Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Yesterday was a day full of baseball!  Our games were running a little behind, so as the all boys waited for the game to start, my babies were hanging all over their daddy!  Quick, I had to grab my camera, the perfect photo opp!  I snapped this sweet picture of Tim and the kids! Go Heat! 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The sweetest sound...

For almost five months, we have gone without rain.  Our area has seen it's fair share of dead trees, brown grass, little watering ponds that have dried up and last week several devastating wild fires.  There will be no July 4th fireworks to shoot off this year. 

On Wednesday, we woke up to thunder, lighting and rain.  What a sweet sound it was!  It was temporary relief from watering the grass and a much needed day of rest with the kids to not go anywhere and do anything!  Now, we just need about 25 more inches of rain to get us out of this horrible drought!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Key Lime Cheesecakes in a Jar

Lately, I have been obsessed with all these different recipes you can make in jars (I get mine at Walmart).  I came up with mini Key Lime Cheesecakes in a jar for Father's Day.  My Dad loves Key Lime Pie. He also loves desserts in small portions or else the sugar makes him wanna take a nap.  I used the Joy of Baking Key Lime Pie recipe and changed it up by adding a block of cream cheese to the filling.  They were pretty tasty!! 

I layered the jars with the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom and then added the key lime filling and baked. I chilled the jars for several hours and then topped each with fresh whipped cream (no Cool Whip here), lime zest, a lime slice and a few more sprinkles of graham cracker crumbs on top.  I wrapped the top of each with raffia.  It was the perfect treat and just the right portion too!

I juiced about 30 key limes (sorry, not the prettiest picture)!

Toasted graham cracker crumbs

Place a few tablespoons of the graham cracker crumbs in each jar.

Scoop several spoonfuls of filling into the jars and bake.


Here is my altered recipe!

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5-6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Press onto the bottom of a baking sheet.  Bake for about ten minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and cool.

Key Lime Cheesecake Filling

3 large egg yolks, room temp
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (I used 30 key limes)
1 block of softened cream cheese
2 teaspoon lime zest

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks until pale and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in the lime juice and zest. Scoop several spoonfuls of filling in the jars over the crumbs. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Once cooled, refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Whipped Cream

1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Once the filling has chilled, beat the whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.  I recommend chilling a silver bowl in the freezer for five minutes (the peaks will form quicker).  Top each little cheesecake with several dollops of whipped cream.  Garnish with a few sprinkles of lime zest, graham cracker crumbs and top with a slice of lime.  Decorate jars with raffia or ribbon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day

We had a fun Father's Day weekend.  First, we got together with Tim's parents, his brother and my sister-in-law and went to dinner.  Luckily, Blake and Sydney were at my niece's ballet recital, so we just had the little guy with us.  He was so quiet and good, which is rare when you have to wait awhile for food!
Since Dad is more of a cooking out kind of guy, we went to my sister Stephanie's house on Sunday for ribs, steaks, appetizers, drinks, dessert and some swimming in the pool.  It was a perfectly relaxing day spent with family and all the dads too!  My sister and I lucked out with our guys!  They are wonderful, hands-on dads that do it all!

I have so many great memories of my dad!  He loves his family!  I used to go to his office with him on Saturday mornings when I was little, many times a friend would tag along.  His office was gigantic.  We would play tag, play with office supplies, pretend we were bus drivers in the meeting room with all the chairs, get snacks from the vending machines and clean and organize the supply closets (yes, I had the cleaning/organizing bug as a child).  Dad would always take me to lunch and then K-mart on the way home to get me a toy.  There was one cold and rainy day in December when he took me to McDonald's.  The smell of the french fries was lingering in the air at the drive thru.  I remember what a fun day at the office that was.  Still to this day, when I smell McDonald's, it brings me back to that day, and not for the smell of grease, but the closeness I remember feeling.  It was just the two of us!  He was my protector, he kept me safe and would have done anything for me.  I looked up to him and was so proud that he was my daddy! 

Although this post is a few days later, Happy Father's Day Dad!!  I love you!

My dad and I at my sister's wedding in 1997.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Goodbye Daisies, Hello Brownies!

Sydney's Girl Scout troop recently had a bridging ceremony and they are now all officially Brownies!  They sold a record number of Girl Scout cookies this year that they had a fun party at Sweet and Sassy to celebrate!  I'm so proud of Sydney for selling almost $1,000 worth of cookies, my little sales lady!  At the party, they all got updo’s, wore fancy dresses, walked the runway and rode in the big pink limo!

Friday, June 17, 2011

My growing boy

May was such an emotional month for me, mainly because my first born, Blake, would be turning 11 and it was his final year of elementary school and fifth grade. Several weeks ago, there was a parent meeting for all new sixth graders at the middle school.  As I headed to the meeting, I was getting choked up. How did we get here, how am I old enough to had a middle schooler? I wondered if any of the other moms were feeling the same as me??   I’m a big baby when it comes to my kids getting older. I just want them to stay young forever.

I didn’t expect it to hit me so hard, I thought I was going to hear all about the school and the laptop that the sixth graders get to do all their work on. The principals introduced themselves and one of them began talking about adolescence. I wasn’t expecting this! I know it’s coming but to hear her talking about how my baby boy is going to be changing from being into name brand clothes, to his voice, to his independence, to liking girls - I wasn’t liking it. A single tear from my right eye fell down my cheek. Wasn’t my little baby just born? How could these things be right around the corner for us?

That night, the boys had baseball practice and the house was quiet after Brody went to sleep. I started thinking, wow, three weeks left of fifth grade. Three short weeks left of school where they still have to raise their hands in the cafeteria and walk in lines.  The sweet little times spent with him at school (where he actually wants me there) are coming to an end...Christmas and Valentine’s parties, eating lunch in the cafeteria, Field Days, plays and Book Fairs.   I lost it thinking of all these fun memories of elementary-even the simple things such as Blake losing his two front teeth! I cried and cried and cried some more. The tears were bittersweet, sad tears that my baby has one foot in the door of childhood and another foot in the door in adolescence and happy tears that my boy is on his way!  There will be many more milestones that he will achieve and poor Blake, he's just going to have to deal with my waterworks!  I’m such a proud momma for the young man he has become!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's a Baking Party!

Sydney’s 6th Birthday Pink Carpet Princess party was pretty fantastic last year. I almost immediately started thinking, what could we do this year. That’s it!!! We both share a love for cooking and baking, Paula Deen and Giada DiLaurentis. It had to be a baking party! I had sooo many lists, so many things to buy and lots of things to make!

I did bunches of research on Baking Parties and scoured and gawked and gawked some more. Some of my favorite party websites where I found great inspiration were from Amy Atlas Events, Tip Junkie, Pizzazzerie and Birthday Party Ideas.

I chose the colors - hot pink, light pink, mint, yellow, white, turquoise and light blue. So, I first started out by making tissue paper flowers in all these colors to hang from the ceiling. I needed to make big ones, small ones, pointy ones and scalloped ones. Overall, I think I ended up making about 26 of them.
I found some great tissue paper tutorials on You Tube.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New posts coming soon...

After nearly four months of no blogging, I'm ready to start again.  Look for new posts coming soon.  The kids have been out of school for a week now and so far, our week has been jam packed, I like it that way although I still need at least one lazy, quiet day a week!

I have several posts to catch up on for events that have happened over the months that I have not blogged about.

First up - Sydney's 7th Birthday Baking Party.  It turned out to be such a cute party!!  Stay tuned tomorrow.

Until then, I hope you are enjoying your summer!