Monday, July 31, 2023

Family Times and Cream Puffs for a 40th Birthday

I recently went to Durango, CO where my youngest son, Kevin, DIL, Kristen and Harper and Hayden were staying for the month of July.
While there,  Kevin celebrated his 40th Birthday.  He wanted cream puffs for his celebration, which surprised me since while growing up, he always wanted cherry cheesecake.  I think he missed cream puffs, and I was happy to make them. 


Before I left, my son Tim invited my middle son, Mike, and I over to swim while  his wife, Avery, and Ella were in Chicago for Avery's Nationals Volleyball tournament.  It was a relaxing 4th of July.


I was thrilled when my grandson Caiden texted me and asked if he and his girlfriend could come over to bake at my house!  What a sweet couple they are!  They made blueberry scones and we played cards while the scones were baking and cooling.  They were so good, too!  Caiden is going off to Oklahoma State University and Liz still has another year of high school.

I spent almost two weeks with Harper and Hayden.  The top left is their log cabin home, and the top right is the view from the deck.  I kept Harper and Hayden busy while Kevin and Kristen worked. We played library, and hotel, and they did some "school work".  The bottom left is an outdoor restaurant we went to and on the way home, I captured a rainbow on the drive home.

The girls at 5 years and 8 years are adventuresome kids and did the BMX bike trail one day. At another outdoor restaurant, middle photos, there is a fort that the kids play in underneath old, tall pine trees.  It's really quite magical, and they wanted me to climb up and see all the arrangements.  The bottom left photo shows the girls playing fairies, wearing the fairy crowns that Harper made for them.  They are so good at using their imaginations.

In the top left photo, Harper made Cloud Dough, and the top right, Hayden made sugar cookies.  I was only there for one weekend and Kevin drove us up to Andrews Lake on the  Million Dollar Highway.  He said, "Mom, just close your eyes", for he knows how I am!  He's a really safe driver, and I was perfectly (almost!) comfortable.  While at the lake, they fished, paddle boarded, and we had a picnic on the bank, under the shade.  The bottom right was our visit to the library, and afterwards we went to the rec center.  They are about 30 minutes for the town of Durango, but very close to the Purgatory ski resort.

Kevin went mountain biking with three friends on his birthday, and then he came back and Kristen and the girls put together a fun scavenger hunt for him. Afterwards we all went to dinner,  came back and had the cream puffs that Hayden and I made; both girls made the filling.    Hayden thought the batter looked like "mashed potatoes".    I put together a photo album for Kevin's gift.  Kristen gave Kevin as one of his gifts, fly fishing lessons, that they went to the day after his birthday, and then it was time for me to head to the airport.

My darling daughter and darling granddaughter picked me up at the airport, cheering for me as a came through to the baggage area. They sure made me feel special, and Cissy, who is almost 16, drove to and from the airport and did great!

Yield: 10-12, depending on how large you want them
Author: Kitty, but filling recipe is from my friend Debbie at
Cream Puffs for a 40th Birthday

Cream Puffs for a 40th Birthday

These are so good! They are pretty with powdered sugar on top, but their pantry didn't have any.


  • Cream Puff Shells:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour (I used bread flour this time, and liked the results)
  • 4 eggs
  • Filling:
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream


  • For Cream Puff Shells:
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat water and butter to rolling boil. Stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat for about 1 minute, or until it forms a ball. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes.
  • Beat in eggs, all at one time, and beat until mixture is smooth and very stiff. If you prefer, you can do this in an electric mixer.
  • Drop by scant 1/4 cupfuls (an ice cream scoop works well), onto a parchment lined baking sheet, 3" apart, or just put on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool , and cut a small vent on the side towards the top, to let out steam.
  • Cut off tops. Pull out any filaments of soft dough. Fill puffs with the filling.
  • Filling:
  • Mix pudding and milk and the heavy whipping cream and beat until thickened. Fill the cream puffs, and replace the tops. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, using a small sieve.


I normally just fold in Cool Whip after the pudding and milk are mixed, but Kevin wanted whipping cream this time. You will have some extra filling!

