Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Nola

Your "Almost Name"...the name your parents almost named you but decided on something else.
They considered the name Nola, after my paternal Grandmother or Vance after my maternal Grandmother if I'd been a boy. I like the name my parents gave me, Joy Colleen (Joycee) better than either one of those. What would I have been like if I'd have been a Nola? Would it have made me have a different personality, more outgoing or more reserved?

"Reserved" is not a word we use much on my side of the family! We are a noisy bunch who speak our minds, laugh out loud and never meet a stranger. You can get away with that sometimes, but it rubs some people the wrong way. I know. When we are all together, the decibel level is off the charts loud. We all talk at once, we talk about EVERYTHING under the sun and food is always involved!

Our youngest daughter Amy and her family are coming soon, so for the first time in a very LONG TIME, we are all going to be together. I will bask in the glory of having all my chicks under my wing and enjoy GRANDson Ewan!

I'm working on the menu, but I know for sure two of the recipes I will be making...Michelle at  Cute Everything had two recipes on her blog last week that I can't wait to make! The first, Fish Bowl Jello is a great idea from Martha Stewart Living that would be perfect for a party centerpiece. It's made with jello and gummy fish and I KNOW Ewan will love it!

Fish Bowl Gelatin: Fills a 2 1/2-quart fish or glass bowl
1 two-liter bottle lemon-lime soda, flat
4 1/4-ounce packages unflavored gelatin
2 drops blue food coloring
2 ounces gummy fish
Place 1 cup soda in a large bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over soda, and let stand to soften, about 5 minutes.
Place 2 cups soda in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until just before a boil. Add the softened gelatin, stirring to dissolve the gelatin completely over the heat, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the remaining soda and food coloring, and stir to combine. Pour the liquid into the fish bowl. Using a damp paper towel, carefully remove any bubbles that have formed on the surface. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill overnight.
When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to make vertical slits in the gelatin; insert the fish in a random pattern to make it look as though they are swimming in the bowl. Keep refrigerated until serving. Serve within 6 hours.
Note: To make the soda go flat, twist off cap, and let the bottle stand at room temperature overnight.

The second appeals to my 1970's HIPPY~DIPPY self! I like the name Groovy Cake, I like saying Groovy, I may drive the kids a little crazy adding it to every sentence where I can work it in!
Groovy Cake
1 box (18.25 oz.) white cake mix
3 whole eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
Red, blue, green and yellow food coloring
2 (12 ounce) cans whipped vanilla frosting
Assorted colors decorating gel tubes
½ cup SKITTLES® Bite Size Candies
2 8-inch round cake pans
1. Blend cake mix with eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Spoon 1/2 cup of batter into four separate bowls. Tint each bowl a different color, set aside. Divide remaining white batter between two greased and flour cake pans. Drop spoonfuls of tinted batter randomly over the white batter. Gently pull tip of a knife through batters, creating a marbling effect.
2. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven until golden and an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean, approximately 28-31 minutes. Cool cakes completely.
3. Trim the tops of the cakes, leveling them. Sandwich the layers together with frosting and set on serving plate. Spread remaining frosting over sides and top of cakes. Using photos as your guide, pipe concentric hexagon shapes of different sizes and colors on the sides and top of the cake. Gently pull the tip of a toothpick through the frosting (not the cake), starting in the center of the gel circles. Randomly dot the cake with SKITTLES® Bite Size Candies.


  1. I've got one of those "big" birthdays coming up next month. You know the ones that end in a 0 (zero). I don't ever have a birthday cake so this year I may just have to make the Groovy Cake for myself. Seems like the perfect cake since I'm in that age group. The jello fish bowl is darling. The kids are just gonna love everything.

  2. My parents always knew they were going to name me Kathryn and call me Kathy. They lived next door to a couple who had a daughter named Kathy when they were stationed in Colorado during Daddy's Army days. The task for them was finding another name to put with it. They almost named me Mary Kathryn. I'm not really sure why they chose Linda Kathryn instead. Both of my grandmothers were named Mary. It just made too much sense. Oh well.

  3. I can see there will be a whole lot of fun going on in your house shortly... along with lots of good things to eat. It doesn't get any better than that:-)
    I think your name suits you perfectly!

  4. Hi Joycee! Wow lots in this post...I'll start with the picture first as that's what I say to my little Shih Tzu Bubba when he starts barking. "Use your inside voice!" and he changes to almost a whisper. I was named Maura from the 'get go' but my dad never called me was always Pud. Had something to do with using baking powder on my bottom as a baby..go figure. I love the recipe for the Fish Bowl Jello..I'll have to pass that along to my family up north...the kids will love it. Oh but the Groovy Cake is 'out of sight' that is something I've got to make one day soon. Thanks for sharing the recipes..great pictures too. Enjoy your weekend...Maura :)

  5. what 2 darling ideas! my grandkids would love them both. thanks for the recipe and have fun with your grandarlings!

  6. Replies
    1. Mayra, Walmart had them when I did this post in 2010. I haven't looked recently, but they were in the area where artificial flowers, vases, etc. were... hope that helps!


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