Friday, June 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Pudding Pops

Who doesn't love a good pudding pop?  Why buy them when they are so easy to make!  Besides these pudding pops are peanut butter and chocolate, plus they were made with almond milk instead of moo juice.  Try finding that in the store!

This recipe for Peanut Butter Pudding pops from Craft, Bake, Sew, Create yielded 6 star pops with about half a cup  leftover.  I just froze that in a small container and ate it like ice cream.

What I like about pudding pops versus popcicles (or even most homemade non dairy, egg free ice creams) is how they stay relatively soft after being frozen.  Sometimes homemade popcicles and ice cream get rock hard after 24 hrs in the freezer. 

This is not the case with the peanut butter pudding pops.  They are chompable straight out of the mold.  This is particularly awesome because it takes Blockette FOREVER to eat frozen confections on a stick.  She is willing to chomp on these pudding pops unlike even a store bought Popsicle. 

As with all things using cocoa powder, I suggest you use a high quality cocoa powder.  The better the cocoa, the better your pudding pops are going to taste.  I do NOT like Hershey Cocoa powder.  That's because I'm spoiled.  Once you use a high quality cocoa powder you won't be able to go back to using the cheap stuff.  It will taste like dirt.  Consider yourself warned.  Personally, I LOVE chocolate, so it's one of the few things I'm willing to splurge on.

For those of you with a peanut allergy, I'm sure these pops could be made with other "butters" other than peanut.  Nutella and Biscoff come to mind as tasty alternatives!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudgsicles from Craft, Bake, Sew, Create
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (use the good stuff, I love Penzeys)
1/4 tsp. salt
3 T. cornstarch
2 1/4 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter or margarine
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

In med pan, whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook over med heat, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to boil. Boil for 1 min. Remove from  stove and stir in butter, vanilla and peanut butter. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight. (While you're waiting for the pops to freeze, go ahead and lick the pan you cooked the pudding in.  I won't tell!)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Garden Monkey bread

In the past I have not had the best luck making monkey bread. The center dough always winds up under cooked. I know some people like undercooked biscuit dough from a can. In fact, my best friend has been known to eat it raw. Then again, she doesn't like cilantro so clearly she is broken. Canned biscuit dough should be cooked into a nice fluffy bread. Any other way is just wrong. Just ask me!

It had been quite some time since I had attempted the whole monkey bread thing, so I figured it was time to give it another whirl. I saw this savory version for monkey bread over at Goodness Gracious and thought it sounded fun.

Instead of bacon I used 2 cups of leftover chopped ham.  I also increased the amount of onions from 1/4 c to 3 small onions.  Then I caramelized them.  I left out the green pepper, and just used a red pepper that I had roasted and peeled the skin off of.

This recipe is so versatile that you could really add whatever you wanted.  Basically, if you like it in an omelet, you'd like it in this monkey bread version.

The recipe says to cook the bread for 30-35 minutes.  NOT!!!  Maybe you only cook it for that long if you are a weirdo that likes the raw dough.  After 30 minutes the center of the bread was still raw.  I wound up cooking the monkey bread for a full hour.

 As you can see, after an hour in the oven, the bread is not burnt in the slightest.  Neither is the cheese on top.

And when I unmolded the bread from the bundt pan, the sides are not even dark brown.

Yeah.  That unmolding process didn't work out so well for me.

Even though I sprayed the pan twice with PAM the bread still stuck to the pan.  I even went around all the edges with a plastic butter knife in attempts to loosen it from the pan.  Maybe I should have used PAM with flour instead.

Even though the bread stuck to the pan, it tasted marvelous.  The bread was all buttery and the ham on the edges got a little bit crispy and caramelized like bacon.  Good stuff people!

I was worried about the leftovers, but I heated them up in a 350F oven for 15 min to take the chill off and they were almost as good as they were right out of the oven the first time.

