Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Hi, all! Today I'm in the Writer Spotlight and being interviewed by the fabulous Paula of The Write Now blog! If you've been wondering about the book I've been working on the past two years, please stop by and take a look-see!
Writer Spotlight - Erin LaVallee
And, of course, I'd love it if you'd show your support by leaving a comment on the blog interview.
Thanks so much!
*Update* Thank you all sooo much for making my book interview a smashing success! I'm happy to report that my interview had the highest number of comments and a record amount of hits for the Write Now blog. I owe this to all my fabulous friends and followers, so please accept my heartfelt appreciation! *Smooches*
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Once a year, I bring the whole family to Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, AZ for the annual Peach Festival! Like a kid anticipating Christmas morning, my head dances with visions of peach cobbler, pie and jam as I prepare for this glorious day. A conditioned fruit picker since childhood, the act of climbing trees and collecting succulent fruit is more than just an event for me--it's sport. Each year I manage to pick more peaches than the last, and each year after the last peach has been eaten, I find myself longing for more.
With our paparazzi in tow (yes, my love, that's you), the kids and I enjoy a tractor ride out to the peach orchard while sitting on a hay bail.
There's even a train to take you around the farm if you wish!
How neat is it to see train tracks running through the orchard?
Ahhh, behold, the lovely peach orchard awaits.
Let the games begin!
Our players for today:
My kiddos (my Hubby is taking the photos)
And my sweet friend, Laurel of Petal Pusher Accessories and her family.
The pickers hard at work:
My little guy has made three trips to the ER for facial lacerations in his 4yr old life, so mama is a little nervous about this boy up in a tree. However, I'm happy to report that we made it through the day with no injuries.*grin*
No it's not one of Stephenie Meyer's vampires reflecting the sunlight (tee-hee), it's just lil' ol' me pickin' peaches.
Okay, so we might have eaten a couple. *grin*
Just look at all those sweet, juicy, mouthwatering peaches!
Riding the tractor back to enjoy a nice peach pancake breakfast.
There was even a pet peacock for all farm visitors to enjoy.
Hope you enjoyed our day of peach pickin' on the farm. Stay tuned (and check back) for peach recipes and a peach treat giveaway!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
After reading a tweet about homemade cinnamon donuts (Yes, Heather Howland, I blame you for these seductive treats), I got to digging around in the kitchen. I knew that I wanted a comforting sweet delectable with an alluring aroma that would bring the kids running. After evaluating the ingredients I had on hand, I composed a recipe that I can only explain as a conglomeration of old fashioned sticky buns and modern day Monkey Bread. The result was a pan of sweet rolls so down right sinful and addictive that they must be contained to only special occasions--or I'll be forced to scrap the whole idea of wearing a swimsuit this summer.
You will need the following ingredients:
Generously grease a 9" X 13" pan. I use Butter Flavor Crisco.
Sprinkle bottom with 1/2 cup chopped pecans.
Add twenty balls of Rhodes frozen dinner rolls to pan.
Sprinkle box of instant butterscotch pudding over the nuts and frozen rolls.
Looks like snow. *grin*
In a medium saucepan combine, butter, brown sugar, milk and cinnamon.
Stir over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture bubbles.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Then pour over the nuts and frozen dough.
Cover pan with plastic wrap.
Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 3-5 hours.
When sticky buns have risen, they are ready to pop into a 350 degree oven.
*I live in a warm climate, so my house is generally around 76 degrees. For that reason, my dough was ready right at 3 hours. If you live in a cooler climate and your house is a cooler temperature, it may take closer to 5 hours for your dough to rise. Here's what the dough should look like when it's ready:
Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven.
Immediately invert on a platter and wait 5 minutes to remove the pan (you want all of the goo to drip down over the rolls).
Remove pan and spread any remaining goo stuck in the pan over the sticky buns.
Just look at these bad boys waitin' to be served up with a steaming cup of coffee. YUM!
Butterscotch Pecan Sticky Buns
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I love the pecans roasted with sea salt at Safeway)
20 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
1 small box butterscotch pudding
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Generously grease a 9" X 13" pan. I use Butter Flavor Crisco. Sprinkle bottom with 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Add twenty balls of Rhodes frozen dinner rolls to pan. Sprinkle box of instant butterscotch pudding over the nuts and frozen rolls. In a medium saucepan combine, butter, brown sugar, milk and cinnamon. Stir over medium heat until the sugar melts and the mixture bubbles. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Then pour over the nuts and frozen dough. Cover pan with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 3-5 hours. When sticky buns have risen, bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Remove from oven. Immediately invert on a platter and wait 5 minutes to remove the pan (you want all of the goo to drip down over the rolls). Remove pan and spread any remaining goo stuck in the pan over the sticky buns. Serve!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
It's starting to heat up in Phoenix and while we've been in the pool since March, the thermometer approaching triple digits has me thinking about the beach. Those of us who live in the blazing Arizona heat, enjoy an escape to the glorious beaches of Southern California in the summer. So with breezy beach towns on the brain, I thought I'd post a few of my summer finds today.
My kids, La Jolla, CA, 2009
First off, I'm excited to share my new summer sneakers. Although I generally live in flip-flops during the hot summer months, a great pair of tennies are a must have for outdoor playtime with the kids. This pair of shoes from Landsend are not only cute and cheap (my favorite combination) but dry quickly, which makes them practical as well.
Next up, the fabulously fun and trendy beach cruiser! Those of you who follow my blog know that a few months back I was on the hunt for a new bike.
While I love my Electra OM 3i cruiser, I still enjoy surfing the Internet in search of bike cuteness.
Check out Lily Pulitzer's new Printed Cruiser for summer! *swoon*
This bike just screams beach to me. How fun would cruisin' down the boardwalk be riding this beauty?
Of course, every girl's bike needs a good lookin' basket. I found mine at PeterBoro Basket Company.
They even make a matching basket for kids and I have to say that my basket gets even more compliments than my bike when I'm out riding around. *grin*
Finally, it's fun to wear a little flair when dining at some quaint coastal restaurant. Since I believe that arm candy will continue to be a popular trend this summer, I just know this little gem will get lots of wear on my summer vacations. My sweet friend Laurel (http://petalpusheraccessories.blogspot.com/) spotted this gorgy bracelet made by Dana at Apple White on Etsy. The moment she emailed me the photo, I knew it needed to come live with me.
Hope I've inspired you with a few fun summer ideas. Commence the Popsicles and homemade ice cream!