Adell’s Baby Shower…..

On Saturday, I threw a shower for my sis-in-law, Adell…….

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Adell is my husband, Jason’s, youngest sister (he has 5 sisters).  Adell and her husband Samuel moved here to Colorado Springs almost 2 years ago with their son Sean, who is now 3.  And since they’ve arrived, another little boy name Wyatt has joined their family too.  So that’s two boys, or 3 counting Samuel, and Adell is totally outnumbered in her own home!  But now she’s having her third child, a little girl to be named…….Camilla.

I threw a shower for Adell because it just simply wouldn’t do to have Camilla in her big brothers hand me downs!  This little gal needed some girl clothes of her very own so we invited all her new friends she’s made since they’ve arrived here in the Springs and we all gathered under one roof (mine) to celebrate the coming arrival of this new baby girl!

The whole theme of the shower was to ‘think pink,’ so I sent out E-vites to everyone and we went nuts with the color pink!  Those are some pics of a very young Adell there on my mantel.

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As everyone arrived, we had them deposit their gift on the coffee table and fill out an envelope with their name and address so Adell would have it ready to go for her thank you notes…..

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The menu consisted of a Monte Cristo Breakfast Casserole with Strawberry Sauce, Yogurt Granola Parfaits, Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries, Apple Tart Bars, Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream frosting and Crispy Bacon Garnish.

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We all gathered in the kitchen to eat and chat before the festivities commenced……

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We had fun guessing the size of Adell’s tummy with our toilet paper  ‘measuring tape’……

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I supplied some diapers for all the gals to write down words or warning or encouragement on a stash of new diapers……

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We all gathered in the living room to give Adell some sound ‘mommy’ advice before she opened the gifts for Camilla……

 

 

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After we ate, drank and made merry, I gathered everyone by the front door to get some snapshots of Adell with her guests…….

 

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And before they all left, they got to take home a bottle of pink nail polish as a thank you for coming and celebrating with us……

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Some snap shots of the decorations……

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It was a great morning!  And we’re all anxious to meet this little girl coming soon to a family near us!

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Sausage Bread Recipe……..

So here’s an oldie but a goodie…..Sausage Bread.

I got this recipe out of a Southern Living magazine years ago and it is a go to recipe for me!  Just took it to my Bible Study Breakfast Potluck this week and it was gobbled down once again!  I heard a lady eating a piece of this bread say, “Some one got  up early and baked this morning!”  Which isn’t true……this recipe had 3 ingredients and is in fact, too easy not to try it out yourself!  And pardon the pictures….these were shot on my old Olympus Camera several years back.  Here’s the three ingredients you’ll need……

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A pound of sausage, a tube of Pilsbury Crusty French Loaf Dough, and some Pepper Jack cheese (I prefer the Pepper Jack but Monterey Jack will do just fine if you don’t like the heat of the Pepper Jack).  You will not need 2 pounds of cheese as listed on the package……8 to 12 ounces should be just fine.

First, spray a cookie sheet or sheet pan with cooking spray.  Open the dough tube and lay it on the greased sheet pan.  Find the seam on the roll of dough and begin to unroll it until it is completely flat.  Don’t stretch it, but shape it into a rectangle, like so.

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Next, open your sausage and place in a skillet to cook and brown.

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When fully cooked, pour into a paper towel lined bowl.

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Then fold up the corners of the paper towel and press to extract as much fat/grease as you can from the sausage.

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Unfold the paper towel and pour the sausage onto the dough surface and spread out gently with your hand until it is evenly distributed over the surface of the dough.  Add the grated cheese to the top of the sausage, distributing evenly as well.  You will look have something that looks like this after you’ve added the cheese.

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Next, you will begin to carefully and slowly roll the dough from one long side to the opposite, like so…..

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When you have reached the opposite side, pinch the seam closed and pinch or tuck the ends of the loaf under.  Make 3 to 5 score marks on the top of the bread with a knife……..

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Then follow the instructions on the tube of dough for baking…..I believe you bake at 350 degrees for 17-25 minutes but do check the package instructions!  Then pull it out of the oven and slice and serve!

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I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Oh Baby Couples Baby Shower…..

I’m……..getting……..older.

I co-hosted a couples baby shower for a “little” gal I had in children’s choir when Jason and I were newlyweds….and she was the ripe old age of 9 (give or take a year there).  Her mom asked if I would help her throw her daughter and hubby a couples shower and without hesitation, I said “YES!”  The shower took place at the end of September in 2012, just last year.  But yes, I’m a delinquent and finally catching up with posting on my new blog!  :O}

Here’s how it went down……..

Wes, the dad to be, came up with the invitation since he is guru of all things graphic!  He called it the “Oh Baby” couples shower…..sorry, I can’t find a picture of the invitation right now……will have to post it later.

