Monday, June 27, 2016

Dreamsicle Cake and 4 years of blogging

Life has been so hectic until I totally missed my own blogiversary. Yep, the anniversary of my blog. It was on June 18th, four years, and I missed it! I realized it a few days after the fact but have been busy and wanted to have a moment to think and consider just exactly WHAT I was going to do for it.

Of course I knew cake would be involved and a walk down memory lane. In the four years since I started this blog a lot has happened.
My youngest son graduated from high school, went to college, left college, got engaged, join the Air Force, got married and became a dad. My middle son graduated from Paul Mitchell, moved from NC to GA and back to NC. He has changed career thoughts several times and is considering school again. My oldest son got married, had a near death accident and started a new job.

So as you can tell, I went from a full house to an empty nest. I moved from NC to GA, got divorced after 25 years of marriage and moved back to NC. I was reunited with my high school crush and we have spent the last 18 months enjoying life and love. I went from an empty nest to a full house again and now full circle, empty again. Being divorced meant having to take care of myself, I started college and went to work. There have been way to many health scares in the last 8 months and it seems they are not over but I'm confident that all will be well.
This blog went from a place to drop by recipes for family and friends to product reviews, writing challenges, fattening decadent foods to clean eating and back again. You have watched me grow, learn and change. There was a lot of pressure on me to "make money" and blogging lost it's draw, fun. I barely posted anything for about 8 months due to living with my mom and now I'm back to posting 2-3 times a week AND for fun!

In the beginning I did not understand scheduling and spreading out my post. Funny I look back and see I posted 2-4 recipes at a time on one post. I've considering going back and separating them but I like it, it shows growth and change.

Curious? Here is my first ever post HERE, this post has the most views of any thing I've ever done! HERE over 53,000 views!

My blogiversary cake...Dreamsicle Cake was FAN Freakin'Tastic! And you can have it too!:
Dreamsicle Cake
Duncan Hines orange supreme cake mix
4 eggs
3/4 cup concentrated frozen orange juice,thawed
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 box cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients and then slowly add the wet ingredients. I mix those together in a separate bowl and then pour in. Mix batter until nice and smooth and thick. Pour into a greased bundt pan or two 9 inch round. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 35 minutes depending on your oven. Follow the cake mix box instructions for time and temperature if using a different size pan.
Frosting:
Betty Crocker whipped cream frosting in a can (yes I did) and 2 TBSP OJ concentrate, mix well and put into a zip top bag. Squeeze out the air and snip the corner off. Squirt over cooled cake, as much or as little as you want. I went a little crazy. 

If you're new, I participate in several writing challenges, a Crazy Ingredient Challenge, poetry group post, a "blog with friends" once a month and several times a year there is a Progressive Story group that I am honored to be part of.

I have lost some of the dearest members of my family and gained 3 grandbabies. In life there is death and in birth there is promise. I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me and that you will continue to stop by. Thank you to all my wonderful friends, family and blog community! I love you all <3

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest
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Friday, June 24, 2016

The boy, a recipe and FF post

I have a delicious new recipe! Baked not fried so it's less fattening. It is really very simple to do and I absolutely loved it. You can leave off the creamy sauce if you want to drop some calories but you will miss out on a ton of flavor.

Crispy Cheesy Chicken
1/2 cup milk, I used almond milk
1 TBSP parsley flakes 
1 -2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Stir well in a bowl or shallow plate for dipping

Second bowl or plate, have 1/2 - 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Third plate, 1 1/2 cup sharp shredded cheese

3 large boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-3 pieces
Dip in the milk, then the crumbs, milk and then cheese. Place in a baking dish. I sprinkled the cheese on top that did not stick.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the interior of the meat reads at least 165 degrees. It's not a good idea to eat raw chicken.

While the chicken is baking prepare the sauce:
1 can low sodium reduced fat cream of chicken soup
2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP sour cream
fresh cracked black pepper
Place these ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer while the chicken is cooking. Serve over the chicken, pasta, rice or potatoes.


Funny Friday, June 2016
Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write 5 captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.


Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg


Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dinosaur Superhero Mommy (http://dinoheromommy.com/)
29 - Dinosaur Superhero Mommy - June 2016.jpg


1. No mommy a tornado did NOT go through this room, you're so silly.


2. I leave the room for 2 minutes! 2, count them TWO minutes AND he manages to do this?!


3. But mommy, you said "Keep yourself busy... I did"


4. What? he says... mom walks out of the room, shaking her head and muttering to herself.


5. THIS yes THIS is why I said ONE kid when we had a boy! Mom sends the text and photo to Dad at work. He opens his phone and ROTFL his staff looks at him like he's lost his mind. Then he shares the photo. The men laugh, the single girls gasp, the moms pass out and say a prayer for their fellow mom at home.


Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
http://dinoheromommy.com/                            Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com                Not That Sarah Michelle
http://www.southernbellecharm.com                Southern Belle Charm
http://mybrainonkids.net                                  My Brain on Kids
         Baking In A Tornado
http://mollyritterbeck.com/                                Molly Ritterbeck


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Monday, June 20, 2016

The Wackiest Chocolate Cake Ever #CIC

Hey everybody, sorry I've been MIA for the CIC  but life has been crazy. I hope this post makes it up in time, as I am preparing this less than 4 hours from posting. Nothing like cutting it close!

This month for the Crazy Ingredient Challenge our ingredients are Blueberries AND Spinach! Now for me, I use those two thing in smoothies ALL the time and in salads but I need to 'challenge' myself. My thought was, I can use black beans in brownies so why not blueberries in chocolate cake? Sounds totally logical right?

W is not a big fan of chocolate and if he finds out there are blueberries and spinach in it, NO WAY he will eat it.

A handful of spinach, I buy organic baby spinach and freeze it to put in my smoothies. So I grabbed a handful out of the freezer.

1/2 cup fresh blueberries (they are in season here right now and the Blueberry festival is this weekend!)
3 TBSP dark chocolate baking cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
5 TBSP oil
1 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 8 baking dish. Mix your dry ingredients together and pour into the pan. Now add your wet ingredients. Mix well. Lastly stir in your spinach and blueberry puree. Bake for 35 minutes.

Frosting
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup baking cocoa
Add all ingredients into a bowl and whip until creamy. Spread on cooled cake.
Be sure to visit all the other talented bloggers!

