Tuesday, July 20, 2010

4th of July, China, and a Holey Indulgence

I know, I'm tardy on the 4th of July pics. Mom and Dad came to Waco for a visit, and so did my cousin Jeremy & his girlfriend, Lauren. We had mucho fun-o. So the one above is of chicken brats, burgers and chicken breasts...all on the grill, courtesy of Matt! Tasty stuff!

I've inherited my grandmother's (Mama, mom's mom) china cabinet. I can't even tell you how much it means to have it in our house! We FINALLY got to unpack Dillard's boxes and display most of our wedding china + crystal. (YES, we have more than 12 settings of crystal...NO, I am not a lush.) We have more china, but those didn't make it into the pics, only the wine glasses! Haha But, in all seriousness, it's pretty fun.

Incidentally, our china looks quite a bit like my grandparents' wedding china. We didn't plan that, but my grandmother decided that Matt & I had good taste, based solely on that, of course. :) Ha. I think they're classic.

And, on a bit of a lighter, more Americans-love-fried-indulgences note, I made donuts 2 nights ago!! It was the easiest and most fun thing! These donuts (doughnuts, whatever) are a bit crisp on the outside with a cinnamon sugar topping and soft and moist when you bite in.

15 minutes, 8 donuts + 8 donut holes. Servings: 1 (4 if you share)

1 can giant biscuits

cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl (1 cup or so)

2-3 cups oil (veg, olive, peanut, whatever you like)

1/2-1" round cookie cutter OR top off a water bottle
medium-sized pot
plate lined with paper towels


1) Heat about 1 1/2" of oil in a pot, keeping the temp around 160 degrees. (Making it too hot will bring splattering.)

2) Take each biscuit, smush it with your palm, and press cookie cutter/bottle lid in center to make hole in donut. Do this for all biscuits.

3) Frying one donut and donuthole at a time, place the pair in the pot. Use tongs to move around and flip once. Let donut reach a golden color on both sides and remove (2-3 minutes, usually). Place on plate with paper towels to blot.

4) Repeat process of frying donuts; while you're waiting for the dough to cook, dip your warm/blotted donuts and donutholes in the cinnamon sugar, coating well.

5) Eat! Eat with a tall glass of cow's milk, vanilla soymilk, or *the American way* a Diet Coke!! Great to enjoy with another guilty pleasure, a silly mystery book. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some old posts...mostly about eating and procrastinating

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Luther's Noodle Snickerdoodles

I have a presentation on Luther's discourse on free will due in 8 hours, 11 minutes. All I can think about is distractions. I made snickerdoodles. The sticky, buttery, cinnamony dough was kneaded to perfection. The warm, soft texture was at its perfect peak to be balled, set on cookie sheets and popped in the oven for hot bakingTastica. Everything was just right, the right amount of butter to margarine, cinnamon to sugar, baking powder to baking soda. And then it happened...I just forgot. The cookies were warming, baking in the oven, then they were overbaking and crisping. No timer was set, no "hot, fresh homemade cookies" aroma was wafted, all went to imperfection. I burned them. Not just some, ALL of them. There goes 4 dozen chances at perfection, all within a period of 23 minutes.

I blame Luther. This presentation has left me wondering and wandering about, wondering if true free will really exists, wandering around and asking God if He really would allow us the ultimate space to make our own choices, even the flight or plight of our destinies after our bodies deteriorate on this earth. Why, Luther, why is there so much pressure for the little peons who are in Seminary, having to sum up your blast on free will (against Erasmus) in a mere 2-page handout to their peers and 15 minutes of discussion time? Is it possible to do such? Is it not even worth trying??? Well, 15% of my overall grade means it's surely worth attempting.

Right now, in my most dire time of need for a sweet treat to get me going, only black holes of ideas and blackened circles that once were cookies surround my life. Perhaps failure in this extent can only be comforted with that Coconut Almond Chocolate Chip ice cream sitting in the freezer. Hmm, I wonder and wander...spoon in hand.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lemon Bars, Baked Stuffed Apples, Blueberry Muffins, & Cranberry/Orange Muffins

Alas, my title contains the things I have baked in the last 3 days...oh dear, laziness is VERY HIGH on the scale this week, and it's only Wednesday! Now, I have gotten my reading and homework done (for the most part), but I refuse to believe that silly girly fiction does not count as 'research' for school, or what not...Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Let's just say it's fun and hard to put down.

I suppose this is the time to mention something so serious and so extreme that I must write it in teeny tiny letters: I love to bake. Whew! There, I said it. I love to bake in the way that Martha Stewart loves her fluffy haircuts to match her dogs' coifs, the way Ozzy loves to mumble, and even the way Weird Al likes to...well, weird (yes, it's a verb). I love mixing 8,000 dry, spicey ingredients together with 8,000 other eggy, liquidy ingredients to create a sweet, tasty creation that my hubby and I then devour in, maybe, 3 hours. The labor, the love and the mess of the kitchen all go into my very amature love for baking. I'm thinking of making a tart tomorrow...we shall see.


