Thursday, June 30, 2011

31 Fourth of July CAKE and A GIVEAWAY

  Last night I had a couple girl friends over. . .
 to eat, drink, and catch up . . .
(you have no idea how long it took me to make these perfect rows!)
My amazing friend, Elizabeth from Eggleston's Edibles made her famous cake pops! (if you are in the Houston area, they are a MUST for any get together)
I love how flowers make a room so much more feminine!
 Each friend brought a wrapped cookbook and put it at the end of the table. . .
Then we drew numbers and one by one we either opened a package or "stole" a cookbook that someone else had already opened! :-) It felt a little bit like Christmas! :-)
 But everyone didn't just take a cookbook home. . .
 They also took home a cheesecake! :-) 
Key Lime Cheesecake or New York Style Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake 
   It was a wonderful night with amazing friends (some of whom stayed up chatting with me until 1 in the morning. . . needless to say, I needed a BIG cup of coffee on my way to the Junior League this morning!) 
But . . . I felt badly that my blogger friends were not included. . . SO, I am giving away my most favorite cookbook of ALL time. . . River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes by The Junior League of Baton Rouge!
River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes
 Here is how to enter: 
1. MANDATORY: Must be a follower of Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box (leave a comment telling me so)
You can leave an additional comment for each of the below. 
2. Follow Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on Facebook
3. Tweet about the giveaway (I just joined twitter! Elizabethannsrb!) 
4. Facebook post about the giveaway
5. Blog about the giveaway 
6. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box on your blog roll! 
7. You have Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box button on your blog!
You have 7 chances to enter! Giveaway closes at midnight Wed, July 6!!
Fourth of July is quickly approaching and if you need a last minute, SUPER EASY, but oh so impressive, dessert. . . . I have the perfect cake!
Red cake, white cake,
 blue cake. . .
 baked it in the oven . . .
white icing
Blue icing
Red icing!
It is even patriotic in the middle! :-)
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
Red food color
Blue food color
1 container (12 oz) Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white frosting
1. Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Make cake batter as directed on box, using water, oil and egg whites. Pour 1 cup of the batter into small bowl; stir in red food color until well mixed. Pour another cup of the batter into separate bowl; stir in blue food color until well mixed.
2. Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan. Carefully pour remaining white batter over red batter in pan. Carefully pour blue batter over white batter. (Blue batter does not need to cover white batter completely; it looks better if it just forms a ring in the center of the white batter.)
3. Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place cooling rack over cookie sheet. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack. Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.
4. When cake is cool, divide frosting evenly into 3 microwavable bowls. Microwave 1 bowl of frosting uncovered on High a few seconds until smooth enough to drizzle over cake. With spoon, drizzle all of white frosting back and forth around cake in a striping pattern. Repeat microwaving second bowl of frosting until smooth. Stir in a few drops blue food color until well blended. Drizzle over cake, scattering frosting back and forth. Repeat with remaining bowl of frosting and red food color, making sure red, white and blue frostings can be seen on cake. Let cake stand at room temperature until frosting is set before serving.
Betty Crocker
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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

5 Homemade Peach Ice cream

I have talked about my friend, Kelli's vegetable garden before, but I haven't told you about her peach trees! Kelli had already made peach jam, peach preserves, and peach cobbler this weekend so when Nate and I arrived on Sunday afternoon, we decided to tackled homemade peach ice cream!! 
And it was incredible! There are three types of ice cream that I am obsessed with. . . gellato in Italy, Cows in Whistler and, of course, Blue Bell! This ice cream was a lot creamer than Blue Bell and was amazing! Trying out new recipes with a friend is always more fun than doing it on your own! And it is also great to have a house full of "tasters"!!!
What is your favorite drink or dessert to keep you cool on these hot summer days?
We also took the skin off. . . 
Eggs and sugar 
Puree the peaches
Pour them in the sugar mixture
 The finished product!
Homemade Peach Ice Cream
6 eggs beaten
3 1/2 cups white sugar 
10 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
4 cups heavy cream
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
In large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until smooth; puree peaches in blender or food processor and stir 5 cups of puree into egg mixture. (we didn't puree it all the way since we wanted chunks of peaches in the ice cream.) Stir in cream, half-and-half, vanilla and salt and mix well. Pour mixture into freezer canister of ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. 
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Monday, June 27, 2011

3 Leibster Blog Award

April from A. Liz Adventures recently gave me the Leibster Award (which is a huge honor because she is super popular in blog world and is quickly making a big name for herself!) So, thank you sweet friend! Go check out her blog and her amazing wedding! :-)
This award is meant to spotlight 4 bloggers with less than 300 followers that you just adore. 
The 4 blogs that I chose have a theme! Each one of these moms blog about their kiddos! But they are not just ordinary kids! They are extra special kids! So without further ado. . . meet these amazing moms and their incredible kids!!! :-)  

1.Jordan from The Folloder Foursome
Sammy Sue and Noah were born premature and have been in the "miracle" business ever since! They are the sweetest kids in the world and a hug from either one of them will absolutely melt your heart! 
2. Melissa from Loving Life with Luke
Luke has EB . . . but this does not slow him down! He has just learned how to walk and watch out world here he comes! Luke's smile might be my most favorite thing about him! :-) 
3. Lindsay from The Great Adventure  
Although James Thomas has Diamond Blackfin Anemia, he only has one speed and that is GO! James Thomas is a bundle of energy and I love how excited he gets over the little things in life! 
4.Amy from Sugar Savvy  
I have not met sweet Ada yet but I love her mamma (a good friend from college!) Ada has type 1 diabetes and Amy documents their daily ups and downs of learning and living with diabetes.
 Each one of these moms are my heroes. Please pray for these sweet children and go check out their blogs! You will be AMAZED! :-) 
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

5 Kreativ Blogger Award

Sweet Alyss from Oh What a Day It Is Today recently gave me the Kreative Blogger Award! She is always gracing me with such heartfelt comments and I have loved getting to know her through "blog world!"
After receiving these awards, the rules are as follows:
1. Link back to the giver of the awards.
2. Pass on the love by awarding 10 blogs. (but don't feel like you need to do this! I just wanted you to feel loved today! :-)
3. Contact those blogs to give them the good news.
4. Share 10 random things about yourself.

