Thursday, December 23, 2010

Banoffee Pie Recipe

Here's what ya need:

Ok so you can either make or buy a pre-made crust with graham crackers, make your own pastry crust (yum!) or a premade pastry crust...OR
you can make your own crust with digestive biscuits...yeah I know I had never heard of these bad boys either..but you can find them in the international aisle at your grocery store..(probably)
EITHER: a prepared pie crust or graham cracker crust OR:
1 package of digestive biscuits
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1 stick of butter softened (unsalted)
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 or 4 large slightly green bananas
1 1/2 cups heaving whipping cream
a little bit of freshly ground coffee (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

FIRST:
Ground up the biscuits in your food processor, then add the butter and ginger.. pulse a few times until you have a you have a crumbly crust. Place in a 9 inch pie plate. You can use the bottom of a cup and tap the crumbs down to form a crust..or just use your hands! Place in fridge.
SECOND: (well you could actually do this part ahead of time if you want!)Ok so this is the dangerous part... you can probably make toffee another way but this is the way I did it... (I used more than one can so I would have a few all prepared if I wanted to make another pie) Place one can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water and boil for about 3 hours. MAKE SURE the can is completely submerged (COVERED COMPLETELY) in water and the top is on your pot. You will have to watch this pot! You will need to add water to it. Now remember it's dangerous- there is a chance that the can could possibly explode...SO be careful!

Once you have the toffee step finished and the can is cooled completely...take the pie crust out of the fridge. Open your sweetened condensed milk can.. and scoop out all of the toffee goodness into the pie crust.
THIRD: Place the bananas over your toffee- I slice the bananas in half the long way and lay them across the toffee. You can also slice them into rounds..whatever you want!

FINALLY: take the one and half cups of heavy cream/whipping cream and whip it up until you have a nice thick whipped cream. You can add a little powdered sugar to the cream and/or the freshly ground coffee it you would like. (I added 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of ground coffee to mine)
Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top of your bananas! That's it!
If you would like to add a little chocolate dusting or curls for a little extra something...go for it! :)

Enjoy!







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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Banoffee Pie ...take 3

Yesterday, a friend told me that it takes him about 3 tries when trying out a new recipe-- before getting it exactly how he wanted it..adjusting..changing ...creating...tweaking...
SO three tries is about what it took for this silly pie.
Here's the story: One day or.. was it night?... one of my daughter's teachers informed me about this pie...."banoffee pie" she said... "is Sooo good... it has a graham cracker crust, toffee... banana.." OOOH STOP right there.. my brain kind of turned off for a moment..when I heard the word..BANANA. I stood there in the kitchen of the pub and all I could see was her facial expressions as she described this so called delicious Banoffee pie--- I couldn't really hear the rest of the ingredients.
 I remember one thing...
she said she had it either in England..or was it Ireland??
So of course at one of the classes I brought up the pie again to her teacher..because by that time I had even forgotten the name...all I could remember was that it had banana's in it! haha.

Banoffee Pie... I searched high and low, asked friends...what was this Banoffee Pie?? No one really knew what it was. Well...I found it one day on the internet. Apparently, it originated in England at a restaurant called "The Hungry Monk", in 1972. It seems as though this pie is a huge hit over there. The recipe is even posted online!!

My Banoffee Pie adventure had begun. I found a bunch of recipes including the one from the Hungry Monk website. The recipes I found all tried to stay true to the original. The Hungry Monk recipe calls for a "shortcrust", which basicly contains 3 things, fat( I used butter), salt, flour and cold water. It is a nice light flakey crust. The kicker in this pie is the toffee. YES, homemade toffee. It's not as difficult as you would think..maybe a bit dangerous..boiling unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours!!! (safety first.. you have to make sure that you add water to the pot and keep the cans submerged the entire time! otherwise..well they could EXPLODE!)  I boiled at least 6 cans of sweetened condensed milk in the last few days...to make this famous toffee. FINALLY, yesterday, after making 3 pies with runny toffee, I figured out what was going wrong.
NO TOP ON MY BOILING POT.
YES!!! 
Can you believe that???
I boiled the cans of milk for 3 hours without a top on my pot- which caused the toffee to not completely thicken.
HOWEVER, I did not realize this until last night when we cut into one banoffee pies to have a tasting! I had even given one pie to one of my favorite customers...who's father LOVES banoffee and tries to find it wherever he goes. So when we cut into ours...I was a bit upset!!! It tasted great but...it was runny!
DISAPPOINTED...I tried again.. boiled three more cans with the top on and it worked.
A nice thick, dark, creamy toffee!



