Thursday, June 25, 2009

CUPS on the deck!

(Anne is having dental work done, so we're going to go ahead and post this baby, and when she gets in any shape to modify the post, there will be a perspective from her.)
T: It was Bible study night at our house, only the wife and the kids weren't invited, so we decided to visit Mary and Anne at Mary's house for our first CUPS evening event. And what an event it was! I was finally able to deliver the "Daily Cup" mug to Anne, as well as her steak knife that found its way into my pan of treats at one of the earlier CUPS meetings. We arrived, turned the kiddos loose, and relaxed. I'm not sure that there's anything better than a June evening on the Montana prairie, except getting to share that evening with two darling friends!

Anne is getting a little bit of a baby-bulge in the middle, and Gwen is growing into a talker, clapper, and crawler. Angus' and Maggie's tresses are blonde with caresses from the sun, and Mary looked so relaxed and welcoming in her cute tunic top with the laces. Our summer has been so busy, I haven't seen my friends as often as I'd like to and it's apparent the summer has been kind to both of them.

We set out the food, filled up our plates with sloppy joes, watermelon, Asian slaw sald, and chips with crab dip. A can of Jones' green apple soda for our pregnant one, and a bottle of 2007 Petzer Gewurztraminer for Mary and I; and then we escaped to the deck to eat and watch the children play and laugh. Not a cup of coffee was to be found!

We laughed so hard we had tears streaming down our faces at one point, and I'm pretty sure Haley thought we had lost our minds. I'm not sure she's looking forward to her 30s and children if that's how crazy one gets! It was an evening that was sorely needed from a relaxation stand point, and it's clear we need to get together a little more often if we're to stay sane.

M: Boys and dirt. Does it get much better?
M: Maggie and Angus were terribly enthusiastic about entertaining Miss Gwen. I left this picture blurry, intentionally, because I'm sure that's how she felt! M: Can you believe all these kids got along, for the most part, all evening? They played until they almost dropped, and I don't know if any of the little ones ate more than 6 potato chips all evening.

M: Angus and Allie...they are going to get married to each other, someday, and we'll have all these great pictures of them to show at the reception.

M: Nummy! Gwennie was all over the sloppy joes and chips!M: There's a whole lotta Princess in one place....

M:This picture pretty much captures the flavor of the evening...relaxed, delicious and summer-y.
M: The funniest thing, to me, about this picture is that Haley, Traci's 13 yr. old step-daughter, was watching us with horror, and you could just hear her thinking, " I will NEVER be that silly when I'm old." Bless her heart, I hope she is!

M: Maggie thinks Gwennie is HER baby, and Anne just has more custody. She's thrilled at the notion of another baby on the way to love!
M: I'm not going to give all the details; Traci and Anne are better at that than I am. I'll just tell you that we discovered that CUPS isn't something we can drop for any amount of time and stay sane. (I know, you question our sanity after that prior picture...) I've been missing these girls and this gathering like you wouldn't believe. This is just a tiny sampling of the fun we have EVERY TIME!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Human Contact

Now, I don't know how the cartoonists found out about CUPS, but this is perfect! Right down to coffee at Anne's!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Speaking of Recipes....

Mary made this coffee cake and brought it to my house one day when we did "Travel MUGS" about 2 weeks ago. She remarked that any coffee cake batter that tasted like sugar cookie dough had to be a winner. It is Maaahhhvelous. I made mine with the cherry filling and had a little bit of cream cheese left from another dessert I made, so I put that in with the glaze, and almond flavoring. It got rave reviews from the hired men, my husband, and my father-in-law so it must have been good! It's best when it's warm, but tastes good cold too! Brew up some coffee and have at it!

CUPS Coffee Cake
Bake 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes

Cream together:
1 cup butter, softened, not melted
1 ¾ cup granulated sugar

Add 4 eggs; beat well.

Add, and mix well:
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder

Spray 9x13 baking pan with non-stick spray.
Spread ½ of batter in the prepared pan.
Spread 1 can of pie filling over batter and drop remaining batter by spoonfuls on top.

Bake; cool until warm and frost.

