As If I Were Dancing Myself…

Graceful Ballerina Watercolor 11x14 Saunders Cold Press

Graceful Ballerina Watercolor 11×14 Saunders Cold Press

As If I Were Dancing Myself…

I’ve always admired the delicate gracefulness of a ballerina…
As a little girl, I dreamed of being one myself.

I had a little jewelry box with a tiny ballerina that twirled to music when I opened it.
I wanted to be able to do that and look so delicate and graceful and beautiful.

But I wasn’t delicate or graceful or beautiful.
I was chubby and a bit clumsy and loud.

I tried tap and jazz and ballet classes,
but my mind and body didn’t cooperate with the rest of the dancers.

I was heavy-footed and exuberant and impatient.
When the rest of the class moved right, I moved left.

I continued to grow into being a “big girl” with a “pretty face.”
Just what every teenage girl wants to hear – right?!

I had short, wavy mousy-brown hair – with bangs no less –
when all I wanted was long, straight hair.

I had a full round face, and when I smiled or laughed,
I completely lost my eyes, which became tiny slits (still to this day!)

I had big feet –  a sturdy foundation Grandma claimed –
not delicate ballerina feet that could point and hold me up so gracefully.

A ballerina I was and am not,
but that is finally ok with me now.  (only took 50+ years!)

If I can’t be a ballerina,
I can paint one.

And I can feel the same delicate gracefulness
as if I were dancing myself.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Painting inspiration from Pinterest (no credit identified).  Three colors used:  Daniel Smith Neutral Tint, Azo Yellow, Alizarin Crimson.

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

After all the cookie recipe posts of late, I thought I would share an amazing vegetable recipe I recently tried and LOVED!

I recalled seeing one of those hyperlapse videos someone shared on Facebook that looked so yummy, so I wrangled these up last Sunday for Hubby and me.  We loved them.

Throw all the ingredients in a Ziploc bag to toss together early in the day or right before serving.  Spread them on a baking stone or sheet and roast to yummy goodness!

If you are a brussels sprouts lover, I think you are really going to enjoy this simple, delicious recipe.

My Favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut tough bottoms off brussels sprouts, and then slice in half.  Throw in a gallon Ziploc bag.  Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle in garlic salt and pepper.  Add Panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Shake and massage bag to full incorporate and coat all brussels sprouts.

(If doing ahead of time, place in refrigerator until ready to roast.)

Pour contents of bag onto baking stone or shallow baking sheet.  Roast approximately 20 minutes until browned and tender, stirring once or twice during roasting.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

The Gift

A sweet little Momma
surprised me with this little plant.

A Lavender Plant!!
With a special secret note.

She always pays such attention
and remembers the littlest things.

A thank you gift?
Not sure who is thanking who.

For the honor of spending Fridays
with a sweet little granddaughter.

If only she knew….
I would pay her for the privilege!

SSSHHH!
Don’t tell her!

Love you Colleen!
When I grow up, I want to be just like you!

Cheers & Hugs,
Mom M.

 

Chicken Lazone

chicken-lazone-4

Another week – another way with chicken for dinner.

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And – OH what a way this is!

chicken-lazone-2

Have you ever heard of Chicken Lazone?

I believe it is a fancy word for “lazy,” but doesn’t it sound so classy and special?

chicken-lazone-5

And that is how this chicken dish tasted!  Rich and creamy and spicy and classy and special!

chicken-lazone-3

Yes – it is another Five Star, Two Thumbs Up, Winner Winner of a Chicken Dinner!

Give it a try!  You are going to love this one!

Chicken Lazone

Ingredients:chicken-lazone-5

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp. smokey paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chipotle pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 fresh basil, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb pasta or noodles (I used Winternacht Spaetzle Swabian Egg Noodles I found at our local Aldi Market)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Half and Half
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

In a large Ziploc bag, combine chicken with seasonings (paprika, garlic, onion, chili powder, chipotle, oregano, salt, pepper, basil) and oil.  Allow to marinade for several hours.

When ready to serve, prepare noodles or pasta according to package directions.

While noodles are cooking, prepare chicken and sauce.

In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter.  Add chicken breasts, and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.   Remove chicken from pan and set aside.  Add remaining 2 Tbsp butter to skillet.  Allow to melt.  Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in Half and Half, and cook for 4-5 minutes until slightly thickened.   Stir in cooked noodles/pasta, and toss gently to combine.  Add chicken.  Garnish with parsley.  Serve immediately.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

And The Featured of the Month is…

It was an exciting weekend at The Creative Life in Between! Sorry to bombard this morning – I usually only post once a day, but I wanted to share the honor of being featured this weekend on sweet Carolina’s blog – Yesterday After. Carolina is an Italian Artist-Designer now living in California who loves to create beautiful art from vintage items. She paints and writes, and is a beautiful person with a beautiful blog. Thanks for the lovely feature Carolina!

YesterdayAfter

Featured Image -- 2371

And FEATURED is… Jodi McKinney!

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THE CREATIVE LIFE IN BETWEEN is….

YesterdayAfter  – Featured of the Month –  September 2016

first-fall-leaves-the-old-dogwood-tree-0916-mars-pa First Fall Leaves The Old Dogwood Tree

 Hello dear friends  and new followers, welcome once again to The Featured of the Month, during this year I made a lots of new connections with very inspiring bloggers and creative people.  Thanks everyone for the participation to our weekly Meet and Greet Fridays. Because this event that I started in 2015 I had the opportunity  to discover and connect with numerous great Blogs. I had the pleasure and honor to Feature many and still is not easy for me to choose only one of you each month. Sorry this month I am a little  late but I was able to made  my pick for September and finally write this post.

