Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Treats: Chocolate Eclair Dessert


What a weekend!  I feel like I need another 3 day weekend just to recoup from this weekend.  The weekend was full of fun times.  I was able to have some wine on the deck with some great company, which may or may not have led to a long day by the pool on Saturday with some of my favorites!  Sunday was a day of boating, golfing, and some more drinks outside with great company.  Monday was another day of boating and swimming.  I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!  Not only do I love boats, but I'm so glad I was able to get my clubs out again and now I think I'm ready for my golf lessons!  

Okay, okay, now for the real reason you all are here today….
But before I give you the recipe, I have to let you know, I did not make this in my kitchen, so be aware…there are some things I had to change around.  And YES, that is a pot I was mixing in.  Haha!  I could not find regular mixing bowls, as I don't expect many guys to have a whole kitchen full of proper tools for baking (well, unless they are a cook or have a crazy mother who has a compulsive shopping addiction who buys her son everything under the sun, all in order to go into bankruptcy).  So, bare with me and my little substitutions! 

CHOCOLATE ECLAIR CAKE.

Mmmmm!  This is my mom's recipe and one of my VERY favorite summer desserts.  

Ingredients:
1 package of graham crackers
2 packages of french vanilla pudding
3 1/4 cup milk
1 tub of Cool Whip, thawed

Icing:
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp milk
 (actually, I needed a lot more, not sure where Mom came up with this amount?)

Directions:
1.  Butter 9 X13 pan.
2.  Line pan with graham crackers.
3.  Beat together pudding and milk for 2-3 minutes until well blended. 
4.  Fold in Cool Whip.
  Yup, it's a pot…thankfully, he did have a hand mixer!  
5.  Spread half of pudding mix on top of layer of graham crackers.
6.  Top with another layer of graham crackers.
7.  Spread remaining pudding on top of crackers. 
8.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  
(okay, I could only do and hour, as I was being rushed to go to brunch and then on the boat)
9.  Blend all icing ingredients together.  
(Add milk as you go until you get desired consistency.  It's supposed to be a little thicker)
10.  Spread icing on top of pudding layer.  

(like I said, I was rushed for time, so my pudding wasn't as chilled as it should have been, and therefore it looks a little "swirled," although that was not intentional)
11.  Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
ENJOY!
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Monday, May 23, 2011

My Mom, My Hero


Good morning, gang!  I have to give a shot out to my Mom today.  She has been my rock recently, and has helped me in so many ways I don't know how else to say Thank You!


Do you know how many times a week I hear "you sound just like your mom!" or 
"you look just like your mom" (now, this is NOT because I look old, but she looks super young, ok…go with me on this…).   We are reading the same book right now, we have some of the same hobbies, and both feel much better after a little run and some healthy fruit!  Apparently we have a lot of the same mannerisms (I bet she likes to hear that since she'll occasionally tell me "you're in one of your moods."  haha!  But even when I'm in one of "my moods," aka-lack of sleep from being up on call all night long  she never gives up on me!  

Don't get me wrong, she does the annoying mom stuff like:


(This take PRIORITY for her!  We call each other all the time, however, when she doesn't answer, I love to tell her I could be dead on the side of the road by the time she calls back.  When I was younger, and she would call back I would play nasty little jokes her on and tell her I stuck myself with a needle at work and they aren't sure what disease I have contracted so I'll be in employee health for a while…poor mom!  See what I mean, she never gives up!  However, she still hasn't learned to call right back!  

I mean, when you need your mom, you NEED your mom!



The past 9 months have been more than difficult on me.  But I always know I can pick up the phone and call my mom at any time of day or night.  


She sat there and talked to me while at work, while making dinner, while trying to sleep.  I'm sure my dad was ready to throw the phone out the window on many occasions.   Sometimes I get upset with her advice, but I know she's right.  I'm way better off now and the best is yet to come.  I have to pick up, move on, and smile.  

She used to always tell me to find a guy who treats his mother well; its a sign of how he will treat you.  

We have also learned over the years, stay away from the guy who is controlled by his mother, it will set you up for a disaster.

