Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baking with cake mix, and other stuff.

Last week I was hungry for spice cake. I needed something quick to make, because I had a Daycare child here and didn't feel comfortable being in the kitchen for more than a few minutes at a time. So I decided to try improvising and used a yellow cake mix and just added 1/2 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons ginger and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. I made the cake as directed on the package. I baked it in a 9X13 cake pan. It turned out fantastic! I'm not much for frosting, so I got a can of spray whipped cream to top it with. YUM!

Another way to use cake mix, You take any flavor cake mix and bake according to directions. Let cool and then crumble into a big bowl. Add any flavor of frosting and mix well. Roll into half-inch balls and chill in refrigerator for about an hour. Melt down baking chocolate (like Ghiardelli's) and dip each ball into the chocolate and then re-refrigerate until chocolate is set. If you use the right kind of chocolate it shouldn't melt on your fingers and can be kept at room temperature for a good while. I found this recipe on Baby Center, in the Cooking for your Family group. I haven't tried them yet but they sound good. You could probably put them on sticks if you wanted to, that might make it easier to decorate them. You can roll them in crushed nuts or candy, add sprinkles or drizzle another chocolate over them. I've heard of people making them with white chocolate, and almond bark.

There are cookies you can make using a cake mix as well. I'll have to go looking for some of them. It's always nice to be able to put together something a little bit different, without all the hassle of a from scratch recipe. And it seems that every now and then cake mixes go on sale, sometimes 10 for $10 or something. Of course I'm going to keep making things from scratch most of the time, because I like knowing exactly how much sugar, salt and fat things have. I like that there are no artificial preservatives. But there are times when I just need/want something quickly and mixes fit the bill.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Long day ahead of me.

Today is going to be very hard. I got about 4 hours of sleep last night, I NEED 8. Two of the Kids came at 8:30 this morning, the other came at 2:00PM. I'll be watching other people's kids for about 16 hours when it's all over. Tomorrow it will be about the same, two will be here early, and one at the normal evening schedule. I just have to make sure I get to sleep earlier tonight. One good thing for tomorrow, I'll be able to have half an hour sleep in the morning, since The Boy doesn't have school. Next week is Spring Break, so we will see how it all works out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Corned Beef, with pictures.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We had our corned beef last night. It wasn't horrible, but it's not something I'll be having more than once a year or so. I'll try different recipes and see how they work. Maybe next years will convince me to have it more often, who knows? This time I cooked it in the slow cooker, with small red potatoes, baby carrots and sliced onion. I didn't rinse the corning spices off, and added some beer. The only thing that had any flavor from the beer was the potatoes. I liked the carrots and onion, the meat was okay, I didn't like the potatoes at all. Now I'll look for recipes for next year. LOL

So here are a couple of pictures I took of our dinner.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sad news from California.

Howard's cousin's daughter died yesterday. She was 28. The family in California is devastated, they are very close. The Boy really liked her when he was little, he called her Miss Emily and thought she was a princess. So far all we have is a short newspaper report of the accident. I can't remember how many children she has, at least 2 but could be 3 or 4. I can't imagine how her Mother must be feeling, I can't even begin to think of loosing one of my children. Yesterday they were waiting for he Father's brother to get there before they told him.

She was a beautiful, sweet, caring young woman. Her family meant everything to her. My heart is breaking for them. Her Mom and Dad, her Husband and children, her brother and sister, and all the Aunts, Uncles, and cousins who loved her.

Here is a copy of the News Paper report from the Merced Sun-Star. I stared out the name of the other driver to protect his privacy, even though it was printed in the paper I don't feel it's important for my purposes to have it printed here. I'm sure he is feeling awful enough.

One killed in highway wreck near Chowchilla

A 28-year-old Chowchilla woman was killed on Thursday morning when she crossed Highway 152 against traffic and was struck by a westbound car.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Emily Tatum was driving a 2000 Toyota Camry southbound on Road 10 when she attempted to cross Highway 152. ******************of Clovis, was westbound on Highway 152 in a 2008 Dodge Charger traveling at 65 miles per hour when Tatum tried to cross in front of him, pulling out directly in front of the ****** car. The front of the Dodge collided with the driver’s side of the Toyota.

**** had only minor injuries. Tatum had dropped her six-year-old child off at school, and was on her way to work. Both parties were wearing seat belts. The accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

--Carol Reiter