Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kitty Cookie Pops (umm...yeah)

So I was feeling a little psychotic creative this evening, wanting to get into the spirit of the upcoming season. Nothing says autumn like dessert on a stick. I thought of cake pops but the only time I ever had them I thought they were disgusting. But ya can't go wrong with sugar cookies. Or can you....
I'm pretty sure Bakerella doesn't put up with this crap.
Well, they tasted okay anyway ...
After we picked off the yucky candy corn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Coconut Cream Pie and My New BFF

When I think about coconut cream pie, it makes me think about church potlucks, with little old white-haired ladies all bringing their tried and true pies that they make completely from scratch without even glancing at a recipe. It also makes me think about meringue which I'm not particularly fond of, so I just left that part off.
This recipe came from AllRecipes and claims to be the quintessential coconut cream pie. It was pretty important to me that my pie be quintessential. Nonchalantly looking up words in dictionary for no apparent reason.
The only thing I did differently was make fresh whipped cream to put on it cause that's how I roll. Or maybe that's why I have rolls. Whatever.
On to my new BFF.
You may have heard me sing the praises of PW's spicy shredded pork, which I will of course always love. But I wanted something a bit easier today. PW's pork takes about 6 hours or so to cook, and you have to flip it over about every 1/2 hour or so.
So I went the crock pot route today, and I can say I wasn't disappointed.
I know he's not especially suave or handsome, but what he lacks in appearance he makes up for in flavor.
I like it served over rice with some of the juices.
Here are the how-to's from southern food.
I'll have to say because I'm a huge slacker I neglected a few steps. I didn't do the garlic rub thing. And I didn't do the last part that says to get rid of the excess juices and start with another brown sugar rub. And I totally forgot the cinnamon which is a shame cause I really wanted to try that.
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, 4 to 6 pounds
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Wash pork roast, trim excess fat, pat dry, and rub with garlic halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then prick the roast all over with a fork or skewer.

In a cup or bowl, combine 1 cup of the brown sugar, the mustard, and vinegar. Rub all over the roast.

Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours. Pour off the excess juices.

combine the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar with cinnamon; Spread the mixture over the top of the roast. Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 1 hour longer.

Anyway, I thought for a little less hassle it was pretty darned tasty.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Strawberry Topped Muffins, and etc....

Can't remember where I stole this recipe from...sorry.
I didn't feel right calling them "strawberry muffins" since the berries aren't incorporated throughout the batter. This particular recipe just has you add them on top after you put the batter in the cups.
I like a little bit of muffin with my butter.
Here's the recipe:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • granulated sugar for topping


Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer on high setting, cream butter and sugar; beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into creamed mixture. Gradually stir in lemon peel and buttermilk until dry ingredients are just moistened; do not over-mix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling each muffin cup about 2/3 full. Evenly spoon sliced strawberries onto the center of each muffin and sprinkle each with a little granulated sugar.

Bake strawberry muffins at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Gently turn strawberry muffins onto the rack. Serve strawberry muffins warm.

bonus: I actually got 18, rather than 12 muffins out of this recipe!
I also recently made the pumpkin bread I saw at Leslie's site, The Hungry Housewife.
It was super moist, and yummy, and I loved the toasted walnuts in there.
Mine turned out a little flat so I'll just call it pumpkin cake!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Room

My daughter's room got a much needed face lift. Don't really have any before pictures, but the walls were off white dingy with fingerprints all over the place. A friend at work paints on the side and gave me that orangey-red color for the accent wall. I really like the way it came out.
We had been wanting to get her a loft bed for more floor space cause her room is so tiny. Finally found this one at Wal Mart of all places that was in our price range. There's a few million pieces when you open the box.
But it turns out looking like this. It took us slightly over 2 hours. And when I say us, I mostly mean my husband.
I liked the idea of having a little desk under there for her to study at...found this cheap one at Wal Mart too. It was a perfect fit. Still have to get a desk lamp and a little task chair. Then the real studying can begin!
Oh the blinds, we're such doofuses. We didn't realize in the store you'd be able to see right through them. Duh :P We'll have to fix that somehow.
I'm not sure about mixing the metal bed with bamboo shades, but I guess we're not going for any decor contests and we liked them.
It's the girly stuff corner!
Well, she likes it and is thrilled with her new bed, and I guess that's what matters!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chimichurri Sauce

I hear that chimichurri is an Argentinian thing, which makes be want to belt out "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" at the top of my lungs. But because I love you, I won't.
It's good on just about everything. Or even just by itself.
I got this particular recipe at RecipeZaar.
click the link for recipe
Basically you throw a bunch of yummy things into a food processor...
...and pulverize them into oblivion.
We had ours on thinly sliced sirloin that I marinated in the chimichurri for several hours, and then grilled. I even put a little on my corn on the cob...yum!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crispy Chocolate Ice Cream Mud Pie

Oh, I made the mistake of going to that Hershey's website again, and this is the unfortunate result. Even though it's not been long since I had some, it's calling to me again. Do you hear it too?
He's got a nice profile, but between you and me and the fence post, it might be just as easy to throw two kinds of ice cream in a bowl with some chocolate syrup, a crispy topping and a cherry. But it just wouldn't have the same effect.
Seriously, I wish he'd stop calling my name. And if I'm going to hear voices, why can't it be Sam Elliott or James Earl Jones? Something dignified or gritty. Not....calorie laden.
Here's the recipe if you can't resist the calling either.


