Role Reversal

My husband came home looking all sad panda the other day.

The doctor told me I have high cholesterol.”

Guess all those late night runs to the border for 4th meal caught up to you, eh?

“She told me to stop eating so much meat.”

You don’t say.

“And no more fast food.”

Well, how about that.

“Do we have any vegan cookbooks?”

Why, yes. Yes, we do.

“Do they have pictures.”

No. No, they don’t.

If only there were some sort of vegan cookbook with pictures of how to make everything.”

Yes, Husband. Wouldn’t that be neat if there were some thoroughly documented vegan recipe log with pictures and step-by-step instructions?

Yes, that would be really neat.

DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME?!?!

Then husband said he would like to learn how to cook.

“Can you teach me how to cook something?”

Sure. What do you want to learn how to cook?

“Sandwiches.”

Sandwiches?

DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME?!?!?!

And how the hell do you not know how to make a sandwich?

Sorry.

I lost my cool there.

Yes, Husband. I can teach you to make a sandwich.

A man sandwich.

First, get into your bare feet and head to the kitchen.

Just kidding.

First, wash that stank off your hands.

This is a basic hot sandwich recipe that can be customized to your extremely finicky palate  liking.

MUSHROOM STEAK SANDWICHES

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16 oz. portobello mushroom caps

2 medium onions

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon canola oil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Slice the ends off of the onion and peel away the skin.

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Cut in half length-wise.

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Put cut side down and then slice into strips.

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Add onions to skillet.

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Slice mushrooms.

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Add to the onions.

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Add the soy sauce and any additional seasonings.

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Seriously. Experiment with the spices.

This is how you learn to cook.

For this batch I added 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. It had some heat!

Cook for 15-20 minutes or until peppers are cooked but still a little chewy and firm.

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Serve on crusty bread with mixed greens or herbs.

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Don’t worry Husband.

I know you dislike parsley trees in your food.

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I will hand pick each piece of greenery off of your sammich.

Better eat fast.

You still have all those dishes to do!

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Batch 29

This week hit me like a Mac truck.

Maybe it was all the sugar.

Or the long hours at work.

Or the sugar.

Desserts in this house are a recipe for disaster.

They usually require a vacuum.

Because we can Hoover us some cake and cookies.

So when I was thinking of what to make for the husband’s birthday, it seemed like a terrible idea to have an entire cake seducing us with it’s rich, chocolatey aroma.

Cupcakes seemed like a reasonable alternative for their perfect little portion controlled cakelettes, but the idea of 12 cupcakes lingering on my kitchen counter was enough to make my insulin jump just thinking about it.

So I took a little foray into small batch baking.

And came up with a recipe that makes four svelte servings of chocolate brownie cupcakes.

Not wanting to dirty up an entire cupcake pan, I poured the batter right into four ounce mason jars.

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And when they emerged from the oven all cupcake and crackely, I heaped on some brandied cherry topping.

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Because I can’t pipe frosting to save my life.

And I can’t make frosting if I use all the powdered sugar practicing my skillz.

SMALL -BATCH BLACK FOREST

BROWNIE CUPCAKES

(Makes 4 cupcakes)

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For the cherry topping:

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1  (12 oz.) bag of frozen cherries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons arrowroot starch

1-2 teaspoons brandy

For the cupcakes:

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Want a more traditional cupcake? Omit the baking chocolate in the batter.

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch salt

1 oz. baking chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup non-dairy milk, warmed

To make the topping: 

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Cook cherries and sugar over medium heat until heated through.

Add arrowroot starch and boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in brandy.

Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the cupcakes:

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

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Stir in the chopped chocolate.

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Make sure to give the chocolate a good chop. This will make it easier for it to melt into the batter when you add the warm milk.

Add oil, vanilla, and cider vinegar.

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Slowly pour in the warm milk.

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Stir until batter is smooth.

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Distribute batter evenly into four, greased (4 oz) mason jars.

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Place jars on a cookie sheet before placing in the oven.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Cool.

Top with cherry topping and additional chocolate shavings.