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Wings of Promise

The wings of promise is what I'm calling this white dove. It was a gift to me from the owner of a florist shop in town. Back story...
My Daddy had been sick for a long time, diabetic, heart patient, kidney dialysis just to name a few. I had prayed many times that he would not pass from this earth to eternity without accepting Christ. When he passed I was on my way to him, going 80 mph down the highway with my mother sick in the passenger seat. When the phone rang I slowed and felt sick. I knew before I answered. He was gone. DAMN IT I was almost there, only 8 more miles to go, I glanced over at my mom. She was clueless, so I drove to the house. On the way I called my mom's youngest sister and told her, asked her to please meet me at the house. When I got there, I almost had to carry her in she was so sick. My aunt arrived, I filled her in and I was off. Not sure why I was in such a big hurry, he was already gone, but I felt the need to be there.
I arrived to find my Daddy still, cold, gray and lifeless. He looked peaceful. The room was eerily still. There sat two of his sisters and a brother. Going through old photos and chatting like it was tea time. I froze. I just stood there, not sure what to do, wanting to run away, to hide, to scream, but...I had to be an adult and take care of business. My Aunt Juliette took my hand and led me to the bed. She said we cleaned him up, he didn't suffer, he was sleeping and we were all standing around, he took one long deep breath and that was it. She smiled at me like that was suppose to make it all better somehow, it didn't. I stood at the end of the bed trying desperately not to look at him but unable too. I stood for what seemed liked hours but only minutes and then I walked over to a chair and sat.
After a few minutes I walked to the nurses station and told the nurse who I was, she gave me a sad smile and said I'm sorry. I asked her what I needed to do. She gave me a list of things, papers to fill out, things to sign and asked me what funeral home to contact.
Once this was all done I trudged back to the room. There they all still sat. I guess the look on my face told them this was not the time for a family reunion. My uncle left. My two aunts stayed. I went through the closet and dresser to gather my Daddy's things. I went through it all like a robot, not feeling, not seeing, just doing, it was the only way I could.
I then sat with my Daddy for 3 hours, it took the funeral home that long to arrive. It was a Sunday afternoon and the "pick up" guy was out of town. Those 3 hours had to be the longest of my life. I took his watch and put it on, I wrapped his Mac Tool coat around my shoulders and tried not to look at him.
As the hours ticked away ever so slowly, one by one nurses, aides and orderlys came in, none knowing he had passed, each one shocked, sorry and quietly slipping out of the room, much like his soul did.
When they finally took him away, I stood and watched them leave, not wanting to stay and not wanting to leave. Finally I climbed in the truck to head back home, my parents home, my mom's now. It was all so surreal. I sat there for what seemed like only a moment but was almost 30 minutes. Finally I started the engine and headed home.
The next several days were a whirl wind of activity, calls to be made, arrangements set, photos to gather, it was never ending.
When I made it to the florist the choice was easy, a casket spray with red flowers, his favorite color and carnations because they were readily available and he would have been upset if I had of spent more on flowers that would die anyway. He was practical and I wanted to honor him in all the decisions. My mother was no help, she was still in shock and had had a heat stroke, so she was literally out of commission. I believe God allowed this in order to protect her. She has been strong but this was all too much. So she shut down. To this day she remembers nothing.
The florist was very helpful and upon leaving the shop she caught me on the sidewalk. She held a beautiful white dove in her hand. She said "Do you mind if I add this to the spray, no cost, I just feel very heavily pressed to do this, it may mean something to you it may not" she looked a little worried. I almost lost it. In a weak voice I said "yes, please do, I have been praying for a sign that all is well, that Daddy is "home" and that I will see him again in glory. I believe this is the sign" She smiled, gave me a hug and said "I did not know him, but I feel confident that this dove was to bring you peace". I thanked her again and left.
The next day Bob from the funeral home called and said for me to stop by the funeral home to see if everything looked to suit me, HOW is it suppose to look to suit me? My Daddy is gone?!?! NO it does not suit me...this was in my head. But I went, viewed the body (because he is gone it is just a shell) he looked good, I sort of laughed, the guy must have thought I was loosing it. He asked if I was okay. I said, no this is my Daddy of course I'm not okay, but yes I am. He was even more confused. The look on Daddy's face...it was peaceful but mischievous. He had a slight smile, looked like he would sit up any moment and laugh. I saw the beautiful flowers and the dove perched on top. I smiled. He was smiling, but from heaven and I knew it would be okay. No, it would not be easy, I missed him so much it hurt but I would make it and he would always be with me.
At the funeral I gave my Daddy's eulogy. Most definitely the hardest thing I've ever done. But I wanted to honor him, to make folks at ease, to laugh, to share memories and to be honest, be in control. See, if I had to speak it would be through grace and mercy with love and if I sat and listened to a sermon I would lose my mind, fall apart and bawl my eyes out. THIS would not make my Daddy happy, so I sucked it up. Took a deep breath and spoke of his favorite foods, cartoons, his long ago temper and the things that endeared him to all of us.
We laid Daddy to rest that afternoon but in my heart he walks me with everyday and one day I will see him again, face to face in glory.
That dove sits on a shelf in my bedroom and when I look at it, I smile because Daddy is okay. No sickness, no more pain, fishing on the golden shores all the day long. The dove represents peace and a promise "I will never leave you nor forsake you". Thank you Jesus

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Chilli Mac and FOTW

I love quick and easy meals. This is a "go to" meal for me, add a salad, maybe some garlic or cheesy bread and you're done. You could always just eat this big beautiful bowl full of deliciousness and call it done. W does as he is not a salad person. I love a big salad but I also enjoy a nice thick slice of Texas toast smeared with garlic butter and sprinkled with cheese, baked and oh man! Yeah I can eat that with just about anything, especially this bowl of chilli mac. And yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

Chilli Mac
8 oz elbow macaroni, cook and drain, set aside
8 oz tomato sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 TBSP parsley flakes
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp paprika 

I cooked the ground beef in a pot, drained the fat. Added the spices and sauteed a few more minutes. Then added the tomato sauce. While I was doing this I boiled the mac and drained it. Once the meat and sauce was thick and had time for the flavors to marry, about 12 minutes. I added the noodles. Stirred well. W added cheese to the top of his. I served this with a big salad. Quick and easy meal. Delicious and sure to please.

