The Teddy Bear stayed behind!

teddy bear

It was a a little over a year ago that my middle child left the nest! After moving with us from Canada to Kansas, he was terribly unhappy here. It was a very difficult decision but we agreed to let him move back to Canada to live with his grandparents to finish his senior year of high school. My husband and I were very sad to let him go, but we really just wanted him to be happy.

On the day he was packing I walked into his room and there was his teddy bear sitting on top of the bed looking at me. I imagined that he was feeling rather sad too.

teddy bear

The teddy bear was such a reminder of my Son’s childhood! He loved that bear so much when he was little and it was bittersweet to see him sitting on top of the bed. It reminded me of all the happy times I had as a Mom of 3 little ones. Sigh.

The teddy bear did not get to move back to Canada. He was left behind and I can’t say I am sad about it, I sort of like seeing him every now and then.

This week-end my son is moving on again. He is heading off to University and facing a whole new adventure. It’s exciting and a bit scary too.  My husband made the trip to help him move and sadly, I had to stay home with my Daughter and to go to work. I am thinking about them though and looking forward to barking out some orders about where to put stuff on Skype tomorrow.

I am hoping my son has an amazing experience but if he needs his teddy bear, I  am keeping him safe right here with me, and I am willing to send him at a moments notice. <3

Deep Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake

deep dark chocolate cake

My Daughter announced the night before the birthday that she wanted to make her Dad a birthday cake. “It should be chocolate of course cause that is his favourite”, she said. It shouldn’t have been a problem but it was. First, she was going to use a cake mix and we didn’t have one. A homemade cake is pretty easy so I suggested she do that. However, when we checked the cupboards, I had no chocolate squares for my usual recipe. Then I remembered this recipe that I haven’t used in awhile. I recall that is was pretty dark and chocolaty though and yes, we had the ingredients!

So here it is. Its easy to make and pretty delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1  3/4 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa
  • 1  1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1  1/2 tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 cup of boiling water

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350′ F
  • Grease and flour 2 9″ round pans of a 13 x 9″ pan
  • In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and powder and salt.
  • Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.
  • Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in boiling water by hand. The batter will be very thin!
  • Pour into pans.
  • Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  • Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans.

deep dark chocolate cake

My Daughter did the decorating. She used M&M’s and crushed some up to put in the middle which I thought was a pretty clever idea. The ‘DAD’ sign came from a Father’s Day treat  (we saved the sign) which is another good idea.

deep dark chocolate cake

A pretty delicious cake for the birthday boy!

Sharing my Smile of the Week ♥ A Horse’s Drinking Fountain

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I had a great idea! Every now and then I am going to post my “smile” for the week. There is something that makes me smile everyday and I thought it would be great to share and maybe make someone else smile too. It is important to take a moment and think about what you have to smile about and be grateful for the good things in life. So, here is my “smile”.

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How cute is this?

While I was visiting Kingston, Ontario and walking downtown, I saw this Police Officer on horseback. She and her horse were stopped at this fountain and the horse was having a drink!

It sure made me smile!! how about you?

♥May your week be filled with smiles♥

Strawberry and Banana Smoothies

strawberry and banana smoothie

I got a blender for my birthday and so we made some smoothies for breakfast!

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain, vanilla or berry yogurt

Directions:

Trim the berries
Put the strawberries, ice cubes, orange juice, banana and yogurt into a blender. Cover the blender with the lid and hold down the lid while you blend. Blend on high speed until the mixture is frothy and there are no big chunks of fruit or ice, 30 to 40 seconds.
Pour the smoothie into 2 glasses. ( i served over more ice)  Serve immediately with straws. Serves 2.

Recipe from http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/strawberry-smoothie.html

Strawberry and Banana Smoothie

This is definitely a fun breakfast and something new I can feed the teenagers that will NOT EAT BREAKFAST!!

Podging the letter "M" for a teenager’s bedroom

podge

This is a fun project to decorate a bedroom with! I found this ‘M’ for $1.99 !!

modge podge

I painted the side edges and a bit onto the front. Then I used my Modge Podge to cover the front of the ‘M’ with squares of scrapbook paper. I used my fancy edged scissors to cut the length side of the paper. I think it adds some dimension and it does not have to seem so perfect … if that makes sense! I used straight edges of the paper along the outside edges of the ‘M’.

modge podge

Have you used podge before? You brush on a coat and then put on your paper and cover it with another coat of podge. Overlap the paper as you go. Once it is all dry, brush on a top coat to seal the whole project. It is very easy to do.

modge podge

I used hot glue to attach a ribbon to the back of the ‘M’ to hang it up!

podge

It makes a fun thing to hang up in your home!

