Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Scones

Good Morning!  How is your weekend going? We spent a lovely Saturday shopping and treating our boy to an afternoon at Pump & Jump.  If you have never heard of Pump & Jump it's basically a rubber room for toddlers.  They can run, jump, and literally bounce off the walls without getting hurt.  He loved it!  It's great exercise and a perfect way for a four year old to release all that built up energy.  After, Hubby treated us to dinner and I got the most amazing baked scrod!   It was a perfect family day.

Here is a recipe for Cranberry Orange scones that I wanted to share with you.  I made these yesterday morning so they would be ready for today.  If you are not in the mood for a big breakfast, and just want something to nibble on with your coffee (or tea), these are perfect.  Here's what you need:

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a food processor combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course meal.

Add orange zest and dried cranberries.

In a separate bowl mix together sour cream and egg.

Add to dry mixture and pulse until a dough forms. 

This could all be done by hand, but the food processor makes it to much easier : )

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about 3/4 inch thickness.

Cut into triangles.

Don't worry too much about the shape, they don't have to be perfect : )

Transfer to a cookie sheet and sprinkle each one with sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  (*tip - make sure your oven rack is in the middle.  If it's too low the bottoms will burn*)


I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday! 

I forgot to mention that I finally saw Midnight in Paris last night. Hubby fell asleep 5 minutes in (zzzzzzzzz). I guess our day of shopping and big dinner did him in : )  

The scenery and music were amazing!  And of course, I'm a sucker for a good love story.  And when it takes place in Paris....even better.  You can't get much more romantic than that.

Danielle xo

Saturday, January 28, 2012

5 Little Things...

5 Little Things I'm happy about this week....

-Oatmeal with strawberries and honey. Yum...
-My blog giveaway.  Love hearing your comments!
-Taylor Swift's "Ours".  Have you heard the lyrics to this song yet? So heartfelt and beautiful.  I just love her. 
-Kristin at  Her photos are amazing.  Her latest post has a few from her most recent trip to London.  I'm determined to get there one day....*sigh*
-Philosophy's Cinnamon Buns lip gloss.  Has all the shine without the calories : )

What are you happy about this week?

I would also like to announce the winner of my giveaway.  I had such a great week hearing from all of you.  Thank you to everyone who participated.  I really appreciate it! 

I put all your names in a hat and the lucky winner is Amy from My Shabby Bungalow!

You can visit her lovely blog at  Congratulations Amy!

Today is a banner day for me. I had a list of things that I had to do and I actually accomplished everything on my list.  That never happens! I'm still in shock.  I'm heading into the weekend on a high note. I'm planning on doing a little shopping tomorrow and then talking the Mister into watching Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris with me - although he doesn't know that yet.  I'm sure he'll love it...sure I'm sure.... 

Happy Friday everyone.  Have a great weekend!

Danielle xo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Toasted Coconut Parfaits

If you love coconut then I have a desert for you - toasted coconut parfaits.  These are so yummy! 
Last week I was at my parents house and made these for desert.  After a big dinner, this is the perfect happy ending.  

Here's what you need:

1 angel food cake
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup toasted coconut
1 cup toasted chopped nuts
whipped cream for topping
cherries for luck

I baked an angel food cake, but a store bought one is just fine.

In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. 

Put in the fridge to chill while you toast the coconut and nuts. I did both of these in the toaster for just a few minutes.


By the way, I used walnuts but you could also use almonds as well.

Let them cool before assembling the parfaits.

This small step of toasting the coconut and nuts is really worth it! The smell alone will make you SO Happy : - )  

Get the chilled filling from the fridge and start assembling your parfaits.
Layer pieces of the angel cake, the filling, coconut and nuts. 
Repeat with angel cake, filling, coconut and nuts. 

Top with whipped cream (or Cool Whip) and....

...a cherry for luck!

This recipe makes 5 lovely parfaits.  Enjoy!!!! 

By the way, don't forget to enter my Valentines Day giveaway. Just leave me a comment on my last post and you could win these Valentines Day treats...

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Just about all our snow has melted and the temps went up to 50 today! Crazy weather.

I also noticed that at 4:30 pm it was still light out.  Two positive signs that Spring is out there somewhere. 

Danielle xo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowy January and My First Giveaway!

Hello Friends! I am finally back after an unexpected blogging break.  What happened was my computer got a virus and so I was out of commission for a while.  Isn't it amazing how much we rely on our computers?  When they are gone we are lost.  I've felt totally out of touch with the world for the past two weeks.  On a positive note, it's amazing how much I actually accomplished in my "real life" without having a computer around.  I read two books, have never been more caught up on laundry, and cleaned out my entire file cabinet.  But alas, all good things must come to an end, and I got her back on Thursday night.  *..happy sigh...*  The house chores have since piled up, but I've been spending the last two days catching up on all of my favorite blogs to see what you have all been up to.  I have missed you :- )

We had our first big snowstorm of the season today.  This was the view from my bedroom window when I woke up this morning.   I was so happy because it was Saturday and none of us had to go anywhere.  Snowstorms are best enjoyed when there is no driving involved.  Today was a day of staying in our pj's, watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, playing Thomas the Train, and making Play-Dough pizzas!  We did go outside for a little bit, my son looking like the baby brother in A Christmas Story in his snowsuit, and stayed outside until we couldn't feel our toes anymore, and then decided to come it for hot chocolate.  I remember days like this as kid, and they were the best.