Garden Monkey Bread adapted from Goodness Gracious
4 Pack of Biscuits (7.5 oz)- Cut into thirds
1/4 Cup Melted Butted
1 roasted red pepper, seeded, peeled and chopped
2 c chopped ham
3 small onions, diced and sauteed
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 F til golden brown, anywhere from 30-60 min.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More Artwork from Blockette

Earlier this month my family and I participated in Relay for Life.  Our team had some kid's games at the event as a fundraiser.  One of the games was a fishing game.  Blockette designed the screen for the kids to fish over. 

She was a bit overwhelmed with the huge scale she needed to draw in, so I told her that she should just draw it on regular sized paper and I would enlarge it.  If there's any art that I'm good at, it's putting something on a grid and enlarging it...original ideas...not so much.  That's Blockette's department!

I wound up having to paint the cardboard because the paint was quite uncooperative.  No matter how hard I tried, the paint only wanted to stick on in a single coat.  Every time I attempted a second layer, I only managed to remove the paint in the first layer.  I am not ashamed to say that I yelled at that cardboard on more than one occasion.

It all turned out in the end.

I think it's adorable...especially the expression on the mermaid who sees the fishing pole with bait!  Not in a million years would I have thought to do that.  That's why we pay the big bucks for Blockette to do these sort of creative endeavors.

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 2013 Garden Update

Here's what my garden looks like!

Below is the garden with the strawberries, heirloom tomato and spaghetti squash.
 The rabbits ate several of the strawberry plants down the the ground so I've pretty much given up on them.  The heirloom tomato is the tallest out of the 3 tomato plants I'm growing this year.  And well, as you can see the spaghetti squash is taking over the world.  I had to "prune" it back so it didn't choke out the tomato plant.  So far I have one large marble sized squash from this plant.

Below is my saddest garden.

The rabbits ate my peas and beans down to the root.  The green house had a sale on veggies, 50% off so I had to check out that sale. Sadly they did not have any more peas or beans so I got another summer squash and pepper plant.  The squash had three inch and a half squashes and the pepper plant had 3 purple peppers.  Hopefully they won't get transplant shock.  The large monster of a plant in front is a cucumber plant. There are several 2"long  skinny cucumbers growing as well.  The pepper plant to the left of the cucumber has not even had a blossom on it yet.  Maybe it's just a late bloomer.

This garden is just doing "ok."  Nothing spectacular here.
Last year was a lot warmer and sunnier so the tomatoes were much taller this time last year.  The tomato plant on the left has one tiny marble sized tomato on it, so that seems like a good thing.  The pepper plant to the left of the tomato cages have a few blossoms on it, but it seems like it should be taller as well. 

The 2 squash plants in the front are doing ok.  The squash on the left is yellow summer squash.  The hailstorm we got last week knocked off all the blossoms.  I have every confidence that it will bounce back.  The squash on the right has several large blossoms, but only one of them has a baby zucchini at the base.

All things considered, I think the garden is doing pretty well for a brown thumber like me!  Hopefully we'll be overwhelmed with all the veggies by the end of summer!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Before and After: House

So we just got our siding replaced.  Here is a before and after picture.

Silly me took the before picture with the garage door open so you can't get the full effect of the maroon-i-ness.  For some reason the garage now looks more brown than red.  And the new siding has an almost gray look to it in the front.  It is more of a sand color.  I wonder if the red from the door is making the siding look a different color.

We still have to do something about the front door.  We'll probably just get a new storm door.  I can't see painting the front door.  It's wood and has these stylized pineapple carvings that I think would look weird painted.  Although the color of the door seems out of place.  I guess it does sort of match the color of our fence though, so there is that.

My issue is that I can't decide if we should paint the garage door or not.  If so, what color?

The most drastic change from redoing the siding is in the back.  We tore down the walls of the 3 season room.  The windows had been hung up side down so whenever it rained the weep holes allowed rain to drain into the room.  I could never be in this room because of the must and mold.  So far the new patio has gotten more use than the 3 season room ever did in the 7 years we've lived here.

