Sunday, May 29, 2011

Key Lime Pie from Disney's Hollywood Studios

To try something else (Italian Lemon Tart, Brownie Cheesecake) from my Delicious Disney Desserts cookbook, Cady and I decided to make the key lime pie from Starring Rolls Cafe at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  It was actually quite easy.  (Easier than the tart!)


  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl.  Firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan.  Bake crust for 8 minutes.  Cool slightly.


  • 2 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and key lime juice in a medium bowl.  Whisk in eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla and stir to combine.  Slowly pour filling into crust.  Bake 10 minutes or until set.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Cooks' Note: Starring Rolls Cafe serves mini-versions of this Florida classic (pictured), made with key limes that are more tart and bitter than larger, greener Persian limes.  This version makes a 9-inch pie.

We actually made two pies, one 8 inches, on 11 inches.  For the 11-inch pie, we used a tart pan with a removable bottom.  If I had had mine handy, we would have used that for the second pie, but we only had an 8-inch pie pan.  I made 2 fillings, but we were about 1/2 cup short on condensed milk (with 3 14-ounce cans).  We just decided to wing it on the crust and they turned out fine.  The edges got a little crispier than I like, but other than that it was perfect.  The pie in the tart pan was easier to cut and remove since it was lacking edges.  Plus, it looked prettier with the wavy edge.

The pie was not only so easy to make (you could literally make it in 30 minutes, as long as it's 3 hours before you plan to eat it) but it was also delicious!

Saturday, May 28, 2011


I'm happy to announce that we've finally settled on names for the two new additions to our cat clan: Dirk and Dewey have officially become Lucy & Bea.  Although Pippa and Harry are named for Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry, we decided to stray from the Royal Wedding theme a bit.  We considered Beatrice and Eugenie, but Eugenie just doesn't cut it.  I suppose Bea comes from Beatrice, which is a fairly British name.  And Lucy, we'll say that comes from The Chronicles of Narnia's youngest girl.  Another British name.

Last night, I finished folding my laundry (after letting it get all wrinkled for about a from a big clear tub.  Cats usually love bags and boxes, so I put Lucy in the box.  Pippa saw her and ran for it...straight into the box.  It was hilarious.

I decided to put them all in this box (that has no lid, by the way) while I trimmed their nails.  It worked fairly well as none of them tried to get out for a while.  But then Pippa found out how to get out quite easily, and Harry soon followed suit.  It just left the two little ones.

Bea: Help me! I can't get out.

Lucy: I'll find a way out. Bea: I think she can help us.

Lucy: I've done it! I can get out!

Lucy: Free!

Bea: I give up.

Yup, I just made those kittens talk.  Sorry about that.  Bea isn't that much smaller than Lucy.  She looks bigger because she's so fluffy, but she's a little smaller.  She's the only one that can't get onto my bed though.  I've been letting them roam free in my room and bathroom lately and unless I put Bea up on my bed, she'll usually just sit on the floor next to the box on my computer charger (which stays pretty warm).  It takes a lot of energy for Lucy to climb up here, but she can.  Harry usually just explores everything and Pippa...well Pippa can't get enough of play time.  That girl is wild.

Harry & Bea staying warm through technology.

Her favorite place.  She's even lying there right now.

Lucy & Harry trying to climb the charger up to my bed.
(Do you see Bea is missing from her favorite spot?)

My favorite Pippa picture. Always on the go.

When she's staying still, she's still ready to pounce. And the picture is still blurry!

This weekend I think I'll introduce them to the whole house since they've been here a week now and should know where the litter boxes are.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Italian Lemon Tart from Disney Cruise Line

This weekend was my older sister's birthday.  I sneakily found out what her favorite dessert(s) were before hand: berry shortcake or lemon tart.  Well, remember those awesome Disney cookbooks I got on vacation?  (Delicious Disney Desserts & Check Mickey: Treasures from the Vault & Delicious New Favorite)  Coincidentally, the former had a recipe for Italian Lemon Tart from Disney Cruise Line.