No, not the kind that grow in the yard that our townhouse concrete-covered patio doesn't have. Not the kind that ended up on my dinner plate that Dad affectionately referred to as "weeds"...you know, those piles of soaking veggies Popeye made famous. Matt & I have been watching Weeds, the Showtime tv show about the young widow with 2 young boys who sells Mary Jane to pay the bills. It's fascinating and sad, funny and dark. I can't help myself. Now I'm candid about most all parts of my life, and I'm willing to say I never smoked the weeds, ever. I have been around it far too many times (can you really get a music degree w/o knowing a few fellow students or--in my case--professors who smoked it up outside of the classroom buildings?), but for some reason (ok, several), I never smoked it. But the show is good, if you like crazy storylines and hidden meanings among L.A. housewives and Mexican drug cartels. Good stuff, ha.

I have not been cooking...not for the last few days at least. I have been eating a cup of berries a day, eating very little meat (not a challenge), and trying to be healthy. World's Healthiest Foods is this great site I've been using to educate my healthy (and not so) eating habits. Basically, I need more spinach (AKA WEEDS) in my diet...big time...turnip greens, spinach, mustard greens, and pretty much every related green leafy veggie out there that's good enough for the Sailor Man. 15 vitamins are lacking in my diet that these stringy, green, slimy cooked veggies offer. This'll be a challenge.

So we come full circle back to the weeds...not only am I obsessing over watching one 28-minute episode every evening (about midnight), but now I need to eat MORE WEEDS (don't worry, mom, the legal kind!!) in order to get healthier and get the nutrients that the hippies and nutritionists of World's Healthiest Foods say I need. Fun, FUN!! Check out that site and take the little questionaire to see which nutrients (and therefore foods) you're lacking. It's helpful, really.

I'm going to go quick-steam a bowl of leafy greens now...arrgh, mateys.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Family X 2

Well, it's post-4th of July, and I'm relaxed. Matt & I went to Kansas last week for 6 glorious days with 9 adults, 5 kids, 5 dogs, and a cat. It was great to see Pat (mom-in-law) and learn to cook things--several things--because I truly believe her kitchen is magical. Call me crazy, but everything she makes is super tasty, so the countertops must be sprinkled in pixie dust each morning...or something.

This time to Kansas was really nice because we spent a TON OF TIME with the entire Cluthe Clan (all 14 of us, which is a miracle for an only child like me!). Last time we were there (Christmas), we experiences the Blizzard of '09. It was crazy...carrying casserole dishes down Pat's street so we could meet our ride on one of the plowed main streets (our cars were snowed over). This time, we ate outside, swam and soaked up some rays. It was beautiful! And Lawrence, KS (where the Cluthes, minus one couple, live) is one of the greenest, most luscious places I've ever seen. It's not wonder that a certain phrase kept popping up in conversation...Master Gardner...apparently there are quite a few of them that have made Lawrence their home. Anyhow, it was lovely.

We mostly ate at family members' homes...everyone can cook, it's just nuts...but Pete (Matt's bro) and Amy (his wife, Pete's not Matt's) and their little boy (Peter...hearing a theme there?) took us to lunch at La Esquina. It's in the downtown area of Lawrence, a walking local shops and eatery area catering both to KU students and locals alike. Esquina was South/Central American, mostly with Peruvian influences. The food was FABULOUS...fish tacos were the best I've had. Trust me, I don't care for much fish and certainly am not big on fish in tacos, but these were AMAZING!! I also had a huge ear of corn, husks and all on it, with cilantro lime mayo spread on top. Tasty.

Maura and Jake, our funky fresh brother and sister-in law, had a cookout and invited everyone over to their amazing Kansas City abode. I don't have pics of their house, but I'm sure it'll make it to a design magazine someday. She's an artist and seasoned pro at Hallmark and he's a big Apple-head (okay, Mac Freak might be better...j/k!), so needless to say, their creativity follows them home from work and scatters itself into every square inch of their home. It's always fun to visit. So we had Sweet Apple Chicken Sausages and burgers and a whole lot of other stuff...so tasty! Oreo birthday cake ended a sweet evening. Here's a pic of all of us:
Matt, Me, Chris, Tracey, baby Libby, Abby, Maura (middle), Amy, Keely, Pet, Pete & Connor, Ben the dog, Pat at top, Jake, and Lucy the Dog. Yay!

Good times. Mom and Dad are here this weekend for the 4th...so much food, so much food.

We did Gingerbread pancakes, Banana & Pecan pancakes, Italian Cantaloupe w/Strawberries and Mint, and Fresh squeezed orange juice. Tastiness. Mom made pineapple salsa that was devoured last night. It's been a great week!