pictures, words, food, adventures and once in a while, something random

Archive for April, 2012


Bad weather always looks worse through a window.  ~Author Unknown

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re never short of it.  It was one of the things that kept me from moving here.  But now, it is one of the reasons I love it here.  Rain may resemble gloom to some, but when those little silver drops come down from the sky…

trees grow…

flowers bloom…

a plant’s thirst is quenched.

Let’s not forget a rainy weekend gives us an excuse to sit by the fire and be lazy, read a book, spend some true quality family time.  There’s an upside to everything.

The perfect complement to a rainy day is my bacon clam chowder with cheddar garlic biscuits.


Red velvet cupcakes with buttercream icing

I made few dozen red velvet cupcakes for a surprise baby shower for my baby sister and thought I might share the recipe, since it was very much liked.  The hardest part was refusing to dip my fingers in the batter while mixing the ingredients and sampling them after.  Thank goodness for my daughter and her friend for being my victims testers, although eventually I gave in and had some myself.  I know traditionally, the preferred icing for red velvet is cream cheese.  I paired it with my favorite buttercream and it actually turned out great.  Enjoy!

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine, which she found on


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 160 | Total Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg (By ESHA Nutrient Database)

Servings: 20.  Prep Time: 30 Min.  Cook Time: 20 Min.  Ready In: 50 Min

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.


Buttercream Icing

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 181 | Total Fat: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 12mg (By ESHA Nutrient Database)

Servings: 20.  Prep Time: 15 Min.  Ready In: 15 Min

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.


Fiddler on the roof

If I were a rich man, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I’d biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man….

I can’t say the ducks are back, because for these guys… they hang out on our street all year.  Their favorite spot is my neighbor’s roof.  We walk past it to the bus stop every morning, so the kid decided to name them “Fiddler and his wife”.  I asked, “Why Fiddler?”  Her response “Because he’s always on the roof.”  And I asked “How do you know it’s a girl duck and boy duck, what if they’re both dudes?”  She proceeded to explain the distinguishing marks and corrected me by stating the male is called a drake and the female a hen.  So I asked one more question… “Why are they called ducks then?”  She said “If you need to know more, just google it mom.  Right now we have to get to the bus stop”.