4 T butter, melted this time!
2 or so cups powdered sugar
2 T heavy whipping cream or half and half
Flavoring of choice

I made it with cherry filling and added almond flavoring to the frosting; with blueberry filling, I used grated orange peel and vanilla for the frosting; for raspberry filling I’d probably go with a lemon flavor.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chocolate bliss...

Well, CUPS met on Wednesday, sort of, for our last official meeting that has to do with school. It occurred to Traci and I that we don't have anyone to take to preschool next year...Angus and Alli will be too young! BUT, we will probably have to go get groceries and mail parcels and pick up parts at Cenex, so CUPS will continue. The following year, however, will be a WILD time, because our oldest will be in school full-time, and when we drop the little 'uns off at preschool....WE WILL BE CHILD FREE FOR THREE HOURS. Can you imagine the trouble we can get into? And poor little Anne will be going through the toddler/two's/pottytraining/teething. She may need more than coffee in her cup. You know, Kahlua smells like coffee...

We didn't end up touring the greenhouse, as planned, because Miss Alli was with us, and Anne was not. (Anne went to Idaho for Mother's Day. On Tuesday. A bit early, don't you think? Perhaps she was avoiding us.... Oh, she called; FROM GREAT FALLS! and said she'd miss us, but she really didn't sound all that lonesome. And then she cut out. Fzzzzz..can't hear you...fzzzz...later, when we...fzzzz...)

We stopped at the Extension office to pick up the Chocolate Poundcake Supreme prize from Pohney. I didn't take a picture...I should have, but if I had taken the time to do that, Traci would've had a headstart on eating it, and I wasn't going to let that happen! We stopped at Ryans for a Diet Coke (Traci's. I won't defile my body with that.) and a Starbucks bottled Frappucino ( I WILL defile my body with THAT.) and crept up to the Presbyterian Church, to sample the cake.

A little note, here, on the poundcake. It should be called pounds cake, alright? Pounds. Here's what it tasted best as I can describe it...a really large, powdered sugar dusted brownie, with just enough coconut in it to drop you to the floor with gratitude, but not so much as to overwhelm the chocolate. It was baked in the shape of sort of a ruffled heart. So, you could slice off little bit by little bit, swoon, lick all the crumbs off your hand and napkin, then slice another piece when your fellow CUP wasn't looking. That's right. We didn't even use forks. No time.

Traci brought all the attending members a coffee mug, to have at home and to remind us of all the good times we had this year. So nice! I've used mine twice now, and coffee does taste better in it. I hope Anne gets one, too, but since she didn't make the last meeting, I don't know if there's any guarantee on that.

Summer CUPS will be held on the decks of the club members, or in the gardens, and I think we're going to try to meet twice a month, if we can get organized. And we need to get cracking on the secret club handshake. I'm sure it will revolve around wiping chocolate crumbs off on the other member's hand...

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Three Amigas

And here they are, the founding members of C.U.P.S.
Anne, Mary and
Traci There are really only a couple of rules, in C.U.P.S.
1. Check the calories in at the door. No calories allowed. (That doesn't mean we don't eat them; quite the opposite! We eat and drink of the highly caloric, liberally! How are you going to feed your spirit without real cream, sugar and butter?)
2. All for one, and one for all. I realize that saying has been used, but it's still true and good, for our gatherings. And if we know of another woman in need of C.U.P.S. intervention, we move quickly and do so. And we have a branch in Texas (Dixie C.U.P.S.) and one soon to be chartered in Idaho (Tater C.U.P.S.).
3. C.U.P.S can go on the road, whenever they deem necessary. When this happens, they become Travel M.U.G.S. (Mothers Under General Stress). You may find them at a greenhouse, a thrift store, quilt shop, photo developing kiosk, parent's home or Kafe Utza. If you do see them, and correctly identify the C.U.P.S., they will include you as a guest C.U.P. or M.U.G. and you may leave YOUR calories at the door!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


...the first official post for C.U.P.S. (Coffee Under Pretense of School)! I wanted to get the blog started, and being rained in made it a perfect day to do so. So, without further ado, let the blogging begin....