Monday, December 19, 2011

Chocolate Truffle cupcakes w/Candy Cane Crackle buttercream

taken with Samsung Galaxy S II X camera

I know! 3 months since my last post. I haven't been very active in the kitchen, I've been to sick. Its been a very boring couple of months. Anyhow, I made these beauties for a group of friends and everyone fell in love! Including myself ^^ So the cupcake recipe is the same as I used for the ice cream cake. It's already become my favorite cake recipe, it's so moist and it tastes heavenly. I'll re-post the cake recipe, I made it the same way minus the peppermint extract and added almond extract. Why? well I added the extract to the buttercream and I think if the cake had it, it may have been over kill. And I know I mentioned this before, but I LOVE almonds and their taste.

So here it is, let me know if you tried it and any variations you might have :)

Cake Ingredients

• 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
• 1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 3/4 cup regular cocoa powder (not Dutch pressed)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg white
• 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon almond extract

Yields (at minimum) 24 cupcakes
original recipe courtesy of Anna Olsen


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and add paper liners to your muffin/cupcake pan. Pour freshly brewed coffee over chocolate and gently stir to melt. Set aside.

2. Sift sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 1 minute.

3. While beating, slowly add oil, buttermilk and extracts. Alternate adding flour mixture and chocolate mixture and beat until combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared paper liners (half way mark for each), bake for 25 min or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove to cool completely.

taken with Samsung Galaxy S II X camera

I found this recipe online (can't remember where) But I've been using this forever! And everyone loves it. This isn't the original, I've made my own tweaks over the years. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Crackle buttercream icing


• 16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
• ½ cup peppermint candy (about 8 large peppermint sticks), finely crushed
• 5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
• 4 to 6 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Yields (at minimum) enough for 24 cupcakes


1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the peppermint candy, confectioners' sugar, 4 tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon peppermint extract.

2. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy, 1 minute more. Blend up to 1 tablespoon milk or peppermint extract if the frosting seems to stiff.

To finish it all off, I microwaved and drizzled an ounce of the semi-sweet chocolate on top of the buttercream. It's of course optional, but it gives it that extra pretty look and taste :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Oreo Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

So my hubbys birthday party was nice. We had close family come over to his parents and we ordered chinese! The place by his parents is heavenly, I love there stuff (and I'm picky) Anyhow my cake turned out so perfectly. It was really yummy, the only thing I would have changed was the ice cream flavor.

I picked up Chapmans cookies and cream flavor, it spread well and hardened up great but I hadn't realized how sweet the flavor is. I love Chapmans, they're still the only company I know of that sells 2L tubs still. But I'll def go with another flavor next time. Originally I was just going to stick with Vanilla but then I wanted the Oreo layer and figured I'd go with the cookies and cream ice cream instead.

super yummy

As for the "crust" I opted for a cake base. You can go with a cookie base instead (saves time and money) for example. But I have to say, the cake was amazing! This is one luxurious cake, everyone should try it at some point in time. Either in this recipe or by itself. I plan on making peanut butter cupcakes with this recipe later on. You can always take away or add different extracts, the peppermint was very good! Mind you we all love peppermint.

Also I must apologize for the poor pictures! I used my blackberry and it was hectic in the kitchen, plus terrible lighting = shaky not so great pictures hah

super yummy

NOTE: I'd suggest starting this a day or two before you intend on eating to make sure you have enough time between freezer time

Ingredients & tools

• 2 litres of cookies & cream ice cream (or any flavor you'd like)
• 1 package of oreos
• 2 cups of ice cream topping of choice (I used chocolate fudge)
• 10” inch springform pan
• 1 tub of ready made whipped cream


this is a recipe courtesy of Anna Olson

• 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
• 1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
• 3/4 cup regular cocoa powder (not Dutch pressed)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg white
• 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon peppermint extract



1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and grease and line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment, then grease paper.
2. Pour freshly brewed coffee over chocolate and gently stir to melt. Set aside.
3. Sift sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high speed for 1 minute.
4. While beating, slowly add oil, buttermilk and extracts. Alternate adding flour mixture and chocolate mixture and beat until combined.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then remove to cool completely.
6. Completely cooled, cut the cake horizontally and remove the top of the cake (to level the top off)
7. Place the cake back into the 10" inch springform pan and place it in the freezer for 2-3 hours

