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Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

You all know that I hate the cold.

I would take 97F over -25F EVERY. TIME.

And spending two hours shoveling my driveway, while a great workout, is not my idea of time well-spent.

But I have to say, getting a four-day weekend is pretty spectacular.

Guys. We got snow days!! Not one, but two!!

If you’re from Montana, this is basically unheard of. It could snow an entire foot over night and we’d still have to go to school.

Last week though, we got Friday off because it snowed a foot over night and then we had 50mph wind. I had to pretend I was hearing ocean sounds in order to sleep. It actually worked really well. There still weren’t enough streets cleared by Monday to safely open the schools, which meant that we got to stay home again.

So my mind naturally came up with this frozen treat. If you’re all bundled up and you don’t have to brave the cold, why not?

All you have to do is make some whipped cream
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches
We make whipped cream by adding heavy whipping cream and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Beat until fluffy and add maple syrup in small amounts until it tastes right.

Get some graham crackers
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Spread on some peanut butter
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Then the whipped cream
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Sprinkle on some chocolate chips. Drizzle on as much caramel as you can.
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches
More caramel! Caramel recipe can be found here.

Top them off and freeze them for a couple of hours.
Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

Frozen Whipped Cream Sandwiches

These sandwiches don’t get rock hard like you’d expect. Even after they’ve been in the freezer overnight! They were shockingly easy to break in half and bite through. The whipped cream retains its fluffy texture, and frozen caramel might be the best thing in the world. As my husband says, “These things will change your life.”

If I would have known I could celebrate the cold with treats, I would’ve had a completely different outlook on winter.

Then I don’t know what is.
New Oven!

I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile. And while I’m kind of sorry about that, I also really enjoyed the downtime.

I took some time to take photos just for fun. And because I wasn’t trying to get any kind of photo in particular, it helped me improve my skills a little.
Hellooooooo F stop!
Dandelions
Exhibit A

My Bubble
Exhibit B

And to be quite honest with you, I was feeling a bit uninspired in the kitchen. I know, right? Kind of lame for a food blogger to stop having fun in the kitchen.

I don’t want to post fluff just so I can say I posted something. I write when I’m inspired. Or when I’ve had a success.

Or an epic failure.

And there were so many other things happening in my life–all for the good!–that what we were eating for dinner just kind of went on the back burner. (Kitchen pun! It’s ok, I know I’m hilarious.)

But let’s get back to that gorgeous photo at the top.

Dude, we got a new oven!

New Oven!
It bakes! (And doesn’t take 40 minutes to preheat)

New Oven!
It cooks! (Well, I guess technically I cook, but that’s beside the point)

I’m in love.

Between the new oven and my dreamboat, I’m kind of in heaven. And! I’m ready to get back in the kitchen.

Watch out world!

There’s this thing that happens to me when the sun shines.

Suddenly, things that were so stressful and worrisome become not such a big deal.

Where I would have found myself saying no before, I now find myself enthusiastically saying yes.

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I find that making dinner can wait, because there’s something amazing happening in the back yard.
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Dinner planning is a little more exciting when I think about picking vegetables from my garden in a few weeks/months.
Basil
Last summer’s basil

I get excited about being outside again, and I don’t even have to be bribed!

When these guys start talking about sleeping in a tent, I don’t shudder like I would have even two weeks ago.
Easter Egg Hunt

And even though there have been a few setbacks,
Easter Egg Hunt
Snow. Again.

I think it’s safe to say, I’m seeing the signs that winter is over.
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Finally.

Missoula loves to celebrate. Especially when it comes to beer.

So twice a year we have a Brew Fest to celebrate all the local and regional brews we have access to.

Beer

Unfortunately, I don’t like beer.

At all.

This wouldn’t be so bad if my husband weren’t a home brewer.
White Wine & Fruit
I like sangria. And wine soaked fruit when the sangria runs out.

Even still, I’d never miss a Brew Fest.

I like going for the people,
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the food,
Cajun Style
Alligator(!) bites, grit cakes, and beignets.

and the opportunity to bring the family.
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Brew Baby

And when the news crews show up,
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you know you’re in for a good time.

Thanks Missoula! Can’t wait for the summer Brew Fest!

