frosting down and cause it to be smooth and glossy. We are getting there!

Frost the tail and ear piece just as you have the larger pieces, then put them just where you want them. Notice the smooth and glossy frosting. We have boiling hot water and a metal spatula to thank for that.

Now we put a nose on, an eye on, and dress up our Scottie's furnishings. The nose is that large licorice drop cut in half from top to bottom. The eye is a drop of white buttercream frosting I always have in the refrigerator with the top of one of those large licorice drops sliced from side to side, set in. I used a #233 Wilton tip for this Scottie's furnishings. This tip is typically used to make grass, or the fur on say Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. Clicking on the picture will give you much better detail.

Wouldn't be a Scottie with out a tartan collar. The dark blue and dark green is my favorite. That is the Black Watch modern tartan. Although there a New York City blue and green tartan that was designed in 2003, I believe. Not sure of the whole story of origin there, but it is much like the Black Watch modern. I like the dark blue and dark green tartans that sport no yellow, red, white or pinks. Let's move on.

And there you have it!

Time to enjoy Baxter, family and cake!

If you make this cake please let me know. I would love to put pictures of your wonderful cakes on my blog.

Here's a little diagram to use if you ponder the idea of whipping this cake up.

As always........

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thank you, Miss Jean!

Apparently, Miss Jean passed this award to a few dog lovers on September 12. I have been so occupied with full time work, and still running a home and trying to have a life of some sort that I missed this until now. I was just tickled to get this.

Miss Jean, says I always have a kind word in the gracing me with this award. That really touched me. I believe my blog byline to be true, "Kind words are like honey ~ sweet to the soul and healthy to the body." Proverbs 16:24 I would like to think I practice that, and it so blessed me when she said I did. Thank you, Miss Jean.

As far as the dog lover award itself. Yes, I do love dogs, but it might not be fair to judge that by how much I love Sir Baxter, he is the best little dog, so faithful, playful and just a great and fun little guy to have around. Not too hard to love that... not to hard to love a Scottie in general!

Tomorrow, I will finally get the how to steps up for the Scottish Terrier cake.  Until then... and as always....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Melissa!

Two weeks to the day after her anniversary, my daughter Melissa, celebrates her birthday. Well..... this year since I live close to her now I offered to do her birthday cake. I asked her what she would like, I'd do whatever she wanted. Her only wishes were that it be black and white with hot pink. Shortly after that, she made a comment about liking zebra stripes on things like clothing and other things. I had already decided to make the cake look like a gift, and now I knew just what to make the wrapping paper and bow look like. Here was the finished product.

Melissa, is grateful for things done for her, but she has very specific tastes. It is not always easy to please her. She gasped, basically teared up, and verbally expressed delight about her zebra striped cake. I was little nervous about the prospect of ruining her 30th birthday with a cake she did not like. I was so surprised and pleased when she hugged me and said she did not really want to cut into the cake. Mission accomplished! Happy girl, happy cake....... Happy Birthday, Melissa!

Oh, they just had the anniversary cake two weeks prior. She is a little relieved to not have any big celebrations for a month. I will post later on that celebration.

Wow it is good to spend a little time blogging again. Thanks for your comments Pam, Kim, Mary and Carrie. It may be something I really have to schedule to get it done, but I love the blogosphere and you girls I've gotten to know through it. It is worth the scheduling.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here I am & what a cute little tests says I am.

I have quite a bit of good stuff to blog about, but I am now working full time in a position that is really wonderful. I am a coordinator in a Development department for an international non~profit organization. Truthfully, it is just a really great ministry on an international scale that aids in so many wonderful ways to people in really serious need. It is the first position I have ever held that I felt like I honestly did something worth while at the end of the day. And, though a non~profit organization/ministry, the best pay I have ever received. God is good! I never applied for the job. The Human Resource Director recruited me. God is sssooo good!

Anyway, though strapped for time now, I have been reading all of those blogs I love, even more so than my own personal email. I am going to try to get some blogging in this week and week end. I have some things I really want to share with my blogging buddies.

