Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Lost Parents

I couldn't help it...I just love this sign. (you know that's what the kiddles think)

View complete posting: Wordless Wednesday ~ Lost Parents

Cyberstalking….Are We At Risk?

" - Kathleen Baty is "chief operating chick" at Safety Chick Enterprises. The author, journalist, and motivational speaker was also the victim of a kidnap attempt at knife-point by an obsessive stalker."

My brother is always looking out on the safety front as far as the internet goes. Which is a good thing...which is something that a lot of us tend to forget about as we type our little fingers away throughout the week while posting on our blogs. And this just really caused me to take a moment and think, think, think. So, I just wanted to share this article with all of you to keep your guard up....
Article By: John Brandon

Published June 29, 2010

In the last few weeks, Christina DesMarais has lived in a state of fear.

The writer, triathlon runner and mother of four started a nutrition and fitness blog a few weeks ago and noticed someone kept posting nasty comments. Eventually, she started receiving hurtful e-mails as well. Last week, a letter came in the mail.

"I'm the middle-aged man in the turquoise junker or the teen in the silver Camero (sic) or maybe even the woman in the Suburban -- I wouldn't be caught running down my road again if I were you," the anonymous letter said....CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

Have YOU had a cyberstalking encounter?

Is this something that has crossed your mind before as you're writing/tweeting/facebooking?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fyrstekake ~ Norwegian Almond Coffee Cake (Royalty Cake)

This has to be my ultimate coffee that I grew-up having all the time at my grandparents' house. Looking at it you wouldn't normally categorize it as a "coffee cake", however let me assure you that this is perfectly paired with a hot cup of coffee.

It's packed full of almond goodness...and sweet sugar. But with two contrasting layers of delight, to me it is the ultimate coffee cake. You have this wonderful buttery bottom cookie-type layer topped with a sweet & chewy almond layer on top. Heaven!
This is really so simple that you'll be wondering why you haven't come across this recipe before. So let's get baking!
I like to make the bottom layer of the Fyrstekaker first. In a large mixing bowl I pour in my flour, baking powder and sugar. Turn the mixer on to low speed, just to incorporate all of the dry ingredients first.
Then it's time to add in the butter and egg yolks. Mix them in again on the low speed setting. Be sure to reserve the egg whites! We need them for the topping.
Your dough should look just like this once everything has been mixed together.
Prepare a large spring form pan, I like using a 16" round pan, by greasing/buttering the entire pan. There is no flouring necessary! Then plop our dough right into the center of the pan an begin pressing it to a 1/4" or so thickness.
Continue to press the dough up the sides of the pan, like forming a pie shell. Now that that's done, just set it aside. Give the mixing bowl a quick cleaning and get ready to make the topping.
Take 1 pound of raw almonds and pour those into a food processor. I like buying the 3 pound bag at Costco and just separating it into's perfect when I'm making Fyrstekake and Kransekake (Crown Cake or Norwegian Wedding Cake).
You're going to want to grind them up until they are basically crawling up the sides of the processor and you can see that the oils have released.
Here's what your processed almonds should look like.
Then into the mixing bowl they go.
The next step would be to add the confectioners sugar and give it a mix on low speed. Please, don't try to rush it or you'll have powdered sugar everywhere...take it from me, it's not fun to clean up.
Add in the reserved egg whites and continue to mix on low speed.
Next add the cold water. Again, continue mixing on low speed. Take several breaks to scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure that everything gets well combined.
Here is your finished topping.
Pour the topping into the pressed dough shell.
Continue adding the topping making sure that it does not come up over the edges of the dough shell's walls.
Place in the oven and be very patient for 45-50 minutes. It's going to be hard, I know, but trust me...when you take this out and let it cool down, it's going to be worth every minute.
Once the Fyrstekake is finished baking, remove it and allow it to sit for 20-25 minutes before releasing the spring form pan. You may have to use a table knife around the edges of the pan to fully release it. Continue to allow it to cool for another 45-60 minutes. This will allow the almond filling to fully set-up.
Traditionally, Fyrstekake is plated on a large decorative serving dish for everyone to serve themselves and enjoy. I tend to leave it on the base of the spring form pan and just set it on a decorative dish...allowing me to place the spring form around it later to easily cover and store in the refrigerator.
Then once you slice into it, here is the beautiful greeting you are given. Your mouth is just about ready to sing you praises for your limited effort.
I hope that your family will enjoy one of my family's favorite traditional Norwegian desserts as much as we have.


