Friday, December 28, 2012

Hmmm, is it worth it?

I know when you are hungry or having a craving for something you see on a blog, TV or Pinterest- not all that you want is right down the street.  Heck, I have Georgetown Cupcakes right across the river and even though I watch every episode and own both of their books....I still have not ventured.  I really avoid driving in DC at all costs.  I know I could take the metro but have you seen their long lines in front?....Anyhow....(paleo posting pals- stop reading now)
I decided to splurge and see was ordering from Carlo's Bakery worth it?  Like DC cupcakes, I watch all Buddy's shows, I own all of his DVD's (my students love them) and I have all his books.  UM, not taking a special vacation to HOBOKEN for some baked goods.  They have talked about going 'global' on the show and now with a large factory in Lackawanna, they finally started their delivery of their baked goods (some goods, not all). 
They are offering cookie trays, biscotti, rugelach and crumb cake.  All of which can withstand TRAVEL.  I can't see their flaky 'lobster tails' or cannoli being thrown in a Fed Ex truck.  I wasn't interested in the cookies (hello, we just finished the holidays) or the biscotti.  It was either the rugelach or crumb cake.  I like both but which.  I remembered printing off many a crumb cake recipe for it was not being published in his books.  I ordered the crumb cake, not thinking it was right before the holidays.  I realize that cake delivery was risky.  OMG all those crumbs....they are gonna be a hot mess.  It's going to be expensive.  Any cake delivered days after it's baking can't be as good as picking it up right from the store.  Online it said it would be made Monday or Christmas Eve but not sent until the day after Christmas.  Okay....perhaps I should wait....but what if I have 'drop-in' guests?.....It came today.
I immediately thought about the CRUMBS....eww would these be a HOT mess?  I opened the box and found the LARGE BUBBLE wrap.  Their was no room for the cake to bounce around in its box.  After I lifted the bubble wrap. I see the whole cake is sealed in plastic.  No one GOLF BALL sized CRUMB was out of place!

I closed up the box.  I'll try it for breakfast with an awesome cup of coffee.  I think I made it for an hour and said "What the hell?"  I cut into it.  If you are anything like me...when you cut into something baked you HOPE for stuff to fall.  Ohhh taste test!  I put it on a plate and took a, ok.  I thought buying an Entennmann's crumb cake from the grocery would be softer.  The receipt tells you to go to their website for 'care instructions'.....This is essential.  I did not go but I did what my instincts told me.  All things taste better warm.  I nuked it for 30 seconds in the microwave. WOW....Huge difference!...Now I was singing and wiggling in my chair as I ate this.  It cost 29.99 online and with 2 day Fed Ex delivery it came to 41.99 (2 day delivery is your only option smack in the middle of a holiday, normally it's overnight, they provide you a schedule)

Here my picture of my slice made on Monday, sent on Wednesday, arrived on Friday.

This is a picture of Buddy's crumb cake from his webpage. I am SURE is it was freshly baked and the picture taken shortly afterward.  It looks all soft and fluffy.  You can tell that a cake that has been traveling sure does 'settle'.  This is what is written about the CARE Instructions:
"When you receive your crumb cake it is wrapped to maintain freshness and can be enjoyed immediately.
Store crumb cake at room temperature in covered container
Crumb cake should last about 5 days if covered properly
Place crumb cake in freezer with plastic wrapper on.
When defrosting remove plastic wrapper, defrost until crumbs on top are soft (about 1 hour at room temperature)
To reheat remove outer plastic wrapper and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or 30 seconds on high in a microwave oven (exactly what I did!)
NOTE: Crumb cake can be reheated in paper tray

Buddy recommends there is nothing like a warm crumb cake!" (this is HUGE!)

So, you have a decision to make.  Is it worth it to YOU?  To me....40 bucks can be the going rate for any upscale cake in our area.  Was it worth it to me?  Hell yeah, I love Buddy....this is the closest of a 'piece' of him I probably will ever get. LOOLOLOLOLOLL.  Would I buy it again?  Yes....but now I'd like to try the rugelach for I KNOW they have tons more moisture due to the preserves rolled in the dough.  I am excited to try it again.  So if you love crumb cake and don't have a problem forking out 40 bucks for a quality Crumb Cake, get one.  If anything, if you have Cake Boss fans in the would make for fun conversation during a gathering!  I say go for it!

