This is my cookcabulary


Happy Halloween

Mu-ah-ah-ah-ah-ha!

Did you vote?! You should! I want to know what peeps are up with for Halloween 2K9! Were headed to a friend’s house after we wait for our neighbor girl to come over in her princess outfit! I think last year we had … 4 trick or treaters. FOUR! 

Ok, I just need to vent …

What happened to Halloween? Are people really that scared to take their children out into their own neighborhood in today’s world?!  I trick or treated from age 1-17. I am not kidding! We went every year.  The last 4-5 years we got a few “aren’t you too old to be out trick or treating”.

Um, no. 

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just MY neighborhood. Which, isnt FULL of children to begin with, but FOUR!? Really? And what about decorating.  Don’t people decorate their “stoops” anymore? Man, when we went out in our old neighborhood, back in the O-gon – there were some super awesome houses! Like the guy who would grab your hand if you took more than one piece of candy out of the bowl just sitting on the porch, or the garage-made scare house, or the creepers that would jump out form the bushes as you left. One year my mom had dry ice in a caldron, and blared the theme song of The Phantom’s Opera

Awesome right?! Oh man, it was loud and creepy!  Do people still do that? Because no one in my neighborhood does.  I do hope there is still some Halloween spirit out there.

And, in case you are wondering – I do have a cute little Halloween Ghost that hangs on my door for the holiday – thankyouverymuch.

I cant wait until we have kids and they are old enough that they can help make a scary house.  I can SO see Sam going all out …

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Chocolate Blueberry Muffins (and then some chocolate fun!)

We’re skipping the GF bars I made last night and talking about the muffins I made this afternoon! They were really fun.

The husband was off watching the Colt’s game (Go Horse) while I was left at home to do laundry and pick-up.  Really, I’m not complaining – he does his fair share! There’s just something about being confined in a bar/restaurant for an entire game, or more – watching football with guys.  At least when I’m at home I can hop on Facebook or check the weather.  There’s freedom at home.  When you’re at the bar – you are at the mercy of the men you are with. So, that is why I stayed home on this particular day and baked.  (Really that’s all I wanted to do anyway!)

I wanted something that wasn’t too sweet but had a satisfying taste to it – muffins were so the answer.  So get ready, I took a lot of pictures!

Today’s recipe is as follows:

Makes 12 (but i totally got like 22 out of this batter!)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 generous cup of blueberries, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted, to decorate

Start by pre-heating your oven to a balmy 375 degrees.  Grease 12 deep muffin tins/pans, or use paper liners.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium pan over medium to low heat, you dont want to sizzle the chocolate! Stir frequently until smooth

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When it is all melted together, remove from heat and cool slightly.

Stir in sugar, egg, buttermilk and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture.

Sugar first: DSCF7430

…then the wet ingredients:

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Then gently fold in the dry ingredients (flour and baking soda) Don’t worry about trying to get a smooth batter, you just want to incorporate everything – the lumpier the better.

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…and then gently fold in the blueberries.  You only need to stir the bowl with the berries like 4-5 times – just get the little guys in there!

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Now its time to get them in our tins! You can spoon them right in, but we all know what I did ….

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That utensil is hands-down my favorite right now. It’s so awesome! Perfect proportions EVERY time! :) Yay.

Alright, your oven’s warm, your muffins are ready – time to bake! Put them in for about 25-30 mins. But make sure to check them with a skewer or toothpick – mine were done at about 22 minutes! You don’t want to dry out these sweet morsels of greatness! You will want a small crumb left over on your toothpick/skewer when you check on ’em.

While your muffins are baking – its time to melt the chocolate. Although you want to time it perfectly so your chocolate is done when the muffins are. After you melt it, let it cool a bit so we can drizzle our muffins. 

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And I have a fun trick! Take a measuring cup and pop in a sandwich bag, like so:

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When you are ready to decorate the muffins, fill the bag with the chocolate, cut the top off, and you got-yo-self a pastry bag to pipe with! Make sure to cut a small hole, or you will have super huge chocolate streaks … which is what I did. But more chocolate is ok right? Before you start on the muffins, make sure you have taken them OUT of the tin, if you let them cool in the tin, they will get soggy.  So, after you’ve taken them out, have some fun!

