Friday, October 7, 2011

Cream cheese stuffed Pumkin Spice cupcakes

Easy and decadent! :) You will need:

1 Spice cake mix
+eggs and oil to mix it with
1 small can of pumpkin
1 bar of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
cup cake papers
1 can cream cheese frosting
cupcake pan(s)

 picture credit:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Prep your cupcake pan with papers.

Using a hand mixer, mix the cake mix as per directions, substituting pumpkin for the water. (Usually 1 1/3 cups pumpkin, instead of 1 1/3 cups water.)

Next, use the hand mixer to mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.

Spoon about a tablespoon of cake batter into each cup. Then, drop a little teaspoon sized plop of cream cheese mix into the middle of each cup. Then, spoon enough batter into each up to cover the cream cheese mix.

Bake according to directions on cake mix box.

Allow the cupcakes to cool before frosting with cream cheese frosting! 

And, that's IT! So easy, and too yummy. Pretty sure I ate 3 yesterday...

xoxo -Tiff

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Here is a recipe for Amish Friendship Bread, WITHOUT the starter. I have tried it, and it's at least as good as the original. Happy Baking, people!! 




Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 1/4 hr
  1. 1 Mix "starter" ingredients together.
  2. 2 Mix oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla with the "starter".
  3. 3 In a separate bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, vanilla pudding mix, and nuts.
  4. 4 Add to liquid mixture and stir thoroughly.
  5. 5 Pour into two large well-greased 9x5 inch loaf pans, one Bundt pan, or 48 muffin tins.
  6. 6 Bake at 325F for one hour or until done (muffins will take only 30-35 minutes) and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Maimed by a firework

Okay, maimed might be a little dramatic....but I srsly got a 3rd degree burn on my forearm last night.

The marks on the upper left-side portion of the burn are weeping blisters. Just in case you were wondering.

So, we were packing up to go home, and I was holding Jonny trying to keep him asleep, when I heard loud noises of firework awesomeness coming from behind me. I turned to watch and realized that the firework was one of the newly legal in Utah "aerial" fireworks. And it was *right* behind me, between 5-10 feet from dozens of children and their parents. And it was sitting on the grass. For those readers who don't know about these fireworks, they are packed with enough gun powder and other explosive chemicals to launch up to 150 feet into the air. They launch several glowing cannon-ball sized "fireballs" into the air, which, when they reach their destination explode and fall glittering back to the ground.

It fell over. The first fireball flew into the field. The next flew directly underneath the chairs of the people who lit the dang thing. The next flew straight at me. More accurately, straight at Jonny's back. I saw it coming, and tried to turn/dodge. Instead of hitting his back, sticking there, and exploding, it deflected off of my fore-arm and exploded on the grassy hill behind me. Then, total chaos for the next 30 seconds while during the "big finish" portion of the firework, fireballs were flying in every direction and at such awesome targets as children's faces. Miraculously, no one was hurt but me. The firework that hit me literally bounced off of my arm and was not in contact with my clothing or skin for any duration. It burned a hole in my fleece sweater and a hole in my skin in a fraction of a second. Imagine what it might have done if it had stayed in contact with my skin for any real amount of time. Yikes!
I had some special words for the geniuses (all grown-ups, not deviant teenagers) who lit the firework that close to people.  I was not the only angry mother in that park. They just about got a beat down, Mormon Mommy style. They had the nerve to first try and pass off blame to me (I got in the way of the firework on purpose just so I could yell at them), then to justify their poor choice by pointing out that several other people had been doing the same thing in other parts of the park, then finally tried insisting that they had done it "safely"...all the while yelling at me as though I had done something wrong. 
Here's a tip: if you do something stupid, admit it and apologize. Trying to justify what you did only makes you look like a bigger a-hole than you already did...

So, to anyone who reads this: This is your friendly neighborhood reminder to take safety seriously. My arm could so easily have been Jonny's back, or Sam's eye, or Abby's pretty little face. If the man who lit that firework had taken it 100 yards away into the middle of the field, there would have been virtually no harm done. When you're lighting your fireworks this year, take the few extra seconds 
to think it through and make it safe! 
Do it for my arm's sake!!

Happy July, everyone!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Raise your hand if you like to eat!

Let's talk about gardening.

So. I don't usually do the "soap box" thing on my blog. That's all about to change! Aren't you excited?!

Close your eyes...( or keep them open)...and imagine your favorite produce. Mine is fresh strawberries. Or fresh tomatoes. No wait, maybe steamed squash. Perhaps lemons: I love to cook with them! Mmmmm Let's not forget peppers. "Food without peppers" is like "Love without kisses"! Oranges and grapes, and corn on the cob. Watermelon on a hot summer day.

