“khaki” velvet whoopie pies

Ok, so like a week ago (before the teething meltdown of my daughter that seemed to last forever) I tried to make whoopie pies for the first time. They are, apparently, a traditional amish treat. My husband had some amish friends when he was younger so he knew about them. I didn’t know what they were until we got married. I never really thought about trying to make them, but a few weeks ago I was watching Paula Deen (love her!) and she was making red velvet whoopie pies. I’m a sucker for all things red velvet, so I was intrigued. Once the show was over I promptly forgot about them. Then a few days later I noticed starbucks was offering mini red velvet whoopie pies. I figured that was a sign from dessert heaven that I needed to try to make them. Plus, Suzy (my kitchen-aid mixer) was begging to be used.

I found the recipe for Paula Deen’s whoopie pies on her website (click here). In the midst of making them I realized I didn’t have any red food coloring, drat! So I changed the name of my dessert to “khaki” velvet whoopie pies. It was actually pretty easy, just like making cookies, except the batter is more liquidy. The filling was a warm milk/flour mixture whipped together with sugar, butter, shortening and vanilla. delish. cept, make sure not to leave the butter on the stove to get to room temp or it will melt slightly, resulting in a gooey filling.

The results were delicious, although red food coloring would have made them a lot prettier. and of course I didn’t get a picture of the finished product before they were promptly devoured, but check out the baking process…

the ingredients
sift the dry ingredients
beat sugar and eggs together
beat until light and fluffy
B-E-A-utiful
before baking
cooling the cookies

What are some new things you have tried to cook lately??

pantry roulette.

I do a minimal amount of meal planning. Basically I have a few recipes that I would like to make through out the week and a few regulars we repeat and I go shopping for those ingredients early in the week. I knew I had a large bag of potatoes that I wanted to use (last time I didn’t use potatoes in time they went bad and made the whole house smell). I had planned on making shepherd’s pie but realized around 3:30 in the afternoon that I had used all our vegetables earlier in the week when I made Chicken Pot Pie. With a baby napping I couldn’t run out to the store so I made up a little game called pantry roulette. I went on one of my favorite cooking websites www.allrecipes.com and went to their ingredient selector. I typed in the ingredients I wanted to use: ground beef, potatoes and tomato sauce (which I somehow collected several cans of in the pantry). I found a recipe for a cheesy beef and bean bake. It was similar to Shepherd’s Pie, except with baked beans instead of vegetables. It took about 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to bake, all in all a quick solution to the afternoon question of whats for dinner. It was quick, easy and a hearty all in one meal. I have a feeling I’ll be playing pantry roulette game more often!

codependency, cooking and cleaning

sometimes i wish i could just download all thats going on in my brain straight to the screen… kinda like when you “sync” your phone and computer, ya know? i know i wrote about writing more, but everytime i sit down to write i don’t know what to say… or maybe its just that i don’t know how to say it. or maybe the problem is i just don’t have anything worth saying. or i get to easily distracted… or maybe i’m just lazy… can you tell i’m searching for excuses? seems like those are too easy to come by. often times i think of excuses before i even need an excuse… you know, just in case. haha. ┬ábut alas, no more excuses. here i am typing to the whole world wide web… or the handful of people who read my blog. sometimes i like to imagine there are hundreds of people who are disappointed every day i don’t share some clever thought… sometimes i like to think i’m writing something so profound that its going to revolutionize someone’s life… but the reality is i’m way to selfish and the real reason i write is for me. somehow writing brings me resolution. and if i can keep feeding the illusion i have a huge fan base it also feeds my ego. really, i just want my voice to be heard. for these few moments while i’m typing away i feel important. i can say whatever i want, and my imaginary fan base listens. its a sweet escape… it may provide me with a false sense of importance… but a sweet sweet escape.

its 10pm on a friday night. last year this time chris and i would have been out doing something… sitting at applebee’s hanging out with people probably. now here we are sitting at home on our computers, drinking homemade thai coffee. can i mention that this is my third round of coffee today? i think i might have a problem. at this point not only do i want coffee… i need it. i’m pretty sure i’ve become co-dependent. funny how our life evolves. i remember thinking my mom was crazy for drinking hot coffee on a hot day… i never understood how she could drink a whole pot of coffee… and now here I am drinking my third round of coffee…. but with a newborn sleep is scattered, just a little here and there a few hours at a time… so enter my caffiene co-dependency. ok, so back to the friday night thing… we spend most friday nights alone, which is weird for us being such people people. its just that things change, people change. its a weird season. i guess with a new baby people think you just want to be left alone. i guess that can be true at times. but we are still people people… theres just another person. i have been enjoying the time i get to spend with Payton and Chris, but there is still something inside me that craves relationship with others. at the same time i realize how valuable time is and in turn have come to realize the importance of the kind of relationships we invest in… anyway, theres my soap box on relationships. glad you enjoyed it.

life as a mother is so…. different. i liken it to when you first get married. its like all your life you dream of getting married and (girls especially) think its going to be something completely magical. then you get married… and yes, marriage is wonder and great and awesome etc etc etc… but its not like sparks fly and life magically changes to something totally different… life goes on, you just have the pleasure of sharing it with someone. same thing with being a mom… all your life you think about what it would be like to have kids and expect things to change radically… but they don’t. life goes on… you just have a little one to share it with. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom. The amount of love and joy that my baby girl brings to my life is indescribable. But its still life. Being a stay at home mom is way different than I thought it would be. I thought I would be stir crazy looking for things to do… and maybe that will come…. but now it seems like I have more to do than I did before. Now that I have time to cook, I love it! My favorite time of day is fixing dinner. I might be overthinking it, but it seems like when Chris and I were both working that I thought working was enough of a contribution to making our life together work. Now that I’m not bringing in that paycheck I have been looking for other ways to contribute to making our life even better, which is why I think I’ve enjoyed cooking so much… I’ve really impressed myself with some of the things i’ve done…

Homemade Chicken Fingers

i’ve tried making breaded chicken before but it never turned out right. this time i was determined to make it work and i was so surprisingly pleased. you know your food is good when it nearly brings your husband to tears.

Pad Thai

this is a homemade version of pad thai noodles with thai coffee. its something we just recently took a liking to, so i decided to try the homemade version and it was fantastic. cheap too! this whole meal for the two of us probably cost me less than $10!! i guess i do have ulterior motives for good homemade cooking, not only is it a way to feel like i’m doing something productive, it also saves a lot of money and can be a lot healthier… two things i’m trying to work on.

speaking of things i’m working on, i’m also working on starting up my own business called St Charles Cleaning. I’ll be doing residential cleaning to get things started and i couldn’t be more excited. I know what you’re thinking, excited about cleaning? yea, excited about cleaning and getting paid for it. watch out for our website www.stcharlescleaning.com which should be up in the next few days.

well, there ya have it… a real deal update for all you thousands of readers out there. ha. hope you enjoyed.

until next time… when ever that may be.