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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CHEERS! To a Fun Day Out

Strolling down memory lane .....

This past Saturday, my family and friends attended the 2016 Lodi Ca. Zinfest, ( read more about it HERE ) to sample the 40 plus wineries participating, the various food demos and just enjoy the day in a beautiful location. I of course, had to have just the right outfit and have a special custom brooch made up for the event. If you are a wine lover and ever get a chance to visit Lodi and attend Zinfest I highly recommend doing so. It is a great way to spend the day, or even the weekend as the festivities and special events continue onto Sunday, but book your hotel early if you are from out of town it is a very popular event.

A few tips: there is free parking and shuttle, but if you don't want to deal with that there is a cute taco stand right across the street from the park Zinfest is always held at, and for 20.00 you can park there....yes it is pricey, but hey it is supporting small business right? PLUS, though there is food booths and food/cooking demos inside, you could eat really good tacos before going in! Once you are inside scope out the water trucks, so you can stay hydrated,  and the baskets full of complimentary bread.Scope out the bathrooms know cause you will be drinking tons of water and then there is the wine, so you know..... The other thing you will want to do is find out what time the food /cooking demos are and plan to attend, you get free small servings of food, really good food, and they will poor wine too so you could just sit and eat and drink most of the day! Be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat is always a nice idea. There is food booths that you buy tickets for, but it is not super budget friendly, so eating a large breakfast/brunch or at the Taco stand and then at the cooking demos,  along with the bread is in my mind is the way to go.OH!! And buy yourself a wine glass "sling" , you can find them on Amazon. So those are my tips, simple, but useful.

Apparently hubby and myself bring the cool factor !

The earrings are 1950's vintage grape clusters , and the brooch is from my company Housewife Chic! 

A closer look
A nice place to just stand and sip is near the lakes edge 

Hat.... have owned for years
Sweater .... thrifted
skirt.... Kitschy Kitty's Clothing Shop ( Ruby's Musings Approved)
Shoes....Amazon "retro sandals" 
Purse...Ross Dress For Less
Earrings ....Vintage 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Peanut Butter candy Cookie Brownie Cups~ A Pinterest Success

Sweet treats for the ones I love

This past Sunday was for many of us Mother's Day. I had informed my two daughters that live here that they would be cooking and divided up who was in charge of what and said I would handle desert. I wanted something truly decadent. I scrolled through the hundreds of recipes I have saved on my Pinterest boards and picked one that was super simple, but also would be something that unless it was a special occasion and calories be damned, would not be eaten. What I picked out was as I said simple, only a few ingredients....peanut butter cups, chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie mix, butter and a couple of eggs.

Smoosh the cookie dough into your muffin tin...I used foil
cups sprayed with cooking spray for easy clean up.
Put your peanut butter cup upside down on top....

put brownie batter that you pre-mixed on top 

Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, Don't over bake... I did as hubby and kids like then crunchy and not chewy.

Serve with ice cream ...better served warm.

The final results... YUM!

Remember to look  for Ruby's Musings on 
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and of course FB.
If you have a recipe you want me to try out contact me via FB or Instagram private messages. It could appear here on the blog! 

If you are interested in guest blogging, again private message me..or leave your email below! 

Also remember to visit my accessory shop 
Housewife Chic by Ruby 
on Instagram too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Going A Little Fruity for Mother's Day

Does your mama love cake? Don't use a mix,
bake from scratch! It's actually easier than you think! 

If you are new here you have no idea about my notorious sweet tooth. On occasion I post savory recipes, and if you go on the web version of my blog and look under the label RECIPES, you can find some, but for the most part it is all about the baked goods...mostly sweets!! Today is no different. I have shared "dump cakes" here before. this recipe I found that is actually deemed a "pudding" is very similar , simply in it's simplicity. Just in time for Mother's Day here in the U.S., using just a few simple ingredients, ones you may already have on hand you can make your mom a sweet treat!! 

Found on Pinterest 

Simple right??? So a few suggestions... Don't be afraid to switch out the fruit, pineapple would be really good!  Use your favorite nuts....or not. I used candied almonds, but I could also see this be amazing even without nuts, and a traditional crumble instead, or if using tropical fruit a toasted coconut topping put on half way through baking so as not to get burnt. It is super though I served as suggested with whipped topping, I think a nice frozen yogurt which as a bit of tang would cut the sweetness quite nicely...and if you left the topping off entirely or made an oat crumble or the mentioned toasted coconut and maybe macadamia nut mix, it would cut the sweet quite a bit as well.  One last suggestion I would use a lot less of the recipes was just too thick, you can see in the photos below it did not get as baked/browned, so I would cut the amounts in half and that would cut the sweetness, as would maybe adding some spices, maybe ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg to also help cut the sweet factor. 

