Sunday, January 30, 2011

The best part

So I'm doing some hardcore vacation planning. And I LOVE vacation planning.

After just a bit of begging, Not-So-Ex has agreed to a long weekend in NYC at the start of Spring Break for the kiddos. I'm super psyched and a tiny bit overwhelmed at the same time. There are just SOOOOO many hotels! And then there's the matter of flights (since I am determined that Not-So-Ex will not have access to a vehicle while we're there). So much to consider.

Rena and I have been before but Not-So-Ex and Hunt will be newbies. I'm so excited for Hunt and so paranoid for Not-So-Ex. You see, while he's the nicest guy ever, he doesn't actually like people. And NYC is just chock full of people. But hopefully we'll find something he'll love too.

As for the kiddos, there's a Pokemon Center. Ok so it's not really just Pokemon anymore but Nintendo, so I guess that'll have to do. And then there's that huge Toys R Us...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another week, another self-declared snow day

So today went much like last week. We got up at 4, got ready to take Not-So-Ex to work, only to find new snow. And lots of it. This time, I actually tried to get him to work, only to decide half way there that I was scared to try to drive home. So he turned around and took us home.

The kids still have school, but without us there. I hate when this happens, but I won't risk my kids' safety. And I hope there won't be too much makeup work.

In addition to missing school, I'm missing work. I took most of yesterday off because Not-So-Ex has been having some serious back issues (which seem to have been helped and hopefully will be solved by a new chiropractor). So I'm behind, which I hate. But tomorrow is an early day so I should be able to catch back up. It seems that I have become a necessary part of the bakery, while I was originally just an addition. And that is nice. And I adore my coworker, which is always good.

Anyway, I'm planning on a slow, calm day today so hopefully that's exactly what I'll get!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We are lucky charms

So we went to Pittsburgh on Sunday. The guys had tickets to the AFC Championship game and I had a reservation at a GORGEOUS hotel. And, in the end, none of us were disappointed.

While the guys went to the game, I stayed here...

where I ordered awesome room service and watched tv while the guys sat in the freezing cold looking like this...

But, probably, the best part was Monday morning. We slept in, then went out for a big breakfast and to visit the strip for a bit. The weather was actually kinda decent so we walked around some and found some wonderful bulk food type places. We bought some absolutely divine fresh bread (including some small round sourdough loaves that we used as bread bowls for our soup last night).

After a little time shopping, we headed back home. And then we got to pick up the doggers from the boarder. And we were soooooooo happy to bring them home. And they were sooooooo happy to see us!

Anyway, yesterday we had to go back to work and school. But today Hunt and I are home sick. Just colds, but we needed the down time. Even really good times can wear you out!

Friday, January 21, 2011


So today we're having a snow day. Technically, it's not supposed to be a snow day since my kids go to a private school that has weird rules about when they do and do not have snow days. But, when we got up at 4 to get Not-So-Ex to work, the roads looked awful so I let him take the car. I thought school would definitely be cancelled, but I was wrong.

I don't really sweat it. I emailed Hunt's teacher to get his assignments since he'll be out on Monday cause we'll be in Pittsburgh and just let her know why he wasn't there today. So I'm sure it's all good.

But now I'm pretty psyched to be home and have a day to ourselves. There's still a ton to do before we head out of town, but I'm not gonna sweat it. What gets done, gets done. If it goes undone, we'll live.
On a side note, I mentioned that I've been decorating cakes at the bakery so I wanted to show everyone a pic of one of the cakes. Chef says they've been extremely popular. Next week, I'll get to make a full cake version of one of my favorite cupcakes flavors, Strawberry Champagne. I'm really excited to see more flavors making it into Bluegrass Kitchen, our sister restaurant.

Anyway, have a great day folks and stay safe and warm!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sooooooo much to do!

So we're trying to prepare for this little road trip this weekend and it's turned into a whole lot of work!

The checklist:
1. Tickets - They should arrive via Fedex today! Woo Hoo!

2. Hotel room - For some reason, I'm an idiot and didn't even consider how quickly rooms would fill up in Pittsburgh for a nighttime championship game. But, luckily, a friend mentioned it last night and I got to searching in a hurry. And I was able to find ONE room in the city. Shew!

3. The Doggers - We had to find somewhere to take the dogs. So we found a boarder and asked what we needed to board them. To make a long story short, we had to get them to the vet and make sure they had all their shots, which we did yesterday. The reservation was made this morning and they'll have a deluxe place where they will be together (with a tv even) the whole time. The only issue left with them is how to get them to the boarders, since Not-So-Ex works so much. But we'll handle it.

4. The Kiddos - Hunt is so psyched he can barely stand it. Rena is psyched too, but for another reason. She's thoroughly pleased that she doesn't have to go. LOL We were lucky she didn't wanna go cause it made it much easier to get a hotel room that we're all happy with. But, on the down side, I have no one to hang with during the game. *sigh*

5. The House - So here's the toughest part. I have so much house work to do! I gotta get all the clothes clean that everyone will need. Gotta locate all Hunt's Steelers clothing since it will be cold enough to wear ALL of it at once. And then there's all the other stuff too. Our regular laundry, dishes, floors, etc... It's so funny cause I know we'll only be gone one night, but there's just something that feels all kinds of wrong about leaving any trash or dirty dishes when we leave.