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This picture is real bright, but here is one after I cut into it … ha – it’s after I BIT into it! :) You want to see lots of air pockets – this makes it yummy-er.

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And … if you have leftover chocolate in your bag, like I did – and don’t want to waste it, like I did … make some chocolate treats! Sam totally thought I was weird – but I don’t want the chocolate to go to waste!

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I want to melt chocolate all the time and see what else I come up with – that part was fun!

**I also intended to do some with Mitsch Design, my employer – but turns out I can’t spell and forgot to include the “C” in Mitsch. Ha … I wonder how many people saw that before I took the image down!?**

Have fun, let me know how they turn out!


Pork and Potatoes

Yesterday I made two treats – one for dinner, and one for dessert! :)  They both come from my new cookbooks and the first was a crock pot meal (yea, I already made something from 2 of the 3 books I bought Friday, ha). I’ll blog on the other one a little later! :)

The first is called Pork and Potatoes – hrm, that’s original.  But really, that’s all it is.  Here are the ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced (i had two small ones, really – its however much onion you want) 
  • 1 garlic clove (again, I keep minced garlic in the fridge – this worked fine)
  • 3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mixed herbs (i used italian seasoning)
  • 2 lb potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • 3 cups vegetables or chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper

So basically all you do is throw it all in the crock pot! But first, you need to heat the oil in a frying pan.

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Look at me taking pictures WHILE I’m pouring the EVOO. So crafty.  Anyway, when your oil gets hot, toss in the sliced onions and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent and softened.  Then add the garlic and mushroom and cook further 5 minutes until softened.  *I didn’t take a picture of this, I don’t know where my mind was!* Tip: Slice potatoes while this is all cooking

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When that is ready remove the pan from the heat and add your herbs.

Then all you need to do is put half the onion mixture in your crock pot, then layer half of the potatoes sliced and season with some S&P! Use a little of the butter to grease the bottom and sides – adds a little flavor to the bottom.

Then using a sharp knife, and good skills (we don’t need any trips to the ER people) trim as much fat as you can off the pork chops.  Then place them on top of the potato slices in one layer.  The recipe doesn’t say to season them, but next time I make this – I am going to.  I don’t know that you need more salt since it will be soaking in broth, but make whatever seasoning you put on your mushroom mixture you could flavor you pork as well? Play around with it and see what happens!! Then, pour about half of the stock, you may need more or less because you want enough to cover the potatoes to keep them from discoloring. Then – repeat! When you have your final potato slice layer, arrange them nicely in an overlapping fashion.  It’s fun to make it look nice! Then, dot the remaining butter on the potatoes, fire ‘er up, put the lid on – and let it cook on high for 4-5 hours. 

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Make sure everything is tender when you poke at it – thats how you know its done.  I think mine cooked a little too long, my pot gets really hot apparently! Next time, I’ll put it on low.  When I served mine, everything just fell apart.  Which is good, it doesn’t change the flavor – it just wasn’t what I was going for. So, take that into consideration – you know your crock pot!  

Here’s the book final rendition of this meal (and what I was trying to make mine look like!!)

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Oh, make sure you peel your potatoes.  Well, I guess you don’t have to – but I would. AND – if you want a little crisp before serving, toss it under a broiler (the hot-pot) for 5-10 minutes.  That will give you a nice crispy edge! I didn’t do this, but I think I might when we eat the left overs.  Who doesn’t love a little crunch to their potatoes?


More for less?

So remember that cookbook I bought last month – Brittles, Barks, and Bon-Bons? Well, turns out I didn’t want it anymore.  For some reason I just bought it without throughly looking through the recipes to make sure I would use it.  After looking through it for a month, nothing really intrigued me.  So, I took it back yesterday. With the cash I received back, I headed over to Borders to see what I could find there.  Well, guess what – JACKPOT! I got three books for the same price as the one I bought at William Sonoma, and I got a $5 off coupon! Woot!

