ahi and mahi

Loving our boat – and my husband and son – they caught a black fin tuna and 3 mahi-mahi on Saturday!

That translated to pan-seared Ahi on Saturday night, and baked mahi-mahi for lunch on Sunday, dinner on Sunday and dinner Tuesday – so far. Yum!

More mahi in the freezer – and we’re hoping to go fishing again this weekend! Thank you God for boats, good (and safe) fishing and cajun spices.

And thank you that this city girl doesn’t have to personally fillet these fish. ewww.

EASY Easter Bunny Cake

Wilton also makes this great Easter Bunny cake pan as an alternative.
Wilton also makes this great Easter Bunny cake pan as an alternative.

I originally blogged about this Easter Bunny Cake back in April 2009, but every year around Easter, it’s my most popular post. If you make it, post a link to a photo or comment and let me know how it turned out!

Growing up, my mom often made an Easter Bunny cake like the one below for Easter. My favorite version of this cake is dark chocolate with white icing, covered in coconut!

Like a GIANT Mounds bar – but BETTER!
(page down for more decorating ideas)


Check out this great 8 day devotional and activity guide to help families teach their little ones that Easter is about more than candy and Easter Bunnies!
Check out this great 8 day devotional and activity guide to help families teach their little ones that Easter is about more than candy and Easter Bunnies!


Bake a cake, any cake, in two round cake pans. (Mine will be dark chocolate, in case I neglected to mention that. There is no reason for me to eat cake unless it is chocolate.) Let it cool and then cut it like you see in the photo on the left, below. On the serving plate (my mom always used a piece of cardboard covered in aluminum foil), CAREFULLY arrange it like the photo on the right, below. I’ve also seen the cake arranged so that one of the bunny ears is lopsided. Very cute.



Then, frost and decorate! My mom always frosted it white and covered it with coconut shavings as a base. Dark chocolate cake with coconut – mmmm – just like a Mounds bar. But CAKE!

Here’s some more decorating ideas:

I really like the whiskers and mouth on this one to the left, but I think it’s because it reminds me of a cat – which makes me wonder if this is an easy convert to a black cat cake! DOUBLE DARK CHOCOLATE. (Although at that point, it would be so rich I wouldn’t be able to finish a piece.)

Scroll down and check out a retro, kid friendly how-to video from ZOOM, a PBS show I used to watch as a kid! A Zooma Zooma Zooma Zoom!

The one on the left below looks the most like what we made when I was a kid, and I really like the ears on the one on the right. Are those red hot candies?



This next one on the left has GREAT eyes! And they don’t look too difficult. Love the strong Red Twist outline of the bow tie on the one to the right. I think I would take my favorite parts of each of these guys and put them all together on one cake. Dark chocolate, of course.



pragmatic tips?

Perusing the book 1,628 Country Shortcuts. I have so many mixed feelings:

1. yeah . . . I don’t think so.
2. hmmm. I might just try that.
3. Hey, I already do that!
4. City girl say WHAT?
5. uh huh. I’ll get right on that.
and finally,
6. What the heck is rhubarb?

Here’s what I mean:

1. yeah . . . I don’t think so. Here’s an idea I will never feel compelled to try:

“To ensure great moisture and texture in a chocolate cake, add a can of sauerkraut (well drained) to your mix.”

Sauerkraut in chocolate cake? This is just wrong.

2. hmmm. I might just try that.

“Try this twist on grilled cheese sandwiches. Rather than buttering the outside of the bread, use mayonnaise (not salad dressing). It gives the sandwich a different texture and makes it less greasy.”

Anyone ever try this one? I only have Smart Balance mayo in the house. I wonder if that has enough fat in it. hmmm.

3. Hey, I already do that! This one actually works:

“To clean your microwave, place a wet paper towel in the oven and microwave for 4 minutes. The oven will easily wipe clean with the towel after a minute or two.”

