rhodes giveaway winner

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First of all, Happy Birthday to Mr. Wonderful! I love you honey!

The winner of the Rhodes package is:


Jodi
“I love the solution for over-rising rolls! On a day like today, I love hot rolls from the oven. Might have to dig out a bag from the freezer and have them for dinner. Ah, the power of suggestion (wink).”

I will email you to work out delivery details. Jodi. Thanks for reading, guys. I hope you have a great Halloween!

halloween suckers

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If you are looking for frightfully cute last minute treats for a party or just to give to friends; you can whip up a spider, bat, or ghost sucker so fast it’s scary. They require very few materials. If you have an art box, you’ll likely only need to buy the suckers. Feel free to copy the tag images into a document and add your child’s name; then just print and cut.

spider sucker

materials:

round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
4 chenille stems
optional:
googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)

directions:

1. Line up 4 chenille stems so that they are even and tightly grouped.
2. Place sucker in the middle of the stems and firmly wrap around so that the stems have gone all the way around and are pointing up.
3.Bend the stems back down, halfway down the length. then bend the last 1/4 inch or so up a bit.
4. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.

bat sucker

materials:

round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
black construction paper
tape
optional:
googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)
ribbon

directions:

1. Fold construction paper in half and draw bat wings. (Make sure your wings are about 1 inch thick on the fold.) You can also print out and trace this template.


2. Cut out wings and make 2 small slits on the fold about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the paper.
3. Unfold winds and push out the strip in the center (made by the slits.)
4. Slip sucker stem into the slit and secure with tape on the back.
5. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.
6. Want a little more cuteness? Tie a bow on the sucker stem under the wings.

ghost sucker

materials:

round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
white table napkin
black marker

optional:
googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)
ribbon

directions:

1. Unfold napkin and center it on top of the sucker.
2. Push the edges of the napkin down around the sucker and twist slightly at the stem.
3. Secure the back with a small piece of tape.
4. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.
5. You can also tie a ribbon at the base of the sucker. This is a great way to attach a tag.

rhodes rolls giveaway

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I mentioned going to a blogger’s event–um, a while ago–at the Rhodes demo kitchen. It was a great class, with tons of fantastic ideas and (even better) a whole lot of food to try after. I have to admit that I have been an off and on fan of Rhodes; however I really only have done the plain old rolls. I learned that I often let my rolls over-rise so they end up with big air bubbles. (Solution, punch them down and reshape.) I didn’t know this, but Rhodes actually has a no-fault guarantee. Woohoo! We also learned how to make a lot more interesting rolls that night. Most of them are outlined on the site, some even with videos.

image via rhodesbread.com

They also have tips and trouble shooting on their site. And I was thrilled to find so many new recipes. My favorite thing we ate that night was the Butterscotch Bubbleloaf, which is actually their most requested recipe. There is even a video tutorial. It was heavenly!  The Cinnamon Blueberry Crumble was also amazing. I am definitely going to try this Fondough recipe. The girls love fondue and this looks super fun; so do the Sweet and Sour Chicken Cups. Mmm. Okay, you can browse for yourself. There are a ton of good looking recipes on their site.

I think I am sounding a little sales-pitchy, but Rhodes isn’t paying me for this post (wink). However they did give me a cookbook with some really great recipes and a cute apron. And very kindly, they sent me one to share with you guys. So, leave a comment if you would like to get cooking some new doughlicious (Yikes!) recipes. I will pick a winner on Thursday night and announce it Friday morning. In the meantime, check out all of their darling Halloween ideas. We are going to have pumpkin pizzas for dinner on Sunday. (Although I think I will do them individual size and let the girls make their own jack-o-lanterns.)

image via rhodesbread.com

key lime cake with white chocolate frosting

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When I got this request for a wedding cake a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t sure  how good it would taste. After a lot of experimenting I ended up with recipes I really love and thought I’d share. If you want a stronger lime flavor, I think you could beat more powdered sugar into the filling recipe and make an excellent frosting out of it. I also used the white chocolate frosting on some chocolate cupcakes last weekend and received rave reviews. So, feel free to mix and match on this baby.