Turns out we had some freeloaders living in our 3 season room...A Whole Colony of carpenter ants!!!!  I was not sad to see them go.  Apparently they were eating away the wet wood in the walls.  Who knows how long the walls would have stayed up before they ate them away to the point of being structurally unsound.  The new wood posts are made from treated wood, which apparently is unappetizing to carpenter ants.  YAY!

The back yard seems huge now that the patio is open.  I'm so happy with it.  I actually want to spend time in the backyard.  Now I suppose we have to work on getting the grass to look semi decent.  I know you can't tell in the photo, but it's very patchy and weedy.  I think that is a project for the fall though.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

M and M Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream

I made this Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream from Chocolate Covered Katie.  The recipe suggests using raisins, but I'm not a fan of raisins so I used 1/3 c M and M's.

How in the world do they make M and M ice cream that doesn't wind up puce colored?  Because it's homemade ice cream, it always winds up rock hard. So, you've got to either let the ice cream sit and thaw on the counter or nuke it a bit on defrost before you can scoop it.   If you don't you'll end up with a broken spoon or ice cream container.  Not that I've learned from experience or anything.

When you let ice cream with M and M's sit out, the color melts off the candies.  And they bleed.  Leaving you with a hot mess of ice cream.

Not unlike our friend here.

It's not a pretty sight. 
Ack!  I wasn't going to show you that.  And this was the GOOD picture.  From the first day that I made it.  By the third time it had thawed and refroze...shudder...well let's just say I ate it with my eyes closed.

Luckily, the ice cream was tasty!  I made it with unsweetened almond milk.  Not cause I'm against milk or anything.  I love milk.  Dairy does not love me.  I can only consume a small amount and I choose to eat that in cheese.  (Cheese makes the world go round!  Anyone else ever sing that song?) I can make my own non dairy ice cream, but it's a lot harder to make my own non dairy blue cheese.

I think this tastes just like an oatmeal cookie in ice cream form.  I'd love to ramp this up next time by adding oatmeal cookie dough pieces too it.   I'd also leave the M and M's out to avoid the disgusting color swirls.

Oatmeal Cookie Ice Cream from Chocolate Covered Katie
2 2/3 c milk of choice, or creamer
1/3 c oat flour ( grind rolled oats to powder in a food processor. Measure after blending.)
 1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda (for flavor; can be omitted)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/3 c raisins (or other add in just beware that your M and M's will bleed)
1/2 c brown sugar
 3 T sugar
2 T “butter” (Dairy or non dairy)
1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients except vanilla (Do include raisins, but not M & Ms or they will melt), Nuke 3 1/2 min, stir, and nuke another 2 min. Add vanilla.  Chill in fridge til cold again (about 4 hrs). Pour into ice cream maker and churn per manufacture instructions.  Transfer to an airtight container. (Fold in M and M's at this point if using.) Freeze for about an hour.  If you choose to freeze this longer than an hour, it will be very hard and you will need to let it defrost for a bit before servin.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Baked Rigatoni

This Baked Rigatoni from Real Mom Kitchen totally blew my mind.  It was so awesome! 

Although, it nearly almost wasn't. 

I kept spilling things on the floor and counter.  The ingredients for the roux, the roux itself, noodles, etc.  Then I pulled it out of the oven 10 seconds before burning the cheese on top.

 Yeah I almost nearly burnt that bad boy.  And it wasn't even because I wasn't paying attention. The oven must have been running hot that day because I followed the recipe exactly.

Luckily my clumsiness didn't ruin the dinner.

 I made two minor changes to this recipe.  Instead of using mozzarella, I used Italian Blend pre shredded cheese.  Then I added peas.  I love how it gave the dish some color, and I didn't have to mess around with figuring out any side dishes for our meal.

And the absolute best part of the dish?  The leftovers tasted just as awesome as they did the first time around.  Everyone WANTED to eat this the second time around.  That's what I call winning!

