Friday, September 27, 2013

Finishing Up the Summer Reading

Okay so my final wrap-up on my original wish list of summer reading
I finished! And then some :)

Since my last update, I've finished the last two books I had left on my original list:

A Dog's Purpose & A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron - These were phenomenal.  I absolutely loved them.  The narrating voice was exactly what I think my dog's internal monologue must sound like! :)

And here are the other books I also managed to squeeze into the last days of summer.....

 
Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews - I fun beach read for sure!  It had a little bit of suspense, a little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance, some great friendships and lots of humor.  I really enjoyed seeing how it turned out in the end.  It's a story about a group of friends in different places in their life who meet up for a month long break from reality at a beach house in the Carolinas.  They take in a woman on the run from an abusive relationship (unknowingly) and there is a flirtatious relationship that one of the girls takes up with the beach house caretaker who lives over the garage.  Definitely recommend this chick lit book!


Twilight, Texas Series by Lori Wilde: The Sweethearts' Knitting Club, The True Love Quilting Club, The First Love Cookie Club, The Welcome Home Garden Club, The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Raylene, The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Carrie, and The Christmas Cookie Chronicles: Christine.  - Okay, so this one has a totally cheesy set of titles.  That said, I really enjoyed the books.  The titles make sense in the context of the books.  Promise. :)  This series was all set in one small town and had lots of reoccurring characters.  Another set of good, entertaining chick lit romance books.  Perfect for a day at the beach or a rainy day stuck indoors! :)

 
Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey - I loved the rest of the related Kowalski family series I shared last time I talked books.  This book picks up one of the minor characters from a vacation/camping resort that the Kowalski family visits several times.  It was another quick and fun love story.  I really enjoy her style and her characters.  Definitely waiting for the next book in the series called Love a Little Sideways that is coming out soon. :)

 
Summer Secrets by Barbara Freethy - I got this as a freebie or as a 99 cent deal on my Nook (I can't remember which anymore!).  Anyway, it was sitting there waiting for me on my Nook, so I read it!  It was mostly a mystery novel with a bit of romance mixed in.  A story about three sisters and their father who sailed around the world winning a big race doing so.  They barely survived and there were some things that happened at sea that none of them wanted to talk about.  Now a reporter shows up at their tiny seaside town at the start of the sailing race season and starts asking questions.  Turns out for things they don't suspect initially.  It was a longer book, but I really enjoyed it and loved how it ended up.  A good read I didn't really expect.

Including 22 from last month's count, I'm now up to 34 books read this summer!!  I'd like to read at least 50 this year, so that leaves me another 16 books by the end of December... I'll be sure to report back on whether or not I make it!

Any other book recommendations to help me reach my 50 book goal?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week in the Life: Sunday


THE DETAILS
Another early morning wake up by my favorite little people.  Brian was out running and they were each sitting there staring at me from the couch :) lol  Brian came back and we got ready, then loaded the car up.  We headed out early so we could go get some breakfast at Sweetie Pies.  It was so good!  Eggs Benedict (over biscuits instead of English Muffins) for Brian and a Belgian Waffle with fresh fruit and a side of bacon for me! Brian's order got a little scrambled and came with bacon instead of Canadian bacon, but it was still super tasty.  After our breakfast we stopped in Folsom to get gas and Starbucks, hit up REI for Brian to continue his hunt for new trail running shoes.  He finally found some he wanted and they were on clearance sale... but of course they were out of his size in the store.  A little inventory check told us they were now available back in our regular REI store near home.... we had just been in there the week before! They put them on hold for me to go back and pick them up.  After that we headed over to the Dante Club in Sacramento for my Grandpa's Celebration of Life.  We got there a little early and helped with what we could.  It was an afternoon filled with music, family, friends, a whole lot of love.  It was so nice.  We headed out about 4:30.  Poor Brian had a 3 am start time the next morning!   We stopped for dinner in Santa Nella at Panda Express and got home about 8:15.  It was an uneventful drive home.  A long day, but a good one and a great visit to the family for the weekend.

FOOD
Breakfast | Belgian Waffle with Strawberries, Blueberries and Olallieberries, Bacon, Orange Juice
Morning Snack | Pumpkin Spice Latte
Lunch | Sandwich pinwheel, carrots, chocolate chip cookie, water
Dinner | Panda Express Sweet Fire Chicken, Brown Fried Rice, Rangoons, Root Beer

OBSERVATIONS
It was so nice to see so much love for my grandparents and our family.  The whole event was so nice and we had such a good time.