easy key lime cake

adapted from CakeCentral.com

ingredients:

lemon or yellow cake mix
3.5oz. instant lemon pudding mix (dry)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup key lime juice (you can use bottled key lime juice and regular limes for the zest.)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (water will work, but provide a less dense cake)
zest from 3 limes

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer for 2-3 minutes

3. Pour into prepared pans (I like to just spray my pans with a baking spray) and and tap several times on top of the counter to release air bubbles. Slide a knife back and forth in the batter (not touching the bottom of the pan) to remove bubbles and even out the batter. This will help your cake bake up evenly and prevent “doming.”

4. Bake for 45 min. or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

5. Cool for 10 minutes and turn out from pans.

key lime filling

ingredients:

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/3 c. key lime juice
zest from 4-6 limes (however zesty you like it. : D)

Mix all ingredients and beat for a few minutes. Adjust the sugar or juice as needed to get the desired consistency.

A little of everything: This cake was cut in half to make two 2 layer cakes. One chocolate with
raspberry filling and the other key lime. :) Who says you can’t have everything you want?

white chocolate frosting

ingredients:

12 oz. white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. milk
1 c. shortening
1 c. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
8 cups powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk

directions:

1. Microwave chocolate with 1/4 cup milk in microwavable bowl on Medium-high for 1-2 minutes; stir chocolate halfway through cooking time. Do not overheat, the chocolate will continue to melt as you stir.
2. Cream butter and shortening in a mixer until smooth and incorporated; then add vanilla and almond.
3. Add sugar, one cup at time, while beating on a lower speed. Once about half of the sugar has been added, stop and scrape sides and bottom and add milk. Then continue adding the rest of the sugar.
4. Once the frosting is smooth,  beat in chocolate. Continue to whip until it is light and fluffy.

Little clay birds nestled together. Ahh….

If I were making this cake for another occasion; I would do 3 layers and serve it like this. Garnishing with lime slices halved and arranged around the bottom would be very cute.

oregon

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So we drove over 2,700 miles last week. The girls were fantastic for it; but I think we are all ready for a little less time in the car now. The highlight was definitely getting to soak in the green goodness of Oregon with the Herzogs. We have been missing them a ton since they moved last month; so it was great to get to go visit so soon. I was sad to upload the pictures and see how few we got. I guess we’ll just have to go again.

Amanda loved the beach… by loved I mean loved to eat the sand.

Watching the sea lions and seals

There were a ton of them! They are loud and not very respectful of personal space. It reminded me of when certain little girls crawl into bed with their trying-to-sleep parents.

We drove straight through, so there was a lot of sleeping. Actually, we left about 10:30 Friday morning and got home at 7:00 Saturday morning. There were a few hangups; but we had a good time and the scenery was fantastic for most of the trip.

sweet sleep.

grumpy “You guys are too noisy, so I am blocking you out.” sleep

Taking in some art on a Eugene pit stop.

Luckily we got to bring the Herzogs back with us for a few days. So the fun is still going. Um, after I get the laundry going, that is.

chicken tomatillo enchiladas with mango salsa

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I’ve been promising Russ this recipe for 2 weeks and holding out on him. Sorry about that. I thought you guys might enjoy it too. It really does taste best with rotisserie chicken. I recommend having the chicken for dinner the first night with PW’s amazing crash hot potatoes and some greens. After dinner, pull the remaining meat off of the chicken and drizzle with the lime juice. It will be super quick to make these the next day. Also, originally I roasted about 1 lb. of tomatilloes, an onion, and a few jalapenos then pureed them to make a salsa for this. However, I made it the other day with La Victoria tomatillo salsa and liked it better, so you decide what works best for you-smugness at having made it yourself or quick and tasty cheater style. Either way. I won’t judge.

ingredients:

~1/2 lb. rotisserie chicken

corn tortillas

3 limes

tomatillo puree or salsa

shredded monterrey jack cheese

directions:

1. Tear or cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in the juice from the limes and a little salt for at least an hour.

