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Archive for December, 2011

So (have you noticed I start a lot of posts with the word so…) every year since I was a wee little girl (hehe…wee), my mom and I would make this strawberry cake for my brother on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I got pretty darn good at making this cake and soon had the recipe book it was in memorized (and the page was easy to find because it was tinged red from strawberries)…and eventually I knew the recipe by heart.  I loved making this cake with my mom because it was one of those traditions we did every year.  My brother who is 16 years older than me didn’t live with us (duh because he was in college and stuff) so I liked making the cake as a welcome home treat and he usually got to take the remainder home with him.  In the last few years I started making it as a cupcake instead because honestly I like them better (portion control, and no stupid layers to deal with)

The cake

  • one box of white cake mix
  • one box of strawberry jello (with sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen (haha…does that even make sense) strawberries in syrup (I chunk mine in the blender b/c I have texture issues and hate biting down on a blob of strawberry…also with cupcakes it helps to distribute the strawberries throughout the batter instead of having big globs in just some)

bake at 350 until done (I dont really know how long i leave them in there..probably whatever the box says…i just touch the top and make sure they are springy…or stick a toothpick in)

Icing

  • one stick butter (unsalted)
  • one box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup strawberries (again blended)

mix together in mixer

ENJOY

WARNING:  these cupcakes are sugar overload…but oh so good and always remind me of my brother.

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So not a surprise that Jaclyn and I wanted to host a Holiday Party…it was very exciting to plan and I will be sure to tell you more in coming posts.  Hopefully Jaclyn will post her butternut squash and caramel popcorn recipes.  My husband actual ate and enjoyed the butternut squash and trust me (and his mother) Brett does not eat squash.  Also the caramel pop corn is sooo good and sinfully addictive…I made the mistake of putting it next to the computer to munch on whilst I wrote posts….bad idea…15 minutes later and probably three cavities later I realized I’d demolished about half the bowl…but I digress…

I’m bad about digressing

Anyway I was in charge of favors…it wasn’t exactly like there was a committee who said “Lacie shall do favors”  Jaclyn didn’t even mention that we needed favors…however I placed myself in charge of favor making 🙂  I’m good at that…placing myself in charge of the tasks that I want.

I wanted to make ornaments that were more of the winter theme since we had many different religions on our guest list.  Once in high school I had made ornaments for my family Christmas by using those empty glass ball ornaments sold at Michael’s and other craft stores….well you know me (I know I say that a lot…roll with it) when something is empty I must fill it…preferably with glitter.  So at Michaels I picked up two types of glitter (on sale) a spray of glitter covered leaves (also on sale) and some feathers (probably on sale).

Here are the results…

Note to self: don’t stick your finger in the ornament opening…there are glass pieces that stick out…ouchie.

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I know I know, Lacie is right…I have been slacking. With the holidays, it has been harder to find time to post but I figured I should write at least a post or two with possible homemade gift ideas! I think these are the best gifts as they are so much more personal (and cost effective!). Homemade bread is a perfect gift to give your neighbors (probably not an ideal gift if you have to ship it somewhere…)

Bread is also probably one of my favorite things to eat! When we go out to eat, we often judge a restaurant by it’s bread basket. When I was little, there was a restaurant in Cape Cod where they served some cinnamon swirl bread as the bread basket and it was AMAZING. As soon as we got home from that vacation I immediately searched through my mom’s very large collection of cookbooks to find a recipe that might mimic this cinnamon swirl bread. After a couple of bad attempts, we finally found it! This bread is super easy to make, makes the house smell amazing, and looks pretty impressive once its baked!

Here is the recipe! Enjoy!

1 pkg dry yeast
2 c. warm water
1 T sugar
½ tsp salt
2 T. vegetable oil
c. bread flour, divided
2 T bread flour, divided
3 T sugar
tsp cinnamon

1.) Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.
2.) Stir in 1 T sugar and let stand 5 minutes.
3.) Add salt, oil, and 2 c. flour and beat at medium speed til well-blended.
4.) Gradually stir in remaining 2¾ c. flour to make a soft dough.
5.) Sprinkle with 1 T flour over work surface and knead dough til smooth and elastic (8-10 min)
6.) Place in large bowl coated with cooking spray and let rise in warm place for 1½ hours or til doubled.
7.) Punch dough down and divide in half and roll on floured surface to a 14×8 in rectangle.
8.) Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle half over each.
9.) Roll up each rectangle and pinch ends and seam to seal.
10.) Place seam side down in loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
11.) Bake at 375 for 25-30 min until golden.

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So all that talk I did about loving Christmas and how I would overwhelm y’all with the power of my Christmas posts and LOOK!!  Its been a whole month and no posts.  All I can say is whew…Jaclyn is such a slacker :).   No really though with work and getting ready for Christmas we have forgotten to share with you all…so I’m hoping to squeeze a few things in before Christmas and who knows…I might force you to read about Christmas…after Christmas (I KNOW…shock and awe)

So anyone who knows me knows….that I have a tad bit of procrastinator in me.  Its weird…there are times when I do stuff wayyyy ahead of time…and other times when I wait until the last minute.  Jaclyn knows I’m always complaining about people not being consistent…its my pet peeve however…I am not consistent.  Hypocrite.

So last year about this time I decided I wanted new stockings.  Brett wasn’t so fond of the stocking that had been deemed his and I’d gotten kindof tired of mine so I started racking up Christmas fabrics to make new stockings.  My mom and I had made the ones we were using and I loved there patterns but it was time to give them a bit of an update.

So a whole year later and I finally finished them last week…the only thing I want to add is a monogram on each of them which I’m hoping my mom can do on her fancy sewing machine when we are home for Christmas.

I wanted a girly one but I had to make sure that it matched my two boys (Brett’s and the dogs)…I also wanted them to have different fabric on both sides so that I could switch them around depending on my mood….here are the results.  Trust me it’s a lot easier than it looks.  If you are interested let me know and I’ll scrounge up the book I found the pattern in and give you the name so you can find it…i know that its still in production because I saw it in JoAnns a few months ago.

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