OVERHEARD
Lots and lots of music.  And all the great-grandkids laughing and playing.

FAVORITE MOMENTS
Watching my Mom sing Pennies from Heaven with my Grandpa's Black Tuesday Jazz Band.  Watching my Dad and Uncle's Ophir Prison Band surprise them with a performance at the memorial right after my Mom finished singing.

GRATITUDE
For the family my Grandparents gave to all of us.  I love that crazy group!

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  30+ (mostly with my real camera)  Lots of other great photos from our family too.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week in the Life: Saturday


THE DETAILS
Our usual early morning wake up when we are visiting the family consists of two cute kids staring at me as I sleep.... I never have to set an alarm! LOL :) Brian went to help our friends unload their moving truck, assemble their pool table and hang a bunch of art/photos/etc at their new house for the day.  My brother-in-law went to do some work.  My sister and I took the kids up to Apple Hill in the morning.  It was a little rainy, but I absolutely loved that it felt like fall up there this weekend.  Of course, we started our trip off with a stop by Starbucks for coffee, then headed up to High Hill Ranch.  We got some doughnuts, hit up the candy store for some treats (chocolate covered gummy bears for her, candy corn for Creighton, gummy worms for Abby, fudge and a caramel apple for Brian & I).  Got a mix of apple varieties and some apple cider.  Checked out the craft booths.  Another stop at Boa Vista orchard on the way back to grab some berry turnovers (blueberry and blackberry) for Brian. Stopped at Safeway to grab lunch and dinner.  Headed back to the house to hang out... we got there and the sprinkling rain turned to a down pour with a thunderstorm!  We used the afternoon to teach Creighton to play Candy Land (he killed us at the game!) and made Abby's 3rd birthday invitations.  So much fun! Mom & Dad came over for dinner.  Mom, Dad and I took on Creighton at Candy Land after dinner (Dad won this one!) and they headed home.  Brian got back late and ate leftovers.  The kids attacked him when he came in. :)  After they went to bed, Katie, Kile, Brian and I watched Hangover II.  So funny!

FOOD
Breakfast | Special K and milk
Morning Snack | Pumpkin Spice Latte, Cinnamon Sugar Apple Doughnut
Lunch | BBQ Chicken Salad from Safeway, Key Lime Greek Yogurt
Afternoon Snack | Fudge and candy from Apple Hill :)
Dinner | Rotisserie Chicken, Wild Rice Pilaf, Salad, Fruit Salad
Dessert | Another Apple Doughnut and Apple Cider

OBSERVATIONS
Loved spending so much time with the family today.  It was a great day!

OVERHEARD
Abby watching me put together her birthday invite... "It's Stuffy!" "It's Lamby!" "It's Doc!" "Is that for me?" "It's special!" SO CUTE.  And Creighton learning to play Candy Land... he loved it!  A good move for him often ended in "booyah!" haha :)  He's also gotten very good at Angry Birds (currently he loves the Star Wars version the most) and Where's My Water on my phone.

FAVORITE MOMENTS
The kids at Apple Hill -- they had so much fun even though it was raining.  Love spending time with all the family!

GRATITUDE
Love my family!

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  30+ (most with my real camera as the iPhone keeps freezing up on me!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Week in the Life: Friday


THE DETAILS
Teleworked today... really productive.  Lots of frustration with a bad update of iOS 7 software on my iPhone... had to do a factory reset which still didn't fix the crashing/freezing.  Dropped off Scarlet to the vet to be boarded for the weekend.  Got all packed up afterward and we headed up to Sacramento for the weekend at 7 pm.  Brian was driving our neighbors last moving truck up to Lincoln for them, so we met up in Santa Nella for dinner at In N' Out Burger.  YUM.  Finally got to their house in Lincoln at midnight to drop the truck off, then headed to my sister's for the night.  After being locked out of the house.... and waking everyone up with the dog barking.... we were greeted by a very excited 5 year old who went and woke up his younger sister.  Some quick hugs & kisses to them... they were back to bed and we set up our AeroBed and fell asleep almost immediately!