Baked Rigatoni adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
1 pkg (16 oz) rigatoni pasta ( I used penne)
1/2 c butter
1/2 c flour
1 qt milk (4 cups) (I used skim)
2 c grated mozzarella cheese (I used Italian blend)
about 1/2 lb thinly sliced ham (I used 1/2 lb leftover cubed ham)
seasonings (onion salt, pepper, cayenne pepper - just eyeball the amt)
1-2 c froz peas
small pads of butter for top (I used tiny squares of 2T butter)

Preheat oven to 425 F. Melt butter over med heat and start water boiling for pasta. Once butter's melted, whisk in flour. Add your milk to make the roux. Stir til sauce thick enough to coat back of  spoon. When water boils,  cook pasta to al dente. . When white sauce is done, add seasoning, ham, and 1 c cheese. stir well, to melt cheese. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Add 1-2 c frozen peas.  Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan, smooth top and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Dot top with butter bits. Bake 25 min, til top bubbly and brown. (To make ahead of time and freeze: cool completely after pouring in pan, then add cheese and butter. Cover securely and freeze.  If cooking from freezer, add 30 minutes  to the cooking time, and check the center before serving.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Ham and Veggie Cobbler

Originally this dish was called broccoli cobbler.  I found it over at the blog Half Baked Harvest. I really messed with this recipe.  I added loads of other veggies, reduced the amount of canned soup, and added ham! 

The whole family really enjoyed this dish.  The only bad thing about it was the broccoli.  The dish fed the three of us for two meals, with one more leftover.  No one wanted to eat it because the broccoli had gotten stinky sitting in the fridge for several days.  To avoid wasting food, the next time I make this I will leave the broccoli out all together and replace it with  other mixed veggies.

I really hated to toss the odoriferous leftovers. The cheddar biscuit topping was amazing.  It was even better than the topping on the crumble pot pie.

The cheese made the topping all crispy.  I just love crispy cheese.  OK.  So I know the photos make the topping look burnt.  My camera does that.  I blame the horrible lighting in my kitchen.  The topping is deep golden brown.

Ham and Veggie Cobbler adapted from Half Baked Harvest
1 can  Cream of Garlic and Mushroom soup
2oz softened cream cheese
3 c broccoli florets, fresh (about 2-3 heads) or frozen (or replace with veggies of your choice)
2c ham
1/2 c grated cheddar cheese (I used a 3 cheddar blend from Kraft)
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 diced carrots
1 1/2 c corn (I used frozen)
1/2 c peas (I used frozen)

Cheddar Drop Biscuits:
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t baking soda (I forgot this)
1/2 t salt
1/2 c butter (1 stick), cold
1 c grated cheddar cheese, and 1/4 c more for topping
1/2 c plus 2 T buttermilk, cold and shaken (I used buttermilk powder combined with skim milk)
1 egg, cold
Freshly ground pepper for topping

Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, add soup and cream cheese. Mix until combined. Fold in ham, veggies, cheese, and black pepper. Add to greased 8x12 baking pan. Set aside and prepare biscuits. Add dry ingredients to med bowl: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and mix. Using a box grater, grate cold butter into flour mix. Stick bowl in freezer for 5 min. Meanwhile, combine  buttermilk and egg. Remove bowl from freezer. Gently break up butter and combine with flour, using hands, until it resembles small peas. Next, add cheese and combine until evenly mixed. Add  buttermilk mix all at once and mix until barely combined; lightly knead dough until it forms one solid mass. Drop 6-8 mounds of dough onto surface casserole. Top with cheese. Top each biscuit with black pepper. Bake 40-45 min. Biscuits will be golden brown and the sauce will be bubbly.  (This dish can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. cover and chill until ready to use. Bake as directed.)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Gingerbread Scones

I made Gingerbread scones from Heritage Schoolhouse these back in April when we had that long run of rainy days. 

Woah.  I don't think scones are supposed to spread out that much.

I think maybe the butter was too warm, or I worked them too much?  I thought I was gentle so I'm going to go with the butter not being cold enough.

They may have looked bizarre, but they tasted wonderful.  They reminded me of those huge cakey gingerbread men you can buy at fancy bakeries over Christmas time.   Normally I'm a on team crispy when it comes to ginger cookies.  These scones were so amazing that now I'm not so sure anymore.

