The gift of wine and Milwaukee



It’s finally spring break! It’s the first spring break that I have ever had without kids…and it’s weird!

Since we have no kids right now (my youngest is at Disney with the choir) we decided to go to Milwaukee for 2 days. We went on two beer tours and had so much fun!


Lakefront Brewery was amazing. The tour guide was hilarious and was very knowledgable. The Miller tour was great too—that place is huge! I am not going to lie—the beer samples were sooo good. We are panning to go back when we might have an additional Designated Driver. We didn’t do any tours on the second day because we did not want to drink then drive home. The thing I found weird about Milwaukee was that there was absolutely no traffic! We stayed downtown and it seemed like a ghost town. Nothing like the hustle and bustle of Chicago!

What can I say about the food? WOW! If you are in Milwaukee you must eat at the Red Rock Saloon. I had the absolute best burger of my life there! The hamburger was juicy and messy…just like a hamburger should be!


Another place to eat is the St. Paul Fish Market at the Public Market. The Crab Cake Sandwich was delicious!


Needless to say we didn’t have anything healthy really! Next time around we’ll go when hopefully there are more visitors so we can check out more brewery tours and some nightlife.

Since Milwaukee is all about beer I figured this is a good post to share a simple wine packaging idea. A friend of mine graduated with her masters in December. She loves wine so what better gift than that?

I had gone out to buy the wine and get this—the cashier put the wine in the wine kraft bag used for wine and accidentally left a few bags stuck to it. I get so excited about the weirdest things. I decided to decorate one of the kraft bags for gift giving.


The decorating was easy-no directions needed. I also decided to dress up the wine bottle with a wine tag.IMG_3184

Can it get any easier? I think not!

Have a great day!



Suplies: Stampin’ Up!, free wine bag, Michaels


French Almond Cake



Hows’s it going? Wherever you are I hope the weather is beautiful. We are almost to spring and I can’t wait for warm weather, and we haven’t even had bad weather.

We are chugging along in this  part of the world. Working, cooking, eating, crafting. It’s almost time for spring break and I am so looking forward to it. I don’t have any plans but I will be happy to not be on a schedule for a week.

I have finally started doing Zumba again and I am so happy. I do  need to look for new shoes. Maybe cross trainers. Any good suggestions? My foot is doing great since my surgery back n December. I am hoping to get surgery on my right foot this summer so that I can become totally pain-free or as pain-free as I can get! . It’s nice to be a little active. Once the weather is warmer I am also going to try to get back to walking.

I have  baked one of the most delicious cakes I have ever baked. Just hearing the word “French” lets me know that whatever it is it’s marvelous!


It’s sweet but not too sweet. The density is amazing-a bit dense but still light and fluffy.


It’s also beautiful, simple and elegant.

It’s a must bake!


  • ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup almond flour  (almond meal)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil

For the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  • ½ cups sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
  2. Place almonds in a small skillet and toast ever so lightly. Watch them closely and stir very often because they will burn quickly if not attended to! Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine the orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
  5. Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
  6. Add the oil and stir well. Don’t worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
  8. While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy!

I just loved this dessert and so did everyone else.  I think it’s going to become a family favorite that I will make over and over again.

Have a great weekend!



Source The Cafe Sucre Farine


Valentine’s Post It Pad



Are you in the mood for love? If you’re not you should get into it–Valentines Day is almost here! I believe I am a hopeless romantic at heart. But I’m also cynical about love. When I hear that someone is getting married first I think—suckers! Then I’m like awww how romantic!

Love is love. It’s beyond anything material, sometimes it’s beyond our reach, sometimes it’s the most beautiful thing ever and other times it’s the worst thing every! We’ll never understand it…

But materialistic or not getting gifts on Valentines Day is awesome!

I made this adorable post it holder for my swap group.  The embossing of the sentiment gave it a little elegance.


Isn’t it lovely? I used the embellishments that I made a while back with vintage sheet music.


The inside cover has a paper that’s a bit more modern.This comes together very quickly so you still have time to make some.  This is the perfect little gift for anyone who you:

  1. Love
  2. Like
  3. is addicted to paper

and many other reasons which I’ll let you come up with!

Happy Wednesday!



Supplies: Stampin’Up!, vintage sheet music, misc. supplies


Vanilla Rice Pudding



Who loves rice pudding?? I do! I do! I can eat it warm or cold. It’s so easy to make and easy to make in large quantities. It’s similar to Arroz con Leche but the consisitency is definitely thicker.


