Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nobody's home

Posts will be a bit sporadic until closer to the 31st.  I am having some really serious medical issues, and am now on morphine*, have lots of doctor appointments, and really, I am not cooking very much right now.  I have my cupcake tasting for the wedding on the 31st and the 3rd, I think, so I will have detailed explanations and pictures of each cupcake, so that will give me blog posts up the wazzoo, to deal with the days that I am off due to doctors appointments.  As for what is wrong with me, we are still trying to figure that out, hence the loads of doctors appointments. Plus, school starts next week for spring term, and the first week, in my opinion, is the hardest.

When I was picking up books for my classes, I found this book on recipes that called for 4 ingredients only.  It had a recipe that caught my attention right away. I love love love chile rellenos.

So, I found a recipe that called for canned green chilies, jack cheese, eggs and milk.  The recipe called for diced chilies, but I wanted to try it using whole chilies.  I would recommend the diced ones.  The whole ones ended up being hard to eat, because they didn't want to cut up with a fork.  It was wonderful, and I not only ate it for dinner last night, but for lunch today.

Chilie Relleno Bake
4 cans of green chilies, diced
1 2 pound bag of jack cheese, shredded
8 eggs
1 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 350.  In a 13x9 pan spread out a can of chilies.  Then spread a layer of cheese, a can of chilies, a layer of cheese, layer of chilies, layer of cheese can of chilies and then mix the eggs and milk in a seperate container and pour over the entire thing.  Spread the last of the cheese over the top and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and brown on top.  Let sit at least 10 minutes so everything settles and solidifies, and then slice into squares and eat.  It would be really good with a side of refried beans and rice.



*If I misspell things, or use the wrong words, or just seem to be talking strange, remember the morphine.  I'm trying to make sure I catch all my errors, but I may not always.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chai Latte Cupcakes

I took this recipe from a vegan cookbook, called "Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World" and I modified it to a non vegan cupcake.  I modified it simply because we usually don't have vegan ingredients in the house, and also, we don't shop in the stores that have things like soy yogurt.  Our normal grocery store just doesn't carry it.  When I made a vegan version of this, I used silken tofu in place of soy yogurt, and my husband thought they were awesome, but I don't keep tofu in the house.  I also didn't use the spices that are in the recipe, I just use chai tea tea bags.  It works really well, and I don't have to keep a supply of spices that I don't normally have hanging out.

I have made it with greek yogurt.  I have used applesauce in place of the yogurt.  Today, I used buttermilk.  We'll see how it goes.  So far, our favorites have been the totally vegan, using tofu, and the non vegan using yogurt.

Here's the recipe:*
2 cups milk
8 chai tea bags
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup yogurt, though buttermilk seems to have been perfectly fine.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Line cupcake pan/pans with 24 liners.  Heat soy milk to boiling, add tea bags and steep for 10 minutes.  Squeeze excess milk out of the teabags, gently.  Add to large bow and mix all wet ingredients. Yes, sugar is a wet ingredient.  In a smaller bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.  Add to wet ingredients and stir until just mixed.  Fill each cupcake liner with 1/4 cup of batter.  I actually have an ice cream scoop that is the perfect size for this, and I love it, with its trigger release.  I have three, in different sizes.  Back to the recipe.  Bake for about 15 minutes, checking at about 12-13.  Once cooled off, dust with powdered sugar.

*I found an error in the recipe, where I forgot to tell you to heat the milk and steep the tea bags in it.  Sorry.  It's in there now.

Lame excuses

Well, I was away from here a bit longer than I expected.  I went to my parents for a few days, and thought I would blog while I was gone, but I didn't, but I have stories.

I made baked kale while I was there.  It was yummy.  I couldn't sit and eat a whole serving at one time, but my kids shoveled it in their mouths as fast as they could.  Ciera had a choking moment because she actually overstuffed her mouth.  It will be a great way to get greens into their diet.  Essentially all you do it buy a bunch of kale, wash it, strip it off the stems, tear it into bite sized portions, toss it with a couple of tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of salt.  Put it in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crispy.  My biggest problem with it was actually the texture.  It was chip like, but it wasn't.  It seemed a bit stringy.  I think I didn't get it cooked enough, or crispy enough.  Taste wise, it was like when I roast asparagus, and the tips get roasted and toasted and crispy.  Yum, my favorite way to experience asparagus.

