Category Archives: Family


I have so many profound, weighty things to share with you. But I’m going to hold off. Give you a little breather. Throw in a little fun. Make this Saturday yummy!

Yesterday I whipped up two new desserts for a little party I had. They were scrump-dilly-icious, if I do say so myself.

I’ll provide the links and the recipes right here. The only thing I can’t do is air-mail them to you. Because…they’re gone! Well, almost, but I won’t tell you that in case you live nearby and decide to stop in for a sample. So, yes, they’re gone. (TeeHee)

Before I give you the recipes, though, I have to give one piece of advice. Feed your family first! I know it’s tempting to put out a beautiful, full tray of something-or-others or a complete cake. But you must, must, must cut some for your husband and children first. It shows them you appreciate that they are going to hide away in a room watching old VHS tapes while you cavort with your friends. It makes them feel special. And, incidentally, it makes them more willing to hide away the next time. Be kind to your family first.

Okay, now on to the recipes:

Tandy Cake

Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as a Tasty Kake. Except me. This was spot-on for those round little chocolate covered spongy cakes with a layer of peanut butter. I taste-tested it about half a dozen times, and I can say they are fab!


  • 4 eggs – beat to a lemony color
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 t. melted butter
  • 8 oz. milk chocolate bar (that’s 6 reg. Hershey bars)
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter

Preparation –

Use a baking sheet/cookie sheet with sides. Grease lightly or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Mix first three ingredients together. Add sugar. Sift flour and baking powder together. [Or mix with a large kitchen fork if you can’t find the sifter you put somewhere special so you could always find it.] Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Add butter. Spread batter onto the cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20-25 mins.

Be very careful not to overbake! This layer should have a moist cake texture. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes; spread with peanut butter while still warm. [Let your five year old lick the spreading spatula and count it as lunch.] Continue cooling on a wire rack, then refrigerate for about an hour. [Strictly warn children and husband not to dip fingers in.]

Melt chocolate; spread melted chocolate over peanut butter. [Scrape out leftovers with finger and indulge before it hardens.] Refrigerate again to cool and set chocolate. [See previous family warning comment.] Cut into 2″x2 1/2″ squares. Store in pan, covered, or wrap individually in plastic wrap. Best if stored in refrigerator. [Still good if left out on counter overnight and enjoyed with chocolate blueberry tea.]

And while we’re adding a few inches to our waistlines, let’s go ahead and include the Brown Butter Toffee Blondies recipe here. I made this especially for my littlest sister, who doesn’t eat chocolate. Yes, we are blood-related and actually like each other, despite this major character flaw (wink wink).

Brown Butter Butterscotch White Chocolate Chip Blondies

[couldn’t resist making some changes]

Ingredients [my amended list]:

  • 1 1/4 c. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 c. packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 lg. eggs
  • 2 1/2 t. vanilla
  • big handful white chocolate chips
  • big handful butterscotch chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Ready cookie sheet with sides.
  2. Brown your butter: cook in skillet over medium heat til it turns a pretty golden brown. This takes at least 10 minutes. You can step away early on, but don’t leave once the color starts to change. Scrape out all the butter and deposits (whatever the heck they are) into a small bowl and set in frig to cool. Go watch television or read a novel because this takes another 15 minutes and you’ll drive yourself crazy if you watch it.
  3. If you simply cannot walk out of the kitchen, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  4. When the butter is finally coolish, combine it with both sugars in a big bowl and use beaters til it’s combined. Add the eggs and beat on med-high for 3 minutes, til light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat for a few seconds to combine. Slowly add flour mixture, beating inbetween additions. Spread into pan.
  5. Bake about 30  mins, til knife in center comes out clean. Cut into small squares, because if you cut them big, you might  not get one unless you squirrel a few away from your family and guests.

These are hugely fantastic! A little dry on the outside, for whatever reason. But yummy to the tummy. I bet you could throw them into the microwave for a few seconds to get rid of that dryish texture on top. Oh, wouldn’t they be good topped with toasted coconut?! Bing! That’s exactly what I’m going to try next time.



Those of You With “Standards”

might be offended by this post.

Our family loves a rip-roarin’ good time,

which often involves loud noises,

crazy acrobatics,

and all around crazy love.

So if you wander by and hear our house rumbling, put on your crazy shoes and stop on in!

We’ll help you join right in 🙂

Ye Annual Gingerbread House

Every year we buy a gingerbread house kit from Costco. They’re awesome!

This year’s kit came with two buildings. So we have a Girls’ house and a Boys’ house.

Dare I say whose house I liked most? TeeHee.

Regardless, we all had a fantastic time licking our fingers 🙂

My Wild Card

This girl here

is my wild card.

I never know what she will bring day to day.

But I know it will never be boring.

My Wild Card turns 5 tomorrow. Happy Birthday, sweet one!

A Little Treat

My sister, fashion diva, told me about Kiss artificial nails. She said they look as good as the ones done at the salon, but you can take them off whenever you want. And they’re under $10. I picked up a pack for myself at Wal Mart. (I’ve also seen them at Rite Aid.)

While I was there I also picked up a cute little pack of artificials for Brooke.

We stayed up late one Friday night to purty ourselves up.

The next morning we had tea at our favorite cozy spot.

We topped off our girly time with a window shopping trip in the dress department. Maybe we should call it a dressing room shopping trip. Trying things on is so much more fun than merely looking.

I love our time together. Brooke is so fun!

Redeeming the Day

Remember what I wrote yesterday? I couldn’t share that without sharing what happened last night.

It was 9:00 and the kids were all snug in their beds when my husband came in to tell us about his “refreshing” night swim. Four little pairs of eyes lit up with excitement…they’d been asking to go night swimming all summer. And, don’t you know, we let them! Not only did we let them, but we got in with them!!

It was stinking freezing! I got right out and bundled up in my huge terry cloth spa robe. Imagine the warmth in that. But this little voice in me kept saying, “Get in. Enjoy this moment. Don’t be a recorder of the moment, but a participant. Sear this memory in your heart, not just  your mind. Love on those children! Restore your broken relationship with them.” I must have thrown off my robe and stood poised at the edge because I began to hear chanting, “Jump! In! Jump! In! Jump! In!” And next thing I knew, I was poking my head out of the frigid water, greeted by 5 very happy people. But I was happiest!

God is so faithful to restore the years the locusts have eaten. He is so wonderful to whisper truth in our spirits when we seek what we think brings us comfort. He knows! He knows what will restore our souls and our relationships. When we listen to His voice, we live from the heart, not from our own minds and plans. Thank You, God, for redeeming my day and giving me an ending that tops all others. You lavishly love me, and for that I am forever grateful!

On the Open Water

Recently we headed out for an afternoon on the Skipjack Martha Lewis.

Our favorite part was helping to hoist the sails.

What satisfaction in hard work accomplished.

Miss Brea was riveted the entire ride. Makes me want to get our boat back in the water. The wonder and excitement in her is worth the money for the repairs.

We Found It…Amusing!

Our family recently moved into full-fledged amusement park status.

Sure, we loved Dutch Wonderland and Sesame Place when our oldest were very young. But come on, how much is there for them there now? So the younger ones got a crash-course in big-time amusement park rides. And they’ll never go back!

Recently we spent a day (an entire, get our money’s worth, hot, sweaty day) at Hershey Park. WOW! (I know, of all the words I could have chosen, “Wow?”)

Holy moly! Craziness! Can you believe we went on these insane contraptions?

We did manage to squeeze in a semi-slow ride on the ferris wheel. But to tell you the truth, it was pretty anti-climactic after the Mouse.

We’re already looking forward to next year.