Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Delicious Dishes - Cherry Ripple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I am starting a new series that I hope will accomplish a few goal is to cook or bake at least one item completely from scratch each week, whether to keep for my peeps or to share with friends. This is one of the ways I like to show love to my family and friends.  It also gives me quite a sense of accomplishment, as I intend to do this by only using items from my pantry.  Very budget friendly!

You see, I am a lover of fresh produce.  I love going to the farmers' market - the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells are exciting.  It really is a sensory experience for me.  The fact that these folks have put a lot of sweat equity into their offerings, that these items are of the earth, is magical to me.  And it really carries me back to my childhood...more specifically my Pa Pa's garden.  That garden fed my grandparents' five children, their spouses, and thirteen grandchildren for many, many years.  I could go on and on about this now, but will save it for another post in the near future.

Back to the task at hand.  This past weekend's effort was quite literally "the pitts!"  Fresh cherries were on sale for .99 cents per pound!!!  What a STEAL!  (Ok, I'll try to relax a little and leave the exclamation points to a minimum).  But seriously folks, they might as well have given those little beauties away.  So I bought some - a lot of 'em.  Now, please keep in mind that Big B and Little A do NOT, I repeat, do NOT share my passion for fresh produce!  Shame, isn't it? So as my beauties started to wither because I just couldn't eat them fast enough, I had to find something to do with them...a grander purpose if you will.  I stumbled across this recipe in a back issue of Cooking Light.

Cherry Ripple Sour Cream Coffee Cake

(I would have provided you pictures of the process, but my camera is on the fritz.)

Let me just say, it was DEE-LICIOUS.  Due to my vow to only use what I have on hand, I did not make the struessel topping (no whole wheat flour or orange juice concentrate in my house). It still turned out beautiful AND delicious.  I have a fancy bundt pan, so it was really really pretty.  I believe the base recipe would work well with any other fruit you have on hand...blueberries would be especially nice.  And did I mention that I don't have a cherry pitter?  Now that was a chore, but the sense of accomplishment I felt was beyond words.  Big B loved it, so I was able to sneak a little "fruit" into his diet also.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.  Let's just keep that our little secret.

Who knows what next week will bring.  I would definitley urge you to give this one a try.  Let me know what you think. I love reading your comments.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Drinkin' Coffee in the Dark

As mentioned previously, there is this little thing I'm working on called work and home life balance. Right now, my life is centered around exactly four things - my dear husband (we'll refer to him as Big B); my precious and super sassy soon to be 4-year old daughter (otherwise known as Little A); my job, and last but certainly not least, SLEEP. Well, it kind of is least. It's what I get the least of, but feel I need the most of.

I have come to the realization that in order to be a more pleasant wife, mother, human being, I need to have a little "me" time each day. The ONLY time that is able to happen is early morning or late at night. And anymore, late at night just doesn't cut it for me. So today, I was up at 4:00 a.m. I look at my alarm clock. What? You've got to be kidding. As I try to convince myself to stop thinking about it and just go back to sleep, my mind thinks this is just a joke. Why? WHYYYYY? (think Nancy Kerrigan's bashed knee). 5:00 has been my usual lately, but not today.

I find my glasses, make my way to the kitchen, and start the coffee. It's dark outside. Not even a hint of sunrise. But it's peaceful and still. My peeps are comfy, cozy, and safe, all snug in bed. I on the other hand am loading the dishwasher at 4 in the morning. I think to myself - today is pay day. Which bills have to go out of this check? Big B is playing drums tonight...what will Little A and I do for dinner? On and on, these things pop into my head.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...ahhhh, the coffee is finally ready. I pour myself a cup - wow I love this ritual. I sit down in front of the computer, dish washer humming in the back ground. An old friend from high school has sent me a friend request on Facebook. How cool. Nice way to start the day...someone saw my ad for Big B's truck on Craigslist and is interested in buying it. Even better! So all in all, getting up at 4:00 today wasn't so bad. Now if we could just fast forward to 5:00 (PM that is).

So tell me, how do you "balance" YOUR day?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bring it On!

Ground zero. Square One. Whatever you call it, that's where I am. You see, I've spent a whole lotta time wishin'. Wishin' I was thinner, wishin' I had more money, wishin' I had more time, wishin' I had the gumption to stop wishin' so much and just get off my butt and DO.

So here I am. I've spent the last couple of months (on my butt no less) in front of the computer reading oodles of other women's blogs. I love them...they have become little rays of sunshine in my day - how to get $97 worth of groceries for 97 cents; how to make money buying stuff at CVS; coupon clipping, meal planning, buying in bulk, on and on and on and on. Whew! My brain is about to explode!!

Some of these things I've put to good use - I've got a coupon binder to be proud of, I've saved upwards of 60 percent at the grocery store, and I have more free deodorant than I know what to do with (you CVSers know what I mean).

So now it's time to do something, time to make a change...a positive change in my (and my family's) life. It's time to set some goals and make some things happen. I know this blog is going to help me do just that. My hope is that it will be my accountability...if I put it out there, per se, then I have to make good on it. I also hope that all you folks who have been there and done that will send your experience, wisdom, and advice my way.

Let's get this party started!!!