Sunday, September 4, 2011

Just take the Lactaid and move on.

October is coming.

I know, I can hear you. But it's barely September! It isn't even officially Labor Day yet! And I understand your reticence to usher in fall.


October means crunchy leaves. October means warm sprinkle rain. October is the smell of wet asphalt, hot from a reluctant summer. It's cooler days, and a light sweater or two. It's Halloween. 

I love Halloween. 

As a kid, I loved getting dressed up and filling my pillowcase with candy until the seams stretched and groaned under the weight of hundreds of tiny, individually wrapped morsels. After going to all the houses I could, (minus the one that required you to march through a haunted house section before they'd give you candy, because those people were sadists and who wants to go through a haunted house anyway? They're stupid and not even scary and I'm not scared, I just heard they give out Almond Joy and no one likes coconut, so I'm just going to stand over here, no you go ahead, I've got a thread on my costume that needs looking at.) 

I would sit on the living room floor and pour out my bag. I'd sit there in pre-diabetic glee, staring at all the shiny wrappers, calculating which one would be the first, wondering if this would be the year I got the razor in my candy. Then my parents would bring the hammer down. My candy got split into two. One bowl I had access to, and the other was put away for "when the first bowl was finished". I could have one piece of candy a day. That's it. By the time I finished my first bowl of candy, I had forgotten about the second bowl and it was usually almost Easter, so who cares about stale Necco wafers when you've got Cadbury Creme eggs coming your way?

It was years before I realized my parents were thieves. Candy eating, chocolate stealing, smarties snacking magpies. There was never a second bowl for safekeeping. They counted on my childish forgetfulness. Oh my poor naive child-self. I trusted them to watch my candy for me. And candy trust is the most sacred. Candy is child gold. And of course, the idea was genius. 

You don't have to share these Reese's brownies with anyone. You can make them and keep them in one container. You can eat them all in one day, because you're an adult. Just make sure you have a big glass of milk. And, maybe share some with your parents. After all, your mom made that costume and they had to endure that tantrum you threw over the wrong color Pippi Longstocking shoes. They deserve a brownie or two.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Would Title This, But Jack and I Are Busy.

Bacon. The only thing wrong with bacon is that there isn't more of it, all the time.

I have a bacon problem. I add it to almost every recipe. Any time I think it needs a little more flavor, I'll just slap some bacon on it and call it dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. Turkey sandwich? Turkey bacon sandwich. Scrambled eggs? Scrambled bacon eggs. BLT? BBlt. Yeah. I said it. More bacon.

Last Wednesday's dinner was no exception. Using a recipe from The Pioneer Woman, I made Apricot Whiskey BBQ chicken. With bacon.

All bacon wants to do is make you happy.
If you like sweet/savory BBQ, this recipe is a winner. The chicken falls to pieces the moment you breathe on it, and it is like little bits of summer heaven.

Oh, and there's Jack Daniel's involved.

Jack Daniel's also wants to make you happy. And your neighbors. And your twitter feed. 
Make this and enjoy the last of the sweaty August heat. Share it with friends. Or don't share and have chicken for a week. I won't tell. It's that good.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Hope That Old Guy Was Running Too Fast To Hear My Fergalicous

     When I run (or more realistically, sweat while moving at a pace only slightly faster than standing), I like to listen to music. Loud. Music that makes me forget I'm in the hot sun and that my legs hurt and my toes are dragging and that a 60 year old man just lapped me on the running trail. I set the bar low for running music. Anything I can dance to, I'll run to. My taste in music is broad, but when it comes to something that will keep me moving, I'm not going to get any exercise in if I'm jamming to Neko. So I usually run to Fergie or Justin Timberlake. Like I said, low.

      This past weekend however, a new songbird earned her place on my running playlist. Eliza Doolittle.  What's even better? She's not crappy! Catchy and fun and talented. And English, so there's a bonus accent! I mean, this music isn't going to change any lives. It's just fun. Like a bit of chocolate. Really catchy chocolate. By George, she's got it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Do Colleges Take Pie as Tuition Payment?

I have a dirty secret.

I've spent hours online looking at certain pictures. Scouring the internet, constantly searching for just the right one, just the one I want. Lusting after what I don't have, knowing that what's at home isn't satisfying me. I just don't feel fulfilled. I need something bigger. Something with more power. A little more oomph.

Something that will get my egg whites fluffier and my meat more tender.

I mean kitchen supplies, of course.

Specifically, I have two big kitchen mistresses. The Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer in Majestic Yellow:
Image from Isn't she pretty?
And the 7 1/4 Quart Le Creuset French Oven, in Cherry Red:

Image from Can't you just smell the pot roast?

I want these things. I want them so much. It's too bad the combined cost of both is over $600 and my son would probably be mad if I bought fancy kitchenware instead of putting him through college. But son! Remember those really good birthday cakes? And those pulled pork sandwiches? That's why you can't go to Berkeley without crippling student loans. Totally worth it! Up top! And then in my fantasy world, we high five and he thanks me for being the best mom ever.

I feel bad for coveting such expensive items, especially considering that my own hand mixer, Sir Mix-A-Lot, has been so faithful to me. He tries his best, whirring at about the same speed, no matter what setting he's on. With only one attachment left, the standard egg beater, he does his best to whisk air into my meringue and keep my cake batter smooth, and I truly appreciate the effort. However, Sir Mix-A-Lot is not a work horse. He's getting old and it'll soon be time to go to the great mixing bowl in the sky. I know he needs rest, but I can't replace him now. Like an old factory owner, I'm going to work him until he dies or loses a part in an accident. (Oooo! An accident! Maybe I can convince the husband that Sir died in a horrible accident and THAT'S why I need a $300 mixer. How do you fake an appliance death? It was awful! The dip just exploded! There was cheese and mixer parts everywhere! I'll never look at avocados the same way again!)
Look at him. So tired and old. You can practically hear him complain about Social Security.
Neither the stand mixer or the Le Creuset are in my immediate future, because my practical brain tells me that while having a fancy mixer and french oven are nice, they won't help my son become a doctorlawyersurgeonengineer. So for now, I'll hide from Sir Mix-A-Lot, and stare at pictures on, all day long, watching the price go up and down $5, thinking, Maybe now. Now? I'll buy it now. No. Not now. Now. No. Maybe. No. I'll just go check Facebook.

Anything you covet, kitchen or otherwise, that's just a touch too expensive? Tell me what it is!