I didn't think I was going to be this excited about the Royal Wedding. My sister and I got up at 4:45am to start watching the wedding. We texted commentary and thoughts throughout the morning. Kate was absolutely beautiful and I loved watching all the events.
My favorite part was when they were at Buckingham palace for their first kiss and Kate walked out on the balcony and saw the HUGE crowd of people there for them and you could see her mouth "Oh, WOW". The kiss was a bit awkward and short but I'm glad they did it again. Her dress was gorgeous and I loved her hair and makeup.
Beautiful!! I hope you guys taped it or watched it live this morning!
It's no secret that I love pizza. Mozzarella is the only cheese that I love (only melted though) and can't get enough of it on my pizza. I adapted a recipe from Picky Palate to make it a little healthier. She uses real flour and buttermilk. I read online that you can add 1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to make buttermilk and since I hate buying a whole thing of it and never using it that's what I did.
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used wheat flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk and 1 TBSP lemon juice)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup quartered pepperoni slices, about 32 slices (I used turkey pepperoni)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a bowl and combine with a mixer. I used my Kitchenaid mixer, but don't use the dough hook, just the flat mixer beater. 3. Slowly add in eggs, oil, buttermilk, Parmesan, Mozzarella and pepperoni until just combined.
4. Spray your bread pan with cooking spray. Pour half of batter into prepared bread pan that measures 9x5x2 3/4-inches. I used my meatloaf glass pan and have no idea how big it really is. Top evenly with marinara sauce.
5. Pour remaining batter over sauce. Top with Italian seasoning and additional Parmesan cheese. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
6. Let it sit for 30 mins once it comes out of the oven. I know that it kind of looks like meatloaf, but I promise it tastes really good. The darker whole wheat makes the bread darker than it would with regular flour.
It was so good and I love that you can see the pepperoni throughout the bread. Tip- Did you know that you're suppose to store whole wheat flour in the freezer or refrigerator? I had NO idea, why didn't anyone tell me that? I was reading this blog article on 100% whole grains and realized that I wasn't doing it. It can actually go rancid and there was mention of little bugs. Needless to say I threw mine away (it had only been open for a week so it was fine) but I was paranoid and need to buy more.
There is never a lack of picture taking on Davids side of the family. Gina and Stacey are always out there with their cameras documenting the parties. I get the benefits of it to use the photos on the blog! Thanks to Gina for the photos that I stole from your facebook page!
All the kids were ready for the Easter egg hunt and Ian couldn't wait to open his Easter basket that Grandma had brought. The older kids had out grown the actual egg hunt so they were in charge of hiding the eggs, which would be a good thing, but they hid them where it was too hard to find, in neighbors yards, too high up, etc... I wonder where they get that from (their uncles).
The guys played bocci balls
While David was helping Jake with homework, or was he helping at all? I don't see Jake in this photo.
Ashley and Daniel
Me and David
The girls (yes we always take a photo with all of us at every party). We'll have to do a photo montage one day with these photos at all the parties throughout the year.
The guys. I loved Gina's gigantic umbrella for her gorgeous outside deck and tables.
It was a great Easter celebration with nice weather, great food and family. If only my family were closer to have more gatherings with. hint hint. Time to move closer to us every one!
We had a great Easter dinner complete with a honey baked ham and turkey at Gina's house Sunday. Here are some yummy recipes that I made and would make again for an Easter celebration. First up is a Carrot Pound Cake from Apples to Zucchini.
3 c. flour
1/2 c. softened butter
1/2 c. canola oil
2 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. undrained crushed pineapple
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
1. Mix togethersugar, butter, oil and pineapple in mixer
2. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly into the batter between each addition
3. Add flour, baking powder, salt vanilla and carrots until well blended
4. Pour into a greased bundt or tube pan. I used a lamb mold that is a tradition in Davids family. More on this later.
5. bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean
turn over onto a plate after allowing to cool slightly
For our lamb mold, you are suppose to fill the face side and put the back end side on so it can expand. Little did we know how difficult it would be to bake him. We put it on for that first hour and 15 mins and stuck a tooth pick into the tiny hole at the head. It looked done and I opened it up only to find the middle wasn't cooked AT ALL. In case I ask for next year, here is what needs to be done. Either you cook it for 3 hours (yes I cooked this for about 3 hours) on 350 or cook both halves separately and frost them together (would have been smarter).
