Wednesday, December 31, 2008


We have a very small house, so we don't have room for lots of things like most people. But, we still have too much. So everyday, I am going to be working on a different project to keep me busy and off of this computer as much as possible.

I will post my progress here, along with before and after pictures. I am not going to set a "schedule" or a "plan", because I tend to get anal about such things, making very detailed lists and then kicking myself when they don't get done to my perfectionist standards....there my secret is out. I am anal and a perfectionist, lol. Add to that a procrastinator, and you have one very stressed out lady, lol.

I "think" tomorrow I will start on my kitchen. My dog Bailey has been helping me to declutter my kitchen....he has broken several things that were left lying around (on the table or buffet or counter) and eats anything not put away (like loaves of bread....haha). While he has broken several of my favorite things (my Pampered Chef Rectangular casserole dish for one), I know it is because I do not have enough room to put everything away. We have 2 cabinets (1 is a double and 1 is a single). But, I still have probably much more than I need. I love to bake and cook, so I have a lot of things. It's a catch22....either I don't have the things to do what I love, or I have everything I need, but no room to do what I love....

So, here's to getting rid of things I don't have room for in 2009...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Carrot Cake

Cast of characters (cake): flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, carrots, sugar, salad oil, eggs, walnuts (the shortening is for greasing the pan).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour a 13x10" pan; set aside.

Put flour in a large mixing bowl.

Add baking soda (I know ya can't see

Add salt.

Add baking powder.

Add cinnamon.

Mix dry ingredients.

Make a well in the dry ingredients.

Put carrots in a large bowl. I couldn't find another, so I used my pie plate...big mistake, lol...too shallow.

Add sugar.

Add oil.

Crack one egg at a time and add separately.

Add walnuts.

Ingredients of part 2, aren't they purty???

Mix ingredients together.

Pour into dry ingredients.

Mix well and pour into pan.

Ready to bake.

Fresh out of the oven. I was in a hurry and couldn't wait until it was completely cool to, I let it cool for 30 minutes, then stuck in my freezer (don't do it before then or you will shatter your dish). It only sat in the freezer about 15 minutes, long enough for it to cool enough to frost, and for me to make the icing.

Cast of characters (icing): cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla.

Put softened cream cheese in mixing bowl.

Add softened butter.

Add vanilla.

Add powdered sugar.

Mix icing ingredients well.

My cooled cake & freshly mixed icing...ready to comingle ;)

Just the icing.....oh yes, it is richly sweet.

Looks halfway done, doesn't it....oh no, this baby will be THICK with icing when I get through with it.

Tada......oh and by the way, you don't have to, but you can sprinkle walnuts over the top of this. I did, but forgot to snap an extra pic of it.

Carrot Cake

Recipe By : Cherylann
Serving Size : 16
Categories : Cakes

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
Cake-Part 1:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cake-Part 2:
2 jars junior baby food chopped carrots
2 cups sugar
1 cup salad oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese
4 Tablespoons butter -- at room temperature
8 oz. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 13X10" pan; set aside.

Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and cinnamon; set aside.

Mix together carrots, sugar, oil, eggs and walnuts.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add carrots mixture. Mix well and pour into pan.

Bake 45-60 minutes. Test with toothpick. Cool cake.

Mix frosting ingredients together. Frost cake.

Chocolate Cherry Crunch

Cast of Characters: cherry pie filling; fudge brownie mix; chopped pecans; quick-cooking oats; melted, unsalted butter.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Pour pie filling in the bottom of an ungreased 13X9" baking pan; set aside.

Pour brownie mix in a large bowl.

Mix in pecans and oats.

Blend in melted butter with dry ingredients together until coarse crumbs form; sprinkle over pie filling. The best way to mix it is to just dig in and get your hands dirty.

Note: I put in too much butter (twice the amount), so it should be drier, kind of like streusel. Also, I didn't completely melt the butter, but it was close enough.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cherries should be bubbly.

Chocolate-Cherry Crunch

Recipe By : Cherylann
Serving Size : 12
Categories : Desserts

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
29 ounces cherry pie filling
1 package fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup unsalted butter -- melted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Pour pie filling in the bottom of an ungreased 13X9" baking pan; set aside.

Blend remaining ingredients together until coarse crumbs form; sprinkle over pie filling.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Say Thank You to a Troop

They give everything for us. Make sure to remember to say thank little boy did a couple of weeks ago, and it made me bawl like a baby to see my baby with his arms around a marine saying thank you.

Merry Christmas, My Friend

By Corporal James M. Schmidt

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
This was the home of a US Marine.

I'd heard stories of them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor ini his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a US Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho a floor for his bed?
His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."
One look at my watch and i knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

3 weeks til CHRISTmas

I am no where near ready, is anyone else?

I am having trouble getting into the mood for some reason this year. I just am so busy doing the same things over & over that I don't have any energy leftover to worry about decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. I know everyone is busy, I'm not the only one. But, just wish things could stay clean for more than 5 seconds at a time.