Punkin bread

18 Nov

I made some Pumpkin Bread this week for my kiddos’ teachers at preschool to say thanks for all the lovin’ they give my children.  We are so blessed to have such great teachers for both of them.  They are amazing!

I make a lot of different pumpkin breads and this recipe uses the Amish Friendship Bread starter.  I’ve been growing my little buddy for about a month now since my friend, Laurie, at Canning Confessions, gave to me.  I’m having much fun with him.  Making a stash in the freezer and sharing with friends.  I’ve just noticed this week, he is really starting to shine and come into his own.  What a guy!

This pumpkin bread is yummy.  I got these cool new decorative baking tins from my friend, Amanda.  They are so cute and definitely give the foil tins a complex.  I packaged them up with saran wrap, twine and some freebie Thanksgiving cards I found on Pinterest.  That dang Pinterest.  I get nothing done with it around.  Sometimes, I have to just stop looking.  I feel depressed, worthless, non-creative, and definitely unfocused.  Then, I get sucked back in and go back for more ideas that I’ll never follow through with.

I did however, make some bread. I can do that and I do it pretty well.  So, I’ll be satisfied with that tonight.

My redheaded buddy is 5!

16 Nov

My little boy turned 5 this weekend and we had a grand time bouncing, sweating, dancing, sweating again and eating cupcakes. Oh, and, opening presents…his favorite part.  We have such special friends and they treated him so nicely! He didn’t even need Mom and Dad’s big present…which will be sent to Santa for delivery on Christmas morning, barring any issues that Elvis the Elf may bring up to Santa.  🙂

He wanted superhero cupcakes, so he got Spiderman cupcakes.  I initially wanted to do Superman (a flop) and Batman (another flop) cupcake toppers as well.  It  did not pan out like planned.  I had to take a deep breath, pray and just move on after my failed attempts at superhero cupcake greatness. My Spideys turned out pretty well…at least to Grey they did, and that’s what counts, right??  I was being too hard on myself and finally realized…he’s 5!  He doesn’t care.  He just wants to eat the frosting.  And, his little sister, well, she likes the fondant topping.  A little too much.  She likes to bounce a little too much too. Then eat pizza, then eat a whole Spidey topper and then vomit on her Toms and mom’s leg.  (She’ll be mad at me one day for posting this…bless her little heart.)

Here is a photo of the cupcakes, thanks to Aunt Mari, who is the only person who took a photo of them!  YAY!  My mind was on vomit I guess.

And here is my sweet little chunky boy.

And, here is my BIG boy!  Sniff. Sniff.  Mom and Dad (and sister) sure love you.  You are one funny, lovable kid.  And, you smile funny sometimes.

And, let’s throw sister in here…pre-sicky poo.  Poor kid.   Bless it!

Here were the superhero lollipop favors…Love these little guys!

Halloween cupcakes…scary and fun!

30 Oct

Zombies, candy corn and pumpkin cupcakes…all sorts of Halloween goodies on this fall holiday.  First off, I made some red velvet cupcakes with green, ghoulish buttercream for a sweet girl’s costume birthday party.  She had spooky, zombie cupcakes!  Red velvets are her favorite, so that’s what the birthday girl got.  Her mom helped put together the zombies…so funny!

Next up, Halloween cupcakes for a school party.  Chocolate cupcakes with orange colored buttercream with candy corn and Halloween sprinkles.  Simple and yummy.

And, finally, for the neighborhood Halloween party…probably my most favorite cupcake of all that I’ve ever made, a pumpkin cupcake with maple cream cheese frosting.  It really should have its own post.  And, should be in the spotlight at all times.  It is a truly delicious, pumpkin spice cupcake with an even dreamier frosting.  I hadn’t done the maple cream cheese frosting with it before, but it just sounded like a great fit to me.  Whoa.  I hadn’t made these since last year and I don’t need to wait as long next time.  They needed a cute little background, thus, I put them on my little pumpkin pedestal.  And, it just fit right in….especially with its cute little brown houndstooth liner.  Such a fashionista cupcake!

And, here’s my crazy-eyed kid enjoying a cupcake.  I just thought he needed to be in the post.  He really IS enjoying the cupcake.

Happy Trick-or-Treating y’all!  Hope you get lots of TREATS!

Go, Fight, Win! Yay…5!

30 Oct

I had the honor of doing a sweet 5 year old’s cupcakes for her cheerleading party…so cute!  Her colors were pink and green so I made pink and green pom pom cupcakes (or is it pon?!?)…I like pom pom myself.  🙂  And, I also made some with fondant megaphones.  Half were chocolate cupcakes with buttercream and half  were fresh strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream.  I hope all the cheerleaders were pleased.  Gooooooooo…cupcakes!

