Sunday, May 30, 2010

Churro Cakes

Yes, I know this is jazzed up French Toast, but we made up the name Churro Cakes to get our kids to try it. It worked! It really is better than your regular, run of the mill french toast. What you'll need: "texas toast" or "french toast" bread (it's thick cut and square on all sides- I found mine at WinCo), 3 eggs, a few Tbsp. of milk, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Crack your eggs, and for the love of all things good, please remove the "noogies", or the little white things. =) I hate those little white things on my french toast. mix in your milk and scramble together, add cinnamon and nutmeg (maybe 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, I didn't measure). Mix together again.
Notice the pretty vintage Pyrex. I'm in love.

All mixed up and ready to go!

Cut the bread on a diagonal before coating it. Have a hot pan ready with REAL melted butter... start toasting those babies up! =) Real butter is the key, and don't skimp!
I like to cool mine for about 2 minutes then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then pick your poison: syrup or cinnamon sugar. For some reason when I was little I didn't like syrup so I was raised on cinnamon sugar. Don't worry, I have since grown out of that, but for some reason I still prefer cinnamon sugar on french toast. I just feel like syrup is meant for pancakes. I don't know, maybe my taste buds are just used to the match up. =)

Very pretty on one of my new handy dandy cake plates, if I do say so myself! =) Enjoy your Churro Cakes!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cake Stands, Round 2

Last night I persuaded my husband to go with me to Rescued Treasures and I found some goodies! (None more exciting than the books I posted about!! So excited!!) This plate I bought 2 or 3 years ago at Home Goods, I used an extra wide candlestick that I picked up last night for $1.00.
This is a Vera Bradley dish with the store sticker on the bottom of it that read $45.99, but Rescued Treasures had it for $6. Add a $1.00 candlestick and voila!

This one is cutest in person because it has a metallic edge. Plate-$1.00, glass base-$1.00. =)

This Christmas plate I couldn't pass up at looks very Mary Einglebright-esh (sp?). I picked up two of these matching bases for $0.75 each. They make PERFECT bases! I should probably note that since I'm telling you how cheap you can make these for, please don't think I am giving you junk if I make you one for a gift, I really LOVE them and think they're special! Just think how much more special a batch of cookies or brownies will be for your family when they are presented on these instead of in the metal pan you bake them in! =)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Carnival Day

Today was "Circus day" at Emma's school. The teacher and I agreed it should be called carnival day instead, because it really has nothing to do with a circus, and everything to do with a carnival. Here is Emma at my booth..the treasure chest full of prizes. About a half hour into it, I hid all of the wrong keys but one of them because each child was taking way too long. =)
Cami is totally enjoying her doritos, or "orange chips" as she calls them.

Showing off her tattoo...

Glad I didn't have to man the bounce house. ;)

Playing some bean bag tic tac toe.

Emma and a few of her friends in line for a game...

Wheel of fortune...

Cami at the treasure chest. She is pretty much an honorary kindergartener at this point. =)

Cami in line for the fishing game.

Too cool for school in those shades....haha

What can be better than a lollipop and a bag full of prizes? =)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DIY cake stands

I saw recently on Your Home Based Mom blog, her tutorial on cake stands. Today I went to two thrift stores and made out like a bandit. All you need is a plate, a "stand" of some sort (candlestick, glassware of the right sort, etc.)and E-6000 glue from Joanns or Michaels. Here are some of my finds. Trish I'm voting this should be a MOPS craft next year. I'll help you hit up all the thrift stores for a few months and it's perfect for the craft budget! Hint, hint! =)
So this little stemware I picked up for $1.00. The plate was the most expensive thing I bought all day, at $5.00, but I like it a lot, it's stamped from Germany on the back so I guess that's why it was more.

Applying glue to the edge. Some of the pieces I used the correct way, some I turned upside down, depending on which way looked better. They are all unique, so you just try it before you glue it to see what you like best.
Find the center and put it down. Simple!

This is a little bud vase that was $1 and the plate was $1.79. I am telling you the prices of everything so that you can see this truly is a cheap project! =)

Ignore the messy table in the background. =)

This little plate was $1.00. It is dessert size, and perfect for little bite sized treats! It has a simple glass candlestick that was $0.99.

This is the finished product of the $5 plate and $1 glass from the start of the blog...

This china plate was $1.79 and the candlestick $0.89.

This is the finished product of the bud vase one.

Pretty cute! I think I'm obsessed! Of course, you don't have to use thrift store finds, you could buy new. This was my first try though, and I do like that they're unique. One other little tip I found out today...Visalia Emergency Aid store is 50% off the whole store (except appliances and green tags) on Fridays. And to think, I didn't even make it to Rescued Treasures today! I wonder what they have in store for me tomorrow! :)
In case you're wondering...I also found an old Houghton Mifflin Literary Reader for $1, circa 1974. The kids for some reason LOVE these collection of stories. All of the kids (including Emma!) go for them in class instead of the new regular books. I also bought a few dollars worth of childrens books (newer) for $0.25 each. Quite possibly the find of the day was a Gymboree skirt for Emma that was marked $2.30, but children's clothing was 75% off today, so I got it for a whopping $0.57!!!! We also picked up 4 other cute skirts for even less! Unbelievable thrift store day, and I've got to call it a success!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stupid Soft Pretzels

