Saturday, April 29, 2017

Easy Coconut Crumb Cake

This was so good and I wasn't even sure I like coconut! I made it to send home with a friend who had come to town. Her favorite pie is coconut cream and I thought of her when I read this recipe. 

Recipe adapted from 
Grace and Good Eats

Easy Coconut Crumb Cake

1 box classic white cake mix and ingredients called for on the box
1 c sweetened coconut
1 cupvanilla wafers 
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla  

Crush vanilla wafers. 

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Gently stir in coconut, vanilla wafers, pecans and vanilla. Bake according to box instructions. I baked mine in a 9x13 disposable pan as I was sending it with a friend. 


Frost with vanilla frosting and sprinkle additional chopped pecans on top. I was going to do this, but my friend said it was fine without the frosting. She thought it would be good with a scoop of cool-whip. 

I forgot to take a finished picture, so this is the one she sent me after her husband had "sampled" it!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blender Cake

Did the title catch your attention? The instructions caught mine when I read them. A cake mixed entirely in a blender. I had to try it. 

Brazilian Carrot Cake

Wash and chop 2 cups of carrots. Put in a blender and add eggs and canola oil. Blend until smooth. 


Add sugar and pulse. 


Add flour, salt and baking powder. 


The recipe doesn't say how big of a blender you need and mine just barely was big enough. I've had my blender 10+ years and I think this is just the second time I've used it! 

Bake the cake in a greased bundt pan. 


You were to make a chocolate glaze to top the cake, but I skipped that step. I think it would have made it better. 

Visit Our Best Bites for the recipe 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Honey Sesame Chicken in the Crock Pot

Cookbook Club went a little differently this month with only one able to attend. I decided I'd make a main dish and dessert and Jenna agreeded to bring sides. 

For dinner I made Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken. 


The recipe was very easy. Just mix up honey, soy sauce, diced onion, ketchup, canola oil and minced garlic. 


Put a 3 lb bag of frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a crockpot, top with the liquid mixture and cook on low 8-10 hours or 4-6 on high. 


Once the chicken is done, you thicken the sauce, shredded the chicken and spoon it over rice. (Neither of us could open the new container of sesame seeds, so none shown.)


We also had homemade rolls and fruit salad.  The rice is a box found in the freezer section at Walmart. InnovAsian Vegetable Fried Rice. Just puncture the bag and heat in the microwave. Yum! 


The chicken was really good and I'd make it again.  To get the full recipe, visit Fantastic Family Favorites blog

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Summer Pear

I'm typing this too late! It took me four attempts to spell pear! Gracious! Please tell me you do this too, when you're tired. Forget things? Oh and I'm sun burnt. Does that count for anything? Anyhow, I think I need to put the phone aside and call it a night, but first I wanted to finally share my living room paint color; Summer Pear!



Oops! See where I got paint on the trim? It's on my to-do list to remove that paint. Oh and please excuse the mess. Things were (are) still shoved in the bookshelves and in boxes when I took these pictures. 


Sigh. I have a new phone and it takes great pictures, but I can't get it to show paint or cross stitch fabric exactly as it is in person. Throw in sunlight or artificial light and shadows from either and it's a crap shot. At least though you can get an idea of the color. Here are picture from when the house was listed so you can see what it used to be;  



It was darker than shown in these pictures. They must have used a flash. It was especially dark at night. 

My living room is set up similarly, but I just wonder if there's a better way... Oh and that mirror has to go or be changed. Another project for another day. So, this concludes my spring paint projects. Up next; The Yard! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cup of Tea

I am so tired of paint posts, I'm sure you have to be as well. 

Painting the living room was delayed due to rains. This old house has mostly plaster walls and some of those walls have cracks. I needed to repair them before I painted. Repairing wasn't to occur 24 hours after or before any rain. We saw a record 14 days with some amount (trace counts) of rain. Crazy! The sun finally graced us with its presence and I made quick work of patching the cracks and priming. Then came my favorite part. Yep, you guessed it. Picking the wall color. First four;


My first choice in wall color is Cup of Tea. I tested this for the dining room and fell in love. I thought though that it might be a better choice for the living room. Once I painted the sample, while I still loved it, I began to have doubts. It's pretty bold, at least for me. 


