Monday, March 30, 2009

A Lesson in Patience

With Easter getting close, I was thinking about my mom's coconut pie that she always makes. My sister and I always ask for it. What makes this pie different is the addition of a small layer of chocolate in the bottom of the pie crust. It makes it taste like a chocolate-covered coconut egg. When I got home before the kids this evening, I decided it would be easy to just whip this pie up for you.

First, the crust has to be rolled out. I didn't have time to roll out the crust, so I called my mom who gave me a different crust that you could just pat into the pan and bake. I forgot to turn up the temperature, so it didn't brown. Then, I cranked up the heat and forgot about the crust. It got a little brown.

Then, I couldn't wait for the filling to set in the fridge, and I cut the pie way before it was ready. This is what happened:







It still tasted great, but please, take a little time and make this pie up right.
Chocolate-Ribbon Coconut Pie
Crust: 1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. shortening
2 Tb. milk
Combine. Roll out and place in a 9" pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Chocolate Layer: 2/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/3 c. milk
Combine over low heat and pour into cooled crust.
Coconut Filling:
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 c. coconut
Combine in pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick. Remove from heat and add
2 Tb. butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring. Pour over set chocolate layer. Top with Cool Whip and toasted coconut.
*This made enough filling and chocolate that I think that you could divide this between two pie crusts. If you don't have time to make your own crust, I think that a freezer crust would work as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yogurt Substitute? The Nutritionist Would be Proud.

Did I tell you how much I loved the nutritionist? She never once told me how awful my eating habits were. She simply praised the good things and gently suggested other items to add. And she said - love this part -

I WASN'T EATING ENOUGH!



You gotta love someone telling you to eat more. For breakfast she suggested that I eat protein and recommended this yogurt smoothie from Lifeway.


This evening I was making a cake for a friend and the recipe called for plain yogurt, so I used my blueberry Kefir in the recipe. I wasn't able to try the baked cake, but the batter was really good and blueberryish. (Don't tell the nutritionist that I licked the beaters. She gently suggested that I chew sugar-free gum to discourage myself from licking the beaters. I did try it, but it was easy just to take the gum out, lick the beaters, and then put the gum back in.)


Last summer, I lovingly measured, labeled, and stored fresh-picked blueberries in the freezer. I forgot that Frick had helped me label the bags. (I'm guessing it said "July 2008, 2 cups" - because that what all the other bags said that I labeled.)



This recipe came from my most beat up cookbook - The Cake Mix Doctor. I always have cake mixes stored in the pantry and this has a hundred ways to make the ordinary cake mix spectacular.

Blueberry Muffin Cake
1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix (I used yellow)
1 pkg. small instant vanilla pudding
1 c. vanilla yogurt (I used my Lifeway)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. water
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 c. fresh blueberries (I used frozen blueberries, but left out the water, according to the Cake Doctor's suggestions)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10" tube pan with spray and dust with flour. Measure out 2 Tb. of the cake mix and set aside. Mix the remaining cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, oil, water, cinnamon, and eggs in large mixing bowl. Toss the blueberries with the reserved cake mix. Fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 45 - 50 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and beginning to pull away from the sides. Cool in the pan for twenty minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store at room temperature covered in plastic wrap.

The Lifeway Kefir stuff wasn't that bad. I mixed in the leftover blueberries, a banana, and some Splenda and made me a smoothie for breakfast. Not bad. Even Farmer Brown drank some of it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Little Debbie Does Snowballs


Not a big fan of Snowball cakes. The artificial pink throws me off a little. Plus, I really am not a big fan of marshmallows.

Little Debbie brought them out in 100-Calorie Packs, though. I crave cake. I can eat rather healthy when I put my mind to it, but every now and then, I need cake. When I saw these at the store, I was craving cake.

It did not disappoint. That chocolate cake on the bottom is so moist. The marshmallow stuff - not so marshmallow-y - just sweet. It was just right.



I would have taken better pictures, but they were all gone. Does that count as better for you if you eat the whole box?

Meet the Nutritionist...

Good grief. When I joined this Wellness Program, it was for the cheap gym membership. But now, there are all these conditions to the program, like they really want me to lose weight or something.

Go to meet the nutritionist this evening so we can discuss my diet. I will be lying. I won't mention that I spent the weekend at my sister's house. I won't mention that she had Doritos and Cherry Coke in her fridge. I won't mention the trip to Red Lobster. I won't mention the breakfast at Cracker Barrel (Seriously, how do you turn down Sourdough bread and hash brown casserole?) I won't mention the snack of Lo Mien noodles.

I will mention that I nibbled on these cheeks all weekend:




Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meet the Trainer...


My trainer's nickname is "Sarge".

Things are not looking good for me.

*Image courtesy of http://www.kingfeatures.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Luck of the Irish

Did I say that I would post the winners on Wednesday? I must have really meant to say Sunday. Sometimes I just get distracted (like painting the dining room and sanding the furniture).






Anyway, very scientific method of selecting homes for the cookbooks. I hated the thought of having only three winners, so I scrounged around and came up with two more prizes.






I wrote everyone's name down in order of your comment on a piece of paper, laid out the prizes, and had the kids point to a prize, and I wrote them down in order next to your names.


Ella - Cupcake Potholders/Notepad

Emily - Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson

Tiffany - Everyday Pasta by Giada DeLaurentiis

Julie - The Young Man and the Sea by David Pasternack and Ed Levine

AngC828 - Just in Time by Rachel Ray

Please email me your contact information as soon as possible so I can send them out!


