Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

What can I say about Miss Mabel?!  She is producing some amazing things from the kitchen this summer.  While we were gone on our anniversary trip, I received this photo.

Isn't it gorgeous?

She made this gorgeous Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake by using The Pioneer Woman's recipe.

Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake


Butter, for greasing
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tbsp butter, melted

1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 ounces, bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp milk


To make the chocolate cake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place a piece of the parchment paper or a silicone mat on a 17x12 sheet pan, and rub butter on it to grease.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine the cocoa powder, flour, and salt.

Bring an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Combine the eggs and sugar in a heatproof glass bowl, then place over the simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl).  Using a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together over medium speed for about two minutes, until the eggs are thick, pale yellow, and warm to the touch (if you have a thermometer, you want the eggs to be 120 degrees F.  If you don't have a thermometer, just touch the mixture with your finger every once in a while until it feels like hot tap water).

Remove the egg bowl form the heat and continue beating at medium high speed for another 3 minutes, until it's thick and airy, and has reached the ribbon stage.  That means when you drag and drizzle a spoonful of the liquid, it shouldn't settle back into the liquid for a good 3-10 seconds.  Mix in the melted butter.

Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, and gently fold it in to the eggs with a spatula, working quickly.  Spread the batter onto the buttered parchment or silicone mat leaving an inch from the edges.  Bake the cake for 5-6 minutes, until springy to the touch.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle lightly with cocoa powder.  Flip the cake onto the parchment, then remove the parchment of silicone mat that the cake baked on.  Gently roll the cake up into a log while it's still warm.  This is like muscle memory for the cake and will roll easier again later.

To make the filling, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, and whip with a hand mixer to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes on medium speed.

Unroll the cooled cake, then spread the cream all over, leave a 1" border around all edges.  Roll the cake up gently (leaving the parchment paper behind), then place on a wire rack.

To make the chocolate ganache, microwave the cream and chocolate in a heatproof bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each time, until combined.  Add the tbsp of milk, which will give a more pourable consistency.  Pour the chocolate ganache evenly over the cake, then refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving, so the ganache can firm up.

The cake is now ready to be sliced and served.



Grilled Caprese Sandwich

This was another new recipe I had found earlier in the summer when we had garden tomatoes coming out of our ears!  What an abundant harvest we had!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich


2 slices sourdough bread
1-2 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp pesto with basil
1 tomato, sliced
2 slices mozzarella cheese (about 1/4 inch think)


1.  Warm frying pan over medium heat.  Butter both sides of your bread and then grill both sides of both pieces.

2.  Next, place pesto on the grilled side and the cheese on top.

3.  Allow cheese to melt a little, then place tomatoes on top of the cheese followed by the top piece of bread.



Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts

With a garden bursting with tomatoes back in June, I had inspiration to look up new recipes for tomato use.

This was a yummy and delicious summer meal!

Tomato Basil Mozzarella Toasts


1 crusty French Baguette
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese ball
4 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used up some of my smaller Better Boy tomatoes.)
4 basil leaves, finely chopped


1.  Heat oven to High broil.

2.  Slice the baguette in half, lengthwise, so that you are left with two long halves of bread.  Slice the mozzarella ball into very thin slices.  Sliced the tomatoes into thin slices.  Layer mozzarella slices along the bread, cut size up.

3.  Place on a baking tray and broil for 3-4 minutes or until mozzarella has begun to melt and bubble slightly.  Remove from oven and lay tomato slices on top.

4.  Return to oven for 1-2 more minutes.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil.  Slice into pieces.  Garnish very lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.



Sunday, July 23, 2017

Skippin' Town

Once upon a time, David and I would use our get-out-of-town card every 5 years without the kids  (way, way too long of a wait in-between).  We'd drop them off with or fly down grandparents to watch over the darlings.

However, after our 20th anniversary road trip (two years ago, here and here), I told him no way.  Not anymore. We would not be waiting every five years to get away by ourselves.  We need to seriously refuel more often.

So last week, for 30 hours, we skipped town!

We left to celebrate  # 22!   (Sans kids.  Sans a babysitter.  Teen girls are old enough to hold down the fort.)

I told him I just wanted a pool with a good drink and a book to read.

We ate delicious food.

We shocked our teenagers by sending them a mirrored selfie!  Ha ha ha!

And wowzer!  We had a room with a view!

We were on the top floor with the outside wall being one, enormous, floor-to-ceiling window that presented a stunning view.

It was so relaxing.  Oh my gosh.  It felt so good to be just the two of us for a little bit of time.  Now I'm thinking, we need to do this more than once a year ;)

Feeling so grateful (and refreshed)!


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Preparing for TSG Camping Season

Stan the man (and David) have been part of TSG (Troops of St. George) for going on 4 years now.  Stan is now a senior cadet and with that comes responsibility such as knowing how to set your own tent and prepare your own food on the camp out.  In other words, daddy isn't going to be doing this for him anymore.

David was thinking ahead and purchased a beginner's tent for our young man.  :)   Today, in the terrible heat, he taught Stan how to set up the tent.  He took him through the steps, one at a time.

