Pie and Turkey Day

I was watching tv one day and came across Man Vs Food.  In this episode (which I failed to see all of) Adam visits a little place called Yoder’s Restaurant in Sarasota, FL.  He was there to discuss pies.  When he came to the question of the most popular pie on the menu, the woman said without a thought, “our Peanut Butter Cream Pie.”  Of course he then asked her how to make it.

As I watched this woman assemble the pie, only one thought screamed in my mind.  “Aaron’s family would love this!”  I knew at the next big event I would be making this pie.  And of course, as that was only a couple of months ago, the next big thing (outside of birthdays) is Thanksgiving.  What better time to make a pie?  So this last Sunday I made a test pie.  I have never made a pie before and I wanted to make sure it would work out before Thanksgiving Day.  A sort of dress rehearsal.  We went over to Aaron’s folks’ house for dinner, and they were more than willing to serve as a test audience.  I figured out what tweaks needed to be made, and everyone enjoyed the hell out of that pie.

Now I have to admit something.  I’ve been living with this idea in my head for about two months now, and couldn’t for the life of me tell you where it came from.  I vaguely remembered that I saw it on Man Vs Food, but couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant, or even where he was.  I had to look all of that up just now so I could write this post without feeling guilty about not giving credit where it was due.  In the process of looking it up, I found a number of recipes.  It hadn’t even occurred to me to look it up.  The whole idea seemed rather straight forward…

You start with a crust.  Whether you want to make the crust or buy ready made is completly up to you.  I cheated, and bought a Pillsbury roll and bake crust (they were on sale).  You make a mixture of peanut butter and powdered sugar (after some experimenting I worked out that it was 1 part peanut butter, 2 parts powdered sugar) and pour half of it into the crust.  Make home made vanilla pudding and pour that it.  Top with a little bit more peanut butter mixture, some whipped cream, and the rest of the peanut butter mix sprinkled on the top.

The first trick I had to learn was how to make home made pudding.  I had never even though to learn.  I am glad that I did.  It is amazing, blissful, and tasty.  I will never eat jello pudding again (I lie, but I probably won’t ever buy it myself).  If you want to use box pudding, you can.  It will make me sad, and your life will be just a little empty because of it, but you can.  After learning to make pudding, everything else was pretty simple.

I will make another pie this evening, to be served tomorrow.  If the reviews I have already gotten are anything to go by, it will be a hit.  For anyone who wants my pudding recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll send it via email a few weeks before Christmas.

Every year I collect my favorite recipes that I learn that year and send them to friends and family that I think will appreciate them.  Please let me know if you want to be added to that list.  Along with the pudding, this years recipes include…

  • Hot Chocolate Milk Mix
  • Chocolate Syrup (for chocolate milk or on top of ice cream)
  • Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
  • Tomato Soup Cake (I know it sounds weird, but trust me)
  • My Granola Bars (a very adjustable recipe)
  • Acorn Squash Soup (which will also grace the Turkey Table this year)
  • “Butter Chicken” (Not a true butter chicken, but a tasty and fairly quick rendition)
  • Naan (to go with the butter chicken)
  • Zucchini Parmesan
  • Slow Cooked Whole Chicken (not so much a recipe as an idea and guidelines)
  • Slow Cooked Gingered Chickpeas and Tomato Stew

So if you want on the list, you have to tell me.  I will not send these recipes via facebook or any other means, only the people on the email list will receive them.

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Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pushing Numbers

I turned 29 last year and a phrase has started to work it’s way into my head.  No one (thankfully) has actually used this phrase in reference to me, yet, but it still bothers me.  The phrase is “Pushing Thirty.”

Now I’ve gotten my fair share of old jokes already.  There’s always the best friend pointing and laughing and saying, “Ha ha, you’re old because some high school student didn’t know that song/movie/pop culture reference you just made.”  This is not a sign of my age so much as it is a sign of these kids ignorance.  They must be educated! Sorry, that’s not really the point, just wanted to get that out there.

