Thursday, September 29, 2011

One Chocolate Martini, Please......

My Cousin, Patti and I have been trying to have a lunch date since my 50th birthday this past July.  Our schedules were both very busy, to say the least which did not allow enough time for a lunch date.  After putting our heads together several weeks ago we set a date, place and time...I was treated to an awesome lunch at the Tavern, to which has always been a family favorite of ours.  I was also given another Hallmark Hand Painted Glass, this one being a Martini Glass....I am thinking I need a corner glass hutch to display my gifts of hand painted glasses, they are just too beautiful to not have them displayed when not in use:)

Have a Fun weekend and enjoy this beautiful Fall weather...!

Monday, September 26, 2011

My First Place Hershey's Chocolate Cake Display was brought home and found a "home" above my kitchen Cabinets. 

 It's been a fun week of many folks congratulating me for winning first place.  I am very quick to share, this was a total whim of an act I decided to par take in with no high expectations of even placing in the judging...
The Pennsylvania Dutch take their baking very serious in these parts of the world, and to have been in strong competition among some of the best bakers and winning is a sure compliment.  I now will see how well my culinary skills in which I learned from my mother, will do against the rest of the Best Bakers in the State of Pennsylvania in early January.  To be a part of this competition is such an honor, I am humbled and excited to meet the winners who won at their respected local level and will be competing as well in January.  I will report back in January and update this post when I bake the next winning;/ Hershey's Chocolate Cake....!

Have a great week my friends, and enjoy this beautiful Fall weather.  Rain is predicted in the forecast for the next several days with clearing in time for the week-end, so we won't complain too much!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Here is my Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing, decorated with Hershey's Chocolate Icing
I made to enter in the "Hershey's Chocolate Cake" competition at the local level.  
The requirements were very specific, ONLY Hershey's Cocoa Powder could be used in the cake recipe, and at least 1/4 cup measured or more had to be used in the cake batter.  This original recipe was my mother's, one I changed over the years adding more of this and a little of that...I have been asked frequently for the recipe, to which I have declined to share.  The only living person I have shared this recipe with is my Sister In Law in TX, and she swears her cake does not turn out as well as mine...(she really doesn't give herself enough credit!)  So, I though it would be fun to enter my "First" cake competition with my signature recipe..I have made this recipe so often I think I could literally make it with my eyes closed.  I ventured out on Monday afternoon with my Hershey's Chocolate Cake in tow with no high expectations in winning and entered my very first Cake competition.  At arrival I waited in line well over 30 minutes for registration, obtained my personal registry number for the local chapter I was entering in, handed over my cake, listened to the few small details if you place or win and I was on my way....
The Judging was done that very same night as registration, with a bake sale the following morning (this morning) of all the entries.  A First, Second and Third winner is chosen....
I had planned to attend the Fair later this afternoon and thought I would stop where the competition was held to see if I had placed.....when I entered the building it took me a few minutes to scan the room and figure out where the cakes were on display, they actually were dead center in the room, I wasn't able to see them at first due to some people standing at the tables and talking to which I over heard them saying "if the first place winner is unable to compete in Harrisburg at the state level, then the second place winner will compete"....when I realized they were talking about the Hershey's Chocolate Cake competition I walked over to the table and this is what I found...!


I had no intentions of having my picture taken today when I put my sweats and comfy jacket on to roam the Fair and get some of that awesome Fair Food!!!  
It turned out the the three people I over heard talking were the Second and Third place winners and a Judge.
We were then able to have our pictures taken together for the local news and papers...

I asked the Judge what they look for when judging, she shared with me that my cake was the third one they taste tested and when she tasted mine she knew I was going to be the winner:)  The judge went on to share the texture of the cake was perfect with no air bubbles and the icing was dead on, also in texture which complemented the cake.  I was in shock..! I think I still am....

It looks like I'm taking my Signature Chocolate Cake to the State Level...

My Mother is telling everyone above she taught me everything I know when it comes to baking..!
Yes, Mother...You did!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

 Kala and Casey's Wedding Reception
September 10, 2011
Wedding in the Bahamas
August 5, 2011

What a good time was had by ALL....!!