Who wants to eat CAKE?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Mint Crackles

If you want a sweet treat before the holidays that is easy to make.  Here is your recipe!!  These are soft, moist and taste just like a Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie.  Not Paleo....but these can be your 'cheat' or think of the kids or visitors who would enjoy them.

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Mint Crackle Cookies
by JennyMac's Lipsmack

1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup andes candies (I used the bag of them already chopped in the pink and white candy cane-you can use the green one and chop yourself)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
 In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract.
Beat in the cake mix and cocoa.
Add in the chopped Andes Candies.
Roll the into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes.
The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Cook's Notes:
I came across one last cookie forgotten in the Holiday tins.  It was STILL soft.  SNARF.  Gone.   No one died eating a week old cookie.  LOL

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Paleo Snickerdoodles and a Surprise?

I am on my holiday cookie treat making adventure.  It's an adventure because there is NO SUGAR and no FLOUR....aka Paleo Holiday Treats!  WOOHOO!!!
I am posting my Snickerdoodle Recipe first and a warning!  It's fun....once you get over the scary part....First recipe then

Paleo Snickerdoodle Cookies
by JennyMac's Lipsmack

1/2 c. almond butter (I used sunbutter-part of the surprise)
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. maple syrup
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 c. almond flour
1 tsp. baking soda (second part of the surprise?)
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. truvia
2 Tbsp cinnamon

1.  Beat together almond butter, shortening, syrup, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
2.  Combine flour, soda, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a separate bowl.
3.  Slowly add dry mixture until combined with wet mixture.
4.  Mixture will be wet and sticky, drop tablespoons several inches apart (8 per cookie sheet) and use a circular motion to spread cookie out into a flat disk, about a 1/2 inch thick, onto parchment covered cookie sheet.
5.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over cookies.
6.  Bake cookies at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on the edges, centers should be slightly wet but will be spongy and bounce back if you press on them.
Now read on for the SURPRISE?!?

Baker's Notes:
1.   I made these they are spongy....ok, no worries they won't get dried out too soon.  I turned one over and it looked funny.  I shrugged it off but I kept looking underneath the cookies as they were cooling....'why are they looking funny?'  
I finally opened one up.  This is what I found....

Perfect for the HOLIDAYS!!!  Green Interior.  Or St Patrick's Day...What the heck is going on....GREEN?  Never in my life has this happened to me and I have a Cookie club after school for 15 years and NEVER seen a green interior in a cookie.  So I googled it.
2.  Phew, nothing evil.  Apparently it has to do with the alkalinity of the sunflower seeds and especially the use of baking soda.  Here's a link to more.
Problem solved if you don't use Sunbutter but in fact use Almond Butter.  It's what I had on hand so I used it.  Freaky scary if you don't know why it's happening...but if you take the time to research's safe, no need to throw out perfectly good cookies.  Tomorrow will be fun when I give them to my Paleo Pals....

Stay Tuned for more Paleo Treats:
Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Mint Truffles
Apple Caveman Bars

And two NON Paleo Chocolate Mint cookies for Neolithic cookie Eaters!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

I know Thanksgiving is over, the time when we are still using pumpkin.  However some of you may still do pumpkin pies at Christmas or perhaps you are looking for a tasty alternative for dessert.  I opted for this instead of pie this year.  Much easier to make and you can get many more servings from this over one pie!

Same pumpkin-like custard on the bottom with crunchy topping.  I have pecans on top however you don't have to put them if you don't wanna.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake
JennyMac's Lipsmack also on Just a pinch

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 can evaporated milk
1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow/french vanilla cake mix
1 c. pecans, chopped
2 sticks of butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a 13X9 cake pan.

2.  Place in a large mixing bowl: pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, spice and salt. Using an electric hand beater, mix well for about 1-2 minutes.

3. Pour pumpkin mixture in greased pan. Top with cake mix. Pat the cake mix down. Sprinkle pecans. Pour all over with melted butter.

4.  Bake in 350 oven for 60 minutes or until set. (Jiggles just ever so slightly)

5. Best served warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. If refrigerated the 'crunch topping' will get very hard (from the butter) so you may want to warm it up a bit in the microwave before serving it 'leftover'


Friday, November 23, 2012

Roast Chicken

Best Chicken Evah!  A-MAY-zing!  I've certainly done a few roasted chicken before but this one is different.  You've seen the Beer Can or Beer in the Butt Chicken recipes?  We went to a craft show and found the Chicken Roaster.  You put in your own 'liquid' and herbs, maybe some veggies in the base.  DINNER!  What I enjoyed most about this is that when I've done the Beer Can chicken it was so wobbly, afraid it would tip over.  Not even an issue with this ceramic roaster.  There is so much liquid involved in this there is no way you can have dry chicken meat.  We ate chicken for 3 days after this roast and with each 'reheat' the chicken was still moist. (we didn't reheat the whole chicken each day.  I cut it up into parts-breast, wing, thigh and leg and reheated the part that was going to be eaten) Give this recipe and roaster dish a'll be eating more chicken for sure!