This is a little quiz Kim, had on her blog and I could not resist. Try it, it's short and fun.

You Are Spaghetti Marinara

Compared to most people, you are sophisticated, subtle, and classy.

You are concerned with quality in all aspects of your life.

You rather have a few high quality friends than many acquaintances.

And you always prefer to have a meal with simple, high quality ingredients.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Up close and personal, beats the media everytime!

I have been so busy lately, and though I won't promise to, it is my hope to sit down tomorrow and get a few things on this little corner of the cyber world that I call mine. However, I did read something on a friends blog just now that I thought warranted being posted here. Pam works here in Oklahoma City, at the Capitol. Please go and read what she has to say in her post, When McCain breezed through here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Cupcake of Coffee.

Recently, I began posting with a network of women that post every Saturday, under the heading of Then Sings My Soul Saturday. I love being a part of this. I really enjoy reading what the other women have to say, and I love having a place to reflect and report a song that ministered to me that week. This weekend a few things got in the way and I did not post mine. I felt badly enough about it that I almost did that entry today instead of this. But, I am going to save it for next, Saturday. I mention that here because some of the what I will say here will in part be repeated to a degree next, Saturday.

This past week, a dear blogging friend of mine sent me some of the Mrs. Meyer's dryer sheets, and Lavender Window Cleaner she had mentioned on her blog. By the way, until August 24th, all orders over $50 will have no shipping charges if you are interested in trying any of her products. I am very happy with them, and plan to use some of these products regularly. It has been a long time since I really enjoyed cleaning my home.

I began blogging because of this blogging lady. Kim, has an enjoyable web site and personal blog. She also has a blog for her cards. She is an amazing stamper. Her cards have been published in national stamping magazines. I really enjoy just looking at them. Well, in that package of Mrs. Meyer's products, she sent me two of her handmade cards. One card was sent to me, for me. The other card was left blank to use as I wanted. The card sent to me had the sentiment "Friends" on it. This was the first card she made using a new toy she bought. The other card was the first card she stamped after a short time off from stamping. She asked me to choose a stamp set and that would get her started. I love the set "Sweet Herbs" and she had made a beautiful card with it some time before.

When I received those two cards, I knew immediately I would frame them. She is a dear lady and friend and those cards mean something to me. I have changed over the years. I no longer decorate my house to "look" good, I fill it with those things that I have sentimental attachment to, things I love, things that make a house, my home. One of my spare bedrooms is what my family refers to as, The Pink Room. And it is. There are pink candles, a pink quilt, a Victorian chair with tapestry cover that has pink roses that belonged to my dear neighbor Joyce, the footstool that was my mother's that I recovered in pink floral tapestry. You get the idea. There are several other things in that room that are so special to me. One of those things is a my parents first bedroom suit. It is now 51 years old. Another precious thing in that room is a the Morse sewing machine that has been around since before my time, was my mother's, and I learned to sew on it. The machine is in it's original cabinet and the accessories box is still on the door. On top of that cabinet is pink potpourri that rests in a lead crystal bowl. That was one of the two pieces of crystal I gave my mother when she retired from 33 years of working for the federal government. And now... that bowl is joined by two precious framed cards.

Kim's blog is called, Coffee in the Morning, and it used to be, Coffee and a Muffin. While framing those cards, I got to thinking about "Coffee"... go figure. That was when I came up with the idea to experiment a little with coffee and cake. The result was some Coffee and Cream cupcakes. A Cupcake of Coffee, really. :~) I will not attempt false humility here, they taste GREAT! I am very happy with them and so are those that have taste tested them for me. Since these Cupcakes of Coffee were inspired by Kim, when we are able to get together in Texas, hopefully sometime soon, I will make a batch for her and her family, and whisk (no pun intended) them down to her.

