Roxboro Rocks

Monday, March 27, 2017

Has the rock hiding trend hit your town yet?

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Rock Hiding Game

Here in our very own Little Town, USA (aka Roxboro) people are painting and decorating rocks, and then hiding them at parks and restaurants, in downtown, in the Walmart, even!  Then, other people (like my rock adoring child) hunt them down (at which point, you can re-hide it or keep it, if it suits your fancy).

There is even a Facebook page to give out hints and share photos of your newly acquired treasures.  I have actually been seeing little posts here and there for a while about this, but I just checked it out today.  We got a nice haul, and then proceeded to dig out our rock painting kits (because rock fiends like my child own not one but two of such kits!) and proceeded to fancy up some rocks of our own.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Rock Hiding Game

I chose to paint a few to represent plays my oldest has been in over the years. On the back, I included a nice little saying from the play and the tag Roxboro Rocks, so people know, "Hey, this rock is definitely for you!"

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Rock Hiding Game

We tried out geocaching a few years back.  You can read about our adventures here.  Spoiler alert: We found Oz--as in the Wizard of!  Somehow, though, it didn't produce as much excitement as these rocks have.



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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring is the perfect time of year to make a homemade carrot cake. With Easter right around the corner, this cake would be a perfect dessert for your Easter celebration. (Because what does the Easter Bunny like more than carrots? Carrot cake, right?)

And don't let a made from scratch carrot cake intimidate you! This recipe is really easy to make, and it tastes delicious!

Harris Sisters Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

1¼ cups unsweetened applesauce
2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all­ purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crushed pineapple (not drained)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine applesauce, sugar, and eggs. 
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 
  4. Stir in carrots, coconut, nuts, vanilla, and pineapple.
  5. Divide cake batter evenly between two prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Then, remove to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  8. Prepare cream cheese frosting while cakes cool (recipe follows).

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup butter (softened)
16 oz cream cheese (softened)
2 tsp vanilla
2 lbs confectioners sugar

  1. Place the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute more. 
  3. Use to frost the top and sides of the cake of your choice.
  4. Refrigerate frosted cake for an hour before serving for best results.
Harris Sisters Carrot Cake


If you're looking for other recipes for your Easter get-together, give these tried and true Harris Sisters recipes a try:

Vegetable Pot Pie

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This vegetable pot pie recipe is perfect for our current weather. 

I've dispensed with soups for the time being because any given day could be warmer than usual. But at the same time, we might have a cooler spring day that is decidedly not warm at all.

Such was the case this week when I thought that a homemade pot pie recipe would do the trick.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Veggie Pot Pie

Vegetable Pot Pie


  • 4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 4 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Approximately 1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted following package instructions
  • 1 large egg


  1. Chop all vegetables and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, tall saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to remove lumps. Add the vegetable stock. Cook this mixture for 5-10 minutes while continuously stirring. Mixture should be thickened. Continue to cook and stir the sauce over medium heat until you reach the correct consistency.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add the cream and stir to combine. 
  4. Add the chopped mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, onion, peas, and garlic to the sauce. Cook the vegetables in the sauce for three minutes. Transfer the filling into a clean bowl and chill in the refrigerator for one hour, or until cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Flour your work surface (to ensure the puff pastry doesn’t stick). Roll out the puff pastry to slightly larger than your casserole dish. 
  7. Carefully spoon in your chilled filling into your casserole dish.
  8. Break the egg in a small dish and add a tablespoon of water. Whisk with a fork and brush this egg wash on the edges of your casserole dish. Lay your puff pastry over the top, being careful not to stretch it. Seal the edges of the puff pastry by lightly pushing it onto the rim of your casserole dish to make sure it is secure. Then brush the top and sides with more egg wash. 
  9. Bake your pot pie for 45-55 minutes. Bake until the puff pastry is evenly golden brown.
  10. Let cool for ten minutes before serving.

Notes:
Your crust should be brown when the pot pie is finished cooking. If the edges brown before the center of the crust, you can wrap them in aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Veggie Pot Pie

This recipe is very versatile. If you'd rather substitute different vegetables, it will turn out just as delicious. And, if you'd prefer chicken pot pie, you can substitute 1 lb. cooked and shredded chicken for one of the vegetables.

Harris Sisters GirlTalk: Veggie Pot Pie

Enjoy!

MAC's Gone But Not Forgotten Program

Friday, March 17, 2017

If you are a lover of MAC cosmetics as I am, then you may already be aware of this program. However, I was not.  I have honestly been so fortunate to have never needed to avail myself of the MAC Gone But Not Forgotten program.  Until now.  



So here's my story.  Have you ever found just the perfect shade of lip color?  And loved it and used it for years and years and years?  And then one day it suddenly and inexplicably disappears as though it was never there to begin with?  Alas, that happened to me recently.  And I was at a genuine loss. When I recently went online to reorder my favorite MAC lipstick, I couldn't find it anywhere.  I had previously saved it as one of my favorites for easy reordering, and it was even gone from my list of favorites.  It had simply disappeared. 


I was left scratching my head, and drawing the obvious conclusion - that my lipstick shade was no longer available.  No, that couldn't be right.  MAC would have checked with me on that first, right?  I just couldn't accept that as an answer.  So I called their customer service, and after a quick chat with a helpful representative, it was confirmed.  My lipstick was in fact gone.  (but not forgotten)  I will be mourning it's loss for a while. I can assure you.  However, the rep did fill me in on the MAC Gone But Not Forgotten program.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, then you can email that team at consumercare-us@gcc.maccosmetics.com, and they will do the research for you.  If it turns out that your favorite item or color has been discontinued then they will provide you with instructions on how to hunt down and purchase any of the items that have been discontinued.  

Here are the specifics. 

It is a complimentary service to MAC consumers called Gone but Not Forgotten. This program offers you the opportunity to get up to six pieces (each) of a product that has been discontinued within the last 36 months. 

To place a search for your product(s), call toll-free at 1 (855) 484-2840 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. To expedite your call please have your case number available for reference when speaking with one of the Consumer Care Representatives.
Here are some program details:

  • Limited quantities of product are available and search requests are performed as they are received. Please allow at least 10 business days to receive your product.
  • MAC requires credit or debit card payment up front and will charge your card only when the product is shipped.
  • Packages shipped to the contiguous United States are shipped via UPS and a physical street address is necessary. Tracking information will be sent via e-mail when they ship your order. A flat $5 fee will be included in your charge.
  • Packages shipped to Alaska and Hawaii are shipped via FedEx and a physical street address is necessary. Tracking information will be sent via e-mail when they ship your order. A $20 flat fee will be included in your charge.
  • If MAC cannot locate your products, they will notify you via e-mail and your credit card information will be deleted from their system.
  • All sales are final.
It won't bring your lip color back, but it is the next best thing.  If you can manage to find even a few tubes to tide you over, it will make your transition a lot easier while you are looking for your next perfect lip shade.