Friday, May 20, 2011

And the winner is ...

My dear friend Anne Polta! 

Here was Anne's "mom" advice that was shared on the ShelleyBakes page on Facebook:

"My favorite mom story? Hm. One of her pieces of advice was 'never buy chicken on Monday.' When I attended Linda's bridal shower several years ago, we were asked to share advice from our mothers, so that's what I shared... and everyone was just screaming with laughter. But guess what... I do not buy chicken on Monday, ever."

Just a little side note ... I've known Anne since I worked as a rookie reporter in Willmar and she is very dear to me.  Not only did she put up with me when I was a young(er) punk, she is also my beloved cat's "godmother" of sorts.  Ten years ago when the Cat came into my life, she's the person I turned to for advice.  She is a great mom to kids of the four-legged variety. :)

AND ... she's a blogger.  You can find her blog "HealthBeat" here.

Thanks to all who commented! I really appreciate it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A good gift idea ...

I'm sorry that I didn't publish this before Mother's Day, but I was actually trying to surprise my moms this year instead of doing what I usually do.  Which is not keep surprises very well.  Because I'm just verbal and can't keep anything a secret. 

Anyway ... this is a great gift idea for birthdays, upcoming graduation parties or if you just want to surprise someone you love with a gift that's heartfelt and hand-crafted.

These little dainties are made by my dear friend Cathy.  I cannot say enough about my friend Cathy, but if I was going to start, I would tell you that she's an amazing cook/baker and an incredibly talented artist.  She's one of those people that I pinch myself for knowing to make sure that I'm not dreaming of this very cool person who I call friend.  Yeah - I'm pretty fond of her.  
Anyway ... these necklaces represent a recent creation of Cathy's which miniaturizes some of her watercolors so they can be turned into pendants.  

This one's mine ... I just can't get over the colors ...

Here's another one ... Cathy includes a ribbon to wear, as well as a black cord that fastens.  It's good for folks like my mother-in-law who have metal allergies. 

Here's some information about Cathy from the SEMVA Gallery, which is a gallery in Rochester that represents visual artists from southeastern Minnesota.  These necklaces are available at SEMVA for my Minnesota peeps.  Or I can connect you with Cathy - just drop me a note at

And because I really like all of you and because Cathy was generous enough to gift me with an additional necklace - it's giveaway time.  Here's the rules ... leave me a comment on here or on the ShelleyBakes page on Facebook that tells me your favorite "mom" story ... either one that involves you with your momma or a mom moment with one of your kids (four-legged included).  Make sure it's not too cringe inducing, because she might just read this ... :)

In terms of which necklace it is - it's whatever one that Ryan didn't choose to give to his momma.  At press time, I don't know which one he's going to give her ... 

The giveaway ends on Friday, May 20th at 5 p.m. CST.  The winner will be drawn at random.  Likely by my husband.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Better than a milk carton ...

I have been cooking, I swear.  I've made this.  I made this - wasn't too impressed with it, so I'm still tinkering.  I've made this.  That was on Mother's Day when my folks came up ... aside from having to tell them that the title of the recipe included the word "naked," I think they were a hit. 

But I've been busy.  There's a new job to acclimate to.  Stuff to plant.  Heatwaves to endure.  (From high 50s one week to 84 degrees and humidity the next, yeow!)  Wine tastings to attend ...

Ryan and I attended a wine tasting a couple weeks back that supported the Rochester Paws and Claws.  One of my dear friends is very active with the organization and they hosted a wine tasting to raise funds for a capital projects.  They are also selling wine as a part of that effort.

What's that you say?  This cat looks familiar to you?  Some of you have had close encounters with him?  Why YES!  That's our cat!  On a wine label.  (Which is much better than being on a milk carton, but I digress.)

Needless to say - Ryan and I are kind of thrilled to find out cat on a wine bottle.  For my Rochester peeps who would like to be similarly blessed, but without the claws - you can find Fat Cat Merlot at Andy's Liquor.  I got mine at the north location near Whistle Binkies North.  Fat Cat wasn't out at the time, but when I asked the gentleman if there was any in back, he recognized my voice from the frantic phone calls I had made and brought me out some.  So do not fear asking for the Fat Cat.  There's also labels for you dog lovers and white wines for those of you who do not like reds.

In terms of the Cat, he was thinking about a career in modeling, but when I reminded him that he would need to be sociable and nice to people other than his parents, he was content to let this be a one-time thing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chocolate Wonderfuls

There is only one thing that is wrong with this recipe ... it is as wonderful as the title proclaims it to be.  And while my friend Paul has willpower, I do not, but I'm OK with that as long as people keep writing and sharing recipes that have wonderful stories such as this one that I found at my friend Lan's blog.

The recipe can be found here.  I substituted walnuts for the pecans, because it is what I had in the house.