Tuesday, December 14, 2010

As Promised, The BEST RECIPE EVER!!!!!!!

So my mother in law gave me this recipe about 5 years ago, and I make it religiously at Christmas, ok and I had it for my birthday too.  This square type cake whips up in a 9x13 pan, but I would strongly recommend  making at least 2, 1 to share with visitors, and one for you. Is your curiosity peaked yet?  My friends here in town have heard tell of this recipe being made, but none have seen it.  For the first time ever, I am going to share it with all my friends and family.  Be prepared for the compliments to start rolling in!

(And the marching band is playing softly in the back ground, drums getting louder, fireworks ready to go)

Banana Split Cake:

  • First Layer:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • Second Layer:
  • 2 stick softened butter
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • Third Layer:
  • 3-4 sliced bananas, dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 (20 oz) can WELL DRAINED crushed pineapple
  • Fourth Layer
  • Dream Whip, milk
  • sliced Marashino (Drained) cherries
  • Preheat oven to 325.
Layer 1, combine all ingredients, and press into 9x13 pan, bake 10-12 minutes.  LET COOL COMPLETELY!

Layer 2, combine all ingredients and mix for a FULL 15 MINUTES (if you don't you base layer will be soft and the cake will be gloopy).  Spread over COOLED crust

Layer 3, peel and slice bananas lengthwise.  After the bananas have been dipped in lemon juice, layer side by side over layer 2.  Drain crushed pineapple completely, spread in between bananas. Use the full can.

Layer 4, mix dream whip according to directions, fold in cherries gently, and spread on top of cake.  

Refrigerate at least 4-6 hours to set.

Enjoy, believe me, you will!  Please send me feedback after you have had a chance to try this and let me know what you thought of it.

So I am leaving you with this final post for the holiday season, I will periodically check in just to see how everyone is doing and update you with out happy holidays. 

Enjoy your day, enjoy your family and have a HAPPY AND FESTIVE HOLIDAY!!

See you all back here in January.

Merry Christmas

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why I Need To Meditate....... And Other Truths

As I do my last meditation post for a month, I realize that I have been looking forward to this for the last week.  I never realized exactly how stressful it would be to plan a month long vaca, while remembering that half of the trip is driving, with 3 kids, so I need to plan things to do, for a 5000 km drive.  All while planning Christmas, making Christmas presents, hiding presents from my kids.  And then...... I have everyday life!  Hockey 3 times a week, and I am the team manager, so I had to schedule all of that.  The kids have school, and I volunteered for a few things with them.  Oh and my weekend went like this........ Sat night, up with Supernan as he threw up a carpet in my bathroom, clean.  Up with Supernan as he sat in the bathroom for over an hour, bleach the bathroom, and all the doorknobs.  Up with YaYa as she threw up all day, do laundry from the kids throwing up all over their beds, bleach the house.  Up with Mad Dad as he threw up all night last night.  Chaos had it earlier this week, so at least he was good.  But the kids have their Christmas concert tomorrow night, and seeing as how it has run through the house to everyone but me, I fully expect to get it tomorrow (I have only seen 2 of YaYas Christmas concerts, she is in grade 6, because someone is always sick on that day).

So my plan this morning is to take advantage of some silence, relax with a coffee and reflect on December and all it has to offer.  I am thankful for what we have the opportunity to do for Christmas, and thankful for what we have here.  My moment of peace today will be when I think of that.  During my yoga, during my reflection, I will not be stressed out, if only for a moment.  I will take the time to smell the roses snow (LOL to all those whose live in the wintery north).

Until the last post tomorrow, when you get the BEST RECIPE EVER, enjoy your day, and enjoy your family, and enjoy the holiday season.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perfectly Perfect, Scrumdidliumtious Vanilla Spritz Cookies

Perfect Vanilla Spritz Cookies
(with a cookie press or decorators bag and tips)

1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 375.
Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beta in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and salt.
Add flour, beating until a soft dough forms.  (At this point you can add food coloring if desired)
Pack dough into cookie press or decorators bag and press onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake until golden, about 10-12 min.
Transfer to cooling racks.  Store in an airtight container up to 4 days.

