Image Slider

Busy week

Sorry for not posting but this week has been so busy.  Monday, Jt had a soccer game.  Tuesday, Addison had his last day of school party (so had to make 30 cupcakes Monday at 1 AM) and that night was  Addison's 5th grade graduation (which he received 3 award, including the Presidential Award).  Wednesday, Addison had his first dive meet (which he placed 2nd).  Thursday, Addison still had 3 activities (swimming, diving, and Taekwondo starting at 10:30 AM) but we still had time to clean and cook dinner (I made spaghetti).  So,  I am really going to enjoy this 3 day weekend.  Addison doesn't have any activities and JT doesn't have to work until Tuesday.  It will be a relaxing 3 days.  Maybe I will have time to finally bake that cherry pie I have been talking about.  Yes, I still cherries that everyone is gradually eating so before they go bad I need to make a pie.  I also have about 10 lemons.  How long do lemons last?  I'm more worried about the cherries than the lemons.

What happen to my summer full of baking?  Addison is going to have to start learning how to drive or start riding his bike everywhere.  :)  Next week, day lessons for swimming and diving start at 9:30 AM.  So we have to be up and ready everyday at 9 AM.  The good thing is it gets me going but no sleeping in for us this June.  Oh July I can't wait to sleep in.

But don't get me wrong, I love taking Addison to all his activities.  He really enjoys them and loves being active.  I also love the summer leagues, the kids really enjoy hanging out and competing.  It is also so relax compared to other competitions.  I really don't mind doing it for a month.   I just mind it at 9 AM when I couldn't fall asleep the night before.  :)  But, it does give me time to read my books while I'm waiting for 3 hours a day.  Oh and it hasn't gotten too hot yet.  Check with me in 2 weeks.  I will probably be complaining by then.

I mentioned I made Addison's class cupcakes, they were Campfire Delight Cupcakes.   Addison asked me to do chocolate cupcakes for his class and I didn't want to do any old chocolate cupcakes.  These are a rich chocolate cupcakes with a toasted marshmallow filling topped with malt chocolate icing.  I got the recipe from Sweetapolita (of course). Remember when I made the Campfire Delight Cake from her blog? It's a 6-Layer Rich Chocolate Malted & Toasted-Marshmallow Cake.  You can find her entry here.  It was delicious!!  Well, Sweetapolita made a cupcake version and they turned out amazing.   You can find her cupcake version here.   I love doing cupcakes more than cakes.  You don't have to worry about layers and icing the whole cake,  piping on icing is so easy.   These cupcakes might be my favorite so far.

Well, talk to you later.  I need to get to bed so I won't be a grumpy taxi driver tomorrow.  :)

So I'll leave you with proud momma pictures.  I love my little prince.

5th grade Graduation

Favorite Picture!!  Daddy and Son.

So proud of my boys!!!

He's going to be something BIG one day!!

And diving

So handsome!!

The Simple Life

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had a great one and I did get some baking done. I made Lemon Madelines, Orange Madelines, and Maple Pecan Squares. These were one of the first recipes in the Williiams-sonoma Baking cookbook. The recipe was actually for Orange Madelines but I decided to make the second batch Lemon to see how they would taste. Addison liked the orange the best, I liked the lemon better. I did make a mistake with the orange one's. I was being lazy and used baking spray. I know not to use it and I don't know why we buy it. It always makes everything taste different and crispy. But I was lazy for the first batch and used it, the Madelines were crispy and didn't really puff up. The Lemon batch I used butter and flour and they turned out nice and puffy. I need to keep reminding myself not use the baking spray, butter and flour is so much better.

The Maple Pecan Squares were easy to make and they turned out tasting like mini-pecan pies. The crust turned out really good and it only took about 5 minutes to make. JT even mentioned how great my crust is tasting.  I also found the Maple Pecan Square recipe on the Willams-Sonoma website here. So I thought I would share it with you guys.

Maple Pecan Squares


For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter,
cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

For the filling:
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2/3 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Carefully line a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, letting the foil extend up the sides and over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil liner.