So, I tried some others and then ran to Home Depot for even more colors. 





This many test samples means a lot of paint brushes to wash and dry! 

I've cut in with the paint and I'm hopefully I've chosen the right color. Pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The original plan had been to paint the living room, dining room and hallway the same color, just different shades of that color. The dining room would be the darkest color as its the brightest room. The living room would be a little lighter and the hallway lighter than the living room. I picked the second card from the left at the bottom, I think. It's been a long time since those paint colors! 


You already know that I painted the dining room with the darker color and cried as I hated it. So, the idea to paint the three areas the same color, just different shades was thrown out the window. Having already wasted a gallon of paint, I thought I'd try and save a few bucks and use one of the leftover paints from the previous owners. I forgot to take a before picture, but you can see in the picture below that the hallway used to be dark. (Top is the primer, bottom the original paint color and middle is where I had painted a sample color.) 


The very first gathering of Cookbook Club we all stood in the hallway and tried to guess what color the paint was and how many colors they'd used! The shadows and turns in the hallway made it look several different colors, thought it was just one. The area needed a lighter color paint and I had two options leftover from the previous owners. The first was Dove Gray (BM). It was white, not gray at all. The space is dark enough it could handle a white, so I gave it a go and... Yep, hated it! It was shockingly bright and oh so white! I am not a big fan of white walls. Apparently I'm destined to paint every space in my house twice before finding the right shade. So, I went with the second leftover option; Bay Waves.  Here is a picture with Dove Gray in the middle and Bay Waves on the edges. 


I loved grays before I started painting and have since decided they're not a good pick for this house. Even so, it's just the hallway and not that big of a space AND I didn't want the stress of trying to find the right color, so Bay Waves it is!  Except that it isn't. Well, it is temporarily. Probably till fall. Why? Because it's semi-gloss and I think, though it looks nothing like it, that Bay Waves might have been the color they used in the bathroom! The shine is horrible, even more so in pictures, so I don't have a finished picture to share. I'm new to all this and hadn't thought to check what type of finish the paint was. So, this fall, hopefully, I'll be painting the hallway again, something other than white and gray and definitely not semi-gloss! 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Tulip Time

It was Tulip Time earlier this month. I only managed to get to one of the three areas that has tulips in town. I spoke with an older man taking pictures and was surprised to learn he had come down from Kansas City. He said no place up there had as beautiful tulip displays as we do, not even Powell Gardens! If you've never been, you should plan on visiting next year.  Here are a few pictures from the Ted Ensley Gardens at Lake Shawnee. 















Friday, April 14, 2017

April Garland and Easter Sign

I started working on the garland mid-March and completed it before April, but hadn't been able to take any pics as it was gloomy, gray and/or the mantle was covered with plastic. 


To make; Google bunny template, select Images, pick your favorite, print, trace and cut out. 


Hot glue on tails. 


Josey wanted a tail, but only one already attached. See the two ignored unattached pom-poms sitting on the right? 


I had thought I'd use the pink/white or purple/white bakers twine, but they were too bright. I ended up using the thread shown on the bottom left card that's pulled. I found the threads on that card and a bunch of other trims at a Stamp-In Up garage sale several years ago. 

Hole punch both ears, thread and hang for a super cute April/Easter garland!  Here it is on my buffet. 


Some close-ups; 



I worked on this at work and hadn't measured how long it needed to be, so I ended up with a few extra bunnies. 


I had really wanted a religious themed April garland, but couldn't come up with one. So, I opted to use the same scrapbook paper to make a sign for the mantle. 


I used cardboard block letters that can be found at Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Walmart. Traced the letters on scrapbook paper, cut out and glued them on using a glue stick. 

(Sorry for the crummy pictures.) I only glued the paper to the front. I love how it turned out.