That Didn’t Really Go How You’d Planned, Now Did It?

My children of the corn really think they are slick.

Or that I am stupid.

Or a little bit of both…

Mind you, these little brats are entering their teen years and have way more freedom than I did at the age of 16.

They are pulling stunts that I tried around that age, too.

Unfortunetly, (for them) I’ve pulled every trick in the book and their ideas are not original.

Poor fools, they might partially pull the wool over my eyes, but in the end they ALWAYS get caught.

Being the mother of two sneaky, bad asses, I officially declare it my mission to catch them in every act of household crime and make them pay in chores and the tourture of spending time with their smarter-than-we-think-you-are mother.

So what did they do this time? Here is a reinactment of last nights events and I will point out where I so obviously made my wrong move…

7:00pm phone call from Isaac:

“Mom, can we stay out longer, we aren’t hungry for dinner, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts

Me: I made you dinner, why did you go to DD?

Isaac: We were hungry

Me: Ugh, this is why I am tired of wasting time making dinner, don’t demand that I cook dinner when you aren’t going to eat it.

Isaac: We will heat it up when we get home, can you put it in the fridge? Can we have more time?

Me: Fine, be home at 8:30pm (muttering more about wasting time cooking)

Isaac: Okay, thanks Mom!

8:45pm phone call from Natalie:

“Hi Mommy, can Hanna sleep over?”

Me: You are late. No. Come home.

Nan: Please Mum! She is moving to..

Me: I said No. Come home.

Nan: But Mom! Please! We will be quiet and not fight with Isaac!

Me: Come home now, you slept out last night, don’t ask again! <click>

8:45pm phone call from Nan:

“Pleeeease?! Can she please sleep over?”

Me: No, you have 5 minutes to get home. Don’t ask again <click>

8:46pm phone call from Isaac:

“Hi Mom, can Hanna sleep over?”

Me: I said NO what don’t you understand about COME HOME!

Isaac: Please Mom! Natalie had a sleepover last night, this will be mine!

Me: Get home now! Stop asking the answer is no! NOW! <click>

8:46 pm phone call from Natalie:

Me: I said No! Come home now or you are punished tomorrow

Nan: Mom, PLEASE! She can’t go home, her parents aren’t there, they are at a concert!

Me: That is not my problem, the two of you need to come home now!

Nan: She can’t go home MOM!

Me: Then I am calling the police to tell them that her parents abandon her.

Nan: Mom! Please can she just sleep over? Pleaaa

Me: <click>

8:46 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:46 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:47 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:47 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:53 pm text message from Natalie:

Mom please. Shes neverr been able to and I really want her to. Mom please!!! Ill do chores. Just let her sleepover……………PLEEASEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

me: I said no and now you are both punished tomorrow

Nan: Mom, please! We barely have sleepovers at the house! (this statement is somewhat true… Depending on who is having the sleepover, it usually results in arguments, a trip to the hospital, all of the food in the pantry magically disapearing and/or the house being turned completely upside down) We will be nice to Isaac and this can be the only one of the summer, plus shes moving to Miami soon and we will be quiet. We will just be in the basement and on the computer and watch tv.

me: I said no.

me: Get home now

Nan: Mom, please!

8:54 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:54 pm phone call from one of them:

Me: <decline>

8:55 pm phone call from me to Nan:

Me: Why aren’t you home yet?

Nan: Hi, Mom! Can we go to Faiths and watch a movie, her Dad said it was okay, Hanna is sleeping there, Faiths dad will walk us home when the movies over, can we please?

Me: MY MAJOR ERROR: Fine, but you ARE punished tomorrow, I will leave the door unlocked

Nan: Yay! We can Isaac! Thanks Mom! I love you!

11:40pm: I turn on the porch light, look outside and see my kids plus ANOTHER kid walking up toward the house. They see the light come on and I clearly see their panic set in.

Me to the cat: Those bastards think they are really slick, Spook.

I went out the back door to calmly wait for their next move. They obviously thought I’d be sleeping and that they could sneak this Hanna girl into my house for the sleepover without me knowing.

I am standing on the back steps and after a few minutes see Isaac walk towards the house, (they apparently were coming up with a “plan” in the case that I saw them) 30 seconds later Natalie walks toward the house.

Hmm, where’s the third one?

