Sunday, January 29, 2012


Did you ever have one of those days when you just wanted to go back to bed? You just wanted to get in your car, drive home, and crawl under the covers? I had one of those days this week. Everything seemed to just keep going wrong. I knew that coming home and seeing my husband and puppy would put a smile back on my face, and I was right. It's always comforting to come home to the ones you love.

Buttermilk Waffles
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon splenda or sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs , beaten 
2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter , melted

In a mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, splenda, and soda; stir to mix
Add in eggs, buttermilk, and butter; mix well

Pour batter into a preheated prepared waffle iron; cook until steaming stops and waffles are crisp and golden.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


It's back to night classes for me. I think I can , I think I can..... I'll miss my lazy nights at home but it's only for a little bit longer.
We finally got our winter snow! Bailey has been enjoying it (eating, playing, and digging it up). We spent yesterday watching movies, eating popcorn, and snuggling by the fire. Ms. Bailey laid in her bed right by the couch. It was very nice to watch the snowflakes drop and know we had no where to go.

I started this blog so that I could stay in touch with friends from my old school. It's become much more than that, for me. I looked back at the first entries and think about how nervous I was to start teaching at a new school, to start taking masters classes, to meet new colleagues, and to find a place to rent, to find a place to buy. I can see that despite my concerns it has all worked out for the best. I can't imagine what my life would be like if God hadn't chosen this path for us. I understand more and more everyday that there is always a reason for something, it may take time to recognize it, but there's always a reason. I have met so many wonderful people since moving. The move really made me open up and become more involved. I've become an active participant in many clubs, activities, and committees at my new school. I have worked very hard to achieve my goals outside the classroom. I still have a bit more to go with that, but I know that I will be able to accomplish it. The sad thing is that I do not feel that I have stayed in contact with my old friends. I can't say that it's any one's fault, we all lead busy lives and it's easy to overlook a friendship when you no longer see each other everyday. Maybe we'll get together again, I hope so.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Oven 350
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup quick-cooking oats

3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 tbsp. cream or milk

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat or spray with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together with a fork to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Stir in the oats until evenly blended.

Use a small cookie dough scoop to portion out the dough (about 2 teaspoons) and place them on the prepared cookie sheet, a couple inches apart. Bake about 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through baking. The cookies will be light golden brown and slightly puffed. Let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, pair them up by size. To make the filling, combine the butter, peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Cream together until well combined. Mix in the heavy cream until smooth and fluffy. Use a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip to pipe a swirl of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair. Sandwich together with the remaining cookie and press down so that the filling reaches the edges.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We were at church yesterday and the priest was talking about how we choose our friends. He talked about who our true friends are, the people you could go 2-3 years without seeing and still pick up the conversation where you left off. Or the people who would drop everything to come help you. Or the people that would give you a place to sleep when you show up at their door with your pillow. It made me really think about who my friends are, who could I call?
 He talked about how parents should not be their children's friends. Too often parents lose sight of the fact that they should be the voice of reason, not the friend their teenager chats with on facebook and at the mall.
My favorite part of his homily was when he said that your best friend should be your spouse, if you have one. From behind my husband and I, a little old man told his wife, " You're my best friend..." "What?" replied his wife very loudly. " You're my best friend!" he replied, equally as loudly. I couldn't help but smile. They must have been married for quite some time and I loved that he wanted her to know she was still his best friend!

Mini Cupcake Toppers

What you'll need:
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (small)
Favorite Frosting

Unwrap reese's cups from foil, but not paper.

Decorate with frosting (I used a star tip) and sprinkles.

Place on top of cupcake or eat as a mini dessert!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


The weather was so nice this weekend. It's hard to believe that it's January with temperatures in the 50s. Where's the snow? Can't a girl get a snow day?Bailey has become a true member of the family and continues to keep us busy. We've been discovering all sorts of hiking trails and we've gotten to know our neighborhood very well. Patrick took her to a puppy socialization class on Saturday. She is always told that she is so beautiful and that people can not believe how calm she is. For a puppy she's pretty mellow, although she has her "psycho puppy" moments.
This week I decided to try and make my own cupcake recipe. I still think I could make a few changes to this one, like increase the cocoa or coffee. However, this is an excellent cupcake. I used the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Frosting to top them.

Mocha Latte Cupcakes
Oven 350

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon powdered instant coffee
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons butter, softened
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup buttermilk

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and coffee in a bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar and butter at medium speed until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Beat in vanilla and almond. Add flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter evenly into lined cupcake pan. Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

For the Dogs

Happy New Year! It's been a very busy, expensive, and blessing filled 2011. Let's hope 2012 treats us just as well.  It's incredible to think that we've purchased a house, painted and updated it, purchased furniture, earned my master's degree, started my sixth year in administration, and got a dog all in a year. It's crazy to look back at previous posts and see how much has changed in our lives.
Our newest addition, Miss Bailey, has been keeping us very busy (and by we I really mean my husband who has woken up at 5:30am every morning during his vacation to let her out). We've certainly had an adjustment period and we're working on getting her on a schedule. Thank you to everyone who has given their time and energy in helping us with her (Bailey would like to especially thank Auntie Kelley and Ro).
In honor of Miss Bailey I made a batch of Doggie Gingersnaps. She definitely approves of them!

Doggie Gingersnaps
Adapted from the Three Dog Bakery Cookbook
Oven 180

¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup molasses
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup water
3 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons ground ginger

Combine the oil, molasses, honey and water in a bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Whisk to blend evenly before pouring the wet ingredients into the dry mixture. Stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough. It should come together easily. (A word of caution: this dough is meant to be pretty dry. Don’t be put off by it’s crumbliness. It will hold its shape.) Shape it into a ball. Cut a quarter of the dough and keep the rest of it under a damp kitchen towel. Roll out dough to ¼-inch thick then cut out shapes. The scraps can be gathered into a ball and rolled out again. If the dough feels a little too dry, spray a thin mist of water onto it before you knead it a little and roll it out. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool on a rack before storing them in an air-tight container.