Monday, January 18, 2010

Bacon cupcakes rock!

Today was our best friend Mike's birthday!  Mike loves bacon.  He will eat an entire pound of bacon at once!  So I knew I had to make him bacon cupcakes. This recipe was adapted from All Recipes. Of course I substituted Pamela's gluten free baking mix for the flour and leavening agents.  Everything else was as written.  I used all natural, uncured, hickory smoked bacon.  I don't like all the chemicals that are in normal bacon.  For the icing I decided on a simple ganache.  I heated one cup of heavy cream and stirred in a 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips until smooth.  Then I topped the cupcakes.  Perfection!  They really are good.  My husband was totally weirded out by the bacon, it was too much for him!  Everyone else loved them.  The saltiness of the bacon accentuates the sweetness of the dark chocolate.  Really a unique and delicious cupcake!

In other news I am cooking more due to gluten restrictions.  I love deli roasted chicken for quick and easy dinners but I noticed the ones at Kroger's are not gluten free!  So the past couple of weeks I have been roasting a chicken at the start of the week and using it for a couple of quick dinners and lunches!  As you may notice I do not tie the legs.  This is because I'm too forgetful to buy the twine.  I've read it makes the chicken more moist  but I've not had any trouble without it.  I make this the simplest way possible.  I rinse and dry the chicken, rub it with olive oil and Bragg's seasoning mix plus salt and pepper.  I then put it in the oven at 350 for about an hour and forty minutes.  I let it rest for about 20 minutes and dig in!  The night I make it we will have the legs and thighs with a salad and baked potato.  Then I'll shred some and take for lunch with beans and rice or in a greek salad with lettuce, olives, and feta.   The rest I put in soups or casseroles.  Another good lunch idea is of course chicken salad!

I mix the shredded chicken with Hellman's olive oil mayo, sliced seedless grapes, and toasted pecans.  Served over greens.  Simple and delicious like most of the best things in life!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Happiness and it's causes!

First off I want everyone to know that Lori is giving away a book on her blog this week!  It's called Lose the Diet.  I think it sounds like a great book because I hate "diets" and think they are silly!  You have until Sunday to enter! 

Speaking of Lori she has passed an award on to me!  The  Happy 101!  I now must list 10 things that make me happy!  These are in no particular order by the way!   

1.  My family!   I have a great husband and daughter and we laugh together often! Plus 2 cute nephews!
2. My friends!  I have some of the best! Anytime I'm down they cheer me right up!
3. Hate to put TV shows on here but honestly The Office, Seinfeld, and the Twilight Zone make me really happy!
4. Cooking and baking.  Trying new recipes is so much fun!
5. Museums.  Seeing history and art up close is amazing!
6.Traveling.  I wish I could do more of it.  I love exploring different places!
7. Eating.  Sad as it seems this may be my favorite recreational activity! lol!
8. Reading a good book.  I prefer fiction. Favorites are Charlene Harris, Dean Koontz, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton, and so many more.
9. A perfect cup of coffee or tea.  Especially with scones.  Except now they must be gluten free scones!
10.  Sleeping.  Yep, I love, love, love to sleep!  I'm so lazy!

I pass this award on to anyone and everyone who wants to share their happiness! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rum makes everything better!

This weekend was one of my best friend's birthdays!  I invited her over for lunch.  I served shephard's pie (which I've blogged about before) along with rum cake and rum fudge! You can never have too much rum! ;)

First up the fudge!  I got the idea from Steph Chows.  She made coconut fudge with Captain Morgans last week. At the time I had banana rum so I thought I'd sub that.  Then I decided I should add macadamia nuts and make it Tropical Fudge!  So I did.  I'd never made fudge but this was soooo easy!
In a saucepan I poured 1 (14oz) can low fat Eagle brand condensed milk.  Then I added one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  I simmered until the chocolate melted then added one shot of banana rum and stirred until creamy.  I removed the pan from heat and added 2 handfuls of sweetened flaked coconut and around 2 handfuls of chopped macadamias.  Then I poured it into a 8 in. pan lined with wax paper and threw in the fridge overnight.  It turned out perfect!  My friends said it was the best fudge they'd ever had so I was pretty proud of it!

For her birthday cake I made a rum cake.  I got the recipe from Recipezaar.  Naturally I had to make a few changes.  First up I used Captain Morgans rum because I'm not crazy about vanilla and I thought spiced rum would be better.  My second big change was obviously making it gluten free.  I subbed the flour in the recipe for Pamela's Baking mix and omitted the leavening agents.  I must confess though that I misplaced my non-stick cooking spray and tried to drizzle the pan with canola oil.  The cake stuck pretty bad and came out in four pieces! lol!  The taste however was out of this world!  Seriously the best cake I EVER ate. You totally couldn't tell it was gluten free!  I am making myself one for my own birthday in a couple of weeks!

Here is me with the birthday girl!  She seemed to enjoy her lunch!  I just love cooking for people! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tired of snow!

I must escape to the tropics soon.  I can't take anymore snow.  It has pretty much snowed non-stop since a week before Christmas!  It's ridiculous!  We are currently expecting around 8 inches.  Fun, fun!

Well I didn't photograph tonights dinner.  It was breakfast for dinner night and I tried making eggs in a cast iron skillet.  One word: UGLY.  Tasted okay just mangled.  Not photo-worthy.  Normally I would skip blogging until I had something exciting to blog about but I was randomly awarded:

from Susan.  This requires me to give readers 7 random facts about myself so here goes!

1. I've had the same best friend for almost 30 years.  We met when I was two!
2.  I wanted to a psychologist when I was little but now I'm an accountant at a mental health clinic.
3.  I went ziplining in Belize and a lady had a heart attack and died in front of us.
4. I have no tonsils or gallbladder.
5. I'm only 4'11.  My husband is 6'5.
6. I've had every color hair but green and blue.  Purple was my favorite.
7. Embarrassingly I don't think I have 7 readers to pass this on to but I'll try! :(

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First Post of 2010! Better late than never I guess!

What a decade.  It went by crazy fast! At the dawn of the year 2000 I was a divorced mother attending beauty school.  I"m starting this decade as a happily married accountant with a teenager!  A lot can happen in ten years, eh?

Top ten things in my life of the past 10 years!
1. Became a beauty school drop-out!
2. Went to college and got a bachelor's in accounting
3. Met my husband!

4. Was blessed with two adorable nephews, Logan and Landyn!

5. Went to Disney World!
6. Discovered my love of Savannah, GA...twice!
7. Got married!
8.  Went on a wonderful cruise!

9.  Made some great new friends!

10. Got my first job that's not in retail or a call center!

Here is my first action of the decade!  Shooting my friend's riot gun! We're in WV.  Things like this are acceptable here! ;P

The rest of New Year's day was spent enjoying family.  Like my nephew Landyn.  He's going to be one this month!

I don't make I'm not starting a diet plan or an exercise plan at the moment.  I'm going to first get my health straightened out and then go from there.  No pressure.  No remorse at year's end!  My only quasi-resolution is to be more in the moment from now on!  I want to experience many more great things this decade than last!