Instead of using the shortcrust, for this pie, I used a graham cracker crust... it's a little bit sweeter.
All the of the ingredients make this pie a success...  the layer of toffee, banana and homemade whipped cream...this pie is sure to be a hit at any party or holiday!

I made this pie with the shorbread crust!
RECIPE click here in a few!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dora Cuppy's



A very nice mom asked me to make some special dora cuppy's for her daughter for her birthday. She also informed me that she and her daughter liked the cuppy's that they saw while watching Nick Jr.
Well, I went to nickjr.com and walla...there they were! A step by step how-to..for dora cuppy's! They are really cute! While I was making them I realized that the chocolate chip eyes were not looking exactly how I would like them to look. So instead of the chocolate chips, I decided to pipe the rest of the eyes on these little cuppy's!
Want to make these cutey's yourself?? Well here is the link! Let me know if you do!
http://www.nickjr.com/recipes/dora-cupcakes.jhtml

They are a bit time consuming..but take it in steps and you'll have the
cutest Dora Cuppy's ever!
You can do it!
:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Salted Caramel Filling Recipe

This is a recipe that I have been dying to try out! I found it online on Sprinkle. It is for a cupcake filling..however.. I'd like to try it out as a cake filling for my rich chocolate cake recipe as well as a caramel cuppy.
Here's what ya need:
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of salted butter cubed
1/4 cup plus 1 tbls of heavy cream..room temp

Melt the sugar over medium high heat in a large heavy pot. Whis the sugar as it melts, until it become an amber color. Add the butter and stir until melted. Pour in the heavy cream ( BUT WAIT..watch out it will bubble and foam_ then whis unti you get a smooth sauce. If you have lumps, keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and cool just slightly!

Sounds easy enought right? I usually use brown sugar for my caramel so I am interested in seeing how this turns out!

What is your favorite cake/cupcake filling?

:) Kelli


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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nantucket Banana Bread

Are you searching for the perfect banana bread?? Here it is! This recipe for Nantucket Banana bread has been shared within my family. Everyone LOVES it. Honestly, I am not much of a banana fan. But my kids, husband and friends love it!
So here it is!
I usually double this recipe.

1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of mashed banana
1/2 cup of nuts (I don't use nuts, I use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup of sour cream

Cream butter & sugar. Add in vanilla, eggs, sour cream & banana. Next in a seperate bowl mix your dry ingredients together. Then add to wet mixture.
Bake in a well greased loaf pan. (I used cooking spray!)
Oven temp: 350.
Bake for about 1 hour...(usually a little less than an hour..check on it!

That's it! Super easy!!

Enjoy!!


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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby feet cupcake toppers!

Last night I was at an event for my daughter's dance school. And of course one of the mom's and I were chatting about baby shower ideas for cupcakes she is making for a family member. A little over a year ago I made baby shower cuppy's for my sister. So I shared the idea of little fondant feet for cupcake toppers. They are simple, cute and just perfect to jazz up your baby shower cucpakes! Here is a photo of the cutters I found while vacationing on Cape Cod a couple of summers ago. (We stay in Brewster every summer. One of my favorite store's to stop by is the Strawberry Patch. It's a small specialty shop in a barn. They have so many different special things from hand knit baby irish sweaters to cookie cutters to christmas decorations! Oh and I can't forget the train that they have set up outside! It come inside to store at night...kind of like Mr. Rogers....wow that was a tangent!!)




Aren't they cute? They come in 3 different sizes! So if you wanted to make cookies as favors, the larger cutter is the perfect size! I used the mini for these cupcake toppers...

Here are some pictures of the cupcakes and cookies I made for my sister's baby shower!

(these are the toppers)


Cute right? Everything about babies is fun and cute to me! Babies are always a reason for celebrating!
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

GIVE AWAY!


LIZ you are the winner~!!!!! Please email me!!
My time was 1 hour 45 minutes!! 15 minutes better than last year. I was secretly hoping for 1 hour and 30 minutes..but my time showed improvement. The army ten-miler is my absolute favorite race!

I have been selected by CSN Stores to review products & also to give some away.
A little about CSN: In total, CSN Stores has over 1 million products and that number is constantly growing. Not only is their product catalog growing but they are adding new stores like children's toys, too. They have everything & anything you can imagine! Seriously! Are you looking for a new dining room table? They've got it.
Check out their online stores & you will be amazed!
Their cookware selection is phenomenal.

 
Since this will be the first one...
I mentioned I have a secret goal time for my upcoming race this weekend...I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity for the first give away.