How did it taste??

Well my hubby and I loved it, despite of the level of sweetness, but our middle daughter who is not into super sweet things got one bite in and that was it....she is the one that suggested the frozen yogurt topping...I agree it is super sweet, but with a few tweaks as I suggested above, it is really yummy and especially fresh out of the oven! Would I make it again? Yes, I think I would. If you make a different variation of this, I would love to hear about it and the results! 

I now have a shop on ETSY

Ruby's Musings is on YouTube
(facebook and twitter too) 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ruby's Coffee Cake Muffins

Something yummy is baking here at Muse Cottage!

It is recipe time here on Ruby's Musings. This go around I have a sweet treat that though not sinless, isn't the worst for you either, and made into muffins, it helps with portion control! When I was formulating this recipe, based on a basic coffee cake recipe from the 1950's , I was having a hard time coming up with a good name for it, so hence the above title for them. These yummy coffee cake muffins have the sweet juice of oranges, chunks of semi sweet chocolate, and crushed bits of candied cinnamon almonds. It is a very dense, loaf or coffee cake texture, but it is still moist. It has a slight bit of chew from the almonds and then the creamy texture of the chocolate bits. The recipe does include shortening, but could be switched out for coconut oil, the solid variety, or even for a lighter version, sour cream...even fat free. The orange juice could be tangerine, but really any other would not go as well. The chocolate is optional, or could be substituted with dark, milk or even white varieties. The candied almonds could be substituted for any nut candied or not... I prefer candied/spiced nuts as it adds a nice flavor profile. I bought most of my ingredients, all but the flour which is King Arthur Flour, and my spices which I buy online through a spice company, at Trader Joes, but you can of course shop at your local market. This could be made into a loaf OR in an 8x8 cake pan, or a round one if that is what you have, and of course that will make baking times change, as muffins that are medium size, and make a dozen, I baked them for 25 minutes. If you made them smaller, you can of course get more and bake them for less. I chose muffins for portion control. 

Let's talk toppings. I chose to not use any, but I could see this with holes poked into them and some kind of orange glaze soaking them through, or a orange flavored powdered sugar and orange juice glaze drizzled on top. Perhaps you would like a cream cheese and chopped nut frosting on them, perhaps you want to top them with a crumble or raw sugar...all would be very tasty and kick them up a notch. So let's get onto the recipe.....

What you need...
 2 cups of sifted flour 
1/2 tsp of baking soda
*1/4 tspnutmeg
*1/4 tsp allspice
*1/4 tsp cinnamon 
( *I used a all purpose baking spice )
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening 
1 cup brown sugar packed lightly
2 eggs, room temp...beaten until thick
1  tbsp grated orange rind..less if dried 
3/4 cup orange juice...with pulp 
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chunks* 
1/2 cup crushed candied nuts*
( you can add up to 3/4 cup without issue if you like, or use less if you like) 

What you need to do....

Sift flour, baking soda, spices and salt together and set aside. 
cream shortening and sugar until creamy.
If you have not already beat eggs until thick and then add to shortening mixture.
And in orange rind and mix to blend. 
Add sifted ingredients and orange juice alternately, beating thoroughly after each addition.
Add nuts and chocolate and blend once again until incorporated.  

Pour into either greased or lined cupcake pan or into a greased pan of choice at 350 degrees...
bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean , if baking in a cake pan it can bake upwards of 50 minutes... adjust accordingly for your oven 

Don's skip the sifting, it is important. 

Ok you caught me, I bought a selfie stick so I can take my own photos.

Make sure you add your sifted ingredients a bit at a time.....
....with juice alternately .

I used my grinder to help crush the almonds, but you could do so in a baggie and a hammer or if a soft nut with a knife. 

Using a scoop helps to assure you get even amounts in the muffin cups. 

Cool thoroughly on a baking rack

Store in an air tight container. 

