June 15, 2011

Adventures in the Kitchen

I have an unhealthy obsession with dessert shows – Cupcake Wars, Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes, Food Network Challenge, and any other Food Network special that focuses on dessert! A few months ago, I was so enthralled that I ended up purchasing 2 dessert cookbooks online. When they arrived I did the whole, “Why did you buy these? You’re never going to use them – they’re going to sit on a shelf and collect dust” thing. I made the decision that day that I WAS going to use them. So I left them sitting on my kitchen table…and they sat there…and they sat there…and they sat there (turns out cookbooks make great coasters).

My mom’s birthday was last Friday so I decided it was finally time to use my cookbooks. My bite size dessert cookbook had a cake pop recipe. It looked to be about the simplest one, so I picked it (plus, the Bakerella blog is one of my faves). Of course, I had none of the ingredients/materials needed but after a trip to Kroger, I was ready to roll! Want to make Cake Pops?

You’ll need:
  •  1 box of cake mix
  • 1 (12 oz) jar of frosting
  • 2 packages of candy melts
    • I like the Wilson brand
    • Plus - they have lots of colors!
  • 48 sucker sticks
  • Sprinkles or other decorating materials

Bake the cake according to the package instructions. Let it cool completely. Crumble the cake into a large bowl. Here comes the fun part! 
  1. Mix ¾ the can of frosting into the cake until the mixture is a consistency that’s easily shaped. Dig in and mix it up with your hands until the you can get the mixture to roll into a large ball 
  2. Roll tablespoon size amounts of cake mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Let chill 2-4 hours (or overnight if you have extra time) 

I should let you all know that I am a disaster in the kitchen (probably 1 of the reasons I don’t cook/bake often – I hate doing dishes!). I’m pretty sure I used every pot/pan/bowl I own (which isn’t hard – I don’t have that many!).

Back to the recipe….
            3. Follow the instructions to melt the candies
            4.   Dip one end of the sucker stick into the candy coating; insert this end into a cake ball
            5. Dip the cake ball in the candy coating and swirl to coat (Kim’s helpful hint – get a large spoonful of                      the candy coating and roll the cake ball in the spoon for a smooth & consistent candy coating) 
            6.  Very quickly after dipping the cake ball, coat with sprinkles

I found some candy packages and wrapped the pops so that they would last longer...not that they did. We devoured them :) The end result was totally worth the mess! Now I have 1 page in my book marked complete…only 99 other desserts to try! 

June 10, 2011

Greetings from Lackland AFB

Kevin asked me to keep everybody posted on his happenings at boot camp, so here’s an update. He’s gotten to call home twice and talk to mom & dad. He says it’s super intense, but he’s having a good time! He gets yelled at, “but it’s good if they yell at you – means they like you.” ….Yea, sure Kev, whatever…

We got our first batch of letters from him today. He said they get some time every night where mail is handed out so they can read letters from home. Since I’m nosy, I read all of the letters he sent. Here are some of the parts that made me smile…

[It’s 8:35 am on 6/4/2011 and I have been up for 3 hours now! …I’m sitting in church. Yes, church. I figured you all were right and it would be a good way to ‘get away.’ So far, you are right. (imagine that, mom being right about something!)

We have about 7 minutes to dress, shave, brush teeth, and get back. Then we have to make our beds for 10 minutes…yea, it’s crazy. (says the kid who probably hasn’t made his bed in 10 years!)

We get 5 minutes to eat and we’re required to drink 2 glasses of juice at every meal. It’s a repulsive sight watching people shovel food down!! (says the kid who eats more repulsively than anyone I know!)

You know how there’s always that ‘One Guy.’ We have like 4 of them! They just don’t listen to simple instructions. (for those of you who know my brother: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

I got a job. That is a huge honor in BMT. I am the EC Conductor…my power is limitless… (Yay, Go Kevin! I hope you’re using your powers for good!)

Today marks the end of week 1. Tomorrow we are officially 2nd weekers! It went by fast and it’s actually a lot of fun! ]

In all of his letters he said that getting mail from home every evening is what helps get them through the day. He asked me to post his address and said he would love to hear from everyone. So if you have a few minutes, drop him a note!

AB Huber Kevin R
324 TRS/FLT490 Dorm B7
1320 Trueper St Unit 362902
Lackland AFB, TX 78236

June 3, 2011

1 Kid's Menu Please

I don’t eat out very often, mostly because all of my disposable income goes towards shoes (food is an afterthought J), but last week, I went to two of my fave restaurants. I never eat all of my food and I hate wasting it. I think that every restaurant should allow every person to order off the kid’s menu. Actually, since I’m calling the shots, I think that it should be renamed entirely and made available at every restaurant. It wouldn’t be that hard – just offer everything on the menu in a ‘Lunch Portion’ size. I hate that by the way. Why can’t I order a lunch portion at dinner? (yea, yea, the whole point is to drive business during the day by offering lower prices, blah, blah, blah). 

When I go to Tumbleweed, I order the same thing 99% of the time. Beef Deluxe Burrito, queso style, extra rice – no beans. I’ve been known to devour the entire meal along with a bowl of chips (I LOVE Mexican food!). I always leave filling extra full – you know, the “ughhh, I ate too much, must unbutton pants for the ride home” feeling.  It’s just so delicious!!  Other times (when I’m not being a pig) I get a to go box and have enough food for a second meal. Well, last Thursday (dreaming of the wedges that I needed to buy to match my favorite outfit) I ordered the Jr. Beef Burrito, queso style, with 1 side of rice. I ate every bite and was a little jealous of my friends still chowing down after I was finished. When we left however, they were all moaning about being overly stuffed and had their to go boxes full of leftovers. I was the perfect amount of full + I didn’t have to eat a soggy buritto for lunch the next day. Props Tumbleweed, for including this option on your regular menu and not glaring at me after I ordered it!

Over the weekend, I went to Olive Garden with my mom. I wasn’t super hungry and I knew I was going to fill up on salad and breadsticks (yum!), but I felt silly and didn’t even bother asking for a kids menu – plus, even though I’m told I look young, I probably couldn’t pass for 12. So when they brought my plate – or rather, my platter – of food. I stared at it in disbelief. No way was I going to be able to eat 3 giant ravioli and 2 (yes, 2!) pieces of grilled chicken. The next day I nuked my leftovers for lunch and still couldn’t finish it all! Now, if they had had what I wanted in ½ portion size, all would have been right in the world. I could have had a fantastic meal, wouldn’t have had to worry about leaving my to go box on the table (which I’ve been known to do), and I would have been able to afford my wedges (who are we kidding, I bought the wedges anyway J).