Friday, February 20, 2009

Give it a try...Banana Cake!

OK, so I had never even heard of Banana cake until my friend Julie started talking about it several months ago. So, when I had these bad bananas looking at me & waiting to go into a bread, I decided to give this a try!

I found a great new recipe to try, where else but on my favorite website - & found a frosting that I thought would be nice on the cake. After taking the advice of other reviewers, I did add 1 cup of sour cream, used a Betty Crocker butter yellow cake mix & baked in a 9 x 13 pan for 40 minutes (rather than the hour that the recipe says).

Wonderful Banana Cake submitted by Carolyn Micklas
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon baking soda

Prepare yellow cake mix according to package directions.
Mash the bananas with the baking soda and stir into the cake mix batter. Pour batter into one greased and floured 9x13 inch baking pan.
Do not preheat oven. Place uncooked cake in oven and turn oven on to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 1 hour. Let cake cool thoroughly and then refrigerate.

Yes, I realize there is a row missing...I couldn't resist before it was frosted! And I also realize that the frosting doesn't look so hot! I think I should have put it in my kitchen aide for a bit with the whisk attachment! It tasted good though!

My frosting, again! With the advice of other, I only used 1 cup of powdered sugar and I used a full 8 oz of cream cheese with the 8 oz tub of cool whip. It was great, a perfect match for this cake!!

Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting submitted by CUMMINGS
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Had such a fun day yesterday! Family time during the day & friends over in the evening...

Heart shaped Jello that I made. 3 3 oz packages of Jello, 4 packages of gelatin & 4 cups boiling water. Stir until disolved in 9 x 13 pan & refrigerate. It was great for cutting with my heart cookie cutter & everyone loved um!

Grandma Jo stopped over to see Tanner & give him his Valentine & a present

Our fam!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Great quote...

God could not be everywhere so he created Mothers.

LOVE that! I just saw it on a piece of jewelry on Etsy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

So proud

OK, so my friend Carissa is starting to scrapbook & getting into the card making with me...when I find a great new site, I share it with her & she got the excitement & made a valentine's Day card. I was so excited when she brought it in b/c she did such a great idea! We had seen this idea on Lisa Johnson's blog She has TONS of great ideas! If only I had as much creativity as she has! WOW...Here's Carissa's card

A few of my favorite names...

OK, so my Mom & her husband just got a new puppy this week. They were having trouble decding on a name so I threw some out there & they went with one of them, Abbie. They decided she looks like an Abbie. She's just such a sweet little cuddly girl!

Here's the list of names that I sent to her:


I just got a call from my friend Kim about 15 minutes ago & she and her family are getting a boy puppy. She said they wanted it to have an M name as all of her dogs have always had M names. So, when she said Morkie, I thought I need to give a few suggestions. The dog breed is a Dorkie (part Dachshund - part Yorkie). How silly is that to say we have a Dorkie named Morkie? Poor little guy, he'd be the laughing stock at the playground! So, my name ideas for her were:
Max, Milo, Marty, Moxie, Malcolm, Miles, Mokey, Marvin, Monty & Mack. Had the first three picked out & then went to the web & found those last 7. Oh yea, and one more that gave me a good laugh...Mr. Bigglesworth!

What a fun idea for Valentine's Day...

How cute is that? Man, there are some creative folks out there in the world...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Buffalo Chicken Pizza. OK, so I took a couple of recipes from to make this one. I just love the flavor! Got the idea to look for a recipe after eating Minsky's Buffalo Chicken Pizza that I love so much! It's pretty darn easy...

I followed the recipe for Buffalo Chicken Strips II submitted by bellydancer for my chicken but I cut up into really small pieces to put on the pizza.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce

To Make Dip: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise and bleu cheese. Stir in green onion and pepper; cover and refrigerate.
To Make Strips: Heat oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and sautee over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add butter and hot pepper sauce to skillet and swirl until the butter melts and the sauce coats the chicken.
Serve hot chicken with refrigerated dip mix.

I like the thin Bobolli crust pretty well for this, but last night I used the mini crust which was not thin & it was still good. I put it into the oven for a bit as I warmed the oven up so it would cook a little as I was worried the crust may get soggy from the dressing & I don't like soggy crust, I like it crisp. I spread on some blue cheese dressing, not as much as the recipe calls for (even when making a full size pizza) b/c it's always seemed to be a lot in my opinion, sprinkle wtih the chicken & the cheese and place in oven until it looks good & bubbly! the pizza recipe that I've used as my guide is Buffalo Chicken Pizza submitted by Melissajean.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fruit Dip

Haven't tried this, but while looking for something else I stumbled across it & it just sounded so good & makes me think of Spring! I sure wish Spring would hurry up & get here!

