Ice Cream Sundae Kit

How clever are these ice cream sundae kits?  Little bowls, spoons, lots of topping choices and a scoop.  Like it says – just add ice cream.

I made and gave these for Christmas gifts.  I think they would be super cute for Valentines day given to the neighbors, kid’s teachers, grandparents …. I think you get the idea.

Not only were they fun, but simple enough that they came together with ease even during the holiday crazy.  The disposable bowls and spoons came from amazon, what wasn’t already in my stash I picked up at the wally.

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Treat bags and scrap book paper dressed up the sprinkles, gummy bears and mini M&Ms.   Washi tape (a crafter’s bestie) added a little something extra to the wooden spoons and tags.  If I wasn’t worried about shelf life in the mail I probably would have made homemade chocolate and caramel sauce, but the store bought worked just fine.  Tie a  ‘just add ice cream’ note to the scoop and done.

(another) Current Obsession

No secret that cast iron cookware is the best even heat you can find.  It’s also no secret that the really nice enameled french ones are exorbitantly expensive.  Like oh my gosh how many pay checks expensive.   So when I found an alternative brand, with great reviews I decided to give it a try.  I’m obsessed, stove top to oven and easy to clean.  I love my Lodge dutch oven.

Sorry no action shots, I’ll try to get a few good ones and update.

Recipe – Dirty White Trash

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. With that said I have updated this recipe I posted ages ago.  It’s bigger, better, more user friendly and packed with the same addictive yummyness.  Plus I got some photos before the husband descended on it like a swarm of locust.

I like to put this in pretty bags and gift it, or make a huge batch to share at a party, light bulb moment – post a perfectly doubled recipe.   It was then I realized the shortcomings of the original recipe;  the amounts weren’t really friendly to the size packages available in the store, making for waste.  Sad but honest – it just wasn’t good enough to share.   Let me move on before I change this into a monologue about how reevaluating what was once “good enough” brings new perspective.

Alrighty – in a large bowl mix together the cereal and all the other dry mess.  Temporarily leave out anything that might get streaky and gross when it comes into contact with the hot melted chocolate (like chocolate covered candies or sprinkles), we aren’t making unicorn poop that’s a whole other recipe.

In a large microwave safe bowl place the contents of both packages of white chips and 1 cup of peanut butter chips, and the shorting.  (Toss the remaining peanut butter chips in with the cereal or gorge on them, whatever.) Following the package instructions –  microwave, stir melt repeat, blah blah…

Pour the shinny melted goodness all over the cereal, stir and hopefully not flick chex squares all over the floor like I usually do.  Try not to trip over the dog while she eats the floor trash.

When its still goopy and almost combined add in the M&Ms or anything else that would have partly melted.  Take the opportunity to add themed sprinkles , as you can see I added little Christmas trees.  It’s a white trash Christmas, hehe.

Spread it out on parchment paper or foil, then when it cools break it into pieces.  Eat and Share.

Recipe – makes about 12 cups
Melty Stuff
2 bags white chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips (put the rest of the bag in the dry stuff)

Dry stuff
8 cups of Rice Chex cereal
2 cups of broken up pretzels
2 cups of peanuts
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 bag of M&Ms
orphaned peanut butter chips

It goes with out saying that this is versatile and fool proof; so many options. Try leaving out some of the peanuts and pretzels for dried cranberries and coconut.   Sunflower seeds.  Mini chocolate candies.  Walnuts.
So how do you like your trash?

 

Five Things Friday – year end edition

Five little things that made my year.

1. The passing of our oldest sweetest dog. This really didn’t ‘make my year’ but it sure did define it. Heartbroken to loose him, but so happy to have had our lives absolutely filled with his little attitude up till the end.

2. I got a new dishwasher – no really that has been a life changer. It doesn’t sound like a car crusher in the kitchen so I can run it whenever I want and still have a conversation. bonus – things come out clean. I call it the cave of wonders.

3. My Gram turned 90, and I got to celebrate it with her. We planned a surprise party at the State College Elks Club and it was fabulous, just like her.

4. My dad came for thanksgiving, and it was such a blessing to have him around for the holiday. Best part, the weather was great and he got to go sailing twice on our boat.