I made angel food cupcakes while I was at my moms.  I am becoming an expert at this recipe, and since I used to be a angel food failure, it makes me happy.  I think I will actually make it tomorrow, just to have it.  My mom thought it was fantastic, and actually had no criticism on it, which is rare, and good.

I also made my triple lemon cupcakes.  For this, I got the reaction that they weren't sweet enough, weren't filled enough, and were too "lemony".  To which I say, "huh?"  How can a lemon cupcake be too lemony?  I don't plan on making it sweeter, it has the perfect pucker factor to balance out the sweetness.  So far my mom has been my only critic with a negative response to these cupcakes.  Of course, she also thought my black bottom cupcakes needed to have frosting, so I can't take her thoughts on baking very seriously.

Today I came home, YAY, and made BBQ chicken, and yes, I used shake and bake.  I actually really like their BBQ.  I modify the powder with extra brown sugar, etc, but still, it's awesome in my opinion.  I also roasted some veggies and tossed them with some penne and Philly's new Cooking Cremes.  I won a house party on houseparty.com and was asked to host a party using their cremes.  While me and my guests all agreed that it was something to use when you were in a huge hurry, we all agreed that it was something that we wouldn't keep around or use all the time.  So far we have only used the garlic and the italian herb.  We will be using the southwest soon.  Needless to say, it was good enough to use in a pinch, but homemade still is better.

And that has been what I have been up to.  More recipes and pictures to come late.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Black bottomed cupcakes

Black bottom cupcakes, when done well, are one of my favorite cupcakes.  I have made them three times now, and each time, they have turned out differently.  I found that if I tried to double or triple the recipe, it doesn't work.  i made these because I will be going to Seattle tomorrow morning, and this will make a good cupcake to bring for people to eat.  I am also bringing my mixer, so that I can make a few cupcakes while I am there.

I love having a 24 cup cupcake pan, makes making cupcakes so much easier with one batch going in the oven at a time, since most of my recipes makes 24.

Cream cheese filling.  Ignore the pill bottle next to it.  That is just the pain pills for the who knows what is going wrong with me in my abdomen.

I want to eat this filling by itself.  Its the perfect cheesecake filling.


The chocolate part of the batter.  So easy.

My little helper.  She insists on being in the kitchen and cooking with me every time I cook.  I wonder if Aiden would have been like this, had we not had the kitchen off limits with a gate.  Ciera figured out the gate too early, and isn't one to listen to me.

Its a messy job, but I had just enough batter for all 24 cups.

See how when you add the cheesecake part, it fills to the top?  I love the way this looks.  And tastes.  The first time I made these, the cheesecake went to the bottom.  I haven't been able to replicate that.  Now they stay black bottomed with the cheesecake at the top.

These are overcooked a little bit.  Don't work on getting a recipe ready to blog until after cupcakes come out of the oven.  They still taste good, but you don't want your cheesecake that browned.  A little light brown is ok, though.

They are supposed to sink that way.  Explaining that to everyone who eats them is funny.  If they sink, you did it right, in my opinion.

I never listen to recipes, and take my cupcakes out of the pan right away.  The leads to squished cupcakes, like the one on the bottom left of this picture.  Which is ok, I eat that one first.

YUM!



But, for once, I am adding a recipe to the end of this post.


Black Bottom Cupcakes
For the filling:
16 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. white or cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in chopped chocolate pieces.  Set aside.

To make the cupcakes, adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  I usually use my hands to break up all the clumps, because I don’t own a sifter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  In the well, add all the liquid ingredients.  You can mix them first, or do as I do and put them in as I am going, therefore not messing up another bowl.  Stir until just smooth, making sure not to over mix. 

Using either a ¼ cup scoop or a ¼ cup measuring cup, fill all the liners.  Put two tablespoons of filling into the center of each cupcake.  This will fill the cupcake liners to the top.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, they are done when they spring back to the touch.

Do not over bake, which I have done.  It's not good and you will cry at the dismal failure this awesome cupcake should be.