These are a scrumdidliumtious little treat.

Only 2 more days to go until you get the best recipe of all.  Hope your ready for it.

See you all back here on monday for the last Meditation for a month.
Enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy baking.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 10, 2010

5 For Friday

1. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Both, PJ's and a movie Christmas Eve, for a quiet night together before Santa comes.
2. What is your favorite Christmas cookie (or candy)?
Depends on my mood, Shortbread, peanut butter cups, spritz cookies or lemon squares.
3. What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever received?
I have never received a gift I didn't love or appreciate.
4. Christmas song that you love?
Bon Jovi, Please Come Home For Christmas
5. How many trees do you put up?
1, Giant and over decorated tree.  I love it.

The Pics As Promised

Not a lot of pics this week.  I forgot my camera (for shame) when I was crafting with the kids classes, so I am just waiting for copies of those pics.  There are a few fun ones, and even daddy got in on some crafting, faces and all.  And yes, that is YaYa doing the running man in slow motion.


My First Guest Post!!!!!! YAY!!! (And just so you don't miss us too much, a couple of pics!)

So today is my very first guest post.  Hope this works out.  I'm a little nervous.  But I am going to help out with the Cookie Countdown over at Scraps and Scribbles.  So I have decided to do 3 cookie recipes, I will do 2 today and one tomorrow (don't forget that Sunday is family day). Also today, I am going to show you just a few pics of the crazy family, but in a separate post.  So enjoy the recipes, make sure there is some left for Santa, he will love these.

Recipe 1

Chocolate Banana Cream Pies (sorry for the messy pic, I had to take a quick pic before more little fingers got into them)

4 ripe (or over ripe) bananas, smooshed
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups four
1/3 cup cocoa

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla, mix well.  Stir in smooshed bananas.
Slowly add flour, baking soda and cocoa.  Stir until just mixed.
(This is probably sounding quite like a banana bread recipe, and that's cause it's adapted from one)
Your dough should be thicker than a cake dough, but thinner than a drop cookie dough.
Put dough into icing bag, with 1 1/2 inches cut from tip (I used a disposable one, but you can use a sandwich bag if thats what you have on hand). Drop cookies onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  At this point, the cookies should look something like reindeer poop (at least thats what my kids thought it was)

Bake for 10-15 minutes (I know it's not super specific, but everyone's ovens vary)
Let cool completely.

Cream Filling:
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup (+) icing sugar
sprinkles, tinted sugars to decorate.

In another bowl, on high speed, mix whipping cream and icing sugar to a thick consistency. Feel free at this pint to tint it yourself, or keep it white and roll the entire cookie in sprinkles or tinted sugar.

Once the cookies are cooled, take 2 cookies approximately the same size, and sandwich about 1 teaspoon of cream filling between them.  At this point you could leave it, or you could roll the cookie in sprinkles or tinted sugar.

Recipe 2

Those wonderful looking cookie bars in the middle are one of the easiest and most delicious recipes ever.  Not to date myself, but I have made these for ** years.  They are actually from a kids cookbook that my grandpa gave me when I was 10.  Yes I still have the book, and yes I still use it.  So here they are.

Lemon Slice Bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour

2 eggs
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 baking dish
Beat butter and icing sugar until smooth.  Stir in 1 cup flour, mixing into a smooth dough.  Press evenly into prepared dish. Bake 20 min.  Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs well, stir in lemon juice and rind.  Stir in sugar and 2 tablespoons flour and baking powder.  Stir until mixed well.
Pour over cooled base and bake again (at 350) for 25 minutes.
Let cool.  Sift icing sugar over the top and cut into squares.

Hope you all enjoy the post and the recipes.  Until tomorrow, enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy baking.

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust! And Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Day by day, my pile is getting smaller, and my husband is happy that we finally get our  bedroom back (it has been my sewing start station).  I had this wonderful idea that I was making gifts for everyone this year.  So let's go down the list;

My family: check and sent
Mad's family: mostly finished
Kids: 15 (literally) seams to finish
School: Crafts with the kids done yesterday!!!
Christmas Cards: ready to be sent!

