Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can't Forget The Desserts!!


1 box red velvet cake mix, about 18 ounces (if you can't find red velvet cake use 1 box chocolate cake plus a bottle of red food coloring)
1 (16-ounce) tub whipped topping
2 pints blueberries
1 pint strawberries, tops removed
Bake the red velvet cake mix according to package directions and allow to cool.
Using a serrated knife cut the red velvet cake into 1 inch square pieces and line the bottom of the trifle bowl with half of the cake squares.
Using a spatula, spread about a 2-inch layer of whipped topping on top of the cake squares.
Layer about 1 1/2 pints of the blueberries on top of whipped topping.
Layer the remaining cake pieces on top of the blueberries forming a second layer of cake.
Using a spatula, spread remaining whipped topping over the cakes pieces.
Decorate the perimeter with the strawberries; placing the strawberries cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining blueberries on top of the trifle inside the strawberry perimeter


18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing:nocoupons
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
To assemble:nocoupons
2 half-pints blueberries
3 half-pints raspberries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour an 18 by 13 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then add the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
For the icing, combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mixing just until smooth.
Spread three-fourths of the icing on the top of the cooled sheet cake. Outline the flag on the top of the cake with a toothpick. Fill the upper left corner with blueberries. Place 2 rows of raspberries across the top of the cake like a red stripe. Put the remaining icing in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe two rows of white stripes below the raspberries. Alternate rows of raspberries and icing until the flag is completed. Pipe stars on top of the blueberries.
I serve this cake right in the pan. If you want to turn it out onto a board before frosting, use parchment paper when you grease and flour the pan.


1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
7 cups confectioners' sugar
Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the vanilla extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.


6 cups blueberries, rinsed and lightly dried
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch salt
Topping Mixture:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter, cubed
Whipped cream, for topping
Ice cream, for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Toss blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a bowl.
Combine flour, oats, brown and white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans in a bowl. Add butter and pinch into chunks. Mix until it looks crumbly.
Add the blueberries into a 2-quart baking dish. Top evenly with the crumb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream and whipped cream.


For the crust:
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ounces vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 to 7 tablespoons applejack
12 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 3/4 cups, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the filling:
3 to 3 1/2 pounds apples, mixture of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Golden Delicious, about 6 large apples
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons apple jelly
1 tablespoon apple cider
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise
For the crust:
Place the butter, shortening and applejack into the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add the butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until the texture looks mealy. Add the shortening and pulse another 3 to 4 times until incorporated.
Remove the lid of the food processor and sprinkle in 5 tablespoons of the applejack. Replace the lid and pulse 5 times. Add more applejack as needed, and pulse again until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Weigh the dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
For the filling:
Peel and core the apples. Slice into 1/2-inch thick wedges. Toss all of the apples with 1/4 cup of the sugar, place in a colander set over a large bowl and allow to drain for 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer the drained liquid to a small saucepan, place over medium heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Set aside to cool. Toss the apples with the remaining sugar, tapioca flour, jelly, cider, lime juice, salt and grains of paradise.
For assembling and baking the pie:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough onto a lightly floured piece of waxed paper. Lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out into a 12-inch circle. Place into a 9 1/2 to 10-inch tart pan that is 2-inches deep. Gently press the dough into the sides of the pan, crimping and trimming the edges as necessary. Set a pie bird in the center of the bottom of the pan.
Place the apples into the unbaked pie shell in concentric circles starting around the edges, working towards the center and forming a slight mound in the center of the pie. Pour over any liquid that remains in the bowl. Roll out the second pie dough as the first. Place this dough over the apples, pressing the pie bird through the top crust. Press together the edges of the dough around the rim of the pie. Brush the top crust with the reduced juice everywhere except around the edge of pie. Trim any excess dough. Place the pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake on the floor of the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to the lower rack of the oven and continue to bake another 20 minutes or until the apples are cooked through but not mushy. Remove to a rack and cool a minimum of 4 hours or until almost room temperature.

Which one looks the best to you? Will you be making any of these this 4th of July?

I think I'll make the Trifle!


Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July Tablescape

I've been searching the net for some new ideas for doing a 4th of July tablescape and found one that I wanted to share with you all. It is festive yet easy to do! I love the flags tied to the silverware!! I think I'll have to do that this year!