Fyrstekake ~ Norwegian Almond Coffee Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
Level: EASY
Preheat oven 350° F

Cookie Layer:
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 sticks Butter (or 1 stick Margarine & 1/2 stick Butter)
2 Egg Yolks (reserve whites for almond topping)
1 Tbsp. Cold Water

Grease a large spring form pan. (12"-16" round) In a large mixing bowl blend together flour, baking powder and sugar. Add butter and egg yolks. Mix until incorporated. Add cold water and mix until incorporated. Place dough into the center of the prepared spring form pan. Press dough to cover the bottom of the pan and up the side walls. About 1/4" thick. Set aside.

Almond Topping:
1 pound Raw Almonds
1 pound Confectioners Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
2 Egg Whites
1/2 cup Cold Water

Pour almonds into a food processor. Grind until it becomes fine granules and climbs up the sides of the processor's container. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add confectioners sugar and mix until incorporated. Add egg whites and cold water. Mix until fully incorporated. Pour on top of dough in the spring form pan. Make sure that the almond topping level does not go above the edge of the pressed dough walls. Place in the center of preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. (depending on the oven and size of the spring form pan used) Cake is done when the top is golden and the center no longer jiggles when pan is moved.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before releasing the sides of the spring form pan. Use a table knife or small decorating spatula around the edges if necessary. Allow to cool an additional 45-60 minutes before serving, allowing the almond filling to set-up. Cake then can be carefully removed from the bottom of the spring form pan and plated on a large decorative serving plate.


Fyrstekake ~ Norwegian Almond Coffee Cake (Royalty Cake)

This has to be my ultimate coffee that I grew-up having all the time at my grandparents' house. Looking at it you wouldn't normally categorize it as a "coffee cake", however let me assure you that this is perfectly paired with a hot cup of coffee.

It's packed full of almond goodness...and sweet sugar. But with two contrasting layers of delight, to me it is the ultimate coffee cake. You have this wonderful buttery bottom cookie-type layer topped with a sweet & chewy almond layer on top. Heaven!
This is really so simple that you'll be wondering why you haven't come across this recipe before. So let's get baking! ...
View complete posting: Fyrstekake ~ Norwegian Almond Coffee Cake (Royalty Cake)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Snapfish Savings! Summer Clearance Sale!

If you have a Snapfish account, or need to find a great home to house your digital's a great opportunity for you!

Snapfish is holding it's the annual Summer Clearance Sale and you can save from 40% - 60% when you shop now. Grab the best savings ever. Use coupon DEALS40 to save 40% on great photo gifts in their Summer Clearance Store .

Don't wait – shop now and save because this offer expires June 29, 2010.*

* U.S. customers only. Must use coupon code DEALS40 at checkout to save 40% on items in the Summer Clearance Store only. Must use coupon code DEALS60 at checkout to save 60% on 8"x10" Puzzles, Calendars, 8"x10" Photo Panel and Single Photo Mousepad in the Summer Clearance Store only. Navigation Links are not part of the store. Offers apply to mail-order purchases only and cannot be used for in-store pick-up. Taxes, shipping and handling charges apply. Offers may not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Each coupon may be used only once per customer account. Coupons expire 06/29/10.

Week 6 ~ Taking A Scale Break

Alright...I've decided that I'm not weighing in this week...perhaps that darned scale is causing a mental block which is causing a fat loss block. I don't know, but I'm going to give myself one week off of weighing in...and just continue to push on toward a svelter me.