This is Lisa….mom to be…..(at this writing the bump is no more and little Hudson has arrived on the planet)…..she’s the little girl I just mentioned above.  But now she’s a grown woman……funny how that happens when you’re not looking…….she’s just lovely standing there with her baby bump, right?

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Here’s the spread Lori, Lisa’s mom, and I created.  It was a co-ed menu…..we tried to think of things that weren’t dainty so that the guys wouldn’t feel like they were out of place.  Since Wes, the dad to be, had come up with the “Oh Baby”  theme, we kept all the food bite sized in it’s mini or “baby” version of itself.  Lori had a HUGE island in the middle of her kitchen so I bought fabric to go with our theme of black and white with pops of green, yellow and blue and made my own custom table cloth.  We also used my collection of galvanized containers for stands and serving pieces………

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Lori made these delicious Cuban Finger Sandwiches…..so yummy……..

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I made these Tomato Soup Shooters…..just tomato soup in mini soup mugs and some Mini Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches to go with the soup…….again……yummy…….

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We had Antipasto Skewers……made by Lori…….

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Individual Shrimp Cocktail Spoons……..also made by Lori……

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Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Sauce……..

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Hot Blue Cheese Dip with Warm Potato Chips……Pretzel Bites with Dip…….and for sweets, we served Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries……..Assorted Chocolate Covered Fruits and Nuts…….

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It was quite a spread……..

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For the drinks, we kept it simple with Citrus Laced Water and Brazilian Lemonade……

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And I made these special straws for everyone’s glass……’Staches for the Guys…….Red Hot Lips for the Gals…….

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And for the featured sweet ending, since it was, after all, a couples baby shower………we served Milk Shots with a 3-teired Oreo Cake……..

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This cake was made with 600 plus Oreos and we had carafes of Chocolate and Whole Milk on ice with individual shot glasses ready for a toss back…..

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This was the EASIEST cake I’ve ever made……plan on doing it again sometime too!  And yes, we had plenty of Oreos left over but that’s not the point, people……having fun was the point!

The gathering was lovely and everyone enjoyed making new acquaintances and catching up with friends and family……..

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And the food was in abundance so everyone was able to grab another “Baby” sized bite if the first wasn’t enough…….

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I also set up a photo booth with plenty of Baby Themed props and some that were just down right silly.  Jason built the frame for me out of PVC pipes and connectors and I got the FABULOUS fabric at IKEA for the backdrop.

Here’s Lisa and her husband, Wes, with their little fur baby, Enzo……..

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Lisa with her Dad and Mom……a.k.a. G-Pa and G-Ma……

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Here’s pics of the friends and family in attendance some not so serious (props included)………..some a little more serious (props not included)……..

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After all this fun…..it was time for Oreos and Milk Shots…….

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Then commenced DIAPER OLYMPICS…………..!!!!!!!!

Four couples decided to participate so each couple had to stand side by side and put their inside arms behind each other’s backs.  Then each couple could use each other’s opposite hand to undress, change the “baby’s” diaper, and redress the baby.  This was the first trial…….

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The top three couples who finished this trial first moved on to the next trial……..milk chugging……..from a baby bottle………

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They only had 4 oz. to chug but it was still a challenge…….

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I told them they could get creative with the last ounce since these “Bigger Babies” were taking so long…….and then there were two couples left for the next trial……..”Binky” Spitting……..

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These “binkies” caught some major air……..see that pink one just hanging there in mid air????  So whoever spit their “Binky” the farthest went home with a gift basket that Lori put together that contained a DVD of What to expect when you’re expecting, some bags of popcorn and candy for movie night at home!  The Diaper Olympics were a big hit!

Then we all reconvened inside to open gifts and played Baby Shower Bingo while the gifts were being opened…….boy, were Lisa and Wes showered!

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My handsome assistant and husband (shown below) brought our printer and we printed out the pictures I took from the “photo booth” while the gifts were being opened.  We printed them, cut them out and framed them in some frames Lori bought as favors for the guests to take home from the shower.  I also made and jarred some “BaByQ Sauce” for everyone to take home with them as a favor too.  We put it out on display on the sofa table so everyone could take their picture, already framed, and a jar of sauce as they departed…….

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The winner of the Baby Shower Bingo game got a gift card to the movies and to a nearby restaurant in their gift basket!  I forgot to get pictures of the gift baskets that Lori put together for these two games we played……oh well.

Then I gathered everyone together in the living room for some group photos before they all left…….

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It was a special occasion and so much cause for celebration…..a little one soon to arrive and to be welcomed to the planet with so much love waiting here for him……..