Here are my fabulous findings!

 

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The first book is a great little treat! Lots of cookies, but an assortment of other yummy delights! And, when I got home, I found a special chapter in the book full of Gluten-free treats! Score! I made one of them tonight, but thats another blog.

The second book is something that really caught my attention.  Basically, the premise of the book is to buy in bulk, cook for a week, 2 weeks, or even a month! You just store the pre-made/assembled dinners in the freezer. This isn’t a new concept to me, but I like that the book sorts it out into actual meals – she (the author) plans it out for you, but totally gives you the freedom to create your own dinner.  This will be good for Sam and me when we have busy weeks! If I don’t have food for Sam to make dinner – he turns to his trusty fork, leans against the counter – and east cottage cheese right out of the container.  Then he might follow up with a potatoe or a protein bar.  That is NOT  what I would call a well balanced meal – nope.  So, this will be good for him, he can just pop things in the oven when he doesn’t want to cook and I’m not home!

The third book is actually a replacement! I used ot have a crock pot book back in college. But somewhere between sorting my roomy’s stuff from mine and the 60 mile move – it totally got lost.  So, this should replace it! I made dinner out of this today, but again – thats another post.

I want to talk about Mexican soup! Yum-o!   (Sorry, I totally watched 30-minutes meals today with Rachel Ray)  I mean, de-lish! Wait … does she say that too? OK, this soup is FAB!

 The roomie I reference up above calls me every fall to get the recipe.  It’s just that good! In fact, it’s so good – it won 1st place and the chili cook off last year at Sam’s office.  I believe it was in the soup category or something – it’s not really a chili.  For as long as I can remember, my mom has made this soup around the holidays.  She’d simmer the delectable treat all evening, letting the aroma fill the kitchen, then set out a nice bar of sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and any other condiments good enough to combine in to this amazing bowl of soup. Rather then make it when I get home in the evenings, I like to simmer it all day in a crock pot – that way, when I get home – I can immediately eat it! Ha.

This picture doesn’t do it justice …  and I didn’t take pictures during the process.  Probably because I got Italian Stewed tomatoes instead of Mexican Stewed tomatoes and made Sam go to the store to get the correct tomatoes! Totally distracts me when I don’t have the right ingredients!

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…again, photo doesn’t do it justice. But we have som awesome flavor going on in that bowl! :) Yesss. Beef, green chilis, corn, olives, kidney beans – all soaking up a de-lish beef broth.  Oh yea!

If that got your taste buds going and you want the recipe – just email me @ cookcabularyofalexis@hotmail.com and I maaaay give it to you in secret.  You see – I love to share a great recipe.  But, if they’re family recipes, I’d rather offer to make it for you then give you the recipe.  There’s something about keeping awesome tasting food within the family.  But, this is one I will share – just not by blasting it on the web.  :) Come on – deal with it!

Let’s see, up on the agenda tomorrow: I’ll blog about the crock-pot dinner I made, as well as the Carmel Corn Flake bars … at least I think that’s what they’re called.  Who knows, I may get REALLY crazy and make something else tomorrow too! Whoa.

Peace out.


Lean Sexy Workout Update

So, if some of you have been following me for a bit, you know I’m on this crazy health kick right now.  I found this workout on MuscleandStrength.com called the The Lean Sexy Workout – no I did not make that name up. Well, last week wrapped up 3 months of what I am calling really hard work.  I didn’t get to post about it lats week, so I am today.

It all started, because in 62 days, I will be here:

outrigger-waikiki

That’s right – HAWAII! Honolulu to be exact. I am PUMPED! To back up a bit, before Sam and I got hitched back in the summer of ’06, I was living by myself and supporting myself. It was a great experience.  One of my favorite things was that I determined my own budget – ha! So, the girls at work introduced me to a personal trainer and I was hooked.  I saw him 2x a week for an entire year and he WHIPPED my muscles in to shape! I felt so great on my wedding day! I had never been and avid weight-trainer-lifter and the results spoke for themselves. 