For the sake of science, I will have to make these again.  I think if I pulse the ingredients in a food processor the won't be exposed to as much heat from my hands.  I also wonder if these scones weren't supposed to be divided into 2 disks, then cut into 8 scones for a total of 16 scones.  The scones were almost as big as my whole hand.  I thought scones were more regular cookie size.  I'll probably have to give the smaller scones a test drive too.  Oh the things we have to do in the name of science!

Gingerbread Scones from Heritage Schoolhouse
2 c flour
3 T brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 c cold butter
1/3 c molasses
1/4 c milk
1 egg, separated
sugar for sprinkling on top

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Cut in butter until resembles coarse crumbs; set aside. Combine molasses, milk and egg yolk in separate bowl; add to flour mix just til moistened. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead gently 6-8 times. Pat into an 8" circle; cut into 8 wedges and place 1" apart on a greased or parchment covered baking sheet. Beat egg white until frothy; brush over scones. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 400F for 12-15 min til golden brown. Remove from pan to wire rack to cool.  They taste great warm or room temp.  Store in air tight container

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cheesy Potatoes

No, not this sort of cheesy potato.

Shredded potatoes mixed with cheese that gets baked in the oven.

My mom makes the best cheesy potatoes.  
The best cheesy potatoes that I do NOT have the recipe for.  

Oh sure I've watched her make them a million times, but other than cream, cheese and shredded potatoes, I have no clue how she makes them.

I wanted to have this recipe with dinner one night over the week and it was grocery day.  
For some reason I thought that recipe would magically fall into my lap.  
My mom was at work and I knew she didn't have access to the recipe in question.  
I didn't want to wait any longer to go to the grocery store, so I called to the internets for assistance.

This recipe for Potatoes Romanoff from Tasty Kitchen seemed quite similar.  
It did call for sour cream instead of cream, so it wasn't exactly the same.  
Still, it was creamy cheesy potato-y goodness. 
You can't hardly go wrong with that.  It really hit the spot.

Potatoes Romanoff via Tasty Kitchen
3 Large Russet Potatoes, Unpeeled
¾ c Minced Shallots (I used a small onion and 2 cloves of garlic, minced)
2-½ c Grated White Cheddar Cheese, Divided
2 t Kosher Salt
¼ t Freshly Ground Pepper
1-½ c Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 425 F. Stab potatoes to vent and bake 50 min until done.  Cool potatoes to room temp and place in fridge overnight. Grate chilled potatoes, including skins.  (This is quickest if you use a food processor.  Just make sure you use the grating blade and not the slicing blade.  That doesn't make things quicker.  Not that I would know or anything.) Combine potatoes, shallots, 1 3/4 c cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Toss gently with hands.  Fold in Sour Cream. Place in 1 1/2 qt gratin dish, don't press.  You want the potatoes in there gently with room to breathe.   Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Bake 350 F til top golden brown, 30 min. Serves 6.

Next time I make this I think I will saute the onions and garlic/shallots before adding to the potatoes.  I will also try a thin coating of bread crumbs sprinkled on top as well.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Microwave Vanilla Cake for One, With Frosting!

I'm always on the look out for desserts for one, particularly ones that can go in the microwave.  I thought that once I had a family, individual serving desserts would go out the window.  Maybe if I had a huge family, or if I didn't have a  major dessert addiction.   Right now, if I make a huge dessert for the family over the weekend, I'm home during the week...
With the rest of the dessert.

Since I can't seem to resist having a little something sweet mid day, and I don't want to buy an entire new wardrobe, individual serving desserts set a limit of how much I can eat.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have these individual desserts every day.  Sometimes a piece of chocolate will sate my sweet tooth.  For days when that just wont cut it I like to have choices.

My favorites so far are: Chocolate brownie, Coffee cake and Maple Oatmeal cookie.   I usually have all the ingredients on hand, and they don't take much effort to whip together.  Still, I'm always on the look out for the next best thing.

