Monday, April 30, 2012


Sorry I haven't posted for a while.  I won't bore with the excuses.  Needless to say, I am taking a bit of sabbatical from this blog for a while.  I want to spend some time redefining the focus of the blog, get a little of my mojo back, and see what makes the most sense.  I have noticed a nice little uptick from visitors which is great!  I would love some feedback and comments on the blog.  What works for you, what doesn't?  There are days I wonder if I would make a better blog reader vs. a blog writer!

Hoping you have a terrific week...and I hope to see you again soon! via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Monday, April 23, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Box Play

My little one loves playing with old cardboard boxes.  We have two large washer boxes in our basement to act as her "two room" house.  In honor of Earth Day coming up I thought I would highlight this great website, Box Play For Kids which has all of these great stickers you can buy to put on your trash boxes so the kids can play.  (Please note that I have no affiliation with Box Play For Kids, nor am I being paid to blog about them.)

You can make many things out of milk cartons, such as a fire truck, train, cow or even a piggy:

Box Play For Kids
You can have an egg carton piano:

Box Play For Kids
 A bento cereal box:

Box Play For Kids

A rocket ship on a toilet paper roll:

Box Play For Kids

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Martha Gets Real

According to the April 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living, yesterday Martha turned on her outdoor faucets and hooked up her hoses.  Here are some fun hoses and pretty containers for your garden. 


Mailbox Collections Etc.

Ballard Designs


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Domino Is Back!!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012


I have slipped a bit on my healthy eating here is my week's reminder!

Striving for Fit and Fab via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sinful Saturdays - Birthday Edition

The other week we had a wonderfully sinful Saturday for a birthday celebration.   I saw this birthday cake recipe on Martha Stewart's tv show a while back when she had Matt Lewis on the show.  I have made it a few times and it always turns out moist and delicious!  I have got to get his books.  I have made a few of his recipes in the past and they have always been terrific.

Everyone's Favorite Birthday Cake - Matt Lewis


For the Cake:
    • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for pans
    • All-purpose flour, for pans
    • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 cup sour cream
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled (I have also used special dark cocoa powder and it has turned out OK)
  • Cake:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; line with parchment-paper rounds. Butter parchment paper and lightly dust pans with all-purpose flour, shaking out excess.
    2. In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
    4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening sides of cake from pan and inverting onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and reinvert; let cool completely.

  • Frosting:

    1. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and salt; beat until smooth. Add chocolate and mix until well combined. If frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes firm. Do not over-beat. Frosting can be made up to 1 day in advance if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let soften at room temperature before using.
    2. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make even. Place 1 layer on a cake plate; frost top with 1/2 cup frosting and top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting to cover. Cake can be kept in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Let come to almost room temperature before serving.

Friday, April 13, 2012

What 's for dinner?

Where is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Pappardelle with Leeks, Sugar Snap Peas and Lemon

Monday - Grilled Steak with Blue Cheese Potatoes

Tuesday - Three Pea Chicken Salad

Wednesday - Tortilla Espanola with a Side Salad

Thursday -  Chickpea Pattie with Tomato and Halumi Salad

Friday - Dinner Out

Saturday - Dad's Night To Cook - ?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Martha Gets Real - Baby and Kids Magazine

Years ago Martha Stewart put out two wonderful magazines.  Martha Stewart Baby and Martha Stewart Kids.  At the time that they came out, I was in no means close to being a mom.  However now that I am one I wish that these publications still came out.  I am continually inspired by what she and her team puts out. 

Lucky for us we have ebay!   The other week I found 10 issues of these magazines for sale and snatched them up for a small price.  There are still a few left online, so go bid on them when you can. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Clay Pot Bird Baths

I saw this clay pot bird bath on Pinterest and thought it would be such a fun activity to do with the kids.  I think we might try painting one next weekend, but I do think I will keep it all one color family.

The Culinary Cougar via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Dirty Dozen

I try to buy organic produce, but it isn't always available at my local grocery store, and I am not lucky enough to have a Whole Foods close by.  Lucky for me, my husband enjoys tending to a vegetable garden and my Dad is an amazing gardener and gives me plenty of fruits and vegetables.  After enjoying fresh asparagus from my Dad's garden I thought it would be a good time to review what makes the Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables.

12 Most Contaminated:
My Thirty Spot via Becky Blondell via Pinterest

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Imported Grapes
  • Pears
  • Nectarines
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

On the other hand, here are the least contaminated...

