Breakfast talk at dinner! All because of the editing.

Already?  The weekend is over already?  Where did it go? We only had Ms. Autumn this weekend. Total score! (Not that I don’t thoroughly enjoy every second of my life with Lil Miss Sassy pants!) So the ol’ man and I had a date night!! A whaaaat?  Almost NEVER happens!  Dinner and a movie, baby!!  We split an appetizer and used movie passes we got from giving blood.  In bed, sleeping by 10pm.   That’s just how we rock it out in our 40’s. Four hours without children is like a 5 day vacation.  Enjoy your 20’s kids!

The Half Marathon is exactly 1 week from today. 13.1 miles. Seven days. Siete días. I may die on that day. I’m so glad it’s been for a good cause. I’ve been training, but I don’t think it’s been enough. eeeeekkk.  It’s ok.  It’s only death. Or some really achy thighs. The bad thing about marathon training ending is it’s end of carb loading as well.  I’ve been particularly fond of carb loading.  I even made lasagna tonight!!  I haven’t made lasagna in years.  I will be posting that later.

Tonight I post about breakfast.  Weird? Probably, yes. But the lasagna pictures aren’t edited yet. So you get breakfast.  Anyway, I don’t know about your house, but my house weekday mornings are a friggin’ MAD HOUSE.  From 5:15-7am, there is nothing but chaos with everyone trying to get ready. These little Pancake Mini-Muffins from Ree Drummond are great to make on a Sunday night, and have for Monday and Tuesday for the rascals to eat for breakfast.  Eff it.  Eat them Sunday night during the game.  Your choice.

I’m going to give you the recipe as she posted it.  I’m sure it would have been great.  I’m going to have to be honest, I cheated and used boxed Pancake mix, made as directed on the box.  They were also soooo delicious.  Either way, high carb deliciousness, with healthy blueberries mixed in.  High in oxidants blueberries?  We’ll take it.  Because goodness knows what they are eating at school.

 

Pancake Mini-Muffins

  • 3 C                  All-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp            Baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp            Sugar
  • 3/4 tsp           Salt
  • 2-1/2 C           Milk
  • 1 Tbsp            White Vinegar
  • 2 Whole         Eggs
  • 1 Tbsp            Vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp            Butter, melted
  • Blueberries
  • Warm Syrup for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees for crispier edges, 400 for softer muffins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Set aside
  3. Stir together the milk and vinegar and let sit for 1 minute.  Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then stir in melted butter.  If batter is too thick, stir in a little milk.
  5. Spray a mini-muffin an generously with baking spray.  fill cups 2/3 full.  If using blueberries, drop 2 to 3 blueberries into each cup.
  6. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes @ 425 degrees or 11 minutes at 400 degrees, or until golden brown on top.  Let sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan.  (Use a small knife if any are stubborn)
  7. Serve with warm syrup.

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Happy Autumn!!

Nope, not my daughter.  The season. Autumn is here.  Yep, I said it, and it pains me to do so.  But it’s August 17, and it feels like October.  The leaves on the parkway are changing already.  By the time Autumn actually gets here, the leaves will be long changed and falling off the trees.  What the heck happened to the “dog days of summer”? What happened to 95 degrees and hoping for the sprinkler to go on?  It scares me to think what this winter is going to be like 😦

On to happier things!!!!  I’ve completely carb loaded this week and feel like a slug, even though I walked 7 miles yesterday. Not sure really why that’s a “happier thing”. Anyway, it will be a healthier diet week this upcoming week. Hopefully. The little one starts soccer practice (practicing for what, you ask?  I don’t know, since she won’t be playing any games).  OMG the drama with this coach in unreal.  Truly.  But Autumn wants to keep with it. Whatev. Back to the point.  I have to plan a few meals in advance, otherwise on soccer nights, everyone else is eating cereal.  Not that there is anything wrong with cereal! Except for the carbs. And sugar.  OK…so there is everything wrong with cereal if you are on a high protein diet.

Dee from The CSI Project   finished the editing our interview.  Listen to it here! (Hopefully! I really hope the links work!)  Technology really isn’t my strong point.  And we even talk about that in the interview.  She really did a great job!  I was nervous, please keep that in mind!!  I haven’t been on a job interview in 12 years.  Even though it wasn’t a job interview, it felt like it!

Two more weeks until school starts!!   I love love love the old Staples commercial where the Mom is riding the shopping cart around the store to that Christmas song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.  It is so accurate!! We received the supply list, and it wasn’t too bad this year.  We tried to go out shopping today, but the little bugger isn’t feeling well.  We got as far as Target, and she was begging to go home.  Without a doubt, you know she’s sick when she passes up shopping.

