Monday, December 31, 2012

Part 2: Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls

I'm terrible.  Really really terrible.  I finished up these phenomenal rolls and then ate them.  well almost all of them.  And I didn't even finish posting my pics.  Bad bad Jennifer.

So, on the PW recipe she suggested letting the dough rest overnight, which I did.  I woke up still kidless on Sunday morning and finished up the recipe.  Here's the play by play...

Melt some butta n stuff!

Waiting for a scald...  it's like waiting for water to boil... but worse... you have to actually watch it.

The "rested" dough

Roll that puppy out!!

Uh  forgot to take a pick of my lemon sugar... but there it is on the dough!!!

Add some blue berries!  I had to add less otherwise Jasmine wouldn't eat any...

Make a log and seal it up

Cut and smash it in a pan..then cut and smash again...

While it's in the oven, make the glaze.  This is where I failed.

Mine was WAY to thin because I added to much milk

O - M - G... Amazingness.

And then add some glaze... and obviously I couldn't wait to eat it...

Overall... easy recipe. And amazing taste.  Ultimately - Jasmine wouldn't eat any because of the blueberries but that's OK.  My butt will just get bigger - and I'm OK with that for now.

Go try this recipe. You won't be disappointed. PLUS she has alternatives including a marmalade one that may be my next attempt on sweet rolls.

So if that wasn't enough.  After I picked up Jasmine, We watched Food network all day and I search Pinterest for crafty things to do.  I came across this gem:

Jasmine has A TON of broken crayons - so i figured... why not.   And here's my version:

This was by far the most tedious part... removal of the paper.  Be prepared for wax under your nails that will take forever to get out.

We decided to sort by color type - but you could mix it up for some cool efects

Put it in the oven on your lowest temp and let them melt!

After it cools, pop them out of your mold and enjoy the amazingness!

Happy New Years to you all!!! Be safe!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kidless Cooking - PW Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls

I find myself alone tonight and it's been a difficult decision on what to make today. Well... tonight. I've already done crafty things with Jasmine. Assembled a desk. Made lemon sugar hand scrub. BUUUTTT...nothing in the over. I've now boiled it down. Ever heard of Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman? She is a phenomenal chef. If I could emulate anyone - she wold be it. Recently she posted this blueberry/lemon sweet roll. O - M - G. It just looks like heaven in a dish. Her dishes are relatively easy - and this one doesn't look so hard. But let's see what happens. I've had Bourbon - so I can't promise greatness. :)

Here's how it all went down:

Waiting for a boil....

ahhh ha!  that took forever...

add to flour and yeast and sit for an hour.... add more flour, salt, powder, soda, then refrigerate.  We'll see the rest in the morning!! :)

Me... I'm going to go game for a bit. :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Marshmallow Fluff Craze

Jasmine is obsessed with marshmallow fluff. On my mom's death-iversary I had an inkling for a fluffer nutter. So I made us both one. And without knowing it, I killed the PB &J from ever entering my daughters mouth again. Fluff fluff fluff.

So of course I had to search Pinterest for a recipe for marshmallow fluff. And bingo!

And today... We experimented. Of course I don't have a stand mixer, so we just used our electric mixer but here's how it all went down:

Egg whites and sugar whipped to peaks

Sugar/corn syrup to soft ball stage

Mix the two together and beat beat beat 

Starting to firm up!

What mom wouldn't let her daughter be the guinea pig?  She's lucky I stopped the beaters really...

It's more creamy than I thought it'd be.  But.... it's still warm...

Canned and ready to!!!

Easiest recipe I've done on Pinterest for what it yielded. Now we wait and see if it holds. :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve.....

It is Christmas Eve, and all though the house nothing was stirring... Not even a mouse.

The stockings all hung on the wall with care since we live in an apartment with no fireplace to spare.

And.... I'm blocked. Lol

I can not think anymore, my brain I'd fried from thinking up presents to give to people who give me far more.

This year I was fortunate enough to be blessed with some help from the local food pantry. They have a program to help single mothers and the less fortunate at Christmas. Truly a blessing. They arrived with a huge box of food - which wasn't expected. And so many gifts that combined with what little I had already bought jasmine, was far too much. So since her birthday is in February, I held back my purchases and will give her those at that time.

Crazy crazy times.

The Mayan guys were wrong... Lol

This year has been far more trying than I expected.

So since I have some time today, I thought I'd make some rolls. Cookies. Toffee....

Last night I found this:

Link to the link to the blog

And of course, I had to make it.

My version below

Of course I had to add pretzels!!! :)

Enjoy your Christmas! We are going to have a blast!!!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Suppose I should start writing again, right?

It's been a little bit of a crazy year...