Cami is obsessed with soft pretzels. I have been wanting to try to make them for awhile now. Today was my first attempt, and I have determined that the recipe was, in fact, stupid! They were supposed to taste like mall pretzels...yeah right! They were ok...soft and airy on the inside, but that's about it. Aside from the melted butter brushed on top and the salt, they were flavorless. Anyone ever tried to make soft pretzels with success? Anyone ever bought and made the take home box from Auntie Anne? I'm not even gonna give you the link to the recipe I tried, it didn't even have step by step instructions. Bah Humbug.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Best Brownies EVER

I am not sure where this recipe originated. It is the recipe I grew up on, and helped my mom bake, when I was little, but I am not sure where she got it from. The first time I got to bake by myself (it was a big deal to me- I made my mom and dad wait in the living room..)I switched the amounts for the sugar and salt. Let me tell you, never has there been a saltier brownie than that poor pathetic batch. My dad actually ate some so I wouldn't feel bad, but man were they terrible! When they cool, the top gets a crust that breaks when you cut it, and the inside is moist and fudgey...I promise, they will not disappoint!

1/2 cup veg. oil
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Blend oil, sugar & vanilla. Add eggs, beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour , cocoa, baking powder, salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the egg mixture, until well blended. Spread in greased (just spray with Pam)8 or 9 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bownies pull away from the side of the pan.

Do yourself a favor...DOUBLE this recipe and bake it in a 9x13 pan! They will disappear fast!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hanford Farmers Market, aka:Free party! =)

Yesterday afternoon it dawned on's Thursday! It's not hot! Farmers Market, baby! Made a couple of calls, and within minutes my husband and mother in law were on board. After they got off work, we loaded up the kids, grabbed a reusable bag for our fresh produce finds, and headed to Hanford. For years we have made the trip to Hanford several times a summer, for their fabulous Farmers Market. For some reason, Visalia's Farmers Markets are not up to par...AT ALL!Brandon headed straight to his favorite bbq tent for his ribs. He says it's the best food EVER! He has even had me bring it home for him when he wasn't able to come with us once.

Come to papa! I go for my favorite spicy chicken kabobs with pilaf, every time, year after year. There is a place called Sanchez Corn that makes KILLER corn on the cob, on a stick, covered with spicy, parmesan-y yumminess! Last night the line was reallly long, so we skipped the corn.

I've got some churro-lovin kids!

Nothing beats dinner on the curb with my favorite people!

While we were finishing eating, Emma decided to get up and dance to Mustang Sally, blaring through the Market.

She's so inhibited. =)

The next stop for us is always the carousel. It is ancient, but it works, and it is the longest ride in history. It's like the length of 5 Dumbo rides at D-land!

Bonus! The tickets were free because we got free child id kits while Brandon was holding our place in line, and they gave us free tix! Score! In years past, they had pony rides as well. We didn't walk as far as the place where they are normally set up, because we didn't want to pay for them, so I'm not sure if it was there or not.

They also had bounce houses, but we talked the girls out of skipping those too, because we needed to get moving.

On our way out, Emma picked out a box of blueberries and walked the rest of the way, eating them. This is HUGE if you know how anti-fruit and veggie my kids have been in the past!

The market is probably 4 times the size of Visalia's. They offer funnel cakes, sno cones, many bbq places, taco stands, kettle corn, music, corn dogs, etc, etc... It's like a mini fair with no admission fee! Do yourself a favor, take your family one Thursday and find out for yourself!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The cutest stinkin berlap bags you've ever seen. Ever, Ever, Ever.

This idea I snagged off of the 2.1 million brial blogs I have read in the past two weeks. I didn't follow her tutorial because quite frankly it was just too many steps for my motivation level. I wanted to make end of the year treats for my fellow steering team members of MOPS. The flowers are cut out of felt, I just free-handed the flowers on cardstock and kept re-tracing. There are three layers of petals on the flower. As it turns out, I was even too lazy to walk to the printer to print out the flower template. =) Whatever, it worked and they are beautiful.
I didn't take any pictures of my sewing steps, but it is simply a rectangle cut from berlap (SO SUPER CHEAP, IT'S ALMOST FREE!) Then I folded it on itself and made two exact pieces from the one larger piece. Keep them together when you cut down the fold, and then sew three sides and turn inside out. They take a whole 2 minutes each for that part!! The buttons were free...just ones I had in my button stash. Sew the button through the layers of the flower and onto the front, knot on the inside and voila!

Fill with whatever goodie you like. I wrapped homemade chocolate crinkles in cello bags and put in them... I'm sure my friends didn't want to eat burlap fuzzies with their cookies. =) Then you take a metal skewer, or anything similar, and poke the holes and loop with raffia ribbon, or whatever you like. Regular ribbon would be great too!

I did a cream colored berlap and a tan one as well. I couldn't pick a favorite so I did them both.

I also couldn't decide which way I wanted to close them. I did a few different variations, but it was late and my brain wasn't working, so these are what I ended up with.

Laced through.

Simple bow closure.
Happy crafting!