Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Musings

In ten minutes, it's my husband's birthday!

That means I'm making a cake later this week, which I will share with you. I'm gonna try my hand at one of my husband's favorites - Granny M's Chocolate Cake. Stay tuned. (That's what Sophie is eating below. Doesn't she look happy?)

I also want to make these chocolate peanut butter bars. No baking required! 

And, I want to make this shrimp dish, except I'm going to use regular pasta. I'm not slicing up a bunch of zookers, as my dad called them. This infuriated my mother, for some reason.

Excited to learn how to make a nekkid cake.

I'm STARVING! What's new.

I'm reading The Paris Wife. Even though I've never liked Hemingway.

I'm thinking about fall, and fall wardrobes, and birthday parties.

Did I mention I love Pinterest? Yeah.

You may laugh at me, but I'm obsessed with watching this guy's videos about Charleston, SC and the Mount Pleasant area.

A few people I know and love are making potential love connections tonight and I'm dying to hear how it's all going!

Finally - I'm writing again. All these people I know are writing and publishing and it's inspiring me to write. And, I'm finding that being home all day with two very small people leaves your brain open to a lot of creative thinking - the kind of creative thinking you don't have time to do at work, or when you're busy talking to other adults or watching television. Figuring out characters and a loose plot keeps my brain busy and sane. Not to mention happy. Happy is good.

(If you haven't read in a while, there are a few new posts below. I'm not going to tell FB every time I post. That might be annoying.)

Cheers to a great week, everybody!



Friday, August 14, 2015

Hi-Yo Silver, Away!

I know we all have a bunch of silver laying around the house getting tarnished and not being very useful. Well I'm about to put an end to that. I happen to have a set of Old Maryland Engraved and I'm ready to take it off the sidelines. Time to get in the game, silver! No sense in making the stainless do all the work.

People are afraid to use their silver because they've been told not to put it in the dishwasher. I'm still not sure about the whole dishwasher thing. I've read that it's okay to use the dishwasher, that it's even okay to use the heat cycle (gasp!) but to use gentle (read no chlorine) detergent in small amounts (much less than found in one of those tiny pods that I've read children can mistake for candy, but that's another blog post, and hopefully not mine).

We're going to experiment some here to figure out what works best for our silver. I'll let you know how it goes. Perhaps then I can lead a revolution of people who use their silver rather than leave it sitting in boxes unattended. A girl can dream, right? Gotta have goals.


~ ev

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Easy summer pasta salad

I'm starting to learn how to cook (not just bake) so I'm going to share some of the things I've been making. A lot of it is so easy and simple. Obviously, if you are already an amazing cook, you may want to skip these novice posts!

Most of the time, I'm learning from my husband. That man can cook! But in this case, I actually came up with this recipe on my own. It's rather cutting edge and not everyone will be able to handle it. If you can't, don't be too hard on yourself.

Easy Summer Pasta Salad
  • Cook some elbow macaroni. Don't have elbow macaroni? Any noodle will do. Come on now, challenge yourself.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, rinse it in cold water.
  • Cut up fresh tomatoes and green peppers. These can be stolen from a neighbor's garden while they are not at home.
  • Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Toss.
  • Grate some cheese on top. Whatever cheese you like. Whatever cheese you have. Just throw it on there. You know, feta would be nice, too. 


UPDATE: 8/14/15
Because I made enough elbow pasta for a community, we tried it with goat cheese! Delicious!


 ~ ev

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Where am I, Seattle?

Rain, rain, rain.

I have never seen it rain so much in Richmond. It reminds me of when my family moved to Baltimore, Maryland when I was sixteen. Except that was fall/winter. I had never seen it rain so much and be so dreary. 

Actually, that was totally worse than this summer. And I'm not exactly complaining. I like overcast, rainy days. Snuggling up with books and coffee (wait, what? That never happens any more.) I guess I like a nice balance between sunny days and rainy ones. That means I'm in luck, because that is what this summer is like in Richmond. R.V.A.

Today was another baking day. 

This morning we went to they gym and then came home for lunch / naps, and then this afternoon we baked since I can't think of anything else for us to do. Sophie assisted and ended up covered in a lot of chocolate, which didn't bother her. Charlie ate Cheerios and played with toys in his high chair. He is so easy to please and just loves to be involved. 