I hope that I can continue to make at least monthly posts here, but I'm going to try for weekly,

It's Christmas time. That time of year that nearly drives me insane with all the "I want this" and "i want that!". I have no idea how mothers with multiple kids do it without having a migraine everyday. Today is decorating and Christmas tree day, so I've busted out the old inherited ornaments, plus my cheesy Walmart and dollar store ones and am on a mission to make this house Christmassy.

But first I'll procrastinate.

A friend if mine today was in a frenzied state over letting her 14 year old boy go to six flags with a few of his friends, admittedly I am not the mother of a fourteen year old,.. But I think back to the times when my mom let me "go do"... And honestly, while yes they were the most freeing times I can remember (apart from the day my ex left the state) I was also scared shitless some of the time. Always afraid of disappointing my parents with my actions; peer pressure; weirdos at the mall... You get where I'm going with this.

I always knew if I messed up, got in trouble, or something inappropriate happened, I'd never be let out again. My parents were strict on me due to some issues with my older siblings. So I always felt like the one that they were going to make sure they weren't going to screw up again on. No pressure there!

I digress...

Things have turned in the way we raise our kids, that's evidently clear. Kids don't play in the street anymore, stay out past the street lights going on and I always feel like I'm suffocating my kid. When did this change exactly? I blame America's most wanted. I feel like that show was so pivotal in the 80's family household. We got to watch these criminals be caught for all these terrible indecencies and it burned into our brain, scared the crap out of our parents, and so then forever how we interact with our kids was forever changed. "Don't go outside, you might get kidnapped", "don't stay out to late, predators hide better in the dark", "don't get to close to the water, a shark will rip your legs off".

I have tried reallllllllllly hard to let jasmine have the freedom I did when I was a kid. I let her go ride her bike outside by herself. I let her go to friends houses in the complex by herself. I let her go on walks in the complex by herself. And until she if fails me in the sense of trusting her judgement and at least asking permission to do things, I will continue to let her grow her wings and be an independent little girl. It's one of her most endearing qualities, I think.

So it boils down to when jasmine is 14 and wants to go to six flags with her friends sans me,
I will say yes. Then stress out the entire day hoping that she thinks before a potentially bad decision is made by her and her peers... "Is this something mom would ground me for doing?" And if it is that she has the strength to walk away or even better yet, get at least one of those peers to walk away with her.

I think that my friends son, is of that caliber. Great Christian kid, the family's unit is strong, they are a level headed bunch of peeps, not easily swayed to make rash or spontaneous decisions.

Not like someone I know.... :p

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quick.... and easy!

Lazzzzzy day today.  Tired now even. :)

Promised the girls I'd make them a snack.  LOL  Just because I can't seem to get myself out of the kitchen these days.  So I found this no bake recipe for peanut butter snack balls here:  Smashed Peas and Carrots

This is a pretty versatile recipe.  The honey, peanut butter, coconut base is really all that's holding it together - the add ins are what make it fun! On this batch I ran with the exact recipe.  I think next time I'm going to add in some dried cranberries or golden raisins.  My arsenal:

All Mixed Up:

The final product:

Hope the girls like 'em!! :)



Monday, January 9, 2012

Insert Foot Into Mouth

There are days that I literally can not stop with my sarcasm.  Today is such a day.  Never have I had sarcasm diarrhea of the mouth so bad to people that really... I should not be so linguistically free with.  Ugh.  I have a feeling this one is going to bit me in the ass.

So!  Among the several hundred non appropriate comments I made to my VP today, I also had the audacity to tell my CEO in my sarcastic way (as we were going to walk out the door and he was saying that he wasn't going to see us again until our show) "How will we ever get by without you??"  As soon as the words left my mouth I was hit with panic.  Really?  Did I just say that.... to my CEO?  Ughhhhhh.  I quickly added in "Man, I really need to keep my sarcasm in check... sorry!"then laughed my laugh and hugged him goodbye.  He laughed too and said... "No, no, no!!  You are so funny!"  and as I walked away I'm sure he muttered something along the lines of "how will you get along without a paycheck?"  I kid!  Although I'm sure that's what I would have thought if I were in his shoes....  Tomorrow will be interesting...

ANNNNNNYWAY.  No cooking tonight.  I got treated to some bourbon and coke and saltines with the awesomest jam EVER a la Kim.  On the way home though, I was reminded of this place I used to go to as a kid with my mom called "Fiddler's Three".  They had the BEST CHEESE SOUP EVER.  And I mean... the BEST.  So I scoured the internet to see if a disgruntled employee posted the recipe after all these years.  The restaurant is closed now, so far as I know.  But I found it.  A lady posted it saying that it was printed in the LA times.  Now here's the thing.  To make this soup right, you have to have the right cheese.  they say a quality sharp cheddar.  So now... the search is on for the right cheddar.  I am seeing some central market visits in my near future. :)  Here's the recipe she posted:

Fiddler's Three Cheese Soup

1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2/3 cup thinly sliced onion
2 1/2 T chicken soup base
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 pound good quality sharp cheddar cheese, grated (do not use pre-grated)
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Add the carrots, celery, and onions to chicken soup base mixed with water. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Blend the flour and 1 1/2 cups of the milk and add to the vegetable mixture, stirring well. Add the remaining milk and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until just melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It was served with a dark rye or pumpernickle bread and lots of butter. 




