Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Super Bowl cake & cookies

I bought this pan at Williams-Sonoma a few years back on a crazy sale, it was originally like $35 and I got it for $4, however, it's been sitting around ever since. I mean, how many occasions can you think of to make a 3D football trophy cake. Well, I finally came up with one - the Super Bowl.

Andy was out of town in Phoenix and I got the hair brain idea to make this cake because I had some "spare time" on my hands and we were going to the Super Bowl party of all Super Bowl Parties - the Kirkpatrick's. We've been attending their party for about the past 4 years and look forward to it every year. The company and the food are great! Did I mention they are from Louisiana, so this year was extra special in that their "home" team was playing, The Saints. They went all out, Gumbo, Jambalaya and Wings... delicious!

So after setting my sites on this project, I called up the only person I knew who could help me pull this cake off, Jeanie Smith - she and her husband Troy own the one and only Baja Burrito in Berry Hill and she makes the most amazing, detailed cookies I've ever seen. I knew she would have all the food coloring, frosting bags, tips, cookie cutters that I would need. I was right... and even more impressed by her stash than I had hoped for.

It was way more detailed of a task than I had estimated and ended up staying up well past 1 am decorating and assembly all my goodies. Mind you, I made the cake from scratch so that added a lot of time to my project, however it was well worth it.

Here are some pics of the evolution of the cookies and cake, I know my technique is a bit off, but I am super proud of the outcome.

Vanilla Cake Batter from scratch

Vanilla Buttercream

Chocolate Buttercream

The front of the cake

The back of the cake

Royal Icing

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Our new friend Rue...

Andy & I have been dog-sitting (at our house) for the past 5 days and we have fallen in love with a sweet little Chichauau named Ruthie, which goes by Rue for short. 

She has so much personality - loves watching tv (currently the Olympics), snuggling, sleeping and barking at animals on TV and is even doggie litter trained. What a great life!

We'll see if she inspires us to buy a pup - we'll keep you posted!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Right before Christmas I had these wires installed (I got them at Ikea) in our hallway - I first used them to display all of our Christmas cards, it was awesome! Well, when the season was over, down they came and up went "normal" photos for a while until February rolled around. I thought it would be fun to use it to write Andy a little message for this fun filled holiday. Happy Valentine's Day babe - I love you!

John Mayer Concert 2.10.10

Andy & I went to the John Mayer concert with our friends Erin & Sherman Bucher on 2.10.2010

It was AMAZING! I love John Mayer's music and have always been a big fan. I became an even bigger fan after getting to know Andy and being introduced to the world of drumming. One of Andy's top 3 drummers (Steve Jordan) is John Mayer's producer and drummer. He is amazing! We had the privilege of getting to meet and spent a little time with Steve. He was very gracious, funny and really a cool guy.

When I told him that I bought Andy a Yamaha "Steve Jordan" snare drum as a wedding present he light up and gave me a huge hug. It was a priceless moment. Here are some pics from the night...

Monday, February 8, 2010


FLOR is by far one of my favorite home decor items ever! It's modular carpet squares that you can arrange and re-arrange into any design/pattern that you want - you can even cut them to fit your space. They are 19.7" squares and come in many different colors, patterns, textures, wares (light traffic, heavy) etc.

The best part of all is that if you get a stain on your "carpet" you can just lift it right up and wash it in the sink or bathtub - let the square air dry and put it right back into place. Brilliant!

I love FLOR so much I have it in my entryway, hallway, office and guest room. Where to put it next?

Check out their website, you can even get samples of the carpet before you buy.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


It snowed in Nashville and I have been so happy! It's always so magical to have snow,  it reminds me of being a kid and growing up in Washington State. Skiing was the official family sport of the Jensen family, so I love the stuff. FYI: It hasn't snowed this much in Nashville since 2003, so this was a huge treat. I woke up Friday morning and it didn't stop pouring for at least 15 hours. It took a little break and dumped some more. My little ruler measured 7 inches in the backyard... Andy & I had a great time, we went on a walk through the neighborhood, made snow cream, sledded with the neighbor kids, played Wii and watched movies. It was a glorious snow filled weekend!

P.S. You might notice Andy & I have matching jackets, I know that's cute - but it's not our general style. When Andy was with Little Big Town we ended up in Steam Boat Springs for a gig and they gave us the jackets for FREE. As you know, I love FREE stuff - so we wear them proudly every winter.

Andy - wiped out on the sled

I'm headed down the hill

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Here's a new recipe I tried tonight, it was a hit - Andy & I both loved it! It's easy, very low cal and it tastes nothing like the lunch lady version we all hated growing up. Try it - trust me it's great! Enjoy...


