Monday, June 18, 2018

Oreo Pan Sugar Cookies

Add Oreos to a vanilla shake, and all of a sudden
you have an over the top shake. Add Oreos to
frosting, and you will want to eat it by the spoonful!
Now add Oreos to sugar cookies and top it with Oreo
frosting, and people will be begging for more!

I made some Oreo frosting for a chocolate cake
for my grandson's birthday, and took a swipe
from the whisk and it was instant love! I
didn't stop there with my usual one taste, I
went ahead and cleaned off the whisk and went
on to clean out the bowl.  This is truly addictive.

I knew I had to create some other vehicle for
the Oreo frosting so I decided to make my go
to pan sugar cookies for a crowd and top it with the
Oreo frosting.  I made these for our Young Single
Adult Ward and they disappeared off the platter,
even though it makes over 50 cookies.

I love anything that I can make it my big bun pan
as we often have 50-70 kids for the dinners.

Afterwards, my niece asked me to make her some
for a group that was coming to her house.  We ended
up just making a batch of the frosting and she took
graham crackers to dip in the frosting.  She said she
liked that even better, so if you just want the yumminess
of the frosting and don't want to wait for cookies
to bake, have it with grahams.  Remember when we used
to have that for a treat as kids?  I even remember having
that as a treat in Kindergarten and that was 
many many moons ago!

Oreo Frosting

1 C. butter, softened 
5 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla, preferably clear
3-5 T. water or milk
6 Oreos, crushed

Place softened butter, powdered sugar, vanilla
and 3 T. water in mixing bowl with whisk 
attachment.  Begin to whip it.  Add water
1 T. at a time to get a soft frosting consistency.
Beat for 5-7 minutes, scraping sides.  
Whip in crushed Oreos.  Crush a few
extra Oreos for garnish.

Oreo Pan Sugar Cookies

1 C. butter, softened
2 C. sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla, preferably clear
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring
5 C. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
8 Oreos, crushed

Heat oven to 375.

Cream the butter and sugar in a large
mixing bowl.  Add the eggs one at a time
until incorporated. Mix in the flavorings. Scrape sides of bowl.

In a medium bowl mix the flour, salt and soda.  
When the sugar mixture is light and fluffy, mix in the flour
mixture and combine well.  Then stir in the crushed Oreos.

Spray a 13x18 inch pan with Pam and press the 
dough into the pan and smooth out.

Bake for about 13 minutes.  You can easily overbake
these, and they are better underbaked than overbaked.
Take out of the oven when the top looks dry.  Cool 
completely and frost with Oreo Frosting. Garnish
with additional crushed Oreos.

If you are one of those who loves to scrape out
the frosting of Oreos and eat it,
this will give you that Oreo fix!!

Make these for your next large gathering, or just
a bowl of the frosting for dipping!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Smoothie Bowl

I had my first smoothie bowl last summer and 
then again when we were down in Cabo, and
hubby and I fell in love.  Smoothie bowls are the
perfect breakfast or even dessert for summer.

We are headed to Lake Powell next week and
this will be featured on our menu for breakfast.

My Week of Lake Powell Menus are always one
of my most popular posts for the summer.  I noticed
people are already reading them.  We don't do hot dogs
and plain old hamburgers when we houseboat at
Lake Powell - everyone does their best to cook a
great meal.  Look forward to my week's menu
after we get back.  

Of course you can mix it up every time you make
one, but this smoothie bowl features items that we
almost always have around the kitchen.

Smoothie Bowl Recipe

1-2 bananas, cut into pieces
1 handful of blueberries,
1 handful of raspberries,
6 - 8 strawberries,
1 orange peeled
1 C. ice cubes

Place everything in a blender until smooth.
You want the smoothie to be thick so that
it is spoonable and the toppings won't sink to
the bottom.  You can substitute frozen fruit for
the ice cubes if you want.  

This should make enough for two people.  Divide
into two bowls and top with fresh fruit and sprinkles of
granola, coconut or nuts - anything you love that gives
it some texture and flavor.   Eat right away.  

So easy and quick and refreshing and 
perfect on a hot summer day.

Enjoy all the fun tastes of summer.  Add some pineapple, mango,
or any fruits you love.  

I told my friends the other day,
"I have waited my whole life for summer!" 
Enjoy every minute of it for it flies!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Roses and Peonies Table

Oh Spring, you pass too quickly!  

I just love all of the blossoms at this time of year
and so I had to capture the next bush of my
peonies and mix them with some fabulous
roses I cut the other day.

