Tuesday, March 31, 2009

{TWD} Coconut Butter Thins

It's Tuesday, and you know what that means! Tuesdays with Dorie is an online baking club that bakes the same recipe together for the week and posts on Tuesdays. Thank you to Jayne from The Barefoot Kitchen Witch for choosing this weeks recipe. She also has a sweet Etsy shop so make sure to check that out as well!

Today's recipe is Coconut Butter Thins. I think it is funny that 3 recipes in a row have used the infusing zest into the sugar technique. No one knew what recipes the others were choosing so it is just random. This weeks recipe called for lime zest instead of lemon though.
Dorie says she almost didn't include this recipe in the book. I am glad she did because it is really good. It is a really light shortbread but it is quite lime-y. I got Persian limes so I don't know if that made a difference or not. It may have been the infusing technique that made them so strong. I did tell my husband I thought they were too limey but he seemed to think they were really good anyway.

Munchkin wouldn't try them at all due to her aversion to all things coconut. Little Man is sick so he won't touch them either. He actually said to me that he doesn't like cookies. That is when you know the child is sick because he likes anything with sugar in it.


These were easy to throw together and to roll out. Unfortunately I couldn't find my ruler after scrapping last weekend so they are a little less than uniform. Oh well. The crazy looking ones tasted just as good as the perfect ones. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Matter of Discipline

A few months ago Tracy went off all stuff in her coffee. It wasn't to torture herself but as a matter of discipline. It was a small step of control to see if she could do it.

I lack any kind of self control when it comes to chocolate...except for chocolate cake. I much prefer vanilla over chocolate. But, that is beside the point. I love chocolate and it controls me. I don't control it. If I am in line at the grocery store, it somehow jumps in my cart. It's not the kids that want it (they want gum and those gross squeeze candies), it's just me.

So, as a matter of discipline, I decided I was going to go off chocolate and all soda for 10 days. I made it 5 and slipped. I had some grandparents in yesterday that brought me a 3 pound box of chocolates from Russell Stover. I had 1, put the lid back on and stuck them on top of the fridge. At the moment I have no desire to eat anymore of them. I am trying to decide if I need to start my 10 days over and take out all sugar. The chocolate seems to be replaced with other sugary snacks.

Anyway, I guess I am just laying this out there and showing my undisciplined self. I feel like I need to get things under control. It is something I am praying about and trying to do. I have been out of control for far too long.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

{TWD} Blueberry Crumb Cake

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine discovers Muffin Tops. In the end she needs "The Cleaner" to come take care of her Muffin Stump problem. That was not an issue with this Blueberry Crumb Cake. It was like one big Muffin Top!

Thank you to Sihan of Befuddlement for choosing this weeks recipe! There is nothing better than a good muffin made with fresh blueberries.
Lemon Zest

Sugar infused with the lemon zest
The batter was good enough to eat all by itself. But then you add the topping and think you are in heaven. I left out the walnuts because I don't like them. It was still delicious!
The finished product was divine! I made this on Friday to take to my scrapbook retreat. On Sunday one of the girls said it was still moist even though none of us had tried to recover it very well. There was a little left but not enough to warrant "The Cleaner"

My daughter has taken a page out of her fathers book and says she doesn't like cooked fruit. Which, she doesn't really. Bobby liked it until he got to the taste of the berries. Oh well, I am glad I took it with me because I could have eaten the entire thing myself and that would have been bad.

Next week: Coconut Butter Thins

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Accidental Kitchen Science Experiment

At my new job one of my tasks is to send out a morning report. At first it just included weather and who was out of the office. My boss told me I could run with it and let me do what I wanted. Now we have a Getting to Know You Spotlight person each day, a random fact of some kind and a recipe of the day. On occasion the spotlight person will send in a recipe but most of the time I get them from allrecipes.com. One day was Cheese Stuffed Chicken...it might be called something else but I am to lazy to go look at the moment.

The recipe called for cream cheese and cheddar but Bobby is not a fan of cream cheese so Cheddar only it was. I think if I make this again I might add some cream cheese. I think it really will contribute to the flavor.

I made steamed zucchini and squash to go with it along with a loaf of garlic bread. A funny side note: When Munchkin was really little I made squash for her for the first time. She said "What is dis mommy?" As soon as the word squash left my mouth she looked and it and squashed it as hard as she could with her little squishy hand. When I told her that story the other night she just about fell out of her chair she was laughing so hard!


