When life gets tough, dream, dream dream…

Does life every get super crazy? So crazy it’s hard to remember what day it is? Yeah, it’s been like that around here for the past, oh, year I guess. Okay, maybe not a year, but for a long time (or so it feels). But, it is times like these that I escape every now and then in my thoughts and dream, dream, dream…

For instance, this house is for sale. I’m positive it hasn’t sold yet because I’m going to live in it.

Emily's Dream Home

Isn’t it just beautiful? I’d stay at home all day and never leave. Of course, in order to buy this house I’ll need this:

And it would get lonely in that big house just me, munchkin, and Riley, so we’ll take this too:

When we get bored, we’ll hop on our jet and go here:

Sounds like a perfectly sensible plan to me.

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After a long hiatus, I’m back

I love blogs. I love writing them. I love reading them. I love reading what others have to say.

But they are hard.

Between work and raising a very rascally munchkin, fun blogging can sometimes turn into a job, and thus, a very long break. Dreary winter weather doesn’t help much either. And if we’re being honest, me and the to-go window have been best friends the past few weeks.

So, I’m back. For how long? Who knows?

Breakfast Pie

Growing up, when we went to my Grandma’s house, I remember always having dessert for breakfast. Why wouldn’t you have cookies to start you off right for the day? Or pecan pie? Or brownies? My absolute favorite were the cut out cookies shaped like cardinals. As a kid I thought this ritual was normal. Now that I’ve gotten older, I have realized I just had a very wise, very cool grandmother.

Remember how Sunday I picked black raspberries with my mom? Well, I took home what we picked, and I had to use them up before they went bad. Did you know there are hardly ANY recipes for black raspberries? Everything for the red ones or blackberries, but not black raspberries. Argh.

I contemplated making:

  • Black raspberry syrup
  • Cobbler
  • Muffins
  • Popsicles
  • Cookies
  • Pancakes
  • Jam

But in the end, I went with the trusty dusty black raspberry pie. I used my usual crust and made it all cute with little hearts. (Awwww) I used a recipe for Blackberry Pie, sub black raspberries.

Ready for the oven!

A little extra, so I made a jar pie.

Isn’t it beautiful? The crust turned out perfect, and it didn’t boil over. This pie just looks amazing. I can’t wait to dig in and try it!

Happy 4th!

This 4th of July was a much needed break. Spending time with friends and family while cooking and spending time on the Ponderosa is always a good time, but it really felt good this weekend.

When I arrived back home, mom and I did a quick trip to a tag sale. I finally found some canning jars! The whole shopping trip was 18 quart jars, two half quart jars, a full sheet new in the packaging, a vintage 50’s hat, two necklaces, and a set of six vintage ice cream bowls for $3. Score!

Sunday mom and I went out to our berry patches to pick some red raspberries and black raspberries.

Not too many red ones, but we got four pints of black ones! Well, four until I tipped mine and it landed in a big ole patch of poison ivy. I almost broke out in tears, I was so sad to see them all go to waste.

We had our get together Sunday too. I made my Confetti Potato Salad and this REALLY cool cake I found over at Glorious Treats.

 

 

 

Isn’t it so adorable? It was really easy to make too. My pans were 9″ instead of 8″, but I like the longer blue part anyways. Everyone was so impressed, and I thought it photographed really well. To decorate I got the pinwheel in the floral department at the grocery store and I made the two stars with red wrapping paper, star cookie cutter, glue and a bamboo skewer.

Now I just need to decide how to use all those yummy black raspberries. Jam? Syrup for pancakes? Infused vodka? Frozen yogurt? Only time will tell!

Happy Birthday, Munchkin!

It’s hard to believe my munchkin is already five! How time has flown! Since this year seemed to be the first year he really knew what was going on, I finally bit the bullet and expanded the party beyond our closest family and friends to his little friends from school.

Now every party needs a theme. I asked Keeler what he wanted. He specifically said:

  1. Dragon cake
  2. watermelon
  3. tag

Well, we were able to do two of the three. I found a pattern online for the cake. Not as hard as it looks. Watermelon – yep. Ran out of time for a game of tag.

The cake, sans frosting.

 

Awaiting wings.

I used tootsie rolls for the claws, icing for the eyes and chocolate chips for the pupils and nostrils. The spine scales were crackers I made earlier this week.The cake was just a basic yellow cake I made from All Recipes and the icing was from a can. Real high tech around here.

One thing I will say, you really have to freeze the cake after assembling, and periodically freeze it while icing to make life a whole ton easier. Less crumbs get into the icing, and the finish is much smoother when you spread it when it is harder.

I had lots of grand ideas for the theme, but in the end, the entertainment was bubbles, coloring pages, blow up swords and paper crowns from Oriental Trading Company, and a garden hose. A pop up tailgate tent from CBear served as the “castle”. Everyone had a great time, and I didn’t have to break the bank to do it. Win for everyone!

We also had everyone bring a canned good instead of presents. Hopefully that helps the kids learn about giving, and less toys around the house here to trip over. We’re going to take them to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Food wise, again, I kept simple. I made:

  • Fresh fruits and veggies sliced up
  • Cucumber Slices With Dill (since I have a ton of cucumbers and dill to use up!)

  • Confetti salad – a bean salad from my grandma’s recipe collection
  • Bread from the bread maker
  • Ham and PB&J for sandwiches
  • Amish Macaroni Salad (Everyone LOVES this!)

My family brought:

  • Chicken salad sandwiches
  • Orzo salad
  • Strawberry Salad with feta

Munchkin’s actual birthday is this week. I usually take the day off and we do whatever he wants to do, and we go to the toy store and he gets to pick out his own present. I’ll also take him to the food bank to deliver the food we collected. Should be a lovely day! Last year we went to the park and to the movies to see Toy Story 3. This year? Stay tuned!

Happy Birthday – No Cake.

This weekend Aunt M came down for birthday celebrations. Mind you, this was her third celebration, but who’s counting? And what do you get someone who has everything she needs? You make dinner, of course!

We had…

Caprese Salad Skewers

Amish Macaroni Salad

Marinated Portabello Mushroom Burgers with Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Beets

Pineapple Salsa

Mojitos

And, for the big birthday, neither myself nor my sis are big fans of cake. Everyone else is welcome to enjoy it, but there are so many better things in the world to eat, why waste time on cake? Although, I must admit, I love to bake them. Anywho, I went with the Southern Style Strawberry Shortcake. I even made the whipped cream by hand. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! That stuff is so awesome. I may never get my whipped cream from a can again.

After our lovely dinner we had every intention of going to the Gallery Hop, but Munchkin was begging for a movie, so we went to the movie theater. Sometimes caving to wants is easier for everyone involved, and it was super hot out, so that air conditioning was looking more and more appealing. Movie sold out. Boooo. We decided to stop in a nearby store and that’s when the storm hit. Crazy wind, rain, and even hail! The power went out, so we decided to head home. Shopping is no fun in the dark!

Happy Birthday, Aunt M!

I’m here!

It’s been a busy, yet not so busy few weeks. It seems any free time is spent pulling weeds out of my garden these days. I’m looking forward to when my plants are so big you cannot see the weeds growing underneath them. I have a few posts started, but until I complete them, I thought I would share some of my favorite things at the moment.

In no particular order…

  • the smell of freshly cut grass
  • sitting on my porch
  • hugs from munchkin
  • eating something from my garden
  • postagram (http://postagramapp.com/)
  • the feeling of the sun on your skin when you get out of the pool
  • my garden
  • walks with munchkin and riley
  • iced tea with mint simple syrup

What are some of your favorite things right now?