Ready for some Fly On The Wall...
Okay, do you have a guilty pleasure? A TV show or movie that you just love but wouldn't want your friends to know? Mine used to be PLL...yep Pretty Little Liars. I watched it on Netflix but never told anyone. My son found it on the DVR one day and was like "MOM! are YOU watching this?" I said, "NO I have no idea how that got there" LOL Okay...yes I am. He shook his head and walked out of the room. Disappointed that his level headed mom was watching teen drama. My life seems calm and tranquil compared to this show and it helps me check out for a while. Sad I know.

On a happier note...my little sweet pea is trying to roll over and loves to wear her shades! Isn't she sweet? YES
Of course, at the far right, is LMSP and Hulk. She loves this dog, such a vicious pit bull don't you think? LOL He is so loving and gentle with her. They were watching TV upside down.
I'm at WM at the self check out line. The machine says "please wait while an associate continues this transaction". Dang it. I have a wine cooler and they need to okay that I "look over 40". The cashier walks over, looks at me and says "umm no I don't think so" like the machine can hear her an will respond properly. I said, "well thanks but you need to put in a code."
She looks perplexed and says "I need to see your ID"
I said "REALLY?" and laughed.
She said "Well, it ask if you look OVER 40 and no you don't, not even 40."
I said "lady I turned 50 last week but thank you."
She looked at me and said "You've got to be kidding me right?"
I said, "nope kid you not" and told her my date of birth.
She said "okay, WOW", put in the code and then said, "you sure don't look it."
I said "THANK YOU you are now my favorite cashier."
Beau, my big old kitty, he loves to cuddle in the mornings but will hog the pillow. I'm hanging on the edge of the bed. Isn't he a beauty?
At graduation, there are these two men sitting behind us, the principal calls out a name, they cheer real loud, then one laughs and says "that was the wrong one" LOL the next name is called, they cheer again, and laugh. One says "okay we're done let's go" and they left. I was thinking wow, you sat out in this heat to cheer one time and then leave?!?! craziness

So far this month, I turned 50! My oldest son turned 29. Potato May graduated from high school. My little granddaughter, who will be 4 months old on the 21st, rolled over for the first time a few weeks ago and LMSP has lost more teeth. Life is on fast forward.
My doctor still has not released me to return to driving for work. It has been 3 months now. I miss my passengers and working in the office is fun, challenging and busy. However, this year we have lost 5 of our clients, that I used to transport. It's part of life, a nature of the beast so to speak, but it is never easy.

My big beautiful kitty. He loves to sit with W. As you can see, he takes up the entire arm. He is about 15 lbs. I love him so much, he will be 8 in December.
We mailed an application to a potential client, I made sure to highlight the area that said "please send a photo copy id". Well, the application came back on June 15th, with a photo! A studio photo of this precious little old lady. We were all cracking up! I guess she thought we wanted a photo, no ID. We had a good laugh and none of us wanted to call and tell her we needed her ID instead. Not wanting to embarrass her, our director said "when she comes in just tell her it wasn't clear and we need another copy of her DRIVERS LICENSE or ID, that way she doesn't feel bad." I thought that was very sensitive.
I love living on the water! Every chance I get, I go to the river and dip my toes in the sand. Just sitting and listening to the waves lap against the shore makes my troubles ebb away. Smell the salt air, feel the cool breeze, listening to the seagulls, yes this is my little oasis.


Welcome to a Fly on the Wall group post. Today 9 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall in our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house.

Buzz around, see what you think, then click on these links for a peek into some other homes:                                                                                                               
Baking In A Tornado
Single Mum Plus One
Juicebox Confessions
Menopausal Mother
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
Southern Belle Charm
My Brain on Kids
Eileen's Perpetually Busy

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ground Beef Stir Fry and Did you know...

One night I prepared W a burger and Potato May and myself had a quick stir fry. I used the lean ground beef that I already had thawed. I figured while not. I mean you use beef, chicken, seafood, why not ground beef. I have done it before and it turned out great. Very simple.
I cooked some rice, this way W could have his hamburger patty over rice with gravy. We had rice with our stir fry.
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp fish sauce
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp onion
1 tsp ginger
Mix well and pour over the cooked beef. Stir in a bag of frozen veggies, I used a bag with peas, pea pods, baby corn and carrots. Cook until the veggies are done, stir well and serve over rice.