1 tub of mixed berry whipped cream cheese
1 tub of regular whipped cream cheese
1 tsp. Vanilla
Add powder sugar to taste
Mix together well the night before or the day of

Aphrodisiac Food List

Found this a year ago on the internet & thought with Valentine's Day just a couple of days a way, this would be very appropriate!

A very popular aphrodisiac with many culinary uses. It has been used as an aphrodisiac since the Greeks and the Romans, who believed aniseed had special powers. Sucking on the seeds is said to increases your desire.
Given it's phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience. The Vegetarian Society suggests "eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect".
A symbol of fertility throughout the ages. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Try serving Marzipan (almond paste) in the shapes of fruits for a special after-dinner treat.

Arugula or "rocket" seed has been documented as an aphrodisiac since the first century A.D. This ingredient was added to grated orchid bulbs and parsnips and also combined with pine nuts and pistachios. Arugula greens are frequently used in salads and pasta.

Any Indian dried, powedere herb used as a sexual stimulant in Ayurvedic medicine. The herb has a very strong, garlicy flavor.
The Aztecs called the avocado tree "Ahuacuatl which translated means "testicle tree". The ancients thought the fruit hanging in pairs on the tree resembled the male's testicles. This is a delicious fruit with a sensuous texture. Serve in slices with a small amount of Balsamic vinegar and freshly ground pepper.
The banana flower has a marvelous phallic shape and is partially responsible for popularity of the banana as an aphrodisiac food. An Islamic myth tells the tale that after Adam and Eve succumbed to the "Apple" they started covering their "nudity" with banana leaves rather than fig. From a more practical standpoint bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, necessities for sex hormone production.
Basil (sweet basil)
Is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility. It is also said to produce a general sense of well being for body and mind.

Broccoli Rabe (And Other Mustard Greens)
The ground seeds of various plants in the brassica family were believed to increase virility. In the case of broccoli rabe its more likely a myth created to get people to eat this bitter vegetable.

The Aztecs referred to chocolate "nourishment of the Gods". Chocolate contains chemicals thought to effect neurotransmitters in the brain and a related substance to caffeine called theobromine. Chocolate contains more antioxidant (cancer preventing enzymes) than does red wine. The secret for passion is to combine the two. Try a glass of Cabernet with a bit of dark chocolate for a sensuous treat or let us temp you with our recipe for Chocolate Espresso Pots de creme.
Another good reason to eat carrots--believed to be a stimulant to the male. The phallus shaped carrot has been associated with stimulation since ancient times and was used by early Middle Eastern royalty to aid seduction. High vitamins and beta-carotene. Perhaps a justification for a piece of carrot cake?
Caffeine is a well-know stimulant but remember, too much and it becomes a depressant. Serve small amounts of rich dark coffee in special little demitasse cups. Coffee stimulates both the body and the mind so partake of a little in preparation for an "all-nighter".

Coriander (Cilantro seed)
The book of The Arabian nights tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also know to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

In the 1930's fennel was found to be a source of natural plant estrogens. Use of fennel as an aphrodisiac dates back to the Egyptian times where it was used as "libido enhancement".

