Tag Archives: baking

Baking, backbends and stuff…7QTs!

My weekly roundup of the week with J.Fulwiler, Catholic blogger and reality show star and her amazing followers of blogginess…Check ’em out HERE, they have some FUNNY stuff over there….and USEFUL….and HISTORICAL….and…well…just go check it out, there’s something for EVERYone!!

1.  I’ve returned to the gym (for weight work).  My muscles are meeting to secretly stage a coup, I’m sure.  Shhh, don’t tell them, but we’re going back tomorrow.  As soon as I can bend over to tie my shoes.  It’s just not fair how quickly you get sore when you add in new/old/different stuff.  Cue the Rocky theme song….

2.  To celebrate my return to the gym, I helped our oldest daughter attempt a Pinterest recipe for chocolate chip cookie bowls…click HERE for pic credit AND recipe if you should like to give it a whirl.  Bless her heart.  Her Mama didn’t read the directions first.  Fortunately, she only made 6 and the rest regular cookies.  Apparently it calls for the cookie dough in the tube…whatev…

Taste=FABULOUS  Presentation=Room for improvement.


Sweet girl. Our future “Cake boss”, but much kinder!

This is MESSY!!


Theirs. Perfectionists. So not real life…..:-P

3.  This weekend we are getting our family picture taken.  By a real person.  Not just a self-timer.  Christmas cards…..it’s on!

4.  Our youngest diva daughter has been working diligently on this backbend kick over and by golly, she got it!!  Try THIS LINK…I’m just too cheap frugal to upgrade to the video uploader….or you can go to my Twitter and view it…or just imagine our girl finally getting her backbend kick over!

5.  This morning, somehow, we overslept an ENTIRE HOUR!!!  ALL of us.  We woke up when our oldest should have been getting ON the bus.  Talk about an adrenaline rush.  I don’t know about you but we are seriously efficient when running EXTREMELY late.  There is NO time for bickering, arguing or even talking.  The high schooler and elementary kids made it on time and I was late (fortunately no patients were waiting on me…I wasn’t THAT late!!) and Hubby took our middle schooler at his regular time.  Mad skillz, I tell you. Or a well oiled machine.  controlled chaos.  What have you.  Sure got my heart rate up.  I have re-checked the alarm settings many times already tonight….

6.  This week my Aunt received bad news regarding her cancer and has decided to be done with chemo and to let nature take its course.  It’s awful.  Her daughter and son are my age.  I can’t even fathom it.  She is at peace with her decision and I know God will take care of her family but it isn’t going to be easy.  Not one bit.  Today, my brother-in-law (Hubby’s bro), had a heart catheterization and two stents placed. After he drove himself to the hospital because he wasn’t feeling so good.  He’s 42.  3 kids (10, 6 &6)  He’s doing fine but……ugh.  I can’t even go there.  The point is…..We do not know when our hour will come.  And I am reminded of a beautiful twitter quote I’ve been mulling over all week:   @JamesMartinSJ: Gospel: “Live today as if it were your first day…your last day…and your only day.”

7.  And so with Father Martin’s quote fresh on my heart earlier this week, I received an email with RIDICulously low air fare to see my mom.  I promptly booked 3 tickets for myself and the girls to go in January.  It’s their Christmas present (shhhhhh).  I’ll take the boys this summer.  YOLO, right?  Fortunately, Hubby was VERY understanding and forgave me for my completely impulsive decision without his input and is on board.  Phew.

That’s all from me….Blessings to you ALL!  Have a great weekend!

Martha, your enterprise is safe. For now….

Our youngest turned 9 last week and since I had the day off for her birthday, I agreed to make the cake she requested:  Red velvet with cream cheese icing AND chocolate with chocolate icing….layered up.  OK.  No prob.  I am sure her vision was something like this:

OK, maybe we watch too much Cake Boss….besides she knows me too well. I don’t even have a tiny square pan like the top layer!!

**image by yumsugar.com

More likely, her visions were of this type of cake…(just imagine some chocolate layers between the red velvet….)

I actually HAVE made a few layered numbers sorta, kinda similar to this. Really. I just can’t find the pictures right now…..
Image by southernliving.com

Off to Publix I went.  And lo and freaking behold, there was not ONE red velvet cake mix.  WTHeck!??!  So, I went on my phone, pulled up a recipe (which took FOREVAH–the signal is lousy in that store!) and procured the ingredients.  Confident of my preparations and time frame, back home I went.

Turns out, between the two cake batters I had enough for cupcakes, too!  BONUS!  This was going to be a spectacular cake.

When I began to smell burning cake (8 minutes before the timer went off) I quickly removed the pans and checked for done-ness.  With the exception of one pan, everything was ready.