The soft pinks just begged to be set off by pure whites
in this quilted and ruffled table runner and my
square chargers and plates.

I love the mix of the squares with the rounds
in these plate stacks.

These peonies are off another bush I have and
they are a little more pale pink than the blush
ones I posted on IG the other day.  I have a bush
of hot pinks, but it only had one bloom this year!

A simple napkin ring created by a hanging
crystal and some ribbons and flowers.

I used my Mother's Fostoria glasses.  I love how heavy
they are, so I don't worry about the kids using them.
I can also find replacement pieces on Ebay, so that is nice.

I just can't get over these roses.  I tried ordering some
but they just called today and left a message that it
was too late to plant.  I will have to wait until next year.

This beauty has little stripes of pink in her coloring.

The ruffled runner just adds the perfect feminine touch.

And look, a fairy queen dropped her shoe as
she was visiting the spring garden.

I hope your gardens are blossoming and bringing joy
like mine is.  Mine is small, but we sure enjoy it.

Thanks for stopping by.  We love sharing our garden,
our home and our food with you.

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Friday, June 1, 2018

Tales of the Traveling Tote

Welcome to another Tales of the Traveling Tote,
where a lovely group of bloggers take their wonderful
MacKenzie-Child's totes with them to explore
and share all kinds of new places.

Whew, we have had too much fun this spring.
Hope you enjoy traveling along with Miss
Madi K and me!!

Welcome to the Royal Towers of the Atlantis Resort!
(Our room was in the left set of towers.)

Miss Madi K and I found our new happy place
this spring as we traveled to the Bahamas and
stayed in this wonderful resort.  

One of our friends and neighbors (on your right)
is an engineer and architect and he is famous for
engineering resort swimming pools.  He has worked
one the Atlantis pools and is currently working on 
the pools for a new Atlantis resort being built in
Hawaii.  We have talked about going to visit the
Atlantis, and hubby and I had stopped there on a
cruise - but truly we only had a few hours there,
and knew that we wanted to come back for a stay.

The Atlantis is a popular destination for cruisers because
of its amazing waterslides and waterpark.  When we had
visited on a cruise, we were dropped off at 8:00 but were
then told we couldn't get in the water until 10:00.  It 
appears they have changed that to 9:00 now.  Within
two rides, a downpour began - it was a deluge and they
made us evacuate the pools as the lifeguards could not
see well enough to keep us safe.  Even after the rains
stopped, we weren't allowed back into the pools, so we
had spent about $200 each and got two rides.  The cruise
was great and gave us half of our money back when we
explained the situation.

Needless to say, we hadn't received much of an experience
there.  While it was raining, we were able to explore The Dig -
amazing underground fish tanks that pretend that they
really have found Atlantis, and they show you
 some of the relics.
They even have the sound of digging and tinkering
in the background, similar to Indian Jones wait line. 

The lobby and architecture follow this theme of a
found Atlantis.  We found that to be just awe inspiring.
I enjoy architecture more than art, so this was such a
fun place to go and to explore as every little space was
filled with architectural details.

This is the fountain at the front of the resort.  Definitely
an over-the-top experience all around.

Because there are so many cruisers there from early morning
until about 4:00, we found an out of the way oasis that
became our favorite spot - The Coral Pool.  The Coral Pool
is located on the older end of the property by the Coral Towers,
which were presently undergoing renovations.  You can tell
that the Coral Pool had recently been renovated.

We decided to splurge on a Cabana, since there were two
couples and we could share the cost.  It was perfect for
the gentlemen who needed to plug in their computers and
do a little office work while on vacation.

You can see the cabanas in the back of this picture.  
These fun sun pads were at the edge of the pool, but
offered no shade from the intense sun in the Bahamas.

This was another fabulous sunning spot with
all of these beds on the platform.  Of course Miss Madi K
and I had to try them all out.

But in the end, we loved the luxury and partial shade of the
cabanas, and ended up renting one each day for the rest
of the week!

Each cabana had a very attentive steward who
made sure we had cold water, fresh towels and
of course drinks and lunch.  We enjoyed these chocolate
shakes daily!

I have never experienced a more varied and fun pool area.

These are the main pools and they are huge.  There were
always lounge chairs available, despite the crowds.

Of course with a week, we had lots of time for slides.
This is the shark tank at the bottom of the pyramid
slides.  If you took the enclosed tube, it dropped
you here to the left with the square tube and it was a
slow ride through the sharks.  If you took the
open ride, you raced through the round tube on
the right and never really saw the sharks.  We enjoyed
the ride on the left.

Here is a close up of the square tube.  The sharks would
just lay on top of the tube watching you go by.

