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Giant Birthday Burger

Mr.Picky requested only one thing for his birthday. . . .a giant birthday burger.  This was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. I asked if he wanted to invite anyone for his birthday dinner he was worried I wouldn’t make it large enough. Needless to say when it was all said and done we managed to eat under half. My picky guy who never eats leftovers at that burger for the next few days and loved it.

Giant Burger


I started out by trying a new hamburger bun recipe out.  Only instead of making small buns, I used the whole recipe to create a large bun.  I used a large dinner plate as my template and let the burger expand from there.

Giant Burger Bun

This looks flat but with the bun recipe it will plump right up.

This recipe for hamburger buns will now be the only bun recipe ever eaten in our home.  It was easy and the best bun we have ever eaten.  Not only did it hold together but it was not too fluffy and bready nor was it crumbly or dry.  The perfect bun.  I will post the recipe within a few days!  Did I mention I think it would make great dinner rolls and only takes about an hour to make, with rise time.

Baked giant burger bun

Baked giant burger bun

While my bun was cooling on a wire rack I started preparing my burger patty.  I used 1 1/2 pound of ground beef.  I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce and an envelope of french onion seasoning because this is how Mr.Picky loves his burgers.  I again used the same oversized dinner plate to flatten and shape my patty.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

I baked 1 pound of bacon until crisp and sliced up all the fixings.

Giant Burger

Ready to bake the patty and compile the burger.

I baked the patty in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until desired pinkness.  Flip the burger 3/4 of the way through cooking and add sliced cheese to melt in the last-minute.

Perfect Sunnyside up eggs to top the burger.

Perfect Sunnyside up eggs to top the burger.

Once the burger was out of the oven I used a large skillet to make 5 eggs over-easy to add to the burger.

Load it up with your favorites!

Load it up with your favorites!

I sliced the bun in half and started building my burger on a cutting board.  At first I wasn’t sure what to put this monster burger on and then it was only obvious since I would be slicing it to eat anyway.  I spread mayonnaise on the bottom bun, then iceberg lettuce (one of the few things it tastes good with), tomatoes, salt and pepper, and bacon.  Although you do not see bacon covering the whole thing it is ok, you slice the burger like a pizza so there is plenty.

Giant Burger

We are almost done!

Place your cooked patty with or without cheese on top of the bacon followed by the eggs.  To finish the top bun I added some ketchup and placed it on top.

Giant Burger

The meal is now complete. . . now eat!

I served our giant burger with fries and some fry sauce.  We went all out for the birthday boy.  Of course you can add whatever condiments or toppings you would like.  Now go get a slice of that birthday burger!

Giant Burger

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I am alive but what just happened?

Thank you so much faithful followers for being so patient with me.  This last 2 months or so has been rough.  Life got the best of me and you all suffered.  I will be posting new recipes regularly again and can’t wait to hear how you like them.

Between 3 Holidays, 2 Birthdays, and moving life has just got the best of me.  Have you ever had a week that just doesn’t stop?  Well that is how I feel about the last two months.  I finally feel like I can breathe and most of my interior projects are done enough to live day-to-day.  Before I forget, we also added our first family dog which was just one more ingredient in the pot.

Our move was verily smooth.  Although Mr.Picky wanted to know how we acquired so much stuff.  I think he forgot that we didn’t have children the last time we moved.  How do kids have so much stuff?  My goal is to simplify their items even more.  I want to thank all the family and friends for helping watch our kids so we could do the moving!  I was overwhelmed with the lovely goodbyes from our wonderful neighbors.  You all are missed and I wish we could remain  close.  Within the first few days of moving I did meet a few of my neighbors and see great potential.

Thanksgiving was uneventful and tasty.  It was a quick in and out because we had moved just the day before.  Mr.Picky was already hard at work on our new home and checking projects off the list.  I was thankful this year to not have to do the turkey and main dishes.  I cheated and bought pies (this is terrible to buy food for Thanksgiving), but I had nothing unpacked to try to cook something.

