Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipe Review: S'mores Bars from Cherry Tea Cakes

I posted a while back about my web happy places; one of them being tastespotting.com. Tastespotting lead me to a blog called Cherry Tea Cakes. I instantly fell in love with this person, without having ever met her, and have enjoyed the inspiration she's lent me in the kitchen.

Recently she posted a recipe for s'mores bars
Image courtesy of Cherry Tea Cakes
I had to try them! I love trying things completely from scratch, rather than taking short cuts to get to an end product. I think I'm one of the few out there that actually enjoys doing things the long way occasionally (with a few exceptions of course. I still cannot bake bread. I bake door stops). Any way, the recipe is divine.

I do have a few snags with this recipe though. You would expect the bottom graham cracker type base to be crunchier. With the maximum time said in her blog, the bottom layer was somewhere along the lines of an overdone cake. Don't get me wrong! It was delicious! I might actually try to make a type of spice bar out of it one day. It just wasn't the crunch I was expecting, but insanely delicious all the same.

Additionally, the homemade marshmallow layer is incredibly sticky and difficult to make in my bosch mixer. I *love* my bosch. It is superior in every way to all other stand mixers except one: It doesn't do small batches well. And this marshmallow recipe did not give me a ton of marshmallow goodness. In the future, I'll just double the recipe (and you should too) and be on my merry way. Also, the marshmallow really does need a few hours to set up, unless you'd like the marshmallow to stretch right off the base while you're cutting it (or eating it, for that matter!)

Don't let this totally ruin this recipe for you though! I think it can be improved, but in the end, I think it might actually be easier to melt down some marshmallows and add butter to it to serve as your marshmallow layer. *Gasp* Did I just say that! Surely not... I think I need a few minutes of introspection. While I do that, whip up a batch of these. You won't be sorry.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Crazy pregnancy horomone-induced dreams

The other night, I had the strangest dream. I attribute this craziness to the pregnancy hormones, that instead reducing me into a blubbering mess, make me rage like the She-Hulk. In fact, my new favorite thing is a tea-towel that says, "I chant, I meditate, I do yoga... and I still want to smack somebody." I think that sums me up right there.

Any way, the dream started out with me, my sister and my mom huddling in this little cinder block house for safety while 5 or 6 tornadoes start whipping around our little house. Just our little house. They just kept turning around and running over our house again and again. I was pretty terrified.

After the tornadoes subsided, my mother got this secret encoded message for our next door neighbor. She said I had to take it to him and go with him on his mission. I was pretty confused, but took it next door any way. Once there, the captain person heard the message, got all flustered, kissed his wife and two kids goodbye and dragged me behind him to his parked jumbo jet, waiting for us at the curb on the street.

Once in the plane, he proceeded to drive it, like a car, to the nearest airport. Once we got there, he was stumped by the air strip. It wasn't your normal long, flat and straight affair. It was on a raised plateau. So in order for planes to take off, they had to get up to speed, hit the ramp on the one side of the plateau and take off. In order to land, you had to hit the ramp coming back down and slow down on the other side. It was crazy.

The pilot guy was complaining and while hopping out to talk to somebody, told me to park the plane. Park the plane? I don't know how to park the plane? So what did I do? I got out, tied a rope to the front of the plane and pulled it along behind me like it was a radio flyer wagon, no problem. I proceeded to "park" the plane and went inside to catch up with the pilot guy, but we must've missed each other because when I came back from the bathroom, the plane was gone.

I woke up pretty soon after that. I was pretty dumbfounded by this one. First of all, the airstrip made total sense to me in the dream, but upon waking, became the most absurd thing I've ever heard! Secondly, why did this guy have a jumbo jet just parked outside his house and why did he drive it on the road like a car? Any way, I'm just grateful that I'm able to sleep enough to dream. Sleep is so much harder when you're used to sleeping on your stomach and you just can't do that comfortably any more!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am a dead-eye shot... sorta

So, this last week, I spent in the "wilds" of Randleman NC at girl's camp and let me tell you, it was quite a week. Several things went wrong this year and I am really glad to be home. I was telling my mother that I am so glad to be home, but I would definitely go back again, next year.

Don't you just love the way those harnesses are so flattering?
So the weather was pretty nice Wednesday and we had a great time. Thursday started out horribly, having had the lights thrown on at 6:30 in the morning and our ward ended up with an incredible amount of free time that day. The girls were bored and we didn't have enough for them to do. Finally, the stake leadership pulled all the ward camp leaders together for a meeting to let us know there was a girl at camp found with lice. Everyone had been exposed as we were all sharing helmets for the high ropes course. I was really happy that they let me go up (being pregnant and all) and the zip line was amazing!

They wanted to send everyone home, but left it up to us to decide for our wards. I figured we would stay but I would give them girl's individually the option to call their parents to go home. None of the girls wanted to go home since they'd all already been exposed.

The next morning, we were checked for lice and none of us had it (or had it yet), so we went about our day on Friday. Friday was incredibly hot, but at least, we were occupied! We had archery that day and I'm incredibly proud to say, that this happened on my first shot.
Can you say dumb luck?

Any way, after dinner, the stake leadership wanted to send us home again, but most everybody wanted to stay (because what's the difference between packing up that night or packing up in the morning?) We had a lovely testimony meeting and bishop's night, which ended up with ice cream sundaes and cracking up to funny stories into the wee hours of the night.

We woke up the next morning, did our cleaning assignments and pulled out! And we weren't the last ones to leave (like every other year I've been to camp)!! I was so excited! We brought the girl's back, and then I came home, threw everything I could into the wash (to kill any little critters), lice shampooed my hair (which smelled awful), having Matt comb out my hair, then collapsing into my bed for the next two and a half hours. It was glorious. I think I'm still slightly dehydrated, because I have a nagging headache and I've thirsty all day today and yesterday.

