Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Still Kickin'...

Dear Friends,

How I have missed you. Don't think I've forgotten you, nay, I have been thinking of you everyday. The problem is this...

Unpacking a plethora of boxes with rampant children, who need my undying attention and a HORRIBLE Internet connection, makes for a very bad blogging environment.

I'm am feverishly typing right now and praying this will get published as I am in fear that my connection will go out. Please know, I have a running list of "to do" posts on my fridge door and a mind that won't stop running regardless of my current situation.

I've been on a soup kick because the temperature is like, one, here. Major switch from Houston. But I love it because it is home.

Christmas was good. I hope you all enjoyed yours. Here are a few pictures to catch you up.

SNOW on Christmas Eve!

One of Boo's special ornaments.

How to make the perfect snowball.

That's my Tiny eating one of my special Molasses Sugar Cookies.

A hat, though on backwards and completely useless against the cold, is still supremely cute on my little Bubba.

Papa and Grandmas reading a special story to the kids on Christmas Eve.


Love Ya, Foodies!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Got Some 'Splain-en To Do

So first off, I hope you won't be let down by my less than exciting explanation of where I've been, because you all had MUCH more creative ideas than what was actually happening. I mean, a chess game or cracker factory? Brilliant.

Drum roll please...There were a few of you who hit the nail on the head, as it were. MOVING. In no particular order, here are the fabulous peeps who guessed what I was doing...

Lorraine at A Multi-Dimensional Life
Mariko at The Little Foodie
Jamie at Mangiabella

If you haven't visited them, they are all really fabulous ladies with amazing blogs.

Add to the boxes, rolls and rolls of tape, overflowing boxes of bubble wrap, and loads of packing paper. Mixed with children in transition, cardboard cuts (the long, distant, evil cousin of paper cuts), and one stressed mommy equals family fun!

Where are we moving you ask? Down the street? Over the river? No. The Hubs accepted an offer for a new job in my home town and our new house is just a hop, skip and jump away from my overly excited parents. I haven't lived at home, Kansas City, for 10 years now. I am so happy to be home, regardless of the wonky-out-of-whack-feelings I have. We are currently bunking with my parents until our stuff gets here, tomorrow. I can't wait to move into our new place.

To share a bit of our insane journey from Houston to K.C., I have created a little montage for you. What we saw, what to avoid and what landed like a bomb in my stomach.

that pretty much sums up the trip...

poor kid

this was pretty much the extent of our diet - a total belly bomb.


what every foodie needs on a road trip...Food and Wine and some fiber bars, just to keep everything, you know, regular.

boredom at its peak.

what to avoid.

what we were listening to

what the kids were watching...if Barney made you sick before, just try 2 days straight in an enclosed vehicle. Barf.

Here's some nice cows, right? Look a little closer...

this is a zoom in of the picture above. A Fed-Ex anarchy van in a cow field? I have nothing to say about that.

Love Ya, Foodies!

Thanks for hanging around for me. Now, let me get situated in the house and I'll whip up something delish.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Going Dark

Maybe I've watched to many action movies or been intrigued by night vision goggles for far too long, but now is the perfect time to "go dark" with my blog, as in, I will be "off the grid" for a while. Not goth or creepy. What could be detouring my attention? What could make me so busy that I couldn't spend time on the blog? What could have this mommy so stressed out?
Let's make a game out of it, shall we?

I want you to put your guesses in the comment boxes below, of what you think is keeping me from traditional blogging the next two weeks. Sorry, no prizes, for I do not have time for them. But who ever guesses right, will get their name and blog in giant letters in a post. The following posts have yet to be determined, but think outside the box.

I will give you a hint:

I'm surrounded by squares.

Now go!!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Julia Would Approve (Biscuits and Chowda)

Before we start, we must talk about this bowl. I found myself wondering if it was an ash tray or an artistic expression of a coconut husk. It was one of my mom's flea market finds. Thanks, Mom!