FOOD
Breakfast | Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster
Lunch | Annie's Mac N' Cheese (tried a single serving for the microwave - not good at all!)
Afternoon Snack | string cheese
Dinner | half a #2 at In N' Out Burger -- a cheeseburger, fries, some root beer and some chocolate milkshake.... what I could manage to eat/drink before Brian ate it all!

OBSERVATIONS
I didn't like driving up so late to Sacramento.  It's better to leave earlier even if we hit a bit more traffic.  It just wasn't enough sleep!

OVERHEARD
At about 6 pm, I got a phone call from a very impatient 5 year old.... my nephew asking what was taking so long, why can't Uncle Brian just ride his bike to here.... polished off with a story from my sister that when she told him we were coming up to visit for the weekend his response was "my mind is blown Mom!"  So.Stinkin.CUTE. :)

FAVORITE MOMENTS
When we came into my sister and brother-in-laws house and our nephew was waiting for us (asleep) on the couch.  He was so excited to see us when he realized we were there and went to wake up his sister to tell her.  They are so adorable (and yes, I'm totally biased!).

GRATITUDE
That we could come up to visit this weekend.  I always look forward to the time we get to spend with our family or friends up in Sacramento!

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  4 (total fail taking photos today!)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week in the Life: Thursday


THE DETAILS
Another uneventful work day!  Went to lunch with Dale at Chipotle.  Usual hours for both of us.  We started a trial of Hulu Plus on the Apple TV.  So far?  meh.  Not keeping it.  Brian picked up dinner at La Plaza Bakery... he got me my favorite Carne Asada tacos, a lime Jarritos and a pink iced sugar cookie.  Not exactly health food, but it was really good!  We watched The Green Lantern on cable.  I caught up with one of my aunts about Sunday.  I made a second photo collage for Sunday.  Updated the operating software on my iPhone which now keeps crashing.  I also got the proof of the baby shower invite done and off for review!

FOOD
Breakfast | Nonfat Decaf Caramel Mocha
Lunch | Chipotle Chicken Salad with black beans, pico de gallo and cheese, Iced Tea
Afternoon Snack | Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Granola Bar, Peanut M&Ms
Dinner | Carne Asada Tacos, Lime Jarritos, Iced Sugar Cookies

OBSERVATIONS
I do like when we break out of the normal evening routine.  It was really fun to watch a movie we didn't ever hear about, but really enjoyed.  So funny!

OVERHEARD
Lots of snoring from the dog as I stayed up late to finish the draft of the baby shower invite.

FAVORITE MOMENTS
Brian getting us dinner unexpectedly and watching a movie together :)

GRATITUDE
For my phone which worked so reliably I never appreciated it until it didn't.... :/

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  13 (all iPhone again!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Week in the Life: Wednesday


THE DETAILS
The usual daily grind again today.... Noticing the shift in weather for sure.  It's definitely the Indian Summer here now.  Gorgeous, perfect!  Wish I had time to hit the beach this weekend with Brian to enjoy it but not in the cards. The afterwork evening went something like this today....
Came home.... usual chores (mail, watering flowers, etc).  Brian asleep on the couch with the cat with Animal Planet on and dirty dishes all over the coffee table. :)  Grabbed myself some dinner he left in the kitchen for me, watched the rest of My Five Wives on the DVR.  He woke up and we watched Hardcore Pawn that had also been sitting on the DVR.  Put the trash cans out on the curb for trash pickup, shower and onto a project.  Brian tried to get a hold of AT&T to figure out a problem with our billing account for the internet.  Worked on a collage poster for Sunday's memorial for my Grandpa.  Scanned the last few pictures, played with the Costco collage tool and sent it to print.  Brian hung out reading last week's paper and talking to me.  Off to brush teeth and go to bed... continued reading A Dog's Purpose.  I so love this book!

FOOD
Breakfast | Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster Shake
Morning Snack | Nature Valley Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Granola Bar
Lunch | Lean Cuisine Spinach Artichoke Ravioli, Diced Peaches + Water
Afternoon Snack | Blood Orange Greek Yogurt, String Cheese
Dinner | Chicken Stir-fry (with yellow squash and onions) with a little grated sharp cheddar on top and two tortillas, chocolate milk

OBSERVATIONS
A very average and typical weekday for us.  Up a little later than usual again to get that poster done for Sunday.  Thursday night will keep me up a bit late too -- getting ready for weekend, other stuff on the to-do list that must get done before the weekend!

