Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Celebrating The Summer

Summertime. Oh how I love thee. The summer makes me want to listen to a lot of country music and live in the water. Summer in Daytona Beach is...uhhmazing! I guess because we are not true Daytonites, Daytonians, Daytona Beachers...or whatever you want to call the locals, but we are THRILLED to be living by the beach. It's like vacation every day, no joke. The only thing that makes country music and the beach better is homemade ice cream!

This baby was a gift from the one and only Kdids! Click on her name to learn more about her and her running. Anyway, back to my ice cream machine. I have had it for a year before we finally busted it out. Shameful, just shameful. But bust it out we did!

We had a little gathering of people to celebrate the use of our ice cream maker...so we made a lot of ice cream. But, not too much, because one can never have too much ice cream.

Chocolate Butter Finger Ice Cream...I have a freezer full, want to come over and have some? You can't? Because you live in a land locked state? Well that's okay! Because you can either hop on Allegiant Air and come visit...or you can make it yourself. If you choose the first option please comment below so I can mark my calendar. : )

If you are opting out of the visit and choose to make it yourself...I guess that's fine, as long as you play country music and celebrate the summer. If you don't like country music, then please choose some classic rock.

Chocolate Butterfinger Ice Cream
From Martha's Kitchen

-1/2 gallon Dutch Chocolate Milk (whole milk is the best)
-1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
-12 Oz of Cool whip
-4 Butterfinger Candy Bars chopped

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Then pour it into your ice cream maker and voila! It's magic.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sandwiches

Sandwiches. Peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and honey, and cheese sandwiches. The past months I feel like we have eaten nothing but sandwiches. The delightful thing about sandwiches is that they are portable! We have taken them to the beach a couple evenings and have had a beach side picnic which has made the fact that we are eating sandwiches....every day...a lot more bearable.

The past month, I've felt frozen, that's the only way I can think to describe it. I'm not even thinking about what to make for dinner...I'm not even asking my normal question, "What in the world am I suppose to make for dinner??" Instead, I'm just not making anything and then, well, fixing sandwiches. (I must give a shout out to my husband who has never complained ONCE about having to eat sandwiches. Bless his heart, when I ask what he wants he says "Peanut butter and honey") I feel like I've drifted back to about 4 months ago when cooking ruined my day...every day. I'm going to blame this past month on the move.

So, the moral of the story is I need to start cooking! We are moved, we are unpacked, we are making friends, and we are tired of eating sandwiches. It is time to cook. So I took off to my neighborhood publix with my grocery list and my reusable bags (very hippy-chic) and got $100.12 worth of groceries! (I'm sure my cousin-in-law is cringing because she got the same thing for under 5 bucks) I know Bradley's going to wonder what the heck I got for all that money. What did I get? A whole lot of vegetables! So there is stir-fry in the future and hopefully some other meals...or that is one expensive stir-fry...

Monday, June 21, 2010

For all the peanut butter lovers

Are you ready for the most delicious Chocolate-Peanut butter cupcake?

Bradley said this is now his favorite cupcake....WHAT? Can he do that? They are all so cute. It kinda hurts my heart for the other cupcakes to be left out...It also hurts my heart when people eat the candies off the top of the cupcake. Who does that? Okay, I'm not mad, if it was you and you're reading this post, don't worry. There is forgiveness. Next time I'll bring you a bag of candy and you can leave my cute cupcakes alone. : ) Yes, I am crazy.

I made these cupcakes for a music meeting at our new church. Cupcakes can be my only possible contribution to a music meeting. My voice is best saved for renditions of Power of Love by Celine Dion. Just sayin'.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from Sweet Tooth
-8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
-4 Tablespoons butter, softened
-1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
-3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
-1 cup cool whip

  • Prepare your favorite chocolate cake. I didn't have time to make anything from scratch, even though I do have my eye on one recipe I want to try, so I just used a box mix.
  • Beat cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth. (Speed: medium)
  • slowly add sugar a little bit at a time and beat until smooth (speed: medium-low)
  • Add cool whip, and gently fold in to frosting.
  • Frost your cupcakes and add a piece of reese's candy for decorations. yum.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Warning: This is not a food post.

Today I want to post on something other than food. I know, right? What do I have to talk about besides food. Not much, I'll admit. I mean, we eat at least 3 times a day (preferably 5 times a day) and it's a big part of our day. When I say "we" and "our" I'm including all of America (I'm leaving the skinny countries out). Side note: did you know that McDonald's doesn't "biggie size" anymore? I just found that out. hm. Also, McDonald's is taking over China. Thank you cable TV.

I haven't quite found my routine yet in Daytona. Everything is different. Even Carrabbas (no trees on the roof, what is this place!). Our weeknights aren't filled with activities and people. It's just different. I know it takes time and I'm excited about new routines and new activities. I just haven't found mine yet and that is hard.

One thing I did find was a good book to read. "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton.
So good! You may have read it in high school and are looking down your nose at me in disdain...well I'm sorry. We never read anything this good in high school to my recollection (Oh, I did enjoy Lord of the Flies). For those of you who didn't read it in high school (like Bradley did) it's about the turmoil and racial tension it South Africa, a black man's country under a white man's rule. The main character, tribal black man goes on searching to restore his family who have left the tribe and gone to Johannesburg. The whole book is on the cultural tensions, fear, and opression of South Africa. Since I've been to Zimbabwe, which is now in a similar postition to the old South Africa, I felt emotionally wrapped up in it. The ending phrase and the summarizing theme of the book is "the fear of bondage and the bondage of fear." Interesting paradox. And an even more interesting book. If you haven't read it I would suggest picking it up for your summer reading.

Now, I'm looking for another book to read. Any suggestions?

