Hello Bourbon.... are you there?

I may be in need of your assistance.

There is a party later on this evening and I was supposed to bring dessert.... for some reason my mind went to chocolate and then cocoa, butter and well you see where I'm going. The end result is I have this big bowl of brownie batter....

Brownies.. for an adult party

See... I think I'm losing my edge...

After 200+ PTA luncheons and classroom parties , well I'm not sure I know how to cook for adults.

So I started thinking about my crazy life before kids and I kept seeing this big ole bottle of Bourbon and my college roommates daring me to drink it, I won't go into detail about that. That sort of late night craziness normally lead to us being unable to get off the floor and me swearing off Bourbon for eternity.

Only to do it all over again the next weekend but this time running across campus with toilet paper.

I won't go into detail about that either,

But I will tell you about these Kentucky Bourbon Brownies and how they were a big hit at the party I went to. Even though my daughter was very upset that I wouldn't let her lick the bowl

but I did...

Kentucky Bourbon Brownies 

Your going to need these:

1 cup bittersweet chocolate
1 stick of butter, melted
3 tablespoons Bourbon
2 eggs
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups sugar

Here's the drill:

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare brownie dish... I used a 9x 13 pan
Also I lined my pan with parchment paper, this made it easier to get the brownies out after baking.
It also helps my laziness making it easier to clean the pan.

Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for about 2 mins. make sure to stir every 30 seconds until melted.
Add melted butter stirring to combine.

In separate bowl.. sift together flour, cocoa powder and sugar. Then add melted ingredients, then eggs and bourbon ... mix to combine

Try not to over mix brownie batter to keep them from being tough.
Pour mix into baking tin and bake for 25 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test, check at about 20 mins..your oven might cook faster then mine.

Remove from the oven and place pan on wire rack to cool completely before cutting..

that step was difficult for me.



Broken Garage Doors and Poppy Seeds

Interesting title huh?

The garage door on our house is broken... Well, it's going through something would be a better description of the situation. Something that causes it to be indecisive when it comes to opening and closing. At first I thought someone was playing a trick on me, until after repetitive attempts to close the door and it getting almost there...

only to go back up again... did I realize.. there may be a problem here.

Its laughing at me.. I know it

I really want the Geek Squad (my husband) to fix it..

no wait...

I really want the Geek Squad to hire someone to fix it... Instead of standing in front of the door watching it go up and down all the while he is contemplating how he can turn this into another weekend project.

Someone.. anyone.. please send me the number to overhead door.. Isn't that the name?

I really wanted to write about how I love to put poppy seeds in everything, even icing.. and how my daughter used to call them chocolate chips. But all that was overshadowed by the fact that when I got in my car to run to the market to buy more poppy seeds for this recipe...  it took me 4 attempts to get that garage door closed.

See... this is clearly upsetting my existence.

 English Breakfast Poppy Seed Muffins

Here's the run down:
recipe adapted from raspberri cupcakes

4 English Breakfast Tea Bags
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 stick butter, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Ok.. let's make these babies

Preheat oven to 350

Prepare your muffin tin with liners and set aside...

In a small saucepan bring milk with tea bags to a slight boil. Watch this closely to make sure your milk doesn't boil over... Or you have a mess to clean up... trust me.. seems like I'm always cleaning up this type of mess.
Remove tea milk from heat and let cool with tea bags

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and poppy seeds and stir to combine.
Add milk mixture-with out the tea bags, melted butter and eggs ,mix to combine using a wooden spoon.

Now spoon muffin mixture into prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes...
Mine took about 22 minutes, use a toothpick to test the center (it should come out clean) after about 20 minutes to make sure you don't over bake and dry the muffins out.

Using a microwave safe bowl, I warmed up some honey and brush the tops of each muffin to give them a glaze sweetness.

ummm hummm.. I'll take 4 please...


Saying Goodbye....

How do I say goodbye to a woman that meant the world to me?
From a little girl holding on to the hemline of her skirt until an adult wishing I could still sit on her lap.
Granny you loved me unconditionally, never giving up hope when everyone else did.
I remember your words...
"As long as I'm praying for you, then God is on your side Erika and you don't need anybody else to believe in you more then him."
Thank you for  all the good times and sweet memories that will forever live with me.
The slippin slide and the "freckle game", the tea parties and dress up, vacation bible school.
Yes, Granny.. I will miss you more then anything but I know that you are happy now in Heaven.
But I won't say goodbye... or so long...
But until we meet again, until I see you again and you let me play with your angel wings and greet me with that smile and say....
 "I'm so glad to see you again my sweet pea"

I Love You Forever Granny


Proud Mom, Mud Pies and Chocolate

Recently my daughter was accepted into a robotics program at school... It's cool... I'm proud..very proud actually, but my daughter told me that sometimes I embarrass her.... so I won't go crazy shouting about how wonderful she is from the rooftops.. like I normally do... mainly because I haven't quite recovered my voice from before. 
The classes teach about "putting things together and making them work". That is as far as my understanding level will take me.  They're on every other Saturday from 9:30-1 pm.
This makes me think of the wide-eyed, devious 11 year old me and where I was every other Saturday during that time...It had nothing to do with school.
I was a major slacker, sorta still am... School was only cool during lunch and auto-cad.
But my little "scholar" loves school, she is organized and studies, does extra credit work. At first I was worried..she is just so different then me. Sometimes I would wonder if I should call the hospital to see if my real child is still out there somewhere. Then I look at her and remember that day she came into my life and forever changed me and I see how much of me she does have in her..

