Tuesday, August 30, 2011

date night and food for every night.

date night.
artsy fartsy theater.
AWESOME movie. 
expensive downtown area post-movie walk and hangout.
makes for a great night.
 midnight in paris.
 they had an old popcorn machine made into an aquarium of sorts?

and then... new recipes!
this one... cilantro cajun tilapia--tilapia with cajun seasoning and cilantro, then topped with homemade peach salsa--peach, jalapeno, red onion, tomato, a bit of garlic..., with a bed of rice and asparagus... YUM.

and then, tequila lime chicken.  Chicken marinated in tequila and lime juice, then cooked on the stovetop and then baked a bit on the plate with cheese and homemade mexiranch sauce (ranch dressing and salsa mixed).  CRAZY good.

so, i hope those sound good to you--make them! and go see midnight in paris--it'll make you feel artsy and appreciate the world a little bit more.

Friday, August 26, 2011

website designer? not so much.

i'm in bob evans... by myself.
lame and sad, right?
it's because they're changing the muffler on matt's car.
(hallelujah, no more embarrassing driving situations...)

so i walked here, with a good coupon from the car place.

and while i'm here, i updating the website i had to make for grad school to be ready for my new year of school.

you should look at it.

only because i'm far from a web designer.
but it's got cute parts to it... like all the cute kids.

just click here.

oh, and i made some fun things this week... i'll share more about them when i can upload the pictures.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

new cupcake. new cabin. new creation.

so much newness.

first, cork frame.
got it from michaels (it was a happy 2011 graduation frame). bought cork. a wooden letter. and paint. with coupons and teacher discount... spent a total of $7.87 for EVERYTHING.
 homemade corkboard. why not.
crazy, amazing deal!
and we have a useful new thing.

then... NEW CUPCAKE.
chocolate cupcake with bits of heath mixed in.
caramel buttercream (vanilla buttercream with carmel topping mixed in).
cashew and pecan pieces on top.
yeah buddy. SO good.

and the other new thing?
oh, just a professional-looking reading cabin in my classroom.
for my students to love to use. and read in.
happy day of new things!


i have a goal.
it's a combination of things i love.

taylor university.

at taylor, there's a place called ivanhoes.
it's wonderful.
and has 100 different sundaes that they make.
if you eat all 100 over time, you join the prestigious 100 club.
i know someone in this club. the trebster.

i'm going to make my own club. the cupcake version of the sundaes.

my goal?
make all 100.
(luckily, the menu is downloadable).

ones i've made already:
25. chocolate covered cherry. (i made a vanilla cupcake, but with a chocolate cupcake, this would have been completed! i'm going to count it.)
31. cookie monster (cookies & cream cupcake)
38. fudge mint (try #2 of mint cupcakes)
41. grasshopper (try #1 of mint cupcakes)
36. double stuffed (cookies & cream cupcake)
57. mint crumb (mint)
58. mint m & m (mint)
64. oreo m&m (cookies & cream)
65. oreo mint (mint/cookies & cream)
85, 86, 87, 88. all strawberry ice creams (strawberry filled cupcakes fit all of these!)

lots of them have just slight variations that wouldn't translate in cupcakes, so one cupcake fulfills several categories. duh.

so, 13 down... 87 to go!

next on the list:
15. caramel chip/16. cashew crunch (heath bar, carmel, cashews)./45. heath bar/46. heath pecan cluster
i'm going to make a chocolate cupcake with toffee in it and a salted caramel buttercream!  maybe with a cashew and pecan on top? if they're cheap?

let the games begin!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


so matt and i have 8 nieces and nephews. (he's the youngest of four Ebright kids).
we decided to take the two oldest nephews for a sleepover.

they're going into first grade, and incredibly energetic.

here was the craziness:
 a little wii after making homemade pizza...
 baseball on the wii. twas a winner.
 chuck e. cheese. completion of life.
 this is pure joy.
 then, homemade ice cream sundaes and a veggie tales movie.
whilst laying in a play tent.

and then we ended it all with pancakes in the morning!

duh. we're ready for children.
all you do is hang out and play at chuck e. cheese, right?

really, we're the children.
but i like it that way.

better with time.

just like wine gets better with time... 

(not that i know, our budget doesn't allow for such knowledge).

...so do my mint cupcakes!
in the original recipe, i didn't like the chocolate cupcake.
that's because the filling didn't work well with it.

