Anniversary Cake

So my grandparents just celebrated their 50th anniversary, I’m as broke as ever, so I made them a baked good – with exactly what I had. It was everything listed below, I whipped it up one night on the fly and it turned out awesome. In my original recipe I had two eggs, it turned a bit heavy, so I decided to lighten it up with only one egg and just an egg white.

Ingredients

For Cakes

  • 2 c of flour
  • 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
  • 3/4 c of almonds (chopped ideally)
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg

For Topping

  • 1.5 c heavy cream
  • 2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1/4 c of sugar

Instructions

Cream butter and sugar, add egg white and whip until fluffy. Add in egg and almond flavoring, then add in flour by the 1/4 cup, mix until fully combined before adding the next spoonful. Add pecans last, pour into 6 small cake bowls, then bake at 375 for about 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown.

When the cakes are cooled, add the ingredients for the topping together and whip until it forms peaks.

Asiago Tortellini and Chicken Soup

So today I came home from work and started defrosting chicken without much of a plan. I was tired and frankly a bit uninterested in cooking. Then, when I was getting the chciken out of the freezer, I saw a half bag of ravioli wrapped up in the door. I was struck by inspiration, albeit loosely so. I began to poke about after dicing the chicken and setting it to cook. The rest of this dish evolved as I cooked, and it turned out great!

Ingredients

For Chicken

3 chicken breasts, diced.

1 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder

For Soup

1 can of pinto beans

2/4 c asiago cheese (grated)

2 c heavy cream

320z chicken broth

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp Garlic

2-3 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

Instructions

Put your chicken in with the spices to begin cooking on medium heat. Make your roux (Click the link and it’ll take you to a post explaining this if you’re new to them). Add salt, pepper, garlic and to roux and then whisk in chicken broth once it’s formed. Add in heavy cream and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.

Add in the Asiago cheese, pinto beans, tortellini and chicken, cook until tortellini is done.

Additional Option: I added 1 c of small shells (cooked separately to al-dente) and then added them when the rest of it was done. It’s a nice addition if you are wanting it to go farther.

 

Hello my friends

It’s been a crazy month, I’ve started a great job and traveled a bit to do my training. I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to cook up anything new, instead I’ve been doing a lot of crock pot meals.

Today was not one of those days!!! I got up to cooking and had a great time – I’ll post the awesome recipe later. My Viking also cooks once a week now, and he’s made an awesome stir-fry that I’ll post too!!

Anyway, I hope you all are having a lovely summer thus-far. And I also hope you’re having better luck with your health goals, hah, I’m drinking a lot of pop to keep up with the early morning routine. Ugh. My beach body is definitely on hold but the good news is I’m ahead of schedule on my winter cushion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fellow Writers!

Hey guys, it’s going to be a busy week, starting a new job, and I’ve found my writing completely stalling out. I keep wanting to watch Netflix instead, and this is a common symptom of my bouts of near-clinical depresh, no big. So I decided I would reach out and ask what you guys do to get the creative juices flowing?

I think I need to try something new to jolt myself out of this rut! And before your minds go somewhere uncouth, I already tried that something new, didn’t help. It was fun, but it didn’t help.

Anyway, I hope you have an amazing week! And thanks in advance for the help!

Asiago Bread

Perfect soup bread, this Asiago bread is easy and pretty much just a variation of my basic recipe, but adding in the cheese. I’ll put it here, but there’s not a whole lot more to it. IMG_20170524_174532760.jpg

Basic Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 package (or 2 and 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 2 c warm water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 4 – 6 c white flour
  • 1.5-2 c Asiago Cheese. I buy fresh and shred it myself because I think it’s better for baking for it to be as fresh as possible.
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Preparation

Mix yeast and warm water in a large bowl, whisk it in, and then the salt. Whisk in 1.5 c of the flour, when it starts to look like paste add in the cheese. At this point start using the wooden spoon and add in flour until the bread is sticky but keeps its shape.

Use olive oil  to grease a bowl and put in the bread and allow it to rise until it doubles in size. Punch down and knead for a few minutes if you plan on shaping it or braiding it. If you just want a single loaf, you can just put it directly into a pan and let it rise for another 45 minutes or so. Brush the bread with egg whites if you want, to get that beautiful shiny bread finish.

Preheat your oven while the bread rises, to 400F, bake for 35-40 minutes, if you’re doing a whole loaf, closer to 20 minutes if you do rolls or buns, in the end you want the buns to be golden brown.

Beef Tips – Slow Cooker (Or Chicken)

So this was the recipe I decided to make for my dinner with my friend earlier this week. It’s a favorite of hers, I’ve made it for her and her son (my amazing nephew) on several occasions, even when he was in his ‘picky’ stage, he adored it. It’s amazing and great with rice or noodles, and it can be done with chicken if you are super broke, which, as we all know, is befitting me and my budget often enough.

In the recipe, there is red wine, but let me tell you, there is 2$ red at Walmart, it keeps amazing since you’re not drinking it. I mean if you want to drink it, no judgement, but I only ever have cooked with it, so I can’t verify the quality.

