Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Best Chocolate Buttercream

I know this is a repost, but I wanted to share this recipe again.

I've made chocolate buttercreams before, but this one is a KEEPER. It whips up nice and light and it makes and makes enough to frost a 2 layer 9" cake as well as 2 dozen cupcakes.

Rich Chocolate Buttercream
2 oz baking chocolate

2 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

1 C butter

4 C powdered sugar

2 t vanilla

1/4 C coco

1/4 C milk

Melt chocolates and set aside.

Cream butter, coco, half of the sugar

Add melted chocolate, vanilla, milk, remaining sugar

mix until fluffy

Makes 3 3/4 cups of frosting

I'm linking this up to Yummy Fridays over at Yummy Mummy

Friday, June 24, 2011

Lack of sun = time spent baking

Surprise, surprise, surprise
(that was meant to be read with your best Gomer Pyle voice)
A week in and still the sun is for the most part MIA and I have to say I'm going a little stir crazy. Now I guess I should be channelling the pent up energy in a super productive way like cleaning out the garage, but nope, I've been baking.
At least I gave most of them away.

Hope the sun is out wherever you are (and if it is, please send some my way)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It was nice while it lasted

Yesterday was the first day (and hopefully not the only day) of summer.
The sun was out and it reached 77 degree which is big time warm here in the Pacific Northwest. We went to the pool and soaked up the sun. Today I woke up to clouds that don't look like they are burning off anytime soon. Oh well, I need to go run errands and without that pesky sun calling my name, I might actually get things done.
Below is one of my favorite pics of me and my bff Jenny P. back in the day working at the pool.
I love that place.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bluest Skies I've Ever Seen Are in Seattle...

Tomorrow is the first day of summer and I really hope the sun shows up soon. This is what has been outside my window for as long as I can remember.

Oh sure the sun has shown up for a tease here and there, but not enough for my liking. We got a glimpse of the sun today around 5:30 so hopefully it will make another appearance tomorrow. We are hitting the pool and I would really like to leave the umbrella at home.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Vacation: Day 1

Today was the first day of summer vacation and I couldn't be happier. I love summer. The best part NO schedules.
The sun actually showed up today so the kids and I took full advantage and worked in the yard. Now I'm sure the kids would agree that the day would have been much more fun poolside, but the pool we belong to won't be on regular schedule until next week, so yard work it was.

I was surprised how long they lasted. Apparently the trick to keeping a 12 year old enthusiastic about gardening is to him a saw and tell him we are taking out a third of a very overgrown lilac. The 8 year old was a little easier, watering can.

The pic to the left are my Sweet Peas. I was cleaning out the junk drawer and had a packet of seeds. I planted them fully expecting them not to come up, so I was very excited when they actually started to grow. I love cut Sweet Peas, hopefully I will have blooms soon.While we worked in both the backyard and the veggie garden I'll show you the veggie garden. It is still in its "before" stage, but hopefully things will start to chug along now that the sun should be around a little more often (in theory at least) The beds are on the south side of the house.

The first bed has Yellow Pear tomato, Sunflowers, Lemon Boy tomato, Juliet tomato, Zucchini, Garlic chives

The second bed has Early Girl tomato, Sugar Peas, Patio tomato, Sweet 100 tomato, Shallots, English cucumber, Jalapeno peppers

Tomorrow the forcast calls for rain, shocking I know, but hopefully I will be able to get a little more puttering in before it starts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Feel Good Summer Reading

This is what I will be reading this summer. I picked them up at our school's book swap and I got lots of "Oh, you will LOVE this book". My mom has read The Help and I've seen Cutting for Stone mentioned on other blogs, it sounded interesting.

Last year when I was subbing for my mom I ran into a PTA mom who was in the middle of their school's annual book swap/sale. Basically the kids bring in books from home, for every two books they bring in they can select one new book and the leftover books are then sold for a quarter a piece at the end of the year ice cream social. What a great idea. I brought the idea back to my school and we decided to give it a try.

While I liked the idea of the "swap" the headache of a "sale" was more than I wanted to take on. I decided that the leftover books would instead be donated to local reading programs. Last year we brought in just over 1200 books, not too shabby for something thrown together the last few weeks of school. This year we brought in just over 1500 books.

Yesterday we dropped off over 700 books to a local outreach program. This is such an easy was for kids to give back and make a difference. If this sounds like a project you want to try, feel free to email me and I can give you give some "tricks of the trade".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

T minus 2 1/2 days...

School is out in two and a half days.
I can't wait.

Summers USED to mean lounging poolside soaking up rays, smelling like Hawaiian Tropic or Coppertone, putting a little lemon juice in you hair to help along those summer highlights. So far this summer I've spent more time in jeans and sweaters than I have in shorts.

We have had a few hours of sun this month and today I was able to take advantage and get my herb garden planted. I was trolling the gardening archives over at An Accomplished Woman and it inspired me to go out stimulate the economy. I picked up parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro and shallots. I'm especially excited about the shallots. I thought I had missed my window (google said they had to be planted in the fall) but apparently not. I like shallots but they are so spendy. Hopefully the starts will work out.
Despite the lack of sun, there are promises of things to come...

I LOVE peonies and these babies are about to burst. Please forgive the darkness of the photo, it was RAINING!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Today is the first round of the Tournament of Champions.

Ben's team won their league and now they play for the District 10 Chmpionship.

Besides hoping for a win, we are hoping the rain will stay away.

Apparently, W. WA missed the memo that June is supposed to be part of summer.

Oh well, Go Tigers


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

While I was away...

My little brother Tommy got married.

Sam was a flower girl and Ben was a groomsman (I think this is the only picture he smiled for)

We are so happy for them