Now that all of the Christmas decorations are put away,  the house feels very clean and uncluttered.  I still have some snowmen and winter stragglers out like this little guy.  He was a Christmas present this year from my sister.  I think he's so cute!

I have been feeling like we needed a little color around the house, so I picked up this mini primrose plant at the grocery store last week.  Just having that burst of yellow in the kitchen has cheered up the whole room.  I'm already itching for tulips, hyacinths, and all of the pretty spring flowers that I love so much.  I've been thinking about container gardens on my deck and what to plant in my flower boxes this year.  I'm thinking about doing something different.  We'll see, needs more thought.  For now, this is my reality...

Which is just as beautiful, only in a different way : )

I just remembered that I wanted to give you a Bread Machine update.  In my last post I mentioned that I got a bread machine for Christmas and I was dying to try it.  Well, I did - and it Rocks!  I love it so much.  Not only is the bread fresh and delicious, but there is a certain satisfaction I feel making homemade bread (even though I'm not really making it, the machine is - but that's beside the point). If anyone reading this has a bread machine I have found a terrific website for bread machine recipes.  It's called  (easy to remember)   Last weekend I made an Italian bread for Sunday dinner and it went like this:

4 cups of flour, 1 1/3 cup water, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp yeast, and 2 tbsp sugar.  That's it.  Put all the ingredients into the machine, select your settings, and in three hours you will have this:

A perfect loaf of bread.  Amazing!

You could add any kind of herbs or seasonings you want to this recipe, but I have to say that it's perfect just as is.  It's the simple things....

Plan it so the bread is done just before dinner time, then you have perfectly warm bread to accompany your meal.  I've also been taking slices for toast to work for my breakfast.  Low carb I am not!  Next on my list is cinnamon swirl bread.  MMMMMM!!!!! 

I definitely foresee myself baking a lot of bread this winter.  Since it takes around three hours to bake, that is the perfect amount of time to putter around the house. 

Do some purging perhaps?  Last weekend I filled this garbage bag with the contents of two closets, empty boxes, and old, broken toys.  I don't know why I feel the need to save everything.  Every January I go through the house and purge all the needless items I've saved over the past year.  I've already started saving up for next year. (don't tell the Mister - ha!)

A movie sounds like a better idea.  These some of my favorites.  (very, very different from the Mister's pile).  I just got Arthur this year for Christmas and quickly added it to my favorites.  I loved it.  Something tells me that if I met a handsome, British, millionaire you probably would never hear from me again.  And since that's not likely to happen it's okay for me say it.  wink...wink....

Journaling is a great passion for me as well.  Since I started blogging I haven't been writing in it as much.  As part of my New Years resolutions I've promised myself to journal more.  This particular book is a special one.  I've filled the pages with story book ideas and my favorite words, like "charming", "lovely", "brilliant", and "enchanting".  Every time I hear a word I like, I put it in my book.  Yesterday I added "dazzling" and "moonlit path".  I'm hoping one day these ideas and beautiful words will come together to be a children's story.  I think about stories that made me happy as a child.  Books like Peter Rabbit and Frog & Toad.  The stories were simple, and the messages heartfelt.  What a wonderful contributions these authors made to us.  They "dazzled" and "enchanted" us right into dreamland. 

And now for my big news.  In a few weeks this blog will celebrate it's 1 year birthday.  In honor of that I decided to do my first giveaway.  And since we are coming up on Valentine's day, what better excuse for these cute little goodies...

I have a heart shaped silicone muffin pan, heart shaped measuring cups, and a pink polka dot oven mitt and pot holder. 

Just leave me a comment at the end of this post before Friday the 27th.  I'll pick a name at random and send this care package off to the lucky winner.  Just in time for your Valentines Day party. 

What I love about Valentines Day most is that it's so girly.  We get to wear pink, use red heart shaped measuring cups, and have all the chocolate we want - without judgement.  Weather we have a Mister or not, is irrelevant.  Valentines Day is about all love, not just romantic love.  I'm planning a tea party for some of the women in the world that I love most.  And the littlest man I love most, too.  He's about 3 and a half feet tall, around 60 pounds, and will always be my little baby. 

Valentines day is a celebration of motherly love, friendships, family, and yes, of course - romance.  Last year I made a heart shaped meatloaf with pink mashed potatoes.  Nothing says I Love You more than heart shaped meat, wouldn't you say?  We had a good laugh about it.  Let's see what creative things I can come up with this year for my Valentine. 

Well, I'm happy to be back and caught up.  This blog means so much to me and is truly a warm happy place that I love to share with all of you.  I can't believe it's been a year since I started.  I've made so many friends that I would never have had the opportunity to meet if it weren't for my blog.  I would like to share a virtual cup of tea with all of you now and say thank you for a great year.  Many more to come!!!

I'll be back tomorrow with a recipe for a toasted coconut parfait.  Here's a teaser....

And don't forget to enter my giveaway!   Bye : )

Danielle xo