5. Which brings me to the boat. It wasn’t so much launching the boat that made my year delightful, it was working on a huge project with my husband. I can’t explain how proud I am when I walk up to the boat, and she is all white and shinny. Like this floating happy thing!

Bonus thing – we made great memories with friends and family this year.  No really, it was a great year.

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Five Things Friday

five little things that made my week

1.  Work is starting to pick up, it’s nice to be a little busy again.  I think I had just gotten use to my slower schedule and started making other plans for myself but this is a welcome change.

2. Taco Tuesday!

3.  Cooler weather means moving all the plants into the greenhouse.  I always dread the task, it’s a lot of trips from all over the house and yard to the greenhouse.  When it’s done I remember how  rewarding it is to have a place to sit, and enjoy ‘outside’ even in the winter.

4.   Tuesday is my errand running, spend time with myself day.  I also have started enjoying taking myself to lunch as part of it.  Sometimes the waitress will come to the table a half a dozen times, asking if I need something almost like pity cause I’m eating alone.  Other times, she just drops off the sushi and leaves.

5.  I found a Christmas record with songs from Liberace and Lawrence Welk, for a dollar at a thrift store.  I can’t even how happy that made me.

Five Things Friday

Five little things that made my week in no particular order.

1. This weeks flashback cinema was Clue, great fun seeing it in the theater.

2. The weather is beginning to cool down, the leaves haven’t started changing but he sky is so blue as the humidity begins to drop.   I love the anticipation of fall, holidays and family that comes with the cooler temps.

3.  Pansies make me happy.  Filled my planters with orange, yellow and purple.

4. My October Tea Runners box came this week.   So far my favorite is Golden Monkey; pure black tea that has a little peachy flavor to it.   If you have ever thought about doing a monthly subscription this is the one to do!  They are opening up for new members on Monday, only 150 spots available.

5. Today is the first day of my 20th high school reunion celebration.  I’m terrible with names and nervous that I’m going to go completely blank, but I’m still going!

Oh a Tapas Party!

Having tapas for dinner is just a fancy way of saying – I think I’ll make a meal out of the appetizer sampler plate.   Having a tapas party – that’s a guaranteed down right awesome shindig plus good food!  Disclaimer – not a professional tapa menu maker uper party doer, just sharing my experiences and what works.  With that said, lets get to it.

Our tapas night always about being traditional (here is a great traditional  menu  though) it is about whatever small bites speak to me and say “hey sexy, I’m  tasty”.  Yes, my food calls me sexy and sometimes I call it sexy back.  Moving on – My first line of defense is simple quick recipes/nibbles that guarantee deliciousness and not stuck in the kitchen-ness.  Once I build the the foundation of the menu with simple finger foods I pick out one or two items that will need real attention.  I know this will give me a menu that isn’t overwhelming but still makes the party guests feel special, like their host spent a little extra time to make sure they enjoyed the food.

So what qualifies as quick and tasty (and sexy)?  Usually I start with a fruit and cheese plate complete with salty cured meat of some sort.  If I feel spry I might even wrap prosciutto around a piece of fruit and cheese.  Little confession though – I hate goat cheese so you will never find it on/in/near anything at my house.  I do however love Spanish manchego cheese, its a sheep’s milk cheese that is tangy and nutty, if you ever get the chance try it.   Husband likes olives which I’m not fond of but sometimes they make an appearance or some marinated veggies.

Now is when I start to think about the more labor intensive part of the menu  My advice is try to include something that can be baked ahead of time and then served either warm or at room temp, something fixed on the stove top and something from the oven.  That way you aren’t shuffling things around trying to have everything ready at that perfect star aligning moment.   A few favorites in our house are stuffed mushrooms, garlic sauteed shrimp, roasted figs, and a nod to the traditional – tortilla espanola, empanadas and croquettes.

Probably my mostest farvoritest part; presentation.   Pull it all together with cute bowls, rustic wooden trays, small plates and nice napkins.  Then everyone comes out to the table, we pour wine, break bread and graze.

So to wrap it up, just have fun and do whatever feels right.  It really is just about having a good time and family and friends.

 

Five Things Friday

Five little things that made my week.