Adding the Ice Cream

1. Take the ice cream and separate it into two equal parts. Place each part into two separate bowls. Put one bowl back into the freezer for later. Let one bowl unthaw for 2-3 hours; enough for it to be spreadable but not completely unthawed and soup like.
2. Once the ice cream's ready to go, take the cake out of the freezer and evenly spread the ice cream on top of the cake for your first layer
3. Place the cake back into the freezer for 3 hours, to allow it to re-harden. Take out the second bowl of ice cream and allow it to unthaw on the counter
4. While you wait, crush the oreos. Place oreos in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Make sure not to crush to much in one area as you'll poke a hole in the bag.
5. Take the crushed oreos and put them in a bowl; mix the ice cream topping with them and make sure it's evenly coated to your liking
6. When the ice cream has hardened, add the oreo mixture and spread it evenly on top the ice cream layer. Place the cake back in the freezer for half an hour
7. By now the second bowl of ice cream should be unthawed. Spread it on top of the oreo mixture evenly and place it back in the freezer for 2-3 hours to re-harden. Now's the time to take out and unthaw the whipped cream
8. Once hardened, take a warm towel and place it around the springform pan to help separate it from the base
9. Take the whipped cream and evenly coat the top and bottom of the cake. When finished, you can add whatever you like!
10. Place the cake back into the freezer for about a half hour. After this it should be ready to cut and enjoy

I suggest leaving the cake out 15 min before you cut it. It's also a good idea to have a large glass with hot water to soak your knife; this will make cutting the cake easier.

super yummy

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Birthday Sneak Peak

Hey guys! So, on the 13th it's my hubby's birthday. I already gave him his gifts, he had wanted Batman Arkham Asylum. We couldn't find it anywhere in store so I ended up ordering it on ebay. Needless to say, he loves it and I like that his playing on my account gets trophies for me hah I also picked up 4 new tops and a pair of jeans for him from Old Navy. I purchased it a couple of weeks ago when they had 25% off your entire purchase. It was only $61 with taxes, how cool is that?! I very much enjoy saving money hah yes, like a crazy person.

Anyway, we were joking around last week about what he wanted me to make and the topic of an ice cream cake came up. At first, honestly, I was kinda ehh about it. But having some time to think about it, I've warmed up to the idea! I'm actually pretty excited about it now. I've never made one before so you nice when I post pictures hah. I'm going to do a chocolate mint cake with a layer of vanilla ice cream and hopefully a layer of Oreo cookies (chunked up) coated in chocolate syrup. Both me and the hubby LOVE mint ice cream; but not so much everyone else. At least not to the extent that we love it, so adding the mint to the cake will be a nice alternative. The Oreo layer was really just inspiration from DQ. Oh my goodness, you have no idea how much I adore DQ cones hah

So now you're probably asking, why not get a DQ cake? I don't know about you guys but those are some expensive cakes! Besides, all my love and "awesome" go into what I'm making hah So I'm going to go and pick up a springform pan or two this weekend. That's one item I have yet to collect for the new house anyway. I'm curious though, has anyone else attempted making their own? I'd love to hear how it came out.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

birthday festivities

I know! I've been absent...I've been scolded by certain people for it. I've been pretty busy and just overall, other life things happening.

My birthday went over so well. I'm so glad that everyone came. As I said before, it was a stache bash! Everyone loved the theme; I took the time to make signs and props for it. Lots of time and sweat went into those hah I made a happy birthday banner...not sure how I managed it but somehow while hot gluing letters I placed them sideways and upside down hah it was a messed up banner. I swear it was all right when I placed it, shame on me hah.

got the idea off of etsy

got the idea off of etsy

I got these fantastic buttons from Buttons and Badges on etsy for the "can't say a certain word all night" game. That was fun, especially as we were all drinking and not all in the right mindset hah.

got the idea off of etsy

I made cookies as well, they were sooo good! Originally it was a recipe for White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut cookies. I couldn't manage to get my hands on macadamia nuts so I substituted for cashews. It yielded a lot of cookies, in an around 4 dozen. I could have ate them all! I would have gained quite a bit but they were irresistible hah. Here's the recipe, I urge everyone to try it ;)

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

super yummy ^^

Makes 4 dozen

• 1 cup butter, softened
• 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (in this case cashews worked really well)
• 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Birthday Stache Bash!

So next month is my birthday *yay* hah and I've decided to have a Mustache theme! Funny right? I haven't had a birthday party in years and as I'm moving far away from most people I know in the new year (more about that later) why not have a party with style?

