Tag Archives: fun times

Camden Michael

It’s certainly been a while since I’ve visited this place. The last month has flown by like I never could have imagined. Getting ready for a baby is not exactly an easy task. Actually, the mental part is far more daunting than you could ever imagine. The gaining weight part was easy. It was everything else that was so hard to handle.

But…like every other soon to be parents, we did manage to handle it.
We still are handling it (just with a lot of help from family…)

And here we are- with an 18 day old little boy that has totally rocked our world. From the moment I heard his first cry, I was in love. Didn’t even know that was possible…to love something/someone you’d never met. But it is. And it’s amazing.
Terrifying, but the most wonderful thing ever.

Some of you have seen pictures, his name…so forgive me for resharing all of this, but it’s kind of nice to be able to post it all here so that I can look back years to come and relive this little stuff.

So here he is. Our beautiful baby boy-
Camden Michael.
born 7/8
6lbs, 13 oz.

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11 days old (b)

And if you haven’t noticed…I am, in fact, totally smitten.

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blackberry ice cream

Last summer, I made my first attempt at blackberry ice cream.  Homemade blackberry ice cream.  Lucky me…I just happened to have an ice cream maker that I’d received for a wedding gift several years back.  Of course, I’d never taken it out of the box, but that’s beside the point.  The first attempt at ice cream turned out well.  Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph it…therefore, I didn’t blog about it.  Truth be told, maybe that was a good thing.  Because it gave me something to do this Memorial Day weekend.  You know, gave me an excuse to make and eat some stinking good ice cream.

blackberry ice cream

Truth is, it wasn’t terribly hard to make. And remember, if I can make it, anyone can make it.

blackberry ice cream
ingredients:
2 pints fresh blackberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups half & half
1 cup sugar

5 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

equipment needs:
fine mesh strainer
ice cream maker

directions:
Add blackberries to medium saucepan, adding 1/4 cup sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon. Cover and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes.
Drain using the fine mesh strainer, pressing the berries until as much juice as possible has been extracted. Set juice aside.

Next, heat half & half and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a separate sauce pan over low heat. Turn heat off once mixture is totally heated through.

In a separate bowl, add heavy cream. Set aside.

Beat egg yolks until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the yolks by drizzling 1 1/2 cups of half and half/sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Next, pour the egg/half & half mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the half & half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat until the mixture is thick. Stirring constantly. No really, keep stirring.

Drain the custard mix using the fine mesh strainer. Pour into the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Add blackberry juice to the cream/custard mixture and stir well.

Chill mixture completely, then follow your ice cream maker instructions.

See, easy.
bberry diptych

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Getting the nursery ready

Things are definitely in the home stretch with this pregnancy.  Today I hit the 34 week mark.  Yeap, horrifyingly close.

We’re also in the home stretch of finishing up the nursery.  And while I would love to post some pictures of it, I haven’t exactly taken any.  So, I decided to at least share a little idea of one of the things that will be in the nursery- family photos. Or rather, young photos of the soon to be grandparents and well, Ashley and me.  I haven’t gotten all of the photos in yet, but here’s what I have so far:

ashley at 3
{that’s Ashley at 3}

Cute katie (what happened)2
{yeap, that would be me…also at 3. should I be worried that ashley and i had the same haircut?}

pop pop
{my dad…who I am now referring to as pop pop}

momma lyn
{and my mom…in what appears to be one of the cutest and most creative outfits I have ever seen}.

 

I promise to post photos of the actual nursery soon…guess I might want to finish it first.  And good news…I actually baked the other day.  And took photos of it! Stay tuned, I may actually have a food post soon!

xoxo-

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WTW – Fun With Leftover Halloween Candy {guest blogger- amy}

Hi guys! Katie here. I’m taking a mental holiday today (for no real reason) so I’ve asked the incredibly brilliantly humorously talented Amy from Fix It Or Deal to help fill in for today’s White Trash Wednesday installment. And in typical Amy fashion, she has brought her A-Game. And instead of taking up anymore time, I’m going to let Amy get right to it….

