Thursday, April 11, 2013

Post #262- Final Post

It's time to say good bye to My Little Blogspot.  It's been a great 3 years of sharing recipes and stories, but times are changing.

I will always have plenty of material to share unfortunately, Blogger is making it more difficult to do so.  I keep receiving messages about using up my storage and prompting me to buy more.  My answer to that is no.  This is a hobby and was never intended to cost money.

So My Little Blogspot will be available for viewing recipes, but I will not be posting any new information.

Thank you to all of my supporters!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Talent Show

We have had a busy few weeks and they ended on a very good note.  Adam played his guitar in his school's talent show on Friday.  Now this isn't his first talent show.  He has been playing since Kindergarten, so this makes number three.  I am always astonished at how calm he is while performing.  He doesn't get that from me or Jay. 

All in all it went well.  The curtain got raised a bit too early, and he didn't have his place in his book or have his amplifier set up.  He played it cool and everyone thought the delay was an intentional part of the act.  I was a proud momma as he performed Greensleeves.


Have a happy week!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lemon Frosted Pound Cake

March is here, and I insist that spring is around the corner.  In the spring, my taste buds change a little.  I think of lighter food and that applies to baked goods too.  I love citrus based baked goods, they are so refreshing.

So here's a simple lemon frosted pound cake just for YOU!  It is similar to that famous coffee house that sells pound cake for $3.00 per slice.  My pound cake is more economical and you know exactly was is in it :)

recipe (8 slices)

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice  (2 to 3 lemons, depending on size)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract

frosting

1 c. powder sugar
2 tbsp. whole milk
1/2 tsp. lemon extract

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix eggs, sugar, extracts and lemon juice until smooth.  Add wet to dry ingredients, mix well.  Add oil and mix until smooth. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour batter into a grease 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool.  Once cooled remove from pan and prepare icing.  Frost the top of the cake and allow to set up.  Slice in 8 slices.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Portable Hobby

I love to craft, cook, and bake.  Unfortunately all the crafting and most of my baking items are 300 miles away, settled in our new house.  So I had to find a  new, more portable hobby. 

On my last visit home, Amy taught me a basic scarf.  It's not a true knitted scarf, but one of those ruffled scarves made from a crocheted type yarn.  She literally taught me in one afternoon.  Since then I have made four more.  I will be gifting these scarves to friends and family over the course of the year.

My next project to learn, is a dish cloth.  This requires true knitting technique.  I am eager to learn and super excited to have a portable hobby.  My boys even wanted in on the action, and this evening played with knitting needles and scrap yarn.  Brandon made everything, from socks to mittens (in his mind anyway).


Monday, February 25, 2013

Fine Dining

Can I get an Oh Yeah?  That is a phrase my little one loves from Kindergarten.  That is also how I felt after unpacking most of the new house this week.

Yes, I did unpack everything except for the basement.  That is a work in progress.  After unpacking, I felt I deserved a reward.  So, I went furniture shopping for the dining room table. 

The shopping didn't take long.  I went in to the store wanting something a bit traditional, but not too traditional.  Make sense?  I found it right away.  I decided on a Mission Style set, that fits the traditional aspect.  The non-traditional part is, the table is square and counter height.

The square table was a no-brainer.  My dining room is not very big, 11 feet by 11 feet.  So, to put a traditional rectangular table in there wouldn't make sense.  I would have limited seating options.  When I started measuring, seating six would be OK, but still a bit tight.  Using the square table, we can seat eight very comfortably, and the table itself is large.  This allows for plenty of room when dining formally or casually.

I also decided on just the table and chairs for the room.  I probably could have squeezed a hutch or server in there, but it may be cramped.  I have plenty of storage elsewhere in the house, so for now we just have the table and chairs. 

I sorted through my pictures and paintings, and decided on a floral, orange theme.  I hung a photograph of a poppy from my old garden, along with a painting I had of poppies.  My dad expertly hung the curtain rods, and simple chenille curtains finish the space.

The result: simple yet elegant, traditional but not "too" traditional :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Closure!

It's official, our Oneonta home closed today and our Buffalo home closed yesterday! 

