Yesterday was the three – year anniversary of the very first time The BF and I went on a date. In case you wondered, we went to dinner and then to his buddy’s birthday party. I wore a dark blue argyle sweater, jeans, and brown boots.
Ok, wait a minute. Ask me what I had for lunch yesterday and I will draw a blank…but I remember what I wore on a date three years ago? That makes sense.
So yesterday I baked some cupcakes, took a shower, and did my hair and makeup…I mean, I used a curling iron. I haven’t used one of those in years, so it’s big news. I even got to wear my red jeans and my new boots. Hey, when I leave the house (for something other than the grocery store) I get fancy.
Anyway, because we are the most exciting people you know, we had dinner at a newish Mexican/Peruvian place here in town and then went to Wal-Mart. I thought we were there to get O diapers, but The BF walked in the wrong direction and ended up in the shampoo aisle. That guy remembered me saying I wanted to try this sulfate – free shampoo I read about and wanted to get it for me, but he forgot what it was called.
I can practically hear everyone saying, “Awwwwwww…”
So now I’m seriously tortured because my new shampoo and conditioner is sitting on the shelf in the shower mocking me. I don’t wash my hair every day (most times not even every other day) but the waiting is killing me…I’ve even been sneaking in to sniff the bottle all morning. I just have to be strong and tough it out.
As for the cupcakes (because honestly, that’s why you’re reading this)…Wow. I know I have declared a couple of chocolate cake recipes the Best Ever! but this one is really, really good.
I used this recipe from the Hershey’s website , with a couple of minor changes.
Instead of plain water (bor-ring), I used cooled black coffee. I also threw in some ground black pepper, about 1/4 teaspoon. I know that sounds weird but please just trust me and try it out… I put it in every chocolate cake I make. I thought I was the only one that did it, but apparently The BF’s awesome grandma was a fan of it, too. No wonder she and I got along so well…Great minds!
For the peanut butter buttercream, I used Wilton’s recipe and altered it slightly. After following the recipe exactly, I decided it needed more peanut butter and added another 1/4 cup… In all, I used between 7 and 8 tablespoons of milk to get the consistency right.
These have been a big hit so far. I would definitely recommend baking them for your next special occaision… And if you don’t have anything special coming up, just find something to celebrate. Tomorrow is Friday? Well there you go!
You know you want to.
Here are a few phrases I could go without for maybe forever:
Post – baby body
The post baby body stuff is ridiculous. Women resorting to extreme measures (diet pills, starvation diets) to lose the baby weight at any cost and then posting selfies on Facebook for attention…Come on. First of all, it’s super obvious when you’re sucking in. Second of all, you may just be making another woman feel bad about herself because she’s struggling to lose the baby weight naturally. At the end of the day, your baby doesn’t care what you look like and to be quite honest, neither do I.
You want to know a secret? I don’t care if you snapped right back the second you squeezed that kid out, your body will never, ever, EVER be the same.
I actually weigh less than I have in years right now. Outwardly, it appears that I have achieved the post baby Holy Grail or some such nonsense. You know what, though? Running is no longer a workout option for me. Pregnancy obliterated my hips and knees so that after a few light runs I was in pain for a month. I can’t do high knees without peeing a little. In fact, sometimes I pee when I sneeze, or cough, or laugh, or turn my head the wrong way.
My c-section and myomectomy scars are annoying as Hell. I don’t know how something can be numb but still itch and occasionally ache. Have you ever tried to scratch an itch on a part of your body that is numb? My God, it’s maddening. You could use a cheese grater and it still wouldn’t provide relief.
My poor boobs. I don’t even really have boobs anymore… just sad little flaps. Like, I might not fill out my first training bra. The boy will sometimes pull the neck of my shirt out and take a look…only to pop up and shrug his shoulders at me like, “There’s nothing down there, mama!”
But how do you expect your body to go through such a hugely enormous thing and remain unscathed? I like my body now… post – baby flaws and all. Maybe even because of my flaws. I’ve always embraced my scars but even the ones on my legs (that run from my knee to almost my hip) from bashing through glass aren’t as cool as my baby – removal one.
You might have been surprised to see mommy wars up there. I’ve written about it before, I’ve even shared a couple of other articles on Facebook. I’m guilty of contributing to this particular issue but I can’t be the only one that’s sick of hearing about it. If we stopped arguing over which parenting style is best, or whether stay at home moms or working moms have it harder, or God only knows what else… Maybe we would realize that it just doesn’t matter.
It just doesn’t matter.
Formula is great. Breastfeeding is great. The objective is to make sure your baby thrives. Just don’t put Mountain Dew in the kid’s bottle and you’re probably fine.
My kid sleeps in a crib in his own room. Are you locking your kid in a closet at night? No? Ok, you’re probably good.
I stay home with my boy. You leave the house to go to your job? Great! Guess what… we both work.
We all have insecurities about the way we parent. I worry constantly that my kid isn’t eating enough, or that I’m not giving him the right foods… I get all worked up about dentist and doctor appointments because I worry that he’ll have a cavity or he won’t have gained enough weight. I cringe every time he falls or runs into something because, there goes Harvard! You can drive yourself batshit crazy with what if scenarios but as long as you aren’t dropping your kid on his or her face all the time you’re probably doing ok.