Pull up chair and have a Cupcake of Coffee with me!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today, one of my daughters' and her husband are celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary. So I thought a cake might be nice. Shocker, huh? Her favorite color was always pink growing up. Alas, she has left the pretty world of pink, and as an adult become a citizen of the lovely world of lavender. So, five roses small to large, graduating in size to represent the growing in their relationship over those five years, and of course in lovely lavender. She has always loved those fun sprinkles. I sprinkled those little colored things on her Coco Wheats while she was growing up. Actually, I sprinkled color on just about everything for her. Now though she still loves the whimsy of sprinkled color, she loves the sparkle of the crystal sprinkles (and diamonds... how they do grow up).
You will see just those very crystal sprinkles on those five roses. May their marriage always have crystal communication, sparkle in romance, colorful fun adventure every step of the way, and continue to grow in every beautiful way!

I love you Melissa and Larry! Congratulations, on five years of marriage!

And as always...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Spreading some sugary sunshine.

In my neck of the woods, children went back to school today. Among them was my granddaughter. So, not having the blessing of living near a grandchild in the past, I took full advantage of the situation and made a few cupcakes to take into the school office. My granddaughter came over to the house last night to choose the cupcakes she wanted to go into the box for the secretaries. This morning with treat box in hand, I got to go with her, my daughter, her dad and younger sister to be dropped off at school. That may not sound so special to some of you, especially if maybe you have lived near grand children all along, but it was precious to me.

My granddaughter was so impressed with the cupcakes, and so excited to get them to the school that I thought I would share a few photos with you.

The first two photos are the cupcakes as my granddaughter found them when she came over. Photos will enlarge if clicked.

This next photo is of the cupcakes she chose to put in the box to take to the school.

When the office staff bites into these little treats, they will find a big burst of unexpected flavor. Each cupcake is filled with a cooked filling I make. The cupcakes are lemon, the frosting is a vanilla buttercream, and they are each filled with either a fresh lemon curd, or strawberry cream.
What fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays: Blessed Assurance

...let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:22~23

Today's post for Then Sings My Soul Saturdays, will be short. I am thankful to be able to report that this week has been pleasantly uneventful. That being the case, I have not had one song that has been on my heart all that much more than any other. There is one though that has maybe run through my mind, and that I have sung just a little more than the rest I suppose. As I was walking earlier this morning, I was praying for one of my daughter's and her husband. Blessed Assurance ran through my mind quite a bit during that time, and I broke out singing it right there on the track. Decision made. Blessed Assurance, would be the song for this week.

I honestly wondered how long it be before one of Fanny Crosby's, precious hymns would make my Saturday, post. Fanny Crosby, was mistakenly given wrong medical treatment when an infant and as a result was blind for life. Nevertheless, she lived to be 95, and wrote over 8,000 songs based on scripture~ gospel hymns. She had an evangelical heart. Her focus was not on the amount of faith one had, but that of the object of their faith which must be Jesus Christ, and Jesus, only. The lyrics to the beautiful hymns she wrote were based on her absolute confidence in Jesus. Her confidence was not based on how she felt, but on how she knew the Bible to be infallible, absolute truth. Her assurance was based on the faithfulness of God, His Word, and His love.

I am believing for something very important in the life of my daughter and son~in~law right now. A big decision is being made this week between them. This decision has far reaching consequence, or reward. I am bringing every scripture I know out that pertains to this situation, receiving each promise that pertains to this situation, and asking God for His Will (Word) to be actualized in their lives and believing I (they) receive it. Like Fanny Crosby, I have such a blessed assurance, because I also know her Savior Jesus, and put my confidence in Him. The last verse of this precious hymn is what bore deeply into my soul as I sang; Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

Thank you Jesus, for such a blessed hope.

Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels, descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.


Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.