Well, when you get married – finances change don’t they?  I think I finished out the sessions I had paid for and Sam and I agreed our money could be best suited somewhere else.  And, after a year of training, I HONESTLY thought I would just keep it up on my own.

Fail.  I probably didn’t touch a weight until I picked one up 3 months ago.

I had ended up getting a membership to Lifetime – actually I won a 3 month membership and then decided to stay.  But I would just do cardio, kickboxing, and yoga.  So, after about 2 years, I had lost all the muscle I had gained and was feeling a little less than happy about my body – strength wise.  I’d always go into these fits of fitness and think I was doing great and losing a couple l-b’s – but it never truly sufficed me.  It wasn’t until this summer that we decided to go to Hawaii for Christmas, that I got truly motivated!

Hello, beach, pictures, swimsuit! Yeah – motivation much?

Plus Sam was doing a really great job at the gym and I thought it would be fun for us to do together.  So, I sat down one Sunday night, surfed the web to read up on fitness and diet and found the perfect plan for me! I decided I would limit my carb intake, up my protein, and lift 4x’s per week – for 3 months. Oh – and this would take a while to explain, but last Christmas I was able to do some testing at my gym and know exactly how many calories I should be consuming, so this helped tremendously as well. I would also recommend investing in a scale – awesome for portion control.

And I have to admit – it’s really been a lifestyle change.  Now, I know a lot of people have a charge on the low carb thing. But I look at it totally different.  The first 2 weeks I was very limited on the intake, about 20-30 carbs per day. THIS WAS HARD! I love CARBS! Have you not figured that out from my blog? And my protein, I was trying to consume about 150 g. This is hard as well.  So, in order to make sure I tracked everything appropriately – I wrote everything down, and I mean everything.  I wrote the amount of calories, carbs, and proteins, every day – all day. Towards the end I had pretty much memorized my eating habits and nutritional value in foods so I eased up the writing but it was worth it – I was able to train myself. But I did allowe myself to eat crabs. We all know if you cut them out, once you go back to how you ate before, you’ll lost all the results you gained!

After 3 months of sweating it out with the crazy meatheads at the gym, passing on french fries, cookies, and sandwiches, slamming numerous protein shakes and home-made proteins bars – I got the results I wanted! (Don’t worry, I allowed NUMEROUS cheat days!) Like I said, I looked at the carb thing a little differently.  I found that I can consume a certain amount and it doesn’t affect my weight – I’d challenge you to cut back and see what happens, you might like it. :) So, 3 months later ….

BEFORE: I didn’t take a before picture – that’s embarrassing.

AFTER: Lean Sexy Workout

Ha, that face is because I felt like a fool taking my own picture of me flexing!

But before I continue, I need to say that this wasn’t about weight loss for me.  And I think that’s why it worked.  I’m a tall girl at 5-’11” and I love it! But it comes with a high number on the scale, and I have accepted that – there’s A LOT of me! So I did get a little flack/concern, from some people, that I didn’t need to lose weight. But – I knew weight would come off with this program (and really, what girl doesnt want to shed 10 l-b’s!) and I was ok with that.  I didn’t think I was fat, I just want to look hot in a swimsuit dangit! Ha. But what I really wanted was to be stronger.

My goals were to:

  • Gain Muscle
  • Understand what I was puting in my body
  • Change thought to “food is fuel”
  • Lose 10 lbs
  • Drop body fat%
  • Increase flexibility

And I am happy to announce, I’ve succeed and even surpassed them all!

Last weekend when I did my final weigh-in, my total weight loss was 12lbs, I gained some awesome muscle, I am the most flexible I have ever been (still want to increase it), lost about 7% of my body fat, and truly understand what I am puting in my body! I feel great! The motivation I had was so awesome, I have never felt like this.  And can I just say that I did this on my own?! I paid for a trainer for an entire year and didn’t get results like these.  If you TRULY want to change your body – get focused and just do it.  You do not have to pay for it! I am lucky in that I can ask my husband questions, and have the prior training.  I’d like to think I know what I’m doing – but there are some people who need guidance, otherwise they WILL hurt them selves lifting weight!

