Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recipe Corner: Paula Deen's Sour Cream Pound Cake

My mom
and
my oldest have birthdays
3 days apart.
My mom, May 10th
My oldest, May 13th.

The previous post was the 
Mounds Cake 
I made for my oldest.

I asked my mom what kind of cake she wanted...
she went simple.
I don't like simple!
Challenge me people!!

She was happy with
 a store bought pound cake,
strawberries
and
whipped cream.
A Strawberry Shortcake
I tried to talk her out of it!
Told her 
"You had that last year!"
to which she responded
(without skipping a beat)
"How many years in a row have you had the
EXACT SAME cake??"
To which I just quietly and defeatedly said
"Touche, mom, touche"

Then at dinner that night I told my husband the same story.
Before I could get my mom's response out of my mouth,
my husband was staring across the table at me with his mouth open
in amazement,
getting ready to defend my sweet mother,
then he heard her response to me and just laughed!

So,
what mama wants,
mama gets!

But I was NOT buying her a pound cake!
NO SIR!

And I had never made a pound cake before,
so I was QUITE excited and nervous!

I searched for a bit and settled on 
(mainly because I had bought a GIANT vat of sour cream
from Sam's a few weeks prior and it needed to be used!)

As with the Mounds Cake,
I followed directions.
I had to since I was a first timer!

This, the creamed butter and sugar,
is a thing of absolute beauty itself!
And scrumptious, too!


Alternated in the rest of the ingredients,


And then held my breath as I poured it into the bundt pan,
I was scared it wasn't going to fit!
And I might or might not have licked the bowl 
and spoon
of this too!


I was even more nervous watching it bake!


Good gracious that thing puffed up!
And the top was so amazingly crusty and sweet and amazing!
This cake DID NOT make it to my mom's with all of its pieces!
It remained uncut,
but not unscathed.

This is how it traveled 
and 
this is the ONLY picture we got
of it dumped out of is pan
along with the other cake
and
the birthday people
(plus one).




I *will* be making this one again!
I have no idea when...
but it WILL happen!



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Recipe Corner: Mound Cake

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If you will recall, 
last year,
my oldest just wanted a 
"simple"
 Skittles Cake,

Simple cakes are
NOT 
in my vocabulary!

So I made this
(which by the way is, BY FAR,
my most popular post with 
10,824 views at last look!!!! 
WHOO HOO!!!)

So this year,
he the instructions I was given were
"coconut and chocolate".

So I started Googling!
And
Pinteresting!

And came across something called a
over at

I was so excited!!!

I followed the directions pretty spot on.

I only took a few pictures,
but lemme tellya,
this stuff,
right here,
 in the picture below,
is AH-MAZING!


Cream of Coconut!

And you see this 1/3 c measuring cup right here?


Those are ABSOLUTELY 
lick marks in the bottom of that thing!
No Shame here!
I totally LICKED the thing CLEAN!
(after dumping it in the mixer, of course!)

 Just in case you needed another look!
And it make a KILLER
addition to ANY
cup of coffee!
I did resist eating the rest of the can
with that spoon sticking out of it.
Barely though!


 In this process,
I also discovered the amazingness of fluffier buttercream!
I had been a Wilton girl for a while,
mainly because I was too scared to play with my icing.

This buttercream turned out so amazingly smooth and fluffy!

I haven't gone back to "regular" buttercream since!

The cream of coconut and heavy whipping cream are added to the butter
and whipped.

LIFE CHANGING MOMENT!!!

(this is just the start of the frosting!)

 The center of the cake was simple,
flaked coconut combined with sweetened condensed milk.


I did not cut any of these cakes down,
usually I will level them,
I chose not to since there was such a thick layer of coconut
in the middle,
I figured it would all even out.


Frosted it with my new favorite frosting!


Made my ganache!



I attempted to speed up the process a bit,
and threw it in the fridge to solidify a bit.
I kept checking it and it went from not quite ready
to too thick!
REALLY QUICK!
So it didn't "flow" over the top as I had wished.
I had to help it...


But it still turned out GREAT!!!



And my mom & sisters told me it looked like what we get at 
our long time favorite bakery...
what a compliment!!!

And it tasted YUMMY too!!

So its official,
my oldest has outgrown shaped and designed cakes
and has graduated to
specific flavors!

I wonder what he will challenge me with next year!





Sunday, October 12, 2014

Water Safety Awareness Class

One of the mom's from our homeschool group
put together a
"Water Awareness Class"
at our local YMCA.

I signed up,
said I was interested in my big boys taking it...
then when the time came,
wondered if it was really worth my time
(and theirs - the boys).
We had too much to do,
we were quite behind in our school year
(after taking the entire month of December off).
And it was at 1:30!
We are still usually doing school work at 1:30p.
We usually don't finish until about 3pm
because my kids don't stay on task!

Anyways,
I knew it was going to hinder our school week.
So I really didn't want to go.

At the last minute,
we decided to go.

I am soooooooo
glad we did!

The big boys had a BALL
and
learned a lot!!!