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Bang! A little purple shirt runs up the driveway and hides next to the bump out.

At this point I am watching the front door through the back window to see how they are going to proceed.

Nothing.

Finally my anger sets in and I go through the house, out to the front porch and catch a glimpse of Nan running up the driveway.

me: NATALIE!

Nan: oh, hi Mom!

me: Get in the house!

Isaac: Hi Mom

me: Let’s go!

they nervously walk towards me

Me: Where’s the other one?

Nan: There is no other one!

me: I saw her, where is she?

Nan: You don’t know what you’re talking about (love that)

me: I saw her. I’m calling the cops about the runaway (she isn’t a runaway- I was using a scare tatic)  in my drive way if you don’t get in this house!

Nan: Sorry, Mom.

12:00 am in the house:

me: Do your parents know where you are??!

Hanna: Yes

me: <a whole bunch of yelling and screaming at my kids> I’m not mad at you Hanna, I am mad at Natalie and Isaac. I know they put you up to this. You are both punished for the entire week. Give me your phones, ipods. No computer, no pool, no phones, no tv. ONE WEEK.

Isaac: Mom I love you, I’m sorry. Do you want me to do anything?

me: FOLLOW THE RULES!!!!!

So now the deviants are all sleeping in the living room. I contimplated driving her home last night, but it was midnight, and I am CERTAIN this was my kids plan that she niavely got sucked into.

The pool opens at 11:00 am, at that time I will be dropping Hanna off and driving the kids to the Home Depot. I’m buying a new weed wacker, mulch, some super heavy rocks and plants.

Yup, my kids have a very fun week of yard work ahead of them.

I hope it is as hot and humid as hell all week long. It will make it that much better when I’m in the air conditioned house barking the occasional orders at them.

Crossing off the list: Buy new pillows and find something GREAT on clearance (a new featherbed for $60 bucks, can’t beat it!) Totally random but the above story was much more interesting to share.

 

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Creamy (is an Understatement) Ameretto Cheesecake with Drunken Nectatrines

Well, I finally did it! After years of dreading and putting off making my very first cheesecake, I finally got ‘er done.

I wanted to bake something special (it was special alright) for a diner my sister was hosting for Father’s Day and decided there was no time better to cross this long avoided task off of my list.

I asked my Mom if my Dad liked cheesecake and she said, “yes, with fruit on top.”

I really wanted to use a recipe in my BakeWise cookbook, as everything from there usually turns out deliciously. Disapointingly, there were only two cheesecakes to choose from, either of which had fruit. No matter, I did some research and settled on the Creamy Ameretto Cheesecake and decided to make a complimenting Ameretto Nectarine fruit topping.

I had all of my ingredients and breezed along the recipe taking beautiful pictures along the way. Here are a few of my favorites…

I had a feeling this was going to be the best cheesecake that my family ever tasted.

Oh, how they’d sing my praises!

Yeah, well it tasted good, but it certianly didn’t resemble a cheesecake. At. All.

Looking back, I can see that I clearly had a few things working against me, here.

    • The first, and most crucial, was that the cheesecake didn’t bake long enough. DOH!
    • The second, instead of waiting for the (underbaked) cake to fully cool before adding my topping, I dumped it on right away which made this already-not-going-to-set-correctly-cake a little bit lot more liquidy then it should have been.
    • Third, I didn’t think it would be a big deal to drive to the next state over with a keep refriderated cake in a car that has no air conditioning on a 84° day.

Yeah, after about 20 minutes of driving, half of the cake fell apart.

I didn’t get mad either, nope, I just shook my head and laughed at myself. God, I love these pills!

Anyway, after I got to my sisters, the disaster was put in the fridge and cooled for a few hours.

My poor sweet family said they still wanted to try it and agreed that it tasted fantastic but indeed needed to be baked longer.

Of course, no one wanted to take any of my soupy creation home, and I still remained hopeful that I could do something to make it some kind of normal looking dessert, so I trecked it back home.

In the heat.

When I finally got back to the house I transeferred the slop cheesecake remains into a bowl and stuck it in the fridge.

It’s still there, awaiting it’s fate of meeting my fancy new trash can.

I haven’t given up on cheesecakes, yet, no way! I will figure it out someday, but for right now I’m crossing it off my list because I never said it had to be a really good one. When I do revisit this recipe and make a surviver I’ll share it with you, because like I said, it tasted really good, just didn’t turn out right!

