Happy Easter!

H! Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend.  It was such a busy weekend for us so I don’t have much to post here but I will be posting more this week. I promise…

We were lucky enough to have nice weather this weekend and we met with family and friends at the local park for a little picnic.

LGP

For our Easter celebration, we had both candy filled and decorated hard-boiled eggs and the kids had a blast searching for the eggs.

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We had lunch with three-bean salad, honey ham, quiche (more eggs?), and mac-n-cheese followed by a light and fruity dessert of pineapple upside-down cake topped with fresh berries and whipped cream.  However, with all the hubbub, only the bean salad made it to the photo shoot 😛

bean salad 2

To finish off our trip, we took a short train ride around the park to enjoy the scenery.

Train ride at LGP

Anyway, I know it’s late but I sincerely wish that everyone had a great Easter and weekend overall…

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Hope, Believe, Peace, Faith, Imagine, Live, Dream, Love, Smile, Laugh, Wish, Inspire

Til next adventure….

~CW

 

 

 

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Rainy Day Stew

It’s been raining for three days straight since Friday and Hubby had a craving for some beef stew.  Unfortunately, our nearby restaurant is closed so I decided…hmmm…I should make it…I mean why not?  Sure I’m a baker not a cook but, it’s all the same right?… Or at least I hope so 😏  I think it all comes down to good ingredients and a simple recipe that even I can follow 😝 so I let Google help me on this one and I found a recipe on allrecipes.com that seemed basic enough. I read through it and thought….ok I can do this 👍

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So I cut up some chuck roast beef into bite size chunks and seasoned generously with Mrs. Dash.  In a bowl, I added some flour and some garlic powder which I used to coat my beef cubes thinly.

I heated some olive oil in a pan and added my beef cubes allowing it to brown on each side.  Once browned, I transferred it into my slow cooker and added a small can of tomato sauce and about 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

In the same heated pan, I sauteed 3-4 gloves of garlic and removed them from the pan once they turned golden brown and slightly cooked. I added about a cup of water to the pan, let it simmer to capture all the flavor, and poured it into my crock-pot.

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Now for the veggies…I used some baby carrots, chopped celery, onions, petite potatoes and mushrooms. Combined them together with some garlic and added everything to my crock-pot.

For seasoning, I added about 2 sprigs of rosemary, bay leaves, paprika, salt and pepper.  I stirred the pot until everything was incorporated, closed the lid and crossed my fingers….after 8 hours in the slow cooker….voila!

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I baked some garlic bread to complete the meal and all I can say was that it was hearty and definitely hit the spot 😋

Til next adventure…
~CW

Related link:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/14685/slow-cooker-beef-stew-i/

 

 

Oatmeal..Yeck! Oatmeal Cookies…Yum!

I am pretty sure that I am not the first parent who was puzzled by this mystery: how can 2 types of food, sharing very similar ingredients (oatmeal, butter, sugar, raisins and cinnamon), elicit 2 very opposite responses from our children? And I’ve realized that the magic word is: cookies.  Turning oatmeal into oatmeal COOKIES makes all the difference 😛

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So for those of you who cannot seem to get some whole grains into your little ones, we’d like to share our favorite oatmeal cookie recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt (optional)
  • 3 cups of old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup of raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 3500F
  2. Cream butter and brown sugar.
  3. Add 2 eggs, slightly beaten.
  4. Add vanillapixlr(2)[1].jpg
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.pixlr_20160306232421572[1].jpg
  6. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until fully incorporated.
  7. Stir in the oatmeal one cup at a time.
  8. Add the raisins and stir.pixlr_20160306232158177[1].jpg
  9. Chill mixture for 10-15 mins. This would make it easier to scoop.
  10. Use a spoon to scoop dough and round them into balls.  Place balls on a
    non-stick cookie pan or use parchment paper.pixlr_20160306232246477[1].jpg
  11. Bake 10-12 mins depending on the size of each cookie.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 2 mins. before removing from cookie pan.

Now if only there’s a recipe for a green bean cookie???

Til next adventure…

~CW

Living Kawaii…(Part 2)

So these past few days my kitchen has been transformed into a scene similar to what you might find on the streets of Japan, Kawaii characters littered about; except instead of Bandai figures, these were from the the ever growing line of Shopkins figures. Modeling for us are the following characters: Mandy candy, Cheeky chocolate, Bubbles, Millie shake, Frank furter, Pretz-elle, Pineapple crush, Apple blossom, Corny cob, Wishes, Cupcake chic, Kooky cookie, Googy,  Jiggly jelly, Fairy crust, D’lish donut, Chee zee (not shown below), and Spilt milk (not shown below).

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Each character was individually cut, carved, shaped and brought to life from combined pieces of fondant.  If you are interested in learning how they were made I’d be happy to post a separate tutorial…upon request though as they are a tad time consuming. 😉

These adorable characters were used as toppers for yummy chocolate and red velvet cupcakes. I know many of you have your own go-to recipe for these cupcake flavors so I won’t bother to post those here.

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For the frosting, some of you maybe wondering how to do the swirl effect (those of you who are pros, you can space out for a few minutes 😉). This can easily be accomplished by putting one color of frosting in one bag, then another color of frosting on another bag and make sure not to overfill each bag. Prepare a larger size bag and fit with your piping tip. Place both of the frosting-filled bags inside the larger bag and make sure that the tips from both bags are fitted through the piping tip. Squeeze both bags evenly. You may have to do some practice piping until you can get both colors to come out of the piping tip evenly. Of course you can also go the easy route of buying a piping bag and tip set that are specifically designed for this purpose but…what’s the fun in that? But I guess if time is of the essence (because you’ve literally spent days playing with your fondant Shopkins), then no judgement here…Hehehe :).

I also wanted the cupcake liners to match the Shopkins theme and since I’ve had some problems in the past where the liners turn really dark and lackluster after baking, I’ve decided to make my own liners.

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The beauty of making your own liners is that you can customize the color and the design of the liner based on the theme that you are working with. There are also templates available online that you can print out and all you would need to do is to cut them and fit them over your cupcakes.

Here are few samples of the final cupcakes:

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Anyway off to bed I go since I’m not one of these Shopkins characters that can keep their eyes wide open at all times, and stay cheerful 😋

Special post birthday greeting to the little girl who requested these cupcakes…. Hope you liked them sweetie!

Til next adventure….
– CW