Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Just a quick update. It’s been a busy week again, so far. I had my permanent filling put in on Tuesday. I’m glad that whole thing is over with until January. I made the crown appointments. I’m getting the crown put on, on my birthday! That was an awkward sentence to write. But you get my point.

Jeremy has been eying up this condo recently. He’s seriously considering getting a mortgage and everything. Crazy commitment, Batman! Anyway, he wants to go do a walk-through of the place on Saturday. I’m not sure if they will let him with out pre-approval, but we’ll see. So, that’s kind of exciting news.

 
I have a secret project going on in my head lately. What is it? Can’t tell ya. It’s secret. But we’ll see how it pans out in the next few days. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, take care!

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As I said in my last post, I’ve been in a baking mood. And I mean really in a baking mood. So, on top of red velvet brownies (not literally, but yum!) I also made carrot cake cookies! My boyfriend is a huge fan of carrot cake. This year, I made one for his birthday, and it was a huge hit. I was in the autumn spirit today, and since this recipe for carrot cake cookies calls for pumpkin pie spice, I thought it would be perfect. They turned out deliciously well. The addition of oats gives the cookies a nice chewy texture. I sandwiched some cream cheese frosting between two cookies, but the cookies are pretty damn good by themselves, too. I used canned frosting (Gasp! I know.) and it turned out pretty well.

 
Here’s the link to the original blog entry: http://whiskandaprayer.blogspot.com/2011/04/carrot-cake-cookie-sandwiches.html

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You might want to line some cookies sheets with parchment paper. I have nonstick cookie sheets, but there was still some sticking going on.

Cream 1 cup each of packed brown sugar and granulated sugar with 2 sticks of room-temperature butter. Your mixture should be light and fluffy.

Add 2 room-temperature eggs and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Combine well.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring only until just blended.

Grate 1 1/2 cups of carrots, or 2-3 large carrots.

Mix in the grated carrots and 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats.

I then used my small cookie scoop to make 1 inch balls of dough, and placed them onto cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, rotating half way through for evenness. I didn’t have to bake my cookies as long as the recipe calls for. Set the timer for the shorter amount of time. They can always sit in the oven for a few more minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.

When the cookies are cooled, spread some cream cheese frosting on the back of a cookie and then smoosh a second cookie in the frosting the make a sandwich cookie.

They look delicious, don’t they?! They are. Oh, they are. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Here’s the whole kit and caboodle for those whole like to copy and paste like I do:

 

Carrot Cake Cookies

Ingredients:
•    1 cup packed light-brown sugar
•    1 cup granulated sugar
•    1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•    2 large eggs, room temperature
•    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
•    2 cups all-purpose flour
•    1 teaspoon baking soda
•    1 teaspoon baking powder
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•    2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
•    1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
•    Cream Cheese Frosting

Directions:
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside.
2.    Combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until well combined.
3.    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir to combine.
4.    Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended.
5.    Mix in oats and carrots. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
6.    Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough.
7.    Once cooled completely, spread cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie.
8.    Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

I’ve been in baking mood lately, but I just haven’t had the time. Well, today I had the time. So I made Red Velvet Brownies! Red velvet is one of my favorite kinds of cake. I even made a red velvet cake for my birthday this year. I have a Halloween party coming up, and I thought blood red brownies might be a pretty cool addition to the food table. So, I decided to give them a test run.

 
I found this recipe on Pintrest, where I find most of my recipes. Here’s the link to the original blog: http://www.newlyweds-blog.com/2012/02/21/red-velvet-brownies/

Preheat your over to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9×13 baking pan.

Cream two sticks of room-temperature butter, and 1 1/2 C each granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add 4 eggs, one at a time, being sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

Stir in 2 oz red food coloring and 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the red batter until just incorporated. Be sure not to over mix! The batter will turn a bit darker, and start to get that velvety look.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes. I baked mine for 35 minutes.

Let the brownies cool on a rack completely. Then cut into bars and serve. I think these would be delicious with a cream cheese frosting on top, or maybe a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Here’s the recipe:

Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 oz red food coloring (optional)
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 9 X 13 baking pan.
Beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in food coloring (if not using food coloring add 4 T of water or milk) and vanilla, mix until the color is fully incorporated.
Mix flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl.
Slowly add in the flour mixture being very careful not to over mix. Do not over mix. The batter will be very thick.
Stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. 35 minutes for a thin crust on top and gooey underneath.
Set aside to cool, cut into bars and serve.

I swear I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Cross my heart. I just haven’t been cooking or baking much lately, so I felt like I had nothing really to post. I had to remind myself that this isn’t just a food blog. At least, that wasn’t my original intention. So, here’s a basic journal-like entry, which does fit my original intentions.

It’s been a crazy week for me. We had a really busy weekend with camping, a birthday party and a cookout. I spend most of Monday catching up on sleep, and just relaxing. On Tuesday, I spent the day with my mom working on official paper work and my work history. Wednesday, I got up at 6am for a dentist appointment. I’ve been dealing with a rather painful toothache for the last 2 weeks, and I figured it was time to get it checked out. Turned out I needed a root canal. Yay! Around noon, Kaity and Holly came over to the apartment to hang out. We got food, and played Just Dance and Mario Party 7. It was good times. I had to get up at 6am again today to go have my root canal. I wasn’t really nervous at all, which is unusual for me, especially concerning dental work. But it’s all done and taken care of now. It doesn’t hurt, at least not near as much as it had before. I’m not sure why people complain about root canals so much. I didn’t feel a thing. I’m just glad this whole process is almost over with. They put in a temporary filling, so I need to get a permanent one put in, and I’ll need a crown. I’m going to make the appointment for the filling tomorrow, but hopefully the crown can wait until next year. Dental work is expensive. 😦

Tomorrow morning, I have an appointment with my job counselor to work on my resume and mock interviews. I’m both nervous and excited to get back into the working world. I loved working, but I haven’t worked since 2008. It’s a scary prospect full of the potential to fail. But I’m not even hoping not to fail, as much as I hope that I can succeed in spite of my failures. My mom would argue that I haven’t failed in the past, that the system and my disability have failed me. But it’s hard not to feel personally responsible when it’s your brain, your misfiring neurons, etc that are causing the problems. At least I know I have a lot of people rooting for me in my corner. I have a great support system, and the professional help of my job counselor. With that, plus my will to succeed and better myself, I know I can come out on top. I no longer wish to stay on the complacent path that I’m on in life. Now, it’s time to take the rougher, but more rewarding route. Wish me luck!

We don’t have any real plans this weekend. *knock on wood!* We’re possibly going to go to my mom’s place Sunday to do some painting on the garage and house, but that’s it. I like being busy, but it’ll be nice to have a calm, relaxing weekend. Maybe I’ll have time to bake something. And maybe I’ll make a post about it. Hmm, we’ll see.

I feel bad about not having blogged in over a month. Please accept this picture of George and Max cuddling as my apology.Image