Finals

Wow, time flies during finals week.  I think I did well on my finals, except for Math.  I failed math.  I am now going to be on financial aid probation, but all I need to fix that is get good grades next term.  I'm kinda taking classes for going into the culinary field, and kinda not.  I am taking nutrition, which is important, business, which I need if I am going to open my own business, it should help, right?  And World Archeology, which I am taking because its the last class done by a teacher I love.  She does one class a term, and she has been fighting to get this class added, and she did, so I'm excited to be taking it.  I was going to take it online, like the rest of my classes, until I realized that she is teaching it, and then it was all about doing it in person.

So, food for the week.  It has been good and bad.  As I wrote on on Monday, we had chicken and dumplings, and that was awesome.  Tuesday I made chili.  I made awesome chili.  It was so good I ate 4 bowls the day I made it, and another bowl the next night for dinner.  Which meant that Wednesdays dinner for the kids was simple, I let them pic it, and they had ramen noodles and green beans.  Last night I made a really yummy taco noodle bake.

I was thinking about this site, and the fact that it would probably do a lot better traffic wise if I posted actual recipes, and more pictures.  I'm trying to work on the point by point pictures, but the recipes, they are hard to do.  I'll explain with my chili.

Chili:
Fry one pound of hamburger, liberally sprinkled with chili seasoning and a but of cumin and cayenne extra.
Add it to crockpot.  Dump in two cans of kidney beans, rinsed, one can of black beans, rinsed.  Dump in one small can of tomato paste, two cans of diced tomatoes with chillies.  Add about 1/4 cup of chili seasoning.  I buy it in bulk at Costco, and I just add it until I like the flavor.  Cook in the crockpot on low 10 hours, or if you are in a hurry, like I was on high for 4.  About 2 hours in dump in 2 cans of drained corn.  About an hour before serving, mix 1/2 cup of cornmeal with water, and then mix it in to chili.  Yes, it seems like a lot, but I like when it thickens the chili, and gives it a bit of that crumpled cornbread flavor to it, without the cornbread, which I had forgotten to make.  That's it, serve it.

This would have looked better had we not taken 4 servings out already.

I should have taken the picture before cheesing it up.  It was awesome.


I guess all measurements are there, except for seasoning.  I guess I just feel like I toss things in, and hope they all taste good.  because I don't measure perfectly on my savory foods, my family complains because they don't get it the same way twice.  This week one of my assignments for my self is to take all of my recipes I have shoved in different places in my kitchen, and put them together, and then start trying to share recipes.  Measure what I normally don't measure.

So, want more actual recipes?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy comfort food

So, I showed a picture the other day of one of my easy meals.  Easy as in it took no time to make.  I was thinking about all my dishes, and for the most part, they are all easy.  Like the chicken fajitas.  They were time consuming, only in that I baked the chicken in the salsa instead of frying it up, and in the slicing of the peppers, but once it all came together, it took less than 10 minutes to get it to the table.

I do comfort food fast too.  I made one of our favorite meals yesterday, chicken and dumplings.  This is another of my really fast go to meals.  If you buy a rotisserie chicken, it goes really fast that way too, but I just chopped up some skinless boneless chicken breasts and cooked them in the broth. 

So, the basic recipe I use for chicken and dumplings is this.  8 cups of broth, or if you have no broth, 8 cups of water and enough chicken base to make it taste good, then add one bag of frozen mixed vegetables, the meat from 1 chicken, or 3-4 breasts, chopped up.  Let this come to a boil, and while it does, make your dumplings.  I use a recipe that takes a cup of milk, 1/4 cup of oil, 1 tbs baking powder, 1.5 cups of flour, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of sugar.  Now, this makes for a very bland dumpling.  So, I play with it.  I add parsley, for color, and then I usually put in a teaspoon or two of poultry seasoning, which I was out of today, and therefore it didn't get added.  One the soup is simmering, you drop the dumplings in, a teaspoonful at a time, until all the dough is in.  Then slap a lid on that baby and don't look for 20 minutes.  The steam and the boiling are what cooks the dumplings.  So, we had bland dumplings, which were still awesome, because they were dumplings in an awesome chicken soup.  Comfort food at its finest, easiest.  To make it even more carby, and comforting, we served this over mashed potatoes.  To make us even lamer in our quick easy dinner, we used boxed potatoes.  We didn't have any potatoes at home to make real mashed potatoes.