We're doing the party at a hotel as we don't currently have our own space; kinda sucks but it also means minimal clean up hah. So how did I get to the stache bash? I was surfin Esty; something I do often as I love it to no end, and I was looking for a gift for the other birthday boy (He's a day older then me so we're doing one party for the both of us ^^) and I saw these stache's for a photobooth prop. And it just blossomed from there hah

So since then I've been getting these ideas for things to do. I have a few people who occasionally look at this blog who are going so I won't go to much in detail, but I've got some games planned and prizes; all stache themed. I've already ordered a bunch of stuff off of etsy for the occasion. I cannot wait hah I'm not sure anyone understands how excited I am about

I think I've decided to go with cupcakes, it's just easier all around on me and for eating. Especially in a hotel; I'm going to do some finger foods for it as well...I'm not 100% on what those shall be just yet, but something simple and not to messy. If you have any suggestions I'm more then willing to accept them =P

I have a lot of craft projects to do for this, all of which I shall post about after the fact =P Any comments, questions or suggestions are welcome. I could use any and all help ^^

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dads, wake the hell up!

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I found this article. This father has the courage to be proud of the father he is and is encouraging others to do the same if they're not already. It's a seriously good read, I hope it reaches as many people as it possibly can. Pass it on =)

Click here for the article A father's day wish: Dads, wake the hell up!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Flying on the rails

So I haven't baked in a while; well a while for me. There's so much to do >.< I have a house guest until Thur evening, I have some papers to fax off for my hearing next month, I have a web site to start for a friend which means hours upon hours of research and typing and reading lol it's fun and interesting but there's so many brain cells being fried in the process just staring at the screen! Not that I'm trying to complain...just yeah lol

In other news I've gotten hold of a few games, more actually but thank you PSN for having a shitty server! As I said in my previous post, I picked my games for free from the PSN for the hacking business that went down. I must say people of the Sucker Punch Productions, you did good giving your game away! Talk about publicity! Infamous is a wicked game, more so because it's free hah. But for those of you who know the gaming world, the second installment recently came out. I could see myself going and purchasing it once I'm finished all the games I have now (seriously it won't be for a long while)

So back to my original thought, I picked Infamous and Dead Nation. Infamous is about this guy named Cole who is a delivery guy delivering a package. Once at his destination he was asked to open it and what resulted would change his life FOREVER! He's all electrically charged many thoughts on that hah it's a game to definitely check out! Dead Nation, well I haven't started to play it yet but it's a Zombie game! who doesn't or wouldn't enjoy taking down some zombies?! The trophies are so awesome hah (Kill 53 596 Zombies) on top of that I picked up The Force Unleashed. I can't wait to get started! I loveee Star Wars! :D My cousin picked me up White Knight Chronicles as he wants me to join him online =P I'll do it, I have no idea when =S lol but eventually!

Anyhow, so sorry for no baked awesome goodies. I've kinda stopped because I've gained some weight hahah =( not good. That's it for now, what has all you awesome and excellent people been up to lately?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Victoria Day long weekend

So as you may or may not know; this past weekend was Victoria day long weekend here in Canada. Now I don't work so it wasn't anything that special =P And I'd rather watch someone elses fireworks. Regardless, it was a good weekend. The hubby and I just did our usual relaxing stuff we cooked, watched movies and went for walks when I felt alright to do so ^^

Today was a go to the hospital/doctors day. Mainly for me, I had some xrays taken and then *YES* tested for pregnancy as I missed my monthly. As we all know it's sort of common for it to happen. Especially if you're under a lot of stress, or you've changed medications. Both of which have happened to me most recently. The urine test came back negative; I was given paperwork for blood work to double check. I don't think I'll bother, I really don't think I am pregnant. It was just a precaution. I'll just have to wait and see what happens next month =)

It dawned on me today when we got home, that I managed to forget my recipe for the baked goods I planned on posting. Hah not my best moment...I'm at the hubbies until the 4th or 5th so I'm not sure what I'll do with that as I planned on making more here this weekend hah. I may ask someone at home to give me the recipe so I can actually have something to post for you all this week ^^

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The news of Val

So this is a bit overdue. I’m not going to lie; I’ve been gaming all week. That’s right; I own and play on my PS3. I’m not sure if you’re aware but recently the PSN (PlayStation network) was hacked. People’s credit card info and addresses were taken. My info was probably taken and in all honesty I’m not that upset about it. Yes it’s a bit unnerving that someone has my info, however, if let’s say someone tries to use the credit card it would be pretty hard to prove that it was me who made the purchase. I’ve heard about people being concerned that their identities will be stolen. I happen to know that unless you have your sin number out on display for the world, it’s pretty difficult. Regardless I’m concerned but not fuming. Also, all the games I play are single player games and don’t require online co-op. So the fact that the network was down wasn’t a big deal to me at all.

