Easter Parade

luckkywilliamson1's Easter album on Photobucket

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's Petit Fours

These petit fours for Valentines Day are so much fun and
so easy to make.
This is one of those recipes that is perfect for the kids
to help with as you can use ready made ingredients
and they are pretty much fool proof.


All you need is:

1-2 packages Sara Lee Pound Cake
(in the freezer section)
Betty Crocker ready made frosting
decorations

Slice the pound cake into thin layers
and frost one side with desired frosting
and sandwich them together.


Using a small cookie cutter, cut the sandwiched
cake into desired shape.


I got two out of each "sandwich"
I love the Sara Lee because it cuts so cleanly
and there is very little crumb.


Place the sandwiched cake on a cooling rack with a
piece of parchment paper or waxed paper underneath.

Spoon about a cup or half of the can of frosting
into a microwave safe bowl.  Heat in the microwave
for about 15-20 seconds or until soft.  Stir
trying to not add air bubbles.  Spoon over the cakes
trying to cover all sides.  Use the spoon to fill
in any gaps.


The excess frosting can be scraped back into the bowl and
reheated.  You don't want to put the whole can in at
once because it does get a little stiff the more you microwave
it.  Let the frosting cool slightly so that your decorations
don't slide right off.  You want it slightly tacky when you
apply any candy decor.

Use a sharp knife to loosen the petit fours from the
cooling rack after the frosting has comletely dried.

Each pound cake will make about 12 petit fours if
you sandwich them, depending on how thick you
make the layers.






Vary the color of your frosting and the type of candy
and serve up a platter of beautiful treats.

Too easy and too fun.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cinderella Is Proof....


I saw a quote on Pinterest -
Cinderella 
is proof
that a new pair of shoes
can change your life.

Don't most women love shoes?
I have heard that it is because they always
fit even if we gain weight.

But I think it is because they are little
works of art.
(Sorry men, I can't say that about your shoes!)


I found this beautiful pair of shoes
in Las Vegas at Shooz 
while at Miss America and thought
they were just too fun and too pretty
and so I had to have them for Spring.

I don't know that they are really going
to change my life, but I have them sitting
out as a decoration on my dressing table until
Spring arrives - inspiring me.


I also received this little shoe for my
birthday.

Can you tell what it is?


It is a tape dispenser by Scotch.  My good friend
Ann gave it to me.


She admitted that she added the bling! 

Don't you just love it?

I am an admitted shoe-a-holic and
these both brought a smile to my face!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese New Year - Hot Pots



January 23rd was Chinese New Year this year
and one of our favorite ways to dine at home
Chinese style


is to have a Chinese Hot Pot.




We love to serve this dinner on the coffee
table in front of the fireplace with everyone
sitting on cushions.


It makes a really fun party atmosphere.


My husband does business in China and brought
me home this beautiful replica of one of the clay soldiers.


He stands guard over our table today.


I was so impressed that my hubby was able to carry
this clay soldier half way around the world
without it breaking.


Look at the detail on his uniform.




I got the Chinese hot pots at least 20 years ago in 
San Francisco
when my sister Jean lived there.  We bought them
at Cost Plus World Market.  We went right home
and made dinner with them.  It is one of my fond
memories of San Francisco with Jean.


The hot pot is filled with hot seasoned broth and each
person places their vegetables and meats in the hot
broth and then scoops them out with little wire
scoops as they cook.


It is then eaten on top of sticky rice.
It is one of those fun interactive dinners that 
everyone loves.


The pot is heated with charcoal if you are eating
outside or Sterno if you are eating inside.


I love the geometric 
clean shapes of the chargers, plates and bowls
that come together to give this table a sleek
Oriental feel.


Everything was done in black and white
with the punch of color in the beautiful
yellow mums.





The yellow mums play well with the gold accents
on the black and gold chopsticks and the brass
wire baskets.






The plates/bowls have beautiful curved lines and 
with their triangular shapes and thick beveled edges, they
are quite the statement makers.


I hope you enjoyed your visit here at
Purple Chocolat Home today.
May 2012 bring you great fortune.

Pull up your coffee table in front of the fireplace
and set a fun Oriental table.  Kids and adults love
the great setting.


I had to laugh at my fortune.  I decided to open another
and it said the same thing!  I guess I need to keep practicing!