All in all, it was an awesome meal, quick to make, under an hour and we were eating.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chai cupcakes

I remade the chai cupcakes.  I made them non-vegan, and they tasted great, a little muffin like is what iw as told by one of my many tasters, but still really good.  I made a great swiss meringue butter cream, with hints of fresh cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in it.  It was really really good, and held up awesomely.



I am so excited about the idea of getting going, and cooking and selling it.  I still need to talk to the churches around here and see if any of them will rent out their kitchen, and then I need to put the money together to get all my licenses, and I need to get my name down as a business.  So no one else can.

Finals week is coming, so I might not write as much either.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Healthy dinner

Today we are having a fairly healthy dinner.  I just finished putting some frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts in the oven with some garlic lovers salsa.  Once it has cooked up, I am going to thin slice some mini sweet peppers and some onion, fry them together and toss in the chicken.

Now, so far it's healthy.  You can avoid the peppers and onions, and just chop up the chicken and serve with with rice.  You can keep the peppers and onions, and serve with rice.  You can make fajitas with it, which is what we did.

As I get the chicken out of the oven and cut up my peppers, I will take some pictures and share, especially of the cute little peppers I am cutting up.  Aiden won't eat it.  He will, however, eat a bean burrito, and I have no problem serving some refried beans with it.

Chicken cooked in Salsa
Min sweet peppers.  I had to fight Ciera to get enough for dinner, she was eating them like apples.
Cut up peppers
Peppers and onions
Using the cast iron skillet to get proper blackening. 
Diced the chicken, added some of the salsa it cooked in.
Completed fajita fillings
cheese, tortilla, fajita filling.  Yum!
I have a sour cream problem.  I like it too much.


Yesterday was a pretty healthy dinner, we had french fries, baked, and veggie burgers.  They weren't the veggie burgers that try to be meat, these try to be vegetables.  The kids loved them when we sampled them at Costco.  Once they weren't a sample, the kids wouldn't eat them.  Which sucks, because we picked them up instead of the pot stickers, which is what the kids have been clamoring for.

I try for healthy, but I really don't do so well at it.  I do easy, and quick, and tasty, and homestyle.  Like lunch.  We had a bacon and cheese impossible pie, which is so easy and so tasty, and isn't the healthiest, but it fed us, and pleased us.  Though I really really do need to get to making more healthy foods, since Bart's blood pressure isn't getting better.  Though I have been getting him to eat my 10 grain cereal with added flax with me in the morning.  And he gave up all his pop tarts, which was necessary.

Well, since this site is to watch me evolve, hopefully more healthy recipes will pop up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Healthy foods

I am so glad that I am not a popular blogger.  That I don't have page hits that rank up in the hundreds or more.  That I don't have people coming here, to tell me how I am doing it wrong.

I feel sorry for those who write for a living, who put out blogs that are meant to be humorous, and to put it out there that this is life, this is life if you have kids, and it's not perfect.  I read an article on The Stir today, by someone who's personal blog I read as well, and that's when I realized I am glad not to be her.  The article is here.

Did you go, did you read it?  Did you read the comments?  Did you realize that waffles are not snacks?

In our house, I would be happy if waffles worked as snacks.  That would be easy. 

I have one child who won't eat anything if it looks healthy.  Except shrimp.  And crab, he would live off those.  If it a veggie, no way.  Sometimes I can get a fruit in him.  And I remember, when he was little, bragging about how great he ate.  How he ate everything I put in front of him, how he wasn't picky.  Now it is mac and cheese, hot dogs, little smokies, chicken nuggets, ketchup.  I put food in front of him, and if it isn't on his approved list, he won't eat.  He will chose to go hungry instead.  Yet he is still my easy eater.

My daughter wants goldfish and ramen.  And potato chips.  And hummus.  And shrimp.  And avocado.  Mostly though, she won't touch a bite on her plate.  She only wants what on my plate.  And if I give her food off my plate onto her plate, its not good enough, it must be coming straight from my plate to her mouth.  Alos, she won't eat bread.  Or cereal.  I can't even make her a PB&J when I am feeling lazy.

