Friday, October 17, 2008

Trying New Things

Nothing big has jumped into my mind today that I should write about. So I figured I should should share one of the new recipes I tried a couple weeks ago.

As many know, I like to watch the Rachael Ray Show in the morning. One day she made what looked to be quite yummy oven fries, but from parsnips. I've never cooked with parsnips before, so I thought it would be fun. Plus, I like to make new things Jason has never eaten before either to see if I can make them again or if it was a bad thing. And believe me, I have made a few bad things before!

So off to the store I went with the recipe and found all the ingredients. (FYI, parsnips are over by the carrots in our grocery store, and they only have 1 brand to choose from.) I went ahead and picked up the ingredients to make the chicken dish she did also, even though it didn't quite inspire me. I have to admit, trying to find an orange marmalade that doesn't have corn syrup in it and doesn't cost and arm & a leg! Really, paying over $6.25 for about 6 oz. of orange marmalade?! And that wasn't the one from France!!!

I got home and started to work on dinner. It went along pretty smoothly until I had to coat each and every parsnip in seasoned flour, egg, then the parmesean-pecan breadcrumb mixture. I was getting way too messy and nothing was sticking to the parsnip. So I switched to a baggie and did the shake-n-bake thing. That went SO much faster.

But, in the end, all of the hard work was sooo worth it! The oven fries are addictive!! I'm glad I made 2 lbs of them for dinner and meals the next day! I wish you could smell how yummy the chicken was and taste the fries, but I guess the photo will just have to suffice until you try to make it yourself!

Link to recipes:

Chicken is here.
Oven fries is here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"I only want one for me."

I was all excited about this blog when I got it started, but then I thought if I updated it daily, it might get to be a little boring to others. But, then I also realized that I didn't start this so much for others as for a way for me to just write what is going on with us, and it's up to the people reading it to choose if they want to or not. I have no way of knowing if anyone is keeping up with it daily or if they ever decide to stop reading it. So with that, I'm going to see if I can challenge myself to update once daily with a small tidbit. I may even just do a quick photo with a line about when it was taken. (Thanks to the Campbell's for that idea.)

Today's title refers to what Jason told me a while back when I asked him what kind of cake do you want for your birthday. (BTW, b-day was Sept. 20th.) Here's about how the conversation ran:

M: "So if you could have any kind of cake for your birthday what would you want?"

J: (After pondering it for a moment) "I want a white cake with white icing cupcake."

M: "Okay, so just white/white cupcakes for everyone, that isn't too difficult..."

J: (Interrupting) "No. I want 1 white cake & icing cupcake for me."

M: "Ok, so nobody else can have that but you? What are they supposed to have?"

J: "I don't know, I just want a white/white cupcake."

M: "So you are saying that if I did this for you I would have to either make only 1 white/white cupcake or find a way to buy just 1 for you? What can everyone else have, chocolate?"

J: "Sure. I only want one for me, and everyone else can have chocolate and chocolate."

(End of conversation, that day at least.)

So as I'm thinking about this, I'm wondering how on earth am I going to pull this off? Not only that, when am I going to do this. With Becky due right before his birthday I knew our friends wouldn't be available to celebrate on his birthday. Sure enough Isaiah was born the day before Jason's birthday and we didn't really get to do lots of celebrating of Jason's day because we spent time with the Pyke's and new baby. We did however get to celebrate the next day with my parents to the "usual" birthday spot he chooses each year, Schlitterbahn's Shrimp Haus.

Well finally almost a month later, life has calmed down for all of us some and we were able to do a dinner with all of our friends from Truth Project. We all brought something to the Pyke's and enjoyed a great dinner. Well, little did Jason know, but while he was at work that Wednesday morning, I baked chocolate cupcakes for everyone else and made him one, yes one, white cake with white icing cupcake. You're probably curious as to how I pulled that off without wasting all the batter. Well, you see I did a little shopping up in League City when I was staying with the Van's. I found a fun little cake pan in the shape of a cupcake at a craft store. And with a coupon to get 40% off, even better! I brought it home and hid it away so that Jason wouldn't know what was going on.

Wednesday morning started early for me since I only had until 1:45 to get everything done and cleaned up before Jason got home from work. I started off by baking the "cupcake" and then mixing the chocolate ones. While the chocolate ones baked, I started making the butter cream icing. (BTW, this was my first attempt at homemade icing...and it turned out well.) I couldn't ice anything until they had cooled completely, so I didn't get to start decorating until almost 11:45 - 12:00. At that point I knew I had to hurry since I had about an hour and a half. So I went to work on the "cupcake" and had to figure out how I wanted to do this and make it look nice without smearing all the icing on it and calling it done. I'm having fun playing with my new Wilton decorating set, and I thought this would be a good time to practice stars. I think that since I used all butter and no shortening, the heat of my hands was melting the icing a bit quickly. So by the time I finally finished the "cupcake" I only had about 40 minutes to ice 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes and clean up everything so Jason wouldn't suspect anything. Luckily I finished just in time. Hid everything in my car, got the entire kitchen cleaned from what was needed to make everything. My next worry was the smell in the house. It smelled like I had been baking cakes, so I found my apple-cinnamon spray and used it in kitchen and dining room area. I jumped in the car and quickly left to drop everything at the Pyke's before Jason got home, it was about 2:05 pm. I thought for sure that I would pass Jason on the way out of the subdivision, but I never saw him.

When it came time for dessert, Katy & I set everything up and then we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Jason. He kind of knew something might be up, but he had no idea that I had made only one white cake and white icing cupcake just for him.

Here's a photo of how it turned out.
I hope no one goes into sugar shock from just looking at the photos. Enjoy!