Thank you for your visit!  xo


  1. It sounds like you have had a very busy July Kitty! What a wonderful trip to share your son’s birthday and family vacation! And then to be so warmly greeted when you came home, you are so blessed Kitty!

  2. Oh what a fun (and active!) vacation Kitty! I'm swooning over their log cabin home and the picturesque mountain scenery. I know you must have enjoyed the change in elevation and cooler temps. Those girls are the cutest! Love that Caiden and his girlfriend came over to bake...what a testament to you and your 'Kozy Kitchen' :) Hope you're managing to stay cool, I see your temps are climbing again. Our dew point/ humidity makes it feel so much hotter. Happy Monday. ♥

  3. I think you had a wonderful time with your family after seeing all the wonderful photos of your trip Kitty. What an absolutely beautiful home your family has and that view from the deck is stunning! Looks like the girls kept you busy in their favorite spots too. The cream puffs look delicious and I'm sure your son enjoyed them for his birthday. So happy you had a wonderful trip and family fun waiting on your return home. Happy Birthday to your son Kevin..........

  4. I Love cream Puffs! My Larry makes wonderful cream puffs...
    Thanks for the recipe!

  5. Oh my goodness! You sure packed a ton of fun into your 2 weeks out West. And HOW SPECIAL was it for your grandson to bring his girlfriend to do baking!! That would thrill my heart. What a blessed time you have enjoyed this summer. I SO love cream puffs and haven't made them in forever...I guess that will change soon. Thanks for sharing all your lovely photos to document all your fun times together. VERY special! I'm thrilled for you to get so much family time. What a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing! <3

  6. Wow, you had a busy month. Lots of great family time!
    Hope it was cooler there. I love the rainbow picture.
    Those cream puffs look fabulous. What a great birthday dessert! Happy 40th to Kevin!

  7. Welcome back, Kitty! Glad you had a wonderful vacation in Colorado.

  8. P.S. Now I'm craving cream puffs! LOL. Glad to see Kevin had a memorable milestone birthday celebration.

  9. It looks like a great vacation and cream puffs? Wowza, they look so good!!

  10. Hi Kitty,

    Oh, I'm such a pushover for cream puffs! :D Your recipe looks delicious and maybe easy enough even for me to make. Your vacation to Colorado looks just wonderful -- so glad you were able to spend all that time with your precious family. The grands are so cute, and their Irish heritage shows in their coloring. :) I think it's terrific that you're passing along your love of cooking and baking to your grandchildren.

    Your son's log cabin is beautiful, and I love the rainbow pic you took!! Thank you for sharing your recipe and pictures with us and have a great week, my friend.


    Denise at Forest Manor

  11. How wonderful your trip away was with the scenic mountain and cooler temps. Cream puffs are a favorite for my husband. Being with family is so special. Great memories in the making dear Kitty.

  12. Kitty, it looks like you had a great time on your vacation with family. The cream puffs look amazing and I know your son loved them for his birthday.

  13. Yes, this is the season for family gatherings and celebrations! Thanks for nudging me toward cream puffs ... I used to love making them and filling them with whatever was available. A good dessert to remember, Kitty!

  14. Oh wow; it sounds like you had such a wonderful time on your vacation and with all sort of family member this month! I loved seeing all your photos and those cream puffs look amazing. I think I'm going to try making them later this month when we have a family get together. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Oh Kitty, what fun you had with your family! Love, love, love the pictures! I saved your recipe for the cream puffs. Those look delicious! So glad you enjoyed your trip. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  16. Great party and cream puffs will always make a party table. The best of best.
    I visited you via Love Your Creativity Link Party #213
    I linked up this week with = 124+125 and we would love to invite you to join us at SSPS. You will find the linkup information under BLOGGING: seniorsalonpitstop We hope to meet you there virtually.

  17. What a beautiful setting for spending a month of the summer. I know Harper and Hayden loved having you there. What cuties!

  18. Dear Kitty, what a wonderful post! I am so sorry I am so late in getting here. I am so far behind on so many things. It is always such a joy catching up with you here. May the Lord continue to bless you and all your dear family.