Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

19 Mar

So I realize the month is more than half over, but did you know it’s National Craft Month?

I’ve been keeping busy with my long term crocheting project to celebrate! Other than crocheting I’ve been waiting patiently to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Why do you ask have I been waiting for this holiday? Because a year ago I saw this recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. I should have given in and made them before St. Patrick’s Day but I

Hello Delicious...

waited and this weekend I got to make them. Now for anyone that doesn’t know an Irish Car Bomb is a shot glass filled with half Bailey’s and half Irish Whiskey, normally Jameson, that is then dropped into a half pint of Guinness and then chugged. It tastes like a vanilla milkshake!

Even though the cupcakes were really involved they weren’t difficult to make. But I did learn how much I get frustrated with frosting. I think I need to practice but at the same time who wants to waste or eat all that frosting?! The cupcakes were a chocolate Guinness with an Irish Whiskey chocolate ganache filling and topped with a Bailey Buttercream frosting. They were amazing!!!

I was kind of annoyed that everyone ate them at the get together! I want to make another batch and keep them all to myself!!

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St Patrick’s Day Wreath

5 Mar

It’s been a really long time since I’ve written anything and I have a lot to talk about. So let’s get to it!

I have a slight obsession with Pinterest and now Foodgawker. I find all these amazing ideas and recipes on them and my Pinterest boards are filled with them. But I have yet to make anything off of there. I mean how is it that I can spend hours looking at recipes but then just make the same old things? Well not anymore, from now on I’m making it a weekly mission to make at least one item from them.

Way back when I got myself stuck doing 3 projects at once and considered them all works in progress even though I secretly knew the progress had stopped on all of them. One of those projects was a Valentine’s Day wreath. Well as you can see by the date, Valentine’s Day has come and gone so I started over and made a St. Patrick’s Day wreath. Not just any wreath though I decided to make a YARN WREATH!!!

Getting all the materials ready

Are you as excited as I am?! I mean it’s great because I have all the yarn already. And I saw, again on Pinterest, how to save even more money instead of buying a wreath from a craft store you go to a home improvement store’s plumbing department and get foam tubing. It was $0.97 for 6 feet! I also found another project for Felt Flowersso I bought 4 pieces of felt which were $0.40 each and set to make the wreath excited with how inexpensive and cute it was going to be.

Starting to wrap the yarn

I started by cutting the tubing in half and with duct tape making it into a circle. Then I began wrapping the yarn around the wreath, and keeping the end on the tubing as I wrapped around it. It wasn’t difficult just time consuming as I had to make sure that as I wrapped the yarn it was kept tightly together. I also found that switching yarns and colors wasn’t the easiest since there were two separate ends that needed to be hidden. So I cheated and only did that once and then decided to just cover it with my felt flowers. When I finished the wreath I was pretty impressed but then I started on the felt flowers.

I measured and cut all the pieces very carefully

 

Talk about frustrating! First I decided to use fabric glue, that stuff is tacky but doesn’t keep anything glued together! So then I decided to borrow my Mom’s glue gun (Note to self: I need to invest in one of these!). It took me about two hours to glue all the petals once that was done I started forming a flower and… it was crap. I mean look at my picture compared to the website!

Looked bad and felt like a brick

I know I suck at measuring and cutting but I had no clue I was that bad at gluing too! Well with that idea scrapped I moved on to the next best thing… fake flowers! I grabbed some at Joann’s and glued them on to the wreath. I have to admit that even though it’s not what I was originally picturing in my head I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out!

After 1 hour...

My St. Patrick’s Day Wreath was just the start of my creative outburst! A couple days later a friend, Kristen, and I decided to start being culinary geniuses, and make Cook’s Illustrated’s French Onion Soup. I found the recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs Brown Eyed Baker. We both read through the recipe and weren’t afraid of the 5 hour time frame, I think instead we were both excited to try something so involved. Except, it really wasn’t that involved until the last hour when we were stirring and adding something every 5-10 minutes. We went shopping at 2pm for all the items we needed, then spent the next 30 minutes looking up ways to cut onions without crying. One website said to whistle as you cut, another said to freeze the onions for a couple minute, another said to chew gum with your mouth open and yet another said to use a sharp knife and just cut fast. Well we tried it all, except the whistling one since neither of us can whistle. Putting the onions in the freezer for 10 minutes and cutting fast seemed to work best. We used 10 onions because what we had were medium to small sized not the large the recipe called for.