Orange Thyme Chicken
a JennyMac's Lipsmack creation

3-4 pound (or larger)chicken
1 cup your favorite wine (or 2-3 cups and forgo the broth)
1-2 cup chicken broth
Several sprigs of thyme
1 orange sliced
1 clove garlic, slightly mashed.
olive oil
salt and pepper
onions, carrots, potatoes (or other vegetable to roast of choice)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Pat chicken dry.  Rub the outside of chicken with olive oil and salt, pepper and some thyme leaves remove from their stems.  Put remaining sprigs of thyme in the chicken cavity.  Line the inside of the cavity with the orange slices, reserve one.

3.  Place the one orange slice in the roaster cylinder with the garlic clove.  Pour the wine in the cylinder.  It's okay if it over flows into the bottom of the roaster.

4.  Place the chicken on the cylinder.  Add veggies beneath chicken on bottom of roaster.

5.  Add enough of the broth/wine to the bottom to fill the base by 1/3.  Not putting enough liquid can cause hot spots and break or crack the roaster dish.

6.  Roast chicken until internal temp reaches 170 degrees.  You can follow your packaging directions per pound for time to know when to 'test' your chicken temperature.

I made a little pan gravy with this "just in case"....but it really wasn't needed.  I was just enjoying the gravy with the chicken just because the flavor was awesome.

If you have an artisan festival coming by your town soon look for one of these to purchase.  If you don't have a source, you can order one online from the people who made mine:  Wizard of Clay, mine was $50, because we bought it there at the booth.  Not sure what shipping will cost you to inflate the amount. 

Well worth the purchase....gonna try next time how I can put a turkey breast on this!  Some butcher's twine may be involved!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween Treats

I know, Halloween is long gone.  However many of us had a lot going on.  I was all excited about posting my Halloween Treats and Hurricane Sandy hit.  We did not have school for two days and alas I was not able to make my treats until the actual day of Halloween and 2 days after.  My plan was to have most of it done BEFORE!  As a teacher trying to reschedule all that cooking and to rearrange the other classes.  AND, keeping my plan to decorate my room for the kids, taking it all down and decorating the house for the kids in the neighborhood.  Between making the treats, passing them out, remembering to take pictures, decorating  (....oh did I mention I had hall duty that week that requires me to monitor the hall 20 minutes before I normally come to work so that means I can't do anything in my room?)  So if I only worked 3 days last week, why did it feel like a full 5 days?  Fortunately, we lost no power and maintained no house/tree damage.  The "cat lady" above and her "roadie" are very blessed.  Enough whining....let's get to the treats, shall we?

Charlotte’s Web Cake

Create a spider web on top of a cake!

Start by spreading a round cake with white or orange frosting. Thin some chocolate frosting with milk until it's about the consistency of melted chocolate, and place it in a piping bag with a ¼-inch tip.  Starting in the center, pipe a spiral pattern radiating out until you come within an inch of the edge of the cake. Now, pretending the cake top is the face of a clock, gently drag the tip of a toothpick from the center to 12 o'clock, continuing all the way to the edge of the cake. Drag the toothpick from 1 o'clock back to the center, and then from the center to 2 o'clock. Continue in this fashion until you have completed the circle. You can also do this on a smaller scale with cookies and cupcakes. Decorate your 'web' with plastic spiders (or gummy ones) and bugs!

Used Tampons
from Divine Dinner Party (digusting food section)

20 large marshmallows
1 can sour cherries in juice (not cherry pie filling!)
5, 8-9" lengths of food-safe string

1. String four marshmallows on each of your five strings. I find the easiest way to do this is wrap the string around a wooden skewer, skewer the marshmallows, and pull the skewer out. You can also tie one end of the string around a toothpick.
2. Line the marshmallows up on one end of the string. Knot the bottom of the string.
3. Place marshmallow "tampons" on a serving tray. 5. Pour an undrained can of dark, sour cherries (it's best if you cut up the cherries a bit) over. Or use cranberry juice and dried cranberries.
6. Enjoy!  