Simple Makes Me Smile

I have been working on this particular project for a few weeks, doing a little bit each day and trying hard not to give up until it was completely done. This has been quite a large project for me to tackle considering the condition I am in and worse yet, the wreck my closet had become.

Now, before I reveal the extremely embarrassing before picture, I just want to give you a few good excuses as to why it looked so wretched. I am good with excuses, at least that’s what Huz always said. Continue reading

Don’t Push Your Luck, Babe

A little over a week ago I had written a post about my daughters room and took this picture…


While many of you said that it was lovely (and I even thought it was lovely) I still felt as if it were missing something.

Now, I am going to share something with you about myself that is quite embarrassing…

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I am a total disaster when it comes to picking out curtains.

I simply cannot get it right. This is not due to a lack of effort on my part. Oh no. I’ve done plenty of research over the years; I’ve read on-line tips and tricks, countless decorating books, endless magazine articles and numerous blogs on how to select and hang the perfect curtains to no avail.

Of course, you need something to cover up your windows though, so on just about every window in my house I’ve hung those blinds that you can see in the above picture. Plain and boring but purpose serving and perfectly adequate.

Blinds are simple! You can’t really screw them up (too badly) and you get what you get, meaning they can really only look one way. Curtains though, for me are an impossible challenge because what I see in my head and what I see in reality, once they are hung up, are completely different.

With the exception of the picture below, that is. I am happy to say that I (for the first time in my life) have actually bought curtains that look the way I imagined.

Oh, happy day!

Now, please don’t think that suddenly I know what I am doing.

I certainly don’t, I just happened to have luck in one room. I also purchased curtains for the picture window in my front room during the same shopping trip but they are an utter failure.

That stupid humongous window is a thorn in my side. A 7 year thorn but we will save that saga for another time. I’ll quit while I’m ahead and right now, I am satisfied with having one room that looks almost complete.

 

 

When Did My Life Become Such A Bore?

Earlier this week I wanted to cheer myself up and try to get some items crossed off of my list, so I gave myself a little self-therapy… Belated birthday shopping.

Okay, I should re-phrase that… I gave myself A LOT of self therapy.

So much, in fact, that I have spent enough money to pay 3 months worth of electric bills cross off 15 items . I am not going to write about them all in this post because it would take me three days to pull it all together, instead I will start with two things that I kissed my money goodbye for really needed.

I didn’t buy any diamond earrings or fur coats for my birthday! Instead, I bought a little something for the fella in this house who does wear a fur coat.

My poor baby Spookers never had proper cat dishes. When we adopted him it was not something we were planning on doing and because Huz was so very mean and nasty against having animals in the house, I didn’t want to spend any more money on the sweet boy than I had to.

I put his food and water in plastic take-out containers and they worked, so they became his official dishes.

The only problem with them were that they were just too big and weren’t ascetically appealing.

They were take out containers for cripes sake.

I had seen quite a few dishes over the past few months, but never liked the colors or the shapes, so, when I saw these cute things at Target the other day I quickly snatched them up. Yay!

I also got a placemat (that coordinates with my tablecloth thank-you-very-much)to rest the bowls on. This wasn’t an effort to make him feel fancy, that would be ridiculous!

I got it because the dishes are in a spot that could be easily over looked and easily kicked while coming up the basement stairs. The placemat just helps them stand out a bit more to prevent accidents. His old “dishes” were on a rug but it was way too big and looked weird.  I think he misses standing on his rug while he eats, but he will get over it.

Spooky is a big boy now and he seems to like his fish bone dishes. I bet he really likes that the water gets refilled with fresh water every few hours instead of once a day because the dish doesn’t hold very much.

Moving on… I also didn’t buy myself a new car, but I did however, buy myself the Cadillac of trash cans. Yup! I have been longing for this trash can ever since I laid my eyes on him, a million months ago. When Huz was here I would never get away with buying a such an expensive thing to store TRASH in, but since he is not here now, I did what any other severely bitter estranged wife would do.

I splurged.

On a trash can.

Oh, I am so spiteful!

Isn’t he a beauty?! But wait, it gets better… Not only is this handsome guy a trash can, no, when you open up the lid he also contains a recycle bin.