1                 8 oz can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/2 c           ketchup (i use the no sugar kind)
1 1/2 T        Worcestershire sauce
1 t               prepared yellow mustard
1/2 t           dry mustard
1 t               molasses
1                 clove garlic, finely minced
Pinch           ground clove
To taste       red peppers

1 lb             lean ground turkey
1/2             small onion, finely chopped
6                 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted if desired


In a saucepan over low heat, combine sauce ingredients. Mix well and simmer while preparing turkey meat. Next, heat a heavy, non-stick skillet, at least 10 inches in diameter, over medium high heat. Add ground turkey and saute, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes or until turkey meat is no longer pink. Pour contents of pan into a colander lined with paper towels and drain liquid out. Add onion to pan and saute, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until translucent. Return turkey meat to pan and add sauce. Heat 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional peppers, if desired. Spoon 1/2 C turkey mixture over bun. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings
Calories 297/serving
Fat 10 g
Protein 20 g
Carbs 32 g

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A great yummy soup for a cold winter night!

I love to cook - and eat good food for that matter! I have a great friend, Amy who is very talented in the kitchen. I swear it's her spiritual gift... When Andy & I got married she gave me a large stack of hand written recipe cards and the tools to go with the recipes. Skewers, pie pans, etc. It was one of my favorite gifts! I have been going through the recipes ever since we got married nearly 2 1/2 years ago and am always pleased with the results. I love them and so does Andy - I think I'll share them with you one by one. I swear they are super easy, no fail and a huge crowd pleaser. 

Enjoy - Happy Eating!

Amy's Corn & Clam Chowder


3 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 c. corn
1 lb. new potatoes, cubed
2 (8 0z.) bottles clam juice
1/2 c. water
2 lb. small clams, cleaned well or
1 can whole baby clams
1 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbs. butter
salt & pepper to taste


In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat until browned, but not crisp. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain.

Add onions to the reserved bacon grease and cook until translucent. Add corn, potatoes, clam juice and water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Add the clams. If you are using fresh clams, cook until they open. If you are using canned clams, allow to cook until they are heated through.

Lower the heat and add the milk, cream and butter. Once the butter is melted, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the clams. If you are using fresh clams, cook until they open. If you are using canned clams, allow to cook until they are heated through.

Lower the heat and add the milk, cream and butter. Once the butter is melted, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I love to vacuum!

I love to vacuum and always have! It was my choice chore growing up and I am a bit of a geek about vacuums. There is nothing worse than vacuuming with a bad one that just doesn't cut it and you're still left with a mess.

About 4 years ago a client of mine got a Dyson vacuum and I instantly fell in LOVE! I borrowed it every chance I could until I finally got my own when Andy & I got married. It's by far the best tool I've ever owned. So when, Dyson came out with a hand-held vacuum, I had to have it too. I love it just as much and it really works great.

Features I love!

- No bag
- Easy to clean
- Easy to clear out clogs
- Great customer service & phone support
- Love the way it looks
- Doubles as an air filter (just leave it running while you dust, clean the bathroom, etc.)
- No replacing the filter, you just wash it every 6 months

I wish I could strike up a deal with Dyson and get something back from them for referring customers to them. I counted just the other day how many Dyson's I have sold (via referrals), I believe it's nearing double digits. Can you tell I love 'em?

Tip: look for sales on these things - they aren't cheap or an impulse buy but are so worth the investment. For instance, Target offered the Dyson DC 17 Animal (my fav up-right model) for $200 off the retail price on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). What a steal! Since that deal is not currently available, I always tell people to buy them at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Those 20% off coupons you get in the mail work on Dyson products.

Happy vacuuming!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Hey everyone! Welcome to my new blog - All Things Random.

As all of you know, All Things Random is the name of my personal assisting & concierge service in Nashville, TN that I have been operating since 2003 - however, I feel the name also encompasses my life - a little bit of this and that, randomly.

I have been thinking about and dreaming about creating a blog for a while now and have just never sat down to do it. Well, it's 2010 and this is NOT a resolution of mine, it's my new thing. So check back often as I post and keep you updated on, well, All Things Random.

My desire is to have this serve as a public journal letting you know what I see in a given day, what I'm thinking about, trying, reading, etc. You might see recipes I love, want to try, articles about health, products, book reviews, etc. Again, it's All Things Random - so you never know what you're going to get.

Thanks for stepping into my journey, I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say or the pics I show you, as much as I think I will enjoy putting it out there.