OVERHEARD
Brian arguing with the automated system for AT&T.  He must have said "cell phone" about thirty times, including yelling at it.  It shouldn't have been but it was so hilarious!!

FAVORITE MOMENTS
Coming in and seeing Brian crashed out on the couch sleeping.  He works so hard.... the cat was curled up to his head and I'm sure before I came in the dog was doing the same! :)

GRATITUDE
Love the long days of light right now and someone reminded me today at work that Daylight Savings time is fast approaching.  I'll soak up the sunlight while I can! :)

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  18 (all iPhone), including 3 from my sister of the always adorable nephew and niece :)

Recipe: Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Photo credit.

Recipe : Lemon Curd Ice Cream

Cookbook/Source : theKitchn

Notes :  Saw this recipe not long after I made the Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies and realized that we had some leftover lemon curd.  Brian loves to make ice cream so I forwarded along the recipe and he made it for us.  He cut back on the sugar added and I'm glad he did.  It was still on the sweet/sugary side from the lemon curd and didn't need sugar added.

Review : OMG this is amazing.  LOVED this ice cream.  It was really rich and a little went a long way.  Of all the ice creams Brian has made, this was one that disappeared quickly.  To be rivaled only by his fresh cherry ice cream!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week in the Life: Tuesday


THE DETAILS
Brian's work hours today are the same (7-3:30), so are mine, but I worked some longer hours today (9-6:30).  Usual routines in the morning.... nothing exciting today! :)  Did an hour long training session at work and a big meeting in the afternoon on our current project... more working on other projects and some training manuals on the side.  I'm not going to note all the boring details of the work day, but figure I'll keep track of our crazy evening schedule today!  I got home about 7:10.... mail, water flowers, greeted by Scarlet the usual.  Brian was out hunting -- he has the second of his two deer tags to fill for this season and time is running out.  I made dinner, got to folding the laundry. Quick shower.   Then our evening shifted.... Brian got his second deer of the season!  He came home very excited, it was an adventure to get the deer ready for butchering.  I got all the laundry dealt with, folded and all that I have left is to hang up the rest Wednesday (then start all over again... ugh...).  We both finally climbed in bed at about 11.  I couldn't sleep well so I ended up reading more of A Dog's Purpose.  I'm in LOVE with this book.  So, so good!!

FOOD
Breakfast | Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster Shake
Morning Snack | Sweet & Salty Almond Bar
Lunch | Kashi Chicken Enchiladas, Diced Peaches (no sugar added) + Water
Afternoon Snack | Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt, String Cheese
Dinner | Annie's Shells & White Cheddar Mac n' Cheese, Glass of Milk

OBSERVATIONS
Brian is an amazing hunter.  I love to see the passion in his eyes when he talks about doing something he loves!  Scarlet was equally excited when she smelled what was going on outside! 

OVERHEARD
The story of the hunt.  I'm sure I'm going to mess up a few of the details, but here goes....  Brian didn't want to go out today.  Days are running short for hunting in the season though and he just needed to get out there despite his fatigue.  He did his usual drive around the campgrounds at Arroyo Seco seeing if he could spot any bucks.  Today he couldn't believe his luck because he spotted one almost immediately.  He hurried to park and hike his way around to the backside of where the buck was bedded down without scaring him away.  He was so glad he didn't go the usual trail because in the end he realized the buck would have seen him coming.  When he got close he spotted the buck through his binoculars and confirmed the buck's antlers -- it was a legal buck.   Only problem?  All he could see were the horns from this viewpoint.  So he had to guess which direction the buck was laying.  He took aim and fired.  The buck didn't move.  Usually they move so he was confused!!  He carefully made his way over, hoping he had hit it and that it wasn't just laying low hiding and going to jump up!  When he got to the buck he realized he made a once-in-a-lifetime kind of shot -- straight through the buck's left eye, exiting out the back of it's skull.  It actually broke the skull cap (which means the antlers are mostly separated from each other).  He dragged it out.  Took photos and insisted on more photos when he got home!  Listening to him tell back the story was awesome.   So proud of him for his hunting ability and the fact that he hunts for all the right reasons.  Particularly that not one scrap of meat goes to waste!