Anywho, this is a make it and leave it recipe, best if you cook it at least 6-7 hours, and lean meat.

Ingredients

1.5-2lb roast, cut to pieces, trimmed of fat.

1 large can of cream of mushroom

1-1.5 c red wine

1 pkt brown gravy

1 pkt Stroganoff mix

Salt and pepper to taste

Roughly 1 tsp red pepper

Dash of ground mustard

2 c Beef Stock (Or 2 cubes beef bullion and water)

1 tbsp minced garlic

Instructions

Cut your meat, make sure to trim the fat unless you like the pieces chewy (Or like me, enjoy the extra flavor, I’m weird, maybe you are too). I usually cut them into squares of about the size of quarters.

Add in the beef broth, spices, red wine and then mushroom gravy.

Then turn your crock pot on low and let it cook for about 7 hours. Serve over rice or noodles, I think it’s better over some simple fast-cook instant rice sort of thing, maybe sauteed with some garlic and butter. The noodles are still great, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re working on portion size, rice is easier.

Woman you have no job!

So I haven’t had anything to do other than cook this week and I still managed to not post my dinner party recipes this week, dear god.

So I got distracted. My friend had a baby over – her niece – and she got sick, has gurd (gerd?) I don’t fucking know. We didn’t know she had it, fed her, it was a mess, she screamed for ages, vomited and on top of that it turns out she had a double ear infection, that little doll was miserable. Felt bad for her.

But then I got distracted and tired and that night I forgot to post anything – and then the rest of the weekend happened….soooooo…..yeah…..

Once something is out of my head it takes a while to orbit back sometimes, haha.

Anyway, right now I’m watching some Cloud9 and I’m going to get all the recipes written down and post them. Happy Memorial Day folks.

Dinner Party

So, I am going to a dinner party – really we don’t call it that but that’s what it is – with my very best friend. She decided we should grab our men and meet up while I’m between jobs, and each make part of the dinner then meet at her house. I was thrilled.

The dinner is tomorrow, she is making mushroom soup and I’m making her favorite dish of mine, my beef tips. Have I put those up here? I’ll check and if not I’ll add it, it’s awesome.

Since she’s making soup, and I’m not working, I decided I’ll make bread too, and then I wanted to make a dessert….so I’m going to make cupcakes.

I decided to make white-chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting. I’m broke, between jobs and all that, so I’m going to do them from scratch instead of buying a mix. Should be exciting!

I’ll post all the recipes tomorrow as I cook, I’m so pumped!

Butterscotch Mousse-ish

So I won’t lie to you all, you’re my peeps, I don’t actually know how to make legit mousse. I’ve never looked up a recipe for it – pinned several – but never given it an actual look-over.

Cut to Saturday night, I was having a desire to make, something, and looking up at my pantry with dissatisfaction. I’m not able to spend any money, so I was stuck with what I have already on hand.

What I had was two boxes of butterscotch pudding. Now I had purchased that for a cookie recipe – like any good Potterhead, I’ve tried to make Butterbeer everything, it was one of those – and so I was hesitant to use it up – but my craving would not be denied.

So I decided to make ‘mousse’ with what I had and some pudding mix. The result was actually pretty impressive!

I originally wanted to put them in little croissant cups – by wrapping the bottoms of my cupcake pan, for ease – but I forgot to grease the cupcake bottoms and so they got stuck. It was frustrating, but fuck me the worst thing was the clean-up.

Anywho, here it is, my mousse-ish masterpiece.

Butterscotch Mousse

1 box pudding (the reality is this would work with any flavor)

1 cream cheese block

~1 c heavy cream

~1 c pecans (chopped)

Instructions

Pour pudding mix into a bowl, let your cream cheese soften at room temperature and then whip the two together, adding in heavy cream as you get it whipped up. At this point you have a choice – you can add in the pecans now, and whip it to a nice thickness – or you can just use the pecans to top them off.

Spoon the resulting mousse into bowls that can be covered, or Tupperware and garnish with additional pecans – or the only pecans – and put in the fridge for a couple hours to cool and set.

The resulting treat is fantastic! It definitely needs the nuts though so if you’re allergic I recommend gram crackers to give it the additional texture and taste that makes it so awesome and cuts a touch of the richness that is inherent with a recipe of this sort.

It’s all been a Con – Growing up and Other Shit

IMG_20170522_020316590

Good Evening!

So I’m up late with back pain – and no real need to moderate my sleep schedule – and I was reading Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, and she talks about how she expected fame to change her for the better, which is to say, not make her a pretentious douche, and I found myself laughing because I had a conversation eerily similar to this not two weeks ago with a series of friends of mine.

None of us are famous by any means, but we were talking about how we all thought that by now, our mid-late 20s, we’d have magically transformed into adults. We all had this image in our minds of what adults looked like; spoiler alert – none of us feel like we match that image. One of us achieved their career dream recently – and is muddling through a divorce and single motherhood, one moved back home and scrapes for jobs and maintaining student loan payments, one does freelance work and occasionally makes enough money to be considered successful, but just as often doesn’t crack double digits.

