Broomsticks and Aprons and lots in between…Catching up on this week

Dishes. That’s why I haven’t really been in the kitchen this week. I don’t want to do dishes. Silly isn’t it. I’ve been to the grocery store, clipped recipes, but still, we ate out every meal this last week. I wonder if it was the weather? Forecast for this week- Vegan Cupcakes I found in a NY Times article link from AfricanKelli.

Bridal Showers. Oh yeah, there was one of those in the mix too. I don’t do “showers” really well. I don’t like guessing how big is the mom-to-bes-belly or play Married Mad-Lips, but this one was short, to the point and fun. Ana had a great idea for place holders. She made aprons with our names on them and them tied to the backs of our chairs.

Farmer’s Markets. I love getting up early on Saturday mornings and heading out to Farmer’s Markets.  The Farmer’s Market group in the Phoenix area has really worked on putting up a friendly Web site. I usually go to the RoadRunner Market, you can count on at least a dozen vendors and a nice selection of fresh produce and pre-made items.  This weekend I ventured out to the Mesa Market. There was only one produce vendor and maybe two arts and craft booths. It was nice enough, but after five minutes, I was finished browsing.

One good thing about the experience, was that I got to explore downtown Mesa. There’s a lot of sculpture and boutique shops. This sculpture is called the Drunk Horse.

Art. Getting caught up in the art scene, it’s not a bad place to be. I went to the Phoenix Art Museum. My friend Ann is finishing her Docent training there and she wanted to practice her tour. She did an amazing job and I learned a lot. I don’t know how to really look at art. I’m one of those spend 10 seconds per painting, determine if I could have done it better and move on. So, any chance to have someone talk to you about a piece, is a treat. She needs to work on being nicer. She kept telling me, “Don’t touch that!”

We ran over to Old Town and went to see the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. There was a fun exhibit with lots of toy figures. If you go there, you MUST eat breakfast or lunch at The Orange Table.

Last night, Hubby and I went to see Body World 3 at the Arizona Science Center. We learned a lot. Here’s a hint, we went at 7:45 PM, which was perfect. We ate an early dinner at Circa 1900, went to the exhibit and afterwards, went back to Circa for dessert. My dinner experience was similar to the review in Feasting in Phoenix. I had to capture a shot of the dancers in front of the Herberger Theater. Something tells me this wasn’t part of the original vision, but if you can’t have fun, what’s the point.

You can’t go wrong with Limoncello…cupcakes that is!

Have you ever seen someone running around with their hair on fire?  I’m not talking a little singed eyebrow, but fully engulfed!  This new year has been throwing me a few curve balls and I’m doing my best to roll with the punches.  I have had just a little bit of time in the kitchen.

I hosted a meeting at my house for about 12 ladies in a volunteer group I’m involved with.  We talked about being aware of how teens are using MySpace.  It was a great topic where we really explored some tips on how to make sure you’re not making yourself too vulnerable.  This was especially important to me since I have a teen sister.

Of course cupcakes were going to be on the menu.  I found a recipe from the Food Network that looked interesting.  I took the basic theme and tweaked it a bit (for example, they used a boxed chocolate cake recipe and I made mine from scratch).  Here’s what I ended up with?

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Limoncello Frosting

 

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chunks
zest of one orange

PREPARATION:
Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Cream together the sugar, mayonnaise, water and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; stir until well blended.

FROSTING:

2 cups powered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons limoncello
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 orange zested

Hot taMolly!

Going north to Alaska! That’s what Molly’s grayed out instant messenger says. It’s sad and exciting all at the same time. If you’re looking for her blog, it’s down until she gets all settled in, but I’m looking forward to reading about all her new Super Wife adventures soon. Here’s a glimpse of her going away party- can you say KARA-OKE!

Chicken in a Bandana

No lie. One day I was running around the office, spouting off orders as is my custom. I ran into Molly’s office, I’m sure to jump her butt about something and the most random thing came flying out of my mouth; Yadda, yadda, “or did I see a chicken wearing a bandanna?” Seriously, did I just say that? Out loud. It’s quotable. So, she wrote it on her board. This was months ago.

Today, I’m surfing. Just seeing what’s out there and I go to cuteoverload.com. It’s just a guilty pleasure. And look what I found posted. People do you see what I see! It’s a chicken. With a scarf! OMG.