Our happy little green apple tree. It's tiny. Barely as tall as me!

What's your favorite?! Do you love fruit? Veggies? The in-between-ies like tomato and squash and corn?!

Now: imagine that you can't get your favorite produce. The stores simply don't have any to sell. Or, if they do, the price is so high, you can't bring yourself to afford it. 

Guess what?! It's not imaginary. 
(This is the part where I get on my soap box)

Major, we're talking MAJOR freezes in Mexico decimated entire crops. Guess where Americans' food comes from? You get 3 guesses, and if you guess "America" you and I need to have a little talk about how America doesn't produce anything anymore...but that's a soap box for another day!
Our strawberry patch of yester-year. 
Our lawn grew into it and destroyed it last year! See, crops get ruined all the time.

Yes, almost all of America's grocery store produce comes from Mexico. We are in serious trouble, here. A solid example of just how bad it's getting: a bushel of tomatoes sold for $7 this time last year. Today, a bushel of tomatoes is selling for $21. And the prices are steadily rising. There is a distinct possibility that your favorite produce is about to cost 3 times as much as it does now. Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, squash, berries and fruits. All the above-ground fruits and veggies are at risk for rising costs.

Anyone have 3x the money in their budget for groceries?! Anyone? No? ..."Bueller? Bueller?"

My apologies for getting all "Dooms Day" on you, but you are my family and friends. 

And you need to know that the Home Garden is going to be absolutely crucial to the well being of your family this year!! 
Sam and Abby in last year's tilled garden, all ready for plants!

Don't know how to plan or plant a garden?! Call me!! Not sure what works in our planting zone?! Call me!! No space in your yard, or lack of yard?! Call me!! We have a H-U-G-E garden space, and you are welcome to one of our boxes. I'm happy to help anybody with a desire get going on this. 

We seriously have 20 boxes this size. 20! Does one of them have your name on it?
You provide the plants and maintain it, and we will keep it watered.

No Excuses.
Happy Gardening!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mish Mash

Just so everyone knows: Abby is amazing! She is officially reading. We sat down to practice sounding out words, yesterday. She read "sad" "and" "in" "how" and "but", all by herself. (She laughed hysterically at that last one, until I explained it's not that kind of "butt".)

What a girl! 

She is turning 5 on Thursday and can NOT wait to have a sleepover party with her cousins to celebrate! She told me, though, that she is most excited to start sleeping dry at night. This may be a result of my current attempts to brain wash her.

Yes, I said brain wash.

Me: "You know, Abby, big 5 year old girls don't pee in their pull ups at night! They get up in the morning and they are dry! And then they go straight to the toilet! They only pee in the toilet." Her: "Oh!" It's an awesome conversation. One I enjoy having several times each day, in fact.

I'm really hoping it works!

Recently, I told her I had to 'pay the piper', for my bad planning. Flabbergasted, she asked, "Well, can't you just get your cash back?!!"

Sam is turning 8 this year. So, of course, Baptism has been a hot topic at our house. Last night at dinner, I was explaining how when a person is baptised, they are dipped all the way under the water and all their sins are washed away, and when they come up out of the water, it's like they are brand new with no sins at all. He told us, "Yeah. that why I'm being extra good!"  Us: "What do you mean, Sam?!" Him:"Well, that way, I won't have to be under the water very long."

After dinner, he and Abby went into the next room to play 'Sonic #2'(a game where they each choose a character, and then act out the 'video game' they are imagining). He called dibs on Sonic, then told Abby she could be Tails and informed her in his 'all business' voice, "You're character doesn't talk." She consented, and off they went to play. Him chattering pleasantly, and her not saying a word.

(I sat in the kitchen listening to all this, wishing I'd known sooner that it could be so easy!)

Last week, me and my partner in crime took our Bear Den to tour the police station. Since Jer wasn't home, I took the kids along with us. When we got to the part where you get to look into the holding cells, Sam wandered inside the cell. I heard him say, "Oh, look! A toilet!!" He then proceeded to walk over to it, pull out his unit and go pee. With the entire scout den, plus one cop, standing in the doorway watching in abject horror. I didn't know whether to die laughing or die of embarrassment. But I definitely wanted to die! What a boy!!

Jonny doesn't even have to open his mouth, or do anything at all, to put a smile on my face. I'll let his picture do the talking:

Any way you paint it, these kids are great, and I am so, SO glad they're mine!!