I would not want anyone judging me on what my kids eat.  I know that tomorrow they will probably eat something different than they ate today.  Tonight I am making chicken fajitas.  And my daughter will eat everything but the tortilla.  And my son, none of it.  I will have to make refried beans so he can have a bean burrito, no cheese, no sour cream, and mom, where is the cole slaw.

Yet I have no fears that they will be great eaters as they get older.  I see the moms and other commenters who put people down for what their kids eat.  And I realize that for some reason, no one else seems to read the information that exists out there that says that kids will be picky.  It's almost a developmental milestone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Healthy vs Unhealthy

I made healthy muffins for Bart to take to school today.  They were made with oatmeal, so they had heart healthy ingredients.  We won't mention the butter or sugar or eggs in it, ok, we will just call it a healthy muffin.  And it was, in comparison to the black bottom cupcakes I made later in the morning after he went to school.

Healthy muffin
Healthy muffin has oatmeal in it.


I love black bottom cupcakes.  They are one of my all time favorite things to eat.  And I had never made them before.  I don't know why, but I thought it would be hard.  It wasn't.  It was amazingly easy.  The filling was sugar, cream cheese and eggs.  The chocolate part was flour, water, oil, cocoa powder, baking soda and vinegar.  Mix the chocolate part in one bowl, the cream cheese mixture in another.  Fill cupcake pan (with liners) with the chocolate mixture, then add a small amount of the cream cheese mixture to each cupcake.  The recipe says don't worry if this comes to the top of the liner, as it shouldn't rise, but mine rose, so I will fill them less next time.  Then bake and let cool then eat.  They aren't as good hot, they are actually kinda funky, but cold, I have eaten about 10 of the 24 I made.

What is left of my 24 black bottom cupcakes
See, kinda funky looking, who would guess these were so awesome.
Inside is cheesecakey goodness.  NOM!!


Bart came home from school, looked at them, and asked what the heck this funky looking cupcake was.  I told him to just eat it, and he did, and then he swooned.  Yes, my husband swooned, they are that good.  These are dangerous to have in the house.  Very very dangerous.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meatless Monday

We have decided as a family to implement Meatless Monday.  I had heard about it while doing some papers for my WR122 class, which was an awesome class, and we read "The Omnivore's Dilemma", and I made changes to our diet.  We stopped eating as much meat, I became more aware of where our meat was coming from, and realized that by cutting out some meat, we would be healthier and have a bit more money to spend on good quality meat.

So, today was the first day we were going to do Meatless Monday.  It, to be honest, hasn't been a big priority for me, and so it took me this long to figure, why not, lets go for it.  Especially since Bart's blood pressure is up so high, and because we both want to lose some weight.  Also, I don't know what the heck happened, but meat prices rose really high, and to get a package of hamburger at my grocery store, one of the buy in bulk and save 5 pound packages, was almost $30.  I cannot see spending $30 on hamburger, at least not of the supermarket variety.  It's cheaper at my local butcher shop, which is in the next town over, making it not so convenient.

Ok, so back to meatless Monday.  Game plan for the day was to have burritos tonight for dinner, but not cook up any taco meat, just use refried beans, cheese, cole slaw, and sour cream.  Yes, we are strange, we love coleslaw in our burritos, and even the kids love it.  It is a nice tangy crunch in the burrito.  So, anyhow, that was the game plan.

This morning we got up, I made 10-grain hot cereal for Bart and I, and then I went off for my iron transfusion.  It took them 4 pokes to get an IV working, which actually took an hour, and so I didn't get home until almost noon, even though I got there at 8am.  Bart made lunch.  Macaroni and cheese, pork and beans and hot dogs.  There went meatless Monday.  I was still on track at this point, since all I ate was the macaroni and cheese, since the iron had really really upset my stomach.  Then, without thinking, I grabbed about 5 slices of premium salami and ate it.  Now I was also a meatless Monday failure.

