22 July 2013

Pinterest Trial~New Takes on Summer Food

I hosted our July Bunco here in New Town.  Since so many people cannot usually make the July Bunco, this is called UnBunco night, where the host introduces a new game to the guests.  I introduced the App game Heads Up, which Bob, Ashley, Eric and I played on vacation.  I just did a quick demo because we were having a great conversation, getting to know one another.  I love meeting New Town people!

Tonight I made two Pinterest pins:  S'mores Cookies and Corn Dog Muffins.  Both super simple and very good!!

To make the S'mores cookies, break a graham cracker in half along the lines.  Place graham cracker halves on a cookie sheet.  Top each graham cracker with a marshmallow.  Place cookie sheet into a preheated 350 oven.  In the meanwhile, unwrap Hershey kisses, one for each cookie.  Watch the cookies in the oven, when the marshmallows are golden brown and puffy, take out of the oven.  Press down one Hershey kiss into the center of the marshmallow.  Let cool a bit.  These are best slightly warm when the chocolate is melted.  They are good cool, too.

The corn dog muffins are equally as simple.  Prepare two Jiffy cornbread mixes according to package directions.  Spray muffin tin with Pam, fill muffin tin 1/2 full of corn bread mixture.  Lay a cocktail weenie across the top.  Bake according to package directions, watch carefully.  Serve with ketchup and mustard.  I made these ahead of time and then microwave before serving.  Again, these are best served warm.

These two pins are winners in my book!  Cute summer food, served up in an easy-to-make manner.  Enjoy!

14 July 2013

Pinterest Trial: Cool Whip Cookies

Bob was invited to his Jefferson Junior High School reunion this summer and wanted to take a dessert with us that was easy to pack, didn't need to stay cool, and was easy to transport.  That sounded like cookies to me and I love to look at cookie recipes!  I had pinned this recipe for its versatility and decided that this was the one to make for the Reunion!

Funfetti Cool Whip Cookies

The ingredients are simple:

1 cake mix (flavor of your choice)
2 c. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 8 oz cool whip, thawed

Blend the cool whip and the eggs together.  Slowly add in cake mix.  When fully incorporated, refrigerate for at least an hour (I did it overnight, because I was tired).

Place the powdered sugar in a bowl.  Using a teaspoon, scoop out balls and form them loosely with your fingers, drop them into the bowl of powdered sugar.  Coat, and place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until a light golden crust appears on the bottom of the cookies.  Cool complete before stacking.

These are a soft, cake-like cookie.  The powdered sugar provides some crispness to the outside.  I can see making these again, perhaps in chocolate or lemon.   Packed well and are yummy!

13 July 2013

Our House: The Exterior

Ground has broken for our house! Bob says its ALL I talk about so I thought I would give him a little break and write about it here!

We are building a house called the Pawtucket, which is a craftsman style home.  The craftsman style home paid homage to the individual workers, or craftsmen, of the times, using local materials.  The craftsman style homes were built to suit middle-class Americans. One of the more famous craftsman architects of the time was Frank Lloyd Wright.  Bob and I toured some of his homes in the Chicago area many years ago and always loved the style. Our house isn't a complete craftsman style, it is a mixture of a bungalow and craftsman style, with a low pitched roofline, a gable, story and half, and a long front porch.  Sears and Roebuck used to sell bungalows through their catalog!  Our house slightly resembles the Vallonia model that sold for $1500-2500!

The builder is McBride and Sons, who have been building in the St. Louis area for 60+ years.  I like that they were a family business that started after WWI to help provide affordable homes for returning soldiers.

This house is the correct orientation, with the wrap around porch on the left.  The yellow door is not at all correct, looking more like mustard than buttercream!
We have chosen Boothbay Blue James Hardie siding for the exterior.  It is a medium gray with a hint of blue.  Neither one of us wanted a blue house, but the Mist was too light and the Charcoal was being selected over and over.  We chose white Anderson windows, Arctic White trim, and a buttercream front door.  I love the door, this one is similar.

I visualize the front of the house with knockout roses and a bright coleus bordering the porch, but that is getting way ahead of the game and besides, Bob is much better at putting the right plants in the right place.  I sure hope there is some color, though!!