While we cooked, it started pouring down rain and storming. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. 

Or under the table.

We wanted to make Granny M.'s delicious Chocolate Cake, one of my husband's favorites, but we didn't have the ingredients. So we made this one instead. 

It turned out pretty good -- moist and chocolatey. Kind of crunchy on top but the rest is perfect.

Devil's Food Cake

("Vicky Valencourt is the debbil Bobby Boucher!")

Oops got sidetracked. Yeah, I stole that image. And what a great one of our Waterboy.

As I was saying...

Devil's Food Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup hot coffee 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (I didn't have any muhnilla, as Sophie says).
  • I added chocolate chips to the batter
  • In short, mix all that stuff up. You can see an extended explanation on how to do this if you need further instruction here where I found the recipe. There is also a recipe for frosting. I didn't try that. As of now it has no frosting. If I frost it, it will be my delish buttercream.
  • Cook for 45 minutes (give or take, use your nose and check it) on 325.
If you try this cake, let me know.

(The aftermath, as seen here. Had to wash somebody's shirt in the sink for fear of stains on our Mini Boden.)

Happy rainy sunny summer day! xoxoxoxoxo


Thursday, August 6, 2015

A day in the life

It's 9:15 pm and three children (two humans, one canine) are all asleep.

Here is what I did today:

7:00 am
Got everyone up, dressed, and fed.
Took Sophie to school.
Came home, cleaned kitchen, put Charlie down for a nap (10:00 am).
Made two pots of macaroni (after accidentally eating most of the first one).
Dusted the downstairs, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed.
Got Charlie up, served Charlie lunch (12:00 pm).
Finished the cleaning I was doing and cleaned the kitchen (again).
Took Charlie to grocery store (1:00 pm).
Stopped by Greenway Beef.
Came home.
Put Charlie down for nap (3:00 pm)
Started making dinner.
Got Charlie up, finished dinner stuff, left to get Sophie (5:00 pm).
Came home, fed kids, Holly came over to visit.
Holly left. Put Charlie to bed (6:30 pm).
Cleaned kitchen (again).
Fixed outdoor lightbulbs.
Picked up family room. 
Watered plants in backyard.
Gave Sophie a bath. Folded towels while she was in the tub.
Got Sophie ready for bed. Got Charlie up because he was screaming his head off (8:00 pm).
Read books to both of them, nursed Charlie, put him back in his crib.
Sophie asleep (9:00 pm).
Got stuff out of dryer.
Read my email, did some email corresponance, stared at FB for a few minutes.
Decide to write quick blog post.
Now that I'm done, I'm going to eat dinner. And call Mary Katherine.

How was your day?


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Go Bananas, Go, Go Bananas!

It's August. It's near one hundred degrees. You know what that means?

That means we don't go outside. We stay in the house. In air conditioning.

Me. Plus one two-year-old and a nine-month-old.

Fun stuff!

Today, to help pass time, and to keep us occupied, we made Miss Beverly's Banana Pudding. It kept Sophie busy. She mixed things up and crushed cookies and created layers. Charlie sat in his high chair and watched while he ate Cheerios.

Oh, and then there was licking the mixer and eating the finished product. Not too bad, if I must say so myself!

Keep busy on a scorching August day making this cold, sweet treat. Enjoy!

Miss Beverly's Banana Pudding

  • 1 Box Banana Cream Pudding Mix
  • 2 Cups Cold Water
  • 14 oz Condensed Milk
  • One tub Cool Whip
  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers (you can use more or less)
  • 4 bananas (you can use more or less)

  • Mix pudding and water and condensed milk. 
  • Fold in Cool Whip. 
  • Layer bottom of deep dish (we used a 8 x 8 deep square baking dish) with crushed Vanilla Wafers as your crust. Add layer of bananas. Add one cup of pudding mixture. 
  • Next do a layer of Vanilla Wafers (not crushed this time) and bananas, then another cup of pudding. Repeat til your dish is full. 
  • Stick in fridge and serve when cold.
Great job Sophie!

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