Just BE CAREFUL because the paper towel is HOT. Let it sit for that “minute or two.” Although I use more than one paper towel and I only nuke it for a minute or two. Four minutes seems like overkill. I’m thinking microwaves are more powerful than when this book was published in . . . let me check . . . 1995? Really? 1995? Some of these ideas seem MUCH more dated than that.

4. City girl say WHAT?

“Anyone who has ever run after chickens and ducks out in the yard knows they’re not easy to corner. I finally bought a big fishing net. No more wild chases!”

I can just picture me chasing chickens in my yard with a giant fishing net. Not.

5. uh huh. I’ll get right on that.

“Slipcover a yardstick with fabric and use for cleaning hard-to-reach places, particularly underneath appliances. Then just remove the fabric to wash or shake out the dust.”

bwahahahaha!!! Me. Clean under the refrigerator. bwahahahaha!!!

6. What the heck is rhubarb?

“To take out any “bitter” taste in rhubarb before using it, cover it with boiling water, put lid on pan and let stand for 30 to 60 minutes.”

Good to know. In case I ever buy rhubarb. And cook it before it goes bad in the fridge. If I’m even supposed to store in the fridge. Which I’m probably not. Not that I know this. I’m Googling rhubarb now.

Got any “pragmatic tips” to share? Anything that might fall into one of my six categories? Link up or comment!

Find more helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE

just a little motivation.

I’ve been on track with the workouts and the sensible eating but a little motivation never hurts:

The funny part is that within moments of posting this, FirstHusband called and asked me what I wanted from . . . SUBWAY.

Need a few more chuckles today? Check out Friday Funnies hosted by Homesteaders Heart!

If you’ve got time to hang out for a few minutes, check out what else makes me laugh: Pragmatic Compendium’s “laugh!” category.

Easter Bunny Cake Revisited.

According to my WordPress Stats, I should highlight a post I wrote last year about how to create an Easter bunny shaped cake. In the month of February, that post shows 310 views and in just the first 8 days of March, it has had 149 views!

So, if you want to make a bunny cake for Easter, check out my post entitled “Easter Bunny Cake” from April 8th of 2009 for photos of different decorating ideas.

My favorite is a dark chocolate cake with shredded coconut all over the icing. Like a giant Mounds candy bar.

cupid is bossy.

Our Cupid is a nine year old girl with long blond hair. She was all about serving dinner to her dad and I tonight. He and I went out for a few hours this afternoon and she spent the time preparing a romantic “restaurant” in our dining room. She also prepared a salad. With dressing tossed in. FOUR hours before serving it. She called us no less than 5 times to ask when we would be back and to tell us the salad was ready.

Finally, FirstHusband and I arrived home. We had to enter through the garage and laundry room because we weren’t allowed into the kitchen and there was a curtain in the laundry room that FirstHusband had to hang over the entrance to the kitchen so we couldn’t see anything and spoil the surprise. Finally, we were banished to the upstairs to wait. We were sprawled out on our bed, chillin out, listening to the kitchen noises. A little impatient bickering between the chef and her recruited kitchen help (her brother), a crash, an “uh oh.” You know, stuff like that.

And we are TIRED. Her expectations are extremely high. She’s got a plan and we don’t dare deviate lest we ruin all her hard work. She’s trying to “make up” for the fact that our Valentine’s Day was spent driving from east Orlando to Tampa and back to see the musical “Wicked.” (It was a GREAT show – the tickets were one of PinkGirl’s Christmas presents.) This romantic dinner is a big deal. We will be expected to order from a menu, even though there’s only one entree to choose from. We will be expected to eat that salad.

Did I mention we’re tired? Face down in the comforter, I say: “Cupid is bossy.”

FirstHusband: “yeah. (pause) but she makes a mean soup and salad.” (pause again) “too bad they are one and the same.”


But it was really very sweet. She had costume changes between characters. We met the first server, the restaurant masseuse named Mary who gave us each a shoulder rub, the manager named Stacy, and a second server named Emma (because the first server got off work.) We got a $10 coupon with our reservation and FirstHusband got to pay with the money from PinkGirl’s Pooh Bear wallet. By paying for our meal, we got free admission to the ballroom (the family room). Dancing to Ray Charles and B.B. King singing “Sinner’s Prayer(aka Have Mercy) she only cut in to dance with her dad once. Very sweet.