She knows how to fix a broken heart, how to cure the flu (with Hershey Kisses and Diet Coke, duh!), how to teach me to be a better woman each and every day.  She used to do things for me when I was younger:

However, now she teaches me as we go so I will always be prepared.  You should see how much I've learned in one weekend!  I wanted to get someone to wash my windows.  My mom reminded me, I'm not a millionaire and need to stop pretending I am.  She's so right!  So, she came over and helped me wash my windows.  Now, I was not thrilled as she hung outside the top window washing, the nurse in me sees way to many risks associated with this task!  But the windows we cleaned look BEAUTIFUL!  And now I know how to do it and can do it all on my own!  

Then, I was going to take my screens to get them rescreened.  Now, my mom was all about that, until she heard from her friends that they do it all the time.  Mom LOVES a new challenge and had to try this.  We hung out at Lowe's, got all of our supplies and actually rescreened my window screens.  Ahhh….a nice cross breeze now!  (More to come on that this week).

I was going to get some plants that were already in a pot at the store to put on my front door step.  WAIT A MINUTE!, she says!  So, early in the morning Bax and I were over my parents who let us borrow their beautiful flower pots (FREE!) and fill with their dirt half way up (FREE!) and then we went to a nursery and picked out some beautiful flowers.   Oh, and while we were at Mom and Dad's, my mom dug out some of her Hosta to plant in my front yard, (Again, FREE!).  They have a ton, don't think I'm taking much from them.  She was probably glad to get rid of some.  Now the deer will eat them at my house instead of hers!  :)  PS…can I tell you how happy I am to have deer in my backyard instead of nasty rats downtown in the alley?!  LOVE my new living arrangements in every which way!

So, then we went to Lowe's and got some soil for the pots, a flower for the back deck,  and all of our screen supplies and we went to work yesterday.  However, I have to say, I didn't break a sweat, minus running around after Baxter who loves running all over the backyard down by the stream.  My mom is the hardest worker you will ever meet, and she worked like no other yesterday, all for me.  For her daughter that she has given and given to day in and day out recently.  Who knows why she does this for me.  I owe her, BIG TIME.  She'll thank me when she's old and sick and wants someone to take care of her!)

Oh, and did I mention that I wanted some bigger decorative pillows for my guest room?  I showed my mom what I wanted, we went to get the fabric at the store (which of course, my mom had her coupons ready to save us some $$$), and the NEXT morning, my mom stopped by with a surprise for me…she had finished it already!!! It looks GORGEOUS in my yellow and blue guest room!  She can do just about anything…pillows, curtains, bedskirts…this woman is the true stay at home mom who did all this when we were younger, but continues to do it as a full time employee now while just completing her first Half Marathon with my sister!!!  AMAZING or what?!

Not only did she do all that for me, but she also bought us each a lesson on needlepoint, which we attended this weekend.  This past year, she made my dad this awesome needlepoint belt with crabs…it's so cute!  And I've wanted to make Christmas stockings, and now with my new house I would eventually like to redo a cushion on a chair and do some needlepoint pillows, so she bought us the class (even though she really didn't need to go), so we could spend time together and learn together.  It was great!  I'm almost done my little project (more to come this week) and I can't wait to start on the next project…a collar for Baxter!  

Do any of you feel like this???
Please tell me yes.  She loves to say "if it were a snake, it would have bitten you" to my dad and I when we swear we can't find something anywhere!  She knows just where everything is!

Thanks, Mom for all you have done, are doing, and continue to do for me and with me.  I appreciate it more than you will ever know!


Here's to sunny days ahead! 
XOXO
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Treats: Chocolate Pecan Pie

Good morning!  It's been waaaaay too long since I've been up and blogging again and I apologize.  On top of my computer acting crazy, it's wedding season around here which makes for fun times, but also busy times.  One of my best friends got married this weekend and now it's time to plan away for my sisters' bridal shower and bachelorette party!  Woo Hoo!

Here is a picture of some of the best girls in the world at Leslie's rehearsal dinner

And here for our beautiful bride…

All photos courtesy of one of my best friends, Erin.
Check her out at E Photography!

 Now, I thought no better way to get back to blogging, then to start off with a delicious recipe!


Ingredients
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
9 inch pie shell (or you could bake your own if you feel very Martha Stewart today :))

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cream sugar and butter.  Add eggs, flour, vanilla, salt.  
3.  Mix in chocolate chips and pecans.  
4.  Pour mix into pie shell.  Bake for 45 minutes.
5.  Allow to completely cool.

ENJOY…just like I did!