After one hour in the oven, the onions were stirred but not much seemed to have changed except for a burnt residue on the side of the dutch oven. So back in they went for another hour of cooking. Or so we thought, you see when I shut the timer off on the first hour I also accidentally shut the oven off. And we didn’t realize it until after hour #2 when our onions looked about the same as they did after hour #1.

Barely changed after hour 2

That’s when I noticed my idiotic mistake. Here we are eating at 8pm already and now I’ve set us an hour behind. Well luckily Kristen is a sweetheart and didn’t call me all the idiotic names I’m sure she was thinking.

So back in the oven they went but this time only for 35 minutes, mainly, I think, because we were hungry. Then it looked like we were back on track.After this point I know our pictures looked similar to the directions but I was positive that our soup was going to taste burnt. I mean look at the progression!

Gross

Grosser

Grossest


Not at all appetizing! But onward we marched. Our first modification to the recipe was using dried thyme instead of fresh thyme twigs. The grocery store didn’t have them and we didn’t really mind making the soup “our own”. But at this point we had scraped all the burnt looking flavor off the sides and bottom of the pan so much and added the other ingredients that I was hopefully we really had made soup.This is also where our second modification happened, I didn’t have sherry like the recip

Finally looks like soup!

e called for and I thought I had. Instead the bottle of sherry I had, and I must admit did not remember ever buying, had homemade moonshine apple pie. So we went online and found a substitute for sherry since we didn’t want to go back out.

Mmmm cheesey bread

The last step was getting our cheese and bread ready. We had bought the loaf of french bread but Gruyere cheese is so expensive that we made another modification with Swiss. First we baked the slices of bread then put some of the cheese on top and when our soup was finished we threw them back into the broiler. They turned out deliciously. Especially when it was all put together not only did it look amazing but it tasted great too!

They only changes I would make for next time, would be to use red onions n

Soo good!

ot yellow onions since they made the soup a little too sweet. And use sherry instead of the vinegar/sugar mixture we used. All in all though it tasted amazing and somehow we made up time and were able to eat before 8:30!

Oh but before the soup making I had the most fun that I have had in a long time… at a Rummage Sale! The Wadsworth Center for Older Adults had their annual rummage sale and my friend Sarah and I went. She’s a seasoned rummage saler and had me get there 30 minutes before they opened. I thought she was insane, I mean we were in Wadsworth, but she ended up being right. There was a line of people behind us when they opened the doors! At first I wasn’t too excited. There was a lot of funny things but then we went upstairs and it was like the clouds parted shining a light from heaven into this little corner of the room. There were piles upon piles upon boxes of fabric. All different materials and all different styles and with the purchase of a garbage bag you could stuff as much as it would hold for only $2! I got a ton of fabric, 2 green floral wreath forms, a skirt, and a coffee mug all to fit inside that bag. Then before leaving I grabbed a green glass dish. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but for $0.50 I thought it was pretty and it reminded me of the holy grail scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade! As I walked out of there carrying my garbage bag with two hands I knew that I was a converted lover of rummage sales.

Look at all the fabric I got!!!

Choose wisely Indy...

Ugh… pie

17 Feb

I hate pie.

There are only a few things that when I hear the word I’m in an instantly bad mood, and pie is one of them. It’s the most disappointing dessert there is.  Seriously who was the first person to think up this crap?  I picture the first transaction going something like this:

History’s Worst Baker: Hey guys I just came up with a new dessert!

Disappointed Sweet Tooths: What is it?

History’s Worst Baker: Well I’ve got some really ripe almost rotten fruit that I’m going to bake in a dish. But don’t worry it won’t be one of those “healthy” desserts because I’m going to ladle a disgustingly sweet – I mean make your mouth pucker at the amount of sweetness – mixture of syrup and sugar on top of it.

