Friday, February 26, 2010

Arrrggghhh! Polly want a treasure chest birthday cake?

A few years ago some of my friends and I decided to throw Mike a pirate themed birthday. I think it was his 25th...or something like that. Anyway, we had it at the farmer's market in Ridgemar and ate barbeque, because that is Mike's favorite.

I don't remember all of the details of how we came up with a pirate themed birthday, but I do remember having the idea to make a treasure chest birthday cake. So I did like all baking entrepreneurs....I googled it and figured out how to make my own.

In honor of Senior Michael's b-day today, I decided to blog about his cake I made several years ago. Let's see if I can remember the steps!!! Here we go!

1 baked 13- x 9- x 2-inch cake (Flavor of your choice. I used yellow.)
6 cups chocolate frosting (Or just one of the big cans)
Edible treasures, such as chocolate coins, Rolo candies, chocolate almond kisses or Necco Wafers
Butterfinger sticks
Optional - Candy jewels, such as candy necklaces and rock candy

Bake the cake according to directions on the box. Let cool to the touch. Cut a section approximately 2-inches wide in the center of the cake. The two remaining 5 1/2- x 9- x 2-inch rectangular pieces will form the bottom and top of the chest.

Slice the 2-inch section on an angle to form two long triangular wedges. Place the wedges on the bottom half of the chest, about an inch apart. Both wedges should face the same direction (tall end toward the front of the cake) as they will support the top of the treasure chest and keep it propped open. Then frost the bottom half of cake, including the wedges.

To add further support for the top of the chest, stand the butterfinger sticks under the front two edges to prop it open.

With the "hinged" end at the back, place the top of the chest on the bottom and frost.

Decorate with M&M's and candy to make it look like a chest. Fill the chest and the surrounding area with edible treasures and jewels and pirate paraphernalia.

Make sure the birthday boy (or girl) wears a black patch over his (or her) eye and says "Arrrrgggghhhhh" when you serve the cake!

I'll have to find a picture of the actual cake I made at a later date. But the one above is similar to what I came up with. Oh, and this was not the easiest cake to make in the world, but it was super fun, and everyone thought it looked cool! Its worth a shot to make the pirates in your life feel special!

Happy cooking!!!

And happy birthday, Mike!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy birthday, nephew

Today is my nephew's 3rd birthday, and in honor of him, here are some of my most favorite no particular order.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Frozen Cappuccino Punch

Another quick recipe courtesy of a co-worker from our monthly birthday party. This came from Beth Moore's blog. Would be great for a brunch, bridal shower, baby shower or any other gathering with women! : ) (The men seemed to like it too this morning!)

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C instant coffee granules
1 C boiling water
8 C milk
1 qt vanilla ice cream, softened
1 qt chocolate ice cream, softened

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and coffee. Stir in boiling water until dissolved. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, pour coffee mixture into a 1 gallon punch bowl. Stir in milk. Add scoops of ice cream. Stir until melted.

Very quick football update:

So, about the only thing that went over well at my Super Bowl party was the BBQ. They loved it. You should buy The Pioneer Woman's cookbook so you can make it and wow your friends. But things that I have learned from my friends since I moved back:

1. They don't eat much. Not even the guys. Which is so bizarre to me! I'm used to cooking for my 12 secret boyfriends in Fort Worth, or my family, and the men that I'm used to cooking for EAT. A. LOT. A whole lot. The folks that came to Super Bowl Sunday didn't eat much.

2. I'm not perfect at cook. Of course, I knew that already. I mean, I recently complained about losing my mojo. But, my homemade tortilla chips were not well received. Oh well...I tried!

3. Most of the folks I cook for here have a very limited pallet. In other words, (brace yourselves, Texas)...they don't eat guacamole. Seriously. I think I am the ONLY one who ate the homemade guac, which, by the way, was FANTASTIC!!!! I brought it to work the next day and my grad student ate it. He liked it. He's much more sophisticated than the folks that came over I guess. : ) (Love you, non-guac-eaters.)

The Super Bowl party was fun, despite the fact that I had (and still have) tons of food leftover. At least I didn't spend much money, and at least the BBQ freezes!!!

I'll leave you with a recipe for the guacomole and one we whipped up on the fly after I learned several food providers weren't going to make it at the last minute. It was quite tasty, and came off the back of a can of black beans.