Next was Mr.Picky’s birthday which was low-key and delicious.  I hope you all saw my Facebook post of the giant burger.  If you missed it tomorrow I will post how much fun we had eating and making it.

We adopted a 9 month old puppy at 70 pounds a few days before Christmas.  He is a Newfoundland/Lab mix and is one big love muffin.  He is fitting in so nice and was just the friend for us.  Mr.Picky has been hard at work to finish the fence around our place to keep the dog and kids in.  Having another boy in the house is just one more ball of energy.

Christmas was a bit overwhelming this year.  Every year we get invited to more and more events.  How does one say no?  We are our own family now and as much as I enjoy seeing extended family we need some traditions of our own.  Mr.Picky isn’t huge on crowds, especially when everyone celebrates on the same night and we have to go from house to house.  I see changes in the near future to this tradition.

My birthday and New Year’s Eve was wonderful.  I was surrounded by family and friends in our new home for the first time.  Lots of laughing, game playing, and junk food.  This was a night of new recipes for me.  We topped it off with an ice cream sundae bar.  We were so busy having fun we lost track of time and almost missed ringing in the New Years.

Between all these events I managed to paint the interior of our new house minus the bathrooms.  I am torn of the color scheme of both bathrooms.  The main bathroom will be an undertaking as I want to completely redecorated.  This kind of thing is fun for me and I can’t wait to share some before and after photos.

Now that life is calming down and school is about to start-up again I am happy to get into a routine.   Routine is everything in my life and I think that is what is making me so crazy.  When life gives you lemons start juggling until they all fall.  Of course you need to pick them up after that!

Hand Meatloaf

Bloody Hand Meatloaf

This is a repost from last Halloween, cook up a spooky dinner.  Just an idea who knows what is in store for this year.  Are you planning any creepy meals this year?

For 2012 Halloween I thought it would be fun to make a festive dinner before trick or treating.  My daughter is 4 and is getting really into holidays in general.

Hand Meatloaf:

Hand Meatloaf

So I made meatloaf (any favorite recipe will do), shaped it into a hand added some onions as fingernails and a wrist bone.

The last 10 min. of baking I put on my usual meatloaf sauce mixture, which added a bloody hand effect.  It was great!


Photo Party Favors

Like most of you, I get my children’s photos taken annually around their birthdays.  Of course I pass their photos out to friends and family.  This year I had wallets made just before the kids had their birthday party.  With a few different poses available I made up a little box with the photos inside.  I displayed a sign allowing each family to make the choice of their favorite pose of the kids to take home to enjoy for the year.

Along with other treats this made a great party favor for everyone.  I know this sounds simple but I love when I get to choose the photos I get of my nieces and nephews.  If you pass out photos already why not make a little display.

Photo Party Favors

Bulldozer Cake

Bulldozer Cake

It was so much fun to create this bulldozer cake.  I found a picture on pinterest with a link that didn’t work, or maybe it was just a picture.  So my creativity kicked in and had to create this cake.  I am now here to share how it came along so no one has to struggle.  Have fun and life is not perfect!  My two-year-old boy loved his cake.

Bulldozer Cake:

  • 1 box any flavor cake
  • 2 mini loaf pans
  • 2 8 inch square cake pan
  • 1/2 recipe special buttercream frosting
  • 1 recipe of creamy chocolate frosting
  • 2 long Tootsie rolls
  • 4 regular size kit-kat bars or 1 king size kit-kat bar
  • 1 regular size Hershey bar
  • A sheet of cardboard or flat plate large enough to fit cake
  • Knife or spatula to spread frosting
  • Piping bag, zip-lock bag, or piping method of your choice for details


Bake cakes according to instructions placing about an inch worth of batter in each mini loaf pan and the rest divided between the square pans.  Once the cake has cooled, tightly wrap and freeze.  This can be done a few days before hand.

Bulldozer Cake


Have your frosting made and ready.  You will be working with frozen cake in order to make your life easier.  Having everything ready make a world of difference.Bulldozer cake

Start by filling the two squares with a bit of creamy chocolate frosting and then cutting in half.  One half will be the bottom of the bulldozer and the other piece cut into thirds.  Stack according to picture, separating layers where needed.

