Saturday, November 6, 2010

October Goods: Better Late than Never

Morning, kittens. : )

It seems that lately I've been getting distracted by shiny things (or people... or a person... shut uuuup). And in the midst of that, I realized that I missed giving you a few things. So here they are, in no particular order.

1. Pecan-Topped Pumpkin Bread from Cooking Light

I made this pumpkin bread, ate a bit, shared a bit, and French toasted the rest. No complaints here...

In the interest of full disclosure, I skipped the pecan topping (a good choice since I ended up serving it to someone with a nut allergy) and subbed whole wheat flour for some of the AP.

2. Potato Soup

I love soups, but only on certain days. Well... those days come more often once fall sets in. On this particular night, I made a rich, cheesy, sour cream potato soup that ended up reminding me of my grandma's mashed potatoes. Mmmm... I really wish I'd written down the recipe.

3. Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Alicia's Halloween Decorations

Adorable, no?! I followed The Bitchin Kitchen's recipe for Pumpkin Beer Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting exactly. Well... that was the intent, at least. As it happened, I halved the recipe without incident... until it came time to add the pumpkin ale... at that point I forgot I was halving and added the full amount of pumpkin ale. But... ya know... it didn't hurt anything. My snafu resulted in a light, almost sponge-like cake.

While I baked and iced, Alicia made these cute cleavers, tombstones, pumpkins and undead hands out of gum paste she died, sculpted, and painted. Another fab collaboration, if you ask me.

4. Chicken Soup for a Sickie

Mmmhmm... another of those soup days. This one was necessitated by two things: a sore throat and a lot of leftovers. A creamy chicken and rice soup was just what I needed and the leftovers from the leftovers kept me happy for a next couple of days. Again... recipe... I don't have one for ya.

Sooo... now that we're both caught up... let's November together, yes?

Monday, November 1, 2010

(Non-Potato) Fries of Goodness

Sometimes a crunchy, salt, soft-on-the-inside fry needs to happen.

And personally, when I decide that this fry business needs to happen, it's more about crunchy, tasty bit than it is about the actual potato. Knowing this... I stepped out the other night and made some fries of a... leftover... yellow bell pepper.

I know, I know. It's brilliant.

Anyway... another thing that sometimes happens (but not too often) is me watching a full episode of Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals. This 3 step batter came from Ms. Ray.

Do I remember what she was battering or what she called this batter? Not at all.

Do I remember what else she was making in that episode? Nope.

Do I have a recipe for you? Again... no.

I'm sorry. I know that's kinda rude. But! The silver lining in this situation is that... well... last week I made and enjoyed some ridiculously good bell pepper fries. Feeling better yet? : )

Alright... If you're the adventurous, make-it-up-as-you-go type (like I am), then perhaps this will be enough to get you going:

Bowl 1: flour
Bowl 2: egg
Bowl 3: seasoned bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Oh... and it probably goes without saying, but these fries are baked, not fried.

So... go make fries of something awkward and let me know how it goes. Until I hear from you, I'll just be hanging out over here. Not watching Rachael Ray.

Friday, October 29, 2010

French toast, the right way?

It's been weeks since I made this French toast.

Maybe even a month. But... boys and girls... my mouth is watering as if I were sitting in front of this decadence right now, after having fasted for a week.

What's so great about it?

Well... in addition to the fact that it is French toast made with PUMPKIN BREAD (I knoooow!), it is French toast that I actually made the right way.

I didn't know I was making it wrong all these years, but I was.

The right way starts out as I thought... A couple of eggs, some milk, and whatever flavoring sounds good to you. This time I shook in some cinnamon and splashed in some vanilla.

But... then... you let the bread soak in it. Now... this... for me... is different. I've always been a dunk, dunk, pan person myself, but... no longer! Let that jank soak!

When it does make it to the pan, just brown it. Don't worry about the innards, they'll get their due in a minute, when you...

bake it.

That's right, kittens. This is where the magic happens.

All that cinnamon vanilla custardy mix that crept into the the crevices of that soaking bread earlier, is now going to souffle up and make for the most wonderful, fluffy/firm French toast experience you've ever had.

Just look at that heft! That crumb! That sweet, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, eggy goodness!

Ugh. Ima need a minute.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rainbow French Toast (and a Moral)

Things happen.

But when they do... you usually have new options. (Like removing the icing and starting again...

By soaking cupcake slices in a custardy, almond flavored mixture.

And frying them up. And baking them for a few minutes after that.)

This time, I found out that though rainbow cupcakes are tasty, rainbow cupcake French toast is amazingly, woah Nelly delicious.

So, I guess what I'm saying is... it gets better.