We talk about Julia a lot, do we not? Many of us grew up watching and listening to her warble her way through French technique but not without a relaxed “what the hell” attitude. I truly adored how messy she was.

I pick up her biography, Appetite for Life written by Noel Riley Fitch, every so often and randomly open it up to a new place. I’ve never done that with a book before, but I guess it’s because any where you read in this book, you will find something fascinating. It’s a joy to read.

Early on in the book they talk about her childhood (duh) and peppered in among people’s descriptions of her growing up -and her delightful shenanigans- are recipes. One of them is her mother’s Buttermilk Herb Baking Powder Biscuits.

This recipe stood out to me for it’s simplicity and that it was dear to her heart. Her mother was supposedly not a very good cook and when asked about her mother’s cooking this was the recipe she gave a newspaper to print.

Well, if Julia liked them, I knew I would like them too. But there was a problem.

I didn’t have half the ingredients. Oh, and I was lazy, which caused me to not want to walk outside and snip a few sprigs of whatever herbs were left in my dying garden.

So we ended up with plain biscuits.

And then I didn’t have vegetable shortening, I only had butter. Darn.

And I didn’t have buttermilk, so I winged it and added some vinegar to regular milk.

My son can’t eat eggs, so I left those out.

You’re probably thinking, “This sounds like a flop”. Oh contraire, Dear Ones, they were simply heavenly. Best biscuits I’ve ever made, which isn’t saying a lot because my biscuits are generally like bricks or out of a can, soooo….

They truly were delish. I wanted to pad my bra with their fluffy goodness, powder my face with one of its million flaky layers, or simply crack one open and rub its buttery goodness on my elbows. Bizarre? Who cares.

What did I serve these with, you say? How ‘bout some chowda’? (I watch The Perfect Storm last night and I can still hear Clooney, with his dreamy, husky voice, going on about longitudes and latitudes in a Boston accent.)

How about some, the-clams-are-too-damn-expensive-so-I-had-to-buy-fish-chowder? Divine.

I think I actually liked the fish, (I used rockfish, a deep sea type of red snapper), better than clams. It was so tender and flakey…kinda like the biscuits- sorry, but I can’t get over the triumph that was the biscuits. I don't think Julia would mind that I totally changed the recipe. I mean, I'm sure she improvised many times. I felt her approval as the dough stuck to my cookie cutter and I flung flour across the counter and onto the floor.

So here’s the deal. I’m going to give you Julia’s mother’s recipe but in bold I will put my changes AND I will give you my original recipe for my fish chowda. And if you call right now, you will get a forever lazy snuggy free!…just kidding, sorry. I mean, seriously, who wears that? With the zipper in the back? Really?

Buttermilk Herb Baking Powder Biscuits

Julia Child’s mother’s recipe from Appetite for Life.

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

4 tsp. double-acting baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

8 tbsp. chilled vegetable shortening (I used butter)

4 tbsp. fresh minced chives (did not use)

4 tbsp. fresh minced parsley (did not use)

2 eggs (did not use)

1 ½ cups buttermilk (I used milk with 2 tbsp. vinegar added)

Cut shortening (or butter) into dry ingredients, until it is in small pieces, stir in herbs. Mix together all wet ingredients (it says in the book that many Yankee homes did not use the eggs) and briefly mix into dry ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Turn onto surface and knead (I barely kneaded it, for fear of my classic brick-style biscuits) and pat to ½ inch thick. Cut into rounds (make sure you flour your cutter) and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Amazing.

