Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A friend in deed

 So one of my favorite blogs posted a recipe...Treat a Friend she said and boy oh boy did she! That's the thing about 'other' blogs. You get to know these people, not physically/in person...but mentally. Like when people used to write letters, and have mail order brides, and penpals and stuff. I don't know Mindy personally...but I can tell you...she's awesome. I could go on and on and on...and one day I will...but first..I'm gonna tell you the recipe for these bars so you can go make them. I'll probably be having one with my breakfast...one...or 10. It makes a yuge batch *nods to Trump*
Monster Bars
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Reese's pieces
Dump and blend in order, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes in at least a 16x20 pan.
No really, that's it...they are THAT easy. Don't overbake them...they are chewy and soft and just full of peanut-buttery wonderment. They don't stale out easy either...I just found one on the computer desk from last night (thanks Miss Priss) and it's still totally soft. And now there is only half of it left...and in moments, it will be no more. AND they have oats in them, so they are healthy right? Right?!

In other news....



My little Bumpis is sickly. Low grade temp and just wants to cling and sleep on me. Poor little feller. Off to the Dr's today to see what's up. We're all suspecting an ear infection.
 
One more thing...I made a Facebook page for my blog...just search Suzy's Cup-Tin Creations...I hope you find it and 'like' it!!
 
Now go make Monster Bars!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oh Holy Yum....

Ok, ok..so it looks like an UNHoly mess...I know...but it's not...it's Heaven...PURE deliciousness.
Renaissance Fair Almond Butter
you'll need...
12 oz bag of roasted and salted almonds
veg oil
cinnamon
Agave Nectar (Honey flavored)
and a food processor...
and some self restraint..of which I have NONE. ZERO. ZILCH.
Because this stuff really DOES taste just like those awesome roasted cinnamon almonds you get at random fairs and carnivals!
 Put the almonds in the food processor and let them go until they get really pulverized and start pulling together...then slowly add some veg oil ( I keep mine in a squirt bottle like Guy Fieri does)...add the agave and the cinnamon...then go until it reaches the consistancy you want (by adding more oil).

As pictured, I had mine with some apples...and a fair amount just off the spoon.

I really doubt I'll be doing store bought Almond Butter anymore...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Apple Crumb Pie

Yes, that is a solid INCH of crumb topping. Just in case you were wondering. So here's the thing kids-I can cook, and I can make it taste really good. But I can't especially make it pretty. Case in point...a double crust pie. I can't crimp pie edges to save my life. I get impatient when it comes to cooking because I'm SO excited about the end product. The beauty of THIS pie? You don't have to crimp crumbs. Crumbs are beautiful in and of themselves. They are like that girl that doesn't have to diet or wear makeup. Last summer I was the lucky recipient of a giveaway over at Moogie and Pap's. PART of that giveaway was a Magnolia Bakery cookbook...and that is where this recipe comes from! Apple Crumb Pie (adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook) Crust 1 1/2 cups ap flour 1/2 cup shortening 3 T ice water Filling 3T sugar 1T ap flour 1/4 t cinnamon 3 Cups apples-peeled, cored, and sliced* Crumb Topping 2 1/4 cups ap flour 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 cup (2 stick butter)-softened and smooshed into little pieces Assemble! Preheat the oven to 425 In your glass pie pan, put your flour and shortening and use either your fingers or a pastry cutter to get the shortening in itty bits. Then add the water as needed...and form crust to the pan. You can also dirty ANOTHER bowl, do the same thing in there, and dirty your rolling pin too and go that route...but I try to keep the dirty bowls to a minimum. Once your get your pie shell where you want it (bring it up the sides, crimp *shudders* if possible)-pop it in the fridge while you get the other stuff ready. Now in a bowl put your apples that you've peeled, cored, and sliced-toss it with the other filling ingredients and put it into the pie shell (and put back in the fridge while you do the crumb top if you want) Now that your apple bowl is empty...use it for your crumb topping. See? I'm saving your dishwasher alot of work! Into the bowl goes the flour and brown sugar and mix that together-then add the butter and use your fingers, or a pastry cutter to make it look like...wait for it...crumbs! The recipe says "Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apple mixture until well covered". Um...this is a TON of topping. No really....b/c I did "sprinkle the crumb topping over the apple mixture until well covered"-and I still had 3/4s of the bowl of crumb left. Suzy says: make sure your pie plate is on a cookie sheet b/c some crumb is going to spill over (no matter how hard you try). So put as much of the crumb on the pie as evenly as you can, then with the 1/2 of the bowl that is left after you've done that...mound it up, baby! Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 and bake for another 35 minutes. Then pull it out and let it cool, just slightly before you attack. Trust me here..all that crumb will work. The crumb on top gets all crunchy and shell like over the pie, the crumb on the bottom by the apples gets all soft and almost carmel-y b/c of the brown sugar. And then there are the roguish ones that will be crumbs and fall gently off and allow you to add them to the forkfuls of pie goodness. *As far as apples go...I use what I have (if you are a frequent Cuptin reader that shouldn't surprise you). I know an apple isn't an apple...but I make do with what I've got. I think in this pie it was Gala apples that were getting a little soft.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Heartswells