(I'm also saying that this happened on a lazy weekend morning that demanded brunch. My cabinets, however, were ridiculously bare... so the cupcakes had to stand in for breads.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cupgaykes for all!

Today (October 11th) is National Coming Out Day!

So, I think it's time I share something with you.

This cupcake...

And this one...

All of these...

And even these unbaked cupcakes... are gay.

And it would make about as much sense to turn down one of these cupgaykes for being different as it would to do the same to a person.

Dear cupgaykes,

I love you just the way you are.



Oh, and for a touch of irony... these cupgaykes came from a box. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fries of a Different Type...

Not everything is what it seems. If you know me, you should know this.

If you've read my blog, you should also know this. C'mon... I'm the girl who eats (and likes) facon. And turkey burgers. And carrot fries.

But today I have some uh-ther fries to tell you about. They're made of...

*drumroll, please*


Hahaha... You're excited. I can tell. : ) I can hear you buzzing on the other side of the screen.

Truth be told, I had tried bagel fries on campus last week, so this experiment was more of a recreation than anything else.

Whatever the case... I started by slicing a bagel into steak fry-like shapes. Then I tossed them into a skillet of butter and garlic...

Let them hang out and toast a bit...
Flipped them a couple of times to toast on all sides... (salting as I turned)

And la-tee-freakin-da. Bagel fries.

Mmm... delicious and buttery. So awkwardly decadent. I couldn't decide if I should be savoring the moment or... ya know... treating it like a bagel.

In the end, I decided that if decadence arrives in a bagel fry package, then it's not my place to question it.

I used some of my bagel fries to scoop up some forty spice hummus too. That, also, was not a bad call.

*drools on keyboard*

Oops. Sorry. Anyway... gotta run! Hundreds of cupcakes hang in the balance!

(Not kidding. Keep your eyes on the blog and twitter for updates!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sausages, of link and patty

Alright, so there are no links... but patties! I made sausage patties! ME... the girl who doesn't like to touch meat!


Not so, kittens! (now we're back to me again)

Here's the sitch: I had 1/2 lb of leftover ground pork from the meatloaf meat-rubbing experience you read about a bit ago. (Don't worry... this post is a little late. The meat was very much still fresh when I sausaged it.) So I thought about what ground pork on its lonesome was actually good for. And... I had no idea. So I consulted's ingredient search.

Are you familiar with this tool, kittens? Because it's awesome and you should be.

You just list the ingredients you do and don't want (I wanted neither a breakfast casserole or liverwurst) and voila! It gives you options. I saw sausages popping up all over the place, so I went in that direction.

I read a bunch of sausage patty recipes and decided that few of them had everything I wanted. And as far as the ones that did... well, I didn't have everything they wanted. (Such is life, right?) So I finagled and guessed... and came up with this:

To my 1/2 lb of ground pork, I added:

1/3 teaspoon thyme
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon crushed red pepper
few shakes of hot sauce
a good drizzling of butter maple syrup

Then I put my hand in a Ziploc bag...

(Aren't those things versatile?!*) And I mixed up the meat without having to touch it or thoroughly devastate it with a spoon.

After spending some quality time in a skillet on medium high heat...

My sausage patties were ready for action. And they were quite good! Spicy and sausagey without being too greasy or heavy. I loved them. So much so that I...

cut up a patty the next morning, cracked an egg over it, and made a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel sandwich that made my work lunch. And, let's be honest, my whole day.

* My mom, who is of the I'm-not-going-to-look-so-you-just-narrate-for-me camp of scary movie watchers, has come up with a particularly genius way of watching scary movies through a ziploc bag. I'd explain... but she might never forgive me to putting just this part on the interwebs. Point is... ziploc bags are the bomb.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Video Post: Halloween Prep

Just in case you've ever wondered what it would be like to be my mirror...

Now you know.

Any guesses regarding my Halloween costume??

(P.S. If I've told you, then it's not a guess. Play fair!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coffee's On!

Dear Twitter Friends,

Thank you for being some of the best friends around, even if I don't know where you are... or what your first name really is.

Thank you for taking an interest in how many pairs of shoes I have and how I feel about that number.

Thank you for suggesting blogs you think I'll like and for letting me know that sometimes you like mine too.

Thank you for updating so often that each time I check back (no matter how often I do it), one of you has said something new and worthwhile.

And today... thank you for letting me know several times over that today is National Coffee Day. Without you, I'd have missed it completely.

This homemade pumpkin spice latte is for you, tweethearts.

Love and 140 characters,

Amanda Fiercehair

P.S. Did anyone else catch that *the* Jillian Michaels responded to me today?! Yep! She did! I told her she was a cruel mistress, and she said... wait for it... wait for it...

"thank you."


Thank you too for understanding how excited I got about that.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bagel Brunch!

