Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

When my hubs and I were first married we lived in Canada. (Those were very happy years, eh?) I miss things about living there... all seasoned potato chips, Smarties, Pirogi, cabbage rolls, penne, Tim Horton's donuts, German baked goods, hot tea served at church dinners, etc. And all sorts of other food experiences, apparently. (Really, sweet Canadian friends, you know I miss you, too!)
I was talking to a friend the other day and I asked her if she had a recipe for Nanaimo Bars. These are delightful little treats that were occasionally on the dessert trays at church functions. Named for a Canadian city... they have a chocolate-coconut-nutty base, a middle layer of pudding or custard flavored icing, and a layer of chocolate. She said she didn't have a recipe. Well, a quick search on the Internet and viola... a recipe! This recipe is from, I've just added my suggestions and comments.
I'm whipping up a batch of these tasty treats in honor of Canada Day, July 1. Let's celebrate in a yummy way, eh?

Nanaimo Bars

24 squares graham crackers, crushed
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I think any nut would work here. I believe almonds are the most traditional choice.)

1 stick butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 egg, unbeaten

4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 packet (3 tablespoons) Bird's dessert powder, or use (3 T) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 one-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
1 T butter

Thoroughly grease 9-inch square pan and line with foil. (I used the quick release foil.)

In large ziploc bag, combine graham crackers, coconut and nuts.

In medium pan over very low heat slowly melt the stick of butter. Remove from heat and add the 1/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup cocoa. To avoid scrambling the egg, pour a tiny bit of cocoa mixture over the egg and beat. Do this a few times until the temp of the egg is roughly the same as the temperature of the cocoa mixture. (This isn't hard at all.) Beat the egg mixture into the cocoa mixture and add the crumb & nut blend. Spread and press in pan and chill.

In mixing bowl, combine 4 tablespoons butter, powdered sugar, dessert powder or instant pudding powder, vanilla, and milk; beat to blend well. Spread on chilled bottom layer. Chill.

Combine semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter, melt over hot water or in microwave. Spread chocolate over pudding layer. Mark small squares before chocolate sets. Chill. (I didn't have chocolate squares, so I just eye-balled the chocolate amount using chocolate chips. I wanted enough to cover the pudding layer completely.)

Remove from pan and cut with a large knife. Wipe the knife with warm water and dry between cuts to avoid breaking the chocolate layer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Is That a Milk Mustache?

Anyone else get a little twitchy when the milk cap goes missing? Urg!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Meme Fun!

Cookie Madness is one of my favorite blogs. Yummy recipes for baked goods and entertaining blogging all by Anna. I saw this meme on her blog and had to participate!

1) LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER. The Veggies Tales Movie about lazy pirates. I'll admit that I was disappointed. I long for the days when The Veggies Tales took a bible story and made it "vegetarian". Ah, hey, the movie was free and the popcorn was salty.

2) WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? To My Dearest Friends. I'm not too far into it, and to be honest, with moving preparations I really am lacking the attention span it takes to read a sentence, let alone a whole novel.

3) FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Scrutinize. Very fun game that includes a timer and speed. I'll admit a little quirk about myself here... I'm not a huge fan of board games. And mostly it is because I can't stand to wait while you realize that it is your turn. PAY ATTENTION! That, and I hate to explain the rules.

4) FAVORITE MAGAZINE? OOh, OOH, I love magazines! Glossy pages and articles that can be read in random, quick order. Scrapbooks, Etc. is my favorite scrapbooking magazine. I'll read just about any momma-friendly magazine... Taste of Home, Family Circle, Better Homes, Victoria...

5) FAVORITE SMELLS? Hands down... wedding cake. I am certain that Heaven will smell like wedding cake. I also like lemon, oranges, apples, cinnamon, cookies, and chocolate. I like toilets that smell like Pinesol and clothes that smell like Cheer & Downy and babies that smell like that pink Johnson & Johnson baby wash. The only flower smell that breaks up my cleanser/food fragrances is lilacs.

6) FAVORITE SOUNDS? A can of Diet Pepsi being opened, S laughing, A giggling, and D guffawing, cats purring, kids playing in the pool.


8)WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN U WAKE? Should I really be having a Diet Pepsi this early? Is there any orange juice? Who's all awake and how much tv have they had?


10) FUTURE CHILDS NAME? Ellen has always been the name we've picked for a baby girl. I like Rebecca and Libby, as well. If we had another boy (and-you-know-it-would-be-a-boy) we might name him Micha Jay.

11) FINISH THIS STATEMENT—’IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY I’d… get my nails done, give more to church/missions, travel...