 

Ok, so now I feel guilty for posting this totally random article, it’s got nothing to do with food, eating or baking….unless you think that chicken looks yummy?

If you kill the joe…Make some more

I’ve become a coffee drinker. And I love it. For Christmas I got a new coffee grinder and so far this week, I’ve made my way through two different types of coffee from Sprouts: Moka Java and Peruvian Blend. I really like the Peruvian Blend. Don’t ask my why: It just tastes really good.

On another note, I got a new phone. I’m not too much of a gadget girl. I had my last phone for two years and would still have the one before that, but everyone kept calling me Zack Morris because it was huge. This phone has a pretty good camera. I couldn’t help but capture this picture this morning. Remember we got the dogs new beds and they were having a hard time figuring out that they’re supposed to actually LAY on the bed. Bidi is getting closer, but she’s not there yet.

Overwhelmed….First weekend back home from the Holidays

Specific and measurable results.  It’s hard when you preach that every day at work and then you’re faced with the task of coming up with a New Year’s Resolution.  *grumble*

Here’s what I came up with: Limit my TV consumption.  I don’t know about you, but I seem to default to the TV being on all the time.  It’s my background noise. The problem is that when it’s on, I find myself pausing all the time to watch a segment or just zoning out on nothing.  I’ve got some rules, so I’m not going cold turkey.

Keesha’s TV Watching Algorithm

  1. Weekdays= (News and Weather till I leave for work + News and Jay Leno)+ (Mindful watching of Grey’s Anatomy + Ugly Betty + No Reservations)
  2. Weekends= (who needs it?)

Now I’m trying out all the XM satellite stations.  Yesterday I listened to XM Hitlist and today I’m trying out XM 20 on 20.  So far I’ve learned that Akon likes to “Smack that!” and I can “loosen up my buttons” and “shake my moneymaker.”  I need to find another channel.

I hope to get back in the kitchen this week and back to my blog.  Ciao!

Texas Christmas Recollections Day Five

Is it over yet?  We’ve been every where man. College Station, Austin, San Antonio, Bastrop.  Today we got to go see Hubby’s Dad and R at their new Texas Ranch (ok, mini-ranch, but there are cows!).  It was a really nice relaxing afternoon and it was awesome that we got to see them.  We had a great lunch, but left before dinner was ready. She was making a French Market Soup and it smelled go good.  I tried looking up a recipe, but none of them seemed to match hers.  Maybe we can get her to share?

Today officially starts Texas New Years! and I’m happy to report that I found my special houseslipper socks, it might just be a great New Year!

Texas Christmas Recollections Day Three & Four

JD’s wife’s daughter’s husband.  That’s how people are described in Caldwell.  It’s not enough to say JD Smith, because there could possibly be 3 JD Smiths in a town of 3,000 people.  For example, I’m Nada’s oldest daughter’s husband’s daughter.  Hubby is Reube’s oldest daughter’s oldest son.  It’s important that you go back at least three generations, lineage is very important to everyone knowing exactly who and what you’re all about. It’s kinda cute.  I’m back from a road trip with the family.  We went to San Antonio and we had a lot of time to talk about who all we’ve seen since we’ve been here, so all conversations about people have to include a genealogy.

San Antonio;  It’s my favorite city in Texas.  Here’s some highlights from our trip down.

Of course, the Alamo.

The Original Mexican Restaurant on the Riverwalk (daytime).

The Original Mexican Restaurant on the Riverwalk (nighttime).

My most favorite place in San Antonio is Mi Tierra’s.  Think Mexican Gone Wild then times 10, then add a few Hail Mary’s and perpetual Christmas and you’re starting to understand this place.

Here’s my dad.  He’s an Aggie.

Lizzy approves of this meal.

Remember what I said about Christmas- Did you imagine this? There are actually Mariachi’s in the bar.

Texas Christmas Recollections Day Two

James Brown died.  Merry Christmas. Can you believe that’s the line my dad blurted out during Christmas present time this morning?  Then he preceded to walk around the living room, in his Christmas pajamas singing, “I feel good,” hip wiggle, “I knew that I would now.”  Very inappropriate, right!

Excess should be the word of the day, so far it’s been full of it and it does feel good (da da la da da).  Here’s some snapshots:

 

 

In other news, we think LoLo has a slight Orange Soda addiction.  I’ll let you figure out which one she is! LOL.

 

Sock update.  I’ve ruled out my Aunt B as being the sock culprit.