An open fig is thought to emulate the female sex organs and traditionally thought of as sexual stimulant. A man breaking open a fig and eating it in front of his lover is a powerful erotic act. Serve fresh Black Mission figs in a cool bowl of water as it is done in Italy and be sure to eat with your fingers!
The 'heat' in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Make sure you and your partner share it together. Garlic has been used for centuries to cure everything from the common cold to heart ailments. This is a good time for moderation. Enjoy a pasta with a lightly garlicky sauce and it and lead up to something spicy in the bedroom later.
Ginger root raw, cooked or crystallized is a stimulant to the circulatory system. Perhaps a stir-fry with freshly grated ginger can stir something spicy up in the bedroom later.
Many medicines in Egyptian times were based on honey including cures for sterility and impotence. Medieval seducers plied their partners with Mead, a fermented drink made from honey. Lovers on their "Honeymoon" drank mead and it was thought to s "sweeten" the marriage.
Liquorice (licorice)
The Chinese have used licorice for medicinal purposes since ancient times. The essence of the Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) plan, glycrrhizin, is 50 time sweeter than sugar. Chewing on bits of licorice root is said to enhance love and lust. It is particularly stimulating to woman.
Believed to stimulate the sexual glands and increase desire. Prepare a tenderloin roast (filet mignon) for two with a mustard and peppercorn sauce.
Nutmeg was highly prized by Chinese women as an aphrodisiac. In quantity nutmeg can produce a hallucinogenic effect. A light sprinkling of the spice in a warm pumpkin soup can help spice up your evening.
Oysters were documented as a aphrodisiac food by the Romans in the second century A.D as mentioned in a satire by Juvenal. He described the wanton ways of women after ingesting wine and eating "giant oysters". An additional hypotheses is that the oyster resembles the "female" genitals. In reality oysters are a very nutritious and high in protein.
Pine Nuts
Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency and pine nuts are rich in zinc. Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as Medieval times. Serve pine nut cookies with a dark espresso for a stimulating dessert.
Rich in vitamin C and and is used in the homeopathic treatment for impotence. Add a spear to a sweet Rum drink for a tasty prelude to an evening of passion.
Raspberries and Strawberries
Perfect foods for hand feeding your lover. "Both invite love and are described in erotic literature as fruit nipples" Both are high in vitamin C and make a sweet light dessert.
The Greeks and the Romans considered the rare Truffle to be an aphrodisiac. The musky scent is said to stimulate and sensitize the skin to touch.
The scent and flavor of vanilla is believed to increase lust. According to the Australian Orchid Society, "Old Totonac lore has it that Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, loved a Totonac youth. Unable to marry him due to her divine nature, she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness." Fill tall Champagne glasses to the rim and add a vanilla bean for a heady, bubbly treat.
A glass or two of wine can greatly enhance a romantic interlude. Wine relaxes and helps to stimulate our senses. Drinking wine can be an erotic experience. Let your eyes feast on the color of the liquid. Caress the glass, savor the taste on your lips. Do remember that excessive alcohol will make you too drowsy for the after-dinner romance. A moderate amount of wine has been said to "arouse" but much more than that amount with have the reverse affect.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My ABC's of marriage

A – Always say you’re sorry, no matter how hard it is to say
B – Be honest
C – Compliment the cook
D – Do it from time to time without being asked
E – Eagerly greet each day together
F – Forgive
G – Go the extra mile every chance you get
H – Hugs, hugs, hugs
I – Intimacy is a must
J – Just say she’s right, it makes life easier
K – Kiss when you make up
L – Love more than you ever thought you could
M – Make everyday memorable in one way or another
N – Never go to bed or leave each other angry
O – Offer your support
P – Praise is a wonderful thing to hear
Q – Quit bringing up past mistakes
R – Remember important dates (birthday’s anniversary’s…)
S – Say I love you often
T – Take less from your partner than you give to them
U – Up-close and personal – share your thoughts and dreams
V – Value your partner; they are as unique as you are
W – Water the garden where your love grows
Y – Yearn for each other
Z – Zip it sometimes & avoid an argument

Yep another good email! I'm Thankful for...sometimes it's all in how you look at things that matters the most!

I am Thankful :

For the wife who says it’s hot dogs tonight,because she’s home with me & not out with someone else.

For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato, because he’s home with me & not out at the bars.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home & not on the streets.

For the taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means that I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work because it means that I ma out in the sunshine.

For the lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means that I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
For the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off early in the morning hours because it means I am alive.

Dangerous mulch!

Goodness, just got this email...My question, Who's the brainiac that thought it would be good to make a mulch that smells like chocolate so as to attract dogs & cats but make it toxic so it can kill them!?

Please tell every dog or cat owner you know. Even if you don't have a pet, please pass this to those who do.

Over the weekend the doting owner of two young lab mixes purchased Cocoa Mulch from Target to use in their garden. They loved the way it smelled and it was advertised to keep cats away from their garden. Their dog Calypso decided that the mulch smelled good enough to eat and devoured a large helping. She vomited a few times which was typical when she eats something new but wasn't acting lethargic in any way. The next day, Mom woke up and took Calypso out for her morning walk . Half way through the walk, she had a seizure and died instantly.

Although the mulch had NO warnings printed on the label, upon further investigation on the company's website, this product is HIGHLY toxic to dogs and cats.

Cocoa Mulch is manufactured by Hershey's, and they claim that 'It is true that studies have shown that 50% of the dogs that eat Cocoa Mulch can suffer physical harm to a variety of degrees (depending on each individual dog). However, 98% of all dogs won't eat it.'

This Snopes site gives the following information:

Cocoa Mulch, which is sold by Home Depot, Foreman's Garden Sup ply and other Garden supply stores, contains a lethal ingredient called ' Theobromine'. It is lethal to dogs and cats. It smells like chocolate and it really attracts dogs. They will ingest this stuff and die. Several deaths already occurred in the last 2-3 weeks. Theobromine is in all chocolate, especially dark or baker's chocolate which is toxic to dogs. Cocoa bean shells contain potentially toxic quantities of th eobromine, a xanthine compound similar in effects to caffeine and theophylline. A dog that ingested a lethal quantity of garden mulch made from cacao bean shells developed severe convulsions and died 17 hours later. Analysis of the stomach contents and the ingested cacao bean shells revealed the presence of lethal amounts of theobromine.

