Monday Mug Shot

This week’s mug is one I’ve mentioned before. It’s the original Lake Tahoe mug. The one I’ve already highlighted was acquired in 2018. Today’s mug was bought on a trip taken in 2005. The year before we moved to Texas. In the picture, you can see the little chip I mentioned in a previous blog. Not sure how it happened, but I suspect it has something to do with boys doing dishes. 😏

My youngest sister and brother-in-law, along with my nephew, came to visit us that summer. It was the first time that my brother-in-law had ever visited us in Cali. My nephew was actually born in California as was my sister. That was a fun summer! We took them all over our neck of the woods; Yosemite, Sonoma, fishing at Martinez Marina . . . Lake Tahoe. My brother-in-law fell in love with Tahoe (as do most people who visit there) and decided he might like to retire there. He has a few years to go, so we’ll see if that actually happens.

I believe my sister ended up with a bigger version of this same mug. Think soup mug. It’s the perfect size for a cup of tea or a plain cup of coffee. I don’t use it for my latte’s, but it’s one of my hubby’s favorites for tea. This little guy invokes memories of one of our favorite places, visited with some of our favorite people. It’s also one of the first of my collection and therefore has a certain extra sentimental value.

😊🛶🏔☕️💕

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Monday Mug Shot

We’re baack! I halted Monday Mug Shot for awhile as I adjusted to my new normal with Cervical Dystonia. I’m still adjusting a little, but decided it was time to continue the mug shots. I thought it might be getting boring, but I’ve been told by a few that they enjoyed it. So, for those lovely souls who actually like my little stories – the return of Monday Mug Shot.

Our story continues with a new acquisition. This one, again, is from Branson. My hubs and I took a week- long trip this past April for our 25th wedding anniversary. We spent a few days on our own and a few days with our besties. On one of our solo days we found a beautiful shop called the Crystal Fish. On our first visit, I spotted a ceramic collection that included some unique and beautiful mugs that caught my eye. I resisted, however, reminding myself that I have plenty of mugs at the moment and we didn’t need to spend the money even though we could.

The next day my love decided that he wanted another of the candles that we had purchased the previous day so as to have a matching set. So, back we went to the Crystal Fish. This time we visited with the owners for quite awhile and the ceramic collection called to me again. The owner of the shop gave us a little history into the artist and her work. My hubby and I were both convinced – this mug was coming home with us.

We actually fell in love with the entire collection, but that would have been more than a pretty penny and just a little crazy. That was several months ago and this one has become a favorite to both of us. I love the design and my sweetie loves the functionality and how comfortably the handle fits his hand. Not to mention that it doesn’t get the least bit hot to the touch in the microwave. Beautiful and functional. What more could you want?

I love this mug for so many reasons; the unique and beautiful design, the fact that someone created this by hand, it’s big enough for a latte’ . . . but, more importantly than all of that. This mug reminds me of a beautiful time spent with the love of my life, celebrating 25-years of making amazing memories together by making more wonderful memories! I am a very blessed woman!

💍 2️⃣5️⃣🎊🥂😊💕

New Kitchen Toy

My husband recently gifted me with a new toy for my kitchen that he found on Brad’s Deals.  An 8-qt. pressure cooker that he got for $50!  WooHoo!  Isn’t it pretty?!

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One of the first things I made in it was a super cheesy Mac n’ Cheese, from scratch, in about 20 minutes!  It was awesome and really tasty!

Since then I’ve cooked a roast from frozen to fabulous in about 90 minutes, Egg Roll Bowls in less than 10 minutes start to finish.  I’ve made Curry Chicken, Lentil Stew, and even yogurt!  I am loving this thing!

The kitchen is a more challenging place for me since my diagnosis and as a result, we’ve been eating out more, which isn’t good.  It takes me longer to prepare things and there is a level of frustration that causes me to get a little discouraged and take even longer, or give up altogether.  Then, there’s the whole, “I forgot to thaw the meat!” thing.  With this new pressure cooker, both of those challenges are alleviated.  Even if it takes me longer to do the prep, the cooking time is cut so short that it balances out.  We dont end up eating at 8:00 (which I hate) because I’m a slow poke in the kitchen now, or abandoning the prospect of cooking dinner altogether because I forgot to thaw the meat out.  It’s a win-win!

I’ve only begun to learn all the things I can do with this time-saver.  I’m very excited to try new things in it.  I’m especially excited that I can make my own yogurt again via a much easier process than the crockpot or stovetop, not to mention it’s quicker.  I’m also excited that we got such a great deal!  These things aren’t cheap.  If you’ve never heard of Brad’s Deals you might want to check it out.  Not that this is a plug for them, it’s not.  If you’re in the market for a pressure cooker, that just might be another place to keep an eye out for a deal.  Either way, I’d say a pressure cooker is a good investment for any kitchen!

👩🏻‍🍳😊👍🏻

 

Kitchen Genius

Last week I had a couple of grandgirls over for a sleepover. One of them, Leah, has enjoyed being in the kitchen since she was little.  She’s very creative and likes to invent things.  My plan was for us to make banana muffins together.  Leah, however, needed to take it to another level.

We started with our basic banana muffin recipe and this time Leah did most of the work while I supervised.  After all, she’s 11 now and quite capable in the kitchen – not to mention tall enough to reach just about everything that I can reach. 

