Fore my Papa

For Papa for Father’s Day this year I decided to make him a golf ball cake since he’s a huge golfer.  I’ve never made a golf ball cake before so I was a little nervous.  I baked a cake Saturday night in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl.   I sprayed flour/baking spray into the bowl first and the cake popped right out when it was done.  Perfect!  Then Sunday morning I  carved the top of it (or I guess technically it was the bottom of the batter bowl) and made it more round.   I made cream cheese icing then colored some of it blue and some green and left the rest white.  I made a little flag out of a toothpick and a piece of paper.  Then I iced it.  For the dimples I used the end of a spoon dipped in hot water (so it wouldn’t pull any icing away).  He loved it!

I liked it, so I made a ring out of it

For dinner last night I made breakfast.  I had a bunch of crescent rolls I needed to use so I made a sausage ring.  The original recipe was some other sort of ring from Pampered Chef.  I mixed up cream cheese and sausage one day and stuffed the ring as a variation on the original.  CSP loves this recipe.  It’s super easy peasy to make but looks like it took forever and is gorgeous.  I think it makes a fabulous brunch dish.

What you’ll need:

  • Round baking stone
  • 16 crescent rolls.  Pillsbury are the best.
  • 1 package fresh sausage.  I like Neese’s country sausage.
  • 2 packages of cream cheese.  The standard size box.
  • eggs

Recipe:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350*.
  2. Brown your sausage.  Drain grease if any.
  3. Mix in both boxes of cream cheese.  I know it seems like a lot of cheese but a good bit of the moisture will bake out of it.
  4. On your round stone, arrange 8 of the crescent rolls where the long ends are meeting corner to corner.  They will make a ring like this.   Click on all photos to enlarge.
  5. Open the other 8 crescent rolls.  Line up the long ends of the crescent rolls with the long ends that are already down on the stone.  You’re filling up the middle of the ring with these rolls. 
  6. Spoon the sausage mixture where the long ends of the crescent rolls meet. 
  7. Now pick up the pointy ends of the rolls from the middle of the pile first and lay the dough across the sausage. Tuck any loose ends under the ring. 
  8. Your final ring should look something like this. Take any extra long pieces and fill in where there is lots of extra sausage poking out. 
  9. You can brush the rolls with egg wash if you’d like.  Some people even sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350* or until golden brown.    If you are being fancy and serving for brunch you can chef up some scrambled eggs and pile them up in the middle of the ring.  Looks very nice.  Garnish with parsley or dill if you’d like.  Even some chopped tomatoes would be nice.  You can make all sorts of variations on this ring.  Make sloppy joe meat and bake it into the ring.  Or chicken and broccoli.  All are guaranteed to impress!

 

DIY tasty stache

I wanted to make fun party favors for Shannon G’s baby shower so of course I decided to try something I’ve never done before and make chocolate lollipops.  I found a mustache mold online and bought the dark chocolate melts at Party City.  I melted the chocolate in the microwave and spooned it into the molds.   Then I popped them into the freezer for about 10-15 minutes after getting the air bubbles out.   I pulled them out of the freezer and they popped out of the mold really easily.  The mustaches were a little too wide for the treat bags I bought at  Party City but CSP had a good idea.  He cut the seam of the bag and then I taped the bag around the mustache.  I added pink ribbons and voila!  Displaying the pops was a bit of a challenge.   I had planned on using long lollipop sticks but the mold required short sticks.  So I cut my sticks in half.  I was going to get some styrofoam to poke the sticks in to. But CSP came up with another good idea.  Instead of buying styrofoam that I’d only use once why not stick them in rice and cover the rice with something.  I had some of those pearlized shreds so I put those on top of the rice.  Turned out cute!  And yummy! 

I’m Southern. I should be able to do this in my sleep.

It seems no matter what I do I can’t make deviled eggs lately to save my life.  I boil the eggs and put them in ice water and let them cool.  Now here comes the problem- I peel them and they look like they’ve been tumbled in a bag of gravel!  Look at my last attempt! Only 2 decent eggs out of a dozen!   I’ve got to get better before the Summer deviled egg season begins!