Foodie House Fish Chowda

original recipe

(I don’t really measure much, so this is my eyeballed version. I’d say by eyeballs are 95% accurate)

½ sweet onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

3-4 sliced uncured bacon, diced

3 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. “Better Than Boullion” organic chicken base

4 cups chicken stock (or fish stock)

1 cup cream

2 med. organic russet potatoes, diced

1 cup frozen organic sweet corn

1-1 ¼ lbs. rockfish or snapper, cut into bite-size pieces (use what you like, really)

salt and pepper to taste

Render your bacon in a heavy bottom pot. Leave the drippings. Put in onion, carrot and celery. Cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add butter and let it melt. Sprinkle flour over veg and bacon and stir in. This is the roux. Cook this mixture together for about another 5 minutes.

Add chicken stock, bullion and cream. Let this cook for a good 10 minutes. You want to see the stock thicken. Stir quite often.

Add your potatoes and corn and let cook until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Taste the soup for seasoning, as the potatoes tend to absorb the salt. Ten to fifteen minutes before you serve the soup, gently simmer the fish pieces in the soup. It’s very important you do not over cook the fish.

Serve with the luscious biscuits…if you’re feeling healthy (which you won’t if you make this meal) eat a salad.

Love ya, Foodies!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

She Saga: Pants and Cheap Wine

She stumbled into the kitchen and flipped on the light switch. Her sensitive blue eyes squinted hard as the light overwhelmed them. With one eye open, she scooted across the cold tile floor to her "finish line"- the coffee maker. She robotically measured out enough coffee for an extra large cup of the caffeine-infused stuff. She pressed the "on" button and walked back to her room hugging herself to keep warm. With her feet officially freezing, she jumped back into bed to toast while the coffee made it's gurgling and sputtering sounds- sounds that equalled her other eye opening up for the rest of the day.

Not wanting to leave the warmth of her bed, she delayed her coffee-retrieval until she was desperate- about a half an hour later. She dug out her favorite cup from the dishwasher of clean dishes. She poured the piping hot brew, then added sugar and creamer. She took a sip to taste it.

She returned to her cozy bed to imbibe her coffee and work on emails. Before she knew it, it was time to get the kids up.

She tossed her laptop off her lap, slid out of her bed and put on her hot pink, velour sweatpants. She took a final sip of her now lukewarm coffee- a last ditch effort to perk up her sluggish disposition.
She clunked up the two flights of stairs like a grizzly bear who had just awoken from a long winter's nap. Why am I so tired today? she wondered, but because of her lethargic mind, her thought disapated.

She cracked open the door to her daughter's room and was greeted by her chirpy, little voice. "Happy Tuesday, Mommy!" Her little Boo said the same thing everyday. She had a 1 in 7 chance of getting it right. Today just happened to be Tuesday. She yawned back, "Happy Tuesday, baby." She kissed her little, independent lady on her warm, sheet-wrinkled face.

She walked over to door number two, all the while trying to adjust her hot pink, I've-completely-given-up pants, because they felt strange and tight in the crotchal region. She never bothered to look at them, because it required too much thought and energy to gaze downward.

She was greeted at door number two, by her bouncing, oldest son, who had just peeled off his p.j.'s and was running around in his diaper with his feet still in the footie part of the footie pajamas. He ran towards her with his arms open-wide. He hugged her legs, without answering why he was half-naked. She hugged him back, while kissing the black curls on top of his head.

At door number three, she was greeted by her happily squealing, one year old. Her youngest always hugged her, while pressing his protruding teeth into her shoulder. She loved the way it felt. It was his special little hug. His diaper was soaked and he smelled like urine. Off to the tub with his siblings.

With the children bathed and fresh, they caravaned down the stairs for breakfast. The two oldest let the elderly, family dog outside while tossing treats out of his line of sight. Then they throned themselves on their booster seats to wait for one of two choices: cereal or oatmeal.

She asked them to wait patiently while she ran to the bathroom. Her coffee was now in her bladder. She sat down on the toilet. While she waited, her eyes met with her pants. Staring up at her was the back pocket of her hot pink lounge wear. That's why the crotch on my pants felt so weird! She felt a giggle bubbling up inside of her. It rushed to and out her mouth as she thought about how funny it was. She mused at the fact that she was no different from her children, who occasionally got shoes on the wrong feet, underwear on backwards or t-shirt inside out. She sat on the toilet for 30 seconds simply to laugh. It became so funny to her and why? She had no idea. It certainly wasn't THAT funny, but she continued to laugh anyways feeling as though she must need it- some sort of strange cleansing.

