Friday, March 15, 2013

From the YUMMY files....

OOH my stars.  This is a recipe that not only looks amazing, but tastes wonderful as well.  I tested this recipe that I found over at Taste of Home (my number one go-to for wonderful recipes)

This was easy to put together, with ingredients that are readily available in my pantry most of the time.  I am thinking, maybe next time I'll add a cream cheese filling as well, just to make these MORE sinful!

The bars in the photo were made with a 9x13 pan and they're thick!  

Tip: don't omit the almond extract, even add a dash more!  And be sure to add the glaze, it adds just the right amount of sweetness!

Here's your recipe :)



  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture just until combined.
  • Spread 3 cups batter into a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Spread with pie filling. Drop the remaining batter by teaspoonfuls over filling.  You may use a 9 x 13 inch pan, just add 10 minutes or so to the baking time.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over bars. Yield: 5 dozen

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back to the studio!

This design has always been my all time favorite.

Since 2008, when I made my very first one, these have been wildly popular...and I never tire of making them...they're just so lovely.  I bet by now I have made several thousand of these, and no two will ever be alike! 

A tiny tree is encapsulated between crystal clear glass with tiny glass cherry blossoms.  I love these!  What do you think?

These are available in my Etsy shop at:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Welcome Spring!

We are well into the first week of March and these tulips are just so lovely.  Our little cottage by the lake is bright and sundrenched with it's huge windows, a perfect place for these treasures.

Anyone who knows me, knows about my obsession with blue Mason jars!  

This one hangs at an angle on the side of my kitchen cabinet. I wrapped the neck securely with some copper wire, and made a simple loop.  Then, I hung this with a simple screw-in teacup hook.  Super easy and how darling is this!?

I love to put fresh peonies or big pink carnations in there!  :)  

I hope this inspires you to do something similar, sometimes simple is best!

Have a lovely weekend!

_/\_ namaste


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Layered Salad - YUM YUM YUMMY!

Truly, this is the easiest thing in the world, the hardest part of this is the prep, and that's not even a big deal!  But this dish packs a wallop if you have been asked to bring s dish to pass and there's never a tiny bit left!

Of course, you can add or delete any ingredient you like, and a glass bowl is an absolute must! I love this bowl because the sides are nice and high, highlighting all of my pretty layers.

Here's how this is done:  I"m not going to be super specific as far as amounts, or types of veggies, so that you can use your own creativity.  

Layered Salad

Lettuce (I use romaine mixed with dark leaf lettuce)
Green pepper
Carrot ( I use my peeler to make ribbons)
Roma tomato (seed these)
Frozen sweet peas (OMG DON'T use canned peas!)
Hard boiled eggs ( I added 5)
Sharp cheddar cheese
Bacon bits (make your own or use store bought REAL bacon bits
Sour Cream 
Salt and Pepper
Parmesan cheese.

Let's build our salad

First, prep all veggies.  Once everything is chopped, peeled, boiled, and ready to go, begin assembling!
Here, I layered, in this order, lettuce, carrots. tomatoes, peas, green pepper, more lettuce, cheese, eggs, bacon and then my dressing.

In between each layer, add a bit of salt and pepper, not too much. Press each layer down, make this nice and compact.

To make your dressing (again, make to your own preference, taste as you go along), I used  a cup and 1/2 mayo, a cup and 1/2 sour cream, two tbsp sugar (really, don't skip this), and 1/4 tsp salt and a good amount of freshly cracked pepper.  

Spread this generously across the top, sealing at the edges.  Cover and let this sit in your fridge for 8 hours.

When ready to serve, add more grated sharp cheddar, pepper, and some fresh parmesan.

You could also add some croutons.

My husband doesn't care for onions, but I love a sprinkling of red onion, adds lots of color and flavor.

I hope that this inspires you to try your own recipes, I would love to see photos of your creations!

Happy salad making!

Namaste _/\_


Saturday, March 2, 2013

What's Up, Puddin' Cup?


This is our favorite.  Homemade chocolate pudding must be one of the most satisfying comfort foods around.  And, while I have to believe that my version is much healthier than the Jello boxed mixes or the type that are found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, this is in NO WAY a "health food!"  But I'm sure you know that.  This is strictly comfort food and it will cure what ails you.

Here, I have served this up with some whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, but these small Mason jars come with screw on rims and lids for *ahem* single serving sizes, which will keep in your refrigerator for a while.  I have no idea how long, as this dessert never stays in my house for more than a couple of days. 

Here's my recipe:


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


  • In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, semi sweet chocolate chips, cornstarch and salt. gradually add milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Spoon into individual serving dishes. Chill until serving. 
If you like, you may cover your warm pudding with some plastic cling wrap to avoid the "skin"....personally, I love the skin, and I think it gives the pudding homemade "cred." 



Friday, March 1, 2013

Grand Haven in Winter

Isn't this just gorgeous?  It isn't even very cold.  Today is March 1, and everything here is "melty"...if you're a Michigander, you'll understand that term perfectly.

In two months, we will have lived here for a full year now, originally from Land Locked Lansing (or, more specifically, the Lansing area of Michigan), and we could not be happier.

Leaving all of the hurtful people and events that controlled our lives was only the beginning.  Now, we have the lake, the sun, and a brand new family.

But  this is only the beginning of our adventure. Soon we'll be gone from Grand Haven, too.