Friday, April 29, 2011

A Personalized Sketch

Maria @Personalized Sketches and Sentiments had a giveaway and I won this amazing sketch she made just for me.  She does her unique work using any name of your choice to create her sketches.
Maria is not only talented, she is very sweet and adorable with a most precious family.
Stop by for a visit to meet her ~ you'll be glad you did!
You can visit her etsy shop to see her other designs too.
Thank you very much, Maria!  It is so special to have this beautiful sketch made from your hand!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Stacked Buttermilk Pancakes

My friend, Kathleen @Cuisine Kathleen creates the prettiest tablescapes and shares delicious recipes.
Kathleen sent me the cutest set of flower-shaped pancake molds.
It didn't take me long to make a stack of the sweetest pancakes ever.
And, Bill, (of Affordable Accoutrements) since you were so gracious  in your disappointment, should I ever have the opportunity, I will make you your very own stack of pancakes too!
The molds have a hole in the center that leaves a perfect opening for filling with your favorite fruit or compote.
I used the Williams~Sonoma recipe on the box.
They were different from our regular pancakes ~ more of a spongy texture.  Lighter but delicious! 

Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray
  • Maple syrup for serving

Directions:

In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Stir just until the batter is smooth and no lumps of flour remain; do not overbeat.

Heat a griddle over medium-high heat until a few drops of water flicked onto the surface skitter across it. Lightly grease the griddle and the inside surface of the pancake molds with vegetable oil, or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set the molds on the griddle and heat until hot.

Pour batter into each mold. Cook until bubbles form on top and the batter is set, about 2 minutes. Remove the molds and, using a spatula, flip the pancakes. Cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 minutes more. Keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked.

Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the griddle as needed. Serve with maple syrup.
Makes 12-15 pancakes; serves 4.
 Thank you, Kathleen!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Raindrops on Redbuds

Considering yesterday hit 85 degrees it is a little crazy remembering how chilly it was last week!
The temps are really bouncing around ~ heading to the mid 60's for a high by Friday.
It was pretty dreary most of Saturday. Drizzly and cool.
But wet ground makes digging in Marl, the soil in our area, much easier than when it is dry and rock hard. So John used the time to shovel out some patchy lawn to make way for a new berm where
summer drought makes growing grass a problem.

I played in the drizzle with my camera capturing rain droplets on our Eastern Redbud tree.
.
Last summers drought took its toll on trees and brushes.  Drive through the neighborhood and you will see  many that did not survive.  There is only so much water that we were willing to pour on the lawn but I did try to keep a slow drip on the trees and bushes.
It was a chore moving the hose from plant to plant day after day but a necessary one.
I had to cut a lot of dead branches from the Redbuds this spring.  One looks good.  One looks pretty bad but showing life at the tips of the branches.
A cropped version of the above shot.

The blossoms remind me of tiny butterflies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

An old family favorite are these brownies topped with a
peanut butter and cream cheese frosting.
I have made them umpteen times and they are now a favorite of my
son-in-laws family too and often requested instead of birthday cake.
Start with your favorite Brownie mix baked according to directions on box.
Peanut Butter Brownies
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons milk
1 pan BIG BATCH BROWNIES

GLAZE
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon shortening

In large bowl, combine powered sugar, peanut butter, butter, cream cheese and milk; beat until light and fluffy.

Spread evenly over 1 pan cooled brownies.

In a small microwavable cup, melt chocolate chips and shortening on half power until melted, about 1 minute.  Stir well and drizzle over frosting.

36 bars (I never get that many!) @180 calories each
Linking to Sweet Tooth Friday @Alli and Sons

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