Bloody Worm Sandwiches
from Divine Dinner Party (more gross food section)

8 hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
1/4 C. ketchup Instructions:
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
2. Slice each hot dog into long, worm-like strips.
3. Dump hot dog strips into boiling water and cook until they begin to curl a bit. 4. Drain.
5. Return cooked hot dog worms to pan and toss with ketchup until thoroughly mixed.
6. Serve in hot dog buns.

Breadstick Spiderweb

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated breadsticks (8 breadsticks)
 1 egg
 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
Pizza sauce or marinara sauce, heated, and garnished with chopped fresh basil leaves or flat-leaf parsley

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Separate dough into 8 pieces; roll each piece into 12 to 14-inch rope. On cookie sheet, place 4 dough ropes overlapping to look like asterisk; with remaining 4 dough ropes, make concentric circles to create spiderweb.
In small bowl, beat egg and water; brush over dough. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.

Hairy Armpits  
(sorry no picture, what was I thinking? Just imagine some European chick dancing with her arms in the air and you get a quick glance of her unshaved armpits!  lol)

3 large shredded wheat bundles
3 TBSP. honey
1 TBSP. light brown sugar
1 6oz. bag milk chocolate chips
2 TBSP. butter or margarine


Break up shredded wheat bundles into single long strands, so that they have the appearance of armpit hairs. Set aside. Place the honey, brown sugar, chocolate chips, and butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan and heat over low to melt. Gently stir mixture with a rubber spatula. Mixture should be smooth and glossy. Remove the saucepan from burner and place it on a heat safe work surface. Gently fold in shredded wheat. When the shredded wheat is completely coated, scoop it onto wax paper in nine equal portions. Use a fork to gently rake "hairs" into one direction. To set Chocolate Armpit Hairs, place them in refrigerator for about thirty minutes. If there are any hairy bundles left over, keep them stored in the refrigerator.

Froot Poops My school site has a photo gallery of these plus many others...

1 and 1/2 pkg (12 oz) chocolate chips
1- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups chopped, dried mixed fruit

1. Line the bottom of a 9 inch square pan with waxed paper.
2. Pour chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt into large glass bowl and melt in microwave. Stir constantly to determine when melted.
3. Pour in vanilla and dried fruit. Stir into chocolate mixture.
4. Pour chocolate mixture into lined pan and spread it evenly with your rubber scraper. Place pan in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours.
5. When thoroughly chilled, invert chocolate mixture onto cutting board. Cut into 1 inch squares.
6. Create loads of uniquely shaped diarrhea dumps by rolling each square between the palms or your clean, dry hands. Make some flat, round disks, some short, thick poops, and some long skinny ones!

Really Gross: Make sure you present your diarrhea delight on toilet paper wads!

Please print these out for next year.  Again I am sorry for these GREAT recipes being poor timed....but stuff happens.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New York City, Staten Island, Long Island and New Jersey Shorelines.  Of all the people of our Wonderful US of A.  I feel the folks of NY and NJ have the stuff that make them strong survivors.  They survived 911 and this too shall pass.  If you can make a donation to the Hurricane Sandy Fund, even the smallest bit can help. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paleo Burger, but mostly Ketchup. HAHA

First some Paleo for you, then some Ketchup.  Err, I mean catch up. 
Paleo Mushroom Burgers 
by JennyMac's Lipsmack

4 portabello mushroom caps
1 pound organic ground beef
1/2 onion, finely minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh herb of choice (I used oregano)
salt and pepper
raw or precooked bacon
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pop off mushroom stems and use a spoon to remove the mushroom 'gills' underneath the cap (this will make the mushroom render a lot of water and make it 'weepy').
  • Mix ground beef with onion, garlic, herbs and S/P.
  • Divide beef with hands into fourths.
  • Pack each mushroom cap with one fourth of the ground beef mixture.
  • If bacon is raw, criss cross top with two bacon.  If bacon is leftover and already cooked save it for later to garnish.
  • Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes (until it is rare, medium or well done as you like)
  • Cover with cheese and or bacon or both.

After my vacation post, life got crazy....

1.  When we returned from Va Beach, my friend told us that a neighbor had kittens that she was fostering that could be adopted.  It was about a year now that we put our 20 y.o beloved Tricksy to sleep.  We felt it was time and this was our sign...
There was only one left to adopt, the other two were spoken for.  We wanted two, for them to be companions, playmates.  They didn't necessarily have to be from the same litter.

