Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gene Autry's Peanut Butter Pie

This is what I made to celebrate my birthday last week. It's so rich, we've been eating half a piece at a time, so you can feed quite a few with one pie.

I made this before, several years ago, after finding it in The All-American Cowboy Cookbook, which is a collection of recipes from stars of western movies and TV shows. If you know how much I love cowboy movies and shows, you know this cookbook was a hit with me :-)

This particular recipe comes from Gene Autry, the beloved singing cowboy star. It's quite simple, especially if you use a pre-made graham cracker crust like I did.

Gene Autry's Peanut Butter Pie


1 cup peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese -- softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup whipped cream
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 graham-cracker pie crust
hot fudge sauce


Cream together peanut butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Stir in butter, whipped cream, and vanilla. Mix well and pour into crust. Chill for 4-5 hours or until very well set. Top with melted, thinned hot fudge sauce. Chill again for 30 minutes.

Yum! And this recipe lends itself so easily to modification if you're on a diet -- just use low-fat or lite peanut butter, cream cheese, and whipped cream instead. Thank you, Gene Autry!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

(That means "happy birthday" in German.)

Yesterday, I turned thirty. My hubby planned to take me out to the restaurant of my choice when he got home -- he drove to work instead of taking the train so he could be home half an hour early. But for whatever reason, Dano decided he needed a longer nap than usual. A marathon nap. Usually, he goes to sleep at three-thirty and wakes up anytime between five and seven. My husband got home at 6 as planned, but Dano didn't wake up. We waited. We puttered around doing odd chores. We waited. We gave up on him and made grilled ham-and-cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Dano slept on. We eventually woke him up at eight-thirty so he'd be up a bit before bedtime and we wouldn't have to worry about him waking up at four in the morning with his usual, "Boing! I'm awake!"

So we went out for lunch today instead. I chose to go to Cafe Little Europa in Brookfield. We'd been there for supper last summer and enjoyed it, but never made it back since. It's a charming little place, and we had a lovely lunch. They had a box full of train tracks and blocks, which Dano loved. He almost didn't want to stop playing to eat, and hopped back off his chair as soon as we'd let him. My hubby had Weiner Schnitzel and I had Sauerbraten, and we ended with yummy dessert: a slice of chocolate mousse cake for me and Palatschinken (a thin crepe) ala mode for my hubby. Dano had macaroni and cheese, but he liked the cheese Spaetzel that came with my hubby's entree just as well. Next time we go there, we'll have to remember just to get him that.

The owner, Manuela Young, has a blog here that is quite fun to read. She's actually from Germany, and we had a nice little visit with her today. She held Mercy for a while so I could eat more easily, and got along with Dano well too.

I know most of my readers and followers don't live around here, but those of you who do and who enjoy trying new foods, I absolutely recommend Cafe Little Europa. It was the perfect place for my slightly belated birthday celebration :-)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Ladybug Dress

Voila! If you've been wondering what I've been working on lately, here it is: the Ladybug Dress.

Nope, it's not for Mercedes, it's for a friend's daughter who will turn five next month. I'm hoping to make a little handbag to match it, we'll see.

This is the first garment I have sewn since I was... twelve? I think so. And the first time I've followed a dress pattern by myself. So I'm really proud of it, even though it's a frightfully easy pattern. I did have to use bias tape, so it wasn't all straight hems and stuff. I love the ribbon sleeves too -- I'm totally making a smaller version of this dress when Mercedes is two or so.

And I love this fabric! It's a cotton seersucker, very breathable. And so cheerful! My friend happens to love ladybugs, so I had to get this and make something from it for her little girl. I actually bought more and made a sling for Mercedes from it because it's so cute!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mother's Day Scavenger Hunt

The Busy Moms of Etsy team is holding its first ever scavenger hunt, and I'm participating! A whole bunch of team members, including me, donated an item from their shop to put in a huge prize basket -- everything from jewelry to snack bags to gift certificates. I donated the three dish scrubbies in this picture:

And that picture is just a sample of the stuff in the gift basket -- the blog post lists and shows more, and there are more being added still.

All you have to do to join the scavenger hunt is browse the participating shops, which are listed here on the Busy Moms Blog. In each shop, hidden inside the listing for some random item, you'll find this icon as one of the photos listed with the product:
When you find the icon, go back to that post on the Busy Moms Blog and leave a comment stating which store and item you found the icon in. You get one entry for every flower icon you find, and there are more than 20 stores participating, so you can enter quite a few times! Plus, you can browse for a gift for your own mom at the same time :-) All non-team members are eligible, so happy hunting!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Life Lately

Life is starting to settle down a little. Finally! Mercedes turned 6 weeks old yesterday, and while not every day is smooth sailing, at least I'm not physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted every evening. Tired, yes, but not at the end of my patience and energy anymore. We had a great Easter :-)

It helps that we've got Mercedes used to going to sleep at 10pmish instead of midnight now. It also helps that Daniel's adjusting more and more every day to not being the center of his universe anymore. And it helps that she's old enough and it's warm enough that I can take her to shops and things without so much worry of her catching something. I still haven't taken her anywhere really crowded, but we did go to the local train museum (aka Daniel heaven) last week, and to an independently owned yarn store (aka Mommy heaven) that I just discovered not tooooo far away.

It did rain a bit last week. Daniel stayed busy with painting after lunch one day. I figured out a quick way to make him a little painting smock: I took one of my hubby's undershirts that was stained and on the rag pile, cut it off below the breast pocket and trimmed the sleeves, and it's perfect!

And these are Mercedes' tiny feet, which I adore. She's already got little arches! That amazes me no end, because Daniel's feet curved outward for months and months, they were soooo chubby. She's chubby everywhere else, but not those little feet! They're long like Daniel's, though -- she's in some 3-6mo socks already.

So, that's life here lately. I've got some craft projects in the works too, but I'll post about those some other time. Hope your Easter was joyful. Happy spring!