Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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Thoughts

Earlier this week when I jumped on Facebook, I saw some live feed about how the Greek’s were celebrating the Orthodox Passover or bringing it in or something. I equate it to Ash Wednesday but I could be wrong there… I don’t know. Truthfully, I have Greek blood in me and wish to know more, but at this point in time I just don’t.

So in the live feed they had dyed flour, blues, pinks, reds, greens. I’m not sure if that is signifcant, remember, I just stated I don’t know much about their traditions. And they were marching through the streets throwing flour. Personally, I thought, wow, that’s cool I want to know more.

I truthfully love learning about other cultures. I remember in my junior high school History class, we actually spent a couple months looking at all the different world religions. Now, when people hear religion and school they throw a fit, but he wasn’t pushing religion on us, he was informing us about all religions. Now not all, because hello we didn’t have that much time, but there were quite a few. I specifically remember, Judaism, Christianity, Islam/Muslim, Atheists, Catholicism, and I think there were a couple more, but remember that was back in Spring 2000.

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Baking/Cooking Bucket List

Everyone needs a good challenge in their life, am I right? I’ve gotten swept in watching all these baking and cooking shows. I swear, my favorite tend to be the Great American and Great British Baking shows. They have baked so many things I’ve never heard of, it’s kind of crazy. But that is what keeps us growing. So here is a modified version I snagged from Brown Eyed Baker.

I deleted a few things because, well… I don’t like baked beans and I’m not sure I want to make lamb… goes back to my years in FFA… But… I like the idea she had and there were even things on her list I’ve either a) never tried or b) never heard of, so I’m growing.

If I had the guts, I would take on Julia Child’s cookbook like Julie Powell did, but I just am not sure I could do that… some of those things we don’t get in rural America. If I lived in a bigger city, that might be a different story. So here goes nothing!

Yeast Goodies:
1. Focaccia bread 
2. Bagels 
3. English muffins 
4. Challah 
5. No-Knead bread
6. Ciabatta
7. Babka 
8. Kaiser rolls
9. Panettone 
10. Sourdough bread
11. Parker House Rolls
12. Olive oil bread
13. Baguettes
13. Croissants 
14. Doughnuts 
15. Yeasted Coffee Cake
16. Kouign Amann

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Mother Nature is Off Her Meds

I swear! So you know there’s also a Meme going around facebook that says something to the affect, Mother Nature is having a fight, storms out of the room, and then storms back in “And One More Thing.” Yeah, I believe that meme is true on so many levels.

The stupid ground hog (I know, don’t pick on the ground hog) predicted an early spring. It’s a known fact though that he’s only right 40% of the time when he predicts that… just saying.

The night that I went up to paint my bathroom, I hopped out of the truck, not like I was jumping out on dry pavement or anything… I actually hopped out slowly because it was icy out and bam, my butt hit the ground, my right arm slammed into the door, and my left arm caught me with the help of my running board on my truck.

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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Oreo Cheesecake Cake

Another birthday cake! Yey, I love birthday’s!! Although… the story about this cake…

  1. The person who I made this cake for apparently doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore…
  2. I didn’t get to try any.
  3. I was told it was yummy.
  4. Life took over and I was afraid I wouldn’t get it to them on their birthday

I’ve been so consumed by the house remodel, I swear, that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver Dan’s birthday on time. I told him this the day before. That way he knew it was coming and I didn’t forget.

In the end, I got it there on Betty White’s 97th Birthday, aka Dan’s birthday. I did tell him it was a birthday cake to celebrate Betty White’s birthday since he apparently doesn’t celebrate birthday’s anymore….

Betty White’s 97th Birthday Cake (aka Dan’s Birthday cake)

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

What is the deal with everyone wanting Chocolate Birthday Cake? Seriously… haha. Okay, let’s back up and I’ll explain. Tbug’s birthday is the 2nd of January. Then my father-in-law’s birthday is the 9th of January. Bam, 2 in a row.

When I asked her what she wanted, it was a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Very plain and simple. Sometimes though, those are the best. Then I asked my father-in-law what he wanted. He said, oh, I guess chocolate maybe.

Chocolate, okay, we could go many different ways with that, right? But… then he mentioned, not German Chocolate or was it not Devil’s food chocolate. Gosh, I can’t even remember now. Either way… that did help narrow it down a little.

I had run across The Stay at Home Chef‘s The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’ve made the cake before, which ended in me almost having a meltdown and crying. Ugh! But I’ve learned quite a few tricks since then… So… I decided to make it word for word recipe-wise.

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Remodeling Journal: The Vanity

So… here’s a little back information for you about me and Vanities because I’m sure you wondered… My whole life I’ve never had a vanity with drawers. There, I said it.

Growing up at my parent’s house and now back there again, my bathroom sink doesn’t have drawers. I do remember when my parents were building the house I asked for vanity sink drawers, but it didn’t happen.

Moving on to the dorms at school… The sink was sort of free-standing in a way. It just hooked to the wall. It wasn’t completely down. Plus the one in our room I had to share with a roommate. It was the kitchen sink as well as the bathroom sink. It also had… you guessed… NO drawers.

We had community bathrooms in the dorm I lived in. They didn’t have drawers either. I was like vanity drawer deprived.

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Black Forest Birthday Cake

New Year’s Eve tends to be a night where everyone is ringing in the New Year. And don’t worry, we brought in the new year. In fact, I brought in the new year baking a cake… but not this one. I made this one the day before…

Our friend Doug has a birthday on New Year’s Eve. Yup, his momma got to ring in the new year in the hospital, but it wasn’t a bad accident. Nope, it brought my friend Doug into the world… 50 years ago in fact. And I have to admit, I met him in 2013 and didn’t realize he was in his 40’s at the time.

Wow, I’ve known him 5 years… CRAZY. I just thought about that. Just a thought… but back to the cake.

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Remodeling Journal: Demo Part 2

It just so happened there was an auction for home remodeling the Saturday after we bought our house. How convenient. It also happened to be one of the coldest days of the year thus far, other than when we had snow back in November.

The girls went with us. Poor them! We finally sent them out to the truck with the keys and my phone (Tbug had hers) for entertainment. It wasn’t going fast and boy was it cold. I think Cold is an understatement at this point. Holy cow!

They had cabinets, flooring, wood, paneling, sinks, fans, you name it… We walked away with the tile for the backsplash of my kitchen, which apparently at this point I can’t find a picture of. I didn’t have my phone (read above paragraph) and hubby never sent me the pictures I took :).

We called it quits long before the auction was over. It started at either 9 or 10. We left at 1. It was cold and boring, and the things we wanted still hadn’t sold. I talked to a couple who went to these often and they said that one of the previous auctions lasted until after 7pm the last time.

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