Tag Archives: coffee

Bells Will Be Ringing…Part 2


Back to school new


Hello and welcome back to my back – to – school series re-blog.  As I mentioned last time, I wrote these posts on back – to – school this time last year and thought that now would be a good time to revisit them.  Today’s post will include  Back to School Basics: Let’s Go Shopping (I think you’ll be surprised!) and Back to School Basics: Striking the Right Balance.    I know that I previously said that the last post would be about sending your little munchkin off to Kindergarten, however, I misspoke.  That post didn’t come until much later.  What can I say?  This is what happens when you do your blogging late at night after everyone is asleep and your brain has turned to mush.  Forgive me.  Actually, a post on finding balance is probably more appropriate coming from a woman who has her kids in absolutely everything.  I hope that these posts actually help you get ready for the return to the classrooms.  Summer is slipping away too soon.



What’s in Your Pantry?


I cleaned out my pantry today.  I cleaned the refrigerator, too, but I don’t want to talk about that because for some reason cleaning the refrigerator is work and traumatic. However, cleaning the pantry is refreshing.  You feel organized and energized!  It also gives me a chance to see what we’re low on (Ramen.  My son loves Ramen therefore, we are always running low.) and what we are completely out of.  Granola.  We are out of granola and I really didn’t need to check the pantry because Thing 1 had already let me know of my failure to maintain the granola.  And, in case you didn’t know, it is considered a fail not to keep a well stocked pantry.  I know this because my mother told me so.  She had a HUGE pantry in our basement while I was growing up and  there were always extras on those shelves. With the aid of that massive deep freezer that she kept in the garage,  a meal was always at your fingertips, even if it was Hamburger Helper. I’m not quite that good.  I mean, I keep the basics like peanut butter, honey, oatmeal, some canned soups (for emergencies) and our favorite cereals, among other things.  But then there are some items that I consider necessities that I’m sure my mother would look at me with a raised eyebrow.  For instance…

Pantry Coffee shelf

Here’s my coffee shelf and I go out of my way to keep it stocked.  My mother used to keep one big can of Folgers in the kitchen.  Well, I’m not a strictly Folgers kinda of girl.  Some days I like a full-bodied Sumatran and other days it might be Duncan or an Italian roast. This girl needs variety and let’s face it – I would surely die without my coffee.

I do like to keep a variety of pasta because everyone like pasta.

Pretty Pasta

However, I like my pasta pretty.  Why have plain old spaghetti when you can have tri-colored hearts and flowers?  I like to make a pasta salad with olive oil, garlic and seasonings or pair it with pasta sauces that I find in specialty food stores, salad and bread.  It’s quick and makes everyone happy.

However, I have to admit that because I love to bake, the majority of my pantry is taken up with baking ingredients.  It is inconceivable to me that at any moment, day or night, I wouldn’t have the ingredients to make a really good chocolate chip cookie or a simple 1-2-3-4 cake…no box mix necessary.  Therefore, there are always at least 2 bags of milk chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in my pantry.  Same for baking bars (milk, semi-sweet, unsweetened and white chocolate).  I keep dutch processed cocoa, a really good vanilla (never imitation) and of course extra flour (regular and cake), sugar (white, dark brown, light brown and powdered), baking soda and baking powder.  There are a few other additional fun things, but basically, if you have these ingredients you’re ready.

Baking Pantry collage

I have an obscene amount of sprinkles, sanding sugars and other decorations.  It’s fun to do and the girls love it!  I guess that I can’t really expect all of you to share my passion for baking, but I am going to leave you with a very simple recipe to keep in your back pocket for that moment when your spouse invites a coworker over unexpectedly. Or, when you suddenly remember that you were supposed to bring a dessert to the church pot luck tomorrow. Or when you can’t sleep and you want something sweet so you need to make a cake, then singlehandedly demolish it before dawn.  I’ve never done that…just using my imagination.

Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream and beat well.  Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely and spread cake layers with frosting of your choice.

