Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Declaration Day

Memorial Day was yesterday. We went to the cemetery with my Mom to plant flowers around my Dad's grave. The weather was crappy. We did not have any picnics scheduled for Monday, so it just worked.

My Husband also put flags in the front yard. He placed 405 flags in the yard this year. Even though, he did not serve in the military, he feels very patriotic about this. As people drove by, we got a few thumbs up and some wonderful comments. It really warms my heart to hear this. People taking a moment to slow down and say "THANKS." 

My family also suffered three losses in one day on Sunday. How do three people we know die in one day? It was really unbelievable. These were all separate incidences. One wake and funeral will be in Iowa, and the other two are local. My Mom is travelling to Iowa by herself, due to all of the other conflicts. Keep her in your thoughts. Life is very mysterious. Living on a roller coaster. My sisters and I also have heavy workloads right now. Focusing on what is necessary and immediate. 

I read about Memorial Day. What is it exactly. It was started around the 1860s. Many of the deceased of the Civil Was were not identified. There were no dog tags or next of kin notifications at that time. People felt is was very undignified not to give the deceased the proper respect in death. They declared that the last Monday in May would be Declaration Day. So, Happy Memorial Day just does not sit right with me.

My friends, Lynn and Nick welcomed home their son from Afghanistan. They are so happy to have Christopher home safely. This is why we put out flags and go visit my Dad. It is to thank everyone who has served and those who are no longer with us.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ONE Year Blogiversary

WOW ... one year...TODAY

You can take certain events in your life and then measure what has changed. You always here people say that "Nothing ever Changes," I so disagree with that. "Isn't it funny how day by day, nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.." C.S. Lewis

My Blog has evolved, I feel it has gotten better. My Photo quality is improving, but it still needs work. I do like Banana Bread and Cookies. Writing a blog is a large amount of work, I credit people who write almost every day or even every week. I was thrilled when I got my first comment. I try very hard, but sometimes, time just slips away. It is funny that sometimes people find interesting tidbits in my life.

Clematis on the side of my house
My Sweets by Shayla business is also evolving and growing. I have had jobs every weekend since the beginning of March. I now have business cards that are very cool, a Facebook page and my website went online on May 11th. I actually feel REAL. I have been busting my a$$ to make this work. I still have a day job, catering has been cut way back. Sadly, also has my yoga program. That I really do not like. Happy Peaceful Shayla is such a wonderful thing for myself and everyone else. JUST ask my Husband....

I feel that writing this blog is what help to propel me into moving my Sweets business forward. I have always love to cook and bake. Now I can get paid to do this. It really is about more than that. I still search the internet for new recipes. I could make something different everyday if I had my way. Bringing smiles to peoples faces is what makes me the happiest. I really appreciate their gratitude.

As I review this past year. So many changes have happened. One sister got her Master's degree and found a job. Another sister went back to school to get a degree in interior design. And my other sister is moving on with her life and preparing her girls for college. My Mother is wonderful. She has evolved into her own person. She entertains and helps so many people. She is not the old widow who sits home all the time.

Should only have 1 candle
My Husband is happy that my business is evolving. He is always selling for me. Pushing my cookies and treats. He has tasted more cookies than he ever thought he could. He has also washed more dishes than he would ever dream of. He wishes I could sit with him on the sofa sometimes, and just rest.

"There are places I'll remember All my life though some have changed, Some forever not for better, Some have gone and some remain, All these places have their moments, With lovers and friends I still can recall, Some are dead and some are living, In my life I have loved them all." John Lennon. This is one a my favorite songs. It makes me sad and happy in the same moment. The world has changed so much in the past year. Very special people in my life are now gone. WE are always changing. Those people who leave make us sad  and yet we cherish others because they are gone.

I would like to thank everyone who reads my blog. I hope this coming year is even more interesting.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Super Corn flake Cookies

Throw everything in the bowl, Mix together and Refrigerate. And then Bake. These cookies are a mix of amazing tastes. Amp'd up cornflakes, with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. Sweet, soft, gooey, crunchy, and chocolate. With Two sticks of Butter. What more could you want from life. These cookies are spreaders, just so you are aware. Not perfect little drops of dough. But their taste is just divine.

This recipe comes with two steps. Before you can proceed with the cookies,  you need to make the super Corn Flakes. To make this part of the recipe, it only takes a few minutes.You will have remaining Corn Flake mixture left over. I really think there are loads of uses for it. Throw it into another cookie. I used it a part of a yogurt parfait. Added a different dimension to my regular yogurt.

Corn Flake Crunch
5 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup instant milk powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons butter, melted


Heat oven to 275 degrees
In a medium bowl, place cornflakes and crush them with your hands. Add milk powder, sugar and salt. Toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. This will create small clusters.
Spread mixture on Silpat or Parchment paper on a sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. They will look toasty and smell buttery. Remove from oven
Let the corn flake mixture cool completely before adding to the recipe or storing.

Corn Flake Cookies
adapted slightly from margaretinthecity.wordpress.com
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups Corn Flake Crunch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. Set aside
Combine butter and sugars in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream together for 3 minutes on medium high. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 7-8 minutes. VERY important. DO

Reduce speed to low add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Add remaining ingredients and mix in by hand. ~~Place dough in the Refrigerator. I know, but if you want spreader cookies all your sheet, this is important. These are soft anyway.~~

Scoop out cookie dough. If you usually have 12 cookies on a sheet, on place 10. Bake for about 12 -13 minutes. They will puff, crackle and spread. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the sheet pan before moving. Cool completely on a wire rack.

This dough was heavenly. I really try not to eat cookie dough. But I could not resist.

The melding of Corn flakes, Chocolate chips and Marshmallows. Oh so good

Edges are brown and centers are pale. Melting in your mouth