So perhaps she wasn't switched at birth and there isn't a kid out there with beat up converse and 2 braided pigtails, using her Granny's best pie pans to make mud pies..

or maybe there is...

Mississippi Mud Brownies 

What ya need:

For the Brownies:
I cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter
4 oz (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all -purpose flour
1.2 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag mini marshmallows

For Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Now let's make something:

Preheat oven to 350
Place chopped pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 mins or until toasted.  Granny made some brownies similar to these but used pecan halves rather than chopped. You can do that too, Granny would like them better that way.

Place butter and chocolate chips in a large microwave safe glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds to make sure chocolate is melted.

Whisk sugar and next 5 ingredients into the chocolate mixture and pour batter into a greased pan..
I used an 11*15 Cookie Sheet (Jelly Roll) Pan

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, then remove brownie from oven.. Don't eat them yet your not done.
Sprinkle mini marshmallows on top of brownie then place back into the oven and bake for about 10 more minutes or until marshmallows start to turn golden brown. 

Now you're gonna need some chocolate drizzle, icing, frosting, milk... ok not milk
For that you stir the first 3 ingredients listed for the chocolate frosting in a  sauce pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened..about 2 minutes. remove from heat and using a mixer beat chocolate mixture, powdered sugar and vanilla at medium speed until smooth...

Remove marshmallow topped brownie from oven and drizzle (while still warm) with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with toasted  pecans.

Now let me tell you.. this is going to be a chocolatey brownie yummy gooey mess...

But it will be worth it....

Trust me

I ate 4 brownies..

ok maybe 5

I'm not ashamed...

Come to me... I am your master


Cooking to music and Cupcakes....

Music makes me happy.

Often times I listen to music while I'm cooking.. Gets me going

There is a large variety of music in my playlist, but when cooking it must be fast paced, head shakin, booty groovin music... 

Something like David Guetta. 

If you haven't heard of him, go to iTunes and download his music to your iphone, ipad, ipod, ithink Apple has way too many products. 

By track #2.. ok maybe #3... You will be up on your feet... head shaking and booty grooving...

Or if your like me, trying out your best Kevin Bacon "Footloose" Impersonation...

God I love that movie.. 

But you didn't come here to read about my itunes playlist.. if you did.. mission accomplished.. 

If not...

Let's make something... 

But this time I think I'll listen to Jay-Z

Black Bottom Cupcakes  

What ya need: 
recipe adapted from Bakerella  God Bless you honey... 

For The Cream Cheese Top

8oz cream cheese (1 cup)
1/2 cup sugar - my favorite ingredient in the world
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Bottom Chocolate Mixture
 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar - you know how I feel about this.. if not see above
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas , pureed.. I thought this would taste weird but it was good.. Trust me.. 
1/3 cup oil ( I used vegetable) 
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.. you know if you bake a lot it is such a waste of money to buy that tiny box of vanilla.. 

I learned that the hard way 

What ya do:

For the cream cheese top

In mixer with paddle attachment mix together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
add egg, then vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Set mixture aside.. 

For the chocolate bottom goodness

Sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, soda and salt. then add bananas, oil and vanilla and mix together on low speed until well combined. 

I used a cookie scooper to fill each cupcake liner with batter.

I used a spatula to eat the batter.

Add one scoop of chocolate mixture first and then one scoop of cream cheese mixture on top.. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes....

Take a few pictures

Maybe just a couple more

Now eat the display... 



Something a little spicy

Spicy 70's Granny

Granny always wore lipstick.. I used to stand in the bathroom doorway as she would meticulously apply the plum-raisin hue, with hope to one day wear lipstick too.  

Once while watching, she started applying a new reddish color.. I remember asking her why she was wearing that color today.

“You know Sweet Pea, sometimes it’s ok to be a little spicy.. “

You think the same applies to Crab Cakes…. ? 

Spicy Red Pepper & Jalapeño Crab Cakes

What Ya Need:
recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 pound fresh crabmeat... (Whole Foods hooked me up)
2 cups Panko Japanese Breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt 
1/2 ground Red Pepper
2 large Jalapenos chopped and seeded
1/2 Red Bell Pepper chopped
4 large Eggs (beaten to blend together)
1/4 cup Canola, Vegetable or Peanut Oil... really whatever you like to cook with.. Me, I like sugar but I didn't think that would work.

What Ya Do: 
Now pay close attention because this will take concentration... 

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stir in eggs. Using moist hands, shape mixture into disc shaped cakes. I made all mine ahead and set them aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. 

Heat oil in medium size skillet over medium heat. Add 4 cakes to skillet and cook until golden brown.
It took about 4-5 minutes per side. Oh yes you have to turn them over and cook them on both sides. 

Almost for got that. 

Then remove the Crab Cakes from heat and set them aside on an paper towel lined plate. This soaked up the excess grease left from the skillet.

Serve with your favorite Salsa, or Coleslaw... put between two burgers buns add some dressing and have yourself a Spicy Crab Cake Sandwich.