Bulldozer cake

Using the two mini loaves cut an angle on the top side as shown to form the wheel tracks.  Then frost with the creamy chocolate and set aside.

bulldozer wheel tracks

Wheel tracks for cake

bulldozer wheel tracks

With part of the buttercream you are going to dirty ice the outside of the cake.  All this means is don’t make it perfect and it is dirty because you are not worrying about the crumbs in the frosting.  Just thinly cover the outside of the cake, then place it in the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes to set the frosting.  This will make decorating a lot easier.

Dirty Iced Bulldozer Cake

Dirty Iced Bulldozer Cake

Next step will be to color part of your buttercream frosting to desired color.  We chose yellow but any color would work.  After the dirty icing has set, frost the cake with the yellow buttercream.  Don’t try to make it perfect or leave it off the areas where the chocolate frosting is going to go.

Now on to the details

Now on to the details

I found that breaking up each kit-kat stick in thirds worked the best for the size track I needed.  You could possible break them in half but be sure to press them into the cake or else they will be too long.  Attach the tracks with a bit of icing on the bottom first.  Then attach the wheel tracks to the cake with more chocolate or buttercream icing.

Now it is time to pipe whatever way works best for you the details.  This is how I did mine but you can surely add the windows and lines anyway you wish.

Bulldozer Cake

Last but not least attach the chocolate bar blade and Tootsie rolls, but I would hold off until close to displaying.  My Tootsie rolls slowly were softening and tipping over.

Bulldozer Cake


Owl Cake

A week before planning the kid’s birthday party, I got a call to make a cake for a non-profit organization I volunteer for.  Owls, pink, and green was the theme of the baby shower.  I looked around for some ideas and got enough inspiration for this cake.  I thought it turned out cute and was fun because I love owls.

Please don’t mind the plastic around the cake.  I transported the cake and finished it up on site.  I then left the camera at home, so this picture is all you get.

Owl Cake

Owl Cake Steps:

I made yellow box cake, baking it in two 9″ pans.  I slice and filled the cake with a vanilla pastry cream, but this step could be skipped.Owl Cake


I always freeze my cake after baking, and if I have to cut and stack I do so while frozen.  I cut an arch to fit the bottom round, and with the piece cut off cut out some triangle owl ears.

Using special buttercream frosting, I dirty iced the cake to glue it all together and placed it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the frosting.Dirty Iced Owl Cake

I then frosted the cake with creamy chocolate frosting and used some colored cloud frosting to add the belly, bow, and eyes.  Buttercream could easily be used so you don’t have to make three frosting flavors.  I just happened to have some made from the cakes earlier in the weekOwl Cake

Construction and Truck Party


 Construction Party 

My big boy is almost 2-years-old, the party was held before his birthday.  I wanted to pick a theme he would actually care about.  Who would have guessed this rough and tough boy loves anything tractor or truck related.  So I combined the two and came up with a construction party.

Orange and yellow were great colors to pick out, and not hard to find.  The kids parties were held on the same day.  I decorated a table with their theme.  The banner was super easy, and added a nice touch so they had a personalized table.

Bulldozer Cake

My little man’s table held the snacks and his special cake.  The cake was the focal point of his table.  I will post later instructions for this cake.   I winged it but took lots of photos on how I cut and stacked this cake.  I think it went pretty well, and he loved it.

We didn’t lack any trucks in our house, but it was easy to find some at second hand stores and wash them good.  Use the trucks to hold your treats, snacks, or dips.  If they are not large enough have them dumping their load into a bowl.  I completely forgot to add the road cones and hard hat to the table, but I don’t think it stopped the party.  Just some ideas for anyone throwing construction party.  All and all, we had a blast with lots of fun and treats.

Luscious Slush Punch

This will be my fifth year as a birthday party throwing mom, and I love to host.  I found this recipe Luscious Slush Punch Recipe – five years ago and use this punch every year for the kid’s party.  It helps that we have summer birthdays, so it is hot and a nice slushy punch tastes amazing.

