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Jul. 5th, 2009


Goodbye Live Journal!

I am very pleased to announce that I have a new website. To continue to follow my culinary adventures go to


I am very excited about the new site! Come check it out!

Jul. 4th, 2009


Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue!!!!

I was trying to figure out the best way to celebrate the 4th of July.  I wanted to do something a little simpler than a cake so I decided to do 4th of July cookies using royal icing. I followed the tutorial done by Brown Eyed Baker!www.browneyedbaker.com/2009/06/04/how-to-decorate-cookies-with-royal-icing/  (Such a cute blog!)   If you decide to make these cookies make sure you have the time to put into them.  You need to refrigerate the dough, let the cookies cool completely, and let the icing harden.

When you decorate the cookies you first need to outline the cookies:

Then you need to let the outline harden a little bit to keep the rest of the icing in. I gave it about 10 minutes. After that you can let your artistic side go wild!

These I put sprinkles on because I needed to get them done faster so my husband could take them to work.

I hope you all take time out of your celebrating today and remember all that is being done for us so we can keep our freedom. Thank you all!

Jul. 2nd, 2009


Anniversary Cake!

My husband's Grandmother recently asked me to take make their anniversary cake. We decided on a lemon cake with a lemon curd filling. To top it off I used a lemon cream cheese frosting.  This was my first time making lemon curd and I was quite happy with it.

I also made the cake topper. I got one of their wedding pictures and made a frame out of scrapbook paper. What was even better was I made the whole topper in a way so that they could keep it to enjoy.  Everyone was so excited to see the cake topper and loved the cake. I was really happy to make something that they all enjoyed so much.

Jun. 26th, 2009


Homemade Pizza!

One of my favorite things to make with my husband is pizza. The great thing about pizza is all the different ways that you can make it and always keep it interesting! For Christmas I got a deep dish pizza pan from Uno Chicago Grill. With it came some of their recipes including a great one for their dough.

Master Dough Recipe
1 package Active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105-110 F)
1 Tsp sugar
1/4 cup corn oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast with the water and sugar. Add the corn oil and blend. Add the flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Using a stand mixer mix for 4 minutes at medium speed. Add olive oil to a deep bowl. Place the dough ball into the ball and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for 2 hours. Do NOT punch down. Spread and push the dough into pizza crust.

Now here comes our own add ins!
    Using a fork poke holes all over the crust this helps it from creating air bubbles.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over dough. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese.

Then spread the pizza with your pizza sauce and whatever toppings you choose. Bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes.

Jun. 22nd, 2009



Recently my family decided to try a new restaurant and I am now in love! We stopped at Chipotle Gourmet Burritos and Tacos. I do not think that there are enough things that I could say about this restaurant. The first thing I noticed was how clean everything was.They really take good care of their establishments. The food was fun, fresh and VERY filling. My husband and I both got a burrito and then shared a bag of chips and salsa. I really would love to make a meal just out of the chips and salsa. Chipotle has a philsophy of using  "Food with Intgerity"   and it really does shine through. Another exciting thing was they gave my daughter (who is 10 months old) a free plate of rice which was so kind of them and it really kept her busy! So if you are ever by a Chipotle I insist that you stop on in!

Jun. 20th, 2009



For my birthday I got a  mini scone pan from King Arthur Flour. Along with the pan came a mix for French Toast Scones.  Now I do not typically use mixes but I also believe that when you have something you should use it. I also thought that a mix would be good to use for my first time making scones so I had a basis of what it should look like. They same out great and I'm looking forwards to making more scones in the future!


Jun. 13th, 2009


Peanuts! Peanuts!

One favorite cookie has always been the Peanut Butter Blossom. Due to my husband and my love of Reese's Peanut Butter cups I decided to pair the two together. The result was very delicious!

Ready for the cups                                                                             Yum!

This cookie had a falling out with it's cup

The recipe came from Pillsbury Complete Cookbook

Jun. 11th, 2009


Chicago, chicago that toddling town

I am very fortunate to live very close to Chicago and thanks to the train it is no hassle to get there at all. I recently went to Chicago with my husband and some friends. We had one very good dining experience and another horrible one and I want to tell you about both.

First we went for lunch to Bella Bacinos

This place is definitely a  keeper. The pizzeria strives to use top quality ingredients and they really shine through. We ordered the Chicago style sausage pizza. If you have never had a Chicago style pizza then you have not had pizza yet. It is so thick and filling that one piece will really fill you up.  Not only did Bacino's use high quality but the pizza was a good price too. I can't wait to go back and order off of the rest of their impressive menu.

When you go to Chicago you must check out this eatery!


Then for dinner we tried another place and were terribly disappointed.

We found this place on Navy Pier. I'm not quite sure why they would excited to be world famous because it is hard for me to imagine them being famous for anything other than ripping people off. They had a very basic menu of cheeseburgers, hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, etc. It appeared to me that they were using frozen hamburgers which is not bad but I have used better frozen ones and I could make a better grilled cheese then them. They also did not have any fries. There were only bags of low quality chips. The drinks were all ice very little drink and no refills. It was also interesting that they had many newspaper articles about celebrities such as Hillary Clinton and Julia Child coming into the restaurant. Judging by how the Billy Goat Tavern is now I can only guess this once was a fun and good place to eat and the owners got greedy and the food got sloppy. So save your money and your stomach and go to someplace that is worth it! As their slogan says... Enter at your own risk!


Jun. 8th, 2009


Who watches the watchmen?

 Lots of people do since the movie came out earlier this year! For my husbands birthday he wanted a Watchman cake. Simple enough and I got to focus more on coloring my icing. For the black icing I decided to add cocoa powder to the icing before adding the black food coloring. That way I didn't have to use too much food coloring. For the filling of the cake we decided on cherry. I decided to go the easy route and just used cherry pie filling. Like the Pool cake I made sure to keep this cake refrigerated so that we didn't have any oozing cherries! I think everything came out pretty good!


Jun. 6th, 2009


Fish Cake

Sunday was our last day teaching Sunday School so I decided to make a pool cake for my class. You can get directions from the Taste of Home website


My tips are to give yourself plenty  of time to make this cake. You need lots of cooling time so that the Jello won't go into the cake. I recommend freezing the top layer of cake for about  2 hours before cutting your pool. You also need to let the Jello refrigerate in a bowl for about 30 minutes. The room needs to be cool and dry otherwise things will start to melt quickly.

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