(actually I did one give away from CSN before.. remember? click here)-
I figured that giving away a
$50 gift certificate
would be so much fun!
Don't you think so too?



Ok so here is how the giveaway works:


On Sunday, I will be running the army ten-miler in washington d.c. all you have to do is guess my time, The person who guesses exactly or closest will win! Please only post one time! (BTW... last year I ran the race in a little over 2 hours )
For extra posting chances... you can:


1) become a new fan on facebook
2  become a new friend on facebook
3) become a new follower of my blog

READY...SET... GO!!!!!




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Army 10-Miler...take 2

Hey guess what? This weekend is the Army Ten-Miler. Earlier this year I wrote about my running journey. This year has been great! I've run in 2 half marathons & now I am running in the Army Ten-Miler race in Washington D.C. IT's on SUNDAY.. exactly 3 days away to the minute! I can't believe it is already here. I have been running and training to the best of my ability. I am sure you know how busy life gets! I fit running in between, my new baking company, being a mom..and all of the duties that come along with that, my regular job, and LIFE! Running is my sweet escape.
This year I feel more confident. Running long distance is and has always been a struggle for me. I feel like I am better prepared and I am hoping my time will be better. It has seemed to improve with in the last few months. I have been running with a running group, a couple of different mom friends (who are faster than me--which works out great..motivation to go faster!) & on my own. So..I am really excited and hoping I meet my secret goal time.

Also this year, I will have a couple of cheerleaders traveling with me. My husband & son will be riding down to D.C. with me. We are turning this into a mini-weekend vacation. My son is excited to see the sites & learn all about D.C. He was hoping to see the white house..but go figure the tours are all booked up!!  Travel time is about 5 hours-- from where we live. It's nice to have their positive support..& I especially love seeing them at the finish line.
The finish line is always emotional for me. I swear every long race.. about a quarter of a mile away from the finish..I begin to well up & I am always thinking "I did it...Oh my.. I did it". Looking back at each race... it makes me giggle at how emotional I get! ha.
Wish me luck!

p.s. Giveaway next!


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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Apple Pie

Today I went down to the pub to start some Halloween Cookies. I also, baked an apple pie. I used a recipe that my mom passed down to me. The pie is just delicious. I thought I'd share it with you! I hope you get a chance to try it out and share your thoughts!
Kelli

Apple Pie
preheat oven to 400 degrees

Here's what ya need:
9 inch pie shell
Topping:
2/3 cup unsifted all purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar packed
1/3 cup of butter
Apple Filling:
2lbs of tart cooking apples (i used mac's and granny smith)
1 tbls of lemon juice
2 tbls flour
3/4 cup of sugar
dash of salt
1 tsp of cinnamon
First put your crust into you pie plate and refrigerate.
Time to make your topping!
Combine flour and sugar in bowl and cut in butter until you end up with crumbs. Refrigerate.
Next, core and thinly slice apples and place in large bowl. Add lemon juice and toss.


In a separate bowl combine sugar, salt, flour and cinnamon. 
Mix well... then toss with apples.


Pour apple mixture into pie crust, make sure it goes in evenly.
Then top with crumble topping. 

Place in oven at 400 degrees and bake for 40-45 minutes!

ENJOY!


 

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Friday, September 17, 2010

CupcakeCamp New Haven

We are less than a day away!
Tomorrow morning... the first official CUPCAKECAMP New Haven will take place at BAR! How exciting is this?! I can not wait to meet all of our hard working bakers, bakery sponsors, and our tasters too.
Last night while I was baking, in the kitchen of McCoy's Pub, I kept thinking of all the different varieties of cupcakes that would be at cupcakecamp! If it were not for all of our bakers...there would be no cupcake camp. CupcakeCamp is sure to be a sweet event. As for me (kelli's cakes)...I will be bringing chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, pumpkin cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! I will post pictures tomorrow!
Isn't it AMAZING that one little common interest...cupcakes...can bring a community together?!
See you all tommorrow! Check out NBC 30 tonight for coverage on cupcakecamp!! ALSO tune into WTNH Channel 8's GOOD MORNING CT tomorrow morning ---they will be sharing the cupcake love!!
WE HEART CUPCAKES!



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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lego Cupcakes

 These lego cupcakes were for a very special little boy! My favorite one of course.

I made a vanilla and vanilla swirl cake with chocolate frosting and fondant. I also made two different cupcake flavors - moist chocolate some filled w/ a vanilla buttercream and a gluten free vanilla some were also filled w/ a light fluffy buttercream.
Check out the pictures! The cupcake tower I used is from The Cupcake Tower. IT is my favorite way to display cupcakes. I am so happy with it! Check out their website soon and let them know I sent you!!