I want to say thank you to so many people.  It's like an Oscar speech, all the people I want to thank, but also don't want to leave anyone out.  So I will not name names.

I have a very difficult time accepting help.  Call it independence or stubbornness, that I can do it on my own.  Over the last two months, so many people have offered their help to my family.  Just knowing that it was there, was a huge relief. 

I am most thankful, for the moral support.  One friend in particular who shared daily late night conversations, and provided encouragement, for her I am grateful.  I am grateful for the most awesome lunch date in the world.  I have more dates with her than my husband, and I am so thankful. 

I am thankful for a special lady who made a trip to my house, when my phone was shut off to notify me of the early release last week.  Making sure I wouldn't forget about the kids :)  

I am grateful for an awesome Valentine's Day card I received today, that totally put a smile on my face.

I am thankful to all the people in my school community, who inquired on a daily basis, on our progress.  Always lending an ear or support.

I am most thankful for our families!  I feel very loved :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Are you always tuned in?

Yesterday at school pick up, I mentioned to my friend I had a stomach ache.  She responded in her lovely Missouri accent, "You think?  No wonder with all that is going on."  Gosh, I really love her. Her candor makes me laugh.

So yes, it is no wonder my tummy hurt, probably from stress.  However, all the moving nonsense will be over very shortly. 

Which brings me to my question, Are you always tuned in?  Meaning are you always tuned in to  your children and others around you?  My answer is no.  Life happens and sometimes things slip by.  I was reminded of this the other day in the car.

I was having one of those mornings where everything seemed to go wrong.  I was taking the kids to school, and I was on the verge of tears, when I heard a little voice from the backseat.  "It's alright mommy, you're great, you can do it!"  My five year old is cheering me on.  I asked where he learned that, and he told me in school.  It helps him get through tough things at school, and I should say it when I need help too.

So my point is, I may not always be tuned in, but more often than not our children are.  Since then, even though I am stressed, I am making more of point to be tuned in to what my kids are hearing and observing from me.  I save my emotional breakdowns for my friends :)

Remember:  IT'S OKAY, YOU ARE GREAT, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Needs vs. Wants

I know I've been lacking on the posts lately.  As everyone knows, we are in the middle of a move.  Our movers are coming soon to take our belongings on to Buffalo, where either they will go to storage or our new house.  It all depends on closing dates....ugh waiting for closing dates.

So, for the past month or so I have been packing up our house in Oneonta.  Thanks to my dad for providing an abundance of storage bins from his old employer, the packing is going pretty easy.  I have had to purchase some boxes, but I am becoming very strategic on how to pack those.  According to Jay, the new "storage expert", I am following the correct guidelines for packing.  Oh well, I digress.

Okay, so packing over the past month or so has been very enlightening.  I have had to put a few things to the side for the apartment.  I classify these items as my needs.  I am amazed as to how little I actually "need" to manage on a daily basis.  Don't get me wrong, I really love all my kitchen items, and decorative pieces.  For the most part, I can survive really well on a few items. 

The boys have adjusted too.  We packed most of their toys and they are being stored at my parents house since the holidays.  I thought they would complain about not having all their stuff, but to my surprise, not one complaint.  They are being more creative with what I have let them keep behind, which all fits into a medium tote.

I am already thinking on how I can keep this simplified life strategy in the new house.  I have decided to sell and/or donate a lot of things.  For example, I have decorative art pieces that I have gathered over the years from home d├ęcor stores.  None of which have any significant value, so those pieces are going to the rummage sale.  I intend on hanging the boys' art work and meaningful photographs in the new house. 

So the whole purpose of today's post??  Evaluate your actual needs versus wants.  Put items you haven't used in a while in a box.  Store it away for a few months.  If you don't use it while it's packed away, think about donating it or having a garage sale.  This will help de-clutter your house, life, and mind :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Repost of Chicken Wing Dip from 2010

Easy Chicken Wing Dip



It's Sunday and at our house, if the husband is off of work, normally it's a day of football watching.  Well today, his plans are being hijacked, as we have a Halloween Party to go to.  I am working at the party, so Jay is on kid patrol.  To make up for it, I made him chicken wing dip.