Sharing my Smile of the Week ♥ Hugs

I had a great idea! Every now and then I am going to post my “smile” for the week. There is something that makes me smile everyday and I thought it would be great to share and maybe make someone else smile too. It is important to take a moment and think about what you have to smile about and be grateful for the good things in life. So, here is my “smile”.

Its been awhile since I posted a smile! This time of year means back to school (at least here in Kansas). Not always a thought that brings a big smile to ones face! However, this little incident did help me look forward to going back just a bit.

Last week I was at the mall with my Daughter and all of a sudden there was something right in front of me. It totally caught me by surprise and I jumped back and let out a “WHOA” !!

I was being given a HUGE, SQUISHY hug from a little girl from the kindergarten class that I worked in last year. I could barely see her face cause she was squeezing my legs so hard, but it only took a second for me to realize who it was. I tried to ask her if she was excited about first grade and she just nodded and hugged me. Meanwhile her Dad and brother were baffled as to where she had disappeared too. Her Dad chuckled when he saw that she had spotted me in the busy mall.

Hugs and children are one of the good things about my job!

♥May your week be filled with smiles♥

Skor Bar Dessert (or Heath Bar Dessert here in the U.S.A.)

skor bar  or heath bar dessert

I have been making this dessert for years and some members of my family (husband and my brother) LOVE it! It has been awhile though so my husband was pretty happy when I dragged out the recipe to make when my friend came to visit. However, the basis of the dessert is a SKOR BAR candy bar. They do not sell that here in the U.S. (along with many other favourites) My husband was quick to tell me that a HEATH BAR, is very close to a Skor bar. So I went ahead and made it with the new chocolate bar. The only problem is, I can’t stop calling it a Skor Bar dessert.

It really doesn’t matter what you call it, it is delicious! and that is all that matters.

Here are the ingredients;

Skor bar dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 chocolate cake ( 9 x 13″ pan size) a cake mix is fine  OR  I used a brownie mix this time!
  • 3 boxes of chocolate instant pudding made up
  • 1 large size Cool Whip (I couldn’t find so I bought 2 small)
  • 6 Skor bars or Heath Bars

Directions

  • Cut your cake or brownies into bite sized pieces. Place half of them into a large size bowl
  • Scoop half of the pudding in next.
  • Scoop in half of the Cool Whip on top of the pudding.
  • Chop up your Skor or Heath bars. Put half of them sprinkled on top of the Cool Whip. I was able to buy Heath bar bits, so you can sprinkle enough in to cover nicely.
  • REPEAT THE LAYERS AGAIN
  • Chill in the fridge! It can be made a day ahead.

** this recipe makes a BIG dessert! enough for a large group of people!

Skor bar dessert

For this occasion I made half of the recipe and I used brownies as I mentioned. I just made a small 8 x 8 ” brownie mix. It worked out perfectly.

Skor Bar dessert

Skor bar or Heath bar dessert

Have you ever seen a HEN in a NEST?

hen in a nest

Does anyone reading this blog own a hen in a nest? Have you ever seen one before?

I have enjoyed meandering through the several antique markets in town. I found several treasures in the 2 years that I have lived here. On one of my first trips, I took notice of this hen and I kept seeing them every time I went. I saw traditional white ones made from milk glass and I saw them in many different colours of glass. They come in big sizes and small sizes. I was very curious about them.

My friend came to visit and she loves antiques so we spent an afternoon checking out the markets. I pointed out to my friend the ‘hen in a nest’ and she was also intrigued by it. We started trying to look for a tag that might give us the information to tell us what it was used for but we had no success. We then asked a couple of different workers we met along the way. We were told that they were used for just anything you wanted. We were also told that in Britain, they were used to hold scrambled eggs. Hmmm, that makes sense. It is a covered bowl after all. Yet another person told us they were popular to bring out at Easter.

