Summertime Is A Time Of Reflection

WIN_20150702_160411 (2)I enjoy taking a moment from time to time to stop and think. It’s always good to count your blessings daily and not wait until Thanksgiving Day . . .

Yes, I know the date . . . it is summer . . . I want to enjoy this season and I’m willing to wait for now until fall . . . Yes, you read that right.

I know I’ve been known to rush through summer and get going with fall and the excitement of Halloween!! Yes, that does seem to be my most looked forward to holiday . . . but I digress . . .

It seems that we have always wanted summer to be special since we were kids and that “What I Did Over Summer Vacation” essay you had to write. Isn’t it amazing how this assignment was universal throughout the United States and maybe the world or the whole universe. I honestly don’t know if that assignment is still given today . . . I suppose it is a nice ice-breaker for the beginning of the school year, but if you didn’t do anything special like a great vacation, that assignment was absolutely torture. Sure there was playing with the neighborhood kids, riding bikes, roller skating, playing baseball . . . visiting with cousins and grandparents and other relatives . . . even enjoying a delicious root beer float with Grandma on her front porch . . . going to the beach, mountains . . . an amusement park . . . but to have to write about it in class . . . nothing exciting seemed to come to mind . . . and what is exciting to any given age group?

Early this morning, my little Diva and I were out in the backyard . . . it was still dark out. I could hear something . . . a wild something or a neighborhood cat . . . Diva heard it, too. She smelled the grass and started tracking the scent left by something, then heard the noise . . . in the dark it is difficult to know if the intruder was coming towards us or away from us. Diva barked . . . was ready to chase the intruder out of her yard, but came back when I called her. We went inside . . . part of me wanting to get a flashlight to see what was in the yard and part of me didn’t want to know. So, I guess I don’t have a good story to tell you about the intruder in my backyard during the wee morning hours . . . except I was too chicken to explore further . . . I didn’t want to tangle with a skunk, squirrel, raccoon. snake or possum . . . or something of the two legged category . . . or even a ghost . . . I wanted Diva safe in the house with me.

But . . . is it safe in the house? Did someone or something slip inside while we were outside? Wouldn’t we have heard it? You see, random thoughts can go in any direction . . . unexpectedly . . . Now, to be honest with you, I haven’t heard anything going bump in the night (early morning). I know I’m being ridiculous . . . so I’ll end here with this cute video I found . . .

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S’More Bars Recipe

It seems we can’t get our fill of the delightful summer treat S’Mores.

I’m always on the look out for easy recipes that I can make all year round . . . then pretend I’m out camping while sitting in front of my fireplace.

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S’More Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 extra large Hershey Milk Chocolate Bars
  • 1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow creme

I know what you’re thinking . . . what’s with all these ingredients? All you need are graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, but marshmallow creme is a good touch. I’m right there with you. What’s with all the sugar? But instead of fighting the recipe, I decided to follow it — can you imagine? Anyway, stay with me . . .

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking dish.
  3. In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt for a whole 20 seconds and set aside.
  4. Get out the good electric stand mixer and put in the paddle attachment.
  5. You’re going to blend the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until creamy.
  6. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. It will smell yummy.
  7. Set the mixer speed to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  8. Divide the dough in half.
  9. Put down a layer of parchment paper and butter the paper lightly, then press one half of the dough into the baking dish you prepared.
  10. Lift it out. That’s right lift it out and set it aside — this will be the top layer of your s’mores bar.
  11. Now, since this parchment paper thing was so easy, I buttered my pan again and set a layer of parchment in the pan and lightly buttered it before pressing the other half of the dough into the baking dish.
  12. You have a mixture of the bottom layer of your s’mores bars and the top layer set aside ready to use after you put in the filling.
  13. Place the chocolate side by side over the dough layer in the baking pan.
  14. Next comes the marshmallow creme that you’ll want to spread evenly over the chocolate.
  15. Now, this may be a bit tricky, but I’m sure you can do it. You’re going to take the saved dough on the parchment, gently flip it over on top of the marshmallow creme. Fit it in place carefully, not to mess up the marshmallow creme. You did it, right? Right? Hey, where’d you go?
  16. Bake in your preheated oven for 27 to 30 minutes until it’s a light golden brown.
  17. Pull up the parchment paper to get it out of the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
  18. I like to keep it on the paper and transfer to a cutting board, cut into squares and gently lift onto a plate for serving.

