this is one of those things | cooks in the kitchen challenge

Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe & Elah Tree are hosting a cooking challenge.  Naturally, I’m participating.  Because I have nothing else to do with my time.  Ha!  But seriously – I’m loving this because it gives me some inspiration and I … Continue reading

a super box/bowl

My blogger friend, Betsy, from Java Cupcake is a military wife (and amazing food blogger) and for her husband’s recent deployment, she had the great idea to round up a bunch of bakers to send boxes to his platoon and … Continue reading

next year i’m starting in july

happy december!

20121202-113633.jpg

I had this brilliant idea to have 25 Days of Christmas
(side story: I’m drinking coffee while writing this and then suddenly coffee started coming out of the back of the (brand-new) computer…I guess I spilled some? No idea. Hopefully computers like coffee. Otherwise it’ll be back to the stone age for me. Oops. This is why we don’t have nice things. That, and nice things are expensive.)

20121202-113638.jpg
Anyway, I had this brilliant idea to have 25 Days of Christmas on the blog where I’d do a festive recipe a day starting December 1st – like an advent calendar of cookies. How cute, right!? Apparently I developed a severe case of “I-forget-how-busy-my-life-is-itis” at the same time because it’s obviously December 2nd and this is my first post. Also, there’s no way I could make something everyday. I’m pretty sure diabetes is not all Husband wants for Christmas. And I just don’t have the time to clean my kitchen bake something daily. So instead, consider your December sprinkled (probably sparingly) with holiday festivity. Maybe next year I’ll start baking in July and then just put them up here in December. I’m pretty sure I could fool everyone that way and the internet would think I’m a fantastic housewife.

20121202-113656.jpg

So you might not get a recipe-a-day, but here’s one that always signals the start of the holidays around the Hunter House: sugared pecans. I’m not sure why these are festive, but I only make them around Christmas and they never last long.

20121202-113652.jpg

In fact, I left these on the counter and went to bed while Husband finished doing whatever he does on the computer. (He says it’s homework but I think there is probably a lot of zombie gunship happening.) When I got up the next morning, there were suspiciously fewer than the night before.

20121202-113647.jpg

Husband looked guilty. So did Ranger but he always looks guilty about something. He probably dug a new hole while Tonto loosened the fence boards in order to prepare their escape to the neighbor’s yard (again). I’d better go check.

20121202-113627.jpg

sugared pecans

2 egg whites
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp vanilla
1 C pure cane white sugar
1 C pure cane brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 lbs pecan halves

1. Preheat oven to 250
2. In large bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add water and vanilla.
3. Whisk in sugars, cinnamon, and salt and mix until thoroughly combined.
4. Stir in pecans and keep stirring until completely coated.
5. Dump pecans (and goo) onto parchment-lined cookie sheet. The parchment-lined part is very important. If you forget that step, your pans will never be the same. Speaking from experience.
6. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring pecans every 15 minutes.
7. Allow to cool and then eat. Yum!

20121202-113642.jpg

the (almost) best day ever

Last week I had a rough, tear-filled day because I thought everyone had forgotten my birthday. (True story) I try not to make a big deal out of birthdays to avoid the inevitable disappointment when I’ve accidentally discovered the not-so-cleverly hidden gifts (Husband can vouch for me: I don’t snoop at all, everyone else is just terrible at being sneaky) and I somehow end up with a to-do list a mile long that day but the pregnancy hormones got the best of me. In more ways than one because it turns out my birthday was actually today, not last week, and I was the only one who forgot my birthday. Huh. Super exciting! So it turned into the most awesome day ever. Except at the end but I’ll get to that.

20121120-234814.jpg
Husband woke me up with breakfast in bed, thereby assuring himself a firm leading spot in the race for husband of the year. It was delicious and he even did the dishes. Double-win. And then the neighbors brought Husband and I a Panera picnic lunch at work. Triple-win! And I had a beautiful flower delivery from my in-laws and lots of happy phone calls! Quadruple-win!
And to top it off, I saw something awesome today. Mind you, we live in a very unique part of America but it’s still fairly civilized. Or so I thought until I encountered this on my way to Starbucks (which is in the middle of town on a busy, perfectly regular street.)