I am so on top of things, it's AWESOME!

I do however, stick by my unwillingness to share what I have done, until I show pictures after Christmas.  So, again, you get a recipe, but believe me, it will be worth it.  Just FYI, be prepared for the final recipe on Tuesday, I promise you will make it again and again........ and again and again and again!

For today, you get (Drum roll please!)  PEANUT BUTTER CUP PIE!

1 1/4 cups Oreo Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
Always an option, you could just buy the crust already made.
1 pkg brick cream cheese
1/2 cup, plus 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
2 cups thawed Cool Whip, divided
3 squares Baker's semi sweet chocolate

Mix crumbs and butter, press into a 9 inch pie plate.
Blend cream cheese and 1/2 cup of peanut butter, until smooth.  Add milk and pudding mix; beat for 2 minutes.  Whisk in 1 cup Cool Whip and spoon mixture into pie crust.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

 Microwave remaining Cool Whip and chocolate (in a microwaveable dish), on high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and mixture blends well, stirring after each minute.  Cool completely.

Spread chocolate mixture over pie filling in crust.  Microwave remaining peanut butter for 30 seconds and drizzle over chocolate. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.


Until tomorrow, when you will once again see my shining face, or at least those of my children, enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy baking!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

They Like Me, They Really, Really Like Me!!!!!!

My kids think I'm cool.  I did not think that was a sentence that I would have to say until I was much, much older.  I had my children when I was relatively young, so at 30, I still consider myself to be hip and cool.  YaYa, not so much.  At 11, she already rolls her eyes at me for what I wear and say.  She has told me numerous times, I am a dork.  I don't take too much offense to it, cause she's 11.  So of course it shocked me when I was getting ready for yoga yesterday and she says "What's with your headband? (I used sport wrap in 2 different colors, only that will stay in my hair) I LOVE IT!!!! THAT'S SO COOL MOM, CAN YOU MAKE ME ONE JUST LIKE THAT?" And she was serious.  That was shocking. And amusing.  I know that's gonna change many times over the next 10 years, but it was nice to know for a second that she thought I was cool.

Secondly, thanks E for the gold.  As he was pouring his juice the other morning, I was told, he was spilling it all over and seriously said "Huh, this cup must have a hole in it". LOL!!!!! Only a 5 year old could assume that he did not make the mess and it was indeed the cups fault.

Until tomorrow, enjoy your life and listen to your family, you'd be surprised at what you hear.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to Procrastinate Until The Last Minute

People, I have been SUPER DUPER BUSY for the last 2 weeks and here's why.  We are driving across the country in 1 week, keep in mind that I live in Alberta and it is a 5000 + km (3200 mile) drive.  I have been so busy sewing that I have barely had time for my friends.  I'm sorry friends.  The problem with that today is..... everything I have sewn is for gifts, so I can't show you.

So here is my trade off, seeing as how in a week, my posts are going to become sparse (hard to post while driving), I am going to fill your tummies with all of my favorite Christmas recipes (sorry, they are mostly desserts, cause I really like desserts).  In other words, for the next week and a half, you will get at least 5 FABULOUS recipes that you can try this holiday season.  Share with guests or keep it to yourself (mmmmmmmmm banana split cake {imagine me looking like Homer Simpson at the moment}).  Sorry for the lack of pics with the recipes.  Starting in the new year, I am going to take pics while I cook, for now though you will just have to use your imagination.

Enjoy todays recipe.

My Mom's Ice Cream Bomb

(by the way, this is how she gave me the recipe)

Chopped walnuts
Butter (a little)
the above ingredients have no measurements, just enough to make a ball about the size of a tennis ball)

3 different kinds of ice cream, softened (as follows)
 -strawberry, inside
 -chocolate, middle
 -vanilla, outside

(also if there are nut allergies, omit the walnuts and use broken up cookies instead)

In a large glass dish, place vanilla ice cream and move up the sides, about 2-3 inches thick, leaving the middle open, make a well.
Next layer, chocolate, do the same, make a well.
Next layer, strawberry , do the same, make a well.
You should have room left for the ball 'o chocolate nuts, shove it in.