We came to an antique booth of a sweet elderly lady. She works diligently at her booth and she has been there working every time I have ever passed by. She happily announced that all her treasures were on sale! She proudly told us that she was 94 years old and that she was hoping to sell of some of her antiques so her sons wouldn’t have to deal with them all. That tugged at our heart strings, and my friend and I immediately felt like we should buy some small token from her. The lady turned into quite the business woman! When I expressed interest in the hen in a nest, she quickly offered me some other deals too. That made me chuckle to see that even though she looks a little old on the outside, she was still a killer business woman on the inside.

I ended up purchasing this little hen in the nest and I got a great deal too. The owner told me she believed it to be a pretty old one too.

hen in a nest

My husband says his Mom used to own one! What a funny thing to catch on and be popular in everyone’s home. Please let me know if you know anything about these interesting covered bowls.

A little info about the hen in a nest;

“Perhaps as early as the 1860s, several glass factories began making a covered dish in the form of a hen on a nest. These cheaper copies of the more expensive European ceramic hen dishes proved to be extremely popular. It was commonly made in 5-and 7-inch sizes.

The glass hen dishes were all pressed glass, which means they could not have been made before 1828.”  (http://nmgcs.org/articles/42-hen-on-a-nest-studying-a-glass-collection.html)

I am loving my Hen in a Nest and she looks perfectly pleased to be living on my corner shelf!

Have a great day!!

Lemon Chive Angel Hair Pasta with Asparagus

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This is the most exciting food experience to happen at my house in a long time!! One Saturday morning we went downtown to the Wichita Farmer’s Market. There is a booth there called Pappardelle’s that sells flavoured dry pasta. Each pasta had a recipe posted in front of the box so I bought the Lemon Chive Pasta. I was excited to find out that all of the recipes are posted online. I was even more excited to learn that Pappardelle’s is a business that exclusively sells at Farmer’s Markets all around the U.S.A. They do not advertise but use word of mouth to spread the news.

My friend and I made this recipe for dinner and it was EXCELLENT !! It was so fast to make and the lemon taste from the pasta was fresh and light. We all loved it a lot! I will definitely go back to try another pasta.

You can order it online and if you live in the Seattle area, there is a permanent booth at the Market there. Check it out! http://www.pappardellespasta.com/

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. of Pappardelle’s Lemon Chive Angel hair Pasta
  • 1 lb. of asparagus
  • 4 tbsp. of butter
  • 3 red onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup of half and half cream
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of freshly ground parmesan

Directions

  • Break off the ends of the asparagus and then boil it in rapid boiling water for 4-6 minutes until its tender.
  • Remove the asparagus from the water, reserving the cooking water!!
  • Cut the asparagus into bite size pieces and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and herbs, cooking for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cream and asparagus and heat gently (do not boil)
  • Meanwhile, bring the asparagus cooking water back to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta for about 6-8 minutes. Drain and add the sauce to the skillet. Raise heat slightly and mix it well.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve at once.

Lemon Chive Angel hair Pasta with asparagus

What an awesome meal it was! Is anyone familiar with Pappardelle’s Pasta?

Meatball Hotdogs

meatball hotdog

My Daughter and I decided to cook together and after looking through some recipes this is what we decided on. It is a recipe that she brought home from a summer cooking camp many years ago. The idea is to make a “hotdog” shape out of meat – so it is actually a hamburger really!!  I think if you have children or grandchildren, they may think this is a fun idea!

I suggested we may want to roll the meat out into small meatballs and fill a hotdog bun but my Daughter thought the hotdog shape seemed fun and so that is what we did!

Meatball Hotdogs

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb. of ground turkey
  • 3/4 lb. of ground beef
  • approximately 1/2 cup of bread crumbs ( you may need a bit more or less if too moist or not moist enough)
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp. of minced fresh parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Tsp. of pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 hotdog buns
  • hamburger/hotdog toppings of your choice

Meatball Hotdogs

Directions

  • Combine ground meats in a large bowl.
  • Add 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, egg, salt, pepper, and cheese to the meat. Mix well.
  • If the meatballs stick together well then you don’t need more breadcrumbs. If its too wet, then add another 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.
  • Form into balls ( a fist full of meat) then roll into a hotdog shape.
  • Place on an ungreased baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a 350’F preheated oven until firm to the touch. It will take between 10 –20 minutes depending how big the hotdogs are.
  • Arrange in a bun and add your favourite toppings!

Meatball Hotdogs

They were very tasty!!

I can’t believe it is Friday again. Why do the days in summer go by so quickly? Have a wonderful day and an even better week-end!!!