What concerns me now is the security of their system in the coming future. I, like everyone else understand that it’s a free service (in a sense; you still have to pay for internet : /) But when you have items such as your address and credit card info saved to their network you would think they would have the very best security. It doesn’t matter if you pay for the service or not; anyway you look at it you have the potential of losing customers because of this sort of thing. I’m not going to back away from the system, I love it. But I know several people who have already left or are in the process of doing so. One thing’s for sure, I’ll be thinking twice before I re-add any of my info which really is a shame especially because I get DC (downloadable content) from of them. Hopefully Sony will prove themselves.

In other news, I need my wisdom teeth pulled! I know, I know…why has it taken me so long? Well they’ve only bothered me maybe 4 times in my life, and as my new ital family would say “don’t replace it unless its broken” you get what I mean =P I got a very sad reality check when I saw the surgeon last Friday. As I have so many un-resolved medical issues, he refuses to put me under for it. My heart sank instantly; I hate needles in my gums…it’s just un-natural! It feels so weird on top of the pain. He won’t put me under unless all my medical “stuff” gets resolved. Which with my luck, will take years -_- so I made the difficult decision to just let them needle me (4 times for each tooth 4x4=16 oh boy) which in turn made the bill cost a lot less. It was $70 for the consultation and $802 for the surgery. I was thinking it would ballpark $1500-$2000. So now I’m waiting on a response from the insurance company about how much they’ll cover. I believe it’s done by percentage which is bull poopie! If I get a set amount each year I should just get it…So once I get that answer I suppose I’ll be making an appt. Oh joy!

Next Tuesday I go for an appt with my family doctor, who knows next to nothing about being a good doctor. I have to see her because a few months ago I had some tests done that now require more testing; so my recommendations were sent her way. I’m so completely not looking forward to seeing her. Just thinking about this stresses me out and makes me depressed. I need her help with the gov helping me with my disabilities. Kinda confusing, long story short; the first paperwork she sent them basically indicated that I wouldn’t have what I have a year from the time I applied.

This has now turned into almost 2 years of fighting with the gov! It’s completely unfair; the gov gives assistance to drug addicts for goodness sake. Why can’t they help me and make it easy for me? The entire thing is so upsetting. My final hearing date is July 12th; I have until June 12th to submit any and all paperwork for it. If they turn me down again I can simply re-apply. Just thinking about it though is exhausting, mentally and physically. I need to get copies of the recommendations from her; I’m so very stressed out about this. She’ll probably charge me.

Phew, that’s a lot of stuff to get off my shoulders!

I believe that’s it for now, I have a yummy surprise lined up for this weekend. I was very pleasantly surprised myself! Does anyone have any opinion on any of these topics? I’d love to hear from you ^^

Monday, May 09, 2011

Lavender Honey Cupcakes

Perfect Mother's Day

Happy belated mother’s day everyone! Hopefully everyone had just as much of a delightful day as I did.

As promised, I made dessert for everyone yesterday. It went over quite well! And without further ado….

Lavender honey cupcakes! Oh they were so darn good; super moist and it was a nice change from vanilla or chocolate. Everyone loved them, the look and the taste. I got a few head turns when I mentioned that it was lavender flavored; they knew there was a different taste to it but didn’t realize it was flower flavored hah. Regardless it was loved by all.

Perfect Mother's Day

As you can see I got impatient and over filled the cupcake liners hah, notice the “muffin tops” I won’t be doing that again. They didn’t turn out horrible or anything because of it but I would have preferred no overhang for the sake of prettiness. I was also very sad decorating these; I used to be able to decorate cakes and anything else I wanted with ease and precision. It’s not the case anymore; ever since I got sick I’ve had uncontrollable shakes. I hate it for many reasons, but this is at the top of the list. So please don’t judge me too harshly on that, I’m going to try and work on it slowly and see if I can improve it somewhat.

Perfect Mother's Day

Perfect Mother's Day
See! I over filled them...didn't change how awesome they tasted!

Perfect Mother's Day

So here’s my recipe, please feel free to tweak it to your liking.

Lavender Honey cupcakes (double for cake)


• 2 ¼ cups flour
• ½ cup honey
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 2 ¼ cups lavender sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 cup sour cream
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract OR Butternut Extract (so much nicer)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Leave honey separate for the time being. Set aside.
2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, buttermilk, and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Add honey in near the end. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with whatever topping you’d like.

Let me know what you think, or any changes you made for the better or otherwise hah

Monday, May 02, 2011

Amaretti Cookies

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend

Amaretti Cookies! Oh man, almond flavoring is my favorite! I was just thinking about them and went ahead and made them. This was my first stab at trying this recipe; for mother’s day I’m going to be making a new batch, probably with some more modifications.