My Daily Indulgence


Do you have something that you indulge in daily?  Every day is kind of excessive, I know, but it can be something small.  A piece of chocolate (or six pieces of chocolate)?  Ten minutes of solitude?  If you can pull that off, I’m jealous.  Is your workout your sanity saver?  What do you do that is just for you and feels special?

This is my indulgence.

I love coffee!

I love coffee!

 Actually, it’s not really the coffee, but most of the time it’s what it represents.  It’s waking up extra early to a silent house, making a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise from my kitchen window.  It’s my morning treat after dropping the girls off at school and starting my errands.  It’s sitting down with my favorite super sized coffee mug and doing some late night writing or blogging.  It’s grabbing an iced Americano, decaf, with three pumps classic and one pump vanilla with cream (Yes!  It’s that serious) after a day of shopping with one of my friends and being silly on the way home.  It’s (this is my favorite), taking a cup to Big Poppa and sitting in his office and talking the night away.  It’s all good!  So, friends, when I tell you that I am having a cup of coffee, please know that I am in a happy place.


  *This post was written in response to the blog link up on Champagne to Crayons, Day 18: A Daily Indulgence, Celebrating 28 days of Thanks.If you would like to read more posts from my fellow bloggers, click here.

Only For Coffee (or Coffee Cake) Lovers (I think that covers everyone)



I am in need of a cup of coffee in the worst way.  Yet, I am too lazy to get up ad walk down to the kitchen to get one.  Not to mention that it is nine o’clock at night and I probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee this late.  But, I still have so much more to do before bed…it’s not gonna happen.  Don’t you love it when you have this “To Do” list in your head and all day long you keep thinking that it’s possible only to get to the end of your day and come to the reality that it’s not?  Every once in a while I feel really guilty about it.    However, this is not one of those times.  Except, I just realized that thing 2 doesn’t have a clean uniform shirt for tomorrow.  I will definitely take care of that before bed, but that’s it.  Further more, I don’t even like “To Do” lists.  You look at it and all of this pressure builds…instant stress.  Sure, it helps you stay organized but, organization is sometimes over rated.  I say, “DOWN WITH ‘TO DO’ LISTS!”

to do list 2

I am seriously off topic here.  Folks, these are the ramblings of a sleep deprived woman.  My hubby inadvertently woke me up this morning at 4:45 when he left for the gym.  I usually don’t even stir when he leaves but, this morning I stirred all right.  In fact, I was so stirred up that I finally just got out of the bed and showered around 5:30 then snuggled up on the sofa, watched television and, if you guessed that I had a cup of coffee, you would be absolutely correct.  I love the way you get me! I know, I could have actually done something on my “To Do” list but, it was way too early in the morning for you to expect me to function.  I’m not a morning person.  I know this shocks you.

Anyway, it is Wednesday, or at least by the time that you read this it probably will be so you know that this post includes a recipe and it’s still all…about…coffee.  Or at least, coffee cake.  This recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake is a WINNER!  I made this for my in-laws when they came to visit for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it.  It’s easy and perfect if you have to take something to the office or are having a brunch or if your husband wakes you up at 4:45 in the morning and you can’t get back to sleep so, now you’re pouting on the sofa.   Pair it with your favorite tea, milk, coffee, whatever and you will be a very happy person.


2 c. white sugar

1 c. butter (softened)

2 eggs (room temp.)

1 c. sour cream (room temp.)

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease tube or bundt pan. Cream 1 cup butter and white sugar.  Add eggs  one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each.  Add sour cream and vanilla, blending completely.  In a separate bowl whisk together 2 cups flour baking powder and salt.  Add to wet ingredients beating until combined.


1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

2  tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

To make filling, mix together the 1/3 cup four, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon. Mixture will be coarse.

Spread half of the cake batter into the prepared pan.   Sprinkle half of the filling on top of the cake batter then spread the remaining cake batter over the top of the filling.  Sprinkle the remaining filling on the top of the cake.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

My suggestion is that since this is a breakfast/brunch item, let it cool over night and beat everyone up the next morning to enjoy a piece of this cake in solitude.  With a BIG cup of coffee.  I have to go to bed now or else I’m going to turn into a pumpkin.