They’re delicious, right? This dough does add something special to the old fashioned way of making s’mores. You don’t lose your marshmallows either. It’s all smooth and oozes the delicious chocolate and marshmallow blend.

Now aren’t you glad you tried the recipe? Your family will thank you, too, with the happy smiles on their faces when they’re savoring every delicious flavor.

Thanks for stopping by!

Are There Things To Celebrate This Summer?

Ice cream float

National Root Beer Float Day is August 6

Earlier I posted What’s Next https://twocansonastring.com/whats-next/ and then found out Amazon is having a great Prime Day on July 15 with bigger and better sales than Black Friday . . .

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You’re definitely going to want to get in on the great bargains coming your way with Prime Day!

And, of course, I already mentioned National Root Beer Float Day on August 6.

Then there’s Labor Day the first Monday in September . . .

But from now until Labor Day there is always the need to get ready for a new school year. Some schools are beginning sooner than you may think . . . I know, it seems like summer vacation has just begun, but it’s always good to be prepared Moms and Dads. And Amazon is an excellent place for you to go for all your back to school necessities.

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And some of you parents may be seeing your kids off to college . . . or even returning to college and you have your shopping to do for them, too.

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Oh my! I can hear you saying, “Already?” Well, I’m not one to wait until the last minute, but I do know there are some of you who love the last minute thing . . . it’s the way you do things . . . and that’s fine . . . so let’s see what I have for you to enjoy your summer . . . and you never know what bargains Prime Day on July 15 has in store for you to get your youngsters ready for the coming school year and college, too.  But I digress . . .

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Hopefully, I’ve got you covered for family summer fun and school/college necessities . . . and don’t forget about July 15 and August 6. These are great ways of getting your summer shopping done. And maybe, depending upon Prime Day on July 15, you may get a head start on birthday and holiday shopping.

Thanks for stopping by!

Best Coffee Cake Recipe

Beth’s Starbuck’s Coffee Cake - my sister made this the other day and it was DELICIOUS!! Bakery-quality for sure!

Coffee Cake has always been a favorite of mine!

My friends think I bought this coffee cake from the fancy coffee house . . . I told them I made it, but if they don’t want to believe me . . .

Let’s see if you have the same problem . . . It’s absolutely too good to be homemade . . . I thought homemade was always better . . . it’s less expensive and makes my family and me very happy!

Let’s get this recipe together so you can have it this weekend for your family.

Best Coffee Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix plus the ingredients on the back of the box — now that seems easy enough
  • 2 sticks of cold salted or unsalted butter
  • 2-1/4 cups of flour
  • 1-3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of vanilla
  • Powered sugar for dusting your coffee cake

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F
  2. Make the cake in a large bowl following the directions on the box
  3. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with non-stick spray
  4. Pour the batter into the pan
  5. Bake at 350° F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the center has barely set
  6. While the cake is baking, prepare the crumb topping.
  7. In a large electric mixer bowl combine the butter, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla until it is crumbly
  8. Get the cake out of the oven and break the crumb topping into marble size pieces with you fingers and sprinkle over the top
  9. Put it back into the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes — the topping will begin to look like part of the cake
  10. Let cool fully before dusting with powdered sugar. Dusting works best using a sieve
  11. Cut into squares and serve

It’s easy and the absolute best coffee cake I’ve had in a very long time.

Summer Cupcake Decorating

So many possibilities for decorating cupcakes . . . especially this summer to get your imagination in gear.

What do you think of when I say Summer?

I would imagination a day at the beach with an umbrella . . . and something deliciously cool to drink.
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This may be what you had in mind. These little drink umbrellas are quite festive, but look closer. Yes, it looks like a deliciously cool drink in a coconut. You can make this by using a malt ball — you know those yummy chocolate malt balls — well just cut off the top a bit and add some flower sprinkles and a licorice lace piece for the straw. Now that was easy. You may even want to put two under this umbrella.

Now, let’s not stop there. Summer is fun in the sun . . . and for all of you into summer footwear fashion — this cupcake topper is definitely for you!

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Have you figured it out? These are Pez candies with a flower sprinkle! Amazing, don’t you think. Well, you could combine the two, but it does look like you have a little party going on under this umbrella on top of your cupcake.

I thought these were exciting and wanted to share them with you. I can hear you thinking how this would be wonderful fun to decorate a cake . . . yes, indeed it would with you recreating a whole beach full of umbrellas and these little Pez candy flip flops running all over the cake top in search of a new umbrella party.

Have fun with these!

You may find these links helpful:

Thanks for stopping by!