I get these wild hairs every now and again. Strange thoughts that pop in my head and I run with them. I remember seeing an article years ago about strange state laws. So I decided to look it up again and well, here's what I found.

Did you know...there are some very interesting and down right weird facts about every town, city and state in America. Don't believe me, look up where you live. Find myths, legends, folklore and hoe-cum.
We used to live in Cumberland County for years and it is illegal to tie your donkey to a post on Main Street on Sunday's. You are not allowed to spit on the sidewalks and elephants are not allowed in town.
There is a legend, we heard it growing up but I guess it has died out, about a railroad track not far from my parent's home. That one nights that the moon is full and it is foggy, you will see a lantern shine on the tracks, it swings back and forth and you'll hear the faint cry of a man but no one is around. Used to scare the bee gee zus out of me when we were little.
In NC it is illegal to use elephants to plow cotton fields.

It is against the law to sing off key...I know a BUNCH of folks going to the pokie at the local Tuesday and Thursday night karaoke bars! It is a felony, yes a FELONY to steal more than a $1000 of grease. YES you read that right, grease. It is illegal to drive on the sidewalk. It is illegal to visit a grave yard after midnight. Women are forbidden to wear less than 16 yards of clothing, meaning Daisy Dukes are illegal. It is illegal for Grandma to get intoxicated at Bingo but it is also illegal to serve alcohol at Bingo events. I guess that means no brown bagging for Granny. Rollerblading in the sun is illegal so I guess the law about NOT rollerblading on highways means on the sidewalk at night?
That's just to name a few. You can look up your state and see what weird laws were never abolished and some counties have their's listed as well.

https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/weird-state-laws

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Pineapple Upsdie Down Pancakes and UYW

Hey everybody, how are you? I'm fair to middling. It's what my grandma used to say. I'm okay, not great and truth be told, not really okay but no one really wants the truth so we Southerns say we are okay or fine even when we are less than stellar. Now what the heck does "middling" even mean? Funny you should ask: Webster's Dictionary defines "middling" as: moderate or of average size, bulk goods of medium grand, rank as in middle class. hmm wonder who started using it to describe how they felt? AnyWHO... there's my rabbit trail for the day.
On this second Friday of the month we (myself and a great group of bloggers) participate in UYW aka Use Your Words, it is during this time that I delve into the world of Pearl and William. However, I'm taking a Pearl and William break. See it's a love story and life is too stressful, hectic, sad and I'm just not feeling the love right now. So as to not kill off all my beloved characters I will be doing something different this month. Hope you're not too disappointed and will come back next month to see if our Amish lovebirds have returned.
Potato May loves and I mean loves pineapple upside down cake and we had discussed doing it in pancake form. Well, I did it. And let me tell you, it was a one time thing. What a pain in the butt! Or maybe it's because I'm impatient. A beautiful pancake, delicious too but not as easy as you would think. The first one was a bust, the second one much better. I made 6 and said I'm done. BUT if you would like to do these flavor packed pancakes, here is what you do...

Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes
pancake batter
pineapple rings
cherries
brown sugar
butter
Use your favorite pancake batter, pour a small amount in a pan with a dab of coconut oil, butter or whatever you use. Allow to cook on low heat. Sprinkle with brown sugar, place a pineapple ring in the center and a cherry. Pour a small amount of batter on top. Allow it to set. Then gently flip over and cook.
I tried putting the butter, brown sugar and pineapple ring in the pan first and covering with batter. Even cooking on low heat the syrup that cooks out of the pineapple will burn and make a mess. I also tried making them on the griddle and it did the same. So I chose to stay with my nonstick skillet.
On Memorial Day weekend W and I went to his brother's home to care for H grandchildren. H widow was in need of a break. An 18, 9, 5 and year old were what we were expecting. We wound up with two 18 year old kids and a 9 year old.
While there they were watching COPS. Not something I normally do but it wasn't my home or television. During one of the episodes, filmed in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. If you're not familiar, Mardi Gras is a huge public gathering to celebrate which can be traced to medieval Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many things have changed since the celebration of the "fatted calf", society balls, dances, carnivals and now the big to-do on Bourbon Street.
During this celebration there are parades with dancing, joyous people partying and lots of unmentionables will be seen on floats, from balconies and walking proudly down the streets. Actually, you'll see more boobs during Mardi Gras than you will on the beach! I'm told it's how you get the beads. The more strands of beads you're wearing, the more you've flashed your boobs and men have enjoyed it. Guess I'm getting old but even as a teen or in my early twenties I would never ever have lifted my top in a public display and flashed my boobs for the world to see. I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to things like that. I also think alcohol is a BIG contributing factor to the boob flash.
I have never been and after watching the episode of COPS I really have no desire. I would however like to visit New Orleans sometime. It is a beautiful historic city with colorful entertainment and locals. Plus the food is to die for, or so I'm told.

