Sunday, December 5, 2010

Red Velvet Momma Loves, Loves, Loves Red Velvet Cake Mix

*** I'll be posting some of my favourite things on my blog.  I haven't received compensation or incentive to review any products.  Some of these goodies are found in the USA, so for my Canadian friends - you'll have to hunt these down!  Some products are uniquely Canadian. ***

It's only appropriate for Red Velvet Momma's first loves, loves, loves post to be Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix!

Sometimes you have a Red Velvet emergency, or a hankering; and you need some tasty cupcakes FAST.  I know these things happen to me.  You can't buy this in Canada, so when we head to the States, I stock up.

I don't use cake mixes very often, my chocolate cake recipe is scrumptious, if I do say so myself.  But I do use this one.  I don't use canned frosting, I always have cream cheese in the fridge, and icing sugar kicking around; so it's easy to whip up some icing (frosting?  I'm not sure which name I like better). 

There will be a tutorial soon, my birthday's coming up, and I want these for my dessert!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Shortbread Cookies or Bring on the Butter (Part 1)

Confession.  I don't think I've ever baked shortbread on my own before.  The recipe is crazy easy.  The result is a rich, buttery cookie that makes me think of Christmas.  I used a recipe found on the side of the cornstarch box. 

I'm going to look around for another recipe, or tweak this one.  While we found the cookies good, both of my kids thought it could use a little something.  The Princess said cinnamon, the Padawan said vanilla.  So there will be a Part deux to this post in the next couple of weeks)

Here we gooooo!

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Debacle, in 700 words or less.

I've been thinking about blogging for a couple of years now.  But I never thought anyone would want to read what I had to say.  Then I remembered that some people like to listen what I have to say - why should blogging be any different?  Plus blogging means testing my spelling and punctuation skills.  This leads me to thinking about blogging conferences, get-togethers and mommy-blogging.

I was beginning to think that being a mom-blogger wasn't exciting or meaningful - but when I looked at the blogs I was reading, or using Google to research something that ultimately led to a mom-blog I realized that we're out there, we have something to say and we're intelligent.  But I needed a push to start blogging.  I had bought a new KitchenAid mixer this summer (and started using it right away, even though it's meant to be a birthday gift - and my birthday's in December) I knew that I would have to include cooking & baking in my blog.  Then I was laid-off from a part-time job I had started, after not working for almost nine years.  And then I heard about the Disney's Social Media Moms Celebration (Conference) coming up in March.  I wanted to go, but from what I understood, you need to be a blogger/tweeter/facebooker.  I wanted to learn how to do this:  be part of the social media.  I also thought it would be a learning experience for seasoned as well as newbie bloggers. 

It was the jump-start I needed.  I started blogging.  I have been on Facebook for years now, but that's a personal account, just for friends and family.  And also some fabulous DisBoutiquers that started me sewing and crafting again!  I've had fun on Facebook and had been thinking about Twitter for quite some time too.  So I waited for the registration date and time for the Social Media Moms Celebration to open.  The dates for the conference were good for my family, and I loved that I could bring the family with me, and even spend some time with them.  We don't have the desire to travel without our kids, so this was perfect.  I set my calendar reminders, set the alarm on my phone, and waited.

And waited and waited and waited.  The time for registration (it was advertised as "First Come, first served") arrived and it was nearly impossible to complete.  The server was overloading, and the page kept refreshing and refreshing.  Tweets from far and wide were describing the "orange spinning circle of death".  I had faith, trust and (hopefully) pixie dust on my side.  Right?  I didn't think it would take almost two hours to "register".  I had to put that in quotes, because it was really an application process.  With no explanations or qualifications listed.  I was sent an e-mail stating that I would receive e-mail notification of acceptance (or not) shortly.  I then waited some more.  A day later, I received notice that I wasn't accepted.  I was confused.  I thought it was a given that if you were able to register, you were in.  I guessed they were going to review and make certain that you were a real person before sending confirmation, but that wasn't the case.  I'm disappointed that I'm not able to go, I would have loved the experience to go and craft my blogging skills.  Maybe even get some inspiration and some new followers.  Find lots of new blogs to follow too. 