To make the crust by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and salt until blended. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas form.

To make the crust with a food processor, in the bowl of the processor, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt and pulse 2 or 3 times to blend. Add the butter and pulse 8 to 10 times until large, coarse crumbs the size of small peas form.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust until the edges are lightly browned and the top feels firm when lightly touched, 12 to 17 minutes. Set aside.

To make the filling, in a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, maple syrup and brown sugar and stir together until the butter melts and the brown sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the cream. Then stir in the pecans. Pour the hot filling over the partially baked crust, spreading it evenly to the edges with an icing spatula.

Bake until the filling is set when you give the pan a gentle shake, 22 to 25 minutes. During baking, the filling will bubble vigorously, then the bubbles will subside and become smaller toward the end of baking. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool until the filling is firm, about 1 1/2 hours.

Using the ends of the foil liner, carefully lift the maple-pecan square in its liner from the baking pan. Run a small knife around the edges of the square to loosen it from the foil. Using a large, sharp knife, cut into 25 small squares. The squares will slide easily off the foil. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 25 squares.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Baking, by Cathy Burgett, Elinor Klivans & Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2003).

Sunday we went to the country.  JT's dad has 50 acres in the country and we love going on the weekends.  It's nice just to be outside and run around.  Addison and the dogs are so happy when we go to the farm.  JT and Addison did a little work on the driveway and the dogs just played.  I got to take some great pictures of everyone and everything.

You can check out more pictures here.

Isn't it beautiful?  Sometimes we just want to build a house out there and be peaceful.  But then we realize I have to go to school, JT has to work, and how would Addison get to his activities.  We are planning to put some Buffalo on the land so they land will pay for itself.  I would also love to start growing some vegetables out there.  JT just needs to take some time off to clear some stuff away.  The problem is JT never gets time off.   Well, we pray the next 2 years will be wonderful and we will have time to get some stuff done.  

Well, tonight or tomorrow I have to bake something with cherries.  I guess a cherry pie.  I got a bunch of cherries at the grocery store and Addison is eating them but I don't think fast enough.  I hate when fruit goes to waste.  I also have a bunch of lemons so I guess lemon bars again.   This time I will try to Williams-Sonoma Lemon Bar recipe in my cookbook.  I wonder if it has a Cherry Pie recipe too?  I wil have to check.  

Bye for now.  

Baking through my cookbooks

Well, dinner Tuesday was great but the time schedule did not work.  I didn't get the beef in the oven until 6:30.  Addison and I didn't eat until 9 because of all his activities.  And JT didn't get home from work until 3:30 AM (this means I didn't get to sleep until 4 AM because I can't sleep when JT isn't home).  So pictures were not taken of the wonderful dinner and the peach pies were not made.

Yesterday I spent the whole day getting my brakes done.  This sounds like a long boring process but it's fun for me.  My brother Lee owns his own auto shop.  Lee is The Godfather's brother so he's my brother in gay marriage.  :)  When I go to the shop, I actually learn how everything works.  They let me take off the tires off my car, they taught me how to shave down rooters, I learned how to do an alignment, and I even got to cut through steel.  It was fun working with my hands and I didn't get too dirty.  My favorite part was cutting through steel and watching the sparks go everywhere.  I know I'm a dork.

So after doing all my car stuff and taking Addison to swim practice.  I was too tired to cook and bake. Addison and I actually had cereal for dinner.  Yes, I do not make him home cooked meals every night.  I need a break sometimes, especially when I only got 4 hours of sleep the night before.    So, Addison and I had Cheerios and then he read me a bedtime story.  He's so cute when he reads to me because he acts like the adult and I act like the kid.  He tells me to go to bed and a scream one more story.  He also tells me he never acted like that when he was a baby (trust me he did and like he remembers).    So I fell asleep in the middle of the 3rd reading of "Where the Wild Things Are" and Addison put himself to bed (Yes, I know I have the sweetest child, he even paints my toenails).