2. Spoon meat onto a tortilla and roll it up, placing it in a 2 qt. (approx. 6×12″) baking dish. Repeat until the pan is full.

3. Cover enchiladas with salsa and cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 min. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve with mango salsa.

Mango Salsa

ingredients:

2 mangoes, peeled and diced

1-2 limes

~1/4 cup chopped red onion (to taste)

~1/4 cup chopped cilantro

salt to taste

directions:

1. After dicing ingredients, mix all in a bowl. This tastes great when it has had a little while to sit and marinade in the lime juice.

work and play

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aka: my stinkin’ peaches are done and I did have a lot of fun in the last few weeks. Here’s a (probably too long) rundown.

The before and after. I canned 48 quarts or a little over 400 peaches. I thought I could do it in a day, it took me 3 full days to actually finish. But it is so nice to have them done!

I got to meet some fantastic ladies at the Rhodes blogger class. It was so much fun and I want to take a little more time on another post to share some recipes. So more to come on that.

I hosted a fun book group. (Not my usual-they know all of my deep dark shameful secrets book group-but one of cute friends I have known forever and am just finally joining.) I snapped this picture after everything had been laid out for 30 min. and no one showed. I thought the jerks stood me up; but actually I was just dumb and didn’t notice that it started an hour later than I thought.

If I say so myself, the food was pretty darn good. I served Pinch My Salt’s slow roasted tomatoes with goat cheese (-so worth trying.) As well as little mock petit fours. They were super easy to make. Just bake mini cupcakes (without the wrapper) then dip into ganache or melted frosting. It is best to use canned frosting for this–for some reason it melts and sets better than homemade. (Don’t think too long about why.) Put the amount you want in a small bowl and microwave for 5-10 sec. Stir (and stir in coloring if desired) and dip the cupcakes in-voila. The cooler the frosting/ganache, the thicker the coating will be. They are so easy and they turn out darling. I did them in pastel colors for a baby shower a few days later. Sadly no pictures of that. But try the awesome carmel dip Julie made with apples. She also brought a beautiful bowl of strawberries with bowls of sour cream and raw sugar to dip them in. I loved that! Back to bookclub: I served my favorite girlie beverage–water with sliced cucumbers and limes and a pinch of sugar. Mmm, so refreshing. Oh, by the way, the book was awesome. Check it out: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (Don’t read the condensed version!)

I have spent my nights working on a couple of paintings for the Spread Magic Around Carnival and Auction. If you are in the Salt Lake Area, I really recommend attending the fundraiser to help out with the Coleman family’s sweet kids who have SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). The festivities will be on Oct. 9th. Come and have some fun (info available on the Coleman’s blog). You don’t even have to bid on my work. …but I will like you more if you do. Kidding, only kidding. Actually, if you do notice anything or have any advice, I would LOVE you for sharing. The red one doesn’t photograph well, but I love it. Mary, Mary is giving me a lot of self doubt. She still has a ways to go and I keep thinking of scraping the background all together and pulling a late nighter to do something better. I don’t know. Okay, I’m not going to get all anguished artist-y on you. I will maintain a shred of dignity. Well, in this instance at least.

I have also had an unusual number of mommy outings. Woohoo! Of course, I am sure you are sick of hearing me ramble about my daily events. (And I haven’t even started in on the PTA activities and inability to keep my house clean. Ick, even I feel bored.) So, I will get going on this weeks fun: a wedding cake, more PTA and finishing touches on the paintings. Oh yea, and blogging. My reader is very full and I miss all of my-um-virtual friends. (Does that sound as lame as I think it does? Doesn’t matter. They are real to me. <little sniff>)