Disappointed Sweet Tooths: So it’s a dessert soup?

History’s Worst Baker: No definitely not. I’m going to wrap it up bottom, sides and top in the driest most flavor-lacking dough you’ve ever tasted.

Disappointed Sweet Tooths: Oh.

History’s Worst Baker: And to trick everyone into trying it I’m going to cut super cute shapes in the top crust.

Disappointed Sweet Tooths: Greeeaaatttt.

Seriously this stuff is crap. And you know it’s crap because every person that has ever baked a pie always has the same defense when I tell them I don’t like pie, “Well that’s cause you haven’t tasted my pie yet”.  Nope! I’m pretty sure it’s going to taste like all the other 50 pies I’ve tried. Disgustingly sweet gizzards and disgustingly gag-worthy crust.

I don’t trust anyone that likes pie over cake! Cake is delicious. It’s moist and has the right sweetness and can have layers of frosting, chocolate or even fruit inside of it. Why would anyone prefer pie over cake? I’ll tell you why, because they’re crazy and that’s why you should stay away from them!

Today I was forced to eat a piece. I told the jerk, “I appreciate the offer and it was very nice of you to bring it in but I don’t want a piece”. And then jerk #2 says, “you have to try it I cut you a piece”.  To which I said as jerk #2 was putting a piece in my hands, “I don’t like pie”. I hope my look as I took the plate said ‘Fuck You’ because that’s what I was trying to convey.

Stupid pie. I have this sugary coating all over my mouth and tongue now. And the crappy flakes are stuck in my throat screaming for moisture so that they can digest. Great freaking start to the day.

I hate pie.

What a Selfish B****

16 Feb

I have a confession to make. All my life all I’ve ever wanted in a life partner was a man exactly like my Grandpa; tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, amazing around power tools, laughs at his own bad jokes, and loves me for being imperfect. So when I tried to move into a new relationship that’s exactly what I found the first time around. An intelligent man who wanted to be with me. And then I found out that I’m not ready.

I was so excited at first and then I caught myself doing what I always do, of trying to sabotage everything. Was this guy perfect? Hell no, but no one is. And instead of accepting that I held on to it. It stopped me from getting to know this guy. I recognized my downfall and sat in front of my mirror and tried pulling an SNL’s Stuart Smalley.  I looked into my eyes and had all the intentions of saying “Sarah, you’re beautiful and deserve love” but instead I looked into my own eyes and began crying.  And not just tears running down my face but sobs.

Who knew that looking at yourself and being honest would be so hard?! I kept going though, I made myself continue to say it until it could be done without a breakdown. And when I was done with that I realized something… I’m not ready for a relationship. Even with “Mr. Perfect” I’m not ready.  My biggest fear in life has always been being alone. I hate eating at a restaurant alone, I refuse to go to movies by myself, hell even living alone has been difficult. Which is why I need to do it. I need to learn to look at myself in the mirror and not cry at the person looking back at me.

I feel selfish. I feel horrible. I have no idea where to begin and it terrifies me.  I think my first step has been met though, I recognized that I am the problem that is keeping myself down in life.  Now instead of being alone at night and being depressed about it I need to learn to love and embrace it.  I just don’t know how…

WIP

22 Jan

So it’s been a couple days since I wrote anything on here. Which has led me to realize I have a problem with doing two projects at once.

I’m currently working on crocheting an afghan that I’m now realizing will look great but is going to take forever to finish. To put it into some perspective I think it’s going to take 15-17 skeins of yarn where as the others I made were around 5! It’s not really the length or width but just the pattern itself. I really loved this pattern though and even though I don’t have anyone in mind for this blanket I really wanted to make it. Because of how much time and money is being put into this blanket I think I may keep it.

So with this new realization of how I work,  I promise to start working on another project this week that won’t take too long and that I can share with everyone! And as soon as I’ve completed my mega blanket pictures and instructions will be shown!