Today, will be the day I make the roasted chicken and the peach hand pies.  I made a mistake of watching the cooking channel while we ate our Cheerios last night and it was all about apple pies.  If Addison had it his way we would have been making pies until 2 AM.  So today I have to make the pies with him or I might wake up in the middle of the night to find him in the kitchen making pies by himself.  Addison is very serious when it comes to pies.  I think I am more serious about cake.  So I will let you know how chef Addison's peach hand pies turn out.  

I also had a great idea about all my cookbooks.  I have recently purchased about 4 new baking books in the past 6 months and feel like I haven't used them that much.  I get one bake about 3 or 4 things out of it and then off to the next one.  I have decided I do not need to purchase another one until I completly get through them.  These are my four cookbooks:  

I just got Sugarbaby.  It's all about sugar and how to cook it in different temperatures.  I so excited about this book.  

See the old me would be obsessed with Sugarbaby for about a month and then off to the next cookbook but I'm going to change.  At first, I thought I could cook every recipe in one cookbook at a time (A la Julie and Julia)  but then I know how I am and I would get bored with one book very quickly.  So I have decided to cook through all these 4 cookbooks.  Each day (if I have time)  I will cook out of one of these cookbooks starting from the beginning.  I will share what I learned from these cookbooks, the mistakes I made and of course how everything turned out.  I thought it would be nice the have some kind of plan with my baking instead of me just baking all summer.   This will be interesting since all the books are about baking but they are all very different too.  The BAKED cookbooks are recipes that everyone has grown up with but making them better.  They have some very interesting recipes.  The Sugarbaby cookbook is teaching you all about sugar, so I will be learning and baking in this one.  I am excited to perfect macaroons in this cookbook.  And the Williams-Sonoma cookbook teaches everything you need to know about baking.  It breaks down the equipment to the ingredients.  It has has a chapter that is all about pies and one that is all about chocolate.  I believe after this adventure I will be a better baker.  

I will decide by tomorrow which recipe is first.  I hope you enjoy this baking adventure I am going on this summer.  :)

P.S.  I just thought this is another great way to work on my food photography since I have to document all my creations.  

Well, Bye for now!!!

French Cooking and Hand Pies

Sorry for not posting Monday. I received my Amazon books yesterday and I pretty much read all day. The main thing I have learned about food photography is natural lighting. Even watching the live classroom this weekend the number one lesson was natural lighting. All food photographers agree that food looks better with natural light and one should only use a flash or other lighting if it is totally necessary. Well, this isn't good for me. JT gets home late and with all Addison's activities I don't start cooking until 7 or later. By the time dinner is done and I would like to take pictures, it is dark outside. I guess I could start cooking dinner earlier and everyone would just have to reheat it. This would be better for me and probably Addison, I hate rushing to get dinner done and I feel like we eat so late. But I hate that JT has to eat alone sometimes. Well, this week I will try to start dinner earlier and see if it works with all of our schedules. Natural light here I come.

So I have dinner planned for the next two days but I don't know what I am going to make first. My favorite channel is the Cooking channel (of course). My favorite shows are Unique Eats and Unique Sweets. I also have a cooking show that I love too, it's French at Home. I like the others but this one relaxes me. I love french cooking and Laura makes everything look so easy. She has a sweet relaxing voice and the background music is relaxing as well. After watching many of her shows I have decided to make two recipes from her. I will be making a Butter Roasted Chicken with Roasted Vegetables and Beef Bourguignon. Both of them take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to make so I need to work around activities and think about time. I think I will make the Beef Bourguignon tonight. Addison has diving and then dive team. So we won't be back until 8. I think I can set it in the oven to cook for 2 hours if I put it in by 6. We will let you know how it turns out. Thank God for oven timers.

Oh next I found this great recipe for Bourbon Peach Hand Pies from Smitten Kitchen. I have been wanting to make them for about 3 weeks. I think I am finally going to try today and tomorrow. The only reason I have waited so long is making the dough will take a lot of time. You have to chill it about 3 times. It's a very time consuming recipe but reviews have said it is totally worth it. So with me luck. I have about 5 hours of baking and cooking I want to do. I must be crazy.

