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I saw this lovely Easter Peep Arrangement featured on Sugar Bee Crafts, it’s originally from The Autocrat. Haley came up with this great idea and created the arrangement in a vase. I wanted to do the same thing, but I wanted the peeps and candy to stay fresh and remain edible, so I opted to make mine on a smaller scale and put them in recycled mason and apple sauce jars.

Peep Jelly Bean Arrangement

Peep Jelly Bean Arrangement

This was a quick and adorable craft, inexpensive too if you find the candy on sale.

I made two, and since I had jar lids, I had to come up with a way to decorate them. For one I opted to cover the lid with some pastel scrapbook paper trimmed with fancy scissors to fit the lid top and wrapped the edge in ribbon. For the other I cut out a circle of fabric, stuffed it with a little polyfil and used a mason jar lid to layer the fabric and stuffing between the two layers, then tied lace around the jar lid. 

Peep Jelly Bean Arrangement

Peep Jelly Bean Arrangement

I also used the Easter bunny peeps instead of the chick peeps because I felt they would fit in the smaller jar better. I think it turned out cute and am happy was able to take one to my WordPress guru in thanks for all the wonderful help!

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A while back a dear friend surprised me with a very special gift! I’ve been wanting to post about it for a while, but the days get away from me so easily.

This special gift including blooming daffodils is my very own starter garden and includes all kinds of wonderful vegetables and herbs. Sorry, I have no picture, it’s been dark out when I’ve been photographing, so I haven’t gotten a shot yet! Just picture a 16″ terracotta pot turned into a miniature vegetable garden including a small lattice piece for my snap peas to climb up and a splash of color with my daffodils!

I can already imagine how great my homegrown sugar snap peas, green onions, lettuce, spinach, parsley and rosemary will taste My cooking just got so much better! I made seafood on the half shell and was able to use my fresh parsley in the coating for the scallops, it was so yummy! I’m inspired to plant some additional vegetables too; I can’t wait until the harvest later this year!

Thank you my friend, I love my garden!

Back In February Our Best Bites posted this delicious sounding recipe for Quick Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pao de Queijo}. The recipe called for Tapioca Flour, which I’ve never used, or seen on the shelves in our local stores, so I had to go on a hunt to find the special flour. Success, thanks to Clark’s next to my work (how convenient!).

Then I had to go re-buy the cheese I’d got to make the recipe when I first discovered it. Cheese doesn’t last long in our house…

Finally, I could try my hand at making this Brazilian tasty!

Cheese Rolls

It turns out that I didn’t read the recipe quite right. I filled the mini-muffin tins to the tippy top. (and right over the top) So I only got twelve rolls out of the recipe. But I could have easily made the 18 the recipe said I could, and bigger can be better right?

 I also forgot to top the rolls with the parmesan cheese. Can you tell I was just too excited to get these made?

In spite of that, they turned out delicious. Well, if you’re me or the Fruit Ninja (aka my husband), but not so much if you’re the daughter.

I had them with dinner and then again for breakfast the next morning, and I have to say, I LOVED it as as breakfast item. I can absolutely picture them with sausage and eggs with salsa, oh yeah…Yum!

Cheese Rolls Close Up

As promised back in January when I posted about Hippy Candy, I have created the Tie Dye Cupcake!

Tie Dye Cupcake Single

Using a cake mix from the store, I prepared the cupcakes according to the package directions. To go along with the multi-color tie dye feel, I opted to use the white mix with the color sprinkles mixed in, some places call it Funfetti, others Party Rainbow Chip.

I also cheated saved time and used the cream cheese frosting in a can from the grocery story and piped it on with the large tip to give it a little texture. (This was the first time I was able to get the tip to work as expected, it made frosting the cupcakes so fast and look that much more professional.)

Tie Dye Cupcakes Closeup

(Sorry for the bad lighting in these pictures, it was dark by the time I
was ready to photograph and I don’t have a lot of good light it turns out.)

I used the same recipe to melt the candies for the toppers as i described in the Hippy Candy post. I used Jolly Rancher’s and I also tried Lifesavers. I made them thicker this time so they didn’t break when I was pulling them apart at the end. I only had one break this time, so I think that was the trick. The lifesavers taste great, but the candy does not melt as well and the colors are not quite right for the bright tie dye feeling. You could probably pick better selections of colors if you weren’t just using the multi-flavor bag with 60 candies in them. If you were doing a more natural affair and wanted muted colors, the lifesavers are definitely the way to go!

These cupcakes came together really quick, even with making the candy. One issue, I found was that I didn’t have enough cookie cutters to do two batches at once, so it did take a little longer than I’d hoped by having to wait for the candy to cool enough for me to reuse the cookie cutters. Oh! When you’re breaking the candy apart with your hammer, please make sure not to smash the tip of your finger instead of the candy. I can definitely say that I will making some variation of these again!