12) DO U DRIVE FAST? a little fast. Just a bit. Not too much. That would be reckless.

13) DO U SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? No, but don't mess with my blankets!


15) WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? A 1972 red VolksWagon Super Bettle.

16) FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Pepsi.

17) FINISH THIS STATEMENT-IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD… paint my nails, organize my closets, scrapbook, clean, blog, sleep, exercise, etc...


19) IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY OTHER COLOUR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? I would love to add some blonde highlights.

20) NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS U HAVE LIVED IN. Huntington, Fort Pierce, St. Paul, Windsor, Bowling Green, Fort Wayne, Oviedo, Greenwood, and MovingOnceAgain


22) ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Since I saw this on The Cookie Madness Blog I have to tell you that Anna puts up a new cookie recipe just about everyday. Now that is cookie baking inspiration, folks!

23) WHATS UNDER YOUR BED? Dust Gorillas.

24) WOULD U LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?? The other options pale in comparison... ;)

25) MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL? Night owl. Oh, how I wish I were a morning person...


27) FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? in the corner seat of our sectional sofa. I'm looking forward to relaxing on the enclosed porch at our new place, though.

29) FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? I want to rattle of the name of some deliciously loaded chocolate ice cream full of bits of nuts and brownies, etc, but I usually buy vanilla and then I can doctor it according to my whims... oreos, caramel, chocolate sauce, mini M&M's, sprinkles, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, fresh strawberries, brownie bits, etc. (...Not all at once, people...)

30) OF ALL THE PEOPLE U HAVE TAGGED, WHO IS THE MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST? I'm not sure, but here are some wonderful blogs! If you want to enjoy some meme fun, as well, leave me a comment, so I can come see how much we have in common.

With an Angel on My Shoulder
All Rolled into One
Here at Our House
Pilgrims at Ashley Avenue
Three-Girl Circus

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ace of Cakes

Isn't calling.

Let's backtrack...

A few days ago a friend asked if I would bake a cake for her daughter's third birthday. A cute occasion for a cake! I told my friend that I can bake a cake, but I'm not a cake decorator. She insisted that a simple, chocolate pound cake was what she wanted to serve her guests. Maybe some baking M&M's baked in for decoration.

Okay. I'm your girl. I load up Matilda. (She's my mixer. She lives on my counter so she deserves a name!) All goes well. Lovely recipe, beautiful baking in the oven, fabulous smell in the house. I cool the cake and go to flip her out on the serving tray.

Nothing! Nope. Nada. Not a budge. Twist. Shake. Do the Come-Out-of-the-Pan dance. PLOP! Ugh. The M&M's had sunk to the bottom of the cake (actually the top when you do the whole flip thing) and were sticking to the pan. Badly.

I tried whipping up some glaze to cover the blotched surface of the cake. Bahahahahah-haha.

I was distraught! How could this happen? If I were baking that cake for Nogoodreason it would have been a beauty, but this was quite possiblly the ugliest cake ever.

Then I got the giggles! What else could I do? The cake was a flop. Ace of Cakes isn't calling. The grocery store had a sale on chocolate creme cakes. And Alli is a very cute three year old! (BTW, it tastes absolutely delish!)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Birthday Boy

Now, who doesn't love a birthday? Last Sunday A turned 8! Maybe he'll share some of his riches with me. Maybe his brothers can distract him with a movie or video game while I snatch all the bucks... Never mind. I guess I'll just have a piece of that yummy cookie!

I wanted to add: When he opened the present from Grandma and Grandpa in WI the box was a toaster box. We all knew that the present was NOT a toaster, and we teased him about the box. "A toaster??? What are you going to do with a toaster?" He, ever so diplomatic, replied, "It is a FOUR slice toaster!" :)

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Boxes

We are on the hunt for BOXES because we are moving!! In less than a month our family will be moving to Florida! I've spent hours boxing, sorting and moving our junk, I mean stuff. And trust me, it is more fun when some friends come over and sort through your high school yearbooks and kill the black widow spider with you, rather than doing all the hauling alone!
Thanks to all my buddies!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Fun!

I was over at My Little Corner and saw her summer meme. I couldn't wait to participate. Feel free to have a little summer fun over at your blog, too!

5 Things I Love about Summer:

Playing at the park
Fresh strawberries, peaches and blackberries
Free movies at the local movie theater

5 Things I Hate about Summer

Bugs (You'd think with three boys somebody would be killing the bugs besides me!!)
No paycheck
Late bedtimes for the kiddos

Sunday, June 8, 2008

June Joys...

I love the beginning of June. School ends, baseball ends and it is my birthday.