Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

Hey everyone! I mentioned last month that I have been a part of the “Foodie Pen Pal” group run by Lindsay over at her blog, The Lean Green Bean .

I received my box this month from a lovely lady named Ashley. She doesn’t have a blog so I can’t link to her. She sent some awesome yummies though!

 

The Plantain chips were wonderful. What I got of them anyway. My 15 year old absolutely LOVED them and I think I got maybe a small handful lol. I’m holding onto the chocolate bar for a treat for myself. I just love that Ashley must read my blog and knew to get me milk chocolate instead of the ubiquitous dark chocolate. I know most people prefer dark, but I am all about the milk chocolate hehe.

My boys loved the granola bars…again, I wasn’t quick enough and didn’t get any. But they sure LOOKED good! The thin mint cookies however have been hidden and if they are found and eaten, there WILL be teenage boys up for sale.

All in all, I think Ashley sent a totally delicious box of goodies and I appreciated it.

 

If you would like to join the Foodie Pen Pals group, here’s the info- this is straight off of Lindsays blog so head over there to 1) check out the link up and see all the boxes people got and 2) to join up!

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You will also find contact information on that page for the UK branch of Foodie Penpals if you’re a blogger across the pond!

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

 

You Know Me And Lemon

Rustic Lemon Lavender Cornmeal Pound Cake

If I don’t eat something lemony at least seventeen times a once a week, I go into withdrawals.  I love chocolate… and Twinkies… and Cheetos…and Twinkies stuffed with Cheetos…and Cheetos stuffed with Twinkies (sorry. I’ll stop now.) but sometimes I just have to have that kick from lemon. Mind you, unlike my 15 year old son, I do NOT suck on lemon halves *shudders at the thought*. And while I actually like the new Lemon Twinkies (c’mon, did you really think I’d let those pass by without a try?) even I have to say that they can’t compare to home made treats.

I mentioned in the last lemon post I made…erhm, which was one of my last posts actually. Is this a sign of a rut? Nahhhhh.

Moving on. I mentioned in the last post that lemon has always seemed a good Spring flavor to me. It also works for Easter which would be a good excuse to make the recipe I’m sharing today.

I wanted to make a pound cake. I wanted lemon. But all the lemon pound cake recipes sounded boring. So… say it with me, regular readers… I played with a recipe. Like most cooks, I love Cooks Illustrated recipes. But today, I was antsy and even their stuff seemed boring to me. Heresy, I know. That’s like saying Martha Stewart doesn’t look good in an orange jumpsuit or Sandra Lee is a tee totaler. So I took one of their pound cake recipes and made it mine. Mine I say!!! Buahahahahaaaaaaa. Then just to add insult to injury, when I was done making it and glazing it, I covered it in Easter sprinkles. Why? Just cause I’m that kind of a gal. Continue reading

Bacon Makes Any Food Better

Well, maybe not ice cream..or jello… or candy (sorry, chocolate bacon lovers) Yeah yeah, I know, there actually IS bacon ice cream and bacon candy but there are some things I just can NOT get behind. I am however still petitioning congress to make bacon, cheeses of all kinds, wine and chocolate part of the government supported food plans. For some reason whenever I call or write though, no one is ever in the office anymore. I can’t imagine why.

I’ve mentioned before that I love corn bread. I prefer it the southern way a la no or very little sugar. But I will eat it with sugar too so long as it’s not heavily sweetened. As the saying goes, if I want cake, I’ll eat cake. If I want cornbread, I’ll eat cornbread. Hold most of the sugar please.

You really have to forgo the sugar if you’re making a cornbread with add ins like this one. I added a couple of tablespoons to help with color but that’s it. This was based on Ina Gartens  corn muffin recipe and I have to say, even had I been making it plain, I couldn’t have brought myself to add the full cup of sugar she called for. Really? A full cup!?

But this way? Say yummy with me! C’mon… say it! SAY IT DARN IT OR NO RECIPE!!

Erhmmm, sorry. I’m calm now. Continue reading

Goodbye To My Sister

I have had people ask when I am coming back. Beyond the stroke, there have been other things.