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Superhero's and Cake

Today was jammed packed full of activity.  Woke up early, went to Walmart, went to a birthday party at a trampoline park, back to walmart, loaded up the fridge and then on to baking.  Seriously, I can't stop.  My friend and muse Kim made this killer buttermilk cake once.  And my buttermilk is a few days from needing to be tossed, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Here's our steal page:  Taste of Home

So right in the middle of my creation of the batter, my ex roommie calls needing me to find her movie times since she can't access the internet.  So trying to remember how much sugar I put into the bowl already and simultaneously fetching her a few phone numbers proved to be too much for my brain and I couldn't remember at one point how much I had put in.  Here's the batter after the call:

And to make matters worse - I thought I had a 6 bundt cake mold and it really is only 4.  Hrrrrrm.  That's going to add an extra 40 minutes to completion.  Oh well... thankfully I'm a late night sleeper.

Here's the ovenshot... :)

And the final product.  Love it!!  They really turned out good.

Now off to finish my evite for the get together i'm hosting next Sunday then off to bed... long day tomorrow with potential twists and turns...  it's gonna be a great week... right?



Saturday, January 7, 2012

Man I was bored today...

I think today was the first day i actually felt bored in a long while.  I actually felt the need to find something to do.  It was an odd think for me.

So Jasmine had a sleep over.  That went very well. :)  We had our sugar and cinnamon pretzels and watched a movie.  All super fun and then after a bike ride - I was left with this sense of ... "what do I do now?"

Bake bread of course!  So here I go, searching pinterest for a fab recipe and then I pick up the ol standby.  My Bible. The Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Wrapped up in those pages are thousands of recipes.  Tons of idea and tutorials. So I'm thinking... how about just a plain white sliced bread?  Bwham! Betty's got it covered.  but I'm flippin pages and i see this recipe for Challa... and I have no idea what it is.  Google Tiiiiiiiime!  Super beautiful loaves, super easy recipe...but man! that is a lot of braiding...  I watched a few tutorials, looked at a few recipes...  this is definitely one that I'm going to have to try. I almost did today but then thought... let's not be disrespectful.  This is a bread traditionally cooked on a Friday and served on Saturday.  Welp, to late for that!  So that will have to be next week.  It might actually work to my favor since I'm hosting a party on Sunday.  We'll see.

Anyway, I caught a glimpse at a few different bread and opted to retry a different recipe for pretzels and also to make Amish Friendship Bread.

Link to the Link to the blog

Amish Friendship Bread:

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Sleepover

Dreading going home more than being at work today knowing that I had promised Jasmine a sleepover this weekend with her girls since she had such a stellar week at school.  I thought about what I could do that would be fun for the girls and came up with mini pizza's.  Thinking that I could use a calzone recipe for the bread and let them design their own.  What a cool mom i would be!  Picked up Jasmine and found that my friend was busy in the kitchen making pizza for the family as well!  I knew I liked her for some reason! :P  We tend to do that with each other and have a lot of weird similarities in our history even though we grew up thousands of miles away from each other and brought up in COMPLETELY different lifestyles.

Needless to say the pizza idea didn't go over as I planned.  Jasmine wasn't very hungry and her friend had already eaten dinner... but dammit i had worked myself up to having pizza!  so I opted for a different approach and made cheesy bread sticks with dipping sauce.  That seemed to appease everyone. :)  Winning!

I also have been hell bent on trying pretzels since trying my friends.  I stole the recipe from her, she stole it from here:

Link to the link to the blog

So it's 1:15 in the morning and i just finished them  what do you think?

Pretty kick ass if I do say so myself.  Salty on one side, sweet on the other... and my house smells A-MAZ-ING.

I've got to come up with a cheap gift for a b-day party.  Pinterest to the rescue?  We'll see in the morning!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another day another dollar...

You know... I'm such an emotionally sensitive person.  I never realized how much so until I was living on my own how scary things can get when you have a little person who is relying on you to make everything seem normal in a time when chaos seems to be running rampant.  My friend Kim looked at me one day amid one of my emotional break downs and said... "Does everything always happen to you all at one time?"  It seems like there is always this calm in my life for a period of time, we'll say a few weeks to a month, and then everything gangs up on me all at once.  This week seems to be that week.  It started out great... I mean it's a 4 day week!  It's the beginning of the year. There is no errors on the table as this point, right?  LOL I swear I already need a vacation!  I'll have one shortly enough.  Well a weekend vacation at least.  Knowing me, I'll be 10x more exhausted than when I left!  It will be great to see January though.  It's been almost a year. :)

Okokokok.... enough with the ranting...  on to the crafting!