As her laughter died down and the impatient squawkings of her hungry children arose, it dawned on her that she drank two glasses of wine the night before, which was very uncustomary for her. Mainly for the reason that it always made her groggy the next day, hence her backwards pants. Mothering in a cloud was not her idea of fun. With the coffee finally kicking in and bladder empty, she exited the bathroom with a big smile on her face and her pants facing the right direction.

Okay, so the above was based on actual events and this wine.

I'm not going to call this a wine review ('cause it's not), but more like a wine deal alert. This Three Wishes Chardonnay is very inexpensive and pretty darn tasty. At our Whole Foods Market, it's selling for $2.99 a bottle and $33 for a case! If you're doing some big holiday entertaining, this is the way to go. I think your guests would enjoy it and it would pair nicely with just about anything. I mean at that price, who really cares? It also works well for parents who are on a budget but still like to get tipsy on a decent wine, ehmm.

Love ya, Foodies.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Everything's Lame But The Tart

I had a total lame-o mommy day, today (this was actually yesterday). Some mornings you wake up and just don't feel like being a mom. You want a vacation, a break, a massage...a margarita.

That wasn't happening, so I schlepped the kids to Target, our go-to place for fun and excitement! See told ya, I was lame.

Normally, I attack a Target shopping errand like Lara Croft would attack a mission to retrieve a highly-prized, ridiculously expensive artifact from some ancient Chinese culture- quick, with strategy and armed...with snacks. Today? Well, I didn't  really bother. Not with the diaper bag or even a smidge of make-up. Sports bra? check. Frumpy tank top? (yes, we are still wearing tank tops here in jungle steamy Houston) Check. Helping to support the stay-at-home-don't-give-a-crap mom stereo-type? Check. Hmmm...The Real Housewives ain't got nothin' on me. Okay, maybe I do need a wig and a glass of chardonnay with a couple ice cubes in it.

Back to the actual story and then, yes, THEN a recipe. I've yet to figure out how I'm going to segway into that.

It was just one of those days where I didn't care if we walked around Target for hours. Normally, I can get in and out in 20 minutes, with 3 kids. I mean, that's pretty good. Well, that's if they hang on the sides of the cart, which I normally make them do, so I can go faster. Lara Croft would totally approve of fast and unsafe strategies.

I let the kids get ONE stupid, made-in-china, possibly-lethal-paint-coated-toy each. Normally, I whiz right by. If you act like your in a big, serious hurry, you can usually get by that crap-toy trap without a peep. Not today. Because I was in slow-mo and didn't give a flyin' fig, I let them dive-in, head first.

For some reason, ONE toy is a very difficult concept for three year-olds to understand. They must have thought I said, "One ARMFUL each."

Then we get to the Christmas aisle. Oh Lord. I get giddy and have to touch everything just like they do. That led us to the Christmas music CD display with the touch pad where you can sample the CDs before you buy them. Like I said before, if this was a mission-kind-of-day, I would speed by without even a thought of "sampling", but today I parked the cart right in front of it and let the kids push the buttons into oblivion.

I was not surprised that the Mickey Mouse Christmas Special Extravaganza Musical Music Blowout Disney Supercalifragilistic Best of the Season Special Album got the most attention and I was equally not surprised that I wanted to bash my head into the shopping cart handle to find relief from Mickey's incredibly annoying, someone's-squeezing-his-nether-regional-area voice.

The children? Well, they were in "mousie" heaven. Boo was galloping around in circles claiming Goofy was singing a "cowboy" song, while Bubba acted as operational engineer of this button-pushing carousel of holiday hell.

