Happy Easter-Caturday

It’s been a beautiful day here, perfect for doing all the last minute things that somehow end up last minute even though Easter plans were made at least a month in advance!

But Caturday it is, so in the spirit of the current holiday, I will now provide you with Easter themed kitties!

Just to make sure we all know the difference (because, frankly, this bunneh/kitteh thing can be a bit confusing)…bunneh on the left.  😛

Pretty large bunneh there…

As we all know, the Easter Bunneh Kitteh is hard at work this time of year.

However, adding bunneh ears to your kitteh’s chic look is not generally appreciated.  Go figure.

Be forewarned.  This is what your kitteh is doing after you finally take off the ears and go to bed.

One way or another, it’s another holiday passed hopefully in the company of good friends and family!

Happy (and hoppy) Easter to everyone!

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Candy for Grownups

Or for me. 😛   But I’m trying to do a bit of a better diet for the next couple of months, so I’ll try not to eat them all!

I find few things as close to perfection as the combination of pecans, caramel, and chocolate.  And with all the candy out and about lately, I decided to make some at home.

I might try to be more artistic with the chocolate next time, but today, the point was, “how do they taste?”  Will they still that little voice in my head telling me that I missed out on Haloween because I didn’t go nuts on candy?  No pun intended there, but I’m a little nuts too just now!

Grabbed a package of caramels at the store.  The last package.  The one I had to get down on my knees in HEB and reach all the way to the very back of the shelf kind of stuck in the crack back there package.  People were staring.  I NEEDED caramels.

Safely at home, I unwrapped (tedious)…

and melted the caramels (easy)  in a Pyrex bowl in the microwave.

Took a couple of minutes, with plenty of stirring in between minute 1 and minute 2.

That beautiful Granny Smith apple back there is for the caramel apple Rat Boy asked me to make.

Stir in the pecans.  Plenty of them.  I used 2 cups of large pecan pieces, and another cup of smaller pieces.  I did Rat Boy’s apple first, so I wasn’t  working with a full deck  a full bowl.  😛

Stir until the pecans are well coated.  It’s sticky and gooey and just marvelous.

Melt chocolate in the microwave for the next layer.  I decided to go with milk chocolate chips.  Easy to melt…not patient enough to temper chocolate.

I used half a bag.  Drizzled the chocolate off a teaspoon onto the pecan clusters.

Let them cool of a while on a silpat or parchment paper.  They are VERY sticky!

That’s Rat Boy’s apple over there.  He’s too old for trick ‘r treating these days, but still wants treats.  🙂

I just had to get closer to the deliciousness.  And then taste a couple…still warm….I think I died and went to Heaven!  Briefly.

Chill them in the fridge for about 2 hours, and the chocolate will set up.  You can keep them at cool room temperature (and eat them) until your candy cravings are banished!

Or mine.  That might be never though.

Maybe that wouldn’t really be such a bad thing.  I did only eat 2!  🙂

LOL  Frogs and turtles….

NOTE:  To chill, use a layer of wax paper if the silpat won’t fit in the ‘fridge!  Otherwise, you’ll need a chisel to get them off the plate.  Unless you just want to hold it up to your face and lick them until they are soft enough to slip off!  😛

Fudgy Brownies

A week or so back, I was making Cream Cheese Brownies for Mom.  Hubby plaintively asked, “Why don’t you ever make us brownies???”  He likes the plain, fudgy kind.  And since he has been on vacation, I thought I could accommodate his request.

After all, he DID just give me a new bed!

And I’ve been dieing to use the bar pan that Aggie gave me.  So this was a perfect opportunity.


I think my head is in the picture.  😛

In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1/2 cup butter, cut up,  and 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped.  Microwave for 1 minute, stir well.  If lumps remain, microwave again, in 30 second increments, stirring in between until all of the chocolate and butter are melted.  Stir WELL.  Your arm will be very tired.  The mixture should look slightly glossy.

Slowly add (still stirring) 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Stir until well mixed.  Then add 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Keep stirring.  The mixture will look a bit granulated from the sugar, but just keep stirring.

Add 2 large eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well to incorporate each egg.  The mixture should begin to look smooth.

Add 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir until incorporated.  Add 1/2 to 1 cup of any nuts that blow your skirt up (or shorts).  I used walnuts, half a cup, but could easily have used more.

