Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 290 - May 31, 2010

Finding freebies, clipping coupons, and entering blog giveaways has sort of become my full-time job over the past several months. I am giddy each and every time I see an email in my inbox informing me that I have won some fabulous prize. I have always hoped that one day I would be able to spread the wealth and host a giveaway of my own. Well folks, the time has come for me to host my very first blog giveaway and I couldn't be more thrilled! Check back tomorrow to find out what you'll be playing for!


Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 289 - May 30, 2010

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 288 - May 29, 2010

The fondant cake we made was great and all, but this my have been our best idea yet! Sure beats paying nearly $10 for 1 caramel apple at the store.


Could this long weekend get any more delicious?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 287 - May 28, 2010

Have an exciting and colourful long weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 286 - May 27, 2010

Update: This recipe is sweeter than I expected. A little less sugar and a little more fruit next time.

It's been a busy day here, but I'm never too busy to whip up a great dessert! Mango Berry Crumble is a variation of a recipe I found on Mennonite Girls Can Cook. It's the perfect summer dessert!


Mango Berry Crumble


Topping:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Combine flour and sugar.
  2. Cut in butter until crumbly.
  3. Stir in beaten egg and mix well.
  4. Set aside.


Fruit Mixture:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-2 ripe mangoes
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries


Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. In small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add water. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
  3. In ungreased 1 1/2 quart baking dish, combine mangoes and berries.
  4. Stir in thickened sauce.
  5. Sprinkle with topping mixture.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm...with whipped cream or ice-cream if desired.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 285 - May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday...

***No carbonated beverages were consumed during the taking of this picture.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 284 - May 25, 2010

There are more than just a few perks that come with being married to a man who works for Disney Animation Studios. One of the best perks is the coveted Silver Pass, which allows us to bring family and friends with us to any Disney park in the world as many times as we please. Sunday marked visit #7 to Disneyland since February. This pass has been a great way to lure our Canadian relatives down to California for a visit! But enough about the Silver Pass. That’s not what this post is about.

Last week, my hubby came home with an armload of both vintage and recent Disney posters. The studio needed to make room in their storage closets so they started doling out these, not so little, pieces of history to their employees. For several days, our living room floor was covered in dozens upon dozens of movie posters.

Greg finally rolled them up and when he carried them to our closet, he was surprised at how heavy the roll of posters was. This afternoon, I was curious to know just how much these thick pieces of paper weighed so I set them on the Wii balance board and began measuring. You’ll never guess how much these posters weigh.

Nearly 12 pounds!!!

Are you kidding me? You know I love freebies and I’m all for owning a piece of history, but what the heck are we going to do with 12 lbs of Disney posters?? Honey, I think we’re going to need a bigger house!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 283 - May 24, 2010

No time to chat. I've got a bathroom to clean, carpets to vacuum, dishes to wash, and boxes to put away before some unexpected, but very welcome, guests arrive for dinner!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 282 - May 23, 2010

Matthew 18:19-20

"I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 281 - May 22, 2010

I know you know what today is. Come on, admit it. You were there too. You stood in line longer than you'd like to admit, but you know it was totally worth it.

Don't know what I'm talking about?

Old Navy's $1 Flip Flop Sale, of course!!


I happily waited in line for 35 minutes to score flip flops for $1 this morning. I saved a whole $10!! In my books, that makes it well worth the wait!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 280 - May 21, 2010


I’m definitely a girly girl at heart. I prefer dresses to pants. I love hot rollers and flat irons. A day of pampering at a spa sounds heavenly. And I have always dreamed of going to beauty school just so that I could perfect my own hair and makeup. Intense, I know.

Although there was a time in my childhood when I longed to be a tomboy and play on soccer and baseball teams in the summer like my brothers did. It was during that time that my mother forced me into my older cousin’s two-piece bathing suit complete with ruffles on the tushie. Back then, just the thought of baring my midriff in public made me want to vomit and now I spend my days by the pool in as little material as possible to maximize my tan. I woman shouldn’t have unflattering tan lines, you know.

I long to have a daughter (or niece if God blesses me with little boys) that loves everything girly. A daughter who asks to wear her hair in ribbons and curls. A daughter who adores the colour pink and could live in a hot pink tutu. A daughter who’s closet is filled with cute little dresses and adorable shoes. I cannot wait for the day when I can finally make the DIY tutu I’ve had bookmarked on my computer for years.

The other day I calculated my chances of having a girl in our family and I’d say it’s looking promising. Between my sister and my two brothers, my husband’s brother and sister, and our someday brood of 4 or 5, I’d say the chances of having a sweet little niece or darling daughter are pretty good. I am currently resisting the urge to run out the door to the Carter’s clothing outlet with my 25% off coupon in hand to buy every little pink polka dotted dress in the store. (Sigh) Someday…

Disclaimer: I love my little nephews more than life itself and wouldn’t trade any one of them for a whole slew of little girls. Micah, Noah, and Jacob, you are my world and I am so blessed to be your Auntie!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 279 - May 20, 2010

After debuting my first fondant cake on Tuesday, I have had many requests for the recipe. I’m like all of you who asked, when I see something I like; I just must give it a try!