 Here is a sample of her "Bikini" spots hence her now namesake.  So Gina our Foster Kitty Mom and neighbor found us another. 

He was two weeks older was black with ghost stripes like "Bikini" and he had a white spot underneath his belly between his hind legs...OMG.  His name has to be "Speedo"  So it was...

Bikini and Speedo.  Our lives were now changed.  Um....we had no idea....

I am now a week out of Hernia surgery and Speedo started to get sick.  Long story, short.  He had a kitty condition we never heard of- FIP.  Feline Infectious Peritonitis.  Rare. yet fatal.  He had him for only 3 weeks and now faced with decisions about putting him down.  Talk about devastation.  Now, Bikini was alone.  BUT our plan was to have TWO kitties.  We needed to do something fast.  We didn't want Bikini to get un-used to having another kitty in her life or cats in general.
We could have gone back to DC for another adoption (easier I am sure, having already adopted 2 but a pain to drive to) so we went online hunting...when the place heard 'Kini was not tested for Feline Leukemia (which was DC's protocol - kittens often get false negative from Mommy cat's immunities).  We got "Kini tested and went to Petsmart while we waited for the results.  Almost didn't get approved went they heard about Speedo's passing from FIP....thank god that the director was smart on FIP it's exposure it not necessarily passed especially since he and Bikini weren't siblings.  So we found....

Scooter.  They said he was about 4 months.  No way, to be only 3 weeks older than 'Kini, he def was older.  Shortly grew his canine teeth.  Kini still has her baby canines.  It's fine his age is 'off' but more sad to not know his actual Birthday like we know Bikini's...but Wow he is such a Lovebug.  Medium Short Hair.  Tuxedo markings.  Highly playful like Bikini is....Great match.

Tending to two little kittens or trying not to whilst recuperation from Hernia Surgery...not fun.  That was a long month.  Here it is almost the end of October and we are still trying to get them to stop sharing the same kitty cold.  We had a scare with Scooter's eye that got scratched and discovered his eye rimming with pus one day.   We've been to the emergency vet at least once a month (3 times) and 4 mobile vet home visits.  

Bikini has something going on with her eyes being 'weepy'....can't seem to shake that and her sneezing.  One of my school friends compared this to being a parent with a 'special needs' child...I said NO KIDDING.  Although I can handle a special needs kitty/kitties.  My fear is anything becoming fatal.  The calici virus Scooter showed up in his gums after I thought it was strange for him to have bad breath at a young age.

So our life is waiting for our two kitties to be healthy at once.  However since they seem to have NO MANNERS (lol) to NOT sneeze in the face of one seems it will be awhile.  Bikini will be 6 months on Nov 22 and some of these viruses won't shed until they are no longer are kittens.  We just have to keep them happy, fed and stress-free.  Will keep you posted.

2.  As for me and my 'recup' from surgery.  It's so hard being independent and have to ask for help for something stupid like picking something off the floor or  looking if there is salsa on the bottom shelf in the fridge.  Going back to work was hard for I felt dumb asking for help pushing my classroom tables around the room.  Although I am past my 8 week- no activity lockdown...I am still sore internally...a severe tightness.  A lot was done inside and was told I may be sore for 6 months.  If I am busy and sitting, I feel normal...however when I move, bend over, lift things, close a window, anything using my abdominal muscles....coughing- sneezing.  I feel 'things'.  Weird.  It's nice to have a flatter stomach (my incisional hernia jutting out got me accused of 'pregnancy' TWICE) however don't hold your breath for any bikini wearing. HA!  Will keep you posted.

3.  To Trinda- you asked me about why legumes were not allowed on the Paleo way of eating.  Simply put by Living Paleo blog:
"Legumes have a similar story to grains; they weren’t consumed by the paleo hunter-gatherer because they needed to be cooked in order to be edible."

A more complicated explanation is:  "Legumes also have similar traits to grains in their make-up; they contain phytates which inhibit nutrient absorption and cause inflammation. They also contain lectins and play with healthy hormonal functions."

