December 10, 2010

Happy Friday!

My blog shows up in a friend's blog list and it still says "test posting," with has been deleted since I was practicing posting a new widget.  I can't have it that way, so here is a Friday post for you.

I won't have time to finish my current draft posts before the holiday break, but I do have some photos from the most wonderful wedding in the world for your enjoyment.

July 28, 2010

Scotch Cookies

I have been patiently waiting for our photographer to let us know our wedding pictures are ready so I can add them to the blog, but we haven’t heard a thing from her!  Her contract says it could take up to 90 days since this is the busy season, and we’ve just barely past 30 days, so it could be a long wait. 
Today’s photo and recipe are the Scotch cookies from our wedding.  These were a must-have as they are a family favorite on my mom’s side of the family.  It’s a tradition (or should I say a requirement) to make them the same way every time.  My mom did deviate in one way this time—she made them in hearts instead of circles.  Even the fork-poke holes in the top of the cookie must be made the same way when making our cookies.  When you bake, though, do whatever design you want!

Scotch Cookies

½ pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ pound light brown sugar
¾ pound flour (most of)
Cream butter with brown sugar. Add ½ pound flour; blend well. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a firm dough.
Roll out ¼ inch thick; cut one test cookie and bake 7-10 minutes at 350ยบ until very light brown. Compare to cookie cutter; if bigger, add more flour. If same size, proceed with remaining dough.

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July 15, 2010

Wedding Fun

Josh and I have been married for almost a month and we are still celebrating.  We have one more gathering this weekend where we will celebrate with Wisconsin friends and family.  After that, I will begin to post stories and recipes from the wedding.
Between the wedding, reception, family gatherings, and honeymoon, we have eaten well and enjoyed spending extra time with special people for a whole month! 
cupcake stand (3) cheese curds (2) Wedding cake Norwegian wedding cake (2)
June 17, 2010

The Beginning of Another Adventure

June 17 is a special day for us.  Two years ago today, our friend Rebecca asked the fateful question "Can I give him your email address?"  Two days from today, Josh and I will get married.
We took a break from house renovating and wedding preparations to go on a date tonight.  We left the families at home and went out for an evening alone.  Josh had planned to take me to Buck’s for my birthday.  That night, instead, we went to Amici with my family since my mom was in town.  Tonight we finally made it to Buck’s.
061710 Bucks Dinner
I love you, Josh.
May 08, 2010

An Engagement Dinner

My friend, Madonna, at A Mommy Talks posted this activity, which is currently floating among bloggers.  I actually read about the activity on Rachael’s page, so go visit her also.
Here are the directions:
  1. Go to your photo files, select the 8th photo folder.
  2. Select the 8th photo in that folder.
  3. Post that photo along with the story behind it.
  4. Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same!
Here’s what I found:
Trogir patio
What a great memory.  This was our unofficial engagement dinner.  Josh had proposed while we were relaxing at the hotel in Split and we were on a mission to find a souvenir of the trip—the engagement ring.  We made our way down the coast through all the little towns, looking for a jewelry store.  We stopped for dinner in Marina and hoped to enjoy an evening on the patio.  We were able to watch people setting up for a concert/political event.  As we sat at the restaurant eating our food, it started to rain so we finished inside.  Oh, how the owner rushed to get us inside quickly!  We were the only people there so we got great service. 
After that, we carefully made our way back out of Marina—no easy task, being right on the coast, with narrow roads full of cars and people headed to the evening’s event, water on our right, and hills and houses on our left—and went to Trogir where we didn’t find a ring, but we did find awesome gelato and a concert.
A few highlights from that trip can be found here.  You’ll notice the only highlights I chose to talk about were food-related.  We loved the food on that trip!
I’m not tagging anyone for this activity, but I’d love to see your 8th picture!
March 03, 2010

I’ve been adopted!

My last post introduced a new ‘activity’ I am participating in.  One evening back in January, I was surfing food blogs, gathering inspiration to continue working on my blog, and looking for yummy recipes to try.  I came across this post at Dine and Dish.  I was interested in the idea.  I commented on the post, stating that by the rules I would be an experienced blogger, but felt I am still very much a newbie.
I was paired up with Deanna, from Occasional Sugar.  I mentioned her in my last post where I also described the adoption process.  The night I posted I was supposed to be doing some online PD, not reading her blog, so I wrote very little.  Since then, I have sifted through her many posts and found that we are quite similar in many ways.  I’ll leave it to you to read her blog and find those similarities.  Deanna said she also still feels like a newbie so we are working through the mentoring process together, helping each other continue to learn and grow in blogging abilities.
While I was reading some of her posts on Tuesday, I was also baking.  A few teachers at school had requested cupcakes for Wednesday and I wanted to try another vanilla recipe for the wedding.  Josh knew I would be baking cupcakes so he requested chocolate.  How could I turn him down?
I turned to Deanna’s blog for inspiration and found what appears to be her favorite chocolate cake recipe.  A match made in heaven…or my kitchen.  Josh wants chocolate cake and she has chocolate cake!  I promptly made these cupcakes:
Josh and I didn’t like the flavor of these cupcakes as much as another chocolate recipe I found, but they were quite good.  The teachers at school gave them rave reviews.
I am looking forward to the next few months of blogging and learning with Deanna.
Emily's Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
from Occasional Sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup cold water
1 cup mayo
1 tsp vanilla
Sift together the dry ingredients.
Add 1 cup cold water, 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 tsp vanilla.
Beat until well combined.
Bake in 8 x 8 x 2” pan, 30 – 45 min. at 350.
Double ingredients for 9 x 13” pan. Bake 50 – 60 minutes.
(325 for glass pans)
February 28, 2010