Wanted: Mustache on a Stick

While planning Shannon G’s mustache themed baby shower I had to decide on a traditional cake or go with cupcakes.  Her favorite flavor of cake is almond (like me), so I knew I could pull that off.  But making a cake that would reflect both the mustache and baby girl theme was proving daunting.  Plus, I have this fabulous 3 tiered hot pink server that I’ve been dying to use.  So cupcakes it is!  I knew I wanted the icing to be pink but I needed a mustache in there…enter mustache on a stick!  I Googled mustache on a stick and found a ton of them at Etsy. LOVE Etsy.  I found quite a few sellers with mustaches on sticks but the quality just wasn’t all that great.  I was thinking maybe I could make them myself but then I saw MaroDesigns and everything changed.  Their attention to detail is incredible and more importantly they are affordable.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy all the supplies and make my own mustaches on sticks for near the same price or quality.  I messaged them and told them I needed 20 mustaches on sticks for cupcakes and would that be possible?  Sure enough they were able to create adorable little staches that were perfect for my cupcakes!  The tiny mustaches were delicate and fragile but they were packed with such care that they arrived in perfect condition.  I could not wait to use them!  They were the perfect size for cupcake picks AND for holding up to your face to be your mustache for photo ops!  Be sure to go check out MaroDesigns for all your things on a stick needs!

I made almond flavored cupcakes and homemade almond buttercream icing.  I couldn’t find hot pink cupcake liners that I liked so I used silver foil.  They reflected the hot pink of the server so they appeared pink until you took them off.  Genius! I added tiny little white sugar pearls to girl them up a bit.  I was very pleased with how they turned out! 

Salmonella Cocktail

I was at my friend Christina’s house the other night for movie night when she asked me did I want some egg nog, that she could whip some up.  Wha?  Make egg nog?  I thought you just opened the carton!   Next thing I know Christina is rifling through her recipe box and pulling out a carton of eggs.  Ok, now I know egg nog is called egg nog but seriously?  Raw eggs?  I’m not Rocky!  I don’t have a big fight coming up!  I was very concerned about salmonella.  I mean, they don’t want you eating raw cookie dough because of the eggs but I’m supposed to drink raw eggs like a beverage?  I’m married to Cap’n Safety Pants after all!  Christina assured me that it was safe, cheffed up the egg nog and served it.  It sure did look pretty.  And there was alcohol in it.  Bourbon I think?  Brandy?  I don’t know my booze.  I said a prayer and drank it.  And it was good!  It didn’t taste like eggs at all!  It has now been a few days and I’m still living so I’m guessing the alcohol killed all the killer salmonella germs.  I came home and told CSP about it and he was like “Oh yeah, I’ve had homemade egg nog, what’s the big deal?”  Here I was worried he’d be at the ready with a hazmat suit!

Christmas 2010

I confess I was a terrible photographer this year.  For one my ISO sensitivity was set too high on my camera and I forgot to change it so all my pics are WAY noisy.  Sigh. Also, I was having too much fun to take pictures!  This was the first year we split Christmas day.  CSP had to work late on Christmas Eve and didn’t get home til past 8 pm.  Normally this would be the year his parents would be with us on Christmas Eve but with CSP’s schedule and the fact that they live an hour away we just pushed the visit to Christmas day.  Early Christmas day CSP had to get up at the crack of dawn and go BACK into work 😦 for a couple hours.  He is a grocery store manager and on days the store is closed they still have to check the freezers to make sure they don’t lose product.  Sure enough he lost a case and had to spend way more time there than we’d thought cause he had to pull all the product and get it into another freezer so they wouldn’t lose it.  I’m so thankful CSP has a good job but it sure can make the holidays a bit of a mess!  He didn’t get home til well past when I thought we’d be at my sister’s house.  So we quickly loaded the car and hit the road.

We missed breakfast but were in time for lunch, presents and Dirty Santa. We brought Jake and Joey a soccer goal that had to be opened in the garage. Papa & Sara help Jake open the soccer goal CSP & I gave him & Joey for Christmas But we did end up inside too. Jake, Joey & Papa around the Christmas tree at Marc & Sara's Momo is such a trooper.  She’s still in pain from her hernia surgery last week and has a swollen spot the size of a large lemon (looks like she’s smuggling fruit in her pants!) but she hung in there! Momo I made yummy Spiced Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins. It was my first attempt at stuffing a muffin and they turned out great! I made yummy Spiced Cream Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins I’ll post the recipe soon.