FAVORITE MOMENTS
When Brian was preparing the buck to be skinned in our side yard, I helped him tie off the rope.  The buck was really huge and a lot heavier than the average buck that Brian has killed in the past so it took three tries to get it high enough that it fit over the bucket.  Well that third time, I heard a metallic snap from above my head and heard something small hit the ground.  We had a brief discussion that pretty much went with Brian saying "it's fine" and me saying "I think it's too heavy and something just broke up there".  A few minutes later, Brian was adjusting the buck on the rack and the arm holding the pulley that had the deer strung up snapped off!  Luckily Brian and the buck were both fine... I started laughing and telling him "I told you so!".  He didn't think it was too funny at the moment, but I know we will laugh about it more later. :)

GRATITUDE
Grateful for the life Brian and I have together.  We are certainly lucky and today was a good reminder of the crazy moments we share! :)

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY:  About 45 between the iPhone and the real camera!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week in the Life: Monday

It's been quite a while since I've done this, but it's always nice to look back on later, so it's worth the effort.... here goes... :)


THE DETAILS
6:00 am | Brian is up for work and heading out the door.
6:30 am | Alarm is calling for me... I snooze it for a while.
7:15 am | Finally getting up out of bed, playing with Scarlet, petting Nala, text messaging, reading a few blogs.
7:30 am | Laundry switchover to dryer, doing what is left of the dishes, morning bathroom pit stop for Scarlet.
7:45 am | Shower, getting ready to go to work, grabbing lunch and snacks for day.
8:00 am | Out the door to the car, time for the morning commute. Text messages with my brother before I leave.  Call my sister (leave voicemail) and my mom on the way to the office.  Lots of fog this morning.
9:00 am | In the door at work, breakfast shake, email, chatting with the boss, typical Monday.  No meetings today, so it should be quiet and productive.  Lots of testing today.
11:15 am | Brian's phone butt dials me, we have a good laugh over text messages :)
12:00 pm | Make arrangements with Vet to board Scarlet this upcoming weekend. Finally catch up with Katie over text messages while working.
1:00 pm | Eating lunch and working away....
3:00 pm | Afternoon snack.... love the Apple Cinnamon Chobani Greek Yogurt!
3:15 pm | Switch on Pandora radio to get through the rest of the afternoon at work....
3:30 pm | Brian off work
4:35 pm | Brian heads out to Arroyo Seco to continue the hunt for buck #2 for this season.
5:30 pm | Start wrapping up at work to head home...
6:00 pm | Finally in the car driving home.  Call Brianne, leave voicemail.  Call and talk to Mom.
6:48 pm | Pull into driveway.  Mail. Water flowers out front.
6:55 pm | Start laundry.  Pull out homemade chicken sausage from freezer for dinner.
7:00 pm | Mixing up part of dinner.... baked powdered sugar doughnuts.
7:12 pm | Doughnuts into oven.
7:20 pm | Scarlet playtime in back yard with a tennis ball.
7:22 pm | Doughnuts are out of the oven!  More playtime with Scarlet.... waiting for chicken sausage to defrost in kitchen sink.
7:30 pm | Scarlet in from the backyard :)
7:35 pm | Finish off the doughnuts with powdered sugar and head upstairs to the shower.
7:50 pm | Back downstairs to pull laundry out of dryer and start cooking the rest of dinner.
8:20 pm | Brian is home from the unsuccessful hunt, he starts eating, we start watching My Five Wives on the DVR (yet another interesting show on TLC about polygamy).
8:35 pm | On phone with Brianne to get order from workshop from last Friday.
8:45 pm | Brian heads up to shower and go to bed.... still on the phone with Brianne getting order in.
10:11 pm | Finish phone call order with Brianne... workshop order placed, closed and off my list.
10:15 pm | Break to check email.
10:30 pm | Kitchen clean up, turn over last load of laundry to dryer.
10:40 pm | One last trek to the bathroom for Scarlet today and one last trip myself to brush my teeth.
10:45 pm | Alarm set, in bed reading book.... starting A Dog's Purpose.
11:15 pm | Put the Nook down... time to go to sleep! :)

FOOD
Breakfast | Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster Shake
Morning Snack | Sweet & Salty Almond Bar
Lunch | Lean Cusine Cheese Ravioli + Water
Afternoon Snack | Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt, String Cheese
Dinner | Eggs over easy, homemade chicken sausage patties, homemade baked powdered sugar doughnuts, blueberry lemonade

OBSERVATIONS
I am overly ambitious and try to get a lot done in one day!  I used my new baked doughnut pan (love it!).  I still hate laundry... and it's still not done despite my good and best intentions. 