Well before I leave you here's some kitchen and home things I like. I just love Anthropologie kitchen stuff. I have also found some stuff at IKEA that's cute for the home or kitchen also. I thought I would show you all some things. The white basket and blue pitcher are from IKEA. Can you believe it? The rest are from Anthro. I just love the cute bottle openers, the key and the little chairs.

Well I need to start baking. I will try to post tonight to let you all know how everything turned out.

Au Revoir!!

Food Photography

Sorry for not posting last night but Blogger was down for maintenance.

I am excited about something this weekend. I found the website Creative Live from the Pioneer Woman's blog. It's a live classroom with a photographer explaining and teaching certain parts of photography. This weekend is Food Photography with Penny De Los Santos, who is the food photographer for Saveur Magazine.   It is free to watch it live and $99 to download. It starts today. I am actually watching it right now. I have a very busy weekend but I will be logging in when I have time to watch her. If you would like to watch you can find it here. Today there will be an interview with the Editor in Chief of Saveur Magazine and a Image critique with Director of Photography for Saveur. Saturday and Sunday are shoots. I hope I have time Saturday or Sunday to watch a couple of these.

Speaking of food Photography I just ordered this book, Plate to Pixel.  I'm very excited for this to arrive.  I read the reviews and everyone is saying the pictures are incredible.  I ordered this book because I noticed the food pictures on some people's blogs, they make every look beautiful and delicious.  I think reading this book will take my food photography up a notch, oh and the online classroom this weekend will help as well. 

 Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling    

I will let you know how the book is, it will arrive Tuesday and I will probably be reading it all day.  I hope you all will notice a difference in my food photography skills.  :)  

Peonies FOUND!!!

So I just went to Whole Foods and guess what?  They had buckets full of peonies.  They had so many I should have brought my camera to take pictures of their florist section.  It was peonies heaven!!!  I'm so happy and they were not expensive.  The were $11.99 each.   I hope they have them all summer.  Here are some pictures of the peonies I bought:

I hope I can have peonies on my table every day this summer.  I'm thinking next time mix hydrangeas with the peonies.  That would be a beautiful arrangement.  I'll try it next week.  

Oh before I go Grandma has called me to ask if we can be on the hunt for the best tea sandwiches.  So this summer we will be trying recipes to find the best tea sandwich recipe.  Addison has been elected as taste tester and it think his taste palette is pretty good to be a judge. :)  So if you have any tea sandwiches recipes send them to me please.  And of course I will let you know which recipe wins.  


Hunting for Peonies

I love flowers in the house.  JT picks me up hydrangeas every Friday.  I love hydrangeas they are colorful, big and fluffy. But the main reason I love them is that they last long.  I can have fresh cut hydrangeas in my house for over a week.  We tried many different flowers like tulips but they just seem to last 4-5 days.  So I just emptied my vase and instead of getting some new hydrangeas I have decided I want peonies.   The problem is I can't find them.  Well, I have actually looked looked.  We buy our flowers at Whole Foods.  They have great flowers for a great price and they last.  Well, I saw peonies there last year but I haven't seen them since.  Every week I walk in there and look but nothing.  So today I am going to Whole Foods and if I don't find them there I'm just going to have to call the florist and see if they have them.  I'm not a florist type of girl and I don't have florist type of money.  I would love to be able to pick up an arrangement or two at the florist every week for my home but I haven't hit that lottery yet.  :)  It's like Addison's activities or flowers.  Hmmm, Addison has been a little crazy lately.   Flowers it is!  We all know I wouldn't do that to my little prince.  So I guess wish me luck on my search for peonies and pray they aren't expensive or this might be the last peonies I buy.

I just read oh happy day blog.  Jordan lives in Paris (jealous) and she says all the Paris markets have peonies right now.  Here are some of her pics.

Oh before I go it's Wednesday so it's my Favorite Things.  I got a new citrus juicer just to make the lemon bars.  I also realized I needed one when I made the lemon curd.  So i went to Williams-Sonoma (of course) and got this one.

i'm telling you now if you don't have one don't waste your time with others this is the one.  This one gets all the juice out of your lemons or limes.  You put the citrus upside down and it ends up turning it inside out.  They told me how wonderful it is at the store but I wasn't believer until I tried it.  We are going to have lemons and limes all summer.  

