Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Banana Cake

From my friend Karen Van Uitert

2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix above ingredients together and then add:

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Pour in a greased cookie sheet (11X17" size).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 mins.

Frosting:

1 stick butter
3-4 cups powdered sugar 
2-3 T milk

Really nice flavor and feeds a crowd!  So easy!!!

Squash Casserole




2 cups cooked squash, any kind
1 can cream of mushroom (I usually use cream of chicken)
1 medium onion, chopped well
4 T butter
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 well-beaten eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and pour into greased casserole and top with crushed crackers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins to an hour.  Uncover for last 15 minutes.

NOTE:  Last time I made this I added 8 strips of cooked bacon.  WILL be doing that again!  

This doesn't sound all that great but truly has a great flavor and is a wonderful way to use the squash from the garden.  I usually use a combination of zucchini and yellow crook neck squash.

Fruity Sherbet



Josh-this is posted just for you!

2 - half gallons raspberry sherbet
1 - half gallon pineapple sherbet
2 pkgs frozen raspberries (partially thawed)
1 lg can crushed pineapple, drained
8-10 bananas, quartered

Allow sherbet to soften and then add fruit; mixing well.  Refreeze until ready to serve.  Great with a sugar wafer stuck in the sherbet when serving. This is so light and refreshing!  Great after a heavy meal or on a hot day.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New York Cheesecake


Cheesecake Ingredients

4 pkgs cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar 
2 eggs
2 T vanilla
3 tsp lemon juice

Beat softened cream cheese; add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Bake in graham cracker crust (see recipe below) at 500 degrees for 10 minutes; let stand for 5 minutes and top with glaze (recipe below).  Turn oven to 250 degrees; bake for 50-60 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.  

Glaze

1 pint sour cream
3 T sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Mix all together and top cheesecake after it cools for 10 mins

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Press into springform pan and top with cheesecake mixture.

NOTE:  I have found that cooking the cheesecake in a roasting pan gives the best results.   To do so:  cover the bottom of springform pan with foil - making sure the sides of the pan are also covered.  Place filled pan inside roasting pan and fill about halfway with water.  Bake as usual.  

I usually top with my homemade raspberry sauce, but the picture above is topped with fresh strawberries and hot fudge.  

Raspberry Sauce

1 pkg frozen raspberries

2 T sugar
2 T cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

Mix raspberries with sugar in saucepan and heat to a boil, stirring constantly.  Mix cornstarch with cold water and add to raspberries.  Cook until thickened, stirring frequently.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Coconutty Oatmeal Almond Joy Cookies


  • Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temp
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 8-9 mini Almond Joy bars, chopped
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
Instructions
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350
  • 2
    Beat melted coconut oil and sugars until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla until mixed well.
  • 3
    In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, bakins soda and oats. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. (If dough seems too wet add a tablespoon or two more of flour and mix in). Stir in chopped almond joy pieces and chocolate chips.
  • 4
    Spoon by rounded tablespoon on to cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms are just golden. Remove and let cool for several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  • 5
    makes about 1 dozen.
Pinned from Pinterest at sweet treats & more http://sweettreatsmore.com/

So another fantastic cookie from Pinterest!  My husband LOVES coconut so this was a real win for him!  I wouldn't change a thing about these!  Dough is nice to work with-and the flavor is divine!  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Anniversary (On your home purchase) Card

So, as a realtor, I needed to design a card for those hitting their home purchase anniversary.  Worked this one up - when I am making large amounts of cards, I try to keep them super simple.  This one certainly fit that bill!


Hope you are all having a wonderful spring and getting to enjoy a bit of warmer weather!  (If we could just get the wind to die down a bit!)  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy B-day Card



Simple little b-day card - when you are making 40 and likely needing to do more - you gotta do something easy!  I will probably do a different color combo and different papers next time.  If I was doing fewer, I would have inked the edges - love that look!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Basement Re-Do!

So, after 5 years of living in my basement, my youngest son moved out (We have literally had someone living in our basement for nearly 12 years now between all 3 of our boys).  This called for a bit of "retail therapy" as I sprang into action to "reclaim" my space.  Pics are not great, but they will have to do.  The space is bright and cheerful and I LOVE working down here.  I sit at this table when I am not out with clients and work - with birds chirping outside my french doors and the sound of water features daring me to stress out!  So loving the new changes.  I retained my book shelves, entertainment center, kitchen island, coffee table, and church pew, but started over with nearly everything else.  Bedrooms were re-arranged but no new furnishings there.  It is my favorite place in my house now.  I have ordered the plantation shutters for the basement and upstairs, so I will post pics when they go in 5-6 weeks from now.  Amazing how a fresh start is so reassuring....  
My new office space -also wonderful for family dinners

Coffee table in family room

Love this hand-carved man reading!  LOVE Etsy!