I pinned some scrapbook pages on my Pinterest page if you want to check them out!! (in case that link doesn’t work:  http://www.pinterest.com/alittleofthis14/a-little-of-this-and-that/   I don’t know what the heck I’m doing here 🙂

Yummies!!!!  So, my little one and I stopped at a local farmers market and picked up some fresh basil garlic and tomatoes.  I love the farmers market, can I just tell you that?  I made the most delicious sandwiches from Ree Drummond last night for dinner.  The ol’ man loved it and so did little miss picky pants.  Therefore you know it’s good.  I will need to try it on the now 16yo..that will be the true test! I made the homemade pesto that’s in the recipe, but I’m sure you could use the jar pesto.  And for the record, I did not add any nuts that is called for in this recipe and I added like 5 little cloves of garlic, not just one.  What can I say?  We gots vampires in these here parts!

Pesto Tomato Sandwiches

  • 6 C                Basil leaves (more if needed)
  • 1/4 C            Roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 1/3 C           Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp        Salt
  • 1 Clove       Garlic, peeled
  • 1 C                Olive Oil (more if needed)
  • 4                   Whole Ciabatta Roll, crisped in the oven, cooled and sliced in half
  • 1                   Large tomato, sliced thick
  • 4 oz             Fresh mozzarella, sliced thick (because who doesn’t like things thick?)
  1. Add basil, almonds, Parmesan and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Use a microplane zester to grate in the garlic (or use a garlic press)
  2. Start the food processor, and drizzle in the olive oil until totally incorporated.
  3. Check the consistency of the pesto.  Add either more basil or more olive oil, depending how you like it. (thick from what I understand)  I kid, I kid!  Set aside or refrigerate until needed.
  4. Spread some pesto on the cut side of both halves of the Ciabatta roll. Lay a thick tomato slice on the bottom, followed by a thick slice of mozzarella.  Top with the other roll half and serve immediately.

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Drum roll please!!!

Milkshake Throwdown.  It was on! How dare he tell those poor innocent children that his milkshakes were better than mine?? We prepped, shopped, and planned.  Ok.  So I prepped, shopped and planned.  But I wanted to win damn it! Simply because I know mine is better.  And guess what?  Mine won!!  It was super DELICIOUS!!  So, not SUPER delicious.  It could have used more chocolate.  ‘Cause EVERYTHING is better with more chocolate. He tried to throw them off by serving his with fancy whipped cream. Whatev..taste out weighed fancy tricks.

The winning recipe you say?  All to taste of course, but here’s the general gist:

Award Winning Milkshake

  • 2.5C      Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (I used Edy’s Slow Churned)
  • 1/2C      Milk
  • 1/4C     Caramel Sauce (see below)
  • 1tsp      Vanilla
  • Chocolate Syrup
  1. Blend and serve with a cup labeled “B”.

Ree Drummond’s Caramel Sauce (Previously posted)

  • 1C            Packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4C       Butter
  • 1/2C       Cream
  • 1Tbsp    Vanilla

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook while whisking gently for 6 minutes, until thicker.  Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.  Sauce will thicken when cool.

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It makes a mess, but it’s worth it!

As I’m walking out of the grocery store on Sunday with my 9 year old daughter, with the most serious face, she turns to me and asks, “So how long do you think Miley Cyrus has been preggers?”

Me:  Blank stare.

Autumn: “What?”

Me: Continued stare, now holding up people behind us. Because I also saw the magazines at the check out.

Autumn: “Well?”

Me: “Who taught you how to read?”

Autumn: “Ugh Moooooooooom!”

Preggers?  And so it begins….

 

On to things I can control, like delicious iced coffee!  Without coffee, life would be unbearable. Ok, well at least mornings would be, and work DEFINITELY would be.  Believe me I’ve considered buying stock in Dunkin’.   A medium Iced Coffee with caramel swirl and cream, with an extra shot of caramel swirl comes to exactly $2.47.   My New Year’s resolution was to stop in only once a month. But lets face it, sometimes you just NEED iced coffee more than that. Not that my waist line or my bank account can afford it. So it became my mission to find a perfect iced coffee recipe. I’m proud to say, mission accomplished.  Thank you Ree Drummond! I love her!

Perfect Iced Coffee

  • 1lb     Ground Coffee (good, rich roast)
  • 8        Quarts Cold Water
  • Half and Half
  • 2-3 Tbsp  Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Good Stuff to your liking: Milk, sugar, artificial sweeteners, syrups, flavored creamer
  1. In a large container, mix ground coffee with water.  Cover and allow to sit at room temperature 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through.  Discard grounds. (This is what I find messy. I dump the grounds in to old news paper and then discard)
  3. Place coffee liquid in the fridge, and allow to cool.  Use as needed. Like daily.
  4. Pack a glass full of ice cubes.  Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid.  Add your fixin’s (creamer, milk, half and half, sugar, syrup etc) Stir and enjoy!
  5. It will give Dunkin’ a run for it’s money!  Get it? America runs on Dun…oh never mind.  It wasn’t that funny. 🙂

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Minus the Cabbage

It’s Monday. Again. It’s funny how that happens.  But it’s St. Patrick’s Day!!  I look horrible in green and  I’m only a little bit Irish, but I think the story is everyone is Irish on March 17th. I don’t get crazy drunk for this particular occasion.  I save that for when everyone else is NOT getting crazy drunk. Yeah, I’m a rebel like that.