I have a recipe to share with you, I promise!!

But it needs just a little more tweaking. Which involves re-making it and taking new photos.

Trust me, this is a good thing. For me. Because I’ll get to eat it.

Eventually it will be a good thing for you, because you’ll get to eat it. Assuming, of course, that you make it. (You should!)

Anyway, until Saturday when I can re-cook and re-shoot, here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

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Soaking up absolutely every last bit of sunshine. Fortunately, until this week we’ve actually had really amazing weather.

Secret Agent Machine
Marveling at how fast my son is growing up. He’s writing sentences! (It says “Secret Agent Machine,” in case you don’t read 1st grade)

Apple Canning
Canning! For the first time ever! It’s so fun, and I love love love eating homemade applesauce, apple butter and plum butter. I don’t know enough about canning yet to share with you, but I have lovely friends who are helping me learn.

Pinterest. If I need to tell you more, you are seriously missing out. I can pin like it’s my job, people.

I’ve also gotten us back on a weekly menu plan. I can’t believe how much time, energy, money and sanity this saves! It only takes us about 10 minutes to figure out what we want to eat that week, and then we just figure out what ingredients we need to buy and head to the store. And then I know that we won’t be eating the same things over and over, and we use up leftovers much more efficiently because it’s planned into the menu. Oh the little things that make me happy :)

What have you been up to?

I’m not a crafty person. I could reiterate, but it’s ok, you can take my word for it.

Lately I’ve had the urge to make stuff. Not food stuff, though I’ve been doing plenty of that, too.

It started with some alterations to a dress.  Yeah, it’s still sitting next to my bed waiting to get finished.

Then I made a camera strap out of Nick’s old tie.  It was fun, and it’s cute, though admittedly not the greatest sewing job I’ve ever done.

And then *I* went all out!

*I* made labels for my jars!!

**It was my idea, but I made Nick do it since he actually is skilled at making things look awesome.

(It’s exciting! I’ll show you)

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I’ve had these gallon-sized glass jars for a few months now, and I’ve been using them for my flours and sugar.

I’ve had no problem identifying what is in each jar, but apparently I’m just extremely gifted. Fortunately we’ve had no sugar/flour switcharoo incidents. I’ve been meaning to label them, but I wanted cute/artistic labels, so I’ve been holding off until I could find some.
Admittedly, they’d be a lot easier to find if I actually looked. Ah well.

But this weekend, it totally hit me–chalkboard paint!!
Did you know they even make such a thing? I did, and I’ve always wanted to use it for something cool. A trip to Home Depot later, and we had chalkboard spray paint and some wide painter’s tape.

I have four jars total, so we played around with the first jar to see how big/where the label should go.
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Then more tape was added to prevent the paint from spreading onto the rest of the jar.
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After that, it was just a matter of following the directions on the can of paint.
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I’d recommend putting some cardboard or a paint cloth under the jars to catch the paint. We were excited and in a hurry though.

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Once the area was fully covered, we left it in the sun to dry.
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In the meantime, we taped and painted the rest of the jars, removing the tape when the paint had dried for a few minutes.
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Some of the lids had been written on with sharpie markers, and no amount of scrubbing and washing could get it off, so we decided to paint those too.
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Again, a drop cloth or cardboard would have been a good idea. Fortunately, watering the grass with the sprinkler got a lot of the paint out, and mowing the lawn will take the rest of it out.

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Hey look, we found some cardboard!

I’m so pleased at how well they turned out!
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And for less than $5 per can of paint, I think I can find a lot more projects *I* can do around the house. Wouldn’t these be awesome Christmas presents? If you’re a member of my family, pretend you didn’t see how easy this was!

What did you do over your long weekend?

I can’t admit how much it saddens me that summer is almost over.

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Hold on, yes I can. And I’ve been telling everyone for the last week.

So rather than focusing on how dark it’s getting in the mornings/evenings, and how much I hate being cold, I’m trying to squeeze every last drop of summer onto my vitamin-D soaked skin.

I’m taking advantage of weekend festivals and farmer’s markets.
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We’re eating shave ice and watermelon for lunch.
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We got a dog!
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Because what says summer more than taking your dog to the river to make friends?
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We are totally in love with Britta! She was a stray, in line for euthanasia before an absolutely lovely woman introduced us. If you’re even thinking of adopting a dog, I’d highly recommend driving over to Corvalis and visiting the MT Companion Animal Network.