I don't know what it is about bagels, but I love them.

Love, love, love them.

What else do I love?

Well, a lot of things. But for the purposes of this post... BRUNCH!

So, this week I picked up some bagels and this weekend, I had an Aha! moment.

Why can't I french toast a bagel?! Well... boys and girls... I can now tell you without any hesitation that there is no good reason why I (or you) can't french toast a bagel.

Walk this way.

Step 1: Turn on Grey's Anatomy (oh hai, Arizona!) and slice your bagel at least once. I sliced mine into 4 pieces. 3 would be perfect... but my bagel was pre-sliced. So... 4.

Step 2: Crack two eggs into a big, shallow bowl. Whisk them up with 1/2 tablespoon of milk, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon extract, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Step 3: Dip a slice-o-bagel in the egg mixture, and fry it up.

Step 4: Reassemble the bagel as the slices are fried. Place in front of Grey's Anatomy episode still in progress.

Step 5: Add butter and syrup to taste. Enjoy the bagelly goodness.

Mmmm... I wholeheartedly approve.

What would be better? Some sort of fruit topping. Or filling. Or cream cheese filling with a fruit topping. Just saying.

Those bagelly layers are just screaming for something colorful and tasty. Hmm... I'll keep you posted.

Carry on, brunchers!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

That Time April Rubbed Her Meat and I Watched

I almost feel like I should leave the post at that.

You could gasp. Or laugh. Or cringe. ...And then we could all go on our merry ways and look elsewhere for either a good recipe or a good ol' NSFW post.

But... because we all know I'm not good at leaving well enough alone (shut up, Alicia), I'll write out a post that will drag out the joke until you don't so much as remember that it was ever even a little bit funny in the first place.

Eeeee... I can't wait!

We'll get to April in a minute, but first... another Southern lady. THE Southern lady, if you're asking me.

See... Paula Deen is always saying, "Rub your meat, rub your meat, rub your meat." Though I love Paula, I do not love raw meat. I might even hate it. I might even be making an ew face as I type this.

(By "might" I mean that I am. And it looks exactly like this.)

Anyway... so how am I to prove that my meatloaf is no ordinary meatloaf when I would really rather not touch the meat myself? Well... this time... I started by chopping up a bunch of really beautiful vegetables.

Frying them up with some spices and such...

And then I let April loose on the meat.

Do you guys remember the ew face? Because it comes back when I look at these pictures too.

So much meat touching.

Blech. In the end though, we ended up with a lovely spread.

A spicy cajun meatloaf and bacon, cheddar, jalapeno biscuits. Oh yeah, and a salad.

Mmm... so... meat touching... not great. I do it. But with the ew face.

These recipes, on the other hand, really are great. Try them. Like now. And don't forget to rub your meat, rub your meat, rub your meat.

Or find a friend who is willing to rub it for you.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Salmon... Hot Pockets?

Put your Golden Girls hat on, because (like Blanche) I'm about to set the scene...

Imagine you've had a long day. About as long as they come for you. Perhaps it was a long day at the office. Or running around after the kiddos. Or... you know... darning your cats' sweaters. I'm not judging; you do you. The important part of the whole thing is that your day has been long. Good... Surprisingly good... But still long.

You're chilaxin' all groggy-like in bed after a quick little nap. A nap marred oddly by one of those dreams in which you're inexplicably naked. In a room that starts out awkwardly small and shrinks until it's touching you on two sides at once.

You're lazily playing around on your phone when a friend calls in. Turns out her day has been longer. And more stressful. And it may have included tests. She asks about your plans for the night. You tell her you have none. She asks about dinner, you mumble something about checking the fridge. Three minutes later, you've offered to make her dinner and uttered the supremely casual "come over whenever," as if you weren't laying in bed, playing on your phone, nearly naked and still half asleep.

Tell me, dear readers, what are you thinking right now. Right now as you lay on the bed, knowing what lies ahead of you in the next 20 minutes? (The amount of time the friend said it would take her to get your place, btdubs.) Go ahead... I'll wait here while you go leave your answer as a comment. I want to know.

Because what I was thinking was twofold.

1 - What the hell am I going to make for dinner?

2 - Do I put on real clothes for this friend. Or will pajamas do at 7pm?

I answered the second question first when I decided that, yes, this friend merited real clothes. I'll have to ask her if she appreciated (or noticed) that detail.

The first question though... was slightly more involved. After taking stock of the fridge and pantry, I decided that roasted broccoli (a crowd favorite... as long as the crowd is me) would happen.

Done and done.

And what to go with? Let's see... frozen pie crust... some thinly sliced ham... 10 eggs... banana cream pie yogurt... whole wheat linguine... this was not going well. Until... I saw them.

