Archive for February, 2010

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BRUUCE

February 24, 2010

Let me start by saying I love music and as I’ve been going through old pictures I stumbled across old ticket stubs. Hundreds of old ticket stubs.

I’ve been to a ton of concerts and that’s before I even interned at the radio station which is a post for another day.
Angel and I and my older brother saw Bruce Springsteen the summer of his Born in the USA tour. General Admission. Soldier Field.
First of all neither one of us had our driver’s license yet. I know that I didn’t because I waited until the day before my permit expired to get mine. So we needed a ride to the concert and we asked my brother. We told him that we would get him a ticket if he took us.
We then had to pick up our tickets. Angel’s mom had gotten them for us through someone she knew from work. Unfortunately we had to go the Le Claire Court complex to get them. It’s one of the city of Chicago’s housing projects. If you’re not familiar with it is near Cicero Avenue and the Stevenson (I-55). We went during the day which was a plus, but it was August which was not. Thankfully my brother is 4 years older than me, although I remember he wasn’t too happy with us. 
Now, Bruce is known for his long concerts. He loves to just get on stage and entertain. And sing. And sing. We get to Soldier Field and about 20 minutes into the concert Angel and I have to go to the bathroom. Did I mention that it was a general admission show? And a sea of people? Born in the USA tour? Needless to say we never saw my brother again until we met up with him at the car 3 ½ hours later.
We ran into to some friends we knew from school, but the arena was packed. This was a time before cell phones. But basically it was just two young 16 year-old girls having the time of their lives at a Bruce Springsteen concert.
Bruce came back to town last year and my husband offered to get tickets to celebrate my 40th. I told him no.
How do you beat an experience like that?
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Kangel

February 22, 2010

I got a call this week that was unexpected. It made me cry.

My best friend called to let me know that she was moving. Out of state.  She’s moving because she has a job offer. Wisconsin isn’t that far away but it certainly isn’t a few minutes away either.

I’ve known Angel since 1st grade and we’ve been best friends since our freshman year of high school. That’s 35 years. We’ve always joked that we’ve been friends longer than most people have been married. One of our friends dubbed us Kangel because where one was you could always find the other.

We’ve been through a lot. She is my other sister. She was there for me when my dad died.  She was my matron of honor when I got married. She let me cry on her shoulder while we tried for years to have a baby. Once Meeshie was born, she let me cry some more when we tried for 2 1/2 years using a fertility specialist, without success. We went away to school together in New Mexico. We went on vacation together to California. We’ve been to Daytona Beach together a ton of times. 

We are Thelma and Louise.  In the next few weeks I plan to post about some of our adventures. 

She is my biggest cheerleader.

I don’t see her everyday like when we were kids, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love her any less.

Our lives maybe be busier now and there are more obligations but I’ve always known that if needed we could get together in no time.

My husband said I know your sad, but Wisconsin isn’t that far, you can visit.

We met today for a few hours to talk.  It was the last time before she moves.  She has a lot of things to due in the next week or two.  We’ve already planned a tentative girls weekend when things are settled.

I cried a lot today.
I miss you Angel, good luck! Love you!  I’m proud of you!
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Oops!

February 17, 2010

 In my excitement and haste to post for Valentine’s Day, I did not give any information about what recipes I used to make the cake pops.
 


I know that I gave the Bakerella link to the pops but I did not make red velvet cake.

First, I made the chocolate sheet cake from Pioneer Woman without the frosting.
Ingredients:

2 C flour
2 C sugar
¼ t salt
1 C butter
4 T coca, heaping
1 C boiling water
½ C buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 t baking soda
1 t vanilla


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.


In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa. Add the boiling water. Allow the mixture to boil for 30 seconds, and then turn off the heat. Pour this over the flour mixture and stir slightly to cool. In another bowl pour the buttermilk; add the eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into a jelly roll pan and bake for 20 minutes.


Then I made the frosting recipe that was given to me by the great lady that had made the pops before.


Ingredients:


1/3 C white Crisco shortening, softened
1/3 C butter, softened
4-6 T of heavy whipping cream, unwhipped (I actually used half-n-half)
A pinch of salt
1 ½ t vanilla extract
2 ½ C confectioner’s sugar, sifted


In a large bowl using an electric mixer at medium speed beat together the shortening and butter with the cream, salt and vanilla until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add the confectioner’s sugar, beat well until smooth and fluffy. You can add more confectioner’s sugar and cream to achieve the desired consistency but for this use it was just how I wanted it.