I guess, it really wasn't that bad. I was actually enjoying every minute of it. I loved that Boo thought "Jingle Bells" was a country song and Tiny was clapping randomly and squealing as he watched his sister do her awkward dance. We stood there for a good 10 minutes, wearing down that display and most likely scaring away anyone who was mildly interested in a Crooner's Christmas with 'Ol Blue Eyes.

I am really thankful for my kids. I'm really thankful I am a mom. I'm so thankful for those silly moments that I can take and tuck away into my heart. I guess it wasn't so lame afterall, more like pretty much perfect- except for the fact that I still looked like the poster-child for Help A Fashion-Challenged Mom Foundation.

Alright. Are you ready for a recipe? If you're not, I'm going to start talking about poop diapers...


This recipe was going to be for the Challenge 8 of PFB. It turned out really well. I've never made any kind of tart tatin before. I took Rachel Allen's recipe for Apple Tart Tatin and substituted fresh pumpkin for the apple, came up with a brown butter rum ice cream on the fly and topped it all off with salty, crunchy pumpkin seeds. It totally satisfied my love of salty-sweet.

So with summer garb and non-autumnal weather outside, I was trying to usher the chilly air with this little number. I hope you enjoy.

Git yer pumpkin. (don't ask.)

Slice off the top...

take off its jacket.

scoop out the seeds and reserve.

rinse and dry really well.

cut pumpkin into slices

I used a cookie cutter for the centerpiece.

practice your slices in the pan to make sure they fit.

my addition: spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger.

Toss with your pumpkin pieces.

until they are well coated.

roll out and cut pie crust to size. (if in a pinch you could use a pre-made pie crust pastry)

make your caramel...so fun and kinda scary.

cook your pumpkin in the caramel and top with crust.

bake until golden and pumpkin tender.

gaze at its beauty...

take your toasted pumpkin seeds
 (and shove it...just kidding. Any time I hear some one say, "Take your..." I want to say, "and shove it.")

and top your slice of pumpkin tart tatin, along with some brown butter rum ice cream.

really difficult part...eating.

Pumpkin Tart Tatin
adapted from Rachel Allen's Apple Tart Tatin Recipe

I'm going to leave the recipe as is, in case you want to make it with apples and I will put my changes in bold.

200 g (1 1/2 cups) plain flour, sifted

1 pinches salt

100 g (7 tbsp.) butter, chilled and cubed

2 tbsp soured cream, or crème fraîche

For the filling

Approx. 3/4 of a small pumpkin, peeled and cut into slices or 4 eating apples, GrannySmith or Golden Delicious; if using a small variety, such as Cox’s Orange Pippin, you will need about 6 apples

1/2 tsp. EACH cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove ( if you like you can add these spices to a apple tart too)
125 g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar

100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) water

25 g (2 tbsp.) butter

1 egg, beaten


1. For the sour cream shortcrust pastry: place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz briefly. Add half the sour cream and continue to whiz. You might add a little more sour cream, but not too much as the mixture should be just moist enough to come together. If making by hand, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs then, using your hands, add just enough sour cream to bring it together.

2. With your hands, flatten out the ball of dough until it is about 2cm thick, then wrap in cling film or place in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or, if you are pushed for time, in the freezer for 10–15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400 degrees F)

4. For the filling: prepare the apples, by peeling them with a peeler to keep them in a nice rounded shape, then cut into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter and set aside. Don’t worry if they go brown, and don’t cover in water or they will be too wet. (Toss pumpkin pieces in spices)

5. Place the sugar and water in a medium-sized ovenproof saucepan set over a low–medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
(follow the recipe as is, substituting pumpkin for apple)
6. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until it starts to caramelise around the edges – about 5 minutes. Do not stir once it has come to the boil otherwise the syrup will crystallise. Once the syrup starts to turn golden, you may need to swirl the pan slightly to even out the caramelisation.