 I let the little swim a little too.

I can't remember what prompted this picture,
but he was proving to me that he had
his bathing suit on the right way
by showing me the tag was in the back...

I love everything about this one.
His hair
and
that booty!


The class started with a little chat,
and then a swim test.


I knew Jackson wasn't a strong swimmer,
he was hesitant to teach himself
and try...
and no matter how hard the hubs and I tried,
he was just too scared to drown.
So we realized he probably needed
someone else to teach him.

He got semi-private lessons!
I was stoked!!


My sweet friend offered 
(unintentionally)
to swim with the littles during the class.
I let her.


Here the boys are learning how to use
"the hook"
as a rescue device.



The second day my sweet friend decided that if I wasn't 
going in with my kids...
she wasn't either.
She would rather be out chatting with me!
Haha!

Thank goodness for awesome life jackets!


Apparently they make good 
hats too!


Another exercise they did,
was feeling what ice cold water felt like.
Why?
I am not 100% sure,
but I think it was just to kinda
desensitize them from it
(as much as you can in about 2 minutes)

They stuck their arms in the bucket
of ice cold water!



Best face in the world!


Nope, THIS is the best face!



Or is it this one?


Then, since they survived the arm thing...
they got it dumped on their heads
and 
down their backs...






Then MOM got to dump cold water on them!!!

video


This class led to the boys taking the 
"pre-swim team" class.
They did great and are ready to start swim team...
as soon as football season is over...
if we don't do basketball.








Friday, October 10, 2014

Recipe Corner: Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins!!

(This is another Throwback Post!,
I started this one probably 2 years ago,
not sure why I never hit the "Publish" button)

I have been making these for the past few years.
I love them,
my kids love them,
my husband loves them,
my mom loves them,
They are a HIT in this family!

I have NO idea where I got the original recipe,
I would love to credit the original poster...
but I have no clue where I got it from.

I used to only make this in the fall.
Then it became a year round staple.
And I have even made it with 
FRESH
pumpkin before!
We used mini pie pumpkins...
even broke the tip off of my 
Calphalon chefs knife
trying to cut open one that 
had been shellacked!
(if that's even a real word or spelled correctly!)

Anyways...
I digress.

Back to the pumpkin muffins!


 The players:




The beloved recipe card:


First,
combine all wet ingredients, 
sugar & pumpkin pie spice
into large mixing bowl:

pumpkin
tip for getting the pumpkin
out of the can easier...
open both end of the can
remove one end
then push the other end through 
with all the pumpkin...
right into your bowl
then scrape the residual pumpkin out with a spoon!


In a half cup measuring cup,
put in about 1/4 c of applesauce
and then fill the rest of the way with oil.
You get the moisture from the oil
and cut out a bit of the fat & calories
using the applesauce!





Then combine 
until it is a homogeneous mixture
(my science teachers would be so proud!)


In a seprate smaller bowl,
combine flours, salt, baking soda & powder.

Fold into the wet mixture.






We use mini muffin tins for ours,
easier for little hand and mouths!

Pre-cooked: 




I wish I had matching pans at least!

Cooked:





But as you can see,
I didn't even get them in the bowl before
the little people swooped in
and started scooping them up!
Yes,
she is starting with 5!!!



The recipe:

I have tweaked the original recipe a bit,
the one you saw on the card,
mainly adding another 1/2 of ingredients
to not quite double,
but make more for each batch.







Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Rest of the Story....of April 2014

When we weren't 
or
or 
or 

This is what happened around here...

 Tony Cruz passed out wherever he landed...

Allergies also hit this crew pretty hard,
here are some eyes to prove it!
Poor guy!! 


 Rico won some brownie points with his spelling sentences...
see #7,
at least he knows it...even if he doesn't act like it!

We INHALED
some 
boiled peanuts that 
Papa brought us.
Well the kids...
momma is the #1 fan,
but I barely got any!


This is all my 4 little vultures left!!


We hosted friends for a 
wine tasting evening.
We hoped it would turn into a 
Wine Club of sorts,
but life just got too busy!
So I have had to enjoy my wine,
by myself.


(There were 6 adults, there were 5 bottles of wine,
and 2 of us did MOST of the drinking, yes I said "us"
and not "them"!!)


Here are 3/4 of the kids,
the two littlest ones must have been on the porch
with the adults when I took this...

The kids had ice cream cones for dessert.
Here is how Mr. T gets
every


last


bit


of


ice cream


without


actually


eating


the cone!


But he enjoyed


every single

LICK!


Then,
as you can expect...
he quickly
passed out!

(yes he still has ice cream on his face,
no I did not take the time to wipe his face when I took the picture,
remember the part about about 2 people drinking most of the wine?)


 Lex helped daddy drive the mower with 
its dead battery,
to the front to jump it off,

Then helped him
cut the grass.


 Tony Cruz and I got to have a library date!!

While the older 3 went to
another jump rope camp!!




And we spent a few more dinners
on the screened porch,
our favorite place to eat "out".