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Friday, December 28, 2012

Muffin Tin Baked Eggs

I have been seeing these on pinterest and have been interested in trying them out.  So here it goes.  Muffin tin baked eggs.  I tried a variety of scrambled and whole, with or without the lunch meat wrap, and with or without fried ham bites and onions.  They all worked out.  Generally the recipe goes like this:

Muffin Tin Baked Eggs

  • Spray a muffin tin with Pam or similar cooking spray.
  • Add egg, scrambled or whole into one muffin well.
  • Add extras such as fried onions, peppers, ham, sausage, etc.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min.
  • Add cheese on top to melt.
  • Pop eggs out and enjoy.
I preferred the lunch meat variety.  I used turkey meat for this batch.  After spraying the muffin well add the lunch meat like a bowl.  Add the scrambled or whole egg with any veg you want and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  I find the meaty bowl easier to pop out of the muffin tin than just the egg alone.

I paired these egg pops with apple slices and broiled tomatoes with cheese on toast.  This was our December 24th Christmas Eve morning breakfast.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Kitty Cupcakes

I am still depressed about the loss of my Kitty Cat Ashey on December 1st.  We had him for 17 years and I knew him from the day he was born.  I knew him for more than half my life.  It was supposed to be our family chocolate dipping day, so I am blaming that as my excuse for not getting out neighbor Christmas treats this year.  To help with my depression I made some tribute chocolate kitty cupcakes to honor his memory.
I think they look like him.  I just used frosting and mini m&ms.  Let that be a lesson to you (me) always keep in stock a bag of m&ms for cupcake decorating.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 and 2/3 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter - softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 and ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 and ½ cup milk
Cream together sugar and butter.  Add eggs and vanilla.  In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.  Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk, starting and ending with milk.  Stir to combine.  Bake at 350°F for 18 – 20 min

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Civil War Christmas Social

December 21st, 2012.  The End of the World.  It was also the same day as our second annual Civil War Social and Pot Luck Dinner at Fort Douglas.  I got assigned to bring a salad.  I know.  Sad.  There are no pictures of my pathetic leafy green salad here.  I should inform you though that I did put forth a culinary effort and fried up a rasher of bacon, and made some delicious homemade buttermilk salad dressing. This social event was not about the salad, or the dinner, or the end of the world, it was about dressing up and being with friends who also like to dress up.
This is baby Kenna in her darling Civil War dress and bonnet.  She is the cutest baby.  I think she looks like a Cabbage Patch Doll with those cute pinch me cheeks.
This is Kenna's Momma Rachel.  She made this dress Civil War Tea Dress just for the occasion.  I am impressed.  I cannot sew.  Looking ever so lovely, as usual.  
 A trio of pretty girls.  We could come dressed from any era.  I think the two on the left represent the French Revolution.  Amanda, in the red cape, as always, a charming Southern Bell from the Civil War.
Here we have our three fine taylors who each made their own uniforms.  Jake on the left is World War II, J in the middle finally got to wear his Pennsylvania 72nd Zouave uniform which has been his latest project, and Skyler is showing off his Colonial era Revolutionary War attire.  Well done men, well done.
 About 50 people showed up.
 It was a good turn out.
This is Amanda and Caleb and their family.  I did their wedding cake in October.  They look like the ideal Confederate family.  
Look who has the baby now.  She is so cute and has such a mild personality she gets grabbed and carried off with great frequency.
My ever so handsome husband proudly displaying his 72nd Pennsylvania Zouave uniform that he spent months working on.  He has lost 90 pounds this year and needed a new uniform that fits better.
Some Christmas socializing.
Here I am with my darling husband J.  There is quite the height discrepancy between us.  He is 6'2".  A wee bit taller than average, but not ginormous   Everyone thinks J is so big and tall and intimidating.  Then they meet him and they tell me, "I thought he was taller" or "J is a really nice person once you get to know him" or "I was scared of him the first time I saw him".  I think this is because they have only seen pictures of us on facebook.  I am a 5 foot (60 inches exactly) hobbit, so in that perspective everyone looks tall standing next to me.  I guess it also doesn't help when I post pictures like this:
J is ready for our company party.