1.  When we found out that our sweet dog Kalie had a huge tumor on her liver we really weren’t sure what we wanted to do.   She is 14 and was showing no signs of it bothering her, but a good candidate for surgery.  It’s been a little over two weeks; she is recovering from said surgery, I’m pretty sure she isn’t holding a grudge and proudly displays her new “belly zipper”.  It was scary and difficult so seeing her in a good mood –  that made my week and then some.

2. We have lots of December birthdays.   I managed to find something unique for one of them and not break the bank.    I would tell you what I got but that spoils the surprise and I love surprises.

3. While running errands yesterday I saw a pair of Clark’s ankle boots that I bought online for $40 priced at $120.  I immediately told my husband that by spending $40 I had actually saved $80.

4. I made, what we affectionately call, street meat for dinner this week and it was awesome.  I personally have never had Halal cart style food but my husband says mine is exceptional, good enough for me.

5.  I talked with my Gram today.  I appreciate her time so much!

7 favorite childhood movies that I never out grew

We all have them, those childhood movies we watch repeatedly and they still have the ability to entertain us.    “Oh man you’ve never seen this, oh we have to watch it”.  Those kind of movies.

Here are my 7 favorite childhood movies that I (thankfully) never out grew!

1. Spaceballs – always first on any great movie list
2. Wizard of Oz – not sure why we never owned it but I remember waiting every fall for it to be shown on tv.
3. Return of the Jedi – none of that new music redone Jaba palace scene mess- give me the original that I saw in the theater.
4. Star Trek II, The Wrath of Kahn – Kaaaaaahn
5. The Burbs – Is he eating animal crackers in full swat gear?
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – still cracks up when he rants; holy sh*t where’s the Tylenol.
7. Jump’n Jack Flash – funny but with a great underlying message about relationships and being an international spy.

Yep still have them, and on VHS no less.  What’s your favorite childhood movie that still captivates you?

Happy 250 (ish)!

You may remember that in practically another time and place I wrote about reaching 200 posts and also included what I hoped to accomplish in the time it would take me to write  201 to 300.   Here I am many years later writing #255.  Sadly life has a way of doing it’s own thing and my writing became debilitated as a result.   I’m getting back into the grove, moving on  and attempting to cultivate the inner me again so I thought I would revisit that list and update not only my readers but myself in many respects.

– Redecorate the bedroom to something that doesn’t have that, contractor poorly picked out the colors charm; Yes I made this happen, and it’s delightfully grey and fluffy, filled with texture and a few accents pieces in orange and blue.   Although I still need one more something something to go over the bed I consider it accomplished.  Here is the board I used for inspiration.

– try dying fabric, perhaps silk or linen; When did I want to do this?  *shrug*

– have someone over for tapas; as a family Tim and I make a meal of tapas pretty often, just this past week in fact, so I’m sure we have had someone over at some point.

– take an online cooking class; Yea never really made this happen, I feel like I still have an interest.  Perhaps I’ll put it on my Christmas list.

– return to Disney; We had a plan in place but sadly we had to cancel.

– return to the Phipps; Many many many times, it has to be one of the most captivating places I have ever visited.  Search my blog if you don’t believe me.

– get a degree in astrophysics; No comment

– become a Dr Who fan, it looks like fun; I did and it is.  Seriously sitting here right now in one of my favorite weeping angel shirts.  Can’t wait to meet the new Dr!

– finish a quilt for me; Done, I have a sweet little lap quilt and started cutting another one that I never finished.  That might be a good goal, finish a second quilt.

– get better at baking cakes; Lets just say I tried and leave it at that.

– reach 300 blog posts; getting there!

– learn to use the grill smoker; meh

– trellis a rose, and hopefully not kill it; Oooo yes I still want to do this but it’s going to need to wait till the spring.

– make something out of old keys, or new keys that look like old keys; Oh I did this, I wonder if I wasn’t stuffing the pipeline a bit with this one.  Anyway here is the post (with terrible photos?) where I made ornaments for my tree.

– run a 5K; I should just delete this one……

– start writing a cookbook with my mom; I forgot about this oh we still need to do this!  We have recently unearthed some of my Grandmother’s old recipes they would be a perfect platform.

– crochet something cool; ugh I’m hanging this one up; forget this mess, no seriously forget I even said anything.