I will apply again next year, just as I will once again apply for the DisneyWorld Moms Panel.  At least with the Moms Panel I know it's an application process.  Hopefully next year's Disney Social Media Moms Celebration will have some glitches ironed out, and a more open application process.  I look forward to reading all the blogging about the conference.  I congratulate all the bloggers who were accepted to attend.  I hope you have a great time!  Please have a Mickey ice-cream for me 'kay?  ºOº

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas displays of Hershey's kisses are so tempting!

I needed to pick up a few things today and I entered the store there was a massive display of Christmas chocolate and candy.  I couldn't help myself; I had to take a peek.  There are so many varieties, but I kind of envy my friends in the USA, there are even more there!  There was the white chocolate candy cane, mint truffle, but I couldn't find the cherry filled.  But I resisted, and didn't buy any.  Not yet anyway.

I needed some supplies for the Christmas gifts I'm making the kids' teachers.  But I forgot the cream of tartar for the Snickerdoodles, so the next tutorial will be about something else, until next week when I can bake the Snickerdoodles.  Snickerdoodles.  Can't say Snickerdoodles enough today.

So I'll put the kids to bed, and hope that Grey's Anatomy isn't a repeat tonight.  I could use some mindless fluff tonight.  Watch for a new tutorial soon . . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mincemeat Tarts, the Red Velvet Momma Way.

Christmas baking, smells of gingerbread, sugar cookies and shortbread fill the air.  It's a magical time.  You can justify having pie for breakfast because it contains fruit.  And the pinnacle of pies (according to all males over the age of majority living in my household) is the mincemeat tart.

Mincemeat here in Canada usually contains raisins, currants, citrus rind, and spices . . .

Shepherd's Pie - to Peas or not to Peas, that is the Question . . .

Shepherd's Pie.  It's comfort food.  It's called pâté chinois in French (loosely translated to Chinese Pie).  Very popular with French Canadians.  Some people eat it with ketchup oozed all over, I don't agree.  I do like it with pickled beets though.  It's so easy a frat-boy could (and should) make it.

But the big question is:  peas in the mix or not?  I prefer corn, and creamed corn at that.  Canned creamed corn is gross on its own, and I only ever use it in Shepherd's Pie.  But peas just don't make the cut for me.  I think they look to green, too out of place.

So here it is, the great Shepherd's Pie tutorial.  Minus the peas.  After the jump.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More posts coming soon! Pinky-swear!

I promise there are new posts coming soon, I've been baking - I'm ready to share some great recipes with you.  But there's a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie on tonight, my lovely man is out working, so I thought I'd watch that tear-jerker (and you know it will be) and cry my eyeballs out.  Tomorrow:  stock up on Kleenex! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

What to post, where to begin, and should I use emoticons or not?!?

When I started thinking about blogging, my obsessive need to research kicked in.  What theme would I follow?  Would I even have a theme?  Or would I have a typical Mommy-blog?  I read so many blogs, some were great and I follow them all the time, but some I've never visited again. 

Well, since I'm a Stay-at-Home-Mom, I didn't want my blog to be only about being a Mom, it's who I am, but not all I am.  I love to bake, cook, travel; I love Star Wars, coffee, Mojitos and all things Disney.  I watch too much TV, and I probably don't eat enough fibre.  And I do all of the above with my family.  Except the coffee & Mojitos - that stuff's not for kids!

I have two kids, a boy aged 8 and a girl aged 61/2.  I haven't decided if I'm going to use real names and faces yet, so for now let's call them "The Padawan" and "The Princess".  They also have a Dad, and I'll call him "Fred".  My name is Stephanie, for real. 

So I'll be posting how-to's, recipes, reviews and random girl-geek stuff. 

Oh, and yes I do love red velvet cake, cupcakes and (hopefully) cheesecake.  Though I didn't grow up with such deliciousness - my first encounter with red velvet was "Steel Magnolias", the movie.  You know the scene - the wedding with the Armadillo groom's cake?  Where Shirley Maclaine hacks the rear-end of the cake off and dumps it on a plate?  Yup, that set me on a path to red velvet love . . .  And has led me here to Red Velvet Momma.