And because some people didn't want a used cookbook, how about a recipe for St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes? This has been hanging out in my recipe book for years. Hard to tell where I got it. I love that the green comes from:




Instant pistachio pudding! I love pistachios. Blue Bunny makes a pistachio ice cream that is unreal!

St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes
1 3/4 c. flour
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding
3/4 c. mini-chocolate chips
2/3 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Beat eggs, milk, oil, and flavorings. Add dry ingredients and combine well. Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 -20 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting and top with green sprinkles.


*I did add a touch of green food gel to the batter for a richer green.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a Doughnut?

One of my favorite blogs to read is Emily's blog Sugar Plum. She creates the yummiest recipes. Her creations are so fabulous that she has been featured on the Food Network's show Ultimate Recipe Showdown.

But now, it is even better. Two great things are together - Emily and Top Chef. Her recipe for Oatmeal Banana Bread Drop Doughnuts with Peanut Butter Glaze is in the running for the Quaker Oats / Top Chef Viewer Quickfire Challenge. Take just a moment and go vote for her recipe. Check out the other recipes, but I'm going to tell you already that you will be voting for those doughnuts.
**Just another picture of Tom. If we are going to talk about Top Chef, we have to have a picture of Tom. Just a rule around here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Like 'Em Chunky

Since this blog is of food and fat but it is a little skinny on the fat part, here is my new theme song.



And don't forget about leaving a comment on this post if you would like to receive a slightly-loved cookbook.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Giveaway, Kind of, Sort of

I'm a sucker for something free. I love books. So if there is something that gives you free books, I get excited. A few years ago, I joined one of those book clubs because you got so many cookbooks for a $1 a piece plus shipping. Great deal - just buy so many more at the regular price then enjoy all these great benefits.


And it was nice. I did pick out some great cookbooks I had wanted. Then, every month they sent out those little reply cards. It's a scam I tell you. I always replied as soon as I got the little card, but somehow, these little packages would arrive on my doorstep. I would mail them back, but every now and then, I would forget. And it wouldn't always be something I would really like. I got stuck with a classic like



and this


and this


Lovely books, but I'm running out of room, though. I had these three in the box for the thrift store, but then thought that someone out here might like one. If you have room for a slightly used book, leave me a comment by next Tuesday telling me about your favorite cookbook. If you have a preference for a certain one, let me know, but I won't make any guarantees. I'll mail out these lovely free books to three people. Winners will be posted next Wednesday.

*I'll be out of town for a few days. I'm going to a Reading Research Symposium. The speaker is Dr. Janet Allen - this is huge for me. Dr. Allen is to middle school reading what Paula Deen is to butter. I plan on sitting up front, I plan on asking for a picture together, and I plan on giggling the whole time!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

And the Winner is....

Back in November, a friend told me about our insurance's Wellness Program. Because I do want to be well, I called the Wellness Program. The nice lady and I had a short conversation and she click-clacked some answers into her computer. Then she announced, (Please listen for the sunshine in her voice)


"Since your BMI is (mumble, mumble), you are OBESE. That's so great! Because you are OBESE, you qualify for our Weight Management Program. If you are OBESE, you get access to a nutritionist, personal trainer, and a gym membership! This is fabulous!"


She was excited that I was OBESE, but needless to say, I was not. It made me feel like eating some raw batter.


Now, four months later, I finally made the decision to follow through the paperwork. I now hold the number to call for my gym membership. Here's the good news, though - I've been losing weight on my own. Granted I didn't start until the first of January, but I am six pounds away from being - get this - not OBESE, but OVERWEIGHT.


I'm hoping my personal trainer looks something like this:

Now that would be motivation.

And speaking of motivation - a blog award. I'm terrible at this. I have received awards in the past that I didn't pass on. So this time, I'm following through. Apparently, you are to share honest things about yourself and then pass it on.

Eat at Home Sending the love right back to you, Tiffany. She manages TWO blogs. She has a great writing blog that inspires me to write more.

The Sporadic Cook If Julie lived near me, I'm pretty sure we would swap recipes and dishes. She gives me great ideas all the time.

Betty Beguiles Betty's posts always inspire me. She has devoted herself to living modestly. She has all the places to find the best vintage inspired dresses. Her site brings out the inner June Cleaver in me.


Real Mom Kitchen This is still one of my favorites. Laura cranks out new posts five days a week. This is my go-to site for recipes when I need a quick dinner.


The Adventures of Heather Heather has the best luck - within the past couple of months, she has won two giveaways. I visit just so her good juju rubs off on me, but then I stay to read her adventures as a newlywed.

Little Bit Funky Please just go look at her new baby boy! Plus, her etsy shop has the cutest stuff. She also has Ray Lamontagne on her Playlist which makes me so happy every time I visit.

Jam Jar Boogie She teaches art, puts on plays, raises chickens, raises children, writes a blog. She is new to me but I like her style.

My Tasty Treasures This one is new to me, but her posts make me crack up.

My Honest Things

1. I have mixed up a box of brownie mix and ended up not having enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan.

2. I cannot cook eggs. Fried, scrambled, boiled - you name it - they end up awful. Even tried egg beater omelets -dry as popcorn farts.

3. I loathe exercising, but put on some old-school hip hop and I turn into a dancing maniac. However, my style is similar to Napoleon Dynamite.

4. I love going to the movies. When the Lewis Theater goes up for sale in my town, I want to buy it, rip up the theater seats, install funky couches and coffee tables, and serve cafe-type food.

5. My sister and I once met Stone Cold Steve Austin in an airport in Texas. She was unafraid to approach him and talk to him and charm him, but I giggled uncontrollably the whole time. That's why I love my sister. She's who I want to be.

6. I am already my mother.

7. My children truly are the sunshines of my life.

 

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