Freeze at least 3 hours or overnight.
Turn upside down on a decorative plate. (you may need to submerge the BOTTOM of the dish to loosen the ice cream for a second).
Drizzle with your favorite sauce, strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, whatever strikes your fancy.
Here you have a choice, you can cut then drizzle or drizzle then cut.

Hope you enjoy this recipe, it is a favorite of mine growing up and one thing I will always remember about Christmas.

On thursday, I will give you a recipe that I have been using for 20 years.  It's soooooo goooood.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy baking!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hurry Up, Slow Down and Enjoy the......... Everything!

Good Morning!!!!!!  I am finally in a state where I have realized that I need to Slow Down and Enjoy the holiday.  I am holiday girl.  Whether it be Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.  I love them all.  I love what they symbolize, I love the decorations and how people are generally in better spirits at that time.  It's Fabulous!!!

But it's also a time when people put a lot of pressure on themselves, myself included.  The need to have the perfect gifts, homes, decorations and baking, and a time limit.  Thats where today's Meditation Monday tip comes in.

STOP!!!! Whatever it is that you're doing and take 5 DEEP breaths.  Inhale through your nose and engage your tongue and throat, making your tongue soft against the back of your throat, to get the best of it, inhale as deep as you can, and exhale sloooooowly.  Take a second to look around you and see what's going on, see what your missing.  Enjoy the kids, the snow, the neighbors lights, or even the people, sights and sounds at your local mall.  Where ever you are and you need it, do it.  You don't want to miss out.

Until tomorrow, enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy breathing!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Infinite Wisdom From The Kitchen

This mornings recipe comes straight from the heart and my mind, as in I created it this morning.  My husband likes BIG breakfasts, my kids like BIG breakfasts, I do not.  So we compromise...... once a week we do a BIG breakfast.  I don't like eggs, or bacon, or sausages (I'm not a picky eater, I promise, and I will eat them sometimes), my downfall is hash-browns. I love them.  So this mornings compromise is as follows.

Robin's Big Breakfast Combo:
(Also could be used for Christmas morning breaky)

1 bag hashbrowns, your style
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks sliced
1 package ground pork, cooked
garlic and  onion powder and pepper to taste
5 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 350.  In a 9x13 baking dish, combine first 7 ingredients and give a quick stir.  Put in oven and cook 35-40 minutes.
About 10 min before the timer goes, scramble your eggs.  Take the hash-brown mix out of the oven, top with scrambled eggs, and cheese.  Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Hope you get a chance to try this and let me know what you think.

Until Monday, enjoy your weekend, enjoy your family and happy crafting.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Library Days and Christmas Light Up #1

So this is the moment you have all been waiting for, more pictures!!!!! I know it was a hard week without seeing all of our smiling faces, but I am glad you survived.  In no particular order (sorry) is pics from our bi-weekly library trips, for preschool story time.  Pics from Chaos' first sled ride this year (he actually stayed in the sled this time).  And the Grand finale, pics from our towns annual light up.  There is crafts at the library, cookie decorating at the bakery, a wiener roast and a hay ride (pulled by a tractor).  And of course, pics with Santa!  Oh, and the pic above is Supernan after I let him dress himself for school.  He is my dress up kid, and this tie is his new favorite item of clothing.

 This is Calligators scary mean and menacing face.  Pretty scary!

 Library pics from Light Up

 BTW, This is a normal occurrence from Chaos, every time we go to the library, he knows where they are and knows what face to give to get a sucker.

 Pics from the bakery, cookie decorating!

 Obviously this is the weiner roast, there is a better pic of them, but see the 2 buddies.  Supernan and Little YaYa. 
 Thats better.

 Blue Steel! He is a model citizen!
 Every year and every pic we have of Supernan with santa looks like this, at least this year he got closer than 4 feet away.
 And Chaos wouldn't even go anywhere near him.

 Mad's work Christmas party.  Ain't we purdy?

Hope you all enjoy the pics.  Don't forget tomorrows recipe.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your family and happy crafting.