Archive | June 2012

Cookies-in-a-Box!

I love to bake and give my baked goodies as gifts.  I think it’s more personal and I especially try to give my gifts wrapped, or boxed in a creative and unique way.   I had a bunch of these wooden boxes on hand, and I think they make great boxes to wrap cookies in, you can paint them, decoupage them, cover them in pretty small flowers, oh there are so many possibilities! (no toxic paints though!).   Leave them untouched in their natural state and let your recipient do whatever they wish… that’s the nice thing about these wooden gems, you get cookies (or brownies, or fudge, you get what I mean) and a pretty box!

Keep an eye out, if anyone is interested, my Cookie Boxes will be available for purchase at my store  “Peonie’s Closet”  very soon.   😀

(You can fit about 10 medium sized cookies in the box).

 

After The Bike Ride…

What’s better than hitting the poolside after a 3 hour bike ride….  DRINKS!!  I came up with a concoction of a drink that quenched my thirst delightfully (heeheehee).  I am calling it the “Latin Lover” …  It’s a very simple recipe that calls for  Rum…Mango…Rum…Strawberry…Rum and oh yeah the secret ingredient… R-U-M!!!

LATIN LOVER POOLSIDE REFRESHMENT  (Adults Only!)

2 Mangos (fresh) cut up

1 Cup Fresh Frozen Strawberries

6-8 0z Light Rum

1 Cup Ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Sugar the rim of your glass.  Add ice to the top.  Pour in Blended Drink Mix.  Garnish with a thin slice of green apple and a cherry with stem.  Ummm yum yum!


Bike Trails Galore

Last weekend I blogged about an amazing biking day we had and the some trail pathways that were being updated.  I am updating with some photos’s of the finished trails and all new bridges.  OMG!  It’s gorgeous!  We are having another great weekend here, the weather has just been great.  Was kind of hot and muggy but once we entered the forest it was nice and cool.  I have to say the work is completed here on the trails, and the bridges are all installed.  Everything is soooooooooo nice!  The trails are even better now!  I just LOVE IT!  I am so happy that this is all right out my front door…  and it’s FREE!!!!   How can anyone beat that!   You have to take advantage of what nature brings you and I am definitely taking advantage.  I am so happy I purchased my bike one year ago and I am able to  do this.  Get out, get active and have fun!!  And did I mention it’s F-R-E-E !!

We took a break and had some refreshing yogurt raspberry ice cream, high on the raspberries…Delish!!

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Party Invitation Ideas

Just wanted to share some Party Invitation ideas that I have done over the years.  I just recently did the Survivor Theme.  I like hand making my invitations, I just think it is more personal, more creative and a lot of fun to do!  You can get the kids involved as well, I mean it is THEIR Party isn’t it!  LOL!

Hawaiin Party
Survivor Party
Red Carpet Event
Halloween Bash

Lemon Strawberry/Raspberry Loaf

Such a Beautiful day, not too hot not too cool.  A great day to do a little baking.  I was inspired to make a Lemon loaf and decided to add a little strawberry/raspberry  to it.  I made jam or coulis, well actually it is kind of an in between the two, lol.  The preserves can’t be too thick and it can’t be too thin.  It’s a pretty simple recipe and I am including how I prepared the fruit puree.

Strawberry/Raspberry Puree

1 Cup Fresh Strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut up

1 Cup Fresh Raspberries, cleaned

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 to 1/2 Cup Cold Water

You can prepare this ahead of time and just refrigerate it.  In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients.  Cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Boil for approx. 20 minutes to half an hour.  Remove from heat and let cool.  The mixture should thicken as it cools down.  When the fruit has cooled, put it into a blender and blend or puree.  Then, put into a sieve to remove all seeds.  Set aside.  (This puree recipe is enough for two loaves).

Lemon Loaf

Preheat oven to 350.  Baking time is approximately 1 hour.  

6 Tblpsn Shortening (Crisco or Tenderflake)

1 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs, beaten

Grated rind of 1 Lemon  (Squeeze the lemon and reserve the juice)

1  1/2 Cups Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Milk

1/3 Cup Sugar (to be dissolved with reserved lemon juice)

*Reserved Fruit Puree

Cream shortening and sugar in a large bowl of a mixer.  Add eggs and the grated lemon rind.  In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, mix well.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk until all combined.  Pour half the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, then add 1/2 the fruit puree mixture, top with more lemon mixture.  Take a knife and run it in a zigzag fashion in circles and up and down until it is slightly mixed.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approx. 1 hour.  

Dissolve the reserved lemon juice in the 1/3 cup sugar and mix well.  Prepare an area to spoon on your lemon/sugar mix.  I use a piece of foil paper that is larger than my cooling rack.  Just helps keep things neat rather than sticky!!  Remove the loaf when it is cooked and put on cooling rack.  Spoon over the entire loaf the lemon/sugar juice mixture until completely used up.  Allow the loaf to cool completely.  Slice and serve.  A wonderful recipe for any time of the year.  

*NOTE:  I always double this recipe so I can cut one right away and I freeze the other loaf for another time.  The fruit puree recipe is good for 2 loaves, or you can use it as an ice cream topping,  mix it with plain or vanilla yogurt to dip fruit.  I am sure the ideas are endless.  Enjoy!

 

The Day Has Arrived…

Finally!!  The day has arrived to order “EMPRESS OF THE ALIENS” Barbie doll 2012 !!  I can’t wait to get her in my hands muhahahaha….

She is truly beautiful with all her Alien features…..  I am reposting the pictures.  I hope she is just as stunning when she arrives!  I just ordered Emprees Alien and yesterday Rush of Rose Gold!  Ooooh lala,  the anticipation of the doorbell!  I know I am Barbie obsessed!  Oooops!

Such Alien Beauty a la natural!!

Ooooh Quelle Belle Créature!

Such a FASHIONISTA !


Steak Strips and Salad

I am not the biggest red meat eater, but when I am feeling the caveman appetite I usually go for steak.  I usually choose a very lean strip loin or a nice Angus Beef Filet Mignon.  I opted for the strip loin and sliced it in strips, threw it on the grill for a few minutes and added some nice greens.  Some things are just made easy!  😀

STEAK STRIPS MARINADE

about 1/2 to 1 lb Strip Loin (fat removed) and cut into strips

1/4 Cup extra virgin Olive Oil

2 Tblspn Worcestershire Sauce (that’s a tongue twister)

1 Large Clove Garlic Minced

2 Tblspn Dijon Mustard

1 tsp Fresh Basil chopped

1 tsp Fresh Oregano chopped

2 Bay leaf

1/8 tsp Black Pepper

2-3 shakes fennel seed

Add all the ingredients in a casserole dish and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.  When ready, heat up the BBQ and grill for a few minutes on each side (or depending how you like it cooked, I like mine pink, not raw like the caveman).  I also grilled up some asparagus and yellow pepper.  I prepared a salad with romaine and spinach, tomatoes and added the steak on top.  Mucho Yummio!  Enjoy!   😀

    

Salad with Steak Strips

Steak Marinade