Dinner time came, and it was time for burritos.  I had a small amount of hamburger in the fridge, so I fried it up, added taco seasoning, and then a can of pinto beans that had been packaged in a spicy tomato sauce.  That way I didn't use as much meat as we usually do, and it added a nice texture quality.  Then I laughed as I was making the rest of the dinner, because whenever we have burritos, I buy refried beans that actually have lard in them.  I get them in the mexican food aisle at the store, and they aren't one of the normal brands, but are part of the section of more traditional foods.  I realized, however, that lard probably made me fail Meatless Monday anyhow.

Next week we should do better.  I have some vegetable burger patties in the freezer that they were sampling at Costco when we went, that the kids ate and thought were fantastic.  And they aren't trying to be hamburgers, or chicken, or anything but vegetables.  Just in a patty form.  They tasted good, and I hope that the kids eating them wasn't just a hey look, its a sample, thing.

Tomorrow I continue on my spicy kick, and make chicken fajitas.  I'll probably actually make chicken fajita quesadillas.  I bought these little mini peppers because Ciera loves to eat them like apples, and so whatever I had left after making the fajitas she could eat.

Tomorrow I am making oatmeal bread in muffin tins so that I can take some to play group, and send some with Bart to school.  I have 2 weeks of school left, and last week I was to turn in a observation paper observing a child aged 3-6.  I didn't get it done, what with the DR appointments, the iron transfusion, the ultrasounds, the ER visits, etc.  So, I'm turning it in late.  Which sucks, but I can't wait to be taking classes that will get me going with the culinary arts.  Which, not happening next term.  Next term is Beginning Business, Nutrition(kinda counts, right?) and world archeology.  And I am going to Disneyland next term.  I'm so glad that whole trip is paid for already.  We just have to have money saved for food, and we will put aside a chunk of our disbursement for that.

Off to bed.  Any recipes anyone would like me try to make?  And yes, this is a shameless way for me to try and get comments and see if anyone is reading.  :)

Baby shower cupcakes

The cupcakes for the baby shower were really good, and they seemed to go over really well. I made the chocolate chip cookie dough ones, the triple lemon ones, and angel food with a strawberry whipped cream. I also made a vegan chocolate with a chocolate strawberry icing, and a vegan chai tea. Everyone seemed to really like them.

Chai Tea Vegan
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Triple Lemon Cupcakes
Vegan Chocolate with Chocolate Strawberry Icing
Angel Food with Strawberry whipped cream
Chai Tea Vegan
Chocolate Vegan with strawberry chocolate buttercream
Angelfood with strawberry whipped cream
Triple Lemon Cupcakes
All Vegan
A mess of cupcakes
Chocolate Chip cookie dough cupcakes
Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes


This is going to be a short post with pictures, because I have an IV in my hand for my iron transfusion, and typing is actually uncomfortable.  Later, I will be posting on how we are starting Meatless Mondays at our house.  Which is a hard thing for me, because we always have a meat at dinner.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby shower

Tomorrow I am going to make cupcakes for a baby shower.  It's my cousin's girlfriend's baby shower.  What is sad about this though is that I found out through an open invite to the baby shower on FB, and I hadn't realized that my cousin was going to be a dad.  Yeah, can you tell we have a tight nit family?

While finding out about this baby shower, and planning on making cupcakes for it, there is a huge portion of my family who is going to be there as well.  And I found out that my cousin's two brothers, my other cousins, all have little ones, and one even has a little on on the way as well as another little one. 

Yup, my family is really really close. 

My family used to be close, once upon a time.  Before my grandparents died.  They were what held us together as a family, and without them, we dispersed.  There were bridges burned at one point, and then they were mended.  Feelings get hurt often, and in this family, crazy is the normal, not the abnormal.  So it's not surprising that I had no clue about my cousins.

The saddest part about not knowing about the baby shower I am going to tomorrow is the fact that it is here, in the little town I live in.  And I do live in a little town.  One where everyone knows everyone else.  And I have lived here, with family here, for 5 years now.  And we have seen each other twice in that time.  Once at a family reunion I planned when I first moved back, and then at one of my cousin's weddings, where Aiden was the ring bearer. 

I need to make more of an effort.  I really am a family oriented person.  I want family.  I create my own family, but I would love to try to be family with those I am blood related to as well.  Skeletons in the closet be damned, I want my family back.