So. Can we please drop it?
Ok, actually, not yet. I want to hear about your post – baby body weirdness or your extreme parenting fears (you know, the ones that are so out there they’re actually funny)… So leave a comment here and we’ll all have a good laugh.
I got a big ol’ bag of Hershey’s Kisses in my most recent Influenster vox box (among other awesome goodies) and I knew I had to make cookies. The bag even agreed with me, because what did I find on the back?
It was a message from above. Or from Hershey’s…
I only made one substitution. My mom and dad were planning to stop by and I wanted them to be able to eat a cookie or two, so I used Country Crock instead of the shortening (which is full of trans-fat).
I know that picture is probably hard to read, so here’s the recipe:
48 Hershey’s Kisses
1/2 cup shortening OR margerine
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Extra granulated sugar for dipping
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix shortening and peanut butter together until smooth, then add sugar and brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and stir.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together, then add to the peanut butter mixture a little at a time until a soft dough forms. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and then dip into the extra sugar. Place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Bake 8-10 minutes.
While the cookies are baking, unwrap the kisses and try not to eat them all. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a kiss into the center of each one. Place finished cookies on a rack to cool.
I actually had one of these cookies with my coffee this morning and I think it was a perfect breakfast.
Oh, who am I kidding? I had three. And a half.
I have this friend… She’s actually the mother of one of my oldest and dearest friends, so I’ve known her for practically my whole life. Anyway, this woman really knows her way around the kitchen and I’ve been lucky enough to lend her a hand occasionally. It was on one such morning that I was at her house, helping her put together a delicious meatloaf dinner, when she realized she had made an approximate ton of macaroni and cheese. Not wanting any of it to go to waste, she asked if I wanted to take some home.
Well who am I to say no to macaroni and cheese?
O had macaroni and cheese with his dinner that night, then mixed with peas, carrots, and diced chicken for lunch the next day. He was in heaven, but I knew if he ate too much more of the mac and cheese he wouldn’t poop for a week. I needed a way to use it up.
“Why not roll it in balls, coat it in breadcrumbs and more cheese, and then fry it up?”, said my internal health nut.
That’s exactly what I did. I served them with Sriracha mayo (just for the grownups) to be even more healthy.**
Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind.
Fried mac and cheese bites:
Cold leftover mac and cheese (I had about 2 cups)
1 cup Bisquick (or flour)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Oil for frying (I used Canola)
Start by setting out three shallow dishes (pie pans work really well). Bisquick goes in the first dish, then beaten eggs, and last will be breadcrumbs and parm mixed together.
Pour about 1/2 inch of oil into a fry pan and turn the heat to medium. I test the oil by flicking a teeny amount of water at the pan. If it pops and crackles, it’s ready!***
I made each bite about the size of a Girl Scout cookie. Scoop some of the cold mac and chees, shape it into a flat round, then start dipping in the order above. Bisquick, egg, breadcrumbs. Make sure to shake the excess off after each dip, then set them in a single layer on a paper plate.
When the oil is hot enough, begin frying the bites four or five at a time. It will only take about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, so watch them carefully. Once they are golden brown on both sides, quickly remove them to a paper towel lined plate.
Feel free to give them a little dusting of salt if you like. For the Sriracha mayo, just mix mayonnaise with as much Sriracha as you can handle. It’s the best thing to dip French fries in, too!
We gobbled these up in record time, and O was asking for “Mo? Mo?” I’d say they went over well.
**This is sarcasm. I don’t think one single element of these mac and cheese bites would be considered healthy.
***It occurred to me that this is probably not the safest way to see if oil is hot enough for frying. You might want to get out your thermometer. Look for a temperature between 325° and 375°.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my picture of the mini apple pies I made to celebrate national pie day:
Well, since I’ve been rather lazy in the kitchen lately (that pork loin was really the gift that kept on giving), and since I got a request for it… I thought I’d share the recipe. I’m a giver.
These little pies are super tasty and ridiculously easy…perfect for when you need to use up a few apples or when you want a sweet treat without much fuss.
For twelve mini pies, you’ll need:
One recipe heart – healthy pie crust (or your favorite store – bought crust for even less fuss)
3 medium/largeish-5 small apples (whatever variety you love), cored, peeled, and diced
Butter (about a teaspoon per mini pie)*
Caramel sauce (optional)
Preheat your oven to 425°. Spray a muffin tin with a little Pam.
Use a cookie cutter to cut circles out of your rolled out crust. You could also just tear off a chunk and press it into your muffin tin like I did. Either way, get a bottom crust into each hole of the muffin tin. Make sure a little crust hangs over the edge so you can seal the pies easily.
In each crust, add diced apples to the top of the tin. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over the apples (I didn’t measure, but maybe 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of each?), then either pour about a tablespoon of caramel sauce over everything, or add a dab of butter to the top. *I don’t recommend using both because the filling might get soupy.
Use whatever method you like to form top crusts, then place them over the pies and seal ‘em up. Vent each pie by cutting a slit into the top crust. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with more caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Prepare to be adored.
Yep, same picture. I just thought you might like to see them again. Now go bake!