Here are my award recipients! :-)
1. Caroline from  Sweet Caroline in the City 
Caroline is a fashionista in every since of the word and she does a great job of showing you how to look like a million dollars while on a budget!
Katie is probably one of the funniest people I know! She has a wonderful husband, adorable son and a cutie pie puppy!! 
3. Sarah from  Racing Towards Joy
Sarah's heart is something that comes out in every blog post! I have loved getting to know her this past year!  
4. Kate from Now is the Time 
From fashion, to recipes, to life, Kate puts such a sweet spin on her world! 
Briana is one of my best friends, who is living in Switzerland for the summer! Learn about culture, baseball, and her sweet son Jake on her blog!  
Wynne and her husband, Stephen are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. Follow their journey through the miracles, red tape, and joys of adoption. 
Ashlea is a kitchen goddess! She takes beautiful pictures of all of her food and is taking cooking lessons in Italy this summer! :-)  
8. Catherine from To Your Delight 
Sweet Catherine is another woman in the fashion world! She does a great job of showing you what is in style and where to buy it!
9. Lisa from Eicherumba
Follow Lisa and her family's journey of adopting from Bulgaria in their blog. She has the cutest kids in the world!! 
10. Whitney from Harvest Home
Whitney is a person I go to for great recipes! Her husband seems a lot like mine and it fun to read about her life in the kitchen!!

And here are my 10 random facts 
1. There was a point in college when I thought I could watch scary movies. . . I was wrong and scenes from them still scare me. . .like I have to jump into bed so that the little girl in 6th Sense doesn't grab my ankle. . . 
2. Hunting with my husband or my dad and, of course, Gus, is one of my favorite things to do! 
3. I love to encourage people 
4. One of my favorite snacks in college was pretzels dipped in marinara sauce.
5. I literally have the best friends in the world . . . 
6. I can sleep anywhere, including standing up
7. I love etiquette and manners
8. Animals make me happy! (we really might have a zoo one day . . .shh. . . don't tell Nate!)
9. Coffee after a nice meal is the best way to end it!
10. I love it when Nate makes me feel like a princess! :-)   
I hope y'all had a great weekend! I know we did! :-) 
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

0 Margarita Frittata

I know that house guests and summer go hand in hand so I want to share with you a quick and easy breakfast recipe that will wow "ladies that lunch" and your "steak and potatoes" man!
Margarita Frittata
8 eggs
2 Tbsp non fat milk
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
Handful of small cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil, chiffonade (I used dried basil and it was wonderful but fresh is always better!)
Sea Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat the baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the eggs with the milk until well combined then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish then place the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil evenly in the egg mixture.
Place into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
For the Love of Cooking
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Friday, June 24, 2011

2 Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple Stuffing

I made this a couple of weeks ago and Nate and I both really like it! This stuffing probably isn't something I would serve to guests but is definitely a great middle of the week meal that is healthy and taste amazing!
  Serve with a salad or spinach and you have a lovely meal! 

 Beef, Celery, Walnut and Apple stuffing
1 lb extra lean ground beef; (I used ground turkey)
1 tbsp olive oil;
4 celery stalks, diced;
1 medium onion, diced;
1 apple, diced;
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped;
1 clove garlic, minced;
Generous amount of poultry mix or springs of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, and marjoram, very finely chopped;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 F. In a large pan, sauté to ground beef and celery with the olive oil for about 3 minutes. Make sure to crumble the ground beef to small pieces. Add the diced apple and onion and continue
cooking for another 2 minutes. Add the fresh herbs or poultry mix, minced garlic, walnuts and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. The meat should still be somewhat pink, it’ll finish cooking in the oven. Place the mixture in a baking dish and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
Adapted from The Paleo Cookbook
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

4 College World Series. . .

It is no secret that I absolutely adore college baseball. . .
In 2005, my dad spoke at church on Father's Day . . .
but half of our family wasn't there. . . 
because we were at . . . 
the College World Series to cheer on Baylor! 
Baylor won the Super Regionals and that night my dad and I quickly reserved flights, a car, and a hotel for me and Clark to go to the CWS . . . Clark was getting back from 6 weeks in Costa Rica the day I was leaving for Omaha, so he had a quick layover in Houston and caught another flight to Omaha . . .
yes, the baseball gene runs deep in our family! 
A&M has come SO close to going to the College World Series for a couple years in a row. . . Parker's last year at A&M, we actually had our hotel rooms reserved and we were just waiting to win one more game. . . but a trip to the College World Series didn't happen for A&M until. . . 
I was thrilled to be able to go to the College World Series again with the most important man in my life! 
 We had so much fun, saw some great baseball, and survived a tornado warning! :-)
 The bridge over the Missouri River. . .
 Had to go back and visit Rosenblatt. . .
 And had to take a picture next to one of my favorite statues in the world!
Nate and I met at an A&M baseball game and our dating relationship weaved in and out of those stands. . . so it was only fitting that we took our anniversary trip to the College World Series!
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