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The best thing about these cupcakes?

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They’re portable!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HUSBAND!

Hope your first 29th birthday is the best!

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I know my second one is going to be epic.

Spinning My Wheels

You know who shows up to bike races?

People who are really good at bike races.

And then there’s me.

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Peddling faster than I’ve ever peddled in my life and still coming in at the back of the pack.

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It was my first race.

My only goal was to finish all 25 miles.

And pedal continuously.

My strategy was just to ride comfortably and enjoy the journey.

That lasted three seconds.

When I saw the other women in my age group take off at break- neck speed, I wanted to follow them.

They were out of sight in another three seconds.

My next plan was to just hope and pray that I could “out endurance” them.

You know, hopefully they would get tired in the middle of the race and I would sort of just ride on by.

I never saw them again.

At mile 15 my i-pod quit working.

Which is fitting since  cyclists don’t seem to use any sort of technology.

Other than the 3000 dollars of it outfitted on their bikes.

Even still, I felt pretty damn good when I sailed through the finish line.

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I enjoyed a post race beer and the conversations happening all around me.

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That wind at Todd’s Mill was the worst!

Brian wiped out at a traffic cone. He’s at the ambulance.

At one point I had to slow down to 21 mph!

I kept trying to draft but couldn’t catch up to anybody!

Draft?

Huh?
The only draft I know is of the beer variety.

I was clearly out of my element.

But it was fun.

I will learn.

And I will be back.

Now we all know the best part of a race is the carb loading that takes place before hand.

Most people load up on pasta and starchy veggies, but all I wanted was cereal.

The sugary kind.

With no nutritional value other than manufactured supplemental crap.

I spent a week grabbing handfuls of the hubby’s secret cereal stock.

And then I found this.

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Ugh.

He is going to be so cranky when he finds out all his Honey Bunchies of Oaties is gone.

And I didn’t buy any more cereal this week.

Besides this.

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Which I ate in two days.

Shut it.

I was in training.

It’s cool, though.

There’s a reserve box of corn flakes chilling out in the pantry.

From when I was pretending that non-sugary cereal tasted good.

It doesn’t.

But I can make it taste good.

HONEY BUNCHES OF O-SHIT THIS STUFF IS GOOD!

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8 cups corn flake cereal

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

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Pour honey and canola oil in a microwave safe container and microwave for 30 seconds (or just warm it on the stove).

Add cereal to a very large bowl.

Pour half of the honey mixture over the cereal and stir, making sure to coat as much of the cereal as possible.

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Add oats, almonds, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly.

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Add the rest of the honey and mix once more.

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Pour cereal onto foil lined baking sheets and bake for 5-7 minutes.

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Recipe note: Despite my complicated mixing process, this actually makes better “bunches” if you mix all the dry ingredients and then drizzle the honey over the whole batch and then stir. I guess simplicity is best!

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Cereal will crisp up once cooled.

Try not to eat half of the batch while scooping it into an airtight container.

Or just eat it.

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And tell your husband to buy his own damn cereal.

KEEP CALM AND PEDAL ON!

Lessons from the Master

I like the idea of Fall but I’m not quite ready for summer to go away yet.

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It’s hard to think about pumpkins, corn mazes and apple picking when the sun is blazing and the thermometer is tipping at ninety degrees.

And that suits me just fine.

The husband and I trying to squeeze in every drop of sunshine that we possibly can until the weather turns cold and we have to trade in our water skis for snow skis and stow away our wake boards in favor of snowboards.

The last sentence probably makes you think we are water sport enthusiasts.

We totally are.

I mean, check this out.

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It’s a rough life.

No, really.

The husband totally got stuck in that floaty tube and then declared he was going on a diet.

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What’s that one where you drink lemonade with maple syrup and cayenne pepper?

You mean the master cleanse?

Yeah, that one. I’m going to do that. For five days. Do we have any lemons?

Let me just start by saying this is a terrible idea.

This is a man who drank a two liter of soda by himself last weekend.

And ate an entire package of Oreos.

