Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hump-Day Confessional

photo courtesy of photo.xchng
 Hello...remember me?  It has been forever!  I have been sick, sick, sick.  And my kiddos have been sick, sick, sick.  Basically, the past month has been one of the longest of my life!  We ALL got eye/ear/sinus funk about 5 days apart.  My ear has been plugged for 3 weeks now.  I have been on antibiotics, steroids, Sudafed, Zyrtec.  I have tried Ear Candles, Peroxide, frog urine....just kidding...unless it would be rumored to work, then I would totally try it.  Anyway, so that is where I have been.
So, my friend Ashley started doing a "Monday Confessional" on her blog and I absolutely LOVE it, so I am totally stealing the idea! I think it is a great way to get to know me a bit more. Some will be serious, some fun, some probably a little TMI....but it is all the glory of me, lol!

Hold on tight cause here we go!!!

  1. I confess....I love to make up songs. Songs about nothing...songs about whatever I am doing at the moment...songs about what I am trying to make my kiddos do. Sometimes I will be in the middle of a of a conversation, and I will just finish it in song. All I need to do is add-in some swanky dance moves and jazz hands and I would be a freaking walking musical. My poor children.
  2. I confess...At this moment, I have approximately 7 pairs of underware dangling off my bedroom ceiling fan. I am not even sure how it happened. Maybe some sort of leap-year gag? Perhaps an underware gnome thought it would be HI-larious to see the look-o-shock on my face last night when I went to bed. But I was a smooth operator. I just looked, shook my head, and walked out. HA! I will show them.
  3. I confess...I am honestly starting to get freaked out that my ear is going to stay plugged forever. Have you ever gotten sick for so long you start to forget what it was like to feel well? That is how I feel.
  4. I confess...I really, REALLY want a French Bulldog. Like, really bad. I want to get a girl and name it something obviously French-like. Maybe Coco or Odette or Eloise or Esme. Thoughts?  Any other really really French names I am missing? 
  5. I confess....I returned $85 dollars worth of groceries to Trader Joe's this week. I cleaned out my pantry to rid it of all the stuff we are not eating anymore. At first, I was going to throw it out or perhaps donate it. Then I remembered that Trader Joe's has an AWESOME return policy. So I called them and explained we aren't eating sugar or higher carb items and could I return 3 bags of groceries from my pantry. They said yes, so I did. I still felt chumpy about it though, so I drove to the one on the other end of town so I wouldn't be known as the "crazy lady who returned a pantry load of food" when I go in to the one by the house.
So, come on...join in the fun...what do you have to confess today?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My VERY Favorite Chocolate Cake with My VERY Favorite Frosting

It is spectacular.
It is rich.
It is moist.
It is perfect.
Chocolate Cake is my ULTIMATE dessert.  Like last-meal-on-earth favorite.  This chocolate cake is true perfection.  Topped with that crazy icing made with flour that tastes like a cross between whipped icing and the filling of a Ho-Ho.  Maybe I should have called this a deconstructed Ho-Ho Cake.
This is one of those things I really wish I could just make one for each of you just so you could try it.  So, please, please, pretty please try this cake. 

My VERY Favorite Chocolate Cake
Recipe Source:  slightly adapted from Hershey's
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick baking spray.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting. 

My VERY Favorite Frosting
Recipe Source:  Pioneer Woman - Tasty Kitchen
  • 5 TBSP Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.
Grab a spoon and taste this wonderful goodness. If there is any left after your taste test, spread it on a cooled chocolate cake.

This recipe has been linked up at:
Jennifer Cooks
The Country Cook
Simply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom

Monday, February 6, 2012

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce

While I was looking through some of my favorite blogs for some recipes that were low carb/low sugar, I came across this gem from Amber of This Mommy Cooks.  I put it on my menu plan immediately for the week and could not wait to try it.  Well, it certainly did not disappoint.  This is an A-MAZING recipe.  While it may seem like a simple stir-fry, this White Sauce is OUT OF THIS WORLD!  Now, this recipe will take a little advanced planning since you need to make the sauce the night before.  It isn't optional, it needs that long for the flavors to completely transform the taste of the sauce.  Just trust me on this.  You can use any veggies you would like in this dish.  I used a combo of mushrooms, zucchini, a few red pepper slivers,  broccoli, and cauliflower.  I seriously could not get enough dipping the chicken and veggies in the sauce.    Don't hesitate to try this one right away!

Japanese Steakhouse Chicken and Veggies with White Sauce
Recipe very slightly adapted from:  This Mommy Cooks
  • Chicken, cut into bite size pieces (or any meat you choose)
  • Salt
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Choice of veggies, cut into bite sized pieces
  • Soy Sauce (I used 1-2 TBSP total) 
  • Oil of choice
White Sauce
  • 1-1/4 cup real mayonnaise (Hellman's or Duke's)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (you could also use cayenne pepper sauce) 
For the White Sauce:
The night before you want to serve this, make the White Sauce by using a fork or a whisk to combine all ingredients together until mixed and the sauce is smooth. Refrigerate overnight for the flavors to blend.
For the chicken and veggies:
In separate pans, heat a small amount of oil. Season chicken with salt and Lemon Pepper.
Cook chicken, careful not to over cook, add some real soy sauce to taste. For the vegetables, you pretty much do the same thing. Slice up your chosen vegetables, and place in heated oil, season with a little Lemon Pepper and Soy Sauce. Cook until still slightly crisp.

This recipe has been linked up at:
This Chick Cooks
Jennifer Cooks
The Country Cook
SImply Sweet Home
Tidy Mom