My sister Sandra passed away last night. She had metastasized breast cancer She had her children beside her I am told and went peacefully. If you pray, please pray for her children that have been left behind.

 

I know where she is and I know that she is no longer sick, but is whole, healthy and happy again. But right now, I’m having a hard time letting that knowledge be enough.

I WILL be back. I promise.

Save a place for me, San. I’ll be there soon.

 

 

Who’s Ready For Spring?

Not me. I want 5 feet of snow and a blizzard that buries our house!

Ok, ok, that’s not true. As much as I enjoy Winter, I’m ready for warmer weather. NOT the boiling hot “omg, my face is melting” hot that Summer brings here in Kentucky, but the warmth of Spring. Mind you, warm here can mean high 80’s unfortunately (we had had strange Summer like weather here the last few days; even had to use the a/c) but that’s neither here nor there.

I love the gentle breezes of Spring, the smell in the air, the blooming trees and flowers and the crickets and frogs singing to me.

Ok, enough waxing poetic. Let’s get to the food!

I also love the foods that come in Spring; the wonderfully fresh asparagus and spinach, the new berries that can’t be matched  by the hothouse ones or imported ones any other time of year. Plus the colors! All the foods are so bright and cheery looking to match the season. Well, except for liver… it’s nasty no matter what season it is. And Cheetos are bright and cheery even in the middle of Winter. Just sayin’.

One thing that most everyone uses more of in Spring is Lemon. I’m no exception. I love it no matter when or where but it adds a special brightness to already fantastic food in Spring. I use it on top of veggies, in compound butters for fish and chicken and of course in baked goods. This is ME, after all.

One thing I make every Christmas is thumbprint cookies. I was craving some today. But the normal ones, filled with jam, seem only fitting for Christmas. I’m not sure why, they just do. So I played around. That seems to be one of my usual sentences doesn’t it? Lol.

I made a normal thumbprint cookie with some minor variations but messed with the filling. I decided to go with lemon and white chocolate. Both seem Springy to me. I used
This recipe here

for the lemon curd recipe. It’s the one I always use for curd and always have some of in the fridge. For the white chocolate, I used some of the new

Philly White Chocolate Spread . I’m madly in love with that stuff. All three of the flavors are awesome.

These turned out great. Very Springish (yes, that too is now a word) and they would be perfect for an Easter buffet or brunch or after school snacks or dessert or swiped from the fridge late at night or dinner or as a reward for breathing in and out. So c’mon… go make some lemon curd and get to work.

Lemon White Chocolate Cheesecake Thumbprints

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter flavoring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup Philadelphia White Chocolate Cream Cheese Spread
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add in the egg, lemon juice & extracts. Beat well.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. Mix well.
  5.  Dump the dry ingredients into the wet. Using a wooden spoon, mix well.
  6. Shape into about 1 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Use your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon to make a nice indentation in the cookies.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 9 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are light brown.
  8. Cool completely on wire rack. Do NOT attempt to add fillings until cool or they will melt and run off.
  9. Add a small dollop of the white chocolate cream cheese to each cookie, then top with another small dollop (about 1/2 teaspoon or so) of the lemon curd.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar. Store these in the fridge due to the cream cheese. That’s assuming there are any left to store.

 


I Need To Go Back To Work

Ok, it’s been nine days since I had the stroke. I still walk like a monster from a 1930’s horror movie when I walk (yeth mathter…what do you need, mathter? *insert insane cackle here*) and my hand has a tendency to curl into it’s own version of the hand fetal position BUT I am able to do housework more or less (ever tried  military crawling to hand wash wash a bathroom floor? OMG, I had to have looked hilarious!) so it’s time to get back to work here. Well, work may not be the best word since I love what I do in here and love all the people insane enough to read it 🙂

So I wanted muffins today. I printed one out ages ago from food.com for apple pie muffins. When my daughter was here this past weekend helping us get the bedroom painted (ok, I didn’t do crap myself… I have wonderfully laughable humorous visions of what would have happened had I tried to wield a paintbrush or roller… paint on the walls (in God knows what way), paint on the ceiling, paint on the kids, paint on the cats, paint up my tush when my hand spasmed -P ). As I was saying (tangent alert, tangent alert!) when they were here, my daughter saw it and said that she had tried it and it wasn’t very good. So that meant i just HAD to make it… but better. 😀 I’m ornery that way. Not sure you noticed that in me *cough cough*

