Saturday, February 26, 2011

Boys of Summer

Springtime means baseball.

Unfortunately the Soundview Little League doesn't have facilities down in AZ.

Oh no, we have NE Tacoma Elementary and snow that didn't get the memo that March is just a few days away.

While I love the snow, I don't think Ben shares my enthusiasm.

Poor Benji, such a trooper.

Friday, February 25, 2011

You will hear "yummy" sounds

Today I thought I would share with you my "go to" coffee cake.

It is so simple it is kinda embarrassing, but folks seem to love it regardless.

I made it for the book fair breakfast this morning and as I was leaving with the two little pieces left over, someone stopped me and snagged one of them.

I will be the first to admit this has Sandra Lee written all over it, but it never fails to please and that is really what it's all about.

Enjoy :0)

Super Easy Coffee Cake

for the cake ~

1 box yellow cake mix (I prefer to use Pillsbury ~ super moist and super cheap)

1 C water

1/2 C oil

3 eggs

mix according to directions and pour into a greases 9x13

for the crumb topping ~

1 stick butter softened (I nuc mine for 20 seconds)

1 C brown sugar

1 C oats

1/2 C flour

1 t cinnamon & 1/4 nutmeg (feel free to bump these up according to your preferred taste)

mix until combined and crumbly

Pour the crumb mixture over the cake batter and swirl with a knife.

Bake 34 minutes

The cake will puff up around the crumb topping as it melts into the cake. After it cools you can top it with a basic powder sugar, milk, vanilla glaze.

So simple, but so yummy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Envy

It seems like everyone in the country is digging themselves out of tons of snow. Well today we finally got a little of the white stuff of our own. Now in the Seattle area, we really aren't "snow people". Before the first flake ever falls, the local news start with coverage of "Artic Blast '11" or "Snowmagedon" and usually all that ever shows up is a trace, maybe a few inches unless of course you are in the higher elevations, which we aren't.
So when it started snowing last night I was thrilled. I love the snow. I love how pretty everything looks when it snows. I love how the kids get to stay home. I love the fact that I don't really have places to go so I don't have to drive in it because one thing W.Wa's cannot do is drive in snow. To be fair, we don't get a lot of practice. I think this sums it up pretty well.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nothing says "Tex-Mex" like the Hamptons

Tonight I made Ina Garten's Tex-Mex Chili.
I was unsure of my expectations. I'm not necessarily a chili girl, but I'm always on the lookout for a good DND recipe, so I thought I would try it.
Now Ina doesn't really scream "tex mex" and neither did her friend to whom the receipe belonged. In fact the friend even said, "what do two Jewish girls from New York know about tex-mex chili". Apparently she knows something because the chili was "award winning" so I decided to give it a try.
The first time I make a receipe I follow the directions. (nothing makes me crazy like when I research a recipe and the reviewers give it 5 stars but then go on to tell how they completely changed the receipe) I had my mom and dad come over to help taste test it and while it was good, we felt it could be better. Below is the recipe as written with my two cents thrown in.


Devon's Award Winning Chili

5lb brisket cut into 1" pieces

1/4 C Evoo

2 C yellow onion chopped

6 large cloves minced (could hardly taste the garlic, add more if you like garlic)

1 T red pepper flakes (might cut this down to 1 t)

2 T chili powder

1 T Cayenne

2 T ground cumin (bump this up to 3 T)

2 green peppers cut up

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

6 C chopped tomatoes w/liquid (or two large cans)

1/2 C strong coffee (we found this made the chili a little bitter, beer would be better)

2 (150z) cans kidney beans (if you aren't a fan of beans, you might try a refied beans instead)

2 T chopped basil

In a heavy bottom pot, heat oil and brown meat and set aside

Add onions and garlic to oil and saute' 8-10 min

Add spices, stir one minute

Add tomatoes with juice, peppers, bay leaf, salt and pepper, reserved meat.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 1/2 hours.

Add coffee, simmer 30 minutes

Add beans and basil simmer 30 minutes more

Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced tomato, corn chips

Monday, February 21, 2011

18 days

In 18 days and a handful of hours I will be running another 5K.

I can't decide if I'm excited or not.

I haven't run since my last 5K in December.

Well, I did today and my body is a little less than happy.

I've been pretty good with my working out, but elliptical work is sadly much different than road work.

My goal is to run 8 more times before the race.

Ambitious? yes. Doable? totally


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red velvet worthy of blue box, white ribbon

With Valentines Day just around the corner, it seems Red Velvet cakes are all the rage. I remember Martha making one on her show and I just couldn't get over putting an ENTIRE bottle of red food coloring into the batter, just not appealing. I've only had a few Red Velvet experiences and they were dry and flavorless. That being the case, I never had the desire to try and make them myself, until now.

There is a small diner by my house. I love the fact that when I walk in, the waitress is already pouring my diet coke and looking for lemons. I love that when I order a side of BBQ, the cook knows to serve it in a small bowl, yes it is THAT good. I love that when it is slow we can BS with the staff and they BS back. It's everything a neighborhood diner should be. So to show them a little love I will bake for them. I've brought in pies, cookies and other sweet treats. The last time we went for lunch I was in the middle of making some cupcakes and the staff was bummed I hadn't brought them any (I would have had they been done) So I decided the next time we went I wouldn't show up empty handed.

I was thrilled when I saw a recipe for Red Velvet cupcakes on the Brown Eyed Baker's blog. (Quick side note, her blog is awesome ~ amazingly yummy eye candy AND she shares her recipes ~ how cool is that) I had done some research trying to find "the best Red Velvet ever" and I kept coming back to hers. It had all the "must haves" and it only made 12 cupcakes which meant not too many extra cupcakes at the house screaming "eat me" Long story short, they were easy to make, tasted moist and chocolaty and I can't wait for the folks at the diner to try them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The eyes are the first to go...

Well, it looks like despite my best efforts/denial I'm getting glasses. I finally had to cave when driving at night became a little more scary than it should be. I guess I have an astigmatism, which means I see halos around things, especial lights. Those blue headlights are the worst and LED signs are practically unreadable. I got to the point where it was so bad, I was okay with getting glasses. However, when he told me I might need bifocals, I started to freak out.

Seriously, I'm too young for bifocals, right?? After putting up my best pout, the dr. gave me a stay of execution, but said "next year won't be the case". Bummer. I guess it isn't so much the actual glasses as it is the potential of dependency on them. I just keep seeing Velma loosing her glasses and being blind a bat. When I asked if there was anything I could do help strengthen my eyes the dr. said "nope" and that was the end of it.

So now I'm just waiting for my new "eyes" to come in. I got the okay to just wear them at night when I drive, but he said, "you never know, you might actually enjoy being able to see".
I guess we will just have to wait and see about that.