So, enough of the non-happy stuff, tomorrow I will be baking.  I will be up early, making angel food cupcakes with a strawberry whipped cream, chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes, triple lemon cupcakes, and vegan chocolate cupcakes and vegan chai tea cupcakes.

I will post pictures.  I will enjoy myself.  I got some new piping tips, so that should make it so much more fun too.  So, until tomorrow.

*oh, and yesterday, it sucked.  I started my morning with an abdominal ultrasound, which showed nothing to be causing the pain, but I do have an accessory spleen, then ended up in the ER later in the evening, they worried about it being a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism, I ended up on oxygen, was given aspirin, was wired up, given fluid and pain meds, and had a CT scan.  They still know nothing, but think it's an ulcer.  I'm supposed to talk to the gastro dr on monday.*

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let them eat cake

I am having some extreme pain.  It looks like a bile duct stone.  Which I think I mentioned last post.  so, I was told to cut fat out for a little while to make me not be in as much pain.  Which makes cupcakes out of the picture, right?

Nope.  I made angel food cupcakes.  They were awesome.

i had a better post in my head, but the painpills I just took to take away some of the pain is kicking in.  I go in for my ultrasound in less than 12 hours. 

*Oh and dinner was a failure tonight, ans I hadn't even taken a pain pill.  So I am so glad that the cupcakes turned out, so everything was not a failure.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Date and Walnut muffins

I bought a bag of chopped dates last month.  And I forgot about them.  My original thought was to make sticky toffee pudding with them.  Do you remember when Hagan Daas had that contest for people to help make the next flavor for their ice cream, and the winner was the sticky toffee pudding?  No?  Well, I do, and that ice cream was amazing, so I wanted to make the main portion, the sticky toffee pudding and see what it was like.  But I never had dates.  Now I did.  But...  I didn't have any of the other ingredients to make it.  So I started eating the dates out of the package.

I didn't want to eat an entire package of dates though.  Bart was sad that he got the muffins cold that I made yesterday, so I got up early and made Date Walnut muffins.  And it was good.  I forgot to take pictures though.  I have eaten them all up.  They were awesome hot, and are still good cold.  My kids have eaten them.

I now need to buy dates again to make sticky toffee pudding.  I will be taking the recipe shopping with me, that way I make sure I have all the ingredients.  My mom really wants me to make it, and she will be here in a couple of weeks.

So, I will make it.

So, found out today I may have a bile duct stone.  I'm in pain.  Yet, I am still cooking.  I refuse to let pain knock me down anymore.

Oh, and one last thing.  Happy Birthday Doctor Seuss.

Open can, add butter

So, the other day I posted a simple, anyone could do it, anyone could figure it out recipe.  Open english muffins, add sauce and cheese and pepperoni and bake.  It was not really meant as a how to, or anything, but more, this is what I do when I am too lazy to cook.

Sadly, apparently some people need those kinds of directions to cook.  Food Network has a recipe from Paula Deen that I think even the simplest person could figure out, without a recipe.  The comments, which are over the 250 mark, are absolutely hilarious to read.

It did, however, make me think of some of my own recipes, and made me wonder, do I sometimes give out instructions that would make a normal person say, well duh?  I mean, not on here, because I haven't really shared recipes, though if I got an indication that people wanted them, I would, but in real life, am I making people feel like I am talking down to them by giving them inane recipes.  Like, how to make a bowl of cereal.  Add cereal to bowl, then add milk, eat before it gets soggy.

May I never be that bad.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blueberry muffins

When your children wake you up at ungodly hours, sometimes there is just one thing to do, and that is bake blueberry muffins.  Actually, because my kids got up at ungodly hours, I am up and showered and motivated to take Ciera to playgroup, and figured, why not take blueberry muffins to playgroup.  They may or may not go well, they aren't an overly sweet muffin.  Most of the moms who show up to this playgroup tend to be on a health kick, so I figured a less sweet muffin would be good, plus I used greek yogurt instead of milk (I didn't have milk, haha).  I topped it with a lemon streusel top.  I also made 48.  I was trying to make the recipe make 24, but I guess my math was way off.  This is why I am failing at math.  Oh well, hope everyone enjoys these.