4 firm, ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
1/2 medium white onion, minced (about 4 tablespoons)
2 Roma tomatoes chopped and seeds/mushy stuff gutted
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium lime, freshly squeezed (about 2 tablespoons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl, coarsely mash the avocado. Lightly mix in the onion, cilantro and the lime juice. Season the guacamole liberally with salt and pepper.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
1 can black beans (drained)
1 can shoepeg corn (drained)
1 can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano flavor (drained, but reserve liquid**)
1 can regular diced tomatoes (drained)
1/2 chopped onion (or to taste)
chopped jalapenos to taste
8 oz. light Itallian dressing
fresh chopped cilantro to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the refrigerator one hour prior to serving.

** On the can it does not say to drain the diced tomatoes, however, we noticed it made it very soupy. Try draining all the tomatoes, but if you need more liquid after you add the Italian dressing, use some of the liquid from the flavored diced tomatoes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marketing 101

So...word is on the street that the current @thletic @dministr@tion at my current place of employment is trying to adopt a new spirit phrase to combat "roll tide" and "hotty totty." Here's what the locals are saying....

Monday, February 15, 2010

How to preach a GOOD sermon: (completely based on my opinion only)

  1. Get a Bible.
  2. Open it and read it.
  3. Take a passage of scripture (hopefully through the leading of the Holy Spirit) and work through it. Go verse by verse. Don’t just take one verse out of context. Actually take then entire passage and teach from it.
  4. Exegete!!!! Dive into that passage. Look at the Greek or Hebrew meaning behind some of the key words. If you don’t read Greek or Hebrew, that’s okay. Find a word study or check out a commentary on that particular book of the Bible. Use the sources provided by the great Biblical scholars/researchers that came before us!
  5. Bring your Bible to the place where you are preaching…and…*gasp* actually OPEN it and READ FROM IT! I know…this is hard for some of you to grasp. But if you are preaching on the word of God, it requires actually using the word of God and not just spouting out verses you know from heart. Even though, it is very good to know lots of verses from heart. However, you still need a Bible if you are preaching the Word to a group of people.

I realize not everyone is meant to be a preacher of the word. It’s not everyone’s spiritual gift and/or calling to preach. Some folks are just called to be inspirational speakers. But there’s a difference between a public speaker and a preacher. For those who are called to deliver and teach the precious word of God to the world, I believe you should do it well. And you should do it properly.

All of this stems from a service I attended at a local church yesterday. I believe that the particular pastor has an earnest and sincere heart from God. And he seemed to know a lot about scripture because he was able to recall many different verses from memory. However, he never once preached on a specific verse and didn’t even have a Bible with him.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, I went home and scanned through several of his sermons posted on his church’s Web site. I came across one particular part of a sermon where he even said he didn’t bring his Bible with him and he didn’t have the specific verse he was trying to remember written down. Hmmm…problem? I think so.

Preaching the word is a very important and very big deal. If not done properly, the message of God can be misinterpreted and skewed. And that just created division and confusion among God’s people. When preaching the word, it is very important to actually USE the word, or at least in my opinion…

I realize that not everyone will agree with me. And that’s fine. But you know what. I have the same degree as many pastors out there. I’ve taken preaching and have been taught the correct way to write and deliver a sermon, and I have sat under incredibly well executed Biblical teaching. I’m not claiming to be an expert, by any means. I myself do not feel called to “preach the word,” but I can offer an informed opinion on the subject. Or at least I feel like I can….

As I stated earlier, this post is based purely on the opinion of one individual. It in no way reflects the spiritual relationship or passion of the individual I heard yesterday. Like I said, I believe he truly has a passion and heart for the Lord, and is trying to honor the call on his life. However, my post comes with a surge of emotion and disappointment after hearing someone who I feel is gifted and equipped not do what God has called him to do. God expects better. I want to be better. We should all strive to do better. For His glory and His alone.


Is that too mean???? I’m sorry if it is. I don’t like to be mean…

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blog-A-Thon: Calling all Football Fans!!!

This weekend is a time-honored, American tradition....the SUPER BOWL!!!! (YEAH!) As long as I can remember, I have celebrated Super Bowl Sunday with family or friends. Its just something we have always done!

Now that life is settled in my "new town" (I've been here a year), I'm hosting my first Super Bowl party in my house. YEAH! I think I have the perfect set-up, personally, with a flat screen in the living room and in the kitchen, and an open floor plan between both.

Anyway, this blog-a-thon is requesting all of your football favorites. What are you cooking this year for your Super Bowl party? Or what are your favorite tailgating treats?

So far on my menu:
BBQ Sandwiches
Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips & Guacamole
And "cheater-cheater-pumpkin eater" homemade coleslaw (I'll explain later)

Email or Facebook me with your recipes, decoration ideas, tips, etc., and I'll post them for all to see on Saturday!

Happy cooking!!!!