Friday, March 30, 2012

Celebrating Her Birthday!

Earlier this week my daughter turned 22...

She's not at home to eat cake enjoy each other.

She's away at college and celebrated with her friends.

So I celebrated by buying pink glitter shoes for me...aren't they just grand!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Recipe: White Trash Ham

For Cathy...because she asked!

A cookbook titled How to be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Food...surely I needed this cookbook...I deserve to be a Goddess, don't I? It became one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, tellling me how to make those all important Molten Lava Chocolate BabyCakes that send you into chocolate overload with six simple ingredients...yes, only SIX!

Needless to say I bought more of Nigella's cookbooks...the next being How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food.  Immediately catching my eye was a section called White-Trash Lunch for 6.

White-Trash Lunch?  Yup....Ham in Coca-Cola; Parsley Potatoes, Snow Peas, and Young Peas; and Cherry Pie.  Good basic food...simply prepared...what I would expect on the table when I visited my Grandma. And, of course, there would have to be something prepared with Coca-Cola...whether it was Meat or was just a staple of cooking.

After cooking the recipe by the directions and then messing about with the recipe to find what works and doesn't work, I'm giving you the version that sits today in our family cookbook.

Important things to note:
 - This is not a recipe to do last minute, as you'll need to soak the ham overnight in the soda.
 - Do not use Diet Soda...if you do, you'll have a very bad tasting ham.

 1 Five (5)-pound bone-in ham, partially or fully cooked
 2 liters of Cherry Dr. Pepper

1. Pull out your largest stock pot, and put the ham inside.
2. Pour both liters of soda over the ham, ensuring the ham is totally covered in soda.
3. Cover and place the stock pot in the refrigerator overnight.
4. One hour before cooking: remove the stockpot from the refrigerator, placing the ham on a wire rack to air-dry.
5. Bake at 350 degrees until warm...about 30-40 minutes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Recipe: White Trash Brownies

There are some nights I don't sleep well...and, to tell the truth, I watch late-night talk shows. Earlier this week was one of those nights. Sorry I don't remember which show, but the featured guest was Jessica Simpson talking about her pregnancy, her weight, and Slutty Brownies.

Slutty brownies? How come I've never heard of such a thing? Why did Jessica Simpson know about these and not me?

Slutty brownies...triple layer brownies...but the best words to describe them to me are White Trash go along with that White Trash Ham I bake that's so words exist to describe it.  And these brownies go right into that category.

First version of the recipe is pretty easy (Duncan Hines website):
 - One bag of cookie dough mix prepared according to package directions
 - One bag of Oreos
 - One box of brownie mix prepared according to package directions
Layer in greased 9X9 pan and bake at 350 degrees until knife inserted in the center comes out clean (about 30 minutes).

I just don't like cookie dough I kept on searching until I found a from scratch recipe...and then started to bake.

Did your mother ever tell you to read a recipe all the way through before you start to prepare it?  Yeah, so I should have listened better...the scratch recipe had you prepare enough cookie dough for FOUR dozen cookies (according to the chocolate chip bag), use half and put the other half away to make cookies later in the afternoon.

Now why would I want to bake cookies after doing all this work? Don't I have enough to do around here?

So this is what worked for me...and the results were absolutely amazing! I will definitely add this one to my personal recipe book to share with family and friends.

White Trash Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9X12 pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper or tin foil...and spray again.
Cookie Layer

  1 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature) 
  1/2 cup brown sugar 
  1 1/2 cup white sugar 
  2 large eggs 
  2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  1 teaspoon salt 
  1 teaspoon baking soda 
  1 teaspoon baking powder 
  2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips 
Mix sugars and butter together until well-creamed.

Add eggs and vanilla extract..mix well.
Add in flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder...mix just until dough is formed..
Stir in chocolate chips.
Press into bottom of pan and bake for 10 minutes...note dough will still be soft.
Oreo Layer
  One bag double-stuff Oreo cookies
Lay Oreo cookies on top of baked cookie dough...single layer only folks.  
Put leftover cookies into plastic bag and hide for another day.
Brownie Layer
 One box Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, prepared according to package directions.
     NOTE: Don't use anything else if you're going to use a mix.  It's the best out there!
Pour brownie batter on top of Oreo cookie layer, using a spoon to ensure consistent brownie layer over cookies.
Bake until knife inserted in the center comes out clean (about 35 minutes) and allow to cool if you can!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Puppy Love...Meet Edgar

I know exactly what you're going to say...

I'm totally insane...and at this point I'd totally agree with you.

A new puppy!

And he's soooo cute!

And he's number FOUR in our house...we already have Sophie (10 yrs), Pheobe (8 yrs), and Silas (5 yrs).

Can I just explain myself?

We need to have at least two dogs at all times living out in the canyons with all the various critters about...namely rattlesnakes. Sophie and Pheobe are definitely getting older, and Pheobe has a major case of arthritis at the moment.  If anything was to happen to these dogs, Silas would be alone...definitely not a good idea...especially against those darn coyotes!

Name:      Edgar
Breed:      Golden Retriever
Birthdate:  January 16, 2012
Weight:     12 lbs, 1 oz.
Loves:       Balls, ropes and rolling in the grass
Issues:      Making friends with the other dogs and putting rocks
                    in his mouth from the backyard

Thursday, March 1, 2012

True Love Pink Bunny Style

The Pillsbury Dough Boy loves me...he's making me Pink Bunny Cookies.

Aren't they just so cute?

Don't you just love his new pink bunny nose?

True love will prevail...even in cookie dough!