And feigned ignorance when there was all but 3 chocolate chips left in the bag.

Also the same man that ate 11 donuts in the middle of the night.

With no recollection of it in the morning.

A five day cleanse consisting of little more than lemon water, maple syrup and cayenne pepper?

This sounds like a terrible idea.

And a delicious cocktail.

Let me know how that cleanse works for you babe.

I’ll just be over here sippin’ on the last dregs of summer.

The Master Craft

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1 cup of water

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons whiskey

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Ice

Add the water, lemon juice, whiskey, maple syrup and small (tiny!) pinch of cayenne pepper to a glass and stir until well mixed.

Add ice.

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Sip away!

Pumped

There hasn’t been much cookery around these parts lately.

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The extent of meal preparation has involved making banana berry smoothies,  a loaf of peanut butter and jelly’s and eating frozen edamame straight from the bag.

Its been delicious.

But then fall came and smacked me in the face.

And suddenly freezing all of my super ripe bananas for smoothies and banana ice cream seemed irrelevant.

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Pumpkin isn’t allowed in any form until at least September.

A strict rule that I never adhere to.

But now I at least feel less awkward about drinking pumpkin lattes by the half gallon.

Get ready for four months of pumpkin madness.

Starting with butter.

Banana Maple Pumpkin Butter

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BANANA MAPLE PUMPKIN BUTTER

2 very ripe bananas

1   (15 oz.)  can pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food process and puree until smooth.

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Pour into a small pot over medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes or until thick.

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Fall is here.  

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GET PUMPED!

Hi. I’m in Delaware.

I’ve spent the better half of the last seven years making fun of Delaware.

And by “better half” I mean each and every one of those 2,555 days

I plan to spend the next 2,555 days making Delaware fun.

Here’s some things on my calendar for the next few months:

RUN OR DYE

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August 17th 2013

10,000 people signed up to run?

I think that’s like the entire population of the state.

DOVER DOWNS 3rd ANNUAL BREW FESTIVAL

BrewFest

August 24th 2013

I hope the gay guy coordinating the event doesn’t still think craft beer equals pom-poms and cardboard cut-outs of football players.

Shouldn’t a homosexual know not to stereotype?

 AMISH COUNTRY BIKE TOUR 

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September 7th, 2013

There’s pie in the middle of this ride.

And beer at the end of it.

Enough said.

 DELAWARE BEER AND WINE FESTIVAL

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Yes, but where’s the pie?

BAD PROM 5k

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TBD

High school proms are bad enough.

I think I’ll skip this one.

MORE COOL THINGS THAT I WANT TO DO:

Zip Line Adventure Course

Zipline

Oh, Delaware.

You secret little scamp.

I had no idea you had zip lines.

Or trees this tall for that matter.

ADVENTURE RACE SERIES

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Races include running, biking, and kayaking…..and one race goes right through a water park!

 FORDHAM BREWERY TOUR

I’ve taken the tour before, but on Fridays they have outdoor movies and live music.

And a continuously rotating tap.

Did you know the Fall beers have already been released?

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But summer just started!

HAPPY SUMMERING!

Peach Pits

I thought I had it this time.

I woke up feeling good.

Like a winner. 

It was tried, tested, and approved.

The peaches were good.

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The recipe was good.

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The feedback was good.

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The bars were good.

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This was it.

Third time’s a charm.

I was going to win this damn peach recipe contest.

Or at least place.

Or at the very least, drop my peach bars off and walk smugly out the door.

None of those things happened.

When I went to cut the bars, arrange them painstakingly perfect on a platter, and drizzle them with the tart lemon glaze, I had to slap the smug right off of my face.

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The bars were mush.

I don’t know if it was the heat, the humidity, or the fact that I’m pretty sure I forgot an ingredient, but the bars were clearly not going to win any contests.

So I did what any pinteresting person would do.

I shoveled that mess into some mason jars.

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And then I took I nap.

Well first I ate 70 million spoonfuls of peach pie mush.

And then I took a nap.

And then I ate a bunch more.

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And then I named them peach crumble jar bars.

