home sweet home

I’m back, y’all!

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Hallelujah. I wish I could promise that I will now have a regular schedule of amazing recipes and stories, but my life just doesn’t work like that. I occasionally wish it did but that would take all of the excitement out of knowing if I’m going to get to sleep in my own bed with my own husband at night. That sounded weird. I don’t sleep with anyone else’s husband. Sometimes I sleep with a teddy bear named Wallace (no judging) but that’s about it. Wow. That was more than I meant to share. I need to get out of this rabbit hole quickly but it just keeps getting worse. Help. I guess this is why computers have delete buttons but I’ve never been a big fan of those. Kind of like how I refuse to backtrack when driving. I would rather go 5 miles out of my way and see something new than turn around. Why go somewhere you’ve already been where there are possibilities to see something new? U-turns never did make sense to me. I prefer re-routes. You eventually wind up on the same track, just in a more exciting manner.

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I have no idea where I was going with that. Just that I am once again living in my own cozy house with my own cozy family and am quite enjoying it. It’s kind of a disaster right now as we’ve sacrificed my office for the baby and my things currently reside everywhere, but that’s okay. I’ve also been eating mostly fish sticks and wearing sweatpants but I think that’s okay too.

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The important part is that my life feels mostly intact for the time being and here’s a picture of Ranger to prove it. He has a serious attachment to this rubber pig and refuses to be more than 3 inches away from it at any given time. Husband hid it from him for 20 minutes once and the poor guy just about had a seizure.

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In addition to spending some quality family time, I managed to make it into the kitchen once this week. (applause, please) I got a new apron (isn’t it cute?!) that was begging to get dirty and cookies that needed to be baked.

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I found this recipe for French toast cookies and couldn’t resist. Husband loves French toast so I figured this would be a great way to say thanks for not killing any zoo members (there was a close call with Chuck the duck) while I was gone. The original recipe called for a plain frosting but cream cheese is so much more exciting. I tried both and recommend them equally but Husband liked the cream cheese version better. Mine are nowhere near as cute as the originals (probably because I’m quite a bit more lazy) but I’m fairly certain they still tasted the same.

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Happy fall!

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french toast cookies with maple cream cheese frosting
adapted from the minimalist baker
1/2 C shortening + 3 tsp water
1/2 C pure cane white sugar
1/2 C pure cane light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 C milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 pkg (4 oz) 1/3-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 C butter, room temperature
2 tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and beat until combined.
3. Add dry ingredients and mix until well-blended. Dough will be dry and crumbly.
4. Gradually add milk and vanilla and stir until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. The original recipe called for rolling out the dough and cutting it into squares. I’m lazy so just did drop cookies. If you have the time and motivation, I sincerely recommend the rolling-out method instead.
6. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or less. It’s better to under-bake than over-bake with these guys.
7. While cookies are cooling, make frosting. Cream butter and cream cheese together first then add the rest of the ingredients. Whip until smooth. You might have to adjust the amounts to get the desired consistency. Add milk to thin, powdered sugar or a bit of corn starch to thicken.
8. Frost cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon.
9. Enjoy a cozy evening!

well that explains it.

I figured it was time for an update so that the internet doesn’t think I ran away to Morocco and cancel my account and report me as a missing person. I suppose I owe an explanation (besides the small human situation which I am currently navigating with varying degrees of success) for the lack of recipes. I have several lame excuses which I’m hoping will result in your forgiveness. I’ve been on a business trip for the last month and have two weeks to go. When I was younger, the world was a fantastic place to navigate and I could think of nothing more exciting and wonderful than traveling alone and staying in hotels and living out of a suitcase. I now think there is nothing more wonderful than sitting at home in my sweatpants with my husband, and find it plenty exciting. My 21-year-old self is ashamed that I’ve become so old. But I’ve also become happy so I think old me wins. Back to the point, which was I now live out of a hotel (for only two more weeks!) and don’t have a kitchen. Thus, no cooking. Also, food sounds less than delicious so I’m not really sure cooking would be on the agenda anyway.

But I have found things to occupy my time. My dearest friend lives in the area and I have gotten to have all kinds of girl-catch-up time which has been fantastic. She has even bought our very first baby gift (Thanks!) which I ADORE and Husband will grow to love. There’s a story there but I think it’s one of those “you had to be there things.”

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I visited DC and walked about 30 miles. After which I collapsed from carrying around 20 extra pounds, which was conveniently timed to be in front of a fantastic French restaurant. So fantastic, in fact, that I accidentally collapsed the following day in the same spot. How weird was that?!

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I went to Philly and ate a cheese steak.

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I went to New York and found the place where dreams are made. And then I realized that my travels tend to revolve around food which is fitting since my entire life revolves around food. And also explains those 20 extra pounds. Well-earned, those pounds.

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While I was eating, there was a hurricane back home. Not to worry, Husband had a good plan and managed to hold down the fort and no one blew away.

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I was hoping the imminent danger would be enough to motivate Chuck and Welly to learn to fly so they could find safety, but I’m afraid it was just the opposite. They had such a fantastic time swimming in the pond that used to be the backyard that I think they’re marking their countdown calendars for the next one. They also enjoyed becoming poultry tumbleweeds as they opened their wings and let the wind blow them across the yard. In case you didn’t know – ducks are weird.

It’s fall which means football season and the good-smelling candles at Bath and Body Works and is one step closer to Christmas which makes me feel like this:

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And I learned how to take care of a baby:

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So that’s my life in a nutshell.  Disjointed, crazy, and food-centric but that sounds about right.  Pretty good, considering the baby stole all my brain cells and I can’t even remember my address most of the time. Now back to my hiatus for the next couple of weeks.