So, now what?  Well … good question! I have 62 days until Hawaii, so the training continues! Sam wrote me an 8 week program and I am pumped! I was getting bored of my previous lifting schedule, so now that I’ve changed it up, I’m ready.  The goal this time around? Simple – get chiseled! Haha. No really, I want washboard abs! :) And I want to decrease my body fat % just a little but more.

All in all, it was a long 3 months – and starting my blog right after didn’t help, but it was worth the work.

Speaking of … I need to figure out what I want to make this weekend still!

 

 


Bachelor Meals 101

I hate that I havent blogged in like 89 days, but – I have been super busy! My LP got married last weekend and being the MOH required a lot of duties.  As well as I had a few industry events to go to – all while getting my 40 hours in by Thursday and attend my once weekly dance class … and the gym! But, I am now back. Yes. 

Ok, so while at Katy’s wedding I was approached by one of my favorite male friends, Peter.  After we caught up for a moment, he was like, “Alexis, I really like your blog, but … it’s kind of hard for me.  I have a suggestion.  I was thinking you could do a section, that was more simple – and aim it towards a bachelor like me!”  I loved the idea, instantly.  It reminded me that this is a food blog, and I want to appeal to the masses.  Not the sugar.rush.craving.chocolate.obsessed.sweet.tooth-er (well, I do, but I don’t want to limit myself). So, I present my first meal on

Bachelor Meals 101!

Ha, I have to laugh.  This meal is so ridiculously easy I almost don’t want to post it. BUT – Peter wanted something quick and guy friendly.  So here it is.

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Oh yea, cheese and pasta. Woop woop! Of course in my household, we eat GF pasta (LOOK ITS THE MYSTERY PASTA! YUM!) but feel free to substitute for just about any type of pasta, except spaghetti – I don’t think that would work too well.

Like I said, this recipe is easy (is has it on the box!) Peter, if you’re reading this – you HAVE to add the vegetables.  You can’t just have starch and cheese.  This is a lesson to all bachelors – eat your vegetables! 

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If you dont, prepare for the wrath of Kimoni!

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No, really …

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Hahaha, OH MY GOSH! Doesn’t this crack you up?!  Look at the first one again … hilarious! This is actually me taking pictures of Kimoni while I held his treats in my hands. Come on, he has no wrath! Seriously! This is him obsessing over pea sized cat treats. Speaking of peas, eat them boys! Its good for you.

Anyway, back to bachelor food fun. So, we all can see what the steps are here.  Cook your pasta, drain. Then add back into the pot and stir in the Velveeta.  Now, I do have to be honest here.  I haven’t had velveeta in a long time.  A couple grocery trips ago I thought to myself, “Hmm, Velveeta, that looks good. *checking out nutritional label* Not too many carbs, and actually – not too bad on the calories. I think I’ll make a GF mac-n-cheese for Sam. I haven’t had this in forever, I bet its goooood.”

The reason I know this is a bachelor meal ………. is because it taste like one.

I still dont like Velveeta, I know why I haven’t had it in a while.

But, I know a lot of people who do, and assume most males with a growling stomach and a lack of patience for cooking will appreciate it.

So, then you’ve stirred in the Velveeta and your frozen veggies.  Then add like 1/4 tsp. of garlic salt and pepper and just let it all marinade and melt together. When I served it, I added some pepper jack cheese to the top – that gave it a little kick.

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Oh, and that little roll – its GF as well! I found them in the freezer section, such a treat! I also found GF chicken fingers and our fave GF pizza dough (which now comes pre-assembled and ready for the oven)! Good day at Meijer.  *there’s that plug again!*

Ok, and while I was cooking this bachelor meal, I totally had some fun in the kitchen with Kimoni and his treats. Let us take a look.