This was my breakfast this morning (tisk, tisk)


ENJOY!!!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

National Nurses Day

(I know, any excuse to use this picture.  LOVE it!)

Happy Nurses Day to all my fellow nurses!  

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Treats: My Favorite Strawberry Shortcake


A couple weeks ago I hosted a little lingerie shower/dinner for our beautiful bride, Leslie.  I was in charge of the desserts…duh!  With the weather turning into beautiful spring, I decided there was no better dessert but my Mom's Strawberry Shortcake.  It's by far my favorite cake!

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
2 containers of thawed Cool Whip
strawberries, sliced and halved

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Grease and flour 2 round cake pans.
3.  Combine first 5 ingredients and beat until well combined. 
4.  In saucepan, melt butter.  Add milk and bring to a boil.  
5.  Carefully add the butter mixture to the cake mix and beat well.
6.  Pour mix into greased and floured pans.
7.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
8.  Let cool completely in pans.
9.  Turn pans over once cool to release cake.  Slice each cake with a serrated knife, making two round layers, or 4 layers all together.
10.  Slice strawberries for layers and half for the top of the cake. 
11.  Place one layer of cake on plate, top with cool whip.  Add sliced strawberries.  Place second layer on top.  Repeat with each layer.  For top layer, instead of sliced strawberries, decorate with halved berries. 
12.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

ENJOY!!!
Photo courtesy of e.photography

We did a pretty good job finishing it up!
photo courtesy of e.photography

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Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Back!

Not sure if you realized that I have been missing all last week or not, but I was in the beautiful state of South Carolina with my family for Easter. 
This is where we stayed, in Isle of Palms.
We had such a wonderful time with beautiful weather!  We got there last Saturday and were able to enjoy a nice lunch in Charleston outside with the pups (Baxter, Tilley, and Molly).

Then we came back to the house and Kates, little Ms Martha, insisted we must have dyed Easter eggs for the morning.  I mean, really, how else would the Easter Bunny know how to find us?!  ;)

Baxter and I woke up to a wonderful surprise of candies and Lilly cookies on our bedside table from Katie and Tilley!  I was super excited as I had never actually seen the cookies in person!!!  Thanks K&T!

After church on Sunday morning (and I must inform you we had to sit on the alter WITH the priest and alter boys…that was an experience I will never forget!), we had a nice brunch together at home and then went out to the pool for a while.  Baxter had to get as much attention as possible from his great grandmother, as she loves to stir him up!

Later, we were able to take the dogs on a nice long walk on the beach.

Miss Tilley had more sand on her than on the beach!  She LOVED it!

Meanwhile, Molly was pretty sure the two little ones were crazy, and she much rather chill poolside!

While, Baxter and Tilley enjoyed swimming laps in the pool!

Check out Bax swimming~he LOVED it!  I think this means the next house must have a pool in the backyard :)
video

Monday we took a trip to Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, SC.  
Look at the beautiful Spanish Moss that hung from the trees in Savannah.

After taking a walk along the shops on the water, we headed for a much needed lunch…at Paula Dean's restaurant, Lady and Sons.  It was everything we imagined!

Kates and I were so excited and knew we had to take pictures to post on the blog for you all!

Sweet tea, buttermilk biscuits, and cornbread….how much more southern can you get? 

I had the chicken salad sandwich (I know, really ventured out there, huh…but it was DELISH!) with Jelly Roll's fries (potatoes battered and fried).  Yummm…and I think it was very healthy, what do you think?

While we were away Gran turned 83 and boy did she hang in there with us!  She has more spunk to her than most young gals!  Every once in a while she liked to rest while we shopped away.  Don't let that fool you, though, she will do the Michael Jackson Moonwalk as we walk into the next shop!

And of course we had to try on the biggest hats we could find!  Aunt K found the biggest one by far!  This was also the shop we found umbrellas for $140.  Really?!

I wish I had more pictures for you, but between all the laughs and shopping, I forgot to take more!  We headed to Charleston for a day of shopping on Tuesday where I found tons of fun jewelry!  And Wednesday was Granny's big day, so we relaxed by the pool and went for a nice dinner in Charleston at Carolina's where I had the best southern Shrimp & Grits!  Mmmmm!

I'm already dreaming about our next trip!

Hope you all had a wonderful week and I'm glad to be back and catching up with you all again!
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