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Hudson David was born in November 2012 to Wes and Lisa and proud and loving grandparents, Dave and Lori, my good and dear friends.

Check out Wes and Lisa’s blog if you’d like to meet Hudson…….

http://www.thomasbabyfarm.wordpress.com

What a memory we all made together!

Birthday Cake for Lily…….

So if I were on my game, I would’ve posted this back in October when Lily had her 8th birthday.   Better late than never, I guess!

Lily celebrated her 8th birthday in late October and asked me for a “flower” cake so I browsed through my copy of “Hello, Cupcake!” and found a sunflower cupcake make with oreo cookies as the dark center of the sunflower.  Then I pulled out my gi-normous cupcake pan, whipped up a recipe for a double chocolate pound cake, made the cupcake and started icing that flower cupcake.  I used store bought icing per the recipe in “Hello, Cupcake!” but from now on, I think I’ll use my own recipe for icing that really works best when I decorate a cake.

So here’s the final gi-normous cupcake-cake for Lily’s 8th birthday………

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And here’s our lovely 8 year old, Lily with her “flower” cake……..

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Goofy kid……I haven’t a clue where she gets that personality from????????

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It was a good cake with the chocolate pound cake….the icing…..the oreos…….yum!

We had Adell and Samuel and Sean over to celebrate her birthday over breakfast/brunch and then had cake afterwards.

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She’s 8 years old, this one……..

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Lily, I love that you call me, mom.  Sometimes I have a hard time believing that’s who I am to you, but I still like my name………”mom.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Worship Arts Luncheon…….

I am a member of Woodmen Valley Chapel Worship Arts Team and have been for a little over 3 years now.

It is such a privilege to serve alongside the Worship Arts staff and other volunteers who offer their giftings/talents in the areas of creativity, set design, poetry, media, technology, musicianship, vocals……the giftings are endless.

God loves variety and when he orchestrated this fine group of people and then allowed humble me to come alongside them and to serve with them, I have been in awe of how much talent I’ve witnessed come forth from the minds of these brothers and sisters in Christ.

I enjoy cooking and baking.

I love to feed people and watch the expressions on their faces when they’re eating the food I’ve prepared and leave the table feeling nourished and well fed.  It makes me feel like I’ve done them and God a solid good service.

So, for Christmas this past year, I decided to give back to these people who have also become my friends.

So I cooked for them.

I took pictures to document this small moment in time and they seemed to enjoy their food but more importantly their fellowship during lunch that day………

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I brought some candles and a few decorations from home just to add a little ambience.

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The menu consisted of:

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~~  CHIPOTLE ROSEMARY ROASTED NUTS  ~~

~~  CRANBERRY SALSA OVER CREAM CHEESE WITH RICE CRACKERS  ~~

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~~  SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS  ~~

~~  GREEN WINTER SALAD WITH PEARS, BLUE CHEESE & CANDIED ALMONDS

WITH HONEY RED WINE VINAIGRETTE  ~~

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~~  FRUIT SALAD WITH CINNAMON, HONEY & LIME VINAIGRETTE  ~~

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~~  FRENCH ONION SOUP WITH GRUYERE GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS  ~~

~~ LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP WITH TOPPINGS ~~

and for dessert……..

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~~  SANTA HAT BROWNIE BITES  ~~

They loaded their plates…….

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They all sat down to the tables……

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They shared the meal……

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They shared conversation……

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They shared laughter and a few tears…….

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They said goodbye to this gal, Cindy, our friend, whose been the Director of Worship Arts for some time now……..

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It was a sweet occasion to have witnessed.

These people are real………they are genuine in their love for God and all his people.

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That’s what makes them all so attractive.

I am so glad to have them in my life, to know them and to have served them through a meal for a little while.

It was a lovely moment and I know I’ll remember it always.

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What a gift……..what a blessing……..

Birthday Cake for Maggie…….

So our youngest just turned 5!

It’s been all about Hello Kitty this year so I figured out how to make her a Hello Kitty birthday cake…….

My sis-in-law, Adell just moved to town before summer began and she is an avid baker and knows how to decorate a cake!

So she let me borrow her 15-inch round cake pan, which I baked the cake in and then trimmed the top and bottom to get more of an oval shape.
I used the left over batter in a small oval cake pan to make the ears and fashion the classic Hello Kitty bow on the tope of her head.
I really like the engineering/building part of the cake….it’s a lot of fun!

So here’s Maggie with her cake………

Maggie enjoyed that cake!
We all did as a matter of fact.

So this is the first post of “See Kelly Cook.”
I’m looking forward to writing about my culinary journeys here and we’ll see how quickly I learn to navigate this blog and add bells and whistles in the near future!
Come back and visit as you can……I love having guests!