Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Open Letter to My Dad

Dear Dad,

I'm a horrible daughter. Or maybe just a horrible person, actually. I'll explain. I don't remember holidays. I don't remember birthdays, and if it weren't for my mother and Facebook, I'd probably never offer another well-timed Happy (Anything)! again.

Exhibit A: Yesterday I received a text from Mom that read: "Happy day of your brother's birth!" She's getting more subtle with the reminders, but I'm not getting any quicker on the uptake. (I did send Josh a Happy Birthday! text after that message, by the way. I got it covered.)

Part of this unawareness of birthdays and holidays is that I don't often think to get gifts for these occasions either. I've gotten pretty good at remembering to do Christmas stuff. But the other holidays? Sorry, nope. Father's Day is no exception, so it's a good thing you don't wear these.

So what's a forgetful, irreverent, states away daughter to do for her sensitive, funny, stand-up guy father on Father's Day?

Well... this one has decided to make a straightforward, minimally invasive list of the things she does because you are her dad.

1. Like you, I make (or buy) coffee in the morning and drink it all day long.

Now as a young (non-coffee drinking) child, I thought that you were nursing that one mug all day, but as a grown ass (need coffee for optimal performance) adult, I realize that you, like me, were likely refilling that mug as the day progressed. So cheers to our respective mugs of room temperature, black coffee.

Oh, and this is only semi-related, but when I think about your mug, I think about us driving to church, you planting the mug on the dash and returning to it after church like a smoker who's finally free of the building. So... cheers to finding a church that brews coffee in the lobby and encourages you to drink it during the service. Much better fit, in my opinion.

2. Like you, I see things (like the mug I posted above) and think to myself, "I could make that."

Now, am I right? Could I really make that mug? No... but I feel that if I were to watch enough Discovery channel programming and consult with someone who actually knew what they were doing (in this case, you), then yes I certainly could make such a simple, but ultimately cool, mug. But this "I could make that" reflex extends to all sorts of things. Shelving, craft projects, elaborate home improvements. More often than not, I see a task that most would agree deserves expert attention and I say, "I could make that."

The other night, while playing miniature golf with some friends, one friend attempted to mock me by referencing "that guy that builds the houses on PBS...?" Without skipping a beat and landing myself in a great position for more mockery, I asked if Bob Villa was perhaps the man he was searching for. Of course he was.

3. Like you, I (often involuntarily) ask "Who sings this?" when music is playing.

But there's a clear difference in the way you and I ask this question. You ask because you know the answer. For you it's like this great little quiz show taking place in our mini-van that none of us realized we were on until you threw the question out there. I don't know how you know who sang all of these songs and who their second drummer was, but there must be a special folder in your brain for this sort of thing. And I think Jessica would agree that one of the funniest things that has ever happened in real life was you providing the hint, "It rhymes with pickleback."

When I ask "Who sings this?" or "What are we listening to?" it's a fact finding mission. I've heard something I like and I would like to make sure that I hear more of it at some point in the future. When it comes to recognizing voices, sounds, hell even instruments, I'm no good. So, I need a name I can look up later. But... in reality, I'll probably forget anyway. The important thing though, is that I ask the question.

So, in summary, I may be states away, forgetting holidays and birthdays, and not calling as often as I should. But I'm also walking around with your mannerisms, making your jokes, and flashing peace signs to the motorcycle caravans that pass me on the road. That's pretty good, right?

Happy Father's Day, Dad.



Friday, June 18, 2010

PB Mocha Muffins and the Sniffles

So I have quite a case of the sniffles. I know, I know. You care very much and would love nothing more than for me to talk about that at length.

But you know what, blogensteins, I'm not going to dwell on my sniffles.

Instead, I'm just going to show you these muffins, tell you where you can find the recipe, and then leave you to it.

Now just a word of warning. You will only like these muffins if you like coffee, chocolate, and peanut butter.

Secondary warning: If you don't like any one of those three ingredients, then you and I will need to re-evaluate our friendship. Just sayin.

One way you might get back into my good graces would be to buy me a regular sized cupcake pan. So I don't have to do things like this anymore.

Anyway... the recipe. You can find it here at Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. And, yes, we hate her, as it is almost as upsetting to be skinny as it is to be wealthy and happy. But she makes a good muffin, so we're working on forgiving her the unfortunate blog title.

And now, I'm going to finish watching Never Been Kissed and then go to bed. Yes, being sick sucks. But sleeping a lot without feeling like a lazy bum? That's not bad at all.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hey, hey, it's a cupcake!

And a sneaky one with a twist, at that. Look!

You see it? It's got a chocolate chip cookie bottom. Mmm... now that's decadent. And soooo easy.

Just make up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and put about a half-inch layer of dough in the bottom of your well-greased cupcake tin. Cover the cookie bottom with cake batter (I used a homemade funfetti for these cupcakes.)

Bake at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean, and voila! You've got a cutie patootie cookie bottomed cupcake that turns out of the tin like a charm. If you look closely, you can see the very subtle line between the cookie and the cake.

I made just a few of these with some leftover ingredients as an experiment, but it worked so well that I'm excited to try it out with different flavor combinations. Like... a gingersnap bottom and a creamy peach cupcake. Or... a chocolate chip/oreo bottom and a cookies and cream cake. OR... an oatmeal cookie with a bright, strawberry cake.

Oh... this is just too good. If you'll excuse me, I'll probably be thinking about combinations for the next few days. Hmm... What combo would you try?

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Recently I've not been cooking for myself very much. I'm not quite sure why. I think it has to do with the ungodly heat in Georgia.

Or the fun I've been having outside my apartment. Or the fantastic restaurants that my foodie friends have been introducing me to.

Anyway, a friend demanded a blog post, so I scrounged up ye olde memory card, looking for something from the past that was fabulous but unblogged.

I found nothing.

That's not true. I found things, they just weren't good. But... I feel like blogging, so you guys can enjoy these failburgers from days gone by.

This muffin...

was cobbled together and ended up being a bland, whole wheat, lemon, lime, sour cream muffin. Like Mountain Dew... as a hearty breakfast food. Gross.

These handmade peirogi...

were so blah I tossed them out.

This mustardy potato, sausage, spinach salad...

was just that. And I didn't even think about the fact that I don't like two of those things until I tried to eat it.

This... this...

I have no idea what this is. But I think I remember it was good. I fell into a one pot place for a few weeks and everything looked kinda like this. But it all tasted fab. (Because I threw jalapenos in every pot.)

These egg-free banana chocolate chip cookies...

somehow sent some folks running for the loo. They were amazingly tasty. But... apparently the egg-free, dairy-free substitutions I made were... too much all at once?

Finally, these beautiful pancakes...

tasted like a salt lick.

So... I'm hoping that by showing you the seedy underbelly of food blogging, I'll inspire myself to get back in that kitchen and turn out something mouth-watering and delicious. Until then, loves, don't make my mistakes.