Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Why hello, there!

Since I started blogging in September of 2008 I never missed a month without posting at least once.  Until this July, that is.  And then August, and then September.  Not quite sure what happened, but I think it has something to do with having 2 kids and Evelyn’s energy level.

I’m here to start over again today, and the reason is this:

Pecan Pie Muffins.

Ridiculous, I know, since I have the world’s 2 cutest, funniest kids to blog about and I haven’t.  And yet, these muffins… Well, I wouldn’t say I love them more than my kids, but they are pretty good at sitting still, not making messes, not screaming… and they taste amazing.  They were also fast and easy to make.  Don’t try and compare and contrast that with my kids, though.

I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure there is nothing healthy about them. But if you are going to eat them instead of a doughnut, or perhaps a piece of pecan pie, then I will let you pretend they are health food.

Try them out, the recipe can be found here:  http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/breads/pecan-pie-muffins-6/

*The only changes I made were to melt the butter first, rather than just softening it, and I added a few more pecans, since my food processor chopped more than 1 cups worth.  Also, I didn’t feel the need to put any extra butter on them before eating, they didn’t need it.


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I’m about to eat this


Dang, the smells in this house are making my mouth water and my tummy rumble.

We’re trying out this lemon ricotta pancake this morning for breakfast and I can hardly wait. Isn’t it pretty?


Addendum: Amazing. This will be happening again.

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February 15

When I just have random things to say the date makes for a decent post title, I suppose.  This really is a journal, after all.

I hope you had a beautiful Valentine’s Day yesterday.  Ours was rather low-key, but we had a good time.

Awhile ago, Steve saw this picture somewhere and told me he liked it:

For those of you who can’t tell, it is a Walker (from Star Wars) drinking out of the toilet.  So I decided to embroider it on a t-shirt for him.

This was a lot of work, but fun work, and it turned out pretty well, I think.

I used tear-away stabilizer, which ended up making some of my lines crooked, but perhaps that adds to its charm.  And my husband likes it, so what more can I ask for?

My Valentine gave me a copy of Beauty & the Beast and some mystery gift that hasn’t arrived yet… Evelyn got a copy of this book:

She loves it and is attempting to put to the test all of its guarantees of indestructibility. I’m thinking we may need to buy some of the other titles.

We spent the majority of our day at the Student Union building on campus for a Russian Club Fundraiser, selling cookies.

I’ve had more successful fundraisers, but we had a good time.  After we left, Steve took us to see Gnomeo & Juliet, which was fun.  Evelyn stayed awake for the whole movie, and even enjoyed dinner during the show.  Once home, we enjoyed a late dinner of  Blackened Tilapia with Secret Hobo Spices, one of our recent favorites.  I also attempted to recreate my favorite side dishes from the local Dakota cafe.  The sweet potato fries turned out delicious, but I’m going to have to do some tweaking with the kale to get the same result they do.  Delicious dinner.

And that brings us to today.  Just a normal Tuesday that feels like a Monday.  Evelyn and I spent the morning doing laundry, which is always a blast when Steve isn’t home to help.

Someday we’ll have our own washer & dryer. But until then, I’ve figured out that I can take two baskets full on the stroller at a time.  Don’t let the scowl on Evelyn’s face fool you, she was giggling and laughing the whole time.  She seemed to enjoy our walk in the rain immensely.

And now she is napping and it is time for me to pull out the ironing board and sewing machine.  Hooray!

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Just a quick look at the birthday cake I made for my sister-in-law for her birthday earlier this month:

I made marshmallow fondant, dyed it, rolled it out and scored it with a knife.  Then I cut it into strips and wrapped it around tennis balls to make the balls of yarn- pretty simple with big wow factor.

I also discovered that Duncan Hine’s Devil’s food cake mix is dairy-free (made with cocoa powder!) so I used that and dressed it up with some cherries and made my frosting dairy-free, too.  I felt like I was cheating when I ate this cake!  Unfortunately, some of the frosting melted in the car on the way over, but it was delicious and we had a fun party.

Happy Birthday Becky!

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Look! I’m baking! And I’m telling you about it!  Its been awhile…

On one of my November trips down Safeway’s baking aisle I happened upon a coupon book that had this gem of a recipe inside.  I bought the needed ingredients with plans to make them right away.  Several limes later, I finally made them and they are DELICIOUS!

Try them, you’ll know what I mean.

Cosmo Cocktail Cookie Bars

based on this recipe from McCormick (mine are the dairy-free, lime-ier version)

Cookie base:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening*

Combine in food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  You could also do this with a pastry cutter or 2 forks.  Press this into a greased, foil-lined 9×13 pan and bake at 350° 20 minutes, or until endges of crust are golden brown.

Filling mixture:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed**
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tbs lime juice

Mix well (I used my food processor again) and pour over the hot crust.

Bake 20-30 minutes, or until filling is set.   I tested this by jiggling the pan when I checked it until most of the jiggle is gone. If you are using McCormick’s amount of cranberry juice (see note below) this may cut the baking time to 15 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Dust with more powdered sugar and some more lime zest.  Cut into bars.

* If you are avoiding soy, make sure your shortening is soy-free. If you avoiding nothing, use butter. Butter is so good…

**I used a 12 oz cranberry cocktail mix, but just noticed the recipe called for a 6 oz can, that could be why mine took so much longer to bake, but it worked and was delicious!

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Cake Crystals

I had a realization yesterday.  Or maybe the day before yesterday.  And then I remembered it today.

Once upon a time I showed you this:

But I never showed you these:

For Lizzy’s birthday, I made her one owl cupcake, but I also made her some cupcakes with my first attempt at fondant, and in the middle of the flower cupcakes, I featured these:

Cake Crystals.

I was innocently minding my own business on Facebook one day when I noticed an ad on the sidebar for Cake Crystals.  I was intrigued, so I took a look.  Then I was interested.  I sent a pleading e-mail to the company begging them to let me try some and tell you about them, and they happily obliged!

These lovely “diamonds” are edible, too!  They aren’t sticky, and you can polish them with a little cooking oil to make them shine (my photos didn’t do the shine justice).

I think these would be a lot of fun to use as actual diamonds on a cake or cookies, but I haven’t found the perfect opportunity to make that type of cake just yet.  My package came with plenty more, so I’ll let you know what I figure out.  Let me know if you have some other fun ideas for me to use these!

Happy Baking!

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Ugly Bread Day

If I’d known today was Ugly Bread Day I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to make these loaves to donate for the Relay for Life tonight.

Here are my failed attempts and pepperoni roll-up bread (it vomited) and Caraway Rye (don’t try new recipes when your tried and true have proven themselves!).

Now I’m trying to decide if I should even take them, or just eat a lot of bread this weekend…

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