To recreate this tablescape, here is what you'll need:
White tablecloth
3 small colored buckets
Blue or white oval or oblong platter
Placemat-size flags
White dinner plates
Red or blue salad plates
Blue or clear drinking glasses
Small decorative flags

Come back on thursday for Tablescape Thursday and I'll show you what I've come up with for our 4th of July celebration!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sorry That I've Been MIA

Hi Friends!!
Did ya miss me? I missed all of you!
I don't think I've ever gone so long without a blog post or even reading my favorite blogs. It has just been one of those weeks!
I have changed our vacation plans again...I know I'm fickle! Actually I realized with some help from a fellow blog friend that Key West wasn't exactly a family friendly place to vacation.
So for the past week I've been trying to find another vacation spot & a condo to rent. I would think I had one and then between emails with the owner someone else would book it. So frustrating!! Most were either way out of the budget or already booked...but my determination and around the clock searching paid off...finally!

We are for sure now going to be vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC
Condo is booked and I AM NOT CHANGING MY MIND!!

We have never been to Myrtle Beach or on the Atlantic Ocean ever so we are excited! We are going to fly to Raleigh,NC and rent a car and drive to Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach Sunset

Our Condo -Horizon at 77th

I think we may even drive to Charleston,SC for a day to check it out. Let me know of any must see, must do, or must eats in Myrtle Beach or Charleston,SC.

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I Finally Chose Where to Go On Vacation!!!

I have tried for about 1-2 months to choose a summer vacation for our family and nothing worked out for various reasons. I even asked you all for help and I thank you for all your advice!! I still want to someday visit Savannah, GA & Charleston, SC, but for this year's vacation we have chosen.................(insert drum roll)............................................................................................

Key West, Florida

Let me know if y'all have been there and what are the MUST see & MUST do & MUST eat places!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We are So Proud!!!!

We are beaming with joy! Our oldest daughter Aubrie who is 20 years old graduated from nursing school last night.........and she graduated as Valedictorian!!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!! She worked so hard to be the best and she achieved it!!! We are so proud of her! She will be continuing her education in January to get her RN then she wants to go on and become a nurse practitioner.

Proud Parents

Here's the cake I had made for her...isn't it cute! Everything was edible!

Proud Grandma

Getting her Nursing Pin

Getting her Cap (Nursing Hat) She will never wear that again!

I had this shirt made for her

We love you Aubrie and we are extremely proud of you!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

4th of July Craft

What are you doing for the 4th of July? Are you the host of this year's 4th of July celebration? Since we live on the lake we always host the 4th of July celebration. In past years my brother, sister-in-law and their 2 kids would come here from TN to celebrate with our family. Well now my brother's kids have grown up and both moved to California so our small family functions are even smaller. Hopefully my brother & sister-in-law can still come out to celebrate with us and play on the lake....but if not we will still make it a special day for our 2 daughters.

So to make the day special I always decorate in the traditional red, white, and blue theme. I like to add new decor every year to change things up a bit. I think this year I will make some firecrackers....don't worry, I mean firecracker favors!

Whoever is here will get a bang out of these "firecracker" favors, which can be filled with sparklers or candy. Wrap paper towel tubes with crepe paper; add favor, then hot-glue a cardboard circle to the tube's bottom. Insert a pipe cleaner "wick" and tie off. Print the Victorian postcard images shown here

Start saving your toilet paper cardboard rolls and papertowel rolls and then have fun making firecracker favors for your 4th of July celebration...there sure to be a hit or should I say Bang!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Beach House Love

Have you ever been to Water Color, Florida? It is a planned beach community on Santa Rosa Beach (close to Destin, Fl) They have the cuttest beach houses, in fact I found one for sale for a mere 3.3 million. Take a look.......

Love those HUGE vases!!

and those drapes on the top porch

Great beachy colors...calming and relaxing!

Amazing blue glass tile backsplash

Rattan headboard...perfect for a beach house bedroom

I Love the aqua colored paint!

Check out that sink

Imagine sitting out here with candles lit and a glass of wine..awe!

Crisp white linens keep this bedroom serene

Amazing detail in the ceiling of the lookout tower of the home

Cute nautical bathroom

Is this adorable or what?!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Now excuse me while I go get my checkbook!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Wish I Had A Sleeping Porch

I wish I had a covered porch. If I had a covered porch I would have a bed out there so I could sleep with the sounds of crickets and my night light would be the moon, stars, and lightning bugs. Doesn't that sound devine?! Check out these sleeping porches!

Ok enough dreaming for me...I'm leaving now on our boat for a few hours on the lake!

Have a great weekend!


The Family

The Family