When I weighed in last Friday, I was not a happy camper. That darned scale let me know that I was at 224lbs. Not what I wanted to see...but probably totally accurate since we indulged in some Chinese food the night before. I was a good girl though, said no to the appetizer and ate small portions of my favorite orange chicken & sesame rice and very little chow mien...

View complete posting: Week 6 ~ Taking A Scale Break

Social Parade Follow On Fridays

Alright, I'm heading over to join a new Follower Friday Blog Hop...and I hope that you'll come join us too! I am talking about Smart and Trendy Mom’s Social Parade! If you haven’t heard of Follower Friday Blog Hop – it is a great blog hop designed to help you find new blogs to follow and help bring your blog new followers.

It's easy to join. Simply click on the Social Parade image which will take you straight to the blog hop. Create a post similar to this, then add your link to the linky at Smart and Trendy Moms. Follow as many blogs as you would like. See, super easy!

PLEASE leave a comment so that I know that you stopped by and so that I can come pay you a visit too! I love finding new blogs that share my interests...and I hope that you enjoy your time here at The Chatty Mom.

Fun Friday Follow

Welcome to Fun Follow Friday hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. This is by far one of my favorite things to participate in throughout the week. The goal of this hop is to get new Google Friend Connect Followers for your blog and be introduced to new blogs to follow! The Fun Friday Follow keeps it fun and easy so all you have to do is add your blog link and start blog hopping and following away! You aren’t required to write a post for your blog for Fun Follow Friday unless you want to (but why not? it's a great way to help get the word out).

When you visit a blog that you like and want to follow, leave them a comment with your link telling them you are following from the Fun Follow Friday. Stop by both hostesses blogs, Simply Stacie and My Wee View, and let them know that you participated in the Fun Friday Follow. If you do follow decide to follow them, just leave them a comment and they will follow you back.

To bring even more fun to the table, each week one blog from the previous week, will be chosen at random to be put in the #3 spot. The #3 spot will be chosen by! This week’s Fun Follow Friday blogger of the week is Tatum’s Family Reviews. She takes the #3 spot. Next week’s blogger of the week will be selected from this weeks entries.

View complete posting: Fun Friday Follow

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Keys' Key Lime Scones

I am a ridiculously huge lover of far there hasn't been a scone to cross my path that I haven't at least liked, if not loved. But sometimes I like to have a little *zing* I decided to have some fun with key limes. So, if you like limes, key lime pie or just some *zing*, then I think you're going to love these little goodies too.

View complete posting: The Keys' Key Lime Scones

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Easy Cheesy Stuffed Shells

One of the things that I had yet to attempt in the kitchen was stuffed pasta shells. So, I decided to turn to Food Network's Giada de Laurentiis for a recipe idea. Let's just say that she's my Italian Go-To-Gal.
I modified her recipe ever so slightly, I mean I had to. Couple this dish with some garlic bread and MmmmmMmmmmMmmmmm! Here's my take on Giada de Laurentiis' Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce.

Click below to view & print my recipe!
View complete posting: Easy Cheesy Stuffed Shells

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ghirardelli "Bring Your Dark To Light" Chocolate Contest

If you know me well, then you know that I have had a love affair with dark chocolate from a very young age. We're talking a habit of sneaking to eat the baking chocolate bricks...the unsweetened ones...when I was about 6 years old. There are very few things that I love more than dark chocolate...GOOD dark chocolate. Well, finally a contest has come along that marries beautifully with my love of dark chocolate...and it doesn't get much better than this.

Ghirardelli’s “Bring Your Dark to Light” contest invites chocolate lovers to compete to create the next Intense Dark flavor.You can enter the Bring Your Light to Dark contest by clicking here , now through June 30, to compete to create the next Intense Dark flavor...

View complete posting: Ghirardelli "Bring Your Dark To Light" Chocolate Contest

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Very Tardy Update ~ Week 4 1/2

Alright, I am so very ridiculously late on doing any updates on my battle against the bulge. So for that, I apologize to others that are looking for someone to partner with along the war path. I have not been a good weight loss partner. Let me just bring everything up to speed here....