I know that fall can be lovely,
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but I’m just not ready to give this up!
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How are you feeling about the end of summer?

It’s no secret that I read a lot of blogs.

Like, a lot.

Like, opening Google Reader after a vacation is pretty scary.

I just like to learn! And I’m fascinated with other peoples’ lives. And people take extraordinary pictures.

One of my favorite blogs is dig this chick.  And some of my favorite posts of Nici’s are Hump Day Nuggets.  Little nuggets from the past week.  A lovely collection of photos and snippets of stories.

I’ve always wanted to copy this style, but never felt like it would be right for me to do so.  It’s so uniquely Nici’s voice!  Recently, though, she began encouraging other bloggers to adopt her crazy awesome Nuggets, and I may have squealed a little bit.  No big deal.

So, here are my nuggets from the past week or so…

Our garden is finally–finally–blooming!
Basil
Basil–used in homemade tomato sauce just last night

Garlic
Garlic, curing in the sun before I will eventually roast some in the oven

Baby Eggplant
Zucchini
Baby eggplant and zucchini peeking through the leaves

Green Tomatoes
I didn’t get pictures of the red tomatoes, because we eat them as fast as they ripen. Oh mama, they’re good!

Edible Broccoli Flowers
Have you ever eaten broccoli flowers? I hadn’t either, and now I’m contemplating letting all the broccoli go to bloom.  Eating flowers is fun.

Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken getting smoky and juicy next to corn on the grill.

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Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies that turned into ice cream sandwiches

Ice Cream Sandwich
Don’t worry, that post is coming soon

Coils & Feathers
I fell in love with my friend Jayann’s earrings. Fortunately, she sells them at the Farmers Market

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Did you catch the Oula Flash Mob on Saturday?! It’s one of my life’s goals to be part of a flash mob someday.

Lovely little nuggets. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with them every Wednesday, but I am pleased I get to share them with you today.

What are your favorite moments/memories from the past week?

humpdaynuggets

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Yep.

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Yep.  Mmmhmm.

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Yeah.

I’ve made cakes before. Delicious, moist, fluffy cakes. Sometimes with frosting, sometimes glaze, sometimes with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
But I’ve never made a layer cake.  And we all know that presentation isn’t my strong suit.

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I’ve always wanted to do it–try my hand at making things look as pretty as they are delicious.
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I’m getting better at it, but when it matters, when all the money’s on the table, I call in the master.

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The man with a vision (and that whole spatial-awareness thing that I never got).

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The man who can freehand the Bat Signal.

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The man who can take my lopsided, haphazardly frosted (but delicious) cake wreck and turn it into art.

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So that when it matters,

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When it’s important,

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No one remembers that it tilted to one side.

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They remember the sweet Batman cake. And the even sweeter birthday boy.

Thanks for working on Father’s day, Nick. You make Batman proud.

Hello!

Oh my gosh, it’s been so long!

You *look* fantastic!
*I can’t really see you, but knowing you, I can assume.

What have I been up to?  Oh geez, where do I start?

Well, we’ve been moving.  And that’s seriously hectic.
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Have you ever moved?  I swear things start appearing.  Literally materializing out of thin air!  You think you know how much stuff you have until you try to move from one house to another.  Just as soon as I thought we were close to being done, I’d open a closet or a cupboard and have another carload of stuff.  Plus, if I ever have to scrub walls again, I may die.

And then of course, because moving isn’t epic enough, *my* babies all graduated.
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*In full disclosure, only one of those “babies” are mine. And one of them only graduated kindergarten this year.

*Also, Nick is rolling his eyes. I can feel it. It’s cool. 

And that’s been mixed in with working, rehearsing, performing yadda yadda yadda.

But it’s great.  All of it.  I can’t believe how lucky I am.  How awesome our friends and family are.  I’m never hesitant to say that I’m loving life, but there are times when it’s truer, more real.  This is definitely one of those times.

What about you?  What have you been up to lately?  I’d love to hear from you, and let’s promise to meet like this more often!

See you soon?

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