Friday, August 21, 2009


Just a preview of what I do to prepare for one of my cakes.
These flowers took three 8 hour days to make and another
8 hour day to assemble. All the flowers and leaves are hand
sculpted out of sugar paste.

Here are some of the flowers I make before they are put together
on a cake or to make a topper for a cake.
This is a topper for a rehearsal dinner cake. The bride didn't want a
formal wedding cake but the groom's mother felt it was important to have a cake.
The groom's mother wanted a field of wildflowers for the cake since the
wedding will be in a meadow.
There are three of these flower sets to place on the side of the cake.

Picture of cake will be posted September 4th.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tomato Plants

My tomatoes are doing great. This picture shows
them at 4 feet about two weeks ago.
We built this raised bed with a lattice
back about two years ago. Tomatoes just weren't
doing well with all the wind we get. This solution sure helped.
The garage provides both
wind protection and heat for the plants.

This picture was taken Sunday.
Two of them are about 7 feet tall.
As a result they were bending over.
Solution? Build something to
keep them standing and give them more support as they continue to grow.

The big tomatoes are getting large. Can't wait for them to turn red.
Time to start getting out all the tomato recipes.
Hope your gardens are doing as well as mine.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Tonight was our dinner with the kids. This is a special night so it deserves a special menu and one where the kids can help. The kids like taco's so I thought I would put a new twist on this dish. They also love rice and cheese so we made a Mexican variation of the dish. The kids love to cook with me so this was a fun and easy dinner to have them help prepare.

Set a pretty table for the kids.

And Begin cooking
Taco Bowls

Ingredients Needed:

8 small flour Tortillas
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded cheese
(I used 4 cheese Mexican blend but any cheddar will do.)
large tomato
1/4 cup ranch dressing or sour cream
1 can refried beans

Step by Step

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Microwave tortillas on High 30 sec. or until softened. Press 1 tortilla into each of 8 medium muffin cups to form a bowl. Carefully fold edges back to keep an opening for the filling. Bake 10 min. For larger taco bowls use a large muffin pan. (I found mine at Target.)

2. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet on medium heat (Mom assisted), drain. Stir in seasoning; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 min., stirring occasionally. (So I don't have to assist to much I cheat and brown the meat ahead and keep in the frig until it's time to use. I then let the kids add the seasoning.)

3. Chop lettuce into about 2 cups. (Mom assisted.) (Giving your child lettuce leaves and letting them tare the leaves into pieces works great too.)

4. Chop tomato into 1/4-inch pieces with knife. (Mom assisted.)

5. Chop olives with egg cutter.

6. Begin layering: (Mom) Spoon about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture into each tortilla bowl. If you like refried beans, added on top of the meat.
(Kids) Top evenly with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Top with sour cream or dressing.

Enjoy your creation:)
And don't forget to complement your child on a job well done in the kitchen. :) :)

Makes 4 servings, 2 taco bowls each.

A Side Dish
that goes great with the Taco Bowls.
The kids can help with this also.

10 Minute Cheesy Mexican Rice

Riley's favorite.

Ingredients Needed:

1 can (10-1/2 oz.) condesensed chicken broth (1-1/3 cups)
1 cup Thick 'N Chucky Salsa
2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1/4 lb. (4 0z.) Velveeta Pasteurized cheese, cut up

Step by Step: Kids can help by pouring all measured ingredients into pan.

1. Mix broth and salsa in medium saucepan. Bring to boil.

2. Add rice and Velveeta; stir. Cover and remove from hear. Let stand 5 min.

3. Remove from heat and stir cheese until melted.

Makes 4 servings.


How to Cube the Velveeta:
Cut measured amount of cheese
into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
Then, cut each slice crosswise
in both directions to make cubes.

with lemonade,

carrot sticks and celery sticks
with ranch dip on the side to dip into,

and a piece of water melon.

For Dessert:
Homemade Ice Cream served in fancy bowls to make everyone feel special. A little finger tasting never hurts either.

This was a great meal and lots of fun to prepare. I hope your family gives this dinner a try and remember to enjoy the time spent in the kitchen with your children. Patients is the key word here. Remember if nothing turns out perfect that's okay, because the only thing they will remember is their time spent with you in the kitchen. Who knows maybe you'll be cultivating a great chief someday and if not at least they will learn to cook and not starve when they go out on their own. Besides they are never too young to learn the joy of cooking.

Oh yah. Don't forget clean up. Aiden's helping put thing away.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baby Bunny

We have a new resident in our yard. Some how this bunny found his way into our yard and now lives under the deck and enjoys his meals in the garden. He sure is fun to watch.