Thursday, September 26, 2019

Caramel Apple Decorated Cookies

One of the many reasons I love my husband going to moose camp is that I get to do what ever I want, and I don't feel guilty for not doing the things I know I should do.  Things like dusting, vacuuming, cooking dinner, laundry...

Nope, I just watched t.v. (90 day FiancĂ© and football) and made these cute little cookies.  I got the idea from Semi Sweet Designs on Pinterest and went to work.

I made these cookies and spent the day happily decorating the cookies and yelling at the football games.  It was the perfect weekend!
Start with a skull cookie cutter

Slice off the bottom

Some I left plain.

Half went to work and half went to a friend.

September 26, 2019   Sunrise 7:45 am  Sunset 7:37 pm  Temp H 45/ L 29°F

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Another Reason to Celebrate

It was Saturday afternoon and I was baking.  I got a text from the Baby Boy:

I think my "Are you kidding me" comment was taken wrong, and reading it back it does sound like I was mad, but I really wasn't (read it with an uncertain if your trying to pull a joke, not an angry voice), I just wasn't sure that this wasn't a joke and this kid would joke like that, and who would text their mom to tell them they got married.
It did take them a while to answer me.

The kids called on Monday evening and told me about their wedding adventure.  Turns out they texted because they were on the strip and it was really loud so they couldn't call (they wouldn't have reached me if they called anyway, I forgot my phone at work for the weekend and just never went to pick it up).

I am so excited I have a new DIL, in reality she has been like a DIL for a long time, they have been dating for 9 years now.  So I don't have any Chicks right now (there is still hope for the hippy boy...).

I'm home celebrating this wonderful event all week.  I'm celebrating alone, the boys are all in moose camp, but that is o.k. because I get to celebrate again with them once they come back to town.  And I am celebrating with dressed up champagne because weddings are something special, even when they elope.

Luxardo Champagne
1/2 oz. Luxardo liqueur
4 oz. champagne

Pour Luxardo into glass, top with champagne.  Celebrate the fact that some poor girl is now totally responsible for your baby boy.

September 24, 2019  Sunrise 7:39 am  Sunset 7:44 pm  Temp H 47/ L 30

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Black Forest Cake

Dave was gone last weekend, he was in moose camp.  We had some friends from out of state that spent the week in camp and they all came back Sunday to head back home.  I had dinner ready and this cake for dessert.

This was another cake from GBBO (The Great British Bake Off), and I was happy to have an excuse to need a cake.  Our friend has a giant sweet tooth!

I was happily baking while watching football, got the cakes out of the oven, cooled them on top on my Hoosier, so Mooree couldn't reach them, and made the cherry filling.  Once the cakes were cooled, I put them on the table and turned to get a long knife to split the cakes.  I turned back to see Morree almost finishing one of the cakes, chocolate crumbs all over the table and floor and Tek and Lily happily licking up the mess.

I think I might have yelled bad words.

I picked up the untouched cake, put it back on the top of the Hoosier, cleaned up the mess and started another cake.  Good thing I started early and had lots of time to bake and let the cake cool.

So they did have cake for dessert and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.  I think Mooree was pretty happy with it too.

Black Forest Cake

I used this recipe: Also the Crumbs Please

Changes I made:
I doubled the cake recipe, make two cakes and cut each in half.

I added an extra cup of heavy cream for a total of 4, when I made the whipped cream topping.

I used Ghirardelli melting chocolate for the chocolate shards and the trees.  I made the chocolate too thick for the shards, next time I know thinner is better and I piped the trees from a little ziplock baggie.
5 years ago:  Carrot Cake for an Office Birthday
7 years ago:  Ham and Cheese Pastries

September 19, 2019  Sunrise 7:24 am  Sunset 8:02 pm  Temp H

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Madera Cake

I am obsessed with the Great British Bake Off.  I first saw a couple of episodes when I was visiting Gman and his people, then my local PBS station started showing it (or I just noticed it).  I watched one season and the second season started, really I don't know what season the show is as I just discovered it on PBS but the season I'm watching aired in 2015.

I decided to bake everything the contestants have to bake, I mean, it makes so much sense to do this especially since I don't eat sugar and flour, and my husband doesn't have a sweet tooth.  But bake I must, so I might as well bake from this show!