I think I may have found it with Chocolate covered Katie's vanilla cupcake for one .Did I mention that you can top it with Chocolate peanut butter frosting?
This recipe does require you to dirty up two bowls.  No biggie though. You get to lick the frosting bowl after you are done, so that makes it worth your time and effort.

As you can see, this recipe makes  more than one serving of frosting.  I was able to frost two mini cakes and have enough to spread the rest on top of a few graham crackers.   The single serving of cake was enough to satisfy my cravings enough so I didn't want to eat all the frosting in one sitting.

In case you were curious, the photo above shows an uncooked version of the cake.  This particular cake I forgot to add baking powder. So, as you can see in the photo below, the cake didn't rise very much.  I've since made this cake correctly and if you cook it in the microwave it rises quite a bit, but be aware that it will fall once it cools.  If you want to avoid this, bake it in the oven as suggested in the original recipe.  I don't know about you, but I can't wait for my oven to preheat on most afternoons.  Besides, it seems like a waste of energy to heat up a whole big oven for one tiny little dessert.

And here's the finished product.  Yum! And the best part, I don't have to share! ;)

Single Lady Cupcake (makes just one cupcake)from Chocolate Covered Katie
3 T flour
heaping 1/16th tsp salt
1 T applesauce, oil, or pre-melted margarine
1 T plus 1 t liquid (milk of choice or water)
1/4 t vanilla
1/4 t baking powder
1-1 1/2 T sugar

Preheat oven to 330F. Mix ingredients in small oven proof dish like a ramekin.Bake 12-15 min. Or nuke 50 sec in microwave (OR until cake is cooked through to your liking. I like my microwaved cakes on the gooey side.) (Don't be like me and forget the baking powder the first time you make this.  Your cake will still be delish, but won't rise.)

Reeses Pieces Frosting (makes about 1/2 c) from Chocolate Covered Katie
1/4 c peanut butter
2T + 1 t maple syrup (I used the fake stuff)
2 T cocoa powder
1 T milk
3/4 t vanilla
handful of chocolate chips (the “pieces”) (I chopped up 6 dark choc kisses because underwear gnomes stole all my chocolate chips)

Blend everything (including chips) in sm food processor/Magic Bullet. (I didn't feel like scrubbing my processor so mixed things by hand and it worked out just fine.) Store uneaten frosting covered in fridge.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Light as Air Waffles

Have you ever seen those commercials for the Three Musketeer candy bar? You know the one where the candy bar is so light it floats up into the air?

These waffles from Buns in my oven remind me of that. They were so light and fluffy I thought they were going to soar right off my plate.

It's the added step of beating the egg white and incorporating it into the batter at the end that makes the batter seem weightless.   I think it's this lightness that allows for the exterior of the waffle to crisp up so nicely.

To me, the perfect waffle is crispy on the outside, without being burnt, and fluffy on the inside.  Technically, this should fall in the category of a perfect waffle.  Sadly, I think it misses the mark.

The waffle is almost too light and airy.  Normally, I'm a two waffle sort of girl.  Maybe 2 and a half if I'm really hungry.  I ate 3 and a half and I was STILL hungry.  Blockette ate 3 and a half as well and she was still hungry too.  The recipe only made seven waffles.  Ugh.  We even ate a bunch of fruit too.  Strawberries AND peaches.  Luckily I had some popcorn in the pantry.  We each had a bowl and we finally felt satisfied.

While the waffles were tasty with an awesome crispy exterior, I don't think I'll make them again.  I don't like to put the effort into cooking a meal and not feel full after eating it.