I love these things!

I wanted to try using flour…it doesn’t call for it and they were supposed to be a lil more chewy but I wanted to see how it would turn out. They were still good! they weren't chewy but they were soft. This weekend I’ll be making them again, this time exactly as it's printed. I have to mention this; the almonds need to be compressed as much as possible when measuring them out. Just push them/crush them into the measuring cup because if you don’t you won’t have enough. So without further ado, here’s the recipe.

I love these things!

I love these things!

I love these things!


2 cups sliced unblanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract


2 large eggs
3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
1 cup sliced unblanched toasted almonds, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup sugar

• Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven.
• Heat the oven to 375°F.
• Dab lightly on baking sheets with butter and line with baking parchment or waxed paper.
• Lightly butter the parchment or paper.
• Put the almonds, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the cinnamon in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
• Process until the mixture begins to clump together.
• This should take from 45 to 60 seconds.
• This is an important step; when the almonds are very finely ground, the cookie will have a chewy texture.
• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks at medium speed.
• Increase to medium-high and beat until thickened and lightened in color, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes.
• Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar slowly, taking about 1 minute. Mix for another 30 seconds.
• Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts (add as little or as much as you like, I like it real almondy =P)
• Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the almond mixture in two parts.
• To make the glaze, place the eggs and the Amaretto in a low, flat dish (like a pie plate), and whisk to blend.
• In another low, flat dish, combine the crushed almonds and the sugar.
• Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
• Roll each ball in the egg mixture, then in the almond-sugar mixture. Repeat the dipping procedure, and then place the dough balls on the prepared pans.
• Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned.
• To ensure even browning, toward the end of the baking time, rotate the pans from top to bottom and from front to back.
• Do not over bake. (this is important! You’re better off under baking slightly then over baking)
• Let sit in the pans for 4 minutes, and then remove to cooling racks.
• The cookies can be stored in an airtight container, layered between strips of waxed paper, for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.

Tips: remember that the cooking will also depend on how thick or thin your pans are. The thinner the pan the less you should have them in. The thicker the pan you should have them in little longer. Also you don’t have to use the glaze, it’s completely optional. It makes the process a lot longer, especially because they’re so small. If you’d like, do half and half and see how you prefer them

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mothers Day dessert sneak peak!

pretty ^^

Guess what I got in the mail this week? A present! I’ve been waiting for this for a few weeks now. It’s one of the components of my mother’s day dessert…stuff hah I bet you can make a pretty good guess on what's for though. I cannot wait! I’m picking up all my ingredients this weekend, I’ll also have some cookies to make…I’ll save that for later as well =P I’m going to be making several batches for gifting as well ^^

I spoke with my mother in law; as we’re having 14 people over to the house we’ve decided on catering for the larger items. We’ve chosen roasted potatoes, chicken in a wine sauce reduction, lasagne, veal and veggies. Salad and fruit we’ll do ourselves, then my desserts plus she wants to buy a cake…hah they’re Italian, there’s never enough food. There’s probably more food I’m unaware of, it happens all the time.

So my question to you would be, what are you planning to do for mother’s day? Do you have any traditions or anything of the sort?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mothers Day, just around the corner!

TGIF and on top of that, it’s a holiday ^^ relaxing is the key for this weekend, we all need it. So there’s no stressing over Easter dinners alright? Hah so I know Easter isn’t officially over just yet but I’ve been thinking about Mother’s Day for weeks! It’s so very important to me, for many reasons. I want to be a mom, I’m hoping soon! Also I want to make sure that all the special women (moms) in my life know that I appreciate everything they do. They’ve cleaned up after us, taught us our manners, and taken care of our wounds when we’re hurt among hundreds of other things. Even now when we’re grown adults they care so much (sometimes too much hah) So on Mother’s Day I believe they deserve some real recognition.

elegant mothers day cards

With that said, I can’t stand the generic cards even if you spent upwards of $8 on just one! There’s no loving or caring put into them, they’re popped out by a machine hundreds of thousands at a time. I wanted a card that showed that I cared that much more. So I went on a mission, on to find the right cards I wanted.