The first week was cake.  Three bakes every week means three cakes to bake!

I started with Madera cake.  I've never had it or heard of it before.  I went to Pinterest to get a recipe and set to work.  Now, Mary Berry made a big deal about the crack on the top, I would not have faired well because mine did not have a crack.  I even googled "how to get a crack on Madera cake" but I didn't get a lot of help.

The other seemingly important item was to have candied fruit that was very brittle and clattered if dropped on a plate.  My candied fruit was a little soft but as it dried, it firmed up quite a bit.  Again, I probably wouldn't have been star baker with this bake.

It was good, I had one bite to see what it tasted like.  It was sweet and lemony.  I sent half across the street to my neighbor and half I took to work.  The neighbor and the office are pretty happy I gave myself this challenge.

Madera Cake
from Liv for Cake

5 years ago:   Another Reason to Drink
7 years ago:   Frost and Ham and Bean Soup

September 17, 2019   Sunrise 7:18 am  Sunset 8:10 pm  Temp H

Friday, September 13, 2019

Keto Sugar Cookies for a Birthday

My  across the street neighbor had a birthday this week.  She is obsessed with fitness, all things sparkly,  Hallmark channel movies, doughnuts and eating keto.  She is the person who got me to go to Fairbanks Fit Body Bootcamp before my body got old and gave out and she is a great neighbor. 

So, for her birthday I made keto cookies decorated like doughnuts.  I used my homemade sugar free sprinkles and sent a batch over to her to help her celebrate her birthday week. 

These sugar cookies make great cut-outs and I know I'll be making these again to decorate around Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines Day.  They are delicious, hold their shape and are easy to work with. 

I hope my neighbor's birthday week got started off on a sweet note.

Keto Sugar Cookies
from Explorer Momma

Keto Frosting

4 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-3 Tbsp. heavy cream, depending on thickness desired
food coloring, if desired

Mix butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and about 1 Tbsp. heavy cream.  Mix, adding more heavy cream until desired consistency is achieved.  Color, if desired, and spread on cookies.

I HAD to try them, you know, to make sure they were good!
7 years ago: New Lights

September 13, 2019  Sunrise 7:06 am  Sunset 8:24 pm  Temp H69/ L 46°F

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Sugar Free Sprinkles

Sprinkles are something I've done without for the last 2 years or so. It's been ok, I'm not much of a sprinkle kind of gal and they are just a lot of sugar. If I'm going to eat sugar, it won't be for sprinkles.  But, I was wanting to do some keto desserts and dress them up just a little, so I decided to make some sprinkles.  

I can't believe I waited so long to make these.  They are quick, easy, and I had all items needed in my pantry.  With as easy as they are, I don't know why I didn't make them when I ate regular sprinkles!

Well, I have about a year's supply now.  Let the decorating begin!
Mix in food color of choice.

Pipe in long lines on waxed paper.

Don't worry if your lines are not perfect, you won't be able to
tell once you cut them up.

Dry overnight.

Store is containers on a shelf or in the pantry, don't store in the

Sugar Free Sprinkles

1 Tbsp. meringue powder
2 Tbsp. water, plus more if needed
1 cup confectioners sweetener, like Swerve
food colors of choice

Mix meringue powder and water until well combined. Add sweetener, mix and add water, if necessary, until desired consistency is obtained (I like a buttercream type consistency).

Divide mixture into small bowls, one for each color desired.  Mix color into sprinkle mixture until no streaks remain.  Place in piping bags, or small baggies (cut a tiny tip off the end).  Pipe onto waxed paper.

Let dry 30-60 minutes, cut into small pieces and let dry overnight.  Store dry, I put mine in small containers in the cookie decorating cabinet.

1 year ago:    Blueberry Fool and Missing Breakfast
5 years ago:  Pizza Stromboli for the Blond Boy
7 years ago:  Banana Crunch Muffins and My Love of Schedules

September 11, 2019   Sunrise 6:57 am  Sunset 8:35pm  Temp H63/ L 45°F

Monday, September 9, 2019

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I love asparagus and I love bacon.  So putting them together was a no brainer!  I made this a couple of times before I figured out a good system.  The first time I just wrapped the bacon around the asparagus and when Dave tried to turn the asparagus and bacon, the bacon just fell off. So using a toothpick keeps it all together.