The problem was that the red velvet layer cooked too quickly on the bottom.  So I brought out my serrated knife to cut off that portion.  The cake itself was moist and lovely, hence…the darn thing began to crumble as I cut off the burnt portion.

Crumble-palooza, Summer 2012!!

The issues continued as the second pan didn’t QUITE come out intact (apparently I missed a spot with the spray…)

I decided on making the best of it.  I cut the red velvet layer in two, turned it upside down and began to frost.  Then layering with the chocolate layer and “gluing” it together with frosting–there is no such thing as too much frosting, by the way.  Topped it with the red velvet layer and then used cupcakes to hold the darn thing together and up (as for some reason it was now leaning to the side…).

As I surveyed the damage final result, I pondered running back to Publix and purchasing one of their ready-to-go FANCY SCHMANCY cakes, but my husband said, “it will still taste OK.”

As our daughter arrived home from VBS, I Happy birthday-ed her to death, oohed and ahhed over her 9-year-old self and buttered her up for the sell.  She paused as she took in the confectionary conundrum, listened to her sister as she assisted in the sell (God LOVE that girl!!!) and turned with the biggest smile ever, “That is so COOL!!!”.  Phew.  Crisis averted.

**on a side note, my girlfriend recently revealed to me that she often enjoys “Cake in a bag”, the result of an ALMOST  thrown away iced cake (can you even IMAGINE such a travesty!?!?!) and that yes, indeed, even if it looks awful, it DOES still taste good.  I was clinging to that hope.

So. For now.  Martha Stewart has nothing to fear.  Give me time and perhaps a little patience, attention to detail and a concern about what other people think…..and look out.  So, until then….VOILA!

ZEE Masterpiece, non?

Throw a bunch of candles on it and there you go! Smiles!!

The leftover carnage….and yes, it was AWESOME! (especially the red velvet part)

To recreate this baking WONDER, I pulled the Red Velvet recipe from HERE.  As for the rest.  Any chocolate cake mix.  And throw all your cares out the window and let ‘er rip!  Bon Appetit!!

Galations 5:22 -23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.


As your life is likely as busy as ours this time of year, I’m sure you are familiar with the reality of things not always working out as expected.  It’s life.  The planets are NOT all aligned for every event to occur without a hitch and if one can’t practice some flexibility in life then it’s going to be one bitter horsepill to swallow on a regular basis.

This weekend I was sure that we were fairly open in our schedule sans for two events:  1.  Walk through Bethlehem on Saturday evening  2.  Children’s Christmas program at our church Sunday afternoon.  Now, in hindsight,  one would think my spidey senses would have been tingling…ERROR, ERROR, ERROR at the complete ridiculousness of an “Open” schedule at this point in December, however, they failed me.  My calendar, the one right on the wall of the kitchen.  The one that we write our life on.  The one I pass a million times a day.  Yes.  That one would have reminded me of all that was planned this weekend.  And that would require looking at it.   live and learn.  live and learn.  Fortunately, I did look at it Friday night, so I had a few hours to mentally prepare:

  • Routine Saturday chores, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc…..AND get our youngest to her liturgical dance practice.  It is the 3rd Sunday (Family Mass) and they perform a little dance and have practice the day before.  Oops.
  • “Happy birthday, Jesus” annual lunch with my grandparents.  At our house.  Menu????  Oops.

So, though it wasn’t a lot of extra activity, the activities DID require time management, organization and calm.  We pulled it off (because generally I work better under pressure, not so great for my stress level, but TREMENDOUS for my focusing abilities).

Amid all the flurry of activity, the biggest disappointment was our Walk through Bethlehem.  Having never been to this particular event, nor had I spoken to anyone who had an idea of how it all operated, we went in blind.  Sadly, we made the call to exit the line after realizing we were looking at least a two-hour wait before we got it.  We don’t do lines well.  When we are ill-prepared for the line, it’s even worse.  However, we regrouped, and drove around to look at Christmas light displays and ate cookies in the care (Dad totally rocked on THAT little preparation!!).  So Plan “B” was a hit.  Mostly.  At least it restored harmony to the family.  Mostly.  And we were able to salvage the evening.  Mostly.





The Roman Soldier casing the place…the only part we sa





Some of the lights from our drive 



And because we weren’t busy enough, the baking bug hit me Sunday.  Between Mass and the Christmas program, we baked away:  Poppy seed bread.  Chocolate chip cookies.  Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  and our family favorite, Buckeye Balls.  I’m done.  done.  done.  done.  done.

Good lessons learned this weekend:  Check the calendar.  Always.  Twice daily when it’s December (or May).  Roll with it and be prepared to modify the “Plan”.  Expectations are destined to fall short.  Flexibility is king.  Have plenty of preparations on hand.  Or a decent time frame whilst the bread is baking to make an impromptu trip to Publix to re-stock.  Enjoy.  Every.  Little.  Moment.   It will be January before we know it!