  • Pineapples
  • Mangos
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Papaya
  • Avocado
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Asparagus
  • Frozen Sweet Corn
  • Onions

If this list is hard for you to remember, just download the free, Dirty Dozen App available from iTunes. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hoppy Easter!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday!

Our Humbled A{Bowe}d via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Friday, April 6, 2012

What's for dinner

Here is what we are having for dinner next week....

Sunday - Happy Easter!

Monday - Creamy Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg on Toast

Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie

Wednesday - Date Night

Thursday - Coconut-Lime Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday - Spaghetti

Saturday - Salmon, Spinach, and Potatoes Baked in Parchment

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Martha Gets Real - Matzo For Breakfast

With Passover coming up I thought I would highlight some great breakfast dishes using Matzo.

Martha Stewart

Matzo Granola - Martha Stewart

Makes 4 Cups

  • 3 crushed whole-wheat matzos
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit

  1. Stir together matzos, walnuts, oil, sugar, honey, and salt. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees, stirring every 10 minutes, until toasted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool. Break into smaller pieces. Stir in dried fruit..

Martha Stewart

Matzo Brei - Martha Stewart

Serves 4

  • 4 matzos (8-inch squares)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter


1.  Break each matzo square into about 8 pieces; place in a medium bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover, and soak until moistened, 2 or 3 minutes; drain. Squeeze well with hands to remove excess water.

2.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs with nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt; add softened matzo, and mix.

3.  Heat 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat; add matzo mixture, and press in gently. Cook until browned on underside, 4 to 6 minutes; carefully invert cake onto a plate. Heat remaining tablespoon butter in skillet, and slide cake back into skillet. Cook until other side is browned, 4 to 6 minutes more.

4.  Turn cake out of skillet, and cut into wedges. Serve hot and drizzle with maple syrup.

Martha Stewart

Apple Cinnamon Matzo Brei - Martha Stewart

Serves 4


1/4 cup whole pecans, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

  • 5 tablespoons sugar

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup golden or dark raisins

  • 8 sheets matzo

  • 3 cups boiling water

  • 4 large eggs

  • Pinch of coarse salt

  • Directions

    1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; toast in oven until they are light golden and aromatic, about 7 minutes. Shake pan halfway through baking to make sure the nuts toast evenly. Set aside to cool.

    2.  In a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add apples; cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons sugar over apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, cinnamon, and raisins. Remove pan from heat; set aside.

    3.  Break matzo sheets into 3-inch pieces, and place in a colander set in the sink. Pour 3 cups boiling water, one cup at a time, over the matzo, and drain.

    4.  In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add salt and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in the soaked matzo; mix until well coated.

    5.  Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add matzo mixture, and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Stir in two-thirds of the apple mixture until warm; transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with the reserved toasted pecans and the remaining apple mixture. Serve immediately.

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    A Pinterest Easter

    Here are some great Easter finds courtesy of Pinterest!

    I found these two variations of bunny cupcakes.  I do love the little bottom sticking up!

    Created By Diane via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest
    The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    These peep houses would be a fun craft to make with your kids during your spring break.

    Kasey Buick via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    If you haven't colored your eggs yet, try making yours with crayons (the tip is to draw on a warm egg!).

    The Artful Parent via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    This bunny bark looks delicious!

    Flickr via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    I love the eggs and grass combo

    Ecoki via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    National Baking Week

    This week is the official NATIONAL BAKING WEEK

    I am thinking of making some good ol' white bread this week.  I am going to use this recipe from Betty Crocker
    Betty Crocker

    I am sure a lot of you are busy in the kitchen getting ready for Passover and Easter. I would love for you to share your favorite baking recipes.

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Monday Musings

    It is a new month...treat yourself to a Karma Cleanse

    Facebook via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    Earth Hour 2012

    This is just a little reminder that EARTH HOUR is TONIGHT from 8:30-9:30pm.  So shut off those lights and spread the word!

    Sydney Harbour Bridge via EarthHour.Org

    New Zealand via EarthHour.Org

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    I'm Back

    I am back...but enjoying some fabulous weather and getting some gardening done.  Be back next week!

    Uploaded By User via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012


    I am bound for NOLA for a long weekend away with my husband.  I am looking forward to good food, good music, and spending some time with a good friend!

    See you later next week!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Martha Gets Real - Easter Edition Part 1

    Here are some easy Easter ideas from Martha Stewart.

    These cute daffodil cups are cute, and would certainly be easy to do.  They would look really nice as place settings on your Easter table.

