Saturday Link-it Up: Chocolate Cake (Says it All)

Saturday morning and I’m headed to work. This is my second week at a new job. I love it, but talk about tired. I mean the crawl into the tub, crawl into the bed kind of tired. But, it is a good tired. I feel like I accomplished something at the end of the day.

So, speaking of productive and feeling like you accomplished something, check out this cake.

This chick astonishes me. Her husband likes “boxed cakes” and that bugged her. So, she tried and tried until she successfully made a “from scratch” cake he liked. This is the result. I admire her resolve. I’d still be making the boxed cakes (which, I’ll admit, I have a fondness for).

So, her husband is happy and she’s happy. Sometimes food really is the way to a man’s heart.

Enjoy!

Saturday Link-it Up: Get Adventurous

Okay, I’ve been helping my Martha’s out the last couple of Link-it Up Posts. This week is for the Mary’s, but you Martha’s with an adventurous bone are allowed to come along too.

I just got back from buying a new rain jacket (the Columbia type, not the Gwyneth Paltrow trench kind), and rain pants, and waterproof hiking shoes. I bought them because that’s the sort of clothing I need. I rarely need pretty clothes because I work outside in the sun, rain, snow. I also live in a place that just does not lend itself to pretty clothes. I’m talking animals, gardens, dirt roads, and MUD. Which, is really my preference.

While making my purchase, I kept thinking about this woman who lives on Graemsay Island, a Scottish Island, population 27. She does health research for some medical companies. But mostly she enjoys her life on the island, and makes trips to the surrounding islands to visit friends, and hangs out with her chickens while gardening. She is AWESOME. I bought my rain jacket envisioning that I lived on Graemsay, and visited my neighbors on adjacent islands (in my new jacket), and gardened while looking out over the ocean.

Check out this picture.

Do you see the ship in the distance? How cool is this picture?
I’d live here in two shakes. If I didn’t have MP, and BD, and the Coast Guard son, and the teen, I’d be off to Graemsay Island. I do love an adventure.
So, today roam around her blog. It will fascinate you. Her life is simple and yet, so completely out of the ordinary that it is a daily adventure. And, we all need a little adventure, right? Here’s the link. Enjoy and be adventurous!

Another Saturday Link-it Up: Almost Forgot St. Paddy’s Day

Forgive me. I’m not Irish. The only thing I do on St. Patrick’s Day is plant my sweet peas, as in the flower. But, even that date is too late for them, as they prefer the cool, so while they do grow, they don’t bloom.

My failure with sweet peas noted, I have another failure to confess. I make one kind of cookie. The kind with the dough already wrapped in cellophane and purchased at my local Ingles’ (grocery store). And, even those don’t turn out too well.

But, I want to make cookies.

I want to make the kind that Martha Stewart makes. The ones that look like little works of art that children squeal with delight over before devouring, because they taste good too. The ones that look like these.

Pot o’ gold.
And these. Four-leaf clover.
BD could make these. She’s a great baker. MP will have so much fun with a mom who can churn these out (and a Dad who is never going to let her date, so too many cookies won’t really matter for her).
Anyway, here’s the tutorial on how to whip up these gems. This blog is so super-cool, and so seriously a sweet-tooth lover’s dream. Its called Sweetopia, and cookies and cupcakes is their thing. You’re going to love it.

Here’s the link for the cookies. St. Paddy Day Cookies Tutorial

Okay, so off to the soccer game, but I really want to see pictures of these if you make them. Enjoy!

Saturday Link-it Up: Easter Display

So, I’m doing this link-up early, as I’m headed out in the a.m. with the teen for yet another… wait for it… soccer game!

And, guess what? Today the teen got an offer from the soccer coach at the college he wants to go too, so guess what that means? Another four years of soccer games. I seriously thought my “soccer mom” days would be over when that child turned 18. If he goes pro, I’ll be the a soccer mom at 60.

Well, moving on. Easter is coming up and it is my favorite day of the entire calendar year. Eggs and bunnies aside (though, I do love eggs and bunnies, and can’t wait to dye Easter eggs with Miss Priss), I love the day because at my church we spend the first part of the Easter service with the pastor shouting, “He is Risen” and the congregation shouting back, “He is Risen Indeed.” And shouting in church is just plain fun.

Not too mention what we’re shouting about. We’re shouting about Jesus rising out of the tomb. Which is, of course, my favorite person, EVER. So naturally, Easter makes me happy.