The rooms in the Royal tower were nicely done 
and spacious.

And the baths were beautiful too.  I had read some
reviews that really complained about the rooms, so
I had to do a review and show pictures as a rebuttal.
We thought they were great.

As seafood lovers we enjoyed fabulous meals every night.
There were also a lot of bad reviews about the price
of the food, but there were many options - some fancy
restaurants, but plenty of places to get pizzas, burgers
or Italian that were reasonable.

And of course, there were exceptional desserts.
One place not to be missed was their darling ice cream
parlor.  They had the smoothest, creamiest ice cream.
After we found it, we brought ice cream out to the pool
every day.

Just a small example of a fabulous dessert!
The Titanic at the most delicious Italian restaurant -
Carmines.  This restaurant was very family friendly
and reasonable and every bite we had was amazing.

Of course, you know me, I started scheming on
how I could take my kids and grandkids here.
We love the pools at the Grand Wailea on Maui,
but I think they would love this even more.  It was
a magical week.

Next we went the opposite end of the spectrum and
Miss Madi K was dragged down to the desert
outside Moab, Utah, for Glamping.  This was one
of my bucket list items, and it didn't disappoint.

Our large tents were on wooden platforms and
came with a wood burning stove (in the shadows
to your right).  

Since it was April, the small wood burning stove did a
nice job taking the chill out of the air.

  I said I might only do this once
in my life, so I wanted to try out the tent with the
bathroom.  They had nice bathroom trailers with
showers too, but it was wonderful not to have to
walk to the bathroom.

The showers were so nice after a day out in the desert.

The decor was so attractive and comfortable in each tent.

This was their amazing lobby where you could go and
get warm drinks and fruit in the morning,
or enjoy a gas fire and live music at night.

They also had a nightly campfire and the makings for
S'Mores around the campfire every night.  It was fun to
gather around the fire and meet people from all over 
the world who had come to see the beautiful red rocks
in Moab.

You just wouldn't believe where these machines 
and jeeps can take you.

Miss Madi K quite loved her Glamping experience.

To find out more about Glamping visit
Under Canvas.  They have several locations
through the West.

On our final spring trip, Miss Madi K got to travel
to the MacKenzie-Child's mother store in NYC.
My first exposure to MacKenzie-Childs was in Las
Vegas at Bellagio's Giardini Garden Store.  I instantly
fell in love with their whimsical items.  We were so
excited to get to come to the store in New York.
Sorry the pictures weren't that great because,
of course, there was scaffolding.

The sales clerk loved my vintage bag and said people
come in looking for it all of the time.

We had fun shopping and filled our shopping bag,
 which was hand-carried onto the plane 
on the way home.

I have always loved traveling to New York at
Christmas time, but it was so exquisite in April.

We had light rain a couple of days, but
look at how magical it made these flowers.

There were magical blossoms everywhere!

Even in Chelsea Market.  There were no blooms left on the Highline, but that was still fun to walk on.

 On our outing that day I had to take my sister and niece
to see The Plaza, so Miss Madi K wanted her picture taken
on the checkerboard entry.

One of my foodie bucket lists was to eat at Black Tap -
up toward Central Park and MacKenzie-Childs,
so we were right in the neighborhood.  

I follow them on Instagram.  My favorite silly comment on
reviews for their shakes were that they were too much sugar!

Duh!!!  Look at what you are ordering.  They were so delightful,
and definitely make a mess while consuming.  The burgers
were great too, but it was the shakes that had lured me here.

I had worried about an hour wait time in
line, but when we walked up, there wasn't a 
soul in line.  When we left, this was the line.
I think the rain blessed us that day!!!

I already did a post about our theater experience there,
seeing Harry Potter and the Curse Child, Frozen and Hamilton,
but we also got to go to a taping of Jimmy Fallon.  That was
a really fun experience, and he was so gracious and friendly.
He spent a long time in the audience answering questions
during a break in taping.  I would highly recommend that

Miss Madi K came home and wasn't even exhausted from
walking ten miles a day!

Join our other fun bloggers and see where their
Traveling Totes
have been.

Come along and travel with:
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda P with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
Jackie and Miss Madi K @ Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess De Monet @ The Sketchy Reader
Lea and Miss Scarlett @ Cici's Corner

And participate in our giveaway to win this fun 
MC gift. Visit Katie with Miss Daisy at
The Preppy Empty Nester and leave
a comment to enter.

Hope you continue traveling with us each quarter
as we take our Traveling Totes to all kinds of places.

Thanks for visiting today.  It is always fun to 
have you.

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