Depth and Character, two qualities I admire!

My life sure is exciting isn’t it? 😉

Versatile Blogger Awards – Tons of Linky Love!

     

The first time I was awarded a Versatile Blogger Award from the very lovely and talented Sawsan, aka The Food Doctor, I was dead smack in the beginning of  what has turned into the most difficult time in my life. My brain certianly wasn’t function correctly and I never properly accepted the award and passed it along to other bloggers.

For this I always felt guilty but didn’t want to just bring it up weeks or months later… That would be odd. So yesterday, when another one of my favorite bloggers, Blogject announced that she was awarding me with the versatile blogger award I figured that this was the opportunity I could take to redeem myself and accept them both at the same time.

Before I get started with a lot of linky love and  14 unknown things about me I just want to send out my thanks Sawsan and the girl who writes the Blogject 😉 The both of you have provided me with a great deal of support and love over the past two months and it means so very much to me. I look forward to reading each of your blogs every single day.

Sawsan, your recipes make me so hungry and inspire me to (someday) get back to the stove top. I will have no need to reference any of my cookbooks when I finally do start cooking again because I want to make every single recipe you have ever posted! I love that you share tidbits of your life with lovely stories of your children before each wonderful recipe and the way you interact with all of your readers. You are a truly wonderful person and a great blogging friend, I am so lucky to have found you and I thank the universe for bringing you into my life!

The Girl who writes the Blogject, I cannot tell you how sweet you are! I enjoy your blog so much and the way you share with your readers your life’s ups and downs. Your positive attitude towards the good and bad is so refreshing and I smile every time I read your posts. I love that you are so honest and are clearly a very hard worker who is dedicated to making the best of life. Also, I am so glad it is finally Thursgay because I’ve been waiting 7 whole (long) days for part 2 of your Coming Out series!! I thank the universe for allowing me to meet you, whether you know it or not you have provided me with strength and a lot of smiles and  a sudden urge to move to the UK because it just sounds like a great place to live!

This brings me to the fun part:

Rules of Accepting the Award:

This award comes with two conditions, share 7 things you didn’t know about yours truly and pass on the award to other wonderful bloggers.

Since I am officially accepting 2 awards I am going to share with you a lot of linky love and random facts about myself.

I am a regular at sharing my favorite bloggers with you and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of my new favorite blogs, as well as, some that I am sure you will recognize. I’ve been blog stalking a lot of these unfamiliar blogs for quite a few weeks now and have just recently subscribed to each and every one because it is so much easier than tracking them down! If you are a regular reader and don’t see your name on this list, please don’t feel upset with me, this award has been passed around more than a few times and I want to make sure my whole community has received one, I’d also like to get the word out about some fabulous bloggers that you may not have heard of yet.

To help make it easy on everyone to find some new reads, I am going to break these into catagories as I am listing 14, yes 14 of old and new favorite blogs:

Life:

MotherAwesome

Yerttle’s Blog

Jenna’s Everything Blog

The Pleasure Monger

Entirely Adequate

goldilockshares

German American Abroad

Don’t Make that Face

Crusin’ with Serendipity

Food:

Sweet Caroline’s Cooking

Savoring Every Bite

Sweet and Crumby

Home:

Vieques Dream House Diary

The Yvestown Blog

Challenge:

thirtythreeandcounting

My Life’s List

Sylvia Morice’s Blog

Okay, so I cheated, I added 17 instead of 14 but it was really hard to pick just 14! I have a feeling you won’t mind because I know you just can’t resist links to great reads, so indulge!

And if you are still here after all of super those great links and want to know some random things about me here you go:

  1. I hate scary and gory movies but love the HBO Series True Blood, which is both scary and gory.
  2. I am addicted to reality shows on Bravo, Real House Wives of NJ and NY being my favorites, Millionaire Matchmaker being my third.
  3. I daydream 24/7
  4. I believe myself to be the black sheep of my family
  5. I think I am beautiful but don’t want to be vain so I have never admitted it. I do not look in mirrors when other people are present but do it a lot when I am alone.
  6. I had a 3 year addiction to Craigslist Missed Connections. It didn’t matter what city or state, I just loved reading about desperate pleas of unrequited love
  7. I plan on moving overseas once my children are settled in their adult lives
  8. My biggest dream that I plan on accomplishing is to be a writer and have a book (or two or three) published by the time I am 50
  9. I wear the same size clothes as my 13 year old daughter and couldn’t be happier about it
  10. I love tube tops. I know a lot of people hate them but I dont.
  11. I want to get a boob job
  12. If I could be anything in the world I’d choose to be an actress. I think I’d be great at it but never had the confidence to give it a go.
  13. I love art, any type of art, though modern is the least favorite
  14. My name is not really Ginger Couturier, I figured if Dr. Seuss could have a pen name then so could I. I came up with the name by finding adjectives that meant thrifty and fashion. I love the name Ginger and think it suits me well. I could not pronounce Couturier (Coo-ter-ey-err) for months which made it hard for me to tell people the name of my blog and often had to look for the spelling of it. I have no plans on changing my pen name. I love it.

Everyone’s A Winner!

Cookies for a Cause Winners!

I had planned on posting the winnerS of the Cookies for a Cause Contest last night, but the universe had another idea in mind for me, so I am officially posting the winnerS today.

Originally, I had planned only picking only one winner but since I had only two participants and I love them both so very much for playing I am going to reward each entrant with a prize!

The first place prize goes to Yerttle!

I cannot believe what an outstanding job this lovely girl did promoting her SocialVibe Cause. Yerttle chose to support the American Red Cross, as this organization is so near and dear to her big young heart. During the time of the contest there was a terrible tornado in Joplin, Missouri, which is located very close to her home town. The Red Cross was of course a huge help to the folks whose lives were ripped apart in this terribly unfortunate disaster. Yettle proved to her readers not only that she was on the right track by encouraging them to donate a few moments of their time but also that this was a worthy cause which would help disaster victims in ways that are selfless and priceless.

The second place prize is going to CaryBear21!

CaryBear21 participated by adding the SocialVibe widget to support DonorsChoose, which is an organization that helps underfunded classrooms afford supplies. This cause is a bit different then others, as the teachers are lucky enough to select which supplies would benefit their classrooms the best. Although Cary didn’t have the results that I am sure she was hoping for I am super happy that she chose to participate, and in turn, has made a difference in the lives of others.

If you haven’t checked out the blogs of Yerttle and CaryBear21 yet, please do so! Both of these women are very lovely bloggers who stepped up to the plate in order to make a difference in the lives of strangers. Aside from being so kindhearted I am subscribed to both of their blogs because they are wonderful writers, photographers and women in general.

Now, because I chose 2 winners for the Cookies for the Cause instead of the one I originally planned, I have decided to not only send the originally stated prize to Yerttle and to Cary, but I am also going to include in Yerttles’ gift basket of yummy cookies a $10 gift card so that she can make a donation in her name to the RedCross for any of the categories she chooses.  I was going to donate to the cause myself but I want this to be in her name because of her passion for the cause. I have a feeling she will pick the Help for Military Members and Their Families, but the choice will totally be up to her!

So, with all of that being said, if the lovely Yerrtle and CaryBear21 would email me (bratcakess@gmail.com) their shipping addresses and a tiny little clue so I can be sure the email is from you I will get started on making the gift baskets that you both certainly deserve! Also, please let me know if you have any nut allergies so I can accommodate!

Thank you both so much for participating and also thank you so much for taking the time to make a difference in other peoples lives.

If any other readers want to help you still can! Please click on my SocialVibe widget or either of these girls widgets! It only takes a minute or two and really can lead to a big impact. While you are at it, if you come across any other bloggers who have a SocialVibe widget, click on theirs also or you could even add your own widget!

And now for a recipe because today should be a winning day for everyone!

Does anyone recogonize this picture? These were the brownies I made for the lovely Miss Dacia (her’s didn’t have the nuts though) for the first contest I had run a ways back. They are fan-freaking-tastic. Anyone who has a sweet tooth, loves chocolate, fudge, brownies, or sugar will want to make these. Don’t be intimidated by all of the ingredients, they really are very easy to make and even easier to eat.