He's mid air.

He's mid air.

 

"May I have another mommy?"

"May I have another mommy?"

 

Look, treat directly over cute mouser-mouth. We have this down to a "T"!

Look, treat directly over cute mouser-mouth. We have this down to a "T"!

 

Alright, time to go to sleep and ponder what I will be making this weekend.  I did make my “Blue Ribbon Mexican Soup” tonight.  It’s only called blue ribbon because Sam entered it in his Chili Cook-off contest at work last year … and WON! Holla. But, its 11:14 and I would like to go to bed. 

Kimoni and I bid you a good night. :) <3

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Comments and Suggestions are Welcome

Ok a couple quick things – for those of you confused “Flogging” means FOOD BLOGGING, and nothing else, ha-ha.  If you are now confused b/c of what I just said, don’t worry about it! ;)

Secondly, I’ve only gotten like 3 comments, ever *insert tear*.  Let me know if you have any feedback! I’d love to hear if you’ve tried something similar to mine and it worked better, or if you have advice!  Or if you love my cat.  Or if you love my blog.  Is anyone out there? Also, some co-workers were wondering if they could put in requests …

ABSOLUTELY!

I will try to make something every weekend, so the more ideas I have – the more things I will want to make which = more blogging!  So, I guess I’ll try anything?

Although we might need some ground rules:

  1. If you ask me to make it and there’s a million ingredients and it’s gonna cost as much as a weeks worth of groceries – fo.get.a.bout.it.
  2. If I make it, and you want it – come get it. Ha-ha. No but really, come and get it.
  3. Ooh, unless you want me to make something FOR something?
  4. If No. 3 happens, I may ask to be reimbursed for materials, its only fair.
  5. Oh gosh, I didn’t mean to start a business, and I’m only on No.5
  6. Bazinga!

Do you watch the Big Bang Theory? :) If you don’t, you wont know what No. 6 means.

So, send me your comments and questions!

Please and Thank you!


Apple Pie

I have officially been floggin one month (tomorrow) and today I am tied (As of 9:29) for my 2nd highest viewing day. Thanks guys! I wonder if you can set a new record by midnight?! :)

Did you notice I said flogging.  My husband came up with that.  Food Blogging = Flogging.  Thanks Sam!

Today I had the day off from work, and what better than to make a delicious and warm fall treat – Apple Pie! I decided to take the time and make my own recipe – my first ever!  I have made apple crisp a million times, and a few pies here and there, so I get the basics of it.  I did a little research, and with my 4 cook books I have here, I came up with my own version.  I’m sure somewhere in the world, someone has done the exact same thing as me, but for now, it’s Lex Original. Ha.

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The differences I decided, were to eliminate the nutmeg, blagh, reduce the salt, up the flour, add butter – and for the crust, add sugar and use milk instead of water.  I also have a secret ingredient I added last minute to the filling – but I’m not going to tell you that. I have to keep some things for myself right!?

Most recipes say to cook anywhere from 375-450.  I decided 375 for 40 minutes (covered) and then it ended up being about 25 more minutes uncovered.  So, here was the process! :)

We start by making the crust (double crust)  I dont have a pasty blender, so my potato masher works just as well. I really don’t understand the difference, well I do – but I can’t justify buying a pastry blender right now. Anyway, here I am combining the dry ingredients with the lard! When you start to add the wet ingredients – BE CAREFUL! You CAN over mix causing the gluten process to go into hyper-drive making your dough tough and not fun. So, just don’t over-do it, theres no real set time to how long it will take – just become one with your fork and you will know when the time is right. :)

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Next, we form the dough into a ball and divide into two for rolling out.  I opted to use my scale for exact measurement! :)

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Roll those out on a slighting floured surface and go ahead and place the bottom crust in your 9″ pie pan.  It works really well to roll the dough onto your rolling pin, and unroll it into the pan. 