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

Here at the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado                        http://www.bakinginatornado.com
Southern Belle Charm                    http://www.southernbellecharm.com                           
Not That Sarah Michelle                  http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com                  
Spatulas on Parade                       http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com                     
The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver  
Dinosaur Superhero Mommy                http://dinoheromommy.com
My Brain on Kids                                http://mybrainonkids.net
The Bergham Chronicles                    http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
 The Angrivated Mom                       http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com   
Confessions of a part time working mom        http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch  
Climaxed                                         http://climaxedtheblog.blogspot.com       
Your words are:
gathering ~ public ~ unmentionables ~ joyous ~ dancing
They were submitted by: http://dinoheromommy.com/     
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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Little Susie Sunshine: Poetry with Sunshine Cake and Happy BIG 50 to Me!

Our monthly poetry post and our theme is "Sun" or "Sunshine" because let's be honest, Summer is upon us, the weather is heating up and our days are long and bright. So how about a round cake that looks and taste like sunshine? (Be sure to scroll to the bottom and check out the other links)
AND....

Today is my
I had planned on being to my "goal weight" by today but unfortunately life side tracked me and then my health has gone nuts. If it's not one thing it's ten. I really wanted to be Fit, Fabulous and Fifty BUT the way I see it, I have 9 years of 50's to make it happen, right? 

I made myself a cake, did you see it? (yeah I know NOT the way to stay fit, but it IS my birthday) A picture is worth a thousand words but a taste of this is worth TEN thousand words! But at the first bite all anyone could say was "OMGosh this is the BEST cake!" Oh yeah!! And yes, I used another cake mix in a box, I know I'm getting lazy but DANG it was so freakin' good! Potato May said "OMFreakinGosh Dawn this is THE moistest cake every, OMG this is good! Damn!" I was like "Travis!" He said, "sorry but it's that good". Well now. I have to say, we had a slice and were all sitting around looking at it, my son Jesse said "You want another slice don't you?" I laughed and said "yes". We all jumped up and had a second slice. Yes we did.

So pull up a chair, pour yourself some coffee or a glass of ice cold lemonade, dream of this cake and read all the other bloggers links and poetry. Now I'm off to enjoy my BIRTHDAY!
Sunshine Cake or as we joking called it Crack! Because it was that addictive.
1 box Duncan Hines french vanilla cake mix
1 small box instant french vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
1/2 cup strawberry mango moscato wine (Arbor Mist)
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
Mix the cake mix, pudding and sugars together in the mixing bowl, add the eggs and blend, now all the liquids. Mix well for 3-4 minutes. Spray a bundt pan and pour in the batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees
When you remove the cake leave it in the pan for a few minutes while you cook the glaze, now this will not be thick and will soak into the cake while it is hot.
Take a small sauce pan:
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup strawberry mango wine 
On low simmer until all is melted and reduced a tad. Pour over the HOT CAKE - about 1/2 the mix, Flip the cake onto a cake pan and pour the remaining liquid on the cake. It will soak in and not be mushy. Allow the cake to cool slightly, slice and eat warm! It is delicious cold and the next day but the BEST slice is hot!
Little Susie Sunshine
ran outside to play
seeing a butterfly
if only she may
catch one on her finger
and be still so it will linger
but alas
the sun is bright
the wind is light
her little pigtails bob
as she runs down a log
the flowers are blooming
and fun is booming
school is out
the days are longer
and fun is around every corner
puppies and kittens lapping at her toes
she giggles and wrinkles her nose
Sun
Fun
and happy memories to make
Little Susie Sunshine
is about to bake
in she goes
until the next day
her face glows
she sleeps well
and in the morning
she will tell
all about her adventures
to her dollies
her mommy
and her friends.

