Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Amazing Husband

Some people try to pass over Birthdays, but for me, this year, my husband's Birthday needs celebration! My husband spent his last two Birthdays in Iraq, so I feel there is need for celebration! I am thankful to have him home and safe. I'm also more than happy to spoil him with some culinary love.

After yesterday's baking bazaar, there was a lot to prepare today. We are having slow cooked BBQ beer pork ribs, loaded red potato salad, bacon wrapped scallops and stuffed mushrooms. The menu is almost a mix of picnic and Italian restaurant in one. Each 'dish' is one of my husband's favorites. Luckily my family is coming to visit, so we will have plenty of people to indulge in the delicious-ness.

Here is the brownie birthday cake. It has chunky peanut butter as frosting.
Brownie Birthday Cake

I also made a little Birthday decoration that we can use over again. I made it a couple weeks ago, but didn't share it because I didn't want my DH to see it. Birthday Banner

Because we will be doing a lot of traveling in the next few months, I decided to get my husband some comfy footwear. These are indoor/outdoor slippers. He said they are like walking in heaven. I'm so happy he likes them. I may need a pair now too!
Comfy Slippers

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baking Bazaar - Most Favorite Muffins

In preparation for my parent's visit and my DH's birthday, I'm baking! On the list is: Whole Wheat Beer Bread, Carrot Oatmeal Muffins (the best muffins in the world), apple pie, and a birthday brownie cake.

I'm writing this post as I wait for the oven to catch up with the row of prepared batters. I've had several requests for my most favorite muffin recipe, so I am including it here:

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins (aka the Best Muffins in the World!)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 canola oil
3/4 cup plain apple sauce
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 cups shredded carrots (the pre-cut "match stick" carrots work well)
1 (8 oz) can crush pineapple, drained
2/3 cup pecan bits (optional - but they are very tasty)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla, and apple sauce. Mix until evenly moist. Fold in oats, coconut, raisins, carrots, pineapple and pecans.
3. Bake 21-25 minutes in the preheated oven (newer ovens usually require about 21 min) until muffins are golden or a knife inserted comes out clean.

For the sweet tooth: These muffins are so delicious that you could serve them for dessert or a special treat... just add cream cheese frosting to the top and its like eating carrot cake! Delicious!

Please feel free to share this recipe. I found it awhile ago and have been 'tweaking' it since. It is definitely a favorite for everyone I have made it for. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Apron, pleated purse, pillow

Phew. I've been super busy! I finally got a moment to catch my breath and update my blog! The past week has been crazy with appointments and getting ready to move again. I've also had a lot of projects that I've been wanting to do, so I put other things on hold and did some things for myself!

My first creation to share is a cute holiday apron. I haven't decided if I will keep it or gift it yet, but I love the frilly layers. I'm not really making anything in this photo, but my DH insisted props were necessary.We had beautiful weather this weekend, so we drove the convertible top down up to my sisters. The fall colors were (still) really pretty. I love being in a car with the wind blowing on your face. It is such a free feeling. The sky and water together were truly beautiful on the drive.
A second leather strap pleated purse! Okay, so since I knew my machine could handle sewing through leather, I made another pleated purse with leather strap. Again, I'm not quite sure qhat I will do with this purse yet. It may make a nice Christmas gift though? Hmmm.Here is a shot of the purse over the shoulder. It's a good sized purse that can fit tons of stuff. Perfect for the woman who likes to take everything with her. Travel Pillow! My final show-and-tell for this post is a vibrant pillow sham that I made for my travel pillow. Since our we will be traveling for roughly 24 hours, I've decided I need to travel in style! I did simple 4" squares and jazzed it up with pom-pom fringe. This was the first time I added pom-pom fringe to a project. It was a very simple process. I just was sure to use a lot of pins! I can't wait to travel with this flashy pillow!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Birthday Cake

Today is my neighbor's 2nd anniversary of her 25th Birthday, so I made her a cake yesterday. I had purchased tiny 3 tier cake pans months ago and I finally had the opportunity to test them out. I think I may be giving the guys at Cake Boss a run for their money. LOL The plate is 7" round, just to give you an indicator of how small it really is. So cute!
Today is also my husband's brother's 30th Birthday. We are sad to miss the festivities, but I would like to wish him a very Happy Birthday anyway!

In celebration of my neighbor's Birthday we went out to celebrate last night. I was certain to bring the camera because I recently realized we don't have many new pictures together since he has been home. Here is one of the shots that we are both looking at the camera and look halfway decent! I was the DD for the evening, which allowed our friends to enjoy celebrating. It had been awhile since we went out, and Georgia definitely has some interesting characters!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fort Hood Mass Shootings

The attack today was that of massive aggression. While we are no longer stationed at Fort Hood, we still have many friends that live and work there. It makes my stomach turn to know that soldiers are not even safe when they are home from war. My thoughts and prayers are with those that are involved and especially with those that have lost.

News Link:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Success

Here are our amazing costumes (if I must be completely biased). ;-) We were Super Mario and Princess Peach. The response we got from our fellow party goers was great. Everyone loved them. I am happy with how they turned out as well.

The first picture shoes the full length of the costumes. For my husband I made the blue overalls and add the Mario emblem to a baseball cap. For my costume I made 4 separate parts. The skirt is fully lined and has some tulle and sparkle accents underneath. The peasant blouse was a challenge because the pattern was huge. I looked like I was wearing a potato sack until I tailored it down. The third part is the pink corset. It even has grommets and laces up the back. I should have taken a picture from the back because each side had 12 grommets. The final part was just a small sash to tie around the waist. I also made a "1up" white and green mushroom that was a functional purse. It could hold the camera, keys and the all essential lip gloss. My husband was most impressed by this. It made for an unexpected accessory. At the party we voted for best costume and my Mario won! I think I will have to take the credit for his victory...he is fine with that. :-)The final photo is one of the food items we took with us. I made "Witch Finger" cookies. They are simple sugar cookies with some added attention. The almond fingernails, green food coloring, and raspberry jam ooze made these cookies very eye catching. People we a little frightened to try them, but the taste was great. We also took "Babies in a blanket" aka pigs in a blanket and "Dirt" (chocolate pudding, cool whip and crushed oreos). Overall Halloween 2009 was a success!