Monday, September 6, 2010

11 years

I just can't believe that 11 years ago (in a couple of days) my little boy was born. How is it possible for 11 years to fly by so fast? I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was scared & nervous of our unexpected life ahead. I was unsure of the plan that life had for us.  I promised myself that I would protect this baby and love him, teach him..I'd do things differently for him. I am sure every mother thinks that! He was the most perfect baby I have ever seen. He was a magical little bundle that created a whole new life for me. When I look back at his picture's I wish I could do it all over again. I think of all the things I would have done differently. We started off young together...and we have grown up together. Somehow, some way... life has lead us to good things. The pieces always fall together and we find a way to get by, to enjoy each other, & to be thankful for the friends and family who have helped us along the way.
He challenges me to create every day- in everything. Which is good. We are both still learning. He is also my biggest fan. He's that little extra push to keep me motivated. He is sweet, caring, careful & honest. He's a perfectionist..he likes things to come out correctly and doesn't have the patience when they don't. But he will try again. We are both perfectionist in every way.
The most recent challenge will be his b-day cake. Every year RC gives me a challenge..."mom, do you think you can make this cake?" This year the theme is lego. Because all he talks, walk, thinks and eats...is about lego's!
I've been working up a plan...and so far I've decided to go with a small cake for the top of my cupcake tower. The top cake will have the lego logo on it. The bottom tiers will be filled with cupcakes with the number 11 and little lego figurine body parts toppers on them. He has asked for vanilla and chocolate cake with homemade creamy chocolate buttercream. Of course I would do anything for this little man.
Here are some pic's of what I have so far... I can't wait to see it all put together.

The lego logo will be on top of the cake which will be covered in red fondant.
The round circles will be used a cupcake toppers.

Looking for a FABULOUS chocolate frosting recipe...
well click here.
It's creamy, sweet..and interchangeable. You can switch it up w/ bittersweet, semi-sweet...whatever chocolate you are craving!
ENJOY

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Yummy Chocolate buttercream frosting

here's what ya need:

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted softened butter
6 ounces of chocolate ( I like semi-sweet. Unsweetened works too.)
1/2 teaspooon of vanilla
6 tbls of cream
4 cups of confectionary sugar

here's how ya do it:

cream the butter
next, add the chocolate, vanilla and half the cream (3tbls) & 2 cups of sugar and mix.
scrape down the side and add the rest of the cream and sugar, mix until light and fluffy!

Enjoy!






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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welll Hello!!

Life has been completely chaotic and fulfilling all at the same time lately! For the longest time I have contemplated on making my cakes & cookies into something a little more. As my children get older, I find that I have begun to allow myself to do some of the things that I have always wanted to do- which in turn will benefit "us". Over the winter I decided to start looking for a commercial kitchen to use. The kitchen needed to be in the local area... so I could still be close to home. It has defintely been a journey finding a kicthen.  I found a few that were extremely far away and pricey. I also found one in a local church, however they felt that the cake business was too much of a liability on their part... totally understandable. Then one day I called down to the local pub that I run past almost every week. My husband and I have always thought it was a a cute little place. It is fairly new. When it first opened we went down for some drinks and appetizers. Good times!!
Anyway, back to the pub, I called up and asked if I could use there kitchen and ya know, the guy (mike) on the phone said yes.I was excited, nervous, and amazed all at the same time. I began looking into the process of licensing, how to start my own business...what did I need to do? First up was getting a bakery license. After a million phone calls to the state of CT ...I finally figured out how to get my license! 2 weeks ago, the state of CT came down to the pub and approved my bakery license!! (THANKS to Mike for answering the questions and for giving me some great advice..."ok")
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!! I have a bakery license? I have a few more "next steps" then I will begin my little mamma business. I am working on a website...and finishing up the paperwork process, as well as looking for labels and packaging products!!! My kids are beyond excited...and so am I. I absolutely love being in the kitchen and creating, as they say "crazy cakes".

I'll keep you posted on that...and more recipes are coming too! BUT first, I will be having a giveaway really soon. My next post will be allll about that! So stay tuned.

ON another note...do any of you use local honey?? Well I do. I love to use fresh ingredients in my baking and every day home life as well. Whether it be in my cakes, cookies, or even my tea. Here's something I'd like to share with you! My husband's co-worker gave him a container of homemade honey!!!