The other bloggers poetry links:
Karen at "Baking In A Tornado"
Jules at "The Bergham Chronicles"
Candice at "Measures of Merriment"
Lydia at "Cluttered Genius"

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Amaretto and Coke Chocolate Wacky Cake for Dad #BlogWithFriends

Today's post is part of the monthly #BlogWithFriends and each month we choose a theme. With Father's Day being in June, this year it is the 19th so you have time, we are using the theme "Dad".
Be sure to check out my story, my recipe and the other participating bloggers contributions, the links are below.

Dad, Father, Pop, Pa, Daddy, or whatever you call him be sure to say I love you and Happy Father's Day this year. On this day 3 years ago we laid my Daddy's body to rest. He left this world on June 2, 2013. I miss him every single day and as I sit here thinking about him now and writing the tears flow down my cheeks unchecked. I love my Daddy and always will. He was my hero, he made me laugh until I cried, he always had my back. So with him in mind I created this little cake.
Daddy wasn't big on alcohol unless it was beer. He did love his beer and at one time we did not love him or his beer. He drank a little too much and became a different person. We were overjoyed the day he stopped. I choose not to dwell on those days but think of happier times. Times like watching TV with my dad. He loved cartoons, real cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Roadrunner, Donald Duck and he loved stupid stuff like The Three Stooges. The last I was not a fan of but I would laugh until my sides hurt and tears were pouring down my face. Why you ask, because he was laughing and his laugh was totally infectious, once he got to going you would bust a gut laughing too, even if it was not funny. I could be mad at him, seething mad, and if he started laughing I could not help myself. W is very much the same way. He has the greatest laugh and when he gets tickled at something and starts laughing I will laugh until I hurt even when I don't know why I'm laughing.
My Daddy's favorite foods were fried chicken, collards, runny eggs with grits, he loved to make HOT fish stew. He ate things like pickled eggs, peanutbutter banana and mayo sandwiches. He enjoyed food with gusto but he LOVED yes LOVED sweets and if it was chocolate he loved it even more. I remember when I was little he would say "A snickers a day keeps the doctor away" so when he was diagnosed with diabetes at the young age of 39 he was very upset. He still enjoyed his sweets just not as often as he wanted.
When I made this cake, chocolate for Daddy, I tossed in the amaretto and decided to use Diet Coke instead of water. Daddy loved his Diet Coke, as does W. More similarities. There are a host of similarities but I'll save that for another post.
This cake requires NO eggs, butter or milk. Now I did decide to make a homemade buttercream frosting, but you could use a can frosting if you wanted to keep it dairy free. The cake is not overly sweet so the sweet creaminess of the frosting doesn't make it an overload explosion of sugar in your mouth. W is not a big chocolate fan but he ate this cake with gusto and it made me very happy.
I have made several of these Wacky cakes in the past: Orange , Orange Chocolate Coconut Rum,  Everything Tropical , Chocolate.

So Daddy, here's to you, my Daddy, my friend, my hero, my heart. I love you forever and miss you every single stinking day but I know you are at rest, no more pain and I would not want you here in the shape you were in even as much as it hurts to have you gone. So until we are reunited on the streets of glory, here's a slice of cake to you! Happy Father's Day ,<3

Amaretto and Coke Chocolate Wacky Cake
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 TBSP baking cocoa (I used NuNaturals Dutch Cocoa)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar 
5 TBSP vegetable oil
3/4 cup Diet Coke
1/4 cup Amaretto
In a square casserole dish, spray with baking spray. Now pour in your flour, cocoa, sugar, and stir well. Make 3 wells or holes. In one small one place your salt, in another your vinegar and the last baking soda.Pour the oil and Amaretto over the cake and then the coke. Stir well and spread flat. Slide into the oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don't over bake.
Homemade Buttercream Frosting
1-1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick room temperature softened UNSALTED butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix well with a blender, whisk or by hand. Spread on your cooled cake and enjoy!

Here are the other links:
http://www.bakinginatornado.com/2016/06/blog-with-friends-pretzel-sandwich.html

http://www.clutteredgenius.com/gifts-dad-preschoolers/

 http://notthatsarahmichelle.blogspot.com/2016/06/my-husband-tribute.html

 http://www.thelieberfamily.com/2016/06/manly-wind-chimes.html
http://www.homeonderanged.com/help-dad-take-timeout-fathers-day

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