Just when I thought spring could get any busier…

I got the stomach flu. And not just any stomach flu. The not eating solids for DAYS kind of flu. I’ve decided if I thought it was hard to get a blog post out when the hubby travels on business, the flu has NOTHING on that. I’m pretty sure there is a rule against mom getting sick. Everything just kind of comes to a stand still until I can get to it. Then just as I’m starting to feel better, the two year old gets it. Thank goodness for Netflix in trying to convince a sick toddler to STAY STILL for just a little bit and rest. (I know. I’m silly. Toddlers stay still? HA! Not even the flu could get her to stay still long!) Oh and the baby is teething.  It’s not always easy to be mom, and I wish sometimes I could get to my pile of to-do sewing and yarn work and stitching… (and gardening, and decorating…) but I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.  So things still haven’t gotten done around here, but, MY mom will be here for a few days soon. And I can’t think of a better time to catch up on a few things than that time grandma gets to play with the grandkids.

Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

So it’s time for another Try It Kit from Raley’s and Something Extra! This kit is themed with Spring Baking and I got… CAKE MIX! Mmmm cake. So this post is a review, recipe and a coupon giveaway all rolled into one!

Hilltop Homemaker: Try It Cupcakes

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Spring is a busy time!

Well we’ve been busy busy busy around the hilltop the last two weeks! I have tomatoes and peppers from Your Small Kitchen Garden sprouting in my bedroom.

Hilltop Homemaker: Tomatoes
We’ve started working on the daughter’s bed. (Plans are from Ana White!)
Hilltop HomemakerI got the quilt to its forever home.

Finished QuiltAnd I’ve been working down my sewing to do pile so I can play with my brand new custom insert for my sewing table! I have a quilt ready to go to test this out. I’ve been wanting a large flat bed like this since I started quilting! We’ve even got some baking done around here. (Look for an awesome recipe tomorrow!)

Oh and you know, the whole mom thing.

So what has spring been like around your house?

Whiskey Pork with Apples

Photo courtesy of Something Extra

Photo courtesy of Something Extra

Yum. All I can say is yum. This is probably not only a new staple to the dinner rotation, but our go to meal for St. Patrick’s Day. I found this recipe in our local Something Extra magazine again. It looked pretty good and at our house, we like pork, apples, and whiskey sauces.  Our dinners are usually, well I suppose you can call it home style: meat, carb and veggies. We do however like to do something fancier on occasion!

Now, on this occasion, we had company over. Hubby and I took turns cooking and chasing the kiddos and entertaining our guest.  When the pork and sauce were done, we started slicing it up. I got a photo here.  Then we tasted the sauce and it was a free for all. It was that dang good. There are no pictures at that point, so I kindly asked the folks that wrote the recipe to send me theirs. Ours turned out looking just about the same only we over cooked the apples slightly (this happens when you have small children…) and we didn’t add the rosemary on the top for garnish.  Folks starting eating this pork BEFORE it got to the table, and before we finished dinner, hubby had torn out the recipe and put it in my recipe folder. Yup. This pork is just. that. good. Continue reading

Broccoli, Chicken and Cheese Sandwich Puffs

Hilltop Homemaker: Chicken Cheese PuffThe other day, I decided to try a recipe I found in our local Something Extra magazine, Broccoli, Chicken and Cheese Puffs. It wasn’t half bad, but I would make it a little different the next time, just because of  what my family prefers. If you are looking for a perfect sandwich puff, this is a good guideline to follow!

First the recipe as written in the magazine:

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Irish Soda Bread

So Hilltop Hubby is half Irish. His aunt has a huge genealogy thing showing when and where all their relatives came to the U.S.  I’m…well…I’m Texan. My family has been in the US/America so long we don’t know what we were. My kiddos though are at least a quarter Irish so we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  It’s fun for all of us and one of my favorites is Irish Soda Bread. This is an easy recipe, but a messy one. You will get sticky fingers. But it’s worth. Oh so worth it.

I had never had soda bread before meeting my hubby. It’s kind of like a cross between a biscuit and a quick bread. There is no yeast involved. But a little kneading.

First you want to mix ALL of the dry ingredients. Ready? This is a big list.

  •  4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

There are no pictures of this because little K stirred the bowl for me. All over the kitchen. Fun but messy.

To all of this add 2 cups of buttermilk and stir until well incorporated. You will want to knead this on a lightly floured board until it comes together and looks smooth-ish. Unlike yeast bread you don’t have to be perfect. And be sure to flour your hands, although it won’t help a lick. You will be gooey and messy at this point. Shape the bread into a flat circle and put into a greased and floured 9 inch round. Lightly cut an X into the top with a knife. Bake it for 45 minutes at 350 and then…

Hilltop Homemaker: Irish Soda BreadSlice some off while warm and slather it in butter. We also eat it the next day for breakfast, re-heated in the microwave and served with butter. This recipe comes from Hilltop Hubby’s family. I hope everyone adds it to your corned beef meal this St. Patrick’s Day!

Bowties are Cool Bib Pattern and Tutorial

Hilltop Homemaker: Bowties are Cool Bib Tutorial and PatternSo little Stormageddon is officially 12 weeks old today. Enter the drool. Not just a little drool either. This is full blown, chew on everything and soak the onesie drool. Yay for us. So what does a fashionable Stormy need? A bowtie.

Because bowties are cool.

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