Perfect addition to the basement bathroom
View of the family room - only large TV in the house!

Family room and the white shelves I have had for years

Family room and entertainment center I brought from California

Basement kitchen

Another view of the family room

My old church pew - LOVE that thing!  Antique skis rest in the corner

The lockers are from Pottery Barn and are perfect for serving pieces and dishes

Another view of the lockers

Kitchen view

Family room looking toward the kitchen - pillow covers are from Etsy too

Accessories from Osmond Designs

Love this little elephant -thank again Etsy

Love this hand carved elephant too.  Etsy again.....



Funny little hand-carved windmill on a leather box - also Etsy

LOVE the turquoise coloring on this old tool box.

Witches ball from Park City - said to ward off witches.....  :)

Sign from Etsy - one of my favorite things

Love footed dishes and birds....

This chandelier is from Busy Biddy in Orem - used the flame-less candles with remote

Recovered this old bench.  Love the fun fabric!  

Shelves are from E-bay-accessories from Ebay and Etsy


Signs from Joss and Main

metal clock

Bedroom


Prints from Etsy hanging on bedroom wall

Another print on a dictionary page

Bedroom dresser

Grandkid toys just outside bedrooms

bathroom shelves

Having a little obsession with elephants - this one is from E-bay

The little clown is also from E-bay

Largest bathroom shelf - baskets from Hobby Lobby

LOVE this - it is true and sometimes hard to remember.  From Quilted Bear in AF

The "grandma wall"-frames from Ebay - all are vintage and painted

The "grandma wall" from the other angle-these kids are truly what lights us up!  Nothing better than grandkids.

Such a happy place for me now and, although I know it is psychological, I am so much more FOCUSED when I work down here.  Here's to a productive year!

Monday, March 31, 2014

New Professional Pic


It took me 8 years, but I finally got a new professional picture!  I truly would rather get a root canal than be in front of the camera - so grateful for a very patient photographer.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quick and Easy Turtle Brownie Bars


Tried these the other day for a closing and they got rave reviews from my clients. Fast and easy!


Ingredients

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup each of white chips, semi-sweet chips, milk chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips or chunks
* Optional 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup butter
32 unwrapped caramels
1 (14oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 inch by 13 inch pan
  3. Combine cake mix, oil and eggs. Blend well and stir in all of the chips and chopped nuts. This mixture will be very thick.
  4. Pour half of the mixture into bottom of pan into a very thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven.
  5. While this is baking, in a medium saucepan, combine butter, caramels and condensed milk and stir constantly, while cooking over low to medium heat. Do this until it is all melted and smooth. Spread caramel over partially baked cake mixture.
  6. Top with remaining cake and chip mixture . It will not completely cover, but you can press the mixture flat with your fingers and lay it in small sections over the caramel.
  7. Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 20 minutes.
  8. Run knife around edges. Cool completely before cutting
NOTE:  When it says to stir constantly - you really do need to or it will burn (don't ask me how I know!)  :)  I used the Peter's caramel bar and just weighed the caramel to get the right amount-about 9 ounces.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Thing We Never Talk About-W.O.R.K. In Marriage



David and I just celebrated 33 years of marriage.  Over the years we have had lots of people comment about how we are the "perfect couple" and "so lucky".  While I will admit A.) we are not perfect and B.) we have been very "lucky" and incredibly blessed, the one thing we never seem to talk about is how making a marriage last can be summed up in one word - W.O.R.K.  We all grew up on Disney movies where you get married and drive off into the sunset where you live happily ever after.  When we first got married, we both came into the marriage with lots of preconceived ideas of how things should work - from traditions, to how to run a household, to how to effectively communicate, to who should be responsible for what, etc, etc, etc.  It was WORK to figure out how to get on the same page!  

My husband likes to tell the story of a time when we were talking with other newly marrieds and one of them commented that they always heard the first year of marriage was the hardest.  I replied, "Our first year has been a piece of cake!" (and I meant it).  My husband later commented that that was because HE had done all the changing!  :)  I always say that is because he NEEDED to change, but the truth is at that point in our relationship HE was the one WILLING to change to make things work for both of us!  I have come a long way and like to think that I compromise now as much as he does, but then things are rarely ever 50/50, right?!  Let's just say I am WILLING to compromise to keep him happy - something I am quite sure I did NOT understand when we got married.  

It is rather alarming to me to watch our kids and their friends and the frequency with which so many are jumping ship!  When I was younger and a marriage fell apart it was usually due to a husband cheating on his wife.  Today, in EVERY case, except one, it has been the wife who has walked out the door.  Marriage wasn't all it was cracked up to be and they want out!  They want to pursue their own dreams.  NO ONE is telling them what to do!