Blessed Assurance
Public Domain, 1873
Francis J. Crosby, 1820~1915
Phoebe P. Knapp, 1839~1908

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Red Pepper Vinaigrette

The day before yesterday, I decided to finish up the leftover Angel Hair pasta that was in the refrigerator. I was going to get enough healthy fat for the day from the walnuts at breakfast, the salmon at dinner and some cheese I would be having on the pasta. So, I really did not want to drizzle olive oil over the pasta. I decided to use up the last of the Newman's Own Lighten Up Italian Dressing. The bottle you see in the picture below is that emptied bottle, and is the 8 ounce size. Then, the next day I am wanting to have a nice big ol' spinach based salad. Oops... dressing??? I receive Dr. Andrew Weil's, Daily Tips and Weekly Bulletin's, in my email. I remembered seeing in one of the Weekly Bulletin's, a recipe for salad vinaigrette that I wanted to give a go some time. Seemed like just the time to do that. I had all of the necessary ingredients on hand, and went at it. The recipe below filled my empty bottle up perfectly, as you will see. Result... a very delicious way to accent your salad. This vinaigrette is so flavorful and satisfying. You know, I have known this for some time, and I am sure this will be redundant for you, but I must say how amazed and delighted I am to keep discovering how satisfied I am, how much more energy I have, and how much clearer my thinking is when I eat those foods that are healthy, and prepared the way they should be for my body to receive optimum benefit from them.

This vinaigrette has no fat in it, the ingredients are basically the staples of one's kitchen, it's a snap to make, it is very economical and so full of flavor that I have just switched from store bought, ready made dressings and vinaigrette's to this one. If you try it, please let me know what you think.

Now then, just for a side note, I wanted to mention the type of pasta I use. Barilla PLUS Pasta is the only pasta we now use. I left the white flour pasta world a long time ago. I have to admit though, I was never crazy about the whole wheat versions. Barilla PLUS tastes even better than I ever thought the white pasta did, and it is loaded with protein, fiber and Omega~3's. Yummy.... and again, satisfying.

Red Pepper Vinaigrette
Dr. Andrew Weil


1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried whole oregano
Pinches of rosemary and thyme (Big pinches as I love these flavors.)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper (I did use bottled roasted red peppers.)


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly. Simple huh?? :-)

From Cheese Curds, to Cheese Cake.

Yesterday morning, Brett Favre left the Lambeau field for the last time as a Packer, because last night Green Bay traded him to the New York Jets. I am not crying, but if I let myself go a just a little I'd be looking for every stinkin' box of facial tissue in the house. Well, I am and always will be a Packer's fan, and I will be wearing my green and gold attire throughout the season, but... I may be wearing it watching some Jets football games. My head is with Green Bay, me wittle heart is with what will always be #4 to me, Brett. So, if you think you would like to read about this, here is an article you can read. What this article lacks in happy news, it certainly made up for in photos. I have more to post today, and this is not one of my favorite posts, so...............

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Salmon: it's what's for dinner.

Last night for dinner we had:

Honey~Soy Broiled Salmon
Toasted Almonds in Rice Pilaf
Fresh Green Beans

The salmon was really good. I was surprised at how much flavor the marinade offered. And, it is so quick and easy to make. Not to mention everything from the salmon to sesame seeds are items I usually have on hand. It was so good, I thought I would share the recipe with you. I did not realize how good it was going to be, so I did not plan to post about it, and so it was eaten before I snapped a photo. Sorry. Having told you all of that, I will now share with you a little something my husband, (my burger, hot dog, pizza, processed and~or fast food loving husband), emailed me this morning.

This is the comic my husband sent me this morning.
The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

No matter, it was healthy, delicious and satisfying. So, I pass the recipe sans photo along to you.

Honey-Soy Sauce Broiled Salmon

1 scallion, minced (I call them spring onions, you may call them green onions)
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound salmon fillet cut into 4 portions
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (see Tip)

1. Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a zip lock style plastic bag, add 3 (I used 5) tablespoons of the sauce, seal bag and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes (I marinated for an hour). Reserve the remaining sauce.
2. Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes(I turned salmon over and broiled for another 3 minutes on the opposite side to caramelize the honey a bit). Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

TIP: To toast seeds: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

My adaptation of a the recipe from EATINGWELL: The Magazine of Food & Health
Copyright 2005 Eating Well, Inc.