Another new experience: Adopt-a-blogger

I’m always up for new experiences and I’ve found a good one.  I was reading Dine and Dish one day and stumbled upon a post about adopting a new blogger to mentor them through a few months of food blogging.
I left my comment stating that I’d love to be mentored even though I technically qualified to be a mentor.  I’m certainly not experienced even though I’ve been on here for a while.  I recently received a message from my new buddy Deanna from Occasional Sugar.   Interestingly, she had also ‘signed up’ to be mentored, not to be a mentor.  We’ve decided that we’ll mentor each other through the next few months and see where we end up. 
Now, since it’s a school night and tomorrow is a very busy day, I must sign off.  In the next few days I’ll post a little more about Deanna, and hopefully give an update on what’s been going on in my kitchen. 
As I go, I’ll leave you with this post from Occasional Sugar.
She says:
Most of you probably know that I am getting married this year and most of you have probably figured out that I am planning on baking cupcakes to serve at this massive event. There has been a lot of talking but not a whole lot of baking going on and I'm starting to get anxious.
…does anyone see the similarities between me and Deanna already?  This could be a fun couple of months.
February 21, 2010

Coupon Binder Giveaway

Super Jenn is offering another cool giveaway.
Super Jenn Logo
She is offering a coupon binder.  I’ve been pondering possibilities and working on my own couponing skills (my best was saving 48% on a grocery trip), but haven’t gotten up to a binder for organization yet.  How wonderful would it be to have someone give you the binder?  I just can’t seem to find the time to work on that project for myself.  What a jump-start that would be!
Visit Jenn here for details on the giveaway:
February 16, 2010

Blog update in progress

I am trying to increase my blogging abilities…writing, photographing, posting, layout settings, etc…  Please bear with me as this blog goes through some changes in the coming days and weeks.
If you have any suggestions about learning to blog, please feel free to share them.
Thank you,

pink flowers
thoughts of spring on another chilly snow day…
February 11, 2010

~ Love on a Snowy Day ~

Winter in Louisville means an occasional snow day.  On the first lucky day in February, I decided to make blueberry muffins.  While Josh headed outside to shovel my drive and uncover my car, I headed to the kitchen to make breakfast for us.
Yes, the muffins are heart-shaped.  I have the regular and mini Wilton silicone pans.  I’m still trying to decide if I like them.  While muffins always bake well in them, the pans are terrible to clean.  I’ve followed many tips for using them, including baking with and without non-stick spray.  Either way, I cannot get the muffins to come out in one piece and I always have a tough time getting the spray gunk off the pans after.  Anyone have any suggestions (other than throwing the pans away and going back to my regular metal muffin pans)?
I had blueberries in the freezer that I chose to use in these muffins.  Instead of letting them thaw, I threw the frozen berries into the batter and they promptly froze the batter.  It was a little difficult to evenly fill the muffin pans, but I liked that none of the berries got mushed while I was folding them into the batter.  They stayed fat and round, and looked wonderful in the hot muffins.
Here’s my favorite muffin recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
February 07, 2010

We Love Pancakes!

Last week The Most Awesome Kindergarten Teacher and The Most Awesome Librarian continued a collaboration project with The Most Awesome Kindergarten Class. We have been working on informational writing, specifically How-To stories. After the students wrote a story to teach me how to find a book in the library (thanks for the great idea Awesome Librarian), we decided to write a story teaching people how to make pancakes.

To begin our study, we read two books about making pancakes. One was Pancakes by Jan Pritchett, a book in our Rigby Literacy series. This was a great teaching tool because it is a wordless book so the students had to verbalize all parts of the story and couldn’t rely on the text.

The second book was Let’s Make Pancakes by Emma Rossi. This is a leveled reader also, one that I found in our school’s bookroom. This book had text to read and the steps were slightly different from the steps in the first book, so we were able to have a discussion to compare and contrast the two books, which added to the depth of literacy skills covered throughout the week.

After we studied both books, the students created their own ‘book’ by listing the pancake-making steps on separate pieces of paper, then reading through them and correcting the sequence of steps. They then matched pictures (Google Images and MS Word clip art are wonderful resources) to the steps to finish the pages.

As a culminating activity, The Most Awesome Teacher and Librarian used the students’ created directions to make pancakes—a true test to the accuracy of their work. We made it through an intruder drill and a tripped fuse in our power strip to make the pancakes during writing time.
Every student had a hand measuring ingredients so it was truly a class project. Take a look at these pictures to see our fun.

pancakes for blog
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup shortening, melted
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine the egg, milk and shortening; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  2. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes; cook until the second side is golden brown.
January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday, Janelle!

Janelle attended Wyatt's birtday party last fall and loved his cake. Her birthday was shortly after his and she wanted something similar. Since her favorite color is pink and she loves the Disney princesses, I created this cake for her.