Those things that make your heart swell..and break all at the same time. The bittersweet. The happy and the sad. That's my last couple of weeks. This is my sweet Pie. He showed up at our house as a random stray...and I was immediately smitten. He took advantage of the fact that I was carrying in a bag of cat litter AND Little Man and walked right into my house. Loved my kids. Loved me. Got along with the other dogs. And was just perfect...if we didn't have 4 other dogs. Thanks to Facebook, and a good friend he is now "Jack" and is the loyal companion of a wonderful lady, who I believe had the same love at first sight with him that I did. I'm so happy that he's in a happy home, but sad that it couldn't be my home.
This is me and my Little Man...who turned ONE year old last week. He's my baby, my LAST baby. I won't have another baby that turns ONE year old...from now on it's just up numbers...my heart breaks, and my uterus aches....but I'm so thankful that I have two healthy kids.
My Miss Priss-who is turning more into my Mini-Me daily...she's gonna be a flower girl in a wedding in May..and she's so 'big'. Time is just going by too fast for me.
I put myself on Facebook hiatus. Being a semi-depressed stay at home Mom just lent to my spending hours daily there. A complete time suck. Time spent looking at other people's/friend's lives and feelings of insecurity (I'm not thin enough/pretty enough), jealousy (they NEVER put horror stories of what THEIR kids are doing as their statuses..therefore they much have perfect children), inadequacy (no one is responding to my posts...do they not care?!), and just frivolous waste (Frontierville). The only time I go on there now is to shoot someone an email (that I don't otherwise have a contact email for). It's amazing (and scary) what an addiction it is/was...and how it's a constant pull. I haven't deleted my account b/c I don't want to lose all my contacts, but I'm just choosing (daily-sometimes hourly) NOT to log on. I kinda feel like I'm missing out on some things...my Mom had to tell me about a friend that just had her baby..it went like this "Did you know that M had her, oh no wait...she had it on FB so you wouldn't..." Whatever...it just prompted me to check M's blog and there were more details and photos on there anyway! :)
On the weight loss front...I'm stalled..b/c I haven't been trying..at all. I need to. I missed my first 'goal' (being back to pre baby weight by Little Man's first birthday) by about 4lbs. And last week I picked up an additional 3. Boo. The wedding in a couple months is a goal of originally 40lbs loss (from the January start weight). I'm thinking I might need to dial that down to 20..b/c that would be more attainable. Although 40 WOULD be nice!
My Dad...the weight loss rock star...is UNDER 300 now! Which he hasn't been in about 10 years! From Novemeber to now he's down about 69...awesome!! I'm so proud of him!!!
I've got some recipes coming up soon...but just wanted to update you guys on where my head is at lately!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chicago style pizza

Little factoid about yours truly: the first 'meal' Husband and I ate as Mr.&Mrs. was Giordano's pizza in Chicago. We were married in the late afternoon in late August, headed to a hotel after, then off on a plane the next morning to honeymoon in Chicago. I'd never been there, and he loved it there. At the time I was working at a Dr's office, so I got the input of all my traveling salesman friends (literally..pharm reps) on where to go...and all of them pointed in the pizza direction.
It's been a long time since we took that trip to Chicago...almost 7 years! Oof! You'd THINK I'd try to make a Chicago style pizza sooner than now..but I didn't! In fact..my pizza used to be terrible, horrible, no good, very bad...no really. Just a note...american cheese, tomato soup, and pie crust to not a pizza make. I'll just let that sink in. You might need to read it again...
But I've grown up...and I kinda know more of what I'm doing now. I'm done pizza a few more times (more lately..it's becoming a favorite)..and Husband asked me to try deep dish...so I made Chicago style..b/c what is deep dish if it ISN"T Chicago style?
The Crust (adapted from food.com recipe)
1 cup warm water
1 pkt quick yeast
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup corn muffin mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
Put yeast in the warm water and let it proof for about 15 minutes-then add 1 cup of flour, corn muffin mix, salt, and oil Mix until combined-then add additional flour by 1/2 cups-and let it go (either on your paddle or dough hook-or by hand if that is what you are into)-until it's smooth and not sticky. Put in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise about an hour.
*Trick I use? While you are mixing it all together-take a small bowl of water and put it in the microwave for about 3-5 minutes. Then when the dough is ready to rise you put it in the micro b/c it's nice and warm and it's like an electronic proof box. Yay!
Once it has risen, give it a good punch down and play with it for a minute. Then put it into a greased springform (mine is a 9inch) and make it look like a Chicago style pizza crust. Go ahead and coax it up the sides and make it nice and even. Then let it sit for about 20 minutes while you get your other stuff together!
Filling
mozz cheese (anywhere from 8-16 oz)
2 links italian sausage
1/2 cup pepperoni slices (julienned)
1/2 can (28oz can) spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup parm cheese
Now...do this in reverse of what you'd normally think! Put out the cheese on the bottom, then the meats, then the sauce, then the parm (and a sprinkle of oregano if you've got it)
Then blow it a kiss and put it in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 400 and bake for another 30-40.
Remove from oven and give this baby an excruciating 10-15 to set and cool (you'll need it to, but it will still be warm..I promise).
It wasn't exactly like our honeymoon *snickers/grins*-but it was REALLY good pizza!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

BAT...