I also have to mention the Microplane graters.  I have had many graters and I thought they did I good job until I purchased the Microplane graters.   These graters make grating so easy and smooth.  I don't know what it is but I love them.  I grate a lot, freshly grated nutmeg,  cinnamon sticks, lemon, limes, and cheese.  When you cook and bake a lot you should have some good graters and these are the ones.

I have the rasp grater, a smaller one that does spices, and then a bigger one for cheese.   They have a different sizes for everything you need.  I just noticed they have a new one just for citrus.  I will be putting that on my wish list.  

Also go to the Microplane website and see all they have.  Williams-Sonoma doesn't carry everything.  I just noticed on they have a Sea Salt shaver.  Wow!  Fresh shaved sea salt.  That 's a whole other level. 

I know, I should just work at Williams-Sonoma.  I have a friend that works there and he told me I should work with him.  I might take him up on his offer.  Some part-time hours would be nice I just have to see about Addison's schedule.  But I'm worried once you work at a place you love, you end up not loving that place anymore.  And it's not like I would be bringing home any extra money, my whole paycheck would go to everything I want in the store.  :)

Bye for now.

Tomatoes and Lemons

Today was a productive day.  I pick up Addison from school and we went grocery shopping.  I love going grocery shopping with him because he's a great helper.  I hate pushing the cart especially when I have a list. Addison doesn't mind pushing and doesn't run over too many people in the process.  I also got my Mother's Day cards mailed out.  People will only get them 4-8 days late this time.  I'm getting better.  Here are the cards I made.  If you are getting one don't look. :)

I love the way they turned out.  And don't worry if you are not a mom, they would still make a great Birthday card.  :)

After the Post Office, we went to Diving and Taekwondo.  JT was able to pick Addison up from Taekwondo so I could start cooking.   I  made Sun-Dried Tomato and Red Pepper Pasta.  You can find the recipe here.   I don't have a smoke gun so it's not smokey but it turned out wonderful and it was pretty easy.  

Beautiful Red Peppers

Yummy Sun Dried Tomatoes

Dinner time!!

I also made Lemon Bars for desert.  I promised a classmate I would make him Lemon Bars so I needed to find a good recipe and try it before I made some for him.  

Fresh lemons

Lemon bar

I think they turned out good but I might try one more recipe before I decide.  I got this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (my new favorite cooking blog)  and you can find it here.  

Well off to bed.  I have to think about what to make for dinner tomorrow.  I'm thinking pork.  

Happy Mother's Week

So I had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday, JT made me breakfast (his famous waffles and volcano eggs), Addison and I played video games for 3 hours (Killzone 3), and then we went to go see Thor in 3D.  It was a perfect relaxing geeky Mother's Day.  Addison also surprised me with the cutest heart necklace and JT cooked breakfast on my new skillets I got for Mother's Day.  Yes, on top of my wonderful Anthropologie measuring cups JT bought me 2 new All-Clad skillets.  I actually had to pick them up at Williams-Sonoma because JT had to work all day and night Friday and Saturday but they are from him.   I am in love with my new skillets.  They are so pretty, I don't want to cook on them.  :)

Pretty, Shiny

Oh I also forgot to mention the Rainbow cake I baked for Kevin's birthday.  It turned out so cute and the boys loved it.  This cake was a lot of work though!  I usually love baking because it doesn't take long.  You just have to whip up the batter, bake it and then make the icing.  But with this cake you have to weigh the batter split the batter in 1/8 and then dye the batter 8 different colors.  Oh and I only have 4 cake pans.  It was a lot of work and that just the cake part.  The icing is the swiss meringue icing, it's delicious but takes a lot to make.  It 's only egg whites, so you have the split the eggs and then make the meringue and this recipe calls for 14 egg whites.  To make meringue, you have to put sugar and egg whites in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted, then put in a mixer on high speed.  But that's just the meringue then you need to add the butter to make it buttercream.  This frosting takes about 30 mins sometimes more.  It's one of my favorite icings but on top of making the rainbow cake it was a chore and a lot of egg whites (19 egg whites in total the cake uses 5).  You can find the recipe here.