As a native Buffalo-nian, I have had many different prepartations of chicken wing dip. I have made them with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, but my absolute favorite is the one I enjoyed at my sister-in-law's house.  I asked her for the recipe and have been making it ever since.  I may have made a few changes to the original recipe, but the same flavor is there.

What I like about this recipe is the creamy texture of the cheese and the spicy nature of the hot sauce.  Mind you this recipe verges on the med to hot side, so if you like it a bit milder, use only 1/2 cup of hot sauce. I always make a full or double batch, and freeze it in smaller containers.

recipe

2 8oz packages of softened cream cheese
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup of hot sauce (I use Frank's)
2 cups cooked shredded chicken ( I use canned chicken breast)
1 tsp season salt (optional)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy with a mixer.



Then add hot sauce and season salt, mix until creamy.  It will look like frosting.



Then with a spatula, fold in chicken and cheddar cheese. Sprinle top of dip with a little more cheddar cheese. Transfer to an oven safe baking dish. (At this point,  I make smaller portions to freeze.)


Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Enjoy with chips, crackers, or celery sticks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Cake Balls

I am packing up the house and working my way through the pantry and freezer.  I saw some chocolate I needed to use up, so I decided to make cake pops.  Then I got tired, so I decided to make cake balls instead.  It's the same thing, just no lollipop stick.

I used vanilla cake, tinted pink and then decorated with milk chocolate with a red drizzle.  Truly a Valentine inspired cake treat.  Then three lucky recipients got the cake balls delivered to them this afternoon.

Here's I how made them:

1 vanilla cake mix, prepared as directed on package
3 cups of milk chocolate wafers
1/2 c. red candy wafers

Simply prepare the cake mix and using the cake pop pan or machine, prepare cake balls.  Allow to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, in a double boiler melt the milk chocolate.  Dip cake balls into the chocolate removing with a fork to allow excess chocolate to drip off.  Allow to set on a wax paper lined pan.

After the milk chocolate is set, melt the red candy wafers in the microwave until just melted, about 2 minutes in 30 second intervals.  Using a fork, drizzle the red over the cake balls.


Allow to harden completely.  Then I boxed them up and off they went.


Yes, I photographed it on top of a moving box!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To Pin or Not To Pin?

When I was in 6th grade, the question of to pin or not to pin was in regards to your jeans.  Either you pinned them or rolled them.  I never was successful at rolling them correctly, so I chose to pin.

Today asking this question means something completely different.  My question today is can I get onboard with Pinterest?  I am really trying to "get it", but I just don't.  I tried it about a year ago, and did not understand what all the fuss was about.

Having a conversation with Amy the other night, she was so energetic about cupcake ideas she found on Pinterest.  While on the phone with her, I downloaded the app to my Kindle.  Later that night I said ok, I'll give it a try.  So I sat in bed looking up different things.  Ok, I admit it's nice to have all the ideas on one site, but I was still having difficulty finding the details for the items I liked.  Sometimes the content was blocked or the same item was pinned so many times it seemed very repetitive.

So help me out here, give me your best argument about Pinterest.  Yay or nay!  I am really interested in what you have to say.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Moving Along

In my last post, I share that we are moving home.  So I figured I would update everyone a bit on our progress.  

The home inspection is complete on our new house.  The inspector was impressed and found no issues.  That is so good to hear.  He also confirmed the steal we are getting, with all the upgrades the previous owner put in.  Yay for us, we are blessed.

The house in Oneonta is waiting for the mortgage appraisal to come back.  Then we can proceed on both houses with closing dates. 

I am just about packed.  I need to attack the basement a bit more, but for the most part we are looking good.  Now I am trying to figure out furniture placement for the new house.  This is important seeing I won't be there when everything is moved.  Me being completely controlling, I will have room plans set up to pass along to the movers.  I will have to rely on Jay a bit, as he will be on the other end carrying out my wishes.  He did well last time we did this, so I have confidence he will do well again.

I have been so nervous that something will fall through on the new house, but now I am more confident all is well.  That being said, I will share a few more pictures.

Open Concept Kitchen

Master bath (love the tile wall)
There are double sinks too, just can't see it in the pic

Family Room

Nice Stamped Concrete Patio

Rear View