Pour into a greased 9×9 inch pan.  I used 1 1/2 times the recipe, and baked the brownies in the 9×13 stoneware bar pan that Aggie gave me.  Go Pampered Chef and Go Aggie!!!  😀

Bake 25-30 minutes if using the 9×9 inch pan, about 1 hour in the 9×13.  Cool on the stove top, then chill in the fridge at least an hour before cutting.  These are VERY fudgy, almost molten brownies.  Delish!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I worked at Whole Foods Market, I looked forward to this time of year because of the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  I ate a lot of other yummy stuff also, but I particularly like the combination of pumpkin and semi-sweet chocolate.

I do not like pumpkin pie.


Whisk together 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp salt.

With the mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup granulated sugar until fluffy, then add 2 eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.  Continue beating until smooth. Don’t overbeat, though, as it makes the muffins tough.

On low speed, alternately add 3/4 cup pumpkin puree and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.  Remove from the mixer, and fold in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Grease the muffin tin and bake at 350F for about 20 – 25 minutes.  cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Eat immediately.  Otherwise, they’ll be gone!  😛

They are especially good, I think, while the chips are still warm and melty.

And now that it IS that time of year, I’ll be doing a lot more with pumpkin.  I may not like pumpkin pie, but I luves pumpkin in pretty much anything else!

Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies…

Because they are TINY!  Well, not microscopic, but melon ball sized.  Like little bites of heavenly delight!  I can just pop the whole thing into my mouth.  They don’t leave crumbs in the milk either!  😀

I’ve decided I want to play more WoW blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now.  I’m an excellent procrastinator, so I’m going to sign up for the post-a-day challenge.  Y’all please comment and help me stay motivated!  You also get to see more yumtastic food.  😛

And now, back to the cookies!

I want to go eat one now.

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt.  Set aside.

Cream together 1 cup butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar.  When the mixture is light and fluffy, add 2 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix well.

Fold in 1 cup of chopped pecans  and 2 cups chocolate chips.  Drop onto a cookie sheet using a melon baller.

Bake at 350-375F for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Until they look beautifully golden brown and their delicious smell is filling the house.  😛

Cool on the pan for a couple of minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

This recipe will make about 120 cookies!  Which is a lot of cookies.

Unless you live with Rat Boy.  In which case it’s enough cookies for about 2 days!

This is only half of them.  I need a bigger plate!  😛

Banana Muffins with White Chocolate

I love bananas.  I love chocolate.  I love cooking with bananas because they make this awesome crusty-golden beauty that tastes as good as it looks.

I also love muffins.  What’s not to love?  Bread with fruit and chocolate.  I can totally get behind that!

 

Side bonus…muffins are WAY easier to make than cake.  Plus, it’s like having a tiny cake of your own with every muffin!

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray the muffin pan with non-stick.

Whisk together 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt.

Mash 3-4 meduim to large bananas, and combine with 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter, 2 large beaten eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Fold the wet mixture into the dry, using the well technique, stirring until just combined.

Add 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, and spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

I used 4 bananas, and needed to add about 3 tbsp flour to stiffen the batter.  Also, the recipe made about 16 muffins.  My muffin tin has 12 cups.  On the last 4 muffins, I used the center row and filled the empty cups with water, so the muffins would bake evenly.

Cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then complete cooling on a wire rack so the sides and bottoms don’t sog out!  Then eat.  Might need to hide a few…these went FAST!!!

Something Wicked This Way Comes.

I was visiting with a friend the other night, talking about great scary books and films that we love.  got me to thinking about this film, and how some things are more tasteful when something is left to the imagination.  Mine can come with some pretty crazy stuff.  She, of course, blogs.  I’ve enjoyed reading her blogs as well as others that I’ve found from that jumping point for a while now, and thus I am taking the plunge!  From just tasty to totally wicked, it’s all about the food baby!

I am an addict.  I fall asleep thinking about what I’ll cook tomorrow.  Which cookie recipe will I try?  How I can I tweak that pulled pork from great to divine?  What have I eaten lately that I’m determined to make? I’m also a homeschooling stay-at home mom, and personal assistant to my hubby, who is sometimes the 2nd teenager in my life.  So I can wear many hats, all of which eventually lead back to food!

Since I’m really new at this, I thought I’d begin with just a photo, while I work on figuring out how to operate this site.  Bear with me, and keep your eyes peeled for the Groovy Noms to come!