Right now we are trying to grill as often as possible.  The weather has been really nice and I know our nice weather is going to come to an abrupt end.  The last time I stopped by Creamer's Field the birds were all gone, the leaves are all yellow and falling, and it finally frosted enough to kill my zucchini.
So, in the meantime, we will grill as often as possible, and have bacon wrapped asparagus a couple times a week!
Dave, trying to avoid getting his picture taken.

Attack with the tongs because I keep taking his picture!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus, mine was 12 spears
6 sliced of bacon, sliced down the length, one piece for each spear of asparagus
24 toothpicks

Place bacon in microwave, on paper towels, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Wrap one (half) slice of bacon around each asparagus spear. Secure with toothpicks.  Grill over medium high heat until bacon is cooked.  Remove toothpicks, if used, and serve.

1 year ago:   Monday Mugcake, Chocolate Keto Cake
3 years ago:  Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls and the Travel Guy
5 years ago:  Colonial Bread

September 9, 2019  Sunrise 6:54am  Sunset 8:39pm   Temp. H 67/ L 46˚F

Friday, September 6, 2019

Mushroom Cookies

I have a love/hate relationship with mushrooms.  I love to see them, I think they are interesting, but I hate to eat them.  I have tried to like them, but I just can't.

This time of year there are all kinds of mushrooms growing.  When ever I walk at Creamer's Field I see them, they grow in our grass (much to my husband's dismay), and the path I walk at work is wooded and there are lots and lots of different mushrooms to look at.

Mushrooms were my inspiration for cookies this week.  When my kids were young, they went to a day camp called Camp Habitat and one of the songs they learned (and still sing) is about an amanita mushroom..."if you eat an amanita, that will be the end of you."  So, of course, I made little amanita cookies!

I don't have a mushroom cookie cutter, but Sweet Sugarbelle had some great instructions for round, oval, and candy corn shaped cookie cutters (see link below).  I made this very chocolate sugar cookie and went to work.

round cookie shape

using the point of a heart cookie cutter to  make the mushroom

mushroom from a round shape

oval shape 

candy corn shape

decorated cookies drying

a basket of mushrooms for a friend

The chocolate cookie recipe came from Baking a Moment
The mushroom cutout idea came from Sweet Sugarbelle

1 year ago:   Rootbeer Float Popsicles
3 years ago:  On the Road and Grandma's Birthday
5 years ago:  Oreo Truffles and Another Reason I Might Kill My Husband.

September 6, 2019  Sunrise 6:45 am  Sunset 8:50 pm  Temp H68/ L 45°F

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Cucumber Harvest

I met a friend for coffee and she gifted me two cucumbers and some tomatoes from her greenhouse.  I love cucumbers and told her how I would enjoy them for my lunch.  Well, that reminded me that my dad did a great job watering my greenhouse all summer, and while we did bring in some tomatoes, we never had any cucumbers.  I guessed they just didn't grow that much.

So, with the fresh cucumbers on my brain, I went out to my greenhouse to cut back some of the cucumber plants that hadn't been producing and make that my bag of garden I have to collect every day from now until the garden is put away.  I started hacking away at the overgrown vines, I hadn't pruned them all summer, and began to find hidden cucumbers.  After I cut about 6, I ran inside to grab a basket to gather the rest.  I came up with this...
So now I have more cucumbers than I know what to do with!  Dave doesn't eat cucumbers!  I decided I would try some dill relish, we might eat a jar a year, and maybe some dill chips, but English cucumbers aren't the best for pickles.  I posted this picture on my Facebook page and my very smart Seattle niece suggested antioxidant water. I drink a lot of water everyday, I have a pitcher on my desk I fill in the morning and have empty before the end of the day.  I could bring the  ingredients and make it here at work.  So I tried it.

Antioxidant Water
According to Beth

Cucumber slices
lemon slices
mint leaves
pinch of salt

Put all ingredients in a pitcher with cold water.  Enjoy.

1 year ago:    Feeling Blue and Blueberry Scones
3 years ago:  Gin and Tonic
5 years ago:  Zucchini Fries for Zucchini Season

September 4, 2019  Sunrise 6:39 am  Sunset 8:37 pm   Temp H 64/L 46°F