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water

Knead the powdered sugar lightly with the butter.  Add flour and egg yolk and knead until mixture is crumbly.  Add water a tablespoon at a time until dough just holds together.  Roll dough into a ball and flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch circle.  Transfer dough to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or a 9-inch pie pan and fold edges over to form a double-thick crust.  Pierce dough 15-20 times with a fork.  Bake crust 25 to 30 minutes, pressing with the back of a fork if bubbles form.  Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • fresh fruit (optional)

Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, sugar, and cream.  Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the warm tart shell.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until filling is set in the center.  Let tart cool completely.  Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired. 

Dinner turned out to just be four of us...Mom, Cady, Tristan, and me.  We chowed down on steak, couscous, hummus, and pita.  Delicious.

We served the tart and it turned out perfect!  Other than having a bit of an uneven crust, it was awesome.

It was so yummy!  The only thing we decided we would change is probably less sugar in the crust and a little bit of salt.  That contrast between sweet filling and salty crust is perfection.

It says it serves 6-8 people, but the 4 of us barely ate 1/3 of the tart, so it's probably more like 10-12, depending on how big your slices are.

Check out Recipes for more!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Best Friends, Not Siblings

It's been a month since we had our Inception trio at the house (Ariadne, Arthur, & Mal), and ever since I got back from my vacation I've been practically beginning the humane society for some new foster kittens.

Finally, on Thursday afternoon I got a message from them saying they just had a litter of seven come in and she wanted me to take four of them.  Well, silly me thought she meant on Thursday.  She said I could pick them up on Friday.  No problem!

Well, then after I got off work, I listened to a message saying those poor little guys had fleas and were basically quarantined, but she had a pair of kittens I could take right away!  I popped over there after work--since it's just around the corner--and I was introduced to a sweet little duo.

Their housing arrangements at the humane society were right across from Arthur's.  Yes, you'll remember he had some trouble with his butt while he was here (Poor Arthur).  And amazingly (and unfortunately) it has not yet healed.  Almost two months this has been going on and they cannot find out what is wrong with him!  Although he seems to be completely unaware of the issue.  He's so sweet and cuddly.  He's active and playful.  He's such a great kitten and he looks fantastic (from the front).  They're having the vet come look at him again so they can try to clear things up and get him out on the adoption floor.

He did have free roam in the foster care department's office, but he figured out how to jump out of the room when the door was half shut.  They have one of those doors that opens on the top and bottom and he would jump up on the desk and jump over the bottom half of the door!  He's so clever.  They couldn't chase him around the entire building, so they had to move him.

But back to these guys.  They're original names are Ada and Hugh.  We changed them to Pippa & Harry

Pippa is 10 weeks old and is a domestic short hair calico kitten.  She's already been fixed since she weighs two pounds, but she's had some complications from her surgery.  She's developed an abscess under the incision, and they drained some fluids out of it recently.  It still looks like she had a tumor or something right under her skin, so we put a warm compress and give her medication twice a day.

Harry is only 8 weeks old and is a domestic short hair black kitten.  He is completely black, not a white hair on the fellow!  He's pretty teeny, so he hasn't yet been fixed.  He's in great health though and will go in for surgery in the coming weeks.

Pippa came in with her mother and sisters, but because of her abscess, she wasn't able to go out for adoption.  The rest of her family has been adopted.  Harry, I think, came in by himself.  They tried to put him with a family of black cats (mother and three kittens), but it didn't take.  Pippa needed a companion, so they tried him with her and the two are inseparable!

As I type this from my bathroom floor, where they currently live, Pippa is running around playing with a puff of crinkly paper (or something) and having a blast by herself.  She's literally running from one end of the bathroom to the other, all around me and her other obstacles.  Harry, on the other hand, is curled up neatly on the black rug I have in here.  They're really clean (compared to some of the others we've had), but they do like pushing the rug and their blanket around.