Tie Dye Cupcakes

My mom, loved daffodils. I didn’t recognize that enough while she was with us, I should have given her daffodil bouquets every chance I had. Now that she’s gone daffodils have become very special to me and every time they’re mentioned I take notice. Naturally, when I stumbled across a recipe for Daffodil Cake in the Potluck Club (Book 1) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson, I had to take note. This weekend was the 10 year anniversary of my mom (read the poem I wrote for her memorial) passing. In honor of her memory I decided to make these cupcakes for a dinner we were having with friends. My mom died from Huntington’s Disease, she was taken from me too soon, before I was old enough to realize what it means to be a mom and to be able to thank her for everything she did for me.  There is no cure for Huntington’s Disease yet, but the scientists are working on finding a cure and saving other’s (perhaps my own daughter) from having to say goodbye too soon. Enough with the public service announcement, but if you want to know more, just leave me a comment or email me and I’ll be happy to share what I know.

Daffodil CupcakesSo, the Daffodil Cake is a lemon based pineapple cake with frosting topped with coconut. I find cupcakes are better for individual servings than cakes are, so when possible I make cupcakes instead of a cake. My only regret about changing up the recipe for this was that I missed the extra layer of frosting and coconut in the middle. I tend to have a problem with lemon cake, I seem to burn them more often than any other cake. This time was no different, but I did minimize the damage to only three of the cupcakes. The cakes were delicious, the frosting (made from a package which was basically an egg white base) was shiny and spread beautifully, but the coconut made the cake!  (for me anyway) I thoroughly enjoyed them, and know my Mom would have loved them. I think I’ve found a special recipe to make whenever I need to have some time with my mom, thanks ladies from The Potluck Club for putting this idea in front of me!

Oak Tree, Conroy, South Carolina Black beans seem to be the ingredient of the year so far… In October of 2010 the family took a trip to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina to attend the Long Course Triathlon Halfmax National Championship. (my husband competed and qualified for the World Championships!) While there we had the pleasure of fitting in some sight-seeing and we went to a small town called Conway to experience the traditional southern small town. We visited the cemetery, took a driving home tour and were able to see homes from the late 1800s, and we saw the largest and oldest oak trees I’ve ever seen in my life! They call them Live Oaks and they’re as impressive as the older homes. So while we were there we had to indulge in some fine southern food and found a place called The Trestle Cafe and my daughter ordered sandwich with black bean soup. Apparently it was the best black bean soup ever! I’ve tried two different recipes and neither one captured the flavor of that one. Tonight’s attempt was the Black Bean Soup recipe from the Our Best Bites blog. One thing I’m learning is that I LOVE Black Bean Soupblack bean soup. Daughter may not be as happy as I am, but my taste buds are loving this new addition to our dinner options. To her credit, it’s not that she isn’t enjoying the soups, it’s just that none of them are the same as the one from The Trestle. I guess I’ll just have to keep trying!

Tonight’s recipe was delicious, the lime really made a nice touch, and although I liked the pureed version, my daughter prefers the chunky version. If you want a quick, easy and healthy dinner, I definitely recommend the black bean soup. We served it with corn bread and called it done. It was perfect! Thanks ladies from Our Best Bites!



We’re planning a tie dye party in March so I’m starting to find ideas and get inspiration wherever possible. One of my favorite books is What’s New Cupcake?, my hubby got it last year for my birthday, and it has the cutest things in there! One of the things it has for Christmas is candy stars that you make out of melted jolly ranchers. I just knew I could use the same idea to come up some tie dye hippy candy. So today we broke out the jolly ranchers and the cookie cutters and set to work. All in all it only took us about 20 minutes to make the candy, you can’t beat that! You break the candy into small pieces, spread it out on a foil lined cookie tray, bake at 350 for 3-4 minutes until it melts, take it out of the http://www.hellocupcakebook.com/oven and use metal cookie cutters that have been coated in cooking spray to create shapes in the melted candy. Push the cookie cutters all the way in, as many as you can as close together as you can. Cool until it’s hard (stuck ours in the freezer to make it go faster) and then very carefully break off the edges that are not in cookie cutters and break apart all the cookie cutters and push the candy out if it gets stuck. Be very careful as you’ll end up with sharp edges and if the candy is thin in places it’s very fragile and break’s easily. But in the end we got about half a dozen beautiful stained glass candies and a bunch of extra pieces we can re-melt or just enjoy as is.

Here’s a  close-up:

Hippy Candy Closeup

We’re on a scientific expedition around here, rumor has it that there is a new life form waiting to be discovered. An explorer was able to sketch a glimpse he caught, and  now we’re on a search to be the first to find this new creature! He’s been dubbed an Ultra Terrestrial. Keep your eyes open!

Ultra Terrestrial


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