This took me a while; people make a lot of cards on the site. So after what felt like a life time (at the time) of searching I came across these unique and gorgeous cards. Other cards on etsy are nice but these almost had a life of their own! You know, like Frankenstein was the masterpiece of the mad scientist that had brought him to life hah they just had this lightness about them, and I knew then that I had found myself the right designer/crafter. Her name is Kimberly, and she’s just amazing! She’s helpful, patient and very gracious. I’ve bought 20 or so cards from her, I think that’s the right amount hah among other little items like tags.

elegant mothers day cards

For this mother’s day I needed 7 which is generally the amount I get, give or take depending on the occasion. I asked her if she was planning on making any cards for mother’s day, and she asked how many. I never expected it but the very next day she had all 7 ready for me. Any how I’ll quit rambling, I just wanted to post this to show Kimberly how much I really do appreciate her help and creativeness! Everyone should visit, so make sure you stop by her etsy shop MailboxMemories as well as her Facebook fan page MailboxMemories

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

graphic or not to graphic?

So it's obviously not a surprise to me, I've changed my mind on graphics several times since I got this lovely layout! I'm a perfectionist who won't stop until it's perfect; to me anyway. I hope its nice on the eyes =P I'm not finished, the links at the top need to be completed and put up. I need topics first =P I have ideas but I'm gonna hold off for now.

Do you like it? Tell me the truth! please =P

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lavender Sugar

heavenly lavender sugar

It’s Sunday afternoon and unfortunately it’s snow/raining very cold and super windy (what a cruddy day!) As I thought about the mother’s day cards I’m going to send it dawned on me that I had yet to prepare my lavender sugar. Tsk tsk, I know! It’s 3 weeks today until mother’s day and I don’t have my main ingredient started. So I took my time searching for different methods on how to make it.

I was surprised to find out that there really doesn’t seem to be one or two set ways on how to do this. Everyone has tweaked it in some way or another. I managed to find a few that were somewhat consistent with one another. So with that said, I’ve used 2 tbsp. per one cup of sugar. I’m using dried lavender buds; if you’re using fresh you’d need 4 tbsp. per 1 cup of sugar.

I’m going to keep an eye on it from now until then. I won’t reveal just yet what I’m making exactly, but I’m hoping it’ll turn out great! It’s supposed to be kept in an air tight container away from direct light. Easy enough! It’s suggested to leave it all in for about a month. In my case it’ll be 3 weeks, I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference. It’s good for baking and teas. For tea before use, it’s a good idea to sift the buds out of the sugar. For baking you can do the same or you can use a food processor and pulse it all up.

Has anyone else tried this? I’d like to know how it worked out. Also if you’re having a hard time getting your hands on lavender I’d suggest checking out sites like it’s where I turned for it =)

Friday, April 08, 2011

Moving into my first home

So as you might know I’m moving at the end of the year. The closing date is Oct 27th 2011 but there’s always the possibility of the date being pushed back. Any how I’m not going to jinx it =P It occurred to me last June when we signed our paper work (first of many) that we’d obviously need house “stuff”.

This is our first place so we’re totally starting from scratch. It’s exciting, stressful, hectic etc. So we’ve been slowly accumulating items for the house, doing our best to avoid electrical items until much closer to the date. With that said, I’ve made a list. A list of items I never thought about, as well as the most obvious items.

I’m hoping that others can benefit from this, it’s a melding of several different lists I found but weren’t complete (in my opinion) I’d love to hear your comments! If you have anything to add I’ll be sure to add it.


~ Mugs/coffee cups
~ Espresso cups & saucers (optional, I live with itals)
~ Roasting pan
~ Pasta pot with strainer (again optional, some people use a colander or just slowly pour the water out without anything)
~ Large, medium & small frying pans (depending on usage of course)
~ Wooden spoons
~ Lasagne pan (for casseroles, baking etc.)
~ Napkin holder (if you use them)
~ Cutlery set
~ Milk jug
~ Garbage container
~ Potato masher
~ Solid spoon, slotted spoon, spaghetti , turner, ladle, tongs (you can get them as a set, or separately)
~ Salt/pepper shakers or grinders (unless you buy one time containers already full)
~ Oven mitts (or if you prefer just using tea towels then you don’t need to bother)
~ Cork screw (if it’s important)
~ Colander
~ Dish drying rack
~ Dish clothes and/or sponges
~ Cutlery drawer organizer
~ First aid kit or a few of the essentials (band aids, polysporin etc.)
~ Wire whisk
~ Spice rack (which can come in all sorts of forms)
~ Counter top storage
~ Pot and pan set (unless you’d prefer to buy them separately)
~ Wok (optional)
~ Juice jug
~ Grater
~ Trivets (especially if you have laminate countertops)
~ Can opener
~ Bottle opener
~ Peeler
~ Tea towels
~ Plate and bowl set(s)
~ Cutting board (different sizes are good to have)
~ Paper towel holder
~ Knife set (can also be purchased separately)
~ Sharpening steel (can be included in a knife set)
~ Steak knives (can be included in a knife set)
~ Champagne glasses
~ Wine glasses
~ Regular drinking cups
~ Small drinking cups
~ Measuring cup(s)