While that is sitting, start slicing those apples! This part takes forever and is no fun, unless someone is helping you with the pie.  Today, it was just me and Kimoni.  Well, Kalila (the dog) too, but that’s irrelevant. I like to use granny smith apples.  I don’t eat.like them raw, but think they are great for baking.  They are already tart, so no need to add lemon to this recipe.  There are other apples you can use, but do your research first, and if they aren’t tart – make sure to add that lemon juice!

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For the filling, I just dump all the sugary-goodness directly on top of the slices and toss gently with my fingers.  Then, just toss it all into your pie pan and add those adorable little cubes of butter!

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Next, apply your second layer of crust, off the pin – just like the bottom layer.  I’m am still working on the crust edges, that’s a talent I just haven’t mastered.  But use your thumb on one hand and the index finger and thumb on the other hand and push towards each other to make a triangle.  You want to make sure and include that bottom layer of crust or your pie top will separate.  Which really isnt a problem – it happened to me this time and it still tastes the same, right?!  Then, if youre feeling fancy, like I always am – I brushed the top with milk and sprinkled some sugar. Oh, and dont forget the slits for venting!

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Cover the entire pie with tin foil, but cut/tear a large circle in the center so only the edges are protected.  This will keep them from browning too quickly.

When the pie is plump, bubbly, and golden – its done!

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Heck yes I put it in the window – it cools faster so I can try it! And yes, I always think about the little children’s story about the black crows. Ha!

However, I did worry Kimoni would run off with a slice!

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Look at this delicious piece of heaven, I LOVE apple pie!

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 So there you have it.  Apple pie for a beautiful crisp fall day. 

Let me know how your turns out! :)


Baby Shower!

This last Saturday my co-workers and I threw a baby shower for our other co-worker Stephanie.  She is due Dec. 1 (I think it’s the 1st anyway) and we had such a fun time planning this event in the office, but with out her knowing.  Her sister is an awesome graphic designer out in S.C. and made the invites.  I am realizing now I should have taken a picture of it – they were fantastic, she is really talented!

Jenn (the sister) and I did a lot of the planning via FB.  We decided she and her mom would make the diaper cake and work on invites, while I organized all the food.  Since it was a co-worker, everyone split the tab and we all brought different items.  Since I live closest to the bakery, I thought Taylor’s would be on my list and then I would make another dish.  There’s 5 other co-workers that pitched in bringing flowers, fruit, punch, etc. – it was a great team effort.  Since my house is cute and tiny, I figured it would be best to have the actual shower at Jeryl, our boss’ house.  It’s great for parties!

I’ll post pictures of the spread, and the shower, but I thought I would share my side.  It’s super quick, like SUPER quick, and it originates from a Harry and David recipe.  All you need is cream cheese and your favorite Sweet N’ Hot Pepper Relish.

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ooh, my pie is beeping – be right back, I have to go check on it!

ok im back, it looks good, but we will blog about that later!

If you remember my earlier blog about the Apple Store at Connor Praire last weekend, this relish will sound familiar to you – I got it there.  You can get this type of relish at any supermarket though – so just find one you like. 

All you have to do is combine the two ingredients in a bowl.  I use about 1 1/2 boxes of cream cheese, and I don’t use the low fat kinda either – we’re going for full-flavor here friends! It helps if the cream cheese is room temperature, and I use a spoon to mix everything.  The spoon works to break up and smoosh the cream cheese clumps. 

Now, just for experiment sake, I tried to mix the dip with my hand mixer, but it just wasn’t working out.  You want the cream cheese to be clumpy.  I suppose you could put it into a CuisinArt blender – I did think of that, but I like the chunks, to be honest – more flavor.  When you plate the dip, I like to serve it with Honey Pretzel sticks, the sweet is a nice touch with the spicy. But, you can pick whatever.

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 Simple hu?

Here’s the rest of the spread/shower – and the cake!!

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Well, that’s Larry – he was my “blog-head” photo! How were those wiener dog races Lar?! Ha!

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Look at the boss lady go! That would be Jeryl. Thanks for letting us do this at your house again! I think we all had just the best time!