I did not have any trick or treaters visit my house this Halloween. I expected as much because there are not many young children in my neighborhood and the few that there are get chauffeured to nicer, more brightly lit neighborhoods for candy. Even though I knew that I probably wouldn’t have any goblins begging at my door, I still bought enough candy to choke a zombie. Why? I don’t know. Call me an optimist. My candy cauldron is always half full.

 
Now, there is the pressing issue of what to do with all the leftovers. Well, I filled a gallon size freezer bag and left it in the break room at my office with a sign stating, “My chronic over-preparedness is now supplying your 3 o’clock sugar fix.” That put a large dent in my candy stockpile, but it did not exhaust it.
 
Then, one evening while enjoying a glass of red wine in front of the television, inspiration struck. The following drink recipes are the results of my little brainstorm.
 

Sangria

1 small orange Pixy Stix
1 glass red wine
Mix together in glass or just chase a mouthful of candy with a swig of wine.
 

Mulled Wine

1 small orange Pixy Stix
1 glass red wine
1 Atomic Fireball
Mix together and zap in the microwave for one to two minutes. Stir and enjoy!
 

Chocolate Martini

1 fun size Milky Way, chopped
2 oz vodka
Combine in a blender and liquefy on high for one minute. Don’t bother looking for your martini glasses. Who are you trying to impress? Just drink it straight from the blender pitcher you prima donna.
 

Chocolate Covered PB&J

two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
two small grape Pixy Stix
4 oz vodka (or more for courage)
Combine in a blender and liquefy on high for one minute. Drink straight from blender pitcher while contemplating exactly how your life went horribly, spectacularly wrong. Seriously. And call your mom, she’s worried sick about you.  

 

 Reason #412 why I love Amy. Thanks sweets for what might rank as the best WTW post to ever grace this little blog.

For those of you who are new to Amy, why don’t you head on over to her little corner of the internet at Fix It Or Deal. Trust me, you may never want to leave.


 

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WTW – Results are in.

Well kids, the polling has ended and you guys have spoken.

Tater Tot Casserole – 43%
Mountain Dew Apple Cobbler – 37%
Corn Dog Casserole – 20%

It looks like I’ll be making a fine casserole of the Tater Tots.
Let’s just hope I live to talk about it.

 

I just want to give a personal thank you to those of you who did not vote for the corn dog casserole.  You love me.  You really love me!

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Witch’s Brew

While visiting with my neighbors the other night, their son, this little guy:

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gave me the cutest little Halloween treat ever…
a bag of Witch’s Brew.

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And since we’re in the home stretch for all things Halloween, it needed to be shared…

Because who doesn’t love bat bones?
Or pigeon poop?
Or ghost noses?

I know I do.

So if you’ve got any last minute Halloween treats to whip up, this one should definitely go on your list.

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My new toy and a recipe

before-after kitchen aid mixer

You may, or may not, have heard, but I kind of had a birthday last week.  {Shhhh…we don’t talk about age around these parts…} But gifts…we do talk about.  And that pretty little cobalt blue thing staring at you, well, that was one of my gifts.  I love it for so many reasons. 

It comes with the hope of being able to make some beautifully tasty desserts.  And it’s shiny. And pretty.  And blue. And I love it.

And I decided it had to be used, regardless of my kitchen skills.  So as I was reading Bon Appetit Hon the other day, I realized that she had shared the perfect recipe for my first mixer attempt. The recipe originated from 3 Baking Sheets to the Wind as it is one of her fondest food memories. Without going into deep detail, click over to both websites for great recipes and great fun. So oh yeah, the recipe looked pretty fool proof and it required minimal ingredients.  That alone was reason enough to make these little beauties.

So I did. And they were delicious.  Light, buttery, and rolled in confectioner’s sugar. Win-Win-Win.

russian tea cookies

If you’re up for giving your stand mixer a test run, take my advice and make these.

Oh and by the way, they’re called Russian Tea Cakes.

1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Combine the flour and 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and almond extract until smooth.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.

Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them about 1 inch apart on the prepared sheets.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Allow the cookies to cool completely before rolling them in the 1/3 cup powdered sugar.

Thanks to Wendi and Ali for making my first Kitchen Aid Mixer experience an incredible one!

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Cars and curbs

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A few weeks back sister and I went out for lunch. We hit up my favorite sandwich place, enjoyed some cookies, and headed back to the office. But we had the misfortune of hitting some midday Atlanta traffic. So I did what any annoyed driver would do…searched for an alternative route out. Seemed pretty safe.

As I’m looking for my escape, sister says, “curb!” Okay, so great, there’s a curb. But because I’m me, I drive right over it. We laugh and laugh and laugh…And then in a matter of minutes, I nail ANOTHER curb!

It’s true kids. Turns out I hit curbs.
A lot.
And because my sister has a pretty hysterical sense of humor, this is what I came home to today:
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My very own life in the form of a cake.
With a little red ambulance for good measure.

So this is your fair warning kids. If you see a black 4Runner in your path, just sit back and wait. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts if there’s a curb anywhere nearby, I’m going to hit it.

Thank you Sister.
This cake made my day.

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Halloween Bars

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Halloween is getting close and I’m doing all I can to get in the spirit. The 85 degree temperature isn’t helping much, so I’m forced to buy cheap decorations and treats to get me in the seasonal mood.

That’s okay because I really do love the cheap decorations and the throngs of candy bars sitting in a big plastic bowl on my kitchen counter. And sometimes I just enjoy baking those Halloween treats. So that’s exactly what I did. I found a recent Betty Crocker mini magazine and scooped a recipe straight from it. This one was for Halloween Goody Bars, but I’ll just call them Halloween Bars. Even if they were super good.

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cup quick cook oats
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1, 14oz., can sweetened condense milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter, softened
3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces (or if you have the patience, orange and brown M&M’s)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13×9 in. pan with cooking spray
In a large bowl mix oats, flour, sugar, salt, and 1 cup butter with a spoon. Stir in pecans. Remove 1 cup, set aside to use later as the topping.
Press remaining mixture into pan.
In a saucepan, cook condensed milk, chocolate chips, and 2 tbsp butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture has turned into a smooth and creamy goodness.
Spread chocolate mix over crust.
Sprinkle with candies and reserved oat mixture, pressing oat mix into chocolate mixture.
Bake 23-25 minutes or until set.*
Cool completely- around 2+ hours. Cut into bars.

*Mine took over 35 minutes to cook completely, then again my oven is almost as old as I am.)

Ps. these bad boys are rich.  Enjoy with a giant glass of cold milk.
Pps. I have about 10 sitting downstairs. Feel free to stop by and take them away from me. Like I need a chocolate covered buttery oat and sugar bar. Yeap, just like I need a hole in my head.

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Lazy recipe

I don’t know about you, but I’m always wishing for more hours in the day.  You get up, go to work, spend far too much time on a commute, get home, attempt to unwind, walk the dogs, cook dinner, goof around on the computer, go to bed.

Either I’ve got too much on my plate or I’m completely inept at time management. So most nights all I want to do is snap my fingers and have dinner magically appear on the table.  Unfortunately, I’ve yet to conjure up that fairy.  So I make my fallback dish.

Pasta.

In some form or another, we eat a lot of pasta in my house. It’s cheap. It’s easy. And it’s incredibly hard to screw up.

This may also be the reason why I gain weight.  Ah, at least I’m happy.

So for this one, you need 5 ingredients:
farfalle (bow tie) pasta
pesto
chicken
olive oil
sundried tomatoes
(salt and pepper)

directions:
heat oil over medium heat.
dice chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook in oil until browned.
meanwhile, boil pasta until al dente. drain.
once chicken is cooked through, add pasta, sundried tomatoes, and pesto.
toss together to coat well.

Optional extras:
crushed red pepper
minced garlic

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And now you can go have that glass of wine you want while you unwind instead of wasting anymore time slaving over a hot stove.

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