What? It's a BAT...but not a REAL-makes a weird sonar squeak, flies, and turns you into a vampire. Bacon, Apple, and Toast baby. It was one of those necessity meals. I went to the farm (yup..weather is getting warmer, so that means more trips)-and my Dad was busy making food for my children and didn't make food for HIS child...so I had to fend for myself. I kid, I'm glad he was feeding my babies. No hard feelings, Pop. We have a sickness in our family...when we cook, it's not just for one, or two...it's easily enough for 6 (might explain my current weight situation, b/c it has NOTHING to do with portion control, right?) So there was ALOT of breakfast made already... There was homemade toast (already buttered), there was fresh hot bacon...I could have been happy with that. But I wanted something 'healthy' on my bacon and buttered toast sandwich. So after I put a dab of mayo on it, I sliced up an apple and put that on there too. It was open faced. It was salty, it was sweet, it was crunchy...it was all I wanted in that moment. It really WAS divine. It will be a repeat meal..snack...etc. Now onto other things! Aka...the random things in my head at the moment- -My sister in law gave/let me borrow her Kettlebell and dvd that goes with it...I got up this morning..motivated to get into the living room and do said work out and can't find the dvd anywhere. Frick. -Husband got the Netflix that I had for myself and the one for Miss Priss mixed up so Case 39 went back unwatched and we still have The My Little Pony movie. -My new favorite blog is having a giveaway- it's 'soda'(sort of)...sign me up! Go for the giveaway..and stay for her awesome sense of humor and brilliant writing. I don't think I've ever 'followed' someone as fast I did her. -I'm still down this week (despite copius amounts of chocolate over the weekend). I think ALOT of it has to do with the fact that Little Man will be a year old next Wednesday. My little boy, my last baby, will be a year old. I thank my Heavenly Father EVERYDAY for my sweet, healthy babies..it's just so bittersweet that they grow so quickly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Deconstructed Dog

This recipe had a much longer title, until when I tried to tell my Sister in Law what it was my Brother piped up with "It's a polish sausage stuffed in a roll"..and it kinda is. Then I had awake vision of if I was ever on Top Chef I'd call this a Deconstructed Dog....it has all the stuff you (well...I) love about dogs, sausages, etc. The type of dog doesn't really matter ( I used smoked sausage that had cheddar and jalepenos in them) The type of roll dough you use doesn't really matter (similar recipes called for Hot Roll Mix, I made a sweet roll dough for cinnamon rolls and only made half the batch so that is what I used) So I'm not going to stress those things...but the other parts...adhere. Just do. The Filling 1 onion-carmelized (or really close to it) in about a teaspoon or so of oil/butter 1 can of saurkraut-drained 3 sausages, diced 1/4 cup brown sugar 2T minced garlic Carmelize the onions, put garlic in, put sausages in, put kraut in, then put sugar in. See...done..that easy. Now whatever roll dough you use (have it made up and ready)-I used about a 5 in (in diameter) cutter (meh, it's actually a lid to Miss Priss' candy jar) to cut circles and put a good heapin helping of the filling in, then pinch the edges closed-like an empanada (1) I typed panda first, 2) saurkraut empanadas don't sound appetizing or interesting at all to me..unlike Deconstructed Dogs). Bake until they are nice and golden. While they are baking make this- Horseradish and Mustard cream sauce 3T Butter 2T flour 1 cup chicken broth 1/4 (or less) of heavy cream 4 teaspoons yellow mustard 1T prepared horseradish Melt butter in a saucepan, then add the flour (basic roux..nothing scary) cook together, then add broth (I ALWAYS type brother first...heck!) and whisk..give it a few minutes on medium and it will get nice and thick. Add mustard, add horseradish...finish with a splash of cream. So good...really. Husband said it was in the top 5 EVER. And THAT is him saying something! Ever have a bad Mama day? whether you have human babies, or fur babies? TODAY is one of those days on BOTH parts. The dogs decided to start barking at 3am, Miss Priss woke up shortly after (and has not napped since), Husband got up, I got up, Little Man got up, Little Man is teething, I'm even more sleep deprived today than I usually am...I need a break, a nap, bark collars, a sink stopper, a pastry brush, some therapy...