SO. i changed the filling for another round.
(my maid of honor and her husband are coming for dinner tomorrow! have to have something fun... :))
same chocolate cupcake (martha stewart's one bowl chocolate cupcakes), which is actually very delicious.
same frosting (vanilla buttercream with peppermint extract)
new filling:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup--bring to a simmer
dump over 8 oz. chocolate chips, add a dash of peppermint extract and let sit for one minute.
whisk it all together.
what it creates?
pure heaven in a mint chocolate ganache.

then, fill the cupcakes.
i'm serious. this is delectable.
(plus, a new tip for frosting! me gusta.)

there it is. uh. yum.

in other news, i tried a new recipe and then created my own!

cilantro-orange-bbq pork chops
i used...
about 1/2 cup bbq
enough orange juice to taste
about 1 teaspoon of garlic
a bunch of cilantro (1/3 cup or so)
mix it all together...

then, pan sear 1/2 inch thick pork chops and slather this stuff all over once it has a been sealed... like has a thin layer of "cooked" on it. (like my cook-ese?)
it's great! and easy!

maybe i love food. eh, well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


so it's 1:30 in the afternoon.
today, i've gone to school, the post office, the drycleaner, walked the dog a few times... eaten breakfast and lunch, sipped coffee and snuck in an oatmeal cookie i made a few days ago.

but i've done something else today. that was INCREDIBLE.
i decided to sit outside while reading my Bible and drinking my coffee (in my bathing suit, of course. i wouldn't want to miss some sunlight!).

so i spent a good portion of my day on the balcony with the bailster.
and then i started a book that the parent of one of my students let me borrow.
holy crap.
i'm not suggesting that all of it is true... because while it claims to be a true story, we all know that people are not without flaws.
that being said... i didn't move for a moment during my reading of this entire book (with the exception of calling my brother to tell him it was blowing my mind... he told me he sat down and read the entire book in Barnes & Noble one day.).

i mean, it's incredible. the details. the experiences. the information and insight about heaven, Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit and our relationships with them.

so read it. and then tell me what you think! (or maybe you already have? then tell me what you think!)

Saturday, August 6, 2011


it's true.
i made a fun cupcake. with a fun filling. and mostly of my own creation!
check it out.

yeah. they're delectable. and unfortunately, i didn't take a picture of the inside... but it's got a filling, too!

basic idea: chocolate cupcake.
my recipe wasn't awesome, so use your own!
filling: marshmallow cream and a bit of peppermint extract--mix them together and fill the cupcake.
frosting: my classic vanilla buttercream (6 cups powdered sugar, 2 sticks unsalted butter, a little vanilla and milk) plus some peppermint extract (i just kept adding until it tasted minty enough but not overwhelming).
frost that trash. added sprinkles and a piece of a grasshopper cookie.
these taste like heaven. i'm not kidding.
so jump on it!

dinner and a craft.

well, it was about time to try a new recipe.
and even though ina garten drives me crazy, i'm oddly addicted to her voice and descriptions during her show?
so i still sometimes watch. even though she's super weird.

and... i decided to try her lemon chicken recipe (one that i watched her make).
get it here.

here's the result (seriously amazing).
i followed her recipe exactly, excepted halved it. and i didn't use chicken breasts with skin on... i used boneless, skinless, so i didn't broil them to brown them at the end.

it may not look that good, but it's incredible. you should try it.

and then a project.
i've been wanting to buy stones and write on them to remember blessings from the Lord. 
(a combination of Joshua with the 12 stones and the book i read, One Thousand Blessings).
so, i did it!

a jar of stones. some written on, some not. with the blessing and the date. it's so easy to forget the things that God does in our lives... so this is my way to remind myself.

joy to the world. and grace. and peace.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

things in my life.

the things in my life...

reasons for these...
picture 1. did dishes after far too long.
picture 2. where i found the garlic today? clearly i was not of sound mind yesterday when i made dinner...
picture 3. my world, currently. cutting laminate and creating things (that stuff is to make pillows).
picture 4. i bought rocks for a project i'll be sharing soon (that means stay tuned...)
picture 5. that's the reading cabin that's getting built in my classroom. i'm more than a little excited about it.

ALSO: i'm officially on summer break for two weeks. that means a lot of baking, decorating my classroom, and a bit of tutoring (clearly i can't stay away or something?). be prepared for fun recipes. next in the line up? something minty...