~ Rolling pin
~ Silicone bake ware
~ Large flat baking sheets
~ Funnel
~ Silicone spatula(s)
~ Tart pan
~ Pie pan
~ Sifter
~ Mixing bowls (assorted sizes)
~ Measuring spoons
~ Bake ware set (cookie sheet, muffin/cupcake pan, cooling rack, loaf pan, pizza pan, cake pan)


~ Tool set/Box (screw drivers, hammer, tape measure, mallet)
~ Drill kit
~ Wrench and pliers


~ Shower mat(s)
~ Shower curtain (fabric if wanted)
~ Vinyl shower curtain
~ Towels
~ Garbage can(s)

More obvious items

~ Appliances (if not already provided)
~ Furniture (couch, coffee table, TV, TV stand etc.)
~ Dining table and chairs
~ Washer/dryer (unless already provided)
~ Bedroom furniture (if you don’t have your own)

So I’m not even going to claim that this is a complete list. There’s always something that you’ve missed! It’s sort of frustrating actually. If only someone had all the answers! Hah that’s not going to happen. However I can try my best to get as close to that as possible. I’d love your insight on this endeavour, to help me out and others of course.

I didn’t include things such as a kitchenaid mixer, blender, or microwave because they’re not necessarily needed. It really depends on the persons cooking style. You may do a lot of cooking or almost none at all.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Oreo Truffles

Hey folks! My sister in law finally (after 30 years) decided to bring a man home! She’s very picky, I’m pretty sure that says it all hah Any how I decided to dive into these truffles. I’d been meaning to make them; I suppose sometimes you just need an occasion to push you into the mixing bowl! As I’m ill most of the time, it doesn’t leave me much room to work out. So I think I’d say the most difficult parts were crushing the cookies and cutting the chocolate.

The end result was excellent; I had to go to the doc while they dried so my father in law trimmed the excess chocolate from them. It was very kind and helpful of him and they look decent; I would have been more precise hah I’m a perfectionist. I can’t help it! So here it is, enjoy!

end result, yummy oreo truffle
end result, yummy oreo truffles

So I made my own marshmallow fluff, I decided to experiment. Originally it calls for cream cheese to hold the cookie crumbs together but I decided to take the sweeter route hah. I also added more confectioners sugar then called for in the recipe, I decided I wanted to choose how sweet and thick it would turn out. After making a fun mess of everything, this was the end result.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
marshmallow fluff, the left overs are always good for rice crispy squares

I took to crushing the oreos next, I was at my mother in laws and they tend to keep items you'd normally want to have easy access to in places I'd never think of putting them! So I improvised with what I could find.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
what a back breaker!

After crushing the cookies I added my fluff. I'm not going to say I measured how much I added, because I didn't. Once you've been doing this long enough, you have an eye for these things. But for those of you who would prefer measuring, I'd say I used about a cup and a half of it. However, it's all about personal taste. Some people like it to be sweeter then others so do as you see fit.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
you HAVE TO get in there and get your hands dirty =P

After rolling them all out and placing them on a baking sheet with wax paper they kinda sagged, or drooped. So I set them I'm the fridge for a few min. They were hard and firm after only being in for a min or two and this is because of the fluff. It's naturally harder and thick so it turned out nice while melting the chocolate.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
they looked so shiny; and kinda gross if you didn't know what it was hah

As they set in the fridge; I took my time chopping all the chocolate by hand. As you may know doing so ensures even melting, trying to melt it in full form would probably take much longer. I picked up two large white chocolate bars from Wal-Mart, It's called Joe's tasty travels. They also make trail mixes and such, this can usually be found in the produce and/or bakery section (at least at my location) They're only $3 each and much cheaper then the bakers chocolate, which is great especially if you're on a budget.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
I used bakers semi sweet chocolate for my drizzle instead of left over crushed oreos

So I then retrieved the truffles from the fridge and set out to dunk them in the melted concoction. I don't have a dipping tool so I used a fork. I'm not going to lie, a few times the truffles rolled off the fork and landed upside down which resulted in me re-dipping them hah You simply need to be really gentle and they'll slide off after tapping them a few times.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
it seems so much simpler then it looks

I set the truffles in the fridge again to dry faster. Having 6 left over cookies (as I ate one hah) I used up the remaining of the melted white chocolate on them. And let me tell you, they were just as heavenly as the truffles.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
They were just as good as the truffles!