Lamby finally came out and was a little malformed so I left the walnuts chunky instead of chopping them to cover some of the imperfections. As you can see, the walnuts fell and we call this the P90X lamb since its shedding all that weight. Still cute and it tasted really god. Glaze-
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
3 tbsp milk
-Mix together and Pour over warm cake.
¼ c butter
10 oz bag of marshmallows (I used mini ones)
5 c Fruity Pebble (kroger brand) cereal
6-12 plastic eggs for molding
1. In a large pan melt butter using medium heat.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted.
3. Pour in the cereal and mix to incorporate.
4. Spray plastic eggs with cooking spray. I found it was easiest to break open the egg so its not attached.
5. Spoon the cereal mixture into each half of the egg then close egg to form shape. We used a mix between bigger eggs and small ones. We rotated between 6 or so big and small eggs. They don't take long to take shape but we kept them in there for about 30 seconds- a few minutes each. You have to go kind of fast so that the cereal mixture stays warm.
They came out great and the kids (and adults) loved them!
If you are wondering, I did make a real food item that wasn't dessert. I made a spinach salad, recipe from Pioneer Woman that I altered. Ingredients
- 8 slices Turkey Bacon (real bacon would work much better, but more fatty)
- ½ Red Onion, chopped
- 8 ounces, Baby Spinach, Washed Dried And Stems Removed
- 3 Tablespoons Reserved Bacon Grease or Olive Oil if you used turkey bacon
- 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 dash Salt Directions-
1. Fry bacon in a pan until crispy/chewy. Remove to a paper towel.
2. Remove 3 tablespoons grease and set aside. I didn't have much grease, so skip that step.
3. Add your diced red onions to your pan you cooked the bacon in, Cook slowly until onions are carmelized. Add a little olive oil if needed.
4. Chop bacon.
5. Add spinach to a large bowl. Arrange onions and bacon on top.
6. Make hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease (I used olive oil), vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to your skillet on medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.
7. Pour hot dressing over the top; toss to combine.
This would be great warm, but I had a few hours before we ate so I refrigerated and it still tasted really good. You can add mushrooms, eggs or anything else you'd like to it, I'm just not a huge fan of those.
We had a busy weekend full of errands, yard work, niece/nephew lacrosse games, grocery shopping, cooking for Easter, David selling his truck navigation system and Easter festivities. I have a couple great recipes that I'll share this week from Easter and other things I've been wanting to try. We also finally got around to doing our silk-dyed Easter eggs and they came out pretty good.
The two middle ties worked the best. I thought the first tie would come out better than it did with diagonal stripes. Next year, make sure you pick ties with burgundy in them as they seem to work the best.
Our favorite was the pattern the 3rd tie made. Just so everyone knows, we did have a lot of smeared/white space on our eggs (from where its hard to wrap it tight and have the material touching the eggs), we just strategically placed them for the pictures.
The Easter bunny came to my house and brought beautiful tulips and a basket full of Reeses peanut butter eggs and twix bars, my favorite! Hope everyone had a great weekend.
I know you already know that I work at an awesome place, but just in case you didn't here's another example of why its eggcellent. Our boss, Donna, came in early and hid Easter eggs around the office for us.
A lot of people are out starting their holiday early so it was just Lacey, me and Christina here today to hunt. Donna was a great hider. She hid things in the best spots and it really was a fun challenge! I ended up with the most Easter eggs, but little did I know that I should have been looking for quality eggs and not the most quantity.
She must have hid 50-60 eggs. Donna definitely gets an A+++ for effort.
They were all filled with either jelly beans, ring bubbles, chocolate, money or papers with special time off info. This is what Lacey's stash looked like.
I am already starting to eat all my jelly beans and chocolate (there were Reese's peanut butter mini eggs).