On to the Accidental Kitchen Experiment....You might notice the green tinge to the chicken. I minced garlic and added it to the butter that I was melting on the stove and then added lemon juice. As I was spooning the mixture over the chicken I saw that the garlic had turned green. I was a little bit concerned that I was going to poison my family so I turned to my trusty friend google. Apparently, if you add fresh garlic to an acid like butter or lemon juice it turns green. It is completely safe to eat it just looks funny. Everyone liked this and thought I should make it again.
Any suggestion for keeping the garlic from turning green would be helpful! I suppose we can just count that as our St. Patricks day dinner a few days early!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

{TWD} French Yogurt Cake


Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction chose this weeks recipe. Well that you Liliana! This may be my husbands favorite recipe so far since joining Tuesdays with Dorie. As much as we are not custard fans we are the opposite for cakey/bready/lemony desserts.

There is a lemon cake I buy at Publix every once in awhile that Bobby devours. I kind of thought this would turn out like that. It was a little bit denser and more crumbly than that though. I happened to have just the right amount of ground almonds left over from the Linzer Sables. The recipe called for a marmalade glaze. Being short on cash and not thinking "hey I could make marmalade" I opted for White Lemony Glaze instead. Still a recipe from the book, just not was was called for. The only issue I had with this recipe (and it was all user error) was that I overbaked it. I was using a pampered Chef stoneware loaf pan which typically taked longer to bake it. And, my oven cooks slow. I brilliantly thought I should leave it in the full time and I should not have. Oh well I know for next time.

Bobby LOVED it. I loved it, my kiddos loved it. It was easy and a recipe I will be making again in the near future. Thanks Dorie for another delicious recipe!!

Next week: Blueberry Crumb Cake

Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's go to lunch....or not.

Today is the first day of Spring Break for my kiddos. Daddy is working from home and waiting to see if he needs to go into the office to take care of anything. Since everyone needs to eat Bobby brought the kids out and we thought we would try Casa Fiesta. It is close and convenient and the last time I went there it was really fast.

We got to lunch and got a seat right away. Our order was taken and our first basket of chips devoured. The kids were a little antsy but not too bad. We did remind them not to play with their drinks though as we didn't want any spills. As we are sitting there Bobby starts to smirk and tells Munchkin to tell me what she sang on the way to pick me up.
She had asked Bobby to tell her when they were halfway to my work. When they got on the freeway she apparently started to sing Life is a Highway but laughed and started over. She was singing Living on a prayer! You know it:

OOOOHHHH! We're halfway the-re. Ooooh ooohh Living on a pray-er. Take my hand and we'll make it I swe-ar.
Hilarious! My kid sings Bon Jovi! That at least was a highlight to our lunch (well that and actually seeing my kiddos and husband in the daylight).

I took a peek at my phone to see what time it was. I only get an hour for lunch so that time is a precious commodity. Our server came back and said it would be ready in a minute and gave us a second basket of chips. Another glass of water was brought for Bobby and finally a third basket of chips. Looking around we could see the people that had come in before us still didn't have their food either.

Finally Little Mans cheeseburger arrived.....sans cheese. Ummmm....cheeseburger...not burger. Cheese was requested along with 4 boxes. The boxes arrived, the cheese did not. I got up to pay the bill while we waited for the rest of our food. I ended up going back up and asking that they remove Munchkins hot dog from our bill as it still hadn't come by the time we were walking out the door. The host was very gracious and we were not mean. We had been informed the kitchen was down one cook.

Hopefully they will be in a better position tomorrow or even later today. I feel for the host who had to deal with everyone. But, I saw no hostility from any of the guests so hopefully it wasn't too bad for him.
My lunch is packed in a box on the way home. I was full of chips so packing it up wasn't heartbreaking. Now I (or Bobby) have lunch for tomorrow....or not

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

{TWD} Lemon Cup Custard

I would love to give this recipe 2 thumbs up but alas I gave in and did not make it. I read all of the comments about it over on the TWD site and couldn't stomach making it. It didn't help that my sweet hubby was sitting next to me making a gag face.

The comments were all along the lines of "this is really eggy" "it is kind of like flan" "it was really eggy". So...not my favorite. Give me Creme Brulee anyday of the week but not flan.

I'm sorry Bridget that I did not make this. She has the recipe on her site so if you do like this kind of recipe please give it a try. Don't let my Debbie Downer deter you. :)

*oh yeah, and I don't have a strainer so I wouldn't be able to strain the lemon out. When I can buy a strainer I will but that wasn't this month.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Lonely

The last four months of my life have been extremely lonely. I just realized this as I was laying in the grass taking a nap. I am not lonely with my kiddos or my hubby, the time I spend with them is fulfilling and wonderful. I am missing my girlfriends.

Up until this year I was in MOPS and Moms in Touch. I was involved in other activities that involved other women. Now that I am working full time I hardly have time to see anyone at all. It doesn't help that my job is fairly solitary as well. I see students when they come in and I enjoy the times when they want to stand there and have a conversation with me. But, it is not the same as my girls that I can confide in and laugh with.
I miss being able to call someone up and meet for coffee (or diet coke) as the case may be. The friends I do see I hope that we make the most of our time together.