A can of refrigerated crescent rolls. *cue singing angels*

I rescrounged with a new purpose and found frozen salmon burgers and pepper jack cheese. I cooked the burgers in a skillet per pkg instructions, topped each with a piece of pepper jack cheese, and wrapped each in a rectangle of crescent roll dough.

And voila. The long day salmon hot pocket of goodness was born.

I know, I know. You're impressed. As you should be.

But you're also curious. Just because I wrap something in a crescent roll doesn't mean it's automatically going to be tasty. Well... if that's what you think... then you have some more thinking to do. Because that pretty much is what happens when you wrap something in a crescent roll. It goes straight from okay to... okay wrapped in golden, buttery, crescent roll. Which is... hella good.

Overall, we decided the salmon hot pocket was... a lot of salmon. It needs something to jazz it up and cut the... salmon-ness a bit. The friend mentioned something about orange slices that she saw on a pbs cooking show. I threw my hands in the air.

And then she cut up a peach that we ate... with the skin ON. I know. Very Georgia of us.

So help two tired girls out. What does this salmon hot pocket creation need between the salmon and the crescent goodness?

Thursday, September 16, 2010



I toasted half a piece of my garlic naan Monday night to go with my eggs and facon.


It was so good.

Eggs, fluffy and cheesy. Naan, warm and garlicky. Facon, umm... well... facony.

Just... wanted to let you know.

*slinks back into the blog shadows*

Monday, September 13, 2010

Don't Tease Me with a Naan Time

Today as I was wrapping up my trip to Walmart for essentials like drain clog remover and mascara, my eye caught sight of the... bread section.

And when I got closer, I saw it... Garlic Naan. From the Walmart bakery.

I flipped the package over and read a list of things I could do with my (oh yes, I had already committed) garlic naan. And on the list of things I could make... tuna melt naan, pizza naan, naan wraps, naan dippers, naanwiches, naantons, naan toast and... wait for it... PANINI NAAN.

Well. Didn't have to tell me twice.

My panini naan was simple enough. I used a collection of stuffs from the fridge. Ham, sour cream, and feta, actually.

Random, yes. Delicious? You betcha.

So... I share this naan goodness with you not so you'll buy my random ingredients and duplicate it. What you should do is... strike out and trust Walmart with something fancy. Apparently they can handle naan. (And drain cleaner. And mascara. And torture devices.)

Happy Monday, lovelies.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Busy Day and Awkward Blogging. Oh, and a Burger.

Harumph, dear readers. Just... harumph.

(ground turkey... for the weak at... stomach?)

I uploaded the pics for this blogpost last night. I'd been saving this blog post all day as my reward for doing real work.

So last night when I realized that I had done my work and was completely prepped for Tuesdays teaching marathon, I dutifully selected the few pics that would actually make it from my memory card to this post.

By "dutifully selected", I most nearly mean that I narrowed each shot down to a couple of options and quizzed a semi-willing friend on "which is better?" Small beans... the pictures were selected by someone.

And then they were uploaded.

And then they were put in order.

And then I stared at them.

I... had nothing. No words. No inspiration. No motivation even.

I bugged the same semi-willing friend for a topic. She... was no help. She even compared some of my pics (the only things I had going for me at that point) to dog food.

Yes. Yes, I know. We're no longer friends.

So... I metaphorically shelved this blogpost for the night. I closed the laptop. I walked away. I slept on it.

(Who am I kidding? I slept on my bed.)

But then something funny happened at lunch today. Or... more accurately... in the small portion of time in which I should be having lunch.

Something about eating poptarts from a refrigerated vending machine just... well... made me remember everything that was wonderful about the burgers I couldn't bring myself to post last night.

So there you have it.

A glimpse into the inner workings of my bizarre little mind, and a new twist on some leftovers that you may recognize from the Easy Gyro Pizza.

Here's the rough recipe: (I'm blogging from the office, remember?)

.5 lb of ground turkey
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
cracked pepper to taste (meaning I didn't measure)
half a red onion, chopped
pat of butter for sauteeing onion
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
sour cream
feta cheese
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg

1. In a small skillet, brown up the red onion in butter.
2. In medium bowl, combine ground turkey, oregano, salt, pepper, and red onion. Mix.
3. Form into three patties, filling each with a bit of mozzarella cheese.
4. Cook patties in a medium skillet.
5. Lay out thawed puff pastry sheet.
6. Dollop sour cream in the middle of each sheet and top with feta. When burgers are done, place on top of feta.
7. Wrap puff pastry around burger and seal edges.
8. Brush pastry tops with egg wash.
9. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.

I hope your lunch was better than mine. Two hours later... I'm already hungry.