That’s why I chose this link-up. Its an Easter decoration for your Easter table. Since, I’ll be going to the Cracker Barrel, I won’t need a decoration. But, I figured some of my Martha gals would. So, daffodils and colored eggs are the catch of the day.

Enjoy! And, please send pics of your pretty Easter tables as I love to see what you do!

Saturday Link-it Up: Strawberry-Almond Clafoutis

I so love the name of this gal’s blog, that while I don’t cook or follow her more health food lifestyle, I do read her faithfully. Her writing is fun, and her cooking is brave. For brave, check out this recipe on Strawberry-Almond Clafoutis. Even she admits to not knowing what one is, but that didn’t stop her trying to make it.

Here’s the link. Admit it. You love the name of her blog too. I mean who doesn’t take the simple and complicate the h-e-double-toothpicks out of it? I might write my next post on the many ways I can do that, with style.

chicken tender (Complicating the Hell out of the Simple Life)

And here is clafoutis. If any of you discover what a clafoutis is, and where they come from, let me know.

Oh, for my all my gluten-free folks, while this recipe isn’t, most of her’s are. She just didn’t think she could get that brave with a clafoutis. Whatever that is.

Enjoy!

Biker Boots and Other Fashion Necessities

I got this “do” coming up this weekend in Hilton Head, and I need clothes. Not just any clothes–or not just any of my clothes, my more fashion-minded friends are insisting. So, I must shop.
Fashion savvy chick that I am, I went to my favorite fashion blogs to see what’s what. The weekend soiree is a wine and food festival on the beach.
I started with Blonde Salad, my favorite fashion chick in the blog world. I adore the name. She is currently in Paris, attending fashion shows, and she is wearing these boots for her casual walk-about-Paris look. Check them out.

I want the black pair, cause that’s how I roll.

I also want the purse, and a dog to put in it.

.

My other favorite fashion blog is Le Blog de Betty. She’s featuring jeans this week and I’m loving the look. I think the jacket would go with my biker boots.
I wonder if I could get my hair to do that? Extensions?
Here’s my accessories found at Fashion Chalet
So, I’m good. Shopping done, and beach-y food-wine festival clothing look complete.
But, I’m guessing my friends, D & D, will say noooooooo, Cinthia. Not happening. And, here’s what I’ll end up with.
Minus the scarf. I just can’t rock a scarf.
But, I’d probably choose this one. 
Because I love a hammock.
(The beach dresses found at Land’s End.)

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Lobster Mac-n-Cheese

Here’s another Saturday link-up to some pretty fancy cooking: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Lobster Mac-n-Cheese.

Here’s the pic of the grilled cheese. (Tomato Basil Soup recipe is included, also.)
And, here’s the link to the recipes:

Everyday Occasions

Its a good day for comfort food after last night’s storm. Beats going outside and picking up twigs, well, large branches is more the word here.

The teen just looked over my shoulder and was like, what the heck? I know what you’re thinking. He’s jealous that his mother doesn’t make grilled cheese that looks like that. Well, so wrong, dear people. I’ll quote him. “Why did she mess up a grilled cheese sandwich? I like your’s. Don’t make those.”

I never loved him more. He wants his mother’s American cheese on wheat bread slathered in butter version. Hey, at least I’m using wheat bread.

Enjoy!

Another One for My Marthas, Strawberry Pie Made with Pie Weights

I want pie weights. I don’t need them. I am not even sure what they are. But, they are so Williams and Sonoma-ish. Check them out weighing down this pie crust that is a soon-to-be a strawberry pie..

If I had pie weights, I’d make pie. If I had pie weights, I’d make lots of pies. It I had pie weights I’d make lots of good pies. I’m leaving now to go to Williams and Sonoma to buy pie weights. While, I’m gone, check out this strawberry pie recipe on www.sweetsandsavories.com/blog/, made with pie weights, which is what got me on the subject of pie weights this morning.
And, go ahead and subscribe to her blog. She’s like this insane Martha cook. All you Martha gals will ADORE her. I do. See how good I am to my Martha peeps? Hooking you up with the latest in being a Martha. You do realize I mean Martha as in Mary and Martha, and not Martha Stewart, right?
Here’s a preview of the strawberry pie that she used the pie weights with. I’m loving the little green sprig thing on top.
Oh, and I’m going to buy one of these too. 
It weighs your flour for your pie. 
I’ve never made a pie so I didn’t know you needed to weigh your flour, and then weigh your crust. Get it? I know. I am hilarious