I’d like to say that I made that delicious chocolate cake from scratch, melting 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler and using only unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder imported from Holland, but that would be a lie. I decided that since I’d be tackling fondant making and decorating for the very first time, I should leave the cake making to Betty Crocker.

As for the marshmallow fondant, I used a recipe I had gotten from a new blog friend who has some real experience when it comes to making fancy cakes. Her desserts are simply works of art. All you need are a few simple ingredients.


Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients

2 cups marshmallows

1 tsp water

1 tsp clear butter*

1 tsp clear vanilla flavouring*

Lots of icing/powdered sugar

Lots of Crisco shortening

Cornstarch (to prevent fondant from sticking when rolling it out)

*I used your basic yellow butter and regular vanilla extract and the fondant still came out very white. Remember, you’ll be adding a ton of powdered sugar. Unless you’re going for pure perfection, I don’t think it really matters what you use.

I’ll do my best to explain how I went about mixing the ingredients, but keep in mind that everything I know I learned on YouTube so it might be best to just click on over there are see it for yourself.


Preparation Instructions

1. Start by greasing a microwaveable bowl and spatula (including the handle) very well with shortening. This will prevent the melted marshmallow from sticking. Don’t skip this step or you’ll end up with a very gooey mess!

2. Add marshmallow, water, butter, and vanilla to the bowl.

3. Place in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Take it out, stir it, and repeat until the marshmallow is completely melted.

4. Then begin adding powdered sugar to the melted mixture. You’ll need a lot of it so add liberally. Stir and continue adding sugar until it becomes a little more solid.

5. Grease a clean countertop or work surface and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Also grease your hands with Crisco before dumping the fondant onto the counter.

6. Kneed the fondant and continue adding sugar until it is no longer sticky. It will probably still be a little tacky and that’s just fine. You can add food colouring at this point if you’d like. I’d suggest you wear gloves (or greased sandwich baggies over your hands like I did) as you kneed in the color to prevent staining your hands.

7. Lightly grease the finished ball of fondant, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge overnight. (Note: Most recipes I’ve seen say to refrigerate overnight but some just leave it on the counter for a few hours. Do what works for you. I refrigerated.)

8. The next day, remove fondant from the fridge and place on the counter for a few hours to bring it to room temperature. Or do what I did and unwrap it and warm it in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

9. Once it is soft and pliable, you are ready to roll it out! Cover your countertop or work surface with cornstarch and roll away; adding more cornstarch to the counter if fondant begins to stick. (Note: Next time I will definitely roll the fondant thinner. Remember, you don't want the fondant overpowering your delicious cake!)

10. Put a layer of buttercream frosting on the cake before covering in fondant. Oh, and if it’s a layered cake, make sure you add a delicious filling like chocolate ganache or berries.


That’s it. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. If you’re completely confused, here is a video that may help. My method differs a little but you’ll get the picture.


How to make Homemade MM Fondant


Remember, this was my very first attempt with fondant so I’m no expert, but I found it to be easy to make and sooooo easy to work with. If you give this recipe a try, let me know. Send me a link. I’d love to see pictures of your creations!



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 278 - May 19, 2010


Almost Wordless Wednesday...

Digging to China!


"I think I see it!!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 277 - May 18, 2010

Drum roll please...

Ta-da!


My very first fondant cake!


All it took to make this beauty were a couple YouTube videos, some hard (but fun) work in the kitchen, and a delicious marshmallow fondant recipe from a new blog friend.


Isn't he cute?



Photobucket


Welcome to all those bloggers from Follow Me Back Tuesday, hosted by Survey Junkie, Little Yaya's, Review Retreat & Boobies,BabiesAndABlog..

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 276 - May 17, 2010


Can you guess what I've been up to today?


This activity has been on my life list for years.


It's so much easier than I had anticipated and so much fun!


I can't believe I have waited this long to give it a try.


Tune in tomorrow to see the final product!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 275 - May 16, 2010

Romans 11:36

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 274 - May 15, 2010


"I think my Jesus is the same as He was before I walked through that door. ...He is still the same, Mom. He hasn't changed. He hasn't changed."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 273 - May 14, 2010

I love a good photoshoot! As long as I’m behind the lens, that is. Anytime I can get my hands on a squishy baby to photograph, I’m in!

I love shooting engagement photos too. A newly engaged couple’s love is contagious and I can’t help but get swept away in it.

No matter where I go, I am always on the look out for that next great location for a photo shoot.

I go ga-ga over alleyways with old brick walls, metal fire escapes, and graffiti.

I love wide-open fields with tall grasses blowing in the wind.

I’m a sucker for older cars in vibrant colours.

I just about died the first time I saw this car. For months, I waited for the perfect subject to photograph in front of it. I was beyond thrilled a few weeks ago when my nephew agreed to sit on the road for me (something he is never allowed to do). I just love the vintage feel and couldn’t be happier with how these photos turned out!