Clean up was fairly minimal. In the end, we only had one water spill, a long blond hair in my saladsoup and red candle wax on the table.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Part B.

get your banana slicer HERE!

Ever since I posted about and shared photos of my banana slicer, I’ve gotten comments and emails asking where they can be purchased. Long story short? Discontinued. BUT, they are available on ebay from time to time. Like TODAY. And the seller sent me an email telling me she actually has FOUR MORE available.

Click HERE to see the ebay listing and contact info for the seller!!

I personally snapped the wires on mine trying to slice a very firm strawberry and just recently got another one myself. I purchased my replacement at a kitchen outlet in Valdosta, Georgia. Ya KNOW I bought TWO.

After I broke mine, I shopped around the internet looking for another and when I couldn’t find one, I sent an email to Farberware asking them if it was discontinued. The first reply was a generic email containing a list of Farberware retailers.

Not helpful.

I tried again. The second reply contained a link to an entirely different product, which works okay on very firm bananas, but it really doesn’t go all the way through very well.

I emailed again. (I am a pest.)

The answer? Discontinued.

So . . . I saved a search on ebay, got an email from ebay when one was listed, emailed the seller to inquire, went to Georgia over the holidays, stopped at the kitchen outlet store (coincidentally – where I found my FIRST one), and purchased TWO, so that when I’m foolish enough to try and slice something other than bananas with it, I’ll have a backup. Check ebay!!!! They still appear from time to time. Since I no longer need one, I promise I’ll never bid against you!

UPDATE: I’ve gotten SO many inquiries on banana slicers, I did a little digging and found these alternatives:


wire slicer

banana slicer

Menu Planning Monday 01.04.09

I have high hopes. Menu Planning. mmm hmmm. It’s easy to write a menu plan. What’s difficult is to write a menu plan EVERY WEEK. Here goes:

Monday – White Chicken Chili, Salad

Tuesday – Grilled Pork Chops, Cous Cous, Steamed Broccoli w/Cheese

Wednesday – Wet Enchilladas, Corn, Campbells Select Harvest Southwestern Style Soup

Thursday – Spaghetti Florentine, Salad, Garlic Bread

Friday – Cream Cheese Chicken (Burrito Style), Chips & Queso

Saturday – Pork Tenderloin Diane, Italian Green Beans, Wild Rice

Sunday – Paella

AND? I’ve also made bake ahead egg patties this week! So breakfast for the entire week is already cooked, cut, in the fridge and waiting to be nuked! It’s gonna be BUSY and I’m trying to be READY.

Want to score some free menu planning? Have a menu plan you want to share? Check out Menu Planning Monday hosted by Laura at Organizing Junkie.

pork tenderloin diane

This recipe is surprisingly fast and easy for how seemingly sophisticated it is. It’s one of those recipes that fool people into thinking I can actually cook.

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 8 crosswise pieces
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons butter (we use smart balance)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon minced parsley or chives

Pound each tenderloin slice, with meat mallet to 1-inch thickness
(get a kid to do this – they LOVE it)
Sprinkle with lemon pepper
Heat butter in skillet
Cook tenderloin medalions 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until fork-tender
Remove medallions to serving patter, keep warm
Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard to pan juices in skillet
Cook until heated through
(I love deglazing a pan, it’s like cleaning and cooking at the same time!)
Pour sauce over medallions and sprinkle with parsley

(Favorite Recipe from the National Pork Producers Council)

carve my name into some cheddar cheese.

Anita Renfroe singing “Before I Eat.”

Ya know, since my hysterectomy, I have NO idea where I am in my cycle. So there’s no disproving that snacking and irritability aren’t hormonally driven. Food for thought.

Need a few more chuckles today? Check out Friday Funnies hosted by Homesteaders Heart!

If you’ve got time to hang out for a few minutes, check out what else makes me laugh: Pragmatic Compendium’s “laugh!” category.