View complete posting: One Very Tardy Update ~ Week 4 1/2

Wordless Wednesday ~ Raisin Toes

Oh the troubles toes see when wading in the water during fishing.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

I love roasted potatoes...there's just something about them. Almost like having upscaled french fries. And it's so simple, there's no reason not to have them instead of the everyday mashed potatoes.

Begin with some little red potatoes (or yukon gold potatoes) and get them washed, dried and quartered. (some get cut in half and then into thirds if they're a little too big) I wouldn't use russet or baker potatoes...they tend to fall apart during the roasting time...
View complete posting: Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Friday, June 11, 2010

Reno / Tahoe Festivals 2010

My family is a festival family...we love us some festivals. And one of the benefits of living in the Reno/Tahoe area is that when Summer arrives, so do the festivals! Everything from art, theater & music to tasty foods, beer & classic cars.
Here's a listing of festivals not to be missed:

June 4-6
4-10pm Friday, 11am-10pm Saturday, 11am-6pm Sunday
Where: The Sands Regency
The Festival: Here you will find everything Euro...the food is amazing, the music - non-stop, the crafts - ready to be viewed and purchased. The food assortment includes brats, chorizo Basque sandwiches, spaetzle and lasagna. (the battered mushrooms were Charming's favorite though) The music ranges from Young Doubliner's Celtic rock to polkas gallore...
View complete posting & event lists: Reno / Tahoe Festivals 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

AMC & Cinemark Summer Movie Camps!

There are some great deals to be had this summer in the realm of movie entertainment....
AMC is hosting a Summer Movie Camp! Oh yeah, that's right! :)

The best part: $1 movies every Tuesday!!!

Oh how I wish that they had these deals when I was growing up. The magic of the movies at such a low Momma would have loved that. Good news is that now it's perfect for us tired and thrifty moms. :)

View complete posting here: Summer Movie Camps

In The Still Of the Night

Have you ever had one of those nights where you just can't fall asleep? ...I mean, you're dog-tired but your mind is just spinning with all sorts of issues. Well, last night was one of those nights for me. I'm desperate to have a change in my family's living arrangements, but I don't want other people raising my kiddles. In fact, that was a promise that I made to myself before I ever even got married. There was no way that daycare or grandparents were going to end up raising my babies!

Come on, I didn't give birth to these two darling little girls so that I could just hand them over to someone else to spend most of the day with...I had them because I want to raise them. I want to be the one calming them, breaking up the fights, possitively reinforcing them, building their self confidence, teaching them about the Lord, encouraging their creativity...I want to raise my kids!

Now, to make a difference in our living arrangement it seems that I may have to go against one of the most important promises that I ever made to myself. AND I'm NOT happy about it! It's not that I don't like to fact, my Charming thinks that I'm an obsessed workaholic. I'll work overtime without even thinking twice about it if it's presented to me. And in attempts to get hired around town, I have yet to have a callback for any interviews in over 12 months! So please don't think that I'm not willing to work...I'm hoping that something works out so that I don't have to leave them in a daycare situation. In fact, I'm hoping that maybe I can drum up some business as a freelance drafter even if I finally get hired somewhere else.

The thing that bothers me is it's just the simple fact that I can not stomach the thought of leaving my girls with others for the majority of their day...or switching off with Charming and not seeing him except for possibly 2 days a week. He gets home from work and then I leave for work...passing eachother in the driveway. What kind of marriage is that?! So, last night as I battled to fall asleep, I finally decided to just get up, grab my bible and head for the couch. I spent time reading through Proverbs and Psalms, the book of old hangouts in times of frustration. And I found solice in one particular passage.

 It just so happens that it's Proverbs 31:10-31...everyone talks about being a "Proverbs 31 Wife", but have you ever really read through it? I'll tell you, I found myself saying, "Yes! That's the type of woman I want to be!" Not just thinking that I want to be a godly wife, but thinking I want the type of outcome that is stated in this passage. And then another passage that drew me in was Psalm 91. I haven't read it in probably close to 8 years. It just stirred a rejoicing in me and a comfort and peace. Something that I needed so badly as 2AM reared it's ugly head.