Back to the Fort Douglas Social.

 Cannot get enough of baby Kenna.
 This is our group photo.  From the other side.  Since no one bothered to use my camera to take it.
 Two fine looking gentlemen.  Now for some parlor games.
 My Lady's Wardrobe.  Everyone sits in a circle and is assigned an item of Ladies clothing:  bonnet, hatpin, gloves, parasol, chemise, corset, boots, drawers, petticoat, socks, fan, etc.
 The person in the center of the circle exclaims:  My lady is going out, my lady needs her.... name two items that a lady wears.  The two people who are those items must jump up and switch seats before the person in the middle takes one of the empty seats when they switch.  The person without a seat is the one in the middle again.
 Or to change things up a bit the person in the middle can name 4 to 6 items or call out "The Lady needs her entire wardrobe."  Then everyone needs to get up and change seats.  This would be a fun game for any group of people, but I think it is better when in period clothes because those hoop skirt dresses do not move well and the act of standing and sitting takes a bit of time.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Cheese Soup

I am a mouse.  I am small.  I nest.  I can fit through small spaces.  I get fidgety and nervous a lot.  I navigate effectively through crowds.  I nibble when I eat using both hands.  I Love Cheese.

Cheese Soup

  • 2 Tbs butter in a large pan on low to medium heat, melt it.
  • 1 large onion finely chopped - Saute for about 4 minutes.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced.  Add garlic to onions and saute or another 2 minutes.
  • 1/4 cup flour - Add to onions to give them a good coat of flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly for another 2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in 1 can of broth, (About 1 cup of chicken, beef, or vegetable stock)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (it tastes better when using whole milk)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Bring soup to a low boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer and stir for about 20 minutes.
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese adding in 1/2 cup increments and stirring until completely melted before adding more cheese.  Do not allow soup to boil, just keep it at a slow simmer.
  • 1 package of diced ham, bacon, or prosciutto.  Optional.  But in my house the addition of bacon is never optional, but a requirement.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with parsley and a Parmesan Crisp.  Serve with dinner rolls.
That was my fancy schmancy attempt at looking pretty.  A Parmesan Crisp.  Deceptively easy to make.

Parmesan Crisp

  • 1 Tbs shredded or grated Parmesan cheese per crisp.
  • Scoop and Flatten the cheese out onto a Parchment paper covered sheet pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes until golden.
  • Allow Crisp to cool and harden, or while they are still warm curl them up to look even fancier. 
  • Remove and eat.  I like letting mine soak in the soup to double the cheesy flavor.  
Did I mention that I love cheese.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

I love Pumpkin Bread.  I love Pumpkin Bread season.  I love anything pumpkin flavored, except ice cream and milkshakes.  Never again Dairy Queen, never again.  Yet, I still look at the menu board and think, oh Pumpkin ice cream that sounds good.  Wait wait, you had it once and threw up because it was so disgusting.  Sigh.  But I want it and it sounds good.  

Pumpkin Bread

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 and 2/3 cup sugar - Cream together sugar and shortening then add
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of pumpkin (16 ounces or 2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup water - Mix that all together then add the dry ingredients
  • 3 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves - Mix that all together.
  • Optional:  2/3 cup chopped nuts and 2/3 cup raisins.
  • Bake in 2 loaf pans at 350 degrees for about one hour to one hours and 10 minutes.

My whole purpose of making Pumpkin Bread this year was so that I can make Pumpkin Bread French Toast and Pumpkin bread peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  It was so worth it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hot Chocolate Mix

Some of you may already know I am a chocoholic.  I have chocolate milk for blood.  I bleed brown.  The  irrationally large intake of chocolate over the years has slowly displaced the heme in my red blood cells with chocolate molecules.  Surprisingly my teeth have held up pretty well.  I drink or eat chocolate every day.  When it is warm outside I drink chocolate milk or chocolate milkshakes.  Nestle's is my chocolate beverage of preference.  No, their less sugar variety does NOT taste the same and I am unhappy that I cannot find the more sugar added containers that they used to sell.  When the weather changes I move to a daily dose of hot chocolate, usually from Starbucks or at home it is Swiss Miss or Stephen's Gourmet.  This year I decided to try something different and make my own. 