Do you see what's behind "Cry, The Beloved Country"? It's the RTS Catalog! We registered for classes! I am so excited! And I'm slightly nervous too. I have a lot of reading to do for those classes. I plan to get a jump start on it this summer, because I'm assuming reading the book twice wouldn't be a horrible idea. It's going to be an adventure. And I like adventures.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wedding Cake

My dear friend Ashley got married this weekend. She got married at the Biltmore and it was beautiful! We had so much fun. They only downside (if there can be a downside to a wedding at the Biltmore) was the fact that Bradley and I spent the day after the wedding traveling home...on our first anniversary.

So, we decided to celebrate on Monday evening. We went to Longhorn's and I was able to get my favorite salad and we came home to our "cake top." I had forgotten the top of our wedding cake in my in-laws freezer (sad day!) so I decided to recreate it.
If you say I couldn't do it, you're right. It was IMPOSSIBLE. How do you get buttercream that smooth? The cake was vanilla almond with a buttercream frosting. The inside layers were pink and yellow. For some reason, I thought this would be a piece of cake (giggle).

At this point I was feeling pretty good. Thought I had it...

FAIL.

Yes, it's crooked.

I should have made cupcakes...

I decided to switch gears so I pulled out my piping bag.

Much better.Pretty Layers!

Disaster averted.


Vanilla Almond Cake

adapted from Gimme Some Oven

-1 White Cake Box
-1 cup Buttermilk
-1/2 cup oil
-1 tsp almond extract
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-4 eggs

  • Combine all ingredients together except for eggs and beat for 30 seconds on low.
  • Add eggs one at a time until the batter is well mixed.
  • Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
  • Pour into greased pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (for 5" pan).

Buttercream Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk, half and half or cream
  • Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
  • If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
  • Then, just use food coloring to tint the frosting the color of your choice.
I'll admit, I tripled this recipe to be able to frost all the layers and to decorate it with a piping bag. That is a lot of butter and sugar!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One Year Ago...

June 13, 2009


One year ago I married the most handsome and wonderful man in the world.

Love you Baby!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm Melting...

Florida is hot. Florida in the summer is very hot. I've had a little trouble adjusting to the heat (unless I'm sitting with my feet in the ocean with a diet coke in my hand, then I'm fine). But, with these yummy popsicles, the temperature just got a little cooler. :-)

I had a really hard time getting this picture. Bradley wouldn't pose with it. But, don't let the really bad picture get in your way of a strawberry-lime (or strawberry-banana) popsicle.

Start with lots (one package) of strawberries

Blend them as smooth or chunky as you want. Add a cup of your favorite yogurt, an additional flavor, and about 3 Tablespoons of sweetener (sugar or honey). I tried lime in half the batch and a banana in the other half. Both turned out great.

Pour the mixture in a cute popsicle mold, or in dixie cups (like me!) if you don't have molds.
Don't forget the popsicle sticks! Also, if you let it freeze long enough you won't have any trouble with the popsicle falling off the stick. If you are inpatient (like me!) you will have to eat it with a spoon.

Strawberry Popsicles
-1 Quart Strawberries
-1 cup light yogurt (I used light french vanilla)
-1/2 lime well-squeezed (or to taste)
*-or 1 banana
-3 Tablespoons sweetener (sugar, truvia, honey, etc.)

It's all to taste! So taste away!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Crazy? I was crazy once...


The past few weeks have been crazy! Now, I know the word "crazy" is overused. So I wanted to give the word "crazy" fresh meaning. I looked up "crazy"and here are a few of my favorite definitions:

1. Mentally deranged; demented; insane
2. intensely anxious or eager.
3. unusual or bizarre
4. wonderful, excellent, perfect

I must admit that the first two definitions apply the most. Here is a very brief recap of the past two weeks.

We moved to Daytona Beach! Last week consisted of packing, packing and more packing. But we also had a birthday! Bradley turned 23...woot!
He is a sweaty mess because we had just finished loading our 26 foot U-haul. Thanks to all our amazing friends who came out and helped us! I wish I had gotten a group photo...

We then began the trek down to Florida. It rained through pretty much the entire state of Georgia (don't even get me started on my feelings for Georgia). But we made it.

Once we arrived in Daytona Beach, (my new current city! I need to change that on facebook...) we were met by a group of new friends from CCC (Christ Community Church) who helped us unload the massive U-haul. Side note: these people came out on Memorial Day, their day off, to help us unload! I know how to throw a party I tell you what! I didn't get their picture either! I'm so use to taking pictures of food I don't even think to take pictures of people...terrible.
See! This proves my point. Oh, but this is a great picture of the best chocolate cake in the world. Do you know what it is? The Great Wall Of Chocolate from P.F. Changs! You haven't had it? If you haven't tasted this cake, stop reading this blog post and go! Right now!

Continuing on with the Adventures of Brad and Fran...

We spent the next couple days unpacking. So thankful for the in-laws who were an immense help unpacking! We couldn't have done it without you guys!

Yes, my brother-in-law is Jason Heyward.

And then, June 3rd arrived. Drumroll please....The day of my birth! My parents came in town to celebrate.
The birthday kids!

Are you exhausted yet? We haven't even started taking down the wallpaper.

Wallpaper?

Yes, wallpaper.

And so began the Guerrieri project.
You can see the concern on their faces. Yeah...it didn't go that great. So we decided to paint over top the rest. Here is the kitchen before.

You can't really see it, but the kitchen has really awesome orange heart-shaped flowers...yeah, those have got to go!

We got some great paint from Benjamin Moore, my mom is a diehard fan so we drove thirty minutes to get the right paint, and boy am I glad we did! I can't wait to tell you about the colors we picked!

So that is a glimpse into my life the past week. We have to finish the bathrooms and the kitchen and then I'll post the "After" pictures. Get excited! : )