Not only does this punch taste great, but you can make it ahead.  Anyone who has hosted anything knows that make ahead is the key to a smooth party.  Plus the punch is frozen so there is no need to worry about buying ice, or melting of ice.

Of course I can never leave anything alone, but I did find the original recipe is a bit sweet.  You are basically adding sugar to a bunch or sugar, and then pouring a bottle of sugar on it.  So I reduced the sugar and all is well.  I have also substituted the orange juice before for apricot nectar because that is what I had.  Improvise if you need to, just keep the quantities the same or you won’t fit it in the bags.

Luscious  Slush Punch:Luscious Punch

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (6 oz.) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 32 oz. or 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottle of lemon-lime soda

Bring sugar, water, and jello to a boil in a large pot.  Boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the 3 juices.

Divide mixture into 2 gallon size freezer bags.  I use the technique of putting my gallon bag in a pitcher and filling, as shown in the picture.

Freeze the bags of punch until solid, I place my bags in a large bowl in the freezer.  I once laid them flat and had one bag leak, what a mess.

Combine each bag with one 2 liter of soda, mix about 20 minutes before serving for the slush to form.

Zebra Print and Pink Party

For the big number 5 birthday my daughter picked out a zebra print and pink party.  It was kind of fun, so much zebra print ideas out there.  We ended up combining the kids parties to the same day due to Mr.Picky’s days off.  So I split the set up, her side was the drink and dessert table.

Zebra and Pink Cupcakes


Zebra and Pink Party








We found zebra and pink print cupcake liners, and went with a marble cake chocolate and white to stay with the theme.  Just a basic frosting and a bit of pink edible pearls.  At a local craft store we even came across zebra print candles.  I used our favorite lucious punch recipe.  With a few more zebra decor picked up at the grocery store on clearance.

Party Centerpiece

The centerpiece was easy with balloons simple blown up, tissue paper, a painted wrapping paper rolls, and a cup filled with rocks as a base.


Planning,Hosting, life goes on!

I think 90% of my life is planning what is going to happen next.  Feeling lucky to relax for the other 10%.  Whether it is planning my next meal, what we are going to do today, or the next event life is always busy.  Sometimes I have to learn to breath and let things happen.  Mr.Picky and I always talk about how whatever happens will, I guess sometimes I need to follow my advice.

We both come from fairly large families with multiple generations.  Add in our nieces and nephews who have just started to graduate and before we know it will have children of their own.  Hosting events for family is somewhat of a balancing act.  This weekend we will host our family for dinner and cake for the kid’s birthday parties.  We are kind of cheating by making it one grand event, but this is due to Mr.Picky’s work schedule.

With just immediate family and only two family friends the list of attending guest quickly grew to 40.  Let me remind you all our home is tiny but we are happy to have a yard and summer birthdays.  My advice to anyone who hosts an event whether it is 6 or 106 guests, plan your heart out.  Then wake yourself up and make sure you have a real idea about what you can get done.  When I say get it done, I mean before the party starts and without stretching yourself too thin.  For those who know me, I know you are laughing now.  My intentions are not to stretch myself although I have become quite flexible.  My personal goal is to have more fun and not take my hosting so seriously.

My first step to planning is to figure out what I can do ahead, down to the tiniest detail.  If it is a party I want to enjoy my guests and have fun, not be running around.  A great example was at our wedding which I planned, and prepared the most of the food for.  It was time to eat and I was starving after a day of running around.  Next thing I know my mother’s cousin who is a baker and whom we ordered our cake from, was taking photos of us eating.  She explained that out of all the weddings she had been too she had never seen the bride and groom sit down and eat.  What can I say good planning, letting go of what could go wrong, and starving allowed us to have the wedding we could wish for.

For this party tomorrow I hammer out the details and prep as far ahead as the task allows.  You might laugh but I plan what bowl each dish will go into, to having a spiral notebook with a bunch of notes and steps to prep.  Here is to a smooth party this weekend and whatever comes my way.

Now for a day in the kitchen of preparing what I can.  Have a wonderful weekend and get out there and host something!

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