Proverbs 31:10-31 (New International Version)

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all." 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Psalm 91 (New International Version)

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you make the Most High your dwelling— even the LORD, who is my refuge- 10 then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Twitter Hop Thursday! (June 10th)

Welcome to Twitter Hop Thursday, hosted by Simply Stacie, The King’s Court IV, Little Yaya’s, Review Retreat and Moms Wear Your Tees!
Would you like more Twitter followers and be introduced to more neat blogs and businesses out there? Come and join us!!

View complete posting & Linky: Twitter Hop Thursday! (June 10th)

Get A Free BODUM® Coffee Press! is offering a FREE coffee press for new customers to their coffee program!

But you better hurry up! There are limited quantities available only while supplies last.

While I haven't been a big user of other monthly programs, this is really a good deal...with great coffee to boot! My choice? The VIA® instant coffee...yeah instant coffee. It's actually my tool to tricking my mind into thinking that I'm having a frappuccino when I'm really having a protein shake. :)

View complete posting: Get A Free BODUM® Coffee Press!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Destruction Zone 5: Kiddle DYI Haircut

First, I apologize for the grainy cell phone shot, but that's all I could grab at the time.

Alright, I know that this was bound to happen at some point in time...but I was really hoping to be one of the few moms in America who bypassed this episode. While I was on the phone with my Momma (a.k.a. Nana) during the kiddles' nap time, there was something deep, dark and sneaky afoot in the bathroom.

View complete posting: Destruction Zone 5: Kiddle DYI Haircut

Okay car enthusiasts, this one's for you. The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada will be hosting Extreme Autofest this year on Saturday, June 26th.

View complete posting: Extreme Autofest Reno, NV

National Doughnut Day! 06/04/10

Oh of the sweetest days of the year is here! And what better day than on a Friday?!
Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are giving away free doughnuts...Hooray!

View complete posting: National Doughnut Day! 06/04/10

Stuffed Burger ~ Gorgonzola Style!

Just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean that I can't enjoy a great burger from time to time.

So here's one of our favorite burgers...I just eliminate the bun to reduce my carbs and calorie count. And I'm telling ya, you don't need a bun with this burger. It's full of great flavor...don't mask it with a bun. (but if you must, choose a whole wheat bun)

I start with 85/15 ground chuck meat. 1 pound of meat will make two very meaty hamburgers.

View complete posting: Stuffed Burger ~ Gorgonzola Style!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Twitter Hop Thursday!

Would you like more Twitter followers and be introduced to more neat blogs and businesses out there? Come and join us!!

1. Add your Twitter to the MckLinky (you only have to add it to one and it will appear on all).
2. Click on the Twitter for the six hostesses and follow each of them on Twitter. We will follow you back.
3. Follow as many people on Twitter as you like, but make sure to leave comments with links so they’ll know where to follow you!

View complete posting: Twitter Hop Thursday!

The Smell Of The Ocean...Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Memorial Weekend 2010...The Santa Cruz Boardwalk!

This past weekend our family headed West for one of Charming's best friend's wedding. And my wonderful hubby planned a little something extra just for me. (I love it when he does that) You see, I have been having ridiculous ocean air withdrawls. Never before had I thought just how much the smell of ocean breezes really meant to me...until I moved to Reno. There isn't the slightest hint of salty air out here.

So Charming decided that we needed to leave a day early and make Friday a day for me. (I'm getting all chocked up again) He had planned that we would make a stop at one of his old stomping grounds...the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. I've never been to Santa Cruz before, so this was an added bonus for me...there is a deep love I have for taking a little adventure every now and then to discover a new place that I haven't visited yet.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PB & J Freezes

I remember being in grade school and volunteering to work in the cafeteria whenever I could. The gesture was not just to get in good with the lunch ladies, there was a deeper purpose to my generousity. Frozen PB & J's.

It came to me...My girls haven't been introduced to this little frozen delight yet! Oh, that issue had to be remedied right away.

View complete posting: PB & J Freezes