20121120-234854.jpg
I had a rather pleasant afternoon not working and admiring my new sewing machine (thanks, Husband!), hanging Babysaurus’ clothes in his closet, and putting his books on the shelves. (There is nothing cuter than a baby sweater-vest. I can already tell I’m going to do everything I can to keep him from growing!) This took all afternoon because I kept getting distracted by Curious George. Sneaky little monkey.
Anyway, while Husband made me a delicious steak dinner, I made my very most favorite dessert: apple pie cheesecake. A tradition in my house growing up was to always make your own birthday cake. As a child I thought it was awesome because I could have box-mix chocolate cake with chocolate icing and get to display my Lego creations on top! How cool and delicious all at the same time! As an adult, I realize that this is much cheaper and used up hours of energy and concentration (which meant I wasn’t getting into trouble elsewhere) and if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, it was my own fault for being bad at decorating. My mother is a sneaky genius. Regardless, the tradition stuck and I still love making my own cake (or cheesecake, post-Celiac). It never fails to disappoint.

20121120-234945.jpg
After dinner, the fun had to be over as I sat down to put the finishing touches on a couple of papers. I pushed the “on” button on the computer and several unusual things happened on the screen resulting in Husband proclaiming it broken but fixable. Three hours later, it was proclaimed gone for good with all of my papers and pictures and sanity. I then had a complete mental breakdown, effectively ruining my otherwise perfect day. But by then the cheesecake was ready and 3 pieces later, I felt better.

All in all, a completely typical day around here-totally fun and terrific and involving some kind of seemingly cataclysmic tragedy in which I must be talked off a ledge. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. But I would like those papers back and would like to not buy a new computer. Also, this means I have seriously diminished blogging capabilities, which is obviously what I’m most concerned about. Degrees aren’t really that important. Looks like I know what I’ll be getting for Christmas!

food is mean

I have a love/hate relationship with food. I love to make it but hate to eat it. Well that’s not exactly true; I love to eat things that my stomach hates. I hate eating things that my stomach loves. I also dont like cooking for just me so when I’m left to fend for myself at meals (which is often because Husband and I work opposite schedules most days), I mostly forget. This is bad and leads to many stomach-aches and complaining to Husband. At this point, he’s pretty tired of me being ridiculous and is no longer sympathetic. I don’t blame him.

Me:My tummy hurts.

Husband:What have you eaten today?

Me:Ummmm…..coffee, half a bagel, and a bag of peanut butter M&Ms

Husband:I see your problem.

Me:What problem?

Husband:Are you allowed to eat bagels?

Me:No…

Husband:Are you supposed to drink coffee?

Me:Not really…..

Husband:Have you eaten anything with any nutritional value?

Me:M&Ms are healthy! They have peanut butter. That’s protein!

Husband:How big was the bag of M&Ms?

Me:Not small….but it was hot outside. I had to eat them all or they would melt in the car.

Husband:Your inability to feed yourself is astounding. I really am amazed that you are still alive.

Me:I’m great at surviving. There was that one time where I lived off of raisins and a power bar for a week

Husband:And it took you 3 months to recover.

Me:Whatever. I love peanut butter m&ms. I just want to be normal and eat actual food!

Husband:Coffee, half a bagel, and peanut butter M&Ms are not normal food for anyone.

Me:Nutrition is hard.

Husband:How can someone who spends half of her time in the kitchen be so terrible at feeding herself?

Me:Food is mean.

Now, apparently, Husband has designated food monitors for when he’s not home to make sure I eat the right things. What a guy.

Before I get 50 emails, I should tell you that I am healthy and do eat actual food most of the time. Don’t be concerned, I’m just telling you a story I thought was funny.

Oh, and I made this. And it was fantastic but I tried to accomplish it in 45 minutes. It worked but I didn’t take any pictures. Which is okay since it wasn’t very pretty. But it was tasty! I subbed out the crust for my gluten free one and added some ginger and brown sugar instead of white. You should try this-perfect for summer.

20120531-112516.jpg

what do you mean, “you don’t have any brisket”?!

Happy Memorial Day, America. The older I get, the more I appreciate our country and those who have sacrificed everything for us. Thank you. This is one of my favorite holidays. I love the patriotism and am humbled that our … Continue reading