Thursday, March 27, 2014

Limited Edition Banana Bread English Muffins by Thomas

Banana Bread + English Muffin = A Limited Edition Banana Bread English Muffin that's pretty delicious!

It's not quite like a full slice of banana bread and the texture is a tad different then an English muffin, but if you are okay with trying some a bit different, I highly suggest it. One of my favorite breakfast combo's is a bowl of oatmeal with a buttered English muffin and this added a nice change.

Just a little product review from the Holiday Junkie....

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Irish Cream Chocolate Bundt Cake

I never did make a dessert on St. Patrick's Day, so with that in mind, I'm still in the mood to try a new recipe with some "Irish Flare". My first thought was Irish Cream cheesecake, but I'm out of cream cheese. So, when all else fails, pull out a boxed cake mix and jazz it up. This recipe can be found on various sites, with slight variations. Some people use a yellow cake mix, with vanilla pudding and some substitute real Irish Cream, with Irish Cream Coffee Creamer. My cake is being shared with a friend, so with her input (and her Irish Cream), we opted for Chocolate, with real Irish Cream. 

  1. 1 box chocolate cake mix                  
  2. 1 small package chocolate instant pudding    
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 1/2 cup oil
  5. 3/4 cup Irish Cream Liquor                                     
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup butter
  8. 1 cup sugar
  9. 1/4 cup water
  10. 1/4 cup Irish Cream Liquor                                    

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan (using cocoa powder instead of flour) or spray generously with Pam.
  2. Mix cake mix and pudding mix in a large bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup water, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 cup Irish Cream and eggs. Beat together for several minutes then pour batter in the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then invert cake onto a serving dish.
  3. Pokes small holes all over the cake using a fork, then pour glaze all over the cake. Let it absorb the glaze and then pour more glaze on. Repeat until all of the glaze is used. (Or use as much of the glaze as you'd like)
  4. For the Glaze: Melt butter, sugar, and 1/4 cup water together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Irish Cream.

My Personal  Notes:  My baking time was only 45 minutes. Next time, I think I'll even cut off 5 minutes and check it at 40. I used the fork as instructed to poke my holes, but the cake didn't absorb the glaze very well.  Next time, I think I'll use a tooth pick and make my holes a bit bigger. You can see in the photo, that even though I waited in between drizzles, most of it still pooled to the bottom. I thought the ratio of the glaze was perfect, but I think I'd like to increase the Irish Cream in the cake to 1 cup. It just didn't pop as much as I would have liked.

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Irish Love Story

Today, I'm going old school with St. Patrick's Day. In our home, St. Patrick's Day, has always been a big deal. My mother was a bartender by trade for most of my life, so celebrating to the EXTREME was something I was pretty familiar with growing up. After my grandfather passed away, my mom always tried to pay her respect, by visiting his graveside on St. Patrick's Day and leaving him green carnations. When my mother passed away in 1999, I decided I wanted to continue that tradition in remembrance of my mother. Both my mother and fathers ashes we're spread in the mountains, so for me, visiting that site has become more then just my Nana and Papa, it really represents my Sullivan family in it's entirety.

A lot of people claim to be Irish or at least become Irish by proxy for 1 day a year, but I'm proud to say I come from a true Irish family, right out of Boston Massachusetts. I definitely know more about my Grandfather's side of the family, then I do about my Grandmother, but I do know that she was Irish as well. 

Rather then show pictures of events today or share recipes, I thought I'd share a few photos from a true life love story.

While my grandfather was serving in the Army, he hadn't heard from my grandmother for a bit and had heard rumors through others letters, that she was getting married to another man.

In response, he sent my grandmother this Western Union telegram on February 13, 1945. It read "Honey, you can't get married. Wait for me. I love you. Please Herb"  
Hands down, it is my favorite piece of family memorabilia. It's seems like something right out of a romance movie.

My grandmother responded on the same day, with "Dear. Reason have not written. Have been ill. Olamae is getting married 17th in Dallas. Love Kathleen"  
Olamae was her sister and someone had confused the fact that she was getting married, rather then her sister. 

They continued their correspondences by mail, and even planned the wedding through letters. On August 27, he wrote. "Gosh, honey, the time is really getting near and I can hardly wait. It will be wonderful to be with you after all this time." They were married when he returned, in September of the same year. 

I love the fact, that in the newspaper announcement, they described what both the bride and matron of honor wore. "The bride wore a gown of while organza with matching accessories and she carried a prayer book, topped with gardenias and stephanotis with satin streamers." 

During those years, the photos show they spent a good amount of time traveling and having a lot of fun together. Then, family life settled down, they resided in Houston, Texas and my mom was born in July of 1949. That my friends, is where the rest of the story begins and why I choose to spend my St. Patrick's Day doing this. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 National Self Worth Day

I'd like to take a step back today from being a Holiday Junkie and share another project close to my heart.  The Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine Project is the brainchild of my daughter Ciara. I'm blessed to be on the board and work very hard at helping spread the message. Today is a special day, as we host our first Self-Worth Awareness day. So please take a few minutes and see what the SSS project is all about. 

The Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine Project would like you to join us, in pledging to Love Yourself

Today, we are spreading the message on 5 college campuses, in 3 states and on Facebook to as many people as possible. But ultimately, it starts with just one person...YOU! 

If you'd like to take the pledge, Like us on Facebook. Share a photo or make a video to share what makes you Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine. If you join us later then 2-26-14, that's fine, our love and message will continue.

And why does the Shimmer, Sparkle, Shine Project do what we do??  To reach as many young girls as possible and let them know, that regardless of what they've been told, now matter how different they are, no matter what size they are, no matter their background, they are worth loving. We want to help them to realize their own individual worth and divine potential.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hot Air Balloon Valentine

Still need to make a quick
 Valentine for someone special? 
My daughter made this fabulous Valentine
this year and I thought I'd share the idea. 
It's super easy and super CUTE!! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple and Christmas...A Look Back!

The Hallmark Channel posted this picture this morning to honor the loss of Shirley Temple. It's as cute as cute can be and got me wondering, just how many Christmas movies Shirley Temple did make? I did a quick search and out of 52 movies, I found these 4 that were entirely Christmas themed or had scenes that began or ended at Christmas. 

 Here are the storylines as described on IMDB:

Heidi - "Eight-year-old Heidi is orphaned and her selfish maternal Aunt Dete takes her to the mountains to live with Adolph Kramer, her grumpy, old, outcast, survivalist paternal grandfather. Heidi brings her grandfather back into mountain society through her angelic ways, sheer love, and adorable personality. When Aunt Dete steals Heidi away to be the companion of a rich man's invalid daughter, the grandfather is enraged and sets out to get her back. Back in Frankfurt, loved and adored by everyone she touches except the villainous housekeeper, Fraulein Rottenmeier, she thrives but is inwardly very sad and lonely. No matter what anyone tells her, Heidi, with faith, hope, and the stubbornness she inherited from her grandfather, knows that some day she will be reunited with the him and the beloved people of the mountain's little village."

Bright Eyes - "When a maid is accidentally hit by a car and killed, her young orphaned daughter is forced to live with the snooty couple she used to work for. A custody battle soon ensues between an aviator who adores the little girl and the couple's crotchety Uncle Ned."

Stowaway - "Chin-Ching gets lost in Shanghai and is befriended by American playboy Tommy Randall. She falls asleep in his car which winds up on a ship headed for America. Susan Parker, also on the ship, marries Randall to give Chin-Ching a family."

I'll Be Seeing You - "Mary Marshall, serving a six year term for accidental manslaughter, is given a Christmas furlough from prison to visit her closest relatives, her uncle and his family in a small Midwestern town. On the train she meets Zach Morgan, a troubled army sergeant on leave for the holidays from a military hospital. Although his physical wounds have healed, he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and is subject to panic attacks. The pair are attracted to one another and in the warm atmosphere of the Christmas season friendship blossoms into romance, but Mary is reluctant to tell him of her past and that she must shortly return to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence." 

Seeing these photos, definitely brings back memories of watching Shirley Temple movies as a kid. Being a kid in the 70's, meant very few channels and lots of black and white movies on the weekends. I personally recall seeing 3 of these 4 movies. Especially Heidi. I'm not sure how many times I watched that one, but probably a handful! To think that she retired from film making at the age of 22 is astonishing and has yet to be duplicated. Hat's off to Shirley!! 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hallmark Hall of Fame...Did it again with Remember Sunday

If you look back at my post, next to Christmas, you'll see I love cheesy, love story movies on the Hallmark Channel. Tonight, although it seems to be a repeat, I watched the movie Remember Sunday. I was a little leery at first, thinking it would be some sort of copycat of 50 first dates, but it quickly stood on it's own. I think I enjoyed it because of the actors and it was a bit quirky. What does quirky mean??? I'm not exactly sure, so I looked it up "something that is strange/not normal but cool".  I don't know why I think of this word, but hey, it's the first thing that came to mind. Maybe because he was a cosmologist before he lost his memory, and she dreamed of being a florist. Maybe it was the rollerskating or the fact that he worked on vintage jewelry? 

Now, to top it off, it wasn't just any Hallmark movie, it was a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. For those of you who don't frequent the Hallmark Channel or catch them on an occasional Sunday night special, that means a night full of Hallmark Card commercials. And to me Hallmark Card commercials = Cry Fest. Most I've seen over and over, so the tears have slowed down a little, but one in particular still does it to me EVERY TIME. Tonight, I was caught in the midst of a cry fest over the dishwasher, when my husband came into the kitchen for a dinner check. A little embarrassing..YES, but I'm not ashamed to say that I miss my daughter and that commercial goes straight to my heart. I've posted it before, but it's worth sharing again.

I highly suggest you catch it if you can this weekend. I know it's Superbowl Sunday, but set that DVR. If not this go around, maybe next time.