6. The Job - In addition to my incredibly full home schedule, I have my other job to do too. The cupcakes are HUGELY popular! I'm actually beginning to have trouble keeping up. And, in addition to the cupcakes and occasional cookies, they're now teaching me to decorate cakes. It's fun, plus it means that some of the flavors folks love in cupcake form will now be available in a whole cake from the bakery, or by the slice at our sister restaurant Bluegrass Kitchen. And that's always good.

Well I guess I'm not likely to get everything ready if I'm sitting here blogging so I guess I'll get started. LOL

Monday, January 17, 2011

Loads of excitement

So this weekend included some big football games. And Not-So-Ex and Hunt were absolutely riveted. And, since their team made it to the AFC Championship (AKA the pre-Super Bowl), we splurged and bought tickets for the boys.

That means that next weekend we will be hitting Pittsburgh. Again. But there's a lot to be accomplished before then. We gotta get the dogs to the vet and get their shots caught up. They'll be going to a boarder for the first time. I'm really excited for them and for the trip!

I also am gonna get my hair cut Wed, which is much needed. I also figure I'll leave it a normal color just long enough to get a new license made (I can't find mine ANYWHERE). And then I'll try something new. And that's always fun.

Well, anyway, today is a holiday for me and the kiddos so we're spending a good chunk of it on the couch watching season one of Glee. And you just can't go wrong with a plan like that!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow, snow, snow!

Today is normally a day off but, since I have a special order due tomorrow, I went in for what I thought would be a short day. Once I got there, another small catering order came in so I was there a little bit longer than I intended.

But I still got home in time to get a huge pot of veggie beef soup on the stove and get started on some bread (or it may end up as pepperoni rolls, not sure yet). I've been craving the soup big time so I'm SUPER psyched.

And the soup is just perfect for the coming weather too. Tomorrow there's snow in the forecast and, for once, I don't care. Normally I'm either excited for a snow day with the kids or worried about getting everyone to work. But, tomorrow I'm opening at the bakery so the kids will be taken care of no matter what and, since Not-So-Ex is taking the day off to get some long-needed errands taken care of, I don't even have to worry about driving. So I'm all set!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm so blue...

So I did this a week or more ago but I kept forgetting to post about it. It's ok, but fading super fast. Hard to tell what color will be next. LOL

Monday, January 3, 2011

First recipe of 2011! Pop Tarts!

So a friend had a homemade pop tart at a restaurant over the weekend and posted a pic on facebook. Now I had seen them before and wanted to try them, but kept forgetting. When I saw the pic, it was a sign and I decided I must make them.

First step on any new idea is to google. And when I googled homemade pop tarts, I found a bunch of wonderful ideas. But the one that REALLY helped (and is basically what I did) was a blog called Smitten Kitchen.

But here's what I did:
1. I took a jar of strawberry preserves that I made earlier in the year and heated them on the stove. I then mixed in 1 Tbs of cornstarch (the blog recommended mixing it w 1 Tbs of water but I used a Tbs of the thin preserve liquid so that I wouldn't weaken the flavor at all) and let it simmer for a couple minutes. Make sure you stir it the whole time. I didn't and mine started to scorch just a bit, but not enough to ruin the taste. The cornstarch will make it thicken a bit more so that it's closer to the consistency that's in a pop tart.

2. I am a notoriously bad pie crust maker. So, since the recipe uses a pie crust like exterior, I thought I'd try out my store brand, refrigerated pie crust. Smitten Kitten has lovely, clear directions on how thick to roll it out and what size to cut it. I just unrolled the pie dough and cut it with a pizza roller into a rough idea of the size I thought felt pop tarty. I got two full pop tarts out of one pie crust. With time, I can probably get three out of one, but I didn't even try to stretch it.

*when you stretch your dough out and cut out the tarts, make sure you put it on wax paper or parchment or it'll stick*

3. Brush the inside of the bottom with a beaten egg, put about a Tablespoon of the filling in the middle, and put the top on (I cut mine into long rectangles so that I could just fold them). Then close all the sides with your fingers and go back over them crimping the edges with a fork.

4. Poke the top with a fork to keep them from puffing up too much. Brush the top with beaten egg and add colored sugar, if you want. You can also glaze them after baking with a mixture of milk and powdered sugar, but I didn't try that this time (but I sure will be next time). Once you've done the egg and sugar thing, put them in the fridge for about a half hour.

5. Bake at 350 for about 20 min.
They were definitely good and pretty easy. I wanna fiddle with them some more though. The pie crust needs just a bit more sugar for my tastes, but I also realize that I am a sugar fiend. I also wanna make like a slew of different jams to use in the fillings too.