Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lovin' the mini!


My orchid is blooming!

And, she's Beautiful!

Until yesterday, I never considered baking Mini cupcakes. However, on a stop
into Sur la Table, all that changed in a second. Because as I browsed about, one
of the sales associates asked if I would like to sample their Cupcakes. When I
looked down at his table, I saw the Cutest mini cupcakes I had never seen before!

The associate was offering cupcake Samples to demonstrate
this decorating pen he was using. However, what I walked away
wanting to know is where they kept the Cute mini baking cups!

Sur la Table's sample cupcakes were Vanilla with a dab of strawberry
frosting on top. And, they were really good! I asked the associate if they might
be one of Ina Garten's cake mixes they sell... But giving me a little wink, he directed
my attention to the baker's rack behind him where he Pointed to an empty box of
regular old Duncan's vanilla and an open tub of Betty's strawberry frosting! 

I can So do that!

I tossed Ten packages of mini baking
cups into my Basket, and here we are!

No. I did not spring for the Decorating Pen. Because truthfully, it
looked like his cupcakes were decorated with pink Spray cheese!

I've been dying for a chance to use these fabulous Zebra-pink
liners Monica sent me last year, and I say Today is the day! 

Because 48-mini cupcakes later, we still have Way too much batter left over!

My guess is that one Mix would yield at least 250 mini cupcakes

Which is Good to know!

Because I'm lovin' the Mini cupcake!

Let's Decorate...

There are three decorating Tips I want to use

So far... I like this one Best!

So does Willie-pig!

So cute! So good...

And, So many!

Monica's liners are Beautiful! 

For years I wanted to decorate my cupcakes with this soft, 
marshmallow-looking frosting puff. But I could Never get it right... 

Then I found Monica's blog, asked her how she got her
frosting Puff on, and she sent me two of these. Two!

I hope she wasn't expecting me to share. Because I'm keeping both!

What I'm not keeping is all of these cupcakes! There are simply too
many. I think I'll pack some up to take to Work with me tomorrow!

A sunny Sunday stroll...

Before I do a little baking, I've got to get Outside for a little while this
afternoon. The birds are singing. There's even a breeze. Hey... what's that?
It's the Gingerbread cottage I made at Christmas! 
I know it was high Time to toss it... But instead of adding it to the Compost
pile like I thought he might, it looks like he came Around to my idea! I said
my gingerbread cottage would make a tasty midnight Snack for our raccoon
family... And I guess we'll know Tomorrow morning if they agreed with me! 
Look at that glorious, bright Sunshine on my creek. Oh, my!
I'm so happy to see Sunshine today!
It means Spring is on its way. So there
might be No more of this, please!
Yup! I think things are Finally looking up...
Way Up!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I have a Plan!

The Ranger called last night... I say ... because just being able to say he Called makes me so
happy, practically no more need be said! So not only did Brandon call, he also told us
the address he provided prior to his Deployment is now real. That means we have
the green light to send him Goodie packages and letters! Of course, I couldn't
wait to rush out and gather up all his favorites. Because I have a plan... You
see - Maybe, if he's in a Sugar coma, the Army will send him home!   

And, a three-pound sack of Gummi bears chased by a
few Happy Hippos and a Toblerone should just about do it!

I hope the post office knows what a Gift their flat-rate boxes
really are. Because instead of spending $80 to ship my boxes by
weight, I paid only $26.00! The whole customs forms they
required took me a few minutes to master, but I'm so Happy
to report that all of this, (and a Few other things) will
be in our dear Rangers' hands in 10-12 days!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A visitor's Special dinner!

I didn't expect to have a Recipe to blog for you in the middle of
the week. However, since we received a very Welcome visitor this
afternoon - I do! Who is this Special visitor we received?
It's Brandon's Heather... All the way from Alabama!

Of course, seeing her again Reminds us that someone is missing...

We sure are missing our Ranger... Huh, Bing?

But seeing Heather is also a reminder of how very
happy Brandon always is when they are together

Therefore, in honor of the last Happy dinner we all had together at
a Japanese steakhouse in Columbus, I decided dinner had to be Brandon
and Heather's favorites tonight... Teriyaki chicken and Fried rice!

While the rice was Chilling I sauteed boneless
chicken breasts I previously marinated in Soy sauce 

After the chicken was rested and cubed, I covered it in five tablespoons
of an organic Teriyaki glaze we like. Then I returned it to my skillet

My fried rice is Very simple. I call it my Beni-ha-ha rice because it's just that
close enough to the fried rice at Benihana's. First I prepare 2 cups of uncooked
rice to the package directions. After the rice is Cooked, I dump it into a large bowl
and let it chill-out in the Refrigerator while I get the rest of the meal together. About
half way through the chill-process, (roughly 10 minutes) I fluff the rice with a fork
to hasten the cooling process. After the rice is cooled I add four Scrambled eggs, and
a little more than a cup of Frozen peas, chopped carrots and diced white onion 

After two tablespoons of Butter melts in the skillet I add the
rice/veg mix and three tablespoons of Soy sauce. A little salt
and a few turns of the Pepper grinder finish it off to yum!

Heather approved. And, she said...

She thinks our Brandon would love it too!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Boeuf Bourguignon ala, Williams-Sonoma, day 2

It's often said that a recipe tastes Better the following day. And that's precisely
the reason I began tonight's dinner Last night. If you missed that, click Here

I must admit... This does smell even Better tonight than it did last night!

I am no fan of the Fungus. Never have been able to eat anything with mushrooms
in it. And, I'm not about to start tonight. But he loves them... So I'm adding more!

The recipe on the jar calls only for the Addition of 2 cups
of Pearl onions and one cup baby carrots, which I chopped a bit

I love pearl Onions as much as I dislike mushrooms!
Both of us Enjoy carrots though!

However, this is where we Part ways...

It's also why I'm having grilled Garlic/lemon chicken tonight!

Almost there. Time to get our Egg noodles going now

While the pasta cooks, I have something to Show you...

I decided the best use for the vintage Candy scale I
picked up at Auction is to simply use it as a candy dish! 

Okay. Our egg noodles are al dente and drained - So on with the butter! 

Dinner Time!

Willie-pig is smiling. I think he and Bun-bunny are just glad this is beef!

Yummy! Is what Mr. B called it. Which is great. Because...

Guess which Clever girl doesn't have to cook dinner tomorrow night?