7. Once the syrup is a golden caramel in colour, add the butter and swirl the pan again to distribute it through the caramel.

8. Remove the pan from the heat, and place the apple quarters in a concentric circle around the outside and any remaining pieces in the centre, keeping in mind that the tart will be flipped over when serving. The apples must completely cover the base of the pan; you may need an extra apple!

9. Place the pan back over a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes to slightly caramelise the apples, while you roll out the pastry.

10. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to a disc about 2cm wider in diameter than the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and place the pastry on top of the almost cooked apples. Using the base of a spoon or a fork, tuck the pastry in around the edges of the apples. Brush the pastry with beaten egg then, using a skewer or fork, prick a few holes in the pastry.

11. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the apples feel cooked when you insert a skewer through the centre.

12. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for just a few minutes before placing a plate on top of the pan and carefully (it is hot!) but quickly flipping it out. Use a plate with a slight lip to catch the delicious juices. Cut into slices to serve. Serve with ice cream and pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from one pumpkin

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse and dry pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Spread evenly on baking sheet and bake until fragrant and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Just try and stop yourself from eating all of them before the tart is finished.

Brown Butter Rum Ice Cream

2 tbsp. butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. dark rum

In a heavy pan melt butter and let it get golden brown and fragrant. Add milk and cream. Let it come to simmer. Meanwhile beat eggs and sugar with a fork, until creamy and lighter in color. Add a bit of the hot milk to the eggs to temper them. Then add the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir over med-low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.

Add vanilla and rum off heat. chill in fridge until cold or in an ice bath. Follow your ice cream makers instructions.

Happy Thanksgiving, Foodies!

P.s. Thank you for all your really, really sweet comments on my "Dumped" post. I cannot tell you how warm and fuzzy it makes me. I'm super thankful for you, my readers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dumped..PFB Style

I was flushed, chopped, aced, sacked, dumped, let go- however you like to say it, along with a few other fabulous bloggers in Project Food Blog 2010, Challenge #7. I've had some time to lick my wounds and there's three response options I have to choose from: one, be mad and bitter; two, take it on the chin with a smile or three, make myself a chocolate milkshake and cry in it. I did the last one. And it tasted good.

The challenges themselves were one of my favorite things of the entire contest. Normally I would tell you that I love being able to blog about whatever I want, whenever I want, BUT having perimeters put on how and when you blog creates a pressure cooker of creative madness. I love those boundaries because it gets the juices flowing and makes me uncomfortable, thus, building my confidence as I try new things- even if those things don't always turn out perfect.

Along with the personal challenges and creative bursts I loved gaining new readers and in turn, finding so many new blogs to visit! I was overwhelmed by the creativity and skills of all the contestants and greatly touched by the comments and well-wishes from so many readers. If anything, this contest gave my still-infant blog a great boost.

I learned that I can make a petit four with much perseverance; work the eighties hair while eating out of my Project Food Blog cooler; make a sandwich into a pizza with a romantic narrative garnish; I could cook things I never imagined- i.e. liver- and learn what I thought I already knew...I don't like it; have one of the best birthdays ever and record it in a post; and finally, put my real-life chocolate emergency into a video with bad British accents and a schmear of chocolate on my face.

Thank you for all your love and support. Couldn't have done it without you.

Love ya, Foodies!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today (which was really yesterday)...

~ I realized my wonky, hand-crafted, crotchet key cozy is not going to work, despite my craftsmanship.

~I finally, inwardly, agreed with my husband that it's embarrassing and stupid-looking. It looks like a granny square ate my car key.

~I also remembered that it was the same husband that bought a clunky, dumpy mini-van with a ONE car key which happened to be BROKEN, as in, no way to attach it to a keyring. I'm going to make him wear the discarded key holder as an ear warmer.

~Because of my haphazard-ish house-keeping, I discovered that if my bra rests on top of my computer charger, it will warm it up for me before I put it on. I think I should call Sky Mall.