Marriage is about putting someone else's needs above your own.  Doing so does NOT mean I cannot pursue my own dreams and live the life I want to - it just means I remember my commitment to my partner and make him a part of my dream!  It is amazing to me how much happiness comes from being unselfish.

My mother was remarking to my husband the other day that she wanted to know my "secret" for getting so much done.  I mean, how does Shelly keep a clean house, work full-time, bake, garden, do "crafty things" and still find time to sleep?  She claimed he would not tell her.  I said, "That is because HE is my secret!"  David is literally the wind beneath my wings.  He helps me in every aspect of my life - personal and business.  I simply could NOT do it without him.  If I want to accomplish something I only need to tell him what I want to do and he helps me figure out a way to make it happen.  NEVER ONCE has he told me he did not think I could do something!  He is my SECRET!  

Marriage has always been, and always will be, about compromise and sacrifice.  Sometimes I have sacrificed to allow David to accomplish his goals, more often, he has sacrificed for me.  It is never about what I want, but rather what WE want.  We work together.  

For example, any time I suggest that I would like to do something for someone, he is immediately on-board.  The other day, I was concerned about a co-worker who son was in the hospital.  I called and inquired about how he was doing and asked if I could do anything to help out.  He returned my call the next day and told me his son was coming home that evening and that the biggest help would be dinner.  He was busy cleaning house and prepping for their (his wife and sons) return and had not been grocery shopping since before his son had been hospitalized (over a week ago).  I told my husband we would be fixing a meal to take in and he was immediately getting meat out to thaw and worked side-by-side with me in the kitchen and then drove me to their home to deliver dinner.  There was not a moment's hesitation.  He is ALWAYS like that - always on my team - always helping in any way he can.

I know that many people feel that making that kind of commitment is restrictive.  That it does not allow them to do the things that they want to - I just want to go on record in stating that two people working together for the same cause will ALWAYS accomplish more than an individual working alone.  

I also love so much that I can be myself.  I am never putting on a front to my husband.  After 33 years there are no secrets - he knows the good, the bad, and the downright ugly and loves me anyway.  We can ride for hours in the car and say nothing at all - and it is perfectly comfortable.  We can also drive to Arizona and never stop talking!  I love that when I get heavy (and I have struggled our entire marriage with my weight), that he just tells me not to worry - there is just more of me to love.  He really means that.  It never helps me to be comfortable with my over-weight-state, but he never judges me - and THAT my friends is awesome!

We were given "advice" when we got married - like many of you probably were - and the one thing that really stuck with us was "It is not WHO is right, but WHAT is right that matters."  That means, that sometimes I am N.O.T. right - shocking, I know, but true.  Sometimes David says things to me that I do not want to hear.  The truth is that when I take a step back and think about the those things - he is always right.  Don't tell him that though!  :)  His insight into ME is the most constructive criticism I can get and helps me know where to improve.  He doesn't criticize often, but IF he does, it is because I need a "course correction".  It is always done gently and with love.

I realize not everyone has found themselves in a relationship worth working on - sometimes we make lousy choices, sometimes our partner exercises their agency in a way that is detrimental to the relationship - and thus it cannot be saved.  Please don't take offense at this post - it is simply meant to be a gentle reminder that marriage CAN be wonderful.  That it is worth the sacrifice/compromise on your part when you are in a committed relationship.  Look, there have been days I have not liked my husband at all!  I always love him, but sometimes I just plain don't like him.  Usually a good night's rest and some time to reflect change that perspective rather quickly.  The trick is to remind yourself what made you fall in love in the first place.  

Don't forget to tell your kids how much work it is to create a happy, successful relationship.  It is worth every effort!  But it is W.O.R.K. and anyone that tells you otherwise is lying.  When I look back over the past 33 years it is pretty amazing how difficult some of those years have been.  It is the hardest years that created the best foundation for our happiness.  I have learned that even when life is chaos around you - you can feel peace and be sure of your love for each other.  Hard times are the defining times and I am hopeful that this generation coming up will come to understand that is it worth fighting for each other.  I feel like our "kids" think they should get married and have what we have - immediately!  We started out with nothing but each other and a puke green velvet sofa missing the front legs and supported by bricks.  I know this - ALL of my kids have started out with more than that!  It is the struggle and working hard together to accomplish your dreams that really matters.  Things are not important, but people are.  Your parents have what they have after years of sacrificing to get there.  Their relationship has come through sacrifice and struggle.  I can't "gift" the strength of my relationship any more than I can "gift" my testimony of Jesus Christ to someone else.  You have to get your own - and that my friend, is W.O.R.K.  

A huge shout out to my partner in crime for all the years of love and support - here's to the next 33 - may we live that long - and to all the happiness that will come with it!  It really does just get better and better and better.  Love you babe!