We laughed and we groaned, but after I closed the chat for the day, I started thinking more deeply about who I used to be. I remember being in high school, imagining how different I would be in ten years. That’s next year. NEXT YEAR. And I am not sure how I measure up. I’m several pounds heavier. I have more trouble getting up at a reasonable hour. I never got a degree, which my high school self takes as a personal insult – and I require medication to moderate my anxiety.

IMG_20170305_012707_802

WHAT? This girl has anxiety? Her eyes don’t look crazy at all!

Now, that being said, it’s not like I’ve been a total failure or anything, at least by my own standards. I lived alone, bought a car alone, fell in love, lost my virginity – high school lady had no interest but also little hope this would ever occur – and found myself comfortable in a long-term relationship. I even got so self sufficient and independent that I was awkward being in said relationship.

This is not the person I thought I was going to be – she looked a lot more like, well, my mom, but that was when I thought she had it all figured out. Now I’m older, wiser, and the reality that has set in more fully ever year since I turned 20 is that NO ONE DOES. They fake it – and what’s worse, they come to us as teenagers, hell even elementary-aged children, and badger us for some sort of ‘plan’ for ourselves. What the fuck is that?

When I was five I wanted to be a teacher. And a mom. And a ballerina. My attitude was more befitting a bawdy bar maid, even then, but my favorite things in life were my mom, my teachers (Ahhh, I was so cute) and SkyDancers. My teachers and parents encouraged this, they wanted me and my friends to plot things out for ourselves – be like them.

Now to be clear, I know a few people – very few – who actually found themselves doing what they wanted as children. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s amazing, but the likelihood of it is so small I just don’t get why we pressure kids to figure it out.

After we detached ourselves from public schooling and found our way to college, or trade school, or whatever, my friends and I started looking around and we were all a little…confused.

Wait – this is just more high school? Wasn’t it supposed to be different? Aren’t boys supposed to suddenly find my brain sexy? Aren’t I supposed to have transformative experiences even though I don’t live on/near campus and I work full time? Make lifelong friends even though we only see each other a few hours a week? Aren’t these classes supposed to be more interesting?

And most of all – aren’t I supposed to know what the hell I’m doing here?

Still other friends were running smack dab into other stone-walls of adulthood. They became mothers, met the loves of their lives – or didn’t – got married, tried drugs (Not necessarily the same people).

We were everywhere along the map within a couple years and the weird thing is our ideas of what an adult should be didn’t seem to adjust to the real world around us. Instead our generation developed the word ‘adulting’ for some bizarre sensation we get each time we do something that we know to be ‘grown up’ but have no sense of self-change.

Presidential Selfie

I had a migraine this day. But I gots to get my civil responsibility on!

I don’t know how you feel about the term ‘adulting’, it alternates between making me laugh and making me ache, but the concept comes from this oddly common mindset we have that there was going to be a ‘moment’ when we stopped feeling like our old selves and became…Adults.

This doesn’t exist.

I’ve gone through traumatic things in my life, dealt with things far and away within the adult sphere. After those events, nothing about me felt transformed in an overall way. Maybe the way I thought about something, or the way I made decisions changed, but was the same person. And I’m probably always going to be. I can see my 90 year old self chilling in a rocker, texting arthritically, telling my great-grand-children errant stories about Pokemon Go and white-water rafting on Snake River.

I don’t see myself become a different person – but my priorities are definitely different. I think that’s what’s going constantly change as I age. When I have babies I don’t know that I’m going to care as much about the outcome of certain TV programs, I’ll be more worried about playing peek-a-boo. I won’t window-shop online for lingerie as much, instead it’s toys and diaper bags – and lingerie because after a baby I can only imagine the more distraction you have the better.

Right now I don’t really care about planning for the future – I should, it’s just I get caught up in switching jobs and finding a career – or at least a way to pay my rent next month so my boyfriend doesn’t have to cover it – and some day, hopefully soon – starting a savings account! Oh to dream.

 

So I figure all this out – it must not bother me, right? Fuck off. Life still presses me to be – but not feel like – an adult all the time, and I am like, “Oh yeah, I pay my own rent, I got this.” But then I remember that before my boyfriend moved in, there were several times I cried myself to sleep, terrified how I was going to make it through to the next paycheck.

It calms me the fuck down.

And then my uterus reminds me that I’m closer to 30 than 20 and it’s time for me to have BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jesus Christ.

Several of my friends who don’t want kids laugh at me when I bemoan this condition, as they have little to no-such biological alerts going off.

IMG_20170507_175918505

Oh yeah, it’s magic baby!

Anyway, the overlying point here is that it’s a confluence, all the time, from the day they start asking us to plot out our lives, we feel like we ought to be prepared for it, that it works, and the reality is that life teaches us as we grow is that all that shit is wrong, and we’re buoys bobbing along in the current, catching on rocks when we can, but overall, just keeping heads above the water, for lack of a more original metaphor.

Growing up is a hoax, you’re going to feel like a kid for the rest of your life, off and on. Being an adult is a myth; you are never ‘an adult’ you’re just an older, ideally more capable, version of yourself.

Just embrace it. It’s more fun that way.