Category Archives: Baking

Living gets in the way of life

This is my favoritest month of the year, and it’s going too fast!  It’s so hard sometimes to take in these beautiful fall days when so much of my time is spent at work or on the road.

I did manage to get some baking in for the first time in MONTHS.  But it wasn’t the fun, fall baking, that I’ve been itching to create.  Nope.  It was “I need 48 cupcakes and a 2 layer cake by Friday” kind of baking.

Yeah… somebody spilled the beans at work that I’m settled in my new house, and it does indeed have a working oven.

What was I thinking?!

And as usual, I’m too nice (or is it too dumb?) to say no.

So…. I spent my off day baking this

Chocolate Chocolate Cake

and this

Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Whipped Cream topping

and this

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

I shouldn’t complain.  It was kinda nice to dust off my kitchen aide mixer and heat up the oven for something other than pizza.  But my kitchen is quite a bit smaller than my last one and not conducive to huge amounts of baking.


Before the day was over, I’d knocked over a cup filled with 4 beaten eggs on to a kitchen rug, and soon after, knocked over a bowl of powdered sugar.  If you’ve never before done that, DON’T.  Neither one is easy to clean up.  I threw the rug in the wash, and I’m sure I’ll be cleaning up powdered sugar for days to come.

Out of the three types of cakes, only one was a major fail, and needed a do-over.  1 outa 3 ain’t bad.

But then I went and left them all at home.

Aye, aye, aye….  I am NOT. EVER. SAYING YES. AGAIN.

I mean it this time.




Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Baking, Blunders, Everyday Living


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Can you keep a secret?

Our oven is out of commission, and it’s been out of commission for, oh, a month or two.

We called in a repair guy.  He ‘fixed’ it.  We wrote the check and sent him away.  Mario excitedly fired it up to make a pizza, and… it wasn’t fixed.

Repair Guy came back and “fixed” it again.  Again, she tried her pizza.  No luck.

We gave up on Repair Guy, and Hubby ordered a part.

Not it.

He ordered another part.

Not it.

So…. we’ve given up.

THAT’S the secret.

You see, I’ve quite enjoyed having a broken oven as an excuse not to be able to bake treats for my co-workers’ birthday/wedding/shower celebrations.

It’s been nice having my weekends to myself.  My Shadow and I have gotten much closer because of it.

So I’m in no rush to call in Repair Guy #2, or to buy a new one.  I’m hoping to keep my excuse until all thoughts of baked goods are out of their heads.

And I’ll just have to find something besides cupcakes to entertain myself with.

Shadow 2

Shouldn’t be too hard….



Posted by on June 3, 2014 in Baking, motorcycle, My Shadow


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“Ashley and Keith want to come by and see our house this weekend,” reported my hubby when I called him after work.

“Who are Ashley and Keith?”

“She’s the new teacher at B@rtelso Grade School.  They’re looking for a house in town.”

“And they want OURS?  Ours isn’t for sale.  Is it?” I stammered.

He replied quietly, “I may or may not have told them we might be interested in selling….”

“Wait, what?  If we sell the house now, where would we go?” I questioned.

“Mario and I went looking and found a few places in Br**se we can rent.  She’s ecstatic thinking we may get to live in the same town as her High School.”

And that is how I found myself spending my two days off, making the house look like it’s been cared for and cleaned occasionally over the past 15 years.

This wasn’t a total shock to me.  We know that when Mario graduates from High School in 3 years, we are heading south.  We also know, that in a town of 650 people, finding a buyer who is willing to pay us a decent price can be difficult to come by.

When we heard this young couple was looking to move to our town, close to her new job, we began deliberating.  I just didn’t realize we were DONE deliberating.

So they’re coming Saturday.  I’m viewing this as a first step.  If they like the house after seeing the inside, then we’ll give some serious effort to finding a place we can rent comfortably, and put more effort into cleaning this place up.  If they don’t like it, we don’t have to do anything more, and I can go back to my lackadaisical house cleaning style.

Until then, I’ve been scrubbing floors, washing cabinets, detailing bathrooms….  My fingers are sore, my muscles ache, and I’m having an “I told you so” moment with myself.  I’ve told myself many times if I would clean more often, it wouldn’t require so much elbow grease whenever I do clean.

In between, I managed to bake some cupcakes for the hotel’s human resources director.  It’s a hard birthday for her this year, so I’m hoping these snickerdoodle cupcakes will cheer her up.  They’re full of cinnamon sugar  and topped with her favorite whipped cream cheese frosting.

Um… YUM.

Naked snickerdoodle cupcake


Snickerdoodle cupcake

And for all you cat lovers out there, look at how cute this one is.  While down on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor, I glanced into the closet and saw this.


Wonder what HE’LL think about moving.







Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Baking, Everyday Living, Family


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Check’s in the mail

Sheesh.  It’s crazy the things I do to get a weekend off.  By the time it arrives I’ll be deadbeat tired, my 10 mile run will likely be a trot, and the time with my hubby of almost 23 years will likely be spent in bed.  Sleeping!

By day 2 of my 8 day work week, I knew it was going to be difficult.  Full hotel, crabby guests, long hours, little sleep.  Day 3 should have been easier for me since it’s an admin day.  Usually I get to sit in the back doing 8 hours of billing, answering emails, setting up reservations, preparing for future groups, etc.  But another call off (ugh) led to me being up front with the guests, who were much happier thank goodness, but deep down I could only think of how much work I was behind on and wondering how the heck I was going to make it all up with a trainee the rest of the week.

To add fuel to the fire, I agreed weeks ago to make wedding shower cupcakes for a girl at work.  She only wants 24, but asked for a mix of chocolate and vanilla.  I’m scrambling to find a few hours to bake the cakes, and another few hours to ice them.

