Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

I have a bone to pick with Alabama.



It's the beginning of October and we have yet to see legit fall weather.  Where is the cool breeze accompanied with the rustling of leaves?  I'm getting frustrated even as I type this.  This is the first time that I'm not experiencing fall at it's full potential.  I don't count cold mornings as "fall" when it eventually warms up to 91 degrees by 11 am.  No, no, that's not how this whole "seasons" thing works.



And don't even try to bring me rain during this time of year - that's not cool, Alabama.



I keep reading about how everyone up NORTH can start baking in their kitchens because it's finally cold enough outside.  Well, I don't care that it's as hot outside as it is in my oven…I'm going to start baking…and a lot…with pumpkin spice and nutmeg and allspice and cloves.  Because right now, it's FALL, whether or not you want it to be, Alabama.

[recipe]

Reasons why my weekend was AWESOME.

1.) I got my house ready for fall!



2.)  My two boys were as happy as could be!





3.)  These two came from up north and we showed them our new stomping grounds.



4.)  Our little muppet baby surprised us all by being a GOOD puppy around our visitors and didn't get TOO crazy on them.



5.)  These two ran a race together and kicked BUTT!





6.)  I celebrated my last day before bootcamp by having a donut with diet coke (with the caffeine).



 

7.)  I got new work out clothes so even if I'm not in shape, I'll at least look good while I die

Friday, September 28, 2012

Baked Craisin Granola Bars

Everyone in the Prib crib is hopping on the healthy train.



A couple of weeks ago I thought it'd be a brilliant idea to sign up for a bootcamp.  It was one of those - "Hey, being in shape is cool, so let's NOT do any research and instead just sign up for this right NOW!"  Brilliant, I know.



This morning we had our "orientation".  You know, the meeting where they weigh you and tape every single part of your body and then tell you that you're going to throw up and cry on your first day of bootcamp and that if you ever say the word "can't" then you're going to get punished with more exercise (since, you know, we didn't show up for exercise in the FIRST place).  It was one of those meetings where you wanted to whisper to the person sitting next to you "Whoops, I think I'm in the wrong class!", then slip out of the room and run to your car and NEVER look back.



Did I mention that this bootcamp is five days a week at 6:30am for six weeks?  Yeah.  I'm already crying.  And stuffing my face full of these healthy granola bars.



[recipe]



If you don't see a blog post on Monday, then it's safe to say that I died on my first day of bootcamp.  Thanks for being such a faithful reader of my first (and possibly only) four blog posts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Marshmallow Vanilla Ice Cream Shake

I got our blender at a second hand store for five dollars.



I know, RIGHT?  That's REAL bargain shopping!  I was SO proud of myself!  I didn't even go to the store looking for a blender.  I only stepped inside for the air conditioning and there it was, staring at me from across the room.  And, as if everyone else was walking towards the same blender to buy it themselves, I sprinted right up to it, shoving anything (or anyone) in my path out of the way and snatched it up.  I almost started hyperventilating when I saw the price tag.  Like, "ohmygosh, I better buy this RIGHT now before the workers realize what kind of steal this is and UP the price on me".  That's seriously the thought that went through my mind.



And THEN, once I was in my car on my way home, I started freaking out thinking "OhmyWORD, the blender probably doesn't even work…you just got RIPPED off, you gullible dummy.  Worst five dollar purchase.  Ever."



Much to my relief though, the blender totally worked!  Albeit, the thing wasn't quiet.  In fact, it was actually really loud.  Like, it scared my puppy.  He ran into the other room and hid behind the recliner.  But whatever, it makes awesome things like these ice cream shakes.  If it brings a lot of noise with it, for five dollars, gosh darn it, I'll take it and be thankful.



Plus I totally told myself that once this one dies, I'll reward myself with a brand new red one that matches my mixer.  Just watch though, this is going to be one of those old trusty blenders that lives forever.  Ugh.

[recipe]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Glazed Muffins

The husband said that these muffins are good.



And if the husband says they're good, then they really are.  He tells the truth about whether or not something I make is good.



One particular weekend, when we were dating, I decided I was going to make dinner for him.  He had been away at an ROTC army training thing-a-ma-jig and was going to be starving when he returned (at least in my mind).  This was the first meal I was going to cook for him in our dating relationship - it was a BIG deal, I was about to show him how domestic I was.  That meal could make or break the relationship.



The first thing Rob said when he entered my apartment that night was "Mmm, smells good!".  Perfect.  I was off to a good start - he liked what he was smelling.  I knew it was going to be smooth sailing from that point on.  First impressions are what count anyway, right?



So, I told him what I was serving, "Sunday chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans anddddd jello pie for dessert".  Basically, comfort food.



We sat down to eat our meal.  I watched Rob as he consumed his dinner bite by bite.  As soon as he swallowed a spoonful of his mashed potatoes, he stated "These are from a box, aren't they?".   I stared at him with a mixed look of disbelief and humility, unsure of how to respond, because UHH YEAH, they were in fact from a box.  It never occurred to me to make them from, like, I don't know, actual potatoes??  Come ON.  I'm a senior in college, trying to graduate here.  You're lucky I had time to even COOK you dinner.  I responded with something like "Yeah, you don't like them?"   and he shot right back with "I like homemade better".  That was it. I wasn't domestic.



Despite the fact that I botched the mashed potatoes, the evening turned out to be pretty good…and four months later he asked me to marry him, so I guess it all turned out okay, right?

[recipe]



Needless to say though, I don't make mashed potatoes out of a box anymore.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Brown Sugar Apple Dip

I remember the first "homemade" apple dip I ever had.



We made it in Home Ec class my sophomore year of high school.  It.was.so.good.  I couldn't believe something that delicious could ever exist.  I just wanted to drink it from the bowl.  But there were other people in the class, so I couldn't - APPARENTLY it was against social norms.  Plus, one of my classmates was totally double dipping, so I pretty much only got one taste of the dip before I was too repulsed to eat anymore.  To make matters worse, the double dipper had a cold.  UGH. I guess double dipping when you have a cold isn't against social norms.  Double dippers are SO GROSS (and yes, Rob, I know it was "myth busted" that double dipping isn't bad, but I don't care...it's still gross and I don't want to swap saliva with anyone in my apple dip).

 





Every fall since then I have thought about that tasty apple dip.  It was THAT good.  Unfortunately, I lost the recipe (like I do with every recipe I fall in love with).  Here it is though....seven(ISH) years later! I am SO HAPPY to say that I have found a recipe that tastes EXACTLY like the dip from my Home Ec class.

[recipe]



The apples are optional in this recipe.  Just drink it from the bowl.  Seriously.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

While I'm in the kitchen...

This is what Cooper is doing.  Lying wherever is least convenient for me.  He knows it too - look at that smile.





Sometimes he'll watch for food to fall.  Since, you know, I like ALWAYS drop whole chicken breasts on the floor when transferring them to the oven.



Also, you can forget about having any sort of "alone time".  This dog wants to be your best friend.



But that's okay, because I want to be his best friend too.