The activity we did was making onesies with fabric paint.  I bought onesies from size 0 month – 12 month, had some stencils, and we just had fun painting outfits for little Campbell!

Overall, great day, fab ladies – and wonderful fooooood!


What a weekend!

I have  a LOT to post about, so here is one of the many updates to come in the next 24 hours.

And I have to begin with the most important news:

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I FOUND THE MYSTERY PASTA! I know, its amazing! I was so excited I bought 3 different boxes of it, 2 pastas and some “table crackers”. Woot! Oh, and guess where it was – right in front of my face at Meijer!! I <3 Meijer.  They should send some free coupons my way for all the plugs I give them! Anyway, yea – right in front of my face the whole time.   Apparently it’s the number one brand in Europe – it says so on the box.  And I can believe it.  They had more products, but I thought we would just start with these 3 beauties. I am so happy I found them – although I still don’t know who bought them the first time, not important.

Anyway, I bet you are wondering how the bachelorette party went, aren’t you. More importantly, you want to see the cake, don’t you? Ugh, FINE! Just keep an open mind, it’s all in good fun! :)

I was running out of time to bake a cake from scratch, my last 7 days have been somewhat hectic. So I decided to get some assistance with a pre-packaged cake mix, and frosting.  But lets start from the beginning. (Sorry Mom!!)

 

Meet .... the cake mold.
Meet …. the cake mold.

 

After I whipped up the cake mix, I poured it into two of these little “Peters”.  In the oven they went!  While they were baking away, I needed to make some flesh-colored food dye.  If you ever want the perfect skin tone color – here is the magic combination of food coloring:

  • 8 yellow
  • 6 red
  • 2 green

And here is what you get!

 

Don't you want to stick your finger in that bowl!?

Don't you want to stick your finger in that bowl!?

So after about 30-some minutes in the oven … SIDE STORY:

Since the cake molds weren’t your typical cake pan size, I had to improvise on time.  I started with 30 minutes, and when I checked on them – still total liquid.  So I put a few more minutes on the timer and half way through – I realized I had ONE hour to get ready. Yeah, I was cutting it THAT close! So, I grabbed my stop watch that I wear at the gym – set it for 10 minutes and hit the shower.  I had to be out before the oven timer hit zero, of we’d have some burnt peters on our hands (and i would be a hot mess for this bach. party)! Ok, this is a total challenge for me.  I’m that girl who takes 20 minute showers.  Save me the schpeal about saving water – I’ve heard it before….I LIKE long showers! So, as the cake was baking, I was watching that stop watch scrubbing, washing, and cleansing as fast as I could.  7.18 minutes later – I was clean.  IN RECORD TIME MIND YOU! I totally beat the oven.  Alexis – 1, Oven – 0

So I pulled the little guys out and took them out of the molds to cool while I got ready.  I find that sometimes this can be a dangerous move.  Depending on what you make, it could stick the pan because it hasnt cooled, or because it is so hot, it will break as you are removing it.  But i had no choice in this situation, I had to be out the door by 5:00 and these needed to be cool enough to ice.  Haha, get ready – keep that sense of humor at the fore front, because here is what came out of those molds!

Don't laught that I made it chocolate...

Don't laugh that I made it chocolate...

PLEASE DONT FLAG ME FOR INAPPROPIATE CONTENT! THIS IS A BACHELORETTE PARTY PEOPLE! Ha. It’s hysterical.  But wait, it needs icing – and sprinkles.  Sprinkles you ask?! Oh yes, sprinkles … brown sprinkles.

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Ha, lovely. Just lovely Alexis.  Listen, it brought some great laughs, good memories – and it tasted awesome! That is all that matters. 

Thank you Cirilla’s (formerly Priscillas) for providing such a conversation piece.  Thank you Talbott Street for memories only those at Talbott Street can understand. And Greg’s.  Oh, Greg’s – thank you for making us ladies feel oh so beautiful. Haha. 

 

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Baby shower is next! And after that, I’m attempting my first ever apple pie from scratch! Get excited!