I am a pretty social person so eating lunch by myself almost everyday for the last four months has not been my happy place.

Sorry about the downer, pity party post. I am not feeling well today and that makes things worse. My sweet hubby did stop by with crackers and 7Up for me though. Thank you hunny bunny!!!

If you are in the area and want to have lunch with me let me know! I would love to see you!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

We Could Have Exploded!

Did you watch the news last night? If you did you might have seen a little story about dynamite. No I am not talking about the flash game on yahoo. I am talking the real thing. Apparently when the company that did the widening project 2 years ago was done they didn't bother to go back and check to see that all of the dynamite had been detonated. Yesterday those explosives were found by another company digging to lay cable in that same area. These were conveniently left right next to the entrance to Interstate 40. Did the company really forget them or is there more than meets the eye?


Photo from WKRN
Bobby simply said "How many times have we gone over those bridges in the last two years?". For me? Twice every week day for the last 4 months. Crazy that something like that can just be there under the ground and no one knows until digging for something else. I was completely frustrated as I was leaving work yesterday because I was sitting in a parking lot on Briley and had no idea what was going on. I saw news trucks and figured there was a hazardous spill or something. It wasn't until after Munchkins school fundraiser that I got home and did some digging to find out what was going on. It was unsettling to say the least. Hopefully there is not more.




From WKRN 2 Nashville


Dynamite found off Briley was in ground for 2 years



The exit ramp from Briley Parkway South to Interstate 40 West remains closed Friday while crews remove dynamite that has been buried in the ground for nearly two years.
An excavating crew laying fiber optic cable found the dynamite just before 2 a.m. Friday, alongside the exit ramp.
Metro's bomb squad responded to the scene and closed the exit ramp.
Nine gel cartridges of undetonated explosive and three blasting caps have since been removed from the ground. More.....

Thursday, March 05, 2009

StumbleUpon

My sad attempt at Hello Kitty Pops got Stumbled!! My little blog got 140 unique hits yesterday! I know there are bloggers out there that get tons more hits every single day but I was excited! :)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

{TWD} Chocolate Armagnac Cake

Also know as the Cake that Got Me Fired (Dorie, not me). Let me start off by saying I am not a big drinker. I don't have a liquor cabinet full of fine wine or other beverages. Hubs and I are quite the soda connoisseurs but when it comes to alcohol we are clueless. This recipe called for Armagnac. It's in the title for petes's sake so I thought it wouldn't be difficult to find. Guess what! No one in Tennessee carries Armagnac AND liquor stores are not open on Sunday. I read N.O.Es post about using Grand Mariner and decided that was the way to go. Did I mention I am also not a big drinker because of the cost? Tiny bottle of alcohol, ginormous price tag.

Another main ingredient in this cake is prunes. Yeah...I am not a fan either. But I wanted to try this and see how it would work. I knew Bobby would probably be hesitant so I thought about not telling him. Last time I did that though he was not happy. (It was cheese hot dogs instead of regular).

This is the small bag of "dried prunes". See how little that bottle of Grand Marnier is? I better find some more good recipes to make with it or find someone who drinks it to donate it to.
One thing I was pretty excited about was setting the prunes in the Grand Marnier on fire. I was expecting flames and excitement. All I got was the little blue flames you can hardly see in the picture.

One of the instructions was to take it out of the oven when the knife was still streaky. Since my oven tends to take longer I left it in the entire 32 minutes before checking on it. Dumb move. My knife was completely dry when I checked.
It was late last night when the cake finally came out of the oven so it had to cool overnight. I said to myself "Self! Get up early in the morning to make the glaze for that cake. It looks a little dry and you cracked it flipping it over but the frosting will make it all better!"
Did I get myself up early? Of course not. I pushed snooze twice and was rushing around like a crazy person. I did however manage to snap a couple of photos and eat a slice before leaving the house. I even managed to dig out my cake taker, cut part of the cake for home and brought the rest to work. Bobby said there was an aftertaste. I think he thought it was from the prunes but I think it was from the Grand Marnier. He did say it tasted a little like oranges. Munchkin liked it and Little Man wanted an entire piece. He got 2 bites and then the dog licked his face.

When I got to work I sliced the cake up into bite size pieces and put them out on the counter. So far I have gotten great compliments on it. One girl emailed me and said "Wow! Those are fantastic!"
Thanks to Lyb from And Then I do the Dishes for choosing this weeks recipe. You can find the recipe on her site or you can find it in the book Baking:From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.
Even though it sounds like I had issues it was not a difficult cake to make. It turned out moist and not overpowering at all. I think I could make this again in a pinch and with so much Grand Marnier left over I just might! :)