I swear it is the coolest thing I have ever seen. IT is part of the honey comb. HOW AMAZING. We are sooo lucky to have been given this great gift. I am not sure exactly how it works...but my husband showed me images of the bee hive and all the bee's. It's a beautiful site.
Here's a picture of the top:

GORGEOUS! (not the greatest picture because of the grey lighting this morning!) I can't wait to use it! Thank you Clarita.



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Friday, July 23, 2010

My new Favorite Vanilla cupcake Recipe!


They are moist, dense, vanilla-y and yes of course BUTTERY!! I can taste the butter in every bite and it's GOOD. BUTTER REALLY DOES make it better, I promise!
Here is my new Favorite Recipe for vanilla cupcakes! IT is sooo yummy! AND Simple. Nothing fancy about the recipe beside the cake flour. (just a little more expensive than regular flour but when used in cakes and cupcakes, it makes a world of difference. QUALITY!!) I found the recipe while googling around online! However, I can't find the site I got it from!! I can't believe it! SO, as soon as I do, I promise to give credit where credit is due! (found it on martha stewart, but this is not where I originally found it!)

These are called:
 "Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes"

Here's what ya need:
(makes 30 cupcakes) When I made these it made a little less!  OH well.

1 3/4 cups of cake flower, not self rising
1 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
1 cup (two sticks) of unsalted butter cut into cubes
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
4 large eggs (room temp)
1 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (I like to use madagascar bourban vanilla)

Preheat oven to 325.(Lower if you are using a dark pan) Line cupcake pan with liners; set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer (using paddle attachment) combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combines. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

In a large measuring cup (or bowl_ whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17-20 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Frost once they are cooled!

SO after reading this... WHO rotates the cupcake pans, halfway through? IF YOU DO, do your cupcakes still dome?
What's your favorite frosting to top a vanilla cupcake with? Or do you prefer to fill and frost??
PLEASE...share I'd love to hear! You can also go to my facebook page and share your favorite vanilla cupcake photo's!

ENJOY!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Satucket Farm Stand & bakery in Cape Cod, MA

 

Here I am  up in Cape Cod, Mass- my favorite summer time sweet escape. It doesn't matter which side you choose, the bay or the ocean side- the beaches are gorgeous. Ya know what? SO are the bakeries! Down the main road, rout 6A, there are many little bakeries to choose from. Most of them are really good...but I do have 2 favorites. TODAY, I will share one of those with you. It's tucked away on a side cut through road, off of route of 6A. At first when you pull up to the tree covered farm stand you are thinking "great where the heck am I going to park."  There is a very small gravel lot and more parking if you are brave enough to pull off and park on the side of the road.
If you are lucky enough to find a spot in the little lot, when you open your car door you will be graciously greeted by a sweet smiling yellow lab, Annie. If she is not enough to make you want to come back everyday, then the homemade breads, muffins, whoopie pies, sweet corn and fresh fruits & veggies definitely will.  
The muffins: we are not just talking about your regular plain old muffin here... we are talking about FRESH, moist, want to go back everyday to stock up on these precious gold like muffins. 
The muffins look so good!! I try to only take a "taste" of the muffins, you know for recipe research sake...ha.  My kids sleep a little later out here on the cape. Of course, I still wake up at the crack of dawn. I find myself trying to find things to pass the time...I get up, go for a run on the trail, have my breakfast, clean up (but there's not much to clean..we are on vacation!), just waiting for them to wake up---so I can have a taste or two of the muffins they have picked out. Ha!
Just take a look for yourself- so far we have tried out the chocolate chocolate chip- (kids loved it..IT's VERY chocolatey & pretty too) 
                                                            AND
The french toast muffin, which by the way, didn't really make it to the picture...hahaha.
 That is how good it was!!!! IT was sweet, with a little saltiness in there, moist dense cake like muffin, I could taste the nutmeg and a bit of cloves, probably dipped in butter and rolled around in a mountain of cinnamon, sugar, and salt mixture. DELICIOUS. 
It reminded me of a recipe I posted last year:
 http://kelliscakes-sweetdreams.blogspot.com/2009/11/dirt-bombs.html

This morning we are trying out a new flavor...espresso yogurt! 


HOW GOOD DOES THIS LOOK??? I bet it tastes even better...if those kids would just wake up from their deep exhausted (from a day of biking & trips to 2 different beaches) slumber...  
A muffin parade...

It seems that whenever we go on vacation we have many special things that we like to do... of course try out different bakeries, ice cream shops, go bike riding on the bike trail that goes throughout cape cod, visit my parent for campfires, have lobster bakes, walk Chatham and check out the pier, mini-golf, and of course there is always a stop at Cuffy's for new sweatshirts...

What are your "Favorites" from your vacations???





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