Can’t Pin Me Down!

Thought I might entertain you today with a few of my latest attempts at being crafty, organized, a chef, a baker, and a Pinterest Superstar…

Unfortunately, it is kind of hard to remember to take pictures when doing these things!  I have a few, otherwise, use your imagination.  I have to do that when I compare my finished products to the gorgeous pictures I pin anyway!

Up first!  I made the cauliflower pancakes and I would have to call them a hit.  Keith, who usually refuses cooked vegetables other than potatoes, corn and green beans ate two before I told him the were cauliflower!

Basically, boil some cauliflower til tender.  Drain.  Mash it up a bit.  Stir in a bunch of cheese and an egg and some panko crumbs (plus a little salt, pepper, cayenne pepper or other desired seasonings).  Plop a big spoonful into a hot skillet with a bit of oil.  Smoosh it (that is a technical cooking term, right?)  Brown both sides and enjoy!

I also did the buttermilk brined roasted chicken, pretty much as written.  I roasted Cornish hens.  Meat on a bone kinda gaks me out, so I passed.  Keith said- and this is a direct quote, “it was kind of a waste of time”.  Yeah, he got frozen pizza for a week straight after that.  His complaint was actually about the hen, the amount of meat and picking it off of the dead carcass.  He said the chicken was “fine”.  So I sent the rest of the little dead birds to people that would appreciate them, and they did!  Raved about them actually.  So phooey on Keith.

With the roasted chicken, I made some AWWWE-SOME biscuits.  That didn’t come from a can.  I made them again a few nights ago.  I may make them again tonight, because I am kinda in love.  2c bisquick, 1/2c each sour cream and 7-up.  Smoosh together into dough.  Flour surface and hands.  Flatten to maybe an inch thick (don’t try to roll it out, trust me)  Cut some biscuits.  Use whatever is handy to do that… Throw them in a baking dish with a nice thick coating of melted butter on the bottom.  Bake at 450 til they look done.  Try not to burn your mouth when you eat them straight out of the oven.  Because you will.  On both accounts.  Recipe, with pictures, here.

The kids got the corn/muffin/dogs one night.  I just looked at the picture and winged it, though.  Really, you mix up some Jiffy and pour it into a muffin pan and stick a cut up hotdog in it.  Not rocket science.

I gave them to the kids with some fries and fruit.

… kids plates when done…

Kidding!  Of course they ate the fries.  Isabelle completely refused the muffin.  Eli ate the bread.  Henry crumbles the bread and threw it on the floor.  He ate the hotdog.  I love my kids.

What else?  I made crab rangoon dip and one bite was too much for me.  Keith’s family licked the bowl clean though, so that one is your call.  Made the pretzel bites.  Um, YUM!  Loved them.  Kids preferred the cinnamon sugar variety, but I thought both were great.  A lot of work for something so little, but delicious.  I burned the frozen french toast.  Go ahead, insert your jokes about burning toast.  I told Eli it was dog food, and he thought it was very nice of me to make them something.  Then he got highly upset when his sister ate some of it…  Quick Garlic Cream Pasta had too much pepper.  *W*.  I am not busting out a measuring cup for anything less than 1/4c.

I also did the baked oatmeal, but just kinda made it up as I went.  My kids love muffins, and these are close enough for them so it has cut into our insane level of Eggo consumption.  Luckily, they will eat these straight out of the freezer like they do the waffles.  I put them in a baggie in the door, so I don’t even have to get them out of the freezer.  Literally cannot get an easier breakfast than that!  Anyway, some oats, wheat germ, flax seed, applesauce, eggs, honey, brown sugar, whatever you have laying around really (just be sure to use at least one egg to bind it all together).  A little soupy so they will be more muffin than granola like.  I did a batch of pumpkin and a batch of blueberry.  Normal families that don’t risk death upon consumption would probably love to include bananas and peanut butter.  Chocolate chips would also be great, but they would increase the mess factor so I am not going there.

Continuing with sweets!  Rice Krispie treats, improved!  How is that possible?  Watch and learn.  Watch and learn!

Do the normal butter/marshmallow ratio.  Use ginormous marshmallows if you are a poor planner and that is all you have on hand.  Don’t add extra butter.  It may seem like a good idea, but it makes the treats gross.  Kinda stale tasting.  (I did that the second round- the first time was perfect!)