Any way, I'm glad to be home (hopefully lice free) and only a little worse for wear. And I'm seriously considering taking up archery. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The girls putting up their tent!

When we first moved into the ward, the Bishop asked us if we could have any calling in the ward, what would it be. I immediately answered, "Girl's camp." He looked incredibly surprised and said with a smile, "Well, alright then. I'll keep that in mind." A few months later, I was called to be a girl's camp leader and have practically begged them not to release me every year since. The pictures are from last year's camp!

Hangin' out!
Three years later, I still love going and having a chance to see the young women let loose! I also get to see the girls that started in activity days when I was in the Cary 2 ward. Umm, they are practically grown ups now! It is so weird.
My girls at the evening program
As you can probably tell, camp is this week and I'm looking forward to have air conditioned cabins! I think having to sleep in the heat, on the ground while being 14 weeks pregnant would not be an all together pleasant experience.
Grilled cheese sammiches are the best!
I am, however, sad to think this is probably my last year to go to camp for a while. Next year I'll have a 6 month old and won't be able/want to leave him or her for a week. Although, it might be nice to have a break from one of my three callings. I'll definitely miss going to camp next year, though!
The Amazing Deflating Tent!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Put some windex

Image from www.cetaphil.com
Funny story from the beach. My mom insisted that we go to walmart with the express purpose of buying some cetaphil cream in the tub (coincidentally we ended buying a ton of food too, but the main reason was the cream). Not in the tube, not in the pump bottle, the tub. She claims it's different and works much better than all the others. Any way, the whole week, my mother kept telling us to slather our sunburns in this cream and trumpeting it's virtues any time she could.

I, being the oh-so obedient child, put the cetaphil on my burns. And when I got stung by a jellyfish (in a rather delicate spot), again my mother cried out, "Use the cetaphil!"

Now, cetaphil on the burns didn't really help them feel any better, but amazingly, it did help the jellyfish sting. I continued to put cetaphil on my burns until they stopped hurting, at which time I became lazy (I mean, I'd burnt my entire body pretty much and putting lotion all over takes forever) and stopped using the cream.

The amazing part was, she was right! Our beach trip was over 2 weeks ago and I'm just now peeling. And instead of the color peeling away (which is what normally happens), it's just the top, colorless layer! Amazing! I got burnt, kept my color, and didn't peel for two weeks! I think I'm a converted cetaphil user. No more aloe for me!

And the whole time my mother was telling us to use the cetaphil, I kept thinking about the father in "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding" telling everybody to use windex on everything. I laughed every time she brought it up!

P.S. - I'm not going to apologize for the lack of pictures of my sunburnt body, or the creepy peeling that's going on right now. You're welcome.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Recipe Time: Chicken Tikka Masala

So, this is one of my favorite recipes right now. I have always loved Indian food and this is a great recipe with authentic flavors and beautiful colors! It does take some time to prepare, so plan ahead. Most of the time, you're just letting the meat marinate and the longer it marinates, the better it tastes!

Yummy marinade - it makes everything better!

The ingredient list is long with a few spices you might not normally have on hand, but I easily found them at the grocery store. Try it! I know it'll become a family favorite.

Chicken Tikka Masala - from Jodi Kilpack's novel English Trifle

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or less for a smaller kick)
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breast (I like the thighs better for this)
             Combine all ingredients in a ziploc gallon sized bag. Knead the mixture so the chicken and spices are evenly distributed. Allow the chicken to marinate at least one hour in the fridge (but you can marinate it overnight as well).
             After marinating, remove the chicken from the bag and broil or grill the chicken until cooked. The marinade is thick and may cook off. You don't need to save it.

  • 1 tablespoon of butter or oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno minced (I usually leave this out)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream (You can use half and half or milk as well, but it won't be as rich)
  • Cooked Rice
              Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the garlic and jalapeno. Cook about a minute. Add the spices and tomato sauce, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes (this is a good time to start cooking the rice). After simmering, add the cream and cook until the sauce thickens. Add the cooked chicken to the sauce and cook a few minutes. Serve over rice.

Sorry I don't have a finished photo! It's just too good to wait to eat it! I like to heat up some frozen veg mix and put it on top of rice and then top with the chicken and sauce. :) I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Da Beach!

Ok, so we're back from the beach and amazingly, we only took a handful of pictures during the week (with the exception of the portraits). How crazy is that?! I suppose my family has never been very photo crazy. That may explain my disdain for excessive amounts of picture taking... Hmmm...

So, I brought my big girl camera and the little point and shoot. I figured we'd take most of the pictures with the point and shoot. I did not, however, take into account that the battery in the point and shoot might be dead or that I would forget to pack the charger (because the battery is speeshal and requires a plug in charger). Thus, I was not able to get many pictures at the beach. I was also too chicken to take my BGC with me to the beach with me (because of the sand and the water), so the only pictures we got were from our planned family portraits taken on the balcony and the portraits I did for my sister and her family (which I bravely took out to the beach, but got go where near the water and BGC was in my hands the entire time).

However, here are my favorites from the two sittings. I think some of them turned out really well! And as always E was not very smiley (but I caught the smile a few times).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The bean

I figure this post is self explanatory, but we're expecting! Crazy no?! Baby Davis is scheduled to arrive December 10th. We're betting the bean will show up on my birthday instead (the 17th).

We're still a few weeks away from finding out if it's a boy or girl (because I seriously can't handle the suspense) and yes, we're totally out of our minds ecstatic for this little bean. Now if only December could be here sooner....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...