I will be posting this with

Sources:
Triangular plates/bowls - Tai Pan
Square small bowls - Tai Pan
Square chargers - Tuesday Morning
Chopsticks - 1st Oriental Market (local)
Napkins - Home Goods
Black goblets - Pier 1 years ago
Mums - Costco
Hot Pots - Cost Plus

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie (In My Opinion) Spiked With Almond Flavoring!


People ask me what my favorite chocolate chip cookie
is and I have to tell them that this 
Almond Spiked Chocolate Chip Cookie
is hands down my very favorite.


If you love almond flavor like I do, you
will love these too.


Hubby likes milk and I like semi-sweet so I 
combined both for the cookies today.


I love to use my small scoop to make the cookies
uniform.

(raw dough)

And I always bake on parchment paper when
I make cookies.  It helps them to keep from
spreading and from over-browning.


Almond Spiked Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1 C. real butter
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. white sugar
2 large eggs
4 tsp. pure almond flavor
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips or a combination

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars.
Mix in the eggs and the flavoring.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, soda, baking
powder and salt.  Add it to the butter mixture and
mix thoroughly, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Scoop onto parchment paper lined baking sheets
and bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes.  I like to bake 
mine just until the tops are dry.  Take them out of 
the oven and let them sit on the pan until cool enough
to handle.  This way the centers are soft and gooey
and the bottoms are not overbaked.



These were perfect for a cold snowy winter day.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Miss America 2012


I have hardly been home during the month of
January so I haven't gotten much blogging done.
I spent a whole week in Las Vegas for the
Miss America Competition.  Here I am with
Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan.
Theresa was the youngest ever Miss America
crowned at the age of 17.  She was also the
only contestant from Nebraska to ever win
the title of Miss America.

You couldn't meet a sweeter, nicer, more mature
young woman.  Every person I saw her engage 
with felt her warmth and sincerity.  Truly it was 
a delight to get to meet her.


I was there with our Miss Orem who
will be competing in June for Miss Utah, 
Hannah Harkness.  Hannah was one of my
Young Women and she and her family invited
me to attend Miss America with them.


Here she is meeting Teresa.

I would not say that I am someone interested
in pageants, but I have now twice had the
opportunity to attend Miss America with
young women in my neighborhood, this year
with Hannah and in 1996 with Miss Utah, 
Amanda Moody.  In both cases it was a lot
of fun to see the whole process following 
the competition all week long.


A lot of time was spent trying on formal gowns
at the trunk shows where girls can get competition
gowns at a discount.  Hannah chose a Sherri Hill
gown and got to meet Sherri, the designer.


Not a gambler, I had a lot of fun shopping
for shoes and clothes


and eating, eating and eating.

I had never heard of Hash House A Go Go!
Don't you just love that name.  Their motto is
"Twisted Farmhouse Food".  I don't know about
twisted, but exceptional and huge definitely describe
their portions.


Biscuits and gravy with mashed potatoes,


Pork tenderloin benedict with a BBQ cream sauce (absolutely killer),


Coconut and mango pancake (18 inches across),


Chicken and asparagus skillet with a biscuit that
must be 4 inches tall,


and my dish, Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles. 
I had heard and read of this Southern classic dish so
I just had to try it.  Wow!  This is a must try.  If
you are in town Hash House a Go Go was a foodie
paradise.


Another recommendation would be Mon Ami Gabi
at the front of the Paris Hotel.  Outside seating will get
you front row seating to the Bellagio fountains across
the street but you have to wait for those seats and
they are crowded from the moment they open until
they close.  We ate inside.


Your meal starts with this wonderful warm bread
that comes in their signature paper bag. 


We sampled all kinds of things.  I loved these
waffle fries as an appetizer.


The famous French sandwich, Croque Monsieur - yum.

It's a good thing we walked everywhere with all of
this eating going on!


Miss Wisconsin was crowned Miss America 2012.
I had to give a loud cheer having been born and
raised in Wisconsin. 
Miss Utah won the swimsuit and physical fitness the
first night so that was fun too.

It was a treat all the way around and I was so glad to
be invited.  A big thank you to my friends, the Harkness family.

It was a very fun and educational week where
Miss Orem learned a lot about the Miss America
pageant and we had a lot of foodie and shopping fun.

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