    Martha Stewart

    If you are having any outdoor Easter gatherings, these egg weights would be a terrific way to keep your tablecloth in place!
    Martha Stewart

    This Easter bunny garland and cupcake sticks would be fun for a festive celebration.

    Martha Stewart

    These fabric egg cards would be terrific to send to friends and family.

    Martha Stewart

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Here's to the changers!

    "Here's to the crazy ones.  The misfits.  The rebels.  The troublemakers.  The round pegs in the square holes.  The ones who see things differently.  They're not fond of rules.  And they have no respect for the status quo.  You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.  About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.  Because they change things.  They push the human race forward.  And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.  Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."

    Steve Jobs

    I just got done reading Walter Isaacson's book and simply loved this quote.  Although I only have a few Apple products and am a pc currently, the next time I need a computer I am buying an Apple!  What an amazing book and history of a great company.

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Martha Gets Real

    In the March 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine in the Good Things section there is a terra-cotta dessert stand.  I was inspired to make my own, painted cake stand. 

    It is really simple to do, get the size of pots that you want to use, paint 2-3 coats (if desired) and your glue gun.  Paint, let it try and then glue together! 

    When I saw the littlest terra-cotta pots I was even inspired to make these cute cupcake stands.  The dish for my pots was glazed, so after painting two I decided to leave a couple gives them a bit more rustic look.    I am going to make a couple more and use them on our Easter dinner table.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge

    Something Charming via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

    After determining the best buttermilk pancake recipe I now have my sites set on chocolate chip cookies.  I have tried a couple of recipes, but am officially starting my search for the best cookie out there.  If you have a recipe you think is great please email it to me and I will test it against the other contenders.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Flouring Tips

    I don't know how often you bake chocolate cakes - personally I love them and will use any excuse to whip one up.  I learned a while back that the best way to butter and flour your cake pan when making chocolate cake is to use cocoa powder.  That way you don't have any left over flour white specs on your cake when it is done easy is that!

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Sinful Saturday - Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Torte

    Last weekend I really wanted something sinful.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It was so rich we couldn't finish it, my husband only took a few bites!  Here is my version using dark chocolate and omitting some of the richer aspects of it.  It is totally fulfilling!

    Peanut Butter Cup Dark Chocolate Brownie Torte - Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
    Makes 1 Torte that serves 4

    3 Brownie Rounds (recipe follows)
    Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Mousse (recipe follows)
    Peanut Butter Cups (I prefer the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's)

    Brownie Rounds

    3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 egg
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    1/8 cup cocoa powder ( I use Special Dark from Hershey's)
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/8 tsp baking powder
    pinch of salt

    1.  Preheat oven to 325F.

    2.  Butter and flour three 4 ½ -inch diameter spring form pans or cake pans. Set aside.  Alternatively, you can butter and flour an 8 x 8 baking pan and set aside

    3.  Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar, about 2 minutes.

    4.  Add in egg and vanilla. Beat another minute.

    5.  Pour in cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed until fully incorporated.

    6.  Using measuring cups, pour a heaping 1/3 of a cup into each of the prepared cake pans. If there is any batter left over, try to as evenly as possible, add to the prepared pans.  If you used an 8 x8 pan, pour all of the batter into the pan.

    7.  Bake for 20-23 minutes.

    8.  Remove from oven and let cool.

    Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Mousse

    1/4 cup whipping cream, chilled
    3 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup peanut butter

    1.  Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the whipped cream on high until stiff peaks form.

    2. Place into a bowl and set aside.

    3.  Add the cream cheese and peanut butter and whisk on medium speed, until fully incorporated. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined.

    4.  Add whipped cream back into bowl and whisk on medium high until peanut butter mixture and whipped cream are fully incorporated and the texture is light and fluffy.

    5.  Place into a medium sized bowl and set in fridge while brownies fully cool. At least 30 minutes.

    To Assemble the Torte:

    1.  Remove brownie from spring form pans. If still too warm, place in freezer for about 10 minutes.  If you used the 8 x 8 pan, use circle cutters to cut out three brownie rounds.

    2.  Place one brownie circle on a plate. Add about a 1/8 cup of peanut butter mousse

    3.  Scatter a handful of chopped peanut butter cups.

    4.  Place another brownie round on top of the that. Then add another 1/8 cup peanut butter mousse. Then chopped peanut butter cups.

    5.  Place third and final brownie round on top of second layer. Add a ¼ cup for the top layer of peanut butter mousse. And more chopped peanut butter cups.

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