At this point, I want to bury my face in a pillow and scream, and then crawl to the back of my closet and hide.

Instead, I’ve chosen blogging therapy and now I feel good enough to bake a few cupcakes before heading into chaos at the hotel.

Thanks for listening.  I owe you one. (Nickel that is.)

The doctor is in


Posted by on March 19, 2014 in Baking, Blunders, The Hotel


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Be still my heart

Look what greeted me as I walked out the door Saturday morning.


See the single bright star? Just beautiful.

This stunning sight means a couple of things.

1.  The sun was coming up which means I had slept past 3AM.

2.  The sun was coming up at 6 (!) which means the days are getting longer!

3.  The sun was coming up AND I was heading OUTSIDE for a long run.

4.  The sun was coming up AND it was Saturday.  AND I was NOT. AT. WORK!

I mean, I love work, but I always work Saturdays.  Not this time though!  And it was awesome!  Other than the fact that hubby was gone on a business trip.  And Mario was away on a ski trip.  And Amp was away at a friend’s house….

But even that wasn’t all bad.  I can’t remember the last time I had the whole house to myself.  I mopped the floors. I finished the laundry.  I baked some more sea salt and cashew chocolate chip cookies.  (And didn’t burn them. They taste so much better that way.)

And if things couldn’t get better, the sun warmed us up to a beautiful 64 degrees with NO wind.  I couldn’t help myself.  I slipped on my Brooks for the second time that day, and strolled leisurely down the country road, taking in the sights and the sounds of the spring day teaser.  This winter has been tough, making me appreciate how beautiful the day was.   It should help me cope with a week of temps back into the 20s and 30s.  *sigh* But it won’t.  In fact, it’ll make it more difficult to deal with.

I won’t dwell on it now, anyway.  ‘Cause look what I received in the mail!


My very own, made specially for me, greeting card from Lotta Joy.


Her note inside stressed the importance of flexibility.  Funny it should come right after her affair with the crab legs.

A perfectly bright ending to a perfectly delightful day off.

Now.  Back to work.


Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Baking, Friendship, Running


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Catching Up

Happy belated Valentine’s Day to all of you love birds who actually celebrate the day.

Hubby and I acknowledge it.  We spend a bit of time picking out funny cards.  We write a little note of love inside, and let it sit on the counter for a few days.

And that’s enough for us.  We tend to do something, just the two of us, each year and count that as our special celebration gift.  This year was Florida.  That trip counts for all holidays except my birthday.  I’m a little spoiled that way.

Valentine’s Day was a hugely busy day at the hotel.  We had 340 reservations to check in.  Some love birds, some volleyball athletes, some Irish dancers, some bull riding spectators, and a few concert goers.  We’ve never had that many rooms checking in in one day.  I spent 10 hours at the front desk thanks to an employee call-off.

I returned early Saturday morning to check half of them out, and then quickly replaced them with a whole new set of guests.

To add to the fun, we’re hosting the big yearly meeting for our entire chain’s hotel managers, so everyone is scrambling to get the hotel into tip top shape by Sunday.  No easy task to begin with, but add to it an entire hotel full of “normal” guests needing our attention, and we’re not getting much spring cleaning done.

I did get some baking time in this week.  My oven’s been neglected the past few months with the exception of one or two pizzas.  It was nice to fire it back up for these Red Velvet Cookies and Cashew and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.



That is, until the oven went haywire and shot up to 450 degrees before I realized it, burning my third batch of chocolate chip ones.



Normally I wouldn’t think anything of it, but these…. THESE were the absolute best looking, best tasting cookies, I’ve ever had.  No kidding.  I shed a tear or two over them.  No kidding!  After a conciliatory hug from my hubby, and a promise to get the thermostat fixed, I reset the oven and baked the last batch.

In cheerier news, we ended the week with what we hope becomes a tradition – Family Poker and Pizza night.  (With a variation on the game and the meal if desired.) Chip made the long 8 mile trip from his trailer, and Mario and Amp made the long 30 step trip from their rooms.    We spent a few hours teaching the kids a variety of poker games and let them keep their winnings. (If anyone asks, we were teaching them probability and statistics.)

So that’s what I’ve been doing.  It’s been a very busy, but very rewarding week.  We had what I hope is our last shot of winter, causing yet another snow (well really, ice) day, and now we’re in for some sun and warmth.  Maybe I can finally say goodbye to the dreadmill and run on some ice free roads.

treadmill 2



Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Baking, Blunders, Family, Running, The Hotel


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Diamonds are ok, but I want appliances

I like diamonds okay.  I have one on my left ring finger, and a small one in each of my ears.  I’ve had them for years, and have been very content with them.  They’re just not my best friend.


I’d much rather have an appliance. And Hubby is just fine spoiling me with all the appliances I could ask for.

Remember my last birthday?  I hardly do either.  But I DO remember I got an appliance.  The cinnamon colored Kitchen Aide mixer.  It’s by far my best baking friend.

Not my kitchen.

Not my kitchen.

And this year, I got the coffee maker.  The 12-cup thermal stainless steel coffee maker.  I think I’ll love no other.


For Christmas, Mario got me a brand new toaster.


It matches my coffee maker, and it browns my bagels and toast to perfection.  *sigh*  What more could I ask for?

Except maybe a new one of these.


This beloved vacuum gave me everything it had, even long after it was injured.  I bandaged it up, over and over again, and it loyaly continued to suck up the unending bundles of pet hair.

This year I decided to put it to rest, so for Christmas, I got yet another appliance.

the shark

Be still my beating heart.

Step aside, Diamonds.  These are my true BFFs.


Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Baking, Everyday Living


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