Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rich Chocolate Sorbet

Good for you, low fat and richly chocolate? Absolutely! Cocoa has no fat and is said to help protect you from heart disease and some cancers, and help boost your immune system. This recipe has all of those benefits but excludes all the fat that usually goes with any thing full of chocolate. And with all the hot days we recently had here, this sweet treat can't go wrong.

Rich Chocolate Sorbet

1 cup natural cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups water
3/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place cocoa and water in a saucepan. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in honey and salt. Stir over medium high heat constantly until mixture boils. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool completely.

Pour mixture into canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, place mixture into a plastic container and freeze, stirring mixture every few hours. Freeze overnight.

Per serving: 140 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 chol.

"It is a hard matter, my fellow citizens, to argue with the belly, since it has no ears."


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ripley's Believe It Or Not Williamsburg

On our last day in Williamsburg, we explored the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum. Apparently, Ripley's has museums in a lot of places, none of which are in PA, so this is the first time we ever heard of it. It's pricey to get in, but it's worth it for all the fun. Along with seeing all the exhibits, you get entry into two 4D shows. We saw Spongebob, a Deep Sea adventure, and a Dinosaur show, complete with real effects like splashes from the ocean and bubbles. Cool! And they let you take all the pictures you want, so I want to share a few of the more interesting ones, though they all were fascinating!

One of the first rooms you walk in to has a real life size mannequin of the tallest man. He is scary looking up close!

That is one interesting quirk to have!

Uh, I think since there is a photo, I believe it!

My daughter saw this and whispered, "How did he go to the bathroom?". Good question!

I still haven't figured out how they did this one. Our whole family got the same answer, which is on the flip side of this display. But I won't tell so everyone can do it for themselves.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Williamsburg Part Deux

Since we decided to skip Busch Gardens this year, we promised the kids we'd try to find some really fun places to go. Go Karts Plus was a lucky find! It's right near the Williamsburg Pottery on Richmond Road. We were surprised how much they fit into a small park. There were water rides, a spinning disc/saucer ride, a roller coaster, and of course go karts in many forms. There was even an arcade with a cafeteria.

The park works on a ticket system. You can buy individual tickets or a pack of 25 or 50 tickets. Each ride is about 3 to 5 tickets. Needless to say, with three kids, we ran through those tickets pretty fast. But it was so much fun!

This is a car racing ride. It's hard to tell from this picture, but the cars were very small and had a hindged top. Would've given me a case of claustrophobia if I rode, but the kids and my hubby loved it. Nascar, here they come!

This was my favorite ride. Not only could you steer the boat around in any direction, you got to squirt anyone, including the people standing in line! This is my neice, nephew and one of my daughters working out some aggression on each other.
Even if you don't have kids, I would recommend going to Go Karts Plus. I had to go on the one roller coaster with my son because he was too little and I think that was the most fun I've had in a while!

Here is their website:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Williamsburg Getaway

Over the Easter weekend, we went to Williamsburg. It was a fantastic trip! We haven't been to Williamsburg for four years now, mostly due to the expense. But we missed it so much so we bit the bullet and went.

The picture above is the sign posted on the edge of Berkley Springs, WV when you cross over the state line. I have always tried to get a picture and they've all turned out too blurry. I finally got a good picture on this trip.

One of my favorite places to go in Williamsburg is the Colonial area. Since I grew up only three hours away from here, I visited here often as a kid but I never appreciated it like I do now. We didn't go through the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor's Center this time but instead parked nearby and walked through. You can't access the main buildings without a ticket so it's limited what you can see. When the kids get older and better understand the importance of this area, I'll buy the passes.
The picture above is Bruton Church.

It's always a thrill to see the carriages come down the main street. One of these days, we are going to catch a ride in one.

Right next to Colonial Williamburg is Merchant Square. It has all kinds of shoppes from toy stores to clothing and books. The famous Trellis Restaurant is located here. It's a fun place to look around and try and find that one unique item you just have to have!
All throughout Merchant Square are gardens like the one above.

We did so much more so I hope everyone will indulge me if I post more pictures in a later post!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Bunny Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes to make. Not only is it easy, but it's fun and oh so delicious. It's one of the few times I really insist on using a box cake mix. I just don't want to mess up the fun of this cake with extra work. I used to make this when my kids were too little to appreciate it. Now, they love to jump in a help decorate, and to lick the spoons, of course!

1 box moist chocolate cake mix
1 large container of Cool Whip
1 bag coconut
Jelly beans (Jolly Ranger brand is fantastic)
licorice for the whiskers

Follow these instructions:

"For I remember it is Easter morn,
And life and love and peace are all new born."
-Alice Freeman Palmer

Friday, April 3, 2009

Frosted Buttermilk Cookies

These cookies are some of the easiest I've ever made. Good thing too. The batch I made yesterday was already gone by evening, so my kids and their neighborhood friends requested more. I made another batch today and gave them to the neighbors. It was fun and everyone was happy!
Another way to make these is to add strawberry extract instead of the vanilla. This makes them taste like Strawberry shortcake. Keep the icing the same. It's too delicious to change!

Frosted Buttermilk Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix until blended. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and slowly incorporate. Add the buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Cool 5 minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely.


3 tablespoons softened butter
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
In a bowl, combine ingredients. Beat until soft and creamy, adding milk a few drops at a time, if needed until spreading consistency. Frost cooled cookies.

“A quarrel is like buttermilk, once it's out of the churn; the more you shake it, the more sour it grows"
-Irish Saying

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

Not being a fan of scrambled eggs (or eggs of any sort!) I was not thrilled to try this recipe. I'm not very good at making eggs either. I usually make them too tough. But after checking with the kids to see if they wanted some eggs, I ventured forth. And I have to say, I really liked how these eggs turned out. They came out fluffy and light and tasted great. And they could not have been easier to make. No more yucky scrambled eggs for us!

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

5 to 6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk or half and half
salt and pepper to taste
parsley, if desired

Break eggs into a microwave safe bowl. Using a fork, beat until blended. Add milk and continue to beat. Add salt and pepper and parsley, if desired and blend. Place egg mixture into the microwave and heat on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Check eggs and if needed, stir with a fork. Continue to heat until done. Fluff with a fork and serve.

“I have had, in my time, memorable meals of scrambled eggs
with fresh truffles, scrambled eggs with caviar and other glamorous things, but to me, there are few things as magnificent as scrambled eggs, pure and simple, perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned.”
-James Beard, 'On Food' (1974)