And then I took my sister’s advice and drank some peach shnapps.

Except I left out the peaches.

And the Schnapps.

Ok, it was vodka.

I drank vodka.

And I felt just peachy after that.

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I also looked at this a million times.

cooking fail

37 PEOPLE WHO ARE WORSE AT COOKING THAN YOU

Because other people’s failure makes me feel better.

OUT FOR SUMMER

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I learned that lesson the hard way.

Save yourself and read this post brought to you by my sweet, loving sister.

She’s a teacher.

So let her teach you some crap. 

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am spending my summer on a tropical island, enjoying the sounds of the ocean, the breeze, and the sway of the palm trees. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t imagine a more serene way to spend my summer ‘vacation’. Here’s a pic of me…..soaking up the rays! 
 
By now, I hope you know how far fetched that introduction was! Ha. That’s just a terrible picture using the effects on Photo Booth! Notice the long sleeves and pants? It’s rainy here in Michigan today, and I now feel like Richard Simmons…so let’s get on with what’s really going on over here. 
 
 Here’s how I’m really spending my summer: taking kids to/from sports camps, day camps, friends houses, boating, reading, soaking up the sun, gardening, meeting up with my friends and teacher-friends, hosting family gatherings, lifeguarding at the backyard pool, cleaning my house, doing lots of laundry, and more! It truly is a great summer. I’m looking forward to our ocean side condo vacation coming up in August (for real!). Know what else I’ve been doing? Sneaking in WORK! 
 
Today was the last day of all camps for my 3 kids. It’s raining, and I didn’t want my laminator to get too out of practice, so I thought I’d fire it up today! I’ve been busy making products for my classroom and TPT and TN stores, as well as downloading great products from others. I decided to print and laminate it today. Here’s my huge stash. 
 
As I’m sitting here laminating things, something in my brain begins to nag me about how much time is spent SITTING while I search, download, and put page after page through the laminator….which snacks and TV in front of me. After I’ve spent some time trying to change my eating and exercise habits the last few months, SITTING around too long felt all wrong. 
So—-I decided to combine my work with exercise and I found out I could get 13 squats in per page from the time I put it in the laminator till the time is rolled all the way through. Once my muscles got warmed up, I sometimes hit 17-20 squats. I did 23 pages today (lots more to go)—-but I’ll just go ahead and average 13 squats/page and multiply that by 23 pages for a total of 299 squats!!!! 
 
I’m happy to have gotten two birds with one stone today….and thought I could easily incorporate different exercise while I’m waiting for those pages to slide through. 
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I’m excited about this new multi-tasking opportunity. I mean, that’s what moms/teachers/women do best anyway, right?! Of course, I have no idea why I didn’t think of this sooner…..I bet I’d be a lot more fit if I combined my work with exercise a looooong time ago….especially since I seem to spend a lot of time on work and not enough ‘ME’ time. Although, playing geeky nerd on the computer is ‘me’ time, and I like it a lot. But being a thinner, in shape, geeky-nerd would be even better!! 
Now do the homework unless you want to see the crazy come out!
Thanks sister!
You can catch up with all my sister’s craziness on her blog

Word of the Day

Beersistence

 

Beer-sis-tense: [beer-sis-tuh-ns]

noun

1. The act of drinking a beer to aid in otherwise mundane activities such as cleaning the garage, washing the cars, or taking an excruciatingly long online boater’s safety course. As in, this job is going to require a little beersistence. 

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Beersistence

Helping you get things done ever since you turned 21.

Crush Me

Don’t tell my husband,

but I’ve got a crush on Dave Matthews.

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Although, I’ll make exceptions for cute boys holding craft beer.

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But I still have a giant crush on Dave Matthews.

DMB CRUSH

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2 cups ice

2 oranges + zest

2 tablespoons agave syrup

2 oz. vodka

Zest and peel the oranges.

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Add ice, oranges, zest, agave, and vodka to a blender.

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Blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.

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Red Solo Cup optional.

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I think I just saw Dave’s tour bus drive by.

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Is this real or am I dreaming?