Friday, April 30, 2010

Recipe Friday Chockablock Cookies

Disclaimer: This photo was bloglifted........heehee

Chockablock Cookies

Dorie Greenspan, from Baking From My Home to Yours

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
½ cup sugar
½ cup molasses (not blackstrap)
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or peanuts are all good)
1 cup coarsely chopped dried fruit (such as apricots, prunes, or figs) or 1 cup of moist, plump raisins (dark or golden)
12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chopped, or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Getting Ready:
Position the racks to divide the oven in thirds and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and shortening together at medium speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another two minutes. Pour in the molasses and beat for 1 minute more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the oats, then add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the dough. Toss in the nuts, fruit, chocolate chips and coconut and, turn the mixer on and off quickly a few times to incorporate. Alternatively, you can stir them into the dough with a sturdy wooden spatula. (The dough can be wrapped well and chilled for up to two days. If you'd like, you can measure out the dough onto a baking sheet, freeze until firm, then put mounds of dough in a bag and freeze for up to two months; bake directly out of the freezer, adding a few minutes to the baking time.)
I like to use an ice cream scoop with a 2-tablespoon capacity to divvy up the dough, but you can measure it out by rounded tablespoonfuls. Place the mounds of dough on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches between the mounds.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, rotating pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are golden and just about set. Remove the baking sheets to cooling racks and let the cookies rest on the sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rainbow Cake

Weird thing happened, my lil sister posted this same cake to her blog but it didn't show up in my blog feed. ????

I was so excited, thought I had something wonderful and exciting to share. This blogger made the rainbow cake for her friend that was moving to Utah. Martha Stewart featured her on her "COLOR" show. I'm going to make it and take it to a work pot luck or the bead retreat that i'll be doing in June. But I might just get some disposable pans, I don't want to bake more than one batch because I only have 3--- 9" cake pans. Looks like so much fun!

Makes one 9-inch-round six-layer cake

Vegetable shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/3 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring
Lemony Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Brush six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper; brush again and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
3. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined.
4. Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls. Add enough of each color of food coloring to each bowl, whisking, until desired shade is reached. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes (working in batches if necessary).
5. Remove cakes from oven and transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack; re-invert and let cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the purple layer on the cake plate. Spread a scant 1 cup buttercream filling over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges. Repeat process with blue, green, yellow, and orange layers.
6. Place the remaining red layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (also use any of the excess frosting visible between the layers). Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
Using an offset spatula, cover cake again with remaining frosting.
From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2010

Makes enough for one 9-inch-round six-layer cake


9 large egg whites
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure lemon extract


5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract


Make the filling and crumb coat:
1. Cook egg whites and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on high speed until mixture is room temperature. With the mixer on medium-low, add butter, one piece at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Remove whisk attachment and switch to paddle attachment. Increase speed to high and beat until buttercream comes together, about 5 minutes; beat in lemon extract.
4. Make the frosting: In a clean saucepan and bowl of an electric mixer, repeat process in step 1.
From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hand Art

I am totally fascinated by the hand art shown here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Karen!!!

I did the Omaha Bead Bazaar show yesterday, it was great to see some old friends there. I love some of the work, people are so dang creative.

Karen turned 33 yesterday, got a bouquet of flowers from her Bestie as she calls her. Jen Melton Cullen, great girl.

Olivia got her ears pierced today, she told everybody about it but me.......even told grandpa when he answered the phone, but must have gotten tired of the story by the time she got to me. She was proudest that she didn't cry. It must have helped that the woman that pierced them talked to her first. That woman had a 3 yr. old daughter that had hers done. Olivia must have thought a 5 year old surely shouldn't cry!!! She got to the mall and decided that she wasn't going to do it, but the lady talked to her and made her braver. haha. She is my dress and shoe girl, not so much into toys. Now I can buy her earrings. That will be so neat. I got her a Hello Kitty charm for her Pandora bracelet as this is a special occasion.

I remember when I wanted mine done, I had to be 16. Now kids are getting it done in the delivery room! Times change.

Not much else to tell, birthday is next week. Karen and I are 20 years apart. She was born 6 days before my 20th birthday. It seems so weird, now 20 seems so young. SIGH.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kindergarten shots.....

My baby girl had her Kindergarten shots today. At least I didn't get a call telling me she was in the Dr. office crying for me......that would have broken my heart. She only does that when she's in trouble............I'm 7 hours away, but she seems to think I can save her from those evil disciplining parents. HAHA

Been sick tonight. May not make it to work tomorrow. I hate to be sick, I just don't have time for it!! SIGH

Off to bed now, got some pepto bismol to stay down. Now we'll see if I can sleep.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sisters at the Hospital

In order of age. HAHA. Sitting on the patio at Creighton having a drink while Mom was in surgery. Dianne is modeling her new red purse Deanne bought her in the gift shop for her birthday.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Mom went in at 12:00 and is still back there, it's 7:30pm. We're sitting in the OR waiting room. She apparently did really good. She's in the recovery room, a couple days of ICU, then to a normal room. The Dr. has decided to keep her a week. Her surgery ended up taking longer than they thought it would. SIGH.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I'm going to a little vineyard, it's in driving distance from here. I love the Iowa vineyards, they are close and easy to get to. There's a bed and breakfast there we are going to stay in when we go, the drive is a little over 2 hours. We'll check out the little town, shop in their shops and then come home on Saturday.

Apparently Iowa used to be full of them, but the industry kind of fell off over the years. Now they are trying to revitalize it, I can't wait to go to this one, it has been recommended by one of the nurses that works at the hospital with me.