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?
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