Thursday, May 27, 2010

A week until my first festival.

Here I am at 1:30 in the morning, a week before my first jewelry show searching and investigating the possibility of learning a new technique. I have so many other things that I should be doing to get ready for this show. But what I want to do is be inspired and make more jewelry. I know I have to stop right now. I have enough inventory. I need to prepare other things for the show. Truly one of the things I love best about making jewelry...I never get bored. There is always a new technique to learn and a new style to develop. Every piece I make leads to another. Sometimes I get so excited about what pops into my mind while making one, I set it aside to quickly make the other and then I return to the trigger piece. I admit to I having several partially unfinished "trigger" pieces laying around.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Living off the land...I mean roof.

I planted my first vegetable and herb garden yesterday. I certainly do not claim to have a green thumb, but I do enjoy planting very much and hope to someday figure out how to grow successfully. I currently live in an apartment and although I do not have a yard I do not let that keep me from the post Mother's day dirt diggin. I hang baskets filled with petunias, geraniums, impatience and whatever else strikes my fancy that year. Some seasons I am very successful and some are a complete flop, but I keep trying. I figure if I knock out a few years of fumbles and failures while I am in the apartment I will be a pro by the time I have a real garden to tend to.

Which brings me to this years experiment, vegetables and herbs. The rooftop of the floor below me extends way past my porch and is hit with direct sunlight all day long. Perfect for growing some edible plants. I myself have never grown anything other than flowers. I purchased a few books, asked some experienced gardeners for tips, went to my Dads garage for some large galvanized tubs and just dove right in. Although I have grand ideas of homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce and fresh vegetables to eat, I do not expect to have too much success come harvest. You learn from your mistakes, and mistakes I am sure I will make. I have fun learning and experimenting with my planting and it is all to build up to the larger garden I see in my future.

Stay tuned to see how my garden grows!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thank you "SweetLady"!

Sweetlady's Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle

This is the trifle that started it all. I made it a few years ago for Christmas and many, many times since. Everyone loves it and asks for the recipe. It is also my Grandmom's favorite so I can't help but make it often for her. Truth be told whenever I am making a trifle to bring to a family gathering I always think about whether or not my Grandmom will like it. She is the boss after all. At least according to my Grandpop she is.

I usually make this one in the winter because it is very rich. Delicious, but rich. Next time I make it I will take pictures for you. This one is a show stopper. Everyone starts salivating as soon as I walk through the door. The full recipe is located at the link below, but I have made a few adjustments over the years.
Click here for Sweetlady's full recipe.

You can tell this isn't my recipe because it contains measurements.
Brownies boxed brownies work just fine. Don't stress yourself too much. Use 3 eggs instead of 2. It makes them a little more cake like and not so dense.

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter I add a little more peanut butter. 
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 (16 ounce) Cool Whip
  • 4 peanut butter cups, chopped. I have made this so many times that I hardly follow the recipe anymore. I just looked over it again and saw she only calls for 4 peanut butter cups. 4?! No way. I use many more. I don't know how many, but it is a lot. At least 8. I don't mix it in the the rest of the filling either. I make it a layer of it's own. Makes it prettier and yummier that way. Plus I crumble some on the top.
  • chocolate syrup


Prep Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 1 hr


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  1. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in large mixer bowl; stir.
  3. Add wet ingredients and stir well.
  4. Spread into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Let cool completely.   
  1. Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth
  2.  Add in peanut butter and milk. Combine.
  3. Fold in Cool Whip until combined.
  4. Take half of the brownies out and crumble in large glass bowl, if you have one, or in a 13x9 pan.
  5. Add a layer of the peanut butter mixture.
  6. Take the other half of the brownies out and crumble on top of the peanut butter mixture.
  7. Put the last half of the peanut butter mixture on top.
  8. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top.
  9. Add the chopped peanut butter cups on top.
  10. Refrigerate until serving time.