This month we have the opportunity to visit the creative world of Jodi exploring…

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Yesterday’s Cake from Cork, Ireland!

My Jewish Apple Cake recipe post from yesterday made it all the way to Lynda in Cork, Ireland.  Look how lovely she made it!!  She converted it to metric for those that would like to try it, but don’t understand our silly cups and U.S. cooking measurements!  🙂  Thanks Lynda!

Step 6 of the Give Depression The Boot Programme was to cook something delicious. Here it is: This heavenly apple and walnut cake came to me, as though delivered by an angel, from Jodi at The Creative Life In Between. I love walnut cake and I’ve never met an apple cake I didn’t like but […]

via Pennsylvania-Cork Jewish Apple Cake with Cheering Cream. —

National Dog Day – A Charlie Guest Post

charlie and jager

Charlie and Jager

Did you know?
I’m sure YOU did!

Seems everyone knew!

It was all over Facebook and Twitter.

Seems everyone knew…. (sigh)
Except Mom.

Not sure how she could have overlooked the most wonderful day of the year…

Yesterday was National Dog Day!

August 26 – EVERY year!  DUH!!!

You knew – right?!!??

And as much as I hate to admit – I do need Mom’s opposable thumbs to help type as I dictate my – err- “regular” blog posts here.

So thank you, Debi, for asking about me to remind my Mom I am missed by our lifeinbetweener friends here!

Sheesh!  What is a dog to do?

Well – anyway –  how did you spend National Dog Day?

Even though Mom overlooked this important day, I have to admit – I had a glorious day!  My day included breakfast, naps, treats, donut time, jump on the bed time, a walk, dinner, some ear scratches and belly rubs, and a visit from the pizza delivery girl (it was Friday after all!).

What more could a dog want – right?

Here is a picture of me with one of my dog friends.  This is Jager.

Jager is just a puppy – not even a year old – (even though he is quite a bit bigger than me already!) – so I have a lot to teach him since I am already 2.  Jager can be a little bit annoying, but Mom tries to remind me that I was a pup once too (and annoying to older dogs – Really??!!).   And puppies are really “exuberant!”  They don’t quite understand when it is time to just “walk” versus time to “play.”  They don’t quite know when it is time to “quit.”  Pups don’t always understand boundaries and seniority and whose toys are whose, but I’ll teach him.  That’s what older dogs do with younger dogs.  It’s my job.  I like jobs.  It’s important to have a purpose.

We all have a purpose.  Isn’t that great to know?

Woofs & Wags,
Charlie

Charlie is an adopted dog with brown eyes and a white-tipped tail who brings joy and laughter to his family and friends.  Charlie is a gifted writer, raving food critic, cat, chipmunk, and donut lover, and exceptionally photogenic model.  Some of his best friends are Mike theUPS Man, Cliff the Mailman, and ANYONE who delivers pizza to the house.   If you would like to read more guest posts by Charlie, simply type “Charlie” into the Search box at the top right hand corner of this link: https://lifeinbetween.me/.   If you would enjoy a companion like Charlie, please consider pet adoption.

 

Sprinkle Birthday Cake

sprinkle birthday cake

Oh the sprinkles were plentiful this past weekend as we celebrated our daughter-in-law, Colleen’s birthday.  Here is the wonky cake I made that I mentioned yesterday when I posted my sprinkle birthday cake watercolor card I made.

sprinkle birthday cake cut

It might have been a bit wonky, but it was soooo yummy!  This white, vanilla cake filled with colorful, celebratory sprinkles is really worth the extra effort to make from scratch!

sprinkle birthday cake slice

And serve it with some fresh churned birthday cake ice cream (like we can get around here from Bruster’s Ice Cream), and you will really be sparkling!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake*

Cake Ingredients:Sprinkle Birthday Cake thumbnail

  • 3 and 3/4 cups (431g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 345g) butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tsp. (15ml) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute:  1 1/2 cups milk mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar)
  • 3/4 cup (142g) rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks; 287g) butter, softened
  • 5 cups (580g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream or half and half or milk (all work)
  • 3 tsp (15ml) vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Additional sprinkles or other decorations

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Mix butter on high speed of mixer until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat on high for 5 more minutes.  On medium-high speed, add 1 whole egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all 4 whole eggs are mixed in.   Beat in vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be smooth, velvety, and slightly thick.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the 2 additional egg whites until thick, foamy, and soft peaks form- about 3 minutes. Gently fold into the batter. Finally, gently fold sprinkles in.
  5. Pour batter evenly into each cake pan.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack.
  6. To make frosting, beat the butter on medium speed in mixer until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt with the mixer on low. Increase to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more cream if frosting is too thick, or a pinch more of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  7. To assemble:  Place one cake layer on serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with second and third layers and repeat. Spread remaining frosting on sides.   You can tint small portions of the frosting to make decorations or use decorator frosting and decorate with additional sprinkles.  

Jodi’s Cake Tip:  If at all possible, I always try to bake my cake at least one day ahead of time or even the night before serving so that it can be frozen.  I bake the layers, cool, and then place each un-frosted layer in a large Ziploc bag and freeze.  For one thing, this makes the cake much easier to frost.  But secondly, and most importantly, freezing the cake, even if only for a few hours overnight, makes for a much moister cake.  I learned this by accident when I used to always make cakes fresh the day of serving thinking that was best, and then had to do ahead one time years ago because of time constraints.  It was the first time everyone ooooohhhed and awwwwhhed over the cake.  I’ve frozen ahead ever since.

And here is the birthday girl blowing out the candles.  A bit blurry, but a quick snap with my iPhone after we sang.  I love doing special things for this special girl!

colleen sprinkle birthday cake

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*FULL Credit for this recipe goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction Funfetti Cake.