~I could not stop laughing at my daughter's comedic timing that is emerging from her three-year old mouth. She now makes a funny statement, pauses and then says, "wah-wah".  (have no idea where she got that.) So, it went a little something like this: "The Pillow-Pet farted!" (blaming someone's flatulence on her bumble bee plush) Pause. "Wah-wah!" I, of course, bust out laughing, which further encourages it. Yes, I let my kids say, "fart".

~My hairdryer died. I knew something was up when it sounded like a 747 warming up and smelled like burnt hair.

~I've decided to indulge in reading my new Food and Wine magazine, while Gordon Ramsey bleeps his way through an hour of Kitchen Nightmares. Told ya. BBC America, baby. I don't know why I love Gordon so.

Actually, naptime is running out. I've spent most my time doing this post. Tomorrow will have to be Food and Wine time.

Hope you enjoyed this pointless and possibly TMI post. Sorry about the pictures being lame.

Love ya, Foodies.

Um...So I thought I would end it right here, but I was just greeted with the most amusing thing. Amusing in the sense, that I do not understand how a 16 month-old can be so in-tune with removing articles of clothing.

I heard my youngest up in his room crying. I thought maybe it was a lost paci or teething issues. No. Buck-naked with strewn poop diaper and random, rolling turds under his bare feet and on the floor. Only one snap was undone on his sleeper. Just one! And he was able to squirm out of it and pee all over the bed. Half-giggling and half crying, he bobs up and down in his crib with his pale-white adorable bum. I just laughed and laughed as I picked up the poop and wiped off the heels of his feet, back of his knees and under his finger nails. This may sound weird, but these are the days I wish he would never grow up. He's so damn adorable...poop and all.

Apologies that this was more a "mommy" post than a "foodie" post. Poop is so much apart of my daily life and I find it so hilarious that I must share. I guess it would be no surprise to you that Dumb and Dumber is one of my all-time favorite movies...yes, that scene.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Morning Brick

I don't know about you, but when I hear "Morning Brick" I think of something...get ready for it, I'm going to be unpleasant...something you "drop" in your toilet after your a.m. coffee, but this is the contrary, it's something you eat. Hmmm. This isn't coming across quite the way I planned, but I'm half-awake and have to finish this post before the kids get up, so no time for editing. This is unrated, folks. Alright, that was about it. Actually, nothing too exciting. You can tell I'm a mom. I will say, I do tend to have the humor of an 8 year-old boy at times.

So! What's a Morning Brick, other than what I've described above? (and if this is your first time visiting this blog, please, please don't think I start all my posts this way.) It's my version of protein bar, or Clif bar or energy bar or some sort of protein/carby health bar that will get you going in the morning (oh my gosh, not another pun. Okay, didn't mean that.)

It all started when I was getting tired of being shaky in the morning after drinking my coffee on an empty stomach. I noticed that if I ate a protein bar first, I would not feel bad. So I started buying Clif bars every week. When on sale, they are a dollar a piece, when they are not, it's more like $1.50. Take that times 7 and your looking at quite a hefty price for just some nuts, fruits and oatmeal, which is only 30% organic. GASP! I then became determined to make my own out of what I had in the pantry. Mine end up being, oh I don't know, maybe 60-70% organic. Better and cheaper.

Since I love chocolate and peanut butter, I grabbed those (not chocolate chips- cocoa powder and unsweetened peanut butter) and some old-fashioned oats. Started adding agave for the sweetener, flax seed just 'cuz, and started mixing. First batch was too cocoa-y. It was like chalk. But the second time it was better. Six tries later, I think I actually have good base, for which many other flavors could start.

