Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Birthday Blowout.

Our good friends, Lathi & Paul, have birthdays on March 29th and 30th. So they always get to celebrate together - awwww....how fricken' cute is that? And they invited the whole Denneler clan over for fantastic BBQ ribs on Sunday. Of course, I brought dessert.

I'd found these silly animal candles months ago at one of my favorite stores, Frank & Margaret's (which is now closing, dagnabit! sigh....) So I've been saving them for a special cake where they could all be used together. 

Happy Birthday Lathi & Paul!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pistachios + Raspberries = Scrumpdillylicious

Pardon me while I stuff my face full of these delicious cupcakes. Holy cow. I think I've eaten ten of them. In my book, a cupcake is a sugary treat with lots of frosting. But in the February issue of Martha Stewart Living, I found this recipe for Pistachio Cupcakes with Raspberries, and there is no frosting. In fact, they're more like muffins because of all the nuts and berries. I don't care what you call them, I just call them yummy.

Here's the recipe if you're interested. Super simple, and practically healthy (if it wasn't for all the butter, eggs and sugar.) Oh yeah, I guess that's what makes them a cupcake. Silly me.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bea's Hideout.

Whenever we can't find Bea, we just look in the play kitchen fridge, and there she is - just chillin'. I had to take these pictures of her, because sooner than I can imagine, she'll be too big to fit inside her hideout.

Stay small, Bea.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Angry Baker.

It happens. Sometimes, things in my kitchen go wrong. And that's when I become an angry baker. (Eric would argue that this happens every time I got to bake something, but it's not true.)

This week, I had one, simple baking task I needed to tackle while I was on Spring Break with the kids. A friend of mine is hosting a 75th Birthday party for her aunt, and I volunteered to make some party favors - candy buttons in a personalized package. I found these great, antique button molds online and thought "Oh, this will be so simple. No problem."

rong. Wrong-O. Wrong to the nth degree.

After three days and countless hours, I had managed to
only make 20 little bags of these stupid things. (I needed 100). They wouldn't come out of the molds, and every time I tried to pry them out with a pin or something, they'd crack and crumble. So, I moved on to Plan B.
Plan B was button-shaped cookies. Which would have been a great idea, except that my quadruple-batch of purple-colored cookie dough (to match the party theme) turned into a lovely, brown tone once it was baked. Not so good. Plus, the recipe I used made them as hard as a rock. OK. Moving on to Plan C.
Plan C was purple M&Ms. I packed up the kids, headed to Mr. Bulky's in the mall, and bought 12 pounds of purple and white assorted M&Ms. I stuffed them in the bags today, and attached the personalized tags, and I'm calling it good. It'll have to do, because I'm completely out of ideas and time at this point. Ugh. So you see, not everything coming out of my kitchen is a success. And chances are, Eric's had to hear me say "I'm never, ever going to bake, never, ever again." Again.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Chickens.

We took a little trip out to Colby over Spring Break and got to see the new chickens on Uncle Dave's farm. (Technically, Uncle Dave's farm is more of a crop farm, than an animal farm. Unless you consider a herd of canines to be livestock.) Anyway, Bea was braver than Gus when it came to holding the little chicks. I thought she was going to try and squeeze an egg out of this one. But no damage done. Just some frightened feathered friends, and two kids that found one more reason to love going to Uncle Dave's.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Remember that Post-it Note Christmas tree I made for my office in December? Well, ta-dah ... it turned into a fluttering of butterflies - perfect to celebrate the arrival of Spring. All it took was a butterfly paper punch and an aggravated case of carpel tunnel syndrome.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Measure twice, cut once.

What kind of cake do you bake for a 42-year-old woodworker? Why, a forty-two-by-four of course - complete with wood-grained frosting, Tootsie Roll nails, and a real handsaw to slice it in half.
And what do you get a 42-year-old, who could still pass for 30? The kids and I thought he'd enjoy some fitness equipment & accessories: P90X workout DVDs, a chin-up bar, and a new iPod Shuffle. Gotta keep our daddy healthy (and working off all that cake!)
We love you Eric - Happy Birthday.

Bonus: Gus' birthday card to Eric. (Watch out Hallmark.)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lunch Ladies

I had lunch today with two great friends - Jane Nabors and Lathi de Silva. We all met over ten years ago, working together at Sullivan Higdon & Sink. Lots of things have changed over the years - Jane & family moved to Ohio, Lathi got promoted to VP at SHS, and I moved on to WSU - but our friendship is still strong. Jane made a special trip back this weekend just to reunite with old Wichita buddies. (She's always been great about staying connected, no matter where life takes her.) It was so great to see you girls, and thanks for 10+ years of friendship. Let's keep celebrating!

I went on a dinner date with Eric the same night, and here's the fortune that was in my cookie (I hope it's true!):

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Vote for Bea!

Last week, I signed Bea up for the Favorite Face Contest – a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, sponsored by Rylee & Reece and Lisa Hardin Portait Design.

Lisa is an amazingly talented photographer in Wichita. And I was shocked to see Miss Bea's smiling face on the homepage of Lisa's website today!

What amazes me most, is the fact that Lisa was able to get any kind of photo at all that wasn't a complete blur. Bea was a crazy, Tasmanian devil that day and wouldn't sit still for anything. I know exactly the moment when this picture was taken – they gave her an orange M&M and she stopped jumping on the couch for two seconds to smile and chew it up. Whew.

So if you live in Wichita, head to Rylee & Reece on 29th & Rock Road, and vote for Bea, March 10-17th ! (They have the cutest clothes, by the way.) The winner of the Favorite Face Contest gets a gift certificate and a family photo session. Although, I don't know if Lisa can handle another shoot with Bea. She should win an award for Most Patient Photographer.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Pie Guy.

Eric's been baking. Yes, you read that right. Eric's been baking. Last week it was cinnamon rolls, and this weekend it was a cherry pie. I'm not sure what's gotten into him, but both were delicious. In fact, he and I ate this pie in less than 36 hours. Seriously, just me & Eric - we couldn't get the kids to even try a bite. Go figure.

Seeing as he'd never even made a pie before, I'm very impressed with how it looked and tasted. But then, that's how he approaches almost everything:
Hey, why don't you bake us a pie? OK, sure.
Hey, why don't you make us some concrete countertops? OK, sure.
Hey, I bet you could build this curvy dresser? OK, sure.
Hey, why don't you build a shed? OK, sure.
Hey, why don't you try making a website? OK, sure.

He never ceases to amaze me. Whether it's woodworking or pie baking. He's a handy guy to have around, I tell ya.


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