I tihnk I did pretty good with them. I realized when I put them in the oven that I had forgotten to add the egg. Umm…oops? But ya know what? It didn’t matter. They were still moist and rich from the other changes I had made. So hey, less fat and cholesterol works for me and I’m sure it does for you too. These are mildly spicy (sweet spice, not hot spice) and I think next time I’ll add more cinnamon then I did this time. Also, I think raisins would be excellent in here. They’re moist with a light apple flavor and would be a great breakfast muffin, especially if you add some raisins and maybe some flax seed or wheat germ to up the nutrition. They aren’t pretty and dainty but they taste great! So let’s have it here… enjoy!

Spiced Apple Pie Muffins

  • Topping-
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Muffins-
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 medium apples, finely chopped (I used my food processor and didn’t peel them, just deseeded them)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional; haven’t done it yet but know it would work)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with liners. This made 12 muffins and 3 mini loaves for me so if making all muffins, I’d say it would make about 16 to 18.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (including the brown sugar).
  4. Add in the oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix just until combined.
  5. Fold in the apple pieces. Again, mix just until combined.
  6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle topping evenly over the batter. Bake at 350 for about 22 minutes or until firm on top and golden brown.

“I need to go back top work for the American people” 😛

And I really never did have sexual relations with that woman 😀


Doin’ The Stroke (Semi Important News)

 

…Except to you of course… you’re right now wishing I’d croaked so that you could pretend to mourn 😛

I hadn’t planned to say anything at all about this because other than when trying to get a laugh, I prefer not to call attention to myself but a couple of dear bloggie friends convinced me that I could use this for good and not evil :-p. .

So here goes. I had a mild stroke Sunday. Obviously I’m not dead. My left side and my speech were effected (affected?). I can talk but it takes a bit for the words to get from my brain to my mouth so I sound like I’m drunk which makes me laugh to be honest… thus making me seem more drunk and creating a vicious giggly cycle that will probably end with my getting committed soon. :-p

I’m weak, I get tired easily, I have no plans to run a marathon any time soon. Ok, I had no plans to do that anyway but it sure gives me a good excuse now. But I’m alive and have no reason to believe that that will change anytime soon. Of course, I had no plans to have a stroke either, so if I die, I expect you all to mourn me for at least an hour or so… then carry on and eat copious amounts of Cheetos in my memory.

Again… I’m ok. Am I enjoying this? Heck no. Turning over in bed is a bitch and a half because when I want to turn, my left arm and leg laugh at me and say “ain’t happ’nin biatch!” which means I’m not sleeping much, if for no other reason than having my limbs cuss me out tends to cause night terrors.

Doing all those little things one takes for granted, like say, taking a shower, are rather interesting to say the least. I can’t wash my right arm because I can’t lift my left arm to do it so this could get smelly over time :-p And putting on deodorant? Omg… I stood there laughing my butt off. I can’t lift my left arm to do my right and can’t lift my left arm…again… to use it under my left.

All of this is why I want to use this on the blog. All the sites I’ve seen about stroke recovery are as depressing as a life w/out Twinkies would be. So I want to be that place someone recovering can go to and laugh and say “oh God yes, same here!” and others who read my blog can see that nope, not even this is gonna make me stop cracking jokes and making food that makes your arteries cringe in fear.

There. Told everyone… so how ’bout them Yankees?

 


My Guest Post With Cravings Of A Lunatic. I Made A Southwestern Ziti Casserole

Hi everyone!! I hope you’re having a wonderful day! or at least one filled with lots of Twinkies and Cheetos.

Southwestern Ziti Casserole

Want to know exactly what this cheesy gooey slice of goodness is and how to make it? Well then, you need to head on over to see my twin Kim at

 

Cravings Of A Lunatic

I did a guest post for her and all the zaniness and gooey cheese is on her blog. So go take a peek and while you’re there, look at her whole blog… she is totally awesome and so is the food she cooks!