No one knew I was going to get them and no one was home when I brought them home.  Hurley and Bagheera, our cats, knew something was up, but they haven't yet come sniffing.  I told Rachel that she could go look at the secret in my bathroom, but she couldn't tell a soul!  During the finale of The Office that night, I brought Harry down and set him on the back of my mom's chair.  He crawled over next to her and she did a double take before I said, "Wow, Hurley really has lost a lot of weight!"

They're the first kittens I've brought home that haven't cowered in their carrier for a while before slowly emerging to explore their new home.  They just jumped right out and got comfortable.  They're really friendly with us, although neither of them crawl on us as much as some of the other far.

They're just adorable.  (I told Mom it was Hugh and Laurie...get it?)  Yes, they are named after Prince Harry & Pippa Middleton.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Melissa over at The Larson Lingo posts the best cupcake recipes.  I made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes in January, so when she posted Cookies & Cream Cupcakes earlier this month, I was dying to make them right away.

I had some white cake mix left over from when I made my grandma's birthday cake--we decided to go the homemade route instead.  All we needed was the Oreos and we were good to go.  We decided to go with store brand Oreos from Walmart.  They were easier to twist apart, and they actually taste better.  However, we were short a couple, so I had to buy some real Oreos too which turned out to be a huge pain.

So here's the recipe as posted on The Larson Lingo (slightly edited).

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes:

  • 1 box white cake mix (& ingredients as listed)
  • 1 package Oreos (double stuff--as listed on her recipe, we used regular)
  • Metallic cupcake liners

Place 24 cupcake liners in two 12-muffin pans.  Make cupcake batter according to directions on box.  Set aside.  Twist apart 24 Oreos.  (You'll want the filling totally on one side instead of the other.)  Place the cookie with the filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each lining.  Set aside the halves without the filling to use later for garnish.

Put the remaining Oreos in the package in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.  Fold into cupcake batter.  Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake according to directions on box.  Once cooked, cool completely before frosting.


  • 1 package of cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (milk if you don't have any)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes.  Frost each cupcake, then sprinkle some Oreo crumbs on top as garnish (optional).  Once ready to serve cupcakes, add second half.  (It can get soggy if added too early.)

The cupcakes turned out really yummy!  Now I remember why I love cookies & cream ice cream and milkshakes.  They were really easy too.  Melissa always has the best cookie recipes.  Also, we recommend using metallic liners because it helps to keep the cookie on the bottom attached to the cake rather than to the paper.  We used both and the ones in the metallic liners always came out perfect, the paper liners kept the cookie.

Check out Recipes for more!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Ten :: May 2011

Ten on Ten: Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments. Then share your beauty with us!

 Smoothie for breakfast

New books from Borders

Lunch time for the kids

Finger-painted artwork

Nap time

Lounging around

 Snack time

Play time


Fish tacos for dinner

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Welcome to Hogsmeade Village.

Rooftops in Hogsmeade

The Hogwarts Express


Outside the Three Broomsticks

Butterbeer cart, serving cold & frozen butterbeer, iced pumpkin juice, & other boring drinks

Enjoying my magical beverages

Sharing my magical beverages

Outside Honeydukes

Gringotts had ATMs throughout Hogsmeade.

A wand

Inside Owl Post

The Monster Book of Monsters.

The Triwizard Cup wasn't a portkey.

Brett tried on Slytherin's school robes.



Ollivander's wand shop

Harry Potter & Hedwig snow man

Hogwarts Castle

The Mirror of Erised (What do you see?)

House points for Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Hufflepuff

The entrance to Dumbledore's Study

The corridors in Hogwarts

Dumbledore's study

Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom

Hogwarts & Hogsmeade

Cauldron Cakes at Honeydukes

U-No-Poo from Fred & George Weasley

I had a wonderful post written up about my love of Harry Potter and my trip to Universal Studios.  However, Blogger got the best of me and deleted 90% of it and I knew it couldn't be rewritten.  Instead, I'm just leaving you with a plethora of photos from my amazing trip.

I absolutely loved the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The butterbeer and pumpkin juice were delicious.  I even bought Sherbet Lemons, Dumbledore's favorite candy.  For lunch, we ate at the Three Broomsticks.  I had fish and chips, so very British.