Hot Cocoa Mix

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 and 1/2 cups powdered milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch
Mix that all together in either a food process, lots of shaking in a bag or bucket, or a wire whisk or pastry cutter.  It takes more than my usual cocoa mix to hot water ratio to get the taste, but it worked.  I added the rest of my home-made marshmallows to this batch.  Add a dollop of heavy cream and I am set for the rest of the night.  Delicious.  My blood thanks me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

In Memory of My Beloved Kitty, Ashes

 In memory of Ashey cat.
 Summer 1995 - December 1st 2012
 We had to say goodbye to our beloved pet that I grew up with for the past 17 years.  We got him from our cousins down the street when he was just a kitten.
 He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.
 He was a good kitty and I think would like to be remembered most as an excellent hunter.  He once caught a snake and killed a magpie.  He brought us many mice and got in many fights.
He knew when to play and when to cuddle.
 He was surprisingly tolerant of little kids and groups of strangers.  He even ran to the door with me when the doorbell rang.
 He never liked drinking water from a bowl and insisted on drinking out of a running faucet instead.
 He liked to sneak attack you when you went up and down the stairs.
 He was the prettiest kitty.
I am going to miss him so much.
I love you Ashes.

Turkey Trot 5K

Thanksgiving Morning Turkey Trot 5K put on by Fleet Feet in American Fork.  Mom and I have done this three years in a row now and will continue to make it a Thanksgiving morning tradition.  My Mom is so cute. She is running to the finish line with my brother in law Steve.  It was Steve's first 5K race.  He was very excited.
We met up with my cousin Jeremy and his family.  I think this was the warmest Turkey Trot ever.
I am proud to say that I came in 32nd in females ages 30 - 34.  I know, what, were there only 32 people in that gender and age group running?  No.  I made the list.  I ran 3.1 miles in 31:44 minutes and came in 371 out of 884 people.  That is more than half.  I am quite proud of myself.  That is faster than what I normally run  at the gym.  Mom, your time was 41:45 minutes and you came in #18 in your age and gender group.  Steve you time was 26:10 minutes and you came in 10th in your age and gender group.  I am so doing this again next year.

J's Broken Toe

J and I have an inside joke that J is not human, but is in fact an immortal half vampire half werewolf over 300 years old.  We do this because:

  1. It is a fun dialogue game we play.
  2. We both love vampires, werewolves, and all things supernatural.
  3. J has many traditional vampire and werewolf traits such as:  

He is sensitive to light and never leaves the house without sunglasses.  In truth he is prone to migraines and sunlight agitates him when he has a headache.  He has hair on the tops of his hands and both knuckles.  Hair growth there is uncommon and I think a recessive trait.  He has a widow's peak.  He has extended eye teeth.  He heals and/or recovers from minor injuries quickly.  He has a positive ape index, which means his arm span is greater than his height.  J has nearly died 15 times or so.  We have a list.  I keep asking him to post it, but he will not let me.  He is a Nightowl.  He normally goes to bed around 2am and has frequent bouts of insomnia.  He can function without sleep for longer than 72 hours.  There are no pictures of him as a child.  All this information has fueled my hypothesis that I am married to a supernatural nocturnal monster of folklore.

My long standing theory came undone today when the doctor came in and told us that J had in fact fractured the bone in his big toe.  Supernatural monsters do not break their toes, but human husbands do.  In Aikido class last night he caught his toe on the mat as he rolled out on it and bent it back in such a way that the cuticle and the toe underneath fractured.  He started bleeding excessively, eventually that died down but he continued to slowly bleed from around the edges of the toe nail.  We got home and cleaned it and put a band-aid on it but it continued to weep.  The next morning he found that it was still bleeding, but he went to work anyway.  After work he was limping badly and the toe had once more bled through another band-aid.  I finally convinced him to go to an InstaCare where they took an X-Ray and confirmed what I had suspected.  He fractured it.  This is the first time he has ever cracked an extremity.  He has several broken ribs and had his head cracked a few times, but this is a first for him.  I do not know what is worse, his broken toe or that I no longer believe he is inhuman.