Sunday, April 29, 2012


Bailey has been enjoying the warm weather and her outside freedom. She's discovered bugs (she likes chasing them, patting them into the ground, and barking at them). I joke that she's trying to dig holes to China (maybe to Korea to see Nick). She supervised the first mowing of the lawn for the season and then draining of the pool cover. Once done she heads into the screened in porch, finds her bed and naps away in the sun. The good life.....

Chocolate Cappuccino Cookies
adapted from
Oven 350
    1 tablespoon instant coffee granules 1 tablespoon hot water
    1 egg white
    3/4 cup sugar1/4 cup canola oil
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup baking cocoa
    1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, dissolve coffee granules in hot water. In a large bowl, combine the egg white, sugar, oil, corn syrup, vanilla and coffee; beat until well blended.

Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; gradually add to coffee mixture and mix well.

Roll into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten to 1/4-in. thickness.

Bake for 5-7 minutes or until center is set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container. I drizzled some of them with a kaluha icing (3 tablespoons powdered sugar and 2 1/2 teaspoons kaluha).
Makes about 3-1/2 dozen.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My home base students wrote their bucket lists this week. It was funny to hear some of the things that they wanted to do before they die. Most of the things involved buying an item or getting things. I tried to explain to them that as you get older your list changes, it becomes less about buying things and more about experiences, traveling, keeping faith, supporting your family, and staying a family. It took me awhile to come up with my list. Many things involved my grandmother and wanting to make more memories with her and traveling to different countries with my husband. I can't help but wonder if we'd have a happier world if more people wrote their bucket lists and started doing them. Of course, many items involve having the money and time. However, some are quite attainable. Guess I better start....
Lime Butter Cookies
Oven 325
adapted from

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
zest of 2 limes
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter,  powdered sugar, and lime zest until smooth. Add in lime juice and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine salt, flour, and cornstarch. With the mixer on low, slowly add to the wet ingredients. Scrape down the bowl as necessary, and mix until well combined, but do not over mix.

Place dough in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe small 1 inch rosettes onto the cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just barely begin to brown. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yellow Roses

My grandmother turned 88 years old today. This is quite an accomplishment for anyone, but for her it's truly a great feat. She has lost the love of her life and continues her battle with cancer. Last year she requested a pink birthday party. This year she wanted yellow, lots of yellow. We set the tables up in the formal again and put a big vase of yellow roses in the middle. Grandma had very specific requests for the menu this year (BBQ chicken, deconstructed salad, rice pilaf, zucchini and squash, eggroll appetizers, and the cake). 

Cake request: A three layer chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling, vanilla buttercream frosting and yellow roses on top. I used an old recipe for Chocolate Cake and my usual Magnolia vanilla buttercream. I watched a bunch of videos on how to create buttercream roses. It was a learning process but I definitely mastered it. Quite proud of myself and my yellow roses. I'm actually looking forward to making more of them.

It's back to work for me after a much deserved week off. Let the countdown to Summer begin!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Pink Cape

Happy Easter! My sister Audrey and I were inspired by some pictures we saw on pinterest and created this sunflower cake. I used my standard marble cake recipe and chocolate buttercream. Then we topped with chocolate chips and peeps.

My husband and I hosted Easter in our new home. We set up tables in the formal living room, moving around the furniture. It was nice to have both families together.

Bailey even got dressed up in a pink polka dot cape!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bailey's Path

We spent the majority of today raking out the flower beds. It wasn't the nicest day, but it wasn't raining. Ms. Bailey spent the time getting to know the front yard and the electric fence (luckily she only got zapped twice). She has definitely discovered how to get around the entire yard, under the deck, around the pool, through the front gardens. She reminds me of the old Family Circle cartoon that follows Billy's Path through the neighborhood in no particular pattern.

The dessert for today is for only two cupcakes. I did end up making twelve for a dinner party I was having. I have to say that they were just okay. Not necessarily my favorite for a lot of cupcakes, but if I just wanted to make two cupcakes this would be the recipe I would go to.

Vanilla Cupcakes for Two
Oven 350

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk.

Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.