Remember that I did this in stages over a few days so obviously the cake was cool when I crumpled it up and added about half of the frosting to it. I added enough to get a good consistency to pack the balls.


I put the balls on a cookie sheet and stuck the lollipop sticks in them and set them in the fridge.


The next day I melted the almond bark a little at a time, dipped the pops in it and added the heart sprinkles.

Remember to keep the pops cool, they are easier to dip that way.

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Blueberry Pie

February 16, 2010

I know that lent starts tomorrow and traditionally it’s Pazcki Day here but I made pie. 
We blueberry pick every July between my hubby’s birthday and Meeshie’s.  The blueberry farm is about 40 minutes from our house, out in farm country.  Oh wait, that’s where we are!  We love fresh blueberry and especially blueberry pancakes, but that’s another post.
We go there and pick as many blueberries as we can and then we come home, I sort them, clean them and freeze them.  This past year we picked 14 pounds!  Of course it’s between my husband and me.  Meeshie picks about 30 and then spends the rest of the afternoon eating them right off the vine.  We brought a friend for her this year and it still didn’t motivate her to pick more.  My husband and I have a contest of who picked the most and then spend the rest of the year talking about how we are eating the blueberries that we picked.
Blueberry Pie
3/4 C sugar
4-5 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
splash of lemon juice
4 C fresh blueberries
butter
pie crust  for a 9 inch pie
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.  Toss the blueberries in some lemon juice.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of the blueberries, mix.  Line the dish with one of the pie crusts.  Pour the blueberries in the curst and dot with butter.  Cut the remaining crust with mini cookie cutter shapes.  For this pie I used snowflakes.  Place cut crust on top of blueberries until you have covered the top.  Make sure to overlap the pieces.  Bake the pie for 50 minutes, covering the edges with foil.  Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking to get it that nice golden brown.
Enjoy!
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Pistachio Cookies

February 15, 2010

I made this cookie.

Here is the actual one.  I made that too.

Here they are side by side.  The one on the right is similar although I think that I used the wrong color for the felt.  It’s a little too green.  I also had some issues making it look like a thumbprint cookie.  All in all it turned out okay.
If you are intereseted here is the recipe for the cookies. 
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Happy Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2010

About a month ago, Meeshie asked me what we were going to make for her Valentine’s Day party at school. The question took me by surprise. I had never made a treat for her party in the past. I wanted to make something fun, but what to make? Cupcakes are nice, but are they fun? Brownies, dido.
 
I’ve seen these cake pops on Bakerella’s website but I was a little intimidated. Sometimes her posts are too elaborate for a working mom and a 7 year old to do.  But I decided to do them anyway and boy was I happy!
 
They were fairly easy to make, although there a few steps involved. I just spaced each step out that way I wasn’t stressed. I was also fortunate enough to know someone who had made them before herself and she gave me a few great tips. Most notably the tip on the icing. I used a different icing than Bakerella suggested because my friend told me the cake pops tasted too much like cake batter otherwise. I also didn’t use all of the icing that I made, just enough to form some nice moist balls.
I found that if you kept the pops as cold as possible before you dipped them in the melted chocolate they came out looking smoother. I also used a deep bowl for dipping which was a hint from Bakerella.
 
We made white ones for the boys and pink ones for the girls, because boys don’t like pink mom.
Meeshie loved them and could not wait to bring them to school. I tied pretty red raffia around the bag for the suckers. Very cute.
 
One more thing, my hubby had one the morning of the party. His blood sugar was low and he came stumbling looking for sugar fast. I gave him the pop and he later told me that they were one of the best things I’ve ever made.
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Shortbread

February 7, 2010

I made this cookie.
I’ve actually made a few cookies. Felt cookies that is. I saw a blog in December that had felt food on it and thought I can do that. Remember the cinnamon roll debacle? Well I think I may have improved slightly. I know I’m enjoying myself.
Here it is from another angle.
I plan to make a plate of cookies out of felt and put them on an apron. I figure for now I’ll make the cookies I bake at Christmas to get the hang of it. Next time I will add steps on how to make them.

Here is a picture of the real thing.

If your interested in making this cookie, here is the recipe.
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