Shirley’s Fudgy Brownies from the best baking cookbook I own, BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher

INGREDIENTS:

1 & 1/2 cups pecans (can be omitted per your preference)

1 & 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 1 tbs pieces, divided (remove 2 TBS butter if not adding nuts)

Non-stick cooking spray

12 oz semi sweet chocolate, chips or finely chopped

1 oz German Chocolate

4 large eggs (room temp)

3 large egg yolks (room temp)

1 & 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 cups bleached all purpose flour, spooned and leveled

METHOD:

Arrange a shelf in the middle of oven – preheat 400 degrees (149 celsius)

Spread pecans on baking sheet roast for 10 minutes; after removing, while nuts still hot combine them with 2 TBS butter, when cool coarsley chop & set aside (this step may be removed)

Line 13x9x2 inch pan with parchment sprayed LIGHTLY with non-stick spray. Allow overhang on both sides for easy removal of brownies once done

Place remaining 1 & 1/2 cups butter around edges of microwave safe bowl (or double broiler) Place choclated in the center and melt in microwave 1 minute (or in double broiler) stirring frequently until fully melted. Set aside

In a large bowl beat the eggs with a fork to combine whites and yolks. With a minimum of hand stirring, stir together eggs, yolks, sugars, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.

By hand, with minimum stirring, add melted chocolate to egg mixture. Stir in the flour (make sure it is well combined.. no lumps, I made this error and it ruined the batch!!)

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out.

Add pecans to batter in the pan and lightly press down and smooth out, covering the nuts with the batter lightly. (this step may be removed)

Place pan into preheated oven and bake until brownies pull away from the edge of the pan, about one hour.  A toothpick inserted should come out wet with gooey chocolate.

Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Once cooled remove using flaps and cut into 2 inch squares. Wrap in plastic wrap individually and store refrigerated for best results.

This post is kinda all over the place and I can’t pull it all together in a short and witty title….

My Mom always had a wonderful way of making me feel very special on my birthday. She would throw large parties for me, provide me with extremely thoughtful gifts, make glorious Strawberry Shortcakes and always, always let me pick the diner.

Because tacos have always been my favorite food and we didn’t have them too often (my dad didn’t like them very much) I would always go for Mexican! Whether it was tacos at home or going out to eat I almost always picked tacos.

If we were going out to eat my favorite restaurant was Chi-Chi’s, it was the closest thing to “real” Mexican food that I knew of and I just loved it!

The best part was that after eating all of the chips and salsa and plates piled up with delicious food, the whole waiting staff would gather together and sing very loudly a festive happy birthday song while wearing sombreros and shaking maracas.  It was so much fun and left in front of me my very favorite treat in the world… Fried Ice Cream! Oh, the whole 2 hours were fantastic and my very favorite way to celebrate my birthday.

Chi-Chi’s has since closed down and since I can (and do) make Mexican food weekly, I no longer have the need to actively seek it out. This year when my Mom had asked if I wanted to go out to eat for my birthday I asked her if we could meet at Wegman’s. I had heard so many wonderful things about this “plush” supermarket, and have been wanting to meet her there for quite sometime.

I think she was pleased with my choice (finally, no Mexican!) and we agreed to all meet at the store, which is a half-way point between our homes.

My Dad and niece even came along and I had a wonderful time. After we ate our yummy lunches my Mom and I ventured into the supermarket. I wasn’t feeling very well and stated that I only wanted to head to the produce section to grab blackberries for a recipe I planned on making. I also had wanted to buy corn on the cob to make Rufus’ recipe for grilled corn, but that was not so fresh, so I passed on that for another time and continued to look around. All of the berries looked fresh and weren’t too expensive so I couldn’t resist buying not only blackberries, but raspberries and strawberries too.

From there we set out to find my Dad and niece who said they would meet us in the candy isle. This is when things changed from blackberries and corn to full fledged a romp (crippled strut lol) through pretty much the whole store. Milk was $2.55 a gallon, I needed it at that price! Then I remembered I really needed coffee, so I grabbed the kind I normally buy and decided to pick up a can of the Wegman’s brand that my Mom said her friend raves about… coffee under $3.00?  Why not? I also picked up new ramekins for the blackberry recipe and snatched up some toothpaste and hand soap which were only 80 cents.

I officially love this store!

Finally, we made our way to the candy isle and of course I saw the most tempting Gummy Bears and had to buy some of those, which the kids and I proceed to eat later in the evening!

After we checked out and my Dad and niece found us (I was we were taking forever) I hobbled we walked back out to the parking lot.