Emeril's Baby Bam

3 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Place paprika, salt, parsley, onion powder, garlic powdere, black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme, and celery salt in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Yield: about 3/4 cup

Emeril's Cheese Enchiladas

5 Tbl vegetable oil
1 (28 oz) can peeled whole tomatoes
2/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp baby bam (see separate recipe as this is one of Emeril's)
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
12 corn tortillas
8 oz white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
8 oz yellow cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion (optional)
2 Tbl chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 400.

Lightly grease large baking dish with 1 Tbl of oil.

Puree tomatoes in the blender.

Add 2 Tbl of oil to skillet and add onion, cumin, oregano, baby ban and cook about4 minutes until soft.

Add pureed tomatoes and reduce heat to med-low and cook, stirring until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and stir.

Reduce heat to very low and continue to simmer as you assemble the enchiladas

Heat a second skillet over low heat. Brush each tortilla as you put into pan and warm, about 2-5 seconds per side. Continue until all tortilla's are done. Combine cheeses in a bowl and sprinkle in tortilla, you can sprinkle some onion here if you like.

Roll & place in baking dish,

Pour tomato sauce over the filled enchiladas.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese & bake about 10-12 minutes until bubbly.

Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cinantro if desired.

Monday, February 9, 2009

FUNNY stuff! Ellen calls Gladys...

A song for Tanner...My Wish by Rascall Flatts

"My Wish" by Rascal Flatts

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big

Another song that I just love! I was singing this one day & had to look up the lyrics b/c all I could think of was Tanner & wow, this song is how I feel about my little guy!

More To This Life - by Steven Curtis Chapman

“More To This Life” by Steven Curtis Chapman,

Words by Steven Curtis Chapman
Music by Steven Curtis Chapman and Phil Naish
1 Timothy 6:19 / John 10:10 / Roman 5:17

Today I watched in silence as people passed me by,
And I strained to see if there was something hidden in their eyes;
But they all looked at me as if to say
Life just goes on.

The old familiar story told in different ways,
Make the most of your own journey from the cradle to the grave;
Dream your dreams tomorrow because today
Life must go on.

But there's more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there's more than this life alone can be.

Tonight he lies in silence staring into space,
And looks for ways to make tomorrow better than today,
But in the morning light it looks the same;
Life just goes on.

He takes care of his family, he takes care of his work,
And every Sunday morning he takes his place at the church;
And somehow he still feels a need to search,
But life just goes on.


So where do we start to find every part
Of what makes this life complete;
If we turn our eyes to Jesus we'll find
Life's true beginning is there at the cross where He died.
He died to bring us . . .


I just LOVE this song...makes me a little teary eyed when I hear it sometimes it's so good!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine's Day Cards

So the bug bit & I took some time to get creative! Love doing cards & scrapbooking, but I just never seem to take the time for me anymore to do it! I had bought several new things with my birthday money & so thought i'd better put some to use! Loev these new punches that I bought & the new Mixed Messages set that I ordered from Papertrey Ink. This was the first time I'd used the clear stamps & I was a bit fearful (Yea, I'm a nerd. I know they are just stamps & why would a person be afraid of a stamp!), but it was so easy & it was really nice to see exactly where it was going to stamp. Anyways, here's the finished products! Only did 2 with the vellum paper over the stripes b/c I decided my favorite was the other card using my new punches!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Girls In My Circle

Girls in my circle…

When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend, and then I started to become a woman.

And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.

Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your mom.

Another will sit beside you in the bleachers as you delight in your children and their activities.

Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say, "Let's cry together," another, "Let's fight together," another, "Let's walk away together."

One friend will meet your spiritual need, another your shoe fetish, another your love for movies, another will be with you in your season of confusion, another will be your clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day, or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back, or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself, those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many, it's wrapped up in several.

One from 7th grade, one from high school, several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, on some days your mother, on some days your neighbor, on others, your sisters, and on some days, your daughters.

I'm not sure who wrote this, but I really like what it says!

Monday, February 2, 2009

a couple of "diet friendly" foods!

LOVE this Lean Cuisine pizza, have been eating it for awhile now. Just a couple of weeks ago, my friend Jodi had found these little Buffalo Chicken snacks & whipped um up for us to try - SO GOOD! If memory serves, oen box of those is 4 points on the weight watchers plan.