Morning Brick- A Foodie House Original

Makes 6-8 hefty bars depending on what pan you use to form them

2 c. organic, old fashioned oats
1/2 c. organic peanut butter, unsweetened
1 tsp. organic vanilla
1/4 c. cocoa
1/3 c. organic agave nectar
2/3 c. your favorite protein powder (I use whey)
2 tbsp. flax seed meal
1/4 c. hot water, plus a tbsp. more (but reserve for the end)

Mix together peanut butter, vanilla, cocoa, agave, protein, flax seed meal, 1/4 c. hot water. A nice paste will form. Add oats and mix really well. It will be dry and crumbly (you can do this in your mixer if you want). You want it to be in big crumbles, not tiny uber dry ones. If it's too dry add that tbsp of water. If it gets too wet it will be hard to form but still taste good.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Put mixture in and using parchment flaps, press mixture down into pan. Take a second loaf pan and press down on top of the mixture to make a solid "brick". Let it firm up in frig for at least an hour (or overnight) before cutting with a very sharp knife.

Oh, guess what? Voting starts today! So, if you liked my Emergency Cake Video for the Project Food Blog contest...


Thank you so much for your support!
Love ya, Foodies!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

PFB Challenge #7: Emergency Cake Video

It was an emergency...where I just happened to be wearing false eyelashes.


With each challenge we get stretched in a new way...and I am loving it! This challenge #7 for Project Food Blog: Video 411, tapped into my long-time desire to have my own cooking show. Since I was a little girl, I've practiced having a cooking show in the kitchen with my mom. Together we came up with skits and characters to show off our cooking chops, all done with tons of laughter and plenty of good memories.

My heart is to show you that cooking always has a story behind it. I love bringing that story to life in a fun, dare I say, campy manner, but not without plenty of how-to information and accessible, drool-worthy recipes.

Every bit of this video was done by me and me alone. Seeing how naptime (once again) is my only time to do blog stuff, it was me, the camera, my imagination and some editing software. If I waited for the Hubs to come home to film for me, it would be too late in the evening, resulting in bad lighting, too much giggling and not enough baking.

The original post for Emergency Cake was done out of a real-life chocolate craving emergency. Nothing would satisfy my craving except for a freshly-baked, dark chocolate-drenched, slightly warm, slice of the moistest, richest, easiest cake ever. Go from mixing to your mouth in just over an hour- well, that's faster than most chocolate cake-toting ambulances.

As I went around and around with ideas for this challenge, what I continued to come back to is one, BE MYSELF and two, make a recipe I dearly love. So that's what I did.
Enjoy the show.

Emergency Cake
(click HERE to see the original post)
adapted from Divvies Chocolate cupcake recipe
Oven: 350 degrees
Makes 6 servings

1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 cake pan with parchment and spray with pan release; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or just use a whisk, works just fine), mix together oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water until well combined. Add flour mixture to the mixer and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Batter should look and feel more watery than normal cake batters.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Transfer to oven and bake for 35-37 minutes. Cake is done when the center bounces back when gently pressed.  

Let cool 10 minutes in pan then invert to serving plate or wire rack to cool completely...but if it's an emergency, you can eat it warm. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you are pouring warm ganache over the top.

(Honestly, who uses a fork in an emergency?)

To cut it into 6 snack-size pieces, simply cut the cake into thirds then in half. Pour ganache over each slice individually. Serve or cram.


1 cup heavy cream, brought just to a boil
1 cup good quality chocolate of you choice (I prefer 60% cacao)

Pour chocolate into hot cream. Whisk until well combined and glossy. Use immediately or let it stand for 15 minutes for a thicker topping. Pour over cake, one slice at a time or over entire cake- your choice.

Thank you so much, Foodies for taking time to watch my video! Voting for this post will begin on Monday the 15th. I will send out a reminder post for you!

I appreciate your support through this entire contest. Your kind words and comments have kept me going and enjoying it all the more. You've gotten me to this challenge, let's continue on to Challenge #8! I've got something delish for you that is pumpkin-licious!

Love ya, Foodies!!
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