I can’t believe it but I’d never played Dirty Santa before!  At least that I can remember.  It was so fun!  Gigi provided all the gifts since it was a surprise to the rest of us that we’d be playing.  Most of the presents were for the boys and that was just fine- it was more fun stealing presents than actually getting a present!  There were 9 of us and most of us are super competitive, watch out on game night!   Papa opened his first and it was a Jacob’s ladder.  He instantly wanted to trade that bad boy in and when everyone else would be deciding he would chant behind us “Jacob ladder.  Jacob ladder.”  He kept forgetting the ‘s.  Marc chose to open a present and wound up with a box of candles.  He was trying to read the box to find out what scent but some of it was in French.  He said “Ooh citronella!  Citronella is French for creamy!”  Bahahaha!!

We left Sara’s at about 4 and swung back by our house before heading out to CSP’s parents’ house.  We ran in, grabbed presents and Zoe and hit the road.  Zoe is still in a crate when we’re gone and we didn’t want her spending all day and night in there!  We made good time and beat the snow.  Whew!  CSP was seriously sweating the weather on the way there. In-laws' tree CSP was worried about the snow that had been predicted so our time at his parents’ was shorter than planned.  We opened presents first then had a wonderful dinner.  WHO KNEW that the hit gift of the night would be the one I spent the least amount of money on?   You can go online and spend about $10 each on one of these.  OR you can do like I did and buy a full dozen at the Dollar Tree!  Everyone on my list (who drives) received one of these and they are raving!  I know I LOVE mine.  I have short arms, yo!  I keep one in each car and one in the house for cleaning tall mirrors, windows, the tv, etc.  LOVE.   Everyone also like their Scentsy plug ins.  I just love when people love the gifts I give them!  Instead of wrapping paper or gift bags this year I used reusable grocery/tote bags to package up my presents.  Going green at Christmas!

Dinner was fabulous as usual.  My in-laws and my aunt and uncle are all serious foodies.  You’re not gonna get tv dinners over there!  They made Beef Wellington.  I’ve always heard Gordon Ramsay yell about it on Hell’s Kitchen but I’d never tried it.  It was so neat!  Looked like a little meat present on my plate. Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner.  Side dishes not pictured but nommed. CSP loved it so much he ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning! Dessert was creme puffs. Mom of CSP made cream puffs for Christmas dinner dessert One had egg nog whipped cream inside and the other had peppermint ice cream with hot fudge. We went home with full bellies to say the least!  Zoe was on her best behavior all night and slept like a log when we got home.  She just has the best time when she can go visit people and get some loving.  6 humans to love on one little pug= heaven for her!

Pioneer Woman!