As for you thinking about missing legumes.  That is possible.  It depends what your 'thing' is.  The 'cheat' for me that I miss eating is breads.  The crunchy crusty outside and the chewy moist inside.  You can't get those two things together with Paleo breads.  I've tried.  So I make eating the yummy crusty stuff on special occasions if's a treat.  Not deprivation.  Remember not

4.  We got a new stove.  I bought this house 6 years ago (in December).  It was a 'flipped' home with newly renovated kitchen.  However the stove was a bottom of the barrel GE stainless steel gas stove.  It did not self clean and no bells or whistles.  Worst, it heated up the upstairs so badly we could only use the grill and microwave in the summer.  Last year, the oven went 'cuckoo' before T-day so we had no oven for me to make a turkey.  We got a repairman who replaced the thermostat.  A few weeks ago the thermostat conked out again.  Didn't even make it a year.  I told K-man...that's it!!! We aren't fixing this crappy stove again.  This is what we got:
Yes,  the double oven!!! I was so excited!!!  I was a good girl and did my research to see WHICH I wanted.  This is a Whirlpool (hope she doesn't feel weird amongst all the other GE appliances) flat grate on the open space for a spoon rest (I don't miss it).  K-man was trying to talk me into the 5 burners and I told him MAYBE on a big cooking day I may use 3....I can't see needing 5 now.  And those griddles are a joke.  My electric griddle is much bigger and the reviews all said that pancakes took forever.  I like how the knobs are not vertical on the front nor horizontal on the surface of the burner.  They are at an angle so I won't get 'caught' on them.  I decided against spending the extra 1,000 for a convection oven.  It wasn't going to really make me a better or faster cook.  The good news is that the oven does not heat up the kitchen...therefore there is no heat to rise up to the upstairs.  Love it....stay tuned for our next appliance....Fridge on top and freezer on the bottom model.

Last Catch up...

5.  K-man and started dating 6 years ago in December.  We got engaged last December and so much harassment for a date....sheesh!....Since we are older we have no desire for the pricey pomp and circumstance of a formal wedding and reception.  We want it just us and special.  So finally we set a date: 12-12-12.  Just a formality downtown to make the date permanent- our more fun, emotional and spiritual part will occur this summer.  Will be nice to NOT have a last name that people ALWAYS mispronounce!  And my name Googled will cross reference with a celebrity.....HAHA!  

Consider yourself all Ketched up!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vomit Piles

HHAHAHAHA!  Why not?  Halloween is coming!!!  What I absolutely ADORE about Halloween is that it is my opportunity to take a simple no bake treat with chocolate and oatmeal and rename it and it totally works!

I have this recipe elsewhere called a Raggedy Robin or Cow Patties.  I made this on Friday for my students, they loved it.  It worked nicely for our abbreviated periods (we had early release) for I was able to make it, chill it and they ATE.  Please tune in for more recipes to come or go to my link to ALL my Halloween recipes on my school web page.

Vomit Piles
by JennyMac Lipsmack

 1/2-cup milk
1 stick margarine
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 c. sugar
1/2-cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla

3 c. oatmeal
Combine first four ingredients.  Cook on medium heat until boiling.  Rolling boil for 1 - 1 & 1/2 min.  Remove from heat and mix vanilla and peanut butter.  Mix well.  Pour over oatmeal in a large bowl.  Mix quickly in a large bowl.   Spoon out onto wax paper*.  Let cool for 10 minutes.
*Grosser addition: add some 'chunks' like raisins, dried apricots bits, nuts for more gross out value!!

My recipes to come that I am making at school are:
  • Spider Web Breadsticks
  • Hairy armpits
  • Spider Cake (made with a Zebra Cake base)
  • Used Tampons (don't worry, it's for a ALL girl class- only they could appreciate)
  • Ghost Cake 
  • Maybe a picture of my classroom kitchen decorated for Halloween (a FIRST!)


Friday, October 5, 2012

Gearing up for Halloween

Let's start out healthy on our treats for Halloween and slowly get evil?  Nah, Halloween food is all about deception and FUN.
I was just telling some colleagues about how I used to do the food for my school's Halloween dances.  My funny observance?  When it comes to FREE food and out, you may lose a hand.  Chips, cookies, candies for free.....WHOOSH!  It's gone in a few minutes.  When I did the food and gave it gross names and formed it to resemble things like POOP....SCREECH!  For some reason taking raisins stirred melted chocolate forming it into little logs and calling them "Fruit Poops"....I had to talk them INTO coming BACK to the table and eating it.  That was hilarious!  Anyhow, more of those recipes to come. 

Today I'd like to share with you what I made for my fellow FACS teachers at our meeting.
My little Veggie Skeleton.  Isn't he CUTE?  It was just us Middle School teachers the high school teachers were a no show so they missed out.  The four of us 'killed' him easily.  Hahaha.