Lacey organized her pile really neat and is the expert egg finder (her family has egg hunts every year still).
Christina got lucky and found all the eggs with the money and time off. It's ok, because shes preggo and we'll let it slide. I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend! I think you should hide eggs for the people around you this weekend, it'll brighten their day.
I found this recipe from TidyMom and knew I had to make them. Steeplechase was the perfect event to try them out. They do take some effort as everything is homemade, but so worth it. I had step by step pictures, but think I might have deleted them. So, please click here to view the recipe, her instructions are great.
This is my first cupcake that I've done with a filling and this one doesn't disappoint. The cookie dough filling isn't made with eggs, but the consistency is JUST like real cookie dough. I used the cone method and just cut a little cone shape in the middle of the cupcake to add the filling. You put the cupcake top back on and frost it and you can't even tell you cut into the cupcake.
I used the Nabisco mini-cookies already done for the topper, but if you were a super star baker you could home make your own mini cookies. We're having a bake off contest at work in a few weeks and I think I might make these again, they were that good and the presentation is nothing less than amazing. It makes 24 so I saved some at home to bring to David's dad for his birthday (happy belated birthday, I never announced it on the blog!) and some to work for a few lucky co-workers.
I also wanted to show you some close ups of my pretty jewelry I bought at charming charlies for the event. This is my favorite color and I just love how nice the pics came out.
A few weekends ago my alma mater college, Georgia Southern University went down to compete in the NCA cheerleading championships in Daytona Beach, FL. I wanted to give them a shout out because the all-girl team (which I was on) got 1st place in the intermediate division and the co-ed team got 2nd! Congratulations to the University and the teams! I'm so proud to say I went there and cheered. Go EAGLES!! Here is a link to the video (scroll over to intermediate tab) if you want to see it, I had it playing on here, but it starts playing even if you don't want it to so I took it off. The intermediate division is good for schools that aren't as big as the University of Louisville type schools so no full twists seem to be allowed, it looks like they did some scaling back but it paid off! I also put some photos of when my sister and I were on the team (can you tell whose who).
Steeplechase 2011 was a success, weather and all! Last year we had rain and storms and this year it was kind of sunny and clear, but with lots of wind. We were so thankful to have the tent walls up as it kept our tent nice and warm. Thanks to David and Matt for setting everything up in a speedy fashion so we could keep warm in the truck!
I set up the table at home to see if I had enough supplies to decorate the table nice. We were a little rushed in setting up the table once we got there and it was so windy that my before pictures at home came out a lot better. Thanks to Stacey for the black table cloth, table, plastic glassware, extra dishes, pop up tent and chairs. My mom had made me these damask table squares for another event and I haven't used it so this was perfect, thanks Mom! Thanks to David's mom for the beverage container. Thanks to Gina and Mark for the other chairs. It's nice to have a huge family so you can borrow lots of things.
I thought it would be fun to put a white wine sangria drink in the beverage container as the centerpiece. I will post this recipe later, it was really tasty. We had some yummy food provided by everyone who came: chicken salad sandwiches, ham sandwiches, fruit salad, cheese and crackers, brownies, banana pudding and cupcakes.
The fun part of the whole day is just dressing up in your sun dresses and cute big hats. Lacey and I were twins in our hot pink dresses and white hats.
Me and Kerry
Andrea and Lacey
Matt and Kerry
David and me. I even put one of my fabric flowers on my dress. I love them.
Here is our group that we fit in Davids truck. No one had been before except for David and I so it was fun to see their reactions. My hat was still in the car, I apologize for not keeping it on for every photo.
All the girls. Gina met us up there with Mark and the kids so we had to get more photos of course!
This picture speaks for itself. So glad they could come and hang with us again (they came last year, too)!
This is looking out the back side of our tailgate spot area. You can see all the cars and tents set up along the finish line.
There was bagpipe entertainment...
And of course the main event were the horse races. Gina got much better pics than me so these are her photos.
I love the way the sky looks in this photo. Thanks again to everyone who came and made this such a fun day! If you've never been, it really is something you need to do at least 1 year.