We never worry about a birthday up until the big Three Zero.  29 is not a scary number.  Nor were any of the numbers before that.  This is really no different, it’s just a marker of how many years you’ve been on the planet.  So why does it worry so many people?  I have never heard of anyone “pushing 25” or any other age.  No one gets freaked out over their 20th birthday* and that represents a whole 2 decades of life.  So why is it that 3 decades on the planet suddenly makes you old?

We never push any birthdays that don’t end in a 0.  Have you noticed this?  We’re always pushing 30, or 40, and onwards until we die.  And where exactly are we pushing these years to?  Are we pushing them away in general?  Are we pushing them over a cliff?  The days are going to go by at the same rate they always have, so why do we think metaphorically pushing a specific date is going to keep it from arriving on time?

I refuse to push!  I’m simply going to allow the days to come and wash over me.  I have no issues with my birthdays, no matter what number they bring with them.  So this year, in the beautiful month of November, I will proudly be turning… 28.

* Except my mother.  On her 20th birthday she cried and when asked what was wrong she blurted out, “I’m not a teeny-bopper any more.”  I’ve never made any claims that my mother is exactly stable.

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Good Bye 2008

This was not an exciting year for me.  Really, it wasn’t.  I didn’t work, didn’t have any great revelations about myself, didn’t grow, didn’t change.  I’m a little annoyed with myself, actually.

Ashton changed so much that it was scary.  But then again, he turned two in October, so I think that’s a requirement. Aaron picked up his violin again and has started to combine hobbies.  He’s played violin for studio functions twice now, and played for Isis’ New Years Eve show.

I look through my Myspace and I don’t see anything.  Sure, I performed at different events, and I joined the MultiCultural Dance Team at the studio, but that’s really all I’ve done.  I guess I’ve read some good books.  I’ve become nothing but a mom who happens to have some hobbies.  My weight hasn’t changed much – it may have even gotten worse over the last couple of months –  so there wasn’t any great accomplishment there.  I just existed.

So I have some goals…

I need to get myself out of the “routine” routines that I’ve been doing for the studio.  I need some new inspiration.  I’m working on it

I want to light a fire under Isis’ ass and see about getting a parade detail worked out.  We (the studio) haven’t done a single parade in the last year, unless you count Scarborough Faire.  I’d like to have an actual group who does parades, and actual small choreographies within them.

I want to pick up a more productive hobby.  I want to get better with my jewelry making and actually see about setting up an Etsy acount and sell some stuff.  This is going to reuqire some new equipment, instead of me faking it with what I have (peyote beads don’t work with a regular needle very well.  I need some proper bead needles).  I would also like to learn to tat and combine the tatting and bead work.

If I could find a way to pick up some extra time working on flowers, I would love that.  I’ve offered to help some friends who have a shop, and I would like to learn as much as I can.  I really want to do this for a living.

So there you have it.  Not very lofty goals, but you have to start somewhere.  Most of them involve educating myself further in the things I enjoy.  Hopefully I can take the things I love and become successful with them.  Wish me luck!

This Year in Fail

Last year I actually put together a list of new years resolutions.  I know, silly.  I really don’t like them, but I manage to do one almost every year with every intention to follow through.  I do try to come up with stuff that’s actually attainable, but it’s still easy to let yourself down to some degree.  So here is my rundown of my success for the year.  I know I still have a month left, but I fail to see how any of these can be accomplished in 30 days.