I can't remember the last wedding reception I attended where everyone had a BLAST!!
The dance floor was packed during the entire time, except for about maybe 30 minutes to eat..
The Bride and Groom along with the wedding party ate and immediately got this party started!

It was awesome to see all ages on that dance floor and let me just say,
the young ones had nothing over the elders in the room!

Below I am pictured with my cousin Patti, the Mother Of The Bride and the Bride, Kala..
Isn't she just beautiful...!  Her smile says it ALL!
 Kala and Casey cutting their cake..

 Kala just being herself, she was so happy and enjoying every moment..

The yummo cupcakes served were a vanilla with chocolate ganache filling, topped with a light creamy frosting...A two thumbs up from me!

Kala with her Grandfather, my uncle.  He had said his good-nights and good-byes,
only to come back and have one more dance with his princess...
Doesn't he look daper in that cool shirt!!?  He wasn't able to attend the wedding in the Bahamas,
but he wasn't forgotten, a little bit of the 'Bahamas' was brought back to him:)
(sorry for the poor quality of the photo, wrong setting)

The energy was so high, as you can see..!

You could diffidently feel the Love between Kala and Casey,
and for them from their families and friends..!
Congratulations Kala and Casey
Forever After

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It has been quiet eventful the past 24 hours here in PA....the rains have brought to this area some of the worst flooding in 30 years.  Last evening Sirens and Emergency vehicles could be heard in the distance, and then suddenly they were in plane sight approaching closer as you realize the destination point is within several feet of your home...
Neighbors in a panic as their new homes quickly fill with rushing water from the hours of terenchal rains...the night was very long and when the rain stopped for just a few minutes you said a little prayer of thanks. We made it through the worst part of the storms, without having the worst possible outcome of out of control water flooding our home.  Having watched the news and speaking with family and friends through out the day, all were safe with no major damage done to the homes of those who are near and dear...  
Yes, I am very thankful for being spared as well for those close by.

We will soon put this behind us and move forward...
This weekend will be one of celebrating, as my cousin's daughter and her new husband will be hosting an all adult reception in honor of their recent nuptials...
I spoke with my cousin today, as she informed me the reception has been moved to the Hall in which the caterer owns.  The move from an outside reception at the home of the groom's parents to the Hall has become necessary due to the rain soaked lawn.  I am most certain the reception will be one to remember regardless of the location.  Celebrating starts at 5pm, with Hors'devours from 5pm to 6:15pm.  Formal Dinner served promptly at 6:30pm. Music and Dancing to follow the Dinner.

I am very anxious and honored to be sharing this very important day with Kala and Casey...
Honored that Kala has always considered me and my family an important part of her life,
(her mother, Patti is my first cousin)  And, I am anxious for an all adult evening surrounded by family, new family and friends, exquisite food and much anticipated celebrating, celebrating our booties off...

As I again reflex on this weeks events and those to come,
I am reminded how very blessed I am..!

Have A Fantastic Week-End, My Friends..

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I am so sad and a bit depressed to see Summer coming to an much as I like the season of Fall and the cooler weather, Summer is by far my favorite season and time of the year.  As we say Good-Bye to the Chapter of Summer, the new chapter of Fall brings Fairs, Parades, Football and Apple Festivals, just to mention a few fun Fall activities....

The transition is in full force in the home, my son is back to school and busier than ever.  He has decided on a double major in Computer Science and Business, and he's been talking about obtaining his Masters Degree. I am so thankful for his determination and self discipline working towards his future in areas he likes and will greatly benefit him, all the while working a full time job he loves and excels in.   I'm preparing for my Fall Specials with my Salon Business and considering some new investments for the long term.  It's always fun to brain storm and see what has worked in the past and what may be worth trying. 

As I was driving to a friends home today, I passed many road side stands selling pumpkins, that is a sure sign Fall is around the corner and it gives me an excuse to do some baking:)   I'm hoping to bake some pies and cookies, I must confess I still have some baked goodies in my deep freezer from summer baking. 

It will soon be time to close up the Pool for the season, also.....and then after that task, I know the next chapter is Winter.  UGH..MY MIND CAN NOT PROCESS THAT RIGHT NOW!!

Have a great holiday week-end and enjoy the warmer days while they last...!!!

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