The only reason I do anything Christmasy in the house is because of Jasmine and this year I really wanted to make her Christmas special since her Dad was not going to be around this year. I had 2 weeks off and a LOAD of time to fill up doing things with her.  So this craft was easy.  I already had all the materials - I love to scrapbook - and as all scrapbookers do, I have an EXTENSIVE ribbon collection.  And all the left over ornaments from the wreath I made, plus a few from the ones we put on the tree provided just the right amount.  Here's what I'm talking about:  The Link Doesn't Work so here's the Pinterest post

Here's how mine turned out:

And here is where I went wrong... The example uses HUGE ornaments (which I didn't have) and I think there are fewer of them.  Plus I need a bow and some pine needle garland.  That make have helped more, but overall... I chalk this one up as a fail.  Jasmine loved it though... so maybe it was a C-.

Seacrest Out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A late night post...

So today was better than yesterday, but still not great.  I had a long talk with my old boss which was way overdue and very reassuring by the end of the conversation.  The work day was brutal.  I did bring in a few of the angel biscuits for the girls at work and have to say they gobbled them up... then ate the ones I had saved for my friends later that night.  Damn co-workers always stealing my food!!!

Anyway, here's my first craft post on here.  I used to have this really annoying wreath that had a Santa on it.  There was a  motion detector and it would spew out "ho ho ho!!! Meerrrrrrryyy Christmas!!!" even if no one walked by.  Yeah... annoying.  So I saw this beautiful beautiful wreath on Pinterest that had a great picture tutorial.  The thing I love about Pinterest is that all you do is keep on clicking... there is no typing at all to get what you what infirmation-wise.  So after reading the first blog, i kept digging and digging until I found the original post: Matt & Becky

Here's my series of assembly pics:

The arsenal:

After 2 hours:

Completed (3 hours total)
 On my door... awwwww!

Exhausted and have yet another long day tomorrow...  Cheers!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

When I'm upset I bake... or clean...

So I had a pretty bad day today.  Call it the winter break blues... or whatever, but really I could have given two cents about anyone in particular today.

Yesterday I found a pinned recipe for Paula Deen's Angel Biscuits.  I've been wanting to try a simple biscuit recipe and thought what could be more therapeutic than beating the crap out of some dough.  It's better than the alternative...  Here was this link: Nate Burkus Show

I picked up Jasmine, excused myself from reality, went home and started making some good 'ol southern baking.  To preface a little, I have made biscuits before.  They actually made better dog treats than biscuits.  I think my ex even used one to hammer a nail into a wall once.  I can say will all honesty... if I ever made biscuits from scratch that we edible... they were bought in a tube.  I even found a way to mess up bisquick biscuits. So to say that I was ok with not "winning" on this one tonight was a pretty accurate description.  It was more about kneading the dough and working out the aggression.

Also, if you haven't noticed by know I'm not the keenest person on when to "take" my photo shots - somewhere in the middle of beating the crap out of the dough I thought, "Crud... now I have to go wash my hands."  So there is a lack of pics on this one... but here's what i did take:

Jasmine looked at this picture and said, "mom that's not an angel biscuit, it's a skeleton biscuit!"  Aye yi yi...

And man.... were they goooood.  I also picked up a pretty decent gravy recipe using only chicken stock instead of the drippings.  These got dunked into that several times we'll just say.

Ok ok ok   so now onto the bundt cakes!  OMG they were so good.  So the back story:

A friend of mine's husband apparently loves bundt cakes.  I found this out when he fixed one of my co-workers computers and she paid him with an Anything Bundt Cake.  He devoured it.  He had been saying that he would fix my dinosaur of a computer for me - but to haul all 150 lbs of it to his house made it a "bottom of the list" kind of job.  So one day, I took over the CPU... the next I took the monitor... the next he fixed it.  So to repay him I made a mini bundt cake.  Mind you i have never tried to cook one before - and rather than screw up a huge one, I went to Joanne's and purchased a 4 cake tray of bundt cakes.  I scouresd the web looking for a recipe that I already had ingredients for and found this: Jolts and Jollies  Peanut Butter Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache?  Seriously, who wouldn't love that?  And since I had a huge fail with my peanut brittle I had some that I could used to top my ganache instead of butterfingers....  sweet biscuits!

I was so pleased with how they turned out:

All dolled up!

Yeah...  that didn't suck.

Needless to say that they were a hit.  We couldn't even wait 5 minutes before devouring one...  And my friends husband was happy to have 2 bundts in a year. :)

Crafty things completed are up for tomorrow's post!