Lighter as Air Waffles from Buns In My Oven
3/4 c flour
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 t salt
1/2 t t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/2 t  baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c milk
6 T vegetable oil
1 egg, separated
1 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla

Oven to 200°F and heat waffle iron. Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda in med bowl. Measure buttermilk, milk, and oil in measuring cup and add egg yolk. Set aside. In another bowl, beat egg white almost to soft peaks. Sprinkle in sugar and continue to beat until peaks firm and glossy. Beat in vanilla. Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients. Whisk til just mixed. Drop whipped egg white onto  batter in dollops. Fold in til incorporated. Pour batter onto hot waffle iron. Cook til waffle is crisp and brown.Set waffle directly on the oven rack to keep warm and crisp. Repeat with remaining batter, holding the waffles in the oven (don't stack). When all waffles cooked, serve immediately.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Purple Shawl

Here's another shawl! This one I sort of just made up as I went along using rows of double crochet and double crochet chain one.  Once you make a few triangle shaped shawls they all sort of follow the same formula.

I used Lion Brand Homespun in Purple Haze with a "L" hook.  

Blockette picked the yarn out.  She has such good taste in yarn.  Well, most of the time.  Her first choice is always neon pink but I think that's just a 7yr old thing.

I thought that I'd be good with just 2 skeins of yarn.  Nope.  I needed 3 and a half to finish the shawl like I wanted to.  Of course they didn't carry Purple Haze at Michaels so I had to make the haul to Joann Fabrics where I bought the original 2 skeins.  I got the last one in the store in the dye lot I needed.  What luck!

I just love how soft and fuzzy this shawl turned out!  It's maybe not the best shawl for the summer, but come November someone is going to enjoy cuddling up in it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Black Bean Cookies

Here is the story of when I actually tell my daughter the truth, and she doesn't believe me.

You see, for the longest time she hated black beans.  Because I'm a mean mom I would make them all the time and make her eat them.  I did this enough that now she likes them.  But before that happened I'd tell her that EVERYTHING had black beans in it.  Especially dessert.  (See?  Super mean mom!)  So when I told her that these Chocolate Brownie Cookies from Eliza's Edibles had black beans in them she thought I was yanking her chain.

Unlike these chickpea cookies, you could not taste the beans. 

Also, I've noticed that desserts with legumes can have an unusual texture. I made one key change to the recipe from Eliza's Edibles that masked the tell tale bean-i-ness.  OATS!  Oats totally save the day.  The texture of the oats covers up anything that might be confused for a bean.  Awesome!

Here's my adaptation of Eliza's Edibles' Secretly Healthy Black Bean Brownie Cookies
1 1/2 c cooked black beans (or use 1 can salt free black beans)
2 T milk
1 1/2 T peanut butter
2 T olive oil
1 t vanilla
3 T whole wheat flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/2c + 1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 c old fashioned oats
1/3 c dark chocolate chips plus extra for topping

Preheat oven to 375.  In food processor, blend beans until they get clumpy.  Add milk, peanut butter, oil and vanilla.  Blend and blend and blend until very very smooth, making sure to scrape the sides.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add this to the bean mixture in 3-4 parts, scraping down the sides and blending smooth after each addition.  Pulse in the oats.  Your dough should be very light and fluffy at this time and fully pureed.  Do not over mix at this point or your oats will turn into oat flour.  Stir in chips by hand.  Using a small scoop place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Gently flatten cookies with moistened fingertips.  (These cookies spread very little.) Gently press 3 or so chips into the top of the dough.  Bake for 10 min. Cool on sheet for 3 min, then cool on rack.  Store covered in fridge.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another T-shirt surgery

Here's another shirt that was too large for me that I cut down to size.

 Our church does crop walk in the fall, so I left this shirt on the less fitted side.  That way I can wear a long sleeve shirt underneath if it's chilly outside.

If you notice, I made the shirt considerably wider at the bottom.  As I'm a shorty short pants this shirt goes way down over my bum.  Since my bum is considerably wider than my mid section, I allowed extra width to accommodate the junk in my trunk. The shirt now fits comfortably over my behind.  As an added bonus the sleeves are not so wide that you can see the side of my bra when I move my arm.  Yay!

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Reads

Not much happened in the world of reading over the month of May. 
 I did too much catching up on TV and crafting to do reading.  
The only things I read were the graphic novels: Walking dead book 5  and book 6

This is going to have to change over the summer or my brain will congeal.