Thursday, January 28, 2010

A really Great day!

Couldn't wait to get to Fort Benning this morning to pick up
our Brandon at the Ranger compound behind the brown fence

Brandon couldn't wait to show his grandpa
all the modifications he's made to the GTI

And his Grandpa... The Captain, couldn't
wait to inspect the PFC Ranger's barracks!

Something about these boots wasn't
quite up to the Captain's inspection!

Our first stop was the Atlanta Cyclorama. Dad said they
can now Check this off their bucket list! It was checked off
my bucket list the First time we visited it a few months ago!

After the Cyclorama we headed over to Stone Mountain. I enjoy the park
at Stone Mountain and was happy to have Brandon and Heather with us!

Up, up and Away we go!


Snow Mountain looks pretty cool too! 

Here they are at the Top!

I love Covered Bridges!

And geese!

Brandon asked Heather to go on the bridge with him. She
said no because she doesn't like Old wooden bridges

But Brandon wasn't taking No for an answer...

And, that's how Heather ended up on the old covered bridge!

After our nature walk at Stone Mountain Park it was time for
dinner. Ever since we discovered The Village Corner German
restaurant and Bakery at Stone Mountain village we've made it our
stop for lunch or dinner at least once during every trip to see Brandon 

This time, the Captain and his Ranger-grandson enjoyed a German beer together

This was indeed a really Great day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

For Monica...

Thanks for your sweet Comment... If you loved those
bunny soaps on ropes I picked up yesterday, then I'll show
you this one too... It's a Rubber Ducky soap on a rope!

I bought up all they had at Home Goods last spring and have been
giving them away to Friends with little kids all year. Sadly, this is
the last one I have left - And, he's headed into my Shower today!

I found these at Home Goods yesterday too. I'm always on the look-out
for Girlie birthday or Hostess gifts, and these fit the bill perfectly! Not
only is the packaging Beautiful, which means I can just slip them into
a Gift bag with a piece or two of tissue paper to wrap, the Green
Tea scent is just heaven! In this box we have bath salts...

And this is green tea Liquid soap. Perfect
next to the kitchen or Guest bathroom sink!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A little Retail therapy...

After the week I had, my Plan was to stay in bed all day watching old movies
with my Bingee. But then at noon I remembered there was an Estate auction
in King that we wanted to check out so we started there... Then we went to Costco
and Home Goods where I found these cute little Soaps on ropes. You know what
a sucker I am for soap on a rope... And these Frog princes were a must have!

Marshall's was our next stop where I found these Beautiful cake plates. I cannot tell
you how ready for Spring I am... I miss my trees and Flowers so much I can barely
stand it. I woke up this morning Thinking about wandering around our favorite
Garden shop in bright sunlight picking out all sorts of Lovelies to fill the
planters out on the deck. Of course, these are not my usual first waking
thoughts, however, since I woke up to someone Watching his gardening
shows I guess I owe, or can blame it on P. Allan Smith! Any way,
speaking of Spring... I found a little spring at Marshall's today!

Flowers, butterflies and Lady bugs. Lady bugs... Oh, my!

There were three different Designs so I
bought two of each to Build my own set!

I love them all! They are delicate and Pretty, and I can't wait to
bake something Light and spring-like just to use them!

Oh, and next to the Butterflies, lady bugs, flowers and feelings of spring these
plates inspire...The Best part is the price and the fact that they're Lenox too!

I also cleaned up on Spanish saffron today!

My new Spring plates deserve to have me bake a
zesty Lemon cake so I picked up this loaf pan too!

Speaking of baking... I felt bad about ruining the Blueberry crumble
muffins I attempted to make him last week so on the way home
I picked up a muffin mix. It won't be the same as my from-
scratch blueberry Crumble muffins, but if you won't tell...

Neither will I!

Time for a Costco-throw-together dinner! They were demo'ing fresh
(not frozen) chicken Pot stickers there today, and they smelled great! I say
smelled great instead of tasted great because the kid demo'ing them was too
busy chatting up the young girl leaned up against the Cooler door next to him
to actually have any ready to taste. When I inquired about his pot Stickers, he
told us that since he Forgot to turn on his electric Skillet, it would, be a while...

At least he was able to tell me where to Find them!

And let me tell you... They taste as Good as they smelled cooking at Costco!

Now that his Muffins are done I can have my dinner!

Yup! They look like, from-Scratch to me!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Oh, Martha!

Ever since Thanksgiving, when my December issue of Martha Stewart's
Living magazine arrived and I first saw her 1950's Evergleam Pom-Pom
aluminum tree, I've been searching for one of my Very own! Turns out,
they're not that easy to find. Knowing Martha, she probably ordered
reinstatement of Production at the Aluminum Specialty Company in
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, which stopped producing them in 1969...

Fortunately, for those of us with Less influence, there's e-Bay!

I have exactly ten months to amass a Collection of pink mercury
glass ornaments like Martha has to complete my vision of owning
a tree just like hers... And that's exactly what I'm going to do!

However, I must say these sweet little Teal numbers I
picked up last weekend in the gift shop at Callaway Gardens
look great on my aluminum Tree, and they make me smile...

Speaking of sweet things that make me Smile... I give you this...


And this!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Friday, January 8, 2010

Never too early for Hearts!

I had Dough in the refrigerator just begging to be baked. And, I
just couldn't wait to break out the Heart shaped cookie cutters...

However, someone reminded that it's Way too early for Valentine's cookies!
But that's okay because maybe I just want to make Heart-shaped cookies to
celebrate My birthday. Or, how much I love him. Hey! It could happen!

I love this Trick! Rolling my cookie dough between two pieces of parchment
paper eliminates the need to use any Flour at all. We all know that adding
too much flour to our dough can make our cookies Tough and dry

So this is the Only way I roll!

Because as you already know... I'm a Big fan of perfect!

And this is how it happens to Happen for me!

Not only doesn't the dough stick to the Parchment or my
rolling pin - Being able to Slide my hand underneath to lift
my cookie shapes free keeps them Perfectly perfect too!  

And off to the Freezer we go! Freezing before baking helps dough
rise a bit Higher and prevents the cookie shapes from spreading

After 10-minutes in the Freezer, bake at 350 for 17 minutes or until just
slightly Golden around the edges. Now that our Hearts are on their way...

It's time to get cracking on the Royal icing! Small batch of cookies
this time... So it's just a pound of Powdered sugar. Four tablespoons
of Meringue powder, 1 teaspoon cream of tarter and six tablespoons
of warm water. Oh! And a 1/2 teaspoon of extract to enhance the taste! 

And, off we go!

Watching it come together!

I've recently learned to Stop beating my royal icing to death. Now, I
turn Off the mixer the moment it begins to shine. Like this...

Perfect royal icing every time now!

We have a Game to catch in Raleigh tonight so
this is going to be an Easy, 1-color design!


What were you thinking... Blue?

No blue... Just red Hot hearts!

Not bad for a First-time heart drawing effort,
huh? Especially for one in such a Hurry!

I just might have to send some, or a few of these to
the Ranger and his Alabama-sweetheart because...

While it's true that it's a bit too early
to call these Valentine's Day cookies...

It's never too early to send Heart-shaped
cookies to those you Miss and love!