My Mom and Dad gave me a few very needed, much appriciated and happy to receive birthday gifts. My Mom knows me all too well, in fact so well that I can’t figure out if she stalked my list or just knew me that well.

She had gotten me 2 laundry hampers, yay! Off the list! Also, I received a Brita water pitcher (which I had been thinking about buying since Huz left,) a pack of filters for the water pitcher, and some other fun house things.

I am so excited for the water pitcher! I normally buy gallons of water which range from 85 cents and up to 1.99 a piece. This lovely little invention is going to save me between $212-$497 over the period of about 6 months! That’s a lot of dough! Yay Mommy!

Of course, I haven’t figured out how much I will be paying the water department, but that’s not important right now!

Okay, so I did a whole lot of talking about my birthday and the outing and my lovely gifts but what does that have to do with the photo at the top of the post? Well, nothing.

Just Kidding!

On Friday night I was doing what I do every night before bed… Blog Stalking and happened upon a new favorite Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen. I was immediatly drawn into her world when I laid my eyes (and began to drool) over her post about Blackberry Cobbler. Her pictures are absolutely stunning and of professional quality! It also helped that her recipe was very simple and required few ingredients. If you are a fellow foodie (I know you are, don’t deny it!) I encourage you to check her blog out!

I had planned on making the recipe just as she had written it but blackberries were very expencive so I opted for a 3/1 ratio of blackberries and raspberries. I also didn’t realize (until I was settled at home and two beers in) that I did not have lemons or juice on hand so I substituted that with 1/2 a tablespoon of white vinegar. The last change I made was to use 6 ramekins instead of her suggested 8 (the raspberries just melted into the glorious syrup and I didn’t have as much berry filling as I  am guessing I should have had.)

This was delicious!

Oh!

My!

Goodness!

An absolute winner! I will be using this recipe for-ev-errrr!!!!

Below I have copied, pasted, then edited the recipe to reflect the changes (in blue) that I made from Miss Anthropist’s recipe. I strongly encourage you to check out her blog (go there! go there!), my picture does not do her recipe any justice!

Mini Blackberry Raspberry Cobblers Adapted from original recipe located here...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (omitted)
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter (I only had salted so I omitted the salt recommended above)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 TBS white vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 (3)cups fresh blackberries (1 cup raspberries), rinsed and drained

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 1/4 cup boiling water just until mixture is evenly moist.
  3. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Mix in remaining 1 cup sugar, lemon juice (vinegar), and blackberries/raspberries.
  4. Transfer to a skillet, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  5. Evenly distribute sauce mixture to 8 (6) ramekins.
  6. Drop dough on top of mixture in the ramekins by spoonfuls.
  7. TO AVOID A MESS, place ramekins on a baking sheet before baking.
  8. Bake 15-20 (25-28)minutes in the preheated oven, until dough is golden brown (whilst cobblers are baking send thousands of texts messages to a friend ~who understands your obsession with baking~ about how fantastic your home smells and how great the treats are going to taste.)

 

Lastly… I want to say that later on this afternoon. I will be announcing the winners, (yes winners ~ and an explanation as to why I picked 2) of the contest I ran a few weeks ago. I will also be including the recipe for the brownies from the first contest I ran a few months ago especially just for Lexi who probably thinks I forgot all about her. I didn’t forget you Lexi, I’m just a true blooded procrastinator!

Seventy Four

make
really
good
cupcakes

I have been patiently waiting since MARCH to make these lovely little bites of goodness. Ever since my (now dear) friend, metrocakegirl, posted these delicious creations on her blog the domestic epicurean I’ve been determined to give them a go.

Oh, yum! I had to let everyone know that I don’t *really* hate cupcakes and what a recipe to prove it with!

If you know Metro and read her blog but aren’t sure which one of her recipes to try out first (or next!) may I suggest her vanilla orange cupcakes with orange zest butter cream frosting? This cake is OUTSTANDING and the frosting has beautiful specks of orange zest that is sure to bring a smile to your taste buds. Metro was even kind enough to explain to me how to frost my cupcakes fancy and though they are no comparison to her beautiful piping skills, I certainly had a lot of fun!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Metros blog yet, I’m encouraging you to head over there right now! She is a very lovely girl and I am very lucky to have had the chance to get to know her AND make her REALLY GOOD CUPCAKES!

Thanks Metro!!