Happy Anniversary! I should have made a real cake!

What?  A Friday afternoon and A Little of This and That has a blog post up?  What’s going on?  The world is coming to an end!!  Simmer down.  The world is just fine.  Ish.  I’m on an unexpected sick day, and decided to get a post in since I can’t really do anything else.  So before I start a Gilmore Girls marathon on Netflix, I’m gracing you with my presence. Again. I really have to blog more often.

Speaking of blogging, today is A Little of This and That’s one year anniversary!  I’m still as clueless today about this whole blogging thing as I was then.  I’m not entirely sure I would have known about the anniversary if I didn’t get a notification from WordPress.  Just like I don’t know anyone’s birthday without the help of Facebook.  I hope you still like the blog, even with all of its inconsistencies, and mishaps.  I’m pretty fond of it. I have great intentions for it! Tell all your friends.

The little one made it though her 10th birthday, fairly unscathed.  Her father didn’t call her, but other than that I think she had a pretty good day. She’s so funny.  Even though she’s 10, with the mouth and attitude of a 20 year old, she’s still so innocent.  We were playing the Family Feud board game, (yes, for those of you under 25..they still make games that aren’t on your computer, tablet or cell phone) and it’s the fast money round.  I’m Steve Harvey, or Louie Anderson, whatev, and the question comes up “Name something a couch potato needs”.  She screams out “Salt” like it is the number 1 answer.  She was so confident.  I nearly peed myself laughing so hard.  She just stared at me in confusion.  I. Love. Her.

So in honor of potatoes, and A Little of This and That’s anniversary; today I bring to you Meatloaf Cupcakes.  I made these a while ago, just never blogged about them.  It’s just fitting for today.  I was going to post about creamy mushroom pasta, but you get meatloaf.  Both fantastically great recipes!  The Meatloaf Cupcakes take a little bit of work, so they are definitely a weekend meal.  I’m giving you my recipes for meatloaf, and mashed potatoes.  Feel free to use your own recipe, and just assemble accordingly!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf

  • 1lb                   Lean ground beef (I like 90/10)
  • 1                       Egg
  • 1/2 C               Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 C               Grated Parmesan cheese (add more if needed)
  •                          Salt and pepper
  •                          Seasoning to your liking (garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning etc)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.  Fill a muffin pan with the meat mixture. I spray each little thing with some cooking spray.
  2. Bake at 375°F for about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes.  Just until done.
  3. Meanwhile, make those taters.

Mashed Potatoes

  • 6-7               White Potatoes (maybe more depending on little they are)
  • Milk
  • Garlic Powder
  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.
  2. Boil the potatoes until fork tender, drain.
  3. Mash them up, I like to use the hand held blender.
  4. Add in garlic powder to taste.
  5. Add enough milk a little at a time to give the consistency you want.  If you are piping them through a piping bag, you want them smooooooth. But not runny.

Assembly

  1. Take the little meatloaf cakes out of muffin pan.
  2. Either dollop or pipe the mashed potatoes on the meatloaf cakes.
  3. Sprinkle with chives (if you like chives)
  4. Dab with a little ketchup

meatloafcupcakes

 

Off to rest with the Gilmore Girls!  Happy Weekend everyone!!

 

Pure abandonment!

There is nothing else to say, other than I’ve neglected my fantastical blog for way too long!  I’m so sorry friends.  Let’s see if I can sum up why.  Life.  My blog is about life, and yet life is why I have abandoned this wonder work of art.  Even as we speak, I am cocktailing it while I’m typing, just trying to get a little relaxation in before the weekend is over.

First and foremost, I would like to send my sincerest apologies to the folks at Blogging University, as I did not partake in the last 2 weeks of Writing 101. Thank goodness we didn’t pay per credit hour.  Slacker, just slacker. Any “F” earned is deserved.

Life.  So what’s happening?  All 3 kids passed on to the next grade.  Not so sure how Allison did it, but she did.  Barely.  I don’t think there will be any college in her future. I wish she would look into learning a trade.  Bobby, passed without issue.  In fact, earned 3rd place in the Art Show, and even made honor roll.  Ms. Autumn, on to 4th grade!  And with 4th grade comes her burning desire to play French Horn. I said it. French Horn. I ask her why? “Because it’s curly.”  Good fun.

I’m still marathon training, working with Autumn on soccer, taking pictures, working on 15yr old attitudes.  We went to NYC to see Autumn’s grandmother. (Her father’s mom).  We did this little trip against the recommendation of the therapist.  We shall see how much this sets her back.  Hey, it’s job security for him!