Trick…or Treat? Always gonna be treat.

26 Oct

Grey and I made this tonight for his and his sister’s preschool teachers as a Halloween treat.  He, more or less, stared at the candy corn, insisting that it needed to be eaten…and then, the same game with the Oreos…it went on and on, until I finally made him go in the other room before he went into sugar overload.  I got this easy recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog. It’s called Halloween Candy Corn Cookie Bark and it is super duper sweet, but yummy.  Very simple to make and give as small gifts. I packaged them up in a sack and tied on a ribbon and card.

I’m not feeling very witty tonight, because I am pooped out, so I’m signing off here.  I should have some more posts soon.  Been making lots of cupcakes recently.  Glad to get back into it.

Hope you find time to make these goodies this Halloween season.

These put the crack in crackers!

5 Oct

So, I had some of these crack-tastic crackers in Warrenton, TX, recently and I had to try and re-create them.  I don’t like to joke about drugs, especially crack, but really, these are so addicting.  So, just say NO…if you must.  You won’t eat just one, I can guarantee you that.  So, maybe you should say no.  It’s up to you, I’m not your mother.

I perused the internet for some similar recipes that use a Ranch dressing packet, like the little oyster crackers that I am also fond of eating.  The ones that I had eaten had more of a kick.  A red pepper kick.  I found a couple of recipes that sounded good and then changed them to my liking.  Here goes.  Please share.  You will be hooked.  These are not your every day cracker.  They are for a special occasion.  Like a Tuesday.

Crack-tastic Crackers

1 – 1 1/4 cup canola oil (you decide how much you want to use)

1 packet Ranch dressing mix

2-3 Tbs. red pepper flakes (I used close to 3…a little warm)

4 sleeves of Saltine crackers (give or take…however many you can fit in your mixing bowl)

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl for a good long while (5-10 minutes), to really get the crackers coated. Eat a few if you want.

2) Lay them out on a cookie sheet and drizzle the yummy, ranchy, peppery oil that’s in the bottom of the bowl, over the top of the crackers.  Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring them around about halfway through.

3) Let them cool and store in a big ol’ baggie. Or a few little baggies.  My husband has his bag ready to take to work.

That’s it!  So very easy and a great snack for a game or party.  Or a Tuesday.

P.S. I did make a really nice harvest salad tonight to offset my cracker munchies.  I’m not all bad.

No sweet treats, but one sweet Pepaw…

25 Sep

Today, I’m not writing about baked goodies.  Today, I’m writing about my sweet Pepaw, who has been gone from us a year today.  Oh, how I miss him, and I know I’m not the only one.

I miss him whistling. I miss him telling jokes. I miss his laugh.  I miss him licking his spoon clean when he really enjoyed eating something.  I miss listening to him from the pulpit.  I miss him telling embarrassing stories about me and my cousins from that pulpit.  I miss going over to the church with him and running around in the sanctuary and getting on the microphone and pretending I was a preacher like him.  I miss his scrambled eggs, that I now make and have perfected.  I miss him stopping everything to pray with me over the phone, every time I called.  I miss him sitting on the couch watching basketball at their home.  I miss him playing the piano and singing, “Bessie the Heifer”.  She was the queen of all the cows! I miss his kind eyes.  I miss his soft hands when they held mine no matter how old I was.  I miss him for my uncles.  I miss him for my precious mom.  I miss him for my equally precious Memaw.  Most of all, I miss seeing him with my children.  What a blessing it was that they knew him for a short time.  My son still prays for him nightly.  He still doesn’t quite get that he’s no longer around on Earth.  But, I know where he is and I try to explain that to my son.  In Heaven.  What a joyful homecoming he must have had.  And, what a great hope for us all if we know Jesus.  The word hope has rung loudly in my head for a year now.  The hope for my future is certain and how relieved I am to know that.  I cannot wait to see him again and to meet my Pepaw’s close and personal friend, Jesus, face to face.

My Pepaw, Bro. Bill Stowell, left a lot of people who loved and cared for him.  And, he left many more that he impacted through his life.  What a legacy.  I’m so happy to have known him for 34 years.  And, to have been his first grandchild was just icing on the cupcake.

We love you, Pepaw, and we miss you every day.

At my wedding in 2004, where he performed the ceremony.

Signing the marriage certificate.

January 17, 2004…what a special day to share with him!

With Grey when he was about a year old.

Spring of 2010, with my little Wren, who was a year old.

Love you, Bro. Bill!

AJ