It was a rough weekend.  There was a lot of frustration and bleck moments. I had my “mom of the year” award handed to me. Moms, you know what I’m talking about.  The point where your kid pushes you that point and you lose your shit. You feel horrible after and you think to yourself, “mother of the year”, that’s me!  I won it early this year, (usually it happens in summer) now it’s out of the way and we can carry on.

Carry on to what you ask? Well, corned beef of course! I’ve never made it. No one in the house, much to my surprise, has ever had it. So today was a Monday of firsts.  I knew the kids would not have anything to do with cabbage, so that wasn’t even attempted.  We did however, have the traditional potato. Okay, so not the traditional potato. I made Ree Drummond’s Crash Hot Potatoes, slightly altered. The beef recipe itself, not exciting. Taken directly from the package. With beer.  In a crockpot.  Okay, so not directly from the package.

Robbin’s Not- Directly- from- the -Package- Corned Beef

  • Corned Beef with the season packet
  • Water
  • 1 Can Beer

Put the beef in the crockpot. Sprinkle the season packet over the meat.  Sip the beer, pour some. Sip again, pour some, repeat. I kid! Just pour in the can of beer, and enough water to cover the meat. Slow cook on low for about 9 hours. Drink a beer or two.

Crash Hot Potatoes (altered slightly)

  • 12             Red potaotes (small ones)
  • 3 Tbs       Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Onion powder all to taste
  1. Boil potatoes (12 or as many as you need) in salted water until fork tender.
  2. Line a sheet pan with cooking spray.  Line potatoes up, leaving room in between potatoes.
  3. With a  fork or potato masher, crush potatoes. (almost like you do a peanut butter cookie, one way then the other)
  4. Brush tops of taters with plenty of olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary, and onion powder. (or whatever herbs you like)
  6. Bake at 450*F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and look delicious.

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Chocolate, Valentine’s and oh yeah Chocolate, yummmm!

Heeellloooo again!  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I had a couple of drafts here and there, but nothing completed or posted. I’m stressed and I’m a slacker. Very important to note that I’m both, not one or the other. The last draft was in regards to the over-rated Valentine’s Day, in which my absolute favorite part is the chocolate. Definitely a chocoholic, and without a doubt, I have the hips to prove it. Circle back, stress.  See how that worked?

The kids were off this week, and we accomplished nothing. I supposed in their defense, the two that aren’t really mine, but sort of are since I give them shelter, actually spent time with their mother. The one that is mine for real, spent most of her time attached to my leg. Hard to get things done when you have an extra 60lbs hanging around. Gotta love them!

Well, my original plan was to blog about Valentine’s Day, give a little history about it, and end the post with some awesome chocolate recipes. As you can see, I’m about 2 weeks late. So we are scratching the history of Valentine’s Day, and heading right to the recipes! For my work party, I made Ree Drummond’s Dark Chocolate Brownies and from Pinterest made little heart candy white chocolate suckers. Which in theory could be used for Christmas since they are made with candy canes.  

Dark Chocolate Brownies

  • 1C            Butter
  • 5oz          Unsweetened Chocolate (like from a bar)
  • 1/4 C      Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2C            Sugar
  • 1Tbs        Vanilla
  • 3               Large Eggs, whole
  • 1 1/4 C    Flour
  • 3/4 C       Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Powdered sugar for sifting

1. Preheat oven to 350*F

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over low heat, whisking occasionally until smooth and melted. Sprinkle in cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in sugar and vanilla, until just combined. (looks a little grainy..but that’s ok)

4. One at a time, stir in the eggs.

5. Gently stir in the flour until halfway combined. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just mixed.

6. Pour batter, and it will be thick, into a greased 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish. Spread evenly. Bake for 40 minutes, then check the brownies with a toothpick. If it’s still gooey, return to the oven for another 5 minutes, then check again etc.

7. Cool. Completely. I’ve made these twice. It’s important to let them cool. They will seem too gooey if you don’t let them chill for a while.

8. Enjoy with a glass of milk. They are so rich and delicious.

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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.

On to better things!

Now that the venting is done, we did try some new recipes this weekend.  It snowed here pretty good yesterday, so we didn’t venture out anywhere. I love Ree Drummond. I love her books, her show, her blog.  Last Saturday on the show she made homemade applesauce. This Saturday, I’d thought I’d give it a try since the kids love applesauce. It’s one of the healthier things they actually eat.

Applesauce

6lbs Mixed apple varieties (peeled,sliced, cored)                                                   1C Apple juice or water                                                                                                   Juice of 1/2 lemon                                                                                                               1/2 C Light brown sugar                                                                                                    1tsp Cinnamon

Throw the apples, apple juice, and lemon juice into a pan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer until the apples are soft, about 15 minutes.  Stir through the sugar and mix until melted. Add the cinnamon and stir through.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes.

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