The Push-Pop Trend

Looks like the long-standing cupcake trend has had a make-over.  And you know what?  I totally dig it!  I’m honked off that I didn’t think of this in the first place.  Of course, the first thing my cheap self thought when I saw these was, “Hope!  I can make push-ups with that cheap sherbet and my kid will never know they’re not the grossly over-priced rainbow ones!”

You can find these push-pop containers at the Layer Cake Shop (my fave place for baking supplies).  I can’t wait to make some of these myself.   These are a few that are inspiring me to binge on cake batter and sprinkles.  (Click on image to visit site).

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Cupcakes in a Cone

 We made it through the first non-camp day of summer vacation.  Sat down and made out our schedule for the week.  It may sound a tad anal retentive, but I really have no choice in the matter.  The child functions best when on a semi-rigid schedule.  So…semi-rigid schedule it is.  I’m talking curriculum, planned activities and outings.  The whole nine yards.  Only I don’t get a paycheck.  Why else would I be taking an expensive multivitamin every day?  Certainly not for the fishy burps. 

So…after completely reenacting the Chipmunks Sequel and eating waffles, we made cupcakes in a cone.  I was grossly irresponsible and let my kid eat cake batter.  Raw eggs!!  I ate some too…that way if she got sick, I’d be puking right along with her.  Sensible decision, right?

It’s off to Turtle water park tomorrow…where I’ll sit baking in the sun, watching my kid roll around on wet concrete, happy as a clam in mud.  Yippee.

Tiaras, Gratitude and Oatmeal Cookies

I spent most of the morning yesterday baking cookies for my sweeter-than-sugar neighbor who surprised my daughter with a pillow case dress she’d made.  So I baked her up some hearts and tiaras.  I always use the Mrs. Fields sugar cookie recipe.  It’s the most awesome dough of all time.  You can find the recipe here.  The trick is to barely bake them.  The second the bottoms start to turn golden, get them out of there.  Even if they look “raw”…they firm up after cooling down.  Same goes for the oatmeal cookie recipe below.

Now.  Here is the best oatmeal cookie recipe EVER.  I’m not sure where I got the recipe, but here it is:

Oatmeal Cookies

*  2 cups all-purpose flour

*  1/2 tsp. baking powder

*  1 tsp. baking soda

*  1/2 tsp. salt

*  1/2 cup butter

*  1/2 cup vegetable oil

*  1 cup packed brown sugar

*  1 cup white sugar

*  2 eggs

*  3-4 cups quick cooking oats (dough will be thick)

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3)  In medium bowl, cream the butter, oil, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs.

4)  Gradually stir in sifted ingredients until well blended.  Mix in oats.  (An electric mixer makes this MUCH easier).

5)  Use small cookie dough scoop.  Bake 5-7 minutes.

6)  Immediately after removing from oven, lightly pat down the top of cookie with the back of a fork.  This gives that “bakery” look.

Good Ole Ethel

Remember Ethel?  I blogged about her a year or so ago.  I didn’t really KNOW Ethel.  I found her cookbook buried under a pile of junk at the flea market and paid 50 cents for it.  It was chuck full of stuff from the 1950’s all the way to the late 1970’s.  Ethel must’ve been some fine cook.  Every new contraption that involved cooking…Ethel had it.  Toasters, the hamburger patty press, can opener.  She was first in line.  Some of the recipes were scratched on old envelopes or the back of stationary.  Some were clipped from Family Circle and the local newspaper.  One was written in shorthand…but I’m not sure if it’s a recipe.  Could be a ransom note for all I know.  That shorthand stuff creeps me out.

Ethel seemed to worship Julia Child and had several of clippings from the 1960’s with stuff circled and highlighted.  She had also handwritten exact instruction for when to plant certain flowers and vegetables, how to prep the soil, when to water, when to harvest.  For instance:

“Bring in azaleas from cold frames at intervals for a succession of bloom – it takes 6-7 weeks at 60-65 degrees.  When new growth starts, feed every other week with solution of 1 oz. aluminum sulphate to 2 gallons water.”

There were also a couple of pages in the back, a handwritten journal of some sort.  Maybe she was standing in the kitchen and became overcome and needed to write some things down.  Maybe she was writing and practicing her prayer for church that upcoming Sunday.  It was obvious that Ethel was a God-fearing woman..with some weird notions of abusive elders and whatnot:

“Bless all in authority over me, and so rule with their hearts and strength.  Bless their hands that they may punish wickedness and vice and maintain thy true religion and virtue.”

Anyway…I’m sure Ethel wore pearls and pumps and sprinkled her wrists with rose-water before heading off to the church social.  I wonder why her kids never held on to these memories.  Maybe she didn’t have children.  I’m just happy to have her “here”….and I think I might try out a couple of her recipes…just to stand her shoes for a few minutes.