After the muffins were baked is when the real fun started.  Leah decided she wanted a peanut butter filling in the muffins.  So, we brainstormed a couple of ideas for doing that with muffins baked in a liner.  After trying a couple different methods including sticking an icing tip directly into the top of the muffin to extrude filling into it that way, and using a straw to make a small indentation to put filling in, Leah had a stroke of genius.  She used a small spoon to scoop out some of the muffin from the top, piped filling into the indentation, then sprinkled it with pieces of the muffin she had removed.  Brilliant!

 

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The result was quite tasty and not too bad to look at.  I’d say our little pastry chef has some potential.  The recipe is below if you’d like to try it out for yourself.

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LEAH’S PEANUT BUTTER FILLED BANANA MUFFINS

3C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1t. Baking Soda
1t. Salt
1/2 t. Baking Powder
2C. Sugar
1C. Vegetable or Canola oil
3 Lg. Eggs
2t. Vanilla
4 Ripe Bananas, coarsely mashed

Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Mash bananas and set aside.  Whisk together all dry ingredients except the sugar in a medium bowl.  In a large bowl, beat wet ingredients and sugar to blend.  Stir in the banana.  Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.  Drop batter into muffin cups with an ice cream scoop.  Bake 25-30 mins. until tops are golden brown.

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

1C. Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2C. Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2C. Powdered Sugar

Using a stand or hand mixer, combine all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Let muffins cool completely. With a small spoon scoop a small amount of the muffin out of the top.  Using whatever icing tip you prefer, pipe a small amount of filling into the recess you created in the muffin.  Sprinkle the filling with pieces of the removed muffin and enjoy!

Monday Mug Shot

Happy Monday all!  I have decided that since it’s December, I would share with you some of my favorite Christmas mugs.  Yes, I also have a collection of Christmas mugs.  I might have a problem. 🤔

I’m kind of excited to share today’s mug with you!  This is one of my all-time favorites of all my mugs.  I have had it since my boys were babies and it’s just so darn cute!  So, without further ado . . .  Ta-Da!

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Right?!  I bought this one at a Macy’s after Christmas sale sometime in the mid 90’s.  I prefer after Christmas sales to Black Friday.  I don’t even do Black Friday.  Anyway, I drink homemade hot cocoa with a splash of Bailey’s in it every Christmas Eve.  It’s basically a tradition.  I love snowmen and I love that this one has a snowman shape rather than a typical mug shape.  I love the colors and somewhat retro look of it.  Of course, it might be even more retro now that I’ve had it for 20+ years.  One of my sons loves this mug too.  He tries to convince me every Christmas that it’s HIS mug and HE drinks out of it every Christmas Eve.  😂😂😂  He’s a funny one, that one!  You know exactly who you are . . . MATTHEW!  Don’t worry, when I go to be with Jesus THEN it’ll be yours. 😘

This mug brings back SO many wonderful Christmas memories and, I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but it invokes that sense of stability that comes with history – our own history.  Growing up, my family was a bit nomadic. My life with my husband has been almost completely the opposite and I have felt very stable.  I have very few family heirlooms from my childhood and my boys have many.  I think the stability of our family has facilitated the ability to hang onto things longer.  Like this mug that I’ve had since one of the boys’ early Christmases.  Does this make any sense?

Either way, I really enjoy this mug and the fact that I’ve been able to enjoy it for so long.  I consider it a family heirloom and hope it will be enjoyed for many Christmases to come!

🎄☕️😊💕

Monday Mug Shot

I apologize for missing last Monday.  Things were a bit busy with it being Thanksgiving week.  I hope you had a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

For this week’s mug, I’m sharing another newcomer.  This one is from our Branson trip with my bestie and her hubby this past October.  We’d never been before and were sufficiently impressed.  We plan to return as much as possible.  If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.

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There’s a fun little story with this one.  The four of us were shopping in one of the stores on Main St.  The girls were in one part of the store and the guys in another.  I found the mug section fairly quickly, of course, and as I spotted this one my husband came up behind me, pointed at it, and said “That one’s cool.”  That pretty much sealed the deal.  I think that was the first time we spotted a mug we liked at the same time.  My hubs doesn’t usually care that much about mugs since he’s not a big coffee or tea drinker.  So, this was a momentous occasion.

This mug reminds me of a wonderful time with wonderful friends, the great entertainment that is a big part of Branson, and that one special time when my sweetie and I spotted a mug we both liked at the same time.  It was simply serendipitous and I hope to enjoy this one for a long, long time.

😊☕️💕

Monday Mug Shot

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Today’s mug is in honor of my home state.  It’s heavy on my heart today due to the devastating fires that are going on there.  The “Camp Fire” in Northern California is being called “The most destructive fire in state history” according to CBS News.  The evacuation of 250,000 people from Malibu in Southern California was a horrifying thing to see as I watched some footage from it on T.V. last night.  My heart hurts for my fellow Californians and my prayers are going up for my friends, family, and all of those who have lost so much in these terrible fires!

I acquired this mug during our most recent visit to our hometown of Concord this past May.  There is a brand new shopping area where a Chevron office building stood when we left in 2006.  In that shopping area is a Peet’s coffee.  It was close to our hotel, so this was where I got most of my morning coffee.  We don’t have Peet’s coffee here in Central Texas, or at least not that I’ve been able to find, so this mug really needed to come home with me.  😉

This is the exact store we visited.  Normally, this mug puts me in a California dreamin’ state of mind; sunshine, cool breezes, no humidity, and reminds me of my roots.  Today it reminds me to pray; for rain, for safety, for comfort, for ways to help and for the recovery of my beautiful home state once the devastation passes.  This isn’t our first season of wildfires and it won’t be our last, but it is proving itself to be one of the most devastating.  Please pray and help if you can.

Blessings!  🙏🏻💕