So if you are planning a Halloween party with a lot of junk....make this little guy and you'll be surprised that he may disappear before the high calorie stuff.  Make sure you hit my cook's notes at the end for the SHORTCUTS!!!

Veggie Skeleton

2 cups of ranch dip
2 celery stalks cut into 3 parts
1 red pepper cut into strips (see picture)
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 cauliflower flowerets, halved
8 baby carrots
1 black olive, pitted and cut in half
10 spinach leaves
10 cucumber slices

This really has no directions other than save the picture and arrange it on your platter as shown.  However...

Cook's Notes:
1.  Most of these items I took from the salad bar at my grocery.
2.  Grabbed a tub of ranch dip and placed in white bowl, stuck in spinach leaf hair and two eyes.  Didn't feel the need for a mouth.
3.  I only bought a whole red pepper because the salad bar was LOW on the red ones.
4.  I purchased a container of the celery stalks because the salad bar always chops up their celery for salads.  Same goes for baby carrots.  And you are going to need extras to use up all the dip. 
5.  Very easy to put together and cute as a button!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fried Rice Fake Out

 Oh my little friend cauliflower who fakes mashed potatoes, you about to become 'fried rice'.  Thankfully K-man loves cauliflower so this offering was pretty easy for him to accept...PLUS he can't stand plain rice.  "Come here my pretty..." (rubbing hands)

This does NOT need to be a labor-intensive recipe.  You can use leftover chicken, the packaged chicken strips (near the deli sliced meats) or you can take your raw chicken marinate it Asian style and cook it yourself.  WHATEVER works for YOU! 

As for the veggies that goes into my little fried rice fake out...that depend on what I have on hand or what I like.  Who SAYS I have to follow some recipe or commonly do what the Chinese take out does???  Who's the boss here?  Me.  When you make this at home....YOU are the boss for veggie choice.  This recipe is for two, feel free to double it or use it more like a side dish for four if you like.

Chicken Faked Fried Rice
by JennyMacsLipsmack

2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed (suggested marinade below)
half head of cauliflower, grated (directions below)
1/2 cup chopped onion (red onion pictured)
2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined, minced (we likey spicy)
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 green onion, sliced (set aside for garnish)
oil of choice (sesame- if you REALLY want an Asian fla-vah)

Whenever you do stir fry....get everything ready to go first.  Everything chopped, beaten and ready to go?  Proceed.

Heat skillet to medium high.  Add oil.  When a drop of water sizzles in the oil you are ready to stir fry, baby.

Add your onions and pepper and season with S/P to taste.  STIR....When the pepper and onion start to soften add the cauliflower.  SIZZLE. 

Add your meat now if it needs to heat through.  Stir constantly....that is why it's called STIR fry!!!  The next step will be fast one....It is critical to taste your cauliflower for you don't want it raw but you don't want it mushy either.  Just when it is over the raw stage (about 2 min) push all the stir fry to the edges and pour your beaten egg in the middle of the skillet.  Let set for a minute and push it around as though you would scrambled eggs.

Dish onto plates, top with green onion garnish.  OH YUM.  K-man told me this beats any fried rice he's eaten out.....YAY!

Cook's Notes:

1.  Chicken Marinade:  In a  ziploc bag put 2 chicken breasts, (butterflied if they are full sized), 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp grated ginger,  1 Tbsp sesame oil,  1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce and 2 Tbsp vinegar.  Red pepper flakes for heat if you'd like.  Marinate in fridge for 2 hours or more.

2.  Do not use a box grater for the cauliflower!  So old school.  Get out that food processor, put in the grating blade.  Break the cauliflower into chunks that will fit into feeding tube and push away!  A whole head of cauliflower makes ALOT.  Enough for two meals.   I used half of the grated cauli and put the other half in the freezer.  Got me about 1/3 of a gallon ziploc bag.  Press out air, ZIP!  So easy and I saved your knuckle skin too!

3.  The veggies in your fried rice can be fresh or frozen (ack- not canned!).  If you want EASY, just toss in two handfuls of frozen mixed veg....It's summer and we have a plethora of fresh veg.  Use them!

4.  Don't think it's redundant or overkill to have chopped onion AND green onion in this.  AU contraire, mon FRERE!  The chopped onion whether white or red is essential to flavor the cauliflower and will soften in the process.  The green onion for garnish renders the typical 'oniony' zing plus with crunch.  Don't go thinking you will need a breath mint after this dish.