Last night I made butter!  CSP saw some tv show on Food Network where this chef lady made butter and he wanted to try it.  So we bought the ingredients and while he was grilling last night I made some butter.  It was way easier than I thought it would be.   You take 2 & 1/2 cups of cream.  Now, obtaining the cream can be a problem.  We went to many stores but no one sold just cream.  They had half and half  and heavy whipping cream but nothing that said just plain old cream.  The chef on the show didn’t say anything other than cream so I was in a pickle.  I asked my Aunt Marsha, a serious foodie, if I could substitute the heavy whipping cream and she thought it should be ok.  So I poured the cream into the mixing bowl and added a cup of sour cream. Started with cream and sour cream I would definitely recommend making this in a stand mixer versus using a hand mixer. You mix for quite a while. The chef lady said to mix on low, but the close up showed she was also using a KitchenAid mixer and it was on 4 so I put mine on 4. A few minutes later it started to look like watery cottage cheese. Looks kind of cottage cheesy Now, I didn’t hover but I kept an eye on it. While it was mixing I was cleaning out and refilling my hummingbird feeders. CSP came in and took a look in the bowl then we went outside to the backyard so I could rehang the feeders. I was in and out in less than 2 minutes. I came back in and heard a loud whomping noise! In less than 2 minutes that watery cottage cheese had turned into butter! It was all glommed on to the whippy beater thing and was making the mixer rock back and forth. Buttermilk was splashing all over my kitchen. Cabinets, countertops, floor, all over! But who cares cause I had butter! The butter is stuck to the beater. I put the butter and beater into a bowl that I covered with cheese cloth then poured the buttermilk and remaining chunks of butter into the bowl. I took the beater off the mixer (with butter attached) & put it in a bowl covered in cheese cloth I scraped all the butter off the beater and gathered it all up in the cheese cloth. I squeezed out the excess moisture and dunked the butter ball into an ice bath. The butter takes an ice bath You can see the buttermilk in the picture in the glass bowl. If I were a better baker I could have used that buttermilk (and all the extra buttermilk that was all over the kitchen) and made some biscuits. Homemade Butter! I pulled the cheese cloth off the butter and stored it in a Tupperware container. You could put it in little molds or stamp designs in it. We tasted the butter and it was so fresh and creamy! I can’t wait to make flavored butters- honey, cinnamon, garlic, herb, so many possibilities!

Summer Loves

When I love something I like to share it with my peeps. I don’t get paid for pimpin out my Summer loves and I don’t get swag either.  I sure wouldn’t turn either one down though! 🙂

  • Mega Shower Foamer200This stuff seriously works.  I loathe cleaning the shower and bathtub.  I’d seriously rather clean multiple toilets instead.  I found this Mega Shower Foamer and tried it and it is insane how well it works.  No scrubbing involved.  NONE.  Just spray and your shower is clean. Love.
  • Cover Girl Outlast Lip Stain ~ I tweeted about this lip stain after I saw an ad and got mixed reviews on my Facebook page.  I bought 2 tubes when CVS was running a BOGO 1/2 off sale.  I bought Everbloom Kiss & Teasing Blush.  Odd names but good stuff.  You’ve gotta put it on when your lips are dry and free from any other product.  cover-girl-outlast-lipstains Then I let it dry and top with gloss.  This stain goes on so lightweight you’d never know you had product on at all.  And it LASTS.  First time I tried it I put it on at 8 pm.  Ate dinner, drank beverages, lived my life.  Went to bed at 12:30 am and it was still going strong!  Anything that will last through eating and drinking is fab in my book!  I let my mom & sisters try it and they loved it too!
  • Pampered Chef Executive Cookware ~ I may have blogged about this before, but it bares repeating.  Every time I cook and especially every time I wash dishes I am thankful we bought this cookware.  2862I had a party in the month of September when they run the cookware host special.  I made sure to get my sales up there so I could get the maximum discount.  Even if I hadn’t got the discount, this cookware would be worth the price.  It cleans like a DREAM.  Nothing sticks! We’ve given pieces of this cookware to both sets of parents and they also rave about it.  My favorite piece is the stir fry skillet2864I use it for everything from stir fry to spaghetti sauce to chili.  Now, you could go buy cheap pots and pans that you have to replace every 3-5 years or you could make an investment in cookware you’ll have forever.  Plus it comes with a lifetime warranty so you know it’s money well spent.
  • AAA ~ We’re going to Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday this year.  While there we are going to see the Blue Man Group.  When I was looking at ticket prices I noticed that AAA members received savings of $40 per ticket!  We had just received a special offer in the mail to join AAA for a discounted price.  I called AAA and joined.  I chatted up the rep a bit so I was able to get us upgraded to AAA plus and add CSP on for free.  Woot! 501px-AAA_logo.svg As soon as our cards arrived I called and bought our Blue Man tickets.  I’ve already saved more than the membership costs!  I also ordered tour books for all of our upcoming trips.  They sent these great, informative books with info on everything you could think of!  Everything from hotels to restaurants to attractions.  They also sent maps and personalized booklets about our trips.  We are all set!  When the cards came CSP was pleased to see that while mine was made out to plain old Shannon his says Mr. CSP.  “That’s right!  You can call me MR. from now on!”  Who knew a Triple A membership came with an ego boost?!