I made this to share with my friends at work and everyone enjoyed it. I really enjoy feeding people. I am a total food pusher.

Vanilla Rice Pudding

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sushi or Arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  •  pinch of salt


  1. Place the milk, 3/4 cup cream, sugar, rice, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes, until thickened. 
  3. Test the rice to ensure it’s done. You want a firm bite, but no crunchy center. 
  4. Remove the pudding from the heat, and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream and the  remaining 1/2 vanilla along with a pinch of salt.
  5. Serve warm; or refrigerate, well covered, and serve chilled. Sprinkle with a touch of ground cinnamon, if desired.

I totally love the consistency of this pudding.



Source King Arthur Flour

Hearty Turkey Soup


Happy Monday!

I hope everyone has gotten their week off to a good start! The weather here has been amazing the last two days! It’s mad me go out without socks! Yes, I am a rebel-no socks in winter! But they say there is a storm coming our way so that no sock business is all done with. It was nice while it lasted.

Who out there makes soup with their left over Thanksgiving turkey? I have been making this soup for about the last 18 years on Thanksgiving weekend. It is sooooo good! I could eat it all by myself!


It’s  the perfect soup to fill and warm your tummy on a cold day!

Hearty Turkey Soup

Ingredients (serves 6)

  •  2 (13 3/4 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked turkey pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 Tblspn. butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tspn. seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tspn. rosemary, crumbled
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 can (16 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (16 oz) sliced carrots, undrained
  • 1 can (17 oz) early garden sweet peas, undrained
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional but I totally recommend using it!)


Sprinkle 3 tblspn. chicken broth over turkey pieces;set aside. Saute garlic and onion in butter in large pot. Blend in flour, seasoned salt, rosemary and black pepper; add remaining broth. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Add turkey, tomatoes, carrots and peas. Reduce heat and simmer for 2o minutes. Add wine if desired. Boil 1 minute. Serve and enjoy.

I had some fresh rosemary so I threw that in the pot instead of crumbled rosemary. This soup is especially delicious served with a crusty bread. You can also use chicken in place of turkey and it’s just as delicious.

Have a great week and eat soup!





Puerto Rican Style Beans-Revisited



Happy New Year! How’s it going so far ? My New Years Eve was great! I spent it with a friend from work and her awesome family and friends. I hadn’t stayed out until 2 am in many, many years! I’m back at work and have been exhausted! I’m back trying to walk in my regular shoes after foot surgery. My foot is still hurting a bit. The doctor said it would take 6-8 months to totally heal! I am so ready to wear some cute shoes! Winter just isn’t meant for all the cute shoes I want to wear!

Today I’m revisiting a post from March, 2012. The original picture was just so ugly that I wanted to post a much prettier picture of this delicious meal. I make these beans about once a month and I love them.


Puerto Rican Style Beans


  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 cubanelle (banana) pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 15.5 oz can pink beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 pieces
  • 1 packet sazón
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch oregano
  • salt and pepper


In a mini food processor, chop onions, garlic, pepper and cilantro-or use your trusty knife. Add oil to a medium saucepan and saute the chopped ingredients about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the saucepan along with sofrito with 3/4 cup of water. Add tomato sauce, potato, sazón, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

This is such a simple and fast recipe for all the busy people!



Source Skinnytaste






Christmas Tag 2015



So I believe I’ve been making myself suffer more than I have to. I am doing as little as possible right now so that my foot  heals really well. People might think I’m trying to milk it and I’m being lazy but I’m not (my family won’t allow they’re pretty spoiled.)…I’m just trying to literally get back on my feet. I  am used to doing everything at home from working all day,  cleaning, cooking and dealing with the everyday stuff. So it’s hard just lying around being bored. Thanksgiving Day I was on my feet all day. I could barely walk for the next two days. The pain in my feet was excruciating-it needs to go! So I’m a little crabby-big deal. I’ll get over it and my family will too. I have to do something for myself once in a while.

Anyway…about two weeks ago I made my Christmas tags for this year. The funny thing is that I have only been able to use it on one gift! Since I am not going up and down the stairs my daughter has helped me wrap a few gifts and she missed putting the tag on. What am I going to do–nothing.


It’s the easiest tag to make and you can use paper scraps and recycle some pop tabs. Easy and cute.

OK…I’m going back to the couch now to watch like my 50th movie in a week! I sometimes post more on my  Instagram or here on Facebook so check them out.




Supplies:  misc. pop tabs, Stampn’Up!, misc. paper