Freedom

16 Jan

Have you ever felt true freedom? Like honest to goodness freedom? As if you’ve let go of everything that was holding you back or down? I think I just felt that for the first time in my life. I was given news, and as I heard everything I could feel this warmth wash through me and this weight lift off my lungs. It was almost cliche but I took that first breath and felt like I was able to breathe in so much more air. And with that air came the realization that I was happy. Delirious with the thought that I could move on in my own happiness and not be afraid of that nagging voice telling me to turn back. Because that voice is gone. For the first time I’m just me and I’m excited. I don’t need anyone else to contribute to my happiness. I no longer need to “fake it til I make it” I made it. I’m happy.

Keeping Busy

11 Jan

With my new mindset in place I’ve been keeping myself busy and active. It makes the times when I find myself just sitting on the couch enjoyable and not repetitive.

I went to a good old fashioned girly sleepover this past weekend! Ate junk food, gossiped, played Girl Talk, painted our nails and used face masks. It was like being 13 all over again, except I never did that when I was 13 and there was wine. I took advantage of the fact that a group of people would be together and made one of my favorite dips, Jalapeno Popper Dip. It’s absolutely amazing and absolutely bad for you. Which is why I always wait for a get together to make it or else I’d end up eating it all by myself, especially since it’s super easy to make!

I also brought the homemade face masks. I had found some “recipes” on Pinterest and wanted to try it out but again couldn’t justify making it for just me, so this was the perfect opportunity. I’m not going to lie I thought these were a little gross. Maybe it was because I thought that the consistency should be more of a paste and it looked like a smoothie. Or maybe it was because there was raw egg mixed in but either way I debated just throwing it all away.  But I had already told everyone I’d bring face masks and since I’m cheap and didn’t want to throw money away I brought it along. There wasn’t much involved, just blend ingredients then spread on face. And all the girls were great about it, even though I had to keep saying “Stop licking your face, there’s raw egg in there”! Which now that I think about it is totally hypocritical of myself since I wouldn’t think twice of eating raw cookie dough.

It was so much fun! While at the party, one of the girls mentioned that she wanted to start working out more and right away my ears perked up. I’ve been trying to get myself back in shape and although my eating habits have gotten better I haven’t been able to stick to a workout plan. Having a workout buddy is what I’ve been looking for since I feel like it’ll help me to not give up as easily. And working out with someone new would also help me in opening myself up to new people too! So I left my comfort zone of just thinking I should talk to them and actually did, so we met up to go for a hike in the park!

I love taking walks in the park and definitely did not take advantage of that when I lived right next door to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. There’s something about being “lost” in nature that makes me feel at peace. Just the realization that a tiny piece of me got to be a part of all the beauty and history makes me smile. It was amazing (and muddy) to just hike through the trees. Of course being the clumsy person I am I did fall and have to continue my hike with a cold and wet butt, nothing new though.

I’m definitely stepping out of the security blanket I had wrapped around myself already this year. Although I’m still nervous to change my mindset, it just feels like now is the time. If I want to change and experience all that life has to offer I have to be the one to do it!

Enjoy the recipes. And definitely let me know if you make the face mask and it turns out differently!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

-2 packs of cream cheese

-1 cup of mayo

-2 cups parmesan cheese

-8 oz green chilies

-8 oz canned jalapenos (chopped and drained)

-panko breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Mix cream cheese, mayo, green chilies, jalapenos and 1 cup of cheese together.

3. Pour mixture into oven safe dish. Top with remaining cheese and layer of breadcrumbs.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com)

Homemade Juice Mask for Oily Skin

-1 tsp lemon juice

-2 egg whites

-3 tsp honey

-1 cup strawberries

1. Blend ingredients together.

2. I put then mixture into the fridge in the hopes that it would solidify some, but it never did. When you’re ready put the mixture on your face and let it sit for 10 minutes (some of the girls noticed that it did harden on their faces).

3. Rinse off. They claim that this recipe makes enough for 2 people, but I doubled it and there was probably enough for 10.

(Recipe from About.com)