– Go to yoga more regularly.  I’ve been really having issues getting back into the habit. I was really good about this one.  Up until October I went almost religiously.  But due to medical and personal issues, I have had problems going for the last couple of months.
– Change my eating habits.  This one is already in process, I just need to stick to it. I’ve mostly stuck to it, but not as well as I probably should have.  It’s just so easy to run and grab fast food when you’re busy with a two year old.  But for the most part I try to be a good girl.
– Work on feeling better about my body.  Do we see a theme here? I have no idea how successful I was with this.  My body has been strange and weight seems to be yo-yoing.  My main concern is the tummy that Ashton left behind.  It’s been two years and I still can’t seem to work any of it off.
– Come to terms with the Damsels, and strive to help make them better.  I think there may be some changes that need to be made, not just talked about.  And a few very serious conversations need to be had.  I’m not looking forward to this one. We have completely revamped the Damsels, and have taken most of the year off to work on various stuff.  This is one resolution that has been done, and is still in progress.
– Dance better, if I can.  I need to strive to be more creative in my choreography. I try.  I think my routines are starting to look… routine.  I seem to be in a rut as far as dancing goes.  But I’ve joined the Multicultural Team at the studio, so I think that will help me with different styles.
– Dance at a nursing home event.  I need to know when they are.  I’ve never actually done one. I still haven’t done one.  I never know when they are.
– Hang out with more than just three or four friends all the time.  I love these people dearly, but we have friends that we’ve not seen in a long time.  I think it may be time to try and strengthen those connections. We’ve tried, but haven’t been very good about this.  All of our socializing have been with the same group of friends.  But we have seen a few other friends this year.
– I would like to try and be pregnant at the end of this year.  Don’t know exactly when we’ll start trying, but some time and the end of this year. Unless I get pregnant this month, this one is down the drain.  This was my biggie, and I really was hoping to be pregnant by now.  I hoped that the second pregnancy would be easier than the first, but we discovered that I had to be medicated again just to have a regular cycle.  This is a major factor in any mild depression I’ve been feeling lately.
– I think I would like to make a non-holiday visit up to Oklahoma to see everyone. Mom and I seem to be making a yearly summer visit up there with Ashton.
– Go camping without going to a Ren Faire.  I’ve wanted to go camping for the sake of camping for ages. Yeah… no.  I only went to one Ren Faire this year where I camped anyway.  Someday…

So that’s my year end success rate.  I’m sure I’ll put up my new year resolutions within the first week of 2009, but for now I have no idea what those might be.

S’mores

I should not be allowed to get creative when it comes to desserts.  We have clearly seen in the past that no good can come from it.  But yet, I continue with my mad concoctions.  This time it was my s’more cookies.  I promised that I would share with you, so here goes.  I do not write recipes, keep that in mind.

Pick up a box of graham cracker crumbs and follow the recipe on the side of the box for graham cracker crust (usually used for cheese cake).  I doubled the recipe so that I would have plenty.  Get yourself a muffin tin (this should make about 24) and spray it down with non stick spray.

What I did: I only lined the bottom of the tins so it would be more like a cookie.

What I should have done: Actually made little pies (or tarts) and lined the bottom and sides with graham cracker crust.

After those bake for however long the box says to, set them aside to cool and start making your marshmallow.  I used this recipe and it turned out lovely.  You will not need the powered sugar and corn starch, because you are not making actual marshmallows, but a filling  You want them to stick to your crust.  You will then fill the marshmallow cream into the little graham cracker shells.  Move quickly!!!  The marshmallow will start to set up and become very difficult to work with.  Set them in the fridge over night to set up.

The next day melt some milk chocolate.  Chips work best in my opinion, but it’s up to you.  I used a whole bag of chocolate chips.  No idea how much that was (already threw away the bag) but you get the idea.

What I did: I tried various methods to cover the cookies completely in chocolate.  After this failed impressively i just tried to dip the tops of the cookies in, and had a lot of marshmallow melt off in the process.

What I should have done: Since they would have had whole crusts around them, I should have just dolloped the chocolate onto the top (if you’re fancy you could probably use a piping bag, but you have to work fast so that it stays soft).  They would have been much prettier that way.

S'more Cookies

They’re not very pretty.  But damn, they taste awesome!

Ash Teaches Class

Ok so this is another quickie.  We were up at Isis Studios on Saturday rehearsing for the Christmas Hafla and getting ready for the audition.  We brought the boy with us because we really didn’t think ahead and get a baby sitter.  Ashton has learned to open doors.  Simply shutting all the doors to the places we don’t want him going no longer works.  My life is over.

So we were in our rehearsal space which is attached to a hallway that leads to the kitchen as well as the main classroom.  Ashton found his way into the classroom and was greeted by about twenty or so women.  Those of you who know my son are aware that he is just the shyest kid on the planet.  Those of you who have never met him, look around you at the people who have.  See how hard they are laughing right now?