At this point I melted the semi sweet chocolate, scooped it up into a glad plastic sandwich bag. Pushing it all to one corner, making a disposable piping bag. I snipped a little off the tip and slowly drizzled. I ended up having a bit left over so I siphoned it into my mouth hah I then put them back into the fridge to dry.

end result, yummy oreo truffle
one of them has a semi sweet "blob" ontop, it was the first in my defense! it wouldn't come out so I squeezed harder =P

I very well could have made them look nicer with the drizzle. To be honest I wasn't trying to impress anyone, I just wanted to get my first batch finished and sampled. And there you have it, the finished product after my father in law chopped at them with a paring knife hah

end result, yummy oreo truffle
they almost look professional...almost hah

When I had my mom try them, as well as my dad. They actually had no idea that I made them or that they had any cookies in them. So it was a pleasant surprise for them.

Below is a "base" recipe for the truffles as I used fluff instead of cream cheese. Both recipes are listed so you can make the decision yourself! Also as a side note, the fluff yielded a lot so whatever I had left was stored in the freezer. It only really stays good in the fridge for about a week.

Oh and if you want to mix it up, there are so many different kinds of oreos out there. More so for you Americans but as an idea you could substitute for mint oreos, chocolate cream oreos, golden oreos, and occasionally they'll have special editions like fudge sundae cream oreos ^^

Oreo Truffles

1 package oreo cookies (divided… use cookie including the cream center)
1 8oz. package cream cheese (softened)
white chocolate bark

1. Finely crush 7 cookies in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and crush into a fine consistency. Reserve for later.
2. Crush remaining cookies and stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
3. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
4. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. You can sprinkle the tops with the 7 crushed cookies for decoration. (I usually eat mine before they make it to this stage.)
5. Once dry, refrigerate and enjoy!

Yields about 36 truffles.

Marshmallow Fluff


3 egg whites
2 cups light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

How to make it:

• In a large bowl, combine egg whites, corn syrup and salt.
• Mix with mixer on high speed until thick - about 10 minutes if you are using a hand held mixer, or 5 minutes if you are using a Kitchen Aid.
• Add in confectioner's sugar.
• Beat on low speed until well blended.
• Add vanilla and mix until blended.

It's now ready to use or store.

So I found that the 2 cups of confectioners sugar wasn't enough. At least not for me so I used 3 cups. How sweet do you want yours to be?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PC Cast, what a wonderful author!

I've been reading her "house of night" series, very interesting! As of late I discovered that she writes romance as well. What kind of romance? The Greek Myth sort! *squeals* Seriously though, I've read Goddess of Spring and Goddess of Light. It really pulls at my heart let me tell you, the detail she goes through is very much appreciated. She also has a very different view on the Olympian Gods, it's really refreshing. I'm not going to lie, I've cried a lot with these books and I still have 5 more to go in her series hah. As much as they pain me, they also make me laugh and very happy. I would most certainly suggest them to any fantasy/romance lover, they're just so darn...romantic!

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, March 24, 2011

4 year anniversary today!

it has officially been 4 years since I've been with Joe. I'm not sure what to think about that, it doesn't seem like its been that long but that's also a long time when you think about it. For me anyway, I know there's many people out there who have been with their spouses much longer =P We needs to get on that baby making train, it would really mean the world to me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

6 month challenge: Nothing Fried & No Pop

Hey guys, so Mar 6th I went out on a whim and challenged myself and Joe to abstain from fried foods and pop for the next six months. Crazy right? When you set a challenge like this it really makes you see how much of our foods are terrible for us! I'm concerned about Joes health, he's in the obese BMI range; just over that 30 mark. A month or so ago he started exercising again and eating better but that quickly fell apart when I stayed at his parents for a week...I was his excuse.

Anyhow, we've been alright so far. We haven't eaten a lot of things that we'd love to eat hah it's defiantly been challenging. So we've weighed one another now and we'll do the same come the end of august. Just to see how much of an impact it really has on our lives.

My question to you is, would you or could you do this? No cheating, not even once?! Let me know =)


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Coding, taking it easy

Hey folks, this is my officially official first blog post on blogger. I must say I couldn't have gotten as far and as quick as I have without the help of DreamLikeMagic. Thank you so very much! I've been out of the coding and graphic scene for many years(I'm really not that old, I started pretty young hah) and getting back into it was a bit tough. It's coming back though!

I know that this post and the ones to follow won't reach many eyes as I'm just getting started on my blogging journey. But I'm hopeful! I'm okay with it, just being all alone...for now. Besides all I'm doing is tweaking and editing code to my liking. I'm very precise, I drive myself insane!

Well this is it for the time being. I'll be checking in once in a while


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