OVERHEARD
The usual conversation between Brian and Scarlet when he went to bed.... a few words, a few puppy kisses, some laughing.... love that evening routine. :)

FAVORITE MOMENTS
Playing with Scarlet in the backyard before sunset.  She was so happy!  Also, seeing Brian when he came home... and stealing a quick kiss while I was on the phone and he was going to bed.

GRATITUDE
Brian is home at night this week.  After a week away for work last week, I am so appreciating him being home tonight... even though I really didn't get any time with him.  I'm also feeling lots of gratitude for my family and friends.  Keeping track of today I noticed that I talked to both of my siblings by text message, my Mom by text and phone (missed Dad who was late getting home from work today), and a dozen friends via text, Facebook messenger or phone.  I'm feeling grateful I have so many awesome people in my life!

PHOTOS TAKEN TODAY: 28 (all on the iPhone!), including 2 from friends via text message that I saved.

Recipe: Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

Photo credit.
Recipe : Healthy Chicken Cacciatore

Cookbook/Source : Clean Cuisine website

Notes :  I substituted out the flour and just cooked the chicken with a little no salt seasoning and pepper in the oil in a separate pan.  This sped up the prep of this meal by allowing the sauce and the chicken to cook at the same time, rather than waiting for the chicken to cook first.  To compensate for removing the flour, I added a little bit of cornstarch that I mixed up with a little bit of water to the sauce when adding the crushed & diced tomatoes to the pan. The cornstarch is a great sub for flour when you are trying to thicken up a sauce.

Review : We really enjoyed this recipe and will definitely be making again.  Next time I plan on adding some carrots and trying this in the crockpot.
Have you ever made a cacciatore before?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Recipe: Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies

Photo credit.

Recipe : Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies

Cookbook/Source : Lemon Tree Dwelling blog

Notes :  It was a little tricky to find lemon curd in our grocery store and we ended up having to go to out of town to get it, but it was so worth the effort!

Review : SO GOOD.  Definitely on the sweet side, but super tasty.  Will definitely be making this again!!  YUM!!

Happy Thursday!! :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recipe: Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Photo credit.

Recipe : Spicy Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Cookbook/Source : Pioneer Woman blog

Notes :  I saw this on her tv show and had to make it.  Shrimp is one of my favorites!

Review : So easy and so, so, SOOOOO GOOD.  Made this when my parents came to town to visit us and we all loved it!  Definitely saving here for posterity so I can easily find the recipe again!!

Do you watch the Pioneer Woman tv show or follow her blog?  I love her! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Recipe: Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

Photo credit.

Recipe : Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake

Cookbook/Source : Hersheys.com (or the back of any container of Hershey's Cocoa!)

Notes :  We change nothing on this cake.  Perfection. :)

Review : This is the chocolate cake we make when we are looking to have chocolate cake.  The best.  And it's great with any frosting.  We love to use the frosting that is meant to go with it (bottom of the recipe), but we've also used banana cream frosting, whipped cream frosting and pretty much any tasty frosting will go well with this cake!

Do you have a go-to chocolate cake recipe?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In September I Will...

Lots of crafting, party planning and fall stuff. :)


All good stuff.  My favorite season is here!

Do you have anything fun planned for September?!

In August I Did...

Summer is going by far too quickly!


More done, some left undone.  But that's okay, I'm liking the new routines of going to bed earlier and reading at the end of the day. 

Back later today with my September to-do list... lots of crafts and party planning!

Did you get everything you wanted to do crossed off the list this summer?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recipe: Lemon-Butter Asparagus with Pine Nuts

Photo Credit.

Recipe : Lemon-Butter Green Beans with Pine Nuts

Cookbook/Source : Emeril Lagasse

Notes :  We substitute asparagus for green beans and add garlic too.  Add the garlic to the pan with the shallots.  If we don't have shallots on hand, we just substitute onions (which is about 99.9% of the time!).  Also, we chop the asparagus into 1" pieces for convenience of eating. :)

Review : We love this recipe so much we can both make it from memory.  We initially tried it on green beans but more often we eat asparagus and this is the go-to for us.

Do you have a go-to recipe to cook your favorite veggies?

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