The lovely lady who was warming up the class invited Ashton onto the stage to help her warm them up.   He hopped up there and relished in the attention.  He tried a few stretches, seemed to favor the squat, and was sent back to me when Isis was ready to take over the class.  The rest of my rehearsal time was spent chasing him around, trying to keep him from his room full of adoring fans, and attempting to get at least some rehearsal time in.  I went home, put him down for a nap, and had a friend come over to watch him (Thanks Lissa!) while I went back to the studio for my audition. Ashton Teaches ClassOne of the girls was nice enough to take a picture for me with her phone.  Thank you Amy.

There will be a real post soon.  Probably instructions on how to make a horrible cookie, smore, marshmallow… thingie.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.

Brief Dialog From Bed

Last night it was a bit cold in our room.

Aaron:   Stop trying to suck away all of my warmth!  Let me warm up a bit first and then I’ll warm you up.  I’m almost there.

Me        *Sulks, waits a couple of seconds, and curls back around husband*  Are you warm yet?

Aaron:   No!  Be patient.

Me:        But you said you were almost there!  You lied!  You’re a liar.  If you were wearing pants they would be on fire.

Aaron:   Oh and you would just love it if my pants were on fire, would you?

Me:       Yes!  Then you’d be warm!!!

Published in: on November 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weekend of Long Neverending-ness

Friday

So it started when I got an insane idea.  You see, Friday night is veggie night.  My friend Lissa comes over for dinner and she is a vegetarian, so we have special dinners.  I’m getting tired of Indian inspired meals, baked veggies, and pasta.  I needed something different this week.  So what do I do?  I go pull the sushi book off the shelf that has been sitting there for years.  And yes, I made, or at least attempted to make, sushi.

The rice was a bitch.  Let me just tell you that right up front, making sushi rice is just a not very pleasant experience.  You cook the rice, which is no big deal.  You make the vinegar stuff, which is do-able.  You combine the two, constantly mixing with one hand and fanning with the other to get the rice to room temperature.  Both of you hands fall off.  Aaron came home, Lissa showed up, and together we made some very messy looking vegetarian sushi (cucumber rolls, avocado, asparagus, and tofu) but all of it was tasty!  Ok, so I don’t know how to pick out an avocado (I’ve never been a big fan of the stuff) and I managed to get the hardest one in existence, but aside from that it was very tasty.  The wasabi might have been a bit… um… intense.  But that wasn’t my fault!  It was the only pre-made brand that they had!  After dinner was over we had some dessert, and watched America’s Next Top Covergirl, followed by some time looking at this site.  Full of sugar and drama, we decided to make my birthday cup-cake-cake (for a party the following night).  After looking at Cake Wrecks, we decided to make our own.  I have to say that this was an incredible success.  It was definitely a wreck:

cakewreckIsn’t it perdy?

Saturday was busy, but wasn’t too bad.  I had a rehearsal that afternoon, followed by a Multicultural meeting.  Our cane routine is looking so awesome and cute and precious and all those other things that make me jump up and down and make little girlie noises.   After that I ran home as fast as my little tires would carry me and got ready to leave.  We went to Aaron’s Aunt Judy’s home and dropped off the small child and went partying.  The party was graciously hosted by our very good friends Matt and Angie, and was a split party.  Another friend was celebrating her birthday as well.  There was booze and cake and Rock Band and… and… the Jello Shots.  To be honest I don’t remember a whole lot after that.  I’d imagine that a good time was had by all.

Sunday was a day of rest.  I was soooooooo tired (and not hung over at all.  Nope, no sir, not me.  Stop laughing!) and blissfully my husband let me sleep until an obscene hour which we will not discuss here.  Then we went to “breakfast” and headed back to Judy’s to pick up the boy.  We then went to the In-Law’s and had dinner and watched a very silly movie.  We picked up Journey to the Center of The Earth with the 3D glasses and all, but it was a bust as they only gave us two pair and they were kind of crap anyway.  But it was a fun movie even if it was boring old 2D.  Then we went home and passed out.  And everyone lived happily ever after.