Monday, July 6, 2009


I need to simplify. Simplify. The word is cruel. It mocks me.

I'll try to explain with a perfect case in point: The past weekend was a bit hectic with all of the 4th of July festivities going on. Not hectic in a bad way, just hectic in a I have two kids under the age of four so anything can be hectic way. On this particular day all I HAD to do was show up for an evening meal at a house that is less than one mile away and then go watch fireworks. That's it. Just show up. Not me. Heck no! I needed to go and make what could have potentially been a very SIMPLE day extremely NOT SIMPLE.

First, I decide that some squash my mother brought me needs to be used. Easy, right? Put the squash into some boiling water for a few minutes and I'm done. Nah. Let me go search the Food Network website, find a recipe that calls for at least 5 ingredients I don't have, drive 10 miles to the nearest grocery store, in the process decide that I have enough squash to make an extra casserole for someone, call that someone, and try to work out a time to exchange the casserole for a brisket (so that last part turned out okay). Way to un-simplify! Go me!

Ahem. There's more. While I am cooking I begin thinking about how I need to coordinate seating arrangements for the fireworks display that night. So I call up my girlfriend and ask her all about their plans for the evening--as if taking care of my own plans wasn't quite enough. During the course of this conversation my girl tells me about a baking contest up at the park.

Oh. Well. I HAVE to enter this. Let's see. What can I make with what I've got? Hmmm. Nothing. I want to make a cake that calls for buttermilk and a few other things I don't have even though I JUST went to the store. So my poor mother-in-law, who I knew would be headed to Wal-Mart eventually, got my list via text (I owe you money). I had made this cake several times before with a cream cheese icing, but that icing was going to require two more ingredients than the caramel frosting recipe I just happened to come across and had never made before. Being the considerate person that I am, I decided to make the caramel frosting so my mother-in-law could get out of there quicker. I'm sweet, right?

In the meantime, perhaps you are wondering where my children are? Well, the 3 year old is off with Dad and little girl is home with me. She is sleeping but will awake soon and then reinforcements will be needed. Enter: Aunt Jenna. She's always willing to entertain my crazy notions so over she comes to assist.

While the triple layer cake is baking, I begin to study the recipe for the frosting when I make the unfortunate discovery that I am actually going to be making candy. Caramel, to be specific, hence the name Caramel Frosting. Just in case you don't know--makin' candy ain't SIMPLE! I couldn't find my candy thermometer, that apparently Aunt Jenna gave me for a Christmas gift, so we used a meat thermometer. Yeah, there's a reason they make a candy thermometer and then a separate meat thermometer...

Anyway, The icing set way too fast and it made the cake look like doggy doo. The cake tasted okay, we decided, but in the end it went to the family meal, rather than the judges at the park. By the time all of this was done my kitchen looked like it needed to be condemned as did I. I had a few minutes to "freshen up" and head to the meal with my casserole. Oh wait! I forgot to bake my casserole...

And this was just one afternoon in the life of this self-professed, so very NOT simple gal. So, simplify? I must. My question is, will I still be me? A simple me. Yeah, I can deal with that. Cream cheese icing is simple, but it's still good.

DANG! I really feel like an idiot after re-reading this post.


Cream Cheese Icing Recipe

1 block cream cheese (room temp)
1 stick butter (room temp)
1 box powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla

Use electric mixer to combine all ingredients until smooth. Use on carrot cake, red velvet, or any cake really. It is awesome! Probably prize winning, but we won't know until next 4th of July.

Cheesy Squash Casserole

2 T. oil
2 T. butter
6 medium squash, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion sliced thin
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 lb. cubed American cheese (Click here for a picture of this product)
2 T. milk or chicken broth
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 sleeve Ritz crackers

Saute the squash and onion in butter and oil over medium heat until tender. Put in greased baking dish. Combine sour cream, American cheese, and milk or broth. Heat in microwave until melted and smooth. Add cheddar, Parmesan, and sour cream mixture to squash in casserole dish. Stir until mixed evenly. Top with crushed Ritz crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 min.


  1. Wow! If I'd have known you went through all of that, I would have gone for seconds to make you feel better

  2. ahhh, Keelie, this is a little like my Saturday's Sayings post, except once again, YOU should publish something you write! You are so good.

    Did you know you can make regular milk into buttermilk, by adding either a little lemon juice or vinegar?

  3. Yes, I had heard about that trick but was afraid to try it for the first time on my contest cake. Ha!

  4. I admit I did have seconds of both! Keep those "simple" recipes comin'.


  5. Oh honey, I am so like you in all those ways... You make me just laugh and laugh. I always go for the A+ myself. :)

    I also know what it feels like with two busy ones under the age of four. They are a handful!!

    Thanks for sharing your day- makes me feel so good to know I'm not the only one who has days just like that!


  6. Love it! This is so me...drives my husband insane...

  7. It's amazing how we can be our own worst enemies. I relate well, as do many, to what you're saying. Why aren't we satisfied with simple? : ) Blessings Keelie!

  8. Keelie, I was going to email you, but don't have your email. If you don't see this, I will try facebook.

    Another blogger asked if she could join in Scripture Memory Monday and share my tag.
    It's Your tag, so I'm asking you.

    Thank you for the recipes!
    Have a great day!

  9. absolutely--anyone can use anything off this blog. I "borrow" quite a bit myself. :)

  10. Oh Keelie Suzanne. How I love you! This post had me laughing! I've known you for nearly 28 years and I'm pretty sure simplifying isn't going to change you. You'll always be Keelie! And that's pretty great! ;-)