Spongebob Squarepants is here to announce...
Tater Tot Mom is the winner of my giveaway!
Yay for Tater Tot Mom! (as far as that goes, yay for tater tots! I think I feel a Sonic run in my near future)
I'll contact you by email to get your info.
Thanks everyone for playing!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

various & assorted

Where do I come up with these post titles? It's a gift, they just come to me.
Seriously, have you made Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake? It's so awesomely good, you owe it to yourself, and your pancreas. What else has he got to do anyway? He's just laying around like a fat slob. Make him earn the right to hang out with you...put him to work!
It has so much butter, and so much sugar. I think there's probably some sort of a law against it. But it's quick , and easy, and just amazing. Mine has lumps on top because I'm in too much of a hurry to sift the powdered sugar. And I don't use the pecans she calls for because I like mine unadulterated. Straight up filler.
For dinner tonight I made Tiffany of Eat at Home's chicken tortilla soup. Me and the girl loved it.
I've made Rachael Ray's version before as well, but I dare say this is easier and just as good. And I love that she makes her own tortilla strips to put in there!
Also had some fried yellow squash, which I haven't had for ages. Another blast from the past for me.
I make it just like my mom did, which didn't involve dipping it in any egg or milk first. I think those things grossed her out. She just dipped the slices in some water then flopped them around in the seasoned cornmeal before frying them. They taste great to me!
She also gave me saccharin laced tea every day to drink. Which could have possibly altered my taste buds, but whatever. I won't even go into the amount of second hand smoke I've inhaled. Gotta keep some of the skeletons in the closet.
Don't forget about my wacky little ends Saturday night.

Monday, September 7, 2009

this & that

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day! I just realized earlier today that I missed my blogaversary last month. Time flies when you're attention seeking having fun!
Speaking of fun, I got a fun little package in the mail a few days ago. I opened the box and dumped out the contents and all these cute little packages spilled forth onto my table.
They are individual packets of spices from Aromatica Organics.
So today for Labor day we had some lovely steak covered with the contents of one of said packages. Quite delicious!
I half heartedly apologize to any vegetarians for the following pic.
To go with the steak I also made Ina Garten's potato salad. Or something similar to it anyway. I like the whole grain mustard in there, but hubby missed the addition of boiled egg.
We also had a little cheesecake to go along with our Labor Day meal, the recipe from a site called I Love Cheesecake. This turned out to be a really nice basic cheesecake recipe....a definite keeper.
I didn't show the picture of the whole cheesecake because the pic turned out orange, and the middle of the pie looked like the great divide. I don't really care, still tasted great.
So if you persevered through this whole post, aren't you a lucky duck! Since I got so many of those little packets I thought I'd share some with you. One winner will get the 10 spice packages shown below.
And just for kicks, I'll also include this slightly used issue of "Everyday with Rachael Ray" from last month.
And since it's my blogaversary, let's talk about me. Just leave a comment telling me which of my food posts looked the most yummiest to you. Or if you've tried one, I'd love to hear about that.
As usual because of my cheapness, continental US only.
Make sure I can contact you.
I'll run this through Saturday the 12th, midnight.
Thanks for hanging out with me for the past year. I've met a lot of really nice people out there in blogland!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pear Crisp with Lemon Sauce

Happy September everyone!
Boy am I ready for Fall. Not that we'll have a real fall with crunchy leaves and the smell of bonfires, but hopefully a break in the relentless heat.
I was looking for a dessert to make, opened an old magazine (Better Homes and Gardens Comfort Cooking), and turned right to this and said "that's the one". Just because the pears and the yummy topping seem very autimnish to me.
I didn't get any pictures of the process of the lemon sauce, it's a little fast and furious. In fact I ruined the first batch. Too much corn starch perhaps. It was just a yellow glop. But I'm glad I tried again, because it really was worth it. I recommend not skipping that step!
5 cups peels and sliced baking pears (bosc)
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
2/3 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cardamom (I used cinnamon)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 375degrees. In 2 quart baking dish, combine pears, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/4 lemon peel. Toss together.
2. For topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cardamom, and 1/4 lemon peel. Cut in 1/4 cup butter with pastry blender till mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle topping over fruit.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 tbsp cornstarch. Stir in 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir over med. heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, beat egg yolk. Stir in a little of the hot mixture. Return all egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until nearly bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Stir in 1 tbsp butter, lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 tsp lemon peel. Serve warm over crisp.
In other news...
I've won a couple of giveaways lately!
From Jersey Girl Cooks I won this book.
Can't wait to read it!
And from Three Bay B Chicks I won this CD.
I'd heard of this guy but wasn't sure what kind of music he did.
He sounds a little like Barry Manilow to me. (yes, that's a compliment)