Oh and before I go I leave you with Luna in Addison's old Underroos, they are Star Wars C3P0.

Best Week Ever!

So far my first week out of school has been fabulous!!!  I have cleaned, reorganized, hung out with friends, caught up on my DVR recordings, and even baked.  I'm am so far loving all this extra time and no stress.  I'm not worrying about homework, lab or studying for a test.  I'm not freaking out about a grade.  It's wonderful!

Wednesday I had a late lunch with Ken and Addison.  We went to the Brazilian Buffet.  Mmmm Rump Roast!  And Friday Ebony and I went to Antropologie  and then had lunch at Taqueria Del Sol.  They have the best fish tacos.  I'm enjoying meeting up with friends for lunch.  I usually never have the time.

Here's what I got at Anthro.  It's one of my mommy day present JT asked me to pick up.  They are measuring cups.  Don't you love them?


I am officially free from school.  My last day of finals was yesterday and fortunately it was a take home final so I just had to turn it in.  I don't think it has hit me yet that I only have one class until I graduate and I get a summer of freedom.  I have been in school for 5 years straight and this is the first summer I have had off.  I feel like it is a big treat for me since after I graduate I have to get a big girl job. So I will enjoy and cherish this summer.  I will spend quality time with my family, finish projects, learn things that interest me, travel, and create.  And of course blog the whole 3 months to keep everyone informed on my summer.  :)

Addison's best friend is Kevin.  Kevin is not just Addison's best friend he is a second son to us.  He is always with us so we just call them "The boys".  Well, Kevin's birthday was Saturday!!!  I wanted to do something great for him but I had to study last weekend for finals so we planned to take him out Tuesday after my finals.  We is Kevin's mom Ebony, she is like a sister to me and one of my best friends.  Well, Tuesday we let "the boys" skip school and we took them to Andretti's to race go karts, play video games, and climb the climbing wall.  After Andretti's we took them to Atlantic Station for ice cream and a movie.  We of course saw a guy movie, The Fast Five, and we all enjoyed it (there's great eye candy in the movie for us mom's).  Well, the boys had the time of their lives and it was a wonderful birthday celebration.

Here are some pics of the day:

You can check out more pictures here.

Oh my new craft obsession is Japanese making tape.

I have order some from UnCommon Goods and can't wait for it to arrive.  I am already thinking about all the things I create with this tape.  There is also a blog called  They also sale Japanese tape and they also show some creative ways to use it.   Here are some pictures from their blog.

I have seen people use them to spruce up packaging and also for their business cards.  I'm thinking of making my own business cards and this idea from Mint is wonderful.

 I think I can totally make those cards.  It will be my project for next week.

Oh and before I go I have a craft for Cinco de Mayo.  D.I.Y festive Mexican paper flowers.

I found this tutorial on 100 Layer Cake.  This is one of my new favorite blogs.  They have the most wonderful ideas for weddings.   I have a lot of leftover tissue paper from the paper mache eggs so I'm thinking about making these with Addison tomorrow.  You can find the tutorial here.

Oh and I can't forget about the Paper.  I found the most amazing wedding invitation on  The couple are DJ's and this is their invitation.

It's actually a record that play music.  What at amazing idea!!!  Check out the video of it working.  

Paper Record Player from kellianderson.!!!!

I have decided to buy!   I realized it's easier for people to remember.  Everyone was asking me where my blog is and is a very long web address.  I'm also excited to see what I can do with this blog since I have the summer off.  Maybe work on some web design?  Make this little idea of mine shine.  I hope you all enjoy it and if you bookmarked the old site please bookmark this one.

Also Thank You to all of you.  I have hit over 1,000 page views.  I hope you are enjoying my silliness.  It's great therapy for me.