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The ol’man, Autumn and I going into the city

He  had never been to NYC and Autumn has been there, but doesn’t remember anything.  There was only one thing that we determined from this trip.  Neither the Ol’ man or I can read a friggin map.  I cannot tell you how many times we had to back track, turn around or ask questions.  We were ridiculous.  In a city with 4o million restaurants, we went to the same one 2x (5 Napkin Burger).  At least, it came highly recommended by an old high school friend who lives there. It was fantastical.  I love burgers, it’s my favorite food.  The first time we went, I ordered the Mahi tacos.  Seriously, what is wrong with me?!  Don’t answer that, even if it’s just in your head.  Highlights? Times Square. Carlos Bakery, FAO, M&M store, Bryant Park, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty.  The best part?  My ex-mother in law pulling out my wedding album.  Yeah, Autumn isn’t the only one who is going to need additional therapy after this little excursion.

My friend opened her photography studio as well when I was my unintentional hiatus from blogging.  I helped with the opening for that.  That was a lot of fun!  Even my ol’ man helped.  He sanded and spray painted the ladder we used to hold the food.  Take a look at these little beauties!

minicups2

openhouse

I also made the cherry cheesecake shooters and the Oreo balls that are in my Superbowl party post.  (My mission in life is to figure out how to link..working on it) Everything was super tasty, but the Oreo balls are addictive. As evidence by my increasing hip size.

So tomorrow, we have a Milkshake Throwdown.    The elderly gentleman that lives in my home thinks his are better than mine.  Ha! Puleeese!  You think I weighed over 300lbs from eating salad?  OH NO!  Kids will be the judges.  Will take pictures and post recipes tomorrow.

Monday?  Back. On. Track.

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Football, Balloons, and Food!!

Every year my daughter and I have a Super Bowl party. It’s a tradition that we have had since my divorce. It’s just her and I, a ton of food and the big game. We pick the team we want to win. I buy decorations in their colors. And then we plan a menu. This very intense process takes just about 2 weeks. I want to keep it healthy. She likes junk, “cause it’s a party you know, Mom!”  So there’s a lot of recipe sifting and compromise. I like to try new a new recipe each year. We always repeat the good recipe from the year before.

After an entire afternoon of cooking, baking and decorating, this is how it turned out.

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This year’s menu:

Hawaiian Kielbasa, White Pizza Dip (with crackers and homemade tortillas), popcorn, cupcakes, and cherry cheesecake shooters with Punch. (virgin, naturally, although a little vodka would have been delicious with it)! The ol’ man took Oreo Balls to the party he went to.

Autumn decorating the mini cupcakes
Autumn decorating the mini cupcakes
We also took 2 mason jars, painted small rectangles with chalkboard paint for our names!
We also took 2 mason jars, painted small rectangles with chalkboard paint for our names!

The game was lacking, as were the commercials.  Hands down, best commercial was H&M with David “freaking hot” Beckham. The food rocked, and my company was fantastical,  totally making up for the lack of screen entertainment!

Recipes!!

White Pizza Dip

  • 1pkg   Herb and garlic soup mix
  • 16oz   Sour Cream (I used light)
  • 1C       Ricotta cheese
  • 2C      Mozzarella Cheese
  • Pepperoni, as many slices as you like
  • Crackers  (we used Triscuits, Ritz and homemade tortilla chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine soup mix, sour cream, ricotta cheese, 1 Cup mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Transfer to a 1-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and pepperoni slices.

3. Bake at 350*F, uncovered for 30 minutes.

Hawaiian Kielbasa

  • 3lbs                 Turkey Kielbasa, cut into 2″ chunks
  • 1-15 oz can  Crushed Pineapple
  • 1-18oz            Bottle your favorite BBQ sauce ( We like Sweet Baby Rays)
  • 1/2 C               Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1Tbsp             Ground ginger
  • 1tsp                 Onion Powder
  • 1tsp                 Garlic Powder

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 30 minutes.

Cherry Cheesecake Shooters (original recipe by  my hero Ree Drummond, slightly altered by me)

  • 12                        Whole graham crackers, crushed
  • 2-8oz pkg         Cream cheese
  • 1 Can                  Sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 Can                  Cherry pie filling
  • Chocolate chips  (Ree’s recipe calls for slivered almonds)

1. Spoon graham cracker crumbs into the bottom of mini wine glasses. (we used small appetizer cups).

2. Beat cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until fluffy.

3. Fill pastry bag with filling.  Pipe filling over graham cracker crumbs. Top filling with a spoonful of cherry pie filling.

4. Top with chocolate chips.

Oreo Cookie Balls

  • 1-8oz pkg         Cream Cheese
  • 36 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (I used the food processor)
  • 1 .5 bags chocolate chips, melted

1.Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.

2. Roll into 48 (1 inch) balls.  Freeze 10 min.

3. Dip balls in melted chocolate, place on waxed paper-lined pan.

4. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.