A thoughtful gift from Aunt LaLa.  Which she fed Henry for breakfast.  Remind me to buy some Mountain Dew for her kids.

They are huge!  Not sure why my hand appears dwarfish.

Here is the magic secret… stir in some yellow cake mix!  The powder, just dump it in.  Then stir and continue about your Rice Krispie making business.  Yup, that is it!

Well, almost.  You have to add sprinkles :)  Be sure to smoosh them in so they don’t just fall off when you inhale them.

I also made melted ice cream cake a while back.  I think the platter may have been licked clean by the kids.  Or their Uncle Troy.  So simple.  Box of cake mix, eggs and a pint of super-soft-but-not-quite-melted ice cream.  I did a chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips.  Plus vanilla glaze, and of course sprinkles.  In a bundt pan so it looked pretty.  Endless possibilities with this combo!!

A month or so back, my sister stole some food from us.  An oatmeal cream pie to be exact.  Then she had the audacity to complain about it being the generic brand which tasted awful.  That, coupled with the fact that 1) the price seems to go up every week and 2) they are so filled with preservatives and crap that they will outlast us by centuries, led me to making Keith’s snacks myself.  I blogged about the amazingly awesomely delicious oatmeal cream pies here, and they are by far my favorite so far.  I also made the congo bars which were pretty darn good, especially warmed and topped with ice cream!

I think Keith has a different favorite though.  I was a little unsure about the homemade butterfingers, but they were really easy and REALLY good!  Much closer to the real deal than I would have guessed.  They are simply equal parts of peanut butter and CANDY CORN!  For real.  Nuke the candy corn, stirring frequently like you would chocolate.  *I* also warmed the PB a bit to make it easier to work with.  Like 15 seconds.  Stir really well- the unblended candy corn will be a pain later if you don’t!  Spread it into a parchment paper lined pan. put in fridge to cool.  Lick the spoon.  And bowl.  Go check Facebook, do some laundry, call your best friend.  She misses you.  Keep yourself occupied until it is completely cool!

Cut into whatever size chunks you want your “bars”.  Melt some chocolate, with a bit of shortening if you are using actual chocolate and not almond bark.  I used semi-sweet, but would suggest milk chocolate instead.  Dip chunks into chocolate.  Try to let the chocolate set up before eating!

Its not all food though.  Just seems a lot of the other stuff… well… doesn’t always work out so well!  Bubblewrap hopscotch for example.  Seems like a fun, simple idea.  Trust me, just give the kids the bubble wrap.  Then the window clings.  *sigh*  Maybe if I had actually followed the directions.  Note:  This WILL NOT work with wax paper.  Also note: preschoolers with colored glue is never really a great idea.  I have seen this done using puff paint though, which I *may* try.  Maybe.

Then we have the oh-so-great idea of the “calm down jar”.  Brilliant.  *eyeroll*  This would fall squarely into the category of parental “should have known better”.  Fill a mason jar with a mix of hot water, the devil, and the devil’s spawn (aka glitter and glitter glue).  Shake it up, then have you child gaze into the beautifully falling colored glitter to turn a tantrum to a sense of awe and wonder at the beauty before them.

Yeah, that part didn’t last.  It never started actually.  The kids thought they were really cool though, and wanted to play with them.  Eli thought it was especially cool to roll his (GREEN COLORED WATER AND GLITTER) (GLASS) jar across the carpet.  Yeah, they got put up on the counter real fast.  Notice that there are only two jars in the picture?  No, Eli’s didn’t spill or break on the carpet.  Isabelle, however, was so, so excited to show hers to her dad that she kinda tripped.  With the jar in hand.  And it hit the oven.  Then the floor.  Thankfully the jar didn’t break.  I did, however, have a very sparkly pink kitchen.  If you walk in the right spot, you will still get a dusting on your feet because GLITTER NEVER GOES AWAY.

There have been a bunch of other random things- fabric softner , several failed methods of curling my stick straight hair (I am finally getting the hang of it with my straightener!  Best thing I have ever tried.), extending the life of my mascara with a few drops of saline solution, storing bobby pins in a tic tac container, etc.  I have supplies gathered for several other projects too!  Just have to make the time to do them.

I am really looking forward to Easter!  My mother in law LOVES Easter, its like a second Christmas to her and she goes all out.  I have some great ideas to contribute to the festivities!

Now, off to show some houses on this gorgeous day!

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