This past weekend we hosted a family reunion. While thinking through the process of hosting 60 people in our home I knew I had to to do something to keep everyone from hanging out in the kitchen. I decided I would set up the coffee bar and drink station outside.
I set up a coffee and hot cocoa bar on the back porch. I setup the table with the Keurig, K cups, Cocoa Mix and Marshmallows.
The Instant Creamy Cocoa Mix was very popular with everyone, kids and adults alike. Everyone liked it so much I have decided I will make a big batch and gift it for Christmas to my friends. If you enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, you should try this recipe. You may decide to share some with your friends and family.
10 cups dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups powdered non dairy creamer
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container.
2. For a single serving, place 1/3 cup of mixture in a cup and add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.
I have often wondered when did we go crazy for cupcakes? Personally I have been enjoying cupcakes since my Mom packed that adorable Hostess chocolate cupcake with the signature white squiggle in my lunch box. But cupcakes are far from being a new treat…Cupcakes have been around since 1796.
Cupcakes became popular in the early 2000′s after Magnolia Bakery in New York was featured in “Sex and the City.” Thanks to Carrie and Miranda we have been swept up in a cupcake whirlwind for over a decade…Cupcake are everywhere…their are cupcake shoppes, cupcake trucks, cupcake wars, and cupcake wedding cakes .
I love the entire cupcake experience…from walking into the bakery, standing in front of the display case, imagining each flavor combination, visually devouring each cupcake, thinking of each of my guests and what they might enjoy and of course choosing a couple extras so that there will be leftovers.
Here are a couple of my choices from my last visit to our local cupcake shop…Rise! Wicked Spice Cupcakes, cinnamon and spice cake brushed with butter, dipped in cinnamon sugar topped with cinnamon buttercream….They were the perfect compliment to our weekly gathering of friends.
Our pomelo trees are heavy with fruit. The fruits are probably weighing a pound each but they are still green and growing. When the fruits are ready for harvest the skin will become pale green to yellow and they will weigh as much as 4lbs. I am looking forward to enjoying the fruits our labor…
While vacationing in South Lake Tahoe we decided to do a little window shopping. As we were browsing through the shops at the beautiful Ski Run Marina we stumbled upon the sweetest shoppe…at first I was drawn in by the name over the door, “Flour Girl Wedding Cakes“, an adorable play on words and I for one appreciate a good word play…Then as I looked through the large picture window, I found myself peering in on the flour girls busy at work…I was only there for a few minutes but it was like watching a ballet. Two beautiful women dressed for the occasion, their movements were graceful and they seemed at ease with one another. They were busy whipping up icing and smoothing it over what I can only imagine was deliciously moist layers of cake. I could have stayed there all day, watching them create the only thing that can rival the beauty of the bride…the Wedding Cake!
Whenever I hear the word sweet I almost immediately think of something moist and rich and chocolatey. The word sweet also conjures up visions of old-fashioned soda fountains, my favorite gelato shoppe or the local bakery cases filled with buttercream iced cupcakes, fluffy lemon meringue pies and flakey coconut cakes.
There are other things that are sweet...rosey cheeked children when they are sleeping, adorable puppies and cute baby ducks. There are flowers that have a sweet fragrance; jasmine, gardenia and roses. There are sweet friends and sweet shoes and really sweet cars…
Sometimes, the sweetest thing is something totally unexpected. Something done for you by a complete stranger for no other reason than to create a special moment just for you. There is no repayment required or expected…except for a smile and a nod of recognition for that which was done…
And so we were treated to just such a sweet unexpected surprise on Friday evening when a gathering of friends met for dinner at a Thai restaurant off the beaten path, Merlion…We were treated to the freshest ingredients available, the sweetest server within 50miles and the attention to detail that makes people feel special.
Our table was dressed in the finest the season had to offer…there were fresh-cut hydrangea, sunflowers and wonderfully fragrant rose petals sprinkled down the center of the table. As we were admiring the floral arrangement we noticed that our table was the only one that had received the special attention. As the evening progressed we discovered that our sweet server was the co-owner and she had heard that we were celebrating a girls night out and had taken the time to dress our table…
By no means does the food take a back seat to the decor…on the contrary, this is the best Thai food this side of Thailand. The ingredients are fresh and seasonal…the seafood is purchased from the local fisherman and the noodles are made daily. The dishes were a sexy combination of sweet and spicy…Merlion has most definitely made it on to my list of date night restaurants.
This was my dinner and I ate it in front of the TV… Voila a TV dinner!
There is nothing like home-grown tomatoes…The tomatoes are delicious this year…just the right amount of rain and sunshine. My absolute favorite way to enjoy a tomato is on a sandwich…fresh bread, real mayo, thick slices of tomato, salt and fresh ground pepper, I am a purist. How about you…do you eat tomato sandwiches?
I am in a bit of a quandary… You see I have a dilemma. A catch 22 if you will. I am at a deadlock, an impasse maybe even a quagmire. I am in a bit of a pinch, a jam even a pickle, and I might even be in a tight spot.
I find myself perplexed and uncertain as to what to do in this particular situation.
So when in doubt and faced with indecision…go with your first instinct.
One of each Please!