I am eager to sit on the front porch!  We are installing two ceiling fans, one centered on each set of windows.  On the left side we will have two chairs with a table between.  I saw some wonderful adirondack chairs when we were coming home from Cincinnati on Hwy 270.  I think they could be a perfect choice for the outside.  The windows to the left are on the living room side of the house.  We spoke to our neighbors last night and it looks like the porches will be aligned.  We will be able to chat with our neighgors while they sit on their own porch!

Patience isn't my strongest virtue so I am happily planning and writing about it so I can enjoy the process.  Blogging will preserve our mindset as we build this house, for all our generations to come!

10 July 2013

Pinterest Trial-Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt


It is on my summer bucket list to make ice cream.  I think it has been my favorite treat forever.  My dad used to take my sister, my mom and me to our local A & W for an ice cream cone many times over the summer.  Yummy!  When we rode there in our purple Plymouth, we thought we were hot stuff.

I remember having homemade ice cream with my grandparents.  I remember we got to sit on the ice cream maker while it was being turned.  I also remember sticking my fingers into the ice water and licking them...and getting a mouth full of salt water.  Not-so-yummy.

Dad didn't like the junket style ice cream, he always had mom make a custard.  It had eggs and whole milk and cream in it.  I remember mom stirring it up the night before so it could get cold in the fridge.  Then we'd make it up with grandpa and grandma.  Grandma usually had peaches or strawberries to put on top.

Here's the recipe I tried tonight.

1 can nonfat condensed milk
1 12 oz container of Greek yogurt (this one had chocolate chips in it)
1 c almond breeze
1/2 cup chocolate chips.

First I mixed the yogurt and the evaporated milk, then I added the almond breeze and the chocolate chips.  I poured the mixture into my freezer and turned it on.  After freezing in the ice cream maker, pack into a freezer safe container and freeze.

The ice cream was delicious, with that special tangy flavor that Greek yogurt has.  If you don't like Greek yogurt, replace it with vanilla yogurt and add more chocolate chips. 

I have to also say, I love my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker!  I store the cylinders in my freezer at all times so I am ready to make up some ice cream any time I want.  I am sure my grandparents would be doing the same.

08 July 2013

IKEA shopping

You know how people will tell you how wonderful something is, and you hear that same thing over and over, then when you experience it, it isn't as wonderful??  Have you had that happen to you??

Well, this time there was no exaggeration!  IKEA is wonderful!  I think I had the best of all shopping trips because, 1. all of us wanted to be there, 2. Ashley and Eric knew their way around, and 3. my back held up for most of the trip!!

The IKEA story began in 1943 in the small village of Agunnaryd in Sweden, when founder Ingvar Kamprad was just 17.  Now IKEA is found in 44 countries around the world.  The colors, blue and yellow, are easy to figure out, these are the colors of the Swedish flag.  The concept of clean living, working hard, developing a good product, are all ideas promoted by the IKEA company for over 60 years.  

The concept is that you shop on the display floor, writing down the aisle numbers and bin numbers where the furniture is stored, then you get a hefty cart and pile up your boxes and then check-out, load up your stuff and head home.  Self service, beginning to end.

We found several things that might find their way into our new home.  We sold most of our living room and dining room furniture before moving to our apartment in St. Charles.  I love to shop for furniture, so I was just fine with this idea!!

Look who is in the mirror!

Cute legs!

Oh, what a cute couple!

If you are already an IKEA shopper, don't you love the tiny, 300 sq ft. apartments they make with IKEA furniture?  It makes me want to find one and live in it!  Adorable!!

01 July 2013

Pinterest Trial: Creamsicle Ice Cream

This week I wanted to make some ice cream because it is on my summer bucket list.  This orange ice cream has caught my eye more than once.  I liked it mainly because it has two ingredients: orange pop and condensed milk. 

 Mix the two ingredients together well.  I ended up having to skim the top before I poured it into the ice cream maker.  The ice cream maker worked for about 30 minutes until the ice cream was soft set.

 Here is the mixture before pouring into the ice cream maker.

 The mixture right before we cured it in our refrigerator freezer.  I like to sneak a bowl at this stage when it is still soft.
I thought it was fitting that the sun was a orange color tonight.  A light and refreshing dessert!

I analyzed the recipe:  2 c contains 123 calories, 25 g sugar, 0 fat, 57 mg sodium.