Brooches available through    

 Click here for the Ruby's Musings Channel 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ruby's Musings by Request ~ Meet Cherry Darling

Ms. Cherry Darling 

It was a day just before the holidays when I had decided to follow a woman with a the handle of @she_knits_in _pearls aka Cherry Darling. I spotted one of her knitted creations and I asked her if she had ever made tea cozies. A friendship was struck up and bonding happened. This lovely woman decided instead of me paying for the said tea cozy she would just send it to me, and I decided we should do a gift exchange. Our friendship was sealed from there. Seems we share a lot of health woes, though, and not to divulge too much, hers far outweigh mine, so we were pain sisters, not to mention  tea drinking, retro loving sisters too. As it would happen I had purchased a headband from her Etsy store and had not even realized it, So now we were cherry wearing sisters too! Recently, I had spotted a cute knitting pattern for a pin curl headband, and before I could even mention it to her, she was already knitting one... I of course had to have one, and thus came about a little trade. I would get a super cute pink knitted pincurl cover, and in return I would help spread the word about her Etsy shop that she shares with her was a pretty good deal! I just love Cherry, her and her mom's creations and look forward to getting to meet her in person one day! I can with confidence mark anything from her and mom's shop "Ruby's Musings Approved"!

Let me introduce you to Cherry Darling....

Tell my readers a bit about yourself?

" I'm 40 years old and currently on my last leg of college before I start a whole new career and chapter in my life.  

Previously, I was a CNA (Certified Nurse Aide) working towards becoming a RN.  Unfortunately, that path   was derailed by a back injury that has left me unemployed and in chronic pain for the last 3 years.  On the bright side, I have been able to start blogging and work on my creative side. You can check out my personal blog She Knits in Pearls. (Here)

 Have you always been into the retro culture?

"No, I haven't.  All through my younger years, you would have considered me somewhere between Goth and Punk.  In my thirty's, my style melded into a Goth/Rockabilly style and slowly that turned more towards the Rockabilly and into a retro/vintage style."

 How did you come up with the handle Cherry Darling?

"The name Cherry was given to me in my early 30's when I became friends with another friend of the same birth name.  Instead of just one of us using a nickname to help with confusion we both got nicknames.  Because I have/had multiple sets of cherries tattooed on me, Cherry became my name.  The Darling part came along a few years later when I was working, part time, in a restaurant.  My manager had the same name so again I went by Cherry (my first paycheck was made out to Cherry and I couldn't cash it).  When expo would call my name to let me know my food was ready she would yell out Cherry Darling.  It's stuck, ever since.  I've toyed with the idea of changing my on-line name for a while due to the numerous Cherry's out there, but it's been so long and it's not just my online friends who know me as Cherry, I'm afraid it would be a big confusing mess if I did." 

 How long have you been knitting ? When did you start and who taught you?
"I've knit off and on for about 15 years.  I've learned from friends and online resources.  I never thought I'd be a knitter.  I used to have 101 creative hobbies and always thought that knitting would be the one I'd never do.  Then I found a hat pattern that I just had to make but it was knit.  Once I learned, almost all other creative hobbies completely fell away.  It was knitting that actually got me into vintage and retro style.  As I was searching for patterns that fit into my "rockabilly" style, I discovered all these vintage and retro inspired patterns.  The rest has been a wonderful and creative journey into who I am today."

Myself wearing Cherry's knitted pincurl cover.

 You sew too right? When did you learn/ how.?
"Sewing was my first real creative hobby.  I think I was sewing before my feet could reach the foot peddle, sitting on my Mama's lap.  Although, I've been sewing for longer than I can really remember, I don't consider myself a seamstress.  I'm pretty good at making skirts and other crafts (like the turbans and headbands in my etsy store) but when it comes to fitting issues, it usually turns into a hot mess.  I leave the real intense sewing to my Mom.  She's amazing like that". 

 You have an etsy store, tell us about that.
"Last summer, when I went to visit my mother in Nevada we tossed around the idea of opening our own Etsy store and doing craft fairs together when I move down there this fall (currently I live in Alaska).  After a few glasses of wine one evening we got online and registered our shop.  The name Lacey Rose Creations comes from our lovely dog Lacey we had as I was growing up and Rose is my moms maiden name.  We're just starting out and building a little stock at a time but really hope to kick it into gear after I move closer to her and we can have sewing and crafting days and focus on our business together".  

What type of products do you sell?
"Currently, I am making mostly turbans and headbands and would like to start taking small knitting commissions, like the pincurl wrap I made for you.  In the future I would like to keep making and expanding the retro/vintage inspired personal accessories.  My mom makes kitchen and sewing accessories.  She homes to branch out into long-arm quilting as well.....

We hope to grow into a great little family business that my mother and I can do together.  We want the experience of working and creating together and succeeding together.  We are both creative and constantly making things. If we can earn enough money to keep us in fabric and yarn, and maybe a little bit to help with the extras in life, while enjoying working together, we will consider it a success. Currently, every penny we make through Lacey Rose is being put in a fund to help me move to be closer to her."  


Cherry and her sweet mama

You can find Cherry and Lacy Rose Creations on Instagram as well.....

@She_Knits_in_Pearls and the shop... @LaceyRoseCreations