Then, David took it all apart and had Stan do it himself.  Three times for good measure ;)

Stan did a GREAT job and David is an awesome dad :)

~  Patty ~

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Dallas Arts District Field Trip (Post Ortho Visit)

My little man had another ortho visit in Dallas yesterday.  (We won't have any more back-to-back ones until the end of August.)  Like last week, we wanted to get as much out of our drive into the city as possible.

We packed a lunch before we left the house.  After our visit to the ortho, we parked the car near the Cathedral, (popping in to visit Jesus real quick), and then walked to Klyde Warren Park for a picnic lunch.

Since it was 7/11, 7- Eleven was giving out their free Slurpee's.  The 7 Eleven truck was there and we got right in line for our freebie ;)

The park is so unique!!  There is so much to do for people of all sizes.  We decided to have a hand at ping pong, but it was really so hot it didn't last too long.  (Beside, the old lady was whoopin' his butt!)

We watched children cooling off in the fountains...

...before crossing the street to enjoy the Dallas Museum of Art.

Admission into the general exhibits is FREE, so we took advantage of that deal to cool off in the air conditioning.

We have had a lot of fun the past 7 days.  I'm not sure if we will be able to be as adventurous next month since his visits will coincide with his school.  I know we both have enjoyed this one-on-one time :)


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Consider the Lilies (Scripture Study)

I am so excited to have started this new Scripture study, Consider the Lilies, by Elizabeth Foss!

This can be done on an individual bases (like I am doing) or with a group (online or in real life).  Put together and published by the wonderful group, Take Up and Read,  you can purchase your Scripture study on Amazon and sign up to receive daily prompts through your email.

Take Up and Read officially began the six week study on July 10, but you can also do this on your own time.

I was so excited to be encouraged to buy my first set of big-girl markers/highlighters/colored pencils for this Scripture study!

Along with my Catholic Bible and a pen, all I need is my Double Duty Caddy from Thirty - One Gifts (that should be arriving in the mail soon)!

If you have bought the Scripture study, too, blessings to you for a fruitful journey with God!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Perot Museum Field Trip (Post Ortho Visit)

Stan the man had an orthodontic appointment in Dallas last week.  It was one of those quick, in-and-out visits.  So we decided to make the most of our drive into the city and visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

Just the two of us :)  

Having a nifty coupon to get us in made the visit even more fun!

We took in the exhibit, Maya : Hidden Worlds Revealed!

And he had a blast programming and playing with the robots.

After a little splashing around outside, we decided to hit the road for home, hoping to get a jump start on the rush hour traffic.

This was another spontaneous bucket filler for our summer.  We are actually heading back into the city to see his ortho again tomorrow with more fun things planned for afterward.  I love spending the one-on-one with this kiddo!

~   Patty  ~

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

No-Bake Strawberry Blueberry Trifle

I made my first-ever trifle for the Fourth of July and it was SOOOO delicious!  This was an easy-to-assemble dessert that was so festive and patriotic for the Fourth.

Ingredients :
17 oz angel food cake, (I used a pre-made Sara Lee frozen pound cake), cut into 1" cubes.
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 pound fresh blueberries
4 or 5 quart trifle dish (I found a $6 one at Walmart.)

Lemon Syrup Ingredients: 
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Frosting Ingredients:
2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened at room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla


How to make lemon syrup -
1.  In a measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup water, 2 Tbsp sugar ,and 2 Tbsp lemon juice and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside until needed.

How to make the trifle cream -
1.  Beat together 1 lb cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar (with the whisk attachment) on medium speed until creamy and smooth, scraping the bowl a couple times.

2.  With mixer on, pour in 2 cups heavy cream then turn mixer to medium/high and continue beating until whipped and fluffy.

3.  Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Assembling the berry trifle -

1/. Place 1/3 of your sliced cake into the bottom of your trifle dish and brush with 1/3 of your syrup.  Add 1/3 of your cream and loosely spread it over cake pieces.  (I even used my washed finger tips to help with the spreading.).

2.  Add 1/2 of the sliced strawberries.

3.  Repeat with remaining ingredients (adding 1/2 of the blueberries for the second fruit layer).

4.  Frost the top with last 1/3 of cream and decorate with remaining fruit.

A perfect dessert to bring to a party!

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it linked to here.

Happy Fourth!


Monday, July 3, 2017

Take Me Back in Time This Summer (week 4)

Wow!  So June ended up being the most incredible month of contentment and peace.  It was perfect!  I haven't felt this mentally healthy in a long time.  How much power the word NO wields!

Each day we woke up to see what we would put into our spontaneity bucket and this is how we lived.

* Sidewalk chalk compliments of Miss Mabel  (Masha and the Bear is Miss C's favorite cartoon on Netflix)

* Playing with play dough

* Books from the library

* Having friends over

* Going to friends houses

* Sleepovers

* Tomatoes from the garden

* So much swimming

* Rolling thunder and the pretty contrast in colors

* New nail clippers (Now everyone else in the house knows which ones are moms - ha ha!)

* It's time for creamy blueberry pie!

* Blueberry pancakes

* July 4th decorating and parties

Until next time ~



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