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.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What's for dinner?

Next week I am getting a few nights off as we head to see Great Grandma and Great Grandpa...however for the days we are home here is what we are havings....

Sunday - Dinner Out with Grandma and Grandpa

Thursday - Eggs, breakfast for dinner

Friday - TBD - I need some inspiration

Saturday - Homemade Corned Beef with Vegetables and Irish Soda Bread

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Martha Gets Real - St. Patrick's Day

I am starting a new weekly post called Martha Gets Real.  I have always been a fan of Martha Stewart, however sometimes her terrific ideas aren't the easiest to do or require hard to find ingredients/supplies.  Each week I plan to highlight something terrific from Martha Stewart and then provide my two cents and give Mom's spin on the good things.

Simple, green and white flower arrangements for St. Patrick's Day work well.  You easily and inexpensively find greens from your local grocer or my favorite place to get flowers - Trader Joe's!

Martha Stewart

With just a few pieces of heavy card stock and a shamrock stamp you can make these fun coasters...and all things can be found at JoAnn Fabrics or Mitchael's.  If you find some fun green paper napkins from Target or Walmart you can stamp them too!
Martha Stewart

Green peppers sliced through and a little greek yogurt to dip in would make a fun snack for kids or adults.
Martha Stewart

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuna Can Crafts

Uploaded by User via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

I found this on Pinterest and thought I would make my own spin on them...I am going to plant a little wheat grass in them for Easter.

Here are mine...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Ahead!

This coming weekend we spring ahead one hour for Daylight Savings in the U.S.  For young children (and who am I kidding, adults too) this can be a difficult transition.  Here are some tips to start working towards the new time so the transition this weekend will hopefully be smooth.

A Cup Of Jo via Alexis Rodriguez via Pinterest

1.  Start to wake your child up 10 - 15 minutes early a few days ahead so by Sunday you are back on your normal sleep schedule.

2.  Try to make sure your child's room stays dark, especially in the morning.  I have blackout shades in our little one's room.  If  your doesn't, you can always buy blackout material and have your curtains lined with it.

3.  Don't try to wear your child out, overtired children take longer to fall asleep.

4.  If you haven't established a bedtime routine yet - DO IT!  Bath, book, and bed works well for a lot of children.  Although our child doesn't take a bath everyday yet (she has really dry skin, and doesn't get too dirty most days!) for a long time we only read one book before bed every night...that way she knew it was bedtime.

5.  Others feel like keeping them on the normal routine and letting them sleep a little longer at nap time to compensate for that one hour drop also works.  Within a couple days they should be back to normal - one word of caution is that you might have a cranky child on your hands for a few days!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Musings - Dr. Suess Edition

In honor of Dr. Suess's birthday last Friday here is a list of his top quotes.  Which one is your favorite?

Mamiverse via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sinful Saturdays

Since I am trying very hard to tame my sweet tooth and am allowing myself to indulge on Saturdays, each Saturday will be a post on the previous week's dessert.  Last week we had a homemade twix bar.  I made it in a small loaf pan and cut the recipe in half for portion control.

That Skinny Chick Can Bake via Breakfast At Mom's via Pinterest

Here is the recipe:

Twix Bars - adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
10 ounces caramels,

1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons heavy cream
8 ounces dark chocolate - I used 70%

Preheat oven to 300ยบ. Line 8 x 8 inch pan with nonstick foil or greased regular foil.

Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour. Press evenly into may need to flour your fingers to prevent sticking. Prick crust with fork. Bake 35-45 minutes till crust is golden.

Immediately after removing crust from oven, run knife around edges to loosen crust. Cool completely.

Melt caramel and cream gently in microwave or in saucepan over low heat till smooth. Pour over cooled crust and chill for 30 minutes.

Gently melt chocolate in microwave or in double boiler over low heat. Pour over chilled caramel and spread to edges. Chill till chocolate is well set. Cut into squares to serve. Store covered in refrigerator, but remove a few minutes before serving.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What's for dinner?

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

Sunday - Salmon and Soba Noodles with Mirin Dressing

Monday - Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsley

Tuesday - Thai Chicken and Noodle Curry

Wednesday - Dumplings

Thursday - Baked Eggs in Chunky Tomato Sauce

Friday - Shrimp and Snap-Pea Salad with Ginger Dressing

Saturday - Hamburgers and Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Smash Workout

If you haven't given SMASH a chance yet, set your dvr to NBC on Mondays at 10pm for a real treat, especially if you like musical tv shows.  I am really enjoying the program, and think that Katharine McPhee looks amazing! 


The March issue of Self Magazine provided us a glimpse of McPhee's workout from Oscar Smith.  This endurance building, calorie torching hour looks like something that might be added to my weekly workout rotation soon! 

Self Magazine
One Hour Wonder Workout

  • 5 minute warm up on the treadmill at 6 mph
  • Total-body stretches to loosen up
  • 10 jumping jacks; 10 push-ups
  • Upper-body circuit: Using 5 lb weights, perform 10 one-arm rows, 10 lateral side raises, 10 front raises, 10 bicep curls to an overhead press
  • 5 push-ups, 5 burpees
  • 30 seconds of alternation jump lunges
  • Run up and down a flight of stairs, repeat twice
  • Pedal on a stationary bike for 5 minutes at resistance 10-15
  • 10 jumping jacks; 10 push-ups
  • Abs circuit: 10 crunches, 15 crunches with hands under tailbone, curling knees to chest, 15 crunches with legs extended, 15 full sit-ups with feet planted, 30 seconds straight leg flutter kicks, 30 seconds of leg scissors, hold plank for 15 seconds
  • 3 minute run on treadmill at 7 mph
  • Repeat abs circuit
  • 10 jumping jacks; 10 push-ups
  • Assisted pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • 3 minutes jumping rope
  • Repeat upper-body circuit
  • 3 minutes jumping rope
  • 30 seconds hold plank
  • Repeat stair run
  • Pull-ups, 3 sets of 6
  • 3 minutes on bike at resistance 10
  • 10 push-ups
  • 3 minutes jumping rope
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