5.  I am all about herbs and cilantro would be FAB here.  We've had unfortunate heat wave of 11 days 90-103 degrees and most of my herbs became toast.  The sun just killed them.  Fill free to go 'herby' on this if you'd like.

BONG! Dinner's served,

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What? Is vacation over?

Well, the TRIP is over....but since I am a teacher....I have all summer off (you did NOT just roll your eyes?) so I am still vacaying...however we are having such intense heat it's hard to really enjoy the outdoors.  It's gonna be a LULU of a summer I think.
So not much foodie stuff today just a few pictures but the main goal is I want to feature a fellow blogger I used to follow.  Her name is Cassie and she did a food blog called How to Eat a Cupcake. Her videos were a HOOT.  (Un?)fortunately all great blogs can turn into something MORE wonderful and Cassie opened her own bakery (with alot of friends and family support).  She went from How to eat a Flour Child Bakery. I've been dying to visit her since we have a time share in Virginia Beach.
I know many my followers don't live in this area or state or even continent but you just never know where your travels may take you.  If you are EVER in Virginia visiting our HUGE Navy ships in Norfolk, Va or watching an airshow in Oceana NAS Cassie to her bakery for a sweet treat.  It's worth the trip!!!  Here are a few pics:
 Cathy (Cassie's mom) on the left, hot mess in the middle and Cassie.  How appropriate their last name is BAKER?  Well it works.  I was so entertained with all our conversation and stories that I NEGLECTED to take pix of their TREATS in the cases (head slap).  But I did take a lil pic of what we got when we drove back.

 From the left, Key lime shortbread cookies, Death by Chocolate Cupcake, macaroons and under.....YAY- a I am walking advertising!!!

I wanted to buy one of everything!!!  She had cake pops, cookies (the ginormous ones) cupcakes, bar cookies....It was really hard picking out what I wanted for we kept talking and talking....and I was getting distracted and HUNGRY.  I got the Key Lime for K-man for he loves lemon/lime....unfortunately, he never tasted them (frown)....for I got there first, lol.  We both loved the light and fluffy.  Not at all dense and overly chewy light most macaroons.  LOVE!  Not pictured was a chocolate covered strawberry cake pop.  K-man inhaled that in the car.  After his yummy noises I think I heard him say...'should have gotten more'  Lastly, I save for last, the DEATH BY CHOCOLATE cupcake.  OMG.  I am not kidding you.  One of the best I've ever eaten and I've eaten plenty of chocolate cupcakes in my life.  Here's why it's the best.   Most bakeries do the overly stiff, HEAVY, shortening based frostings.  This frosting was so light and cake so moist.  I tried to stop eating it halfway to save it for the next day.  But I started thinking "what if it's not as good tomorrow?  what a waste.."  SNARFFFFF.....gone.  CASSIE and CATHY....we will be seeing you again next year FOR SURE!!!

Here are a few of our vacay pix to entice you to stay at Virginia Beach....
  • View from our balcony....there is benefits to staying at the end...beaches aren't as crowded....
  •  Parallel to the boardwalk is a bike path...perfect flat 3 miles to get some exercise!  Here's my cool bike...Betty. 
Lots of cool things for the kids to do....a big blow up slide for the kids in the middle of the beach.  I think it was 4 bucks a slide.  YIKES.  Also a permanent amusement park with rides and games to get a stuffed animal.

  •  Neptune statue (taken at night) for everyone to marvel at...I bow to King of the Seas....
  • Everywhere there are places for a refreshing drinks....K-man surprised me by getting a 'fruity' drink instead of his usual Corona.  Mine had swedish fish as a bonus.  Um, NOT Paleo....but hey I was on vacation...
  •  Um....the result of adults being 'funny' after a few of those drinks....who's worse?  Teens or adults....not sayin'.

  •  The said "adults" one of the many bands who play on the streets every night. K-man had a coworker Pink Lloyd and his lovely bride Christine join us for the evening.
 Poor K-man after his 'fruity' drinks the next day.  Isn't that what the beach is for?  Recovery.  lol

  •  Surf lessons anyone?  Well, only for kids....right outside our balcony every morning.
  •  6th street turtles.  Between each hotel/resort each street has 'stuff' to view or climb, turtles, seahorses....etc.  Fun.

  •  Beautiful skies at the end of a wonderful day.

 I hope you have a wonderful, safe, fun vacation where ever it is....